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EMK - Book Reviewer

Book Promotion Specialists & Book Bloggers sharing what we read and love!

The Final Days of Magic by J. D. Horn

Thank you Netgalley, J.D. Horn, and 47North for the Advanced Copy of this magical book!

I loved it for several reasons, one I used to live in New Orleans and I’ve personally experienced the the sense of energy that was electrifying the city. There’s so much history too, which makes for the perfect place to set your story in!

If you love history and the voo doo-ish vibes of New Orleans, you’ll really enjoy this read!


The war between witches reaches its terrifying climax in the final book in Wall Street Journal bestselling author J.D. Horn’s spellbinding trilogy.

Once caged in an illusory realm by blood relatives, Alice Marin has been freed into a world where the last remnants of magic are quickly passing away. Dissolving with them is the unity among witches…and their sanity. Grappling with the revelations of her true parentage—and her burgeoning relationship with Nathalie Boudreau, a psychic with her own demons—Alice and her allies, both living and dead, must draw on every skill they possess. It’s the only way to defeat the destructive forces borne of the horrifying history of Alice’s own family. That means unlocking the final secrets of The Book of Unwinding.

Now, on the longest night of the year, the streets of New Orleans will become a battleground as Alice and the few she can trust engage in a war amid the final days of magic. But the revelations that lie ahead may be too dark to escape.

A Note From the Publisher

J.D. Horn is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Witching Savannah series, as well as the first book in the Witches of New Orleans trilogy, The King of Bones and Ashes. A world traveler and student of French and Russian literature, Horn also has an MBA in international business and formerly held a career as a financial analyst before turning his talent to crafting chilling stories and unforgettable characters. His novels have received global attention and have been translated into more than half a dozen languages. Originally from Tennessee, he currently lives in California with his spouse, Rich. Visit

Releasing May 2nd! – The Life of Death by Lucy Booth – #BOOKREVIEW

Thank you to Netgalley, Lucy Booth and Unbound for the ARC of this book.

This book strayed a little further into darkness than some of the others that I’ve picked up recently. After all, the devil is involved and once you’ve made a deal with him, it’s not so easy to renege on it.

Lizzie agrees to the terms until she finds love and wants her soul back. To achieve this she much convince the devil and that’s never an easy thing to do when you know conditions will be involved.

Does Lizzie agree to do what he asks in return for her soul? You’ll have to read it to find out!

I really enjoyed this dark story, it was imaginative and with the author writing this prior to loosing her battle with cancer, it shines a light on life and in this case, death.


One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love. Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself. Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love. Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.

About the Author

Lucy Booth was born in Suffolk, moved with her family to Solihull, Cyprus and Lymm, Cheshire where she attended Manchester High School for Girls before studying Behavioural Sciences at Nottingham University. On graduating Lucy moved to London to pursue her career as a freelance producer for various top of the range adverts & music videos.

In 2011 Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer resulting in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Undaunted, and with the great assistance of her friends, Lucy not only continued working and writing her blog ( of her ‘cancer experience’ in a typically forthright and humorous fashion but felt the urge to write a novel. The Life of Death is the result.

In 2014 the aggressive cancer returned. However, Lucy was determined to live her life to the full and to finish her novel before she died in August 2016. 


In 1590, I sold my soul to the Devil. I was 23. 

I was born in 1567 in the tiny village of Tranent, clinging to the fraying skirt hems of Scotland as they dragged into the icy waters of the North Sea. My name was Elizabeth. Elizabeth Murray. Lizzy, Lilibet, Bess. The Devil was all around us in that remote spot – lashing the shores with whipped up tempests and slicing us to the bone with the Arctic winds. But whilst the others could wrap up, turn their backs to Him over the whistling winds, He had chosen me and from that there was no escape. Where I went, he would undoubtedly follow. I was marked – a livid red birthmark scoring the soft skin below my right ear and curling into my neck. An unanswered question mark etched into my skin. I found refuge in the dark – when the flickering light from open fires disguised my disfigurement and I could hide in the shadows. Refuge in the dark, and amongst the women of my family.  

We’d gather on the kirk green late into the long summer evenings – huddled in the shadows of the squat, thick-set stone church, backs turned to the wind and driving rain. The walls were at least six feet thick and when we were there we were safe. Myself, sisters, my mother, my aunts. It started small – just we six – before more women from the village joined us and we would gather nightly to swap tips and exchange advice, gossip about the local men, offer a friendly ear in a hostile world.

I had a talent for a poultice – bring me a lame horse and he would walk, an infected finger would soften and bend under my care. I heard the whispers from the village – we all did. “Witchcraft”, “Devil’s Child”, “Dark Magic”, flitting past our ears and floating in the air to be netted and pinned like fragile butterflies by those who believed. And we’d laugh – laugh at those men who feared and revered us in equal measure. Who had their own meetings by firelight to “free their midst of evil”, flames dancing in their eyes, shadows carving canyons into weathered faces. Only a day later they would appear at our doors, heads hanging, eyes cast to the floor and feet scuffing the dirt as they mumbled out requests. A lame mule, an angry, red, swollen eye, weeping and oozing. A third still birth in the family in as many years. They were torn – torn between their contempt for us and their need. And that made them despise us all the more.

So when the King’s men came to rid the country of witchcraft and magic, there those same men stood. Eyes once more turned to the floor. Toes once more scuffing the dirt. Names mumbled, fingers pointed towards crofts, and faces turned away from women bundled and pushed ahead of aristocratic men dressed in metal, their rich fabrics saturated with colour in the harsh light bouncing from the sea. Faces turned away from me and the women who would join me on those long, late nights on the kirk green. Faces turned away as we were bundled and pushed into dank dungeons dripping with slimy moss to await a trial – accused of nothing more than helping and healing. Accused of a knowledge the men would never understand. Accused of witchcraft and a devotion to the Devil.

For days I was strung up in that freezing cell. Shackled to the wall and strapped into a Witch’s Bridle – the metal prongs jabbing into my cheeks and the spiked iron bit tearing welts into my tongue. For days I hung there. When my body sagged under it’s own weight, under the exhaustion of night after night without sleep, the spikes would bite into my tongue and pain would jerk me upright and awake. The whistles and whispers of the wind began to sound like voices. Until, after an eternity hanging in the dark and cold those whistles and whispers became a voice – His voice. Alternately charming and cajoling, curt and cold. Chipping away at me amid the drips of my prison. Chip, chip, chip. Drip, drip, drip.

I first saw Him through the gloom, sitting in the corner of my cell. Long legs stretched out in front of him, head leaning back against the cold stone wall. His skin was alabaster white, creating a soft halo that shone unnaturally clean in the midst of the squalor. His nose turned up at the days old smell of excrement, at the foecal streaks that smeared my legs. His clothes were those of a gentleman. Well-cut, rich fabrics, with a long dark cloak wrapped around thin shoulders to keep the cold and the damp at bay. Even the rats that used that wall as a channel between their nests and the outside world gave that incongruous figure a wide berth. Though we’d never met before, I recognised Him as soon as I saw Him. As soon as I heard that voice.

“You know they’ve said it for years don’t you?” He examines His fingernails, blunting the torn edge of one against the rough fabric of His woollen trousers. “Jem Porter says you sold your soul to me when you were 10… Thomas Mortimer says you came out of the womb with the Devil in your eye.”

I know. I know what Jem Porter says. And Thomas Mortimer. And Frances Miller. I know what they all say. Starting as hushed whispers when I was small, rising to sideways comments in the street as I aged, peaking at open jeers and shouts in the street in these last few years. Open jeers and shouts echoing down empty lanes, sly jabs in dark alleys, spit hawked from the back of throats to land in mucal globs at my feet. I know what they say for I have heard it since birth. He stands, crosses my cell to peer out of the tiny barred window looking out level with the street outside. He steps back as the stinking piss of a passing horse splashes through the gaps, keeps His distance as the cart wheels that follow closely behind churn urine with mud to send it splattering into my hole. “Listen to them out there. Calling your name. ‘Bring us the Witch!’ ‘Death to the Witch!’,   

‘Devil Woman!’ That’s you Lizzy – you’re the one they’ve come to see. And they won’t be happy until you’re dead.”

I know that too. I know I’m going to die, and I know my death is the one thing that will sate those men. I’ve heard the cries, the hoots of a crowd baying for blood. Smelt the stench of burning human flesh long after the screams for mercy have died down. Sensed the crowd whipping themselves into a blood-thirsty frenzy of death.

“It’s a shame to die so young isn’t it Lizzy? What are you? 16? 17?”

Lucy was funny and brave and an inspiration to all who knew and loved her; she never allowed her cancer to define her and remained upbeat and positive until her last days. 

She is much missed by her parents, Jackie and Alan, and sister, Analie, her many friends, her godchildren and, of course, her cat Oliver.

I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijks – #BOOKREVIEW #AMREADING

Thank you Netgalley, Miranda Rijks and Inkubator Books for the advanced copy!

What would you do id suddenly your social media profile claimed you were dead? You would probably chalk it up to someone hacking into your profile, but what if you’re questioned at work about your obituary being in the paper? How would you explain that?

I was hooked, wondering why and who would think to do something like that. The detail behind her death meant that Laura now had to worry about whether her last breath would be behind the wheel in a car accident like the obituary read.

A quick read that keeps you invested in the story. I wasn’t a huge fan of Laura’s but I’m not sure how I would react if a similar fate was mine.

If you’re looking for a thrilling ride, this one is it… although you may discover the perpetrator quickly, I promise that you’ll keep guessing until the reveal!


Laura Swallow is dead. 
A life cut tragically short, says the newspaper obituary.
But that’s a lie. 
Estate agent Laura did not die in a car accident. She is alive and well.
At first, Laura thinks it’s a sick joke. 
But multiple announcements of her death are followed by increasingly sinister real-life events. Already fragile, struggling to recover from a recent divorce, Laura is plunged into a living nightmare. 
Who can she trust? Her new lover? Her clients and work colleagues? What about her ex-husband and his smug fiancée? Can Laura even rely on her best friends? And why is it that Laura’s present troubles are so tied up with her sister’s sudden death all those years ago?
But one thing Laura is sure of – someone out there wants her to suffer. Wants her gone. 

Advance Praise

“Put my Life on Hold Until I finished it!”

“Fabulously fast paced, this psychological thriller has you gripped from the first page.”

Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton – #BOOKREVIEW

I’ve not known many Mother/Daughter relationships that work without any friction and most usually develop as we mature into adulthood. Before then, as teens and young adults, we hardly have the ability to understand where our parents are coming from.

This is was a story that gets right to your heart, with deep connections and in-depth realizations about how we connect to those closest to us, I call this a must-read!

Thank you Netgalley, Lauren K. Denton, and Thomas Nelson–FICTION for the advanced copy! I loved it!


One of Southern Living’s “25 Beach Reads Perfect for Summer”
“Brims with family, second chances, and new horizons.” —LISA WINGATE

The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.

Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo.

When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future.

In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.

“Rich colorful characters capturing my heart, combined with a story that kept me up till the wee hours, Glory Road is a perfect read. Lauren Denton has done it again!” —Lisa Patton, bestselling author of Rush and Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter

“Once again Lauren Denton brings her lyrical writing and compelling characters to a story that will enthrall readers from page one.” —Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, author of Only Ever Her and co-founder of She Reads, for Glory Road

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The Killing Girl by Summer Prescott

This one grabbed me right from the first page. On the run for murder, Susanna leaves bodies in her wake as she sets off to find her awkward husband, Tim who claimed to know nothing of his wife’s extracurricular activities wants nothing more than to put as much distance between them as possible.

I was truly enthralled with this graphic novel, if you’re not into gore and extra bloody details, this might not be the one for you.


‘Til death do us part…

Obsession can be a dangerous thing. 

Susannah dabbles in darkness, finding sadistic solace in the death of those who deserve it. But now she wants something more. Or, more to the point…someone. 

She’s on a manhunt. She will possess him, one way or another, whether in life, or death. She hasn’t made up her mind yet. 

He’s the only one who ever accepted her. Who even maybe loved her, in his own strange way. And then, he left her, which could turn out to be a deadly mistake. 

Her husband Tim, a mild-mannered mortician, has packed his bags and fled, a fugitive from his homicidal wife. She wants him, and what Susannah wants, she gets. 

Will Tim continue to elude his murderous mate? If he doesn’t, will he survive her peculiar form of love? 

This journey through the mind of a stone-cold killer will leave you on the edge of your seat. Close the doors, lock the windows, and get ready for a bloodcurdling ride. 

The Killing Girl is available for purchase in print and ebook formats. 

The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington – #BOOKREVIEW @sam_carrington1

What a fantastic story!

Mixing the past with the present, Louisa struggles to find the truth in both after her 40th birthday party goes down with some added drama. Being a new mom again with a teen daughter, Louisa is struggling with sleep, hormones, turning 40, and sudden visions that become increasingly unnerving, all while her past arrives on her doorstep with more questions, than answers.

People aren’t who you expect them to be, nor do they always behave the way you want. Louisa learns the hard way that people aren’t always who you think they are and has to come to terms with new information about her life that rocks her world and those around her.

Who is really to blame for the horrible incident from the past? Who can be trusted? Can Louisa even trust herself…

Thank you Netgalley, Same Carrington and Avon Books UK for the Advanced Copy! I’ve since picked up another one from Sam and can’t wait to dive in!


Imagine turning up to your own party, and recognising no one. Your best friend has just created your worst nightmare.

Louisa is an exhausted, sleep-deprived new mother and, approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing she wants to do is celebrate.

But when her best friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Lou’s Facebook friends, she’s faced with a new source of anxiety altogether: a room full of old college classmates who she hasn’t spoken to in twenty years. And one person in particular she never expected to see again is there – her ex-boyfriend from college, the handsome and charismatic Oliver Dunmore.

When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers what happened that night differently. It could be the alcohol, but it seems more than one person has something to hide.

Louisa is determined to find the truth about what happened to Melissa. But just how far does she need to look…?

One simple Facebook invitation unfolds into something both tragic and monstrous; a story of obsessive love, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

Living with a Green Heart by Gay Browne

If you haven’t noticed the Zero-Waster, Living with Less trends year, you’re missing out. Of course it’s nice to own things, but when you look around your home, ask yourself how many of those “things” do you actually use or need? It’s an important question to know the answer to. Aside from material possessions, we all want to get healthy or at least feel healthy… there are a lot of us out there who want the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in things that are not so good for our bodies. We want all the cake!

That’s ok, we can have cake but we have to do it at a minimum. It’s the excess that’s overtaking us both with “things” and with health. Either way you go, too much is never a good thing. For example, water is good for you but you can’t go consuming a ton of it without feeling ill. Moderation.

This book is a gem to inspire you into small changes that can drastically modify your life to where you’re not only feeling good but creating the perfect environment to heal and nourish your body. Sometimes all we need is a good reminder that we have the tools needed to change our lives, while other times we learn new skills that can make our day-to-day flow with better vibes.


“If you want one of the shortest, fastest routes to getting toxic chemicals out of your life, get behind the wheel of Gay Browne’s Living with a Green Heart and you’ll get there in no time flat.”
—Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
In an increasingly toxic world, the paths to environmental health and personal well-being run parallel. The journey begins with a few small steps.
Is the damage we’re doing to our planet literally leaving you sick, sore, and gasping for air? Want to take back our inalienable rights to clean air, clean water, and healthy food? In this quietly revolutionary book, environmental pioneer and founder of Greenopia, Gay Browne, shares a roadmap for making incremental changes that will not only transform your life, but heal the world we share.
From the home to the office, from the foods we eat to the clothes we wear, here are actions you can take today that will improve your Personal Environmental Health, and help you stop feeling overwhelmed, reduce illness, improve sleep, mood, and focus, and start making a difference, including:
*Make conscious choices when shopping, and support companies with good environmental stewardship and healthy products.
*Test your water for harmful chemicals, install an affordable water filtration system, and reduce your water use by utilizing water more efficiently.
*Work with your doctor to create a personal plan for detoxing your body. 
*Use only non-toxic and organic household products, and choose organic, eco-friendly fabrics made by sustainable and fair trade certified companies.
*Choose the method of transportation that makes the lightest carbon footprint. 
With these and many other actions, Gay Browne’s work has taught her that even the smallest change for the better, faithfully practiced, can have an immense positive impact on our minds, bodies, and spirits—not to mention the planet.

Secrets Never Die by Melinda Leigh – #BOOKREVIEW

Picking up book 5 of this series had me a little worried, but I never missed a beat and didn’t get the feeling that I was left behind without critical details.

With a touch of romance and a whole lot of mystery this read leaves you wanting more and more. The characters were likable and relatble which made me a lifelong Melinda Leigh fan!

Thank you Netgalley, Melinda Leigh and Montlake Romance for the advanced copy!


The #1 Amazon Charts bestselling series continues as Morgan Dane and PI Lance Kruger fight for the innocence of a young murder suspect—if only they could find him.

When a retired sheriff’s deputy is shot to death in his home, his troubled teenage stepson, Evan, becomes the prime suspect. Even more incriminating, the boy disappeared from the scene of the crime.

Desperate to find her son, Evan’s mother begs PI Lance Kruger for help. She knows her son is innocent. Kruger and defense attorney Morgan Dane want to believe that too, but the evidence against the boy is damning. Just as the trail goes cold, another deputy vanishes. His shocking connection to Evan’s stepfather throws the investigation into chaos as Lance and Morgan fear the worst…that Evan is the killer’s new target.

With so many secrets to unravel, will Lance and Morgan find him before it’s too late?

A Note From the Publisher

#1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A lifelong lover of books, she started writing as a way to pre­serve her sanity when her youngest child entered first grade. During the next few years, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a novel, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, She Can Run, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She’s also garnered Golden Leaf and Silver Falchion Awards, along with two nominations for a RITA and three Daphne du Maurier Awards. Her other novels include She Can Tell, She Can Scream, She Can Hide, She Can Kill, Midnight Exposure, Midnight Sacrifice, Midnight Betrayal, Midnight Obsession, Hour of Need, Minutes to Kill, Seconds to Live, Say You’re Sorry, Her Last Goodbye, Bones Don’t Lie, and What I’ve Done. She holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate; teaches women’s self-defense; and lives in a messy house with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs, and two rescue cats.

Advance Praise

“Bestseller Leigh’s intense fifth addition to the ongoing saga of the Dane family piles on the drama…A fun subplot featuring another PI and a reporter seems likely to enliven future volumes…Morgan and Lance’s romance, mingled with realistic family detail, takes a back seat to roller-coaster suspense.” Publishers Weekly

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Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly – #BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE

Excited, doesn’t even cover the amount of enthusiasm I have towards this book release. Thanks to Netgalley, I had an advanced copy that I devoured instantly, but to hold off on writing my thoughts was more of a challenge than I anticipated.

Now that it’s been released, I’m loving all the reviews for Little Lovely Things. It mixes folklore, mystery and suspense into one story. A desperate mother searching for her girls becomes the only think you can think about and it touches your soul in aways you wouldn’t expect!


“A shattering adventure.” — Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean 

If only things had been different It is the wrong time to get sick. Speeding down the highway on the way to work, her two little girls sleeping in the back seat, medical resident Claire Rawlings doesn’t have time for the nausea overtaking her. But as the world tilts sideways, she pulls into a gas station, runs to the bathroom, and passes out. When she wakes up minutes later, her car—and her daughters—are gone. The police have no leads, and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere. As hopeful and uplifting as it is devastating, Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by unthinkable tragedy, and the unexpected intersection of heartbreak and hope.

Advance Praise

“Debut author Connolly explores the emotional devastation that plays out after a woman’s young daughters mysteriously disappear. In 1991 Chicago, medical resident Claire Rawlings is driving her daughters to their daycare when she feels nauseous and stops at a gas station and rushes to the rest room and passes out. When she regains consciousness, Claire discovers that her car and her daughters, four-year-old Andrea and 15-month-old Lily, are gone. Police have few clues about who may have taken the girls. The impact on the lives of Claire and her husband, Glen, is shattering, and their marriage begins to unravel. As years pass and Claire can’t shake the guilt about feeling responsible for the disappearance of her daughters, she questions why Glen has never voiced his blame of her. Claire eventually meets with Jay White, a drifter who has given police some information that has assisted them in their investigation of the abduction of Lily and Andrea; Claire believes he may have psychic powers, leaving her with a sense of hope that her daughters are still alive. Connolly’s lyrical writing style and the fast-paced narrative draw in the reader right away. This is a riveting novel bolstered by its flawed, believable characters.” –Publishers Weekly

About Maureen Joyce Connolly

Maureen is a former owner of a consulting firm that helped specialty drug companies to develop medications for ultra-rare diseases. Maureen received her Bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. Her background in science and love of the natural world informs and inspires her writing. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is her debut as a novelist. She is also an award-winning poet, published in diverse outlets such as Emory University’s Lullwater Review and Yankee Magazine.

Maureen is a foodie and appreciates interesting recipes. She also enjoys painting (especially flowers and sycamore trees), competing in races with her dragon boat team (Go Fierce)!, and reading (of course). She relishes spending time with her three children, her husband and her pets; a ridiculous terrier named Huckleberry, and a plump orange cat, Pumpkin.

Becoming Whole by Brian Fikkert; Kelly M. Kapic

I don’t really consider myself to be religious but I am spiritual. Becoming Whole touched my heart and opened my eyes to how we treat each other with different circumstances than our own.

If we don’t understand, or find it hard to relate, judgement is not far behind and we end up doing the last thing we wanted. Instead of finding compassion and love, we find contempt and resentment.

This is a great read for community leaders, preachers, and anyone who works with society.


Western Civilization is wealthier, but it isn’t happier.

We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth, but according to research, we aren’t becoming happier. Families and communities are increasingly fragmented, loneliness is skyrocketing, and physical and mental health are on the decline. Our unprecedented wealth doesn’t seem to be doing us much good. 

Yet, when we try to help poor people at home or abroad, our implicit assumption is that the goal is to help them to become like us. “If they would just do things our way, they’d be fine!”

But even when they seem to pursue our path, they too find that the American Dream doesn’t work for them. What if we have the wrong idea altogether? What if the molds we are using to help poor people don’t actually fit any of us? What if the goal isn’t to turn other countries into the United States or to turn America’s impoverished communities into its affluent suburbs?

In Becoming Whole (building on the best-selling When Helping Hurts)Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic look at the true sources of brokenness and poverty and uncover the surprising pathways to human flourishing, for poor and non-poor alike. Exposing the misconceptions of both Western Civilization and the Western church about the nature of God, human beings, and the world, they redefine success and offer new ways of achieving that success. Through biblical insights, scientific research, and practical experience, they show you how the good news of the kingdom of God reshapes our lives and our poverty alleviation ministries, moving everybody involved towards wholeness.

Chicago Food Crawls by Soo Park – #BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE

Full disclosure, I’ve never actually visited Chicago but I love food and after reading this, I feel like it’s my new life mission to travel there and indulge in all this tasty goodness!

Soo Park pulls together a beautiful, delightful and tantalizing food travel guide that is beyond measure. I’ve been to a few food crawls in the past and always loved the community vibes, amazing dishes that you wouldn’t normally mix together, paired with the right beverage and music. The experience it something everyone needs to try at least once, if for only the food! It’s so worth it!

Opening your eyes and teasing your tastebuds with new flavors gets the mind firing on all cylinders. Broadening your scope on what’s possible in your own kitchen.


In Globe’s newest approach to food by city, Chicago Food Crawls will take the reader on a fun, tasty culinary tour. Discover the hidden gems and long-standing institutions of Chicago neighborhoods. Experience more than 13 crawls, each featuring 3-8 establishments, centered on a neighborhood or theme. Each tour is the complete recipe for a great night out, the perfect tourist day, a new way to experience your own city, or simply food porn and great stories to enjoy from home.

Soo Park created to showcase her love of food, writing, photography, and all things Chicago. Soo has 17 years of marketing and branding experience, including over a decade in the magazine publishing industry where she worked on Chicago, Chicago HOME, Ebony and Jet. Along with @FabFoodChicago (59.7k followers), she also runs @FabSooPark (32.8k followers), which Zagat has rated as a top 100 Instagrammer, and @FabFoodBaby. A video of Soo’s (similar photo used on the book cover) was featured on food celebrity Andrew Zimmern’s #MyZimmernList web series, winning Soo a private lunch with him. Soo lives in Uptown Chicago. 

Author Website

Publisher Website

Soo Park on IG



RELEASED TODAY!! Wild at Heart by Alice Outwater – #BOOKREVIEW

With the land ever changing due to our human demands, the earth has continued to battle us. Constantly fighting us; from our lawns to gardens and bigger outfits like factory farming and just about everything that produces some kind of emission. We even have this illusion by making our lives easier with plastic bags, and our use of natural resources but that’s just an illusion. We’re harming our environment one day at a time and collectively we add to it’s demise. Even if one person does their due diligence and makes it to the garbage bin, there’s 10 more behind him who think it’s ok to dispose of trash while speeding down the highway.

What we fail to realize is that we’re all inter-connected. We’re riding frequencies and sharing energy that’s been around for as long as the earth and beyond. With this amazing read, you can dive into a beautiful book written to inspire and teach you more about the nature around us and how it’s so important to get back to nature, experience what’s around you, without technology. Ground yourself and get close enough to discover the tiny ecosystems flourishing all around you.

Thank you Alice Outwater, Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy!


“Through a narrative that roams in unexpected directions through surprising details and history, then periodically grounds itself by looping back to her own family before it soars off again, Alice Outwater’s infectiously readable Wild at Heart captures the essence of ecology: Everything is connected, and every connection leads to ourselves.” —Alan Weisman, author, The World Without Us and Countdown 

In the tradition of The World Without Us, a beautifully written and ultimately hopeful history of our relationship with the natural world

Nature on the brink? Maybe not. With so much bad news in the world, we forget how much environmental progress has been made. In a narrative that reaches from Native American tribal practices to public health and commercial hunting, Wild at Heart shows how western attitudes towards nature have changed dramatically in the last five hundred years.

The Chinook gave thanks for King Salmon’s gifts. The Puritans saw Nature as a frightening wilderness, full of “uncooked meat.” With the industrial revolution, nature was despoiled and simultaneously celebrated as a source of the sublime. With little forethought and great greed, Americans killed the last passenger pigeon, wiped out the old growth forests, and dumped so much oil in the rivers that they burst into flame. But in the span of a few decades, our relationship with nature has evolved to a more sophisticated sense of interdependence that brings us full circle. Across the US, people are taking individual action, planting native species and fighting for projects like dam removal and wolf restoration. Cities are embracing nature, too.

Humans can learn from the past, and our choices today will determine whether nature survives. Like the First Nations, all nations must come to deep agreement that nature needs protection. This compelling book reveals both how we got here and our own and nature’s astonishing ability to mutually regenerate.

Crochet in a Day by Salena Baca; Danyel Pink and Emily Truman

Thank you Netgalley, Salena Baca, Danyel Pink, Emily Truman and Stackpole Books for the ARC! This one was released yesterday!

I’ve been crocheting for 15+ years and have always preferred shorter projects. Anything that takes months or years to make, isn’t for me, which is one the reasons I chose this book.

If you’re a beginner crocheter, I must warn you… this is isn’t for those you just getting started. However, if you’re looking for new stitches, fast projects at an advanced level, this could be a great resource for you! It’s filled with 42 new designs and some that you may have tackled before too!


Looking for a quick crochet fix? Crochet in a Day has 42 sure-to-please patterns that can all be started and finished in a day or less. From wearables like cowls, hats, slippers, and even a poncho, to home items like place mats, dish cloths, and baskets, every item will crochet up fast!

This is a book you will turn to again and again when looking for a fun, speedy project that doesn’t require a large time or yarn commitment. Perfect for using up stash yarn or to create something from that perfect skein you were saving, these patterns are creative, colorful, modern, and stylish. Get your hook ready, and crochet something today! 

Salena Baca is author of My Crocheted Closet and Crochet for Christmas. An ambassador for crochet, Salena often coordinates efforts with other crochet designers to spread the joy of crochet far and wide. For this book, she pulled in the talents of Danyel Pink and Emily Truman for pattern designing as well as photography and technical editing. Salena resides in Bend, Oregon.

For Salena’s FREE patterns, check her site for some.

Some of my latests crochet projects

It All Comes Back to You by Beth Duke – #BOOKREVIEW

Thank you Beth Duke, BooksGoSocial, and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy! So glad I picked this one up!

Ok, so first this cover! I know floral is in now but this is beyond gorgeous and if I’m honest, it’s the reason I clicked on it for more info! Beautifully written with all the prose one expects with a southern scene that’s set in the past, this story is meant to be share and talked about.


Alabama, 1947. War’s over, cherry-print dresses, parking above the city lights, swing dancing.
Beautiful, seventeen-year-old Violet lives in a perfect world. 
Everybody loves her.

In 2012, she’s still beautiful, charming, and surrounded by admirers.

Veronica “Ronni” Johnson, licensed practical nurse and aspiring writer, meets the captivating Violet in the assisted living facility where Violet requires no assistance, just lots of male attention. When she dies, she leaves Ronni a very generous bequest―only if Ronni completes a book about her life within one year. As she’s drawn into the world of young Violet, Ronni is mesmerized by life in a simpler time. It’s an irresistible journey filled with revelations―including revelations about men Ronni knew as octogenarians at Fairfield Springs.

Struggling, insecure, flailing at the keyboard, Ronni juggles her patients, a new boyfriend, and a Samsonite factory of emotional baggage as she tries to craft a manuscript before her deadline.But then the secrets start to emerge, some of them in person. And they don’t stop.

Everything changes.

Alternating chapters between Homecoming Queen Violet in 1947 and can’t-quite-find-her-crown Ronni in the present, IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU is Southern Fiction at its hilarious, warm, sad, outrageous, uplifting, and stunning best. In the tradition of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and Olive Kitteridge, Duke delivers an unforgettable elderly character to treasure and a young heroine to steal your heart.

Advance Praise

“Beth Duke is one of those writers who leave you shaking your head when you’ve finished reading, muttering, ‘Dang, I wish I’d written that.’

She can spin a good yarn.

She is as Southern as grits and sweet tea.

Once you read one of her stories, you start to gravitate to her like a moth to a porch light.

It All Comes Back to You is one of those stories you need to savour. You want to put the book down so as to have more to read tomorrow, but you can’t. It becomes attached to you, a part of you. As does she.

I catch myself smiling when I’m reading her stories. They pull you in,and take you on a wild ride, but she returns you home at the end, safe and sound, and forever changed.

But for the better.

Beth Duke is a wordsmith of the best kind and her stories rank with the best in classic Southern fiction.”

– Dan Brown, Author of The Lunch Box and Reunion

“I laughed a lot, I also cried in places, I felt an affinity for the characters – and there are many – and their sorrows. I loved Violet and how she took the lemons life had given her and made a lot of lemonade for others who had nothing. I loved Ronni and her wonderful, dry, self-deprecating humor. This warm, funny book will surprise you a lot. It did me because I was expecting a simple, charming story about a nurse who has to write a book about her benefactor’s life. Yes, it’s about that, but so much more. Please don’t miss out on this wonderful story. I was sad when it ended.” – Official 5-Star Readers Favorite Editorial Review

“Wonderful book. I really liked Ronni and Violet and their amazing relationship. New plot in almost every chapter, which makes this book hard to put down. Story of family ties and secrets. Thank you NetGalley for free advance reading copy!” – 5***** review, Aggie B, NetGalley reviewer

“Thank you NetGalley for sending me this amazing woman’s fiction in exchange for an honest review. ‘It All Comes Back to You’ by Beth Duke is the tale of Violet’s life as told through stories and diaries given to Ronnie Johnson a nurse at the nursing home where they became friends. Beautiful Violet seems to have had a cursed life. How could anyone be so unlucky in love? ‘It All Comes Back to You’ Is told through Violet in her early years and through Ronnie’s discoveries while researching Violet’s life through the diaries and letters. Her story although tragic was often told with humor. While reading this book I laughed, I cried and I could not put this book down. I highly recommend this heart felt story.” – 5***** review, Diane E, reviewer

“I am so happy I picked this book up! I was drawn in from the first line and had a lot of trouble putting it down to do anything else. The story is powerful and oh so full of secrets, I imagined I was right there with Ronni and Violet watching every scenario play out. This novel was just very well written!” – 5***** review, Alicia M, reviewer

Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk

Just No! I hate to say that about any book as you all know my feelings about writing and it being an art form in itself and to each is own. Beauty is in the eye in the beholder, especially with this one.

It started off ok and I had high hopes with it being in the Horror genre, but as it went on, the sentences became disjointed and turned into pure chaos. The warning message at the beginning of the book is true, put it down, it’s dangerous to read!

That being said, it’s not my thing but it could very well be yours and I commend anyone who goes through the hard work it takes to get your words on a page and in between the covers.

Thank you to Netgalley, Brian Kirk, and Flame Tree Press for the advanced reader copy!


Available in hardback, paperback, ebook and audiobook editions worldwide.

You don’t read the book. It reads you. Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror. Jesse Wheeler—former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead—was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son’s future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean. But Jesse is wrong. The legend is real—and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past. Jesse is not the only one in danger, however. By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare. The real horror doesn’t begin until you reach the end. That’s when the evil comes for you. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

A Note From the Publisher

Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. 

His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors, and received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year compilation. 

During the day, Brian works as a freelance marketing and creative consultant. His experience working on large, integrated advertising campaigns for international companies has helped him build an effective author platform, and makes him a strong marketing ally for his publishing partners. In addition, Brian has an eye for emerging media trends and an ability to integrate storytelling into new technologies and platforms. 

While he’s worked to make this bio sound as impressive as possible, he’s actually a rather humble guy who believes in hard work and big dreams. Feel free to connect with him through one of the following channels. Don’t worry, he only kills his characters. 


Bram Stoker Award Nominee: Superior Achievement in a First Novel – 2015

How Yoga teaches your to sit with yourself…and LIKE it. #YOGA #SELFCARE #CHRONICILLNESS

Suffering from any chronic illness is challenging on a daily basis. You never know how you’re going to wake up and feel that day, always hoping it’s a good day. After all these years of living with an autoimmune disease, I’ve tried so many things to combat the aching joints, foggy brain, and overall discomfort. The one thing that helps without fail… is always YOGA.

For one, how many of you have a chronic illness and because of that are hyper aware of your body. You feel all the aches and pains, can sense sensations otherwise hidden to the a regular healthy body? I know I am. I almost wonder if it’s too much. Am I focusing and worrying on it so much that I’m perpetuating my own disease? Thoughts….they go round and round, worried about all the wrong things.

So what can we do to get out of our minds? To be in the present enjoying life, even when not feeling 100% but doing the best we can anyway?

Again, it’s Yoga.

I had a wonderful practice yesterday in which each pose was held for at least 3 minutes, sometimes opting to go for 5. What I noticed in myself is that I had to sit with my body and mind and be ok with it. It’s not an easy thing for a worry wart like me, but it is achievable. And it feels so good!

Next time you get on the mat try to hold your poses, focus on release and breath. When the mind wanders bring it back to center and focus on just being you. Not all the pain, not the illness, no worry and let your thoughts go.

Trust me, it’s not easy to be with yourself all the time but sometimes we need the solitude to get back to ur deeper selves and release the tension we carry around.

When the pose begins to burn and you want to stop, breathe. (Of course if you’re in pain stop right away) Sensation is what you want not pain, sink deeper with every breath, twist a little more, loosen your core and release. Your Charkas with thank you!

Yoga for Healing

Graves of Wrath by Lina Gardiner – #BOOKREVIEW

Being the first in the series, I was excited to pick this one up. It’s been a while since I’ve read an entire series through!

I enjoyed the plot and Lina’s storytelling but at times it felt a little disjointed and at others, it was too much all at once.

That being said, Lina grabs a hold of your attention and gets you excited to read more. I can’t wait for the next one in the series and am super happy I got to start this from the beginning.

A big thank you to Netgalley, Lina Gardiner, and Bell Bridge Books for the advanced copy!

I want to hear your thoughts, let me know if you’ve read it and what you think! Ready to buy now!


City of Bones Series, Book 1

“Reading a Lina Gardiner book is like riding an out-of-this-world roller coaster with your favorite people in the world.” —Joyce Lamb, USA Today bestselling author 


When Jess Vandermire, Captain of New York City’s Vampire Hunting team, learns that her brother, Regent, has been sent to Paris for three months by the Vatican, she’s devastated.  Regent’s been too involved with vampires as a priest to go to Paris without fearing vampire retribution. He’ll need backup. Lucky for him, Jess and her partner, John Brittain, have some vacation time coming.

Once Jess and Britt arrive, they know something’s not right in the city. Women are being murdered, and the vampire population is on the edge of revolt. But worst of all, the City of Lights is home to a lot of shadows, ones that move—and kill—of their own accord. But Jess’s existence is rocked to the core when Regent comes across a life-changing, long lost family secret.

It’s starting to look like there’ll be no rest for the wicked.

City of Bones—some secrets don’t stay buried . . .

Lina Gardiner, award-winning author of the Jess Vandermire Vampire Hunter Series, has writing in her blood. Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Paranormal-Time Travel-Futuristic and winner of the Prism Award in Best First Book from FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Chapter of RWA). Her books have been well received by reviewers such as Kirkus Reviews and USA Today’s HEA blog, including a 4.5-star rating from RT Book Reviews and nomination for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award 2013, finalist in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and 2017 Epic eBooks Awards finalist.

Lina enjoys the daily routines of being an author: from conceiving an idea to writing and revising, from networking with other authors to attending workshops and learning sessions. And, of course, holding that bright and shiny, newly published book in her hands—always the best experience ever.  


A Beautiful Corpse (Harper McClain #2) by Christi Daugherty – #BOOKREVIEW

Being the 2nd book in the series, this was a great stand-alone read. Although knowing the backstory to some of the characters does come in handy, you won’t be left on the ledge without it should you decide to start here.

You can’t hold me back from a book that includes an Antebellum house from the old south. There’s nothing quite like the vivid descriptions of the lush landscape and unique architecture. Add murder and well, you’ve got the perfect story!

I enjoyed this one for all the reasons list above and more. It kept me guessing and wanting to pick up the rest of the series to continue the plot!

Christi Daugherty has done a fabulous job and I thank her, Netgalley, and Harper Collins for the advanced copy!


From Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing, comes another pulse-pounding suspenseful thriller featuring crime reporter Harper McClain.

For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.

With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.

Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?

With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.

Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…

More about Christi Daugherty

As a newspaper reporter, Christi Daugherty first began covering murders at the age of 22. She worked as a journalist for years in cities including Savannah, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. The Echo Killing is her first crime novel. She has also written seven young adult novels under the name CJ Daugherty.

Find out more and win signed books by visiting her website:

You can also follow Christi on Twitter @CJ_Daugherty and Facebook CJAuthor

The Skillful Forager by Leda Meredith – #BOOKREVIEW #SkillfulForager

A book that will guide you through nature to identify, harvest and preserve edible plants needed to be written and here it is. It’s written for those looking to go a little further than simply looking at their surroundings, it’s meant for those wanting to live off the land in some way even if it’s just a little, to gain health and get back to the earth like we were meant to be.

Is a priceless reference tool for any herbalist!

Thank you to Netgalley, Leda Meredith, and Roost Books for the ARC! I truly enjoyed it and will be going back to it time and time again!


The Skillful Forager is the ultimate forager’s guide to working with any wild plant in the field, kitchen, or pantry. 

From harvesting skills that will allow you to gather from the same plant again and again to highlighting how to get the most out of each and every type of wild edible, trusted expert Leda Meredith explores the most effective ways to harvest, preserve, and prepare all of your foraged foods. Featuring detailed identification information for over forty wild edibles commonly found across North America, the plant profiles in this book focus on sustainable harvesting techniques that can be applied to hundreds of other plants. This indispensable reference also provides simple recipes that can help you make the most of your harvest each season.

Call Me Evie by JP Pomare – #BOOKREVIEW @JPPomare

Thank you Netgalley, JP Pomare, and PENGUIN GROUP Putnam for this advanced copy! The cover had me hooked, and the description reminded me of a movie and had me instantly wanting to read it.

Held in captivity for her own protection Kate shares her story from two timeframes, one in which she may not actually be safe, where she’s more prisoner than captive. But who is Kate really? This you’ll learn from her recounting the past that she doesn’t entirely remember.

I was kept guessing because I wasn’t sure if I was right, although my intuition proved to be true I still thumbed through the pages voraciously to find out!

This is the first novel from JP Pomare and I can’t wait to see what’s next! You can start reading this now; Release Date was March 5th, 3019.


In this propulsive, twist-filled, and haunting psychological suspense debut perfect for fans of Sharp Objects and Room, a seventeen-year-old girl struggles to remember the role she played on the night her life changed forever.

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town–brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he’s hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne–something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can’t remember the night in question. 

The fragments of Kate’s shattered memories of her old life seem happy: good friends, a big house in the suburbs, a devoted boyfriend. Bill says he’ll help her fill in the blanks–but his story isn’t adding up. And as she tries to reconcile the girl she thought she’d been with the devastating consequences Bill claims she’s responsible for, Kate will unearth secrets about herself and those closest to her that could change everything. 

A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth, even from ourselves.

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward – #BOOKREVIEW #BeautifulBad

Thank you Netgalley, Annie Ward, and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for the advanced copy! I kept hearing about this title previous to release and was so excited to get an ARC to review, I was even happier when I learned that I was right to be excited! This has all the unexpected turns you would hope for in a thriller, but the ending was what had sealed the deal! Five Stars all day long!

Recounting Maddie’s experience after an accident believed to be domestic violence, she tries to find herself and learn what really happened. If told from Maddies’s POV only, I think this would have been a more intriguing read. The other 2 personalities had left me expecting and hoping for more. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a domestic mystery/thriller! You will not expect what’s coming!


“Filled with unexpected twists, Beautiful Bad is a riveting read.” —Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Anonymous Girl

“The ending will leave you staggered.” —Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

In the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

The Winter Sister By Megan Collins – #BOOKREVIEW

I loved this book and I couldn’t put it down once I got started.

The plot unveils the history and torment of a small family, Sylvie, Persephone, and their mother Annie O’Leary. They’re still paying decades later for guilt they carry around from the mystery surrounding Persephone’s murder.

Sylvie is forced to move back home with her mother and offer care to the woman she feels rejected by while she watches her suffer from the effects of cancer. Once settled, the old scars from the past become fresh wounds again that are constantly in her face. Feeling her own pain from having thought she played a part in her death she struggles to find answers.

Answers that won’t come easily from her mother, a woman so closed off and seemingly uncaring that it’s almost impossible to get to the bottom of what happened to her daughter.

With a few other characters included, this was one extremely well-rounded story. I couldn’t quite figure out who the killer was, and was often thinking it could have been just an accident. But with so many participants that it would be hard to accept it had been something more.

The Winter Sister By Megan Collins 

Atria Books, 9781982100148, 336pp.

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

List Price: 26.00*

* Individual store prices may vary.


In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

About the Author

Megan Collins holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Off the CoastSpillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Rattle. She lives in Connecticut.

Praise For The Winter Sister

“Sharp and mysterious, The Winter Sister explores the complex bonds between families, the secrets that tie people together—and those that break them apart. A haunting debut: suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting.”
—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger

“Atmospheric and heart-rending, The Winter Sister brilliantly weaves together a gripping, suspenseful plot with a compelling character study of a grieving family. From the mysterious mother with a hidden past, to the guilt-ridden sister who now must solve her sister’s murder years ago, these characters will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. Wonderful!”
—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten and Emma in the Night

“Megan Collins’s compelling debut is at once a page-turning whodunit and a thoughtful examination of a family broken by tragedy. With a protagonist haunted by her sister’s unsolved murder, a less-than-happy homecoming, and the slow unraveling of decades of explosive secrets, The Winter Sister will captivate you from suspenseful start to surprising finish.”
—Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping

“This book had everything I love in a suspense novel: complicated family relationships, a spellbinding mystery, and enough twists to leave me reeling long after I turned the final page. I’m already recommending this book to all my fellow suspense-lovers, and I can’t wait to see what Megan Collins cooks up next!”
—Rena Olsen, author of The Girl Before

The Winter Sister is a can’t-put-down debut about mothers and daughters, sisters and secrets. The myth of Demeter and Persephone thunders in the background of this suspenseful story, adding richness to its mystery. Chilling and beautifully crafted.”
—Caroline Woods, author of Fräulein M. 

“In luminous lines aching with loss, debut novelist Collins deftly re-envisions this Greek myth of Persephone… A bewitching thriller with surprises detonating in nearly every chapter.”
Kirkus Reviews

“I love a good family-driven suspense novel, and this one doesn’t disappoint.”

“A dark, tense, and completely absorbing debut… While full of hand-clenching suspense, the novel’s real strength comes from its study of relationships… Gripping to the last page, it’s the desperation in the connections among these characters that will stay with readers.”

“With its focus on the grim-dark aspects of the female experience, The Winter Sister calls to mind works like Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects or the film The Tale. This twisty-turny story reminds the reader of the fickle nature of the truth, and that impossible things happen more often than you think.”

“[An] impressive debut.”

“Familial bonds are shattered, hearts are broken, and secrets are withheld until the ugly truth is exposed, making The Winter Sister a mesmerizing and complex thriller.”
—New York Journal of Books

It’s Friday! What’s on our Book List?

The end of the week brings such excitement for so many reasons, but my favorite is all the new books we’ve been highlighting through the week that can be added to our to-read lists.

Check out some of our finds below!

Your daughter drowned. You know it wasn’t an accident.

Anna Applegate’s daughter, Michelle, drowned after a night out with a friend. Anna’s convinced Michelle’s death was deliberate, and that her boyfriend, sports star Jack Marsh, killed her.

As Investigator Andrew Hunter begins to dig into the case, he quickly discovers Jack has a history of violence. And, with only his teammate for an alibi, Andrew is convinced Jack’s lying about where he was the night Michelle died.

But Andrew has more to worry about than just finding out the truth about Michelle’s death, because a former case is back to haunt him—someone willing to put Andrew’s loved ones in terrible danger to get what he wants…

An unputdownable thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Fans of L.J. Ross, Mark Edwards and Rachel Caine won’t want to miss Something Buried.

What readers are saying about Something Buried:

Action and excitement abound! I highly recommend this book (as well as the series) to all!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Fast-paced and has lots of twists and turns. I felt like I was watching a Law and Order episode where my heart was pounding wondering if we finally caught the killer!… Perfect for those who crave a fast-paced thriller… I definitely recommend this book!’ The Reading Chemist

Fast-paced, tense and full of mystery.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Lots of twists. Finished it in a day.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Atmospheric, tense… The final reveal of the who-done-it was twisty… Entertaining.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘An amazing twisty thriller.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘A fast-paced plot full of suspense and mystery. Great read. 5 stars.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘The killer’s identity came as a surprise to me… This is a well-written and plotted book… My first Andrew and Jenny story, it won’t be my last. I truly enjoyed it.’ Goodreads reviewer

Two missing persons. One apparent suicide. Three cases pushing PI Jessie Cole and crime reporter Ben Morrison closer to the edge.

Lacey Geiger could be a very rich woman. If Jessie Cole can find her. The beneficiary of a sizable estate, Lacey vanished years ago after escaping an abusive childhood and is veiled now behind a new identity. Jessie has two weeks to find her. It’s enough time to discover that Lacey is hiding from so much more than anyone realized. But she isn’t the only one with secrets. And Jessie’s not the only one searching for the truth.

A concerned daughter has asked for help finding her mother—a woman said to have been murdered thirty years ago. And Jessie’s colleague Ben, an amnesiac still struggling with the bloody memories of a shattered life, is nearer to piecing together a very dark picture. Especially when someone he detests is found dead, hanging from a tree by a riverbank.

Now as the mysteries, puzzles, and lies of three investigations are unearthed, Jessie and Ben will risk everything to bring all that is hidden into the light.

Magic always comes at a price.

Harley is a ticking time bomb, ready to detonate with uncontrollable magic. The only solution? Find the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, make some risky deals, and balance the Light and Darkness within her—before she’s torn apart, atom by atom.

If only she didn’t have a million other problems standing in her way.

The new Director of the San Diego Coven isn’t exactly friendly, and Katherine has already gained untold power. More than ever, Harley needs answers about the rituals Katherine plans to perform to become like Eris, goddess of discord and destruction.

Wade knows that Harley is strong enough to win this battle—not to mention stubborn, overconfident, and wildly reckless. True to his proud family lineage, he’s always played by the rules. But for one girl, he’s willing to bend those rules, to lie, to give his life. Because love can make a person do crazy things…

Continue the journey. Buy now!

*Beware of spoilers in the reviews below that are without spoiler alerts.*

The final book. The final mission. The final hour. 

Time’s up. 

Everything Robin has fought for hangs in the balance, and she no longer knows who to trust. But when hiding is no longer an option for Little John, Nathan must put his decades-old plan into motion… whether they are prepared or not.

Buy the heart-racing conclusion of The Child Thief series now.

We would love to hear what you’ve added to your bookshelves this week! Share in the comments!

Enjoy the weekend!


About the Book

Jonah Kingston is the last wingman standing.

June Moxee doesn’t care if he’s the last man on earth.

I haven’t exactly avoided relationships, but love has never been a priority. Solitude doesn’t bother me and being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. Until she moved to the island and I had to reconsider everything.

June seems content running her yarn shop, knitting with the local church ladies, and avoiding me. She’s a temptress in a handknit sweater. And for some reason, she’s not a fan of mine. It might be the tattoos. Or the beard. Or the fact that we’re polar opposites.

A woman has finally caught my attention. Too bad she thinks she hates me.

Good thing I’m stubborn enough to try to change her mind.

The Last Wingman is the sixth standalone, lighthearted small town romance in the Wingmen series. You do not have to read the previous books first to enjoy this book.

Get your copy now!



Apple Books: 

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About the Author

Daisy Prescott is a USA Today bestselling author of small town romantic comedies. Series include Modern Love Stories, Wingmen, Love with Altitude, as well as the Bewitched and Wicked Society series of magical novellas. Tinfoil Heart is a romantic comedy standalone set in Roswell, New Mexico. 

Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog Mulder, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, traveling to satiate her wanderlust, lost in a good book, or on social media, usually talking about books, bearded men, and sloths.  






Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish – #BOOKREVIEW #LipstickVoodoo

Having not read the first book in the series, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I’ve been trying to go into a new book without reading the blurb or the reviews ahead of time and so far it’s served me well.

Although an urban mystery, which isn’t my normal preference, I enjoyed being pulled into Kincaid’s weird world and was kept on the edge of my seat hunting for clues the entire time! Mystery mixed with paranormal is a great mix with Kristi crafting the plot so perfectly, sometimes the pair doesn’t work that well together and can often miss key details when trying to include too much into one story.

Thank you to Netgalley, Kristi Charish, and Penguin Random House Canada for this ARC!


Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner, is back in the freshly imagined and hugely entertaining second installment of Kristi Charish’s urban fantasy series.

Kincaid Strange cannot catch a break. After dealing with a spate of paranormal murders, there’s barely time to recuperate–let alone sleep in–before there’s a new problem in Kincaid’s world of paranormal activity. When her roommate, Nathan Cade–the ghost of a grunge-rocker with a pathological lack of self-control–comes home bound to a dead body, it’s up to Kincaid to figure out how to free him. Ideally before her new mentor, Gideon, a powerful sorcerer’s ghost, discovers that Nate is trapped in the body he’d coveted for himself.
     When Aaron, a Seattle cop on the afterlife beat–and Kincaid’s ex–calls her in to help out with a cold case, she takes the chance to mend fences with the police department. The problem: they want to interview Nate’s ghost, which she can’t produce. Then people from Nate’s past start showing up dead, and what’s killing them doesn’t seem to be human. And the way it’s killing them is especially brutal.
     Nate’s hiding something, but he’s Kincaid’s friend and she wants to help him. But she also wants to stay alive….

About Kristi Charish

Kristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world, and THE VOODOO KILLINGS (Random House Canada), an urban fantasy/mystery about a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle with the ghost of a deceased grunge rocker. 

She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. She’s also a co-host for the Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing Podcast. 

Before becoming an author Kristi was a research scientist. She holds a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

Website –

Twitter – kristicharish

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