Excerpt from The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle

Hello bookworms! I am so excited to share an excerpt from the upcoming novel The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle. This book releases on Tuesday, October 24 and is the third book in the Widow Walk series. I am in love with this cover and the book sounds even better!

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Excerpt:

The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle

Widow Walk Saga Book 3

PROLOGUE

Sarah

February 15, 1861 Washington, District of Columbia

Sarah knew how they viewed her and her brother: “Lying bumpkins. “Yarn-spinners,” one of the other children had mocked. “Four steps behind in education and four miles behind in manners” she had heard been said by one of the older girls in the special school created for the children of congressmen and senators. But they weren’t tall yarns at all . . . about how a griz killed Marano Levy, bit through his head and jaw, it most certainly did, before he could get o another shot and then she had to help her mother and Jojo bury the poor man with his Spanish Bible in the frozen ground, – and how she had hit a drunk, naked Russian sea captain in the head with his own whiskey bottle when he was trying to mount her mother, – and how her step-father had been murdered and the Northerners took his head and showed it o , up and down the coast for weeks, and then her mother lost her baby, – and how she, because she was old enough while her mother was sick in a coma, had to help her Aunt Cory and Mrs. Crock- ett with the tiny fetus that would have been another brother if it had lived because she saw it was a boy before they buried him, – and how her brother Jacob, after he was kidnapped and then got rescued, had told her that he had bitten several of the Northerners who kidnapped him, – And how he thought the Devil, yes the Devil himself, had taken him, – and how the Northerners kept him tied up and beat him, and how Jacob thought he saw their father’s ghost when he was kept in the Northerner’s camp, and how he had started wet- ting his bed again and was setting res under their grandfather’s desk at his home up in Boston, because he dreamed the devils were coming back again, – and how she and Jacob and two other kids, little ones, had gotten lost in the Panama jungle during the train robbery when so many passengers had been murdered, and how they had been found by the Panama aborigines and were taken to their huts and kept, – and how the aborigines put tattoos on her and the other children’s faces and chests which kept the ies and mosquitoes away, and how the aborigines had decided to take them back to the railroad and just leave them at the side of the tracks, and how they never heard from their protector, Jojo again after that robbery, – and how the robber that had take their mother hostage down there had mailed her brother Jacob a huge diamond that had blood on it. And how their mother had a beau now and both she and Jacob thought he was what their mother needed, to pro- tect them maybe, even if their mother wasn’t so sure yet. They weren’t tall yarns. It was all true. But she and Jacob had to fight with the other children, especially the older ones in the school over and over again, every day it seemed, whenever they tried telling any of them about what had happened to them in the Pacific Northwest and down in Panama. She understood why they thought she was spinning yarns. She couldn’t prove any of it.
Her tattoos had faded away and the rest of the students at the Washington, DC school thought they were a lot smarter than her or Jacob because she and her brother didn’t read as well as they all did. Not yet, at least. She forgave them. She told Jacob he should do the same. Forgive them. Because their classmates were only children, after all. Children. No matter if they were the same age or even older than she was. No matter how the boys behaved, attractive brats that they were. It really didn’t matter at all because she was an old soul, after all, and there were more important things she had to worry about. There was a war going on now.

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Author Website

Buy the book here!

 

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Blog tour – Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris

I’m going to talk about a book today that is not my typical read. I very rarely spotlight middle grade books, but when I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Mustaches for Maddie I jumped at the chance to talk about this book. I hope you learn something about a resilient little girl named Maddie and pick up a copy for yourself! Thank you to Smith Publicity for asking me to join the tour.

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Goodreads summary:

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She’s been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it’s curled against her chest and she’s constantly tripping over her feet. But that’s probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

When Maddie’s arm continues to bother her, her parents take her to a doctor who gives them a shocking diagnosis: the cause of the abnormal behavior of her limbs is a brain tumor and she must have surgery to remove it. She’s understandably afraid as he describes the procedure, but knows she must find a way to be brave and must face her fears–all of them–at the hospital, at home and at school.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie’s bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie’s surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don’t get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie’s vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.

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Q&A with Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Where did you get the idea for this story?

This book was based on the true story of our daughter, Maddie. She thinks fake mustaches are hilarious, has a great sense of humor, and loves to act in plays. In February 2013, she was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland pressing up against her brain. She courageously faced a very difficult situation, went through one successful surgery, and then later had to face another. Her brothers (she really has four brothers, and two of them are identical twins), teachers (Mrs. Acord and Mrs. Lyon), and friends were extremely supportive.

What about people putting on mustaches for Maddie? Was that real?

People really did put on mustaches, took pictures, and sent them to her, or posted them on the Internet with the hashtag #mustachesformaddie. (It was Jenny Mason’s idea. Thanks, Jenny, and thanks to everyone who made our girl smile.) There were hundreds, if not thousands. A few local news stations even did a stories about it. All those mustaches definitely cheered Maddie up.

Is the rest of the story true?

Maddie faced pressures and problems in school, though Cassie and the difficult situations that happened at the elementary school in this book were entirely made up. Though Yasmin, Lexi, Devin, and others were fictional characters, Maddie had many real friends who helped her. And Maddie did make up games to get more kids involved in her school.

Did Chad really have a book coming out when Maddie had her first surgery?

Chad, the father in the story, really was in a hospital room with his girl when his debut novel, Cragbridge Hall, The Inventor’s Secret hit the shelves. He canceled part of his promotional tour and doesn’t regret it at all.

This is the most important question: How did Maddie’s second surgery turn out?

Near the end of 2014, Maddie had a second surgery, and her doctors were able to not only remove a cyst that had grown on the remaining tumor tissue, but miraculously they also removed the rest of her tumor. As of 2017, no signs of the tumor have returned, though Maddie still has an MRI regularly to check. She was an amazing girl before the surgery and has grown to become even stronger, braver, and more caring through her experience.

 

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Mustaches for Maddie website

Chad Morris author website

Shelly Brown author website

Book review – Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Happy Tuesday ya’ll! It is another wonderful release day in the beautiful world of books. I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben. This was my first time reading a Harlan Coben book, and I am officially HOOKED! I need all the Coben books asap. A huge thank you to Dutton Books for sending me this fantastic book and introducing me to the amazing writing of Harlan Coben.

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Rating: 5/5 stars!

Goodreads Summary:

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

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My honest review:

This book caught me completely by surprise. Having never read a Coben book I really didn’t know what to expect. This book was fast paced, heart pounding, and kept me wanting more. I devoured this book in only a few days and immediately had the urge to read it all over again the moment I finished.

Nap Dumas is not your typical main character. He’s a detective that likes justice to be served especially for the less fortunate. At times that means he makes that justice happen himself. I am not a fan of vigilante cops but Nap was a completely different breed. Call him the Robin Hood of modern times. He fought for the less fortunate even if his fight was not legal.

A few characters mentioned throughout the novel aren’t even alive in the present day of the book, but their characters are so deep and vivid I completely forgot that they weren’t alive for the main story. As the story unravels you realize how much these secondary and deceased characters really impact the main story. The past and present are so interwoven by the end of the book that you forget where one ends and the other begins.

This book is easily the hardest book I’ve had to write a review for. The book is so full of detail. It’s hard to get in depth without giving away key elements of the story. There are little Easter egg type clues throughout the book that hint at the possible ending but I only recognized them in hindsight. The ending was a huge shock to me. It was the main reason why I wanted to reread the book right away to see if I could find all the missing clues.

I recommend this book to any one who likes a book to keep them guessing. It’s not especially gory or violent. I think book lovers from any genre will love this.

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New release – Strings by Megan Edwards

Happy release day to Strings by Megan Edwards! I had the pleasure of participating in the cover reveal for this book, and I’m so happy it’s finally out in the book world. Megan decided to do things a bit differently and share a list of songs referenced in her book instead of your traditional Q&A. I’m a big fan of classical music so this was right up my alley!

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Goodreads synopsis:

The Merino Rose. Ted Spencer has a hard enough time believing the celebrated violin really exists. To find it sitting on his coffee table is nothing short of incredible. The stuff of legend, the exquisite Guarnerius has been missing for centuries.
But even though the renowned instrument is a violin lover’s dream come true, it holds only heartache for Ted. The value of the Merino Rose may be beyond measure, but he has acquired it at too high a cost.
Ted found his soul mate when he met Olivia de la Vega his senior year in high school. In the school’s production of Camelot, Ted was cast as Lancelot, Olivia as Guenevere. They should have spent their lives together but strings got in the way–family ties, career objectives, and the tangled web of fate.
Will the Merino Rose bring the two star-crossed lovers together at last, or will their love always remain the melancholy sound of distant violins?

 

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Musical pieces referenced in Strings

Camelot, musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Fredreick Loewe
“Star of the County Down,” an Irish ballad
“Simple Gifts,” a Shaker hymn by Elder Joseph Brackett (also used by Aaron Copland for the score of Martha Graham’s ballet Appalachian Spring)
Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. 56, by Sergei Prokofiev
Caprices, Op.1: No. 24 in A Minor, by Niccolo Paganini
Symphony No. 8 in B Minor “Unfinished,” by Franz Schubert
Symphonie espagnole in D Minor, Op. 21, by Edouard Lalo
Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61 in B Minor, by Camille Saint-Saens
Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77, by Johannes Brahms

Listen to them here!

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Author bio:

Megan Edwards is the author of the travel memoir Roads from the Ashes, the humor book Caution: Funny Signs Ahead, and her debut novel Getting off on Frank Sinatra. She has lived and traveled extensively in Europe and spent nearly seven years “on the road” all over North America. Now at home in Las Vegas, Nevada, she is working on her next novel.

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Book excerpt and blog tour – Everything Under The Sun by J.A. Redmerski

Good morning! Today I have an awesome book excerpt to share from Everything Under The Sun by J.A. Redmerski. I’ve read and reviewed several of Jessica’s books in the past, and this one sounds absolutely fantastic! The book just released yesterday so head over to Amazon to grab your ebook copy asap.

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EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN – JESSICA REDMERSKI – COPYRIGHT 2017

EXCERPT #1: “I’LL WAIT FOR YOU.”

“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.
“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”—she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on me—“my whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”
I looked at her then, her words stirring me.
“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”
Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.
I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.
“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.
“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.
She stood up on wobbly legs.
“You said to get my supplies—are you sending me away alone?”
I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.
“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”
“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”
I sighed. And I looked at the wall.
“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.
Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”
Thais nodded.
“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”

~ Amazon buy link ~

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Author bio:

J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is an international bestselling author and award winner who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have so far been translated into twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. The Portuguese rights to her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, have been picked up by one of Brazil’s largest publishers – Suma de Letras; Paikese Kirjastus in Estonia; Ephesus in Turkey; Konyvmolykepzob in Hungary. The series has been optioned for television by William Levy.
EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN is Jessica’s newest love story.

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Author Q&A – Doc Doc Zeus by Thomas Keech

Happy Thriller Thursday! I’m a huge *HUGE* thriller fan. I like a variety of thrillers, but ones with a medical theme are extra creepy. Doc Doc Zeus by Thomas Keech has been on my book radar for a while now, and I’m so happy to be participating in the blog tour today! Book info including an author Q&A is included below. I hope you pick this book up soon!

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Goodreads description

Dr. Hardwicke Zeus is a successful physician, who cheats on his wife, degrades his mistress, stiffs his medical partners and defrauds insurance companies. Most problematic of all is his deep-seated misogyny, which he takes out on his female patients. The medical board knows he drugged and raped Katherine two years before, but is helpless to do anything about it. His current victim is sixteen-year-old Diane. Diane is intelligent and strong-willed, but she is also an unwed mother who at fourteen has given her baby away for adoption, has lost faith in her church, and is having trouble reconnecting with her only two friends. Even as she cherishes her relationship with Dr. Zeus, Diane resists some of his sexual demands and finds it necessary as a matter of survival to lie to him about taking the drugs he prescribes for her. With a little help from a new friend, she gradually figures out that she is being used, and what to do about it.

 

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Author Q&A with Thomas Keech

1. Doc Doc Zeus is all about medical crime. Has there ever been a fictional story like this one written before?
This book might be unique in that it focuses not only on the predator doctor but also on the victim – how she got caught up in the doctor’s evil trap, how she was affected, and how she eventually learns to trust and learn from the people around her.
2. Without giving too much away, what would you say is the main conflict in Doc Doc Zeus?
Dr. Zeus’s evil manipulation of all the levers of power to indulge his sexual and financial fantasies is challenged by the dedication of a novice investigator – and the surprising inner strength of his teenage victim.
3. Most books that really connect with readers speak to some universal truths. What universal truths are illustrated or discussed in your book?
The sociopaths we will always have among us, but the rest of us can limit their damage if we forge ahead, forgive ourselves for our own mistakes and do the same for those who are truly our friends.
4. Can you tell readers how your personal background and experience informed your writing of Doc Doc Zeus?
As counsel to the Maryland State Board of Physicians for sixteen years I assisted the Board as they heard charges against physicians. My work required me to have an intimate knowledge of the case, including the witness interviews, the testimony, and the hearings, as well as the procedures and trial tactics of both the prosecution and the defense.
5. Why did you choose the predator, Dr. Zeus, to be a male?
The great majority of physician sexual predators that I dealt with were male, the great majority of victims female. My guess is that either male patients are not reporting assaults by female physicians or it isn’t happening that often.
6. What do you want readers to remember about your story or characters long after they have finished reading?
Diane trusted her friends and kept a fingerhold on reality even as she was being swept away by Dr. Zeus and his drugs. Maybe that happened because he parents never abandoned her. There are people even in high levels of our society whose only concept of truth is whatever is best for them at the present moment; these people are dangerous and must be watched carefully.

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Find Thomas Keech on Goodreads

Book Spotlight – A Justified Bitch by H.G. McKinnis

Happy hump day! I love Wednesdays, the week is half over and the weekend is rapidly approaching! It’s also the day after book release day which means I’m usually swimming in new books. I *might* have a book buying problem. But that’s nothing compared to the main character of the book I want to share with you today.

A Justified Bitch by H.G. McKinnis releases next Tuesday, August 8th. I highly recommend putting this book on your tbr immediately! It is so unique and like nothing I’ve heard of before. Hoarding, phantom husband, lots of cats, and a severed finger! How can this book NOT be absolutely fantastic!? I’ll leave the Goodreads description below as well as the author info.

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Goodreads

It takes a guilty bastard to make a justified bitch.

When a severed finger shows up on her doorstep in a seedy section of Las Vegas, Helen Taylor does not freak out. She’s already crazy, as evidenced by her junk-stuffed house and its ever-growing population of cats. There’s also Bobby, her long-dead husband. Helen talks to him regularly, and Bobby talks back.

The finger and the brutal murder it reveals are more than a hoarding cat lady with a phantom husband can ignore. Helen’s a suspect, and she ends up in jail. Summoned by the detective on the case, Helen’s sister Pat arrives from Phoenix with two teen-age boys in tow.

While Helen is AWOL from a mental facility, another gruesome murder is discovered. Pat, the boys, and the detective struggle to separate fact from insanity, but it takes power beyond the ordinary to bring the truth to light.

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Author Q & A

  1. You live in Las Vegas, and that’s also where your book is set. Why do you think this city provides such a rich backdrop for storytelling.

For starters, Las Vegas is a 24-hour town. Where else can you golf or go bowling at two in the morning and follow it up with a meal at a nice restaurant before sunrise? Another amazing feature is that, as a resident, I don’t really have to travel. The whole world comes here – not only to gamble and drop inhibitions, but to conduct business, get married, and go to school. For a relatively young city, Las Vegas has a rich, fascinating history. Who would have thought that a tiny Mormon fort surrounded by desert would grow into a metropolis of two million in just over a century? Add in mobsters, showgirls, and nuclear physicists testing bombs, and you get a history that’s any novelist’s dream. I’ll never run out of stories.

2. Without giving too much away, what would you say is the main conflict in A Justified Bitch?

Helen’s overabundance of cats and ever-increasing hoard have reached critical levels, but her family—out of town and busy with their lives—are unaware of the growing complexities of her situation. When Helen is entangled in a murder investigation, the family can no longer look the other way. As they struggle to rescue Helen, they must reexamine their own relationships and identities.

3. Most books that really connect with readers speak to some universal truths. What universal truths are illustrated or discussed in your book.

Siblings are a pain in the ass!

Seriously, familial relationships are complex and demanding. They also shape our identities.

4. Can you tell readers how your personal background and experience informed your writing for A Justified Bitch.

I’ve lived in Las Vegas all my life and have answered the siren call of swap meets and thrift stores since I was a teenager. Because Las Vegas has a diverse and transient population, treasure hunting at bargain venues is always extra-rewarding.

Losing my husband has given me insight into the mental gymnastics needed to keep the pain at bay. I’m no Helen, but I have no trouble understanding how hoarding helped her cope with her loss.

5. Why did you choose to write about a hoarder.

I’ve met a number of hoarders in my life. I noticed early on that they all had interesting and complex back stories. Many people are unaware of the hoarders in their own lives. Ashamed, hoarders hide their condition to avoid embarrassment.

6. Is it possible to have a normal life in Las Vegas?

You’re asking a fish to describe water! I’ve lived here most of my life. I feel comfortable, productive, and… normal. And so do all the other nude dressers I’ve worked with!

7. In A Justified Bitch, we notice the characters going through financial hardship and the toll it takes on them. In your opinion, how does the economy affect the lives of everyday people?

An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to work hard are hallmarks of many Las Vegans. The glamor of the city is a show we put on for tourists, and it takes legions of committed and diligent people to produce the experience visitors expect. When the economy sours and jobs dry up, we all have a choice: double down or leave town. It makes me proud that the prevailing attitude among true Las Vegans is: work harder.

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About the author:

A life-long resident of Las Vegas and alumna of the University of Nevada, H.G. McKinnis knows her city as only a local can. By night she fluffs feathers and attaches rhinestones to the exotic wardrobes of the most glamourous venues on the strip, by day McKinnis writes about the often hardscrabble lives of her fellow desert denizens and the unlikely city they inhabit. A Justified Bitch, a twisted tale of insanity, murder, and redemption, is her first novel.

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Currently reading – The Child by Fiona Barton

Happy Tuesday aka book release day! I am currently reading a book that just came out today and decided to do things a bit differently. I’m about halfway through the book and really enjoying it! I read The Widow by Fiona Barton a few months and so far this book is holding up to the hype of the first one. Once I finish I’ll be sure to share my thoughts in a full length review. Until then read the Goodreads description below and let me know about a book you’re looking forward to reading in the comments!

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Goodreads description:

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

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Book Review – Skitter by Ezekiel Boone

Happy Monday! I am finally getting around to sharing my review of Skitter by Ezekiel Boone. The lovely people over at Atria Books sent me an advance copy, and I am so very thankful. This is the second book in the Hatching series and picks up pretty close to where book 1, The Hatching, leaves off.

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Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Description

Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.

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My honest review:

I need to preface this review by saying I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE spiders. Seriously. If I see a spider in my house my first urge is to burn down the whole place. I turn into a sniffling, whiny, panicky child and the only solution is the immediate death of the offensive spider. With that being said, I apparently love a good horror book about spiders. Weird, I know! I was head over heels crazy for the The Hatching, and I was happy to see that Skitter held the same intensity for me.

As I’m sure most of you have heard, some book series have been plagued with the “2nd in the series dud” syndrome. I was honestly worried that this would be the case after all the dramatics involved in book 1. I was even a bit leery as I started reading Skitter and saw that the book wasn’t headed at all where I thought it would. Luckily, I can say I was pleasantly surprised.

As I stated above, book 2 picks up pretty close to where book 1 ended. The Hatching was filled with so much unknown so I naturally expected Skitter to have a lot of solutions to the horrible people-eating spiders. That did not happen at all. If anything the end of book 2 left us with even bigger problems than we ever thought possible in book 1. I didn’t even know that was possible!

Skitter is still filled with all the same characters that we came to love in The Hatching, but also introduces some new minor characters to sweeter the story. America is in chaos and let’s just say certain people aren’t taking that too well. At this point almost everyone is trying to find a way to eradicate the spiders, but no one is successful. If it’s even possible, their progress is actually going backward instead of forward. At one point the President institutes the Spanish Protocol and basically cuts up the US into tiny pieces. Fun!

This book could easily be considered a part 2 to the first book. The problems are bigger and more unsolvable, the spiders are HUGE, and still there are no answers. However, even with all of this going on this book is a thrill ride of suspense. Just when you think things can’t get worse, they get 100 times worse. The end of the book was such a major cliffhanger that I kept trying to flip pages thinking I missed something. I need answers Ezekiel Boone!!! You need to finish this horrible scourge asap. At this point I can only assume that everyone will die and the world will be run by giant spiders – my worst nightmare!

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Buy the book here!!

Book Review – It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany

Hello all! I have another great book to share with you today. It’s my stop on the blog tour for It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany. This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Hatvany, and I really enjoyed her writing style. Thank you to Atria Books for sending me a copy!

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Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads Description

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

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My honest review:

Let me start by saying this book was a hard one to read. The subject matter is intense and emotional. At first I was very apprehensive about reading a book about rape between friends. It didn’t sound like something myself or anyone would want to read about. I am happy to say that I am so glad I read this book.

As the story unfolds you read about the backstory and history between the main characters. They are best friends since middle school, helping each other through some very tough times. As they grow up their friendship grows stronger even with some bumps along the road. You feel an underlying tension building but you don’t want to believe something awful is really going to transpire between them.

This book definitely has a slow but intense build. After the incident happened I was honestly in shock. I was in denial and already trying to make excuses for both parties involved. This easily happens in real life in the exact some way. I tried to see it for both sides. My loyalty to each friend switched back and forth. As the after effects become more apparent there really is only one side to take.

This book is as real life as it can get in my opinion. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a fictional book not an expose on a common occurrence. It brings to light the very real situation of things going too far between friends. I hope that the subject matter doesn’t turn anyone away from this book. It needs to be read by everyone.

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