May 022018
 

THE LAST TIME I LIED by Riley Sager
Genre: Suspense
Published by Dutton
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
ISBN-10: 1524743070
ISBN-13: 978-1524743079
Pages: 384
Review Copy From: Publisher via NetGalley
Edition: eBook
My Rating: 3.5/4

Synopsis (via GR)

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

My Thoughts

Caveat: I did enjoy this read, however, it was easy to put it down, which is why I gave it the rating I did.

The suspense continued throughout the story. The characters well defined. The problem for me was that the premise of the story was quite similar to another book that I read in the past. But I would definitely read more books by this author!

However, I am sure that many would enjoy this book, which is why I gave it a 4. For me, it was a 3.5.

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

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.

May 012018
 

Hiding

by Jenny Morton Potts

on Tour May 1-31, 2018

Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

Synopsis:

 

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

 

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

This was the first book that I read by this author, but I am sure it won’t be the last.

The story alternates between 2 families, one in Scotland, the other North Carolina with the time frames of 2007 and 2021.

At first, I was a bit confused as to how and what was going on and how these 2 families could be connected. But the author’s writing style and the narrative kept me glued to the pages. There was an underlying intrigue that I had to know how it was all going to come together. So glad I did!

Caveat: This will be a very vague review because I don’t want to give anything away!

Keller Baye, has had a very unfortunate childhood, which with every waking hour is planning for revenge after watching his father be put to death in a North Carolina jail. Rebecca Brown also had a difficult childhood. At the age of 4, her and her 2 siblings, lost their parents in a horrific car accident, and who now live with their paternal grandparents in Scotland. As Rebecca gets older, she wants to know more of what happened that fateful day. How are these 2 families connected?

This book has it all. Secrets, betrayals, vengeance, revenge, stalking, lies, and love, both irrational and unconditional.

The author’s writing style I very much enjoyed. She weaves and interweaves these 2 families in an intricate narrative that kept me turning the pages.

Definitely recommend!

 

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: Cahoots Publishing
Publication Date: February 2018
Number of Pages: 323
ISBN: 1976862817 (ISBN13: 9781976862816)
Check out Hiding on Amazon | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 2

Death Row
June 2021

There was a walk now. They passed doors, like random choices. They all looked the same, all the colour of pale nicotine. But some of those doors were in the business of living and some were not. As you walked past them, you could feel hope slipping away. Which door? Which one? It was like a game the devil might play as you entered hell. Eventually the passengers reached the end of their journey and were shown into another room which was similar in size to the last but with what looked like a window on one side. The window was dark for the moment, with a black blind pulled down and opposite, there was a gallery with seating. The seating was slightly raked, like a theatre. They were here for a performance.

‘That’s 11.30 gone now,’ someone said from the far end.

‘Show must go on.’ Keller mumbled.

There was a crackle and then an audio test from the speaker in the corner. Keller imagined that President Descher had arranged a televised viewing and that all over the State the people could see and hear this: factory workers, grandmothers, schoolchildren, stopping what they’re doing and watching. From the audio speaker, Keller recognised words from the phonetic alphabet, then the date, today, June 23rd 2021, the location, the prisoner’s name and number HCI 72259-931 and the time scheduled for execution.

Keller knew that the duration for the poison to act was ten minutes maximum and that the ratio to be injected was set against the inmate’s weight and height.

Somewhere behind him, Keller could hear mumbling about the victims’ families and an officer explained that they were seated separately, in another viewing room. He imagined that the families’ room was crowded, since eight victims had lost their lives that day.

At 11.45 am, the time was announced once more on the speaker and the blind was pulled up manually, revealing the execution chamber. Keller had forgotten who was seated directly next to him now, but whoever it was flinched.

The prisoner was already strapped onto the gurney. There was a sheet over his body but you could see where the constraint buckles jutted up into the clean white cotton. His left arm was exposed however and the intravenous tube was already in. He was clean shaven. Keller had never seen him without a beard. He could almost pretend he did not know him.

Three Harfield guards came into the chamber now. They did not look at the window, which to them was a mirror. Who would want to see themselves doing what they were about to do, even if it was their duty. The three guards were each handed a syringe. The content of one of the syringes was deadly and the other two contained a harmless fluid. The guards would never know who among them administered the lethal injection.

The condemned man’s chest began to rise and fall. He blinked rapidly and his Adam’s apple bulged in his throat, as he struggled to find an impossible place between dignity and the screaming of his nerves to stay alive.

Keller murmured, ‘There is nothing to do now but die.’

A man in the chamber who had been out of their view, moved into sight. He was dressed in a plain dark suit. He identified himself as Warden James and held up a chart. His hand was steady enough, his white knuckles though suggested a very tight grip on that chart.

Keller stared down at the inmate who seemed to be staring back, though Keller knew that the glass was one way and that all the condemned could see was a reflection of his own final scene. All the same, their eyes met.

Warden James turned to the prisoner. ‘Is there anything you would like to say or read before we administer this lethal injection?’

‘Yes.’

Keller frowned down at the neighboring lap. It was the redhead next to him, the PhD student, twisting that engagement ring. The girl who more than likely had it all, the girl who could not cope without her cell, was barely coping at all. Keller could feel her trembling against the length of his torso and the anger in his veins burned. The young woman held her hand up to her mouth and whispered into it, ‘God, dear God.’

The Warden lowered his eyes to Prisoner HCI 72259-931 on the gurney and blinked several times. He said to the inmate, ‘Go ahead, what do you want to say.’

‘I would like to ask a question.’

‘What is your question?’

‘I would like to ask a question and have it answered.’

Warden James looked around the room at the other officials.

‘Go ahead and ask your question.’

‘Not until you tell me that I will have an answer.’

Keller smiled and nudged the redhead. ‘You see? Make the most of every goddamned moment.’

The young woman was on the edge of her seat and on the edge of tears.

In the chamber, the suits and uniforms huddled and muttered amongst themselves and the Warden came free of the pack once more.

‘We shall try to answer your question. And cannot commit beyond that. I ask you therefore again, is there anything you would like to say?’

The inmate tried to lift his head but the strap across his brow was held tight. He cleared his throat and said in that thick Carolina accent that Keller thought he’d forgotten but which now reignited in his memory and ripped through his heart.

‘I want to know if my son can see me.’

***

Excerpt from Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts. Copyright © 2018 by Jenny Morton Potts. Reproduced with permission from Jenny Morton Potts. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Jenny Morton Potts

Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realised she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with family.

She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Catch Up With Jenny Morton Potts On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

Join In on this terrific GIVEAWAY!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jenny Morton Potts. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 1 and runs through June 2, 2018.

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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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

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.

Apr 182018
 

THE PROMISE BETWEEN US by Barbara Claypole White
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: Jan. 16, 2018
ISBN-10: 1542048982
ISBN-13: 978-1542048989
Pages: 384
Review Copy From: Personal purchase
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GoodReads)

“This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

My Thoughts

I am a member of several book groups on Facebook and after seeing many positive reviews and comments on this book, I knew I had to read it.

Ten years ago, Katelyn MacDonald ran away from her life. After having a beautiful baby girl, Maisie, Katelyn suffered from Postpartum Depression and a severe case of “harm” OCD, which consumed her, she felt the only way to protect her daughter was to leave.

Ten years later, Katelyn has gotten her life in a somewhat better place. Known now as Katie Mack, she is an artist and has agreed to oversee a group of children at the Contemporary Art Museum. She soon discovers that one of the docents is Maisie. How can she continue after giving away her parental rights, but how can she not, being so close to her child. And what she sees, and believes is frightening. Could Maisie be suffering from the same illness? Will she be able to help her daughter?

Maisie was told that her birth mother died. Can her father, now remarried and with a new baby on the way and an Uncle who helped raise her, all come together to help Maisie? Will secrets come to light? Will promises be kept?

A heart wrenching and raw look at mental illness! Compelling!

The author gives a realistic insight into this illness. Her narrative of the internal dialogue and thought process of a person with OCD left me exhausted, with a new and sympathetic understanding of the disease.

A poignant and touching story! An emotional and dynamic read!

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

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.

Mar 292018
 

THREE SHOEBOXES by Steven Manchester
Published by: Fiction Studio Books
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
ASIN: B07BN465JD
Review Copy from: Author
Edition: eARC
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Author)

Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home and successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. After a horrific auto accident, an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) invades Mac’s fragile mind and drops him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner-chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system and the struggles of an invisible disease, his family is taken from him.

One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes could contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

My Thoughts

He has done it again! Steven Manchester, as I have said in the past, is the master storyteller in matters of the heart. But this time, he raised the bar even higher.

THREE SHOEBOXES is a raw and emotional read, of a family that is dealing with P.T.S.D, depression, anxiety and severe panic attacks, and how it not only affects the person afflicted but those that love and care for him. A realistic look at the struggle and the power to overcome.

Mac Anderson, husband and father of 3, starts having intense episodes of anxiety but not sure why. These episodes begin to increase not only in severity but also in frequency until they are totally consuming him. As he turns inward, he starts to self-medicate, which results in angry outbursts, alienating his wife and children and jeopardizing his job. And to the lowest point of being arrested for domestic assault.

A story that will have you so frustrated with Mac one minute and rooting for him the next. A somber realism of the effects of mental illness that still holds a stigma today.

What’s in those THREE SHOEBOXES? You will have to read this exceptional novel to find out. But a warning, have the tissues close by.

An intense and compelling read of a serious disease and the triumph of faith, will, determination and love.

Having read many of Steven Manchester’s books, I truly believe his writing is like a fine wine. It only gets better with age.

Steven Manchester brings home the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for THREE SHOEBOXES.

I can’t stress enough what an extraordinary and powerful book this is!!!!!! Highly recommend!!!!

Check out my reviews on his previous books:
TWELVE MONTHS, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN, THE ROCKIN’ CHAIR, PRESSED PENNIES, ASHES, and THE THURSDAY NIGHT CLUB

Pre-publication endorsements:

“Compelling and emotional, Three Shoeboxes takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey through some of life’s toughest challenges, always with the ever-present sense of the transforming power of love and hope. Three Shoeboxes is Steven Manchester at his finest.”
– Carla Neggers, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, Harbor Island and Echo Lake

“Raw, moving and brutally honest—Steven Manchester takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Grab your tissues for this heart-wrenching story—better yet, grab a box full!”
– Tanya Anne Crosby, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, The Girl Who Stayed

“Three Shoeboxes is a compassionate, accessible portrait of a vitally important topic, PTSD, how it affects the sufferer and the family—and how to find hope and healing.”
– Jenna Blum, NYT & International Bestselling Author, Those Who Save Us and Storm Chasers

“Three Shoeboxes is terrific writing. Manchester’s protagonist’s life becomes nightmarish, his rage palpable, and his ultimate redemption breathtaking. It was enough to bring this reader to tears.”
– John Lansing, #1 Bestselling Author, The Devil’s Necktie

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | 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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

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.

Mar 272018
 

THE FIX by Robert Downs
Genre: Noir
Published by Black Opal Books
Publication Date: Dec. 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781626948174
Pages: 166
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: Kindle

**Stop by tomorrow for Q&A with Robert Downs**

 

Synopsis

Professional gambler, Johnny Chapman, plays the hand he’s dealt, but when he’s dealt a series of losers, he decides to up the ante with more money than he can afford to lose. Just when he thinks his life can’t get any worse, it does. The loan shark he owes the money to demands that he pay up and sends his goons after him. The man offers Johnny one way out—fix a race by fatally injecting the dog most likely to win. A piece of cake, Johnny thinks, until he looks into the big brown eyes of the beautiful dog, and the price suddenly seems too great to pay. Now Johnny’s on the run and the goons are closing in…

My Thoughts

This novella was the first I have read by this author.

For me personally, I enjoy novellas to get acquainted with an author’s work, but it always seems I usually want more of the particular story.

Johnny Chapman has 2 addictions, gambling and alcohol. He also, being good looking and charismatic, can also be a “ladies man”. And he is down on his luck in all 3 departments.

He has been on a losing streak and can’t pay off his debts so the loan shark has a proposition for him. Rig a dog race by injecting the favorite to win with an injection of “hormones” before the race. But as the synopsis states, he can’t do it to this innocent animal and walks away. However, not a good idea, when he has to outrun those that he is indebted to. Thus begins the fight of his life to stay alive.

A fast paced journey of suspense with a bit of romance thrown in. As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a wild ride of Chapman’s fear to survive and outsmart the tough guys. Even to the point of armed robbery and murder. But is it reality, dreams, and/or alcohol-induced visions? The reader will have to decide.

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

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Robert Downs. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Giftcard. The giveaway begins on February 27, 2018 and runs through May 02, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

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.