While You Sleep

While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt. New York: Pegasus Crime, 2019. 315 pages (electronic edition) ****

"It begins, they say, with a woman screaming " Zoe Adams has traveled from Connecticut to a remote Scottish Island in the hopes of finding herself and reclaiming her life as an artist. At the local Pub the townspeople hint at stories better left unsaid which only serves to pique Zoe's interest. Zoe found the McBride house to rent on the Internet and is bemused to find out that since it has been remodeled, she is the first tenant. Zoe is so exhausted from her trip that she falls asleep fully dressed only to wake from an erotic dream to find herself naked in another room. How did she get there, it was a dream wasn't it? Zoe seeks to uncover the secrets of the old house and discover what happened to Ailsa McBride and her mysterious son over a century ago. Just last year a boy disappeared while he and his friend dared each other to go into the house late one night. Alisa's husband dabbled in the occult and have the two of them unleashed a demon attached to the house? The townspeople relish their superstitions about the past and gossip about Zoe while ignoring the signs of evil around them. Zoe is determined to prove that she is not unstable and that there is a human behind the pranks being played on her in the house.

Part gothic novel, part mystery, complete with romance, sex, ghosts, murder, and demons. Merritt hints at past actions overshadowing the present, but in this breath-taking novel, she keeps us guessing at who is to blame. This is one of those books when finished, the reader says, "I didn't see that coming."

I received an ecopy for a review.

"Stephanie Merritt has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television. Writing as S. J. Parris, she is the fastest-growing historical crime writer in the UK, with her series of thrillers set in Tudor England selling over half a million copies. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian. Her first novel, Gaveston (Faber), was published in 2002 and went on to win a Betty Trask Award. She followed it with Real (Faber) in 2005, which she adapted for film for Gabriel Byrne’s production company, and her first non-fiction, The Devil Within (Vermilion), a memoir of depression and recovery that was shortlisted for the 2008 Mind Book Award.
In 2008 she decided to combine two of her literary passions, history and crime, and started writing Heresy (HarperCollins), the first in her series of historical thrillers under the pen-name S.J.Parris, featuring the 16th century heretic philosopher and spy Giordano Bruno. It was published in 2010 and was followed by Prophecy, Sacrilege, Treachery and Conspiracy, and a novella, The Secret Dead." To learn more about Merritt. 

#whileyousleep #gothicnovel 


2019 Monthly Color Challenge - March

March - Love in a Mist (Navy Blue)

This month's block is navy blue, I probably should have looked at pictures of the flowers before I chose my fabric colors. You can find the pattern and directions at Patterns by Jen.

I love Grunge dots and the fabric seems perfect for this square.

  • My favorite marking tool for dark fabrics is the Chaco Chalk Pen. It was perfect for these blues.

  • Remember a scant 1/4 inch seam 

Frankie likes all of the blocks, but her favorite is February!

If you haven't yet, make sure you join Quilt and Learn with Patterns by Jen on Facebook. It's a great place to ask questions and receive help. It's an amazing Show and Tell every month with everyone's blocks.

Check out the March Bloggers:

Patterns by Jen Sewing With Katie 
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Kentucky Whittaker Creations
Masterpiece Quilting 
Kathy's Kwilts and more 
So This Is Kentucky

Follow me on Instagram 

#2019monthlycolorchallenge #marchnavy #loveinamistnavy 


Saving Meghan

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. 372 pages. **** Publication Date April 9, 2019.

A mother will do anything to find out what is wrong with her only daughter and to find treatment. Has Becky, Meghan's mother, gone too far in her quest to find what is causing Meghan's sickness, especially since her own husband doesn't believe her? Meghan has been in and out of hospitals and doctors wonder is this a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy and who is to blame Becky or Carl? Fifteen-year-old Meghan has her own secrets and raises suspicion that she may be faking her illness to get her parents attention. When one of her doctors dies under suspicious circumstances, Becky's illness takes on a more ominous tone. The doctors take drastic action to keep Becky safe, is it enough? Becky's life depends on it. 

A psychological thriller with a unique plot that will keep you guessing as to who is lying and what is really happening with Meghan. I love being swept into a book and reading it all in one sitting. Fans of B.A. Paris will enjoy reading Saving Meghan.

I received a paperback copy for a review.

D.J. Palmer is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels, including Delirious and Desperate. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer before turning his attention to writing. He lives with his wife and two children in New Hampshire.

#ProtectMeghan #BelieveBecky #SavingMeghan


Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lake Union Publishing, 320 pages.  ***** Published May 21, 2019.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong; not in his mother's new family, not at his father's house every other weekend, not in school and now his only friend is moving away. When a woman downstairs in his building asks, "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" Raymond is drawn into the life of a ninety-two-year-old, blind woman named Mildred Gutermann. Millie and Raymond form a friendship that is beneficial to both of them and transcends their ages. Raymond takes it upon himself to try and find out what happened to Luis who came three times a week to help Millie for 4 years until one day Luis didn't show up.

Hyde's stories are always feel good ones for me. She provides hope in an otherwise crazy mixed up world. Being an animal lover, there is usually an animal, which is integral to the story, and in this case it is a feral cat. Luis feeds a cat in an abandoned building and takes it with him when neighborhood boys are looking for it to hurt it. While searching for Millie's Luis, Raymond encounters many who wish they had the time or the opportunity to help others.

This is one of those stories that stayed with me after I finished it. Hyde inspires me to be a better person and to help others. Add this book to your TBR list and you won't be disappointed.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Other enjoyable books by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

Just After Midnight

Heaven Adjacent

Allie and Bea

The Wakeup

Say Goodbye For Now

Ask Him Why


Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming books. An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos from a Beautiful World.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages for distribution in over thirty countries. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and Jumpstart the World was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013, and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

More than fifty of her short stories have been published in the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other journals and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored by the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. Visit her at www.catherineryanhyde.com.

#haveyouseenluisvelez #netgalley


Mummy's Favourite

Mummy's Favourite by Sarah Flint. (Book 1 of 4 in DC Charlotte Stafford Series, 4 Book Series) Aria: 2016. 278 pages. ****

This is the first of four in a new British police procedural series introducing DC Charlie Stafford who works in the Community Support Unit of the Metropolitan Police in London. Drawn into this psychological thriller from the very first page, Flint describes what it feels like under the floorboards, to be buried alive. Told in alternating voices, the victim, the killer and DC Stafford, the horror becomes all too real. The killer is abused by his mother as a child; he seeks to punish mothers who favor one child over another in the family. Initially thought to be a domestic abuse situation and after being assaulted by the husband, Charlie is determined to find the missing mother and son. As more victims are reported as missing, the case takes on a grizzly new focus.

Not for the faint of heart, Flint's police career has provided almost too difficult to read descriptions of unspeakable acts. Unfortunately, they are realistic. As a huge psychological thriller fan, Flint shows great promise in this series. With a touch of British humor, Charlie has a reputation for being in the right place and an uncanny ability to catch the bad guys. There are enough twists, turns, and subplots to keep me guessing as to the perpetrator. Add this series to your "must read" list. I look forward to reading book 2, The Trophy Taker.

I received an ecopy to review.

With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah Flint has spent her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.


Never Tell

Never Tell: A Novel  by Lisa Gardner. ( A D.D. Warren and Flora Dane Novel: Book 10) New York: Dutton, 2019. 416 pages. ****  Published February 19th, 2019.

In this 10th book in the series, D.D. Warren and Flora Dane investigate an unbelievable case. Evie returns home and the first thing she notices is the silence until she realizes that she should have noticed the smell. Evie flashes back to sixteen years ago when there was a similar smell...blood...dark, viscous, and everywhere. It can't be happening again thinks Evie until she sees the gun, removes it from her husband's hand and starts shooting at his computer. D.D. finds it unbelievable that Evie is once again a suspect in a murder investigation. When Flora realizes that she recognizes Conrad, Evie's husband, the murder takes on a new significance. Flora is drawn into her past memories of her abduction and torture at the hands of Jacob Ness. Is Evie innocent and has a penchant for being in the wrong place two times and accused of murder? When three houses burn, D.D. is convinced that someone is looking for something directly related to her case. Flora is determined to help D.D. find the arsonist and identify the murderer.

Gardner writes a thriller that is very hard to put down and yet I didn't want it to end. I thoroughly enjoyed this story that pits good against evil. There are enough clues to keep me guessing even though I wasn't absolutely sure until the end.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN. For more information, check out her website. Lisa runs a contest...Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Contest

#nevertell #ddwarren


Finding Grace

Finding Grace by K. L. Slater. Bookouture, 2019. 342 pages. **** Published February 14, 2019.

Lucie has the perfect life; a husband who tells her he loves her every day, two children - a boy and a girl, best friends, and good health. Her daughter, Grace, has turned 9 and declared her independence. She begs to walk home from her best friend's house; it's not far, just at the end of the road. Lucie caves and agrees when her overbearing mother-in-law disagrees. There is a bend in the road, but Lucie's misgivings are allayed when the two fathers agree to watch Grace unobtrusively from their respective houses. As often happens, one father receives a text, looks at his phone, and the other goes back into the house after he thinks Grace is at the bend. When Grace goes missing in those few seconds, it soon becomes apparent that everyone has something to hide including Grace's best friend Olivia.

Perfect psychological thriller for Valentine's Day. Slater has written a complex tale with multiple subplots, all of which add to the horror of the situation. Every parent can relate to Lucie and Blake's self-recrimination. I love it when I can't identify the "bad" guy and predict the ending. Fast-paced, it held my interest until the very end.

I received an ecopy for a review.

K. L. Slater -- After years of trying to get published and never getting further than the slush pile, I went back to university at the age of 40 where I gained a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction. My first adult psychological thriller for Bookouture, ‘Safe with Me’,  actually started life as my dissertation on my English & Creative Writing degree in 2010. I am now a full-time writer. I have a daughter and two stepsons and live with my husband in Nottingham and Yorkshire. To learn more...https://klslaterauthor.com

#psychologicalthriller @klslaterauthor #findinggrace