Monday, August 31, 2020

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Getting a phone call about a well-baby appointment when your son is 19 was definitely unexpected.

When Kelly Medina realized the office had made a mistake because someone had the same name as she did, she had to find out who this other Kelly was.

Kelly did find out who the other Kelly was...she was a single mother living in a small apartment with no one to help her with the baby. that Kelly found Kelly, she was going to help her especially since she was lonely herself.

Tension abounds. and you will question what’s going on and who the “new” Kelly really is. 

One day the “old” Kelly finds out who she is or does she find out? We are kept in the dark.

This information definitely ramped up my curiosity and apprehension.

WHEN I WAS YOU kept me turning the pages as I knew the ominous plot was heading for more, and I was correct.

This book is a twisty, creepy, psychological thriller with
a very intriguing, clever story line and characters that have unhealthy obsessions.

This book will definitely keep suspense fans on the edge of your seat, have you shaking your head, and keep you guessing because it is just brilliant.

READ IT...I bet you won’t figure it out, BUT I know you will love it.  5/5

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

Saturday, August 29, 2020



Have you joined BOOK MOVEMENT?

The link to the site is HERE.

The TOP BOOK CLUB PICKS this week according to BOOK MOVEMENT can be found HERE.

Friday, August 28, 2020

One Step Behind by Lauren North

When Jenna's life gets turned upside down by a stalker, all she wants to know is who it is and why she was chosen.

Jenna's stalker has been leaving her awful gifts, sending her threatening e-mails, lurking behind trees and buildings, and ruining Jenna's life because she sees the stalker everywhere. 

One day as Jenna was the doctor working in the ER, her stalker is brought in after an accident and is in critical condition. 

Jenna could let the patient die or she could save her stalker.  That was a tough decision for her, but she decided her medical oath required her to save lives. 

She finds out the stalker's name is Matthew.

She still questions if saving him was the right thing to do because he still haunted her, and she still sees him even though she knows he is in the ICU.

We also meets Matthew's sister, Sophie. 

We learn Matthew's background through Sophie's story. They both had a terrible childhood, but she only hears her mother’s words that she is a big sister and has to take care of Matthew.  She is tired of taking care of her brother.

Something happened in this family twelve years ago that causes even more guilt for Sophie.
ONE STEP BEHIND is filled with unlikable characters, secrets, bitterness, and a great story line.

The tension and the unknown are very evident in this book with the ending ramping up the tension to the max.  

Readers who enjoy a book that keeps you guessing and on alert will enjoy ONE STEP BEHIND. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cover Reveal - The Social Graces by Renee Rosen and Digital Review Copy Sweepstakes



Book details: THE SOCIAL GRACES by Renee Rosen 

(Berkley trade paperback; on-sale April 20, 2021)

A pre-order link:


All information in this post is courtesy of Tara O'Connor of Berkley - Penguin Random House.



Renee Rosen, bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer, delivers readers a peek behind the curtain at one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor's notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.


In the glittering world of Manhattan's upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands' infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor--the Mrs. Astor.

But times are changing.

Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America's richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? When it carries on just as it has done for generations? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything.

Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this gripping novel follows these two women as they try to outdo and outsmart each other at every turn. As Caroline comes closer to defeat and Alva closer to victory, both will make surprising discoveries about themselves and what's truly at stake.


What inspired you to write THE SOCIAL GRACES?


THE SOCIAL GRACES is the story of Alva Vanderbilt and Caroline Astor vying for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.  That’s my elevator pitch, but it’s also the story of mothers and daughters, of sisters, of husbands and wives, of class and examining one’s shifting values. 


In terms of inspiration, it was more of a “who” rather than a “what”. I was brainstorming on new book concepts and my agent mentioned Consuelo Vanderbilt. Right after that, my editor suggested doing something in the Gilded Age. So really it was the two of them who inspired me, and after some preliminary research on New York in that time period, it was obvious that the rivalry between Mrs. Astor and Alva Vanderbilt had the makings of a really interesting novel.


Tell us about what it was like to write the feuding Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt, two of America’s wealthiest and most powerful women. Did you relate more to Mrs. Astor, or Mrs. Vanderbilt?


Bringing Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt to life on the page was far more challenging than I had anticipated.  When I first started working on the novel, I looked at my cast of characters and realized I had a group of rather unlikable people. On the surface, they came across as spoiled, entitled, greedy and superficial. I knew that if I wanted to engage the reader, I was going to have to really drill down to find the humanity in these people and find a reason for us to root for them. Once I started to see Alva and Caroline as wives, mothers and daughters themselves, they started to come alive for me. I found myself able to relate to both of them in different ways and for different reasons. I related to Caroline reaching the prime of her life and worried that her youth and significance were slipping away. With Alva I related to her passion, her drive, her unconventional spirit.  In the end, I’m happy to say that I found them both women to be fascinating and bewildering characters to work with.


Did you discover anything in your research that surprised you?


I was really surprised by how understated the knickerbockers (the old money) were early on, before the nouveau riche began exerting their influence. For example, Caroline Astor and other society matrons of her ilk found those wonderful Worth gowns to be very gauche and pretentious. They never wore them and instead favored more plain gowns. The knickerbockers lived in very refined, nearly identical townhouses. It wasn’t until Alva Vanderbilt embarked on her architectural masterpieces (such as Petit Chateau and Marble House) that the rest of society began trying to out-build one another with their palatial mansions. The same goes for their extravagant entertaining. It wasn’t until the new money began throwing such elaborate and outlandish balls that the knickerbockers felt they needed to compete and became a matter of keeping up with the Joneses.


If THE SOCIAL GRACES was made into a movie, who would you choose to cast as your two leading ladies?


Such a fun question! I think Kathy Bates would be a fabulous Mrs. Astor and I could see Julia Garner bringing Alva to life. After seeing her portrayal of Ruth Langmore in Ozark as well as a few other performances, I’m convinced she’d be brilliant in any part she plays.



You can enter for a chance to win an advanced digital review copy of the book here:  

(NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Ends September 2, 2020. 

See official rules at official website.)


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley

Posy has lived in Admiral House for most of her a child and as a wife and mother.​

Turning 70 has her thinking about the work it takes to maintain her beloved home, and she needs to make a decision about what to do with it.​​

We go back and forth in Posey’s life from her childhood to her adult life.  

We also see that her two sons are totally opposite.  Sam is a fly by night and Nick is successful.​​

Her sons are at odds about their mother selling their childhood home and Posey is again in the middle. ​​

THE BUTTERFLY ROOM has old houses, family, love, and secrets. ​​

This book is an enjoyable, cozy read with characters that you will love as much as the book’s story line. ​​

If you need an uplifting read, you will want to put THE BUTTERFLY ROOM on your reading list.  5/5​​

This book was given to me by the publisher, BookMovement, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Spotlight of Dawson's Falls by Roxana Robinson


Dawson's Fall: A Novel
Information in this post is courtesy of Jenny Rivera of Wunderkind PR.
DAWSON’S FALL (Picador; Paperback; $18.00; On-sale: August 25, 2020)
Set in Charleston, South Carolina in 1889, Robinson’s cinematic Reconstruction-era tale follows her tragic hero and real-life great-grandfather Frank Dawson as he attempts to navigate the country’s new political, social, and moral landscape.  Robinson masterfully weaves her novelist narrative with her great grandparents’ letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles.

Dawson’s Fall is a remarkable achievement . . . This is masterful writing.”Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth

Robinson…has discovered a story with as much to do with America’s present as America’s past.”Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post

Set pieces, such as the Hamburg riot, are riveting, showing how a novelist can capture reality in a way that rouses a historian’s envy." Harlan Greene, The Post and Courier (Charleston)

“Robinson bases her formidable novel on the lives of her great-grandparents, exposing the fragile and horrific state of affairs in the American South two decades after the end of the Civil War…. Robinson’s descriptive and imaginative prose sings; this book is a startling reminder of the immoral and lasting brutality visited on the South by the institution of slavery.”Publishers Weekly

“Robinson uses lynchings, duels, and sexual assaults to shed light on populism and toxic masculinity . . . A stylish and contemplative . . . novel, considerate of facts but not burdened by them.” Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Robinson’s documentary novel intermingles fiction and family memoirs, period editorials, letters, and journal entries in its penetrating rendition of key moments during the lives of her great-grandparents. . . [Dawson’s Fall] proves unyielding and compelling in its timely themes, with many depictions of how white men’s seething resentment erupts into racist violence and how Southern codes of honor and toxic values, particularly slavery, corroded individual lives and the national character”      Booklist

“Roxana Robinson is a great American storyteller and never better than when she braids history and fiction, pulling truth out of mere facts. Dawson’s Fallgrips us with fascinating characters, great and small, caught in the powerful unfolding of events that have shaped our country, and Robinson’s own wise, clear-eyed, and heartfelt narrative.”Amy Bloom, author of White Houses

“Acclaimed writer Roxana Robinson delves into her own family history as she sets her sights on the Civil War at its very heart, South Carolina, with spectacular results. Like Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain,her own Dawson’s Fall will be a revelation to many readers in its profound and nuanced depiction of Southerners’ widely varied feelings about the Civil War and its aftermath. The past springs brilliantly to life in this tragic and compelling story, as accurate and fully realized a depiction of daily life and the extraordinary events of this time as has ever been written.”Lee Smith, author of Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

Dawson’s Fallis a riveting historical account of one man’s struggle against a wave of violence and injustice during Reconstruction. The research that Roxana Robinson has done to deliver this story is nothing short of masterful and revisiting this terrifying and ugly chapter in the history of the South could not be more timely. Robinson's complex characters, her knowledge and loyalty to truth, and her rich depiction of time and place preserve not only her family story but that of American society and all that threatens humanity.”Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life

“Roxana Robinson tells the moving story of her great grand-parents, who lived in Charleston after the Civil War, her great-grandfather an Englishman and editor of the city paper. She draws on letters, journals and newspaper articles about them and adds her own novelistic grace to make them come to life. With a fine eye for detail, she describes the horrors of the post-war period of racism and violence they could not escape.”Frances FitzGerald, author of The Evangelicals

“In Dawson’s Fall, acclaimed author Roxana Robinson has turned her own family history into a propulsive novel. She unspools the story of Frank Dawson, a Confederate veteran struggling to redefine the South, an Englishman in a land thick with suspicion of outsiders. With complicated characters and a rich sense of time and place, this is an immersive tale about the meaning of America.”T. J. Stiles, author of Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America


A cinematic Reconstruction-era drama of violence and fraught moral reckoning

In Dawson’s Fall, a novel based on the lives of Roxana Robinson’s great-grandparents, we see America at its most fragile, fraught, and malleable. Set in 1889, in Charleston, South Carolina, Robinson’s tale weaves her family’s journal entries and letters with a novelist’s narrative grace, and spans the life of her tragic hero, Frank Dawson, as he attempts to navigate the country’s new political, social, and moral landscape.

Dawson, a man of fierce opinions, came to this country as a young Englishman to fight for the Confederacy in a war he understood as a conflict over states’ rights. He later became the editor of the CharlestonNews and Courier, finding a platform of real influence in the editorial column and emerging as a voice of the New South. With his wife and two children, he tried to lead a life that adhered to his staunch principles: equal rights, rule of law, and nonviolence, unswayed by the caprices of popular opinion. But he couldn’t control the political whims of his readers. As he wrangled diligently in his columns with questions of citizenship, equality, justice, and slavery, his newspaper rapidly lost readership, and he was plagued by financial worries. Nor could Dawson control the whims of the heart: his Swiss governess became embroiled in a tense affair with a drunkard doctor, which threatened to stain his family’s reputation. In the end, Dawson―a man in many ways representative of the country at this time―was felled by the very violence he vehemently opposed.

Roxana Robinson is the author of nine books: five novels, three story collections, and the biography of Georgia O'Keeffe. Four of these wereNew York Times Notable Books.

Robinson was born in Kentucky, but grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She attended Bennington College and graduated from the University of Michigan. She worked in the art world, specializing in the field of American painting, before she began writing full-time. Her most recent novel, Sparta, won the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction from the USMC Heritage Foundation. Her previous novel, Cost, received the Fiction Award from the Maine Publishers and Writers Association. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper's, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the NBCC Balakian Award for Criticism and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches at Hunter College, is a former member of the board of PEN, and is currently the President of the Authors Guild.

Monday, August 24, 2020


A family of journalists, stolen bylines. ​struggling ​women reporters in the 1950's, and Chicago.

Ms. Rosen ​definitely ​knows how​ ​to skillfully ​spin ​together fiction and history​.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Today's Prompt: Lisa Jewell

Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:  LISA JEWELL

I have read all of Lisa Jewell’s books pictured here and am looking forward to reading THE INVISIBLE GIRL.

Which have you read?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Today's Prompt: Ruth Ware

Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:  RUTH WARE

I enjoyed the two books I read.


Which have you read?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Spotlight of The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim


Information in this post is courtesy of Lia Ferrone of Harper Collins.
Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s very special debut, THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE (Sept. 1; Park Row Books)
A profoundly moving and unconventional mother-daughter saga and portrait of an immigrant’s struggle to achieve the American dream, with a surprising murder mystery at its center.

Margot Lee's mother, Mina, isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her single mother's life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot's present-day search is Mina's story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she's barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Told through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE is a powerful and exquisitely woven debut novel that explores identity, family, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a graduate of UCLA and the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, The Offing, the blogs of Prairie Schooner and Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.

Her essay, “Love (or Live Cargo),” was performed for NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts in 2017 with stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Phil Klay, and Etgar Keret.

THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE is her first novel.
More Information:


Author: Nancy Jooyoun Kim

ISBN: 9780778310174

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Park Row Books

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble




Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @njooyounkim

Instagram: @njooyounkim


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Coral Cottage by Jan Moran

Marina's career was sabotaged, she is now being sued because her former employer says she ruined the TV ratings, and she runs back to her favorite place....Summer Beach.

Marina needed the warmth and wise advice of her grandmother, but Ginger wasn't there when she arrived.  She was devastated, but she was happy to meet her old friends Ivy and Shelley at their bed and breakfast. 

I was thrilled to see Ivy and Shelly again too because their story is wonderful and one not to miss in SEABREEZE INN.

Marina stays at Seabreeze Inn until her grandmother returns and then her sister arrives. The Moore sisters are the best of friends, and it is comforting to be back together again.

CORAL COTTAGE is charming and cozy and filled with love, family, secrets, and life changes.

Ms. Moran's books always brighten my day because of the uplifting story line and the delightful characters.

You are happy for the characters, and the setting makes you feel as though you are on vacation and wishing you were spending time with the characters.

Put CORAL COTTAGE on your summer reading list, and virtually enjoy being with these women in a lovely cottage by the ocean, basking in their positivity and their happiness, and their delicious food. 5/5

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks

Three women, one man, and then a fire that burned down the entire building two of the women work in.

We meet Laura, Mia, and Janie.

Laura had a high profile position and even worked on her advertising campaign while she was on maternity leave.  When she returns, she finds Mia has taken over the entire campaign and her desk.

Mia is a temp now turned permanent and loved by the office staff and her boss.  Mia is doing a marvelous job on the campaign that Laura was in charge of, but she keeps something secret about why she needed and wanted this job.

She doesn’t tell anyone about her personal life or where she lives because she lies about that.

Janie is the wife of the owner of the company where Laura and Mia work, unhappy in her marriage, and has something from her past she would like to forget.

The building where Laura and Mia work was a building no one wanted in the city before it was even built.  When it burns down with one casualty, was it arson or just an accident?

There is jealousy, hatred, and a sinister undertone from the opening page…all good traits for a thriller.

You will be on the edge of your seat every time you see Laura and Mia together battling things out in their minds and wondering just what could really be the reason for this tension between the two women.  Sure it is work, but there seems to be something else.

And then the party at Harry's happened - it got loud as Laura let loose on Mia and called her a liar.

THREE PERFECT LIARS was quite tense and oh so good. 

If you enjoy not knowing what is really going on with the characters because you know something is….

….if you enjoy knowing one of the characters is the biggest fake and troublemaker and everyone is not seeing it….

….if you enjoy knowing the characters don't seem to be who they really are and know most are hiding something, telling lies, and have secrets, then this book will check all the boxes. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 17, 2020


THE ORPHAN'S SONG is a mesmerizing read that takes us into the streets of Venice and into its churches during the 1700's as we experience the mystery and the beauty of the music and its captivating hold on those who hear the violins playing and the singing of the girls in the coro.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020


Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:  FREDRIK BACKMAN

I have only read this book by Mr. Backman.  It was really good.

What have you read by this author?


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Today's Prompt: ALYSON RICHMAN

Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:  ALYSON RICHMAN

I have only read this book by Ms. Richman and really enjoyed it.

How many books by Alyson Richman have you read?


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

SPOTLIGHT: Little Falls by Elizabeth Lewes


Information in this post is courtesy of Kristen Ludwigsen, Mindbuck Media.

Publisher: Crooked Lane/Penguin Random House

Distribution: Worldwide Publish Date: Aug. 11th 2020

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Publicist: Mindbuck Media


US Navy veteran and debut author, Elizabeth Lewes, expertly crafts a heart pounding story of mother and daughter and their fight against small-town evil.

Little Falls snaps with suspense from beginning to end. With skilled execution of setting and plot, Elizabeth Lewes shuttles the reader between continents on a thrilling journey that reveals haunting secrets. I couldn’t put this book down!” Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 mysteries 

“A dark, dangerous read populated by distinct, well-drawn characters. The tormented heroine is a woman on the edge and fascinating in her unpredict- ability. You’re rooting for her, afraid for her, but never fully confident that she won’t succumb to her multiple demons. There is a desperate sense of urgency right up until the very end.” P. J. Tracy, New York Times bestselling author of the Monkeewrench series



Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq.

She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job.

She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby.

She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.

While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager’s tor- tured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding.

In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurgesand in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her.

The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend—and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.

The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up.

Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille’s hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child.

At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughterand redeem her own shattered soul.
Elizabeth Lewes is a veteran of the United States Navy who served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. An analyst and linguist by training, she now practices law in Seattle. Little Falls is her debut novel.