Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Gods in Alabama

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon): For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist) Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I have enjoyed several of Jackson's novels (see below) and God's in Alabama didn't let me down. Great characters, family secrets, southern traditions, relationships, and plot twists make this a great read.





Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of nine novels, including gods in Alabama, The Almost Sisters, and Never Have I Ever (July, 2019)

She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and their two kids. She serves on the board of and volunteers with Reforming Arts, teaching creative writing inside Lee Arrendale State Prison, Georgia's maximum security facility for women. Through their education-in-prison and reentry programs, Reforming Arts fosters the development of critical and creative thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives. 

She's also an award winning audiobook narrator, performing most of her own work as well as novels by Lydia Netzer and Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Her Dark Lies

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis:  Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget—and some won’t survive.

Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.

From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.

Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…

MIRA | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Connect with J. T.

Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram


Excerpt:  “Darling, darling, my beautiful, lovely, wet darling.”

“Oh good, you’re tipsy, too. Set me down, you silly man.”

But there is a tinkling noise, metal chiming against the cham­pagne flutes, which is how I’ve gotten so merry to start with. So. Many. Toasts.

Jack kisses me, still twirling. The crowd cheers uproariously, and my head spins in all the right ways. Nothing matters but this—this man, me in his arms, our lips touching. Forever. He’s mine forever.

“Want to get out of here?” he whispers, stopping finally. I slide down his body like a ballerina until my toes touch the hardwood.

“God, yes. Now?”

“Now.”

“Excellent. Can we just sneak out? Irish goodbye in three, two, one…”

“Darling, we can do whatever we want. It’s our party. But let’s say goodbye, just to be polite.” He turns to the crowd and puts up a hand, and silence descends on the room.

His power over people is magnetic. If he ever wanted to take over his father’s company, the world would bend over back­ward to pave his way. Lucky for me, Jack is content with the Foundation.

“Thank you, all, for a lovely evening. So glad you’ve been able to celebrate with us. We’ll see you on the other side.”

Quick as a magician, Jack has us out of the room and on the slate path to the black Suburban waiting outside before the ap­plause and calls of best wishes and congratulations fully dies down. His personal security guards, Gideon and Malcolm, ma­terialize like well-armed ghosts and fall in silently behind us. I call them the Crows because they are practically identical, with their buzz cuts and beefy arms, dressed in unrelenting black from head to toe, and hover, continuously, over their prize. How his people know when and where to be ready for him is still anyone’s guess. I suppose I’ll learn. Though Jack moved into my house in 12th South several months ago, he still travels constantly, and I’ve rarely accompanied him on business.

So far, I’ve managed to escape the Crows’ scrutiny. It is only at my insistence that they don’t flank Jack and me twenty-four/seven. Once we’re married, that will change. The Crows will be at my side, too, and I don’t have a choice in the matter. There have al­ready been too many security briefings for my taste.

I collapse into the back of the Suburban and kick off my heels, sighing in relief.

Jack leans over and nuzzles my neck. “You smell like Möet & Chandon.”

“I suppose there are worse things. The party was fun. I’m sorry your mom had to miss it.”

“No, you’re not. But that’s fine. She and Henna are going wild at the Villa, running the servants ragged getting everything prepared. All we have to do is show up and smile.”

“I love your mom. She’s just a bit…intimidating.”

“She will love hearing that. Speaking of, did you speak to yours tonight?”

“For a moment. She called when they arrived in Rome. Said Brian and Harper are making noises about never coming home. She said they’ll meet us on Isola Thursday. At least we’ll have a day to decompress before my family descends.”

An inadvertent sigh slips from my lips. I love my family, but we aren’t terribly close. Everyone is pursuing their own agen­das, their own lives. My sister has been acting especially weird lately, and that’s saying something.

Truth be told… I think there’s a little jealousy going on. Things have been more strained than usual since Jack and I an­nounced our engagement.

“Good. The majority of the guests should be arriving Thurs­day morning as well. The rehearsal is Friday, and Saturday, you, my darling, will officially be Mrs. Compton.”

“I like the sound of that.”

He kisses me lightly. “I do, too.”


TLC Book Tours: Make sure you check out the reviews.

Monday, February 15th: From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, February 16th: Kahakai Kitchen

Wednesday, February 17th: Seaside Book Nook

Thursday, February 18th: What is That Book About

Friday, February 19th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm

Monday, February 22nd: Helen’s Book Blog

Tuesday, February 23rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark

Wednesday, February 24th: Reading Reality

Thursday, February 25th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Friday, February 26th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

Monday, March 1st: Living My Best Book Life

Tuesday, March 2nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy

Wednesday, March 3rd: Books & Bindings

Thursday, March 4th: Jathan & Heather

Friday, March 5th: Novel Gossip

Saturday, March 6th: Where the Reader Grows

Monday, March 8th: Art Books Coffee

Instagram tour:

Friday, March 5th: @novelgossip

Monday, March 8th: @bookish.sunrise

Tuesday, March 9th: @bryantparkbooks

Tuesday, March 9th: @lovelyplacebooks

Wednesday, March 10th: @the_boozy_baking_bibliophile

Thursday, March 11th: @always_reading

Thursday, March 11th: @workreadsleeprepeat

Friday, March 12th: @pages.and.plates

Saturday, March 13th: @hooked.by.books

Sunday, March 14th: @shobizreads

Monday, March 15th: @lifeinlit

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY® award winning co-host of the literary show A WORD ON WORDS. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 28 countries. She lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens. 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Woman in the Window

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, published in forty-one languages around the world and in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . . 
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow! What a great book!  I can't wait to watch the movie. I love Amy Adams.  How this can be a debut novel....incredible.  After the first chapter, I couldn't put The Woman in the Window down. So good, un-put-down-able! Psychological suspense at its finest.  Eagerly awaiting A.J.'s next novel!



I'm A. J. Finn, author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW -- a debut novel that Stephen King describes as "remarkable" and I call "the best I could do." Guess which quote appears on the jacket.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW has been sold in 43 territories around the globe. The film adaptation, starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, and Julianne Moore, will be released worldwide in autumn 2019. The movie directed by Joe Wright, written by Tracy Letts, and produced by Scott Rudin.

I spent a decade working in publishing in both New York and London, with a particular emphasis on thrillers and mysteries. Now I write full-time, to the relief of my former colleagues. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW was inspired by a range of experiences: my lifelong love affair with suspense fiction, from the Sherlock Holmes stories I devoured as a kid to the work of Patricia Highsmith, whom I studied at the graduate level at Oxford; my passion for classic cinema, especially the films of Alfred Hitchcock; and my struggles with depression and mental health. The result, I hope, is a psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Kate Atkinson, among others.

Stuff I love: reading; swimming; cooking; dogs; ice cream; travel. (Note that third semicolon. It's crucial. I do not love cooking dogs.) I collect first-edition books and enjoy spending time with my French bulldog, Ike.


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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Left: A Love Story

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis (from Amazon):  When life falls apart, a little fantasy goes a long way…
It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn.
Soon there are more signs that Paul is beginning to change. Bouts of forgetfulness lead to mistakes in the courtroom. Simple tasks cause unexplainable outbursts of anger. Fay’s worst suspicions are realized when she learns her husband—her rock, her love, her everything—is succumbing to the ravages of dementia.  
As her husband transforms before her very eyes, Fay copes with her fears by retreating into a fantasy life filled with promise instead of pain. In Fay’s invented world, she imagines herself living a glamorous life free from heartache, with a handsome neighbor she barely knows rescuing her from a future she can’t accept.  
Poignant and beautifully crafted, Left is an unforgettable tale about life’s aching uncertainties—and a woman who discovers that somewhere between hope and reality, an unexpected future will find its way forward.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:   Gut-wrenching, but an amazing love story.  Reminds me of Still Alice + You and Me and Us.  Grab a box of kleenex along with Left: A Love Story and free up your weekend!  Once started, I couldn't put it down.


Mary Hogan is the NAPPA Award-winning author of several young adult novels and the novel Two Sisters. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Woman's Day, Family Circle, and Fitness. She lives in New York City with her husband and their dog Lucy.



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Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Babysitter

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s, Liza Rodman was a lonely little girl. During the summers, while her mother worked days in a local motel and danced most nights in the Provincetown bars, her babysitter—the kind, handsome handyman at the motel where her mother worked—took her and her sister on adventures in his truck. He bought them popsicles and together, they visited his “secret garden” in the Truro woods. To Liza, he was one of the few kind and understanding adults in her life. Everyone thought he was just a “great guy.”

But there was one thing she didn’t know; their babysitter was a serial killer.

Some of his victims were buried—in pieces—right there, in his garden in the woods. Though Tony Costa’s gruesome case made screaming headlines in 1969 and beyond, Liza never made the connection between her friendly babysitter and the infamous killer of numerous women, including four in Massachusetts, until decades later.

Haunted by nightmares and horrified by what she learned, Liza became obsessed with the case. Now, she and cowriter Jennifer Jordan reveal the chilling and unforgettable true story of a charming but brutal psychopath through the eyes of a young girl who once called him her friend.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  This was a very interesting but frightening read.  The best part of the book is that Liza Rodman (author) knew Tony Costa in a different light.  I really like the writing style of the authors and the back and forth between Liza and Tony's worlds.  I find it amazing the relationship Tony had with Liza since he had a horrible relationship with his own kids.  Also, given the fact that he was a brutal psychopath and took Liza to the very spot of his crimes.  

I love books that take place in the 60-80's since I think it was such a different time period without cell phones, social media and constant need for news, whether real or fake.    

Liza Rodman attended the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and received her Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She has balanced life as a mother, stepmother, writer and tax accountant for more than thirty-five years. In 2005, she began researching the story of Tony Costa when she realized her personal connection to the infamous Cape Cod killer. She has gathered thousands of documents, testimonies, and interviews, perhaps more than any other investigator or journalist who’s worked on this case. She and her husband live outside Boston and have three children and five grandchildren. The Babysitter is her first book.

Jennifer Jordan is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and screenwriter with decades of experience as a news anchor and investigative journalist. She has worked for NPR and PBS, and her work has also appeared in a variety of national and international newspapers and magazines. She has directed and produced several documentaries, including 3000 Cups of Tea, which revealed the flawed 60 Minutes report on renowned philanthropist, Greg Mortenson. In addition to her own books Savage Summit and Last Man on the Mountain, she has ghost written two others. The Babysitter is her fifth book.



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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Good Neighbors

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~





Synopsis (from Amazon):  Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb - pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger. 

Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world. 

But menace skulks beneath the surface of this exclusive enclave, making its residents prone to outrage. When the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.

Though Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder - a lonely college professor repressing a dark past - welcomed Gertie and her family at first, relations went south during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I thought Good Neighbors is a mix between Desperate Housewives and Little Fires Everywhere.  Everything looks great one the outside, but there is a lot of stuff happening inside and with each other. The characters are complex, the plot has a lot of different stories going on with it (it works and they are easy to follow), and a whole lot craziness.  

The neighborhood party that the Wilde's were not invited sets off a series of chain events.  Everyone has a different view of what really happened soley based on what is told through the "grapevine".  You will have to read this book to find out who are the real Good Neighbors.  

I saw yesterday that Barnes & Noble picked Good Neighbors as one of their books to read this month! 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would like to read more books by Sarah Langan.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

365 Days

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis:  Laura Biel and her boyfriend are on a dream vacation in beautiful Sicily. On the second day of their trip, her twenty-ninth birthday, she is kidnapped. Her kidnapper is none other than the head of a powerful Sicilian crime family, the incredibly handsome, young Don Massimo Torricelli, who is determined to possess her at all costs. Massimo has his reasons. During an earlier attempt on his life, a vision appeared before his eyes: a beautiful woman, identical to Laura. After surviving the attack, he vows that he will find the woman in his vision and make her his own. No matter what.

For 365 days, Massimo will keep Laura captive in his palatial estate and attempt to win her heart. If she doesn’t fall in love with him during this time, he will let her go. But if she tries to escape at any point, he will track her down and kill her entire family. Soon Laura develops a fascination with her handsome and powerful captor. But as a precarious, risky relationship forms between them, forces outside their control threaten to tear them apart...

Emily Bestler Books | eBook Original | February 2, 2021 | 336 pages | ISBN: 978-1-9821-7431-6 | $9.99

eAudio ISBN: 978-1-7971-2403-2 | $23.99


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The first words that come to my mind are - Wow.what a great book.  I was told if I was a fan of You and 50 Shades of Grey I would like 365 Days.  I have never heard of You and I wasn't a huge fan of 50 Shades of Grey, but it was okay.  365 Days had me hooked from page one and I couldn't put it down.  Absolutely loved it.  Yes 365 Days is STEAMY, but it is also has a great plot.  Lots of twists and turns that keeps it moving along. 

We go through all the craziness of Massimo, being head of the most powerful Sicilian crime family.  Not only the power and the money but the danger as well.  His mood can change extremely fast and he is used to getting what he wants by being violent.  When he kidnaps Laura he quickly realizes that is not the way to win her heart.  He has to learn to trust her and be gentle with her.  Even though Massimo threatened to kill her family if she left before the 365 days were up, she ends up falling in love with him. They both have a very healthy appetite for sex, which is where the book is very steamy.  They can't keep their hands off each other.

365 Days is on Netflix right now too.  After I read the book and had an evening to myself (its not to be watch with kids around), I sat down to enjoy the movie.  The movie didn't disappointment and I really liked it, but I think the book is better.  I often find the book better than the movie.  The movie did a great job following along with book though and really brought the characters to life.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: There better be a book 2 coming out soon.  The way the book ends, can't be the end of Laura and Massimo.




(c) Maciej Dworzanki

Blanka Lipinska is one of the most popular authors and influential women in Poland. She’s an author out of desire rather than necessity and writes for fun instead of money. She loves tattoos, values truthfulness, and treasures altruism. Annoyed with the lack of openness about sex, she took it upon herself to start a discussion about the many sides of love. She likes to say that talking about sex is as easy as preparing dinner. With over 1.5 million copies of her bestselling trilogy sold in Poland, Blanka was ranked as one of Poland’s highest paid writers in 2019 by Wprost magazine. In 2020 the same magazine listed her as one of Poland’s most influential women. The Polish National Library readership survey lists her in the top 10 most popular authors in Poland and Forbes Women magazine included her among the top female brands. Her bestselling novel 365 Days is the basis of one of 2020’s most successful Netflix movies worldwide. The film has spent 10 days as #1, the second highest in the chart’s history.

   Instagram: @blanka_lipinska / 690k followers

Facebook: @LipinskaBlanka / 245k followers





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