Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekly Book Haul.....August 13, 2017

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

Summer is winding down.  Just a few more weeks of lazy summer days floating in the pool.  But then we move into an Arizona winter, which is the best thing.  It's beautiful during the day but cool enough at night to lie in front of the fireplace reading.  

One of my friends came over to swim last week and we were discussing publishers.  I remarked that St. Martin's Press was a favorite, they seem to represent many of my most followed authors and they were always so proactive in getting their books out to me.  Two days later, she texted me a picture showing me she had gotten The Wife Between Us.  

I was really happy for her, but also super green with envy.  Why hadn't I gotten it?  I've loved Sarah Pekkanen longer and I've read all of her books but somehow I wasn't going to get a copy to review?  Snubbed and betrayed by SMP.

But I bravely decided to carry on. A true hero, right?  And my strength was rewarded on Friday, when I came home to this in my mailbox.  Woohoo!  I dug right in, and it is sooooo good so far.

Here are my other, not so dramatic additions....

The Visitors by Catherine Burns.....Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side....

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

What They Say.....One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

What I Say.....Last year I spent one day reading All Is Not Forgotten, it was a new author to me, but I liked the premise - what if you could get treatment right away to have traumatic memories erased for your child?  Would you do it?  On the surface, I think everyone would say yes, but every decision has consequences.  It was a great read, so I was thrilled to get a copy of Emma in the Night.

I actually think I liked this book even more than her first.  Cass and Emma disappeared off of a beach one night three years ago and the police never had any clues as to where they might have went.  Now Cass has reappeared and is frantic for the police to find her sister.  She's also worried about a baby that no one knew about.

Abby, the forensic psychologist who helped to investigate the girls disappearance is back to interview Cass.  She has had grave misgivings about their mother since the beginning of this case, but she isn't sure how much of it is based on her own personal experience with a narcissistic parent.

The book starts with a mystery, moves into a different mystery and ends up with a mystery being solved that creates more questions.

This was definitely a page turner, and I never felt like I could predict what was going to happen.  I was never sure what was the truth and what was a lie.  And this all added up to a great read - this is definitely an author to follow.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.98

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weekly Book Haul....August 6, 2017

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

It's August.  My birthday month and a month that never seems to really understand it's own identity.  It's still super hot, I'm still swimming every weekend, but all I'm hearing are complaints about school supplies and all I'm seeing is first day of school pics all over my Facebook feed.

It's a 106 degrees, I have my air conditioning running non-stop, and the whole house smells like pumpkin spice, thanks to the plug ins I bought yesterday.  I do love all things fall, but I'm going to try to hang on to summer for at least another month.

For the last week, I've been sucked into the Archy McNally series by Lawrence Sanders.  I read Volume One of the series, which is the first three books.  They were just as good as I remembered - just fun, lighthearted mysteries.  It made me want to keep going through the series again.  Sanders really was a great writer - and I'm not sure if it was harder or easier to be a best selling writer back then.  If you've never read these books, take a look, I think you'll enjoy them!

Here's what I added to my TBR shelf this week.

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan.....No one knows why Teddi Lerner left

her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.
Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.
Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she's caused and—maybe—how to fix it. 
After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she'll finally see what she overlooked all along.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weekly Book Haul.....July 30, 2017

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

This has been a cloudy, humid weekend in sunny Arizona.  Every time I go outside, I think about how much I would love to live by the ocean, but I know I couldn't stand the humidity.  It makes me feel so dragged down, and my hair is uncontrollable.  

I watched the first episode of Midnight, Texas last week and I was seriously underwhelmed.  Parts of it, I really liked.  But the talking cat and the glowing house were so hokey, I was turned off.  I'm going to give it a few more weeks and hope it finds its footing.

I've been re-reading the McNally series by Lawrence Sanders and they are just as fun as I remembered.  I've really enjoyed revisiting Archy McNally and his mysteries.

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain.....In 1944, twenty-three-year-
old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on. 
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

A Guide for Murdered Children.....We all say there is no justice in this world.
But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

 Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Childrenis a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer at the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard

What They Say....Summer sun, chilled, white wine, and a gorgeous fiancé. Nothing could upset pure bliss ... Right?

Emmy Jamieson loves her new life in the gentle hills and sunflowers of the lush French countryside, managing La Cour des Roses, a beautiful, white stone guesthouse. With marriage to caramel-eyed Alain just round the corner, things couldn’t be more perfect.

The odd glass (gallon) of wine dulls the sound of Emmy’s mum in full motherzilla-of-the-bride mode, and the faint tinkling of alarm bells coming from Alain’s ex are definitely nothing to worry about. Guesthouse owner Rupert and a whole host of old and new friends are there to make sure nothing gets in the way of Emmy’s happiness.

But as Emmy gets close to the big day, a secret from the past throws everything decidedly off track. Will her idyllic French wedding go ahead as planned, or will Emmy run back home to England with a broken heart?

What I Say.....This is the third book in the La Cour Des Roses series and I was so happy to receive a copy to review.  I was hooked from the first book and the third one was just as good.

Emmy is finally ready to marry Alain, but it wouldn't be a summer in the French countryside without some bumps rising in the road to happily ever after.

SPOILER ALERT - BUT NOT TOO MUCH OF A SPOILER! A house fire, a troubled marriage, an unexpected pregnancy, and pushy parents are just some of the things brewing before the wedding day.  Emmy is also dealing with a contentious mother, who doesn't seem to think texting her friends for every wedding detail is any big deal.  Ugh.  I'd lose my mind, but I also don't have a handsome French boyfriend who thinks everything I do is perfect - I'd like one though.

I don't think there's much danger of Emmy running back to England with a broken heart, but her chateau wedding is definitely in danger.

All I can say is keep the series going - I love it!