Monday, June 24, 2019

Miracle Creek

Alright, so this beauty was part of my BOTM box in April 2019. I was completely intrigued by it for multiple reasons. For one it's about an immigrant family just trying to live the American dream, which I love those success stories even though I was born here. Second, I loved that it was a who-done-it book that was sort of obvious in who did it, but left you guessing about the secrets of everyone's lives that lead up to that one horrid day. Third, it's about what they each do to protect their loved ones. Yes, I had a hard time with a few things, but I'm a parent, so that makes sense. Angie Kim is not only a great author, but a very sweet woman. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next...

Alright, so first we met everyone at once as we learn about the night everything changed for each of them. There's the Yoo family of Pak, Young, and Mary who all help run a hyperbaric Miracle Submarine, which is supposed to provide treatment by giving a deep oxygenation in a pressurized environment. They are Koreans who have been in the United States for about four years, and live in Miracle Creek, VA. Pak is the father of teenage Mary and husband to Young, and he is the technician that runs the HBOT out of a barn on their property, and has only been in the states for one year. Mary and Young came three years sooner thanks to a host family, the Kings, in Baltimore where Young worked in the Kings' grocery store. Next we met Matt Thompson who is a doctor, the Yoo's first patient, and the son-in-law of the Yoo's friends the Chos. Matt is married to Janine who helps Pak get the HBOT up and running. Then there's Elizabeth Ward who is the mother of another patient Henry. Henry has autism, and the HBOT is supposed to help "cure" his "symptoms." (Sorry, I'm using quotations because I honestly think that there is nothing wrong with Autistic people. They simply need a little more help learning how to thrive on their own.) Next is Teresa Santiago, the mother of Rosa who has Cerebal Palsy, and Rosa is a patient of the HBOT to help slow her symptoms down as naturally possible. Finally, we have Kitt Kozlowski and her autistic son T.J. who also think that the HBOT can help with his little quirks enough to improve behavior and focus at school without it being their final "cure." Matt, Elizabeth, Henry, Teresa, Rosa, Kitt, and T.J. are the only ones to go into the Miracle Submarine twice a day, every day during the first two months that Pak decides to do this on his own to help as many people as he can.

They are all in during one of their evening "dives" on a not so typical day. First there are protesters waiting on the edge of the property threatening to try to shut down Pak. Next, the normal seating arrangement is switched up Elizabeth who suddenly decides to sit this one out. Finally, without the knowledge of anyone Young sits in Pak's place to watch over the dive carefully. To help keep the children calm during the one hour dive, Pak had installed a portable DVD on the outside of the submarine since there could be nothing inorganic inside to avoid a possible spark. Well, tonight the batteries die in the DVD, which forces Young to break the one rule that she knows must be followed at all times. She must leave the patients to find batteries inside. It takes a few minutes to locate batteries, during which Pak calls her to tell her that he'll send Mary to find them for here. Young finally finds the batteries and walks out. When she does, she sees Mary walking towards the barn, and then there's an explosion. The barn is on fire, Mary is on the ground bleeding, and now Pak is bringing his patients out of the barn. What has happened? All Young knows at the moment is that poor Matt has burns all over his hands, Henry is dead, and everyone is badly injured.

Fast forward one year, and the trial begins against Elizabeth who it appears is responsible for the fire to the oxygen tubing that caused the explosion. Of course, she pleads not guilty and her lawyer is trying to prove that maybe Pak set the fire. Pak as far as anyone knows was in the barn the whole time and has absolutely no motive to set the fire himself. The evidence again Elizabeth however is just piling up as the trial goes on. Matt is the first to testify, and he relives the events that happened inside the submarine after the explosion. He told about how Elizabeth made the seat switch, how little Henry's head became engulfed in flames, and how the only thing that saved T.J. was the fact that T.J. had taken his helmet off in a fit about the DVD player dying.

Matt no longer has two fingers on one hand, his arm is nothing but scar tissue, and has no fingerprints due to the plastic of the helmet being melted by the flames as he tried to save Henry. Matt relives this horrible night over and over on the stand while he also tells about how Elizabeth has been acting very strange the week leading up to that fateful day. There is also a CPS investigator brought to the stand who reveals that someone made an anonymous call against Elizabeth, and a few things were confirmed by Kitt. When the investigator finally paid a visit to Elizabeth's home, he found a few things that confirmed Kitt's concern, but does not tell Elizabeth who he had spoken to. Somehow, Elizabeth figures it out, and gets into a fight with Kitt the night before the explosion. It is also revealed that after being confronted by the protesters had been researching just how to cause the explosion and cancelled all of Henry's therapies that help with his autism.

All roads lead back to Elizabeth, that much is obvious. However, there are a few secrets that are coming up in everyone else's lives that are meant to make you question just what else do they have to hide. For example, Pak and Young can never reveal that Pak was not in the barn that night, because he is the only one in the family that is a certified technician and will be charged with negligence if anyone does find out. Pak also has the secret that he released Mylar balloons into the power lines to make it look like the protesters tried to cause a power outage in effort to shut him down. If Pak was willing to do that, what else is he willing to do to protect his own way to provide for his family? Matt and Mary have been secretly meeting in the creek near the barn to smoke together and go over SAT words, along with an awkward moment that Matt refuses to tell anyone since he is almost twice her age! Why you may ask, is he hanging around a teenager. For one simple reason, Mary reminds Matt of a younger version of Janine, who has suddenly become very clinical about their life as they try to naturally have a baby together.

Those are just a few secrets that I definitely did not see coming along with a few more. However, I cannot reveal them to you, because then what reason would you have to read the book for yourself? I hope that I have given you enough detail to make you want to find out all the secrets and final verdict against Elizabeth for yourself. Angie Kim did an amazing job writing this in a way that made it very, very hard to put the book down! It's well written, pulls at your emotions in all the right places, and honestly leaves you guessing until the very end at just how much everyone's lives have changed at the hands of one individual. As always you can find links to buy this beauty for your very own personal collection on my page:

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Wandering in Wonderland

Once again we all know I love a wonderfully written classic rewrite, and this one is no exception! This beauty was sent to me in ebook format from the Parliament House Press. I will admit that it took me a little longer to get through it because I had to read it on my tablet in between posts and charges. However, I was not disappointed despite being slightly confused about what was going on the first ten or pages. After I got past page 20 everything started to fall into place and I was hooked. I was determined to finish it before the week was over with. Ashlynn Honeycutt has a real knack for this style of writing, and I can't wait to see what is next from her!

We first met Jessica who has woken up in a hospital room with no recollection as to how she got there or who she even was. Thankfully she had a hospital bracelet on that gave her the basics about herself. Next to her on the floor she discovers a few pieces of a cookie that she doesn't remember eating. The only person that she sees is a man named Horace who explains to her that she is dead, he's a White Rabbit, and she was in Wonderland. In this twisted version, Wonderland is a heaven that only a few get the pleasure of living in. Alice has come, defeated the crazy Heart Queen, gotten kicked out by Wonderland itself, and returned to become the new Heart Queen. Jessica is told all this between a diary given to her by Zeron, the Blue Caterpillar, and Horace. Jessica discovers that the diary belongs to Rorie a.k.a. the Mad Hatter who was also Alice's lover before she was ejected from Wonderland, which lead to him supposedly walking into the woods and never emerging. Jessica wonders if he is really "dead" again. Along the walk she is taking with Horace to the Heart Palace to be part of the Looking Glass ceremony, she starts to hear Whispers that seem to warn her against trusting Horace as well as guide her.

When they finally reach the Heart Palace, Jessica mets Lila who is a heart maid, and gives her a quick history of how Wonderland came to be, and how the Looking Glass will tell Jessica just where she fits in in Wonderland. Lila tells her about how originally there was four houses that ruled over Wonderland equally and in their own way. There are of course the Hearts who were and are known for their compassion and willingness to welcome all. Then there was and is the Diamonds who are in charge of protection for everyone in wonderland. There was the Club who had all the knowledge about Wonderland and the Topside. Then there was the Spades who were the militant house and were charged with fighting off anything that was set to do damage like Jabberwocks. Eventually the Spades were not needed to fight off evil beings, and grew resentful towards the other "useful" houses. The Spades eventually turned on everyone and started a war by assassinating first the Clubs completely, then they attacked the Diamonds. Eventually the Diamonds and the Hearts were forced to team up and kill every single Spade in a war.

Finally the Looking Glass Ceremony occurs and it is Jessica's turn to peer into the Looking Glass. It reveals at first that she is to be the new Queen of Spades, and is thrown into the dungeon. One of the other newcomers is Matthew who turns out to be a Cheshire Cat and has the ability to show Jessica the life that she so desperately wanted to forget, and Jessica is given the change to go before the Looking Glass after Alice sees Jessica had a tormented life. The second glance shows Jessica with a Spade and Heart on her cheek, and is titled with Princess of Hearts by Queen Alice, who also reveals that she is ready to step away from the throne.

After Alice announces that Jessica will travel throughout Wonderland to all the villages to learn what each one does to contribute and learn about the customs, Jessica spends some time intimately with the White Rabbit Horace. That is until one night the Whispers guide her to his door where she hears him in bed with another. As a result, Jessica tells Horace that she wants nothing to do with him, and leans on her new friend Farren who is a Diamond that is part of the guards that will take Jessica across to all the villages.

At the first village, the Crafters village, Jessica is just being introduced to Trilby and Harris who are the Crafters working on her dress for her coronation. During this introduction, a Jabberwock attacks the village. At first, Jessica and the Mayor are told to stay in a house until told otherwise. Jessica decides that she just can't stand by, especially not after the Whispers tell her to look out for danger above. Jessica marches out, stabs the Jabberwock in the eye, and is sprayed by its blood which contains a poison that puts you in a deep sleep. During the deep sleep, Jessica awakes once again in a hospital room, but it is Zeron who greats her this time. Zeron eventually tells her that the Looking Glass has not only lied to her, and someone in the Palace needs her help. Then Jessica is thrown into the Heart King Jacob's bedroom where a shadow seems to haunt him and calls him Rorie. Jessica continues to have nightmares as the days go by until finally a week has passed and she awakes for the final time in a cottage bedroom. It turns out the cottage belongs to Harris and Trilby.

During the following days, they tell Jessica about what happened after she attacked the Jabberwock. Farren and all the other guards are all fine, but were called back to the castle by a White Rabbit., because someone has poisoned Alice with Jabberwock blood. Jessica was left in Harris and Trilby's care since she was not fit to travel in an unconscious state. Jessica still has Rorie's journal and continues to read it. In it she finds a passage about mermaids with the magic to make someone disappear in Wonderland. Jessica convinces Harris to take her to the mermaids with the help of Trilby. A few days later at the crack of dawn the three set off to find the mermaids.

The trio are walking through the woods which are covered in freshly fallen snow. They laugh, sing, dance, and simply have fun. After all, they have bonded a lot over the couple weeks that Jessica has been in their care. Harris and Trilby truly care for her, and Jessica feels like this is a true friendship for the first time in her life and afterlife. Along the path, Jessica is entraced by a song that she hears through the trees, and it eventually leads her to the mermaids they were seeking. The Mermaid Queen Isabella tells Jessica about how Rorie came to her about wanting to replace the real King Jacob in the Palace. Rorie apparently used the Looking Glass to disguise him as King Jacob since that is the only king it has known, and has really been by Alice's side this whole time. The real King Jacob has been living with Queen Isabella this whole time fully aware that Rorie took his place. King Jacob also reveals to Jessica that Jabberwock's poison can only be reversed by True Love's Kiss. If that's the case, then who kissed Jessica? How has no one ever known or found out that Rorie is really playing King?? Will Jessica be able to convince Rorie to reveal his true self in order to safe Alice from the nightmarish hell she is in during her deep sleep??

Sadly, this is where I must stop if I want to avoid spoiling the ending. As you can tell by my lengthy review this is decent sized book that has a lot of detail in it. I honestly didn't even cover every like thing that happened in between the points that I thought were most important. I am so grateful to the Parliament House Press for sending me this amazing classic retell by Ashlynn Honeycutt. I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it in the beginning, but this was absolutely stunningly twisted in the right places. It was definitely meant for an older crowd than the original Alice in Wonderland, but that's what makes it great! I highly recommend it to anyone like me that loves an amazing classic rewrite. Actually, I don't think is really a rewrite. It's more like a continuation that no one thought of until now. As always, you can find links to find this beauty for yourself on my page:

Friday, June 21, 2019

Get Up and Ghost

Alright, this is another ebook that was sent to me through my bookstagram. It is a short book, but it does have a second one coming out very soon. I am hoping to get an ARC of that so that I can continue the story a little. It's a very cute, cozy, and slightly spooky story with a Southern setting. I was very surprised by the characters for the simple fact of being able to find them in any good and small Southern city or town. Carolyn Ridder Aspenson did an amazing job with this book that I cannot wait for the next to be out very soon. Anyways, here we go...

We met Chantilly who is a recently divorced single mother of a pre-teen boy that moved back home after both her parents died within months of each other. In between planning their funerals, she dealt with a messy divorce from her cheating and cowardly husband who took off with half of their household items while Chantilly was away with their son, Austin. Now she is working to rebuild her life in her childhood home and town after being away for most of 27 years.

Chantilly has made a small group of friends that support her in the day to day struggle that she sometimes has a single mom. There's Delphina or Del who runs the local cafe and is loud, blunt, and honestly a little like me lol. Next is Olivia who is Chantilly's assistant at the historical society and her youngest friend, yet she is meek and mild and always worrying about her family name being tarnished by something very small. Thelma is more like that one person you are friends with simply because they are always there lol. Thelma and Del are always picking at each other, yet they see each other every day. The last person that would could consider a friend of Chantilly's is Coach Jack. Jack went to high school with her, and is now Austin's lacrosse coach as well as the main detective in town. He is also dating Lonna, who has apparently been one of those people who feels entitled due to family money, and rubs people the wrong way all her life.

So now that you have a good idea of the main people in this book, here's a look into the storyline...

Chantilly has taken a small fall down a couple stairs, and has a small bump on her head, which means her little group is concerned about her. Part of Chantilly's job in the historical society is to run the BBQ competition as well as an renovation requests to the historical buildings in town which is most of them. One of the first ones she is asked to look at is the BBQ restaurant owned by Bobby Joe Pruitt, who is a hot-headed, stubborn, and quick to pick a fight if he doesn't get his way of a man. He hates any competition in the BBQ making industry as well as anyone that "hinders" his business growth. So it is to no surprise when he is murdered in his business office. The bad part is just the night before Del had to stop Bobby Joe during a tantrum directed at Chantilly. Which means that she is on a long list of suspects for the murder of Bobby Joe.

I'm sure you are wondering where the spooky part comes in at. Well, Bobby Joe's restaurant was once the beautiful home of Agnes Hamilton who supposedly hung herself after her fiancee left her a few days before their wedding day. Agnes has been said to haunt the home, just a few glimpses here and there. However, ever since Chantilly had her little fall down the stairs, she has been seeing and hearing people who are supposed to be dead like Agnes and her father. Of course, no one believes her except for Del, Olivia, and Thelma. So Del convinces them to do a seance in the restaurant to talk to Bobby Joe but Chantilly sees the true way that Agnes died instead, but she doesn't tell anyone about it out of fear they'll think she's really lost it.

When her friends find out that she is on the suspect list for Bobby Joe, they start their own investigation to prove Chantilly is innocent. However, very quickly they find out that it is an even longer list than they were expecting. In the meantime, they still have to help prepare for the BBQ competition as well as go through their daily tasks. Will they be able to prove Chantilly has no business being on a murder suspect list before it's too late? Will Chantilly ever find any proof that Agnes did not kill herself and help her get out of limbo before everyone thinks she's gone crazy?

Guess you'll have to get the book for yourself to find out, because this is sadly where I must stop to avoid any spoilers about the ending. I am very grateful for Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's Facebook page and promoter on Instagram @misswbookreviews for reaching out to me and sending me the book. I am very excited to read part two when it comes out or if I am one of the lucky few that receives an ARC. As always you can find links to purchase this beauty on my page:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Hook & Crown

Alright, we all know that I love a good retell on a classic story, and this one is definitely an amazing retell. What if Pan was the bad guy and Hook was the hero? I thought at first there was no way this will work, but it absolutely does! Nicole Knapp did an amazing job writing this unexpected twist on Peter Pan, the lost boy who never wants to grow up...

First we met Elena, a seventeen year old girl who has had her heartbroken yet again by her boyfriend after catching him in bed with her roommate. Her response? Move to London to live in the school that her Uncle Henry, who she hasn't seen since she was a toddler, runs and owns. Uncle Henry welcomes her with no questions asked. When Elena finally arrives, the building looks absolutely run down from neglect, and when she finally opens the door she is greeted by an awful cat pee smell. Henry greets her, and shows her to her dorm. He only has two rules; one, you can personalize the dorm as long as you do not mess with the physical layout, and two do NOT open the windows for any reason. Odd, right??

Well, the next day Elena goes out for cleaning supplies to try to make the best of it, and opens the windows to air out her room. What she doesn't know is that she is being followed by a figure that has blazing green eyes, and takes advantage of her window being open. It is a boy, and he has snuck into her dorm room while Elena is in the shower, and looks around. Elena hears a small thump, and becomes a little paranoid, but brushes it off. Later while she is sleeping, the boy sneaks back in. A little creepy right? Well a couple days later, Elena wakes up and discovers a little girl sitting in her room staring at her!

The little girl is a fairy named Tatiana, and she says she was sent from Neverland by Aiden to bring her to him. Elena thinks it's surely a prank or she has gone crazy until Tatiana shrinks down to just a glowing ball and back to full size right in front of her eyes! However, Elena refuses to go with Tatiana, and is met with a very angry fairy. Tatiana leaves, and a few days later Elena comes out of her shower to find a boy staring at her. His name is Aiden, the King of Neverland, the same boy who has snuck in twice already, and he has come to take Elena to Neverland himself.

Strangely, Elena believes him and decides to go with him. It's not permanent right? So, off the fly with the help of pixie dust to Neverland. When they get there, it looks just how it is described in the classic tale of Peter Pan, except for one island that seems to be surrounded by pure darkness. Elena is too excited to really notice though. They see the Jolly Roger floating in the sea, and quickly fly away from it. The Captain has seen them as well, and decides that he must stop Aiden.

Aiden takes Elena to the forest where there are tree houses everywhere, and Elena meets the Lost Children. They are all orphans that Aiden has rescued over the years from neglectful homes, and now they are all happy together. Aiden knows that he must work fast to convince Elena to stay with him before too much time passes. After taking her to his favorite spots on the main island, Elena agrees in a passionate moment full of kisses to stay with Aiden. A few moments later, they hear what sounds like cannon balls, and Aiden leaves her in the cave he has brought her to to go stop the Captain from attacking. A little time goes by, and Elena is forced to run from the cave before it collapses from a cannon ball hit, and is struck on the head by a rock. She doesn't drown however, because nearby is the Captain.

Elena wakes some time later and is greeted by Will, the captain of the Jolly Roger, with a hook for a hand and a story to tell her about Aiden. He tells Elena that Aiden is not who she thinks he is, and he has proof. Will tells her about the other girls Aiden has brought to the island to kill them in order to stay young forever, and shows her a chest full of personal and current items from the other girls. All things that she could very well find for herself back in London. At first, Elena doesn't believe him, but then she thinks about it. Maybe there is some truth to this after all...

Elena decides to stay with Will after getting a little drunk, and has a passionate night with Will. It's even more special for her because it's the first time she's ever been with a man. What she doesn't know is that for the first time in a long time Will feels hope and love. Days turn into weeks as they sail as far as possible from Neverland's main island. While they are sailing, Will and Elena fall more and more in love with each other while he teaches her to fight and how to captain the ship.

When Elena is finally content and happy and decides that she doesn't want to return to London ever as long as she has Will. One night she can't sleep and is walking on the deck of the ship when Aiden pays her a visit. Not to take her away since he realizes that she won't go willingly after his first attempt to get her back fails, and tells her the biggest secret that there could possibly be....

Sadly, this is where I must stop. There is a lot that goes on in the last part of the book that will give away the ending if I reveal much more. This is definitely one of the best twisted, adultish retells of a classic tale that I have come across so far. I am very grateful to Parliament Press for sending it to me. As always, if you simply must have a copy for yourself, you can find links on my page:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The City Of Saints

So, this beauty was sent to me by the author herself, and yes I know I don't normally do ebooks, but I made an exception for her. She is very sweet, and very passionate about this book. She wanted to give a twist to something that we all know happens a lot overseas. We all hear about the countless children suffering overseas from either a hostile environment brought on by civil disagreements or a war against another country. Either way none of them asked for their lives to be affected by so many tragic events, because adults decided they couldn't agree on something. As a mother, certain parts will a little hard to read, but I am very happy that I finished it to the end. So here we go...

We met Nuha who is a strong and independent ten year old that can be too smart for her own good. All her life, Nuha has only known fear, terror, and war. She has a Mama and Baba and a baby brother Hadi, and they all live in what we would probably consider a shantytown. They are all constantly having to worry about the day that they will be attacked by their enemy, the Alloy. That's right, cyborgs are the other main key part of this book.

Nuha wakes up in a hidden compartment under the sink after being told to hide by her Mama. She doesn't know where anyone is to the full extent of what is going on. All she knows is that no one has come for her, and she needs to know why. She sets out to search for her family in the abandoned university that is currently eroding away from a brownish chemical that is every where. She looks everywhere, and finds her Mama dead on the floor with Hadi not too far away. Hadi is barely breathing, but he's alive and to Nuha that's the most important part. Shortly after finding Hadi, some Alloy come into the same room and start spreading more of that brown liquid around. Thankfully, Nuha has hidden herself and Hadi where they can't be seen.

Once the coast is clear, Nuha searches for food for her and Hadi, makes a makeshift baby carrier out of a backpack, and escapes the building without being seen. Once she is out  and in the alleyway however she is confronted with a whole bunch of Alloys, and is almost caught by a couple of them. She barely escapes and stows away on one of their Aviators (Alloy aircraft), and waits until she can get sneak off safely. Once she is able to, she runs through the jungle with Hadi strapped to her chest until she runs into SAM (Specialized Assassin Military-bot) who is an Alloy that actually wants to help protect her and Hadi from the others. SAM does everything he can to protect them when they encounter other Alloys that are still set on killing all humans, or in this case "the brown hoods", but sadly they are eventually separated when Nuha is captured by some Alloys until Xander rescues her. Xander is one of the adults that Nuha grew up around and that fought along side her Mama and Baba.

From there, her and Xander set off to find other survivors while he reveals a few truths that such a young girl should not have to learn. Nuha tries her best to convince Xander that SAM is different, because he has kept her and Hadi safe this whole time. Eventually SAM finds them in a building that was the old United Nations building. Nuha sees Hadi and is so happy to see him that she doesn't even think of anything else for a few moments. However, her fight for survival is not over yet...

This where my stopping point must be. I know, I could give a little more, but then I would ruin a few key moments in the ending. I don't normally read sci-fi novels, but this one was actually pretty good. I did have a hard time getting into for a little bit because it was an ebook and it was not something I normally read. I still recommend this to you if you do like sci-fi novels. I also recommend it if you are interested in a different look into what it's like to be a child growing up in a hostile and most times scary environment. I am very grateful and humbled by the author for reaching out to me to read and review this book for her. As always, if you simply must have this book, you can find links to purchase this book for yourself on my page:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mom's Perfect Boyfriend

So this is my first ARC from Galbadia Press, and it's by a very sweet and funny lady named Crystal Hemmingway. It is a cute rom-com that made me laugh, say "oh no!" a lot, and had me tearing up a little bit. I could definitely see this becoming a movie some day. This cute covered book is set up so that you read text messages, emails, and journal entries as they happen throughout the story. It is still very well written, and has a good steady pace to it. As with my other ARC reviews, there is only so much that I can reveal, but I will hopefully reveal enough that you feel you must buy a copy for yourself when it has it's pub day on July 16th. Alright so here we go...

We meet Crystal, her boyfriend David, her mom Margot, and her sister Lisa in the first couple pages as Crystal has text messages and chat messages with each of them. Crystal and David seem to have hit a rough patch after Margot tags along on their was supposed to be romantic getaway to Hawaii. Apparently this is a frequent habit for both Crystal and Margot, and David needs a break from it. Of course, while on the trip Margot has no idea that she has intruded and caused a problem. The only other person who knows is Lisa, who has made sure to live a life separate from Margot as much as possible.

I know what you're probably thinking, "great another overbearing mom," and yes Margot is a little. Margot has been a single mother working as a dental hygienist, and has finally decided to quit her job to make artisan marshmallows at the farmer's market. She comes to this conclusion after Crystal is forced to move in with her after being laid off, and having no way to keep David's apartment solo while he is off on a "rediscover myself" hike through the mountains. (Like I said it's a steady pace.)

Anyway, it turns out that Lisa's company is working on a secret experiment that is about to reach testing stage. Lisa tells Crystal to fill out for the paid trial, but Crystal doesn't fill out for herself. Oh no... She fills out for their mom, Margot. Crystal does this in order to finally have some time for herself and her novel she has been working on for a while now. (Yes, you do get bits of that novel in this book!)

I'm afraid that's as much as I can reveal, but I will say that I loved this book! It was definitely very cute, funny, and not what I was expecting at all. I highly recommend it, and am very grateful that Galbadia Press sent it to me. I also appreciate that Crystal Hemmingway was just as excited for me to read it as I was when I received it in the mail. Definitely a nice change of pace from the books I had been reading. Thank you both so much for this adorably comical book. As always, if you feel you must own your own copy of this beauty, you can find links on my page:

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Bark of Night

Alright so is one of the first ARCs I received from Minotaur Books, and I loved every page! It is from the Andy Carpenter mystery series, and is the nineteenth book in the series, but you definitely do not feel like you are missing out. David Rosenfelt did an amazing job of filling in just enough detail about the long running characters to not make you feel like there are big holes in the story. You could honestly start with this one and then start the series without feeling like you started in the wrong spot. I love series like that! I am definitely interested in this series because of this book. It will be on sale July 16, so I am going to give just enough detail to get you hooked on this story. Plus look at the adorable cover! I love a good picture of a cute french bulldog! Alright, so here is what you need to know!

The beginning is a little confusing, but just hang in there because it gets explained very quickly. We first met a man named Frank Silvio who is a notorious bad guy simply known as Mister who checks into a motel under a false name. Inside his room he settles down to watch four men on a webcam. The men are on a boat miles and miles away from Silvio, and three of the men help the fourth get into the water equipped with a full diving suit. Once they are sure he is far enough down, one of the men cuts the diver's air line, therefore causing him to die of depressurization. The poor diver's name is Vincent Gorbin, and he does come up later on the in book so have patience.

Next we meet Andy Carpenter, a defense attorney who is trying to retire so he can enjoy the simple life of running Tara's Foundation, which is a dog rescue that he started with his wife. Andy is currently in the vet office of Dr. Dowling with Tara, his golden retriever and namesake of the rescue, when Dr. Dowling asks for Andy's help. Tara is fine, but Truman who is a french bulldog was brought in to the good doctor to be euthanized. The problem is that the information on his chip does not match the information given on the authorization form. Dr. Dowling asks Andy what he is supposed to do, because he was essentially asked to illegally euthanize poor Truman and doesn't want to since he is healthy. Andy tells him to let him handle it and takes Truman.

Truman is the main reason that Andy gets involved in his next case. His client is accused of murdering Truman's true owner, James Haley who was in town filming his next documentary. It's not a cut and dry case, because yes, Andy's client was in Haley's house for an interview, but has no other connection to Haley. Shortly after Haley is found murdered, a homeless man named Chris Tolbert is found dead as well as a Philly mobster named George Adams. Police don't think that the cases are connected, and is still convinced Andy's client is responsible. Andy doesn't believe it for a minute.

Andy and his team of people who have retired from their profession or are simply good at something Andy's not start to investigate how all this is connected in order to free his client. Off to the side, we catch pieces of what Silvio is up to. We learn about him meeting up with George Adams and killing him, while thinking about how he has already arranged for Adams's wife to be killed. We also learn about him meeting with a man named Rojas who appears to be Silvio's boss, or at least the man with the most money. Silvio also meets with a man named Fat Tony who is apparently the head of a mob family that George Adams worked for.

Sadly that is about all the detail I can give without giving away too much detail about the ending or the book since it is not on sale yet. I will say that little Truman is not harmed during any of this, and Andy has him at Tara's Foundation the whole time. There is a lot of detail that happens in between everything I have said, but since my goal is to get you to read the book yourself, why give away everything? This adorably covered book is on sale July 16th, but if you feel you have to order it now and wait with excitement, you can find links on my page:

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sells Sea Shells

Alright so this beauty was sent to me by Miss Mara Mer herself, and I am so happy that I did. She wrote a short book about what it can be like as an immigrant in a foreign country. Especially an illegal one that is in a country that requires not only residential papers but a steady job before you can achieve said papers. You can't get a steady paying job or a place to live or have one peaceful day without worry a cop will try to stop you without these special papers. Well, I don't personally know how this feels, but thanks to the wonderful writing of Mara Mer I have an idea. Since this is a very short book, I won't be able to give too much detail without giving away the whole story.

We met Ismail who is an illegal immigrant from Morocco trying to make a living in Italy. he is forced to sell beach items to tourist all day to try make enough money to send home to his family while trying to find a way to buy his residential papers so he can get a job with steadier pay. He has already been tricked once out of one thousand euros, and knows that he must do something to make the money back. During one of his days on the beach, he meets a wealthy man named Matteo, and this is where everything changes...

First all Matteo is is a customer on the beach that buys a cheap pair of sunglasses from himself and some jewelry for his girlfriend and daughter on two different days. Next, Matteo invites Ismail to join him for a drink in a place that Ismail knows he has no business being in simply because he is just a street merchant. At the end of the drinks, Matteo gives Ismail a business card and tells him to meet him at the address the following night for a business proposal.

Despite all of his friends protests, Ismail goes to what appears to be Matteo's flat, a very expensive and elaborate flat that overlooks the water. Ismail is of course impressed and mesmerized by the view and the flat itself. While they eat and have a few drinks, Ismail asks Matteo why is he there? What business proposal does he have? All Matteo says at first is it will result in you receiving two hundred thousand euros, which could change Ismail's life and his family's life forever... However, what Matteo asks of Ismail is murder...

That is unfortunately, all that I can reveal without spoiling the ending. The book itself is only about one hundred pages long, but has so much detail packed into those pages. She describes the daily struggles that Ismail faces, and all that he had to do just to make into Italy to try to create a better life for his family. It was definitely wonderfully written and eye opening to just what it's like to have to fight every day just to bring home enough money to send home as well as make sure that there's enough so you can eat every night. I am so glad that she reached out to me and asked me to write this review for me! As always you can find links to buy this beauty for yourself on my page:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Lock Every Door

Alright, so I was able to get my hands on this beauty a whole month early thanks to Dutton Books and their galley they had on Instagram. So thankful! I will once again not reveal as much as I normally would since this is an A.R.C. and a few things can still be changed between now and it's sale date which is July 2nd. I will admit that I had high expectations because I fell in love with Riley Sager's first two books, and while this was still great, it is not like the first two. It's still well written, pulls you in, leaves you guessing, and makes you finish it fully just like his first two books did. However, unlike in his first two books he doesn't focus on one person's situation. This time it's all about a building's sketchy past that one Apartment Sitter uncovers. With that said, here we go.

We first met Jules who has had a bunch of misfortune in her life. Her sister goes missing when Jules is seventeen, then her parents die in a house fire just two years after. Now in the same day she has lost her job and caught her live in boyfriend cheating on her. So now Jules is broke, heartbroken, and temporarily living on her best friend's couch. That is until she sees a very vague ad in the paper seeking apartment sitters. Not that uncommon in New York right? However this one offers $4,000 in cash per month that you stay in one of the "most desirable addresses."

Jules sees this and calls the number despite not knowing anything more or caring about anything else other than $4,000 a month to simply live in a apartment temporarily. Jules goes for her interview with Leslie Evelyn, and gets it almost immediately. The questions are a little weird, and there are rules that seem insane including no visitors ever, but Jules accepts the job anyway. Why you may ask? The answer is simple; because she is broke and has no family to turn to. She learns about two other apartment sitters in the building, Ingrid and Dylan. Dylan puts no effort to get to know Jules for reason that are learned later on. Ingrid on the other hand has a crazy crash with Jules in the lobby that leads to Jules having to pay a visit to a resident who happens to be a doctor, Nick.

The next day Ingrid reaches out to Jules and apologizes for crashing into Jules, and they seem to form a friendship. A temporary one, but a friendship that both of them seem to need in their lives. Ingrid suddenly disappears in the middle of the night and all anyone can say is she just moved out. Jules doesn't discover this until the next afternoon after Ingrid fails to show up to meet Jules for lunch. Leslie tells Jules that Ingrid just moved out in the middle of the night without telling anyone. So, naturally Jules calls and texts Ingrid, but gets no reply. Something doesn't seem right to Jules, so she starts to investigate for herself. During the investigation, Jules finds that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing...

Now I wish I could reveal more, but since it is not available yet, I am going to stop here. I will admit that I definitely did not see anything coming in this book except a few things. I still loved the book, just not as much as Final Girls or The Last Time I Lied (both books I have reviewed and posted on here), but it was still a good book. There's a lot of secrets, twists and turns, and just when I thought I had it figured out, the last 100 pages proved me wrong. I hope that you are even more excited about this book, and plan to buy it as soon as possible. As always you can find links to buy the book for your own pleasure on it's sale date, July 2nd, on my page:

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The First Mistake

Alright y'all, first off I am so very happy to have been selected to read this beauty as an ARC (advanced reader's copy) simply because that is truly a blessing. I have to thank Minotaur Books for sending it to me, but also the author Sandie Jones. I had a hard time putting the book down, and absolutely loved every single page. The ending I did not see coming a mile away! It had me on the edge of my seat for the last 75 pages!

So we have two stories that intertwine throughout the book that I know I definitely never saw coming. Two woman who are best friends but also have something in common that neither of them would have dreamed. I won't reveal what that connection is simply because it is such a huge detail that could spoil the book for those of you waiting for it go on sale June 11th. I will give a few details that are sure to peek your interest if you are dying to get your hands on this book already.

So to start off we meet Alice who has been married to a wonderful man named Nathan, they have one daughter together as well as the daughter Alice had with her first husband. No, Alice isn't a remarried divorcee, she is a remarried widow. Nine years ago, Alice's husband Thomas walked out the door to head off on a trip with some friends to ski in Switzerland and never returned. Ever since Alice has healed mostly from losing her husband, but still has her moments. Now she and Nathan run a successful interior design business together that Alice started with Thomas. They have their ups and downs just like any other marriage, but of course every now and then Nathan is overshadowed by the ghost of Thomas. Well, to top it off Alice starts to wonder if Nathan is having an affair, and the person she turns to is her best friend and single mother, Beth.

Beth is a single mother to a daughter that is the same age as Alice's youngest daughter. All Beth has ever said about the father is that one day he walked out the door during her pregnancy and never returned. Now here it is nine years later and her daughter is curious about her dad. So, naturally Beth turns to Alice to figure out the best way to handle such a delicate situation as well as help Alice figure out what is going on with Nathan, who Beth has never met. However, Beth has never told Alice who the father was or how she met him all those years ago. So, naturally Alice wants to help her friend find this man even though Beth has very little details about him now.

There are three parts to this story, first we hear about Alice present day to get an idea of how these women have more in common than they ever knew. Next we get to hear about Beth's life nine years ago before she found out about being pregnant with her daughter and eventually abandoned by the father of her baby. The third is naturally about the two women together in present day.

I'm not sure if I gave too much away, but I really hope not. I was sucked into this book almost straight away. It was very well paced, well written, and even gave me the chills a few times. Sandie Jones was able to describe the situations these women went through so wonderfully that I either had goosebumps, chills, or an emotional reaction to what I was reading. I love that in an author and book. I cannot wait to see how well this book does on day one of sales, which is once again June 11th. If you are dying to have a copy so badly that you need to pre-order now, you can as always find links to buy this beauty on my page:

Author Interview with J Lynn Hicks

Alright y'all, this is another amazing author that I met through the FB Group Dystopian Ink. I haven't read her books yet, but I did...