Nov 122018

Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

WHEN NEVER COMES by Barbara Davis ~ signed TPB with swag from Author
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Kaira Rouda ~ Harlequin via NetGalley
25 TO LIFE by John Lansing ~ 1st draft for beta reading from Author
THE COLLECTOR by Fiona Cummins ~ from Kensington via GR win
DEAD IN A WEEK by Andrea Kane ~ Signed ARC from Author
A FATAL OBSESSION by James Hayman ~ TPB from Harper Collins/Witness Impulse

Nov 102018

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This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2018 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Why did I choose this Challenge? Well, if you have followed this blog, you know that I love Challenges, even though I may not complete all the ones I sign up for. I just find it to be fun. Another reason I decided to do this Challenge, is that I realized it has been ages since I have actually blogged, other than posting reviews, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc. Over the past few years, being busy organizing VBTs, I have slacked off with one of the main reasons I joined the Book Blogging Community.

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This month’s prompt is: TRUTH

I’m a firm believer that the truth is always revealed, maybe not right away, but the truth always comes out.

I learned this the hard way during my teenage years. It never failed, if my parents asked me something and I lied, they eventually found out that I had.

Now that I am older and wiser, if someone lies to me, I can usually see right through it. And if a person lies every time they open their mouth, which we knew someone like that, nothing he said was ever believed plus we lost respect for him and questioned his integrity.

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Oh I know, everyone tells little white lies during their lifetime, and I am guilty of that. Especially in instances when someone asks my opinion if I like this or that, and I know the person really doesn’t want to hear a negative. I do, however, try my hardest that my wording is something as close to the truth as I can say. For example, when asked about a piece of clothing, I would say and have said: that is definitely your style, but I wouldn’t be able to wear it.

I also believe it is better not to lie, not only for the reason that the truth will come out, but you need a very good memory to remember those lies. And as I get older, I sometimes can’t remember where I put my glasses or phone and more often than not, my glasses are on the top of my head and I’m talking on my phone 🙂

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And for me, my greatest truth is in God’s words and my faith.

What are your thoughts on truth?

Nov 092018

Hosted by McGruffy’s Reader and 15 and Meowing

This week’s Fill-Ins:

  1. I just _________________-.

  2. My next ________________ will be ____________________.

  3. The sound of _________ makes me cringe.

  4. Right now, I am craving _________.

My answers:

  1. I just ate a Reese’s peanut butter cup that was left over from Halloween.

  2. My next online purchases will be will be for Christmas gifts and not something for me..

  3. The sound of chalk on a chalkboard makes me cringe.

  4. Right now, I am craving strufoli after seeing a picture of it in my FB feed.
    Strufoli is an Italian dessert usually made around the holidays. I have my grandmother’s recipe and one of these days will have to try making it.

Nov 072018

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW by Sally Hepworth
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction
Published by St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Pages: 352
Review Copy From: St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

My Thoughts

I wanted to read this book for a few reasons. Not only did the synopsis intrigue me but having a mother-in-law for the past 37 years and becoming a mother-in-law to my son’s wife 5 years ago, I was curious if there would be any similarities to my real life relationships and there were some.

Lucy lost her mother at the age of 13 so when she married Ollie she was hopeful that she would win his mother, Diana, over and have a warm and loving relationship with her. However, Diana was a bit standoffish, some would even say she was “frosty” and as the years went by, the relationship turned volatile at times.

The story alternates between Lucy and Diana’s perspectives both past and present but opens with the discovery of Diana’s body. At first, the police felt it was a suicide but there were items at the scene that might lead in another direction.

The suspense was ongoing throughout the story, which made it hard to put this book down. The characters convincing. Not only was the mystery of Diana’s death gripping, I also found the personal dynamics captivating.

Mothers of sons usually have to walk a fine line so as not to get the evil mother-in-law status, but in this case, Diana’s past had such a bearing on her personality that I felt for her.

In the end, a letter was found in her desk with the following words of wisdom that Lucy, 10 years after her mother-in-law’s death still lives by:
I worked hard for everything I ever cared about. And nothing I ever cared about cost a single cent.

An outstanding read! I am looking forward of reading more books by Ms. Hepworth.

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


  • 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 or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Nov 062018

    Moon Games

    by Shelly Frome

    November 6, 2018 Book Blast


    The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

    At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing girl hiker on the Q.T, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

    But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible as she puts up one smokescreen after another, including a slip of the tongue regarding an incident in Havana. The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

    Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep and arcane prompts on her e-mail only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to run its course.

    Book Details:

    Genre: Mystery, Amateur Detective
    Published by: Milford House
    Publication Date: August 2018
    Number of Pages: 264
    ISBN: 1620061848
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads


    Read an excerpt:

    The wind picked up yet again, joined by spatters of cold rain and the rustle of leaves from the encircling shrub.

    All at once, the lantern flicked off, a scream cut through the wind and spatters. The cries became muffled, replaced by the grunts of a hulking figure clambering up the knoll, coming directly toward him with something writhing and flailing over its back.

    For one interminable moment, he caught sight of her eyes, frozen, terrified, beseeching him.

    Reflexively, despite every decent intention deep in his bones, Harry dropped the Maglite, turned and ran down the slope, tripping and stumbling, falling to his knees, righting himself, smacking into a brush that scraped his cheek. Rushing headlong now, smacking into more brush and banging his elbow, he kept it up, twisted his ankle but hobbled forward fast as he could until he reached his station wagon. Squirming behind the wheel, he fumbled for his keys, dropped them on the mat, groped around, snatched them up, grinded the ignition, set both front and back wipers going and shot forward hitting the trunk of a tree. He backed up into the hedgerow, turned sharply, not daring to flip on the headlights, scraped another tree and slid onto the narrow lane.

    He switched on the low beams so he could see where he was going in the drizzle and fog and began making his way down. Dull headlight beams flashed behind his rear window and faded.

    With his mind racing and the wipers thwacking away as the rain lashed across the windshield, he careened down the zig-zagging lane and thought of the car that was wedged under the branches parked on a downward angle and the hulking figure carrying his prey over his shoulder shambling toward it. And her eyes, those beseeching eyes.

    He might have a few seconds lead before the girl was tossed in the trunk . . . or deposited in the cottage while the driver lying in wait exchanged signals and went after him. So many what-ifs? while some cowardly part of him only wanted a place to hide.

    Then the dull, low beams flicked on again, glinting on his rearview mirror.

    Straining to see through the wipers and beads of rain, he turned off down Sunset, then onto a flat, darkened stretch, then gunned it through an amber light over the tracks across brightly lit Route 70.

    He drove away from the tracks where the girl doubtless had been tailed, came upon a T and swerved left onto a sign that said Old Route 70. In no time, he spotted a Grove Stone Quarry, but the gates were closed and he could swear the low beams tailing him flicked on again. If only he could stop veering all over the place, if he could get behind those humongous mounds of sand and stone.

    Ignoring the traffic light, he cut to his right and swerved up a road bordered by a high wire fence demarcating a prison facility, sped past until he was hemmed in by walls of white pine. The walls of pine were intersected by for-sale arrows and a bright red banner. He killed his headlights altogether, swerved again into a cluster of model homes that formed a cul-de-sac, and coasted to a stop as the car stalled.

    He got out and followed an exposed drain pipe that angled down until it cut off at a rain-slick paved drive onto a neighborhood of two-story houses, porch lights and street lamps.

    His ankle gave way again as he became fixated on circling back to that massive, enclosed hiding place where he could try to get his bearings.

    The cold rain beat down harder. Though the Blue Ridge range hovered in the near distance, it was shrouded in mist and offered no comfort.


    Excerpt from Moon Games by Shelly Frome. Copyright © 2018 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.


    Shelly Frome

    Author Bio:

    Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

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