Naughty on Ice by Maia Chance


This holiday installment of the cozy mystery series featuring society gal Lola and her companion Berta was a fun read at this time of year! I love period pieces, and this one takes place during Prohibition. Lola and Berta must discover a murderer while they are in Vermont backwaters.

A fun and easy cozy mystery! Thank you for my review e-copy via Net Galley!


The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian


So – you know that I LOVE Chris Bohjalian’s writing (plus he’s like the nicest and most humble guy ever!). I was so very excited when I saw that he a new book out – THE SLEEPWALKER. I was able to get it from Net Galley.

Here’s the overview:


Review: CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS by Chris Bohjalian w/book trailer (releasing in July…)


Every now and then a book comes around that really blows me away and I just can’t stop thinking about it. CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS is one of those books.

Last year I read – and loved – Chris Bohjalian’s THE LIGHT IN THE RUINS. This book is completely different. In this novel, Emily Shepard has survived a nuclear meltdown in the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont and is now a homeless runaway. Emily’s parents worked at the nuclear power plant and people have blamed her father for the accident, so she feels shunned and hunted. Emily survives in an “igloo” of plastic bags and leaves and has a young companion, Cameron, who is also a homeless runaway. Emily gets by using her street smarts, yet she can’t stop thinking about her home, her parents (now dead), and her beloved dog Maggie. She often recites the poems of Emily Dickinson (she’s a big fan) to help calm her mind. Emily’s quest to return home – and into the dead zone – keeps her going in the face of adversity.

I was riveted to this book. I loved the tough yet sensitive character of Emily. Her story was so painful and yet the end had a sense of redemption. Emily was amazingly resourceful and her care for Cameron was genuine and intense. It felt like holding on to Cameron was a lifeline for her.

As someone who doesn’t live far from Vermont, I have to say that this book really got me thinking. It all seemed so plausible and possible. It made for a disturbing yet fascinating read. I won’t tell you where the title is from, but when I read that part of the book, it made me cry.

I really think that Chris Bohjalian is one of the best writers out there today!

So here’s the thing. This book doesn’t release until July, and while I will send an updated reminder about it at that time, I urge you to mark your calendars or pre-order your copy now!

Thank you Net Galley and Doubleday Books for my copy!
Here’s some book trailer awesomeness via You Tube —

Review of a $0.99 Kindle Find: The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan

I always enjoy browsing through my Kindle for good, cheap reads. This book was listed in the top sellers, but cost only 99 cents, so I figured it was a good deal.

“The Mill River Recluse” tells the story of beautiful Mary McAllister, an elderly woman who has not left her house high on a hill in Mill River, Vermont for over sixty years. Alternate chapters tell the story of Mary in the present (she actually passes away near the beginning of the book) and Mary in the 1940’s, when she, the only child of a horse farmer, meets and marries her charming and rich, but secretively abusive, husband. Mary, always shy by nature, has suffered a horrific abuse at the hands of her high school teacher, and she puts her faith in her new husband, though he turns mean and evil, damaging Mary irreparably. Her only friend and confidant is the town’s Catholic priest, and he stays as her anchor to the outside world until her death.

I enjoyed reading this novel, especially the years that were in the past. The ending had a bit of a twist to it and was happy and uplifting, though a bit far-fetched. I guess the question that remained for me throughout this book was: “Hello, People?! Can someone do SOMETHING for that poor abused woman who has not left her house in 60 years???”

All in all, this was a good “beach read” for me – an end of summer, positive, not-too-mentally-taxing tale that kept me coming back to see how it would end. I would have loved this book when I was in high school.

And at 99 cents, the price was right!