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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400-500 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 

 

 

 

Burntown

Burntown - Jennifer McMahon

By: Jennifer McMahon 

ISBN: 9780385541367

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

From the author of The Night Sister and The Winter People comes — BURNTOWN. Where do you even begin trying to describe a book like this? It is one of a kind.

From eccentric, colorful, to quirky, and wacky . . . a cast of misfits. Mix in a crime, a murder, a family’s past, a stolen invention, mystery, suspense, and crossing heavily into the mystical, supernatural and paranormal world.

Jennifer McMahon takes readers on a wild, crazy ride with BURNTOWN —meeting every character and scene imaginable. My head is still spinning.

As the book starts out it grabbed me immediately. A great set up. However, shortly thereafter when all the crazy things begin, I knew this book was not for me; however, continued to read to discover how it would unfold. However, I found myself skipping over many parts.

The book is broken into parts: Before: Miles. Then After, alternating between Necco, Theo, Pru, and Fred. Then one year later with Necco.

Set in Braxton, Vermont, It is 1975 and Miles Sandeski a ten- year- old boy who has a creative mind and love to play Robin Hood is spying on his mom, Elizabeth Sandeski outdoors while she is in their backyard.

She seems to be more adventurous, and mysterious; dancing with her brass elephant charm bracelet. She is beautiful. Miles thinks of her as a Goddesses, like Aphrodite. She looks like a movie star. He does not like for her to smoke since it is bad for her, so he played a little trick with her cigarettes.

However, as she is smoking, lying in the sun. The unexpected happens. Some person comes from the shadows, in a circus mask like a rubber chicken from nowhere. He comes up behind her and draws a blade across her throat. Miles is stunned and has no clue what is happening.

Miles uses his bow and arrow and hits him. Then all of a sudden he is afraid the man will come after him. Until his experiment pops and scares the man off.

Soon the town is rattled by a murder- suicide. After Elizabeth was slain in the backyard of the family home, with Miles as witness, he goes to the neighbor and police was called. But the bloodstained clothing, a rubber chicken mask, and a kitchen knife were found in the trunk of the family car. An arrest was made for Mr. Sandeski.

Martin Sandeski ran an appliance and repair service company and was in a jazz band, Three Bags Full. Miles knew it was not his father who was the chicken man. His father is the man he loved and taught him so much. Appears Martin had told several of his friends, he believed his wife was having an affair. Shortly thereafter, Martin took his own life, hours after his arrest. He hung himself while in police custody.

They did not find the killer, and Miles goes and lives with his aunt. However, his dad left him a letter explaining where to find the plans he has hidden. As a boy, he spoke of these plans from Thomas Edison.

He was not to share this with his Aunt Holly or anyone. He was passing down some special plans. His grandfather worked for Thomas Edison at his factory and plans were stolen. He told them where they were hidden. His dad left him instructions and plans to hold on to them and one day the Edison machine would change their lives, and possibly the entire world. A way to communicate with the dead?

Then he meets Lily. Her mother had died and her dad drank. Her brother Lloyd became close to Miles. She tells Miles she is gifted as well as her brother. She can see things.

Later they marry and have two a daughter— Eva. Soon this boy, Errol joins the family. Miles continues to carry this little charm elephant from his mom. Who had given it to her? Also, what had the killer whispered to her that last day that had made her smile?

He knows she should let it go, but he can’t. He needs to find the man who killed his mother. What if the dead could speak? What if he built the machine and it actually worked? He could find the answers. Miles became a professor. He was successful and talented.

Then there is the word of flood warnings. The chicken mask. The Chicken Man is dead because he killed him, didn't he? He decides to destroy everything in the workshop, even the machine. He had the plans to rebuild somewhere safe. From here we go to After. From here on out, the book completely changes.

Necco (Eva) has changed her name. Miles and Errol, dead from the flood. Lily and Eva (now Necco) are living as vagrants. From homeless to a camp with a group of women. Not the typical sleepy New England college town for the dark residents who live among the remains of its abandoned mills and factories, it’s known as “Burntown.”

After the mother dies, Necco is running and being chased by an evil man called “Snake Eyes or Chicken Man”. He goes by many names. A bad man is looking for them, her mom says. A walking shadow, a black hole man. He has such power, he can do things, like fly. He can spy on you in our dreams. The Kind of Liars.

He was the one responsible for the Great Flood and all the terrible things. Even responsible for what happened to their grandparents, and Miles and Errol. He meant to drown them too. He is ever vigilant. He is sneaky. He can change his appearance from a businessman to a biker.

Was her mother trying to blame a mythical monster for all the bad things that had happened to them?

Necco has no memories of the flood. The very event that caused them to live on the streets. Under the bridge where the women did the snuff, saw visions, ate fire. Burntown. All this had broken her mother. The world was changing she said. One day he would find them. Her visions.

“ . . . the truth isn’t something you want to look in the face. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing.”

A girl fleeing a drug dealer, a fat woman, the circus, elephant, the strongman, birds, a doll, a ghost from her past, plus much more. . .

“The things that scare us the most, the things we think might hurt us . . . they’re the things that make us whole.”

The author mentions she worked years ago at a homeless shelter in Portland, Oregon and assume this is where she received her inspiration for the different stereotypes of homelessness and their stories.

Was disappointed Cassandra Campbell (my favorite narrator), was not narrating Burntown, as in McMahon past audiobooks. (Abby Craden) for this one. However, not sure I would be up to re-read (listen) to this one again anyway.

I am not a fan of supernatural, or paranormal. I do not mind a little magical realism sprinkled with some mystery and suspense; however, this was more than a little and "over the top." For those who enjoy this sort of thing may find entertaining. Not to say McMahon is not a skilled and talented writer. This one was just not for me.

A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/Burntown

Beartown

Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

By: Fredrik Backman 

ISBN: 978-1501160769

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 4/25/2017

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

This author has a knack for "Best Books To Tug At Your Heart Strings."

Talented storyteller, Fredrick Backman returns following the novella (2016), And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: (A small book with a BIG message ), with his latest powerful story, BEARTOWN — A Swedish dying hockey town. A town of stories. A town of secrets.

High-expectations. Burdens. Pressures. A town which relies on the sport and its youth to pull them through. Some people have the "bear" in them.

Beartown isn’t close to anything. The town is losing. It has been a very long time since it won at anything. The town slogan, “Beartown Leaves You Wanting More.” The wind, snow, and weather have since wiped out the word “more.”

The ice hockey stands are packed every weekend, even though the team’s achievements have collapsed in line with the town’s economy. A small town with big dreams. A community. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden to carry, for all concerned.

There are also those from the Hollow. Those less fortunate. How do those from different social classes stack up?

“Hockey is both complicated and not complicated at all. It can be hard to understand the rules, challenging to live with the culture, as good as impossible to get all the people who love it not to pull so hard in different directions that it breaks . . . “

This is why everyone hopes that when the team’s fortune improves, the rest of the town will get pulled up along with it. Their motto has been: "Word hard, take the knocks, don’t complain, keep your mouth shut, and show the bastards in the big cities where they are from."

Once upon a time, Beartown Ice Hockey’s A-team was one step above the juniors and second best in the top division in the country. That was more than two decades and three divisions ago, and now Beartown will go up against the best once again. A win means something for the town’s economy. Survival.

“The sport demands only one thing from you. Your all.“

Maya hates hockey but understands her father (Peter)’s love for it. Peter had made it all the way to Canada and the NHL, matching up against the best in the world. He had come home to take over the team. Peter and his wife, Kira (attorney) have their own grief from the past. Does family mean more than sports, a town, a community's survival?

When the star player on the hockey team, whom everyone looks up to is accused of rape, the town is devastated. The guy on the pedestal. Who would dare take him down?

"It’s only a game. It can only change people’s lives. "

A hidden crime. One that could change lives. There are secrets and lies among friends, family, teens, husbands, and wives.

Backman reaches down into the soul and hearts of his characters and the human psyche. He takes his flawed characters to the dark places and brings hope. They become heroes. As with all his books, readers will find themselves bookmarking many passages, with this bold story of friendship and family bonds; ultimately one of redemption. Rich in character and the true meaning of family.

From loyalty, betrayal, and courage.

Backman's writing is lyrical, poignant, and thought-provoking. Highly emotional and insightful; part coming-of-age and a cautionary tale for both parents and teens; the consequences of carrying other’s dreams on our shoulders.

 



Have read all his books and highly recommend each one.
A Man Called Ove
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Britt-Marie Was Here
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

 

Best Novella of 2016

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (always love his quirky covers). Also purchased the audiobook.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

PRAISE FOR BEARTOWN

“Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it's part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction. A thoroughly empathetic examination of the fragile human spirit, Backman's latest will resonate a long time.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Lest readers think hockey is the star here, it’s Backman’s rich characters that steal the show, and his deft handling of tragedy and its effects on an insular town. While the story is dark at times, love, sacrifice, and the bonds of friendship and family shine through ultimately offering hope and even redemption.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“The sentimentally savvy Backman takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town and young people.”
Booklist

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages.

 

He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.  Read More 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Beartown

One Good Thing

One Good Thing (Ten Beach Road Novel) - Wendy Wax
Ten Beach Road Novel #5
ISBN:  978-0451488619
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication Date:  4/25/2017
Format: Other
My Rating:  4.5 Stars 

 

Southern storyteller, Wendy Wax returns following Sunshine Beach #4 Top Book of 2016 with my favorite summer series ONE GOOD THING (#5 Ten Beach Road). We continue the journey with the gals, each at a crossroad both personally and professionally, with critical decisions to be made.

A tale of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives. Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…

From friendships, humor, loyalty, and self-discovery — each of the characters is looking for “one good thing” to be thankful for their nightly gathering discussion. However, with everything going on and so many unsettled issues, often they find it hard to think of the good, versus the bad happenings.

This time around, Maddie, Kyra, Avery, and Niki receive a surprise visit from their former investor/sponsor and friend, Bitsy Baynard (Palm Beach matron).

Unfortunately, her husband decides to take all his wealthy wife’s money and makes off with a younger woman, leaving her penniless and homeless. Bitsy is too proud to tell the gals what is going on in her perfect life and shows up looking for a place to stay with her dog.

Bitsy assumes she can have the money back she invested in the project, which of course is still tied up. Her pampered rich lifestyle is no longer and she is forced to move into the small one bedroom Sunshine Hotel cottage, which is quite small since meant to be a vacation cottage, not for year-round living, especially someone like Bitsy.

 




She had an Ivy League education and has volunteered to coordinate galas and events over the years and she knew how to hire help. However, she has no marketable job skills. At her age, was going to be hard to start over with nothing.

All the characters’ lives are up in the air. They are unsure what is going on with the TV show, and at the same time, they need to sell off the last real estate design project/real estate to pay their debts and not risk losing Bella Flora.

Madeline Singer and William Hightower (age 62) are back. William is on the road with his music career and wants Madeline to come along as they continue their relationship. However, she has her own life even though it is difficult to spend time apart.

However, she worries about him out of the road without her and all the women and his addiction; and having to communicate with his new assistant. They are trying to grab any time they can to be together. (love this couple)

They all had suffered from the Malcolm Dyer’s Ponzi scheme; however, they had become stronger and bonded when they started over with their TV show, Do Over. Rebuilding their lives. However, life has its ups and down.

The ladies had recently renovated the Sunshine Hotel and hoped would be their own version of Do Over. They had quit the network publicly and they were being sued for breach of contract and claiming that the name Do Over does not belong to them.

 



Kyra has put up the house as collateral to have money for their projects until the cottages sold/and the show they had filmed. Daniel, her celebrity husband gave her the house to live in with her mom and dad and son, Dustin. She has kept this as a secret until things worked out. Plus he wants to turn Dustin into a Hollywood star.

Their only real hope of income was finishing and selling the documentary of their renovation of the midcentury Sunshine Hotel, featuring the reopened investigation into the mysterious death and disappearance that had taken place there. They were all under a lot of pressure, which did not make for a whole lot of creative thinking.

Nikki is pregnant with twins and is miserable with her hormones, weight gain, and the summer heat. Joe (FBI) and Nikki have moved in together in one of the new cottages at the Sunshine Hotel. However, he and his family are pressuring her to get married before the babies are born. After the problems with her brother, she is unsure of her capability of being the perfect wife and mother.

Avery is dealing with her boyfriend, Chase’s teenage son’s drinking problems, and his erratic behavior. Maddie’s ex-husband Steve is still hanging around; however, has his real estate license now, and trying to help sell the cottages.

However, the gals will need to pull together and utilize all their creative skills in order to survive the storms and surprises of life. They each must be strong and be able to always come up with a least One Good Thing!

PS This series reminds me a little of Schitt's Creek which I love, and cannot wait for Season 4! (watched every episode). Both are about having it all, losing it, and starting over in an entirely different direction. Humorous and heartwarming.

Love these ladies. This time around the gals have more challenges than usual and have not moved on to a new exciting project yet, dealing with things left over from the last book.

Even though this installment did not offer the same excitement as the others, I enjoyed it and again found Maddie to be my favorite character. However, also nice to see Bitsy realize her worth when having to do without money. A good example of the resilience of women when faced with challenges of life, mixed with humor.

My #OneGoodThing is being able to live in South Florida overlooking the water; work from home office in a T-shirt, leggings, and flip flops!

Highly recommend this talented Atlanta Southern Author and all the books in the series. A perfect beach read. As always love the Florida coastal setting and familiar places. Looking forward to seeing what is coming next for these four ladies!

 



Ten Beach Road #1
Ocean Beach #2
Christmas at the Beach #2.5
The House on Mermaid Point #3
Sunshine Beach #4

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (cover love)!

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/One-Good-Thing

Slightly South of Simple

Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (The Peachtree Bluff Series) - Kristy Woodson Harvey

By: Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Peachtree Bluff Series #1

ISBN:1501158058
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Top Books of 2017 

 

Talented Southern storyteller, Kristy Woodson Harvey returns following her debut Dear Carolina and her strong follow-up, Lies and Other Acts of Love landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with the first of a new series, Peachtree Bluff: (Top Books of 2017) SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE — a mother and her three grown daughters are all at a crossroad in their lives, and each has choices to make.

Compelling, emotional, full of humor, infused with love, life, tears, and joy with a little romance sprinkled in and some scandalous family secrets! A poignant and heartwarming story of three daughters and their mother determined to help them rediscover their southern roots and family bonds.

Matriarch (mother), Ansley Murphy has made a simple life for herself in the small harbor town of Peachtree Bluff, GA. Her grandmother left her the beautiful and spacious coastal large clapboard home with a guesthouse.

Her husband Carter was killed seventeen years earlier in the 9/11 tragedy, and she has carved out a nice life for herself with a successful waterfront design business. Her own mother lives in Florida. She also has an annoying neighbor next door, Mr. Solomon, with some great local friends and clients.

Ansley has some secrets about her husband. Others about herself. Things the girls do not know. She has put her family first all these years. Will her time finally arrive at long last?

An attractive woman, age fifty-eight, she works out and stays in shape. She does not date and pretty much has thrown herself into her business, her grown daughters (when they allow) and grandchildren. It was difficult being a mother of grown children. They are strong willed and have a mind of their own.

However, living alone with her normal routine will soon change. She may get more than she bargained for. Three grown daughters return to move in with her and soon to be four grandchildren. Man, do they have different personalities!

Caroline was her least favorite daughter, even though she loves her, she could be difficult at times. She even named her interior design shop: Sloane Emerson (after her two younger daughters), since Caroline wanted no part of it, referring to it even today as a camper-trailer design business. She had said if she named the store after her she would die. No one lives up to Caroline’s standards.

Eldest: Caroline, a New Yorker thinks of this small Southern town as hick-hellhole. However, now she may have no choice but to return to the place she tried hard to escape. When she married James (14yrs), she thought they had in all, until she was six months pregnant with her second child and he informs her he is in love with his twenty-one-year-old supermodel, Edie Fitzgerald.

So she decides to take a short sabbatical with her eleven-year-old daughter Vivi and head to Peachtree. Maybe she can take over the guesthouse. She is very picky, high maintenance, and does not like germs. She worries about what others think and say. Only the best of fashion and ultimate fitness will do.

Sloane, the middle child was the selfless one. Of course, she was laid back and could care less about germs or any of the things which mattered to Caroline. She is the timid one, married a local boy had her family and remained in the area. Her military husband is overseas so she decides to crash at the house as well to spend time with her sisters.

Emerson is a successful film star. She is thin, eats healthy and stars in a movie shooting in the Georgia town, so decides to stay at the house to spend time with her sisters and mom.

 



With all the emotions running high of three different personalities of grown daughters, sisters bickering, grandchildren and an old boyfriend back in town, Ansley has her hands full. In the midst of it all, Ansley fears the secret (s) will come out. Those she has harbored for years to protect everyone.

After Ansley’s pain from losing Carter, and sometimes her daughters hating her (like most girls), hiding Carter’s secrets, and hiding her own. She just could never imagine starting over with anyone new. No one else could possibly understand her life.

Jack was Ansley’s first love. However, back then they decided to go their separate ways because he did not care about having a family. This was important to Ansley. Now, Ansley is shocked to learn Jack is here in Peachtree Bluff and wants her to redo the design for his boat. He has made his money and can travel.

Everyone knows she is the best yacht designer this side of the Mason-Dixon. She cannot let this happen, especially now since her girls were coming home. Is he a threat to her safe family world? Why?

However, as the complexities of these sisters get tense, the family come together, the girls find they want their mom to be happy, and at the same time, they all may just learn something from one another. They may figure it out together. Peachtree Bluff is a town of hidden truths and stolen moments and a family who loves one another. A time of discovery for all of the women.

Crossing generations, Harvey always brings out some dark family secrets which have been securely buried. A poignant journey of healing, bonding, forgiveness, and redemption. Things, people, and places which shape our lives.

Kristy once again delivers a charming Southern story of family, sisters, relationships, motherhood and reinvention. As you are reading you will relate to certain characters. My favorite was Ansley. Such a strong woman and continued to root for her. Hoping she would find some happiness.

She is protecting herself from something she didn’t need to be protected from. She was protecting her daughters from a threat that wasn’t really a threat at all. But she is opening her heart. One that had been closed for so long.

Character-driven, the author has made her way quickly to the top of my favorite author list and one of the best Southern contemporary storytellers of today. (Highly recommend all three books).

As a native NC /GA gal myself, so refreshing to discover an author who breathes life into each of her characters, while transporting you to the beautiful coastal areas of the Southeast we love. She writes about strong women and the challenges of life, both personally and professionally.

From her first debut, I fell in love with the author's richly textured, authentic heartwarming style. You can come to expect strong family bonds, romance, secrets, plus someone will be a little wiser after the journey. If you have not read this author, get busy. SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE should be at the top of your beach bag! Summer doesn't begin without a Kristy book.

Yay! I hear from an online interview we can expect more from these characters with #2 Peachtree Bluff THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM, featuring the middle sister, Sloane and of course more from Ansley and Grammy.

I will be anxiously awaiting. Cannot wait to see what is in store next for the Murphy women! More Ansley/Jack, please!

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/04/Slightly-South-of-Simple

Gone Without a Trace

Gone Without a Trace - Mary Torjussen

By: Mary Torjussen 

ISBN: 9780399585012

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 3 Stars

 
US Blog Tour Host April 18

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen is a twisty suspense of domestic suspense. When things are not always as they seem. Dark secrets are revealed, a learned behavior with a role reversal in play.

Hannah, age thirty-two is all about appearances. Material possessions, status, and seeking her dad’s approval. Underneath, she is insecure. She is a grown woman and has managed to gain a position as a senior manager for a large accounting firm. She knows her dad would be proud.

She has been away at a training conference in Liverpool and on her 200-mile drive home to her live-in boyfriend, Matt to celebrate. However, when she arrives at home with the champagne, Matt is not home, nor any of his belongings. He has stripped everything in their house of his. Her things are still there in the same place.

At first, she thinks it is a burglar; however, the more she investigates, she realizes some of the more expensive stuff is still there. Things she brought into the relationship.

Everything has been removed erasing all existence of Matt. Including emails, phone numbers, social media, photos, etc. She cannot understand why he left without even a note and she is not able to get in touch with him. Hannah unravels with a capital U.

We learn early on Hannah is an unreliable narrator. You know there is something else going on. Is she blocking out something or events leading up to the time she left for her trip? Delusional?

She recruits her childhood friend Katie and boyfriend James and we soon learn these two have a past. Katie and Hannah are always trying out do one another. Plus then she begins receiving texts and strange things occurring. Is someone playing with her, or is she just plain nuts? Move on. He clearly wants away from you.

Hannah, was maddening! No likable characters here unless it was possibly the mom, which did not a strong voice in the novel. An overbearing controlling dad. She soon loses her career-obsessed with her personal life. She is disturbing.

Even though I had high hopes, here is my take: The first 10% was a great set up. It pulled me in. The next 70% was an obsessive Hannah and crazy friend Katie (could have done without all of this). This could have been covered in one simple chapter. It just went on and on. . .

She actually drove me nuts. I was ready to push her out my 15th-floor apartment window. This girl with a so-called career is now a total mess and narcissistic (she possesses all the signs). Ready to give up on the book numerous times and finally just skipped over all this drama, otherwise would have been a DNF. I knew then I did not like this gal. Very self-absorbed. Do not blame the poor guy for leaving.

Nothing changed until we get to the 80% point (I actually looked down) to see where the action actually started. At this point, hooked again. Of course, the very end, not crazy about though. Basically, if you retain the 30% which was good, then remove all the middle drama, and possibly replace those parts with a dual timeline (Hannah’s childhood) POV.

What I would love to have seen: A POV from Hannah’s mom, would have been interesting. Possibly Hannah’s dad, even Hannah’s POV as a child; then switch to Matt POV or James. Possibly some from Hannah in the present (not all Hannah).

I think the different perspectives and dual timeline would have enhanced the overall book and still deliver a nice domestic suspense thriller. As well, as bringing in some good research and facts about domestic abuse and violence in the home, and how this affects children through adulthood, as well as the male/female role reversal.

Mild spoilers here: Especially the learned behavior and the woman being the abuser versus the man. It is not serving our society well to downplay the fact female violence can also be lethal, towards men and towards children: women account for more than half of all murders of children. Most family violence is two-way aggression as well. Given the shame and stigma associated with being a male victim of family violence, it is not surprising that men downplay these experiences in victim surveys. Sure, there are more than we are aware of.

Children witnessing any form of family violence, including couple violence, suffer high rates of mental health problems and the children are more likely to be violent themselves.

As we have discovered through the hit series Big Little Lies, how domestic violence trickles down through our children with bullying and other fatal events in our schools. This would have been a great opportunity to play in the male versus female reversal role, and show both sides. Of course, I did not care for the book, Big Little Lies, either, however, loved the TV series!

Not to take anything away from the author, she is very talented; however, I would have loved this one to take a different route. GONE WITHOUT A TRACE is one which will receive a wide range of reviews due to the way the story plays out, as indicated.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/Gone-Without-a-Trace

The Weight of This World

The Weight of This World - David Joy

By: David Joy

ISBN: 9780399173110

Publisher: Penguin/Putnam

Publication Date: 3/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Talented storyteller, David Joy returns following his outstanding debut, Where All the Light Tends to Go to rural North Carolina mountains of Appalachia with another dark, gritty Southern noir THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD. From flawed and tortured souls, in search of light within the darkness.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

In Sylva, NC Aiden McCall, at the young age of twelve, witnessed his dad murder his mother, then turn the gun on himself. A sight which would haunt him for the rest of his life. His worst fear was becoming his father one day.

Growing up in a group home he only had one friend, Thad Broom. Thad had his own past. Aiden had always believed that as time moved on the world would open up, that life would get easier rather than harder.

Hard led to harder. Life had a way of wearing a man down into nothing. The older he got the more complicated the world had become.

With enough money and a fresh start, Aiden and Thad could set things right. However, the housing bubble burst and jobs dried up. Thad was on deployment in Afghanistan when the construction business went to pot.

Those years Thad got to leave Aiden was jealous. But when Thad came back, Aiden was not sure who had it better or worse. If they could only leave the mountains. Aiden thought somewhere like Asheville, Hendersonville, or Atlanta for a fresh start. An opportunity for a better life.

April Trantham, Thad’s mother, had her own problems and past, starting from a young age. When the boys were in high school April inherited six acres and an old run down house and a single wide from the old man George had cancer.

April and Aiden find comfort in one another while Thad is away. Thad returns after a traumatic tour of duty in Afghanistan he is never the same, more damaged than when he left. The three of them want to escape their traumas; however, the weight of the world is heavy around them, and they cannot seem to escape.

. . . “There were so many horrible things they had buried inside themselves, all of the memories that had come to govern their lives. He found himself wishing that he could have been the one to bear it all. He wished that he could have taken all of the bad in this world and piled it onto himself so that he would have been the one to ever know that kind of suffering.”



From drugs, hatred, murder, crime and violence. Thad and Aiden’s drug dealer accidentally kills himself, leaving the two young men with drugs and cash; however, they cannot seem to pull themselves from the darkness. A drug- deal gone, bad.

. . . “Things weren’t okay. Everything wasn’t going to be all right. The world was entirely broken,”

Thad soon realizes that dying was a one-way ticket to judgment and it made no difference whether it came now or years down the road. He would be judged on his way to find redemption.

A mother who had not fully given herself to motherhood and her son, due to her own demons of pain and her innocence stolen. Aiden, trying to forget his haunted past. Did some people deserve to die? People had choices. These three may have more in common than they know.

As in his first book, David Joy skillfully balances the all-consuming brutality and darkness of his characters with the lyrical beauty of his writing. He captures the emotions, the setting, the culture; from crimes, dysfunction, hatred and poison, and struggles of the wounded human spirit, often with limited choices and repeating their own environment.

Told with compassion, from sadness to hope. Fans of gritty Southern noirs/literature and authors Ron Rash, Wiley Cash and John Hart will appreciate this skillfully written tale.

A special thank you to Penguin Putman and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (Also purchased audiobook)

JDCMustReadBooks

David Joy's books are always meant to be read, pondered, and listened to. MacLeod Andrews is a perfect narrator for THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD, as he was for Where All Light Tends to Go. Both 5 Stars.

A great Q&A with the Author: Smoky Mountain News
The weight of desire: David Joy releases second book

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-Weight-of-This-World

The Secret Room

The Secret Room (A Zoe Goldman novel) - Sandra Block

By:  Sandra Block 

Zoe Goldman #3

ISBN: 9781455570201

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  4 Stars

 

Sandra Block returns following: The Girl Without a Name and Little Black Lies, with her latest Zoe Goldman installment THE SECRET ROOM Psychologically rich full of intrigue, suspense, chills, twists, and action.

From strong imaginations, darkness, metaphors, comics, dual personalities, magic pills, obsessions, a secret room, to depersonalization. When a patient thinks they are not real, somehow like fake humans in this world.

In Little Black Lies, we met Dr. Zoe Goldman, a Yale graduate, and a psychiatry resident at a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, where she suffers from ADHD, with a number of personal issues. She likes repairing her patients, while on probation, and continuing to struggle with the control, of her own thoughts.

Zoe was haunted by her past and discovered dark secrets and lies behind her biological mother’s death, while her adoptive mother suffered from dementia. Her last patient was connected with her past and she is still struggling with the aftermath.

In The Girl Without A Name a Jane Doe shows up at the hospital. An African American girl approximately thirteen years of age; no past, no name, no history—landing at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY. Zoe becomes immersed in this patient and her life. A world of fear, identity, and facades.

Presently with THE SECRET ROOM, this is Zoe’s first year as a psychiatrist in a prison facility. Forensic psychiatry fellowship. A local correctional facility where Zoe is still learning the ropes while watching her back to avoid some dangerous prisoners.

Of course, as usual, there are plenty of mentally disturbing and dangerous prisoners. From narcissistic and sociopathic behaviors, delusions, hallucinations, schizophrenia, cutting, personality disorders – fighting their devils and demons. (Plus more)

The Secret Room

“Wake up. Eat breakfast. Kill time. Eat Lunch. Kill time. Eat dinner. Kill time. Lights out. Repeat. That was my life. That would be my life, for years, too many years to come. Until I met you, Professor, and everything changed. And I knew that I could never go back to my life before you, that half a life, that living death. Never. And I would do anything it took to keep you. Anything. Even kill for you.”



Zoe’s patients are dying. While some are suicides and others possible accidents. Someone is texting and tormenting her. Is Dr. Zoe Goldman an angel of death-intentionally helping hopeless cases go to a "better place" or she is -being set up while targeting her patients?

Who is manipulating her patients? When it does not take much to push these mentally disturbed patients over the edge.

The mysterious woman in the secret room. Sprinkled throughout we hear weird X-rated thoughts and happenings about a Professor. An unhealthy obsession with her teacher.

Then there is the teenage patient, Andre who thinks his father is the devil. However, was his diagnosis correct? Why was he a different person before?

In the middle of everything, Zoe has been requested to start a research project on a new behavior technique and the Doctor wants her first patient to be her biological sister, Sofia.

Zoe’s birth mother died. She was adopted when she was three years old and Sofia was fourteen (killed their mother). Zoe had completely blocked it out from her memory. The adoptive mother tried to hide the truth from her.

Her sister was an ex-patient who also stabbed her in the neck. (Zoe is surrounded by dysfunction and drama). Has her sister really changed? Can a psychopath really ever change? Can she possibly help Zoe this time around?

Jack, their brother lost his eye when she stabbed him, who was left to fend for himself in a slew of foster homes until he found heroin and religion. (more about him here as well).

Clever plotting and extensive medical knowledge allow the author to control the story, full of suspense and enough edge to keep you glued to the pages. (with a nice balance of personal life from Zoe).

As in Block’s past books, THE SECRET ROOM is full of metaphors in relation to the concept of “rooms.” Both physical, also within our minds.

“Freud might say we have hidden rooms inside our minds that emerge in dreams or unconscious actions.”

 


In addition, references to dual identities throughout the book with both Zoe and her patients. Before and after. "In truth, none of us are who we seem to be. Many of us wear masks at times for one reason or another. To protect or hide behind."

I always enjoy reading the author’s work, which is thought-provoking, compelling, and leaves the reader with a strong takeaway message or question to ponder. Who am I?

Highly recommend starting with the first book to really understand the character of Zoe (she always seems to be on leave, at the end of each book) recuperating from a trauma. However, the author provides insight to get you up to speed and rest assured she will be back in full force for the next battle.

Fans of medical thrillers and authors: Tess Gerritsen, Kelly Parsons, and Michael (Daniel) Palmer will enjoy. The author is a practicing neurologist and her medical knowledge is reflective throughout. Hope to hear more from Zoe!

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for providing an early reading copy.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/03/05/The-Secret-Room

The Night the Lights Went Out

The Night the Lights Went Out - Karen White

ISBN: 9780451488381

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + + +

 

Top Books of 2017

* Join Me. Blog Tour Host April 11 * THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT It’s the first novel Karen has set in her hometown of Atlanta. We are celebrating every day for two whole weeks!


Destined for the Big Screen (see my cast selection on my blog) The queen of the south, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with the highly anticipated THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT.

As sweet as a Georgia peach, and as scandalous as Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, and Big Little Lies. Set aside the time, readers . . . you are going to love Sugar!

The Southern Queen B has created her best yet! Yay Atlanta . . . From the stunning WOW cover and the memorable characters, Karen White grabs you and pulls you into this Southern suburban neighborhood filled with drama, revenge, secrets and lies, while exploring the true meaning of friendship. It is not always as it appears.

Alternating between the 1930s Depression-era Georgia and a modern-day 2016 Sweet Apple, Georgia (fictional) suburb of north Atlanta. Let the games begin.

Meet the 3 leading ladies:
• Merilee Talbot Dunlap, newly divorcée, single mom, mysterious past
• Alice Prescott Bates, Matriarch aka Sugar Prescott, landlady
• Heather Blackford, Socialite, beautiful, perfectionist

An anonymous blogger offers up entertaining essential Southernisms any Yankee in the South should know, sprinkled throughout. “It’s never about the secret itself, but the keeping of it.”

From the wealthy private school, social climbing moms to a young single divorced mom who discover (the hard way) . . . the true meaning of friendship and the dangers of deception.

Against the modern-day scandals, we meet matriarch Sugar Prescott who is at the center of the novel. A grounding force. A courageous woman you want on your side. Sugar is wise, and has had her own share of tragedy and can relate to her new tenant, on more than one level.

Merilee Talbot Dunlap had learned in eleven years of marriage, it was the simple fact that you could live with a person for a long time and never really know him. One day the mask slips. Her husband, Michael has an affair with their daughter’s third-grade math teacher, Tammy. Merilee decides she does not want to stay in the house with all the reminders. She was traded in for a younger woman. She needs to escape from all the gossip.

However, she is unaware, it may be the lesser of two evils. What lies ahead at the new location, may be even more devastating.

Merilee is the mother of ten-year-old old daughter Lily and eight-year-old Colin. They were now moving into a quaint furnished Craftsman historic cottage (with a cellar) for tornados, located behind Mrs. Prescott’s farmhouse in Sweet Apple, GA.

The landlord is a southern matriarch and well-respected in the community. Some say she is harsh. She is known as Sugar. She is widowed (Tom was killed in the war) and no children. A mystery to some. Fascinating and eccentric to others.

Sugar Prescott (Alice Prescott Bates) is ninety-four years old (what a great character)! She lives alone in an old farmhouse on her family’s land. Her loyal best friend Willa Faye Mackenzie. Willa Faye moved to a senior living facility. While Sugar was staying put as long, as possible. A realtor had found the young mother and her two children as her new tenants.

Not that she had any desire to befriend her new tenants and neighbor, but Sugar had the feeling that Merilee was suddenly on her own and in need of help. Sugar was in a position, to understand that need more than most. She suspected but would deny if anyone asked, that she was getting soft in her old age.

Of course, Sugar did not realize this single mother would be this young and pretty. Mid-thirties. She wonders what happened to her marriage? Surely the woman had flaws. Sugar soon discovers a few. Heaven forbid, the woman does not even know how to cook, nor does she know her proper Southern graces! Sugar must teach her a thing, or two.

. . . “At least by the end of the day, you’ll know how to bake cookies and fry okra. Because it might be against the law for a Southern-born girl not to know how. Along with changing a tire.” . . .

Despite all her attempts to keep her new tenant at arm’s length, a tenuous connection had been formed. They may have more in common that they may suspect. Merilee at first thinks Sugar is a little strange and is judging her. However, soon their bond strengthens.

The best award-winning part Think: To Kill a Mockingbird This is where White always "shines" with the historical past and dual timelines. Sugar begins telling Merilee bits and pieces of her life on the farm as a girl during the Depression, starting from 1934.

Normally she is closed-mouthed about her past (in a world of oversharing), she likes keeping some things to herself. However, somehow, she feels comfortable opening up to this younger version of herself.

Sugar’s dark life during the Depression in Sweet Apple provides a very different look at life compared to the present-day of the same town, especially those in Heather’s world.

A nice edition to the story: Wade Kimball is Willa Faye’s grandson, and he looks in on Sugar. The developer, and handyman. He helps with any of the maintenance issues for Sugar and her new tenant.

As Merilee and her children begin to get settled in, she meets a variety of moms. One, in particular, Heather, which is like “perfection.” The perfect wife, mother, house, children, food, social standing, glamorous, clothes, and home (s) with the good-looking nice husband, Daniel. Merilee feels inferior next to her.

As the kids become involved in their new school and Merilee in carpools and committees. She just wants to be accepted, like a kid at school. Peer pressure is tough. Soon her daughter comes home and tells her about this anonymous blogger.

It is called: THE PLAYING FIELDS BLOG. Observations of Suburban Life from Sweet Apple, Georgia Written by Your neighbor. Who is this person and how does she know so much about their Sweet Apple lives?

The blogger dishes out a variety of gossip and offers a few Southernism tidbits for all the newbies at the end of each installment. No one knows but they think it could be a mom at Windwood since she seems to know a lot about what goes on at school, the community, and their lives. (yes it is spicy, sassy, and oh so funny)!

In the meantime, the perfectionist mother Heather at school is befriending her. Merilee gets pulled in by the attention and her affluent lifestyle. She has taken her under her wing. Merilee grabs on, desperate for new friends and acceptance. Looks can be deceiving. Of course, Sugar does not trust her. A backstory here. Merilee also has a mysterious past; however, she is not so forthcoming, until it all unravels later.

Between Sugar’s stories from the past, Merilee’s own drama with her wealthy friends in the present; the school, her children, her ex-husband, his girlfriend, and a baby on the way, worrying about measuring up to her new friend Heather, and the constant reminders of her life from an unknown blogger and social media; she feels like she is on a reality TV show.

. . . and there are some other strange happenings. Daniel and Heather are acting weird. Plus, Merilee has her own memories and guilt from the past which may be coming back to haunt her.

Then someone is murdered at the lake house (Lake Lanier). The suspicions are pointing to Merilee. Is someone setting her up? How will she prove she is innocent based on her past? What motive do they have for hurting her?

From murder, attempted murder, revenge, and a tornado. It wouldn’t be the South without a little drama and deceit sprinkled with some sugar. Female friendships are at the heart of this page-turner.

5 Stars +++ Top books of 2017! Move this one to the TOP of your list. You are going to love it! (cover obsession) Karen White just keeps getting better and better.

From southern "grit lit", a murder mystery, historical, women's fiction, domestic suspense, family drama, motherhood, social media, bullying, friendship, romance, humor, contemporary, to psychological and suspense! THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT has it all!

Grab a hammock, a swing, head to the beach, or a front porch rocking chair. Mark out the time and sit back and be prepared to be entertained Southern savvy style!

For my movie cast wishlist and more about this exciting book and author, Visit my Blog

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook for an outstanding Southern performance.

JDCMustReadBooks 

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Karen White is one of my favorite southern writers. As a Southerner, myself, (NC/SC, GA, FL), she makes us proud. BTW, now I know where she gets her beauty . . . from Mississippi, of course.

Book Giveaway Contest
Congrats to the winner: Amy Sullivan, Prescott Valley AZ! In celebration of upcoming blog tour:Book Giveaway April 4-11 Flight Patterns  now in paperback format, in time for beach weather.  Thanks for all the participation and entries.


I enjoyed the inspiration behind the book and Author Q&A
of what's coming next. Atlanta Magazine

Audiobook: I am currently listening. So good. Listen to Clip
Narrated by: Carolyn Cook , Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan.

Driving Tour with Karen Watch Video From Rena Olsen.

For more Blog Tour author tidbits

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/20/The-Night-the-Lights-Went-Out

The Widow of Wall Street

The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel - Randy Susan Meyers

By:  Randy Susan Meyers

ISBN: 9781501131349

Publisher:  Atria Books

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Randy Susan Myers returns following Accidents of Marriage (2014) with her latest riveting domestic suspense, THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET bold and edgy an inside look at betrayal in a marriage.

The blind love, lies, dark secrets; the unraveling, devastation, and the need to rebuild a life after the fallout of Wall Street and a fraudulent husband's Ponzi scheme. Was the wife living in denial?

Phoebe and Jake met when they were teens. Jake and Phoebe come from different backgrounds. Jake is obsessed with money and success. He wants and needs a different future than his childhood. He thinks this will earn him the respect he craves.

Phoebe makes a wrong decision, leading her to guilt and loyalty to Jake. They marry, despite her overbearing mom’s warning.

He soon excels and opens a brokerage house. Things go well. However, soon greed, power, and money get in the way. He is dishonest. He thinks it is temporary. He has a private fund. A Ponzi scheme. A crime soon to be uncovered. The time bomb. Fraud.

Phoebe is blind to it all. The money is flowing – wealth, prestige, homes, and power,

Starting from Nov 2009, we learn Jake is now in prison. They have lost everything. Phoebe takes a Greyhound bus to the upstate NY correctional prison. She despises him. He still has her under his thumb, worrying about what she is wearing and appearances. He still has not acknowledged his part in the disaster.

However, Phoebe is struggling. She has taken her husband’s side over her children, causing a huge strain. Her children are strangers to her now. She must face Jake’s crime. The wife of a demon.

Her entire marriage had been a battle against being known only as Jake’s wife—now she feared the battle could be over for good. She had become a widow to a living man and a childless mother.

How did they get to this place? People wondered if she knew. Was she this naïve? She trusted this man. Her life is shattered. How many people has he fooled? A monster.

The author takes us back to the early days to the 1960s, where we hear from two points of view: Phoebe and Jake. The roller coaster ride from mansions, and wealth to prison.

When yet another tragedy occurs, Phoebe is forced to make a decision. She has to cut Jake free, even though he felt he could straddle the world on other’s people’s legs. Love and loss. Survival. He had squandered and cheated people and fooled millionaires, and lessons never learned.

Can Phoebe survive this disaster and come out whole once again? A different person perhaps?

The author does an outstanding job with the couple's journey from both perspectives. What a ride. The dark secrets of a husband and his scheming. A financial empire crumbling. The betrayal. From domestic suspense to psychological.

If you enjoyed the Madoff miniseries, (good), assured to find THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET engaging. Of course, in Palm Beach we hear his name often; however, Trump has taken over the spotlight here on the island.

Randy Susan Myers tackles highly charged topics, telling deeply personal stories of women. Their complexities, fear, pride and despair are woven brilliantly into the absorbing narrative.

Fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, (A Stolen Marriage) Kimberly S. Belle (The Marriage Lie) and Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) will appreciate the complex relationships and the emotional inner lives of women in crisis.

Read the backstory.

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/01/The-Widow-of-Wall-Street

The Hideaway

The Hideaway - Lauren K. Denton

By: Lauren K. Denton 

ISBN: 9780718084226

Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars 

 

Top Southern Debut 2017! 

 

“A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

 

 

Storyteller Lauren K. Denton, a new voice in Southern fiction delivers a smashing debut, THE HIDEAWAY. Making me want to return to my southern front porch and curl up for a long leisurely nostalgic afternoon while being transported with this beautiful love story.

My vote for Southern Debut of 2017!

Set in Sweet Bay, Alabama in the Deep South, we meet Dot, a friend of Mags (Mrs. Margaret Van Buren), a tenant of The Hideaway. The Hideaway was once a booming Bed and Breakfast; however, over the years it has turned into a home for eccentric seniors (bohemian) style, artists, and the free-spirted looking for an escape; you came and never left.

As the book opens, Dot (husband, Bert) are seniors living at the house. She is admiring the latest Southern Living article featuring Maggie (Mag)’s granddaughter, Sara who owns a highly successful interior design shop in New Orleans.

People tend to arrive at this charming inn and they fall in love and decide to never leave.

Mag’s daughter, Jenny is deceased and she helped raise her granddaughter Sara. Mags was very unconventional and some called eccentric. Sara was embarrassed by her lifestyle growing up. Mags has never told her own story to Sara. By the time she had moved in with her at age twelve, Sara was at that critical age where there were peer pressure and friends’ opinions.

Sara turned out to be a stronger woman because of who Mags turned out to be. If Mags had remained under her parents’ thumb, worrying about how other perceived her, she would have been a wispy shadow of a real woman.

Sara loved the French Quarter in the Big Easy. She was proud of her shop, Bits and Pieces. She has no time for a man, relationship, or anything other than her shop. She has restored an old shotgun house and filled it with restored furniture, and antiques. A bit of everything. Her assistant manager, Allyn was always there to help out (loved him).

Her mind always went back to Sweet Bay to see Mags, her grandmother. However, she was too busy with the shop to visit more often.

However, when Sara receives the news from Mag’s attorney, she knows it is too late to spend time with her eccentric little grandmother. She had left her for greener pastures in New Orleans, but Mags was her only family. Her grandmother has passed always. Now she has regrets for not making the time.

What would happen to the house now that Mags was gone?

"The Hideaway was always full of friends and lovers, mothers and daughters, secret keepers, and secret-spillers, straight talkers and soft shoulders. We had hurt and we had joy, but I wouldn't have it any other way."


It had not been a proper bed-and-breakfast since she was a kid. As she got older, she became more aware of the unusual living arrangements. It might have been a legitimate B&B at one time, but over the years it had become a senior citizen commune with a revolving door. A long layover for people on their way to Florida retirement glory.

The old Victorian which was once a beauty, now in a poor condition. It was formerly in all the travel guides as the Southern Sight to See. They would all be shocked to see it now.

Sara soon learns she has inherited the inn and the resident seniors. She is to bring the inn back to its glory days. However, in the process, Sara soon learns there was much more to her grandmother than she ever knew.

The author takes us back to 1960's to learn about Margaret's parents, family and how she met her husband to be. The man she married. A man her family wanted her to marry. A banker. After he began cheating, over and over, she escapes to The Hideaway. A solace for many.

After meeting the original owner, whose husband died, the inn was not the prestigious Gatsby house it was previously in its hay day. Margaret comes under a false name and soon gives up the rich life, pearls and pillbox hats, for a simpler life. One she adored.

Mags meets William, a man who changes her life. A wood maker, who teaches her the important things in life. The man who held the key to her heart. However, her old life comes back to complicate things. She chooses the bohemian life, so different that the one she had previously. Mag’s past changed her from quiet to bold. Weak to strong.

Sara soon discovers more and more about her grandmother and the mysterious man in her life from the past. However, she may be more like her grandmother than she knows. She decides to remodel The Hideaway per her grandmother’s wishes.

In the process, she meets the handsome contractor which slowly changes her perspective. In addition, she encounters challenges with the residing seniors, now part of the family, and a developer who wants the land, after all the work. Plus she has her life and shop in New Orleans. She never wanted to return to Alabama. Much less run an inn.

However, just when she is about to wrap up the renovation and make plans to return to New Orleans, the old nasty developer is threatening to take away the historic dream, for a condo new project development, until someone intercepts, which changes more than one life. Sweet surprises for many.

Compelling and Inspiring! Rich in history, character, and lots of heart, Denton bridges the gap from past to present with a heartwarming and charming southern tale of family and friendship. The important things in life. A thought-provoking takeaway on a journey to self-discovery.

Do we really know our parents and grandparents? We all need to slow down, listen, and hear the intriguing stories from past generations which will enrich our lives while helping us to understand their struggles and sacrifices. After all, they helped mold us to become the person we are today. I loved Mags!!

For fans of southern, historic, Christian, women’s and contemporary fiction.

Those who enjoy authors: Viola Shipman, Nicholas Sparks, Beth Hoffman, Patti Callahan Henry, Susan Rebecca White, Mary Ellen Taylor, Lisa Wingate, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Mary Kay Andrews, Joanne DeMaio, Donna Ball, Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Laura Lane McNeal, Camille de Maio, Wendy Wax and Karen White, will enjoy this newfound author.

Well-written, a must read. Cannot wait to see what’s next from this exciting new talented author!

A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 



Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/The-Hideaway

One Perfect Lie

One Perfect Lie - Lisa Scottoline

By: Lisa Scottoline

ISBN: 978-1250099563

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 4/11/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Lisa Scottoline returns following Most Wanted landing on my Top Books of 2016 with her latest, ONE PERFECT LIE. A mysterious new teacher lands at a high school. Is he a fraud?

A twisty suburban crime thriller, keeping you on the edge-of-your-seat, classic Scottoline style.

“Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others." — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Chris Brennan is applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he is not forthcoming about his past. He had scoped out the school and the teachers in advance.

After all, everyone liked a clean-cut guy, and they tended to forget that appearances were deceiving.

 



Even a fake resume. His resume says he went to Northwest College in Wyoming. He even picked a housing development nearby, Valley Oaks.

The small town is located in south-central Pennsylvania, known for its outlet shopping. No one would imagine what he was up to. His story was his parents passed away five years earlier in a car crash (drunk driver). An only child he says, so he decided to come to the area for higher pay and he loved kids.

Chris led the officials at school to believe he wanted to be accessible to his students on email, social media and believed in personal contact and mutual respect. He also said he coached. He even applied for the assistant baseball varsity coach position.

What better way to get connected? He was setting up a plan. Chris is not who he pretends to be.

What is his motive?

Chris bonds immediately with students. Can he fool the other teachers? Can he be trusted?

We meet a variety of moms, students, and teachers. Susan, Raz, Heather, Justin, Mindy, and Evan. The baseball team. Chris keeps abreast all the families and all the activities. Will he accomplish his mission? He puts his plan in place.

Mr. Y (Abe Yomes) gay, African American who teaches eleventh grade. He also lived in the town with his partner Jamie who owned a realty company. He is from Wyoming (for real).

Soon enough, however, Mr. Y is dead, an apparent suicide, and Chris is ready to move forward with his plan. There are certain people he needs to befriend. They are all part of his plan. Chris targets three teenage boys.

Absorbing and entertaining, you never know what is going on in suburbia. Domestic terrorism? Justice? Take a walk down Wisteria Lane. Domestic suspense is all the rave today. What goes on "behind closed doors" in normal neighborhoods. The lies we tell ourselves as well as each other.

Action-packed family drama, a thriller complex ride with lots of twists, turns, secrets, cover-ups, and suspense. Scottoline once again surprises her readers with contemporary issues and topics which filter into our lives.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

Praise  

 

"Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation." –Booklist
 
"Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting...they're in for one thrilling ride." –Kirkus Reviews
 
"Entertaining...This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen." –Publishers Weekly
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/04/One-Perfect-Lie

Not a Sound

Not a Sound: A Novel - Heather Gudenkauf

By:  Heather Gudenkauf 

ISBN: 0778339998

Publisher: Park Row

Publication Date:  5/30/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

**Top Books of 2017** 

 
I am utterly speechless! Brilliantly crafted . . . 5 Stars ++++ LOVED. Just finished this incredible and compelling book. It may take some time to get my heart rate back to normal. My nails will never be the same.

Heather Gudenkauf returns following Missing Pieces landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with her "Best Yet," NOT A SOUND. Hands down, this is the "best book I have read in 2017!" I have no doubt by year end, it will still be the best of the year.

As the book opens we meet ER nurse Amelia Winn, specialized in domestic abuse. She has a patient, Stacey and she is leaving. Amelia walks with her to the car and another car is barreling at them, full speed ahead, which ends in tragedy. An unsolved hit-and-run. (hopefully another book here . . . )

Flash forward two years later, Amelia has found herself deaf, jobless, and now separated from her doctor husband, David, her home and her seven-year-old stepdaughter, Nora.

Life has not been easy. She is not able to continue her career as a nurse, and suffers from alcoholism, since the accident.

She has moved to a cabin in the woods and spends her time on the river, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and running with her service dog, Stitch. She is trying to rebuild her life.

Amelia delivers all her commands in Czech to Stitch. His former trainer Vilem was originally from Prague and trained all of his police and rescue dogs using Czech commands, including Stitch and Jake’s K-9.

Jake a childhood friend (her brother Andrew's best friend), now Detective and her best friend. He too has experienced tragedy in his life with his wife’s suicide four years earlier off the Five Mines Bridge. He has helped pull her out of the gutter.

Just when Amelia thinks she is getting her life back on track with a job interview at the hospital (a file clerk), not what she was trained to do, but a step back in the direction, she stumbles upon a dead body in the river that same morning. The body turns out to be a fellow nurse, Gwen.



There are only three ways to get to this remote Five Mines River location: by boat, by four-wheeler, or by foot. She cannot believe Gwen Locke is dead and she cannot help but think of her own accident two years ago, which she is not convinced was an accident, after all. They met being sexual assault nurse examiners. Could it be a rapist or an abusive boyfriend for husband looking for revenge?

What if Gwen’s murder and her attempted murder are connected? She and Gwen both treated patients who were abused by very bad people. Would it be a stretch to think they would come after the nurses who were trying to gather forensic evidence to put them in jail for a very long time? Now she is a witness.

Turns out Amelia had pushed everyone away during the two years after the accident while she spiraled down with the devil (alcohol). In looking at some old emails, Gwen had tried to reach out to her. They had been good friends once before she got hit by a car. Before she lost her hearing and abandoned her family and friends for alcohol. They had daughters about the same age.

Presently, Amelia has not had a drink in eighteen months and determined more than ever to get her life back in order to spend time with Nora.

Amelia is one tough cookie (love her) . . . and she soon suspects there is more than meets the eye with the murder. Crazy things begin happening. There are tons of suspects. However, she keeps her suspicions to herself, after Jake tells her to let them handle the case.

She becomes obsessed with finding the killer and begins her own investigation (she is some detective –no slouch here). Her dog Stitch was a gift from her friend Jake and he is always at her side as her loyal companion. Being deaf really sets her back, working with her handicap--especially with a killer on a loose and she may be next.

Without her hearing, she has to rely on her vision to gauge the world around her.

Pretty soon, she begins suspecting things are not as they appear at work, plus she finds herself doing all sorts of illegal things to gather information. She is determined whoever murdered Gwen, is out to get her next. She will not look the other way.
 

She has two choices when she gets the urge to drink.  The devil is calling her in the back of the cabinet (booze), or she can do what she does to make the urge pass.  Go for a run.  However, when it is dark, remote, and a killer on the loose, the two choices are not so great.  She chooses the darkness and lurking danger outside, over the bottle.


It the meantime, the only person near her is her closest neighbor, Evan who owns the Five Mines Outfitters. She now is dealing with Peter, someone from Gwen's past. An obsessive-compulsive quasi-stalker (used bookstore owner) who lives in his parent’s house and spends his free time in a garage, pasting news articles about his murdered ex-girlfriend into a scrapbook.
 


She cannot seem to wrap her head around all that has happened. Gwen’s death, her mysterious email, missing records at the hospital, David’s newfound interest in her, not to mention Jake’s; the break-in at her house, the condition of David’s boat, Peter’s strange behavior and his cryptic statement making her suspect her ex-husband.

None of this adds up and she must do more digging. Is she missing something? Something very wrong is going on. Could her doctor ex-husband be involved in a murder? Complex. 

Plus, someone is trying to discredit her by breaking into her house (using her past alcoholism), and setting her up. Someone is trying to cover their tracks, and she may be next on their list. The closer she gets to discovering the truth, she and Stitch find themselves in a complex dangerous web of deceit.

A huge fan of this talented author; have read all her books and enjoyed them immensely; however, this one is particularly powerful, compelling, explosive, intense, and emotional . . . as the author mentions, her most personal; referencing "Amelia is one of her most complicated endearing characters to-date."

If you can only read one (moving and emotional) crime thriller this year— this would be the ONE. There is so much here on a number of different levels. Yes, you need to pre-order ASAP and count yourself fortunate if you land an early reading copy. (I am beyond grateful).

Readers, you will fall in love with Amelia and Stitch (side kick service dog). The most courageous (and intelligent), strong-willed, and witty duo I have ever met between the pages. The duo tackles a powerful sociopath on their own. A whodunit on steroids.

Well-written, to give you an idea: A mix of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, Amy Hatvany, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, Lisa Gardner (my other 2017 favorite), Jennifer Jaynes, and Michael and Daniel Palmer (medical thrillers), and of course the icing on the cake: Heather Gudenkauf's own signature trademark style. Top-Shelf.
 


Intricately plotted, fast-paced, memorable characters with realistic inner struggles; highly-charged subject matter, more twists than you can imagine . . . and the riveting taut suspense kept my heart beating non-stop (the scene by the riverbank in the snow) full blown, Tachycardia. This is what I call an "emotional thriller." I would not change one word.

As I mentioned in my comments while reading, I give first prize to Heather, for the "most catching" hook me, at first chapter ever. Jaw-dropping. It does not stop there. The same breakneck speed intensity continues to the explosive heart-pounding finale.

I can see why NOT A SOUND has received rave advance editorial praise. Believe every word. Impeccable research, from cancer, the medical profession, health care, whistleblowing, terminal illness, alcoholism, addiction, step-parenting, marriage, murder, domestic abuse, victims of violent crime, hearing impaired, service dogs, to so much more.

The setting, weather, and nature add to the mystery and intrigue. Reminded me of my days living in Big Canoe (North Georgia mountains) in my log cabin in the woods overlooking a lake; heavenly.

In addition, a huge medical thriller fan as well, and cancer is a topic close to my heart. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. A cautionary tale, (more realistic than we know), without saying too much - a timely subject.

I for one, hope we see more of Amelia and Stitch in future books. They are too good to end. If you have not read this author, what are you waiting for? A book to re-read and have also pre-ordered the audiobook (narrated by Julia Whelan).

Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews
Heather Gudenkauf and Lisa Unger in Conversation

A very "special thank you" to Park Row Books and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/Not-a-Sound

The Sisters of Blue Mountain

The Sisters of Blue Mountain - Karen Katchur

By:  Karen Katchur

ISBN: 1250066824

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 4/4/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Talented Karen Katchur returns following (2015) The Secrets of Lake Road with another emotional mystery domestic suspense, THE SISTERS OF BLUE MOUNTAIN — two timelines connect for a riveting page-turner of the strong bonds of family.

Set in a fictional tourist town of Mountain Springs, PA, two young sisters Linnet and Myrna grew up in a home with a professor for a dad and a mother which suffers from extreme depression. When the girls were young, the father decided they would turn the large home into a Bed and Breakfast Inn, called the Snow Goose.

True to its name the Snow Goose was the main attraction in the small town, thriving on the snow geese migration. Each year, the birds flock to the dam, and the tourists follow. The geese migrated late winter and early spring, flying over Pennsylvania en route to Canada. Tourists traveled from as far away as Virginia to see the snow geese making their trip north, swimming in the dam, resting in the fields.

The girls are now grown. The mother is deceased, and the father has moved to the guest house and suffers from dementia. He is a retired ornithologist. Linnet (the older sister), now oversees the management of the inn with her husband Ian, and twelve-year-old son, Hank.

The younger sister, Myrna left the small-town life, years earlier and resides in Florida. Why did she want to escape the memories? She is very unsettled in her own personal life since Ben wants to get married and she does not believe in the institution, with no role models from her own childhood.

Something happened when the girls were teens. A tragedy. A dark secret. The sisters were once close and now estranged.

As the book opens, it is their busiest season, and the geese are dead. Everywhere. Hundreds of them. How could this have happened? Linnet cannot have dead geese in the yard.

Pop (the dad) is seventy-three and his mind is not what it once was. He is called the “Bird Man”. Pop had taught classes at the university years ago and the inn was left to the mother. Of course, with her depression (mental illness), a lot of the work was left to the girls. The girls have a lot of guilt from an event in the past.

Of course, the dad is not sure this is a nightmare or reality with the geese.

With another storyline, Jake is a reporter from Leigh Valley and sent to cover the story. He also has ties with this town. His dad died in a car accident years ago, and Jake was still not satisfied with the results of the investigation. He thinks this may be a good time to kill two birds. (no pun intended).

Jake had found an old Nokia cell phone. He was going to have a hacker try and locate the last phone number dialed. The phone was found with his dad’s body at the car crash.

What was his dad doing on a road in this town? How is this family connected to his father’s death?

The town makes national news and Myrna returns home. There is friction between her and her older sister. In the meantime, the professor who gets called in to investigate the birds' death (helping the father since he is too old), turns up dead. Then more fish.

The father is the prime suspect and his best friend Charlie is the chief of police, putting him in an awkward position. Pop loved the birds as well as the townspeople. They relied on the birds to bring tourists and money into the town.

With panic from everyone, not only do they have a crisis on their hand, now a murder. They cannot allow their father to be charged with the murder.

In the meantime, the closer Jake gets to solving the case of his father, the more the two sisters fear their long hidden secret will be unraveled. They are not speaking to one another. Keeping secrets can become deadly and stay with you through life. As the investigation unfolds, the sisters must confront one another and their hidden past.

Karen keeps you hooked from the first page to the last —turning the pages with several different mysteries and suspense going on at the same time. The most intriguing storyline is the mother and the girl’s past and how they are intertwined possibly with Jake’s father.

The author also crosses some moral lines and proposes some thought-provoking questions. As in her first book, the author delves into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between land and life. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

Fans of Mary Alice Monroe and David Bell will enjoy, this well-written complex yet powerful family saga of sisters, combined with nature and lush settings.

 

Interview with the Author The Big Thrill

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/The-Sisters-of-Blue-Mountain

20 Top Books Coming April

Reblogged from JudithDCollinsMustReads:

 April Spring Book Countdown

 Pub Date Order

 

 

A Criminal Defense  

 

By:  William L. Myers, Jr. 

ISBN: 978-1503943421

Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date:  4/1/2017

Format: Audio

Narrator:  Peter Berkrot 

My Rating:  TBR (Pre-ordered)

**Debut**

Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.

 

Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win. Read More    Buy the Book

  

 

 

The Sisters of Blue Mountain  

 

By:  Karen Katchur

ISBN: 1250066824

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 4/4/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars


For Linnet, owner of a Bed and Breakfast in Mountain Springs, Pennsylvania, life has been a bit complicated lately. Hundreds of snow geese die overnight in the dam near the B&B, sparking a media frenzy, threatening the tourist season, and bringing her estranged younger sister, Myna, to town. If that isn't enough, the women's father has been charged with investigating the incident.

But when a younger expert is brought in to replace him on the case and then turns up dead on Linnet's B&B’s property, their father becomes the primary suspect. As the investigation unfolds, the sisters will have to confront each other, their hidden past, and a side of Mountain Springs not seen before.

Karen Katchur has written a thrilling novel of sisters and the secrets that bind them that is sure to appeal to readers of her acclaimed first novel, The Secrets of Lake Road. Read More Buy the Book

 

 

 

 

The Night the Lights Went Out  

 

By: Karen White

ISBN: 9780451488381

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + +

 

Top Books of 2017  

**Blog Tour April 11**

From the New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail. Read More   Buy the Book

 

  
 

The Widow of Wall Street 

By:  Randy Susan Meyers

ISBN: 9781501131349

Publisher:  Atria Books

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars 

A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice? Read More    Buy the Book  

 

 

One Perfect Lie 

 

By: Lisa Scottoline

ISBN: 978-1250099563

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 4/11/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars


One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will keep you guessing until you turn the very last page. On the surface, it tells the tale of the struggling single mother of a high-school pitcher, a shy kid so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball.

But the mother fears that she’s losing her grip on her son because he’s being lured down a darker path by one of his teammates, a secretly disturbed young man from an affluent family, whose excellent grades and fun-loving manner conceal his violent criminal plans.

 

One Perfect Lie is a riveting and suspenseful family drama, and by the time you close the book, you will realize that nothing was as it seemed at the beginning. Read More   Buy the Book

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Stranger  

 

By: Megan Miranda

ISBN: 978-1501107993

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 4/11/2017  

Format:   Other

My Rating:  4 Stars 

In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls—a “fiendishly plotted thriller” (Publishers Weekly)—a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

 

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Read More    Buy the Book

 

 

 

The Hideaway  

 

By: Lauren K. Denton 

ISBN: 9780718084226

Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars +

**Debut**

“A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

 

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

 

“Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author   Read More   Buy the Book

 

 

  

The Day I Died  

 

By: Lori Rader-Day

ISBN: 0062560298

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 4/11/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  Currently Reading


From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother’s desperate search for two lost boys.   

Anna Winger knows people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired by companies seeking trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real mess of other people’s lives at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a ransom note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime inevitably gets under Anna’s skin. Was the child kidnapped from his home by his own mother, trying to save him from his abusive father? Thirteen years ago, Anna did the same thing for her unborn son, now a troubled teen rebelling against the protected life she’s given him. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 

  

The Fix  

 

By:  David Baldacci 

Amos Decker #3

ISBN: 978-1455586561

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: TBR (Pre-Ordered)

THE NEW MEMORY MAN NOVEL!

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.

Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. 

 

Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.   Read More   Buy the Book  

 

 

 

Gone Without a Trace 

 

By: Mary Torjussen 

ISBN: 9780399585012

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating:  4 Stars

**April 11 Blog Tour Host **

A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why?

Hannah Monroe's boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It's as though their last four years together never happened.

 

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she'll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. Read More   Buy the Book  

 

 

 

 

The Secret Room 

 

By:  Sandra Block 

Zoe Goldman #3

ISBN: 9781455570201

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  4 Stars


"I am a forever-fan of the Zoe Goldman series and will read anything Block writes. You should too." -Lisa Scottoline,New York Times bestselling author 

Her patients are dying. Some are apparent suicides and others possible accidents, but rumors are flying that Dr. Zoe Goldman is an angel of death- intentionally helping hopeless cases go to a "better place"- or, worse yet, a dangerously incompetent doctor. 


As a new psychiatry fellow at the local correctional facility, Zoe is still learning the ropes while watching her back to avoid some dangerous prisoners. As the deaths mount up, Zoe is wracked with horror and guilt, feverishly trying to figure out what is going wrong and even questioning her own sanity. Read More  Buy the Book 

 
 
 

Falling Darkness 

 

By: Karen Harper 

South Shores #3
ISBN: 978-0778319900

Publisher: MIRA 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  4 Stars

At the mercy of a treacherous sea… 

Claire Britten's training never prepared her for this—the forensic psychology curriculum didn't cover plane crashes. Or how to help fellow survivors cope, seven frightened people huddled in two small rafts awaiting a rescue that may never come. Especially when three of them are your ex-husband, your young daughter—and the man you love, Nick Markwood, whose pursuit by a criminal mastermind forced you all to run in the first place. 

 

When the bedraggled crew finally reaches dry land, they are still far from safe. Nick tries to secure transport to their witness-protection placement, urging everyone to stick to the identities laid out for them.  Read More  Buy the Book


 

 

Slightly South of Simple 

 

By: Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Peachtree Bluff Series #1

ISBN:1501158058
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating:  5 Stars +

 

Top Books of 2017 

 

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. Read More      Buy the Book

 

 

 

Beartown 

 

By: Fredrik Backman 

ISBN: 978-1501160769

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 4/25/2017

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything.

Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. Read More

Buy the Book

 

 

 
 

Anything Is Possible 

 

By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812989403

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/25/2017  

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  4.5 Stars


From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction that recalls Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity.

 

Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.  

 

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.  Read More   Buy the Book   

 

 

 

By: Wendy Wax

Ten Beach Road Novel #5
ISBN:  978-0451488619

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date:  4/25/2017

My Rating:  4.5 Stars


From the USA Today bestselling author of Sunshine Beach, a story of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives...

Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down...

Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships. 
 
Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and deal with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up infamily drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation.

 

But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreamsfrom crumbling. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 

 

The Red Hunter  

 

By: Lisa Unger

ISBN:  9781501101670

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  TBR


What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 
 

Burntown 

 

By: Jennifer McMahon 

ISBN: 9780385541367

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  4 Stars

Ashford, Vermont, might look like your typical sleepy New England college town, but to the shadowy residents who live among the remains of its abandoned mills and factories, it’s known as “Burntown.” 

Eva Sandeski, known as “Necco” on the street, has been a part of this underworld for years, ever since the night her father Miles drowned in a flood that left her and her mother
Lily homeless. A respected professor, Miles was also an inventor of fantastic machines, including one so secret that the plans were said to have been stolen from Thomas Edison’s workshop. According to Lily, it’s this machine that got Miles murdered. 
 
Necco has always written off this claim as the fevered imaginings of a woman consumed by grief. But when Lily dies under mysterious circumstances, and Necco’s boyfriend is murdered, she’s convinced her mother was telling the truth. Now, on the run from the man called “Snake Eyes,” Necco must rely on other Burntown outsiders to survive.  Read More  Buy the Book
 

 

 

 
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/book-blog/tag/april-2017

20 Top Books Coming April

 April Spring Book Countdown

 Pub Date Order

 

 

A Criminal Defense  

 

By:  William L. Myers, Jr. 

ISBN: 978-1503943421

Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date:  4/1/2017

Format: Audio

Narrator:  Peter Berkrot 

My Rating:  3.5 Stars 

**Debut**

Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.

 

Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win. Read More    Buy the Book

  

 

 

The Sisters of Blue Mountain  

 

By:  Karen Katchur

ISBN: 1250066824

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 4/4/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars


For Linnet, owner of a Bed and Breakfast in Mountain Springs, Pennsylvania, life has been a bit complicated lately. Hundreds of snow geese die overnight in the dam near the B&B, sparking a media frenzy, threatening the tourist season, and bringing her estranged younger sister, Myna, to town. If that isn't enough, the women's father has been charged with investigating the incident.

But when a younger expert is brought in to replace him on the case and then turns up dead on Linnet's B&B’s property, their father becomes the primary suspect. As the investigation unfolds, the sisters will have to confront each other, their hidden past, and a side of Mountain Springs not seen before.

Karen Katchur has written a thrilling novel of sisters and the secrets that bind them that is sure to appeal to readers of her acclaimed first novel, The Secrets of Lake Road. Read More   Buy the Book

 

 

 

 

The Night the Lights Went Out  

 

By: Karen White

ISBN: 9780451488381

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + +

 

Top Books of 2017  

**Blog Tour April 11**

From the New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail. Read More   Buy the Book

 

  
 

The Widow of Wall Street 

By:  Randy Susan Meyers

ISBN: 9781501131349

Publisher:  Atria Books

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars 

A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice? Read More    Buy the Book  

 

 

One Perfect Lie 

 

By: Lisa Scottoline

ISBN: 978-1250099563

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 4/11/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  4 Stars


One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will keep you guessing until you turn the very last page. On the surface, it tells the tale of the struggling single mother of a high-school pitcher, a shy kid so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball.

But the mother fears that she’s losing her grip on her son because he’s being lured down a darker path by one of his teammates, a secretly disturbed young man from an affluent family, whose excellent grades and fun-loving manner conceal his violent criminal plans.

 

One Perfect Lie is a riveting and suspenseful family drama, and by the time you close the book, you will realize that nothing was as it seemed at the beginning. Read More   Buy the Book

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Stranger  

 

By: Megan Miranda

ISBN: 978-1501107993

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 4/11/2017  

Format:   Other

My Rating:  3.5 Stars 

In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls—a “fiendishly plotted thriller” (Publishers Weekly)—a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

 

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Read More    Buy the Book

 

 

 

The Hideaway  

 

By: Lauren K. Denton 

ISBN: 9780718084226

Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars +

**Debut**

“A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

 

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

 

“Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author   Read More   Buy the Book

 

 

  

The Day I Died  

 

By: Lori Rader-Day

ISBN: 0062560298

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 4/11/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3.5 Stars


From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother’s desperate search for two lost boys.   

Anna Winger knows people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired by companies seeking trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real mess of other people’s lives at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a ransom note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime inevitably gets under Anna’s skin. Was the child kidnapped from his home by his own mother, trying to save him from his abusive father? Thirteen years ago, Anna did the same thing for her unborn son, now a troubled teen rebelling against the protected life she’s given him. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 

  

The Fix  

 

By:  David Baldacci 

Amos Decker #3

ISBN: 978-1455586561

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

THE NEW MEMORY MAN NOVEL!

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.

Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. 

 

Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.   Read More   Buy the Book  

 

 

 

Gone Without a Trace 

 

By: Mary Torjussen 

ISBN: 9780399585012

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating:  3 Stars

**April 18 Blog Tour Host **

A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why?

Hannah Monroe's boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It's as though their last four years together never happened.

 

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she'll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. Read More   Buy the Book  

 

 

 

 

The Secret Room 

 

By:  Sandra Block 

Zoe Goldman #3

ISBN: 9781455570201

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  4 Stars


"I am a forever-fan of the Zoe Goldman series and will read anything Block writes. You should too." -Lisa Scottoline,New York Times bestselling author 

Her patients are dying. Some are apparent suicides and others possible accidents, but rumors are flying that Dr. Zoe Goldman is an angel of death- intentionally helping hopeless cases go to a "better place"- or, worse yet, a dangerously incompetent doctor. 


As a new psychiatry fellow at the local correctional facility, Zoe is still learning the ropes while watching her back to avoid some dangerous prisoners. As the deaths mount up, Zoe is wracked with horror and guilt, feverishly trying to figure out what is going wrong and even questioning her own sanity. Read More  Buy the Book 

 
 
 

Falling Darkness 

 

By: Karen Harper 

South Shores #3
ISBN: 978-0778319900

Publisher: MIRA 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

At the mercy of a treacherous sea… 

Claire Britten's training never prepared her for this—the forensic psychology curriculum didn't cover plane crashes. Or how to help fellow survivors cope, seven frightened people huddled in two small rafts awaiting a rescue that may never come. Especially when three of them are your ex-husband, your young daughter—and the man you love, Nick Markwood, whose pursuit by a criminal mastermind forced you all to run in the first place. 

 

When the bedraggled crew finally reaches dry land, they are still far from safe. Nick tries to secure transport to their witness-protection placement, urging everyone to stick to the identities laid out for them.  Read More  Buy the Book


 

 

Slightly South of Simple 

 

By: Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Peachtree Bluff Series #1

ISBN:1501158058
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating:  5 Stars +

 

Top Books of 2017 

 

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. Read More      Buy the Book

 

 

 

Beartown 

 

By: Fredrik Backman 

ISBN: 978-1501160769

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 4/25/2017

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything.

Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. Read More

Buy the Book

 

 

 
 

Anything Is Possible 

 

By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812989403

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/25/2017  

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars


From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction that recalls Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity.

 

Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.  

 

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.  Read More   Buy the Book   

 

 

 

By: Wendy Wax

Ten Beach Road Novel #5
ISBN:  978-0451488619

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date:  4/25/2017

My Rating:  4 Stars


From the USA Today bestselling author of Sunshine Beach, a story of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives...

Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down...

Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships. 
 
Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and deal with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up in family drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation.

 

But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreamsfrom crumbling. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 

 

 

The Red Hunter  

 

By: Lisa Unger

ISBN:  9781501101670

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  TBR (pre-ordered)


What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets. Read More  Buy the Book 

 

 
 

Burntown 

 

By: Jennifer McMahon 

ISBN: 9780385541367

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  3 Stars

Ashford, Vermont, might look like your typical sleepy New England college town, but to the shadowy residents who live among the remains of its abandoned mills and factories, it’s known as “Burntown.” 

Eva Sandeski, known as “Necco” on the street, has been a part of this underworld for years, ever since the night her father Miles drowned in a flood that left her and her mother
Lily homeless. A respected professor, Miles was also an inventor of fantastic machines, including one so secret that the plans were said to have been stolen from Thomas Edison’s workshop. According to Lily, it’s this machine that got Miles murdered. 
 
Necco has always written off this claim as the fevered imaginings of a woman consumed by grief. But when Lily dies under mysterious circumstances, and Necco’s boyfriend is murdered, she’s convinced her mother was telling the truth. Now, on the run from the man called “Snake Eyes,” Necco must rely on other Burntown outsiders to survive.  Read More  Buy the Book
 

 

 

 
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/book-blog/tag/april-2017

Beach Breeze

Beach Breeze - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio 

ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2

Publisher: Joanne Demaio 

Publication Date:  3/7/2017 

Format: Kindle 

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Blog Tour, Coming March 28.

A long time favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following Wishing on Snowflakes and Beach Blues (2016) 2016 Best New England Summer & Holiday Reads with her latest BEACH BREEZE, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read all DeMaio’s books, was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss.

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. They married a year earlier.

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward.

 

He was asking himself if he had run out of chances. Everyone was concerned about him but he was not ready to face everyone and his grief. He is not sure he will be anytime soon. He did not get to say good-bye to his friend. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again.

. . . “In his happiness, he’d been foolish enough to forget one important lesson: On any given day, hour, or minute, life can spin out from under you. It happened nine years ago, when he lost his brother, and Jason nearly didn’t survive the day. So it’s important to be wary and not trust happiness, not too much.”

In addition, Sal’s mom Elsa is also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy.

Celia is also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal will never have. She is also considering going back to Addison. Their engagement only last two days before Sal’s heart surgery. Sal, age 36, would be dearly missed by everyone. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief.

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris is considering quitting her job since it appears the people in town need her more now than ever.

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain.

Michael, Sal’s friend from New York is back in town to deliver all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away.

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the tag sale. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Jason is also upset thinking he no longer hears his brother for inspiration. Now Elsa DeLuca no longer needs his service. He had been so excited about the plans.

Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community?

“It’s never the end, even when we really believe it is.”

Just when Jason thinks he has reached his lowest, Sal has a surprise for him to honor his brother. He had written special notes for everyone. Where second chances happen in the most unexpected ways. New beginnings.

From sadness, love, loss, friends, and special memories of the sea, we get a sneak peak (excerpt) from Joanne’s upcoming book, THE BEACH INN, coming May 16. Where we continue with the special friends of this charming seaside community. Coming up is "Operation, Heal Jason’s heart."

 



Appears there are some big changes coming. The toughest challenge―learning to heal, love and trust again. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn."

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/Beach-Breeze