The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer ~ 5⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ March 19, 2019

REVIEW: My book club just read and discussed The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. What a beautiful story she wrote for us! I devoured this book. It is almost 400 pages and I read it in two days. Well…I lead the discussion so, I had to get it done. Let me tell you though I would have read it in two days anyway. It was that spellbinding! 

The story takes place in two time periods. Modern day and World War II in Poland. I have read several books on WWII but never anything in Poland. I like stories that take place in different countries because you learn what their life was like and how the War affected their daily life and how they survived. 

I enjoyed her characters because she took time to flesh them out so we were reading about what seemed to be real people. She even gave you enough about the minor characters so you felt tied to them also. I think most of us would like these folks as family. They had principles and morals. They cared for and love one another. 

When I finished the story, I found myself hugging my tablet and sighing. It was that good! I can’t recommend this book strongly enough. I can’t wait for her next novel The Warsaw Orphan. It promises to be just as good.

SYNOPSIS: Now a New York Times bestseller!

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.

Don’t miss Kelly Rimmer’s new and unforgettable novel, The Warsaw Orphan.  

Dream Girl by Laura Lippman ~ 3⭐

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller ~ Released: June 22, 2021

REVIEW: Dream Girl by Laura Lippman was a bit of a letdown for me. I have noticed her name out there and know she has a lot of published books. I assume she has a large following so, I decided to give her new book a try. I now understand this is a bit of a departure for this author into horror. I’ve seen it classified as horror, mystery and thriller. I didn’t see it as any of those genres.

I loved the premise of the book. Gerry Andersen is a prize winning author who is laid up in his Baltimore apartment for at least 12 weeks. His assistant does daily care and errands and he has a nurse for the night shift. I didn’t like Gerry. The whole book was pretty much his rambling thoughts as he was laying in his hospital bed. I found it a boring. There weren’t any characters I could identify with or like.

 If you like autobiographies or memoirs, you most likely will like this book even though Gerry is not a real person. It came off a such for me. I don’t usually stay interested in a memoir so probably why this book didn’t hold my interest. This is not a poorly written book. It just wasn’t my kind of book. Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

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

SYNOPSIS: In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.

Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?

And why does no one believe that the call even happened?

Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.

And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.

Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.

Every Now and Then by Lesley Kagen ~ 5⭐

Genre: Friendship Fiction ~ Released: October 6, 2020

REVIEW: Entertaining, Reminiscent and just plain fun are things that come to mind when I think about Every Now and Then by Lesley Kagen. This was the first book I’ve read of hers and I am sure I’ll be looking at her other books for another great read. 

I enjoyed reminiscing about my own childhood summers when I would be out with friends all day and our parents weren’t worried about us. We usually showed up at someone’s house for lunch and went home for dinner. We just had to be home by dark. Parents wouldn’t be so free with their kids today. We never locked our houses and you didn’t have to worry about theft. Those were the days. In this story we followed Biz, Viv and Frankie on their escapades during the summer of their 11th year. They got into a few more scrapes than I did at their age!

I was entertained throughout. The book was told from Biz’s point of view and I think in my mind it became more of a young adult novel but, it does very well in all age groups. 

I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway. All thought are my own. Thank you Lesley Kagen! 

SYNOPSIS: For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing and This Tender Landcomes a heartfelt story about three young girls searching for adventure during the summer of 1960 from the New York Times bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark.

That summer would change us . . . forever.

The summer of 1960 was the hottest ever for Summit, Wisconsin. For kids seeking relief from the heat, there was a creek to be swum in, sprinklers to run through, and ice cream at Whitcomb’s Drugstore. But for Frankie, Viv, and Biz, eleven-year-old best friends, it would forever be remembered as the summer that evil paid a visit to their small town–and took their young lives as they’d known them as a souvenir.

With a to-do list in hand, the girls set forth from their hideout to make their mark on that summer, but when three patients escape from Broadhurst Mental Institution, their idyllic lives take a sinister turn. Determined to uncover long-held secrets, the girls have no idea that what they discover could cost them their lives and the ones they hold dear.

Six decades later, Biz, now a bestselling novelist, remembers that long ago summer and how it still haunts her and her lifelong friends in Every Now and Then, a story about the ties that bind us, the timelessness of grief and guilt–and the everlasting hope for redemption.

Just Married by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Thriller ~ Releases: July 6, 2021

REVIEW: If you’re a Kiersten Modglin fan, you will be please to know another fabulous book is on its way July 5th. As soon as I hear another book is on its way, I get excited. I start waiting on pins and needles. Her brain works in mysterious ways and I can’t wait to see what she has dreamed up this time! I’m pleased to report that once again she has produced a stellar experience for her readers.

Some of her books have so many twists and turns, I am breathless as if I’m on a roller-coaster. This book had several of them but, I found it gentler if you please. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a book I couldn’t put down. It had me spellbound. The suspense was building and although I thought I knew where it was going, I DID NOT! I, somehow, feel like this book could easily become a series. I at least need a sequel. I want to know what happens in the future. 

Her character development is the best for this book. You literally learn about the characters as you go. Then BAM…you are reading the end. It is the ultimate! If you haven’t read a Kiersten Modglin book then you really don’t have an idea how much fun it is to be so scared. Jump on the band wagon and see what it is all about. 

I received a copy of this book from #Bookouture/#Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thanks again, Kiersten! 

SYNOPSIS: When my husband found this perfect little cabin in the woods for our honeymoon, I couldn’t wait to get away. Just us in the middle of the forest, waking up every day in the trees, ending each night in the hot tub under the stars. But now I’m not sure that I know my husband at all…

I just wish we’d gone to the police when someone left a note on the doormat saying: She’s dead, you’re next. Ryan said I was overreacting, but I don’t understand why he won’t go to the cops now things are getting worse. Can I trust my husband?

I’ve known about the terrible thing that Ryan did for years and it’s been tearing me apart. Last night I told him I would always keep his secret. But is the man I married hiding something else from me?

Now someone has cut the phone lines and we’re trapped here. Ryan swears he has no idea what’s going on and just wants to keep us safe. I’m here alone in the middle of the dark forest with the man I thought I could trust. My heart is racing and there’s no one I can call…

My husband promised till death do us part. Am I about to find out what that means?

A heart-pounding, unbelievably twisty psychological thriller that will have you sleeping with the light on! Fans of Gone GirlBehind Closed Doors and Date Night will be utterly gripped.

Readers are utterly gripped by Just Married!

The Girl Who Couldn’t Leave by Catherine Miller ~ 4⭐

Genre: Women’s Fiction ~ Releases: June 25, 2022

REVIEW:

The Girl Who Couldn’t Leave by Catherine Miller is story about a woman who has agoraphobia. It was an interesting read about her encounter and experience with the anxiety disorder. I love anything that has a medical spin to it. 

Catherine Miller did an outstanding job developing her characters. Fiona is the main character and we get to know her really well and understand all that she struggles with. Her neighbor across the street is Bethany who has a two year old daughter named Evie. Fiona babysits for Evie and losses her heart to her. 

I enjoyed many of the happenings and interactions in the story. Catherine Miller has written several books and I won’t be shy about trying out another one. If you haven’t read any of her books, you might want to try one out. You might find a new author to add to your favorites list. Mine seems to be growing a lot! 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/#Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: She hasn’t left her house in five years. Can love unlock the door?

It’s been 1,825 days since Fiona Dexter last set foot outside 14 Wellington Drive.

She knows she’ll never sit on the beach to watch the sunset. Laugh with her family at the café around the corner. Or fall in love.

But when single mother Bethany, from the house next door, shows up with two-year-old Evie, Fiona knows she has to help.

As Fiona dances with Evie in the kitchen, and talks with Bethany late into the night, she realises it’s time to face her past. But will sharing her secrets set her free, or close her off from the world forever?

The perfect hopeful and heart-warming read we all need! It reminds us that life continues no matter where we are, and that living is all about finding someone to share the journey with. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain will love this emotional and uplifting story.

Plot Twist by Bethany Turner ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Romance ~ Releases: June 15, 2021

REVIEW: Y’all! Are you looking for a fun book to read? Maybe the perfect book to take to the beach or on vacation? Well have I got a recommendation for you. Plot Twist by Bethany Turner is the best fun I’ve had in a while. I totally enjoyed this book. 

The premise of the book is something different. I only wondered who would even make a pact with a stranger ten years down the road? But, these two did! They met on February 4 and agreed to meet in the same coffee house in ten years. He wanted to be an actor and she wanted to be a playwright for films. After they became successful they would partner up and make a film together. 

Olivia is the main character who is best friends with Fiona. Liam is someone they both date at different times and they both love. I really liked these characters. Most of the story revolves around them and their escapades. Friendships grow and fade during different times in our life. What do we give up for our friendships? That’s the big question we all have to answer at some point.

Although I’m retirement age, I still enjoyed the characters and could relate to them. The author did an awesome job on this book. You might want to preorder your copy today so it is in your inbox on release day! I know you’re going to have as much fun as I did! 

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

SYNOPSIS: An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.

For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.

The Pilot’s Daughter by Audrey J Cole ~ 5⭐

Genre:Travel Adventure Fiction ~ Releases: June 22, 2021

REVIEW: I just finished a spine-tingling, sit on the edge of your seat book! It was The Pilot’s Daughter by Audrey J Cole. Wow! I literally could not put this book down. It is listed as Travel Adventure. It’s an adventure alright. I’m not sure I’ll ever board a plane in complete comfort again! 

A plane is hijacked and Cora is a Pilot’s daughter who took lessons and landed a 747 in a simulator. She has never followed through on obtaining her license. She is their only chance at making it out alive. The story started out with a gradual inching up of the tension and then it spikes and stays that way until the end. Just when you think things are under control, they go haywire again.

If you like an action packed book, this one is for you. Her character development was spot on. Nothing seemed over the top. It was as scary and nerve-wracking as you would expect being on a hijacked plane might be. 

Do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a copy. Then schedule a day to read it because you won’t be able to put it down! Order in lunch and dinner ahead of time if you must! You’ll thank me for recommending The Pilot’s Daughter. Oh! Make sure you buckle your seat belt because your in for the ride of your life. 

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

SYNOPSIS:

Welcome aboard Pacific Air Flight 385, with nonstop service from Seattle to Honolulu.

Cora is scared to fly again after her husband died in a recent helicopter crash in Pago Pago.

A thousand times she has told herself to turn around, not get on the flight, go back to her young children.

But now, she’s seated in first class across the aisle from the girlfriend of a famous billionaire pharmaceutical entrepreneur.

Halfway across the Pacific, the flight is hijacked. Six people are dead—including the pilots.

Cora is a young widow, mother, and emergency room nurse…but as the world closes in around her, she’s also a pilot’s daughter.

Lost off radar in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, the motive behind the hijacking remains a mystery. Not knowing who to trust, Cora works with the man seated beside her, Seattle Homicide Detective Kyle Adams, to save herself along with the remaining one hundred and fifty-four souls on board.

The Crooked Truth by Kristine F Anderson ~ 5⭐

Genre: Southern Fiction ~ Released: September 1, 2020

REVIEW: I am so thankful Kristine F. Anderson gave me a chance to read her debut novel Crooked Truth. This book was outstanding! I think it should be one of our classics. It had the flavor and feel of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath.

I was quickly invested in the story and the lives of these characters. I wanted them to be a part of my own family. They were a hard working family that did not show outward affection but, you knew they loved one another by the way they cared. All but one worked for the good of the family. Can you tell I didn’t like him? 

This book dealt with some hard subjects such as racism, bullying, split families and those that are just plain different from us. There were times my heart broke and there were times I rejoiced. Life was hard back then and still is today in many ways. 

If you like family stories with all of their ups and downs, you will fall in love with this book. I gave it 5/5 stars so you know I’m going to highly recommend this book. This was Kristine F. Anderson’s first book and I’m certainly looking forward to more from this author. I’m excited about this new voice and can’t wait for more!

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

SYNOPSIS: Fifteen-year-old Lucas Webster doesn’t mind working in the fields and chopping cotton on his grandfather’s farm in South Georgia, but he hates getting stuck caring for his Uncle Robert. Born with Down Syndrome, Robert is ten years older than Lucas and follows Lucas around like a clumsy shadow. Lucas wants to get out of Crisscross and be rid of his child-like uncle, but after his grandpa dies in the spring of 1948, things change. His grandmother withdraws in her grief and Alvin Earl, Robert’s half-brother, returns to manage the farm with his guns and stash of liquor. Lucas must become more than a reluctant caretaker. A hard man, Alvin Earl plans to pull Lucas out of school to work on the farm full-time and send Robert to the state asylum. When a fatal shooting occurs late one hot afternoon, Lucas must decide what to tell the sheriff. As he discovers the ties that can destroy and bind a family, he cannot reveal what really happened to the local authorities or anyone else.

The Five Things by Beth Merwood ~ 4⭐

Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense ~ Released: May3, 2021

REVIEW: Captivating, Intriguing and Odd comes to mind when I think of the debut novel The Five Things by Beth Merwood. So, let me explain why I chose those words. First, I must say this was a pretty darn good debut novel. 

CAPTIVATING because there is a mystery at the center of the story. Many of us love a good mystery. It revolves around a devastating event and three young children try to figure out what really happened. You know how it is, your parents don’t tell you everything because you’re too young. So, you and your friends imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios. 

INTRIGUING because like me, you’re gonna want to know how this turns out and you’re along for the ride with these kids and their imaginings. Since this happened when they were 9 years old or so, this stays with them their whole lives. Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder that long!

ODD because this book takes place in England near the coast. I didn’t figure that out until the end of the book as I didn’t stop to look up the little towns. The author uses slang and terms that I’ve never heard before. Some of it I looked up but, most of it I could kind of figure out by the context in which it was used. 

I would recommend this book for all those that love a good mystery. 

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

SYNOPSIS: For nine-year-old Wendy, the summer of 1969 will never be forgotten.

Local kids have always told stories about the eerie wood on the outskirts of the village, and Wendy knows for sure that some of them are true. Now the school holidays have started and she’s going to the wood again with Anna and Sam, but they soon become convinced that someone is trying to frighten them off.

When a terrible event rocks the coastal community, the young friends can’t help thinking there must be a connection between the incident, the tales they’ve heard, and the strange happenings they’ve begun to witness. As glimpses of a darker world threaten their carefree existence, they feel compelled to search out the underlying truth.