Saturday, June 8, 2019

#BookReview #TheWinterSister by Megan Collins @ImMeganCollins @AtriaBooks #Debut #Suspense #Mystery #Fiction

Book Details
Title: The Winter Sister
Author: Megan Collins
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 5, 2019

#TheWinterSister #Debut #Suspense #Mystery #Fiction #BookReview 

My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠

Excerpt from GoodReads: 
In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

My Review:
This book has been in my TBR pile for a few months now and so glad I chose to finally read it. The Winter Sister is the haunting debut novel by  Megan Collins. It’s a story of two sisters, Persephone and Sylvie. Persephone was murdered when she was eighteen years old. After the murder, Sylvie’s mother shut down mentally and wasn’t able to care for her only remaining child. Persephone’s murder was never solved and her sister is now grown up.

Sylvie’s mother now has cancer and Sylvie comes back to town to care for her even though their relationship had fallen apart all those years ago. This is a book of secrets…everyone has them. Sylvie tries to unravel all the threads to this twisting and turning mystery. This is a book of relationships…relationships between teenage sisters, relationships between mother and daughter.

I really enjoyed this beautifully written debut novel. I was hooked from page one and my interest was held throughout. My favorite character was Sylvie. Her pain and guilt throughout the book was heart-wrenching. The author did a wonderful job portraying all that. The mother in the story was pitiful and I had mixed feelings about her. On one hand I felt sorry for her but at other times she made me angry for being so weak. The author did a fantastic job defining the complex family relationships. The characters were not only complex but also damaged by their traumatic experience. The tension and suspense builds up to the shocking conclusion.

Overall I was impressed with this dark, haunting debut. I would definitely read more by this author. Thanks so much to Megan Collins, Isabel DaSilva and Atria Books for sending me a copy to review. I’m giving this one 4 stars and I highly recommend it to all lovers of suspense.

About the Author:
Megan Collins holds an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Rattle. She lives in Connecticut.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

#BookReview In The Blink Of An Eye by Jesse Blackadder @StMartinsPress @jesseblackadder #books #bookblogger #bookish #InTheBlinkOfAnEye

Book Details
Title: In The Blink Of An Eye
Author: Jesse Blackadder
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 19, 2019

#InTheBlinkOfAnEye #Contemporary #Fiction #BookReview 

My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠

Excerpt from GoodReads: 

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they're still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who's to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

In the Blink of an Eye is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.

My Review:
In The Blink Of An Eye, is my first read by author Jesse Blackadder. The story alternates from chapter to chapter with different characters first person points of view. I really enjoyed reading this book. It focuses on family relationships during a very trying and devastating period of time. Without going into great details that would spoil it for others there was an accident within the family. Each characters feelings of guilt and blame are described believably. This is definitely not a pick-me-up book but it tells a story of how families deal with tragedies.

The characters are realistic and believable. I couldn’t wait to see how the book ended so it kept me reading well into the night. The title was fitting as it describes how lives can certainly change in the blink of an eye. The story was well written, descriptive and absorbing, I would recommend to those who enjoy reading about complex family relationships and are ok with depressing subject matters. I give this one 4 stars.

Thanks so much to author Jesse Blackadder and Jessica Zimmerman at St. Martin’s Press for providing me a copy of this book to review.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

#BookReview A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty @MinotaurBooks @CJ_Daugherty #books #bookblogger #bookish #ABeautifulCorpse #CrimeFiction

Book Details
Title: A Beautiful Corpse
Christi Daugherty
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2019

#ABeautifulCorpse #Fiction #BookReview #CrimeFiction

My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠

Excerpt from GoodReads: 
From Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing, comes another pulse-pounding suspenseful thriller featuring crime reporter Harper McClain.

For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.

With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.

Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?

With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.

Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…

My Review
Another great Harper McClain mystery by Christi Daugherty. A Beautiful Corpse is the second book in the series. Although this could be read as a standalone there are many references to book one as well as an underlying mystery of who killed Harper's mother when she was just twelve years old so I would recommend also reading the first book The Echo Killing.

Harper McClain is a crime reporter for a newspaper in Savannah, Georgia. She is covering the murder of a young law student named Naomi Scott. There are three suspects that stand out but what the police believe and what Harper finds while investigating isn't matching up. Could it be because one of the suspects is the son of a prominent district attorney?

The pace of the mystery in this book seemed a little slower than the first book but overall this is another great read. I read so many police procedurals that reading one from the perspective of an investigative reporter is a welcomed change. I love Harper McClain...she is tough and gritty and a believable character. With this book there are also two mysteries in one. Each of the first two books continue to have the underlying mystery of who killed Harper's mom.

A Beautiful Corpse is another well-written book by this highly talented author. I would recommend this series to those who love crime fiction mysteries. I can't wait for the next book to come out. Thanks so much to the author and Minotaur Books for sending me a copy to review. I’m giving this one 4 stars.

About the Author
As a newspaper reporter, Christi Daugherty covered her first murder at the age of 22. There would be many more over the subsequent years when she worked as a journalist in cities including Savannah, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. Now a novelist, she lives in the south of England. She is the author of The Echo Killing and A Beautiful Corpse.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

#BookReview The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty @MinotaurBooks @CJ_Daugherty #books #bookblogger #bookish #TheEchoKilling #CrimeFiction

Book Details
Title: The Echo Killing
Christi Daugherty
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 13, 2018

#TheEchoKilling #Debut #Fiction #BookReview #CrimeFiction

My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠

Excerpt from GoodReads: 
When a murder echoing a fifteen-year-old cold case rocks the Southern town of Savannah, crime reporter Harper McClain risks everything to find the identity of this calculated killer.

A city of antebellum architecture, picturesque parks, and cobblestone streets, Savannah moves at a graceful pace. But for Harper McClain, the timeless beauty and culture that distinguishes her home’s Southern heritage vanishes during the dark and dangerous nights. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Not even finding her mother brutally murdered in their home when she was twelve has made her love Savannah any less.

Her mother’s killer was never found, and that unsolved murder left Harper with an obsession that drove her to become one of the best crime reporters in the state of Georgia. She spends her nights with the police, searching for criminals. Her latest investigation takes her to the scene of a homicide where the details are hauntingly familiar: a young girl being led from the scene by a detective, a female victim naked and stabbed multiple times in the kitchen, and no traces of any evidence pointing towards a suspect.

Harper has seen all of this before in her own life. The similarities between the murder of Marie Whitney and her own mother’s death lead her to believe they’re both victims of the same killer. At last, she has the chance to find the murderer who’s eluded justice for fifteen years and make sure another little girl isn’t forever haunted by a senseless act of violence―even if it puts Harper in the killer’s cross-hairs…

My Review
Only one way to start this book review of The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty…WOW, WOW, WOW!!! I read a lot of crime fiction and the majority of those are told from the perspective of police investigators so it was nice that The Echo Killing was a little different. The story takes place in Savannah, Georgia and is told from the perspective of Harper McClain, a 27 year old crime reporter.

One day Harper is called out to the murder scene of victim Marie Whitney and Whitney’s daughter finds her body just like Harper found her mom 15 years ago. Harper’s mother’s murder was never solved and this new murder scene is so similar Harper thinks it may be the same killer.

“It’s like my mother’s death made this huge noise a long time ago. And this murder is the echo of it.”

I love Harper. She has been through so much in her life and for the most part she is keeping it together the best she can. But all the memories from her mother’s murder come flooding back when she sees similarities in the present murder of Marie Whitney.

Harper finds herself in a dangerous situation as she digs deeper into the two investigations. Her character is totally realistic and believable. She is pretty stubborn and not much for listening to people in authority.

Overall I thought this book was a well-written crime fiction debut. The author’s description of Savannah makes it feel like you are there. The plot was intriguing and steadily paced. The ending was unexpected and it leaves the reader with a little mystery to continue to ponder. I can’t wait to get started on the second Harper McClain book called A Beautiful Corpse. Thanks so much to the author and Minotaur Books for sending me a copy to review. I’m giving this one 5 stars and I highly recommend it to all lovers of crime fiction.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

#BookReview Call Me Evie by J P Pomare @JPPomare @PutnamBooks #books #bookblogger #bookish #debut #CallMeEvie

Book Details
Title: Call Me Evie
Author: J.P. Pomare
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: April 18, 2019

#CallMeEvie #Debut #Suspense #Psychological #BookReview 

My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠

My Review:
Call Me Evie is the debut novel by J.P. Pomare and I was totally blown away by this one. The story starts with 17-year-old Kate Bennet being in a remote cabin with a man named Jim. Kate has no memory of how she ended up in this cabin in New Zealand. She is going on what this man Jim is telling her. He claims she did something awful in Melbourne, Australia and they had to run away for her protection. But little by little parts of Kate’s memory comes back and it isn’t always matching with what Jim is telling her. So Kate isn’t sure if Jim is really her protector or her captor.

The story alternates between past and present. The author masterfully and slowly reveals pieces of the puzzle throughout the story keeping the reader fixated. A lot of books claim to be unable to be put down and truthfully for me anyways that is rarely the case. Call Me Evie is a different story…I couldn’t wait to see what was happening and Pomare had me hooked right from the get-go.

The characters were compelling and realistic. The dialogue was perfect. The intriguing plot was entertaining and steadily paced. There were plenty of twists and turns throughout ending with an edge-of-your-seat conclusion. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and those who love well-written psychological suspense novels. 5 stars, highly recommended.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

#BookReview Little Darlings by Melanie Golding #LittleDarlingsBook #BlogTour #Debut #Creepy #Suspense @CrookedLaneBooks @Joni2345zb @mk_golding

Thanks so much to author Melanie Golding and Sarah Poppe of Crooked Lane Books for inviting me to participate in the #LittleDarlingsBook Blog Tour. 

Book Details
Title: Little Darlings
Author: Melanie Golding
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-68331-997-9 (Hardcover)

#BlogTour #LittleDarlingsBook #Debut #Suspense #BookReview

Excerpt from GoodReads:

 “Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.


My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠

My Review

Little Darlings, is a debut novel by Melanie Golding. A well-written creepy read with a dark fairy tale aspect. What a great debut!! I love reading new authors and this one will definitely be added to my favorites list.  
The main characters are Lauren and Patrick Tranter, new parents of twin baby boys. Lauren is quickly feeling overwhelmed after the birth and gets little help from her husband. Patrick is a little jerk…once the babies are born his true selfish side comes out when he doesn’t want to help Lauren out.  
My favorite character would have to be Detective Sergeant Jo Harper. Jo has issues from her past that haunt her making Lauren’s case something that she couldn’t brush off. When no one else believes Lauren, Jo does. Jo is a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of police officer. She isn’t a dirty cop but she doesn’t always follow all the correct procedures. She had a chance to try for an inspector job but she likes the hands-on part of investigating, she doesn’t want to be stuck in an office.  
Little Darlings is an atmospheric tale that kept me interested throughout. The build up to the ending was spot-on. I would recommend this book to those who love psychological thrillers mixed with a little supernatural and dark fairy tale. Thanks so much to author, Melanie Golding and Crooked Lane Books for providing me a copy of this book and an opportunity to participate in the #LittleDarlingsBook Blog Tour.

About the Author

Melanie Golding grew up in a village in Leicestershire. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. In 2016, she graduated from the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, with distinction. Little Darlings is her first novel.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

#BookReview Ask Me No Questions by Shelley Noble @ShelleyNoble3 @freezin4books @Joni2345zb #mystery #series #historical #crimefiction

Book Details
Title: Ask Me No Questions
Author: Shelley Noble
Publisher: Forge
Publication Date: October 16, 2018

ISBN: 9780765398710 Hardcover

 My Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠

My Review
Ask Me No Questions is the first book in the new Lady Dunbridge Mystery Series and my first read by Shelley Noble. Lady Philomena Dunbridge is our protagonist, a 26 year old widowed countess who is also an amateur crime-solver.

The story takes place in the early 1900’s in Manhattan, New York. Lady Dunbridge is originally from England but she has decided to come to America after being in mourning for her husband. As soon as she arrives and meets her friend at the boat dock she finds herself in the middle of a mystery. Her friend’s husband has been found murdered.
Readers are introduced to a great group of characters. I loved the main character Lady Phil as well as her maid, Lily and her faithful butler, Preswick. The author did an excellent job describing the early 20th century New York setting. This is one of my favorite time periods and the historical detail was amazing.

Ask Me No Questions was such a joy to read. A great start to a new series…can’t wait for the next installment in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery Series. Highly recommended. Thanks to the author and Forge for providing me a copy to review. Highly recommended for those who love mysteries set in the early 20th century.

About the Author:
Shelley Noble is the New York Times bestselling author of Lighthouse Beach, The Beach at Painter’s Cove, and Whisper Beach. A former professional dancer and choreographer for stage, television, and film, she’s a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. Noble lives at the Jersey shore and is always on the lookout for lighthouses and murder plots. You can find her online at, on Facebook as ShelleyNobleAuthor, and on Twitter as @ShelleyNoble3