First chapter

First Chapter, First Paragraph, November 20, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I’m scheduled for review in early December. 

I hadn’t known it at the time, but it was the last normal weekend of my life.

That’s the first line of the first section (I skipped sharing the prologue since it didn’t really give you as good of an idea of the book as this first line did). I’m really enjoying this book, it’s turning out to be a really interesting thriller! I sure hope you come back on December 3rd to read my final thoughts on it. 

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Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, November 19, 2018

I’ve got four books this week, but these include everything I’ve received so far in the month of November. 

For review in December, I received: 

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right. 

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation – and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die. 

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice – and your alibi. 


From Book of the Month, I went a little outside my normal selection and chose this one: 

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amid all the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be. 

Frances Welty, the formerly bestselling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person who intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can? 

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question. 


And then I received two books from my bookcase.club subscription: 

Philadelphia, 1965: Two street cops – one black, one white – are gunned down in a corner bar. One of the fallen officers, Stan Walczak, leaves behind a twelve-year-old boy, Jimmy. 

Philadelphia, 1995: Homicide Jim Walczak learns that his father’s alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, has been sprung from prison. Jim stalks the ex-con, hoping to finally learn the truth. 

Philadelphia, 2016: Jim’s daughter, Audrey, a forensic science student, reopens her grandfather’s murder for a research paper. But as Audrey digs deeper, she comes to realize that Stanton probably didn’t pull the trigger – and her father may have made a horrible mistake… 


Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then – but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. 

Now, a thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once and again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them – so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: Those who have hurt us deeply – or whom we have hurt – never let us go, not entirely…

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, November 6, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I picked up last week on a whim.

All Around the Town

Ten minutes before it happened, four-year-old Laurie Kenyon was sitting cross-legged on the floor of the den rearranging the furniture in her dollhouse. She was tired of playing alone and wanted to go in the pool. From the dining room she could hear the voices of Mommy and the ladies who used to go to school with her in New York. They were talking and laughing while they ate lunch.

That’s the first paragraph and it caught me immediately. The entire book had me totally engrossed! I loved it and sure hope you’ll stop back by later this week for my review!

First chapter

First Chapter, First Paragraph, October 23, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I picked up because it fit multiple Goodreads challenges, but it’s also one that I’ve been looking forward to!

The Yard

Nobody noticed when Inspector Christian Little of Scotland Yard disappeared, and nobody was looking for him when he was found.

I’m going to keep this one short because it gets a little wordy after that and I feel like that first sentence really tells you all you need to know about the beginning of this book. I’m a little bit into it now and am enjoying it, so look for my review in a week or two!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, October 8, 2018

Well this past week I had my book subscription boxes come in. I’ve been a long time member of BOTM and always enjoy getting that book. Three months ago I signed up for Page 1 Books’ subscription service and bookcase.club’s subscription service as part of a treat to myself for my birthday. While I have loved getting the Page 1 Books subscription, it’s just a little higher than I’m wanting to spend on this, so I won’t be renewing right now (maybe after Christmas I’ll splurge again!). The verdict is still out on my bookcase.club subscription, it’s more affordable and I’ll probably do another round of 3 months, but if I find that I’m not keeping up with the books they’re sending (and let’s be honest… I’m not), I may pause after the next period ends. I am acquiring entirely too many books to be entirely honest. And I get all these great books and I let them sit on my shelves for months (… uhhh okay, more like years…). Anyway, you’re not here to listen to me ramble on, so on to the books:

From Book of the Month Club I chose:

The Lies We ToldBeth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behavior, the apparent delight in hurting others … Sometimes Beth is scared of her and what she could be capable of.

Luke comes from the perfect family, with he perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without a trace, and his girlfriend, Clara, is desperate to discover what has happened to him.

As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can Clara find him before it’s too late?


From Page 1 Books, I received:

A Talent for MurderLondon, 1926. Agatha Christie is boarding a train to visit her literary agent, preoccupied with the recent, devastating knowledge that her husband is having an affair. Suddenly, she feels a tap on her back, causing her to lose her balance, and then the sensation of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of an oncoming train.

So begins a terrifying sequence of events – for her rescuer is no guardian angel, but a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative sort, seeking to exploit the world-famous novelist’s expertise in the art of murder. But writing about murder is a far cry from committing one, and Christie must use every ounce of her ingenuity and cunning to thwart her adversary’s evil plan.


And from bookcase.club, I received:

Tell the Truth, Shame the DevilWhen Bish Ortley, a recently suspended cop, receives word that a bus carrying his daughter has been bombed, he rushes to her side. Though she is unhurt, lives have been claimed, and a suspect has already been identified – a seventeen-year-old girl who has since disappeared from the scene.

The press quickly reveals that the fugitive is the youngest member of one of London’s most notorious families. Years earlier, they were implicated in an attack that left dozens dead. Unable to ignore his detective instincts, Bish sets out to answer the question on everyone’s lips: has the girl decided to follow in her family’s footsteps?

To find her, Bish must earn the truth of her friends and family, including her brilliant, infamous mother, now serving a life sentence in prison. But as he delves into the deadly bus attack, the ghosts of older crimes become impossible to ignore. The secrets he uncovers will reveal the destruction of a family and take Bish on a desperate journey to expose the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


The Oslo ConspiracyIn The Oslo Conspiracy a scientist is found dead in a hotel room in Rome. Before she was strangled, she managed to scribble a few words on a piece of paper.

Milo Cavalli is sent to help out with the investigation in Italy, since he is familiar with Italian red tape. Milo finds the note from the scientist, and he also learns that earlier her kid brother had been killed in a schoolyard.

Milo becomes obsessed with finding out if there is a link between the two murders – the sister strangled in Italy and the brother shot in Norway. And he is willing to use his vast fortune and special connections – especially when those connections involve beautiful women – to find the answers.

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, September 25, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that was in the stack of books my grandma recently gave me. I originally picked it up because it started with “O” and fits a Goodreads challenge I’m terribly behind on.

One Perfect Lie

Chris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud. His resume was fake, and his identity completely phony. So far he’d fooled the personnel director, the assistant principal, and the chairperson of the Social Studies Department. This morning was his final interview, with the principal, Dr. Wendy McElroy. It was make-or-break.

Not going to lie … this one grabbed me immediately! I was sucked in and read the first 100 pages that first day I picked it up!

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday

September 18: Books On My Fall TBR

So the last time I participated in this was the week we did the spring TBR list …. of those 10 books, I read 3 and DNF’d 1. Oops?! Actually that’s a little bit better than I had anticipated 😀 So … once again, I’m going to make a list. If I read even one of these I’ll probably consider it a win, ha! I’m keeping 3 from my spring list on my fall list. Here we go:

The Swans of Fifth AvenueWhat HappenedDead LettersLittle Fires EverywhereThe Alice Network

One Perfect LieGhostedThe Book of EssieThe Underground RailroadThe Female Persuasion

 

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, September 10, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This week I received my Page 1 Books subscription, my bookcase.club subscription and my BOTM selection! Woo for book mail!

First is my Page 1 Books subscription:

The Darkest SecretTwelve years ago, Mila Jackson’s three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father’s fiftieth birthday party. Her identical twin Ruby was left behind as the only witness. The girls’ father, Sean, was wealthy and influential, as were the friends gathered at their seaside vacation home for the weekend’s debauchery. The case ignited a media frenzy and forever changed the lives of everyone involved.

Now, Sean Jackson is dead, and the people who were present that terrible night must gather once more for a funeral that will reveal that the secrets of the past can never stay hidden.

 


Then I received two from my bookcase.club subscription:

The Second Life of Nick MasonNick Mason has already spent five years inside a maximum security prison when he gets an offer that will grant his release twenty years early. He accepts – but the deal comes with a terrible price.

Now back on the streets, Nick has a new house, a new car, money to burn, and a beautiful roommate. He’s returned to society, but he’s still a prisoner. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It’s the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind serving a double life term who runs an empire from his prison cell.

Forced to commit increasingly more dangerous crimes, hunted by the relentless detective who put him behind bars, and desperate to go straight and rebuild his life with his daughter and ex-wife, Nick will ultimately have to risk everything – his family, his sanity, and even his life – to finally break free.

Close Your EyesA mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other posed like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her prince. Joe O’Laughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, trading on Joe’s reputation and calling himself “the Mindhunter,” jeopardizes the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

Joe discovers a link between the farmhouse murders and a series of vicious attacks in which the victims are choked unconscious and brutally scarred. Now he must stop a ruthless and brash criminal who has apparently graduated to murder.

Much to Joe’s surprise, he is ably assisted by his eldest daughter, a keen and courageous observer in her own right. Together they must track and catch a hunter who seems to anticipate every move they make.


And finally, from BOTM I selected:

Cross Her HeartLisa lives a very quiet life. A single mother nearing forty, she values her privacy and devotes herself to raising her sixteen-year-old daughter, Ava. Wary of men, Lisa doesn’t speak of her past or Ava’s absent father. Her best friend and coworker, Marilyn, wishes she would open up more and maybe finally go on a date – especially with the sexy new client who’s obviously keen – but maybe Marilyn shouldn’t be handing out dating advice given her own problems.

Ava, meanwhile, is getting tired of her overprotective mother. She wants to live like a normal teenager – chill with friends, go to swim practice, study for exams, have a boyfriend. Her mom would freak if she knew that Ava’s already got someone special, someone exciting and mysterious, who makes her feel sophisticated – and wanted.

Lisa has spent a long time looking over her shoulder, but lately she’s been especially uneasy. Just when she starts to let her guard down, small things from the past begin to intrude upon her carefully constructed life, feeding her anxiety. As her world begins to unravel, Lisa knows that the only way she can protect herself and her daughter is to face her fears. Yet courage won’t be enough. She’ll need help from the only person she can trust – Marilyn. Between them they have to save Ava, and to do that, they have to be honest with each other. Truly honest. Marilyn did promise she’d do anything to help.

But a long time ago, Lisa made a promise too. Then she broke her word. And that betrayal hasn’t been forgotten – or forgiven. Now someone is going to make her pay for her sin. A captivating and hair-raising psychological thriller, Cross Her Heart is a masterful tale of obsession, intrigue, and suspense that will leave you reeling.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, September 3, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This past weekend we sent the kiddos to the grandparents and headed over to Evansville to my favorite used book store, The Book Broker. I took some books for trade and came home with 9 new-to-me books! Here’s the new goodies I picked up:

WarriorsFive years ago a brilliant American scientist, well known in high-tech military circles, suddenly disappeared without a trace off the streets of Washington, D.C.

Now a professor at Cambridge University is murdered, a victim of bizarre, ancient Chinese torture methods. Counterspy Alex Hawke teams with former Scotland Yard chief inspector Ambrose Congreve to find the killer, but they soon discover that this death is merely the opening gambit in a tense and lethal game of geopolitical brinkmanship.

In the United States, the president is behaving erratically and some begin to question his fitness for leadership as hostile exchanges and new technologies ramp up tensions between China, North Korea, and the United States – threatening western military superiority.

With the situation edging closer and closer to the abyss, Hawke must face down a superb Chinese assassin and pull off his most daring mission yet: infiltrate enemy territory and neutralize their advantage … or risk the outbreak of World War III.


The BreathtakerA mammoth twister tears through the sleepy town of Promise, Oklahoma, and leaves behind three mutilated bodies in a ravaged farmhouse. Police Chief Charlie Grover believes the victims were impaled by flying debris … until gruesome evidence comes to light, proving that they were brutally murdered. How could the killer predict exactly when and where a tornado would strike and use it to cover his tracks?

With the aid of a tornado-chasing scientist, Charlie delves into a high-tech, high-risk search for a cunning criminal – one who may be stalking Charlie and his own daughter. For this is a predator unlike any other: one who conspires with the ferocious power of nature to commit and conceal unspeakable crimes.


The Rome Affair
Rachel Blakely’s charmed life is significantly tarnished after her husband Nick’s infidelity, but she wants to give her marriage a second chance. Then a business trip to sun-drenched Rome with her best girlfriend Kit leads to a night of passion with a stranger – a one-night stand meant to signify the end of a painful chapter in her life.

Rachel returns home determined to put the past behind her, and at first life seems golden again. Nick is more loving than ever, and following his promotion to senior partner in a prestigious plastic surgery practice, the couple is welcomed into Chicago’s high society, where beautiful people live beautiful lives. But there is a dark side … one that sends Rachel’s life spiraling into a nightmare.

It’s clear that everyone is guilty of something. But whose secrets will lead to murder?


Be a Good GirlAs the head of an elite FBI unit, Special Agent Paul Harrison seems to have everything figured out, but beneath the surface, an internal war is raging. When he returns to his rural hometown for the first time in a few years, he’s faced with the memories that led to his losing the love of his life.

Fifteen years ago, Abigail Winthrop’s best friend, and Paul’s girlfriend, was murdered by the infamous serial killer Dr. X. Now an investigative journalist, she’s determined to find the truth. But when Abigail discovers evidence that clears Dr. X, she realizes the real killer is still out there and is striking again when local young girls begin disappearing.

Turning to Paul for help, Abigail joins forces with him. As an undeniable attraction develops between them, they must heal deep wounds from their past – and find a relentless psychopath who could extinguish their hopes for a future together.


The Lonely Girls ClubAt an exclusive California prep school, four young girls form a bond that will endure over two decades – a bond built on secrets, scandal and murder … a bond about to be broken…

Mattie, a federal judge … Breeze, a wealthy entrepreneur … and Jane, the first lady of the United States, have all enjoyed a meteoric rise to success since their days at the Rowe Academy for Girls. But now the truth behind the suicide of their friend Ivy and the murder of their headmistress twenty years ago is no longer safely hidden.

The man imprisoned for the murder has been exonerated, and a true-crime reporter is relentlessly pursuing a loose thread in the decades-old cover-up, one that threatens to unravel the women’s pact of silence. But none of them anticipates the twisted depths of the secrets about to be exposed – or how the truth is poised to shatter all their lives…


The Anniversary

Three women. One serial killer’s legacy.

The writer who profited from his infamy. The lawyer who defended him to the death. The guilt-ridden girlfriend who never faced the truth.

All three women believe they are safe from serial killer Steven Gage: his violence, his ravings, his final threats. But now, on the fifth anniversary of his execution, each will find a chilling message – and discover she was dead wrong.


You Will Pay

It starts as a prank. Among the teen counselors at Camp Horseshoe, tensions and hormones are running high. It’ll be fun to scare Monica O’Neal a little – or a lot. What could go wrong? Everything.

Twenty years later, Detective Lucas Dalton is investigating the discovery of human remains at what used to be Camp Horseshoe. Lucas worked there that infamous summer when two girls went missing, rumored to have been kidnapped – or worse. Now seven former female counselors are coming back to the small Oregon town. Each one knows something about that night. Each promised not to tell.

Among them is Bernadette Warden, the woman Lucas has never forgotten. As they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First comes a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin – as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to take the perfect revenge…


Pretty Baby
Heidi Woods has always been a charitable woman. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal – or worse. Nevertheless, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home, despite her family’s objections. As clues into Willow’s past begins to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into an unrelenting web of lies and a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

 


In Big Trouble

First as a reporter and then as a P.I., Tess Monaghan has learned how to survive and thrive on the streets of Baltimore. But a new case will force her to confront her own past, and a man she loved and lost. It starts when she gets a newspaper photograph of her old boyfriend with a tantalizing shard of headline attached: IN BIG TROUBLE. The answers lie far from Baltimore, deep in a world of good-time music, old-fashioned ambition, and rich people’s games. For Tess must find out what happened to a man she thought she knew, to a woman who may have changed him forever, and to the victims of a killer who dances to a different – and deadly – drummer.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, August 27, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This week I received two books that I ordered from Paperbackswap:

The Judas Goat
Spenser is heading for London – to track down a bunch of bombers who’d blown his client’s wife and kids away.

The plan: get one of the terrorists to play Judas Goat – to lead him to the others. Trouble is, he hadn’t counted on her being very blond, very beautiful, and very, very dangerous.

 

 

Looking for Rachel Wallace
Rachel Wallace was a woman who wrote and spoke her mind. She made a lot of enemies – enemies who threatened her life.

Spenser was a tough guy with a macho code of honor, hired to protect a woman who thought that code was obsolete.

Privately, they would never see eye to eye. That’s why she fired him. But when Rachel vanished, Spenser would rattle skeletons in blue-blooded family closets, tangle with the Klan, and fight for her right to be exactly what she was. He was ready to lay his life on the line to find Rachel Wallace.