Friday, August 12, 2022

Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen

Annalisa Vega is back investigating a cold case she isn’t assigned to and not permitted to look into as well as a present-day murder of a policeman.

She has a hunch that both cases are related, and the murderer is the same person. 

There was not enough evidence to convict this person for the first murder twenty years ago, and it looks like there isn’t enough this time either.

Annalisa is determined to prove she is right when everyone is telling her she has it all wrong. 

Things happen while she is digging up evidence, but it made someone angry, and now she might be a suspect.

I always enjoy Ms. Schaffhausen’s books. Her story lines keep you glued to the pages.

Fans of Annalisa will again be treated to her amazing detective work. 

Even though it is Book #2, you can read LONG GONE as a standalone.

This one will have the most cunning sleuths guessing incorrectly. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Liv Reese must stay awake or she forgets everything that happened.

She is really in a dilemma when she wakes up this time.  

She has messages all over her hands and arms with warnings about being safe.

The worst thing about these messages is that someone wrote one of these messages in blood on the window of a room where a man was murdered.

Liv tries to remember where she has been, and when she returns to work why her office looks totally different and why they welcomed her back.

We follow Liv two years before and present day.

Present day is when the detectives find her fingerprints on a wine bottle left at the murder scene.

Liv has no clue how or why she was there, why she has a stash of money in her pocket, or where her purse or phone are. 

She also doesn't know why anything isn't the same - especially her boyfriend....where is he and why is someone else in the apartment she lived in for years?

We follow the investigation, the search for Liv, and Liv's nightmare of a her life. 

She also has a stalker adding to her terror and memory loss.

STAY AWAKE will keep you glued to the pages.

It is a thriller you will not want to miss.

It keeps getting better and better as you turn the pages with a great ending.

Don't miss this one.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

COVER REVEAL: Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen





In this dazzling new historical novel, a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor in 1938 is determined to prove she can have it all.

Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

PUBLICATION DATE:  April 25, 2023 - Berkley




In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. 

She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. 

Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. 

After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to reckon with the price that comes from daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.



PHOTO CREDIT:  Charles Osgood

Renée Rosen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Social GracesPark Avenue SummerWindy City BluesWhite Collar GirlWhat the Lady Wants, and Dollface. 

She is also the author of Every Crooked Pot, a YA novel published in 2007. 

Renée lives in Chicago.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong

We meet two strong women who are determined to make their way in a man's world.

We meet Emmaline Balakin in 1918 who after working in the dead letter office for five years volunteers to be the librarian in France during the war.  Delivering books to the injured soldiers helps their morale and to pass the time.

Being one of very few women, Emmaline has her struggles, and seeing the wounded soldiers is upsetting for her.

We meet Kathleen Carre in 1976.  She had been working in a dental office, had been raised by her beloved grandmother, and wanted to be in the class of first women accepted into the Naval Academy.

The men really didn't want women in the Academy and bullied and harassed them.  One particular midshipman had it in for Kathleen and tried to humiliate her and trip her up as often as he could.

This midshipman also had her accused of treason.

We follow both women as they make it through their days. There is a connection and secret between the two time lines that will have readers dropping their jaws.

Despite the excellent writing and revelation of the secret in the ending, THE WAR LIBRARIAN dragged for me.  3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Orphans of Mersea House by Marty Wingate

Olive is alone after caring for her mother and is in need of a job.

She applies for a caretaking job, but her friend Margery moves back from London and tells her to not take that job but join her at Mersea Boarding House.

Olive and Margery are life-long friends.  Olive is the sweetest person.  Margery is an ok friend, but a bit tough.

They take in two boarders both with a story behind their personalities.

One day Margery gets a surprise when she is contacted by social services and is asked to care for her old boyfriend's daughter.  Juniper is a sweet girl who lost her mother to polio and now her father.  Juniper also suffered from polio and years of surgery and the iron lung. 

THE ORPHANS OF MERSEA HOUSE is a heartwarming book that has endearing characters and a nostalgic storyline. 
You won't want to stop reading because it takes you back when things were simpler but not necessarily better but just plain sweet.

Enjoy when you read this book. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Spotlight of The Making of Her by Bernadette Jiwa


In their starred review of the book, Booklist that claims: Fans of Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, or Adriana Trigiani may find a new favorite author here.” And Ashley Audrain (author of The Push) writes, “The Making of Her is a compelling and tender exploration of the unattainable expectations of women, the shame and guilt inherent in motherhood, and the reverberations of the hardest choices we make.”


“Bernadette Jiwa’s powerful debut serves as a tribute to motherhood and the strength of women.” Veranda

"Memorable insights are quotable and the ending is satisfyingly true to the ups and downs experienced by Joan’s extended family. Fans of Maeve Binchey, Cathy Kelly, or Adriana Trigiani may find a new favorite author here.”
Booklist (starred)

The Making of Her sucked me in from the very first page, and didn’t let up until I’d turned the last. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, it is an exquisite examination of the secrets that haunt us. I cried several times. A stunning debut.”
—Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister

The Making of Her is a compelling and tender exploration of the unattainable expectations of women, the shame and guilt inherent in motherhood, and the reverberations of the hardest choices we make. Jiwa gives us a beautifully crafted, thought-provoking novel that ultimately celebrates the strength of women. A true pleasure to read.
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

“Bernadette Jiwa’s moving fiction debut, The Making of Her, explores the impact of secrets, the magnitude of our choices, and the tenuous binds of family. Set in Dublin and shifting between past and present, this deeply evocative novel is a masterful study into what it really means to love, and to forgive. The Making of Her is ultimately a story about the plight and power of women, and is not to be missed.”
—Karma Brown, bestselling author of Recipe for a Perfect Wife
“An absorbing, brilliantly paced book; I didn't want it to end.”
—Roddy Doyle


An unforgettable debut novel about family secrets, falling apart, and coming together.
Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of an economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption thirty years before, asking for a life-or-death favor.
While Joan grapples with the guilt over giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. 
Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma must come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, to imagine a future for their family before it is too late.
Spanning the nineties and the sixties, with Dublin as its backdrop, The Making of Her is the tender and page-turning story of marriage, motherhood, a culture that would not allow a woman to find true happiness—and her journey to finally claim it. 




Bernadette Jiwa was born into a house with no books and a home full of stories, in Dublin, Ireland. 

She migrated to the UK in the 1980s, raised three sons with her husband, and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. 

She is the creator and leader of The Story Skills Workshop—a program that has taught thousands of people to harness the power of their everyday stories.


Monday, August 8, 2022

You're Invited by Amanda Jayatissa

Why would your former best friend that you hadn’t talked to for ten years invite you to her wedding to your ex-boyfriend?

Amaya was very confused since Kaavi’s family forbid her to contact them over some incident years ago.

Amaya also couldn’t believe Kaavi was marrying Spencer.  She knew she had to stop the wedding.

Both Kaavi’s mother and father were furious when they saw her…did Kaavi have some plan Amaya and others did not know about or was she just rubbing it in?

There is an undertone with all the characters that seems to hint that everyone is hiding something.  So who really did stop the wedding by attacking Kaavi?

We follow the police interviews of each guest and hear comments that could incriminate any of the characters.   No one held any resentment or gossip back during the interviews.

The book dragged on a bit, and didn’t get “meaty” until 40%, but I kept reading and guessing.
Some twists and surprises.

Be aware there are some disturbing habits the characters have.  3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.