Saturday, September 30, 2017

Review: If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3380 KB
  • Print Length: 379 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250126703
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Oct. 3 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

In the vein of Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood comes a novel of psychological suspense form debut author Michelle Adams, where a woman returns to her family's home to learn the truth and escape her sister's influence

If you knew my sister, you’d run too…

First there was the Robert Kneel incident.
Then what happened to Margot Wolfe.
And now she’s found me again.

Dr. Irini Harringford was given away by her parents just before her fourth birthday. Although she has spent her whole life trying to convince herself she doesn't need them, deep down Irini longs to understand why she was abandoned, while her parents kept her older sister, Elle.

So when Elle gets in touch with news that their mother has died, Irini reluctantly agrees to return to the family home. But she is ill at ease. She and Elle are not close. Irini knows only too well what Elle is capable of. Inexplicably drawn to her enigmatic sister, yet terrified of the sway she holds, Irini tries to protect herself even as she is sucked back into her family's toxic web of secrets...and soon realizes that the past is more complicated than she imagined, and that her very future rests upon discovering the truth about why she was really given away.

About the Author

I was born in 1981, the youngest of five and the only girl. For a short period of time after that I might have been my mum's long awaited princess, but it became obvious that I was the kind of child who was more into mud pies and catching insects than I was pretty dresses. I loved my purple Doc Marten's, hated my floral wallpaper, and was never allowed to paint my bedroom black. No, not even the ceiling.

I went to school in Warwick, UK, and throughout my school years I loved art, music, and English, yet somehow managed to end up studying clinical science at university. Despite my graduation and subsequent employment as a physiologist in cardiology, my creative tendencies were never far away. And the one aspiration I could never let go of was that of being a writer, so on a wet new year's eve sometime around the turn of the millennium, I announced to a friend that I was going to write a book. It took another five years of note taking and day dreaming, but eventually I sat down to complete my first manuscript. It didn't get picked up, but it drove me into writing the second, and third, and so on and so forth. By early 2015 I had finished writing MY SISTER, and when Madeleine, the founder of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency offered me representation I couldn't believe my luck. MY SISTER has since gone on to sell in fourteen territories worldwide prior to publication. It was quite simply a dream come true.

Now I write almost every day, starting at nine, finishing at some point in the afternoon. Sometimes people ask me where I get my idea's from, and it's a hard question to answer. Lot's of things inspire me, but if I had to sum it up in one word the answer would probably be people; the things we do, say, and the different ways in which we behave towards one another. When I’m not writing I love to read. The first book that I didn't want to end was Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and the first book that broke my heart was Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Gerald's Game by Stephen King was the spark that made me want to write in the first place. I think I was probably about nine when I read that.

I like people who don't give up on their dreams, and those who show compassion for other people. I am crazy about my cat, and fortunate that the other people in my house tolerate him. I love travelling, and am lucky enough to live close to Greece which has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I'm currently training for the London marathon, so if you've got training tips, or ideas on how to avoid shin splints, I want to hear them. Finally, if you love Game of Thrones you can count me as a friend, but if you shared my theory regarding the Tower of Joy before you watched THAT episode, or have access to a pre-release copy of The Winds of Winter, you can count yourself part of the family.

My Review

If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams is a twisty psychological thriller. This is Michelle Adam's first book.

If You Knew My Sister is set primarily in Scotland but also in London. Dr. Irini Harrington's sister calls to let her know that her mother has died and begs her to come to Scotland. Irini goes to Scotland and we start to see this incredibly dysfunctional family that Irini has born into. I was stunned at how badly this family behaved toward one another but the story was compelling and I had to find out what happened next.

If You Knew My Sister is beautifully written and carefully plotted. I never knew what was going to happen next. I don't want to give anything away but if you enjoy a twisty tale then this is for you!

Highly recommend If You Knew My Sister.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3825 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1501118455
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Sept. 26 2017)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.


“Crime fiction adores girls in trouble. Moretti's latest nail-biter (The Vanishing Year, 2016, etc.) is no exception, but it is exceptional… Though Moretti's emotionally astute tale can be heart-rending, readers won't be able to look away. As slow, creeping dread sets in, so does the inevitability of the terrible situation the town finds itself in, offering a deliciously sinister glimpse into the duplicity of small-town lives and the ease with which people turn on each other when tragedy comes calling. Moretti's tale of jealousy and obsession is nothing less than dark magic. Witchery indeed.”
Kirkus Reviews (STARRED Review)

“A powerful story about a missing girl and an accused suspect that takes a haunting look into the characters and relationships you think you know.  The Blackbird Season explores the fine line between guilt and innocence, truth and perception, the moments that break people apart—and those that bring them together. Riveting and insightful, this is a book that lingers long after you turn the final page.”
– Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls

“Kate Moretti’s insightful, starkly human mystery about a girl they call 'witch' has that sit-down, gotta-cry eloquence readers long for. Mean girl alliances and small town loyalties collapse in unison on the day the blackbirds fall. This story will hold you tight to its pages well past your bedtime. The Blackbird Season is Moretti’s best yet.”
– Lisa Turner, Edgar Award finalist author of The Gone Dead Train and Devil Sent the Rain

The Blackbird Season pulls off a very difficult thing: it's nail-biting and thought-provoking all at once. It's a rare that a book can make you turn pages like your life depends on it, but also give you food for thought because the characters are so perfectly drawn. A stunning achievement from an extremely talented writer.”
– Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew

“Moretti spins a tale of suspicion, deceit, and dreams that die as suddenly as a flock of starlings falling from the sky. A thrilling morality tale of the highest order, The Blackbird Season will make you question the lines between right and wrong, victim and criminal, and the unknowable intentions that form our innocence and guilt.”
– Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me to Be

“Moretti begins The Blackbird Season with a sinister premise — a cloud of birds fall from the sky on the same day a teenage girl people call ‘the witch’ goes missing. A spellbinding tale of long-held secrets and small-town scandal, The Blackbird Season is one of those stories that sneaks up on you, each chapter building steadily to an ending that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.”
– Kimberly Belle, bestselling author of The Marriage Lie

“The characters are authentically flawed and believable, and part of the mystery is the unfolding of their motivations…The Blackbird Season is about how people—teens and adults alike—get lost and disconnected. All that, plus a suspenseful mystery—what more can you ask for?”
– Holly Brown, author of Don't Try to Find Me

“When a troubled teenaged girl goes missing in The Blackbird Season, the town in which she lives is ripped apart by suspicion. As disturbing secrets bubble to the surface, no one is safe. Kate Moretti’s trademark vivid characterizations, surprising storyline, and heart-stopping suspense kept me eagerly turning pages long into the night.”
– Carla Buckley, author of The Good Goodbye

The Blackbird Season is more than a haunting mystery; it’s an intense exploration of a family in crisis and a community rocked by scandal. How well can you truly know the ones you love? How far can you trust them? I couldn’t stop reading until I knew the whole and harrowing truth.”
– Laura McHugh, award-winning author of The Weight of Blood and Arrowood

About the Author

 Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.

Twitter: @KateMoretti1
Instagram: @katemoretti1

My Review

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti was a lovely surprise.This is the first book of Moretti's that I have read and I found it spellbinding!

A small town in Pennsylvania...troubled since the mill shut down 10 years ago...too many towns like that these days. A generation ago the world was a different place with father's having good industrial jobs. A thriving middle class. Now, things seem hopeless in a small town where the only way out is an education...or baseball scholarship. A sleepy town...until the birds started falling from the sky and everything changed.

Teacher and baseball coach Nate Winters is beloved by all. But how quickly that turns when everyone suspects him of having an affair with a troubled student Lucia. And she has she dead...has she run away...

I loved all the twists and turns and I enjoyed the layers being peeled away as the truth is revealed.

Great read. Highly recommend The Blackbird Season.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Jesus Always Large Deluxe: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young

  • Imitation Leather: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Lrg Dlx edition (Oct. 3 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718095413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718095413

Book Description

Reflect on the joy that can be yours because of Jesus in Jesus Always Large Deluxe, bestselling author Sarah Young’s first 365-day devotional since  Jesus Calling ®, now available in large deluxe binding with Scripture written out, large Comfort Print™ text, and a beautiful leathersoft cover. Experience true joy—now and always.   

Life today is full of difficulties—loss, sadness, fear. In the midst of these challenges, joy often feels impossible or out of reach. But Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain, and discontent. He offers life abundant, life brimming with joy! Jesus Always, the new 365-day devotional from bestselling author Sarah Young, was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in Scripture. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always invites you into a new way of living—a life of joy.

This large deluxe comfort print edition includes easy-to-read large type and the full Scripture verses written out.

Reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God, these devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus—the One who meets you where you are. Draw near to Him in Jesus Always.

About the Author

Sarah Collins (nee Young) trained and worked as a primary school teacher before becoming a student worker at St Ebbe's Church in Oxford. She did this for 7 years before getting married to Graham. She still lives in Oxford and spends (most of) her time looking after their two children, Toby and Emma.

My Review

 This review is for the Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young in a large print and deluxe format. It is made of imitation leather. This is a gorgeous edition of this illuminating devotional. It has a beautiful rich brown imitation leather cover. It looks and feels like real leather. It is beautifully bound. It would make a lovely gift but I am thinking you should pick up one for yourself too!

Jesus Always was released earlier but this new edition is just stunning. I love the devotions. Each day has a devotion then three or four bible verses to reinforce what was in the devotional. This is a good book for Christians anywhere in their walk.

I highly recommend this collection of 365 devotions, This large print edition is easy to read and easy on the eyes. I could not be more thrilled with this devotional.

Review: Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1409 KB
  • Print Length: 361 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780894244
  • Publisher: Dutton (Sept. 26 2017)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
Book Description

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.

When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

 “Harlan Coben is the modern master of the hook-and-twist luring you in on the first page...only to shock you on the last.”—Dan Brown

“Simply one of the all-time greats—pick up any one of his thrillers and you’ll find a riveting, twisty, surprising story with a big, beating heart at its core.”—Gillian Flynn

“Outstanding...Coben keeps Nap and the reader blindly guessing as he peels back layers of deceit reaching back 15 years, revealing nesting dolls of deadly secrets.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Coben knows how to deliver an exciting thriller expertly. His latest novel is no exception."—Library Journal

About the Author

 With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last seven consecutive novels, MISSING YOU, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Coben is the winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – and he has received an eclectic variety of honors from all over the world. His novel TELL NO ONE has been turned into a hit French film of the same name. His essays and columns have appeared in many top publications.

Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.

My Review

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben's latest novel. Coben knows how to write a thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed Don't Let Go.

Don't Let Go is a roller coaster ride of twist and turns. I loved getting into the story of Detective Nap Dumas's past. I was fascinated with how he talked to his dead twin all the time. I have sons who are identical twins and I know how close they are so it was interesting to see how the story would develop.

It had a hard time putting Don't Let Go down as it was filled new revelations and twists as the story moved along. I didn't see some of them coming at all.

Highly recommend Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Keep Her Safe by Sophie Hannah

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Sept. 19 2017)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N5J5ALM

Book Description

She's the most famous murder victim in America. What if she's not dead?

Pushed to the breaking point, Cara Burrows flees her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake at the front desk... but soon Cara realizes that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving natural life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn't know what to trusteverything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

“No one writes twisted, suspenseful novels quite like Sophie Hannah. I just love her dry, edgy wit and the way she brings her weirdly wonderful characters to life. ” (Liane Moriarty)

“Sophie Hannah puts the ‘psycho’ in psychological suspense.” (Lisa Gardner)

“Her plots are ingenious — she’s a writer in complete command of her material — and it’s O.K. if you haven’t quite kept up. She keeps you puzzled and intrigued, right until the end.” (The ew York Times Book Review)

“Sophie Hannah... has clearly mastered the psychological methodology [of] Gillian Flynn or Tana French. Her unreliable narrator commands our attention and even our sympathy.” (NPR

About the Author

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

My Review

Keep Her Safe is the first book of Sophie Hannah's that I have read. I really emjoyed Keep Her Safe and had a hard time putting it down.

Cara Burrows has run away from her family in England and come to an expensive, exclusive resort in Arizona. When she arrives, she is given a key to the wrong room and she sees someone that should not have been seen. And from there, the roller coaster ride  begins.

Sophie Hannah is a good writer and storyteller. I loved Cara's observations about American life. Being English, Cara is much more reserved than the people she meets. The technology is up to date in the book...Cara corresponds with her children through Instragram. Totally believable.

As Cara's story unfolds and we learn her secret and what has brought her on a mission of self discovery. And her family's role in her desire to disappear for a while. And how everything turns out...

Highly recommend Sophie Hannah's Keep Her Safe.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Murderous Mistral: A Provence Mystery (Roger Blanc #1) by Cay Rademacher

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2992 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 125011070X
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sept. 19 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

 An atmospheric murder mystery set in the south of France.

Capitaine Roger Blanc, an investigator with the anti-corruption-unit of the French Gendarmerie, was a bit too succesfull in his investigations. He finds himself removed from Paris to the south of France, far away from political power. Or so it would seem.

The stress is too much for his marriage, and he attempts to manage the break up while trying to settle into his new life in Provence in a 200-year-old, half-ruined house. At the same time, Blanc is tasked with his first murder case: A man with no friends and a lot of enemies, an outsider, was found shot and burned. When a second man dies under suspicious circumstances in the quaint French countryside, the Capitaine from Paris has to dig deep into the hidden, dark undersides of the Provence he never expected to see.

About the Author

 1965 in Flensburg geboren, studierte in Köln und Washington Anglo-Amerikanische Geschichte, Alte Geschichte und Philosophie und lebt heute mit seiner Familie in der Provence.

Seit einigen Jahren Redakteur bei GEO sowie Geschäftsführender Redakteur des Geschichtsmagazins GEO EPOCHE. Außerdem schreibt R. historische Romane und Sachbücher.

My Review

 Murderous Mistral: A Provence Mystery is the first Roger Blanc mystery by author Cay Rademacher. This series has been previously published in Germany so I know there are at least 3 more books in this series to look forward to. Minotaur Books has given this book a gorgeous cover that I know will catch people's eye.
Capitaine Roger Blanc, an investigator with the anti-corruption-unit of the French Gendarmerie,has recently been assigned to a small town in Provence. Having visited Provence before, I was impressed with the descriptions of Provence by the author, Rademacher.

I know a little bit about the French political system and the power of the trade unions so I found the corruption at all levels to be very believable.  Despite the fact that the book was translated from German, I found the book to be well written, well plotted and an intriguing read.

I enjoyed all the characters introduced to us in this debut book of the series. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Highly recommend Murderous Mistral.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible Kindle Fire Giveaway

Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God's redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.

Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God's beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

Action Storybook pin1

 About the Book

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God’s redemptive story together. From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus’s gift of eternal life for you and your family—God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God’s Word reflected in your life?

This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story, packed with dozens of scenes—combining stories from God’s Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family’s place in God’s redemptive story and together put your faith into action!

Interactive features include:

  • Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
  • Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God’s redemptive story!
  • The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
  • Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!

My Review

The Action Storybook Bible is a lovely illustrated book for children filled with stories of the bible. It would be a great book to give to a child or to a new Christian of any age. The illustrations bring the stories of The Bible alive. This is a fabulous tool for introducing The Bible.

The beautiful illustrations bring 15 of the most compelling bible stories to life. Young children will devour this book. I wish that it had been available when my sons were young. This book is not intended to replace The Bible but rather to enhance it. At the end of each story there is a section called Life, Faith, Action! that summarizes what the story is about and gives a God in Action and Faith in Action summary and then a prayer.

I cannot overemphasize how beautifully this book, The Action Storybook Bible, is illustrated. I highly recommend The Action Storybook Bible.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review: Death at the Seaside (Kate Shackleton #8) by Frances Brody

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3139 KB
  • Print Length: 392 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0750544716
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Sept. 12 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

'Frances Brody has the knack of spinning a tale that has the charm of the period' Daily Mail
Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma's daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma's current gentleman friend.

Kate can't help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller's shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby's idyllic façade, it's up to Kate - ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden - to discover the truth behind Felicity's disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

"Frances Brody writes marvelous British mysteries, and if you haven't met the wonderful Kate Shackleton, Death at the Seaside is the perfect place to start this terrific series! Whether you are already a Brody fan or new to the Kate Shackleton series, Death at the Seaside is a mystery you just plain can't miss!" ―Charles Todd, bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge Mysteries and the Bess Crawford Mysteries

"A delightful trip through time and space to 1920s England with a heroine who would make the ladies of the Golden Age proud." ―Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Royal Spyness and Molly Murphy novels

"In Kate Shackleton, Frances Brody has created a smart and endearing sleuth whose resourcefulness and skill for deduction shine as she investigates murders in 1920s England. With vivid settings, colorful characters, and excellently-plotted mysteries, this series is an absolute delight!" ―Ashley Weaver, author of the Amory Ames mysteries

“In Brody’s tightly woven eighth mystery set in 1920s England, PI Kate Shackleton takes a holiday in the resort town o fWhitby.... Brody provides plenty of period flavor and just enough clues topoint armchair sleuths to the solution.” ―Publishers Weekly on Death at the Seaside

"Kate finds herself drawn into a complex case redolent of classic interwar mysteries in which motives abound and old secrets are eventually revealed. In addition to re-creating the feeling of the golden age, Brody this time provides a stronger mystery than usual." ―Kirkus Reviews on Death at the Seaside

"Death at the Seaside is the eighth book in the Kate Shackleton series and it is definitely a series that moved from strength to strength.... [A]lthough this is part of a series, it is not necessary to have read the earlier books to enjoy this novel. Although I would recommend any reader who likes historical crime fiction to read them all - you are in for a treat. The plot is intriguing and, true to its title, Death at the Seaside has superb descriptions of Whitby and its surrounding countryside. Definitely a page turner." ―Mystery People

"...Frances Brody has the knack of spinning a tale that, however convoluted, has the charm of the period, while staying well within the bounds of plausibility." ―Daily Mail (UK) on Death at the Seaside

"And that's the great thing about the Kate Shackleton stories: the next time around you might know who killed the vicar, or whoever, but you'll have the added pleasure of seeing how it was done, because Frances Brody doesn't cheat and produce some piece of information right at the end which explains everything: all the clues are there. On a second read you have the joy of saying Ah, that's why... " ―The Bookbag on Death at the Seaside

"This is a charming read. There is a serious crime, a real investigation and a mystery to solve but this book feels as if it should read while sipping tea from bone china, helping yourself to a thin cucumber sandwich from a three tier cake stand and listening to some rhythmic twenties jazz music. Brody's writing allows the reader to relax and enjoy the very visual story with its gentle humour and soft smiles." ―Bibliomaniac on Death at the Seaside

"Well-plotted and atmospheric... Kate Shackleton joins Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs."―Literary Review on Dying in the Wool

"Descriptions of the lavish life enjoyed by the Indian elite give a tantalizing glimpse into a foreign of Maisie Dobbs and Daisy Dalrymple will enjoy the authentic period detail."―Publishers Weekly on Murder on a Summer's Day

"Brody has the style of the classic British cozy down pat."―Kirkus Reviews

"Frances Brody knows how to hold the reader attention and make them continue reading into the small hours of the night."-Bill Spence, York Press

About the Author

Frances Brody's highly-praised 1920s mysteries feature clever and elegant Kate Shackleton, First World War widow turned sleuth. Missing person? Foul play suspected? Kate's your woman. For good measure, she may bring along ex-policeman, Jim Sykes.

Before turning to crime, Frances wrote for radio, television and theatre, and was nominated for a Time Out Award. She published four sagas, winning the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award in 2006.

My Review

Death at the Seaside is the 8th Kate Shackleton mystery by author Frances Brody. This is the first book of Brody's that I have read. It can easily be read as a stand alone.

I have very happy to have discovered this beautifully written historical mystery series. The series is set in England between the two world wars. Brody's writing style evokes an earlier era and you feel like you are back in time.

I like the character of Kate. The supporting characters are all very interesting as well. The mystery is well developed and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to figure out who had killed the jeweler...plenty of suspects.

I had never heard of the town of Whitby before so I had to look it up . It of course is real and quite fascinating. I discovered this amazing site: where you can understand the setting better.

Loved this book! I cannot wait to read more of the Kate Shackleton series. Highly recommend Death at the Seaside.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: The Woman Who Couldn't Scream (Virtue Falls #4) by Christina Dodd

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2258 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sept. 5 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N23DPKT

Book Description

 From the New York Times bestselling author comes the fourth novel of suspense taking place in Virtue Falls, Washington.

Beautiful Merida is married to a wealthy older man who takes her around the world as his trophy. Merida is everything a man could want. But a traumatic accident years before left her without the ability to speak. When her husband dies, she knows its her chance to exact revenge on those responsible for her accident—and that vengeance begins in Virtue Falls. Reinventing herself, she slips into village life, biding her time. But someone knows exactly who she is and will use this chance to finish what was started years ago. And this time an accident for Merida will mean silencing her forever.

Read the acclaimed Virtue Falls Suspense Series:
#1 THE LISTENER: A Virtue Falls short story
#2 VIRTUE FALLS: The First Virtue Falls Full-Length Suspense
#3 THE RELATIVES: A Virtue Falls short story
#4 OBSESSION FALLS: The Second Virtue Falls Full-Length Suspense
#5 LOVE NEVER DIES: A Virtue Falls short story
#6 BECAUSE I'M WATCHING: The third Virtue Falls Full-Length Suspense
#7 THE WOMAN WHO COULDN'T SCREAM: A Virtue Falls Full-length Suspense Sept. 5, 2017
-- THE WATCHER: A Virtue Falls Short Story starring Sheriff Kateri Kwinault
-- A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT: A compilation of three short stories: THE LISTENER, THE RELATIVES, and LOVE NEVER DIES, as well as extras from the Virtue Falls series.

About the Author

New in 2017: 

— THE WATCHER: A Virtue Falls Short Story, now available for purchase or free to my mailing list

— THE WOMAN WHO COULDN'T SCREAM: Virtue Falls Full-length Suspense #4 Sept. 5, 2017 in hardcover, ebook and audio. Do put it on your To-Read list!

Now out!
-- BECAUSE I'M WATCHING: Virtue Falls Full-length Suspense #3 (2016 Amazon Best of Romance, #1 Amazon Romance of September, Kirkus starred review, Booklist starred review and Best of 2016, Library Journal starred review, RT Book Reviews Top Pick.) In paperback June 27, 2017

— A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT: Stories of Virtue Falls, a compilation of the previously published Virtue Falls short stories with new extras from the Virtue Falls books (deleted scenes, the alternate ending of OBSESSION FALLS, Readers' Guides.)

Want to know what Christina will be publishing next? Join her mailing list for updates!

Readers become writers, and Christina Dodd has always been a reader. She reads everything, but because she loves humor, she likes romance best.

A woman wants things like world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants things like a Craftsman router with attachments, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will miraculously make his bald spot disappear. So when Christina's first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to quit work and write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be?

Ha! It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before her first novel, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was published. In the twenty-six years since, her novels have been translated into 25 languages, won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Christina Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina — her mother was very impressed.) With more than 15 million of her books in print, Publishers Weekly praises her style that 'showcases Dodd's easy, addictive charm and steamy storytelling.'

Christina Dodd is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools.

My Review

The Woman Who Couldn't Scream is the fourth book in the Virtue Falls series by Christina Dodd. While The Woman Who Couldn't Scream is part of a series, this book can easily be read as a stand alone.

 The Woman Who Couldn't Scream is the second book in this series that I have read. In this series, Sheriff Kateri Kwinault returns as the main character. Not only is her half sister from Baltimore in Virtue Falls, but also childhood friend Merri now known as Merida Falcon. One is there to find something and one is there to have vengeance on the man who ruined her life. There are lots of deaths and plenty of curves to keep the reader enthralled.

Virtue Falls is a small town on Washington's Olympic peninsula. In one the books main story lines,  Sheriff Kateri's dear friend is in the hospital in  a coma throughout the book. Kateri is deeply affected by her friend's state and knows that she must her friend.

Very interesting book. I enjoyed reading it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table by Bri McKoy

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 748 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718090616
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Sept. 5 2017)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N3ZR4M7

Book Description

Bri McKoy, of the blog Our Savory Life, celebrates the power of the everyday table and shows how, by regularly and intentionally gathering around it, we can follow in the footsteps of Jesus and usher in grace, love, and deep fellowship.

Raised in the world of takeout and microwaveable meals, like so many busy women Bri McKoy found herself utterly lost in the kitchen and nowhere near using her dining room table as an inviting place of community. However, as she learned how to more intentionally invite not just others but also herself to her table every day, she noticed that the kitchen stopped feeling like a prison cell and started feeling like a sanctuary, that gathering with others around the table, like Jesus often did during his time on earth, had the power to usher in deep relationship and a fuller understanding of God’s love and grace.

In Come and Eat, Bri invites readers on an adventure of burnt pie, ten-pound bags of onions, and kitchen catastrophes to discover how to transform a common dining-room table into a vehicle that ushers in the presence of Jesus. It’s an invitation with no pressure, no strings attached, no advanced cooking skills or fancy accouterments necessary. Just a healthy appetite and a desire to take a deeper look into the power and ministry that can be found at the table. Combining biblical reflection with engaging personal stories from Bri’s own home, as well as the tables she has joined around the world, Come and Eat shows readers how they can intentionally make their own tables a vibrant source of life.

About the Author

 Bri McKoy is a writer and home cook. She first worked with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in journalism and then at Compassion International. She currently serves as the visionary and leader for Compassion Bloggers, successor to Shaun Groves, connecting with bestselling authors and popular bloggers daily. She is the owner and writer for her blog, a food blog with recipes and stories from around her table.

Her recipes have been featured on Blendtec’s (known as the world’s most powerful blender) website as well as Civilized Caveman Eats (whose author has written two New York Times bestseller cookbooks). Another of her recipes was recently featured on, which is the online home to Shape magazine, the second largest young women’s magazine. Bri is a contributor to the award-winning Compassion Blog and to, a community blog about food and faith.

She currently lives in Hermosa Beach, California with her husband and dog. You can find her in the kitchen or in her neighborhood knocking on doors inviting people to her table!

My Review

Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table is the first book by Bri McKoy that I have read. I was not familiar with Bri before reading this book and now I am following her on social media and her blog.

Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table is a fantastic book. It is a great reminder to all of us about how fellow shipping around a table can be a remarkable tool for reaching out to others. I remember going to a church when I was young that after church you were always invited to someone's house for lunch or you invited them. It was a great way to meet newcomers to the church. This book reminded me of how important fellowship with others can be.

Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table provides the tools that you need to have a warm and inviting table to invite others to. The book is filled with biblical inspiration to assist you. I loved the personal stories in the book and I'm sure you will too.

Highly recommend Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 699 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Aug. 8 2017)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MQI2W6P
Book Description

  New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker, with playful hilarity, shameless honesty, and refreshing insight, assures readers they have all the pluck they need for vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.

Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it.

But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing "right." Struggle doesn't mean they're weak; it means they're alive.

Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change ("Everyone, be into this thing I'm into! Except when I'm not. Then everyone be cool.") or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip ("Why are we in San Antonio?"), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted "in the moment" no matter what the moments hold.

About the Author

 Jen Hatmaker is the author of the New York Times bestseller For the Love and happy hostess of a tightly knit online community where she reaches millions of people each week. She and her husband, Brandon, founded the Legacy Collective, a giving community that granted more than a million dollars in its first year. They also starred in the popular series My Big Family Renovation on HGTV. Jen is a mom to five, a sought-after speaker, and a delighted resident of Austin, Texas, where she and her family are helping keep Austin weird. For more information, visit

My Review

 Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life is the latest book by Jen Hatmaker, a Christian writer and speaker.

Jen Hatmaker got herself into trouble with some evangelicals last year due to comments she made about homosexuals. She rightly believes that Jesus loves everyone. So do I. I admire high profile authors and speakers such as Hatmaker, Beth Moore and other brave women.

Hatmaker's latest, Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life demonstrates to women that every one of them faces the same messes and struggles with life that she does. Hatmaker uses her own style of wittiness and strength to get through to readers. Women need to have a backbone...Hatmaker shows us how through her examples.

I enjoy Hatmaker's writing style and I recommend Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life.