4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, N, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton

What Doesn’t Kill Her
by Carla Norton

What Doesn't Kill Her

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 367

Read: May 11-15, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased New

 

 

Blurb: Reeve LeClaire is not a victim. Not anymore. After four years of being held captive by Daryl Wayne Flint, Reeve is finally getting her life back on track. Little does she know that Flint – imprisoned at a top psychiatric hospital – has been watching, waiting, and meticulously planning his getaway. And he’s ready to seize his chance.

Flint’s escape is Reeve’s worst nightmare. Less than twenty-four hours later, Flint is already on another killing spree … and as he evades capture, baffling authorities and leaving a bloody trail through the forests of Washington State, Reeve is struck by a sudden realization: She knows this psychopath better than anyone – and only she can stop him. But what is she willing to risk to save lives, including her own?


Review: This is the second book in the Reeve LeClaire series. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book, The Edge of Normal, back in 2013. I remember I purchased this one a few years ago when I saw it was out in paperback. And then for whatever reason I let it sit on my shelves. I wish I hadn’t done that because I really enjoyed this one!

It was interesting to see Reeve use her knowledge of Daryl Wayne Flint to track him down for capture. At one point Reeve is told that she has a knack for criminal investigation, and I definitely agree – I’d love to see her brought back as a profiler or something in the future!

This book was full of twists and turns. At times my stomach was in knots trying to see if the characters would get out of the jams they were in. I really enjoyed it a lot. It could definitely read well as a standalone (it’s been 5 years since I read the first book, so I was going in pretty well blind anyway). Definitely recommended! A great read!

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First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, May 22, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’ve got another backlist book that I’m currently reading for you…

NYPD Red 2

“Were you really serious about the Hitler thing?” Dave said, dousing Meredith’s jeans and sweater with lighter fluid.

“Easy on the rocket fuel there, pyro,” Gideon said. “We’re just torching her clothes, not trying to burn the house down.”

So I read the first book in this series, NYPD Red, last year and enjoyed it. So I happily picked this one up looking forward to a quick and easy read. The intro really caught my attention … why are they burning someone’s clothes?!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Monday Updates….

Well, for the first time in a few weeks I haven’t had any books come in. And trust me …. with 500+ books on my shelves, this is a very good thing! I’m acquiring faster than I will ever read!

Last week was absolutely nuts in my little corner of the world. On Wednesday, our local water supplier suffered a huge water main break at their plant. This is the plant that provides the water to the local towns, affecting about 175,000 people. We were put on alert to conserve as much water as possible because the original “quick fix” didn’t work. Relatively early on Thursday, our little town of Carterville ran completely out of water. Completely. Schools closed, restaurants closed, bars closed, beauty shops closed. Just about everything shut down. You can imagine what our Wal-Mart/Kroger/Target/gas stations looked like in order to get bottled water…. because there was ultimately no time-line on the fix. The water plant had to have a huge part brought down from Chicago (about 6 hours away) …. and I think it had to be made before it was shipped. Thankfully, my parents were not affected by this and we went and stayed Thursday night with them. By the time we got back home later in the evening on Friday we had enough water pressure to flush the toilets. But goodness it was not a fun couple of days at all. And I’m so thankful for all the people who worked tirelessly night and day to get that plant back up and running. I feel like the employees/contractors don’t get nearly enough thanks and praise for what they sometimes have to do in these situations.

Normally I would have taken this a lot more calmly than I did. I flat-out panicked. Why? Because we had our son’s birthday party reserved for Saturday in one of the neighboring towns at Pirate Pete’s (essentially a big arcade type place) and we had no idea whether or not he would get that party or if we would be stuck either rescheduling or scrambling to just host it at our house. It was an absolute nightmare! Luckily, the fix to the water plant was able to be successful with the water coming partially back online by late Friday evening and by Saturday Pirate Pete’s was able to be open for business. I was so relieved. A 6-year-old can’t comprehend why his birthday party can’t happen because of something like this. And he was able to have an absolutely wonderful birthday party! Our boy is so blessed with many wonderful friends (and their parents are great too!).

On Sunday we had tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. I was exhausted from the previous few days that I sent my husband and Garrett with his parents. I didn’t feel like driving the nearly 3 hours (each way) to the game plus sitting at the game with a 3-year-old who probably wouldn’t want to sit there for an entire game…. so Katelyn and I had a very nice quiet day together at home. We were able to play outside on the new playset the kids got for their birthdays from my grandmother. And we watched more than our fair share of Sofia the First 🙂

We’ve got a fun-filled week coming up. Garrett has his baseball game on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening he has his kindergarten class’s end of the year picnic that his teacher is hosting (I just LOVE everything about our community!) Next weekend we’ll be hosting Garrett’s family birthday at our house. And I’m sure we’ll do something fun for Memorial Day too … he’s been invited to his best buddy Ryder’s grandparents house (just up the road from us) for some swimming on Sunday. And then it’ll be the last couple of days of school and we’re out for the summer. I can’t believe that my baby’s kindergarten year is almost over 😥 It has absolutely flown by! This summer I’ve chosen not to do daycare for him (he’ll do a few weeks of different camps), but I’m going to be working from home and utilizing the grandparents. So I’m really looking forward to some one-on-one time with him. I’m hoping for a fun-filled summer!

I got to watch some of the Royal Wedding. It was beautiful. I’m still not entirely sure about the match of Meghan Markle and Harry …. but he looked amazingly in love so that’s what matters! And I do love the fairytale of it all. I thought her dress was absolutely beautiful, but a little on the plain side … it needed a just a little more embellishment to it. But I did love her reception dress – that was gorgeous! Ahh gotta love a good fairytale 😀

Oh and one other little tidbit…. Nathan has formally accepted a new job offer. A little over three years ago he took a position within my family company to get us to be able to move back to the area. It wasn’t really an ideal fit for him and he really missed engineering (his chosen field), so when an opportunity popped up he applied, interviewed, and got the job. He starts that on June 1. We’re all very happy for him. Engineering jobs are few and far between in our area (it’s why we had to move in the first place) so we are thrilled that this has happened for him! Plus it’ll be nice to be going back to a normal schedule of Monday-Friday 8-4:30 …. which will be a really nice change after working Saturdays and odd hours, including super early and super late. The concrete business is not ideal for young families, he has missed out on quite a bit these last few years because of the crazy hours the concrete company sometimes has … like on Mother’s Day weekend this year when he literally had to work from 8;30pm Saturday night to 2am Sunday morning and then had to go back from 7am – 6pm Sunday … yeah  😦

 

3/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, MMD Book Club, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

What I Saw and How I Lied
by Judy Blunder

What I Saw and How I Lied

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 281

Read: May 3-8, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Library

 

 

Blurb: When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just war stories. Movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company, shows up, and Evie finds herself falling for him … until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family breaks her life in two.

As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between loyalty to her parents and feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is … who?


Review: This is the May book selection for the MMD Book Club. I was excited to see it available at my library and immediately fell in love with that cover! I was really looking forward to it. Young Adult isn’t necessarily a genre I’m overly familiar with, and I had never heard of this book, but I was really looking forward to digging into it!

And … it fell a little flat for me. It was very readable but I had trouble reconciling the fact that this was a National Book Award winner. I think I expected a little bit more out of this book just because it had won that award. But my feelings overall are kind of …. scattered?

As I already stated, it was extremely readable. But I couldn’t exactly figure out what the author was wanting to do with the book. Young adult, historical fiction, romance … yes! All of the above. But then near the end Ms. Blundell added in a murder mystery and that’s the part that didn’t really fit the whole book. It also didn’t help that we had at least 3/4 of the book with all this build up and then BOOM here comes the mystery part and she wraps it up in a very short 1/4 of the book. It just felt almost as if she needed something to “happen” and that’s the direction she took? I don’t know. I just felt like that entire part of the book didn’t really fit in with the vibe of the rest of the book. At least that’s my opinion on it…

Maybe it’s just because being a 30+ year old woman, I’m not really the targeted audience for this book. Maybe it’s because coming-of-age stories are not my forte. I don’t know. It wasn’t bad. Not at all! It was a fun and easy read. Ms. Blundell made me feel like I was right in the 1940s with Evie and her parents. I really loved the post-war setting. My “problem” was really with the murder part of the book. It just didn’t work for me in this book.

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, May 15, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a backlist title that I’m currently reading (and loving!!):

What Doesn't Kill Her

The last time she would ever go swimming, all of Seattle was baking beneath a sky of blameless blue. For two whole days, temperatures had soared while she begged her family for a quick trip to the lake. An hour? Thirty minutes?

I read the first Reeve LeClaire book (The Edge of Normal) back in 2013 and loved it. This one has been on my shelf for quite some time, so I don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to pick it up. Regardless, I’m glad that I’m reading it now because it’s really good!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, May 14, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

Two books this week, both from Book of the Month (because I couldn’t pick just one!)

How to Walk AwayMargaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked so hard and so long for: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First, there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then there’s her sister, Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best – a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious, truthful and wise, tender and brave.


The Perfect MotherThey call themselves the May Mothers – a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at a hip neighborhood bar, they’re looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

 

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Never Never by James Patterson

Never Never
by James Patterson & Candice Fox

Never Never

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 316

Read: April 27 – May 2, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: Meet Detective Harriet Blue of the Sydney Police Department.

Harry is her department’s top Sex Crimes investigator. But she never thought she’d see her own brother arrested for the grisly murders of three beautiful young women. Shocked and in denial, Harry transfers to a makeshift town in a desolate area to avoid the media circus. Looking into a seemingly simple missing persons case, Harry is assigned a new “partner.” But is he actually meant to be a watchdog?

Far from the world she knows and desperate to clear her brother’s name, Harry has to mine the dark secrets of her strange new home for answers to a deepening mystery – before she vanishes in a place where no one would ever think to look for her.


Review: This is the first in a new(ish) series from Mr. Patterson. It sounded good and I’m a sucker for series books, so I was excited to give it a go.

Unfortunately it fell flat for me. I’m not entirely sure if it was the storyline …. I didn’t like the setting … or if it was the fact that I pegged the killer entirely too early. It just didn’t work for me to be honest.

As I stated this is the first in a series. Part of me wants to read the second book just to see if we get any closure to Harry’s brother’s case … the other part of me doesn’t want to waste my time. So the verdict is still out on that. It’s not often that I’m this disappointed by a Patterson book, but this one was not up to par to some of his others.

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, May 8, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring the book that I’m reading for the May selection in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s book club:

What I Saw and How I Lied

The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast. I heard my mother inhale as she took a long pull on a cigarette. Her lips stuck on the filter, so I knew she was still wearing lipstick. She’d been up all night.

I am in love with that cover …. and I am so not a cover person! I’m just now settling in with this book. It’s a relatively short read and I can’t wait to get more into it!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, May 7, 2018

Just one book this week, a purchase from Amazon for June’s Modern Mrs. Darcy book club selection.

The Great Alone.jpgErnt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and residence, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska – a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, P, PICT Book Tours, RATING, Read in 2018, Review Book

Review: Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

Hiding

by Jenny Morton Potts

on Tour May 1-31, 2018

Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

Synopsis:

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published by: Cahoots Publishing

Publication Date: February 2018

Number of Pages: 323

ISBN: 1976862817 (ISBN13: 9781976862816)

Check out Hiding onAmazon | Goodreads


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I was immediately drawn into the blurb of this book – it really caught my attention immediately. And I really love the cover too … so I was excited to get a chance to read this book!

Overall, I enjoyed it. However, it did have a somewhat slow start for me. But let me just saw that once a certain something was revealed (maybe around 15-20-ish percent on my e-book copy?) it was like a corner had been turned and from there on out it was a race to the finish for me! I can’t go into too much detail here, because I don’t want to spoil anything.

The story that Ms. Potts weaves was intricate and intriguing. The writing was really enjoyable. That slightly slow start is my one and only negative thing I can say about this book. I have never read anything by Ms. Potts before this, but I am certainly going to keep an eye out for her works in the future! I really enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it!


Author Bio:

Jenny Morton Potts

Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realised she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with family.

She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Catch Up With Jenny Morton Potts On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!