Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW of The Things We Wish Were True: A Novel by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

my thoughts:

A soap opera in book form.  The Things We Wish We Were True is family drama at its best!

Its summer time and that means the local pool is open for business.  It also means that if you want to find out what's happening around town, you have got to be poolside.  Yep, the pool is where its at! Family drama becomes neighborhood drama as people's lives intersect in various ways, making for quite the addictive read. I could not put this book down! The multiple perspectives provide insight into everyone's personal affairs and also allow us to see what is really happening behind the scenes in Sycamore Glen.  Its gossip at its best!  Plus, the twists and turns kept me wondering who's truth is really fact.  Oh, and the slow reveal of secrets was just tantalizing - I absolutely loved it! 

I would happily recommend The Things We Wish Were True to fans of women's fiction - you are going to LOVE this book! 

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Things We Wish Were True

GIVEAWAY:  Thanks to the publisher I am able to give away one (1) copy of this book! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave me a comment. Don't forget to include your email address - that way I can contact you, if you win the book.  Last date to enter is September 30th.  US/Canada residents only.  Good luck!!
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Bone Tree: A Novel by Greg Iles

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes the second novel in his Natchez Burning trilogy—which also includes Natchez Burning and the upcoming Mississippi Blood—an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancĂ©e, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage—who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him—is either to make a devil’s bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles’ downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as “the bone tree.”

The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice—now finally pushed beyond his limits.

Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

my thoughts:

Whoa, Nelly! What a book! I spent all weekend hunkered down with tea, cookies, and this monster-sized novel, The Bone Tree. Its the second book in the Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles.  And let me just say it does not disappoint. 

Picking up from where the first story left off, we find Dr. Tom Cage on the run; Penn and Caitlin barely surviving an abduction and fire; and FBI Agent John Kaiser even more hell-bent on seeking out justice.  The Bone Tree jumps right on in with all the action.  Its a fast-paced, suspense thriller filled with rich details and vivid descriptions.  There are graphic scenes and violence painted throughout, but its all necessary in showing us what evil is truly capable of and also the dangers involved when 'good' wants to triumph over 'evil'.  With this book we also get more of the investigative aspect, which was both fascinating and eye-opening.  I absolutely loved catching up with these characters and their journey on this perilous path to justice.  Iles is on fire with his writing - its brutal, honest, clever and packs quite a wallop with its razor sharp wit.  I know that I haven't written much about what happens, but I can't.  This is a story you need to experience for yourself. All I will say is that The Bone Tree is an intense and riveting read that you won't be able to put down. I'm serious, it is truly an excellent reading experience.  I absolutely LOVED it!
I would definitely recommend The Bone Tree to fans of the Natchez Burning trilogy, fans of Greg Iles, and anyone looking for a superb suspense-thriller to dive into.  You will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Bone Tree
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.

my thoughts:

As a HUGE fan of Ann Patchett's works, I was super excited to read her latest book, Commonwealth.  I just knew that I was in for brilliant writing and superb storytelling.  Patchett never disappoints and this book was no exception. Spanning over fifty years, this character-driven novel tells the story of two families and how one kiss changed their lives forever more. Yep, one kiss. How crazy is that?

Its a hot day in Southern California and the Keatings have invited everyone over to celebrate their baby girl, Franny's christening.  Bert Cousins shows up, even though he's not really a friend of the Keatings.  In fact, he's lied to his family and says that he's working, because he doesn't really want to deal with them. Instead, he's in a room kissing Mrs. Keating.  Yep, we have the kiss that will change everything.  Divorces ensue, kids get shuffled between homes, step siblings and parents are made, and the kids lives are affected forever more.  Fast forward and you find Franny dating a much older man who happens to be an author.  She shares stories about her childhood with him.  Suddenly, he's writing, writing, and writing.  His book becomes a bestseller and he's more popular than ever.  Turns out Franny's childhood made for great storytelling.  Her family's not happy with Franny for airing their dirty laundry is such a public way.  They aren't happy that this book is forcing them to confront the past and how its affected them so much. 

Patchett has written a powerful story that explores the good, the bad, and the ugly that make up a family.  The characters are flawed, realistic, and relatable.  The writing is masterful.  Its filled with such depth and thoughtfulness, you can't help but be in awe of Patchett's talent.  Simply put, Commonwealth is a triumph.  I would most definitely recommend Commonwealth (and every other book by Patchett) to fans of Patchett and fans of great literature.  You will absolutely LOVE this book! 

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tours schedule for: Commonwealth
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The New Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Mystery: Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

“What I intend to say to you will come as a shock…”

With these words, Lady Athelinda Playford — one of the world’s most beloved children’s authors — springs a surprise on the lawyer entrusted with her will. As guests arrive for a party at her Irish mansion, Lady Playford has decided to cut off her two children without a penny . . . and leave her vast fortune to someone else: an invalid who has only weeks to live.

Among Lady Playford’s visitors are two strangers: the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited — until Poirot begins to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murder. But why does she seem so determined to provoke a killer? And why — when the crime is committed despite Poirot’s best efforts to stop it — does the identity of the victim make no sense at all?

my thoughts:

Sophie Hannah is back again, writing another Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Mystery - Closed Casket.  As a fan of her last effort, The Monogram Murders, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of her new book.  I just knew that I would be in for quite a treat.  So, I settled in with a cuppa, some cookies, and Closed Casket.  I ignored everyone and everything around me.  I simply, read and read until I turned the very last page.  And let me just say - I absolutely loved Closed Casket!!  I think its even better than Hannah's first attempt at writing Christie's famed Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. 

In this latest mystery, we find ourselves at a house party out in the country.  Lady Playford has invited Poirot and Inspector Catchpool (from The Monogram Murders; Poirot's friend who relied a little too much on him and wound up catching flack for it after The Monogram Murders were solved), along with her attorneys and family up to her house for the weekend.  Both Poirot and Catchpool are surprised at the invitation, as they have no idea why they were invited.  They have their suspicions, but nothing is confirmed until the dinner party where everyone is left shocked, unhappy, and angry.  It seems that Athie (Lady Playford) has changed her will and left her monies to her assistant, who is deathly ill.  She believes that such an announcement may provoke someone to commit murder, which is why she has invited Catchpool and Poirot.  Suffice it to say, she's right, but not when it comes to the victim.  And that is all I will share about the book.  Its just too good and must be read in order to be fully experienced.  There are plenty of red herrings to throw you off, some twists and turns that will leave you perplexed, and Poirot's explanation of it all that will exhibit his intellect in full effect.  Its truly the best!  Hannah's done a smashing job of combining her voice with Christie's spirit in this new book - you will not want to miss out!  The writing is engaging, fun, and suspenseful.  The characters are such characters - they are outrageous, awful, and hilarious at the same time.  And the story is unputdownable.  I absolutely enjoyed Closed Casket and trying to figure out whodunit.  Oh, and you will find out what 'closed casket' has to do with the story - so, read on!

I would happily recommend this book to fans of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot Mystery series and fans of Sophie Hannah - you will LOVE Closed Casket!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tours schedule for: Closed Casket
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Another Addition to my R.I.P. XI TBR List...

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
Thank you, NetGalley!! I just got approved for this creeptastic looking novel and can't wait to dive into it for R.I.P. XI!!  Pretty spooky looking, eh? I think it will be perfect for R.I.P. XI.  Its about a family that moves into this apartment building that is next to a graveyard.  Strange and scary things start to happen and soon people are moving out of the building.  Soon, the family are the only tenants left.  Or are they?  Apparently, someone or something is lurking in the basement and the family is about to find out what's really been happening in the building.  Eek!! How creepy does that sound?!  I can't wait.  This story was originally published in 1986 and has been recently translated into English - how cool, eh? And now I get to read it for R.I.P. XI.  I'm thinking it will be the perfect story to kick off Halloween season next month. What do you think? Doesn't it sound spooky?

And now, I'm off to continue reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  Happy reading!!