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JudithDCollinsMustReads

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

 

 

 

I See You

I See You - Clare Mackintosh

By:  Clare Mackintosh 

ISBN: 9781101988299

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date:  2/21/2017

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Clare Mackintosh returns following her smashing debut and international bestseller, (2016) I Let You Go, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with a strong follow-up. A clever, gritty, dark and twisty psychological thriller, I SEE YOU.

Someone is watching when you least expect.

FindTheOne.com is more than a dating site. An online matchmaking service for more than dating. Find the victim, and go for the kill.

A commute to work. A dreaded task. The Tube. However, someone has hacked into the system and they are watching the daily routines of women. A devious dangerous plan. Cyber Crime, coffee shops, CCTV, money laundering, greed, stalking, adverts, a killer, FindTheOne.com, an ax to grind, payback, and murder. Trust no one.

Middle-class Zoe Walker, a mother of two teens (Katie and Justin) -divorced, and dating a guy named Simon- must take the train to work. The only jobs worth taking were in zone one; the only affordable mortgages in zone four. She could only dream of working close enough to her home to walk.

On her morning commute, she is shocked to discover in the London Gazette a photo of herself in the personal ads. FindtheOne.com. What the heck? She is looking at herself. A forty-year-old woman. The woman in the advert is none other than herself. Soon other women’s photos appear, and they end in a crime.

We also are introduced to Kelly Swift, the detective who has been disgraced and back on the scene with the latest murders. Her departure four years earlier from British Transport Police’s Sexual offenses Unit had been rapid and uncomfortable. She had spent nine months off sick returning to what had been presented to her as a clean slate but was really a punishment posting.

She had thrown herself into her shift work, quickly becoming one of the most respected officers on the Neighborhood Policing Team, pretending to herself she was a uniform cop through and through when every day she yearned to be dealing with serious investigations again. Will she lose control again?

The Underground Crime soars with the investigation into crime on public transport after record increases in reported sexual offenses, violent assaults, and thefts. Terrifying enough to make you stop using the Tube altogether. Kelly is back on the case full force.

With sprinkles of spine-chilling words in italics, from the mystery person throughout the novel (the best parts). Told from three POV: Zoe, the mom; Kelly the determined police officer, and the creepy mystery person.

“I see you. But you don’t see me. You’re engrossed in your book; a paperback cover with a girl in a red dress. I can’t see the title but it doesn’t matter; they’re all the same. If it isn’t boy meets girl, it’s boy stalks girl. Boy kills the girl. The irony isn’t lost on me . . . You’re still reading. And I’m still watching.”

Zoe is worried for all the women and girls out there as well as her daughter and herself. She feels the danger. She cannot see it, but she can feel it.
She knows it is getting close.

“Routine is comforting to you. It’s familiar, reassuring. Routine makes you feel safe. Routine will kill you.”

"You never know where you might meet The One. A way of introductions between London’s commuters on FindTheOne.com. A matchmaker. A broker. A go-between. To give coincidence a head start. . ."

Soon the adverts are all-consuming for Zoe, and Kelly is determined to find the killer. They work together and believe the adverts are at the heart of the series of crime against women. What is the motive and who is stalking and preparing information on each woman? Who are the buyers/subscribers? These customers come from all walks of life.

Who are these men?

“They’re your friends. Father. Brother. Best Friend. Neighbor. Boss. The people you see every day; the people you travel to and from work with. You think you know them better than that. You’re wrong.”

The ruthless psychopath is more than a matchmaker. “Someone could be downloading your profile right now. . . A facilitator for desires hidden so deep inside they’re barely acknowledged. The chance to kill someone.”

From making notes of everything from hair color, body size, duration, availability, employment, routines, timing, locations, and a rating of easy, moderate, difficult. A cost. Chilling!

As Zoe and Kelly plan an attack, they are in danger as well as Katie. Any woman on the train could be the next victim. Once the photo appears, are they worth the amount someone is willing to pay to kill?

With a cast of characters, the author leaves you in suspense as you doubt everyone close to Zoe. Who is the sinister mastermind behind this elaborate cybercrime – a deadly scheme of cat and mouse?

Mackintosh spins an elaborate set up with the slow burning background of Zoe and her family as well as Kelly. Two interesting women. The suspense builds to a fast-paced heart-pounding climax, with an array of red herrings. Readers will be mindful of their own daily routines and possibly be looking over their shoulders, or mixing up their daily grind. I know, I will. Take a different route, a different time.

In our world of identity theft, technology, social media, and cyber-crimes, a horrifying fictional account, and yet a believable one which makes it even scarier.

I See You, would make a great movie. You never know who is watching. Are we ever safe? Highly entertaining, suspenseful, and innovative.

For me, the mystery secret person and the words in italics— "the icing on the cake." The twisty finale will leave you spinning. The secret is finally revealed. I was reminded of the final episode of Season One TV Series, Secrets and Lies. Deliciously evil!

Well crafted, Mackintosh once again uses her cop procedural expertise mixed with her fine-tuned writing abilities, to keep readers glued to the pages for a strong and gritty second installment. Highly recommend both books.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy, in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/04/I-See-You

Under the Knife

Under the Knife: A Novel - Kelly Parsons

By:  Kelly Parsons

ISBN: 9781250033338

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Real life board-certified urologist and novelist, Kelly Parsons, returns following his gripping debut, Doing Harm, (2014), with his latest medical (psychological) thriller, UNDER THE KNIFE.

When a good doctor makes a mistake. A patient dies. The grieving husband takes revenge into his own hands with extreme, sinister, and terrifying measures.

Told from four POVs:

Biotechnology tycoon Morgan Finney has nothing to lose; however, since his wife Jenny’s death, his rage had grown and threatened to consume him. Grief crashed over him without warning. He was drowning in it. He would take justice into his own hands. However, he is sure Jenny would not approve.

He had grown rich from being absolutely certain about things. He had not slept in days and was exhausted. Her death was the action, and cosmic disequilibrium the reaction. Jenny had worked with deaf children in college and had delighted in the cochlear implant concept.

Flash forward a year later.

Dr. Rita Wu, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, was strapped to an operating-room table. Naked. She had no clue how she has gotten here. Then she starts hearing voices in her head. There is someone talking to her. The voice in her head is Finney?

The voice is telling her what she has to do. What the heck?There is no way she can operate with this voice in her head. She will go mad. A nightmare. There was no stopping the panic. She was terrified. She wished she could reach out to Spencer.

Dr. Spencer Cameron. He has not gotten over Rita. They had been broken up a year ago. He is stalking his ex-girlfriend. He likes to keep tabs on her. He still loves her.

Sebastian is the mystery man. He had taken a job. Finney had provided him with the dossiers and videos of the early test subjects. Those unlucky enough to have been the first to receive the implants. The device.

Rita had removed Jenny's ruptured appendix. There were complications and she died. Finney tells her his wife, Jenny died because of her. She also had been pregnant.

Finney was going to kill her. He would make her suffer. He would rob her of something precious. The way he had been robbed.

Between madness, insanity, and the unspeakable. This cannot be happening. What kind of sick joke?

No way out. The embedding. Complex commands. Demands.
This grieving, unbalance, crazy husband of a former patient had trapped her, in an elaborate and perfectly executed– setup? What did he want from her?

Terrifying and chilling, the author, keeps you on the edge of your seat with his heart-pounding suspense thriller and a race against time. From sinister medical technology, and human experimentation. Corruption. Murder. A psychopath. Guilt. Revenge.

Character-driven with non-stop action and intensity. Loved Rita and Spencer. For fans of medical thrillers, Michael Palmer’s Trauma and the TV series, Pure Genius. If you have not read his first book, Doing Harm, highly recommend.

I also listened to the audio version, and Nancy Wu delivered an outstanding performance.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Under-the-Knife

Always

Always: A Novel - Sarah Jio

By: Sarah Jio

ISBN:1101885025

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Sarah Jio returns following The Look of Love (2014) with her eighth novel, ALWAYS. Written with the passion, past love, romance, relationships, the music of the 1990s, TBI, and of course the art, beauty, and charm of "spectacular" Seattle. When love never lets go.

“To old love and new, but, most of all, to the kind that lasts, always.”

It is 2008 in Seattle, Kailey Crane, a writer for the Seattle Herald has it all. A successful career, a charming new Craftsman bungalow and an upcoming wedding to the perfect guy, Ryan. He has wealth, looks, and the entire package.

As the book opens, the couple is having a leisurely dinner at the upscale French restaurant, making their upcoming wedding plans. As they are leaving, Kailey comes face to face with a homeless man and his piercing eyes. Shockingly, she recognizes him. Cade McAllister, the love of her life.

Cade was part of her past. They had dated back in the 1990s. A famous record label owner. He loved music. They had matching tattoos. Skin inked a decade prior- a glaring reminder of the past that did not become a future, of the dreams that evaporated into thin air. How he goes from success to thin, bony, and homeless? The sight of him haunts her. Why did he disappear so long ago?

Their tattoos. The word: Toujours, French for “always,” remained on her shoulder. Thinking of Cade reminded her of Tracy her best friend and former roommate. They both had been wide-eyed and idealistic. They believed in true love and happy endings. She and Cade had planned their future.

Kailey is working on an article for work, regarding a series about Pioneer Square and the homeless. Ryan, of course, does not agree with her opinions. They agree to disagree on the areas where their professional interests diverge. Ryan is a developer and thinks they should dynamite the six-block radius. He thinks there is nothing but addicts and vagrants. The homeless.

She wants to help the Hope Gospel Mission, the non-profit organization to help offer shelter to the homeless. The new proposal would entail demolishing thousands of low-income units and shelters. Currently, they were in the midst, of a gridlock with the city.

She believed these establishments needed to keep their doors open. Ryan worked with builders which were ready to throw up apartments, displacing the lifeline for hundreds of homeless people in the process.

Kailey cannot get Cade out of her mind. They had been in love and he left. She had tried to locate him and never found him. He did not recognize her. She must help him and find out what happened to him.

She begins searching the streets for him and ultimately finds him to learn, he has TBI. Traumatic Brain Injury. She puts Ryan, and her wedding plans aside since she is obsessed with helping get Cade off the streets and getting him the medical help he needs.

We revisit the 1990s and the early days of the couple's relationship. Kailey now is torn between her loyalty and love for Cade, and the man she is about to share her future with. Why did Cade leave without a word to her?

A little different novel than some of Jio’s typical historical fiction (have read them all). She brings forth all the charm of Seattle and the strong emotions of a woman, who has to make a difficult choice between two different men.

However, the story of Cade, his former business partner, and his ten years on the street were very undeveloped. The story was quite intriguing, keeping you hooked; however, like most reviewers and readers, we all were hoping for more to "fill in the blanks." I would love to have a POV from Cade. His voice would have been a nice enhancement to the overall story. The ending was tied up in a neat bow; however, left you wanting to learn more about the events leading up the night Cade lost his memory and after.

Possibly more research and discussions regarding TBI, and the homeless social issues. I am a huge fan of Seattle and have spent a lot of time in Pioneer Square, the jazz bars, quaint B&Bs, coffee shops, (ArtWalk, MusicFest), markets, as well as charming inns by the sea in Puget Sound and Snohomish. One of my favorite cities. Nice to revisit through the book.

An intriguing subject, since we learn —as in the book, every homeless person has a story. Any one of us could find ourselves in the same situation, if not for the help of others. We never know their “real” story or their journey. Instead of judging, we all need to join forces to help our communities continue with resources to assist.

The cover is stunning (received the paperback copy) as well as the digital copy. The cherry blossoms, the red scarf, the music, the setting, and the love story. As always, Sarah Jio continues to entertain, with compelling topics and those proposing critical life changing heart-wrenching questions/life choices. What would you do when faced with this difficult choice?

For fans of Colleen Hoover and contemporary romantic fiction.

A special thank you to Random House, NetGalley, and LibraryThing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 



On a side note: I reside in the urban downtown area Arts & Entertainment, West Palm Beach and walk everywhere; we have many homeless people, while surrounded by wonderful funky art, grunge, and flair and old converted lofts with a similar vibe to Pioneer Square. There are similar projects here facing the same controversial issues of billion dollar condos going up and replacing the low-income housing, leaving these people displaced and nowhere to turn.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/05/Always

Must Read Books Coming February, 2017

Reblogged from JudithDCollinsMustReads:

 

February is Book Lover's Month and What a Lineup of 

New Releases to Love! 

Listed by Date.  Click on Covers for more.

 

 
 

Always 

 

 

By: Sarah Jio

ISBN:1101885025

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister. 
 
When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.
 
Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Random House, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  (Beautiful paperback cover!)   

 

 
 

The Lost Woman 

 

By:  Sara Blaedel 

Louise Rick Series 

ISBN: 9781455541072

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format:  Other  

My Rating: 5 Stars

Following the #1 international bestsellers The Forgotten Girls and The Killing Forest, Inspector Louise Rick--head of the elite Special Search Agency in Denmark's National Police Department--returns in Sara Blaedel's newest crime thriller.

THE LOST WOMAN

A housewife is the target of a shocking, methodical killing. Shot with a hunting rifle through her kitchen window, the woman is dead before she hits the ground. Though murdered in England, it turns out that the woman, Sofie Parker, is a Danish citizen--one who's been missing for almost two decades--so Louise Rick is called on to the case. Then the police discover that the woman, Sophie, had been reported missing eighteen years ago by none other than Eik, Louise Rick's police colleague and lover. Impulsive as ever, Eik rushes to England, and ends up in jail on suspicion of Sofie's murder. Unsettled by the connection, and sick with worry for Eik, it falls to Louise to find the killer in what will become her most controversial case yet...

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

The Devil Crept In  

 

By:  Ania Ahlborn

ISBN: 9781476783758

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

 

Under the Knife  

By:  Kelly Parsons

ISBN: 9781250033338

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

Biotechnology tycoon Morgan Finney is highly intelligent but shy and emotionally fragile. When his beloved wife Jenny dies of complications during a surgery led by Dr. Rita Wu, Finney’s grief turns to rage. He vows to kill Rita just as he believes she killed his wife.

 

But first he will systematically destroy her life. He will take what is precious to her just as she did to him. Aided by a mysterious man, Finney uses advanced medical technology to ruin Rita’s reputation and bring her to the brink of madness. Alone, fighting for her sanity and life, Rita reaches out to her to former lover, Dr. Spencer Cameron, for help. Together they must fight to uncover Finney’s horrific intentions and race to stop him before it’s too late.

 

Terrifying and captivating, Under the Knife is a heart-pounding thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats up to the very last page. Ra

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review 

 

 

 

 

The Good Daughter 

 

By: Alexandra Burt
ISBN: 9780451488114

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars

From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden...

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller's childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
 
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she'll learn that in her mother's world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered...

 

Buy the Book     

 

 

 

 

 

We Were the Lucky Ones 

 

By: Georgia Hunter 

ISBN: 9780399563089

Publisher: PENGUIN/Viking 

Publication Date: 2/14/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: TBR (pre-ordered) 

“Reading Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history. . . . A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.” —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive—and to reunite 
 
It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety. 
 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 
 
In a novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Kraków's most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century's darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.

 

Buy the Book 

 

 

 

 

Blink 

 

 

By:  K.L. Slater

ASIN: B01NBF30MU

Publisher: Bookouture 

Publication Date: 2/16/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: Currently Reading

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

A woman lies paralysed in hospital, unable to do more than blink an eyelid. A mother’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, dominated by one awful memory:

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories and the overheard conversations in the hospital room, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

 

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister. 

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.   

 

 

 

I See You  

 
By:  Clare Mackintosh 

ISBN: 9781101988299

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date:  2/21/2017

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: Currently Reading

The author of the smash bestseller, I Let You Go, propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world...

Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...
 
It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her, a grainy photo along with a phone number and listing for a website called findtheone.com. 
 
Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they've become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including rape and murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad's twisted purpose...a discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. For now Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target. 
 
And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC  in exchange for an honest review.  

 

 

 

The Mother's Promise 

 

By: Sally Hepworth 

ISBN: 9781250077752

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date:  2/21/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating:  TBR

With every book, Sally Hepworth becomes more and more known for her searing emotional portraits of families—and the things that test their bonds.


With The Mother’s Promise, she delivers her most powerful novel yet: the story of a single mother who is dying, the troubled teenaged daughter who is battling her own demons, and the two women who come into their lives at the most critical moment. All their lives Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two, living quietly in northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and is given a grim prognosis.

 

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the darkest moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.   

 

 

 

The Nearness of You  

 

By:  Amanda Eyre Ward

ISBN:  9781101887158

Publisher: Random House 

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Hardcover  

My Rating: TBR

In this profound and lyrical novel, acclaimed author Amanda Eyre Ward explores the deeper meanings of motherhood—from the first blissful hello to the heart-wrenching prospect of saying goodbye.

Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.
 
Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.
 
Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 
 

A Piece of the World 

 

By:  Christina Baker Kline

ISBN: 9780062356260

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: TBR

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.


"Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden." 

 

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

 

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

 

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

 

Buy the Book

 

 

 

The Drifter  

 

By: Christine Lennon 

ISBN: 9780062457578

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  TBR

Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon’s compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence

Present Day…

For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

 

1990s, Gainesville, Florida…

 

Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.

 

Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.

 

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Bad Little Girl  

 

By: Frances Vick

ISBN: 9781786811202

Publisher: Bookouture 

Publication Date: 2/22/2017 

Format:  Other  

My Rating: TBR

I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. 

 

Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled? 

 

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

 

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.

 

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A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 
 

The Silent Wife  

By: Kerry Fisher

ISBN: 9781786811264

Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: 2/24/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: TBR

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he'd done something terrible?

A heart wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.' Write Escape 

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. 

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? 

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. 

A heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain. 

 

 

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A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

  

 

 

The Golden Hour  

 

By: T. Greenwood

ISBN:  978-0758290571

Publisher: Kensington 

Publication Date: 2/28/2017

Format: Other

My Rating: Currently Reading

“Richly told and hauntingly beautiful, The Golden Hour was impossible to put down.” --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author

On a spring afternoon long ago, thirteen-year-old Wyn Davies took a shortcut through the woods in her New Hampshire hometown and became a cautionary tale. Now, twenty years later, she lives in New York, on the opposite side of a duplex from her ex, with their four-year-old daughter shuttling between them. Wyn makes her living painting commissioned canvases of birch trees to match her clients’ furnishings. But the nagging sense that she has sold her artistic soul is soon eclipsed by a greater fear. Robby Rousseau, who has spent the past two decades in prison for a terrible crime against her, may be released based on new DNA evidence—unless Wyn breaks her silence about that afternoon.
 
To clear her head, refocus her painting, and escape an even more present threat, Wyn agrees to be temporary caretaker for a friend’s new property on a remote Maine island. The house has been empty for years, and in the basement Wyn discovers a box of film canisters labeled “Epitaphs and Prophecies.” Like time capsules, the photographs help her piece together the life of the house’s former owner, an artistic young mother, much like Wyn. But there is a mystery behind the images too, and unraveling it will force Wyn to finally confront what happened in those woods—and perhaps escape them at last.  
 
A compelling and evocative novel with an unsettling question at its heart, T. Greenwood’s The Golden Hour explores the power of art to connect, to heal, and to reveal our most painful and necessary truths.

 

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A special thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

Windy City Blues 

 

By: Renee Rosen 

ISBN: 9781101991121

Publisher:  Berkley

Publication Date: 2/28/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: TBR

The bestselling author of White Collar Girl and What the Lady Wants explores one woman's journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.

In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.

But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked...
 
Leeba doesn't exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.
 
With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

 

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Non-Fiction

 

Cravings



By:  Judy Collins

ISBN:  9780385541312

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Publication Date:  2/28/207 

Format:  Other

My Rating: 5 Stars 

Biographies & Memoirs

A no-holds-barred account of folk legend Judy Collins's harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating and of the journey that led her to a solution. 

Since childhood Judy Collins has had a tumultuous, fraught relationship with food. Her issues with overeating nearly claimed her career and her life. For decades she thought she simply lacked self-discipline. She tried nearly every diet plan that exists, often turning to alcohol to dull the pain of yet another failed attempt to control her seemingly insatiable "cravings."


Today, Judy knows she suffers from an addiction to sugar and grains, flour and wheat. She adheres to a strict diet of unprocessed foods, consumed in carefully measured portions. This solution has allowed her to maintain a healthy weight for years, to enjoy the glow of good health, and to attain peace of mind. 


Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy's genuine desire to share what she's learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow. 

 

HAPPY VALENTINES! 

 

 

 

 

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

The NoWhere Man

The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

An Orphan X Novel

(Evan Smoak #2)

By:  Gregg Hurwitz

ISBN: 9781250067852

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 1/17/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Greg Hurwitz returns with highly anticipated THE NOWHERE MAN following Orphan X (Evan Smoak, #1) landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 and Buy a Bullet (Evan Smoak #1.5), also highly recommend.

“How deep do you need to bury the past before it will stay dead? “—Alan Moore, Swamp Thing

Antihero, Evan Smoak returns for the most intense task yet. “He finds himself in the tightest spot, both emotionally and literally – he’s ever been in.”

With a highly creative twist reversal, the author places Evan in exactly the kind of situation he usually rescues other people from. Readers are able to see both sides of the man.

For more than a decade, he had been the top asset in the top-secret government operation, The Orphan Program. Trained by the US military as killers. Mission: to assassinate government’s designated enemies. He is trained, skilled, intelligent, and resourceful.

Now, Evan is "The Nowhere Man." A personal mission--to help those with nowhere else to turn. The Tenth Commandment loomed above all else. Never let an innocent die.

He is known by some as Evan Smoak. To a few, Orphan X, but in general he is not known at all. The Nowhere Man. Evan has gone rogue to do right. In the previous book and novella, Evan he has been using his talents to pay it forward to those who need his skills.

Evan still faces many enemies who wish him grievous harm even while off the grid. One of them is Charles Van Sciver, the most brutal of the Orphans, who’s now running the program and is on a mission to hunt down former members of the organization.

Now he's been kidnapped, drugged, and hidden away by order of the new head of the Orphan program, who intends to have him eliminated. Trapped without hope of escape. Psychological terror.

The book starts out with the secret Facebook of Hector Contrell. Trolling the middle schools. Girls. A sales catalog. Given immigration confusion, gang influence, and splintered family trees, disappearances aren’t rare when you’re dealing with broken ethnic girls. A renewable resource.

Something awful is coming. A girl needs help. 1.855.2. NOWHERE. A magical fix-it line. The first commandment Assume nothing – demands it.

A task, a purpose, an act of empowerment that transitioned them from victim to rescuer. Evan knew all too well that some wounds never healed, not fully. But there were ways to contain the pain, to take ownership over the scars.

The seventeen-year-old girl locked inside Container 78653-B812 being delivered to Jacksonville Port Authority. Who has purchased her?

Evan has so many days to rescue the girl. He has to save himself first. A race against time. During this time he faces every danger imaginable (nail biting terror). Being held captive, taken to a secret location and tortured by a very powerful and devious man, René Peter Cassaroy who had at his disposal an army of ruthless men.

Who will be the next client to pass on the Nowhere Man’s number? How many more Hector Contrells would he face? The RoamZone vibrates. Do you need my help?

 



Classic. Bold. Innovative. Action-Packed Adventure. Explosive. Suspenseful. Non-Stop thrills. An electrifying and entertaining series! Can’t wait for the next.

Hurwitz is already under contract for three more Orphan X novels, and Bradley Cooper’s production company has picked up the film rights. (Hurwitz, who has published 16 novels, scripted comics for Marvel and DC, written for network television, and sold numerous screenplays, is penning the big-screen adaptation himself.) I would say, he knows what he is doing!

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-Nowhere-Man

The Lost Woman

The Lost Woman - Sara Blaedel

By:  Sara Blaedel 

Louise Rick Series 

ISBN: 9781455541072

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format:  Other  

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

The queen of Danish crime thrillers, Sara Blaedel returns following The Killing Forest (2016) and The Forgotten Girls (2015) with her latest, THE LOST WOMAN: Louise Ricks finds herself once again caught up in a web, between her personal and career life, in this highly emotional, well-researched and enthralling mystery suspense.

The saga grips you from page one with the chilling scene of a brutal murder of a forty-four-year-old woman in her home, shot outside Nailsea. Her husband drops the wine glass, and a teen daughter was just leaving. The killer is outside the window in the garden. She was killed with a hunting rifle. Motive?

Louise Rick is dating Eik. Six months earlier he moved in with her and Jonas while Louise’s friend Camilla stayed in Eik’s studio apartment with her husband and son. It had all worked out fine. Markus and Jonas had left for boarding school. Everyone was moving on.

In addition, their relationship is causing some complications at work, due to their living arrangement, since they both worked at the same place. Someone is going to need to transfer. They could not continue to being partners if they are living together.

It was awkward since she could not even mention her partner’s name to anyone else in the department without it sounding suggestive. After this discussion, Eik leaves to run down for a pack of smokes and to walk the dog. He does not return.

Flashing back to 1996, we meet Sofie Parker. A mother with MS. A woman who wants to die with dignity. Her father had died years before.

“But life can take you to a place you don’t want to be, and that’s when I want to be allowed to end it . . . . “

Louise discovers Eik is missing, and Charlie, the German shepherd remains behind. Something was very wrong.

Currently, the woman who was murdered in her home in England is none other than Sofie Parker, a Danish citizen who has been missing for years. Louise is on the case.

In the meantime, when Louise thinks about Eik, she does not know much about his past. He had been sailing in the Mediterranean when his girlfriend suddenly disappeared. Without getting into details he had told her they had quarreled and in the end, he had decided to return to Copenhagen. He learned of the tragedy upon his return to South Harbor. No sign of his girlfriend. The others were found drowned. No sign of her or her belongings.

Louise starts thinking about her relationship with Eik. Was she making him happy and had he not gotten over his love of his girlfriend. They had secrets. She knows all too well the consequences of dark secrets.

Soon the investigation links this dead woman to Sophie and Eik. How could this woman be Sophie, and what does Eik have to do with this woman and her murder? How was he linked to her?

What was he doing in southwestern England? He is arrested. Was Sofie the same woman who disappeared years ago? She had married Nigel Parker. She disappeared for some reason. Now the woman was dead.

Louise wants answers. Why was Eik at the crime scene? Erik Nordstrom was employed by the Danish Search Department. There clearly had to be a misunderstanding.

What happened when this woman disappeared from the boat in Italy? How could Eik just take off for England without telling her? She was his boss and he had disappeared in the middle of the work day, much less her live-in lover, as well. Do not mess with Louise.

Did this man know his wife from Scandinavia? He did not know much about his wife’s mysterious past. Louise is not happy with Eik’s behavior. Furious to say the least. She needed to throw him out. How are the cases connected? What is the motive?

As always, Blaedel delves deeply and tackles highly-charged topics of assisted suicide with skill and finesse, crossing moral gray lines. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

With the author’s own compelling trademark style of complex plots and her own extensive background she offers great insight into her characters and continues to address controversial social issues and topics with an engaging narrative, and intriguing settings.

No matter what part of the world you are located, Sara always transports you with vivid descriptions and fascinating, well-crafted suspense thrillers. Her extensive research is reflected throughout each of her novels. If you have not read her books, it is a good time to begin your journey! Looking forward to more Louise Ricks.

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/15/The-Lost-Woman

Must Read Books Coming February, 2017

 

February is Book Lover's Month and What a Lineup of 

New Releases to Love! 

Listed by Date.  Click on Covers for more.

 

 
 

Always 

 

 

By: Sarah Jio

ISBN:1101885025

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister. 
 
When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.
 
Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Random House, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  (Beautiful paperback cover!)   

 

 
 

The Lost Woman 

 

By:  Sara Blaedel 

Louise Rick Series 

ISBN: 9781455541072

Publisher: Grand Central 

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format:  Other  

My Rating: 5 Stars

Following the #1 international bestsellers The Forgotten Girls and The Killing Forest, Inspector Louise Rick--head of the elite Special Search Agency in Denmark's National Police Department--returns in Sara Blaedel's newest crime thriller.

THE LOST WOMAN

A housewife is the target of a shocking, methodical killing. Shot with a hunting rifle through her kitchen window, the woman is dead before she hits the ground. Though murdered in England, it turns out that the woman, Sofie Parker, is a Danish citizen--one who's been missing for almost two decades--so Louise Rick is called on to the case. Then the police discover that the woman, Sophie, had been reported missing eighteen years ago by none other than Eik, Louise Rick's police colleague and lover. Impulsive as ever, Eik rushes to England, and ends up in jail on suspicion of Sofie's murder. Unsettled by the connection, and sick with worry for Eik, it falls to Louise to find the killer in what will become her most controversial case yet...

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

The Devil Crept In  

 

By:  Ania Ahlborn

ISBN: 9781476783758

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

 

Under the Knife  

By:  Kelly Parsons

ISBN: 9781250033338

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

Biotechnology tycoon Morgan Finney is highly intelligent but shy and emotionally fragile. When his beloved wife Jenny dies of complications during a surgery led by Dr. Rita Wu, Finney’s grief turns to rage. He vows to kill Rita just as he believes she killed his wife.

 

But first he will systematically destroy her life. He will take what is precious to her just as she did to him. Aided by a mysterious man, Finney uses advanced medical technology to ruin Rita’s reputation and bring her to the brink of madness. Alone, fighting for her sanity and life, Rita reaches out to her to former lover, Dr. Spencer Cameron, for help. Together they must fight to uncover Finney’s horrific intentions and race to stop him before it’s too late.

 

Terrifying and captivating, Under the Knife is a heart-pounding thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats up to the very last page. Ra

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review 

 

 

 

 

The Good Daughter 

 

By: Alexandra Burt
ISBN: 9780451488114

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars

From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden...

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller's childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
 
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she'll learn that in her mother's world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered...

 

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We Were the Lucky Ones 

 

By: Georgia Hunter 

ISBN: 9780399563089

Publisher: PENGUIN/Viking 

Publication Date: 2/14/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 4 Stars

“Reading Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history. . . . A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.” —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive—and to reunite 
 
It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety. 
 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 
 
In a novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Kraków's most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century's darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.

 

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Blink 

 

 

By:  K.L. Slater

ASIN: B01NBF30MU

Publisher: Bookouture 

Publication Date: 2/16/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

A woman lies paralysed in hospital, unable to do more than blink an eyelid. A mother’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, dominated by one awful memory:

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories and the overheard conversations in the hospital room, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

 

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister. 

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.   

 

 

 

I See You  

 
By:  Clare Mackintosh 

ISBN: 9781101988299

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date:  2/21/2017

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

The author of the smash bestseller, I Let You Go, propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world...

Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...
 
It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her, a grainy photo along with a phone number and listing for a website called findtheone.com. 
 
Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they've become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including rape and murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad's twisted purpose...a discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. For now Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target. 
 
And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

 

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A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC  in exchange for an honest review.  

 

 

 

The Mother's Promise 

 

By: Sally Hepworth 

ISBN: 9781250077752

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date:  2/21/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars 

With every book, Sally Hepworth becomes more and more known for her searing emotional portraits of families—and the things that test their bonds.


With The Mother’s Promise, she delivers her most powerful novel yet: the story of a single mother who is dying, the troubled teenaged daughter who is battling her own demons, and the two women who come into their lives at the most critical moment. All their lives Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two, living quietly in northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and is given a grim prognosis.

 

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the darkest moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.   

 

 

 

The Nearness of You  

 

By:  Amanda Eyre Ward

ISBN:  9781101887158

Publisher: Random House 

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Hardcover  

My Rating: 4 Stars 

In this profound and lyrical novel, acclaimed author Amanda Eyre Ward explores the deeper meanings of motherhood—from the first blissful hello to the heart-wrenching prospect of saying goodbye.

Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.
 
Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.
 
Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 
 

A Piece of the World 

 

By:  Christina Baker Kline

ISBN: 9780062356260

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.


"Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden." 

 

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

 

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

 

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

 

Buy the Book

 

 

 

The Drifter  

 

By: Christine Lennon 

ISBN: 9780062457578

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars

Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon’s compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence

Present Day…

For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

 

1990s, Gainesville, Florida…

 

Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.

 

Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.

 

Buy the Book 

 

 

 

Bad Little Girl  

 

By: Frances Vick

ISBN: 9781786811202

Publisher: Bookouture 

Publication Date: 2/22/2017 

Format:  Other  

My Rating: 2 Stars

I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. 

 

Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled? 

 

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

 

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.

 

Buy the Book 

 

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 
 

The Silent Wife  

By: Kerry Fisher

ISBN: 9781786811264

Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: 2/24/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: TBR

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he'd done something terrible?

A heart wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.' Write Escape 

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. 

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? 

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. 

A heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain. 

 

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

  

 

 

The Golden Hour  

 

By: T. Greenwood

ISBN:  978-0758290571

Publisher: Kensington 

Publication Date: 2/28/2017 +

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars

“Richly told and hauntingly beautiful, The Golden Hour was impossible to put down.” --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author

On a spring afternoon long ago, thirteen-year-old Wyn Davies took a shortcut through the woods in her New Hampshire hometown and became a cautionary tale. Now, twenty years later, she lives in New York, on the opposite side of a duplex from her ex, with their four-year-old daughter shuttling between them. Wyn makes her living painting commissioned canvases of birch trees to match her clients’ furnishings. But the nagging sense that she has sold her artistic soul is soon eclipsed by a greater fear. Robby Rousseau, who has spent the past two decades in prison for a terrible crime against her, may be released based on new DNA evidence—unless Wyn breaks her silence about that afternoon.
 
To clear her head, refocus her painting, and escape an even more present threat, Wyn agrees to be temporary caretaker for a friend’s new property on a remote Maine island. The house has been empty for years, and in the basement Wyn discovers a box of film canisters labeled “Epitaphs and Prophecies.” Like time capsules, the photographs help her piece together the life of the house’s former owner, an artistic young mother, much like Wyn. But there is a mystery behind the images too, and unraveling it will force Wyn to finally confront what happened in those woods—and perhaps escape them at last.  
 
A compelling and evocative novel with an unsettling question at its heart, T. Greenwood’s The Golden Hour explores the power of art to connect, to heal, and to reveal our most painful and necessary truths.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

Windy City Blues 

 

By: Renee Rosen 

ISBN: 9781101991121

Publisher:  Berkley

Publication Date: 2/28/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: Currently Reading

The bestselling author of White Collar Girl and What the Lady Wants explores one woman's journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.

In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.

But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked...
 
Leeba doesn't exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.
 
With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

 

Buy the Book  

 

 

 

Non-Fiction

 

Cravings



By:  Judy Collins

ISBN:  9780385541312

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Publication Date:  2/28/207 

Format:  Other

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Biographies & Memoirs

A no-holds-barred account of folk legend Judy Collins's harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating and of the journey that led her to a solution. 

Since childhood Judy Collins has had a tumultuous, fraught relationship with food. Her issues with overeating nearly claimed her career and her life. For decades she thought she simply lacked self-discipline. She tried nearly every diet plan that exists, often turning to alcohol to dull the pain of yet another failed attempt to control her seemingly insatiable "cravings."


Today, Judy knows she suffers from an addiction to sugar and grains, flour and wheat. She adheres to a strict diet of unprocessed foods, consumed in carefully measured portions. This solution has allowed her to maintain a healthy weight for years, to enjoy the glow of good health, and to attain peace of mind. 


Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy's genuine desire to share what she's learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.

 

Buy the Book

 

A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow. 

 

HAPPY VALENTINES!  

 

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

Right Behind You

Right Behind You - Lisa Gardner

By: Lisa Gardner

Quincy & Rainie, #7 

ISBN: 978-0525954583‚Äč

Publisher: Dutton 

Publication Date: 1/31/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars + +

 

Psychologically rich. Meticulously researched. Thought-provoking. Edge-of-your-seat thriller. Emotional. Gripping. Suspenseful. Gardner’s Best Yet! Top Books of 2017. 5 Stars +++

The "queen" of crime thrillers, Lisa Gardner returns to Bakersville, Oregon, following Find Her (2016) and the latest tantalizing prequel teaser: The 4th Man (Quincy & Rainie #6.5) with RIGHT BEHIND YOU — with fan favorites, highly anticipated retired FBI profiler and former police officer Quincy & Rainie dynamic duo: A heart-pounding, emotional, and gripping suspense crime thriller.

Fans will devour. Humans are complex. Hearts will go out to this brother and sister duo. Professional and personal lives connect. Where nothing is as it appears.

"Had a family once. Father. Mothers. Sister. Lived in our very own double-wide."

The opening takes us to a scene of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect. Two siblings. A brother and a younger sister. A brutal murder. A troubled past. Childhood trauma.

Flash forward years later, we catch up with Quincy and Rainie, retired FBI agent and former police officer, called in on a case, working with the local authorities in Oregon.

With the past books, Quincy was an FBI profiler and met Rainie, a deputy in Bakersville while working on a school shooting case. Now, both retired, they work together consulting on cold cases, or murders outside the police department’s norm.

They are experts in monsters. Homes can be broken. Can the members be mended by the love of others?

When Sharlah (5) and Telly (9) spent day and night trying to escape the violence of their parents- subjected to the unspeakable. Not a life, for an innocent and helpless boy and girl. There was no one to protect them from harm. The kids had to fend for themselves.

One night things get heated and the father tries to kill them. Telly comes to his sister’s rescue and the parents are murdered. They wind up in foster care separated.

Of course, Sharlah knows all too well about monsters. Her parents are dead, with no surviving relatives. Just a brother, four years older than her. She has not seen or heard from him since. She was very young and does not remember a lot about the night her parents died. No one talks about her brother. She has post-traumatic stress, and continues to go to therapy.

She had come to Rainie and Quincy with a case history of antisocial tendencies. They had qualified as foster parents despite Quincy's advanced years, and Rainie's continued struggle with alcohol. They plan on adoption. There is always a pull here with three different personalities.

Quincy was considered an expert in bonding. Sharlah was not easy. She was a lost girl. Broken. One who had been subjected to hardship and violence and had built the corresponding protective layers. She did not trust easily, nor reach out, with a lack of faith. However, she bonded with their dog, Luka. They were inseparable.

She was broken inside. Sharlah had been in their home for three years and they were close to adoption. She respects her soon to be parents and the work they do. However, she does not realize, nor do they, how she is connected to the case. The meaning of family. Everyone involved is part of this family unit.

Quincy is the quiet one; and Rainie, the emotional one. Sharlah really loves them, but not quite sure how to express her feelings. She has her guard up all the time. She knows they are experts in monsters, like herself. If you have read the other books in the series, you know the difficult journey this couple has traveled.

They are giving back by being foster parents to teenage daughter Sharlah, and their dog Luka. Luka is a former police officer. A trained member of law enforcement. He had to retire at five with a bum knee and not strong enough for active duty. Quincy got him for a cop friend and now he is Sharlah’s best friend. She was ten when she arrived in their home and had already been placed in many others.

We also meet Shelly the local small town Sherriff and fugitive tracker, Cal - nice added characters. There has been a shooting at the EZ Gas station in Bakersville, a backwoods town between Portland and Salem. Three victims. Multiple gun shots. A killer is on the loose.

They soon discover as the investigation is underway; there is a foster teen boy, who appears to be the perpetrator on a shooting spree. Why? What set him off? Could it possibly be Sharlah’s brother? The evidence is pointing his way.

He had been so good with his little sister, had read to her, taken her to the library and caring for her needs. Protecting her. However, upon their parent’s death, the siblings had been separated.

Quincy and Rainie fear for their daughter. Is Telly out to harm her? Where will he strike next? A psychotic break. A killer on the loose?

However, has Telly, the brother really killed his foster parents and the victims at the gas station? Or is it someone else? Why does he have photos of Sharlah?

As Quincy and Rainie fear for the safety of their own family and Sharlah, they also must dig deeper to understand what really happened all those years ago, at the murder scene to make sense of the events unfolding in the present.

The brother and sister duo have not seen or heard from one another for eight years. Why now? Did Sharlah have her own memories hidden away? Does she remember what went down that night so long ago? Is a brother trying to protect his sister, still today, after all these years?

One more person to kill. Secrets. Family is about trust.

The suspense builds as Gardner takes you back to the trailer, to the night it all began. The innocent lives of two young siblings and the painful cruel hand they were dealt. From tragedy, loss, pain, and trauma, to love, loyalty, and deep connections.

INTENSE! The author grabs you from page one (grabbed me with the preview included in The 4th Man) and never lets go, not even for a second. I knew I had to read this story. It is a "read in one sitting" kind of suspense. Psychologically rich, one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year. In addition, a vivid portrayal of the foster care system and the impact of both parents, and children have on one another.

With meticulous research and skillful crafting, Gardner combines law enforcement, profiling, cop procedures, domestic violence, foster care, social issues, juvenile system, adoption, alcoholism, at-risk kids, addiction, spree killing, fugitive tracking, crime, mystery, and suspense. It has it ALL.

In addition, to being a huge Quincy and Rainie and Gardner fan, (quickly going back to buy the previous audiobooks, to catch up); loved the relationship between Telly and Sharlah, and my favorite was the twist with Sandra and Frank (Telly’s foster parents), Sandra’s intriguing past and her relationship with Telly. Highly creative as the two families are intertwined. And let’s not forget the skill and love of a loyal dog.

Buy RIGHT BEHIND YOU, today! Gardner pulls out all the stops. Cannot wait for the next. Here’s hoping for more Quincy, Rainie, Telly and Sharlah. Gardner can flat out write complex crime, and spin a tale, like no one else.

A special thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

"Right Behind You" continues one of Gardner's frequent themes: that danger often lies close to home.

 

 




By Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive (Great interview).

Gardner's next book will be a follow-up to her 2016 hit "Find Her," part of her Detective D.D. Warren series and a return engagement for her character Flora Dane. "I'm working on a novel now where a family has been murdered but, to be different, the 16-year-old daughter is missing," Gardner said.

The question the police must answer is whether the girl was involved in the crime or was kidnapped. Fans can once again nominate themselves or a loved one to appear in the book by entering Gardner's Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Sweepstakes. Read More

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Right-Behind-You

Fatal

Fatal: A Novel - John Lescroart

By:  John Lescroart

ISBN: 9781501115677

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 1/24/2017

Format: Other

My Rating:  4 Stars 

 

New York Times Bestselling author, John Lescroart returns following The Fall (2015) with a totally different type novel than his norm. FATAL, the unexpected, the deadly consequences of a one-night stand.

As you begin reading you will think you are embarking on another “The Affair” American television series (currently catching up with the last season); however, minus all the continuous down and dirty sex scenes.

Set in San Francisco, a gripping domestic suspense of a woman who chooses a burning desire--to commit adultery-- infidelity, leading to a dark and suspenseful journey. A dangerous web of deceit.

Kate Jameson, age 44 is married to Ron (a lawyer) with two children.

They attend a dinner party and Kate becomes obsessed with Peter, also married. Her best friend is a cop, Beth Tully. They had been friends since college and shared their thoughts. She had warned her not to act on her lustful feelings.

However, Kate does not listen. A one-night stand turns into a nightmare. The lives it touches. Crossing lines. Harmful secrets. Could she go back to normal? Shattered lives. Deadly consequences. Murder.

A gang of terrorists. A shooting. Kate and Beth are wounded, then six months later. Peter winds up dead, plus more.

Be patient, a slow start; however, about 50% the intensity heats up.

 




A shocking stand-alone tale (coming from this author), straying from the usual Dismas Hardy style---writing from a woman’s point of view, a strong driving force which navigates the novel. A different tone than the norm, character-driven, with more sensitivity and relationships between women and men.

Give Fatal a whirl! Lescroart is welcome to lead us down a different path, as long as he leads us back with another Dismas Hardy (coming soon), can’t wait! A superb storyteller (no matter the genre) from the master. Perfect cover!

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Check out the Interview with John! 

 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/11/Fatal

The Sleepwalker

The Sleepwalker: A Novel - Chris Bohjalian

By: Chris Bohjalian 

ISBN: 9780385538916

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 1/10/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 3 Stars 

 

Master storyteller, Chris Bohjalian returns following The Guest Room landing on my Top Books of 2016 with an intriguing tale of the mysterious world of parasomnia and dark family secrets. Recommend reading the novella, The Premonition, a prequel to THE SLEEPWALKER.

“I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.” – Sylvia Plath

Set in Vermont, a young mother sleepwalks and performs complex behaviors. Now she has gone missing. Annalee is a sleepwalker. A condition, or a state, a sleep behavior somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness

Her daughter Lianna was twenty-one and her sister, Paige was twelve. The husband and father, Warren (English Professor) at the elite New England college--was away on business. They have not recovered.

Annalee embarrassed her husband. They both felt shame, but for different reasons. He because of what people saw and she because of what she could not control. The parents often fought. Annalee was smart and beautiful. She battled depression and took antidepressants.

“They tell you there is no connection between sleepwalking and dreams. Perhaps. After all, you can remember your dreams."

The girls were years apart and there had been five miscarriages between the two births. Seven years later the sleepwalking began. Lianna was in high school and Paige in the second grade.

When the mother was sleepwalking, it seemed she was oblivious, even to the weather, and no recollection of the events the follow day.

"You climb out of bed. You search out a stranger who will satisfy the craving. With any luck, you will wake before you find one. But not always."

The events only occurred when the father was out of town—including the night when she vanished once and for all. It was why the police almost instantly discarded him as a suspect. He had been at a poetry conference in Iowa City.

Both the girls are feeling guilty since neither woke up that night. No body had been found.

“It’s only when the dreams lead you from your bed; from sleep, that the amusements become dangerous.

The next morning, the patient is amnestic. They remember nothing or next to nothing or presumes it was merely a dream.

Detective Gavin Rikert with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Waterbury is on the case. Lilanna is sure her mother did not kill herself and she was not having an affair.

An accident? Did she drown? They found a scrap of nightgown; it was by the river. A concussion. They hoped she was not in the water. The Detective and the mom had attended the same sleep center. He mentioned they had not seen one another for the last several years. Lianna thinks he knows more than he is saying.

The author sprinkles first person notes in italics between chapters. The reader is unsure who is speaking-adding to the mystery.

The novel unfolds surrounding the fallout emotions of the disappearance of Annalee. Warren throws himself in work and drinking; whereas Lianna takes drugs to dull the pain, and Paige swims the river in search of the mother. Everyone handles the guilt and grief in different ways.

People go to the extremes when sleepwalking. From having sex, commit crimes, cook, drive, and drown. It also runs in the family. The ongoing mystery of what really happened to Annalee- to the final conclusion.

If you have read any of Bohjalian’s previous books, you come to expect he tackles highly charged emotional topics with informative and well-researched compelling information. Twisty, slow-burning, and absorbing.

“The earth is as rich with magic as it is with horror and sadness.”

While the subject was fascinating, I will admit this was not my favorite of his books. Felt, it was missing the intensity, suspense, and literary flair of his previous books. Not sure I enjoyed it enough, to read "book two" in the series.

In addition to the reading copy, I also purchased the audiobook, and while I enjoy Cady McClain, the other performer Grace Experience had the most irritating voice. Later discovered Grace is Chris's daughter (sorry); however, a narrator will make or break a book.

There are six common parasomnias that afflict sleepers:
* Sleepwalking. More commonly seen in children, sleepwalking (also called somnambulism) affects about 4 percent of American adults
* REM sleep behavior disorder
* Nightmares.
* Night terrors
* Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder
* Teeth grinding

A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/The-Sleepwalker

The Guests on South Battery

The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White
Tradd Street #5
ISBN: 0451475232
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Publication Date: 1/10/2017
Format: Other
My Rating: 4 Stars 
 
The queen of the South, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns (2016) landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 list and (2014) Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #4) with the continuation THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY (#5) with more mystery, history, spirits, a twist of paranormal and dark family secrets.
 
"There is always a way to look past the bad to see the good."

Set in the Holy City - historic Charleston, SC, we pick up from the last book with Melanie (Middleton) and Jack Trenholm, settling into marriage with a busy lifestyle and twins, Sarah and JJ (Jack, Jr), and Jack’s daughter, Nola, a sophomore at Ashley Hall. Nola is also interested in a boy named Cooper which Jack must warm up to.

They are the owners of a historic home on Tradd Street (an interesting story from previous books), with its quirks and their dogs. The restless dead had left her along for almost a year as Melanie settled into her new life as wife and mother without the distraction of spirits needing her for something.

Jack is a bestselling author (charming, funny, and irresistible) and Melanie, a successful Realtor, is returning to work after her maternity leave. They are coming up on their first year as parents. Melanie is having a hard time finding and keeping a nanny since she likes things a certain way with her routines. This has been the reason she has been delayed getting back to work, much later than she planned.

Melanie’s first day back, feeling a bit insecure, not having lost all the baby weight, she lands a new client, Jayne Smith from Alabama, who has recently inherited a prominent historic home, the Pinckney mansion. Being an orphan, she is not related to the owner and hates old homes and has never been to Charleston.

She wants Melanie to sell it and find her a new one. Something fresh and new with lots of metal, glass, and stone. Ironically, she is a qualified nanny and does not mind Melanie’s attention to order and details. A match made in heaven.

However, Jayne is not so sure she wants to move into Melanie and Jack’s house since it is also old and historic until she decides about her own living arrangements. However, she soon learns it feels like a home and feels comfortable there.

Melanie and her mom (both with psychic gifts) decide they want to try and discover the past of the house, to warn off the spirits for Jayne to possibly decide to hold on to the home since there was a lot of history. After all, it was on South Battery near the corner of Legare, a huge white house with the portico and columns.

Button Pinckney was an acquaintance of Melanie’s and a good friend of both her mother and mother-in-law. They all went to school at Ashley Hall years ago, and her mom had attended the funeral.

Why would Jayne inherit a home from a stranger? Jayne was raised in the foster care system and was never adopted. Melanie liked her and wants to help. If they can warn off and rid the house of spirits, evil, and ghosts- maybe Jayne will decide to keep the house.

Melanie had a flash of déjà vu, since a man Vanderhorst had left her his crumbling old home that she did not want or need either, not so long ago. She knows all too well about an albatross of a house left to an unsuspecting stranger.

We meet up with Dr. Sophie Wallen-Arasi, professor of historic preservation at the College of Charleston, and Melanie’s mom, Ginette, as well as Melanie’s annoying cousin and Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Rebecca—plus her husband, Marc Longo who stole Jack’s book idea, the story of a disappearance and a murder that occurred in the twenties in her house and made it into a runaway bestseller (with Jack being dropped by his publisher as a result).

An ongoing mystery of the Pickney house. Button never married. She had an older brother-Sumter. He married Anna, another classmate and they had a daughter. She died when she was a child. Anna and Sumter divorced shortly afterward and Anna remained in the house with Button. She died about ten years later. Sumter never remarried and moved to New York after his divorce.

Melanie’s parents have recently remarried and have a good relationship. In the meantime, Melanie lets her old insecurities get in the way making her jump to the wrong conclusions. We also meet up with Detective Thomas Riley and he helps Melanie run a background check on Jayne for the nanny job and he seems to like Jayne. Melanie and Ginette are curious why a generous philanthropist decided to give her entire estate to a deserving orphan.

However, Melanie and Ginette get more than they bargained for with ghosts of the past at the old Pickney mansion. From chilling spirits, haunting ghosts, a cat, a disturbing antique doll, a hanging, a past mental illness, warnings to go away, and desperate cries of help— Jayne, Melanie, and Jayne may have more in common than they may know.
 
Under the mold, falling plaster, spirits of the past, and its sadness, they soon realize there must have been happiness before the tragedy within the walls. It may be worth the chance of a new beginning. Houses are like people. They all deserve a second chance at happiness.

Old secrets which have been buried, all come to the surface. A decades-old mystery to be solved with a shocking conclusion.

As always, Karen White is multi-talented, writing southern women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance, literary, and historical, crossing many genres. Always love her tales of Charleston and the dark family secrets of the South. I especially loved the reference to Wendy Wax (very cool) —another favorite.

Charleston is such a beautiful city with its historic architecture, and always love catching up with familiar landmarks. Well-crafted and engaging. An intriguing twisty mystery with paranormal elements, enjoy catching up with familiar characters. I enjoy Jack and Melanie’s relationship and the dramas of their lives. If you love history, southern fiction, and ghost stories you will enjoy the series.

Having read and enjoyed all the books in the series, highly recommend them all! In addition to the reading copy, also listened to the audio version (nicely done as always), narrated by Aimée Bruneau, with a charming southern accent.

Looking forward to the next- hoping we hear more about Jayne's mysterious past. 
 
Cannot wait for The Night the Lights Went Out (cover love), Coming April 11, 2017.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/04/The-Guests-on-South-Battery

Two Days Gone

Two Days Gone: A Novel - Randall Silvis

By: Randall Silvis

A Ryan DeMarco Mystery

ISBN: 9781492639732

Publisher:   SOURCEBOOKS Landmark

Publication Date: 1/10/2017

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars +

 

Author Spotlight Join Me, Blog Tour Jan 15 Giveaways, Excerpt, Author Interviews + More

Readers who take their novels strong and dark will savor Randall Silvia’s skillfully-written latest literary thriller-contemporary crime noir: TWO DAYS GONE with the introduction of his new series and intriguing character (Ryan DeMarco Mystery).

The best part is the connection and relationship between writer and reader. The Author’s Acknowledgement "Writer/Reader relationship" earns a 5 Star +. An added bonus following the book. For every author and reader.

If you’re seduced by the darker, deeper, grittier side of literature, with vivid descriptions, you will be drawn to the grisly, moody, atmospheric, graphic, disturbing, and unsettling tale, with a clever thought-provoking literary twist. A book within a book. Not for the faint hearted.

A bold powerhouse novel and author. The cover, copy and book description: A "bullseye." Right On. Gripping, taut, sensitive, and astute. Even the inner musings of the characters have a poetic power. A haunting character-driven study of two deeply flawed and troubled men protagonists (alternating narratives). Both solitary men in their own way.

DeMarco lived alone and of course Huston did not. Both had complicated relationships with others. DeMarco had no center. He ventured out to relationships from emptiness and to emptiness he returned. One case of tragedy after another, puzzle after morbid puzzle to solve. What if he had made better choices twelve years ago on that rainy night?

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police has seen his share of despair, violence, and malicious acts. From college students to strip clubs, the woods, the streets- there lies a murderer. Hiding. A man, gone mad in the blink of an eye. A man turned into a beast.

A murderer is in their midst. A community. One of their own. Someone they all trusted. a bestselling author. The education of sons and daughters. They had seen his smiling face in local bookstores and watched him with Katie on Good Morning America.

Claire Huston, one of the prettiest women in town is dead with a slash across her throat. Thomas, Jr, twelve, a sixth grader also dead, same way. Sister, Alyssa, fourth grade, also murdered. Little David Ryan Huston, asleep on his back in his crib. A blade thrust in his heart. A second one. A chef’s knife.

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone. Snap your fingers five times, that’s how long it took. Five steel-edged scrapes across the tender flesh of night. Why was the baby killed differently than the others in the family? Stabbed in the heart twice.

The bodies of the Huston family had been discovered. From family, neighbors, and friends. All stunned and grief-stricken. All eyes turned toward the husband, the father, the accomplished writer, the professor. He had fled.

DeMarco had met Thomas Huston previously. He had read all his books. A reader. He was a friend. He reminded him of a young Jack Kerouac. Thomas Huston was a professor. A writer. He loved his students. He was working on a new book. A trooper was one of the main characters. They had met on several occasions and connected on several levels.

There was Huston’s tragic past. The bungled robbery of the family hardware store. The blast that tore out his mother’s throat. His father’s suicide two weeks later from an overdose. The horrific images still haunted Thomas. The memories overwhelmed him. Now, his own family. Was he the murderer? Or someone else?

DeMarco had his own demons. A ruined marriage, his son’s death, his anger, his aggressive behavior, and the subsequent demotion. His drinking. The accident that took his son’s life. He and Huston had connected.

How could this man have killed his entire family? He loved them. He was a good and decent man. He spoke so fondly of them. He was not a violent man. Did something set him off? Now Huston was out there. He had fled. Maybe he is amnesic?

Ryan begins researching Thomas Huston and his parents, his books, his reviews, articles and his latest novel, The Desperate Summer. A book released three and half years after his parent’s death. Other profiles from Poets and Writers. Interviews. Characters.

It was clear that Thomas Huston, like his character, suffered some very dark moments. But dark enough to cause him to slaughter his own family? The rage and grief. What would have gone through his mind for him to do this to his family?

Huston was a writer, teacher, and student. It was his job to make order out of disorder. To find the meaning in metaphor.

DeMarco is on the hunt, digging for each piece of evidence. The woods, his students, and strip clubs (Whispers). Strippers, hookers, an abortion, dancers, bouncers. Research for his books. Did he have enemies? Were all the associations for his book, or personal?

Was Hutson’s life idyllic as it had seemed? He was the primary suspect and DeMarco took no pleasure in that discovery. Marco could drink himself into a stupor, but he needed a clear head. He had to figure out who murdered this family. He liked this man. He owes him to find out what happened. He goes back and forth with his suspicions.

The more he learns, he wonders if the writer had become the characters in his book? Had the murder and suicide of Huston’s parents loosened something in him or spawned a rage he struggled with, and finally lost?

Who was Annabel? Bonnie? Tex? Were these relationships an integral part of the slaughter at the Huston home? After the murder, Huston had been spotted wandering through the dawn in a daze. Where else would he go? Could he have been cheating on his wife?

DeMarco had to find him. As he digs deeper, with the homicide investigation, time is of the essence. Four people are dead and three of them are children. If Thomas is running because he is innocent, who is the guilty party? DeMarco wanted Hutson to be better than this. Someone he could admire. Had the equation changed? Was it infidelity, madness, lust, weakness? He had to know!

Who could Thomas trust? Who can he turn to for help?

Complex characters. It’s the contradictions in a personality that make for conflict. Did he take the qualities for each of these women to build his characters or was it something else?

In the meantime, we hear from Thomas hiding out. Like some character out of a Flannery O’Conner story. Hiding in a shed. A misfit. Hunted. Hates. Will his life ever get better? The events leading up to the murder. The book is in his head. Is this all a dream? The lines are blurred.

 



From literary references to Poe, Hemingway, Steinback, Faulkner, MacBeth, Wolfe, O'Connor, Nabokov and Poe’s Annabels, Poe’s poetry. A trinity of troubled men. A kinship. Misery. What parts are made up and what is real?

“To the casual observer, Huston’s life would have appeared blessed. But this was the illusion Huston had created and maintained. A man patient and generous with his students, a picture-perfect wife and family, shirts and chinos always neatly pressed, fame and financial success; a man respected envied; a man with a life each of his students longed for.

Was it all a construction meant to conceal in himself the same dark urges that drove Huston’s characters? His life had seemed a sunlit lagoon, but what currents made the blue water shimmer. A lifetime of struggle and ambition. Parents, taken away by violence. Professional jealousies. The stresses of fame the loss of anonymity. The pressure to live up to the hype, to always be better, brighter, more successful, more worthy of praise.

Was it as simple as that? The façade as thin and brittle as all facades are, shattered? Had Huston snapped? Was he deliriously happy in his insanity? Weightless and free? No shame, no remorse, no obligations, no sin?"



Does the life of novelists show up in fiction, thinly disguised as somebody else’s life? Portions of the journal were totally fiction; others not? Discerning the difference would be the hard part. Were the character’s desires actually Huston’s desires brought to the surface?

Did Thomas dream of these events, or did they actually occur? The knife. How could he go home? All is gone.

Entries:

“If a book is filled with love, it is because the writer longs for love? If the book drips of violence, it is because the writer burns to levy justice, to decimate his enemies? A means of survival. Otherwise, his psyche would unravel. Pitiful or disastrous.

Does a guilty man hide his deeds behind his words and hide his thoughts behind his smile? Others behind other deeds? Doesn’t the pedophile hide behind the Little League team he coaches or the school bus he drives or the Masses he conducts?

And doesn’t the wife beater hide behind the sidewalks he cleans for the old lady next door, and behind his punctuality and efficiency at work? The pornographer, the rapist, the serial killer; .the predatory stock broker, the ambulance chasers, the Medicare-bilking physician—the congressman, the senator, the president—don’t they all cloak their evil behind silk ties and thousand-dollar suits?



The man and woman he is referring to? DeMarco wonders as he is reading-desperate to solve this puzzle. Huston had reached out to him. Will he be so desperate to commit suicide or seek revenge, if, in fact, he was not the killer? He may have nothing to lose.

Between pressure at the station to find Huston and his need to help this man, the author keeps the suspense high, while readers slowly learn what went down that fatal tragic horrific night. His family had been butchered.

Did helping someone with a simple choice in life - set the stage; putting things in motion, for a string of deadly events to unfold, with devastating consequences?

TWO DAYS GONE is like no other book I have ever read and surely it will be at the top of the bestseller list. Silvis grabs you from the first page to the last, with the introduction of this new series, and anxiously awaiting the next!

Ferocious storytelling that makes you think, and feel with an array of emotions. From the dark and ugly pit of the human psyche. Sadness, pain, suffering, tragedy, love, and loss, sprinkled with a heavy literary flair. The relationship and narrative between the two men sealed the book. Both equally strong and powerful. The relationship between writer and reader, priceless.

Other readers have asked me about a similar author or book to compare. I can honestly say, this work is unique. In regards to the crime thriller genre, the one which comes to mind is possibly Paul Cleave (New Zealand), Of course, his Trust No One is a book within a book, as well. Cleave's crime writing is also gritty and dark, with twisted humor, and his cop leads, tend to become emotionally connected. Fans of David Bell and Dennis Lehane will also enjoy. With Silvis, you receive the crime + the literary fiction in one package, a rare find.

"The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past." -William Faulkner

This one will stay with you. Chilling. A murder mystery, both absorbing and entertaining, from an experienced author drawing from his own experience as a writer and academic.

 



Connecting with readers and writers: My favorite part: (Acknowledgements) this is only a small portion:

“A writer’s job is to love his readers and to want nothing more than to pilot them from experience to experience, emotion to emotion. The best fiction is a voyage of feeling, and the writer’s job is to generate sentipensante for his readers, those feelings that give rise, not to an intellectual kind of knowledge but an emotional knowledge, a deeper connection with what Faulkner called “the old verities and truths of the heart.” (love William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech Stockholm, Sweden 12/10/50).

“Another way of looking at this relationship between writer and readers is through its intimacy; the reader comes, to a story wanting to be wooed, desirous of seduction. If the writer’s inducements are successful, the voice sufficiently tempting, the promises sufficiently alluring, the reader gives herself over to the story not for minutes but hours, and for days at a time, melding her own imagination with the writer’s while falling into step with the characters, hoping for the best, giving them her heart. What greater gift can a writer receive than this?



A special thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook, performed by Graham Winton; currently listening. (great)

"Next time someone asks you how you’re feeling, dig a little deeper, find that emotion, that story behind it."

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

A January Indie Next Great Read

 

“…a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

 

“Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“…skillfully written thriller.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“…impressive novel…an intriguing thriller.”—Booklist

 

“…this novel [will] linger in readers’ minds well after Two Days Gone.”—Shelf Awareness

 

“Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere….Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.”— Foreword Review 

 

 

"An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, Two Days Gone is a terrific read." - Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

 

 

“Randall Silvis' Two Days Gone is a smart, twisting, vividly written thriller anchored by two deeply flawed yet fascinating protagonists. Yes, the novel provides cat-and-mouse suspense as a horrific murder in a college town is investigated, but it's also a deeply rewarding story about friendship, family, fame, and the complicated relationship between readers and writers. Anyone who wants to dismiss thrillers as mere genre fluff should read Two Days Gone.” - David Bell, author of Since She Went Away

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

 

 

 

About The Author

photo: Maddison Hodg  

 

Novelist, playwright, screenwriter and essayist..

 

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. His essays, articles, poems, and short stories have appeared in various online and print magazines. His work has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Pennsylvania.Read More 
Twitter 

 

Praised by the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist as “a masterful storyteller,”

 

Silvis is the author of fourteen critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction. He is also a prize-winning playwright, a produced screenwriter, a prolific essayist, and an occasional poet. As a multi-genre author, his books have appeared on Best of the Year lists from The New York Times, the Toronto Globe & Mail, SfSite.com, and the International Association of Crime Writers. He also co-hosts the popular bi-weekly podcast, The Writers Hangout, at www.thewritershangout.com. 

 

 

"Two Days Gone" Latest Book from Clarion County Native Gains
National Praise    Read More 
Sunday, December 18, 2016 @ 12:12 AM
Posted by Ron Wilshire

 

Randall Silvis: Life Is Research

Q & A with Randall Silvis   Read More 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/Two-Days-Gone

20 + Must Read Books Coming January 2017

Reblogged from JudithDCollinsMustReads:

Start the New Year 2017,
with a Great Book!

 

20 Books to Add to Your Reading List and Pre-Order
Coming January!

 

 

 

 

 


SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE 

Nancy Star

Lake Union

Jan 1


After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

 

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

 

Buy the Book 

 

EVERYTHING  YOU WANT TO BE

Mindy Mejia

Atria

Jan 3 

 

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront...and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage.

 

Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

 

Buy the Book

THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY

Karen White 

Tradd Street #5

Berkley

Jan 10

 

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away...

With her extended maternity leave at it’s end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. 
 
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell it as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission. 
 
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to appear to her again. One is shrouded from sight, appearing whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in her backyard on Tradd Street. 
 
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried...

 

Buy the Book  


BEYOND THE CAROUSEL 

Bette Lee Crosby 

Wyattsville #5

Bent Pine

Jan 10 

 

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT...

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left. 

 

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.


Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company. 

 

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

 

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love. 

 

Buy the Book 

 THE SLEEPWALKER 
 Chris Bohjalian 

 Doubleday

Jan 10

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. 

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective.

 

And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? 


Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

 

Buy the Book 
 

TWO DAYS GONE

Randall Silvis

Sourcebooks Landmark

Jan 10

**Blog Tour Author Spotlight Jan 15**

 

A literary page-turner about a beloved college professor accused of murdering his entire family, and one small-town cop’s dangerous search for answers

Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

 

Buy the Book

HER EVERY FEAR  

Peter Swanson

William Morrow

Jan 10 

 

The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

 

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own?curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

 

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself? So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met? 

 

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real. 

And much, much closer than she thinks.

 

Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith and James M. Cain.

 

Buy the Book

 

 THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY 

Susan Rivers 

Algonquin Books

Jan 10 

 

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband's three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself?

Told through letters, court inquests, and journal entries, this saga, inspired by a true incident, unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation—and the next—began to see their world anew.

This is one of those books that progresses so seamlessly that you marvel at the authenticity of it. In fact, Susan Rivers has said that the novel was inspired by her discovery of a mysterious crime in South Carolina during the Civil War, and she wrote her novel to make sense of it; once she started writing, the story poured out through these myriad voices. But because Rivers is also a meticulous researcher, every part of the story has some basis in fact. As in Hillary Jordan's Mudbound, you will feel that you're in the hands of a natural storyteller who knows how to breathe life into this period of history, the young Placidia, and all of the people around her. This is a remarkable, moving, and unforgettable debut.

 

A special thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

Buy the Book 

CLASS 

Lucinda Rosenfeld 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 10

 

A satirical novel about a mother whose life spirals out of control when she's forced to rethink her bleeding heart liberal ideals.

For idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple, it isn't enough that she works full-time in the non-profit sector, aiding an organization that helps hungry children from disadvantaged homes. She's also determined to live her personal life in accordance with her ideals. This means sending her daughter, Ruby, to an integrated public school in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

 

But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home. As the situation at school escalates, Karen can't help but wonder whether her do-gooder husband takes himself and his causes more seriously than her work and Ruby's wellbeing.

 

A daring, discussable satire about gentrification and liberal hypocrisy, and a candid take on rich and poor, white and black, CLASS is also a smartly written story that reveals how life as we live it--not as we like to imagine it--often unfolds in gray areas,

 

Buy the Book

THE NOWHERE MAN 

An Orphan X Novel  #2

By:  Gregg Hurwitz

St. Martin's Press

Jan 17 

 

Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can —He will do anything to save them.

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

 

But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth.

 

Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.

 

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THE WICKED CITY 

 Beatriz Williams

William Morrow

Jan 17

 

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.


When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.


In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.


Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.


As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . .

 

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THIS IS NOT OVER 

 Holly Brown 

William Morrow

Jan 17

Two women are caught in an escalating game of cat-and-mouse that leads to an explosive ending in this breathtaking psychological thriller from the author of A Necessary End and Don’t Try to Find Me

 

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the stained sheets...


Miranda

When 30-year-old Dawn reads Miranda’s email, she sees red. People have always told Dawn she’s beautiful, and she just hopes they don’t see beneath-to how she grew up, to what she’s always tried to outrun. She revels in her getaways with her perfect (maybe too perfect) husband, the occasional long weekend in luxurious homes, temporarily inhabiting other people’s privileged lives. Miranda’s email strikes a nerve, with its lying intimation that Dawn is so dirty you need to throw out her sheets.

 

Beware of your “host”

 

I wouldn’t have left a review at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others…

 

57-year-old Miranda thought she’d seen it all, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads Dawn’s review. She’s a doctor’s wife but she needs that rental money, desperately. People might think her life is privileged, but they don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know about her son. She won’t take this threat to her livelihood-to her very life-lying down.

 

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

 

This is not over.  This is so not over.

 

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LITTLE GIRL LOST 

Carol Wyer

DI Robyn Carter #1

Bookouture

Jan 19

 

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told. A little girl in terrible danger.

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances and a man is murdered at a local reservoir. For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the cases. But as she starts to delve into them, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number? 

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted. Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

 

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 FATAL

John Lescroart

Atria

Jan 24

 

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting standalone novel about the unexpected, shattering, and lethal consequences of a one-night stand on a seemingly happily married couple.

Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.

What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.

Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

An explosive story of infidelity, danger, and moral ambiguity, John Lescroart’s latest thriller will excite and satisfy both his current and new fans.

 

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THE GIRL BEFORE 

 JP Delaney

Random House

Jan 24

 

In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune, and another woman's mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
 
EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
 
JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

 

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THE TRAPPED GIRL

Robert Dugoni

Tracy Crosswhite #4

Thomas & Mercer

Jan 24

 

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

 

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

 

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 RIGHT BEHIND YOU 

Quincy & Rainie, #7

Lisa Gardner 

Dutton

Jan 31

 

Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
 
Is he a killer?
 
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.  
 
All she knows for sure: He’s back.
 
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

 

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RATHER BE THE DEVIL

Ian Rankin 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 31

 

Detective Inspector John Rebus investigates a cold case that has turned red hot once again.

John Rebus, as incapable of settling into his retirement as he is of playing by the rules, investigates a cold case from the 1970s involving a gorgeous and wealthy female socialite who was found dead in a bedroom at one of Edinburgh's most luxurious hotels. No one was ever found guilty, but the scandalous circumstances of the murder have kept the town talking for over forty years. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate, but his inquiries quickly make him some very dangerous and powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to ensure that the case remains unsolved and the gossip falls on deaf ears.

 

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DROWNING TIDES

South Shores #2

MIRA

Jan 31

 

Danger is never far off…  When forensic psychologist Claire Britten started working with lawyer Nick Markwood on his South Shores project, she had no idea it would endanger her life—and the life of her daughter.

But when the little girl goes missing from her South Florida home and Nick insists his longtime nemesis is to blame, Claire frantically follows the trail to the Cayman Islands, desperate to save her daughter before it's too late. 

Nick always knew the man who staged his father's "suicide" was out to get him, but kidnapping the child of someone he cares about is despicable. Finding the billionaire criminal is one thing—meeting his demands in order to save Claire's daughter is quite another. What he wants threatens their professional and personal interests beyond imagination…but what choice do they have when a child's life is on the line?

 

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MY HUSBAND'S WIFE

  Jane Corry 

Pamela Dorman

Jan 31

 

It won’t be so bad when you’re there,” says my new husband before kiss­ing me on the mouth. He tastes of Rice Krispies and that strong toothpaste of his which I still haven’t gotten used to.

“I know,” I say before he peels off to the bus stop on the other side of the road.

Two lies. Small white ones. Designed to make the other feel better.
But that’s how some lies start. Small. Well meaning. Until they get too big to handle.


When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants.

 

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

 

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Non-Fiction  Christian

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE

Renew Your Mind Through the Power of God's Word

 Joyce Meyer

FaithWords

Jan 3

 

The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help readers connect the truths of Joyce Meyer's all-time bestselling book, Battlefield of the Mind, to the Bible, and change their lives by changing their thinking.

Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, and feelings of condemnation.. .all these are attacks on the mind. If you struggle with negative thoughts, take heart! The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help you win these all-important battles through clear, practical application of God's Word to your life. With notes, commentary, and previously unpublished insights by Joyce Meyer, this Bible is packed with features specifically designed for helping you deal with thousands of thoughts you have every day and focus your mind to think the way God thinks. 

 

Buy the Book

 

 

DREAM WITH ME 
: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win  

John M. Perkins 

Baker

Jan 31 

 

According to recent surveys and studies, race relations in the United States are the worst they've been since the 1990s, and many would argue that life for most minorities has not significantly improved since the civil rights era of the 1960s.

For so many, the dream of true equality has dissolved into a reality of prejudice, fear, and violence as a way of life.John M. Perkins has been there from the beginning.

 

Raised by his sharecropping grandparents, Perkins fled Mississippi in 1947 after his brother was fatally shot by a police officer. He led voter registration efforts in 1964, worked for school desegregation in 1967, and was imprisoned and tortured in 1970. Through it all, he has remained determined to seek justice and reconciliation based in Christ's redemptive work. "Justice is something that every generation has to strive for," he says.

 

And despite the setbacks of recent years, Perkins finds hope in the young people he has met all across the nation who are hard at work, bringing about reconciliation in God's name and offering acceptance to all. Dream with Me is his look back at a life devoted to seeking justice for all God's people, as well as a look forward to what he sees as a potentially historic breakthrough for people of every race.

 

Buy the Book 

 

 

#JDCMustReadBooks 

Happy New Year!

Top Book List, Coming 2017 

By Release Month

The Best of 2016.
 Top 50 JDCMustReadBooks 

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

Sisters One Two Three

Sisters One, Two, Three - Nancy Star

By:  Nancy Star

ISBN:  9781503937468

Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date:  1/1/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

Nancy Star’s SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE is an intriguing and emotional mystery drama of dark family secrets.

Raising many questions, from why this family kept these secrets and struggles to when to reveal them. From memories, both true and false and versions of each – meet the Tangle family. The consequences of secrets and how they can harm.

A gripping family saga, a story of three sisters, Ginger, Mimi, and Callie. Moving back and forth in time, we are taken back to a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you ever wondered about your family secrets, you will appreciate both sides and why secrets can be toxic.

Ginger has kept a big secret from her daughter. Later, Ginger learns others have kept secrets from her. By keeping secrets are they protecting themselves or others? Desperation, fear, or love?

A brother’s accident, an event someone spent their entire adult life trying to pretend never happened.

From before and after, the author takes us from the 1970s to the present day. Secrets trickle down and harm others in many ways. Consequences.

When Glory dies, Callie returns home and piece by piece the secrets unravel. From mother, sisters, and daughters. With many parallels between the generations and the contrasts between holding on or letting go.

How do we become who we are in adulthood based on events of our past? Some are more profoundly changed than others.

From tragedy, loss, love, and family. The road to healing and forgiveness.

An ideal for book clubs and further discussions (guide included). Enjoyed the inspiration behind the book with the added conversation with the author. I always find hidden family secrets intriguing and often wonder about my own history and those of past generations.

For readers who enjoy complex family dramas and fans of Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand.

I listened to the audiobook, performed by my favorite, Cassandra Campbell 2016 Best Audio Narrator ), as well as the book review copy.

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Sisters-One-Two-Three

Good Behavior

Good Behavior - Blake Crouch

By: Blake Crouch 

Letty Dobesh Books #1-3

ISBN: 9781503940499

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer 

Publication Date: 11/15/2016

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars + + +

Top Books of 2016

 

Blake Crouch returns from Wayward Pines and Dark Matter (2016) with his latest smashing hit, GOOD BEHAVIOR The book, audio, TV series- (The Letty Dobesh Chronicles): EPIC! Brilliantly crafted.

Extraordinary from book, audio, to TV on-screen, Landing on my Top Books of 2016, and best 2016 book to screen. The collaboration between Blake Crouch and Chad Hodge is a “match made in heaven.”

Yes, I am enjoying the ride. Please do not let it stop!

Ongoing: “I am the best me I can be!” (Letty)

In the series, Letty is fresh out of prison, (meth-addicted) when she overhears a hitman being hired to kill a man's wife. When she sets out to derail the job, she puts herself in the crosshairs of a killer, entangling them in a dangerous and seductive relationship, and so much more.

This sexy hitman man Javier may be her path and key to redemption. That is if she does not screw it up.

Javier is sensitive and caring. He has pain in his life and his past. Leading him to his path as a hitman. They have a love/hate relationship. He lives on the outskirts of society due to an event from his childhood (we discover in the TV series).

A constant pull between them as well as their own individual lives. They have a connection and this makes them want to be better. They are perfect for one another. They rescue each other and find a home in one another.

Forgive me here, since I have watched the TV series (Season one Episodes 1-9, read the book, and listened to the audio (twice). You could say, I LOVE GOOD BEHAVIOR, so using this review as a combo review of all three.

I first listened to the audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan and the author, Blake Crouch. (Exceptional).

Directly afterward, quickly immersed in Amazon Prime (TNT) TV Good Behavior. Purchased the entire season. Taking the fantastic information provided by Blake in the audiobook and applied to how the 3 novellas were transformed to on-screen.

This is a “Must” to read the book and learn all the backstory. The backstage, inside scoop of how the author created these characters, and his collaboration with Chad Hodge for the television show. Quite intriguing. (Dying for a Season 2)….please, please!

In between, while getting caught up with the TV episodes, anxiously awaiting the weekly next episode, was “granted my wish” for a digital copy of the book, Good Behavior via NetGalley. Was so excited, with “Christmas coming early”, began diving into the book, and once again, read it in one sitting. I bookmarked so many pages.

Letty Dobesh is troubled, flawed, beautiful, striking, smart, inventive, charismatic, self-destructive, a chameleon. She crosses between good and bad. A constant struggle. She is authentic. Real. Even though in (Episode 9) not happy with her attitude and kicking Javier to the curb with her betrayal. (Let’s hope she can turn her mistakes around once again). I was dying with this one. Javier is good for her.

Don't score. Don't kill.

We follow Letty on a journey as she attempts to discover who she really is, and wants more than anything to make peace with that woman, even if she does not fit “inside the box” society has drawn for her. She wants to be a good mother, a daughter, and a friend; to make up for her past mistakes and misdeeds. Every time she tries, she gets knocked down.

Crouch is pitch perfect with his character development of both Letty and Javier. I like the transition from the book to the screen.

The book:
• The Pain of Others
• Sunset Key
• Grab

After each of these novellas the author adds some insightful commentary about the work, the show, images, and other additional content from the journey, he has taken with Letty. No, I would not dare skip over these parts. I love it!

With the book, it is like a backstage pass, with a peak at the inside operations. The reader becomes invested in the characters, the story, and a fan for life. Letty is flawed, irresistible, broken, lovely and brave. She wants desperately to get her son back. She keeps running into obstacles and pulled in by her addictions to stealing and the high. She is so good at being bad!

I wanted to hold off writing my review until the last TV episode Season One; however, being it was on my Top Books for 2016 List my fellow GRs friends wanted to know my thoughts. Yes, I loved it!

Letty Raines is a thief and con artist whose life is always one wrong turn, one bad decision, from implosion. Michelle Dockery is amazing. Juan Diego Botto (Javier) is sexy and to die for; each episode, I love him even more. Currently I am in HIS corner.

Christian, Jacob, Estelle ( a piece of work), Rob and the other supporting characters only add to the intense drama. What a riot! In the meantime, I am now just finishing the 9th episode, and let me say, starting at episode 5, I fell totally in LOVE. A turning point, from five on.

Letty and Javier are intimately connected on so many levels, and ultimately become each other’s saviors. Both emotionally-- two souls which are perfect for one another.

At the opening of the 5th episode, when Letty opens with, “you came.” Javier replies, “you called.”

OMG, that look between the two of them, was the best since Jerry McGuire’s "You had me at 'hello," and Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, "I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year. It wasn't over… it still isn't over."

A modern SEXY twist of The Notebook and Bonnie and Clyde. Letty can rock a wig. I think she needs to have her own line. I would definitely buy one.

Season One: (TV)
• So You’re Not an English Teacher (Good opening-Statesville, NC caption) even though filmed in Wilmington; Letty is rocking the red bob wig—love the Grove Park Inn) book mention, even though not filmed here. She has the southern accent down as well as the blonde bangs.
• Only the Best for Mrs. Diaz
• From Terrible Me
• Your Mama Had a Hard Night (Letty-Sad but moving)
• Beautiful Things Deserve Beautiful Things (Hilarious!)** My favorite. Loved the short blonde wig and the St. John’s knit ensemble—Classy!
• We Pretend We’re Stuck (Loved the tie in with Jacob)- Emotional
• The Ballad of Little Santino (Javier-Sad but moving) Fantastic look at his character’s past.
• It Still Fits Bitch – A fun episode featuring Letty’s mom and Jacob. Tables are turned.
• For You, I’d Go with Strawberry – Did not like the turn this one took. Please get Letty back on track with Javier. Bad, bad girl. Sure, there is a plan here.

Waiting anxiously for the next episode . . .. in suspense.

Letty and Javier: Sexy, dangerous, thrilling, and flawed. With their tough exterior, we see their hearts, their desires, and love of family. The pull- of right and wrong. A fitting title for a struggle between right and wrong. Good and evil. From danger, intrigue, style, humor, emotion, heart, sex appeal, well-developed characters and an edge of your seat plot. All the ingredients for a HIT! Superb acting and pitch-perfect writing.

OK, Crouch fans and everyone else, BUY—the book, GOOD BEHAVIOR and watch the series! A show stopper. Hats off - A job well-done. Hopefully, we will see Season Two. I am hooked! Fingers crossed. 5 Stars +

Now that I have sold you on the book, and the author, I want to add a side personal note: I am a native of Statesville, NC, as is the author, Blake Crouch.  Read More on my Blog @  JDCMustReadBooks

A very special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for granting my wish with a review copy.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/26/Good-Behavior

Everything You Want Me To Be

Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

By:  Mindy Mejia

ISBN: 9781501123429

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date:1/3/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Mindy Mejia’s EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO leads us to deadly dark secrets and lies of a small rural town. The good daughter, turns up murdered, leaving the town in shock. Haunting, twisty, and psychologically rich the author will keep you guessing until the end.

Hattie Hoffman is living in a small rural town in Minnesota. She attends a small high school, Pine Valley. Like most teens with ambition and dreams, they cannot wait to escape the small- town community for the big city.

In this case, Hattie has set her mind on New York City, for an acting career on Broadway. If she needs to use a few people along the way, she will manipulate to her advantage. She has played lots of parts, in her life trying to be what everyone wants her to be.

Told from three POVs, we hear from Del, Hattie, and Peter. A young girl’s dreams, loves, desires, and ambitions. Her secrets. Her last year of high school, which is to be special, turns into a deadly nightmare.

Peter Lund, her English teacher, is a bad marriage. His wife is not the nicest woman and too focused on other things to satisfy her hubby. Of course, an affair begins between Hattie and Peter. The two keep their secrets, and throw everyone off course, while Hattie begins dating the high school jock, Tommy.

However, she never truly warms up to Tommy (if you know what I mean), because she has her sights set on bigger things and getting action elsewhere. Hattie was going places and Tommy was not. We also are introduced to parents Bud and Mona and fishing buddy, Sherriff, Del.

As the book opens, Hattie is planning her escape. The play was finished and she has her bags packed. She has written her note and planned her meet up at the barn. On the night she plans her getaway, she has all her cards lined up perfectly. However, her well-laid plans do not go as intended.

She is stabbed to death in the Erickson barn. Brutally murdered. She also had sex before the murder, not rape. The town is shocked. Del, the family friend is leading the murder investigation and the suspicions point to Tommy and Peter. However, could it be someone else? What about Peter’s wife, or someone else? The parents are devastated. Did they really know their daughter?

Hattie had spent her entire life playing parts, being whatever “they” wanted her to be, focused on everyone around her while inside she felt like she was sitting in the exact same spot. She was her parent’s only daughter. Who could have murdered Hattie Hoffman?

The child who was going to succeed and make a new life away from Pine Valley and marry some hotshot lawyer and come home for the holidays with a kid or two. She was not supposed to the child who was going to die. They had worried more about their son Greg, who went to Afghanistan. A life cut short.

From the Dairy Queen to other small town characters, high school, a marriage, a farm, and three main characters with events leading up to the murder. From a girl who worked at the local CVS photo counter, a dangerous affair, to high school theatrics - a girl who wanted what she wanted. A man caught in the middle, and a Sherriff, father, and mother, seeking the truth.

A contemporary young adult suspense, ideal for those who enjoy a little Macbeth and Shakespeare mixed with mystery.

Depending on the reader, each person will have their own person they may have more sympathy for than others. I enjoyed the book version, much more than the audio version. Del’s narrator was very poorly done. However, recommend the book and ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An author to follow!

A special thank you to Atria/Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy for review consideration.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/04/Everything-You-Want-Me-to-Be