Monday, January 30, 2023

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.
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Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Emma @ Words And peace
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                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive.

1: THE LAST LIFEBOAT by Hazel Gaynor
     Courtesy of Berkley via NetGalley
   
2: DEAD AND GONE by Joanna Schaffhausen
     Courtesy of St Martin's Press via NetGalley



Saturday, January 28, 2023

ONE LAST SECRET by Adele Parks

 

MY THOUGHTS

Adele Parks does it again. I have read and loved her books before and this one is no exception. It's good.

Dora is an escort. She has sex for money. She also has a life. While it's nothing exceptional it's hers. She doesn't hurt anyone or cause trouble for anyone. She is what she is. There are reasons that she does what she is doing. No doubt. You'll find her, or most of her, back story later in the book. The why she started in this line of work. I felt sorry for Dora much of this book. She honestly wanted more out of her life. She wanted to be an actress. She would have been too. But a man stood in her way. Yes he did. Not that he exactly forced her into anything but he did lead her to believe things. One, that he was not still married. 

After she is beat by a client her best friend Evan asks her to marry him and quit the business. She agrees. He just wants to keep her safe. He is also very much in love with her and they have not slept together. He knows her in a way that no one else does. But she still has a couple of secrets that she will take to her grave. I can't say that I blame her though.  

She agrees on one more job. As a true escort. No sex involved. To go with an old client to a chateau in the south of France. There she finds that things are not at all what they appear to be. Strange things keep happening. She keeps blacking out and just having strange things happen. Very quickly she is learning that things are not so cut and dry. Things are not on the up and up. 

Everything really takes off and you get a good look into what is going on. About who is who and why things are happening the way they are. What deep secrets are being kept. Who will survive this week of horrors? 

This book ends with a big surprise too. I didn't expect it at all. I thought it was a bit cruel though. But it made it what it was and that is not up to me to change right. I just think maybe Dora would appreciate knowing. Therefore I did not like this ending that much. Though it was unexpected. I was totally surprised. This story has a few surprises along the way. They keep you wanting more for sure. 

Thank you #NetGalley, #AdeleParks, #HarlequinTradePublishingMIRA for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about his book.

4.25 stars. Get it. Read it. Enjoy!!

SYNOPSIS

Everyone has secrets, don’t they?

One last client

A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France—it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort, and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is to convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One last chance
It will be a last, luxurious look at how the other half lives before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems…

One last secret
Dora finds herself face-to-face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

From the Sunday Times number one bestseller Adele Parks comes a blisteringly provocative novel about power, sex, money and revenge.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

OFF THE DEEP END by Lucinda Berry

 

MY THOUGHTS

I always enjoy books by Lucinda Berry. She takes me inside the minds of both victims and assailants. This to me was one that makes you understand what a child goes through who almost died and was bullied most of his life. Even with a very loving family he was a troubled young man. My heart broke for him and I would never have thought I would feel that way under this situation. After what he did. I usually only see the meanness. The thoughtlessness. The anger. But finally I see the mental part. The useless feelings that a child this young had to be feeling to do what he did. 

I had so many feelings reading this book that it's hard to describe them all. I felt sad, lost, anger, and ultimately fear. When Jules's car careens off the road into the icy waters little does she know what twist her life is about to take. She's a strong woman. A psychologist. A person who helps others. But she is first and foremost a mother. A loving and caring wife and mother. Her life spins out of control quickly when her car takes this deadly plunge. When she realizes that her son is dead and her neighbor's son is alive. That she saved the wrong son. She saved Issac instead of Gabe. 

Amber is Issac's mother. Her life is about to change also. In so many ways. So many sad and very scary ways. I didn't much like Amber but I do understand that as a mother you will do anything and I mean anything for your child. Her and her husband Mark get the scare of a lifetime when their son, who already survived a horrific wreck, goes missing. It's the same MO as other young teen boys who have previously been abducted. The police are working hard to find out what happened. Even questioning Jules who Amber is adamant has him or had somehow taken him. Or is just hiding him. Amber makes some pretty stupid choices but again I understand. It's her child. Jules has lost her mind. 

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Keeps you wondering what happened to Issac. Who has him. What is his and Jules's relationship. What secrets are Mark and Amber keeping. What secrets did Issac have that he could not share with his parents. Other than he was suppose to die the night of the wreck and he didn't. He survived. 

This is a twisted story. It's filled with a lot. It will have you wondering about certain things and have you tearing up. It had me second guessing myself about things that I always thought I knew about. That I always thought I felt a certain way about. You'll have to read it to know what I'm talking about. I don't do spoilers if I can help it and I can.... 

The saddest line I've read this year is: MY SON IS A MURDERER.. That line almost did me in.

Thank you #NetGalley, #LucindaBerry, #Thomas&Mercer for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

4.5 stars. It's a gutwrencher in places so be warned. 

SYNOPSIS

From the bestselling author of The Best of Friends comes a heart-stopping psychological thriller about the shades of truth and the power of lies in the wake of one mother’s unspeakable loss.

Therapist turned stay-at-home mom Jules Hart’s idyllic suburban life shatters when she crashes her car into an icy lake. Her son and another teenage boy plunge into the water with her, but Jules can only manage to save one—the wrong one.

Reeling from the death of her son, Jules spirals into a violent and unstable mental state. Ten months after the accident, she’s still trying to reckon with the fact that she rescued Isaac Greer, another woman’s child, when Isaac suddenly vanishes.

Jules finds herself at the center of a massive police investigation. While she harbors her own dangerous secrets, Jules is adamant that she didn’t take Isaac. But then who did? Is Isaac the victim of a dangerous killer who’s been targeting boys in the Midwest? Or is someone else pulling the strings in this deadly game?




Monday, January 23, 2023

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.
 ************
Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Emma @ Words And peace
************
                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive.

1: HELLO STRANGER by Katherine Center
     Courtesy of St Martins via NetGalley
2: BLACK RIVER by Matthew Spencer
     Courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley
3: WHERE THE DEAD SLEEP by Joshua Moehling
     Courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley
4: LUCY IN THE SKY by Kay Bratt
    Courtesy of the Author



Sunday, January 22, 2023

ALL THE DANGEROUS THINGS by Stacy Willingham

 

MY THOUGHTS

I enjoyed this author's first book "A Flicker in the Dark" very much. I also enjoyed this one. This is a book that takes you deep into the mind of someone who feels they have lost everything. Someone who doesn't get more than a couple of hours of sleep a night if that much. Someone who's child was taken in the middle of the night. Who's husband leaves because she can't seem to just move on. Someone who blames herself for her younger sister's death. A desperate mother, sister, wife.

Isabelle has been trying to find answers. What happened the night her son went missing. Did she do something to him or did someone come in her home and take him? Who would do such a thing. She won't stop until she finds some answers. No matter what. Even if it was her who did something wouldn't it be better to know? Wouldn't it be better to be able to finally sleep? Or would the guilt or pain be so horrendous that she would want to die? What if she was sleepwalking and did something? But she doesn't do that anymore. She can't sleep anymore. Not since her sister died in the marsh. 

Waylon is trying to help Isabelle. Trying to find out what happened to her son. He has a podcast and is working on his sister's murder also. But what dark secrets does he hide? Just exactly who is Waylon and why is he trying to help Isabelle? While I figured out who he was almost from the first time he was mentioned it did not take from this story at all. In no way. I liked him a lot. He was in my opinion a pretty good guy. Yes he had secrets. Yes he omitted the whole truth. But he had a good reason. Didn't he? 

I didn't like Ben a lot. He was just not that likable to me. He was too perfect in ways. To flawed in other ways. Not a good husband in any way. He played women and didn't stop until he got them exactly how he wanted them. Give up everything for him. Don't have a mind of your own. Don't want anything except me. He knew how to play the game. He was a jerk.

I liked and disliked Izzy's parents. They had so much going on also. Many secrets in their lives. And Margaret I adored. She thought Isabelle was the best sister ever. She followed her everywhere. She also disliked that her big sister was a sleepwalker. It scared her. What happened the night Margaret drowned? Who was at fault? Isabelle never completely got over that. She felt it was her fault and that her mother blamed her. That her mother was afraid of her. 

This book kept me wanting more from start to finish. It had me holding my breath so much. I felt so bad for Isabelle. A mother who loved her son. Who questioned her thoughts at times. But what mother hasn't done that? We all do. No mother has all the answers. No mother becomes a mother and has a playbook that tells her who and why things happen. 

After you read this story be sure and read the Author's Note. It contains a lot of things that you will enjoy. Or that will open your eyes. If you have ever or know someone who has ever suffered from postpartum syndrome then you will understand. Being a mother is a very hard job. You have basically given up your life to take care of another little human being for quite a few years. It's a hard but fulfilling job. But it does not come with a manual. You learn as you go. It can be a very bumpy ride. Just read the Author's note. 

Thank you #NetGalley, #StacyWillingham, #StMartinsPress for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book. 

4.5 stars and only loses one because again I figured out who a half star character was. I did not figure out other vital parts though and that is a huge plus. Great book. I loved it!

SYNOPSIS

Following up her instant New York Times bestseller, A Flicker in the Dark, Stacy Willingham delivers a totally gripping thriller about a desperate mother with a troubled past in All the Dangerous Things.

One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust... including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.



Saturday, January 21, 2023

COVER REVEAL for "THE REVENGE LIST" by Hannah Mary McKinnon

I'm so happy to be a part of this reveal. It's going to be such a good book! 

 

THE REVENGE LIST by @hannahmarymckinnon releases on May 23, 2023 and I’m so excited for her latest twisty thriller.

 

They say life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die.

But all she could see was regret.

 

The people in Frankie Morgan’s life say she’s angry. Emotionally stunted. Combative. But really, who can blame her? It’s hard being nice when your clients are insufferable, your next-door neighbor is a miserable woman and the cowardly driver who killed your mother is still out living it up somewhere.

Somehow, though, she finds herself at her very first anger-management group session—drinking terrible coffee and learning all about how ‘forgiveness is a process.’

 

One that starts with a list.

 

Frankie is skeptical. A list of everyone who’s wronged her in some way over the years? More paper, please. Still, she makes the pointless list—with her own name in a prominent spot—and promptly forgets about it…until it goes missing. And one by one, the people she’s named start getting hurt in freak accidents, each deadlier than the last.

 

Could it be coincidence giving her the revenge she never dared to seek…or something more sinister?

 

If Frankie doesn’t find out who’s behind it all, she might be next.”


Author bio:


Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, TIME AFTER TIME, was a rom com, she moved over to the dark side thereafter. Her suspense novels include THE NEIGHBORS, and bestsellers HER SECRET SON, SISTER DEAR, YOU WILL REMEMBER ME, and the forthcoming NEVER COMING HOME.

 

Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, Canada with her husband and three sons.


Connect

 

Facebook        www.facebook.com/hannahmarymckinnon

Instagram       www.instagram.com/hannahmarymckinnon

Twitter           www.twitter.com/hannahmmckinnon

Website          www.hannahmarymckinnon.com




Friday, January 20, 2023

THE MAN WHO SCREAMS AT NIGHTFALL by Rush Leaming

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall… and other stories by Rush Leaming Banner

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall…
and other stories

by Rush Leaming

January 16 - February 10, 2023 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall… and other stories by Rush Leaming

Thailand. The Congo. Greece. Spain. America…

Four continents and 40+ years in the making.

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall is a landmark collection of short stories depicting a young man on a classic voyage of self-discovery, scouring the earth in search of some purpose in life.

From childhood to parenthood and everything in between—these tales are at times raw and unflinching, at other times poignant and moving.

Get ready for a literary journey unlike any you’ve experienced before.

WARNING: Some of these stories contain strong language, depictions of graphic violence, and sexual situations.

Praise for The Man Who Screams At Nightfall...and other stories:

"A powerful, gritty, and exquisitely written anthology —not to be missed."

J. Miller, Reader's Favorite

"A short story collection that excels in its sense of literary psychological growth and discovery. Libraries looking for interconnected short stories that represent life journeys and revelations will find The Man Who Screams At Nightfall...and other stories an appealing acquisition that promises much fodder for discussion to book club readers interested in fictional blends of psychological and social revelation."

Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan

"Sharply observed, nuanced, precise, and morally challenging..."

"Leaming's light hand with dialogue and keen sense of human psychology create a book that highlights weighty issues by putting a compassionate human face on human struggles. Sharp, inventive, and deeply moving: a fine literary collection."

Book View

"Without a lengthy description of the characters, just enough to provide the imagery necessary to identify them, he catches and holds the reader's attention like no other I've experienced in the hundreds of books and stories I've read over the years."

Reader's Favorite, L. Allen

Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Bridgewood Publishing
Publication Date: November 2022
Number of Pages: 150
ISBN: 0999745670 (ISBN-13: 9780999745670)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

…I could see the glow of a fire up ahead of us, and as we reached the mango tree, Pumbu motioned for me to stay low and follow him along a small wall of honeysuckle bushes. We crouched down, and from our hiding place, I saw Kachamba furiously pacing back and forth in his yard in front of a small bonfire. He swung his arms wildly in the air as if he was fighting off something that was falling on him. He dropped to his knees and then suddenly sprang three feet off the ground. Then he began to dance, swaying and spinning his body so close to the fire that I was certain he was going to fall in. All the while he screamed and shouted deep into the empty black night.

He spoke in a dialect that I couldn’t understand, so I had to ask Pumbu to tell me what he was saying. I asked him many questions: Why was he doing this? Who was he speaking to? Was he drunk? What was going on? Pumbu patiently explained to me that no, he was not drunk, and that he really didn’t know who he was speaking to, but that Kachamba’s wife had left him a few years ago, run off with another man and taken their children, and that ever since, he had not been right in the head. He was not from this village and had been kicked out of all the other places he had lived. He came here only because Kachamba’s father, the chief of Kitengo’s uncle, had once saved the life of the chief’s father (Kachamba’s uncle) and so the chief had to let him stay to repay that old favor. It was all very complicated, Pumbu said, and he didn’t fully understand it himself.

I was hardly listening, instead transfixed and horrified by what I saw. Spinning, swirling, shouting, and screaming—Kachamba’s face, so calm and happy as I had seen it earlier that day, was now knotted and twisted like a grotesque carnival mask, like some gargoyle sprung from the lowest depths of hell. The glow of the fire cut fierce shadows and gorges in his face, adding to the haunting vision that I saw.

For a long while, Pumbu and I hid behind the honeysuckle bushes and watched Kachamba shriek and wail and try to push back the night, until suddenly, all at once, he just stopped. Suddenly, he just stood still and quiet and stared at the sky. I followed his gaze and saw another shooting star. When I looked back, Kachamba had disappeared.

“Is that it?” I asked.

“That’s it,” said Pumbu. “He usually only does this for an hour or so.”

“And he does this every night?”

“Almost,” said Pumbu and yawned. “Mmm. I’m tired. I think I am going to go home.”

We left the bushes, went past the mango tree, and said good night. I walked home alone, both exhilarated and troubled by what I had seen.

I entered my room and prepared for bed, but long after I had extinguished my petrol lantern, I lay there staring into the darkness. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. It wasn’t that unusual—I noticed that it had been happening a lot lately, that I couldn’t sleep. I got up and found the bottle of Johnnie Walker and knocked back a tall glass until at last I was floating, and at last, my eyes did shut…

***

Excerpt from The Man Who Screams At Nightfall... and other stories by Rush Leaming. Copyright 2022 by Rush Leaming. Reproduced with permission from Rush Leaming. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Rush Leaming

RUSH LEAMING has done many things including spending 15+ years in film/video production working on such projects as The Lord of the Rings films. His first novel, Don't Go, Ramanya, a political thriller set in Thailand, was published in the fall of 2016. His second novel followed suit in the summer of 2018, entitled The Whole of the Moon, set in the Congo at the end of the Cold War. 2021 saw the 5-star reception of his crime thriller Dead Tree Tales. His short stories have appeared in Notations, 67 Press, Lightwave, 5k Fiction, and The Electric Eclectic.

He has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Zaire, Thailand, Spain, Greece, South Carolina, England, and Kenya.

Catch Up With Rush:
LeamingRush.wixsite.com/Nightfall
Goodreads
BookBub - @RushLeaming
Instagram - @RushLeaming
Twitter - @LeamingRush
Facebook - @RushLeamingStories

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaway entries!

 

 

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Rush Leaming. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead ...