Jan 142020
 

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Published by Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
ASIN: B07QMJCSJ3
Pages: 307
Review Copy From: Publisher via NetGalley
Edition: eBook
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.

“Like most of the dead, I want to be remembered.”

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.

When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin—and has every reason to leave her past behind—the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman’s name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.

An electric, twisted portrait of sisterhood and the ties that bind, The Better Liar is a stunning debut with a heart-stopping, twist-after-twist finale that will beg the question: How far would you go to get what’s yours?

Advance praise for The Better Liar

“I thought I’d just skim a page or two before putting The Better Liar on my ‘to-read’ shelf, but I couldn’t help becoming so drawn in that I had to keep going. Tanen Jones has written a compulsively page-turning story. She cleverly drip-feeds nuggets of information, each more surprising than the last, until the final shocking revelation.”—Claire Fuller, author of Bitter Orange and Swimming Lessons

My Thoughts

Where do I begin?

Let’s first start with that this is a debut novel and I am hoping that there will be many more books by this author!!

Next, the title!! If you are like me and try to figure out the mystery, the reader has to start there. I knew I had to pay very close attention to the clues and the possible red herrings. Are you asking how I did? I’ll let you know!

Now the story!!! As the synopsis states, Leslie Voight Flores hasn’t seen her sister, Robin, in 10 years, when Robin ran away. However, she must try to track her down since their father’s will states that they will both receive $50,000. upon his death but that they have to receive it together. But is she too late? Now, what does she do? She needs that money!!!!

The narrative alternates between 3 characters (being vague as to not wanting to give away even a tidbit of this riveting story). For me, that meant the type of read that was “just one more chapter” to see which character will be “speaking” next and what that certain character might say.

This was definitely a page-turner, one that was very difficult to put down. Thrilling throughout and totally engrossing. However, I didn’t figure it out!!! Matter of fact, this debut novel left me with a “book hangover” going over the storyline in my mind as to what clues did I miss.

Ms. Jones is now on my radar!!! Kudos to her for such a dynamic introduction to her writing abilities!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Jan 072020
     

    BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: White Collar Crime/True Account
    Published by CreateSpace
    Publication Date: May 1, 2015
    ISBN-10: 1511558385
    ISBN-13: 978-1511558389
    Pages: 114
    Review Copy From: Personal purchase
    Edition: TPB
    My Rating: 4

    Synopsis (via GR)

    When bank teller Rose Ryan accidentally uncovers a shocking discrepancy in bank finances, she goes to the police, who immediately call in the FBI. From that day forward, she meets at a coffee shop each morning with two FBI agents to report her observed embezzling activity and receive further instructions. Rose continues to collect evidence of the illegal activity at the bank, right under the noses of the criminals, but for her own safety and that of her family, she is warned to “tell no one, not even your husband.” Until now . . .

    My Thoughts

    I recently read Ms. Ring’s latest book, THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and thoroughly enjoyed it. After connecting on Facebook, she told me about her previous books and a little bit about them. With that, she sent me a signed copy of KNIT 2, PURL 2, KILL 2, which I have yet to read and I purchased BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI because I was intrigued due to what she told me about how this book came to be via a real-life experience.

    Rose Ryan embodies what an all-around good person should be. Her family came first, believed in honesty, knew the difference between right and wrong and was active in her community. After being a stay at home Mom until her 2 children were in High School, she went back to work as a bank teller. She loved her job and was held in high esteem by those that went to the bank. Her work ethics was extraordinary and didn’t go unnoticed when she received a promotion and was transferred to another branch.

    The first day there, while closing up, she noticed an exorbitant amount of money was missing. She went straight to the President of the bank to inform him of the error. She had done right, at least she thought she did until she overheard the president on the phone telling someone that “Rose was on to them”.

    Driving home she knew she could not let this matter go. After much thought, she pulled into the Police Parking Lot and gave a statement. Thinking that an investigation would ensue, she felt that she had done her job. However, due to the amount of money, the police told her that the FBI would need to be brought into it. And from there, her life turned upside down.

    She was now an informant for the FBI. She wasn’t allowed to tell her husband, children, no one!!! She was followed, as were her family. Things got worse when she realized that the new Branch Manager carried a gun and was part of the embezzlement circle of employees.

    I could feel Rose’s tension, worry and anxiety, not only while she was at work but having to lie to her family to keep them safe. And throughout the read, I kept asking myself what would I have done. The storyline was fluid. There are some surprises as to the outcome of this story and the when and how Rose finally told her story.

    This story did resonate with and trigger my own memories of a somewhat similar experience that occurred with my family when I was young and my parents were approached to help the state troopers to be part of a sting. It lasted for 8+ months where we were followed and not allowed to say anything to anyone!

    Another great read Ms. Ring!!!!!!

    Watch the trailer

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Dec 272019
     
    True To Me by Kay Bratt
    Genre: Cozy Mystery/Romance
    Published by Lake Union Publishing
    Publication Date: December 10, 2019
    ASIN: B07RGJB1D8
    Pages: 267
    Review Copy From: Publisher via NetGalley
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

    Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

    But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

    My Thoughts

    This is the first book that I read by this author, but I had seen good things being said about this book, that I wanted to see if the buzz was correct. Plus I haven’t been disappointed yet by an author via Lake Union Publishing.

    It has always been Quinn Maguire and her mother as far back as she can remember especially after her father left them at an early age. No extended family members. As a child, she always wanted to search for her father to get the answers she needed. But that all changed one fateful day.

    Living in Georgia and as she lay dying, Beth, Quinn’s mother asks a favor of her only child and that is to please spread her ashes in Hawaii. Hawaii? Why? She has never heard her Mom talk about Hawaii. The other thing that came as a blow, Beth tells Quinn that Wesley Maguire wasn’t her biological father.

    Trying to get through the grief of losing her mother and now not knowing who her father is, she makes the decision that she needs to honor her mother’s wishes and do it alone, leaving her controlling fiancè Ethan behind. What transpires is once in Hawaii, is she finds out that she is part of a feud between two families that have gone on for years and who she really is. And now, it’s time to be true to herself.

    I absolutely loved this story. The writing was fluid and engrossing. I felt as I could feel the Hawaiian breezes blowing and that I knew each and every one of the characters. At times, my heart broke for Quinn as I could feel the emotional toll that she was under and the questions that were heavy on her heart. I wanted so much for her to have a happy ending. Did she? Well…….you will need to read this compelling and poignant story to find out!, which I highly recommend.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

    • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
    Dec 052019
     

    The Neighborhood by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: Humerous Fiction
    Published by Erina Bridget Ring
    Publication Date: June 26, 2018
    ISBN-10: 0692141847
    ISBN-13: 978-0692141847
    Pages: 260
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: Signed TPB
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR

    Gretchen O’Malley thinks her new neighborhood is nice and quiet, as ordinary as any other neighborhood. But this soon changes. Every day a new dilemma arises, pulling her into the chaos, and as she gets to know her neighbors she discovers comedy, cruelty, and even tragedy.

    Do you know what’s going on in your neighborhood?

    My Thoughts

    This year I have been reading mostly Psychological Thrillers but was needing a change so I decided on The Neighborhood, which I was lucky enough, to receive a signed copy from the author. Can I say what a charming delight this book was!!!! The first book that I have read by Ms. Ring but will definitely not be the last.

    Who will honestly say that you have checked out what your neighbors are doing or shaking your heads at them? I know I have.

    Gretchen and Jarrod O’Malley have moved into a house in the quaint Sherwood Forest neighboorhood on a cul de sac where it appears that their neighbors are welcoming and all friendly. The day after their move, Maggie Gaines comes to visit and offers Gretchen help to unpack. However, the kind offer turns into a very uncomfortable feeling in Gretchen since Maggie is telling her where to put the unpacked items.

    Then what Gretchen and Jarrod thought was the ideal neighborhood turns into something that is hard to believe.

    This was an entertaining and quick read. I was chuckling at some of the incidents and then feeling creepy at others. I had to keep reading because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next in this little community. The characters were believable, even though, their antics were at times overpowering, quite intrusive and outlandish.

    I absolutely loved this book and know that I will never look at my neighbors again without thinking of the residents living in the Sherwood Forest area!

    Highly recommend!

    Q&A with Erina Bridget Ring

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads
    What inspired you to write this book?

    I’d like to start by saying it’s truly a pleasure to be a part of this experience, and I thank you Cheryl for the opportunity in order to participate.

    Having moved 21 times in my life, I have lived in different states and communities. I remember various homes and the neighbors within all those different communities. What struck me the most, was every time we moved a person would show up in my new neighborhood that would remind me of a person from my old one.

    What propelled me to write about The Neighborhood? A combination of things. You see, my neighborhood is going through changes, people have moved, the children have grown up and moved away, and unfortunately some have passed away. I was standing in my local grocery store talking with a friend that had some crazy things going on in her neighborhood and the neighbors were in an uproar. I left the store thinking I bet this is more common than I thought, and decided right then and there to investigate the goings on of other peoples neighborhoods.

    I have friends all over the country and I decided to survey them. I asked specific questions about where they lived, and I told them to not sugar coat the answers. I sent over 100 letters to families and when I started to get the surveys back, not only were photos included- the top ten types of people were the common thread within all of them! I remember saying out loud in my office…”We all live in the same Neighborhood!” I have to write about this.

    So, off to the local coffee shop I went. I started to write about a little town in the Midwest, with charming names of streets and my “characters” started to move right in and began to shape the story. I was writing my book and describing things, when all of a sudden a woman dashing around the neighborhood with binoculars and a clip board arrived. Gladys.

    The day Gladys arrived, the tone of my book changed from a sweet story of everyday life in America, to a humorous story of fun and dread within a somewhat fictional neighborhood.

    This was now my fifth novel, and began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically, I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book was a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and an interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is eye opening in of itself, and opened up a huge conversation about what I was writing about, and how personal it truly can be. Finally, I found myself not speaking about what I was writing so people would not tell others I was writing about them- as though it was a terrible thing! I found this also to be eye opening as people love to be in a book, until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I’ve gotten have been mostly positive. The biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story, be it happy, sad, exciting, or plain dreadful. I really want my readers to feel and breath-in the emotions of my characters and be able to root for one side or the other.
    I loved Gladys. I so wanted to know what she was writing on her clipboard!!!!

    Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
    Since this was my fifth novel, I just began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book is a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and a interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is very eye opening and opened up a huge conversation about what I am writing and how personal it really is. I had to finally not talk about what I am writing so people would not tell other people I was writing about them as though it was a terrible thing! I found it eye opening people love to be in a book until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I have gotten have been mostly positive. So the biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story be it happy, sad, exciting or plain dreadful. I really want my reader to feel, breath the emotions of my characters and root for one side or the other.
    I could definitely feel Gretchen’s emotions but I won’t say who I liked or disliked

    Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
    I write at coffee shops and local restaurants. I had my very first interview at a local bakery, and I wrote my first novel and first newspaper article, with photos, at the very same one… and every book since then. My readers get a sense of the community I am writing about and have been so supportive.

    Tell us why we should read your book?
    Why should you read my book? Now that is a very interesting story. Since my first book is about me- my readers truly resonated with me within that story and wanted to hear more. Even though I have moved to fiction, I put a sense of myself within the books for the reader to pull them into the storyline. I speak to many people and have a wealth of stories from my personal life to share. I sell my books hand to hand, and try to connect with the reader on a level of acceptance. My following has now grown online through social media platforms, as I wrote all five novels without social media being present within my writing process. People are just now finding out about my stories and are reading them as I wrote them, as though they are a series. Each one of my books stands alone with different emotional ties, and dilemmas. What each book has within- is a sense of community, one that my reader wants to be a part of and/or can easily see themselves within.

    Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
    Am I working on another novel? Yes, I am excited to say another group of people arrived for me to write about. I am doing my research as I write this novel and its been challenging but funny, outrageous, sometimes sad, extremely interesting, and eye opening for me. I have traveled out of town to different places and since I am not completely 100% sure of the title yet…I will need to share that when the title is firmly set.

    Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
    What do I do for fun? I am a wife and grandmother, an artist. I paint watercolors, and have played the piano since I was 3 years old. I love to walk my dog Ruby everyday. and of course- I love to write. Believe it or not, I had no idea I was a writer until I went through one of the roughest years, personally and emotionally in my life. My husband was writing his first novel which took him 15 years to complete, and he needed an editor. It was through my husband Jack, that I met his editor, Carolyn Woolston. She asked me one question, and my reply left her wanting to know more about “What Happened.” Jack and I drove to the coast to meet Carolyn to discuss Jack’s book, “Red Sky in the Morning.” A historical novel about WWll. She accepted Jack’s book to edit, and sent me home thinking about the possibility of writing a story about what I was going through personally. You see, I thought it would be a journal of sorts…but Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 – A Caretakers Story of Survival, poured right out of me. I found out I was a writer in the process, a process that is still ongoing, and one that continues to surprise me…
    I am looking forward to reading this.

    Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?
    What if my novel became a movie who would I cast? Well, that is an interesting question. I was at Starbucks writing when I happened to talk to a Sundance film maker….a shear by-chance meeting. We struck up a conversation because I was writing a gripping scene in my second novel, Breakfast with the FBI and I was trying to find a Kleenex. She offered me a napkin and we started talking. She found out I was a very “new” writer, and I told her about my journey, by being interviewed on NPR Radio, highlighted in the newspapers, with that, people were actually reading my books…I was amazed that she was amazed…and yes, I sent my first two novels to a film maker…and that was in the beginning. I had a hard time saying I was a writer. It was just so surreal. Anyway, for The Neighborhood, I would love to have Nicole Kidman as me, Gladys, would be Gladys from Bewitched, my husband Jarrod in the book would be Clint Eastwood. Maggie would be Sarah Jessica Parker, the felons in the book would be the actor from the mask of Zorro- and Larry and Larry, from Bob Newhart. Chip and Joanna Gaines would be the religious couple of the neighborhood- and the new couple that moves in, would be Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds. Last but not least, the hunter in the story would be Bill Murray. It would be very interesting and intriguing to see the dynamics of these people unfold. What a fun idea!
    While reading, I was also picturing Gladys from Betwitched and can definitely see those actors in the roles you mentioned

    Favorite foods?
    My favorite foods? Jack and I write very early in the morning…so we take time every day to meet up for a 2-3 hour lunch to discuss our day, what we are working on and any character problems we may be having. Our conversations must be funny to overhear because we can be talking about WWll, Spanish Civil War to Irish History and then on to what the name was of those bikers that we saw on that freeway, or to “what would you think if the neighbor jumped over the fence and put the dogs in the garage on a hot day…would you be mad?”

    We love to eat locally and the restaurant of choice is R&D Kitchen. This is the same luncheon spot we frequented while I was writing The Neighborhood, and now, my newest, untitled book. They serve fish, great chicken, and yummy salads. A place this writer can eat, relax, and enjoy her surroundings.

    Thank you again Cheryl for asking so many wonderful questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with you, and I hope you and your followers will enjoy reading the stories I’ve written, ones that are very near and dear to me.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Nov 262019
     

    The New Husband by D.J. Palmer
    Genre: Domestic Thriller
    Published by St. Martin’s Press
    Publication Date: April 14, 2020
    ISBN-10: 1250107490
    ISBN-13: 978-1250107497
    Pages: 384
    Review Copy From:
    Edition: TPB ARC
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    The New Husband is a riveting thriller about the lies we tell ourselves from D. J. Palmer, the author of Saving Meghan.

    Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

    Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone–presumably drowned while fishing on his boat–so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

    Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted–or dangerously possessive.

    But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

    My Thoughts

    After reading Saving Meghan, I was anxiously waiting to see if I could snag a copy of The New Husband and lo and behold, I did!!!!!!

    Two years ago, Glen Garrity, Nina’s husband and father to Connor and Maggie, went missing after someone found his boat with their dog Daisy and a massive amount of blood on board. The night that police tell her of their grim discovery and returning Daisy, Nina gets a text and pictures, from an unknown source, showing Glen kissing some waitress named Teresa. She then realizes that Glen has drained their savings. Was this all connected? Did he leave on his own to start a new life? Or was it something more sinister since Glen’s body was never recovered?

    It’s been 2 years and Nina has decided to move on and in with Simon Fitch, a history teacher at Maggie’s middle school. Connor doesn’t mind since he feels his dad is dead but Maggie is furious since she doesn’t trust him. Is she right not to?

    Nina can’t believe how lucky she is since Simon is close to perfect. But Maggie doesn’t think so and creates a lot of drama in this new family because she doesn’t believe her dad is dead.

    The narrative alternates between Nina, Maggie, and someone else (sorry!!! no spoilers from this lady).

    From the first chapter, the suspense mounts and the pages are turning. About 50% into the book, something happens that was like a sucker punch, which I was like, WAIT!!!! WHAT??? and had to read it three times to make sure that I understood what just happened. After that, I was reading at warp speed to find out the hows, whys, and who else will be destroyed.

    Another fast-paced chilling read!!! A book that will have you so engrossed, you won’t know what’s going on around you!!!!!

    There is one big negative, however. Since this book will not be released until April 2020, I will have a very long wait for his next book!!!!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.