Amazon

Readers' Favorite

November 4, 2017

Review: Lilac Lane (Chesapeake Shores #14) by Sherryl Woods

by Susan Roberts


Lilac Lane is book 14 in Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Bay series.  I have read and enjoyed all of the books in the series and this book can be read as a stand-alone without confusion but the entire series is so good, I think that you’ll want to start with book 1 – you won’t be disappointed.

November 3, 2017

Dealing with Complexity in Structure

by Chris



We’re taught structure in language from a very young age. First, we learn the structure of our sentences (subject, verb, object, etc.). Later, inspired by the stories we read or have read to us, we’re taught to start writing our own stories. Here, we learn about beginnings, middles and ends, and the basics of planning out our tales.

November 2, 2017

5 Mysteries to Read During the Dreary Winter Days

by Susan Roberts



I love to read a good mystery book especially in the winter time when I can't get outside as much - it keeps me entertained and it helps keep me from complaining too much about the weather!  Here are several good mystery books that I have read recently.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie #7) by Lisa Gardner  

Right Behind You
After a nine-year hiatus, Lisa Gardner has brought back Quincy and Rainie and the FBI profiler series and it was worth waiting for. She has brought them up to date but all of the things that I loved about this series were back and even better than before! This was a real page-turner with lots of twists and turns. Every time that I thought I had something figured out, the author would throw in a twist that I never saw coming and make me realize that I hadn't solved anything yet.

Quincy and Rainie are retired but still working on special projects for the police. They are also in the process of adopting their foster daughter - 13-year-old Sharlah who had lived a horrific childhood. When Sharlah was 4, her older brother Telly beat their parents to death with a baseball bat and broken Sharlah's shoulder during the attack. As a child who has suffered abuse the couple is working very hard to make her part of their family and be not afraid of her past or her future. They have made a lot of progress when Quincy gets a call from the local sheriff to help with a homicide - four people are dead and the police are searching for a young man, who turns out to be Sharlah's brother Telly. Even through Sharlah hasn't talked to her brother in over 9 years, she is still afraid for him and tries to help him in her own way. That's all I can say about the plot without giving anything away but I will tell you that you will read this book very fast to find out how it ends.

I loved this book and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it. It's wonderful to have these two characters back - along with their wonderful soon-to-be daughter - and in the capable storytelling hands of such a fantastic author!

(Note:  This book can be read as a stand-alone but once you read it, you'll want to go back and read the first 6 books in the series.)

Buy Right Behind You on Amazon  

The 4th Man (Quincy & Rainie #6.5) by Lisa Gardner 

The 4th Man
Lisa Gardner has brought back Pierce and Rainie in this novella to get her readers excited to read her new novel about them - Right Behind You due to publish on January 31. Since it's been almost 8 years since her last book in the FBI Profiler series, this teaser sure worked for me and I am anxious to read the new novel.

In this story, Pierce and Rainie are called in to help DD Warren solve a 10-year-old cold case. She and her team have done all of the legwork and now have 4 people in interrogation rooms waiting to be interviewed by the couple. A young college girl had been murdered in the college library and there were three likely suspects that had been questioned after the murder and one '4th man' who had shown up as a possible suspect during the cold case investigation. The meticulously question each suspect and get new information on each but are still unsure about who the murderer is -- until the question the 4th person.

This is a fantastic short story and if you are a fan of this series, it will definitely whet your appetite to read the new book. If you haven't read the series -- now is the time to catch up - you won't be disappointed!

Buy The 4th Man on Amazon

Home (Myron Bolitar #11) by Harlan Coben

Home
I listened to this book on a long drive. The book is so good that I don't remember parts of my drive because I was so engrossed with Myron and Win and their search for two lost boys. I am a real fan of this author and enjoy his Myron Bolitar series more than his stand alones (even though many of them have been very good too).

As the book begins, Win is in London looking for his cousin's son and a friend who were kidnapped 10 years earlier when they were 6. Even though it had been a cold case, Win got a tip that led him to a seedy area of London to try to find the teenagers. Win and Myron find Patrick but are unable to find out what happened to Rhys, Win's cousin. They decide to go back to the beginning and study the case to see if they can find out what actually happened to the boys after they were kidnapped. The mystery is full of twists and turns and has an ending that I never saw coming.

This is an excellent book by one of the best authors in this genre. I highly recommend it.

Buy Home on Amazon

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl Who
The Girl Before is an exciting, psychological thriller that keeps you turning pages until the end. Two women, at different times, are looking for an apartment and One Folgate Street looks like a dream come true..except for the pages and pages of requirements that they have to agree to. They both decide that they MUST live there and this is the story of what went on in the house.

What I liked about this book:
- The plot was full of twists and turns and kept you eagerly reading to see what was going to happen next.
- The story is told in alternating chapters by the two women. Emma is the past resident of the house and Jane is the current resident. It was a great way to present the story.
- The ending was a real surprise but it was plausible - I realized that I had missed some clues along the way.

What I didn't like:
- There was too much unneeded sex.
- I am so tired of book titles with the word GIRLS in them when the characters are actually WOMEN.

Overall, I thought it was a great read and I definitely enjoyed it.

Buy The Girl Before on Amazon

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French

The TrespasserThis is book 6 in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French. If I have any typos in this review, blame it on my lack of sleep last night. I was up most of the night reading this book -- yes - it's that good - or should I say FANTASTIC.

Each book in this series highlights a member of the Dublin Murder Squad and this time it's Antoinette Conway - a new person in the squad with a major chip on her shoulder. Her partner is Stephan Moran, also new but pretty much spends a lot of time trying to make people like him, unlike Antoinette who is perpetually harassed by the MALE members of the squad. The team usually gets the easy cases since they haven't really proven themselves yet. One morning they get what looks like an open and shut case to look into the murder of a young woman. At first glance, the boyfriend is guilty and an older member of the Murder Squad who is working with them, wants the case closed. The team of Conway and Moran aren't totally convinced and dig deeper into the case and at every turn, it looks like it isn't a simple case at all.

I love Tana French books and this one was no exception. Her characters are wonderful - I think Antoinette is one of my favorites of all of her books - and the situations that they get into are very believable. Her books follow the procedures that the police have to go through to solve a case yet she has twists and turns happening throughout. I must admit that i only have one problem with Tana French's books -- the continual desire to turn to the last page and find out how it ends. I barely avoided doing it this time and am always proud of myself if I can fight the urge.

(Note this book can be read as a stand-alone)

Buy The Trespasser on  Amazon


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.


Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 1, 2017

Plenty of Reading Options This Month

by Donna Huber

Another month full of great new releases? The flood of new releases that started last month is continuing through November. Here's a few to keep an eye out for.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Covers and descriptions from Goodreads.com.

Tank (SEAL Team Alpha #4) by Zoe Dawson
Tank
US Navy SEAL Thorn "Tank" Hunt has been there done that, but when he loses his best friend and military working dog Echo, he’s heartbroken, but he has to pick up the pieces and get another partner. He met tough as nails and way too confident for her britches, Army Reserve veterinarian, Dr. Alyssa St. James through his baby brother and her fundraising efforts on behalf of MWDs. The undeniably beautiful, but contrary woman takes on the mission to teach Tank some new tricks and in the process, discover that maybe every once and a while he could roll over and let someone else take the lead.

Doc, as Alyssa is affectionately known at her practice, has had to deal with plenty of macho assholes in her years as a reservist, but although Tank looks like one of them guys, he’s anything but. A big man with a big heart tears down her walls and barriers, except, getting involved with a military man like her jerky ex-husband seems counter-intuitive. The distance and the separation devastated their marriage. Determined to stay in control, she's compelled to help him when he is introduced to Blade, a beautiful Belgian Malinois to replace the one lost in battle. Just as much a warrior as the man she is finding irresistible. But as their relationship progresses and Tank works himself deeper into her heart, can they take the hardships of serving their country in stride and make it work?

Available November 1
Buy Tank at Amazon


Longing for His Kiss (Serpent's Kiss #2) by Sherri Hayes
Eight months ago, two uniformed men showed up at Grace Martin’s door and told her that her husband wasn’t coming home. She’s tried to move on, but nothing will make that ache in her chest go away. Kurt wasn’t only her husband. He was also her Master. With him gone a part of her is missing and she has no idea how, or even if, she can repair the hole that has been left.

A lot has changed in the last eight months for Alexander Greco. He was injured, spent six months in a VA hospital recovering, was discharged from the Army after ten years of service, and then moved himself halfway across the country to find his friend’s widow. He has a letter to deliver to Grace—her husband’s final goodbye.

Little does either of them know the letter contains something that will change both their lives.

Available November 2
Buy Longing for His Kiss at Amazon


Hooking Up by Helena Hunting
Hooking Up
Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

Available November 7
Buy Hooking Up at Amazon


Written in Blood by Layton Green
Written in Blood
Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina--a bohemian community near Chapel Hill--than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer's community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed--and one or both of them may be his next target.

Available November 7
Buy Written in Blood at Amazon


End Game (Will Robie #5) by David Baldacci
Will Robie and Jessica Reel are two of the most lethal people alive. They're the ones the government calls in when the utmost secrecy is required to take out those who plot violence and mass destruction against the United States. And through every mission, one man has always had their backs: their handler, code-named Blue Man.

But now, Blue Man is missing.

Last seen in rural Colorado, Blue Man had taken a rare vacation to go fly fishing in his hometown when he disappeared off the grid. With no communications since, the team can't help but fear the worst.

Sent to investigate, Robie and Reel arrive in the small town of Grand to discover that it has its own share of problems. A stagnant local economy and a woefully understaffed police force have made this small community a magnet for crime, drugs, and a growing number of militant fringe groups.

But lying in wait in Grand is an even more insidious and sweeping threat, one that may shake the very foundations of America. And when Robie and Reel find themselves up against an adversary with superior firepower and a home-court advantage, they'll be lucky if they make it out alive, with or without Blue Man.

Available November 14
Buy End Games at Amazon


Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
Fragments of the Lost
Jessa Whitworth knew she didn't belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb's room. But she couldn't deny that she was everywhere--in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.

His mother asked her to pack up his things--even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.

But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb's life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.

Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb's accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?

Available November 14
Buy Fragments of the Lost at Amazon


Perennials by Julie Cantrell
Perennials
When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva—known to all as Lovey—grew up in Oxford, MS, surrounded by literary history and her mother's stunning perennial gardens. But a garden shed fire and the burns suffered by one of her best friends seemed to change everything. Her older sister Bitsy blamed her for the fire—and no one spoke up on her behalf. Bitsy the cheerleader, Bitsy the homecoming queen, Bitsy married to a wealthy investor. And all the while, Lovey blamed for everything that goes wrong.

At eighteen, Lovey turns down a marriage proposal, flees from Oxford and the expectations of attending Ole Miss, and instead goes to Arizona—the farthest thing from the South she can imagine. She becomes a successful advertising executive, a weekend yoga instructor, and seems to have it all together. But she's alone. And on her 45th birthday, she can't help but wonder what's wrong.

When she gets a call from her father—still known to everyone as Chief from his Ole Miss football days—insisting that she come home three weeks early for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she's at wits end. She's about to close the biggest contract of her career, the one that will secure her financial goals and set her up for retirement. But his words, "Family First," hit too close to home. Is there hope for her estranged relationship with Bitsy after all this time?

Eva's journey home, to the memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise for her mother, becomes one of discovering roots, and truth, and love, and what living perennially in spite of disappointments and tragedy really means. Eva thought she wanted to leave her family and the South far behind . . . but she's realizing she hasn't truly been herself the whole time she's been gone.

Available November 14
Buy Perennials at Amazon

Hardcore Twenty-Four
Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich
This Jersey girl hits hard—twenty-four seven. The blockbuster Stephanie Plum series continues with Hardcore Twenty-Four from #1 New York Times bestselling Janet Evanovich.

Available November 14
Buy Hardcore Twenty-Four at Amazon


Sweet Little MemoriesSweet Little Memories (Sweet #3) by Abbi Glines
Book #3 in the Sweet Little Series. Trusting again and facing the lies that had surrounded her entire life, Beulah is ready to move on. Love and enjoy the man she’s found happiness with. When the past comes back yet again with one last skeleton in the closet.

Available November 16
Buy Sweet Little Memories at Amazon


The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories by Charlaine Harris 
The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories
For the first time together in one volume, here is the complete short story collection starring Louisiana's favorite telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse--from #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. New fans can fill in the gaps in their Sookie lore while old friends can revisit some of their favorite moments and characters. From investigating the murder of a local fairy to learning that her cousin was a vampire, from remodeling her best friend's house to attending a wedding with her shapeshifting boss, Sam, Sookie navigates the perils and pitfalls of the paranormal world.

Belly up to the bar at Bon Temps's favorite watering hole and hear stories that will make you wish Sookie never left, including...

"Fairy Dust"
"One Word Answer"
"Dracula Night"
"Lucky"
"Gift Wrap"
"Two Blondes"
"If I Had a Hammer"
"Small-Town Wedding"
"Playing Possum"
"In the Blue Hereafter"

This definitive collection is the perfect binge read for people who like their stories with bite!

Available November 21
Buy The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories at Amazon


The Brightest Embers (Broken Destiny #3) by Jeaniene Frost
The Brighest Embers
You can run from your destiny, but you can't hide

Ivy thought that she and Adrian had conquered their fates. Yet with thousands of innocents still trapped in the demon realms, she's determined to locate the final hallowed weapon and harness its unparalleled power to free them. But the last relic nearly put Ivy in the grave—there's probably no coming back from this one.

Adrian's dark lineage has made him the most powerful of his kind, yet even his incredible abilities might not be enough now. Instead, the treacherous fate he has fought so hard to escape might be the only way he can save Ivy. Their scintillating bond has been tested before, but never with so much on the line. Now fate will come head-to-head against true love, and nothing they've endured can prepare Ivy and Adrian for the unthinkable choices they'll face.

Available November 28
Buy The Brightest Embers at Amazon



Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Review: A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake

by Susan Roberts

This is a well-researched novel about Charleston SC in 1822 and 2015 and is not only about racial issues but about family and love and the connections that exist between families and generations.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

A Tangles Mercy
November 2017; Lake Union Publishing
978-1503946736; ebook, print (433 pages)
historical, women's fiction 
The author does a fantastic job of tying together the terror that the slaves lived through in 1822 and the more subtle but equally as painful terror that the present day blacks live through on a daily basis.

She writes about an unsuccessful slave revolt in 1822 and the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015. The main character in 2015 is Kate, a Harvard grad student trying to solve the mystery of her family while doing research for her dissertation on the attempted slave revolt in 1822. While the main character in 1822 is Tom Russell, a slave and blacksmith, who is trying to protect the woman that he loves even as he gets involved in the slave revolt.

Sometimes when I read books with a dual timeline, I like one story more than the other. Both of the stories are compelling and readable with well-done characters and the way that the author ties it all together at the end is fantastic.

I highly recommend this book. It's a well-written novel on the subject of racism which is an issue that everyone in America needs to learn more about and understand better in our current troubling times.
A portion of the proceeds of this novel will go to a foundation set up and administered by Mother Emanuel to serve the families of the victims.

A TANGLED MERCY was a Kindle First pick for the month of October. That means that Amazon customers can purchase an early electronic copy of the book for only 1.99 if they sign up for the Kindle First newsletter, and you can download it for free if you are a Prime customer.

Buy A Tangled Mercy at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.


Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

October 31, 2017

Halloween Reads Part 3 - Lost Boy by Christina Henry

by Elisabeth Scherer

Happy Halloween Folks!  Today I'm concluding my review of Christina Henry novels with Lost Boy.  It is by far my favorite of her books and perfect for a spooky read while gorging on Halloween candy (be it your own or your kids).
Lost Boy by Christina Henry
July 2017; Ace; 978-0399584022
ebook, audio, print (292 pages)
Fantasy, Adult, Horror, Retelling

Lost Boy is a novel about the origins of Captain James Hook from the Peter Pan world.

Here is the excerpt from the back cover:

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy. 

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.


This book is in the same line with Alice and Red Queen where the world is very harsh and scary. Jamie (James Cook) tells the story of how he became the nemesis to Peter Pan. At one time they were very close. Jamie was the first boy Peter brought to the island. Then they brought more boys with the lure of staying young forever and doing what they want. However, Peter never seemed to take much notice of the injured, sick, or dead. Jamie was left to care for the boys and bury the dead. Over time Jamie began to see Peter in a different light.

This book is violent and cruel, there are pirates and sharks, and monsters. It is another book that is not for the faint of heart. People die, young boys die, and Peter doesn't seem to care. The main character is forced to face things that kids shouldn't face. The concept behind the book is wonderful. I love that you could put this right down into the canon of Peter Pan's world and it makes absolute sense. It's very much in the realm of The Hunger Games when it comes to kids battling and facing mortality around them. The characters are believable and Jamie is a character that readers will identify with and hope for the best. It will make you rethink your view on Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Tinkerbell. The action and pacing in the book pick up quickly and is a juggernaut hurling you through to the final pages.

This twisted coming of age story hits all the right notes for a clever idea brought to paper.  Jamie has to decide if he wants to ignore the realities of life on the island or if he must face his future and grow up and away from his beloved friend Peter. It is gritty and dark and is just what I was looking for when thinking about reading something around Halloween.

Buy Lost Boy at Amazon
Elisabeth Scherer grew up in a very small town in Minnesota but now lives in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time raising her two young children. She and her husband have a large collection of books that takes a good space of their small condo. When she's not reading she has a variety of hobbies that include crocheting, drawing, baking, cooking, and movie watching. She is currently obsessed with making French Macarons and other baked deliciousness! You can also find her blogging at http://kitchenstoriesetc.blogspot.com

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Review: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

by MK French

Greta is a blacksmith's apprentice, and she lives in a world where blacksmiths were integral to make tools, weapons and all kinds of goods. She discovers a lost tea dragon in the market and learns how to care for it from tea shop owners Hezekiel and Erik, as well as their ward Minette. These dragons actually grow tea leaves from their horns, a prized trait.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Tea Dragon Society
October 2017; Oni Press; 978-1620104415
ebook, print (72 pages); children, fantasy
Though this is a comic book, it's nice to see the representation in it. Greta has goblin blood, which is treated like no big deal and not a terrible thing as in most fantasy books. Erik is in a wheelchair, and casually mentions cooking and little details of life with Hezekiel; both are different races, which are not explicitly named in the text. Minette's shyness isn't a big deal, and she blossoms over time with Greta's steady friendship as she learns to care for the tea dragons from Hezekiel and Erik. Through this friendship, Greta learned to appreciate the lost art of dragon tea making and gained a newfound appreciation for the blacksmithing trade she was trying to learn from her mother.

I also really liked the guide to tea dragons that was included at the end of the book. It reads like every other guide on caring for animals, including basics about each breed of dragon. The art is beautiful and well suited for young school-age readers as well as older ones.

Buy The Tea Dragon Society at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever. 

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

October 30, 2017

Donna's October Reading Round-Up #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber

This hasn't been the best month for reading as I started preparing to close up the house for winter. My town does Dumpster Days one weekend in October and I take the opportunity to clean out the house. So even though I took a week off from work this month, I've been trying to power through the house cleaning, but I still got in a few books. You can see what I read at the beginning of the month here.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site.

Finished

In audio...

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Hollow CityI think I might have liked this one a little more than book one. Now I have to find time to read book 3, which I won a paperback copy of during Armchair Book Expo.

This sequel to the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended.

Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered vintage photographs.

Buy Hollow City at Amazon


The Glass Castle  by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle
This was a great memoir. I had it playing while I was sorting through the closets. I'm going to have to look for the movie.

The perennially bestselling, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers—soon to be a major motion picture starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

Buy The Glass Castle at Amazon


In print...

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches
I love this series! (though now that I've read through it several times, I'm finding bits that annoy me). There is a television show in the developments and I'm really looking forward to it. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks, but her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries--and she's the only creature who can break its spell.

Buy A Discovery of Witches at Amazon


Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Shadow of Night
I thought I could just read A Discovery of Witches and then move on to my review books, but no I had to power through the rest of the series. Good thing I was on vacation so I could binge read late into the night.

Harkness’s much-anticipated sequel, Shadow of Night, picks up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending. Diana and Matthew time-travel to Elizabethan London and are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana searches for a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey.

Buy Shadow of Night at Amazon


The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
The Book of Life
I still love this series. I can't wait for the television show. It doesn't have a US network home yet, but I'm hoping PBS picks it up. Masterpiece has picked up a bunch of book-based shows lately.

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’ enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Buy The Book of Life at Amazon


A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
A
I picked up this while at the library for my book club. I'm still enjoying the series even though I'm totally reading it out of order. I'm getting a little annoyed with the repetitiveness and Georgie's whining about having no money. I know it is a pressing issue, but she needs to grow up. And I don't get the whole can't have a job thing. I mean Lady Edith on Downton Abbey run her own magazine in the 1920s.

It's 1930s London, and Lady Georgiana -- thirty-fourth in line to the throne -- has a lot on her plate, but little in her cupboards, in this national bestseller...

Baked beans and boiled eggs. That's what my houseguest, the Bavarian princess, will have to eat if I don't get help posthaste. The Queen of England has requested I entertain said princess, placing her in the playboy prince's path, in hopes he might finally marry.

But queens never consider money, of which I have little. And which is why I moonlight as a maid-in-disguise. My plans:
1) Clean house in manner of palace.
2) Blackmail brother, Binky, into sending a few quid.
3) Unteach Princess Hanni English from gangster movies -- lest she address the queen as "old broad."
4) Keep eye on princess at parties, where she drinks like a fish.


Then there's the matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni's unwitting involvement with the communist party. It's enough to drive a girl mad...

Buy A Royal Pain at Amazon


Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Have you ever wondered how an urban legend gets started? That is how I felt reading this book. Or maybe it is like a story told around the campfire. Either way, it is a great book for Halloween if you don't go in for the horror novels. It was interesting and my first time reading Australian literature.

A 50th-anniversary edition of the landmark novel about three "gone girls" that inspired the acclaimed 1975 film and an upcoming TV series starring Natalie Dormer

With a foreword by Maile Meloy, author of Do Not Become Alarmed

It was a cloudless summer day in the year 1900. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared. They never returned. . . .

Mysterious and subtly erotic, Picnic at Hanging Rock inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir. A beguiling landmark of Australian literature, it stands with Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of intrigue.

Buy Picnic at Hanging Rock at Amazon


In ebook...


Written in Blood  by Layton Green
Written in Blood
I love Layton Green's books. This one is a little bit different, more of a crime procedural novel, but still so good. I didn't want put it down and kept getting frustrated with my Nook as my battery doesn't hold much of a charge anymore. My review will post November 9.

Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina--a bohemian community near Chapel Hill--than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer's community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed--and one or both of them may be his next target.

Buy Written in Blood at Amazon

Currently Reading

In audio...

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
 Summer Beofre the War

My hold for this book came in the day I returned to work after my vacation so I had something to listen to while I went through the 195 emails in my work account. It is a good book and a different look at WWI. It reminds me a bit of the television show Home Fires. I only have about an hour left so I will finish sometime today.

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

Buy The Summer Before the War at Amazon

Up Next

In  ebook...

Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
Mr Dickens and His Carol
I requested this from NetGalley because I really like reading Charles Dickens and thought this might be an interesting read. Plus the cover is lovely. It comes out on October 31.

Shakespeare in Love meets A Christmas Carol in this transporting debut novel set during the whirlwind period in which Dickens wrote his beloved classic, as he embarks on a Scrooge-like journey of his own.

For Charles Dickens, each Christmas has been better than the last. His novels are literary blockbusters, and he is famous on the streets of London, where avid fans sneak up on him to snip off pieces of his hair. He and his wife have five happy children, a sixth on the way, and a home filled with every comfort they could imagine. But when Dickens’ newest book is a flop, the glorious life he has built for himself threatens to collapse around him. His publishers offer an ultimatum: either he writes a Christmas book in a month, or they will call in his debts, and he could lose everything. Grudgingly, he accepts, but with relatives hounding him for loans, his wife and children planning an excessively lavish holiday party, and jealous critics going in for the kill, he is hardly feeling the Christmas spirit.

Increasingly frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace and inspiration in London itself, his great palace of thinking. And on one of his long walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets a young woman in a purple cloak, who might be just the muse he needs. Eleanor Lovejoy and her young son, Timothy, propel Dickens on a Scrooge-like journey through his Christmases past and present—but with time running out, will he find the perfect new story to save him?

In prose laced with humor, sumptuous Victorian detail, and charming winks to A Christmas Carol, Samantha Silva breathes new life into an adored classic. Perfect for fans of Dickens, for readers of immersive historical fiction, and for anyone looking for a dose of Christmas cheer, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is destined to become a perennial holiday favorite.

Buy Mr Dickens and His Carol at Amazon

In print...


The Two Georges
The Two Georges by Richard Dreyfus and Harry Turtledove
This is the November book for my book club. It meets on Thursday and I haven't even started it. I'm thinking of skipping this one as the book does not appeal to me, but since I got my copy I figured I should at least try it.

A precious and historic painting has been stolen by terrorists—radical separatists who will stop at nothing to shatter the union. Colonel Thomas Bushell, the government’s most fearless agent, is the only man who can stop them.


But this is not our world. For the stolen painting depicts a treaty between George Washington and King George III—a treaty that has kept America under British rule for two centuries. And the terrorists, who call themselves the “Sons of Liberty,” want America to be free.

Buy The Two Georges at Amazon




Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today!. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

October 29, 2017

Halloween Carnival Volume 2 by Glen Hirshberg, Lee Thomas, Holly Newstein, Del James

by MK French

There are five short stories in this collection, which are a mix of psychological horror and supernatural/gory horror.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Halloween Carnival volume 2
October 2017; Hydra; ebook (130 pages)
short stories; horror
"Mr. Dark's Carnival" actually has a carnival like the title of the series, but it takes quite some time before we get to see it. Once we do, that's where the traditional horror story kicks in and I find it much more enjoyable than the slow meandering start.

"The Facts In The Case Of My Sister" is another one that starts off a little slow, but this one hit me in the gut when I realized what had happened. Monsters come in all forms, after all, and this kind of monster is only too real and common for comfort. This would be more psychological horror than the traditional gore fest that people think of for Halloween themed stories.

"Mischief Night" and "The Ghost Maker" are creepy, but ultimately didn't leave me haunted.

"The Pumpkin Boy," however, absolutely had me hooked from the start. Boys in a small town go missing, and the police officers looking for them are haunted by past cases. The story is creepy, the boys sympathetic, and the surreal nature of the pumpkin boy is the kind of image that can keep you up at night.

Overall, this is a creepy collection of stories, but not likely to cause nightmares after reading them.

Buy Halloween Carnival Volume 2 at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Review: Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse by Lilly Bartlett

by Donna Huber



I have been a long-time fan of Michele Gorman and now her new pen name Lilly Bartlett. She writes such great romantic comedies with wonderful characters. Her Christmas novella, Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse is no exception.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.


Christmas
October 2017; Notting Hill Press; ebook (100 pages)
romance, comedy
Lottie and her young daughter rush to Wales after receiving news that her aunt, and only living relative, has been in a horrible car accident. They had already planned to spend Christmas in Wales instead of London this year as her aunt, who owns a small inn, has important guests staying this year. But heading to Wales a few days early isn't only unexpectant thing this holiday.

Lottie is a computer programmer who lives a pretty convenient life in London. So when she arrives in Wales thinking she only has to take care of her aunt is. she's shocked to find the inn in shambles and the staff on holiday. Whatever will she do?

Of course, hilarity and a little romance ensue.

Even with the serious condition her aunt and house are in, Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse is a lighthearted comedy perfect for the holiday season.

The cast of characters is absolutely wonderful. With her resourcefulness combined with her total lack of domesticity, Lottie makes her an intelligent, strong woman with enough vulnerability to feel real.

I'm guessing I won't be the only one wishing Santa will leave someone like Danny under their tree this Christmas. The taxi driver,  turned honey-do, is a real softy. There is just something about a guy who is great with kids. He needs the extra cash Lottie offers to help her run the inn so he can go to the US to visit his child. He has only slightly more domestic skills than Lottie. They make quite the pair while trying to impress the reviewer and his family.

And speaking of the special guests...Wow! They are quite the characters. The kids are nightmares. Their father is sleazy and his wife is way too entitled. The reviewer seems to be the only sane one in the family.

Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse is a short quick read, great for the busy holiday season. The characters are well developed, but I thought the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked more response about the work Lottie pulled off from the aunt. I mean if the house was in such disrepair, how did she expect to secure a good review? I'm also hoping there are future novels featuring Lottie and Danny as they figure out a long distance relationship.

So this holiday grab a cup of hot cocoa and get ready to meet Britain's worst innkeeper.

Buy Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.  


Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Shareahollic

Amazon Studio

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...