5/23/17

Favorite Authors


I am often asked for book recommendations and it's so difficult to suggest a book because it depends on what I have been reading, my interests at the time, etc. I tend to like historical fiction, psychological thrillers, and mystery books.

However, there are certain authors that I will read or ask to review their latest book.


Elizabeth Berg - http://www.elizabeth-berg.net

Chris Cleave - http://chriscleave.com/about-2/

Patricia Cornwell - http://www.patriciacornwell.com

Michelle Cox - http://michellecoxauthor.com/about-michelle-cox/

Diana Galbadan - http://www.dianagabaldon.com

Khaled Hosseini - http://khaledhosseini.com

Sue Monk Kidd - http://suemonkkidd.com

Anne Lamott - https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott/

Kate Morton - https://katemorton.com

B. A. Paris - http://www.darleyanderson.com/authors/b-a-paris

Anne Perry - http://www.anneperry.co.uk/miscellany/title-list/

Jodi Picoult - http://www.jodipicoult.com

Kris Radish - http://www.krisradish.com

Lisa Scottoline - https://scottoline.com

Lisa See - http://www.lisasee.com


Some books that I consider must-reads:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

#favoriteauthors #bestbooks




The Break Down


The Break Down by B.A. Paris. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2017. 328 pages. *****

Even though she promised her husband that she wouldn't, Cass takes a shortcut through the woods and sees a car stopped by the side of the road. Should she stop and offer help? Is it a ruse to harm Cass? There is a woman in the car and what if her car won't work? Guiltily, Cass decides to continue on home and not tell anyone what she saw. She is shocked to learn the next morning that a woman was found murdered on that stretch of road. Cass is so distraught and distracted that she begins to be forgetful and frightened when she receives phone calls and the person won't speak. Her husband humors her about her memory loss, but Cass is also haunted by the fact that her mother had dementia. What if the murderer saw her, what if she is losing her mind? The pills prescribed by the doctor make her drowsy and sleepy, to the point that she misses appointments and her friends become concerned for her welfare.

B.A. Paris is a master at building tension and setting the stage. Once started, I didn't want to stop reading. Having read her first book, I knew there was going to be a twist and something unexpected in the plot. While I deduced who the murderer was there were enough surprises that I wasn't disappointed. If you enjoyed Behind Closed Doors and like psychological thrillers, you will enjoy this one.

I received a copy for a review.

B.A. Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. @BAParisAuthor.

#whocanyoutrust #thebreakdown

The Story of Arthur Truluv



The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. New York: Random House, 2017. 130 pages. ***** Available August 2017.

Arthur Moses climbs the steps of a bus every day with a packed lunch and a fold up chair to have lunch with his deceased wife, Nola.  Arthur is eighty-five years old and hopes to live to be one hundred. Since he started going to the cemetery, a part of a person's life story reaches Arthur as he passes the tombstone. It doesn't happen for everyone, just a few, but somehow he knows that what he sees is true about the person buried there. It is at the cemetery that Arthur sees Maddy for the first time and wonders why she isn't in school. He's not sure of her age, fourteen or fifteen, dressed in a t-shirt, ripped jeans with spiky black hair, she looks ready to run when she realizes he has noticed her. Maddy often visits the cemetery to take pictures and hang out until school is over for the day. When Maddy inevitably meets Arthur and hears his story, she nicknames him Arthur Truluv because of his love for Nola. Maddy is bullied at school and has no friends so Arthur is happy to take her under his wing. Arthur's next door neighbor, Lucille, is lonely, loves to bake, and invite Arthur to keep her company. All three bond by their loss, love, and need for understanding and friendship.

Elizabeth Berg's books resonate with people of all ages. She often writes abut circumstances that alter one's chosen path and unexpected possibilities that offer something better in life. She has insight that few share and can express. Berg made me laugh, cry, and wish for more. Her unassuming characters form a friendship that when it exists, it's to be treasured and valued. In the Acknowledgements, Berg writes about sending the manuscript to a friend with the hope that she "gets" it. I got it, loved it and will recommend it to friends.

I received an ecopy for review.

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many best novels, including Open House, Talk Before Sleep, and the Year of the Pleasures, as well as the short story collectionThe Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. To learn more visit elizabeth-berg.net or Facebook.com/bergbooks




4/26/17

The Perfect Stranger


The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. 267 pages. ****

When ex-college roommate Emmy suggests that she and Leah start over in a small town in Pennsylvania, Leah jumps at the chance. Leah has burned her bridges in Boston as a journalist when an article she has written puts her career and the newspaper in jeopardy. When Emmy disappears and a local woman is attacked, Leah's boring life as a teacher comes under scrutiny. Does Emmy even exist and what proof does Leah have that someone is stalking her? Sleeping with the detective on the case is probably another bad decision, but Leah is determined to convince him that she is the victim and not the liar that he suspects she is.

I received an ecopy for review.

I loved the book, All the Missing Girls, and couldn't wait until this new book was released. I started it and was immediately drawn in and couldn't stop thinking about it and wonder where the story would take me. I had some initial insights and thought I had figured it out. I was so wrong and I didn't guess the outcome. My only hesitation in reviewing this book is that the story seemed to fizzle out for me. Initially, I couldn't put it down and then it seemed to lose its momentum. Towards the end, as she is wrapping up the mystery, I am "what?" Maybe it is me, but I am disappointed.

Megan Miranda is the author of several books for young adults, including Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, and Soulprint. She grew up in New Jersey, attended MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Her novels for adults include All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter, or visit MeganMiranda.com.

#allthemissinggirls #psychologicalthriller


4/20/17

Every Last Lie


Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica. Park Row Books, 2017. 336 pages. Publication June 27, 2017. *****


When her husband Nick calls to ask what he should pick up for dinner, Chinese or Mexican? Clara Solberg has no idea that her world is about to shatter when her husband and their four-year-old daughter Maisie are in a car crash, killing Nick.  The crash is ruled an accident, Nick has a reputation for speeding when Maisie starts having nightmares suggesting that someone else was at the scene of the accident. Clara questions the original findings and is determined to find out what really happened to Nick. Clara soon discovers that Nick has been secretive and less than honest with her and his best friend. Who is Kat and what does she mean to Nick? Clara must come to terms with the truth and help Maisie accept her father's absence. 

Told in the alternating voices of Clara and Nick, Kubica weaves a suspenseful tale of love, deceit, and betrayal. I have read all of her books and always eagerly await the next one. I requested to review it based on Kubica as the author. I love psychological thrillers and enjoyed reading this one. There are enough unexpected events to keep me interested and guessing as to what Maisie witnessed and what really happened to Nick.

I received a copy from NetGalley for a review. 

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.  Her first novel THE GOOD GIRL was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014. 

Visit Mary at http://www.marykubica.com

#everylastlie #suspense #psychological thriller

4/9/17

Quilt Retreat March 2017


Quilt Retreat, don't know what to take? Checkout my Quilt Retreat Checklist!



No matter how hard I try to cut back on what I take with me to Retreat, the "what if I need it?" mentality kicks in. My sister and I did share some tools; a cutting mat and rulers, iron and ironing surface. My pillow is an absolute must have!



 My sister and I had a very nice room, two queen size beds, and a huge bathroom. I always bring my own quilt and pillow, sometimes I coordinate with the season or just bring my Betty Boop Quilt.













The View from the room through the window. 
Blackrock Retreat Center is in a wooded area
 and is so peaceful.

Our rooms are located in the Main Building and couldn't be nicer!

 

The Main area has two working fireplaces, comfortable chairs, puzzles, and chess.






The Dining Hall has tables reserved for our group:  it is clean and inviting.











The food is served buffet style with salads, fresh fruit, entree, and vegetables. Dessert is always yummy and there is coffee, tea, lemonade, water available 24/7. Picnic Tables and a grill are on an outside deck.
 
Our sewing room was very spacious, we each had our own table with extra tables for cutting stations and snacks!

A few of the projects I worked on...


A mug rug for a friend from Cheryl Lynch's Philly Love pattern. I shrunk it 50% to make it a mug rug size.



I am participating in Pat Sloan's Summer Solstice Challenge!



I took a class last month with Erin Underwood at the Blue Hen Quilt Shop. Erin is a fantastic teacher and I love these "Fantastic Flying Geese!"


I also did a demo on making Easy Nine Patch Blocks based on Barb Vedder's method. My Quilt Guild is doing a nine patch block swap in July.

My Sister and I had a great time!


There were many fun activities planned:

  • Scavenger Hunt - who thought quilters could be so competitive?
  • Mystery Table Runner
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Demos
  • Door Prizes
  • Guess my Secret Game
There were many laughs and it definitely was a fun weekend!

#quiltretreat #summersolsticechallenge #phillylove #quiltretreatchecklist 












3/29/17

One Perfect Lie





One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2017. 355 pp. *****+

Chris Brennan is applying for a job as a Central Valley high school government teacher and as an assistant baseball coach. He's the first to admit that his impeccable resume, references,  and background is false. He has studied the curriculum, googled the staff members, researched the principal and the town. Central Valley is a small town in south-central Pennsylvania. One surprise, once he is hired, is that a staff member from Wyoming and wants to bond over fond memories of where they both grew up. Chris is on a mission and is looking for a particular high school student, a fatherless boy, a loner, and one who is easily manipulated. Befriending the boys on the baseball team is easier than he expected; getting to know their families reveals secrets of betrayal, fraud, sexting, and manipulation. The apparent suicide by one of the teachers raises questions as to what is really going on in the high school and town. Who is the aggressor and who is the victim?

Scottoline takes us on a wild ride in this psychological thriller. No one is who they seem to be and yet all of the characters are likable and relatable. I loved that she kept me guessing and I wanted to get to the answers but didn't want the book to end. The fact that she is a local author and some of the action takes place in the Philadelphia suburbs and many of her landmarks are identifiable adds to the reality of the story. However, it could take place at any suburban high school because Scottoline accurately portrays a high school environment. Scottoline is a master at creating scenes and this novel could easily be made into an action packed film. I loved this book from the beginning until the end.

I received a copy for review. Full disclosure...I am a huge Scottoline fan! It will be published on April 11th, add it to your "Must Read Book" list.

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.


#oneperfectlie #highschoolthriller #thriller