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#Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews–Review–4.5 Stars–#NetGalley

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A well-written, romantic, and captivating cozy mystery.

Coming 5/7/19

 

Drue hadn’t seen her father for over twenty years. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and her dad had never been part of her life. So when he showed up at her mom’s funeral, Drue was taken back. She was especially suspicious when he offered her a job. Drue accepted the offer, however. Because how bad could working be in a legal office? But when Drue started at her position, she was blown away. Not only was her high school frenemy her superior, but she was also married to Drue’s father. That, however, would only be the first of many surprises.

While Drue was working, she noticed how rude and unfair some of her dad’s clients were being treated. But after becoming emotionally involved with one of the clients, Drue started her own investigation. She discovered a missing person’s file in a place it should never have been. Her research was bringing up more questions than answers. And, in some way, Dru knew her father was involved. But to what degree? Drue was determined to find out.

Sunset Beach has a bit of everything in it, intrigue, humor, and romance. Very well done.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club, The Beach House Cookbook, The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Christmas Bliss, Ladies’ Night, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin’s Press, as well as Savannah Breeze, Blue Christmas Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues, all Harper Collins. On May 7, 2019, St. Martin’s Press will release her 26th novel, SUNSET BEACH

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, originally under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. The Callahan mysteries were recently re-released by Harper Collins, as Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck. 

A native of St. Petersburg, FL (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), she started her professional journalism career in Savannah, GA, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

As a lifelong “junker” the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio. 

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent writing teacher and lecturer at workshops and book festivals.

Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. When not on book tour, she divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA.

 

#The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Diane C. McPhail–#NetGalley–Review-4 Stars

the abolitionists daughter::.jpg 850.jpgA Story of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Love–  

Coming 4/30/19

 

The Abolitionist’s Daughter takes place in Greensboro, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Judge Matthews despised slavery, with a passion, yet he owned an abundance of slaves. Some might think that he was a hypocrite, but he wasn’t. The judge would buy slaves who were severely abused by their owners or about to be separated from their families. He would educate the slaves and care for their needs. And, even though it was illegal to grant slaves their freedom, the judge prepared freedom papers for each one. He wanted to be ready, for whenever their liberation day came. His daughter, Emily, was his best advocate. The judge worried, however, that his controversial anti-slavery practices lessened the number of suitors for his daughter. He was right. So when a young doctor, Charles Slate, asked to marry Emily, the judge readily gave his consent. He feared, however, that he might have made a mistake. 

Ms. McPhail crafts The Abolitionist’s Daughter with enough authentic details, and local dialect, that the characters came to life. She also depicts the ugliness and horrors of slavery in this story, as well as the kind and understanding way some owners cared for their slaves. This book is about love, loyalty, forgiveness, abuse, and redemption. I found the pacing slow at times, but the story captivating. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel.  

Thank you, Kensington Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.

#The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr–Review–4.5 stars-#NetGalley

the view from almeda island:::::.jpg 850.jpgDon’t Miss Robyn Carr’s Newest Novel–Coming 4/30/19!

 

The View from Alameda Island is an engaging, well-written, character-driven novel. It is a book about toxic marriages, self-centeredness, blended families, guilt, and healing. 

Beau and Lauren have suffered under abusive spouses for years. But when the two of them decided that it was time to end their toxic marriages, their spouses couldn’t believe, that they were being dumped.

Once the decision to divorce was made, life became very tough for both Beau and Lauren. The two of them had met by accident but became close friends and great support for one another. Their soon to be ex-spouses, became vicious, in unexpected, and unlawful ways. Although The View from Alameda Island is a bit over-the-top, it does, however, shine a spotlight on the ugly agony that a family unit breakup causes. It also shows the reader that although it is painful to leave toxic relationships, there is life and healing after them.

Thank you, Mira Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan’s Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.RobynCarr.com.

 

#The Ash Family by Molly Dektar–Review 4-Stars-#NetGalley

The Ash Family::.jpg 850.jpgNew Release-The Ash Family-by Molly Dektar—4/9/19

 

Nineteen-year-old Berie was on her way to college when a charismatic man, she met, changed her mind. Bay represented everything that Berie was looking for, freedom, saving the environment, and belonging to a family. Even though Beri’s mother worked, scraped, and sacrificed to send her daughter to college, Berie followed her new friend Bay, instead. 

Beri was told she could stay at the Ash farm for three days or for the rest of her life. When Beri decided to stay on, she was accepted into the Ash family and given a new name. It was a culture shock, at first, for Beri, when she was required to relinquish her possessions, work long hours on the farm, and bathe only once a week. But, once Beri, aka Harmony, had the new routine down, she felt good. And, the longer Harmony stayed, the more comfortable she became with the leader’s strange thinking, and the Ash family’s backward way of doing things. It was all wonderful until Harmony realized that when people left the farm, they usually didn’t survive. 

I enjoyed this book and found the storyline fascinating. I am always amazed at how easy it is for some people to accept a cult’s teaching and then become trapped in that lifestyle. A friend tried to help Harmony escape, but it was the Ash family’s leader who had Harmony’s loyalty. 

Thank you,  Simon & Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Molly Dektar is from North Carolina and lives in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College, where she was awarded the Himan Brown Award and the Brooklyn College Scholarship for Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard College and was the recipient of the Louis Begley Fiction Prize, the David McCord Prize for the Arts, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for Creative Writing. The Ash Family is her first novel.

 

 

#The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman–Review–5 Stars!

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The Night Visitors is a compelling thriller, chilling, and unputdownable. I was hooked, from the very first page. 

Alice and ten-year-old Oren were running from abuse. Oren’s father, Davis, had hit his son and Alice for the last time. Alice had been warned, however, that if she ever took Oren away from him, he would hunt her down and kill her. But, what choice did she have? Davis was going to kill her and possibly Oren, anyway.

Oren was extraordinarily sensitive to people around him, and wise beyond his years. Alice didn’t understand how Oren knew the things he did. But, Alice didn’t ask him. She was afraid of the answers that she might receive. That was probably a good thing, since Oren, was also sensitive, to ghosts.

When Mattie a fifty-plus-year-old social worker invited Alice and Oren into her home, Alice was not comfortable. She had a strong feeling that Mattie was hiding something important from her. And, Mattie felt the same about Alice. Unbeknownst to Mattie, however, Alice and Oren were not the only visitors spending time, in her big old house. But, only Oren was aware of that. 

 This book is twisty, perfectly paced, and brilliant. I loved it.

Thank you, William Morrow Publishing and Carol Goodman, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 shining stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Carol Goodman graduated from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin. After teaching Latin for several years, she studied for an MFA in Fiction. She is the author of twenty novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize, and, under the pseudonym Juliet Dark, The Demon Lover, which Booklist named a top ten science fiction/fantasy book for 2012. Her YA novel, Blythewood, was named a best young adult novel by the American Library Association. Her 2017 suspense thriller The Widow’s House won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at The New School and SUNY New Paltz.

 

#The Liar’s Child by Carla Buckley–Review 4.5 Stars–#NetGalley

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The Liar’s Child is a well-written and compelling thriller. This story grabbed my attention and kept me engrossed until the very end.

Sara didn’t want to go to jail. So, she struck a deal with the FBI and played by their rules. Mostly. She took on a new identity, relocated to the Outer Banks, made herself invisible, and promised to testify in court. She found the FBI’s monitoring of her every movement, however, irritating and restricting. Sara stretched the FBI’s leash on a regular basis trying to find a way to break free.

When a category three hurricane hit the Outer Banks, Sara found her escape. But just as she was putting her plan into action, she spotted her neighbor’s kids, stranded. Sara tried to convince herself that having kids with her would work to her advantage, and throw the FBI off. It soon became evident, however, to Sara, that Cassie and Boon were more of a liability to her escape than anything else. She had a decision to make. Does she save herself or the children?

The Liar’s Child is a captivating psychological thriller, crafted with fascinating, complex characters, a clever plot, and lots of twists and surprises. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be my last. Very well, done.

Thank you, Ballantine Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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#In The Blink Of An Eye by Jesse Blackadder-Review 5-Stars #NetGalley

In the blink of an eye::.jpg 850.jpgFive-Star Novel by Jesse Blackadder–Coming 3/19/19

 

In The Blink Of An Eye is a beautifully written poignant story about the Brennan family and how each member survived after being crushed by a catastrophic loss. 

After being betrayed, Bridget decided that a move to, far away subtropical Murwillumbah, NSW was necessary. Fifteen-year-old Jarred and two-year-old Toby had no say, in the matter. And, Finn, didn’t dare voice his opinion.  

The Brennan’s were just finding their rhythm and enjoying their new start in life, when a tragedy, so great, struck, forever changing each one of their lives.  

To protect his wife, from crumbling under the heavy weight of guilt, Finn took the blame for the horrific accident. Bridget could hardly look at Finn, and banned him, from their marital bed. Jarred coped by withdrawing into his lonely adolescent existence. That was, until a friend, comforted Jarred; opening his eyes, shattering his world, but setting him onto the road to acceptance. 

In The Blink Of An Eye is a gripping, heartwrenching story, crafted with larger-than-life characters, raw emotion, and hope. Although this story is poignant, it is also heartfelt and enlightening. Bridget bathes in the healing love of Finn’s selfless sacrifice, Finn rejoices in Bridget’s forgiveness, and Jarred discovers freedom in acceptance. And I, closed this bittersweet book, with a smile on my face. This is the first book that I have read by this talented author, but it won’t be my last. Highly recommended.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Yes, Jesse Blackadder really was born with that surname. An award-winning novelist, freelance writer and budding screenwriter, she is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and really cold places.

Jesse’s forthcoming novel ‘In the Blink of an Eye’ is being published by St Martins Press in March 2019. (It was published in Australia as ‘Sixty Seconds’ by HarperCollins in 2017). The novel was inspired by her childhood experience of her sister’s death in a swimming pool. 

Jesse has recently been jointly awarded the 2018 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship to write a television series and a junior novel series set in Antarctica, in partnership with screenwriter Jane Allen. The pair will live at Mawson Station over the 2018/19 summer.

‘Chasing the Light’ (2013), is historical fiction based on the true but forgotten story of the first women to reach Antarctica. Jesse won her first Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship in 2011 and travelled to Antarctica to research the novel. 

Jesse’s novel, The Raven’s Heart, came about when she’d finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson. She travelled to Scotland to find the origins of the Blackadder surname and discovered the ruins of Blackadder House on the banks of the Blackadder River. 

Her first novel, After the Party (Hardie Grant Books 2005), made the Australian Book Review list of all time favourite Australian novels in 2010.

Jesse has been a writer in residence in Sitka Alaska, in the Australian outback and at Byron Bay, and has been a fellow three times at Varuna The Writers’ House, Australia’s leading residential program for writers. She has a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Western Sydney. Born in Sydney, she now lives near Byron Bay on Australia’s east coast. For more about Jesse please see her website at www.jesseblackadder.com