The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia ~ 4⭐

Genre: Women’s Fiction ~ Release date: December 1, 2020

REVIEW: Amusing! The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia was an amusing and heartwarming novel. If you need a book to get you out of a funk, this one may do the trick.

A television show was contacted to come in and decide who had the best chicken in town. There were two chicken restaurants started by sisters in the 1800’s and still run by feuding family members. It was funny and light about halfway through the book and things began to get serious. Most of the characters had to make some hard decisions about how their lives were going to proceed. 

The characters were uniquely individual. They were widely varied making it most interesting. If you love reality television, cooking and eating fried chicken and family dynamics, you’ll probably enjoy this book. It releases December 1, 2020 and you have plenty of time to pre-order so it will be on your library asap!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley for a fair and honest review.

SYNOPSIS: Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state–and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi’s before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie’s. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .

The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, helping the fading Mimi’s look good on Food Wars becomes Mae’s best chance to reclaim the limelight–even if doing so pits her against Amanda and Frannie’s. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis ~ 4⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Released: August 4, 2020

REVIEW: Very Interesting! The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis was an exceptionally interesting book. I expected a little more history since it was listed as “historical”. The author tells us at the end of the book that she took liberties with the security procedures and organizational policies of the New York Public Library. The family she writes about and the story itself is fiction. It remains an entertaining book. 

Her characters are varied, detailed and interesting. They all seem to have sides to them that are not expected and a little quirky. There were so many facets to this story and it took place in two different time periods 1913 and 1993. I can’t fault the book for the writing and fictional aspects. It was a intriguing story. It satisfied my thirst for suspense and mystery.

I bought this book from the New York Public Library when it came out with a signed bookplate, postcard and a tote bag. It will always be on my bookshelf as one of my prized books. I recommend this book.

SYNOPSIS: It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she’s forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.

Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-averse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.

Muddy Bottom by Ashley Farley ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Fiction ~ Released: October 27, 2020

REVIEW: I WANT MORE! Ashley Farley has done it again with Muddy Bottom. This novella introduces a new Lowcountry series called Palmetto Island. If you love her books you are sure to love this one as well. Change of Tides, book 2 comes out February 9, 2021. Make sure you ask for a gift card for Christmas to pre-order as some of us might have a tight budget about that time! 

I loved Muddy Bottom. The characters were, as always, believable and not always lovable. I still cared about what was going on and how it all was going to turn out. I absolutely can’t wait to read more of this series. I can see it going in so many directions. 

This was a perfect prequel. You get to learn the background and the characters. You just start falling in love and want to read more when Ms. Farley brings this part of the story to a gentle close. Like me, you will be anxious for the next book. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: A prequel novella for bestselling author Ashley Farley’s upcoming Lowcountry series, Palmetto Island.

Birdie Fuller’s new year is off to a bad start. Her husband has mysteriously disappeared, leaving Birdie to cope with their unmarried daughter’s unplanned pregnancy. Birdie and Hannah disagree about the baby. Birdie urges her daughter to consider abortion, but Hannah is determined to see the pregnancy to term. When Hannah returns for her last semester in college, Birdie must face her demons, the problems in her marriage that drove her husband to clean out their bank accounts and run off with another woman.

While struggling to hide her pregnancy from her roommates and ex-boyfriend, Hannah interviews for jobs that will take her and her baby far away from her mother. After graduation, with months to kill before the start of her new job, she returns to Palmetto Island for the summer to await the birth of her baby. Tension mounts between Hannah and Birdie when they move from their waterfront home to a two-bedroom apartment above a bakery. Can mother and daughter mend their relationship? Or will they be lost to each other forever?

The Dark Inheritance by Liane Carmen ~ 5⭐

REVIEW: GRIPPING! Ohhhh my. The Dark Inheritance by Liane Carmen was so gripping and heart pounding I got to a point I couldn’t stop reading. My heart was literally pounding out of my chest. By the way, this is the second book in The Investigation Duo series. Where the Truth Hides is book one and I highly recommend you read them in order. 

Jules and Becky just started their new business called Investigation Duo. These ladies have a real heart for what they are doing. They are bringing family members together that don’t know each other either because of adoption or another set of circumstances. Things get out of hand in this case and a lot of lives may be put in jeopardy. 

I love the books that cause me to forget what is going on around me. My brain thinks about the characters when I’m not reading and I dream about them during the night. That is a consuming book. If you like that kind of story, you will love these books. You have enough time to get a copy of Where the Truth Hides to read and pre-order The Dark Inheritance. I highly recommend you treat yourself to a fun read.

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: As a young girl, Donna Thomas tragically lost her mother and sibling. Her wealthy father has been emotionally absent ever since. As an adult, he refused to help, insisting she had to find her own way in life. When he dies, Donna’s convinced this is her chance to get what she deserves. After all, there is no other family.

But then his will deals her an unexpected blow. The estate is to be shared, not only with a mysterious stranger, but also a half-sister Donna didn’t know existed. It’s bad enough she has to share her father’s money, but his last words stipulate she doesn’t get a penny of her inheritance until she locates her half-sister.

Angry and bitter, Donna turns to Becky and Jules who’ve just opened the doors of their new detective agency. Having solved family mysteries of their own, they’re now ready to help others. As they follow the trail Donna’s father left behind, it becomes clear someone else is on the hunt as well. One accidental death in their path could be coincidental, but when it looks like the mystery beneficiary has been murdered, they don’t know who to trust.

As Becky and Jules scramble to find the connection behind Donna’s father and the murdered stranger, they worry time is running out. If they want to find Donna’s half-sister alive, they had better find her fast, because someone else seems to be one sinister step ahead of them—they want what’s theirs, and they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way.

The Cul-de-sac War by Melissa Ferguson ~ 4⭐

Genre: Romantic Comedy ~ Released: November 10, 2020

REVIEW: Knocked down – dragged out fun! The Cul-de-sac War by Melissa Ferguson was one of the cutest, funniest books I’ve read in a while. This book was lighthearted and just what I needed right now. Maybe you’re looking for something like that right now too. This year has been pretty serious but, this book will make you forget all of that for a while. 

There is not only humor, a lot of warmth oozes out of the families. They truly care for each other. The war is between a woman named Bree and her neighbor whose name is Chip. They play some pretty good pranks on each other. When push comes to shove, they pull through for each other. I loved these two. 

The writing flows and I found myself flipping pages to find out what happened next. Then, all of a sudden I found myself at The End! I was sad to come to the conclusion and wanted the book to continue. I wanted more of a good thing!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: All’s fair in love and prank wars.

Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her some curve balls. 

And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor. 

Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast. 

Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn.

Capturing Evil by Lauren Lee ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women Detective ~ Release date: October 27, 2020

REVIEW: Unputdownable! Capturing Evil by Lauren Lee was exactly that for me. I have become totally immersed in this series. This was book three in the Detective Dahlia series with book four to look forward to. I’m really hoping there are many more to come! 

Her characters are believable and I love Elle Dahlia and her new partner Cameron is quite the looker. These two are good together. They are the main characters so, we get to know them the most. There are others. They’re just not as prominent. I’m hoping we’ll see them emerge a little more as the series progresses. 

If you love a good detective story, a little romance thrown in and a few tears along the way, you’re gonna love this series. If you’ve already read book one and two don’t miss out on Capturing Evil. This is the best one yet in my opinion. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you Lauren Lee.

SYNOPSIS: Ignoring her instincts could be the last mistake she makes. . .

A third body is discovered in Ashford’s industrial district—naked, bloodied, and left wearing a pair of diamond earrings.

Detective Elle Dahlia finds herself in the middle of the gruesome investigation filled with lies, secrets, and a growing body count. With each clue, she slips deeper into a web of malevolence—one she may not survive. Still afflicted by her fiancé’s murder, Dahlia finds herself hunting, not one but two killers.

Thrilling and captivating, Capturing Evil leads Dahlia down a path of no return. Can she capture the evil plaguing her city, or will she succumb to its grasp and fail to deliver justice to those who need it most?

Snow In Summer by Laura Kemp ~ 5⭐

Genres: Paranormal and Horror ~ Release date: November 18, 2020

REVIEW: Holy Cow! Snow in Summer by Laura Kemp took me for a ride I didn’t expect. My head is still spinning! I’m going out on a limb and telling you…if you liked any part of Evening in the Yellow Wood, you’re gonna love this book. Both books are phenomenal. Her books cross so many genres they are hard to nail down. This one is actually listed as Horror and Paranormal. Don’t let that scare you. I’m not a big fan of the genres but, I’m a big fan of these books thanks to this author’s writing expertise.

Dylan and Justine’s romance continues in this book. I love these two! They sure have a lot to work through. I love her little brother, Adam. He is cool and so is his mom, Pam. Then there is Mallard. I think I’m in love with him. In my mind, he looks like Sam Elliott. Hey, what’s not to love?

This book also takes place in Michigan and some of it on Mackinaw Island. I am a Michigan girl living in Tennessee and Laura always makes me feel like I’ve visited home. When I get to the end, I don’t want to close the book. I want to stay home for just a little longer.

This is book two in the series and I’m already waiting for book three. So, if you haven’t read Evening in the Yellow Wood, hurry up. Pre-order Snow in Summer and we can wait for book three together. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you so much for the privilege and the opportunity. 

SYNOPSIS: It’s been a year since Justine Cook defeated an immortal enemy that had hunted her family for generations. Settling into a peaceful life with her boyfriend in the small town of Lantern Creek, Michigan, she hopes to escape the events of the summer before. But the past won’t let go so easily.

When a woman named Amanda Bennett survives a fall from a cliff on Mackinac Island, it triggers a series of events that reawakens the past. Soon Justine and her brother Adam are pulled into a mystery that threatens to destroy the new life they have worked so hard to create. As people begin to die- people only Amanda Bennett can see- Justine must race against time to destroy a dark power she thought she had buried the summer before. 

Evening In the Yellow Wood by Laura Kemp ~ 5⭐

Genres: Paranormal and Horror ~ Released: December 12, 2018

REVIEW: I loved Evening in the Yellow Wood by Laura Kemp. The Michigan girl wrote a killer book for her debut novel! I’m a Michigan girl, too and I’m so proud of Laura Kemp. Maybe I am partial but, you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. 

The story is outstanding. There’s a little romance, a little folklore, a little magic and a lot of intrigue. This book will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. I couldn’t put it down. Laura’s ease with the written word shines in this book. She has captured the essence of her characters in a way that will stay with you for a long time. 

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started this book but, my expectations were blown out of the water. This is so much more than a murder mystery or a girl looking for her father. Take my word that you will want to read this book!

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review.

SYNOPSIS: Abandoned by an eccentric father on the eve of her twelfth birthday, Justine Cook has lived with her fair share of unanswered questions. Now, ten years later she leaves her life in southern Michigan and heads north to the mysterious town of Lantern Creek after seeing his picture in a local newspaper. Once there, she discovers her father had been leading a double life and meets the autistic brother she never knew—a young man who is mute but able to read her mind.

When a local girl who looks like Justine is mysteriously murdered, she joins forces with sheriff’s deputy Dylan Locke to capture the killer. But the more they dig for clues to the past, the closer they come to discovering a secret someone will kill to protect. Justine begins to show signs of supernatural power and eventually must stop an immortal enemy that has hunted her family for generations.