They have different ideas about the fate of an old inn…until it brings them together.
When Sarah Lewis inherits a run-down B&B from her late grandmother in coastal Blue Moon Bay, the logical thing to do is sell it and focus on her life in L.A. But when she learns that interested buyers will only tear it down in its current state, she feels a sense of obligation to her grandmother to get it back to the landmark tourist destination it once was…even if that means hiring the best contractor for the job, who happens to be her old high school crush.
Wes Sharrun’s life has continued to unravel since the death of his wife three years before. Now with a struggling construction company and a nine-year-old daughter, he sees the B&B as an opportunity to get back on his feet. Unfortunately, despite trying to keep his distance, his daughter has taken a liking to Sarah, and his own feelings are tough to deny.
As they spend more time together painting, exploring a forgotten treasure trove of wine in a basement cellar, and arguing over balcony placement, the more the spark between them ignites. But will saving the B&B be enough to convince them both to take a second chance at love?
Sarah’s grandmother has recently passed away and left her a run down B&B on the beach of Half Moon Bay. Sarah wants to sell it as is and get back to LA. But Wes, her childhood crush, talks her into fixing it up first. The more time these two spend together, the more sparks fly!
I love a book with great characters and this one is full of them. I love Sarah. She is introverted but adorable. Wes is heartbroken but strong. Then there is Marissa. She is Wes’ 9 year old daughter and she is super smart. She and Sarah connect over computers and code. Yes…you heard me correctly. She is a computer nerd and so is Sarah.
Sarah and Wes take a little while to realize they need each other…isn’t this true for most romances. The author did a fabulous job intertwining their shared love of the B&B and Marissa. When these two finally get together, you can’t help but grin!
Need an all around good romance with a great cheaters and a wonderful setting…THIS IS IT!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
The clock ticks down in a heart-pounding crusade for justice
Susan Lentigo’s daughter was murdered 20 years ago – and now, at long last, this small-town waitress sets out on a road trip all the way from Upstate New York to North Dakota to witness the killer’s execution.
On her journey she discovers shocking new evidence that leads her to suspect the condemned man is innocent – and the real killer is still free. Even worse, her prime suspect has a young daughter who’s at terrible risk. With no money and no time to spare, Susan sets out to uncover the truth before an innocent man gets executed and another little girl is killed.
But the FBI refuses to reopen the case. They – and Susan’s own mother – believe she’s just having an emotional breakdown. Reaching deep, Susan finds an inner strength she never knew she had. With the help of two unlikely allies – a cynical, defiant teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest – Susan battles the FBI to put the real killer behind bars. Will she win justice for the condemned man – and her daughter – at last?
Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Harlan Coben.
Optioned for film – with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer.
Susan’s young daughter was murdered years ago. The man accused of her murder is now about to be put to death. Susan is determined to see it through. However, as she travels to his execution, she comes across some new information. The accused may be innocent. Susan must do everything she can to correct this. An innocent man is about to die and this is not going to happen on her watch.
Susan is a character which tore at my heart. She lost her daughter then she lost her marriage. She has struggled to just go on with her life. But, she cannot let go of her daughter. The key to this case is a necklace. It is just a necklace of cheap beads. But they made it together and her daughter was wearing it the day she died. And the necklace has never been found.
While on her trip to the execution, Susan discovers something about the necklace. And it is not what you expect. You will have to read this to find out!
This definitely would make a great movie. It is intense and alarming in places.
Need a quick, fierce read….oh boy! YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS ONE! Grab your copy today.
Everyone knows Lily Atwood—and that may be her biggest problem. The beloved television reporter has it all—fame, fortune, Emmy awards, an adorable seven-year-old daughter, and the hashtag her loving fans created: #PerfectLily. To keep it—all she has to do is protect one life-changing secret.
Lily has an anonymous source who feeds her story tips about others—but suddenly, the source begins telling Lily inside information about her own life! How does he—or she—know so much?
Lily understands that no one reveals a secret unless they have a reason. Now she’s terrified someone is determined to destroy her world—and with it, everyone and everything she holds dear.
How much must she risk to keep her perfect life?
Lily is an award winning reporter. She has an anonymous source which is feeding her tips about news stories. But, this source does not turn out to be the gravy train Lily thinks it is. It turns on her pretty quickly and threatens her perfect life!
Let me just say, Lily, for all her reporting skills, lacked something…not exactly sure what. She was just not a character that hit her mark. If she is such a hot shot reporter, she sure missed some big clues. I had a hard time connecting with her. But, her producer, Greer. She has a smart mouth and I enjoyed her one liners.
I love how this novel keeps you guessing. I never knew exactly where this story was going to end up! Another great one from this author!
Need a fast paced, twisted thriller…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About The Author:
USA Today bestselling author HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN has won five Agatha Awards in addition to Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. As on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, she’s won 37 Emmys and many more journalism honors, and her work has resulted in new laws, criminals sent to prison, homes saved from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution for victims and consumers. A past president of National Sisters in Crime and founder of MWA University, her novels include Trust Me, The Murder List, the Charlotte McNally series (starting with Prime Time), and the Jane Ryland series (which begins with The Other Woman). Ryan lives in Boston with her husband, a nationally renowned civil rights and criminal defense attorney.
“Tense and twisty…You will read this in one sitting!” ―Julie Clark, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Flight
“There’s a reason Hank Philippi Ryan keeps winning so many awards–she is a master at crafting suspense around fully formed characters with real emotion and depth. A mesmerizing thrill ride!”―Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Dear Wife and Stranger in the Lake
“Her Perfect Life is a stunning, wonderfully tense thriller about deceit, grief, fame and perfection, and the secrets we carry beneath our skin. A magnificent, knockout thriller.” ―Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of Do No Harm
“I loved this book! Reading Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Her Perfect Life made me paranoid–who’s watching me, who’s lying to me, who’s hiding from their prior life? My nerves were shredded by the time I reached the last chapter of this big-hearted page-turner.”―Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She’s Gone
“When you read a Hank Phillippi Ryan thriller you are in the hands of a master! Her Perfect Life offers shocking twists, whip-smart turns, and a deep-dive into the dark side of celebrity. I devoured it.” ―Robyn Harding, bestselling author of The Swap
When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born from a different mother and unknown to each other, discover that they’re now part owners of Maison de Madelaine, the family’s Oregon vineyard—a once famous business struggling to recover from a worldwide economic collapse. After a successful career as a child TV star, a disastrous time as a teen pop star, and now a successful author, Tess is, for the first time in her life, suffering from a serious case of writer’s block and identity crisis. Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, has given up her own career goals to support her husband while having spent the past year struggling to conceive a child to create a more perfect marriage. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she’d never been told about, and her husband has fallen in love with another woman.
Natalie, daughter of Jack’s long-time mistress, has always known about both half-sisters. Still mourning the loss of her mother, the death of her father a year later is a devastating blow. And she can’t help feeling that both her sisters may resent her for being the daughter their father decided to keep. As the sisters reluctantly gather at the family vineyard, they’re enchanted by the legacy they’ve inherited, and by their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the love she found with a wounded American soldier who brought her to Oregon where they started Maison de Madelaine
Three sisters, one father and a world of secrets! Jackson, long time war photographer, passes away. He leaves an inheritance to his three daughters, Charlotte, Natalie and Tess. Tess is the oldest. She has not seen her father in years. And she has no idea that she has two sisters, plus a grandmother. Then there is Charlotte. She has some contact with her father but she is completely in the dark about her sisters and grandmother as well. Natalie is the youngest and she has spent summers at her grandmother’s famous vineyard and she adores her father. So, needless to say, there are some huge family issues!
These three sisters all come from different backgrounds but they are all creative, unique and highly intelligent. They all come with different problems and hang ups. I loved each and every one. I think Tess is my favorite. She is more independent and tough. But all three are excellent. Add in the grandmother and her history and you have a great read!
Need a wonderful family drama…DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. The author of over 100 novels, JoAnn lives with her husband and many rescue pets — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest.
NEVER SAW ME COMING Author: Vera Kurian ISBN: 9780778311553 Publication Date: September 7, 2021 Publisher: Park Row Books
“I’ve never met someone like me, but when I do, eventually, I think it will be like two wolves meeting in the night, sniffing and recognizing a fellow hunter.” Meet Chloe Sevre. Freshman honor student. Average-seeming, legging-wearing, hot girl next door…and diagnosed psychopath with an IQ of 135. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her. Now Chloe and six other students at John Adams College are part of an unusual clinical study that includes smartwatches to track their moods and movements, in exchange for free tuition. The study, led by a renowned psychiatrist, has inadvertently brought together some of the most dangerous minds who feel no guilt or fear. When one of the participants is found murdered, it becomes obvious they’re all in danger. Chloe goes from hunter to prey, and joins forces with
two other psychopaths in the program to discover why they’re being targeted – if they could only trust each other. Wildly entertaining with compelling characters and a vividly conjured campus setting, NEVER SAW ME COMING will keep you up all night, pinned to the page, wondering why you’re rooting for a would-be killer.
Vera Kurian is a psychologist and writer and a longtime resident of Washington DC. She has a doctorate in social psychology, specializing in intergroup relations, political ideology, and quantitative methods. She has studied fiction at Breadloaf, Sewanee, VONA, and attended juried workshops at LitCamp, Colgate, Juniper, and the Marlboro Summer Writing Intensive. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a semifinalist for the Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest.
Social Links: Author Website Twitter: @vera_kurian Instagram: @verakurianauthor Goodreads
One Day 60 As soon as the door to my new dorm room closed, I went to the window, scanning across the quad for him. It wasn’t like there was any possibility he would just happen to be out there among the families lugging moving boxes or the handful of students sprawled in the grass. But there! A head of dirty-blond waves. Will. My mouth opened. Then the person turned and I saw it was only a girl with an unfortunate haircut. Seriously, you’d think she’d put in more of an effort for move-in day. I turned and faced my empty dorm room with its sad linoleum floors, mentally going through my to-do list. 1. Get rid of Mom. Check. She had already left and was probably speeding up the I-95, popping open a bottle of champagne now that she was finally rid of me. 2. Claim the most advantageous space be-fore my roommate, Yessica, arrived. 3. Make six to eight friends before 4. My mandatory check-in appointment at the psychology department. 5. Find Will. We had a double with two bedrooms, one clearly larger than the other. While my normal instinct was to claim the larger one, I immediately saw the problem with that. The larger bed- room had windows that overlooked the quad. What if I wanted to crawl in or out of my window in the middle of the night? People will record anything even remotely interesting on their phones these days, and I could be easily seen from the other dorms and academic halls that lined the quad—too much of an audience for my liking. I took the smaller room. My generosity would score me points with my new roomie, but more importantly, the room had a view of the brick wall of the building next to us and there was a metal fire escape attached directly to the window. Easy access in and out of my room without detection—perfect. I dumped some of my boxes into the room and made the bed, placing my stuffed plushie whale on top to clearly stake my claim. The voices inside the dorm were calling me and I had to establish myself quickly. I gave myself a brief once-over before leaving the room, reap-plying my lip gloss and fixing my hair. The hair had to be just right—a loose, effortless side French braid that actually wasn’t effortless. You have to be the kind of girl who “doesn’t put any effort in” but naturally rolls out of bed looking like a horny but somehow demure starlet. If you meet some standard of objective attractiveness, people think you’re better than you actually are—smarter, more interesting, worthier of existing. Combined with the right personality, this can be powerful. Brewser had one long hallway with rooms shooting off on either side. I peeked into the room next door where two brunettes were wrestling a duvet out of a plastic package. “Hi!” I chirped. “I’m Chloe!” I could be whatever they wanted me to be. A fun girl, a potential best friend, someone to tell secrets to over midnight snacks. This type of socializing was just me playing little roles for a few moments, but when I need to go all in, I can. I can make myself
younger when I want to, opting or looser clothes that hide my body and making my eyes shiny with dumbness—a whole costume of innocence. I can look older with makeup and carefully selected clothes, showing skin when necessary. It’s easy because people tend to see what they want to. I went door to door. Room 202. “Omigod I love your hair,” I said to a bubbly blonde I suspect will end up popular. Room 206. “You’re not brothers, are you?” I said shyly to two boys on the crew team (nice bodies but baby faces—not my taste). They grinned at me, looked at my boobs, and each vied to say something clever. Neither was clever. Room 212 was a pair of awkward girls. I was friendly to them but didn’t linger long because I knew they would never be key players. While I met a few more people, I was simultaneously assessing who seemed like they were going to be part of Greek life. Will was in a frat—SAE—and one of my first orders of business was to get in with that frat. The crew boys were already in the hallway loudly talking about going out to a club that night. That was good—an outing, and the crew boys seemed like they would be the type to pledge a frat. “I love dancing,” I said to what’s-his-name, the taller of the two, fingering the end of my braid. “It’s the best way to get to know people.” He smiled down at me, his eyes crinkling. If high school taught me any-thing, it’s that social life is a game that revolves around navigating hierarchies. Be someone guys want to fuck or you will be invisible to them. Be someone the girls want firmly tucked into their inner circles, whether as friend or enemy, or die the death of being totally irrelevant. Even from our brief interactions, I could tell no one in this dorm was in my program. I’ve never met someone like me, but when I do eventually, I think it will be like two wolves meet-ing in the night, sniffing and recognizing a fellow hunter. But I doubt they would put two of us in the same dorm—there were only seven and they probably had to spread us out to prevent a war from breaking out. I had to go then, leaving my new friends behind, to check in with the program. The psychology department was diagonally across the quad, visible from the windows of the common area of my room. The quad was lush grass crisscrossed with brick paths, with each brick having the name of an alumnus engraved into it—John Smith, class of ’03. Funny—Will was never going to get a brick, but I was. One of the larger dorms, Tyler Hall, had a massive banner hung on it that said WELCOME FRESHMAN!!! I stopped to take a selfie with the banner in the background: here’s a girl excited for her first day of college, busy doing college things! It’s practically destiny that I ended up at John Adams University. I knew I had to be in DC, which meant applying to Georgetown, American University, George Washington University, John Adams, Catholic University, and Trinity College—all of which are inside the District. As safeties, I also applied to reasonably close places like George Mason and the University of Maryland. I got into all of them except for Georgetown. Seriously, fuck them. My application was golden: I have an IQ of 135—five points short of genius—solid SATs and grades. I paid for most of my wardrobe with a business I set up writing papers for other students. Who knows how many of them got into college with a heartfelt essay about the dead cancer grandmother they didn’t actually have. I had been offered scholarship money at various schools, but nothing like what Adams had offered. Even if I had turned down the psychology study, I still could have gotten generous
scholarships given to students with my pedigree to entice them to a Tier 2 liberal arts school. But I didn’t care—Adams was always my first choice because of Will. Another bonus was the school’s placement in DC: a busy city with a relatively high murder rate. The campus was in the gentrifying neighborhood of Shaw, just east of bougie Logan Circle, and south of U Street, a popular going-out destination. A neighborhood that, despite the presence of nice restaurants, was also a place where drunk people occasionally got into fights and stabbed each other and pedestrians got mugged. Law enforcement was busy with the constant parade of protests, conferences, and visiting diplomats—they probably gave two shits about what was going on in the mind of a random eighteen-year-old girl with an iPhone in her hand and a benign look on her face. I liked the somber castle look of the psychology department. Its dark red bricks were covered with ivy and the windows, edged with black iron, were warbled like they had old glass in them. The inside was dimly lit by a hanging chandelier with flickering amber bulbs, and the cavernous foyer smelled like old books. When I walked through it, I imagined a camera following me, viewers worried about what dangerous things might come my way. I would be the one they would root for. I went up the curving staircase to the sixth floor where I was supposed to check in with my program. Room 615 was tucked at the end of the hallway, secluded. A placard on the door said Leonard Wyman, PhD, and Elena Torres, Doctoral Candidate. I recognized the names from my paperwork. I knocked and a few seconds later a woman flung open the door. “You must be Chloe Sevre!” She stuck out her hand. They probably had a whole dossier on me. I had had a bunch of phone interviews with a couple of screeners, then one with Wyman himself, and they had also interviewed my mother and high school counselor. The woman’s hand was bony, but warm and dry, and her eyes were chocolate brown and unafraid. “I’m Elena, one of Dr. Wyman’s grad students.” She smiled and gestured for me to come inside. She led me past a messy reception area, a desk cluttered with papers and three laptops, and down a hallway to a smaller office, hers presumably. She closed the door behind us. “We’ll get you all settled. Everything was fine with the financial aid office before you got here?” As one of the seven students in the study, I was granted a free ride to John Adams University. All I had to give in ex-change was my willingness to be a full-time guinea pig in their Multimethod Psychopathy Panel Study. I nodded, looking around. Her shelves were crammed with books and stacks of printed- out articles. Three different versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Tomes on “abnormal” psychology. Robert Hare’s book Without Conscience, which I had read. “Great,” Elena said. She pulled something up on her computer. She took a bite of the scone resting on her mousepad and chewed loudly. She was pretty in a grad student sort of way. Olive skin and a nice collarbone. You could picture her falling in love with some reedy nerd and trying to have children too late. “Here you are!” She clicked a few times and her printer came to life. When she stood up to retrieve the paper, I leaned over, trying to see her computer screen, but she had a privacy shield. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be a secret or some- thing, but I had found out how many students were in the pro-gram when one of the
From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a feel-good story about becoming who you were meant to be all along.
Phronsie Linnelle was conceived at Woodstock in a serendipitous liaison between a free-spirited hippie and a farmer’s son and was born with magical wonder flickering in her DNA and rationality knit into her bones. All her life she’s been torn between the two. But now that she’s been betrayed by both love and the mother she once idolized, her rational side is winning.
So when her best friend from childhood proposes that they give up on romance and marry each other, Phronsie agrees. Who better to spend your life with than your best friend? Maybe the connection they already have is love. Maybe there’s no falling to be done. But immediately after they announce their engagement, she encounters someone who makes a very charming and compelling argument for revisiting romance.
While her even-keeled stepmother argues for the safety that comes with her new engagement and her mother relays messages from the universe to hold out for true love, Phronsie must look to her own heart to find the answers that have been there all along.
Phronsie has always had trouble in the “love” department. You would think being conceived at Woodstock would increase her luck in that area of life. But, sadly no! So, she and her best friend decide to just marry each other. Forget all this love nonsense and just get married.
This book just started out ok, then it turned completely fantastic. I fell hook, line and sinker for everything and everyone in this story. My favorite scene was just a normal conversation in a bar. This author is fabulous if she can make a conversation in a bar memorable…and boy did she!
Phronsie is a character I loved from start to finish. Throughout her young life, she is torn between her real mom and her step mom. It isn’t until later in life that she figures it out…another jewel from this author. You will have to read this to find out.
This is a story that encompasses all types of love…family, friends and lovers. I was pulled in so many directions while reading this novel. Kudos to the author for knowing exactly which buttons to push!
Need a good novel which will leave you thinking about it for weeks later…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About The Author:
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today Maddie lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of seven previous novels: A Happy Catastrophe, Matchmaking for Beginners, The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal. For more information visit www.maddiedawson.com.
“The Magic of Found Objects is wonderful fun! Maddie Dawson is such an engaging and charming writer.” —Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“With humor, tenderness, and some of the strongest female characters to ever grace a page, Maddie Dawson delivers with The Magic of Found Objects.” —Karen Hawkins, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Book Charmer
“Written with loads of humor and heart, The Magic of Found Objects is a delightful, feel-good tale of friendship and marriage, motherhood and sacrifice, disillusionment and hope. Dawson takes the reader on a quest for the perfect life partner. Is it the kind, comfortable friend right in front of you, or does the universe have something more exciting in store? Maddie Dawson at her finest!” —Amy Poeppel, author of Musical Chairs
“The Magic of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson is a lovingly crafted and heartwarming story of friendship, family, and being true to oneself. The charming and quirky characters burrow into your heart and make you laugh, cry, and cheer. A thoughtful and joyful read, perfect for book clubs. Dawson wrote another winner!” —Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Last Bathing Beauty
“Dawson delivers her signature charm in The Magic of Found Objects. As Phronsie makes the decision of a lifetime, her free-spirited mother and practical, loving stepmother shape her ideas of life and love. Readers will long to slip inside the pages with these lovable characters written with flawless depth and a touch of sparkle. Dawson delivers a heartfelt read that stays with you long after the last page.” —Rochelle Weinstein, USA Today bestselling author
“Thirtysomething public relations professional Phronsie Linnelle is ready for a family—so she just might marry her platonic, lifelong best friend. A witty and wonderful romp through the mind of an entertaining woman who wants it all and has the guts to go out and get it. Bestselling author Maddie Dawson at her absolute best. You will love this hilarious, heartwarming book.” —Marilyn Simon Rothstein, author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects
“Maddie Dawson has a unique talent for telling a story that goes deep yet maintains a certain lightness throughout, at once giving readers an authentic human experience while making them still feel good about being human. The Magic of Found Objects is a warm, engaging novel that utterly charmed me. Don’t miss it.” —Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, author of This Secret Thing
“Maddie Dawson has hit another one out of the park with this charming tale about what happens when your head tells you to settle but your heart keeps whispering something else. Funny, poignant, and beautifully clear-eyed, The Magic of Found Objects is a delightfully grownup coming of age story, peopled with quirky, real-life characters who remind us that sometimes before we can open the door to the future, we must first open our hearts to the past.” —Barbara Davis, bestselling author of The Last of the Moon Girls
If you stand still for long enough, the past catches up with you…
Leaving behind the fragments of her old life, Marcia Reed-Wilton crosses the world to return to her dilapidated childhood home and dig up the weeds of the past.
Next door, Mrs Everglade struggles to maintain her independence in spite of her increasing frailty.
Sixteen-year-old Lea escapes into her poetry to cope with depression until meeting Alex, a much more potent distraction.
Meanwhile, Iris leaves her career on a whim to embark on an adventure of an entirely different kind, moving to a sleepy seaside town to write a book.
On the other side of the world in opposite seasons, Zane, vocalist for a popular band is haunted by cryptic dreams that lead him home.
A few twists of fate and a buried secret leave these individuals deeply and unexpectedly connected.
The Seekers’ Garden is a lush and captivating exploration of loss, growth and spirituality, revealing the way connections form in unlikely places.
About the Author
Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer with a PhD in social science. She writes novels for adults and for young people. Her novel Fishing for Māui was named one of the best books of 2018 in The Listener Magazine and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers awards2019. She has also written articles for The Spinoff, Pantograph Punch and Organic NZ. Isa lives in Wellington.
If you stand still for long enough, the past catches up with you. The phrase came back to Marcia Reed-Wilton as inevitable as the sun rising. She took one final look around her home. Her eyes came to rest on the wall clock, its antiqued second hand obscuring the view of the first as it struck VII. She listened to its grandfather in the hall chime seven times as she assessed the things that were left in the room, relics from the past twenty years of her life: her mahogany furniture and beautiful hand-sculpted pottery in bright turquoise, olive, tamarillo, butternut, all of these familiar, comforting things.
William’s possessions were still scattered deceptively here and there: car magazines on the coffee table, overcoat hung next to the door. She was afraid to touch them. Anyone looking at the scene would assume it was a home in which a man and a woman lived. How wrong they’d be; he hadn’t lived here for months, and she hadn’t felt alive since his death.
She said goodbye to the Impressionist paintings she loved and that he had gently mocked although he had surreptitiously relegated his grandmother’s flowery watercolours to the guest room and hung her bolder tastes on the proudest walls in the main living spaces. She focused her attention down at the suitcase at her feet, packed with bare essentials, tools and trinkets small enough to carry halfway around the world. Something stirred in the back of her mind.
Marcia had dyed her long, dark hair with bright red henna, leaving the grey streaks a striking garnet. She brushed it away from her tear-stained face, walked towards the cherry-wood hallway table, pulled open the lowest drawer, and extracted a small wooden box. She opened the lid, revealing beautifully painted cards. She cut the deck and stared for a moment at the picture: a young, vibrant being playing a pipe and walking merrily off a cliff over a ravine, a dog following happily behind. The card was numbered 0, the Fool.
An obviousness dawned on her, painted lavishly over the calm façade she had been wearing these past months. At some point, fear becomes irrelevant. You have no choice but to trust the universe and take the leap: surrender. It was something she had been telling herself for years, but at that moment, it was real. She looked back down at the printed card in her hand. This is the first step in a journey. She spilt the cards out on the floor and selected the twenty-two major arcana. Then she quickly put them in order, back in the box, and into her bag as she heard the horn of her taxi sound outside. She hurried out into the thick London summer night, all sentimentality forgotten.
Marcia clutched her boarding pass tightly as she walked through the terminal. She distracted herself by gazing at the horizon out of the wall-to-wall airport windows where she was confronted by a ghost. Every time she recognised his jacket, his cologne, his hair cut, she was faced with the impossible reality of William’s presence. For the first few months, she had seen him everywhere, as if her mind was reaching out for the familiar, trying to fill the space that he used to occupy, which was now a bottomless pit, a black hole that destroyed and consumed everything around it until she felt it was all she was. The figure stood at the airport window, silhouetted in a posture that was as familiar to her as breathing. Something irrational stirred in the back of her consciousness, hope that was buttery and light, but as he moved, the glitch in her mind vanished, and she was empty again. How long will it take…? She wondered, before all the pieces of me realise he’s gone forever?
She felt her nervousness building as she boarded the plane, flanked by blank-faced flight attendants. As she took her seat, the anxiety was unbearable. What about her herbs? What about the mail? She comforted herself in the knowledge that she had good friends who she could call upon, understanding friends who knew the importance of her leaving even if they could not understand her motive. They thought she was running away from her grief, and indeed, this did feel a bit like running away, but where she was going, she had no friends or comfort, nothing. She was not escaping the past but following her intuition, and, holding tightly to the last shred of sanity she had left, she was going to face her past head-on.
The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at the Carville Lepers Home in this page-turning story of courage, resilience, and reinvention set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles. Based on little-known history, this timely book will strike a chord with readers of Fiona Davis, Tracey Lange, and Marie Benedict.
Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century.
For Mirielle West, a 1920’s socialite married to a silent film star, the isolation and powerlessness of the Louisiana Leper Home is an unimaginable fall from her intoxicatingly chic life of bootlegged champagne and the star-studded parties of Hollywood’s Golden Age. When a doctor notices a pale patch of skin on her hand, she’s immediately branded a leper and carted hundreds of miles from home to Carville, taking a new name to spare her family and famous husband the shame that accompanies the disease.
At first she hopes her exile will be brief, but those sent to Carville are more prisoners than patients and their disease has no cure. Instead she must find community and purpose within its walls, struggling to redefine her self-worth while fighting an unchosen fate.
As a registered nurse, Amanda Skenandore’s medical background adds layers of detail and authenticity to the experiences of patients and medical professionals at Carville – the isolation, stigma, experimental treatments, and disparate community. A tale of repulsion, resilience, and the Roaring ‘20s, The Second Life of Mirielle West is also the story of a health crisis in America’s past, made all the more poignant by the author’s experiences during another, all-too-recent crisis.
Mirielle has burned her hand. She calls the doctor in for a house call. She is immediately sent to the hospital. Then, within 24 hours, she is placed on a train and shipped from California to Louisiana. Her life, as she knows it, is over.
Mirielle leaves behind a husband in the movie business plus two young daughters. She is only allowed to write to her family. There is no phone service. She feels like she is in prison not a hospital.
This story tore my heart out in places. The patients, including the children, the horror of the illness and the lack of family interaction, really bring about all your emotions. The rigors of the treatments and the threat of this disease, create a different kind of life for all involved.
I love, love, love a book in which I learn something or a book that is unique and I have not read much about the subject. This one covers both of those things. Being in the medical field, I enjoyed learning about all the strange treatments for leprosy. Also, how the infected patients were actually treated. Add in all the wonderful characters and location and you have a fantastic read!
Nicole Poole is excellent as the narrator of this audiobook. She is now on my list as one to watch for!
Need a book that will keep you captivated from start to finish…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this audiobook from the publisher for a honest review.
Utterly gripping with richly drawn, hugely compelling characters, this is a first-class thriller with heart.” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author
“Insane suspense.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author
“Her best thriller yet.” —Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another riveting work of psychological suspense about a beautiful young couple’s disappearance on a gorgeous summer night, and the mother who will never give up trying to find them…
On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.
One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”
Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?
With her signature “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Timesbestselling author) prose, Lisa Jewell has crafted a dazzling work of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.
Tallulah is a teenage mother trying to do everything. She is a mother, a student, a girlfriend and a daughter. However, her boyfriend Zach is a little possessive. So when Tallulah has an opportunity to slip off and be with one of her friends at her home, The Dark Place, she does, every chance she gets.
When she and Zach both disappear on the same evening and never return for their young child, Kim, Tallulah’s mother is distraught. Kim turns the whole town upside down looking for this young couple. But, no such luck! However, things change when a mystery writer, Sophie, moves into the neighborhood.
Well! Lisa Jewell has done it again. The strange house called the Dark Place…that is all it took to reel me in! Add in secret passages and the weird history and I was hooked. But! That is not all that makes this thriller amazing…these characters…wow! I swear, I wanted so badly to come through these pages and shake some sense into Tallulah. Then there is Zach! I wanted to beat his butt for they way he manipulated Tallulah.
But…the final straw was the twist at the end! Whoever reads a book and skips to the end….DON’T DO IT! It will ruin the whole book for you!
Need a weird and creepy thriller….YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS ONE! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest opinion.
Spanning from 1980s London and the royal wedding of a century to a present-day reality TV show, A HOUSE FULL OF WINDSOR explores how one woman’s messy past shapes her family’s future.
Sarah Percy’s career depends on New Yorkers taking her household advice as gospel. “Sarah Says” used to be the most popular segment on the city’s top morning show, but ratings are down and it looks like Sarah might not have a tip for everything, after all… especially when her mother gets involved.
Debbie Windsor, Sarah’s mother, is a shopaholic and compulsive hoarder, a secret Sarah has worked tirelessly to hide her entire life. Debbie was always fascinated by royalty, but when her real-life love story started to parallel Princess Diana’s, she turned to collecting royal souvenirs to fill the void. Leaving her husband’s native England and relocating the family to her hometown in Pennsylvania doesn’t help the situation, and two decades later the house is a royal mess. Debbie’s safety is on the line, but she brushes off any attempts her family makes to help.
When Sarah’s brother gets a job on Stuff, a TV show about compulsive hoarding, he nominates their mother for an episode and promises his famous sister’s participation. Backed into a corner, Sarah and Debbie agree, but everyone has something at stake whether the episode does or doesn’t go off without a hitch. With both family and romantic relationships on the line–including the connection between Sarah and the show’s sexy host, and Debbie’s budding romance with a local shopkeeper –long-buried secrets and resentment must come to the surface for the family to move on.
Sarah has a wonderful career as an influencer on the morning show in NYC. Everyone follows her household advice. Sarah has worked hard to hide facts about her mother, Debbie Windsor. Debbie is a hoarder and a compulsive buyer of all things royal. And now her crowded space has become a huge issue. Sarah and her brother decide to take action. It does not go quite as planned!
I enjoyed so many aspects of this novel. The secrets unveiled about Debbie’s past as the story unfolded kept me entertained! No doubt about it! And the characters and their quips had me laughing and grinning. Add in all the royal memorabilia..and I was hooked! Such a charming and delightful tale from start to finish!
Need a cute, all around good read…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About The Author:
Kristin Contino writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance including THE LEGACY OF US (Sparkpress, 2015) and the forthcoming A HOUSE FULL OF WINDSOR (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2021). When she’s not writing fiction, Kristin serves as chief reporter at Royal Central, where she covers royal news from around the world (and tries not to buy too many of the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits). Kristin loves connecting with readers and can be found online at www.kristincontino.com.