Have you read….

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Description

Jason Arnopp – author of acclaimed cult hit The Last Days of Jack Sparks – returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . .Kate Collins has been ghosted.
She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.
Except for his mobile phone.
Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.
That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognize. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.
Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realizes just how little she really knows about the man she loves.
For more from Jason Arnopp, check out:
The Last Days of Jack Sparks


The Keeper
by Jessica Moor

Description

A pulse-pounding thriller that follows the residents of a domestic violence shelter after one of their counselors is found dead of apparent suicide

There’s a house in the small town of Widringham that looks just like all the others on the street. Only when you look closer do you see the security cameras, the double locks, the ever-drawn curtains. Several women live inside. They watch television, begin to make sense of their trauma, and wait for the men they’re running from to catch up with them. Their lives have been steeped in violence and dread.

So when one of their counselors, Katie, is found drowned in the local river, they know immediately: this was murder. But the police, led by Detective Dan Whitworth, are convinced it’s a typical suicide case. That is, until they discover shocking new evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared–and may have been running from her own ghosts. A riveting mystery and a searing examination of violence against women and the structures that allow it to continue, The Keeper marks the debut of an incredible new voice in crime fiction.


Abduction

by Gillian Jackson

Description

What do you do when the unthinkable happens?

8 August, 2000

A carefree birthday party goes horribly wrong. The children scatter to play hide and seek.

But one little girl never returns.

Three-year-old Grace has vanished without a trace.

Fourteen years later

With the case long-since gone cold, Grace’s family have done their best to move on. But her sister, Elise, has never given up hope.

And now Elise thinks she may have found her… Is Elise going crazy?

Could Grace really have returned? And if she has, where was she taken…?

ABDUCTION is a page-turning kidnapping mystery which confronts every parent’s worst nightmare. This emotional psychological thriller will stay with you long after the pages have turned.

I Know Everything by Matthew Farrell

Description

A psychiatrist grapples with his own sanity as murder evidence mounts against him.

Police investigator Susan Adler is ready to close the book on a deadly car accident, but after the medical examiner discovers evidence of foul play, she knows she has a murder on her hands. The victim was the wealthy wife of Randall Brock, a renowned psychiatrist who treats patients with disturbing, brutal fantasies. And just like that, Susan’s got a suspect.

Randall has a violent past but knows he didn’t kill his wife. In the midst of his crushing grief, Randall receives a visit from a stranger with information to share about his wife’s death. But there’s a catch: in exchange for the stranger’s information, Randall must reveal dark secrets he’s kept hidden for years. As this shady figure applies more pressure and Susan closes in, Randall begins to doubt himself, clinging desperately to the pieces of his sanity.

Revelations and suspicious coincidences send shock waves through the investigation, and circumstances spin out of control. Susan must race to put it all together before it’s too late—before the next murder strikes too close to home.

A Note From the Publisher

Matthew Farrell lives in the Hudson Valley, just outside of New York City, with his wife and two daughters. Get caught up on the progress of his next thriller along with his general musings by following him on Twitter @mfarrellwriter or liking him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mfarrellwriter2.

Advance Praise

I Know Everything takes off like a shot, with a shot, and the pulse-pounding pace never lets up. Fans of John Sandford and Lawrence Block will flock to Matthew Farrell!” —Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Dark and constantly surprising, this is a must-read for fans of twisted, intelligent thrillers.” —Mark Edwards, bestselling author of The Magpies

“A page-turner from beginning to end. Take a deep breath, and hang on—this relentless thriller will keep you guessing until the very last masterful twist.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

My Review

Matthew Farrell created suspicious characters that you’ll have a hard time disliking and although it may seem easy to predict the ending, these characters are nothing that they seem.

You’re instantly pulled into the insanity and truly on a physiological thriller-ride not for the faint of heart.

This is the first book I’ve read of Matthew’s but you can bet I’ll be grabbing more of his work! He satisfies that craving some readers get for the dark and twisted.

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Description

The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller. . . .

“Dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking . . . a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .

THE PERFECT WIFE

Advance praise for The Perfect Wife

“A twisty, completely original psychological thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until the very end.”—Karen Cleveland, New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know

“Seriously, amazingly, awesomely brilliant . . . speculative fiction mixed up with a mind-bendingly twisty psycho thriller! I devoured it.”—C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man

“A tour de force . . . The Perfect Wife is a chilling and uniquely disturbing twenty-first-century twist on the unreliable narrator that makes for a compulsive and deeply thought-provoking book. It asks troubling questions about selfhood and ‘souls’ and what makes us human, and plays them out in a compelling psychological thriller.”—Cara Hunter, author of Close to Home

My Review

Disturbing in all the right ways! JP seems to capture the perfect amount of mystery, scary and down right chilling in one book! Immediately drawn in, I read this one ins 2 sittings and had a hard time when it ended.

It’s so rare to find a book that’s original. Of course stories are told over and over again without the retelling loosing the reader, but it’s not very often that you come across one that has totally new ideas! I got all the chills!

Boss Up!: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Business Book by Lindsay Teague Moreno

Description

Boss Up! will help you put your business on the map and the ideas you’ve previously only dreamed about into the marketplace. It will help you overcome your fears and guilt to find a fulfillment that changes you and your families for the better. And it will help you break free of the hard and boring and allow you to have fun along the way.

In Boss Up! Lindsay helps you gain the confidence to know that having ambition doesn’t make you a bad mother or wife. That it’s okay to have a desire for something more than endless sippy cups, clean-ups, Band-Aids, and groundings. That no matter your education or experience, you can tap into your passions and create businesses that give you increased flexibility, fulfillment, and financial security. 

And Lindsay doesn’t just do this through commiserating but, instead, through giving you the tools for change. Using the lessons she learned on her own path to success, Lindsay shares real, solid business principles with ten distinct success philosophies that you will encounter on the journey to entrepreneurship, such as:Think Long TermBe Unapologetically YourselfUse the Unsales TacticUnderstand Your Whyand many more

Stay-at-home mom turned multimillion-dollar-producing business owner Lindsay Teague Moreno doesn’t just have a passion for entrepreneurship. She has a deep passion for helping women of all walks of life gain the confidence and skills to tap into their ambition and achieve success in their own business endeavors.

Boss Up Ain’t Your Momma’s Business Book

My Review

Some people have it in them to inspire and Lindsay is one of those people! She offers guidance and wisdom to women who are looking for the confidence to follow their dreams.

All too often we get stuck in a rut, going through every day like living on repeat. Whether it’s because you’re supporting a family or seeking that ultimate career goal, forgetting what our dreams actually were is easy to do.

I Don’t Want to Be an Empath Anymore by Ora North

Description

Do you feel all the feels—all the time? Are you fed up with the mainstream spiritual “love and light” scene that calls for constant positivity, even in the face of true loss, trauma, and pain? If so, this book is for you. 

I Don’t Want to Be an Empath Anymore is a gift for the jaded empath searching for authenticity in spirituality, and spirituality in being authentic—something beyond the clichéd, positive affirmations that seem to invalidate our anger, sadness, and pain. When we feel broken—and when real damage has been done, it’s not always helpful to ignore our feelings and tell ourselves that we are perfect and whole. 

In this refreshingly honest guide, shamanic practitioner Ora North offers practical exercises to help you navigate your intuition and empathic sensitivities, create much-needed boundaries, and build confidence. You’ll also learn to balance your emotions and energy, and harness the strength of your shadow side to embrace your whole self and live your best life. 

Like the Japanese craft known as Kintsugi—the art of repairing broken pottery using a lacquer dusted with powdered gold—the process of acknowledging and repairing our fragmented selves can make us even more beautiful than before, cracks and all. In this book, you won’t find platitudes or attempts to whitewash your experiences. What you will find are real, practical tools and guidance to help you make the most of your unique abilities.

Advance Praise

“Ora North brings a raw and powerful look at the reality of being an empath. It’s not always glitter and unicorns; we must take a long, hard look at the wounds and shadows we hold; we must get real to heal. Ora skillfully guides us through this process so we can take off the spiritual mask and claim our true power as empaths.” 
 —Lisa Campion, Reiki master teacher, and author of The Art of Psychic Reiki 

“What a relief this book is! At turns fresh, familiar, frank, and funny, author Ora North manages to distill recovery models, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and shamanism into a coherent and accessible program for empathy management, self-healing, and relationship building. Don’t take the title seriously, though. After working the exercises in I Don’t Want to Be an Empath Anymore, you will not only be more comfortable being so deep in the world of emotion, you will have become adept at it and found yourself embracing what an asset your sensitivities are to yourself and others. Highly recommended.” 
 —Kathryn L. Robyn, healer, artist, author of Spiritual Housecleaning, and coauthor of The Emotional House

“Ora North is the wise, witchy aunt I never had, who has arrived on the scene just when this heartbroken world needs her most. How I wish I could’ve read this bracing tonic of a book when I was sixteen, and so overwhelmed by confusing, painful emotions that all I could do was bury them. Ora reassures us in her straight-talking way that it’s never too late to witness and integrate our dark, scary feelings—and regain our equilibrium. Goddess bless her for doing this groundbreaking work, and for writing this compelling, enlightening book to empower sensitive souls like me!” 

Simone Butler, astrological consultant at http://www.astroalchemy.com, and author of Moon Power and Astro Feng Shui

About Ora

Ora North is an empath and healer who grew tired of the “love and light” scene. She felt a lack of authenticity in the new age movement and turned to emotional shadow work instead. In her shadow, North discovered a more authentic, integrative way to be a spiritual being. Now she works with other empaths, guiding them to explore their own shadows on the path to wholeness.

My Review

Feeling too much all of the time becomes exhausting and those who don’t suffer from feeling too much really have no idea what it’s like.

There are ways to control this gift so that it’s less of a curse and easier to navigate. With this book you’ll find out how to regain your power and control over yourself and the situations you’ll no doubt come into contact with.

We often take on the emotions in the room and unless you know how to maintain your composure which takes work, you can become overwhelmed with anxiety.

This is a gift and with help and work it can start to feel like that more so than suffering the after-effects.

Whickering Place by London Clarke

Description

In this gripping follow-up to The Meadows, a woman trapped by her own fears inherits a house haunted by a legacy of darkness and a history of ritual sacrifices.

A violent attack that happened nearly a decade ago has left twenty-seven-year-old Avery Tullinger barely able to walk outside. Following her estranged father’s death, she inherits Whickering Place, a historic mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, currently occupied by two tenants: Colin Gallagher, a young doctor, and his mysterious brother, Pearse. Soon after moving in, Avery learns that her father’s life in the house was consumed by the supernatural … and the activity appears to be starting again.

As paranormal events within the house escalate, so does Avery’s attraction for Pearse, even though Colin warns her that his younger brother is involved in a dangerous cult called The Colony. Faced with losing Whickering Place, her heart, and even her life, Avery is forced to make unimaginable choices. And as Whickering Place becomes the focal point for The Colony’s bloody rituals, the house’s dark history threatens to repeat itself.

At turns a novel of terror and a story of love, Whickering Place is a paranormal thriller of nonstop suspense about the risks of living and loving outside safe boundaries and the relationships that change, motivate, and sustain us.

Advance Praise

“This was a chilling story… For those who love the supernatural filled with demons and cults then this is the book for you.” —Paranormal Romance Guild

“…a terrifying tale of the supernatural. The Meadows is another great offering by London Clarke, full of suspense and terror. Once I started to read, I couldn’t put the book down.” –Readers’ Favorite 

My Review

I can’t say enough great things about this book! First, I must admit that it’s not the first one of London’s that I’ve picked up and I haven’t regretted it once!

She’s a fresh author with special twist that gives her stories the perfect amount of mystery, paranormal a little horror which is often mixed with romance.

Whickering Place is the new home that Avery reluctantly moves to after her father commits suicide. Suffering with agoraphobia since witnessing the death of her boyfriend almost 10 years before.

I can’t give away too much, you’ll just have to read it to find out…but reveling in Avery’s newly found confidence and love will leave you breathless.

There were several points in the book where the action picked up and I was literally on the edge of my seat, hands frozen around my iPad for fear I’d miss something!

Gretchen by Shannon Kirk – #BOOKREVIEW

Description

The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter…

Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on.

Finally, after thirteen years and eleven states, their next hideaway seems perfect. An isolated, fortresslike place in the New Hampshire woods is the new home they share with its owner, a gentlemanly pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. She’s Lucy’s age and soon becomes Lucy’s first real friend.

But Gretchen and her father have secrets of their own—and an obsession with puzzles that draws Lucy into a terrifying new game of hide-and-seek. Lucy’s dark past is about to come calling. And this time, for her and her mother in the house on the hill, it might be too late to run

My Review

This is the first book I’ve picked up by Shannon Kirk and I am so happy I did! This read was everything; a little sadness and despair, adventure, and very mysterious with an other-worldly spin that had me guessing until the reveal.

I admit that I had no clue the twist would be so warped. Yes, you’re guided through a mother-daughter relationship that isn’t conventional by any means, but your heart is wrenched throughout trying to understand the reasons behind it. Given bits and pieces of crucial information throughout, slowly peels the mystery away until you’re faced with the bomb that was dropped. After all that, it still keeps going with a side plot that gets tied in nicely offering a more intriguing look into the lives of our neighbors and that we truly don’t know who people really are.

This is a must-read for anyone who loves a good mystery!

More about Shannon Kirk here – Websitehttp://www.shannonkirkbooks.com
Twitter – ShannonCKirk

My top 14 books of all time are as follows, in the following order–as in, if I was allowed only 14 books to bring to a deserted island where I was marooned for the rest of my life, these are what I would pack:

1. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabo)
2. Orphan Master’s Son (Adam Johnson)
3. The Mummy Market (Nancy Brelis), tragically out of print, which makes ZERO sense because it’s a classic
4. The Incarnations (Susan Barker) AMAZING
5. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
6. Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
7. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) 
8. Swamplandia, and every single word ever written by: (Karen Russell)
9. Everything is Illuminated (Jonathan Safran Foer)
10. The Keep, Jennifer Egan
11. The Sea (John Banville)
12. Someone Else’s Love Story, Joshilyn Jackson.
13. Kiss the Girls (Patterson) 
14. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

Further to my literary likes, I consider Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Charles Dickens to be actual, literal geniuses; if we had brain scans of their brains, we wouldn’t understand what we’re seeing. I prefer more prose than dialogue; prefer poetry over intricate plot, but love if I can have both (hence, Love in the Time of Cholera being #1 and Orphan Master’s Son #2).

But I’m never really consistent with this anyway. If I’m pulled to keep reading the book, I’ll keep reading the book.

My reviews are all and will only ever be of books I love. I do not finish books I don’t like, so it’s not fair for me to review them

“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero — Zezee with Books

Now I can see why Sincero’s books are bestsellers. She’s so inspiring and motivating that after reading this book I was even more energized to work on attaining my goals. I wasn’t interested in Sincero’s books at first. I’ve read some self-help books, but they aren’t what I often gravitate to unless the subject is […]

“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero — Zezee with Books

Embroidered Kitchen Garden Vegetable, Herb & Flower Motifs to Stitch & Savor by Kazuko Aoki

Description

Embroidery artist and avid gardener Kazuko Aoki shares her newest collection of exquisite designs inspired by her very own kitchen garden. This bountiful assortment of embroidery motifs includes everyone’s favorite garden treats. From humble tomatoes and radishes to show-stopping figs and Brussels sprouts, this collection features over 30 edible plant designs. Stitch up a sampler to decorate your kitchen, create a one-of-a-kind farmers market tote, or just pore over the pages forendless inspiration. Each design features artfully illustrative details yet are made with just a handful of simple embroidery stitches. Embroidery enthusiasts will delight in this cornucopia of lush and sweet designs to stitch and savor. Instructions and templates for all designs are included, along with personal embroidery tips and expert advice from the author.

My Review

Yes, this is perfect for those crafters who love to gift and show of their work! I’m fairly new to embroidery but found this book easy to follow with fantastic new ideas.

If you’ve spent anytime online searching for new ideas and new patterns only to come across the same old patterns, you will love this book! Get inspired to create something new and change up the patterns and designs a little to make it sole yours!

100 Things to Recycle and Make by Fiona Hayes – Great for Kids

Description

Keep crafty children of all ages entertained and inspired for hours with Fiona Hayes’ 100 Things to Recycle and Make.

Everyday materials are transformed into all kinds of stunning and practical projects, from toy animals and vehicles to dressing-up props, decorations, games, and even fun storage solutions. Bringing together the best projects from the popular Crafty Makes series, each section is dedicated to a different base object: cardboard boxes; paper plates; cardboard tubes; materials from nature; and egg cartons. With twenty projects per section to choose from, and 100 projects overall, this book will appeal to a wide range of ages and interests.

Simple cardboard tubes become a set of pirate skittles, a friendly octopus, and an entire castle. Plain cardboard boxes are turned into a pirate ship, a money box, and a robot; twigs, leaves and other outdoors materials become picture frames, masks, and a dinosaur. Paper plates make a great bug or flower hat, a dotty frog, and a cute panda, while egg cartons are turned into a fire engine, a pencil holder, and a Christmas tree.

Children will be entertained for hours with this invaluable collection of crafty makes, and even the whole family can be involved in recycling everyday objects and turning them into exciting projects. Create entire animal kingdoms and alien worlds, or simply a new favourite toy or mascot.

With such a huge range of exciting projects to make from the simplest of objects, 100 Things to Recycle and Make is the ultimate craft inspiration for creative children.

My Review

I’m always looking for new crafts and ideas especially those that you can reuse old items for! This book comes at the best time, when people are looking to waste and buy less, and what better way that to get crafty using recycled and upcycle products that you have and use everyday!

Plus they make really great gifts too!

Thank you Fiona Hayes and Netgalley for this ARC!

The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery by Edited by T. J. Smith #BOOKREVIEW #REVIEWATHON @netgalley

Description

Revised Edition, with a new foreword by Sean Brock.

From springhouse to smokehouse, from hearth to garden, Southern Appalachian foodways are celebrated afresh in this newly revised edition of The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. First published in 1984—one of the wildly popular Foxfire books drawn from a wealth of material gathered by Foxfire students in Rabun Gap, Georgia—the volume combines hundreds of unpretentious, delectable recipes with the practical knowledge, wisdom, and riveting stories of those who have cooked this way for generations. A tremendous resource for all interested in the region’s culinary culture, it is now reimagined with today’s heightened interest in cultural-specific cooking and food-lovers culture in mind. This edition features new documentation, photographs, and recipes drawn from Foxfire’s extensive archives while maintaining all the reminiscences and sharp humor of the amazing people originally interviewed. 

Appalachian-born chef Sean Brock contributes a passionate foreword to this edition, witnessing to the book’s spellbinding influence on him and its continued relevance. T. J. Smith, editor of the revised edition, provides a fascinating perspective on the book’s original creation and this revision. They invite you to join Foxfire for the first time or once again for a journey into the delicious world of wild foods, traditional favorites, and tastes found only in Southern Appalachia.

T. J. Smith, executive director of The Foxfire Fund, Inc., holds a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Louisiana–Lafayette. Sean Brock, founder of Husk restaurant in Charleston, will be opening a new restaurant dedicated to Appalachian cooking—Audrey, in Nashville. He is featured in Chef’s Table on Netflix.

Advance Praise

“People who have been following the back-to-the-land food trends that have resurfaced in the past decade might find some of the recipes in [The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery] familiar and focused around a simple, self-sufficient way of life. There are instructions for making bread in a Dutch oven (specifically over coals in the fireplace.) For pork, the authors note that Appalachians ‘stand by their belief that virtually no part of the hog should be thrown away,’ and its recipes for homemade scrapple, hog’s head, jowl or sausage wouldn’t be out of place on a certain kind of Brooklyn menu. . . . Although foraging and using imperfect vegetables and local food are popular concepts today, they’ve been a way of life for generations in many cultures. Making charcuterie in-house has become a selling point for restaurants; Foxfire was one of the few books to describe how to make sausage from scratch.”–The Salt, NPR Books

“If you’re interested in real American cooking (not the media-hyped trend), spend time with the people in this wonderful book.”–Cuisine

My Review

Part history, part cookbook this fantsitc book encompasses everything you ever wanted to know about Appalacian Cooking. If you’re wondering why you might be interested in the roots of this culture, don’t – we could all use a blast from the past!

Filled with recipes to share with family and friends, you’ll also learn more about the history of one of America’s greatest treasures. Not only because we lived in North Carolina am I interested in the topic but also becuase getting back to the earth and learning how older generations survived off the land and what they put together for thie families.
Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC! I truly enjoyed it and learned something along the way!

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke – #BOOKREVIEW #ARC @netgalley #REVIEWATHON

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Description

“One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read!” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

A Note From the Publisher

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for over thirty years and survived high school and college together. They’ve coauthored five novels, including Girls’ Night Out and the Amazon Charts bestseller The Good Widow. In their former lives, Fenton worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and Steinke was a talk show producer. They both reside with their families and several rescue dogs in San Diego, California.

Advance Praise

The Two Lila Bennetts is heart-pounding action from start to finish. It’s Sliding Doors with a killer twist. I couldn’t put it down!” —Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author

“One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read! The Two Lila Bennetts cleverly weaves together two sides of one story in an engaging thrill ride that keeps readers on their toes—and turning pages. Thoroughly enjoyable!” —Wendy Walker, author of The Night Before

“Liz and Lisa have done it again. The Two Lila Bennetts is a deliciously dark tale of regret and retribution, of new beginnings and the road not taken. Sharp, clever, and insidious, this one shines all the way to the pitch-perfect ending.” —Kimberly Belle, author of The Marriage Lie

The Two Lila Bennetts, by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, begins with one of the most intriguing premises that I’ve encountered in a novel and ends with two jaw-dropping conclusions. In Lila Bennett, Fenton and Steinke have created a tough, complicated character whose life splinters into two very different directions the moment she makes a life-altering choice. Toggling back and forth between each of Lila’s fates, Fenton and Steinke masterfully blend both threads together, propelling the stories forward with hand-wringing tension. Clever, unpredictable, and obsessively unputdownable, The Two Lila Bennetts is psychological suspense at its finest.” —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound

My Review

Summer reading at it’s best – this is a must for your TBR stack if you love a fast paced thriller!

This book did not disappoint one bit! I prefer to read the reviews prior to picking up a book but for this one I held off simply because the title hooked me instantly and I’m glad I didn’t have any knowledge going into it, it made It all that more interesting to pick up!

Thank you Netgalley and both Liz and Lisa for the ARC of this read!

The Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson

Description

Jake Buchannan knows the woman sitting next to him on his business flight to Denver—he just can’t figure out how he knows her. Clara Stowe isn’t in Jake’s line of work and didn’t go to college with him. They have nearly nothing in common apart from a deep and shared certainty that they’ve met before. Despite their best efforts over a probing conversation, both struggle to figure out what circumstances could possibly have brought them together. Then, in a revelation that sends Jake reeling, Clara admits she’s traveling to the Colorado mountains to kill herself, and disappears into the crowded airport immediately after landing. 

The Dead Girl in 2A is the story of what happens to Jake and Clara after they get off that plane, and the manipulative figure who has brought them together decades after they first met. Intensely creepy, beautifully written, and full of Carter Wilson’s signature whom-can-you-trust paranoia, this is a psychological thriller unlike any you’ve read before.

My Review

This was the first book I’ve read of Carter Wilson’s work and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of twists and suprises it had!

Although it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I am glad I picked it up! Aside from wanting a little more umph from it, I thought it was a good story that unfolded naturally.
Thank you Netgalley, Carter, and Poisoned Press for the ARC of this fantastic book!

Hideaway by Nicole Lundrigan – #BOOKREVIEW #AMREADING

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

Description

“Authentic, disturbing and unbearably tense, Hideaway will leave you reeling.” –Shari Lapena, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

Gloria Janes appears to be a doting suburban mother and loving wife. But beyond her canary-yellow door, Gloria controls her husband, Telly, as well as seven-year-old Maisy and her older brother Rowan, through a disorienting cycle of adoration and banishment. 

When Telly leaves, Gloria turns on Rowan. He runs away, finding unlikely refuge with a homeless man named Carl, with whom he forms the kind of bond he has never found with his parents. After they are menaced by strangers, Rowan follows Carl to an isolated cottage, where he accidentally sets off a burst of heightened paranoia in Carl, and their adventure takes a dark turn. 

Gloria is publicly desperate for the safe return of her son while privately plotting ever wilder ways to lure Telly home for good. Her behaviour grows more erratic and her manipulation of Maisy begins to seem dedicated toward an outcome that only she can see. The two storylines drive relentlessly toward a climax that is both shocking and emotionally riveting.

Suspenseful, unsettling, and masterful, Hideaway explores the secrets of a troubled family and illuminates an unlikely hero and a source of unexpected strength.

MY REVIEW

I absolutely loved this book!

Nicole takes you through some heart-wrenching scenarios where you feel like you need to reach through the book to offer a helping hand.

Rowan and Maisy don’t have much choice with the parents they were given and they do all they can to stay in Gloria and Telly’s good graces with somehow falling short every time. Being a quick read, meaning I didn’t want to put it down, I finished it fast but with mixed emotions.

This read forces you to look through the eyes of the child, instead of as adults with our own motives. Reading how Gloria tries to influence everyone around her, I wondered if she was the one that was damaged or if it was simply the world that had broken her over time. It’s true that as broken adults with children of our own, it’s hard to not allow our children to see or even carry the baggage that we do. But how does it affect them and is there any other way to avoid it?

Manipulative and cunning Gloria brings her wrath down upon the kids and her ex, all while trying to win him back with her elaborate scene that doesn’t really go the way she anticiapated. What people are capable of can be shocking but it’s also very much a reality.

I couldn’t help but wonder after putting this down, how much we don’t know about our neighbors and if we did, what we think?

Deadly Secrets by OMJ Ryan – #BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE #AMREADING

Marty has it all, after all he’s a well-known radio host who happens to also have millions!

Everything is going ok for him until he finds a woman dead in his hotel bathroom.

Ok, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, needing to know who was behind the murder and why.

Thank you to Netgalley, OMJ Ryan and Inkubator Books for this ARC! I really enjoyed it!

Deadly Secrets

by OMJ Ryan

Inkubator Books

Description

Millionaire Marty Michaels had the perfect life – until he found a dead girl in his bathroom…

For twenty years, superstar radio host Marty Michaels has used his vast fame and power to make or break the careers of celebrities and politicians.

But Marty discovers that power comes at a price when he wakes in a strange hotel room and finds a murdered girl in the bathroom. He’s been set up, someone wants to destroy him.

Things go from bad to worse when tenacious DCI Jane Phillips is assigned to his case, determined his celebrity won’t get in the way of justice. Even Marty’s powerhouse lawyer, Nicolette Johnson, fears this is a case she simply can’t win.

Desperate to take action and clear his name, Marty is propelled into a dark world of danger, corruption and depravity on the gritty streets of Manchester.

With the media world he once ruled now baying for his blood, the hunter has become the hunted.

Not knowing who to trust, or where to turn, Marty fights alone against a powerful criminal network as he tries to save his reputation, his job… and his life

Advance Praise

“As many twists and turns as a roller coaster!”

“Marty Michaels is a hero for our times – complex, flawed and trapped in a nail-biting fight for his life.”

The Vanishing Season by Dot Hutchison

FANTASTIC! I started with “The Butterfly Garden” and have been hooked ever since.

For those of you who haven’t started this series…What are you waiting for?

It’s the perfect amount of mystery, crime, and depravity with lovable and detestable characters wrapped into one book.

It’s not very often that you come across an author who write an entire series, staying true to the plot and delivering extra with each new release.

Dot Hutchinson somehow can, it’s a gift and I suggest you get reading this NOW!

The Vanishing Season

The Collector, Book 4

by Dot Hutchison

Thomas & Mercer

Description

A recent abduction becomes an unexpected link to a decades-long spree of unspeakable crimes.

Eight-year-old Brooklyn Mercer has gone missing. And as accustomed as FBI agents Eliza Sterling and Brandon Eddison are to such harrowing cases, this one has struck a nerve. It marks the anniversary of the disappearance of Eddison’s own little sister. Disturbing, too, is the girl’s resemblance to Eliza—so uncanny they could be mother and daughter.

With Eddison’s unsettled past rising again with rage and pain, Eliza is determined to solve this case at any cost. But the closer she looks, the more reluctant she is to divulge to her increasingly shaken partner what she finds. Brooklyn isn’t the only girl of her exact description to go missing. She’s just the latest in a frightening pattern going back decades in cities throughout the entire country.

In a race against time, Eliza’s determined to bring Brooklyn home and somehow find the link to the cold case that has haunted Eddison—and the entire Crimes Against Children team—since its inception.

A Note From the Publisher

Dot Hutchison is the author of the Collector series (The Butterfly Garden, The Roses of May, The Summer Children, and The Vanishing Season) as well as A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hutchison loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat. She has a background in theater, Renaissance festival living chessboards, and free falls. She likes to think that Saint George regretted killing that dragon for the rest of his days. For more information on her current projects, visit www.dothutchison.com.

Four Seasons of Entertaining by Shayla Copas Photography by Janet Warlick – #BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE

Even if you’re not an event planner, you’ll love the ideas in this fantastically colorful book.

From special events, to traditional holidays, you’ll more than enough inspiration for your next event. And for all those people who are busy planning weddings this time of year, you’ll want to pick this book up to really WOW your guests.

Description

Entertain for every season of the year with one of the South’s most acclaimed luxury interior designers and taste makers. Join Shayla Copas on a tour of sixteen glamorous celebrations ranging from Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby to traditional gatherings such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, and at venues as diverse as the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and a show-stopping horse stable. In addition to ideas and sources for tabletop settings and clever details, Copas shares themed menus and mouth-watering recipes from contributing chefs. With more than 250 luscious color photographs, this book will elevate readers’ creativity as they plan their next luncheon, dinner, or poolside soiree. 

The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson – #BOOKREVIEW #FOODIE #NEWRELEASE

Have you ever wondered who thought of putting avocado on toast and why it’s suddenly so popular?

I’ve been around a few decades now and I can tell you that some of the more modern creations are focused on health while there’s others that are simply focused on price and quantity, no so much quality.

With “The Way We Eat Now” you’ll get a deeper insight to how our food has come from basic farm to table to scientific advancements that both have the same focus… health.

Description

An award-winning food writer takes us on a global tour of what the world eats–and shows us how we can change it for the better
Food is one of life’s great joys. So why has eating become such a source of anxiety and confusion?
Bee Wilson shows that in two generations the world has undergone a massive shift from traditional, limited diets to more globalized ways of eating, from bubble tea to quinoa, from Soylent to meal kits. 
Paradoxically, our diets are getting healthier and less healthy at the same time. For some, there has never been a happier food era than today: a time of unusual herbs, farmers’ markets, and internet recipe swaps. Yet modern food also kills–diabetes and heart disease are on the rise everywhere on earth.
This is a book about the good, the terrible, and the avocado toast. A riveting exploration of the hidden forces behind what we eat, The Way We Eat Now explains how this food revolution has transformed our bodies, our social lives, and the world we live in.

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Emotional doesn’t even begin to describe this fantastic read!

A mother second-guessing her choices will soon face the reality of those thoughts when someone kidnaps her daughter. The kidnapper, you might think has a horrible motive in mind but it’s far from that. Another woman wanting to show love and finally get it in return from the little girl she stole. With nothing but best intentions to give the little girl everything she grew up without is a story of two women and one child trying to navigate the lives they were dealt.

As an adoptee, the abandonment issues are real and have given me pause before having my own children. Not knowing the type of love that one typically receives during childhood, I didn’t know I had what it takes to be a good mom. I empathize with the characters and became intertwined with them, suffering from a major book-hangover!

Description

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

PopSugar – The Summer’s Hottest Books * Refinery 29 – Best Summer Thrillers * Parade – 20 Chilling Thrillers by Women to Read This Year * Brit + Co – 15 New Thrillers by Women That Will Give You Chills This Summer * The Zoe Report – 20 Books to Read this Summer * She Reads – New Summer Thrillers to Get Your Heart Racing * Working Mother – 15 Hot New Summer Beach Reads * Culturalist – Top Ten Domestic Thrillers That Will Make You Question Everything

“Brings to mind Jodi Picoult…thought-provoking domestic drama.” – Booklist

“Will make you miss your bedtime, guaranteed.” – Bestselling author Kimberly Belle

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

Praise for Not Her Daughter

“The plot twists here are brave, the themes are both poignant and unsettling, and the resolution is deeply resonant. A page-turner with heart!” – New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti

“A cleverly constructed novel that will have you questioning everything you believe about right or wrong.” – New York Times bestselling author Chevy Stevens

“Engrossing and suspenseful, Frey writes her characters with depth and compassion, challenging readers to question their own code of ethics.” – Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth

“An emotional ride where the line between right and wrong begins to fade…pulls you in from the very first page, and unlike most in its genre, you won’t know how you want it to end until it does. – Wendy Walker, author of Emma in the Night

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon – #BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE #AMREADING

Multi-generational with several layers all intertwined across time in one curse location where Nate and Helen decide to build their dream home to escape their previous lives in Connecticut and the hustle and bustle of life in a less rural area.

Little did they know they were building a haunted house, not just moving into one but constructing it from scratch.

Helen hides her reservations from Nate thinking it’s just nerves but she will soon learn that trusting her gut was something should have done!

I really enjoy Jennifer McMahon’s writing and love her new work!

Thanks to Jennifer, Netgalley and Doubleday Books for the Advanced Copy!

Description

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house–they build one . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house–a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse–objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously. As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Adding true historical facts this book doesn’t disappoint! Set in the 1930’s Appalachian Kentucky in Troublesome Creek, nineteen year old Cussy Mary Carter and her widowed coal miner father live in a small shack near Troublesome Creek, where they barely scrape by on his meagre wages and her small salary as a librarian for the Pack Horse Library Project.

A tale of unfairness, racism, and heartbreaking details this is one you don’t want to miss.

Thank you to Netgalley, Kim Michele Richardson and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for the Advanced Copy!

Description

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is.  Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own  traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.  

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however,  she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble.  If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler. 

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage,  fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

Advance Praise

“With a focus on the personal joy and broadened horizons that can result from access to reading material, this well-researched tale serves as a solid history lesson on 1930s Kentucky. A unique story about Appalachia and the healing power of the written word.” –Kirkus Reviews

“This gem of a historical from Richardson (The Sisters of Glass Ferry) features an indomitable heroine navigating a community steeped in racial intolerance. In 1936, 19-year-old Cussy Mary Carter works for the New Deal–funded Pack Horse Library Project, delivering reading material to the rural people of Kentucky…Readers will adore the memorable Cussy and appreciate Richardson’s fine rendering of rural Kentucky life.” –Publishers Weekly

“Kim Michele Richardson has written a fascinating novel about people almost forgotten by history: Kentucky’s  pack-horse librarians and “blue people.” The factual information alone would make this book a treasure, but with her impressive storytelling and empathy, Richardson gives us so much more.” -Rob Rash, New York Times bestselling author of One Foot in Eden and Serena

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!

Description

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 http://www.JDHornAuthor.com.

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.

Description

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 (lucifersboob.blogspot.co.uk) 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. 


Excerpt

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!

Description

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. 
Forever.

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!

Description

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

Follow Lauren

On IG – https://www.instagram.com/laurenkdentonbooks/

On FB – https://www.facebook.com/LaurenKDentonAuthor/

On Twitter – https://twitter.com/LaurenKDenton

On Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/LKDentonBooks/

Favorite Quotes

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Autumn Quotes

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Gets You Thinking

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray 

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami in Norwegian Wood

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” – Henry Ward Beecher

“A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.” – Salman Rushdie

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