Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Can I See You Again? by Allison Morgan

Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Berkley
From the author of The Someday Jar comes a witty and warm novel about a matchmaker who’s an expert at matters of the heart—except when it comes to her own... 

Matchmaker Bree Caxton has a 98% success rate, a book about to hit the stands, and an amazing boyfriend. Until, that is, he gets cold feet about their future and runs from their relationship.

Afraid no one will buy a book on love from a woman whose love life is a mess, Bree begs her one matchmaking failure, Nixon Voss, to pose as her boyfriend. But when they become a hit with readers, they must carry on their charade just a little longer. Fortunately, they’re both having fun...

But then Bree’s ex decides he wants her back and a newspaper presents a challenge that could expose the truth about her rocky love life. Now she must find the courage to embrace what is, or risk losing something much bigger than her reputation: her heart...

My Thoughts…

I always thought matchmaking was a thing of the past.   I mean I knew about the online services but was always weary of them.     Enter Bree…   I love her confidence, her assurance that she has the right answer and the reasoning behind her thoughts, and of course her wit.    She has a lot of answers and a lot of reasons for those answers.   Allison Morgan did a great job in telling the whys and what for’s of matchmaking.   Everything from body language, to social situations, to how to go out on a date were covered.    There were things shared that I am I had never thought about but when I thought back on my dating life I realized they were things I should have done, did do and shouldn’t have, or clues that I should have paid attention to.

While reading this book there were times that I felt the story was going slow.    Maybe it was just me and how I like a book to move along but at times I wanted Bree to just move on, keep telling her lies, or really I wanted her to open her darn eyes and see what was in front of her.     There were many times I laughed at the lies and where they led Bree, there were times that I shook my head wondering how she came up with the lies, and there were times I was sure she was in way over her head.    

Can I See You Again? is a fun, easy, and enjoyable read.     Most of the story moved at a good pace, the characters were fun and usually believable (except when they were lying).     I recommend picking up your own copy. 

Book Links

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly "normal" family could become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a "family camp" in New Hampshire--a life-changing experience that alters them forever.

How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally--a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly--whose condition is deemed undiagnosable--is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas. The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book's Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.

My Thoughts…

I have a few friends who have children who have been diagnosed with different types of Autism.   This book hit home with the stories of the ticks, the behaviors, and the reactions of those around these children.   I could picture my friends and their families looking for help in non-medical ways and falling in with Scott Bean.     

The way Tilly’s family treated her, the way her behavior affected the rest of the family, and the way the public reacted to Tilly is so incredible realistic.    The interactions between Tilly and her sister Iris were my favorite.   While the frustration is understandable on Iris’ side I really enjoyed how she protected, calmed Tilly down, and reacted to others where Tilly was concerned.     Their sister bond was so evident and strong.
 Scott Bean gave me chills from the very first time his name was mentioned.     I was hoping that where he was heading was wrong but with each interaction those chills remained.    My biggest worry was his treatment of the children at Harmony Camp.   The camp was definitely not what the families expected but I can see that there were some improvements in the kids that needed that type of facility but the idea of that camp never set right with me.

The ending was unexpected but perfect.    Carolyn Parkhurst obviously did her homework on Autism and Autistic families.    I look forward to reading so much more from her.  

Book Links

“Alternately heartbreaking and hopeful, [HARMONY] beautifully sums up the love between parents and children.”—PureWow

“From the first sentences of this unusual and compelling novel…pages turn with the momentum of an emotional thriller…Suspenseful, moving, and full of inspiration and insight about parenting a child with autism.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Parkhurst’s latest explores family bonds, modern-day parenting, and the the foundations of cult-like groups, all with nuance and a liberal dose of dark humor. . . Parkhurst’s memorable tale features a complex cast of characters and a series of conundrums with no easy answers. Book-discussion groups will be particularly interested in the tale’s numerous deftly explored gray areas.”—Publishers Weekly

“Gorgeously written and patently original, HARMONY takes us intimately into the lives of families with children who are not neurotypical — from the complex perspectives of the parent, the sibling, and the child herself.  Anyone who has ever encountered a child on the spectrum will come away with a new understanding and empathy after reading this novel.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Timesbestselling author of Leaving Time

“Carolyn Parkhurst has composed the perfect blend of humor, suspense, and compassion in this fascinating tale of a family taking a crazy risk to save themselves. I read it in one giant gulp—HARMONY is absolutely riveting.”—Jami Attenberg, New York Timesbestselling author of The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie

“Every child has the potential to break a parent’s heart. In this gripping, timely novel, Carolyn Parkhurst follows the Hammond family as they give up everything to build a community that will allow both their daughters to thrive, an experiment that tests their resilience—and ultimately reveals the healing power of love.” —Kim Edwards, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter  

“Quite simply stunning. In this page-turning novel about one small family, Carolyn Parkhurst explores the complicated business of “normal,” and the distances parents will go in search of what their children need. Compelling, thought provoking, surprising, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting, HARMONY is a novel that will change the way you think. I am so glad to have read this book.”—Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Race for Paris and The Wednesday Sisters

“In HARMONY, the fiercely talented Carolyn Parkhurst fuses compelling social drama with riveting storytelling. Without an ounce of sugarcoating, the author leads readers into Camp Harmony—transfixing them until the startling conclusion.” —Randy Susan Meyers, author of Accidents of Marriage

“Wildly ambitious and eerily unsettling, this is a novel that burns with love, wisdom and rare grace. I loved this book.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

“Fast-paced and heartfelt, HARMONY asks the questions: What’s it worth to be normal? And, is being not-so-normal such a bad thing? I will follow Carolyn Parkhurst anywhere.” —Helen Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of American Housewife

Monday, August 29, 2016

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: August 9th 2016 by William Morrow

For readers of Kristin Hannah and Jodi Picoult comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past—and the promise of the future.

Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes.

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Manhattan home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child.

But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a year-long coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she's lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned ex-cop. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember. 

My Thoughts…

I am a fan of Susan Wiggs.     Her books are great chic-lit and romance stories that I always devour.     Family Tree seemed a little different to me.   I think I would label it more women’s fiction.   There was romance, there was love, but this was more of the story of Annie Rush Harlow.     The story of a woman excited about the life she was living and where it was heading until something horrific happen and it was all taken from her.    The kicker?   She didn’t even realize what was happening.   

When Anna wakes up from her coma she must make tough decisions, learn to live again, and remake her entire life.   Her struggles were real.     Susan Wiggs portrayed Anna as such a strong person.   Even when she was physically weak she was mentally strong.   She never gave up, she never let go of hope, and she pushed to get all her dreams fulfilled.      The saving grace for Anna is how her family and friends in her hometown of Switchback, Vermont all work together to bring her back to a place better than she last remembers.    I enjoyed seeing her reconnect with high school friends, get reacquainted with her dad, and seeing her mom in a new light.  

They style of the story flows perfectly.    With the past and present both being told there are no missed steps.     The characters move easily in the right timeframe between the two parts and the storyline never falters between the timeframes.   I definitely recommend picking up your own copy.  

Book Links

Saturday, August 27, 2016

America's Most Wanted by Cory Cyr PROMO

Title: America's Most Wanted
Author: Cory Cyr
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 15, 2016
Vivian Saint had a meteoric rise to fame as the newest rock sensation. 

At twenty-three he had it all.

Winning his first Grammy and AMA.

Cover of Rolling Stone.

His first album, America’s Most Wanted going double-platinum.
Five chart-topping songs
Signing a multi-million dollar contract. 
Sexy, charming and talented. He had everything to live for.
Too bad he’s dead . . . 
As the FBI’s only witness to a bloody massacre, they want answers and they will do whatever it takes to get them. They may have him in custody but they can’t make him talk.
Brogan Knight, a seasoned FBI agent is tagged for the off-the-books op. Expert markswoman, trained in close combat and one of the best interrogators in the field office. Her instructions were simple. Get the rock star to trust her and reveal everything, using whatever method necessary, including sexual persuasion. 
Now the safe house isn’t secure, for either of them. Because the threats are no longer about who may be coming for them but from each other.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Death by Diploma (Chalkboard Outlines #1) by Kelley Kaye, Kelley Kay Bowles

Paperback, 250 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC 
Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

My Thoughts…

Death by Diploma is a humorous mystery about two women who work together as teachers and then become detectives to solve a murder that happen in their school.    There were so many times that I laughed out loud wondering if they were going to be caught sneaking around the school, entering (not breaking) into houses, or whatever jinx they were up to.  

Kelley Kaye knew exactly which way to send the reader to lead them off the path to a new and great adventure.   I usually try to solve the mystery but with this book I followed the path the author was sending me down.    The mystery was eventually solved and the secrets revealed but I am so glad that I didn’t really take guesses.   

This is the first book in the Chalkboard Outlines series and I am looking forward to more.    The teachers, the staff, the parents, and the coaches are great even if some of them are way over the top.   
Book Links
Amazon   |   Goodreads  

What readers & reviewers are saying about Death by Diploma:

“If you like puzzles, and you’re a fan of clever, literate problem solvers, this one’s for you!”

--Matthew J. Pallamary
               Author of Spirit Matters and Land Without Evil

“This entertaining romp down memory lane comes complete with stereotypical faculty, students, apt quotes from Shakespeare, and baddies enough to please any lover of the American Cozy.”
  --Frederick Ramsay
Author of The Ike Schwartz Mysteries

    The Jerusalem Mysteries

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Still Mine by Amy Stuart

Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster 



Clare is on the run. 

From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she's hiding. As it turns out, she's hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna's golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna's overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.

Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she's still alive?

As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna's disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she's really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.

My Thoughts…

Everyone in this novel was desperate for something.     Clare was desperate to get away from her husband, Malcolm desperate to find Shayna, Charlie desperate to sell his drugs, and so on.   Each character had their own thing going on.     The town of Blackmoor is dying out, there is nothing left living in the town, yet there were friendships, relationships, and mysteries still going strong.       I really enjoyed watching Clare make “friends” in Blackmoor yet I kept my eyes open for the motivation behind these friendships.   With each person she met I made a guess as to who they really were and what their motive for talking to Clare could be.   

There were places in this book that I wasn’t sure whose story I was reading.   I plugged through and by the time I got to the end of the chapter I had a better idea of the story I was reading.    Clare and Shayna’s story was almost interchangeable at times and I believe that was where my confusion came from.     Maybe that was some of the pull of the story for some, for me, I like to know who I am reading about.   

Still Mine is definitely a psychological thriller.   I was pulled in and didn’t find my way out until the very last page.     If you are looking for a great book that will keep you guessing I definitely recommend picking it up.  
Book Links

Praise includes:
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: “[A] dark and deliciously disturbing debut…Stuart’s perceptive look at addiction, abuse, and obsession will resonate with fans of psychological thrillers.

RT BOOK REVIEWS“The cliffhanger will have you continuing to bite your nails until there’s a sequel.”

TORONTO STAR“[The plot] takes hold of you and drags you through the story at breakneck speed. The characters are compelling, the setting chilling and the suspense ever-present. Add to that, Stuart has an ability to tap into the dark psychology behind addiction and abuse, and to bring these complex struggles to life in a way that stays with you for days.”

GLOBE AND MAIL“An impressive debut, rooted in character rather than trope, in fundamental understanding rather than rote puzzle-solving.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Crooked Lane Books; August 9, 2016
304 pages; $25.99
ISBN-978-1- 62953-765-8

Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters, but did she take her secrets with her?

Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him
 the Bacon case, which could net a ten million dollar payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But thehusband has a substantial alibi and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated.

 the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall.

Cate Holahan looks at
 the dark underbelly of a marriage from the perspectives of the detective and thevictim in her tense and enthralling page-turner, The Widower's Wife.

My Thoughts…  

Oh My… Cate Holahan did it again!   This is the second book of hers that I have read and with both I have not been able to stop reading.   The drama, the mystery, the relationships, and the who-dun-it were absolutely wonderful.      The relationships between the characters were spot on.   Perfectly realistic, perfectly scarey (sometimes), and just perfect all the way around.   The drama and mystery was intriguing enough without going so far out of bounds that it seemed unreal.  

While reading sometimes a character just hits your heart.   With The Widower’s Wife it was Sophia.  Sophia is Anna and Tom’s young daughter.    With every twist and turn I kept her in my thoughts wondering how this would affect her.   Being young most of the things happened around her and without her knowledge yet somehow I knew some of the happenings would stick with her.     I loved how Anna’s every action was to keep Sophia safe in a happy lifestyle.   

The Widower’s Wife is a fast paced thriller that definitely keeps the reader on their toes.    The story is a twist on a familiar type of story.     There is no question of who the bad guy is and even knowing this I could not put the book down.   Pick up your own copy of The Widower’s Wife immediately.    I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down.  

Book Links

CATHERINE “CATE” HOLAHAN is an award-winning journalist and former television producer. Holahan’s articles have appeared in BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Record and on web sites for CBS, MSN Money,,, and CNBC. Her short fiction won first place in the 19th annual Calliope competition, a magazine published by the writer's group of American Mensa.

 Advance Praise for The Widower’s Wife

“One of those rare thrillers that really will keep you reading all night, especially if you pack it to take on your next Caribbean cruise.”
Kirkus, starred review

“Ingenious and engrossing. The Widower’s Wife is a twisting, Gone Girl-esque thriller full of lies and secrets that kept me delightfully off balance right to the end. Cate Holahan is a star on the rise.”
Brad Parks, Shamus, Nero, and Lefty award-winning author of The Fraud

The investigator Ryan Monahan is so intriguing that readers will be anxious to read about his further adventures.”
–RT Book Reviews