Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Jan. 2 2018)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06Y55Z36S

  • Book Description

    What did she see?

    It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

    Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

    But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

    “Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing....Finn has created a noir for the new millennium, packed with mesmerizing characters, stunning twists, beautiful writing and a narrator with whom I’d love to split a bottle of pinot. Maybe two bottles—I’ve got a lot of questions for her.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn)

    The Woman in the Window is one of those rare books that really is unputdownable. The writing is smooth and often remarkable. The way Finn plays off this totally original story against a background of film noir is both delightful and chilling.” (Stephen King)

    “Twisted to the power of max. Hitchcockian suspense with a 21st century twist.” (Bestselling author Val McDermid)

    The Woman in the Window is a tour de force. A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality. It left my own mind reeling and my heart pounding. An absolutely gripping thriller.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny )

    “Compelling, wrenching, and gasp-for-breath exciting―I was blown away.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill)

    “A dark, twisty confection with an irresistible film noir premise. Hitchcock would have snapped up the rights in a heartbeat.” (New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware)

    The Woman in the Window is the most riveting thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl. A. J. Finn is a bold new talent with the touch of a master.” (New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen)

    “Finn’s debut lives up to the hype. . . . A riveting and mature first novel that stands out in a crowded genre.” (Library Journal (starred review))

    “Gripping, compelling, and utterly intriguing.” (Liz Nugent, author of the 2017 BEA “Buzz Book” Unraveling Oliver)

    The Woman in the Window reads like a classic Hitchcock movie in novel form, in fact I was half expecting a cameo. Dripping with suspense. Creaking with menace. Beautifully written. There’s a lot of buzz around this book and every single bit of it is totally justified.” (Simon Toyne, bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy)

    About the Author

    A. J. Finn has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement (UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City.

    My Review

    The Woman in the Window  by A.J. Finn is a completely engrossing and dark novel. It was one of those impossible to put down books.

    The Woman in the Window features Dr. Anna Fox. Anna has been housebound for most of the past year. Something happened in her life that has brought this on...something to do with her husband and daughter. We learn the truth as the novel progresses. But Anna has had some kind of shock that leaves her unable to leave her house. So she drinks, over medicates herself and she spies on the neighbours.

    One night Anna sees her neighbour murder his wife. But no one believes her. But Anna talked to the woman in question. It drives her further into depression when nobody believes her.

    I never expected the ending of this book. The Woman in the Window constantly surprised me. Great read!

    Highly recommend The Woman in the Window.

    Thursday, December 21, 2017

    Review: Another One Bites the Crust (A Bakeshop Mystery #7) by Ellie Alexander

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1175.0 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250159350
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (Jan. 2 2018)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

  • Book Description

    Torte―the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw―is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

    It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama―and his just desserts―but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets―before the curtain drops on someone else. .

    About the Author

    Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

    The 7th book in the Bakeshop Mysteries, ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST, releases in January 2018, and be sure to check out Ellie's new beer series set in Leavenworth, WA, DEATH ON TAP.

    Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her websites at: or following her on Facebook:

    My Review

    Another One Bites the Crust is the seventh Bakeshop Mystery #7)  by Ellie Alexander. I have read most of the previous books in this series and I really enjoy it.

    Another One Bites the Crust is filled with interesting characters. Readers of this series will enjoy getting back to the bakeshop, Torte, in Ashland, Oregon with Jules and her co-workers. Jules has realized that she is going to build her life in Ashland and not with ex Carlos on the cruise ships. Her shop is going under major renovations and she is excited about the future.

    Jules is given an opportunity to provide the food for an elaborate party by the artistic director, Lance, of the town's Shakespeare festival. On the night before the opening of the festival, Lance fights with young actor Anthony. When Anthony is found dead Lance is blamed and Jules needs to help her friend.

    Another One Bites The Crust is a well written cozy mystery. Great addition to the series. Highly recommend.

    Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

    Book Description

    Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debut The Vanishing Season will grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

    Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She's an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

    When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

    Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he's washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them...with a killer who can't let go.


    "Powerful...the complex plot and affecting characters―especially gritty survivor Ellie and her basset hound, Bump―make for some nail-bitingly tense thrills." ―Publishers Weekly

    "Schaffhausen’s debut is a fantastic, convoluted thriller that will have her audience on the edge of their seats, taking notes to catch every crumb of a clue. Ellery and Reed, her protagonists, are complex yet brilliantly believable, competent yet very imperfectly human.The villain is both evil and cunning. The storytelling is exceptional and the dialogue is powerful. This chilling tale will have readers guessing till the end! This one is sure to end upon the bestseller list." ―RT Book Reviews

    “Joanna Schaffhausen’s The Vanishing Season is a gripping debut with a plot twist readers won’t see coming. The main character, Ellery Hathaway, is a survivor whose grace, intelligence, and grit reminded me of Clarice Starling.”―HALLIE EPHRON, author of Night Night, Sleep Tight

    "Dark, disturbing, and relentlessly sinister―this intense thriller plumbs the darkest corners of terror, survival and psychological damage. Be warned: leave on the light! But start reading right now."―HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN

    "The Vanishing Season introduces small-town police detective Ellery Hathaway, a former child victim of an infamous sadistic psychopath. While attempting to hide the scars of past trauma, Ellery must hunt a terrifying serial killer whose methods eerily echo her former abuser’s. Is she next on his list? Schaffhausen does equal justice to Ellery’s inner and outer struggles as she keeps the plot twists coming in this gripping, compulsively readable debut. Be prepared to lose sleep."―ELISABETH ELO, author of North of Boston

    "A twisted story with an unforgettable protagonist and a drop-book-in-lap, sneaky twist that will make you say WOW!"―SHANNON KIRK, author of Method 15/33

    About the Author

    Joanna Schaffhausen is a scientific editor who spends her days immersed in research on potential new therapies for cancer, addiction, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Previously, she worked as an editorial producer for ABC News, where she advised and wrote for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.

    My Review

    The Vanishing Season is the debut novel by Joanna Schaffhausen. I really enjoyed reading The Vanishing Season. It is a solid, well written mystery thriller.

    The Vanishing Season is filled with fascinating characters. Ellery Hathaway is a sole survivor of the famous serial killer Francis Michael Coben. Nobody knows her secret in Woodbury, MA where she works as a police officer. That is until copycat crimes begin to occur. Coben is safe behind bars so who is committing murders on Ellery's real birthday every year. And who is sending her birthday cards?

    Intriguing tale. I'm looking forward to more from Joanna Schaffhausen. Highly recommend.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2017

    Review: Robicheaux (Dave Robicheaux #21) by James Lee Burke

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 19019.0 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Jan. 2 2018)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B074ZCQSZ6

  • Book Description

    James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.


    Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

    During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America: this nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.

    “Heaven-storming prose…the intimations of mortality that have hovered over this series for 30 years have never been sharper or sadder.”—Kirkus

    “[An] enthralling yet grim novel of crime, hate, and tragedy. … The novel’s murders and lies—both committed with unsettling smiles—will captivate, start to finish.” Publishers Weekly

    About the Author

    James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

    Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving a BA and MA from the latter. He has worked at a wide variety of jobs over the years, including working in the oil industry, as a reporter, and as a social worker. He was Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, succeeding his good friend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, and preceding Ernest Gaines in the position. Shortly before his move to Montana, he taught for several years in the Creative Writing program at Wichita State University in the 1980s.

    Burke and his wife, Pearl, split their time between Lolo, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana. Their daughter, Alafair Burke, is also a mystery novelist.

    The book that has influenced his life the most is the 1929 family tragedy "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner.

    My Review

    Robicheaux is the 21st book in the Dave Robicheaux series by American author James Lee Burke. Burke is definitely America's greatest living author and each of his books are a treasure. I feel like Robicheaux is a gift to Burke's many fans. It has all the satisfaction that comes from a great present.

    Robicheaux finds Dave and Clete in New Iberia and New Orleans. Dave has just lost his wife Molly and has been drinking again. The book centers around whether or not Dave took revenge on the driver that killed Molly. Dave has been suffering blackouts so he has no idea what happened on the night in question.

    Robicheaux is a love story. It is a story about a deep abiding friendship between Dave and Clete. Never more does the reader understand the depths of affection between these two. And it is the story of a father's love for daughter. And it is a story about losing someone unexpectedly and the trauma it leaves behind in one's heart.

    Robicheaux is filled with fascinating characters as every Burke novel is. Burke understands evil in a way that other author's struggle with. His portrayal of evil in his characters define his writing. I felt the evil in the politician Jimmy Nightingale in Robicheaux.  In a mirror of today's political scene in the US, Burke gives us a character who is able to work up people based on old prejudices that are simmering beneath the surface of society. He shows us how someone can rise to power using old hatreds.

    The writing of course is amazing. Burke has a way with words like no other. Everyone has an author whose books they look forward to each year. James Lee Burke's books are always met with huge excitement in this household. My husband and I have even been to New Iberia to look for Dave and Clete. (We live thousands of miles away in western Canada).

    Highly recommend! Cannot wait for Burke's next book!!!

    Friday, December 15, 2017

    Review: NKJV, Unapologetic Study Bible, Hardcover, Red Letter Edition: Confidence for Such a Time As This

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9639.0 KB
  • Print Length: 1568 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Nov. 7 2017)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English

  • Book Description

    The NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible will equip, encourage, and embolden you to live and share what you believe, solidly grounded in the truth of Scripture. Articles within the Bible text provide insights and perspective on topics such as justice and prejudice, marriage and family, church and state, poverty and wealth, war and peace, euthanasia and suicide, greed and hypocrisy.

    The NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible cuts through the confusion with clear answers for today’s most complicated and controversial issues. With timely articles, thoughtful book introductions, insightful quotations, and profiles on some of history’s most unapologetic defenders of the faith, this is a Bible that won’t leave you guessing. You’ll grow in confidence as you discover how to defend your faith and share it with others in a world increasingly at odds with the truth of God’s Word. The Bible doesn’t shy away from the tough topics, and neither should you.

    Features Include:
    • Book Introductions: Provide key passages and background information for each book
    • Articles: Over 220 articles placed near relevant Scripture passages bring keen biblical insight to the current issues of the day
    • Quotations: Over 60 quotations from historical figures help you understand, first, that the issues of the day are not new; and second, that wise people throughout history have been challenged to live by biblical standards, just as we are today
    • Unapologetic Profiles: Over 40 profiles of historical figures inspire you with biblical faith lived out in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances
    • Indexes: Categorize each of the above features to assist you in a topical study of the issues that matter to you
    • 8.9-point print size

    About the Author

    The Emmanuel Foundation is organized, for the Glory of God, to:
    • Provide ministers and teachers with information and commentary designed to help them evaluate current events from the perspective of the Kingdom of God
    • Create, maintain, and distribute content and platform options, enabling educators to carry out their missions more effectively
    • Encourage innovation in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
    • Support those whose ministries harmonize with the principles and goals of the Foundation

    My Review

    This review is for the Kindle Edition. The Kindle Edition is currently on sale for $3.99 on Amazon in both the US and Canada.

    The NKJV, Unapologetic Study Bible, Hardcover, Red Letter Edition: Confidence for Such a Time As This, is a new bible from The Emmanuel Foundation.

    An Unapologetic Study Bible is probably different from the other study bibles you have in your collection. This bible offers a viewpoint that provides a strong stand regarding moral and social issues, worldwide.  

    Here is how the bible deals with Sanctity of Life: 
    We live in a convenience culture. We’ve become desperate to stave off or terminate life through Contraception, Abortion, Euthanasia, and Suicide when we feel it has become troublesome; yet we also spend small fortunes on Fertility, or one day Cloning, to conceive a child or “restore” what was once lost. The promise of Biotechnology and Stem-Cell Research may appear, at once dazzling, will turn terrifying as the science employed for such gains will go astray morally. Of course, feelings of compassion can come into play in all of these areas — whether to relieve suffering and heartache or to alleviate misery — but feelings, which are often conflicting, are an unreliable guide to morality.

    You can learn all about the NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible here:

    If you are looking for an Unapologetic Study Bible then the NKJV, Unapologetic Study Bible, Hardcover, Red Letter Edition: Confidence for Such a Time As This would be a great purchase.

    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Review: Ginger Snapped (Spice Shop Mystery #5) by Gail Oust

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3259.0 KB
  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250081262
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Dec 12 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071LM71RR

  • Book Description

    Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.

    Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.

    Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper's shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

    Murder comes well-seasoned in Ginger Snapped, Gail Oust's newest novel in the charming, "must-read" (Publishers Weekly) Spice Shop mystery series.

    About the Author

    GAIL OUST is often accused of flunking retirement. Hearing the words "maybe it's a dead body" while golfing fired her imagination for writing a cozy. Ever since then, she has spent more time on a computer than at a golf course. She lives with her husband in McCormick, South Carolina.

    My Review

    Ginger Snapped is the 5th Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust. It is the first book that I have read in the series. It can easily be read as a stand alone novel.

    Piper Prescott owns a spice shop in the southern town of Brandywine Creek. She and her best friend Reba Mae cannot seem to keep out of trouble. Piper has  developed a crush on the town's police chief Wyatt McBride so when the body of the town's best realtor is found on his property, Piper sets out to prove his innocence. 

    Ginger Snapped is well written and has a good reading pace. I really enjoyed reading this humorous cozy mystery. Recipes are included.

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) by Jane Harper

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1205.0 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books (Jan. 10 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BSN15F6

  • Book Description

    After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

    Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets

    About the Author

    Jane Harper is the author of Australian atmospheric thrillers, The Dry and Force of Nature.
    Winner of numerous awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year Award, The Dry is Jane’s first novel, with rights sold in 29 territories worldwide and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea.

    Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

    Her second novel, Force of Nature, was published in September 2017 in Australia and will be released in the US and UK in February 2018.

    My Review

    The Dry by Jane Harper is an absorbing and powerful debut novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic start to a new mystery series.

    The Dry is set in rural Victoria north of Melbourne in Australia. The area has been suffering through a punishing drought that devastated the farming industry. Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns the small community he left 20 years earlier. It appears that his childhood friend has murdered his family. When Falk returns for the funeral old hatreds come to the surface and Aaron is left to not only find out what has happened in the present but also in the past.

    The Dry is a fantastic read. I had trouble putting it down. Highly recommend. I am looking forward to Harper's next book, Force of Nature.

    Review: Bel, Book, and Scandal: A Belfast McGrath Mystery (Belfast McGrath Mystery #3) by Maggie McConnon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2253.0 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250077303
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (Dec 5 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0719HBMG8

  • Book Description

    Maggie McConnon rings in Christmas in Bel, Boiok, and Scandal, the third adventure for everybody's favorite Irish-American culinary artist turned amateur sleuth.

    Bel McGrath tries her best to keep herself on the straight and narrow but she just has a taste for trouble. This time danger arrives in the form of a newspaper left behind by visitors to Shamrock Manor--and a photograph that jolts Bel out of the present and back into a dark chapter from her past. The person in the photo is Bel's best friend Amy Mitchell, long gone from Foster's Landing, at a commune in upstate New York shortly after her disappearance. The picture, and Bel's burning desire to find out what happened to Amy--and whether she may still be alive--is the catalyst for a story in which old secrets are revealed, little by little...and certain characters are shown to not be as genuine as Bel once thought.

    Bel McGrath is:

    "Authentic...will leave you smiling."--Nancy Martin

    "Hilarious and surprising."--RT Book Reviews

    "A saucy, funny, flawed protagonist that readers are guaranteed to fall in love with." --Susan McBride

    About the Author

    MAGGIE MCCONNON grew up in New York immersed in Irish culture and tradition. A former Irish stepdancer, she was surrounded by a family of Irish musicians who still play at family gatherings. She credits her Irish grandparents with providing the stories of their homeland and their extended families as the basis for the stories she tells in her Belfast McGrath novels, beginning with Wedding Bel Blues.

    My Review

     Bel, Book, and Scandal: A Belfast McGrath Mystery is the third Belfast McGrath Mystery by author Maggie McConnon. I read the second book in the series previously so I was familiar with the location and Bel's large family. And Bel's obsession with finding an old friend Amy.

    Bel who is an incredible chef is still living and working at her family's Irish themed resort Shamrock Manor. Her past in New York City comes back to haunt her in this book. As does a photo she sees that she is convinced is her old friend Amy who has been missing for years. 

    There are lots of twists and turns in this enjoyable cozy mystery. Good read!

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2946.0 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1501133608
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Nov. 21 2017)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English

  • Book Description

    “If you liked Big Little Lies, you’ll want to crack open this new novel by Nicole Baart.” —Southern Living

    “Steeped in menace, Baart’s latest is a race-to-the-finish family drama.” —People

    An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

    I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

    Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

    While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.

    "Compelling and exquisite.... Baart has crafted an unforgettable novel filled with characters and places so rich, they spill from the pages in beautiful, slow motion passages that you'll savor again and again. The Beautiful Daughters is one of those special novels that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page."--Roberta Gately, author of Lipstick in Afghanistan and The Bracelet

    "The Beautiful Daughters is a captivating story that showcases Nicole Baart's strong suits. Her sense of place and characters, her understanding of relationship dynamics, and her ability to craft a compelling plot filled with emotional highs and lows all make for an engrossing, fast-paced novel that will thrill fans of women's fiction."--Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of Where Rivers Part

    "An ambitious, complex novel, The Beautiful Daughters weaves an intricate web with one driving mystery trapped at its heart and several other secrets waiting to be unraveled. A gorgeous, dark, and winding read!"--Andrea Lochen, author of The Repeat Year and Imaginary Things

    "A meditation on friendship, betrayal and redemption, The Beautiful Daughters is the kind of story that grabs hold and doesn't let go until the final, moving page. Baart spins together multiple storylines with masterful skill, and her richly realized characters stay with you long after you've finished reading."--Elizabeth Blackwell, author of While Beauty Slept

    "Nicole Baart weaves exquisite writing with unstoppable drama in this tale of family schisms and secrets on a collision course with life-threatening danger. Putting down Little Broken Things was impossible." --Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage and The Widow of Wall Street

    "Little Broken Things made me abandon my life and responsibilities for days. Stunning, beautifully wrought, tenaciously hopeful--move this book to the very top of your book club list."--Kimberly Stuart, author of Sugar: A Novel and the Heidi Elliott series

    "Richly atmospheric and featuring a compelling cast of sharply drawn female characters, Little Broken Things is both a page-turner and a thoughtful examination of what it means to mother and be mothered, in all its most real and varied forms."--Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her

    "Beautifully readers everything they could possible want in a novel - vivid, engaging characters, a town filled with dark secrets, a mind-twisting mystery and the ferocious power of a mother's love. Original and gripping, Little Broken Things is a stunner that will linger with you long after the final page is turned."--Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not A Sound

    "Hold on to your hearts for this one. Nicole Baart leaves no emotion untapped with Little Broken Things as she nudges readers to ask: What kind of mother am I? With page after page of her trademark lyrical prose, Baart offers a treat of a tale that will please her loyal readers while drawing the praise of many more. Soul-stretchingly good!"
    --Julie Cantrell, author of Into the Free and Perennials

    "Suspenseful, heartfelt, and emotionally rich, Little Broken Things explores the complicated bonds of family--those we're born into and those we choose. Baart's writing--as always--is a delight."--Elizabeth Blackwell, author of While Beauty Slept and In the Shadow of Lakecrest

    About the Author

    Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of eight novels, including the upcoming LITTLE BROKEN THINGS. Nicole is a proud Tall Poppy Writer and a firm believer that we are, and always will be, better together. Find out more at or connect with Nicole on social media.


    My Review

    Little Broken Things is the first book of author Nicole Baart's that I have read. I really enjoyed this book so I will definitely reading more of Baart's books!

    I loved the setting of a Minnesota resort town, that swelled with people in the summer and was quiet the rest of the year. I loved the characters Baart created in this book. I found them all to be convincing and real. I liked the how the story went back and forth between the women in the tale.

    I enjoyed this contemporary tale. I didn't find it scary but found the situation to be scary. The story was filled with emotions and filled with family drama. The story took place over a few days which made the story more suspenseful. One detail in the book I kept changing my mind about but I was right in the first place...cannot tell what it is or I would give the story away.

    Great book. I really enjoyed it. Hard to put down. Highly recommend.

    Friday, December 1, 2017

    Review: Christmas at Grey Sage by Phyllis Clark Nichols

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4604 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gilead Publishing (Oct. 17 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B074B2D78T

  • Book Description

    This Christmas, there’s plenty of room at the inn

    Nestled in the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, the Grey Sage Inn is the perfect place for an unlikely group of traveling companions to spend a couple of days on their Christmas trip. There’s plenty to see in historic Santa Fe during the day, and the inn’s owners, Maude and Silas, are happy to spend their evenings hosting this year’s guests from across the country.

    But an unusual snowstorm throws a wrench in the plans of these folks who were escaping Christmas at home. The sprawling inn becomes close quarters as the innkeepers and stranded guests discover this won’t be the Christmas they planned. Tension and fear mount as the storm worsens, and a sudden crisis disrupts the normally peaceful haven. The snow and stress unlock tongues — and in the unexpected conversation that follows, secrets and pasts are revealed, and hearts are healed.

    Amidst snowdrifts and fireside conversations of days gone by, the warmth of this Christmas brings renewed hope as trapped strangers become friends — proof again that the joy, hope, peace, and love of Christmas can be experienced no matter where you are.

    About the Author

    Phyllis Clark Nichols believes everyone could use a little more hope and light. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions from within the simple lives of small town communities you just know you've visited before. With a love for nature, art, faith and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment, often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband, where red birds and axis deer are her ever-ravenous neighbors. She is an English major and classically-trained musician, seminary graduate, concert artist and co-founder of a national cable network for the health and disability-related programming. After retiring as a cable network executive, Phyllis began leading mission teams to orphanages in Guatemala and now serves on three non-profit boards where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most.

    Find out more about Phyllis at

    My Review

    Christmas at Grey Sage  by Phyllis Clark Nichols is the first book of Nichols that I have read. It is a heartwarming Christmas tale.

    Christmas at Grey Sage is set in an inn in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe at Christmas time. A terrible blizzard happens that strands the inn's guest at he Grey Sage. The guests end up having a Christmas like they never imagined.

    You will enjoy this heartwarming story. Sometimes we need to be reminded about the real meaning of Christmas. Highly recommend.