Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312643365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312643362

Book Description

In this thrilling gothic suspense debut by Sara Foster in the tradition of Rosamund Lupton and Sophie Hannah, a young mother searches Yorkshire's windswept moors for the truth behind her husband's mysterious disappearance.

When Grace’s husband, Adam, inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave the bustle of London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter, Millie, in her stroller on the doorstep. The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village on the untamed heath.  Everyone—the police, her parents, even her best friend and younger sister—is convinced that Adam left her. But Grace, unable to let go of her memories of their love and life together, cannot accept this explanation.  She is desperate for answers, but the slumbering, deeply superstitious hamlet is unwilling to give up its secrets. As Grace hunts through forgotten corners of the cottage searching for clues, and digs deeper into the lives of the locals, strange dreams begin to haunt her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut her and Millie off from the rest of the world does Grace make a terrible discovery. She has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along, and she and her daughter will be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.

"A haunting tale of loss and one woman's search for the truth no matter the consequences. This vividly written novel will leave you breathless and as chilled as the starkly beautiful North Yorkshire moors where this compelling story unfolds.” –Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of These Things Hidden

About The Author

Sara Foster is the bestselling author of two psychological suspense novels, Come Back to Me and Beneath the Shadows. Born and raised in the UK, she worked for a time in the HarperCollins fiction department in London, before turning her hand to freelance editing and writing in her spare time.

It wasn't until 2007 that she decided to take seriously her aim of getting published, and she took time out from editing to finish her first book. Come Back to Me was published in Australia in 2010 and reached the Sydney Morning Herald top ten Australian bestsellers list. Her second book, Beneath the Shadows, reached No. 4 on the Australian Sunday Telegraph bestsellers list, and rights have been sold in the USA and Germany. In 2011 she was nominated for Cosmopolitan Australia's Fun Fearless Female awards in the author category.

My Review

Sara Foster captures the essence of the Yorkshire moors in Beneath the Shadows which gives it a spooky dark tone that ribbons throughout the novel.  This is an enjoyable read that is hard to put down.  It is being released in North America  on June 5th.

Grace, her husband Adam and infant Millie move to the Yorkshire moors into a house Adam has inherited from his grandparents.  He disappears leaving their daughter in her carriage on the doorstep.  He showed no signs of being unhappy and Grace is rightly puzzled and left in quite the quandary.  Heartbroken she and Millie return a year later to decide what do with the cottage and their lives.

She has an abundance of helpful neighbours but the cottage seems menacing and unwelcoming.  And discovering that Adam has not told her about the basement sends Grace into a tailspin.  What else didn't he tell her about?

A wonderful story by an inventive storyteller.  I highly recommend this excellent mystery.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312600534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312600532

Book Description

 When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student’s death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s a perfect victim?

Dark and compelling, S. J. Bolton’s latest thriller—a follow-up to the acclaimed Now You See Me—is another work of brilliant psychological suspense that plumbs the most sinister depths.

About the Author

 S. J. BOLTON is a two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award winner and an ITW Thriller Award, CWA Gold Dagger and Barry Award nominee.

My Review

The name S.J. Bolton should be synonymous with the word thriller.  Talk about keeping you on the edge of your seat and not being able to put a book down.  And she brings the vulnerability into a person's sacred space...their home.  And into their dreams...

Going back and forth between the various characters keeps you glued to the pages...or to your Kindle! DC Lacey Flint, because of her youthful looks, goes undercover at Cambridge University in the UK to find out what is causing a rash of suicides amongst the female student body. It is probably not the best assignment for someone as vulnerable and wounded as Lacey is.  She is barely settled in before she is being hazed by other students. 

I was completely mesmerized by this book.  I just could not stop reading it!  I had to know what was really going on...who were the bad guys....would Lacey ever give in to her real feelings...the questions were endless.  I was kept in complete suspense until the conclusion.  Brilliant story plotting!   S.J. Bolton is a wonderful thriller writer and an incredible story teller.  If you are a fan of mysteries and thrillers then you have to read this book!  It's out on June 5th...plan on not doing anything else that day!

Read and tremble...yes indeed!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: Bonereapers: A Dinah Pelerin Mystery (Dinah Pelerin Mysteries) by Jeanne Matthews

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586181

Book Description

Hewed out of a frozen mountain six hundred miles from the North Pole, the Doomsday Seed Vault was designed to safeguard the earth’s precious collection of seeds from rising sea levels, hurtling asteroids, nuclear holocaust, and every other conceivable disaster. But no fortress, however remote or carefully constructed, can protect against human corruption and men who have made it their business to gain control of the world’s food supply. Dinah Pelerin had no idea when she left sunny Hawaii on an undercover fact-finding mission to the seed vault in Longyearbyen, Norway, that she would get a crash course in the politics of genetic engineering, or that she would become embroiled in the marital troubles of an American presidential candidate and his enigmatic, Norwegian-born wife. Or that a dead body would tumble out of the hotel sauna into her arms. In late December, Polar Night wraps around the little town of Longyearbyen like a lead blanket, impenetrable and endless. The temperature rarely climbs above zero and bodies don’t decompose in the permafrost. The dead have to be shipped south for burial and soon there are two murder victims headed there. Who has killed them, and why? With three U.S. senators, a powerful corporate CEO, and an Norwegian government minister as her fellow suspects, Dinah is under no illusions. She had better untangle the knot of motives and pretenses fast or suspicion will come crashing downhill like an avalanche and bury her so deep she’ll never see daylight again.

About the Author

 The author was born and raised in Georgia.  She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal.  She currently lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, who is a law professor, and a West Highland terrier, who is a prima donna.

My Review

Have you ever heard of Longyearbyen?  I had not either.  It is always interesting to read about a place that you did not know existed.  It was interesting having Norway and the Norwegian people featured in the story.

Enjoyable murder mystery in a unique setting makes for a good read.  Constant darkness and cold are mentioned quite often but the mood is not captured in any way.  The main character Dinah is not one that you warm up to in any great hurry.  But the combination of the story involving preserving seeds in case of catastrophe combined with the setting and the mystery do combine to make an enjoyable read.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145550288X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455502882

Book Description

What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love.

Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life--just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family.

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and--incredibly, surprisingly--faith in a big-hearted God.

 About The Author

Rhoda Janzen is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and the poetry collection Babel's Stair. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

My Review

 I had to read this book as I loved Mennonite in a Little Black Dress so much!  This time out Rhoda has moved on with her life and moved on with (gasp!) a Pentecostal!  Through this involvement with this new man and primarily with his church she develops a deeper relationship and a deeper trust with God. 

Rhoda shares her joys and sorrows as well as her deeper walk with the readers.  I love the moving and hilarious references to the Mennonite way of life as I was part of that life for twenty years.  She definitely has them figured out!

This book is not out until October but be sure to pre-order a copy.  It is a wonderful read for both Christians and non-believers alike.  And if you know anyone struggling with cancer be sure to get them a copy. 

"Heal me Jesus".  Believe. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First edition (January 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446582352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446582353

Book Description

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

About the Author

Joshilyn Jackson, a native of the Deep South, has worked as an actor and an award-winning teacher, and is now a writer and a mother of two. She is the author of gods in Alabama; Between, Georgia; The Girl Who Stopped Swimming; and Backseat Saints. Jackson lives with her husband and children outside of Atlanta. Visit her website at 

My Review

I love Joshilyn Jackson's books and so must a lot of other people because I've been on  a waiting list forever to get this book!  I don't know what it is about Southern fiction but I always find it comforting and welcoming. This book is full of new revelations with every turn of the page.  It's a story of family, of love, and of mysteries.  What an enjoyable read.  Impossible to put down. 

Highly recommend this excellent novel.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, Book 8) by Susan Mallery

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037377687X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776870

Book Description

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's newest Fool's Gold story proves that wild hearts cannot be tamed...

Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.

Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too-some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at

My Review

Another winner in the Fool's Gold series by Susan Mallery.  If you like romance and chick lit then this series is for you.  It is always comforting to return to the town of Fool's Gold in California with its wonderful citizens and numerous festivals.  The town is inhabited by more women then men. And the bar in town caters to women.  Another love story for one the Stryker brothers.  The plot is a little silly a times but Mallery is an excellent writer and she keeps you enthralled.  It was an excellent book for me to read while traveling last weekend.