THE NESTING by C.J. Cooke

This novel was crazy good – -suspenseful, set in a unique and beautiful place (Norway), and it kept me guessing again and again.

Here’s the overview:

Description

The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway—in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady. . . .

Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.

If you like suspenseful thrillers, this is one for you.

And now I want to go to Norway.

Thanks for my review copy!

INVISIBLE GIRL by Lisa Jewell

Ring the bells, everyone, because LISA JEWELL HAS WRITTEN A NEW BOOK AND IT’S AWESOME!

Lisa Jewell is an amazingly talented suspense writer, often focusing on families and usually taking place in England. I love her books, her plotting, her pacing, her characters.

This book is no exception!

Here’s the overview:

Description

I absolutely loved Invisible Girl—Lisa Jewell has a way of combining furiously twisty, utterly gripping plots with wonderfully rich characterization—she has such compassion for her characters, and we feel we know them utterly… A triumph!” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone returns with an intricate thriller about a young woman’s disappearance and a group of strangers whose lives intersect in its wake.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

I read this book straight through the day I got it from Net Galley (months ago) and I loved it!

Highly Recommended!! Thank you for my ARC kindle copy.

Blog Tour and Giveaway for: Jerusalem as a Second Language by Rochelle Distelheim

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this beautifully written and compelling new novel by Rochelle Distelheim: Jerusalem as a Second Language.

Here’s the synopsis:

SYNOPSIS: It’s 1998.  The old Soviet Union is dead, the new Russia is awash in corruption and despair.  Manya and Yuri Zalinikov, secular Jews – he, a gifted mathematician recently dismissed from the Academy,  she, a concert pianist — sell black market electronics in a market stall, until threatened with a gun by a Mafioso in search of protection money.  Yuri sinks into a Chekhovian melancholy, emerging  to announce that he wants to “live as a Jew” in Israel. Manya and their daughter, Galina, are desolate, asking “how does one do that,” and “why?”

Thus begins their odyssey, part  tragedy, part comedy but always surprising. Struggling against loneliness, language, and danger, Yuri finds a Talmudic teacher equally addicted to religion and luxury; Manya finds a job playing the piano at The White Nights supper club, owned by a wealthy, flamboyant Russian  with a murky history,  who offers lust disguised as love. Galina, enrolled at Hebrew University,  finds dance clubs and pizza emporiums and a string of young men, one of whom Manya hopes will save her from the Israeli army by marrying her. 

Against a potpourri of marriage wigs, matchmaking television shows, disastrous investment schemes, and a suicide bombing, JERUSALEM AS A SECOND LANGUAGE confronts the thin line between religious faith and skepticism.

BUY LINKSAmazonAubade Publishing (not affiliated with BBNB)

This was such an interesting story and so very believable. I had to think that this was largely based in personal experience (??). Now is a time when immigration is so prevalent in the news; it’s so moving to read a book of “strangers in a strange land”. At times I found this novel laugh out loud funny. At times it nearly broke my heart.

Highly recommended!

Here’s a bit on the author, who recently passed away (at 92):

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rochelle Distelheim, a Chicago native, earned numerous short story literary awards, including The Katherine Anne Porter Prize; Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and Fellowships; The Ragdale Foundation Fellowships; The Faulkner Society Gold Medal in Novel-in-Progress; The Faulkner Society Gold Medal in Novel; The Gival Press 2017 Short Story Competition; Finalist, Glimmer Train’s Emerging Writers; and The Salamander Second Prize in Short Story. In addition, Rochelle’s short stories earned nominations for The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize.  Her stories appeared in national magazines such as Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, Working Woman, Working Mother, and more.  Her first novel, Sadie in Love, was published in 2018 when she was 90 years old.  She lived in Highland Park, IL. Here is the obituary that ran in the Chicago Tribunehttps://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=rochelle-distelheim&pid=196338405&fhid=2000.

But wait, there’s more!

Over the River Publications will send ONE LUCKY U.S. READER a copy of Jerusalem as a Second Language and Ms. Distelheim’s first book: Sadie in Love. Please leave a comment in the comments. I will use random.org to pick a comment number and that person will be the winner! I will then contact that person so that I can get them in touch with OTR publications.

For My Ears: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Oh my goodness — now that I’m commuting again (though shorter than in the past due to less cars on the road due to COVID shutdowns) I’m listening to audiobooks every day. I listened to this one in August/September and it was a doozy. Naratted by several apt actors (Caoilfhionn Dunne, David McFetridge, and Lesley McGuire), it tells the story of a family and the secrets they hide.

Here’s the overview via Amazon/Audible:

From the international best-selling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.  

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it. 

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life – wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax. 

For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouncement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre” (Sunday Mirror).

So this is the kind of story that starts off with a bang. You fall into the dark hole of it and you never are able to climb your way out.

I have to be honest and say that while this was superbly plotted and well-written I HATED the ending. Hated it. Almost cried from frustration and upset. Still can’t stop thinking about it. So – it’s good. Really good. It just didn’t make me happy (and I like happy).

Let me know what you thought! I got mine with an Audible credit.

Blog Tour for WATCH HER VANISH by Ellery Kane

I am excited to take part in the blog tour for Ellery Kane’s new mystery: Watch Her Vanish, a suspenseful murder mystery! This is my first read of Ms. Kane’s and I enjoyed the writing and the plotting and pacing. It’s always fun to read a mystery that keeps me guessing right up until the end!

Here’s the overview from Galaxy Media:

Book Description
The beam from the lighthouse slices through the dawn sky as she runs down the rocky stairway to the beach. She tries to take it all inthe waves crashing against the cliffs, the whip of salt grass in the windbefore finally dragging her eyes down to the innocent girl’s blonde hair, strewn across the bottom step like seaweed…

Returning home to Fog Harbor, California, to be closer to her little sister, Olivia Rockwell is struggling to adjust to life in a town so small she can hardly breathe. That is, until the sound of a scream leads her to the body of a local teacher in the shallows nearby. All the evidence points to Olivia’s most threatening criminal psychology patient, Drake, who is safely locked up behind bars…

Convinced of Drake’s innocence—and desperate to believe in the system that’s keeping her murderer father in prison and away from her sister—Olivia gets to work on her own suspect list. All her life she’s run towards trouble, but this time she’s treading on the toes of Detective Will Decker, whose past mistakes mean this case is his last chance to make amends.

Then a second woman’s body is discovered, strangled while out on an evening jog. The strip of blue material used to choke her implicates Drake once again, forcing Will to admit he needs Olivia’s special talent for understanding the minds of killers. It’s clear more innocent women will die if they don’t get one step ahead of the murders, and Olivia knows she will need her estranged father’s help to get close to Drake. 

But when Olivia’s profile leads them to believe Drake could be masterminding murders from within the prison walls, a message written on a scrap of paper found in the latest victim’s car leads them to a terrifying realization: Olivia’s little sister will be next…

An addictive and unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot and Mary Burton.

Readers love Watch Her Vanish:

PERFECTION! Be prepared to skirt your responsibilities because you won’t want to put this book down… keeps you guessing until the end. I cannot wait for the next installment!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

A taut fast-paced thriller in every sense of the word. Dark and oozing with suspense. Well plotted and stunningly written. Loved it!’ Kelly Russo Reviews, 5 stars

WOWZA!!!… I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment in this series!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely fantastic… I couldn’t put it down once I started.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A scream!…  Grabs a hold of you and keeps you reading till the end!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Loved!! Everything about this book was spot-on!…  I was pulled in from the beginning and it didn’t let up once! Can’t wait for book 2.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A fantastic book. Like wow! I really got into this read This book will draw you in and you won’t be able to stop.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Grabs you by the heart, then grabs you by the throat and shakes up all your cells.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Author Bio:

Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers. 
Ellery lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, a picturesque setting that provides the backdrop for many of her novels. If you don’t find Ellery interviewing murderers behind prison walls or pecking away at her latest novel, she is probably at the gym landing a solid jab-cross to a punching bag; riding bicycles with her special someone; or enjoying a movie the old-fashioned way–at the theater with popcorn and Milk Duds. 
Ellery was previously selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition, and she recently signed a three book deal with Bookouture for her new Rockwell and Decker mystery thriller series.
If you’d like to receive a notification when new books are released, please sign up for Ellery’s newsletter at ellerykane.com. Ellery also signs e-books on authorgraph.com.

Thanks so much for my kindle copy and for making me part of the tour!

Harlequin Fall Reads YA Blog Tour: The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

If you know me, you know I love to read YA books. I love finding a new story to share with my daughter and her friends. I love promoting a new title to our school librarians. I also love being reminded of being young!

The Cod for Love and Heartbreak was a sweet story, centering on a young math whiz and coding expert whose work with numbers goes better than her work with humans. It was definitely a read I could suggest to my middle schoolers and to my daughter in high school.

Here’s the overview:

BOOK SUMMARY: 

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

SOCIAL:

Author Website: https://www.jilliancantor.com/

TWITTER: @JillianCantor

Facebook: @AuthorJillianCantor

Insta: @JillianCantor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1651861.Jillian_Cantor 

BUY LINKS: (not affiliated with BBNB)

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

I didn’t make the connection to Emma while reading it, but of course now I see the parallels. It’s a fun rom-com with a happy ending and with characters that are true-to-life. Thank you for my kindle mobi copy and for making me part of the tour.

Here’s a bit on the author:

Jillian Cantor is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot, and The Lost Letter, which was a USA Today bestseller. She has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Cantor lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Harlequin Fall Reads Blog Tour: Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

I’m always so happy to take part in a Harlequin tour, especially for mysteries and thriller, as they always have wonderful books for me to discover and enjoy!

Today I’m dishing about Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger. Suspenseful, thrilling, keeps you guessing — all things that apply to this book!

Here’s the overview:

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Unger returns with her best novel yet. Reminiscent of the classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a riveting psychological thriller that begins with a chance encounter on a commuter train and shows why you should never, ever make conversation with strangers.

Be careful who you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a stunning web of lies and deceit, and a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.

SOCIAL:

Author Website: https://lisaunger.com/ 

TWITTER: @lisaunger

FB: @authorlisaunger  

Insta: @launger

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18445.Lisa_Unger 

BUY LINKS: (Not affiliated with BBNB)

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

This was an awesome read! Lisa Unger is truly a master of mystery and suspense, so no surprise that I enjoyed it! I have to say, though, that it did not remind me of Strangers on a Train – it is unique in its own right.

Pub Day is 10-06-20 so get ready!!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my kindle copy.

Here’s some info on Ms. Unger:

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Oct. 2020). With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today showGood Morning AmericaEntertainment WeeklyAmazonIndieBound and others. Her essays have appeared in The New York TimesWall Street JournalNPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.

The Glass House by Beatrice Colin

The good people at Flatiron Books offered me a copy of Beatrice Colin’s new novel: The Glass House. I absolutely loved this historical fiction novel, centering on two very different sisters-in-law: Antonia and Cicely.

Cicely has come to Scotland with her young daughter in order to wrap up her father-in-law’s estate. Sent from India by her botanist husband, who is trekking around in search of plants, she lands outside of her comfort zone in her husband’s family and the Scottish society and culture of the time (early 1900’s). Cicely is a strong woman and is not about to let anything or anyone stop her from gaining what she needs to make a good life for her daughter. Meanwhile, daughter of the house, Antonia, assumed the estate would be hers. She has sacrificed just about all her earthly wants and desires, hopes and dreams, to care for her father and the manor, and she’s not ready to give it all up. The glass house is the greenhouse on the estate, where delicate seedlings take root; but even seemingly hardy plants can wither and die if not cared for.

Here’s the overview from the publisher:

Description

Beatrice Colin’s The Glass House is a gorgeously transporting novel filled with turn-of-the-century detail and lush blooms, about two women from vastly different worlds

Scotland, 1912. Antonia McCulloch’s life hasn’t gone the way she planned. She and her husband, Malcolm, have drifted apart; her burgeoning art career came to nothing; and when she looks in the mirror, she sees disappointment. But at least she will always have Balmarra, her family’s grand Scottish estate, and its exquisite glass house, filled with exotic plants that can take her far away.

When her estranged brother’s wife, Cicely Pick, arrives unannounced, with her young daughter and enough trunks to last the summer, Antonia is instantly suspicious. What besides an inheritance dispute could have brought her glamorous sister-in-law all the way from India? Still, Cicely introduces excitement and intrigue into Antonia’s life, and, as they get to know one another, Antonia realizes that Cicely has her own burdens to bear. Slowly, a fragile friendship grows between them. But when the secrets each are keeping become too explosive to conceal, the truth threatens their uneasy balance and the course of their entire lives.

If you love a solid historical fiction piece, with strong female protagonists, this is a great choice! Beautifully written, Colin’s writing vividly portrays the Scottish countryside and people of another era.

So many choices in this book that affect others in their outcomes; this book really makes you stop and think how your actions can affect others.

I read that the author has passed away from cancer in 2019, which is heart-breaking. She was only 55. It is nice that her stories live on.

Thank you so much for sharing this novel with me through Net Galley!

Harlequin Fall Reads Blog Tour for: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox

I’m thrilled to take part in Harlequin’s Fall Reads Blog Tour for all three titles; and today I’m bringing to you THE ORPHAN OF CEMETERY HILL by Hester Fox.

Here’s the scoop:

BOOK SUMMARY: 

The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission.

Boston, 1844.

Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.

As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.

Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”

In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction.

SOCIAL:

Author Website: http://hesterfox.com/

TWITTER: @HesterBFox

Insta: @trotfoxwrite

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17440931.Hester_Fox

BUY LINKS: (NOT affiliated with BBNB)

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

So – I’ve never read a book by Hester Fox, but she often writes Gothic fiction and about witches and creepy things. This story takes place in a cemetery and the little girl is a medium (not by choice!). I loved the historical context of Boston in the 1800’s. However, the style reminded me SO MUCH of Dickens! I am wondering if others found that. It had the feel of Great Expectations, with lots of interesting characters (some nefarious) and action and intrigue and romance all wrapped up in the plot that centers on a young person. It was a great read if you like this type of storyline and well-written. I would definitely read more by Ms. Fox.

Thank you for having me be part of the tour and for my electronic copy.

Here’s a bit about Hester Fox:

BIO: 

Hester Fox is a full-time writer and mother, with a background in museum work and historical archaeology. Most weekends you can find Hester exploring one of the many historic cemeteries in the area, browsing bookshops, or enjoying a seasonal latte while writing at a café. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son.

Spotlight on HINTERLAND by L. M. Brown

Today I’m highlighting a book that is coming out in October, 2020: Hinterland by L.M. Brown. I was contacted by the author and offered a copy to review but, due to back to school looming, I’m spotlighting it here instead!

Here’s the overview from Goodreads:

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

You can find this book on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54670740-hinterland#other_reviews

Thanks for sharing you book with me and best of luck!