Wednesday, October 28, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Strange Sight (Essex Witch Museum Mystery #2) by Sad Moore

 

Publication Date:
 November  14, 2017
Publisher: Point Blank
Format: Paperback
Pages:  384     
Genre:Mystery/Thriller
Buy: KindlePaperback

Synopsis:

The La Fleur restaurant has a slew of unusual phenomena. Bonnet-clad apparitions pass through walls, blood leaks from ceilings and rats besiege the dining room. Experts from the Great Essex Witch Museum are called in to quell these strange sights. But before Rosie Strange and Sam Stone can do their thing events turn darker. For La Fleur’s chef has been strung up and slaughtered like a pig. More oddly, the only witness, the owner’s daughter Mary, swears blind a ghost did it. 

Rosie and Sam must find out what’s happening before Mary takes the fall. But intuitions and tip-offs lead them stumbling into the dark waters of the past, exposing secrets of a wider conspiracy, as well as secrets all Rosie’s own. With strange chills Rosie and Sam learn that seeing isn’t always believing, while thoughts of truth may be just as illusory.

Review: 

Rosie and Sam are off on a new mission to explore whether or not a ghost is haunting the La Fleur restaurant. Several patrons and restaurant personnel claim to have seen a spirit, but when a body is found strung up in the basement and murdered there seems to be a lot more going on than meets the eye.  

Rosie still isn't sure if she wants to keep or seen the Witch Museum but it seems to keep calling to her and she finds herself coming up with plans to improve the museum.  Her relationship with Sam is growing also as they work together to solve this spiritual mystery. 

Neither one truly believes in ghosts so they believe something else must be going on and as the case progresses they find themselves caught up in something way more twisted and evil than ghosts. 

Excellent series.  I really find these fun reads. 







Discover other books or products I like: https://www.amazon.com/shop/readinggrrl 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: We don't talk anymore by Julie Johnson

 

We Don’t Talk Anymore
Julie Johnson
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

For as long as I can remember, Archer Reyes has been by my side. My closest confidant. My truest ally. My best friend.

That is, until the summer we turned seventeen, when I started picturing him as something else entirely.

The love of my life.

I knew confessing my feelings wasn’t going to be easy; I had no idea he’d reject me so cruelly… or that he was only breaking my heart to save my life.

It’s been 365 days since I told my best friend I loved him.
365 days since he didn’t say it back.
365 days since he lied straight to my face.
WE DON’T TALK ANYMORE is a standalone new adult romance about first love, second chances, and the lengths we go to hold onto each other when everything falls apart…

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EXCERPT:

It’s been 365 days since I told Archer Reyes I loved him.
365 days since he didn’t say it back.
Then again, it’s not like he’s said anything at all to me since that fateful day, or even looked me in the eyes during our handful of unfortunate, unavoidable encounters in a town that suddenly feels far too small for the both of us.
There was a time when we didn’t go more than a few hours without speaking. Now, a full year of silence yawns in the space between us. An entire turn around the sun, packed with experiences we haven’t whispered to one another in the rafters of the old boathouse, jammed full of memories made in each other’s absence.
He’s built a whole new life I know nothing about, surrounded by people who aren’t me. And, hey, maybe that’s partly my fault. It’s not like I’ve reached out, either. Frankly, I don’t think there’s much of anything left to say. Not after last summer.
I put my heart in his hands that hot July night — a fragile mess of hope and fear, skipping beats in the silence as I waited for his answer. And, with a single squeeze and a condescending smirk…he crushed it.
It’s been 365 days since I told my best friend I loved him.
365 days since he said he didn’t love me back.
365 days since he lied straight to my face.

Author Bio:

JULIE JOHNSON (born July 3, 1991) is a twenty-something Boston native and USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. When she's not writing, Julie can most often be found adding stamps to her passport, drinking too much coffee, striving to conquer her Netflix queue, and Instagramming pictures of her dog. (Follow her: @author_julie)

She published her debut novel LIKE GRAVITY in August 2013, just before her senior year of college, and she's never looked back. Since, she has published more than a dozen other novels, including the bestselling BOSTON LOVE STORY series and THE GIRL DUET. Her books have appeared on Kindle and iTunes Bestseller lists around the world, as well as in AdWeek, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today.

Be on the lookout for her new series, THE FORBIDDEN ROYALS TRILOGY, now available at all e-retailers!

You can find Julie on Facebook or contact her on her website www.juliejohnsonbooks.com. Sometimes, when she can figure out how Twitter works, she tweets from @AuthorJulie. For major book news and updates, subscribe to Julie's newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bnWtHH

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Monday, October 26, 2020

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

 

Release Date:
 May 02, 2008
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 11 hours 3 minutes
Narrator: Peter Francis James, Kathleen McInerney
Genre: Native American Fiction
Buy: Audible | Kindle

Synopsis: 

The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives.

Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory.

In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich's narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities' collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth.

Review:

I really wanted to love this book but I struggled.  Just when I thought I got a handle on what is happening I get lost again. This is the circular story of how the savage racist lynching of a group of Ojibwe and Metis men, implicating the guilty and the innocent affects generations. It is about the struggles of a family and the awakening of a young woman sexuality and the lies we tell ourselves.  It is about too many things that swirl in circles and leave you confused but routing for both families to survive and move on. 

Rich in atmosphere, history and lore.  It is an interesting story but I'm not really quite sure I understood it all.  I may try one of her other books to see if it is any easier to understand.  










Disclaimer: I received this book through netgalley.com from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: The Proposal by Kitty Thomas

 

The Proposal
Kitty Thomas
Publication date: October 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance

I got in over my head.

I bit off more than I could chew.

And now my fate is sealed to the most ruthless man I know.

Two hundred and fifty guests. They think they know what’s happening today. But they don’t have a clue.

My wedding day. But it’s so much more than that.

NOTE: This is a standalone contemporary dark romance with NO cliffhanger!

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CHAPTER ONE:

I stand at the back of the enormous church. The stained glass windows mute the over bright sun outside on this unassuming summer Saturday at half past four. The string quartet begins to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Two hundred and fifty guests stand. I take a deep breath and walk down the aisle clutching the bouquet of pale pink roses which hide my shaking hands. I’m wearing a stunning white Valentino gown which I’m convinced has seven thousand buttons down the back. It’s a true white, but it’s a soft, elegant white.

You don’t realize the variety of white until you shop for your wedding gown. The color palette of white goes all the way from the harsh tacky bright white of office supply copy paper to off-white, into beige and blush barely-there pinks and lavender. Occasionally there is the most subtle mint green which you are sure must be a trick of the light.

And even though they aren’t all really the same color, lined up on the racks they seem like they all belong together. Like family. I’d considered going a little less traditional with a pale lavender or pink gown, or even that daring pale fairy green, but in the end I went with tradition—anything else feels like half measures with a man who doesn’t know the meaning of that word.

I chose to walk down the aisle by myself. I’ve never liked the idea of giving the bride away or what it represents. Besides, I don’t want to bring my father into this; it feels wrong. He’s here, on my side with the rest of my family and friends who admittedly take up a much smaller portion of the guest count than the groom’s side and business associates. His business associates are seated on my side, so everything looks more even and normal for the pictures.

I am twenty-nine, and to everyone here my story is the story of Disney Princesses—the story every seven-year-old girl fantasizes about until she’s long grown out of such fantasies. But I’m not walking down this aisle to my prince. I’m walking down this aisle to the most ruthless man I know.

I feel as though I’m being kidnapped in the middle of a crowded room, but I can’t scream. It’s like a dream where everyone acts as though everything is fine even though an evil killer clown is sawing my hand off. But still, everyone smiles politely and makes small talk—or in this case, everyone stands and murmurs complimentary things they don’t think I can hear as I drift down the aisle like a fairy tale princess.

They think this is the part of the story where the princess gets the prince, where they get married and live happily ever after. But this is the part where she gets locked in the tower.

When I reach the altar, he takes my hand in his, helping me up the two small steps to stand in front of him. The collective sitting of two hundred and fifty people is the last thing I consciously hear as his intense, searing gaze holds mine hostage. His thumb strokes over the back of my hand, and I don’t even know anymore if the gesture is meant to comfort or control me.

We stand there, staring at each other. Words fall over me like gentle rain. Vows are spoken. Rings are exchanged. The announcement that we are now husband and wife moves through the air like a cool breeze.

His hand snakes behind my neck pulling me possessively toward him as he claims my mouth as his property. Later he will claim everything else.

I’ve never had sex with this man. I’m not an innocent. I’m not a virgin, but right now I feel like one—off balance and unsure of what’s in store for me behind the closed doors of our suite in only a few short hours. I want to run as far and as fast as I can, but I know he would catch me. Right now the reception is the only thing that buffers me from his dark intentions.

We take what feels like a thousand wedding photos, each one more intimate and romantic than the last. His hands and mouth suddenly feel foreign on me as though he’s a stranger and not a man I’ve been seeing for the past year. The reception is being held at a swank nearby 5-star hotel called The Fremont, where we’ll spend the night before taking his jet to our honeymoon in Costa Rica. Our jet. Is it our jet now? Or am I merely an indefinite extra on his stage? I’m not really sure anymore.

We don’t speak during the limo ride to the reception. I don’t know what to say to him. Suddenly, for the first time ever, I have no words. All I can think about is what will happen later when there are no longer hordes of unassuming guests to protect me from his attentions. I feel more and more uncertain about this devil’s bargain I’ve made—like I ever had a choice.

He would have destroyed me. At least this way there is a veneer of love and respectability. At least this way it looks like he is giving me the world instead of taking it all away.

I glance up to find his triumphant gaze locked on mine. It scares me as much as it thrills me, and then his thumb is stroking the back of my hand again. I find the courage to speak, but the words fly out of my mind as soon as they appear as the limo comes to a stop in front of the hotel.

The door is opened for us and my husband guides me out, helping me so that my dress doesn’t get dirty. Husband. That word feels so strange to me. So wrong and somehow scandalous. This can’t be real.

His grip on my hand tightens as he leads me up the stairs and through the hotel lobby back to where our reception is starting. The guests are already seated and being served their dinner. We’re led to our own private table at the front of everything. Some people come by and talk to him. He’s so polite to everyone, so normal, so different from the man I’ve come to know.

As we eat, silverware clinks against glasses, and each time we kiss as expected. Before the first dance, he rises from his chair, takes the microphone that is handed to him, and addresses our crowd of guests. And he is so charming. So smooth. The perfect beautiful lie.

“Livia and I would like to thank you all so much for coming to share this special day with us and supporting us as we start our life together. Don’t get too creeped out, but I filmed the proposal. If she’d said no, I would have burned the evidence.”

Obligatory laughter. He continues.

“But it occurred to me that probably many women wish they had a video of the proposal. And so now she does. With Livia’s permission I’d like to share that video with you now.”

Our guests are very excited about this prospect. No one knew they’d be seeing this. A large projector is rolled out along with a screen and a few minutes later a video begins to play.

He and I are on his boat in the middle of the ocean. I’m lying in the sun in a red bikini and oversized dark sunglasses. He approaches with a wrapped gift. It’s large—about the size of a Labrador puppy.

“Livia, I have something for you.”

My eyes light up on the screen. “A present? Is it a pony?”

He chuckles. “Not a pony.”

“A Ferrari?”

“Nope.”

Our guests laugh at my antics, their anticipation growing, knowing somehow inside that giant box is a ring.

“Open it,” he says.

I dutifully open it, only to find another gift wrapped box, then another, then another as I go through about five boxes, each time the gift getting smaller and smaller.

“Is it an empty box?”

He chuckles again. “No. There’s something in there.”

I open the final box to find a blue box. Yes, that blue box. A box from Tiffany in just the right size.
The me on the video screen looks up at him and says playfully, “Is it a clown pin?”

He laughs again. “No.”

I open it and start to cry when I see the ring.

He gets down on one knee and says, “Livia Fairchild, will you be my person?”

I’m blubbering and crying and say, “Yes, I will be your person.” We kiss. He puts the ring on me. It’s all so perfect.

Our guests say a collective, “Awwww” as the screen goes black. Then they’re back to clinking their silverware against their glasses, and he leans over and kisses me again.

Before he pulls away, his mouth brushes my ear. “Time’s up. You’re mine tonight.” His words are a growl so different from the version of himself that everyone else in this ballroom sees. It’s jarring the way he can go from this charming facade to something so dark and menacing in an eye blink—the way he can transform only feet from our guests. Yet only I can see the monster. Everyone else sees the man.

I swallow hard at this proclamation and twist the wedding band on my finger. There are three words engraved on the inside of the band. Those three words seal my fate.

The rest of the reception goes by in a blur. The first dance. The dances with the parents. The cake. The bouquet. The garter. All the well wishes that come from guests as they each take turns wishing us a long and happy marriage. We go through a tunnel of sparklers created by our guests, riding off in the limo with the just married sign on the back and the cans dragging along the road behind us, only to circle back into the parking garage so we can go up to our suite for the night.

My hand is trembling as he takes it in his, leading me back inside the hotel and up the elevator to our room. He carries me over the threshold. Inside are candles and champagne and fancy chocolate and rose petals everywhere.

Two men in tuxedos step out of the shadows, looking me up and down with an appreciative once-over.

“It’s about time,” one of them says.

My husband guides me over to the other two men, and then all three of them are touching me.

The words inscribed on the inside of my wedding band are their names:
Griffin. Dayne. Soren.


Author Bio:

KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty's New Release List: KITTYTHOMAS.COM

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