6/27/18

Liar, Liar


Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson. New York, Kensington, 2018. 416 pages. ****

Didi Storm is determined to hit it big as a celebrity impersonator in order to claim fame and to care for her family. Remmi, her daughter, is fifteen and is much more realistic about their future especially since Didi now has twins with no husband in sight. When Didi takes one of the twins on a late night ride and Remmi is accidentally locked in a secret compartment in the car, Remmi witnesses a car explosion. Didi's actions are erratic after that late night assignation and Remmi fears for her life and the lives of her brother and sister. When Didi fails to return one day, Remmi sets out with her brother to find her. Fast forward twenty years later, a tell-all book is published about Didi and a woman in Didi's clothes falls from a San Francisco building just as Remmi is approaching the building. Is it Didi on the sidewalk? Who wrote the book about her mother and can Remmi finally get the answers to that fateful night in the desert?

An intriguing plot of mystery, fame, family relationships, and heartbreak. I always enjoy Lisa Jackson's books and I was not disappointed. This is the kind of book that you take on vacation, enjoy it and pass it on to a friend. Remmi is a very strong, resilient, likable character, Didi, not so much. I felt that Jackson did a good job of tying together all of the subplots, a couple of surprises, but satisfying at the end.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of more than 85 novels, including Afraid to Die, Tell Me, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice, and Shiver.  She is also the co-author of the Colony Series, co-written with her sister, Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa Jackson’s books in print in twenty languages.

Before she became a nationally bestselling author, Lisa Jackson was a mother struggling to keep food on the table by writing novels, hoping against hope that someone would pay her for them. Today, neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, the USA Today, and the Publishers Weekly national bestseller lists. More about Lisa www.lisajackson.com.

#mystery

6/24/18

The Patchwork Bride


The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas.  New York: St. Marin's Press, 2018. 217 pages. ****

Ellen is reminiscing about her life while working on a wedding quilt for her Granddaughter, June, when June arrives at the ranch and proclaims the wedding is off. Through a series of stories about a woman named Nell, Ellen tries to reassure June that many brides have cold feet and that sometimes waiting to be sure is better. Nell is a young woman who journeyed to the New Mexico territory in 1898 in search of a husband. While working on her Aunt Lucy's ranch, Nell falls in love with a handsome cowboy, Buddy. Engaged to be married, stubborn Nell runs back to Kansas when Buddy tries to control her.  Engaged two more times, Nell eventually marries the love of her life. In the process of staying with her grandparents on their ranch and listening to Nell's story, June makes up her mind about marrying Dave.


I received an ecopy for a review.

The first Sandra Dallas book I read was "Prayers for Sale." Dallas has a way of capturing and retelling a tale that is both heartwarming and hopeful. Life is filled with disappointment and hardships, however, Dallas always shows the love that transcends the hurt. She breathes life into her characters who reflect the times and situations in which they lived. I love stories about strong women who don't settle in life and forge ahead in self-discovery and in search of their dreams. A great summer read!

New York Times best-selling author SANDRA DALLAS, the author of fifteen adult novels, two young reader novels, and two non-fiction books, was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films. For more info https://www.sandradallas.com.

#historicalfiction #quiltingfiction #patchworkbride #quiltsfiction

6/15/18

Dark Tide Rising


Dark Tide Rising: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry. New York: Ballantine Books, 2018. 244 pages. ***** Published September 18th, 2018.

In this latest book in the William Monk series, Monk is asked to accompany Harry Exeter in paying the ransom for the return of his wife, Kate Exeter. When the ransom drop goes horribly wrong, Monk and his men are caught off guard and attacked, Monk begins to suspect that one of his own men has alerted the kidnappers. Monk realizes that he doesn't know about the personal lives of his men and he embarks on a mission to arrest the kidnappers and uncover the perpetrator who has corrupted his team. His investigation takes an ugly turn when the suspected kidnapper is found with his throat slashed and a bank teller is murdered.  Everyone has something to hide and it is up to Monk to uncover what it is and whether it is relevant to this case.

Set in Victorian England, Anne Perry has a gift for bringing the sights, sounds, and brutality of that era to her readers. I have always liked Jack the Ripper type books complete with the mystery of who he actually was and whether he has been identified. The William Monk series is well-written and has a plot complicated enough to hold my attention and always has a twist at the end. This one is no exception, it was engrossing from beginning to the end. Each of her books may be read as a stand-alone, but I would start at the beginning of this series and read them all!

I received an ecopy for a review.

From her website,  "Anne Perry's publishing career began with The Cater Street Hangman. Published in 1979, this was the first book in the series to feature the Victorian policeman Thomas Pitt and his well-born wife Charlotte. This is arguably the longest sustained crime series by a living writer.  She has now started a series featuring their son Daniel, beginning with 21 Days (2017). She began the Monk series in order to explore a different, darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person's identity is bound up in memory? All our reactions, decisions, etc. spring from what we know, have experienced. We are in so many ways the sum of all we have been!" For more information on Anne Perry, visit her website.

#victorianenglandmystery #williammonkseries 

6/4/18

Summer Reading Suggested List 2018







If you are looking for book suggestions for this summer:

Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Authors:
All of the above and...

Elisabeth Berg
Frederik Backman
Kate Morton
Michelle Cox
Jane Green

Some of the books I will be reviewing this summer :

The Other Woman - Sandie Jones
A Merciful Silence - Kendra Elliot
The Patchwork Bride - Sandra Dallas
Liar, Liar - Lisa Jackson
Dark Tide Rising - Anne Perry
A Measure of Darkness - Jonathon Kellerman
I see Life through Rose -Colored Glasses
A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat - Edward Kelsey Moore

Best Beach Reads: 50+ awesome summer book recommendations from PA Librarians

Banned and Challenged Books

Jimmy Fallon's Summer Reading Poll

I would love to know your thoughts if you read any of the above books!


6/3/18

When The Lights Go Out


When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. Canada: Park Row Books, 2018. 316 pages. ***

For Jessie's whole life it has only been Mom and her. Mom is in the hospital dying and Jessie isn't sure what she is going to do. Unable to sleep and not wanting to leave her Mom's side, Jessie survives on hospital cafeteria coffee and the kindness of the nurses. When the college financial aid office calls Jessie and tells her that there is a problem with her college application and that the social security number that Jessie has provided belongs to a dead girl. Jessie soon feels like Alice falling down the rabbit hole and starts to question who her mother really is and what happened to her father. Told in the alternating voices of Jessie and her mother, Eden, a horrifying story unfolds.

I have loved Kubica's previous novels, see my links to their reviews, but this book did not keep my interest. I guessed early in the book where the plot was going and hoped I was wrong. Maybe it is where I am right now, but the characters of Jessie and her mother did not hold together for me. It will be interesting when it is published to see how it is received and what others think of it. You'll have to read this one to decide for your self.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Previous books by Kubica:

Don't You Cry

Pretty Baby 


Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY and EVERY LAST LIE. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children, where she enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

#psychologicalthriller #whenthelightsgoout

5/28/18

Heaven Adjacent


Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lake Union Publishing, 2018. 319 pages. Publication Date June 19, 2018. *****

There are some days when everything is going wrong and we each question our purpose in life. Roseanna Chaldecott is a high-powered lawyer in Manhatten when Alice, her law partner, and best friend, drops dead in the middle of a meeting. Roseanna gets in her car one day and decides to keep driving, out of the city and out of her life. She runs out of gas and happens upon a neglected farm that seems perfect for her new life. Considering her current state of mind, perhaps Roseanna should have investigated the barn and the other building on the property. Unexpected developments threaten her peace of mind and solitude. Leaving behind all of her responsibilities in the law firm, Roseanna soon realizes that "heaven" comes with a price. 

Hyde writes books that always makes me hopeful about the inherent goodness in people. Her interest in "paying it forward" shines clearly in her novels. It is such a warm, thought-provoking story, that I didn't want it to end. Her relationship with her son is complicated as it often is in families, however, it rings true. There are many humorous situations and I especially enjoyed Ernest, the orphan horse. 

Add this novel to the top of your Summer Reading List, grab a glass of wine, and escape for awhile. 

I received an ARC ecopy from NetGalley for a review.

Other books by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

Ask Him Why

Worthy

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty-three published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts, as well as the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. An avid equestrian, photographer, and traveler, she lives in California.

5/20/18

Feared


Feared: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018. 394 pages. ***** Publication Date August 14, 2018. 

In this latest thriller, Nick Machiavelli returns to sue the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm for reverse sex discrimination—claiming that three applicants were not hired because they were men. Their lone male employee, john Foxman, makes matters worse when he admits that he is looking for another position because he doesn't believe he will make partner as a male in an all-woman firm. Bennie and Mary feel betrayed when John admits he may have expressed his feelings during job interviews with competing law firms. Machiavelli has always been out to get Mary and even though she is pregnant, she and her law firm are in his sights. He will stop at nothing to bring Rosato & DiNunzio down, but murder? Mary is determined to show him for what he is even if it means including Flavia, his mother, and the Rosary Society. 

I always enjoy a Scottoline book, but this is the best Rosato & DiNunzio book so far. No spoilers here, I won't divulge whether Mary and Anthony have a boy or girl. Scottoline has the Italian/South Philly experience at its best...I was laughing out loud at some of the dialogue between "Mare" and the ladies from the Rosary Society, practically smelling the chocolate chip cookies and baked ziti. I finished this book in two days because I couldn't wait to see what happens next. I worried right along with Mary when she couldn't feel the baby move and breathed a sigh of relief when all was well.
Add this one to your list to read this summer and in the meantime, read the previous five books in the series. 

I received an ecopy for a review. 

Other books in the Rosato & DiNunzio series:





Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-eight novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of bestselling memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog. Lisa lives on a Pennsylvania farm with an array of disobedient pets. Visit Lisa at www.Scottoline.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @LisaScottoline.

#feared #rosatoanddinunzio #Philadelphiamystery @LisaScottoline