ARC · book review · Bookouture · Loveswept · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press · Swerve

Weekly Wrap Up: December 9th through December 15th, 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

If, Then
The Reckoning
The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)
The Girls at 17 Swann Street
Forget You Know Me
Keep Her Close
Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction, #2)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Girls at 17 Swann Street—review coming February 5th, 2019

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Forget You Know Me—-review coming February 5th, 2019

Forget You Know Me

Keep Her Close—review coming December 11th, 2018

Keep Her Close

Illegally Yours—review coming January 22nd, 2019

Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction, #2)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The House of Fire and Rain

The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)

Keep Her Close

Keep Her Close

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Getting Hot with the Scot

Getting Hot with the Scot (Sometimes in Love, #1)

The Perfect Girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend

Dark Alpha’s Awakening

Dark Alpha's Awakening (Reaper, #7)

Things You Save in a Fire

Things You Save in a Fire

Keeping Lucy

Keeping Lucy

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Shattered Reflections

Shattered Reflections

Dirty Alphas

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: December 12th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

We got a snowstorm that dumped 14 inches on us. Now, if this was in the NE, Mid-West, or SW (think Washington/areas of California/Oregon), it wouldn’t have been a problem. They are equipped to deal with that much snow. But, here in Hickory, NC….they are not. My kids haven’t been to school since last Friday. I am slowly going insane. Add to everything, BK had to go to Chicago on Monday for a meeting and is coming back late tonight. So, its just been me. I told him this morning that I am going to chug an entire bottle of wine on Friday….lol.

Speaking of the kids, I have a busy week with them next week. Miss B has her Winter Concert (she plays the trumpet) on Monday. My only complaint is that it is at 7:45pm. Which is beyond Miss R’s bedtime. So, it will be interesting to see how that goes. Progress reports go on Tuesday. I am not too worried about Mr. Z (he’s straight A’s). It’s Miss B. She has made up everything that she didn’t pass in or do. That raised her grade from a 40 to a 63. Almost there. On Wednesday, Miss R has her Christmas presentation at school. It should be cute, seeing 2, 3, and 4 (with some 5) year olds putting on a play about Jesus’s birthday. Thursday, Mr. Z has a bell presentation as school. He is playing C sharp. It is also a 1/2 day (which is unheard of in this school system). On top of all that, I still have to wrap presents. I planned on getting 90% of them done this week and well, look how that turned out.

Reading:

I am almost caught up with reviews. I have maybe 3 reviews to write and plan on doing that today. Reading wise, I am behind by 2 books. Which is pretty good for me.  I have gotten 90% of my author request books read (which factors into the reviews I need to write). I have also whittled down my NetGalley TBR. My January and February are chock full of reviews…lol. I have one book on my NetGalley TBR that is bugging me. The publisher took it back for editing, send an email saying that I would get another copy of the book. And nothing. It’s just sitting there. I am anal about stuff like that. I want this book off my 3 months and older section.


What I am currently reading:

If, Then

click on the picture for Amazon link

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny’s own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first, the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

I am only on the first chapter of this book but it looks interesting. I can’t wait to see where this book is going to go. If, Then is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 12th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

The Reckoning

click on the picture for Amazon link

The Reckoning is the stunning follow-up to The Legacy, which was the start of a thrilling new series that Booklist (starred) recommends for fans of Tana French. 

Vaka sits, regretting her choice of coat, on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. Grownups, she decides, are useless.

With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, on the other side of a high fence, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl’s house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka.

Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in. Soon, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

From the international number one-bestselling author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Yrsa Sigurdardottir returns with the follow-up to The Legacy.

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I am not going to go much into the book except to say that it was really good. I am hoping that there will be a Book 3 and I am going to read Book 1 as soon as I can. The Reckoning is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 12th, 2019.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

In the Blink of an Eye

Originally titled Sixty Seconds

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

In the Blink of an Eye is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.

I was intrigued by this book. This book is something that I like to read. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is going to be. In the Blink of an Eye is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 19th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

The Girl He Used to Know

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I like reading second chance romances. I can’t wait to read this book. The Girl He Used to Know is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 2nd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

The Mother-in-Law

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. 

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. 
Who could possibly want Diana dead? 
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

Another book that I am looking forward to reading. I like a good mystery and this looks like something I will enjoy reading. The Mother in Law is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 23rd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

Little Darlings

Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman andGrimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

This book sounded super creepy. Changeling stories are always creepy in my eyes. I am hoping that this book is as good as it sounds. Little Darlings is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is May 10th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance

Know what’s worse than being forced to marry your depraved, sadistic alpha? 
Hiding his corpse.
 

Ten years after storms and seismic disasters ravaged the world, only one major forest remains intact in the United States, and my werewolf pack is responsible for keeping Heartland Forest for the wolves. Jacob Knight may have been a terrible alpha, but he kept the fae, vampires, and man-eating trolls from taking over Heartland. Day by day, they close in on us. 

For two years, I’ve gotten away with murder, and it hasn’t been easy. I live a lie, and it’s eating me up inside. It’s a price I must pay to keep my secrets buried and my pack safe. 

But nothing stays buried for long in Heartland Forest. 

When Jacob’s three alpha brothers ride their motorcycles into town, claiming they want to rent a room in the apartment building I manage, I know they’re here for more than low rent and creaky pipes. 

Do I have what it takes to take on three dirty alphas?

I haven’t read (or reviewed) a reverse harem in a while. I also haven’t read anything to do with shifters in a while. So when I was approached to review Dirty Alphas, I figured “Why not“. Dirty Alpha’s is currently on pre-order. Its expected publication date is December 14th, 2018. Be on the look out for my review after that date.

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s latest thriller, the town of Rockton–and her fans–are in for another hair-raising adventure.

The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town’s only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she’s come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.

The blurb for this book made me want to read it. It seems like it would be a good murder mystery. I can’t wait to read it!! Watcher in the Woods is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 5th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: December 5th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

I had a long week, last week. It was the week of parent/teacher conferences. Adding to that, I had a Hashi’s flare-up which took a lot out of me. So, I was tired, achy and grumpy. Adding to my grumpiness, I found out that Miss B, my 13-year-old, wasn’t turning in her classwork or her homework. How did I find that out? We track her grades through a school app called PowerSchool and her grades plummeted. Mainly her ELA and social studies. When I asked her about the missing work (it shows what is missing), she told me that she had turned everything in. Which turned out to be not true. So, until she makes up the work, she has no phone, no laptop (except her school-issued Chromebook), and no XBox.  

I ended up raking (and mowing) the leaves in my yard before the rain set in. We still have the backyard to do. But we are expecting snow this weekend, so yeah, that’s not happening.

Reading:

I only finished one book out of the many that I posted last week. Which is rare of me. But, I have a good reason why. I am savoring the book I am reading now. I am taking it in small doses. And that made me fall behind on reviews and on reading. Oops…lol. Luckily, the books I will be reading aren’t set to publish until January/February…so I can afford to slow my pace down.


What I am currently reading:

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

This is the book that I am savoring. I am absolutely loving it!! I can’t wait to share my thoughts on it with all of you. The Gilded Wolves is currently on pre-order. Expected publication date is January 19th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review before or after that date.


What I recently finished reading:

Zero

He won the election. He ended democracy. He built a wall of glass 1,000 meters high. Now, 150 years later, his descendants have infinite wealth and control the Sanctuary, a high-tech paradise for the rich where money equals rank. 
She’s from the slum. She has no money or rank. She vows to tear down the wall and end the nightmare. 
Her weapon? Zero.

This was a fantastic science fiction/dystopian book. It scared me a little bit. With the talk of the wall, I was thinking that this was something happening right now. It also made me think. Zero is currently available to buy. Click on the picture and it will take you to Amazon. Also, here is my review if you haven’t read it.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

The Perfect Liar

A seemingly perfect marriage is threatened by the deadly secrets husband and wife keep from each other, for fans of B.A. Paris and Paula Hawkins.

Susannah, a young widow, and single mother has remarried well: to Max, a charismatic artist and popular speaker whose career took her and her fifteen-year-old son out of New York City and to a quiet Vermont university town. Strong-willed and attractive, Susannah expects that her life is perfectly in place again. Then one quiet morning she finds a note on her door: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. 

Max dismisses the note as a prank. But days after a neighborhood couple comes to dinner, the husband mysteriously dies in a tragic accident while on a run with Max. Soon thereafter, a second note appears on their door: DID YOU GET AWAY WITH IT?

Both Susannah and Max are keeping secrets from the world and from each other —secrets that could destroy their family and everything they have built. The Perfect Liar is a thrilling novel told through the alternating perspectives of Susannah and Max with a shocking climax that no one will expect, from the bestselling author of The Headmaster’s Wife.

This is a book that was on last week’s list. I definitely plan on reading it this week. I am excited to read it. I like thrillers and this one seems like it would be right up my alley. The Perfect Liar is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is January 15th, 2019.

Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction, #2)

Rule #1: Never fall for your client.
Rule #2: Never fall for your client’s fiercely protective, smoking hot sister-in-law.

I’m the kind of guy who believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation money can buy—which just so happens to be me, Lucas Wright. Give me your henpecked, your cuckolded, your irreconcilable differences yearning to break free! And if you’re the bad guy in your marriage, that’s cool too. Your green is as good as anyones.

Tell that to Trinity Jones. It’s my job to destroy her sister—the soon-to-be ex-wife of my a-hole of a client—and Trinity’s “big sis” instincts are dialed up to the max. I admire that. I admire her. But she won’t stop me from representing my client to the best of my ability.

Not even if my chemistry with Trinity is undeniable. Not even if we can’t keep our hands off each other. Not even if she injects life into a heart assumed to be long dead.

Because when faced with a choice between love and duty, the job will always win—or at least that’s what I thought before I met Trinity . . . and suddenly conflict of interest never felt so right.

Again, another book from last week’s WWW Wednesday. What made me request this book was that it was a divorce attorney falling in love. Plus, I liked the previous book in the series. Illegally Yours is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is January 22nd, 2019.

Keep Her Close

Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you …

Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot. 
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter. 
What kind of person would abandon their daughter? 

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family. 
But her real father has sent her a letter. 
And now Ally is missing.

A gripping twist-filled thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Teresa Driscoll.

Another book that I am looking forward to reading. I have reviewed for Erik Therme before and liked his books. So, I am hoping that I like this one too. Keep Her Close is currently available to purchase. Look for my review at some point within the next week.

Forget You Know Me

In her engrossing new novel, Forget You Know Me, Jessica Strawser takes readers deep into an intimate friendship between two women. When one witnesses a shocking incident that should never have been caught on camera, the secrets and lies it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.

Molly and Liza have always been close in a way that people envy. Even after Molly married Daniel, both considered Liza an honorary member of their family. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage. 

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat over wine after the kids are in bed. But when Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child, a man in a mask enters, throwing Liza into a panic—then her screen goes black. 

When Liza finally reaches Molly, her reply is icy and terse, insisting everything is fine. Liza is still convinced something is wrong, that her friend is in danger. But after an all-night drive to help her ends in a brutal confrontation, Liza is sure their friendship is over—completely unaware that she’s about to have a near miss of her own. And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either. 

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Forget You Know Me exposes the wounds of people who’ve grown apart, against their will. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain. The man in the mask will change things for them all.

But who was he?

And will he be back?

And yet another book from last week (the last of them, I swear…lol). Another thriller. I am hoping that this book is as good as the blurb makes it out to be!! Forget You Know Me is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 5th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.

Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting, intimate journey of a young woman’s struggle to reclaim her life. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.

The blurb of this book called to me. I am hoping that it will be as good as I think it is. The Girls at 17 Swann Street is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 5th, 2019. I am on the book tour for this book, so be on the lookout for my review at any time between February 1st-February 9th.

The House of Fire and Rain (Firemountain Chronicles, #2)

Dave Dobrowski is a detective in Firemountain. Things haven’t been the same in Firemountain since Dinah Steele took down Gleebelix. Now illegal prostitutes are dying in droves. Yet the legal brothel, The House of Fire and Rain, on tribal land is immune to a curse that is killing not only working girls but their clients. Dave and his alchemical partner Jolene Anderson, race to discover why legal girls are protected why illegals are dying and discover there is more than just morality at stake.

I had reviewed for this author before. I had enjoyed the first book in this series and I am hoping that I will like this book. Plus, the author has a wicked sense of humor when I was talking to her about the book. The House of Fire and Rain is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point in the future.

If, Then

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny’s own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first, the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

I wasn’t going to request this book for review until I read the blurb. Then I went “Hmmmm” and requested it. If, Then is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 12th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

In the Blink of an Eye

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

In the Blink of an Eye is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.

Again, another book where the blurb drew me in. I read the blurb and thought to myself “I need to read this book“. I hope that it is as good as it seems. In the Blink of An Eye is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 19th, 2019. My review will be after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Forever · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · NetGalley · Polis Books · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 28th through November 3rd 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Black Diamond Fall

The Storyteller's Throne

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Wizard’s Gift—review here

The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller

Black Diamond Fall—review here

Black Diamond Fall

Kiss Me at Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review here

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

The Storyteller’s Throne—review here

The Storyteller's Throne

The Rain Watcher—review here

The Rain Watcher

A Nanny for Harry—review here

A Nanny for Harry

Stripped Down—review here

Stripped Down

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Night Before

You Are The Everything

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Deadly Cage—Tom Howard (No Amazon/Email page yet)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

 Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · NetGalley · Polis Books

Black Diamond Fall by Joseph Olshan

Black Diamond Fall

4 Stars

Publisher: Polis Books

Date of publication: September 18th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Black Diamond Fall: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has had a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion.

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.


My review:

Luc is a college student who had finished playing a pickup game of hockey with this friends. Realizing that he lost the class ring of his boyfriend, Luc goes back to find it. He disappears. Sam, Luc’s older boyfriend, comes under suspicion when he cannot provide an alibi for the night he disappears. Hurt in a skiing accident, Sam goes back to Vermont to recuperate and cooperate with the police in Luc’s investigation. What happened after the hockey game? What happened to Luc? Did Sam have something to do with it? Will Luc be found alive?

When I started reading Black Diamond Fall, I thought it was going to be a wham-bam-thank you ma’am mystery. You know the ones that it is obvious who the killer is from the beginning. That isn’t the case here. The author did a fantastic job of keeping exactly what happened to Luc that night under wraps until the end of the book. I was surprised at who it ended up being. Because that person wasn’t on my radar at all. I thought it was the other person that the police kept questioning. To add that twist added to my enjoyment of the book.

I liked how the author interwove Luc wandering around the woods with the police investigation. I was mentally going “Check the darn woods” everytime they brought Sam or Luc’s friends in for questioning. Saying that it was frustrating is an understatement. I also wanted to reach through the book and give Luc some food and a blanket. That was frustrating to read too.

I wish more insight was given into Luc and Sam’s relationship. What they had seemed to be true love, even though they broke up right before Sam went away on his trip. Their relationship was one of the more realistic ones that I have read lately.

I liked how the police investigation didn’t focus on one person. Instead, they had a sizable pool of suspects to question. What I enjoyed about that storyline was how the officers went about narrowing down the field of suspects. I mean, who would have thought that Robert Frost’s Homestead being vandalized would lead to a clue about what happened to Luc. I also like how they caught the person.

The end of the book was bittersweet. I am not going to say much beyond that. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the plotlines. He left nothing hanging. I am hoping that more books will be written with Sam as the main character. I did like him.


I gave Black Diamond Fall a 4-star rating. This was a great read with characters that I could connect with. The plotlines were wonderfully written. The mystery angle kept me on the edge of my seat.

I would give Black Diamond Fall an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language (some homophobic slurs). There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Black Diamond Fall. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Polis Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Black Diamond Fall.

All opinions expressed on this review of Black Diamond Fall are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Black Diamond Fall?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

ARC · book review · NetGalley · Non ARC · Polis Books · RABT Book Tours · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: October 31st, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Personal: I got the plague. Miss R, Miss B, and BK shared their nasty cold with me. Mr. Z, somehow, lucked out and didn’t get it. The kid has a great immune system. Luckily, I am feeling better today. We took the kids out trunk or treating at our local minor league baseball teams stadium. It was insane. There had to over 1,000 people there. We have a tradition in my family where I make a spooky meal and dessert. I am making mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll with black olive slices for eyes/mouth) and gingerbread skeletons (from a kit that I got at Aldi’s). After that, we are heading to a neighborhood by the elementary school to go trick or treating. Then, tomorrow, I take down the decorations for Halloween and put up the ones for Thanksgiving. Fun!!!

Reading: I did almost catch up over the weekend with writing reviews. Reading, not so much. I have struggled with finishing the last couple of books that I have read. I usually can finish a book within 2 days. It has been stretched out to 3-4 days because of this darn cold. I start reading and bam, I am asleep with the Kindle on my face. I am hoping that once I feel better, I can catch back up again. On a brighter note, I did catch up on my blog tours. They are all written and scheduled. Yay!!


What I am currently reading:

The Wizard's Gift

click on the picture for Amazon link

The last of an ancient group of wizards leave a gift to the newly arrived race of men. It is revered and cared for by a line of priests until it is stolen, and the high priest and his sovereign murdered by a king who believes himself destined to be a great wizard. But from ancient writings, the high priest had discovered that the gift is not benevolent as was thought. This forces the son of the high priest unexpectedly elevated to his father’s position, and the young prince who is equally suddenly king, into a race to find the gift before it can be used as that may cause the destruction of the world. Accompanied by the retired captain of the palace guard they hope to speed their journey by crossing the Wasteland, a seeming desert, which is fabled to be populated by monsters, and from which no visitor has ever returned. In the course of their adventures, they are hunted by dog-faced men and captured by slavers, but the young prince truly becomes a king, and the priest discovers that he has a destiny that goes beyond the bounds of his world. 

This is one of the books that I mentioned that I am struggling to finish because of my darn cold. I like it but it started off slow. The author took that time to do some wonderful character and world building. But still. It crept. But, I am at a point in the book where it is starting to pick up.


What I finished reading:

Black Diamond Fall

Click on the picture for Amazon link

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has been having a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion. 

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.

This was the other book that I struggled finishing. Not because of the book. Because of this stupid cold. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a suspenseful read. I was a bit surprised at the end. My review for this book should be up tomorrow.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Pandemonium

Jackson Armstrong is blessed with an extraordinary memory and a young son who loves him. He is also cursed with a compulsion to gamble that has cost him nearly everything. While chasing another big win, Jackson is killed in a car theft gone wrong and finds himself trapped in Pandemonium, a hellish, urban netherworld where demons rule over man. 

Before long, Jackson begins having visions of a mysterious portal. Convinced his visions are the key to escaping Pandemonium and returning home to his son, Jackson forms an unlikely alliance with Lilith, a mysterious demon who has an agenda all her own. As the two are relentlessly pursued by an evil older than time itself, they must navigate their way across a brutal, fantastical landscape and find the portal before it closes forever. 

Pandemonium is a dark fantasy adventure that will take readers to the depths of a richly imagined hell unlike any they have experienced before. 

I was drawn in by the cover first and the blurb second. I am hoping that this is going to be a good read!!

Lakes of Mars

Aaron Sheridan doesn’t want to live anymore. His entire family had just died in a shuttle crash and he’d been the one flying it. Unable to deal with the guilt, he signs up for the Fleet expecting a fatal deployment to the Rim War, but instead ends up at their most prestigious command school, Corinth Station.

Initially, he’s detached from the brutality of his instructors and the Machiavellian tactics of the other students there, but after he sticks up for his only friend he makes himself a target of the most feared cadet on the station, Caelus Erik. Unsure of whom to trust and worried that anything he does will make others on his flight team targets as well, Aaron retreats deeper and deeper inside himself. However, when he discovers that officer training is not the station’s only purpose, it becomes increasingly clear that risking everything is the safest thing he can do.

Contains: Strong language and some violence

I am trying to rev up my science fiction reading. So when I was approached to review this book, I accepted. I am hoping that this is going to be a good read!!

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

What if your past came back to haunt you and stalked the present until it became your worst nightmare? What would you do if you discovered you’re engaged to a murderous psychopath about to go serial? 

J.J. Hughes explores the lengths to which we will go, to keep the past from overshadowing the present and destroying the future. Spirit of Prophecy is a highly original, cutting-edge, metaphysical crime mystery with a breathtaking paranormal twist.

Years ago, a terrible atrocity occurred in Apache Indian territory in New Mexico, and now the players take up their positions to execute a horrific revenge. If you liked A.G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene you’ll love this. 

Evil awakens, and Rosetta Barrett, a psychic detective, must settle old scores and heal ancient wounds. She has the highest international security clearance with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services [EPIS], but she can’t tell her family or the courts what she really does. Divorce was hell. She lost custody of her children because of her paranormal beliefs, and now she’s fighting to get them back. 

Prominent American event rider, Juliet Jermaine, loses her Olympic horse, Gothic, and his rider, Isabella, also dies in a horrific unprovoked road rage attack. Barrett is investigating Isabella’s murder. She has a suspect but gathering sufficient evidence to nail a conviction is proving elusive. 

If Rosetta fails to convict the criminal and end the horrific cycle of revenge and retribution, the past is set to explode into the present with dire and explosive consequences.

Time is running out…

Read Spirit of Prophecy and get onboard a metaphysical rollercoaster from the future to the past and back!

Visit the author’s website and get to know J.J. Hughes and her work.
www.moneymagnet.global/booksbyjjhughes

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

I had reviewed the previous book in this series and enjoyed it. I am hoping that I like this one too.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Rain Watcher

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction

Where you can find The Rain Watcher: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah’s Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, in the tradition of THE NEST.

The Rain Watcher is a powerful family drama set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father’s 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances.

In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.


My review:

The Rain Watcher was one of those books that showed up on a Read Now email from NetGalley and I added it. Why I added it? Well, I liked the cover. I loved seeing the Eiffel Tower behind glass with rain on it. When I read the blurb, I figured “”Why not. The worst case scenario is that I don’t like it. The best is that I love it“. Well, my feeling for this book falls somewhere between love and hate.

I was not familiar with anything written by Tatiana De Rosnay. Since I like reading books by authors that are unknown to me, I was excited to start reading this book. My excitement was strong when I started reading The Rain Watcher. But as the book went on, my excitement started to go away. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the plotline, I did. It was the writing style. It was hard for me to get used to. That was a big consideration when it came to giving my star rating to this book.

As much as I hate saying this, I couldn’t connect with Linden, Tilla, or Lauren. It’s not that I didn’t like them, I couldn’t connect to them as a people. I did feel bad for Linden, though. He couldn’t come out to his father. Did he want to? Yes, but he was scarred by Lauren’s reaction when he told her. Tilla came across as unhappy in her life. That was the vibe I got from her. Unhappy with how her life has turned out. And Lauren, well, she wasn’t present for 90% of the book. How can I connect to a character who wasn’t there?

I did like that it was set in Paris. I didn’t understand what the author was talking about when she kept referring to the street names, neighborhoods. I had to google everything. I don’t mind googling one or two things. But when I have to google every French word/term that comes up (or use my Kindle’s translator), then it becomes tedious. Plus, I couldn’t get into the storyline as much as I wanted to.

I did like the storylines. I thought that the natural disaster that Paris went through during the book was fascinating. I also thought that the storyline with the unknown boy and his babysitter, Suzanne, was compelling. I did figure that out about halfway through who the unknown boy was. I loved how the author didn’t make the evacuation of Paris perfect and she didn’t bother to gloss over the flood.  I also did like Paul’s stroke and the fall out from that. It did force Linden to think about some things that he would have rather not have. Like his Aunt Candy and Hadrian.

But there were dropped storylines as well. Like Lauren and her ex-fiance. After Linden confronted her, it went away. I wanted to know what was going on. Also, the whole Oriel and touring the city with her. That went away towards the end of the book. I was wondering what happened to her. Same with Linden’s agent, who kept texting him about his important photo shoot. Did she reschedule it or what?

The end of the book was bittersweet. I was left feeling unfulfilled and a little disappointed. What I liked was that the author didn’t make this a normal happy ending. While there were some happy elements to it, it was mostly sad. The author did a great job at wrapping up the main storylines but didn’t wrap up the secondary ones. Even though I wasn’t fond of this book, I am curious to read other books by the author.

What I liked about The Rain Watcher:

  1. The main storylines
  2. The book was set in Paris
  3. Great job at wrapping up the main storylines

What I disliked about The Rain Watcher:

  1. The writing style made the book hard to read
  2. I couldn’t connect with any of the main characters
  3. Dropped storylines

I gave The Rain Watcher a 3-star rating. While I liked the storyline and the location the book was set, I felt that the writing style overwhelmed them. I couldn’t connect with any of the main characters. Which is big, because I need to be able to connect with at least one character to make the book enjoyable to read. I also didn’t like that there were dropped storylines.

I would give The Rain Watcher an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There is a rape scene, while not graphic, is still disturbing. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Rain Watcher. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends. I am open to reading anything else by the author.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Rain Watcher.

All opinions stated in this review of The Rain Watcher are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**