Monday, February 28, 2022

The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub

You are moving us into a house where three brutal murders took place? How could you do that?

Moving from California to Brooklyn was a decision that not everyone in the family agreed with, but they did find a nicer and larger home than they had anticipated. 

But...is it a nicer home?  In terms of size, they were happy, but when they find out a family had been murdered in their rental they became worried.

One of the daughters is a true crime fan and loved the idea, but she kept seeing someone watching them.  Was it her imagination or was someone watching the house?

It actually wasn't her imagination.  The boyfriend of the young woman murdered in the house thinks Anna has come back to life and is the one watching.

Other things happen too - strange neighbors that barge right in the house, and the mother, Nora, finds a box buried in the back yard as she was doing some landscaping.  

The contents of the box is a bit shocking and reveals a lot about the murdered family.  Nora wonders, though, what all of this means especially the thousands of dollars inside.

We follow along as the weeks go by and each character is doing his or her own thing with some having secrets.

THE OTHER FAMILY is a bit slow at first, but it does pick up.  There is a bit of paranormal in it, but not much.

The characters are not on the likable side, but they don’t take away from the story line.  They actually make the story line a bit more chilling.

The surprises as the book was ending were definitely surprises.

If you enjoy creepy, but good, THE OTHER FAMILY will be a book you will want to read.  4/5

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


Sunday, February 27, 2022

This Week at Silver's Reviews


Have you read any of the books that will be reviewed this week?

Photo taken in Lehel, Austria.


 


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Spotlight and Giveaway of Trust Me by Kelly Irvin

Trust Me

by Kelly Irvin

February 7 - March 4, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Trust Me by Kelly Irvin

When her best friend is murdered the same way her brother was, who can she possibly trust?

A decade ago, Delaney Broward discovered her brother’s murdered body at the San Antonio art co-op he founded with friends. Her artist boyfriend, Hunter Nash, went to prison for the murder, despite his not-guilty plea.

This morning, Hunter walks out of prison a free man, having served his sentence.

This afternoon, Delaney finds her best friend dead, murdered in the same fashion as her brother.

Stay out of it or you're next, the killer warns.

Hunter never stopped loving Delaney, though he can’t blame her for not forgiving her. He knows he’ll get his life back one day at a time, one step at a time. But he’s blindsided to realize he’s a murder suspect. Again.

When Hunter shows up on her doorstep asking her to help him find the real killer, Delaney’s head says to run away, yet her heart tells her there’s more to his story than what came out in the trial. An uneasy truce leads to their probe into a dark past that shatters Delaney’s image of her brother. She can’t stop and neither can Hunter—which lands them both in the crosshairs of a murderer growing more desperate by the hour.

In this gripping romantic suspense, Kelly Irvin plumbs the complexity of broken trust in the people we love—and in God—and whether either can be mended.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: February 8th 2022
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0785231935 (ISBN13: 9780785231936)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

APRIL 22, 2010
SAN ANTONIO ART CO-OP
SOUTHTOWN, SAN ANTONIO

The cloying stench of pot told the same old story.

With an irritated sigh Delaney Broward quickened her pace through the warehouse-turned-art-co-op toward her brother’s studio at the far end of the cavernous hall. On his best days Corey had little sense of time. Add a joint to the mix and he lost his sense not only of time but of responsibility. It also explained why he didn’t answer his phone. When he got high and started painting, he wanted no interruptions. His lime-green VW van was parked cattywampus across two spaces in the lot that faced Alamo Street just south of downtown San Antonio. He might be physically present, but his THC-soaked mind had escaped its cell.

Marijuana served as his muse and taskmaster. Or so he’d said.

The soles of her huarache sandals clacking on the concrete floor sounded loud in Delaney’s ears. “Corey? Corey! You were supposed to pick us up at Ellie’s. Come on, dude. She’s waiting.”

No answer.

At this rate Delaney would never get to Night in Old San Antonio, affectionately known to most local folks as NIOSA. Everyone who was anyone knew it was pronounced NI-O-SA, long I and long O, the best party-slash-fundraiser during the mother of all parties where her boyfriend would be waiting for her. “Hey, bro, I’m starving. Let’s go.”

Delaney’s phone rang. She slowed and dug it from the pocket of her stonewashed jeans. Speaking of Ellie. “I’m at the co-op now. He’s here.”

Share as little info as possible.

“He’s stoned again, isn’t he? I’m sick of this.” Ellie’s shrill voice rose even higher. “I swear if he stands me up again— ”

Us. Stands us up.”

“Stood us up again. That will be it. I’m done. I’m done waiting around for him. I’m done playing second fiddle to his self-destructive habits. I’m done with his starving-artist, free-spirit, pothead schtick. The man is a walking stereotype. I’m done with him, period.”

Delaney mouthed the words along with her friend. She knew the lyrics of this lovesick song by heart. The childish rejoinder “It takes one to know one” stuck in her throat. “We’ll be there in twenty. You can tell him yourself.”

Ellie would and then Corey would kiss her until she took it all back. With a final huff Ellie hung up.

The door to his studio— the largest and with the best light because the co-op was Corey’s dream child— stood open. “Seriously, Corey. Think of someone besides yourself once in a while, please.” Delaney strode through the door, ready to ream her brother up one side and down the other. “You are so selfish.”

Delaney halted. At first blush it didn’t make sense. Twisted and smashed canvases littered the floor. Along with paints, brushes, beer bottles, and Thai food take-out cartons.

Wooden easels were broken like toothpicks and scattered on top of the canvases. Someone had splattered red paint over another finished piece— a woman eating a raspa in front of a vendor’s mobile cart, the Alamo in the background.

Delaney’s hands went to her throat. The metallic scent of blood mingled with the odor of human waste gagged her. A fiery shiver started at her toes and raced like a lit fuse to her brain. Her mind took in detail after detail. That way she didn’t have to face the bigger picture staring her in the face. “Please, God, no.”

Even He couldn’t fix this.

She shot forward, stumbled, and fell to her knees. Her legs refused to work. She crawled the remainder of the distance to Corey across a floor marred by still-wet oil paint, beer, and other liquids she couldn’t bear to identify.

He sat with his back against the wall. His long legs clad in paint-splattered jeans sprawled in front of him. His feet were bare. His hands with those thin, expressive fingers lay in his lap. Deep lacerations scored his palms and fingers.

Her throat aching with the effort not to vomit, Delaney forced her gaze to move upward. His T-shirt, once white, now shone scarlet with blood. His blood. Rips in the shirt left his chest exposed, revealing stab wounds— too many to count.

Delaney opened her mouth. Scream. Just scream. Let it out.

No sound emerged.

She crawled alongside her big brother until she could lean her shoulder and head against the wall. “Corey?” she whispered.

His green eyes, fringed by thick, dark lashes that were the envy of every woman he’d ever dated, were open and startled. His skin, always pale and ethereal, had a blue tinge to it.

Delaney drowned in a tsunami of nausea. “Come on, Corey, this isn’t funny. I need you.”

Her teeth chattered. Hands shaking, she touched his throat. His skin was cold. So cold.

Too late, too late, too late. The words screamed in her head. Stop it. Just stop it. “You can’t be dead. You’re not allowed to die.”

Mom and Dad had died in a car wreck a week past her eighth birthday. Nana and Pops had taken their turns the year Delaney turned eighteen. Everybody she cared about died.

Not Corey. Delaney punched in 9–1–1.

The operator’s assurance that help was on the way did nothing to soothe Delaney. She sat cross-legged and dragged Corey’s shoulders and head into her lap. She had to warm him up. “Tell them to hurry. Tell them my brother needs help.”

“Yes, ma’am. They’re en route.”

“Tell them he’s all I’ve got.”

CHAPTER 2

TEN YEARS LATER
NASH RESIDENCE, SAN ANTONIO

Real men didn’t cry. Not even during a reunion with a beloved truck.

Swallowing hard, Hunter Nash wrapped his fingers around the keys, concentrating on the feel of the metal pressing into his skin. He cleared his throat. “Thanks, Mom. For keeping it all these years.”

His mom didn’t bother to try to hide her tears. She wiped her plump cheeks on a faded dish towel, offered him a tremulous smile, and bustled down the sidewalk that led from the house on San Antonio’s near west side where Hunter had grown up to the detached two-car garage in the back. It had housed his truck for the past eight years. Almost ten if he counted the two years it took for his case to go to trial. He had no place to go in those years when he’d allegedly been innocent until proven guilty. His friends no longer friends and his job gone, he had no need for transportation.

The door to the garage was padlocked. Mom handed him the key. “My hands are shaking. You’d better do the honors.” She stepped back. “I still can’t believe you’re here.”

“I did my time, Ma.” As a model prisoner he’d earned time off for good behavior. It was easy for a guy to behave when he spent his days and nights scared spitless.

“I know. All those nights I’ve lain in bed worrying about you in that place, whether you were safe, if you were hurt, if you were sick.” Her voice broke. “I can’t believe it’s over.”

“Me neither.”

It wasn’t over. In fact, it was just beginning, but she didn’t need to know that. His determination to prove his innocence would only worry her more. A divorced mother of four, she’d raised her kids on a teacher’s salary and an occasional child support check from the crud-for-brains ex-husband who showed up once every couple of years in an attempt to make nice with his kids. She deserved a break.

The aging manual garage door squeaked and protested when Hunter yanked on the handle. He needed to do some work around here, starting with applying some WD-40. The smell of mold and old motor oil wafted from the dark interior. Hunter slipped inside and waited for his eyes to adjust. A layer of dust covered the 2002 midnight-blue Dodge RAM 1500, but otherwise it remained in the pristine condition in which he’d left it the night he said goodbye and promised he’d be back. “My baby.”

More tears trickling down her face, Mom chuckled softly. “After you finish reintroducing yourself, come back inside. I’m making your favorite chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, pineapple coleslaw, and creamed corn. Your brother and sisters are coming over after work. Shawna’s bringing a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Melissa’s contribution is three kinds of ice cream, including rocky road. She said it seemed appropriate. I hope you haven’t lost your sense of humor. And you know Curtis. He’s all about the beer.”

The last thing Hunter wanted to do was celebrate with his sibs. Mel and Shawna had visited faithfully at first, but less as the years rolled by. Curtis never showed, even though Fabian Dominguez State Jail was only a few miles down the road from San Antonio.

Nor did Hunter want to explain why he’d sworn off alcohol. The conditions of his parole included monthly pee tests— no alcohol or drugs, but that part of his life was over anyway. It had been easy to comply in prison, obviously. Whether he could maintain his sobriety in the beer drinking capital of the country remained to be seen. He’d do AA if necessary. “Mom— ”

“No buts. They’re family. They love you. You need to live life, enjoy life, make up for all you’ve missed. You haven’t even met most of your nieces and nephews. Did you know Mel is expecting another baby in August?”

“Yes, I— ”

“Today we celebrate your new job and your new life.”

His bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis in drawing and painting from Southwest School of Art might once have allowed him to teach art in one of the school districts, but not anymore.

It didn’t matter. The prison chaplain had hooked him up with Pastor James. The preacher ran a faith-based community center that served at-risk youth. He’d hired Hunter to teach art to those who’d already had their first brush with the law. He figured Hunter could teach life lessons at the same time he introduced them to art as a way to channel their anger at the hand life had dealt them. Learning what happened when a guy got off track would be the lesson.

Even though Hunter hadn’t gotten off the track. He’d been shoved off it. By an eager-beaver, newbie detective; a green-as-a-Granny-Smith-apple public defender; and an assembly-line justice system.

He would get by in this world that had hung him out to dry. Especially knowing Mom had his back. She had that don’t-mess-with-me teacher look in her burnt-amber eyes. Like her sixth graders, Hunter knew better than to argue. It felt good to know she remained in his corner. When everyone else had hit the ground, scattering in opposite directions, she never budged in her belief that son number two could not be a murderer. She’d brought him up better than that.

“You’re right. Give me a few minutes.”

She patted his chest and stretched on her tiptoes to plant a kiss on his cheek. Her lips were chapped, and the wrinkles had deepened around her mouth and eyes. Her long hair had gone pure white during his years away. “Take your time, sweetheart.”

Hunter gritted his teeth. After years of looking over his shoulder, bobbing and weaving around hard-core convicts who’d as soon shank a guy in the shower as look at him, he didn’t know how to cope with nice. With sweet. With love tempered with wisdom and a hard life.

“One day at a time.” That’s what the prison chaplain had told him. “Get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day.” That’s how he did eight years at Dominguez. This couldn’t be any harder. He opened the truck’s door and slid into the driver’s seat. The faint odor of pine air freshener greeted him. And citrus.

More likely that was his imagination. Delaney’s perfume simply could not linger that long. Move on. She has. She did. To her credit Delaney held on as long as she could— until the guilty verdict. Then she was forced to move on. She couldn’t be blamed for that.

Hunter picked up the sketch pad on the passenger seat. In those days he kept one everywhere. Just in case. The first page. The second. The third. All drawings of Delaney. Sweet Laney eating a slice of watermelon at a Fourth of July celebration. Laney rocking Hunter’s newborn nephew in a hickory rocker on the front porch. Laney in a bathing suit sitting on the dock at Medina Lake. Laney with her soulful eyes, long sandy-brown hair, and air of sad vulnerability worn like a pair of old jeans that fit perfectly. That too-big nose, wide mouth, and pointed chin. Corey might have been the angelic beauty— totally unfair— but Delaney’s face had character. She had a face Hunter never ceased to want to draw and paint.

And kiss.

He turned the pages slowly, allowing the memories to have their way with him. Meeting at a party Corey had thrown when Delaney was a senior in high school. Their first date, ribs and smoked chicken with heart-stopping creamed corn, potato salad, coleslaw, and jalapeños at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q followed by dancing at Leon Springs Dance Hall.

She had danced with the abandon of a small child. As if she didn’t care who watched. Her face glowed with perspiration. Her green eyes sparkled with happiness. His two left feet couldn’t keep up, but she didn’t mind. She twirled her peasant skirt as she flew around him, her hands in the air, her curves beckoning.

Hunter closed his eyes. Her softness enveloped him. Her sweetness surrounded him.

He needed to see her again. He needed to talk to her. Somehow he had to prove to her that she was wrong about him. Whatever it took. He laid the sketchbook aside. “Come on, dude, let’s take a ride.”

He stuck the key in the ignition and turned it.

Nothing. Not even a tick-tick-tick. He tried a second time. Nada. “I’m an idiot.” He patted the steering wheel. “Not your fault, man.”

The truck hadn’t been driven in years. The battery was dead. He might be able to jump it, but more likely he’d need a new one. Batteries cost money.

One thing at a time. He’d waited this long.

Hunter slid from the truck and eased the door closed. “I’ll be back when I get my act together.”

In the kitchen Hunter found his mom peeling potatoes. She pointed the peeler at him. “You can’t imagine how good it feels to have you home.”

“You can’t imagine how good it feels to be here.” He landed a kiss on her soft hair. She smelled of Pond’s cold cream. The same old comforting scent. Life had changed but not her. “I’m gonna take a walk. I need to blow the prison stink off.”

“Enjoy. They redid the walking trail at the lake and installed new outdoor fitness equipment.” She waved the paring knife in the air. “But don’t stay too long. You have company coming.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He pantomimed a mock salute and headed for the front door.

One thing at a time. One step at a time. That’s how he’d get his life back.

***

Excerpt from Trust Me by Kelly Irvin. Copyright 2022 by Kelly Irvin. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is a bestselling, award-winning author of over twenty novels and stories. A retired public relations professional, Kelly lives with her husband, Tim, in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.

Visit her online at:
www.KellyIrvin.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @KellyIrvin
Instagram - @kelly_irvin
Twitter - @Kelly_S_Irvin
Facebook - @Kelly.Irvin.Author


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Friday, February 25, 2022

The Duchess Countess by Catherine Ostler


PHOTO SOURCE:
TYPORAMA

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THE DUCHESS COUNTESS
CATHERINE OSTLER
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ALL INFORMATION IN THIS POST IS COURTESY OF LIZA BUELL OF SIMON AND SCHUSTER.

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April 1776—the world watched as the American Revolution reached a boiling point. But in London, all eyes watched the courtroom, not the colonies, as the trial of one of the most scandalous women in royal history began.

Elizabeth Chudleigh, popularly known as the Duchess-Countess, was a glamorous, cunning woman whose wealth and power came wrapped up in impropriety.
 
As maid of honor to Augusta, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth led her life in the inner circle of the Hanoverian court and her exploits delighted and scandalized the press and the people. She made headlines, illustrations and gossip columns. Writers were intrigued by her—Thackeray drew on Elizabeth as inspiration for his calculating, alluring Becky Sharp.
 
But her behavior, often depicted as attention-seeking and manipulative, hid a more complex tale as Elizabeth fought to overcome personal tragedy and loss.
 
After denying a secret marriage to one man then marrying another, Chudleigh was put on trial for bigamy in front of an audience of royals, elites, and politicians.
 
The story of the Duchess-Countess, surprisingly untold considering her infamy at the time, now serves as a window into gender and power in the Georgian Era.

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PRAISE FOR THE DUCHESS COUNTESS:


Terrifically entertaining: if you liked Bridgerton, you’ll love this.” – The Week “Book of the Week” (UK)

“A rollicking read. [Ostler] tells Elizabeth’s story with admirable style and gusto, and clearly finds her heroine irresistible” – The Sunday Times (UK)

“This is a scintillating story superbly told … [Ostler] has a remarkable ability to demonstrate her deep knowledge of the period without being boring or a show-off. She packs every paragraph with eye-opening detail, making you feel as though you’re living in the 18th century, but never veers from the central story of a woman trying to hold herself together in that vicious society while the men did as they pleased.”
– THE TIMES (UK)

“In this sparkling galivant through the 18th century … Ostler has her finger firmly on the pulse of the Georgian aristocracy and has bracingly revived its extravagance and absurdity. …. The book also does an excellent job of shining a light on issues with thought-provoking modern relevance, highlighting the troubling power of the press and the glaring double standards that ground women to a halt while barely slowing down their brothers.”
– BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE (UK)

“The book’s spritely, wry tone is a pleasure to read throughout. In the early chapters, it felt cinematic almost to a fault: a quantity of costume and other visual detail that would make a historical adviser redundant on any screen adaptation. By the end, however, I was fantasy-casting the surely inevitable adaptation and in awe of Catherine Ostler’s thoughtful portraiture, both of Elizabeth Chudleigh and her century.”– TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT (UK)

************

ABOUT THE DUCHESS COUNTESS:


The Woman Who Scandalized Eighteenth Century London is the riveting biography of Elizabeth Chudleigh, providing a deeper understanding of her tumultuous life within the context of her era. 

 

Ostler vividly chronicles Chudleigh’s upbringing, through her marriages and beyond her trial.

The story reveals a startling framework for much of our present culture: the narrow line women tread between power and scandal, the double standards of sexuality, and the glare of the public spotlight.

Catherine Ostler takes a fresh look at Elizabeth’s story and seeks to understand the complexities of the notorious courtier—a woman who was by turns, brave, loving and generous but also reckless, greedy and insecure, and who put her own survival first at all costs.

 

Perfect for fans of The Duchess and Women of Means, this long overdue and evocative biography reappraises Elizabeth’s remarkable story, and out of the past comes an incredibly modern woman who defied society’s expectations of her.

 ************
Some details of Elizabeth Chudleigh’s life that Ostler can discuss in an interview include:


--The details of Chudleigh’s two weddings, which ultimately led to her trial.


--How Chudleigh accumulated her wealth and power using any means necessary.


--The sexist double standards of the Georgian Era that bring context to the trial and Chudleigh’s own actions.


--Why her trial was so newsworthy, to the point of drawing more attention than the American Revolution, which was happening simultaneously.

 
--Characters in classic literature who were inspired by Elizabeth Chudleigh.


--How her story is representative of gender and power structures of the time, and how many of the inequalities and double standards she faced persist today.

************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PHOTO CREDIT:  JP MASCLET

Catherine Ostler is a Contributing Editor at the Daily Mail, having been Editor-in-Chief at the Tatler and ES magazine, as well as Editor of The Times Weekend.

She has also written for a wide range of other publications, including the Financial Times, Vogue and Newsweek.

She read English at Oxford University, specializing in eighteenth-century literature.

THE DUCHESS COUNTESS published in the UK in March 2021 to critical acclaim. Ostler resides in London, England.

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Spotlight of How To Find Your Way Home by Katy Regan


PHOTO SOURCE:
TYPORAMA

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HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME
KATY REGAN
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ALL INFORMATION IN THIS POST IS COURTESY OF CHELSEA PASCOE | PUBLICIST | BERKLEY | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE.

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From the author of Little Big Love

 

A heartwarming novel about the unshakable bond between siblings, and what happens when a sister discovers her long-missing brother in the most unexpected place.

************

Regan’s story is the kind of smart, warm, and life-affirming fiction we all need right now.

 

Through a touching, uplifting narrative, Regan explores topics of homelessness and its causes, the long-term effects of childhood experiences, and the responsibility we all have for one another. Katy is a single mother who has dealt with housing insecurity in her own life and brings empathy and insight to the topic.

  ************

ELEVATOR PITCH
 
From the author of Little Big Love comes a life-affirming novel about what happens when a sister discovers that the brother she hasn’t seen in more than a decade is homeless, and in reconnecting with him learns the true meaning of belonging. Her last novel was featured in “most anticipated” roundups from Today.com, First for Women, Popsugar, Real Simple, and PureWow amongst others, and this next novel is highly anticipated.

************ 


PRAISE FOR HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME:


In How to Find Your Way Home, she astutely--and with great empathy for her characters and their predicaments--plumbs the depths of one family torn apart by a simple moment in time that upends lives and fates.”Shelf Awareness 

 

“Regan’s moving… latest (after Little Big Love) turns on a family’s hardships and the unconditional love between siblings.”Publishers Weekly

 

“Regan tugs at the heartstrings again in her latest (after Little Big Love, 2018), about a sibling bond and how, sometimes, you can go home again...How to Find Your Way Home is a well-crafted, compelling family drama that explores the meaning of home with care and grace. A must-have for contemporary shelves.”—Booklist

“Regan is a meticulous, graceful writer whose insight on the human condition makes for a completely absorbing story. As in her other novels  (Little Big Love), she presents a full, well-balanced picture—tragic, yet buoyed by hope—of the far-reaching influences of family dysfunction.”—Shelf Awareness
 

“Beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming.”—Rosie Walsh

“A truly touching story about love, hope, belonging and memory, with authentic and lovable characters who you're rooting for from the first moments.”—Araminta Hall

“A gorgeous book. Regan’s characters really do walk off the page and into your heart. I loved it.”—Eve Chase

************

ABOUT HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME:


A warm, life-affirming novel about what happens when a sister discovers that the brother she hasn’t seen in more than a decade is homeless, and in reconnecting with him, learns the true meaning of belonging.

Regan once again spotlights her ability to write beautifully perceptive, bighearted stories about life’s big questions and the redemptive power of love. In her debut novel Little Big Love, Regan explored family secrets and the power they have to define us. Now, with empathy and insight shaped by her own personal experiences volunteering at hostels and soup kitchens, Regan is back to challenge common misconceptions about the homeless through a powerful narrative between siblings.

Emily has been looking for the same face in every crowd for more than a decade: her brother’s. She’ll do anything to find him, she just never expects that one day he will walk through the door of the London housing office where she works, homeless and in need of help.
 
Emily’s overjoyed to see Stephen—her older brother, her hero, the one who taught her to look for the flash of a bird’s wings and instilled in her a love and respect for nature’s wonders—and invites him to live with her. But the baggage of the day that tore them apart, more than fifteen years before, is heavy.

As they attempt to rebuild their relationship, they embark on the birding adventure they’d always promised to take when they were just children running wild in the wetlands of Canvey Island. And so, amid the soft, familiar calls of the marsh birds, they must finally confront what happened that June day—and in all the days since—if they are to finally find their way home.

************

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME is exactly the kind of compassionate and uplifting story we need right now. 

 

Readers will be instantly hooked as Stephen and Emily begin unraveling decades of family secrets. 

 

This family drama with a mystery at its center is the perfect fit for fans of The Authenticity Project, Dear Edward, Kristan Higgins, and Frederick Backman.

************ 

Emily has been looking for the same face in every crowd for more than a decade: her brother’s. She’ll do anything to find him, she just never expects that one day he will walk through the door of the London housing office where she works, homeless and in need of help. Emily’s overjoyed to see Stephen—her older brother, her hero, the one who taught her to look for the flash of a bird’s wings and instilled in her a love and respect for nature’s wonders—and invites him to live with her.

 
But the baggage of the day that tore them apart, more than fifteen years before, is heavy. As they attempt to rebuild their relationship, they embark on the birding adventure they’d always promised to take when they were just children running wild in the wetlands of Canvey Island. And so, amid the soft, familiar calls of the marsh birds, they must finally confront what happened that June day—and in all the days since—if they are to finally find their way home.
 ************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katy Regan was brought up in a seaside town in northern England. She studied at the University of Leeds before moving to London, where she worked as a journalist and as a commissioning editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy has written four books published in the U.K. Little Big Love was her U.S. debut.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt


PHOTO SOURCE:
TYPORAMA

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COME AS YOU ARE
JENNIFER HAUPT
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ALL INFORMATION IN THIS POST IS COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR.

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The question is: Can they face the truth of who they are, and become the parents their daughter needs them to be?

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Watch the trailer here.
 

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PRAISE FOR COME AS YOU ARE:

“Unforgettable characters who struggle with the dreams they ache to come true and the courage it takes to let them go.” –– Caroline Leavitt, With or Without You

“Heartfelt and insightful… a delight to read. –– Jean Kwok, Searching for Sylvie Lee

“An absorbing novel of adolescent mistakes and grown-up decisions.” — Erica Bauermeister, The Scent Keeper

A “must read for 2022” — Katie Couric Media

“Readers…will be drawn in.” — Booklist

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ABOUT COME AS YOU ARE:


Come as You Are (Central Avenue Publishing, March 2022) is a family drama/love story with a dash of mystery, set in-part against the backdrop of Seattle's grunge music scene in the early '90s.

 

This novel explores the question: Can we alter our stories from the past to create a better future for our children?

 

Zane and Skye are misfit teens drawn together by their love of music and loneliness, growing up in grunge-era Seattle.
 
They dream of moving to L.A. together: Zane’s music career following the trajectory of Kurt Cobain and Skye drawing Picasso-esque portraits on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
 
When a tragedy violently catapults these best friends to lovers, their bond is forever strengthened and their relationship destroyed. 
 
Six years after they part ways, they must come together again, trying to put aside abandoned dreams and broken promises to become the parents their daughter needs them to be.

************


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer Haupt is the author of the novels In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills and Come As You Are

She's also the editor of Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19, awarded the 2021 Washington State Book Award for General Nonfiction. 

Her work has been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, The Rumpus, and other publications, and she curates the popular Psychology Today blog "One True Thing," a collection of essays and interviews for authors and readers.

************

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti by Jennifer Probst

Italy….the food…the people…the gorgeous landscapes.  What a find.

What did these three estranged sisters find?

They found love letters in their mother’s things and a deed to a house in Positano, Italy.

They had to find out what it all meant, and they made a trip to Italy. They found the house in perfect shape because their mother had hired a local man for the job.

THE SECRET LOVE LETTERS OF OLIVIA MORETTI goes back-and-forth telling us what Olivia’s time in Italy was about and what her daughters learned on their visit to Italy.

Will they solve the mystery about their mother’s letters?

Will they discover what they need to know about their mother’s life and about themselves?

Such an enjoyable book with a setting you won’t want to leave.
 
The descriptions and the characters will stay with you.

Women's fiction fans and fans of Italy will love this book. 5/5

ENJOY!!  5/5

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


Monday, February 21, 2022

The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham

My real mother was a member of the French Resistance and owned a bookstore?

Why didn't you ever tell me, father?

Jeanne finds out the day of her "mother's" funeral that she wasn't her real mother.

THE PARIS NETWORK goes back and forth in time as we learn of the lives of the characters both then and now.  Jeanne present day and Laurence in the past.

You will feel Laurence’s tension as the Nazis take control of the small town and feel Jeanne’s disappointment of the news about her mother as well as the excitement of the news about the bookstore and that her mother was French and was born in France.

Very well researched with marvelous characters, “book prescriptions,” WWII, secrets kept, a mystery to solve, and a bookstore. Who could ask for more?

Absolutely a must read for historical fiction fans and those readers who love dual timelines and wondering what the characters' stories really are.

You won't want it to end because of the wonderful writing, the terrific story line, and the characters. 5/5

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


 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Spotlight and Giveaway of Fool Her Once by Joanna Elm

Fool Her Once by Joanna Elm Banner

Fool Her Once

by Joanna Elm

February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Fool Her Once by Joanna Elm

Some killers are born. Others are made.

As a rookie tabloid reporter, Jenna Sinclair made a tragic mistake when she outed Denny Dennison, the illegitimate son of an executed serial killer. So she hid behind her marriage and motherhood. Now, decades later, betrayed by her husband and resented by her teenage daughter, Jenna decides to resurrect her career—and returns to the city she loves.

When her former lover is brutally assaulted outside Jenna’s NYC apartment building, Jenna suspects that Denny has inherited his father’s psychopath gene and is out for revenge. She knows she must track him down before he can harm his next target, her daughter.

Meanwhile, her estranged husband, Zack, fears that her investigative reporting skills will unearth his own devastating secret he’d kept buried in the past.

From New York City to the remote North Fork of Long Island and the murky waters surrounding it, Jenna rushes to uncover the terrible truth about a psychopath and realizes her own investigation may save or destroy her family.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller (Domestic)
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: March 1st 2022
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0744304938 (ISBN13: 9780744304930)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | BookShop.org | CamCat Books

Read an excerpt:

Chapter Four

Week One: Friday Morning

The buzzing of the intercom startled Jenna as she waited for the Bialetti to stop gurgling. Her head felt heavy, but her Fitbit told her she’d gotten almost six hours’ sleep since Ryan had left the apartment. She moved the moka pot off the flames and walked into the hallway to the intercom.

It was Oscar, the day doorman. “Miss Sinclair, police here to see you. Coming up now.”

She sat down abruptly on the narrow hallway bench. Dollie. Something had happened to Dollie. She felt ice cold as she opened the door to wait for the elevator to discharge the cops, who turned out to be plainclothes detectives. She tried to recall what someone—probably Lola, her best friend who knew all about law enforcement—had once told her about cops always going in threes, not twos, to inform next of kin when there was a fatality. Was that still true? Maybe they’d downsized because of budget cuts. Or maybe the “three” rule did not apply in New York City.

Her heart was pounding, thudding against her chest, the blood roaring in her ears, as she beckoned them into the apartment. She barely heard as the taller, younger one said: “Miss Sinclair, we’re sorry to disturb you, but we’re wondering if you could answer some questions about yesterday evening? We’re looking into an incident involving Mr. Ryan McAllister.”

It took her more than a moment to refocus, and for the pounding of her heart to slow a little. They weren’t here about Dollie.

“Incident?” She repeated the word, frowning.

They looked at each other. The taller, younger one was black with a shaved head and soft brown eyes. He introduced himself as Detective Jim Martins. His partner was older and shorter, with thinning hair. His face was slicked with perspiration, as if he’d walked up the three flights to her apartment rather than taking the elevator. Jenna immediately forgot his name.

Martins took a notebook out of his hip pocket but didn’t look at it when he replied: “Mr. McAllister was found in the street, early this morning.”

“What do you mean ‘found’?” Her voice rose shrilly. “Is he dead?”

“No.”

“Where was he found?” Jenna’s heart was pounding again even as the memory from just a few hours ago flashed through her mind.

They had strolled back from Neary’s; had stopped on the corner of her street while Ryan fished around for a loose bill to hand over to the homeless guy who hung out there.

She’d linked her arm through his as they walked into her building and to the elevator. They’d barely crossed the threshold into her apartment when Ryan had nudged her back against the door and brought his mouth to her lips, working down to the hollow of her throat, his fingers tugging at the straps of her cami. All thoughts of waiting, doing the right thing had evaporated in a millisecond. Instead, she had responded, clinging to him, thrilling to the thought that he wanted her.

They had moved as one into the living room, onto the couch, then down onto the hand-knotted wool Jaipur rug, Ryan pushing down her jeans and panties and flinging them over the couch.

“No. Wait.” Jenna had sat up abruptly. “I can’t.”

--

The detective’s reply jolted her back into the conversation. “Just a couple of hundred yards down the street from this building. You had dinner with him last night.”

Jenna focused on Martins. He didn’t sound as if he was asking. “Did Ryan tell you that?” She paused and repeated her first question. “What do you mean ‘found’?” Jenna wished she could take a long gulp of espresso to get her brain working again.

“Let us ask the questions, Miss Sinclair, okay? We’re just trying to figure out what happened.”

Jenna didn’t like the abrupt change in tone, and suddenly the detective’s eyes didn’t look so soft either. Did he think she’d done something wrong? She realized she sounded a little defensive. That was stupid.

There was nothing to hide.

“Yes, we had dinner,” she said.

The other detective nodded, and she followed his gaze across the floor into the living area to where her white jeans lay crumpled under the chair. “We’re just trying to establish a timeline,” he said. “We’d appreciate it if you could help us out. Give us some idea of what time he left here?”

“I don’t remember when he left.”

“He couldn’t help us with the timing either.”

Not hard to believe. The events of the night were wrapped in a mist floating around her head, but she remembered Ryan guiding her to the bed, sliding in beside her and holding her. “We don’t have to rush,” he’d said. “We don’t have to do anything tonight. It’s okay. We have all the time in the world.”

“We don’t know how long he was lying in the street,” Martins mentioned casually. “He couldn’t tell the paramedics what happened.”

“Oh my God.” The words came out as a whisper. The image of Ryan swaying drunkenly flashed before her eyes. “What happened? Did he fall? Did he pass out?”

“We don’t know exactly.”

“Is he injured?”

“We don’t know the full extent of his injuries. They’re checking him out now. He’s at Lenox Hill Hospital.”

Jenna had the feeling they weren’t telling her everything. Why would detectives be investigating someone falling down drunk in the street?

Had he been hit by a car?

“Miss Sinclair? Can you give us an approximate time when you last saw him?”

She nodded quickly. “Sure, I’ll try.” She knew they could get a time from Nando, the night doorman, and she didn’t want to appear uncooperative. “We had dinner at Neary’s, round the corner,” she said. “We came back here for a nightcap. We were discussing some writing projects I’m working on. I just finished one for his magazine.”

“His magazine?”

Jenna nodded. “He’s the publisher of CityMagazine. He bought the exposé I just wrote on restaurants in the Hamptons. We planned on working on some others together . . . I mean there were a couple of projects we discussed. We were talking, we lost track of time.” She knew she was babbling. God only knew why she felt so guilty. She and Ryan had done nothing wrong. “It was probably around three.” She paused. “I’m sorry. Yes, around three, maybe three thirty. That’s when I saw him out.”

“Did you part on friendly terms?”

Jenna stared at Martins. Had they already spoken to Nando? Had he told them he’d seen Jenna following Ryan down the street?

Just before leaving, Ryan had told her Teddi was returning, flying into La Guardia, and he had to go home, shower and change before picking her up. Jenna had been furious as she listened to the elevator carry Ryan down to the lobby.

She’d grabbed a T-shirt and sweatpants and headed for the stairs, arriving in the lobby in time to see Ryan walking out of the building, a little unsteady on his feet. She’d let him get to the corner before calling after him to stop.

“Miss Sinclair, did you have a fight?” Martins persisted.

“God, no!” Jenna’s reply burst from her lips. No, Nando could not have seen her push Ryan. She was surely already out of the doorman’s line of vision when she’d caught up with him.

“Okay.” The detective gave her a curt nod and handed her his business card. “If you remember anything else, please call me.” His partner opened the front door out into the hallway.

“You said he’s at Lenox Hill?“

Martins looked over her shoulder and appeared to be staring at something in her living room. She hoped it was not at her discarded white jeans. “Yes. Lenox Hill.” He nodded. “His wife is probably with him by now.” He paused in the open doorway. “They have Mr. McAllister in the ICU,” he added as he followed his partner to the front door.

The intensive care unit? It had to be serious.

“Did you say ICU?” She aimed the question at their backs, but the door had already closed.

Jenna returned to the kitchen. She was so parched it was making her dizzy. She stood at the faucet, cold water running into the sink as she cupped her hands and swigged from them, not caring that half of it was landing on the kitchen floor.

She poured herself a double espresso, carried the mug into the living room and sank into an armchair, looking around for her cell phone. Her eyes flickered round the room, noticing the mess the way the detectives would have seen it from the hallway. Through the door into the bedroom, she saw the empty glasses, the empty bottle of Jameson’s on the nightstand. Blood rose to her face, she felt hot and cold and then hot again as she caught sight of her scrunched-up, bright white panties hanging off the middle shelf of her bookcase, where Ryan had tossed them.

She took a couple of deep breaths. The cops probably thought they had the whole picture: cheating husband, wife returning from a trip, girlfriend gets jealous, doesn’t want to let him go. They’d questioned her as if they thought she was the one who’d hurt him badly enough to put him into intensive care in the hospital.

She closed her eyes and tried to recall exactly what had happened when she’d finally caught up with Ryan.

***

Excerpt from Fool Her Once by Joanna Elm. Copyright 2021 by Joanna Elm. Reproduced with permission from CamCat Books. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Joanna Elm

Joanna Elm is an author, journalist, blogger and an attorney. Before publication of her first two suspense novels (Scandal, Tor/Forge 1996); (Delusion, Tor/Forge/1997), she was an investigative journalist on the London Evening News on Fleet Street in the U.K. She also wrote for British magazines like Woman’s Own.

Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like A Current Affair. She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award winning documentary Irish Eyes. In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.

After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam and worked as principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department. She has been married to husband Joe for 35 years, and has one son.

Catch Up With Joanna Elm:
www.JoannaElm.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @authorjoannaelm
Instagram - @authorjoannaelm
Twitter - @authorjoannaelm

 

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