Mortuary Confidential by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra ~ 3⭐

Genre: Biography ~ Released: April 15, 2010

REVIEW: I have to admit I took a day off my schedule and spent it reading Mortuary Confidential by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra. I was a nice little foray out of the norm for me. I read another book a few years ago along the same lines. This one is a lot of short stories about mishaps a funeral home submitted by other funeral directors along with the two who wrote the book. 

It was humorous but not what I call laugh out loud funny. I think it is hard to be hilarious when you are dealing with death. It is a rather somber occasion. It is a quick read and I would recommend this book if you are looking for something off the beaten path to entertain you for a day. 

These guys have another book out called Over Our Dead Bodies. You might want to read that one too. 

SYNOPSIS: From scary to heartwarming and hilarious, an assortment of behind-the-scenes, true stories about life as an undertaker.

From shoot-outs at funerals to dead men screaming and runaway corpses, undertakers have plenty of unusual stories to tell—and a special way of telling them.

In this macabre and moving compilation, funeral directors across the country share their most embarrassing, jaw-dropping, irreverent, and deeply poignant stories about life at death’s door. Discover what scares them and what moves them to tears. Learn about rookie mistakes and why death sometimes calls for duct tape.

Enjoy tales of the dearly departed spending eternity naked from the waist down and getting bottled and corked—in a wine bottle. And then meet their families—the weepers, the punchers, the stolidly dignified, and the ones who deliver their dead mother in a pickup truck.

If there’s one thing undertakers know, it’s that death drives people crazy. These are the best “bodies of work” from America’s darkest profession.

Sail Away by Ashley Farley ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Fiction ~ Releases: August 3, 2021

REVIEW: Sail Away by Ashley Farley is book 4 of the Palmetto Island Series. I’ve read the first three books and have adored every one of them. When I opened Sail Away it was with great anticipation because I knew I would be visiting with old and new friends. It did not disappoint! Muddy Bottom is book one and if you haven’t started it yet I highly recommend that you download it and start reading. It’s free!

I love these people and this Island. I feel like it is homecoming when I’m reading this series. Her characters are so likeable and their development is perfect. In each of the books you get to know more of one of the characters because the story is a little more focused on them. I’m praying there is at least one more book to this series. I love it!

 I’m always anxious for a new book by Ashley Farley but her series are outstanding. She doesn’t leave you hanging. She does leave you wanting more. This is the perfect series for summer reading. I hope you’ll give it a try. 

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

SYNOPSIS: “Pack your bags and head to Palmetto Island! You will truly love this magical place and the folks that live here!”

A mother struggles to provide for her child. Three strong women form a village to help a friend in need.

Becca has embarked on the most important mission of her life. She trusts no one, and she’s running out of time. On a whim, she rents a beach cottage on Palmetto Island for the summer. She’s searching for a solution to her problem. Help comes in an unexpected friendship with the young woman next door.

Hannah has three months to plan her dream wedding. While she’s eager to marry the man of her dreams, she finds the logistics of combining households and the details of organizing her event overwhelming. When she learns of a new friend’s crisis, she drops everything to come to her aid.

Sidney forges ahead with her successful career as a chef, while her heart remains in the past. On impulse, she reaches out to her old boyfriend on social media, and they rekindle their relationship. Chemistry between them still exists. But is it enough? Can she live with her secret? Or will she risk her happiness by revealing the truth?

Amelia is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She seeks therapy in order to put the past behind her. Do all her problems stem from her abusive marriage? Or is something missing from her life? Will she give up the possibility of a future with the love of her life to fulfill another dream?

The paths of these four women collide in a dramatic conclusion. Farley once again reminds us that family is more than blood ties.

We Don’t Leave by Emerald O’Brien ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Suspense ~ Releases: July 22, 2021

REVIEW: Do you love a Psychological Suspense that leaves you breathless? Yes! Good, because I have just the book for you. It is the new book We Don’t Leave by Emerald O’Brien coming out July 22, 2021. Y’all, this book had me spellbound. It grabbed me hard the first few pages and then it was a slow burn until the last third of the book. Then you better grab your seat and hang on. It’s a wild ride until the end! 

I feel like the luckiest girl! As a reviewer, I have been blessed to read some of the best authors and bring my thoughts about their new books to you. I can’t think of anything better than that. I’m so fortunate to read Emerald O’Brien. She writes stories that I enjoy reading and then the added bonus of the Suspense. She lulls you into thinking you know what is going on and then she blows up your mind! 

Her character development and her story lines are some of the best. I thought many times during this story I knew where it was headed. I didn’t. I wasn’t even close. If you like a book that pushes your boundaries or at least makes you think outside the box, you will like We Don’t Leave. I’m not going to stop thinking of this one for a long time. 

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

SYNOPSIS: Who can you believe when you can’t trust your own eyes?

Hayden is excited to begin a new life with her husband, Sid, after he accepts a job offer back in his hometown. She doesn’t love the idea of being so far from her family, but she understands why he’s pushing for the move—after a car wreck and addiction issues, it makes sense that he’d want a fresh start. Sid has even agreed to throw a party to celebrate the transition.

But when Hayden steals away to their cottage for some time alone, she makes a shocking discovery.

Terrified, she races home, but by the next morning, she’s more confused than anything.

What did she really witness? Is her mind playing tricks on her? If she’s right, what she saw might upend both her marriage and her very freedom.

But Hayden can’t risk making accusations, not without proof.

After all, it’s not the first time she’s seen something that wasn’t there.

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller ~ 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Phycological Thriller ~ Releases July 20, 2021

REVIEW: WOWSER!!! I just finished The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller. If you like Psychological Suspense, you have to get yourself a copy of this book. I laid awake in my bed last night trying to figure out this book. I thought I figured it out and went to sleep. I woke up thinking about this book and couldn’t go back to sleep. What do you do? Well, you get up and finish the book to find out you were only a tiny bit right. This book is so much more than I thought it was! 

The plot is fabulous and so well thought out. From the moment I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. I tried to finish it yesterday but, I couldn’t. I had to leave it until I could get a few hours of sleep.

There are some trusted authors that can involve my mind so totally in their story. I think Kristin Miller just moved up to that spot. This is my second book by her with In Her Shadow being the first. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend you try one. I think you’ll be hooked like I am. 

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

SYNOPSIS: Meet the trophy wives of Presidio Terrace, San Francisco’s most exclusive—and most deadly—neighborhood in this shrewd, darkly compelling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of In Her Shadow.

Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image—though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”—and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?

The Therapist by B.A. Paris ~ 5⭐

Genres: Domestic & Psychological Thriller ~ Released: July 13, 2021

REVIEW: HOLY COW! The Therapist by B.A. Paris was unputdownable. I literally couldn’t put this book down. I ordered pizza last night because I didn’t want to take time to cook. The pizza was great but, the book was better. Have you ever been so engrossed in a book and looked up to find you were sitting at home on your couch? That happened to me with this book. Wow!

There were so many suspects in this book and so many reasons they were each a suspect. Then so many reasons why they weren’t a suspect. I was lead to believe there were spirits in the house. Were there? Maybe! 

This book had me hanging onto every word trying to figure all of what was happening. If you know anything about me, you know I can’t figure them out. That is why I love mysteries, suspense and thrillers. I’m just glued until the end of the book when the author lays it all out for me. I tell ya… it is worth every minute! 

I read Behind Closed Doors by this author before I started reviewing and I think this book was better! B.A. Paris has outdone herself with The Therapist. If you like her books or you just love Domestic Thrillers or Psychological Suspense, you’re going to love this book. 

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

SYNOPSIS: The multimillion-copy New York Times bestselling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapista powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret.

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

The War Nurse by Tracey Enerson Wood ~ 5⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Released: July 6, 2021

REVIEW: Oh My Goodness! I just finished The War Nurse by Tracey Enerson Wood. It was such a good book. This one is Historical Fiction but, it was not in your face and I believe even those that don’t like war stories will like this one. 

I loved finding out about the early days of x-ray technology and that it was very new during WWI. I knew there wasn’t any penicillin then and it was also during the 1918 influenza outbreak. It was interesting to see how the nurses handled those situations and prevented themselves from getting sick. It reminded me of the covid epidemic we are fighting.

There was a love story that took place in the background. Julia was the head nurse and Fred was over the whole hospital. They liked each other but, it was inappropriate and grounds for dismissal for Julia from the Red Cross. Of course gossip flew and they were the favorites of many staff members. 

This book took place in France and not to far from Paris. It was an enjoyable read and I had hard time putting it down. I think it has something for everyone and it isn’t a heavy story at all. I enjoyed the glimpses of life in France back in the War time. 

I received a copy of this book from #BookBrowse/#Sourcebooks for use in a book discussion. All opinions are my own.. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: Based on a true story, The War Nurse is a sweeping historical novel by USA Today bestselling author Tracey Enerson Wood that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through WWI France.

She asked dozens of young women to lay their lives on the line during the Great War. Can she protect them?

Superintendent of Nurses Julia Stimson must recruit sixty-four nurses to relieve the battle-worn British, months before American troops are ready to be deployed. She knows that the young nurses serving near the front lines of will face a challenging situation, but nothing could have prepared her for the chaos that awaits when they arrive at British Base Hospital 12 in Rouen, France. The primitive conditions, a convoluted, ineffective system, and horrific battle wounds are enough to discourage the most hardened nurses, and Julia can do nothing but lead by example―even as the military doctors undermine her authority and make her question her very place in the hospital tent.

When trainloads of soldiers stricken by a mysterious respiratory illness arrive one after the other, overwhelming the hospital’s limited resources, and threatening the health of her staff, Julia faces an unthinkable choice―to step outside the bounds of her profession and risk the career she has fought so hard for, or to watch the people she cares for most die in her arms.

Fans of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lost Roses and Marie Benedict’s Lady Clementine will devour this mesmerizing celebration of some of the most overlooked heroes in history: the fierce, determined, and brave nurses who treated soldiers in World War I.

Mom Rules by Hilary Grossman ~ 5⭐

Genre: Parenting & Family Humor ~ Releases: July 14, 2021

REVIEW: I had such fun reading the new novel from Hilary Grossman titled Mom Rules! This book is about Donna and is the fourth and probably the last in the Forest River PTA Moms Series. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with all the ladies from Forest River Elementary School. In each of the books we get to see more of one character and their viewpoint.

I really enjoyed Donna. The poor woman has one heck of a year brought on by her friends. If, you want to call them that. These women start so many rumors and gossip so much. It’s fun to see what kind of crazy things they come up with. She grew and came into herself with all the trials she went through. I found myself cheering her on. I think I like and dislike all of the characters at one time or another. 

This is my favorite book so far. If you’re looking for a series that will make you laugh and break your heart, give this one a try. I think you just might find a good time! Although, this may be the end of the series, a little birdie tells me there is a lot more to look forward to from Hilary Grossman. Yay!

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

SYNOPSIS: Donna Warren is not who everyone thinks she is….

It’s no secret – to survive in a superficial town like Forest River, New York, where perfection is a requirement –a mom must follow the rules.

For the past five years, Donna has worked hard to exceed social expectations. She held the prestigious role of PTA treasurer, and her best friend, Jackie, is the most powerful woman at the elementary school.

But in a town where most mothers earn their black belt in backstabbing before their offspring enter pre-k, something was bound to go wrong…

And it did. Now, her former bestie has become her mortal enemy and destroyed Donna’s reputation. Eagar to believe the rampant rumors, half the elementary school mommies think Donna is a drama queen and the rest believe she is a vindictive witch.

As she and her children’s social standing dangles on thin ice, Donna is willing to try anything to fix her mistake. Unfortunately, all her efforts backfire, and she makes everything worse. Just when Donna is about to give up, she receives some shocking news. Forced to face the most difficult situation of her life, will she finally become the woman she wants to be?

Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction ~ Released: July 13, 2021

REVIEW: Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher is a wonderful book. She is a great author and I don’t know why she has recently popped up on my radar. The books I’ve read by her are Contemporary Christian Fiction. These books often remind me to lean on my faith. I think it is something some of us forget in our everyday lives now and then. 

There are two time lines in this story. One starting in 1895 and the other is modern day. I loved both timeliness equally well and got so involved when reading one that I sometimes went kicking and screaming to the other. It only took a paragraph or two and I was completely immersed again. 

The books by Hatcher I’ve read have such great characters and I love a story that is character driven rather than by events only. These characters have a say in how they deal with life and what is thrown at them. They find a way to deal with the the challenges that come their way. I like that!  Makes me remember I have that ability also with God walking with me every step of the way. 

I feel renewed after reading Make You Feel My Love! I will live in that cocoon for several days. Isn’t that a special book? If you love Robin Lee Hatcher, you’ll want to read this one. If you do, let me know what you think! If you haven’t read any of her books yet, this is a good one to start with. 

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

SYNOPSIS: One broken woman. One lost man. And the long-buried secrets tying them together.

After escaping an abusive relationship, Chelsea Spencer flees to Chickadee Creek—the town where her great aunt Rosemary owns a quaint little antique shop. There, Chelsea plans to help with the shop as her aunt heals from an accident—and perhaps find some healing of her own.

Liam Chandler was one film away from a leading role when his brother Jacob was stricken with cancer. After spending the last months of Jacob’s life with him in Boise, Liam heads to the vacation home he built outside of Chickadee Creek to get his life and his faith back on track.

While working to clean out a storage room in the antique shop, Chelsea finds an old violin. Aunt Rosemary says she may have the instrument, but they soon learn it is very valuable and once belonged to Cora Chandler, Liam’s great-great-grandmother.

Drawn together by the old violin and stories from the past, Chelsea and Liam begin to find answers for their present and the future God has in store for them.

Sweet Tea by Piper Huguley ~ 4⭐

Genre: Wholesome Romance ~ Releases: July 13, 2021

REVIEW: Sweet Tea by Piper Huguley is being released by Hallmark Publishing. It reminded me of a Hallmark movie and a lot of ladies love Hallmark as much as I do. It was a good book and well worth the time to read it. 

There was a lot of angst between the characters and was probably the one thing I wasn’t fond of. Tea goes back to her hometown to make sure her Grandmother was safe from a filmmaker and he wasn’t stealing her recipes. Jack, the filmmaker and Tea as you would expect have a lot in common and a rough time with each other. She also had a rough past with her Grandmother and Jack with his father. So…a lot of angst.

This was a fun book even if it was a little predictable. I’m a softie for these kinds of books and movies. This would make a nice little book to take to the beach or the pool. Sweet Tea was the first book by Piper Huguley that I’ve read and I won’t hesitate to read another of hers. 

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

SYNOPSIS: Southern traditions, history, and hope come together in author Piper Huguley’s heartfelt romance from Hallmark Publishing.

Althea Dailey has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams: she’s about to make partner at her prestigious law firm in New York. So why doesn’t she feel more excited about it? When she has to travel South for a case, she pays a long-overdue visit back home to Milford, Georgia. To her surprise, a white man she’s never met has befriended her grandmother.

Jack Darwent wasn’t interested in the definition of success dictated by Southern high society. His passion for cooking led him to his current project: a documentary and cookbook about authentic Southern food. Althea’s grandmother is famous for her cooking at Milford College, a historically Black institution. But Althea suspects Jack of trying to steal her grandmother’s recipes.

Despite Althea and Jack’s first impressions of one another, they discover they have more in common than they’d guessed…and even as they learn about one another’s pasts, they both see glimmers of a better future. 

This Southern small-town romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Grandma’s Biscuits and Gravy.