Monday, July 29, 2019

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

What is the last book that kept you up all night? Share with us in the comments below! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Clear Confusion by Kathy M. Howard


Today we’re proud to be part of the Blog Tour for Clear Confusion by Kathy M. Howard hosted by JustRead PublicityTours.

Book Blurb:What am I going to do, God? Who am I? Charlotte Hallaway needs to come to terms with her father's death. He had been her only family, and she wasn't handling her grief well. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of peace and quiet to process it all, but then she saw them-a drug deal and a murder within seconds of each other. And they saw her. Now running for her life, Charlotte boards a bus to escape her pursuers and wakes up the next morning in the woods of Jennings, Georgia, without a memory of how she got there or of who she is. All she knows is an underlying fear she can't seem to shake. When two hunters find her battered and scared, can she put aside the clear confusion she's experiencing to trust them? She wants to trust them, especially Nicholas, but fear is holding her back. Trust is incredibly hard when one is so clearly confused. Could it be he and his friend are not who they claim to be? Who are they really . . . and who is she?


I was expecting more of a thriller instead of a romance but that’s not a bad thing.  The burgeoning romance relationship between Charlotte and Nicholas is the true heart of this story.  It read like a movie you might see on the Hallmark Channel. Charlotte, Nicholas and Nicholas’ sister Nellie are very passionate about their Christian faith and their love for the Lord guides their choices as Charlotte tries to regain her memory.  Nellie is actually my favorite character in the story. I hope Ms. Howard considers a follow-up featuring her as I’d love to see what comes next for her. If you love romantic suspense stories that steer away from gore and chaste romance with a huge dash of faith then Clear Confusion by Kathy M. Howard is the book for you! 

JustRead Tours is sponsoring a Giveaway! One winner will receive a print copy of Clear Confusion (US Only) and a second winner will receive an e-book of Clear Confusion (Int’l).  Enter to win a copy of Clear Confusion by clicking here

Purchase Links:

Connect with Author Kathy M. Howard:


I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from JustRead Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

I think we can all relate to losing a book in bed or even worse when you fall asleep reading and get smacked in the face with a book. πŸ˜‚

What do you think? Share with us in the comments below. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

H is for Hidden Gem Book

We’re working our way through the alphabet with the A to Z Bookish Survey as created by “The Perpetual Pageturner.”  This week’s prompt is: H for Hidden Gem Book. 

Gossamer by Lois Lowry. I picked it up in the children’s department when I worked at B&N because it had a sparkly cover and ended up hiding behind the desk during my shift to read it πŸ™Š it was a quick little delightful read and I still think about it every time I wake up from a dream.

Rebecca:  The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye - I honestly have no idea where or how I found this book, but it's an adorable fairy tale and I have to reread it regularly, and each time I follow a little more in love with it!

NaomiRuth: Ooh, I find so many hidden gems. I think I'd go with The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma StockenstrΓΆm because I just ordered another copy for myself, since I gave my last one away. The Songs of the Russian People by W.R.S. Ralston is also another good one.

Jenn: I stumbled upon this adorable picture book, The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No, by Ainsley Pryor many years ago on vacation. The adorable illustrations and sweet story about a spoiled kitty made for a lifelong favorite. 

What about you? What’s your favorite “hidden gem” book? Share with us!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney

Welcome to the 8th installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s. This week I read The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney which was originally published in 1992. 

When fifteen-year-old Dove Daniel’s friends discover the new perfume called Venom, they become infatuated. They have Obsession and Poison; now they simply must have Venom. When they discover it’s available at Dry Ice, the coolest store in the local mall, they rush over after school. But to Dove, Venom seems inexplicably terrifying, as does the store that carries it. If she breathes in its potent scent, she is sure something terrible will happen. At first whiff, she senses something primitive and dark. Once she’s inhaled the scent, she begins to feel something . . . different . . . and her heart beats in double time. What has Venom’s bite awakened inside her?
I am a huge fan of Caroline B. Cooney’s book The Face on the Milk Carton and all the books in the “Janie” series. Prior to reading The Perfume last night, I hasn’t read any of her horror novels. This book is extremely well written but also bizarre. I couldn’t tell if was a commentary on what it may be like to have a mental illness such as Dissociative Identity Disorder or if Dove is truly possessed by an evil Druid spirit.  My heart broke for Dove in the beginning when she first starts to hear and respond to the voices in her head and thinks “she decided against describing what was going on inside her skull. The world did not sound sympathetic.” Ultimately Dove’s workaholic distracted parents take her for mental health counseling at a facility full of the worst bad stereotypes of mental health clinics which was truly horrifying. The resolution is also abrupt. 


Have you read The Perfume? Please share if you have, I’d love for some feedback as I’m still trying to process this book myself. 

The Perfume is currently physically out of print but is available as an e-book. Click on the publisher link above for ordering information. I borrowed my copy through Kindle Unlimited. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Stranger On The Beach by Michele Campbell

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.  -
I loooooved this book!! You have not one but two unreliable narrators. A Stranger on the Beach is told from the alternating POVs of Caroline and Aidan. Caroline says Aidan was just a one night stand who has grown so obsessed with her that he’s begun to stalk her. Meanwhile Aidan claims it’s true love and that Caroline is just pulling away as she’s extremely wealthy and she’s embarrassed by his meager earnings but he’s determined to prove he can please her. So you’re left wondering just who is telling the truth?  I loved trying to figure it out and I’m sure you will too! Definitely pick up this book for your summer reading. You won’t be disappointed with this fun, fast paced thriller. 


A Stranger on the Beach releases Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Be sure to look for it at your favorite bookseller or visit the author’s website as noted above for more information. 

Special Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for a fair, honest review. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Bucket List by T.K. Rapp

Today we’re proud to be part of the “Book Blitz” for Summer Bucket List by T.K. Rapp

Recently graduated from high school, Holland Monroe had no expectations for her last summer before heading off to college to be anything but ordinary.
Until she got a job as a waitress at the local country club to make extra money for school.
Milo Davis was smart, cute, and absolutely not interested in Holland. At least that was what she believed. But the day she started working at the restaurant, everything changed.
Finally together, they were left with only three months to spend time together before she moved away.
Good thing they decided to make their time as memorable as possible.
But will they remain friends? Or will checking off items on their summer bucket list lead them to something they didn’t expect — Falling in love.

This was a sweet contemporary YA romance. Holland and Milo made a cute couple. I appreciated that the cost of college was a concern. That’s a reality I don’t see in many YA books but I do wish that Milo’s initial interest in what was referred to as a “junior college” was not stigmatized as being inferior. I obtained an Associates Degree at my local community college and it provided me with the study skills and drive needed to earn my Bachelors. Also, I was a little turned off by all the underage drinking but I was relieved that at least the important of designated drivers was stressed. Overall, the true heart of this story of two teenagers falling in love and really getting to know each other and their families was well done. 


Xpresso Book Tours is Sponsoring a Giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed Copy of Summer Bucket List by T.K.Rapp.  Click here to enter.

For more information visit the book’s Goodreads page

For purchasing info, check out the following links:

Thanks to Xpresso Book tours and the author for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for a fair, honest review. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

I think we can all relate to this one. What’s your TBR pile looking like? 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Group Post: Glad You Gave This Book a Chance

We’re working our way through the alphabet with the A to Z Bookish Survey as created by “The Perpetual Pageturner.”  This week’s question is: G for Glad You Gave This Book a Chance

Rebecca:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - It was one of the "make" books at Borders that we were supposed to talk up to customers, so I figured if I read it, it would be easier to sell. Probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise and it is one of my favorite books of all time!

Rachel:  The Magicians by Lev Grossman! I borrowed it from Borders but only read a few pages before putting it down. Russ picked it up, read it in a night, and demanded I read it. I’m glad he did because I loved the series, especially the last book.

NaomiRuth: Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I almost didn't read it because of how often I don't like over-hyped books, but I kept seeing it in instagram everywhere so I decided to read the first few pages and I was hooked and fell in love with her world ❤

Like NaomiRuth, if a book has too much hype surrounding it, I’m weary of it but a few years ago I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I loved it. It’s definitely the best of the “unreliable narrator” domestic thriller genre that’s permeated the market lately.  

What about you? What book or books are you glad you gave a chance to? Share with us in the comments below. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sweet Valley High Super Thrillers

Welcome to the 7th installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s. This week I’m looking at Sweet Valley High’s Super Thrillers.  Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal (who like James Patterson came up with the stories for all the books then got ghostwriters to actually write them) was a publishing phenomenon in the 80s before ultimately ceasing in 1998 with 181 titles in the series. 

My Super Thriller Collection
My favorite Sweet Valley High book, Murder in Paradise, is part of the Super Thrillers collection.  Super Thrillers were special editions that were longer than your average Sweet Valley High book and usually involved the twins in mortal peril. 

In May of 1993, the Sweet Valley High series “jumped the shark,” after the publication of A Night To Remember. After that book, the series was kind of like a telenovella with numerous miniseries following that which took normal high school drama to unbelievable, campy heights. 

All the Super Thrillers prior to 1993 were great because they could all conceiveably happen in reality aside from the fact that the twins had summer internships at the local newspaper for four different summers yet it was still a summer following their junior year in high school. Lol. They all revolved around one of the twins either witnessing or investigating a crime they heard about in the newsroom and then getting into disasterous situations as a result. 

After 1993, the Super Thrillers went wild ultimately producing my aforementioned favorite, Murder in Paradise which was published in 1995. Are you ready for the plot??! I’ve got to spoil the ending for once because it’s just THAT bananas and you’ll want to read the book even more because you’re not going to believe it. 

Jessica and Elizabeth’s mom wins a trip to an all inclusive spa resort and  invites her daughters but  instead of also inviting actual friends of her own she invites Jessica’s best friend Lila and Lila’s mother Grace and  Elizabeth’s best friend Enid and Enid’s mother Adele. Adele can’t attend as she couldn’t get time of work which is the only element of reality here. So the group sets off to the spa. Upon arrival the normal SVH shenanigans ensue. Lila hits on an older man and is embarrassingly rejected, Enid has many “woe is me” allow self esteem moments and Elizabeth sticks her nose in everyone’s business. Liz’s nosy nature leads her to uncover the dark truth about the spa - spoiler alert 🚨 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 the spa is run by a deranged former college classmate of Alice’s who is obsessed with plastic surgery. In fact nearly all the teenagers she “rescued off the streets” to employ there have undergone intense (like Heidi Montag) levels of plastic surgery and to top it all off, she wants to murder Alice and STEAL HER FACE!!!  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  After the twins and company finally rescue Alice, the book closes with them all making jokes and getting ready to return home to Sweet Valley while Jessica gushes about what was actually good about the spa. No trauma ever lasts long in Sweet Valley. 

Murder in Paradise 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 for snark-tastic fun. I must confess that the “newspaper” Super Thrillers are more realistic they don’t quite rock the entertainment scale. Did you ever read the Super Thrillers? What was your favorite? 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Welcome to a TBT Throwback Thursday Review. I am working on reviving this blog and catching up on some long overdue book reviews.

After Anna is a stand-alone domestic thriller by Lisa Scottoline and was originally published in April 2018.

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined. —

This was one of my favorite Scottoline novels. The story is told through Maggie and Nick’s POV before and after Anna’s murder. It was fun trying to discern the truth between the narratives.  I actually thought I had the mystery solved but then in the last act of the novel, there’s a twist that I didn’t see coming and made the story all the more heartbreaking. It’s been awhile since an ending truly surprised me.   I highly recommend you pick up this book.  
After Anna is now available in paperback. Look for it at your favorite local book store or visit the author’s website for more information. 

Special Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

There’s nothing like an hour or two of quiet uninterrupted reading time. What are your favorite spots to read and relax?  Share with us in the comments below. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Group Post: Fictional Character You’d Like to Have Dinner With

We’re working our way through the alphabet with the A to Z Bookish Survey as created by “The Perpetual Pageturner.”  This week’s question is: F for Fictional Character You’d Like to Dine With. The original survey framed this question as “dated in high school” but I thought dinner was more appropriate.

Rachel wants to dine with Kirk from Gilmore Girls, in his living room with his mom watching.  Hopefully he won’t have any night terrors. 

Jasmina who used to work in our cafe  chose Edward Cullen from Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series. He doesn’t eat food though πŸ€”πŸ˜‚. 

Claire ultimately choose Alex Cross from James Patterson’s best selling series. She’s a crime book fan like myself. 

I really want to have dinner with Harry Bosch from
Michael Connelly’s best-selling series. I’d like to go to Musso & Franks with him, a historic LA restaurant mentioned in the novels followed by drinks at his house to see the gorgeous view. 

What about you? What fictional characters would you like to dine with? Share with us in the comments below.  * Jenn N. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Summer of Fear 1978 TV Movie

Welcome to the sixth installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s. This week I’m changing things up a bit by looking at the 1978 TV film version of Summer of Fear based on the novel by Lois Duncan.  

Summer of Fear stars Linda Blair as Rachel with Lee Purcell as creepy cousin Julia and was directed by Wes Craven before he went on to achieve horror legend status with Nightmare on Elm Street. Fran Drescher in one of her earliest film roles plays Rachel’s best friend, Carolyn.  

The film follows very close to the book with a few changes that to me actually benefited the story. In the book, Rachel’s beloved pet dog passes away under mysterious circumstances. In the film, it’s established that Rachel is a talented Equestrian whose normally horse timid horse goes wild when meeting Julia. The action with the horse continues to build with a devastating outcome. 

An awkward moment in the book for me was Rachel’s brother, Peter’s  romantic interest in Julia. It’s even more overt here. Julia ultimately sets her sights on Rachel’s boyfriend whom Julia hilariously referred to as Rachel’s “special feller.”  Also unintentionally hilarious was the photo Rachel had of her boyfriend. It wasn’t just framed, he’d signed it like an autograph. My boyfriend was watching this with me and I told him he’s clearly not my “solid feller” as he hadn’t gifted me an autographed portrait of himself yet. 

Blair does a great job at showing Rachel’s frustration at trying to get everyone to see that something isn’t quite right with Julia and that the cousin is the cause of all this misery. 

If you loved the novel Summer of Fear, you’d love the film. It’s a faithful but more dramatic adaptation plus the passage of time has added humor by way of corny dialogue and dated hairstyles. The 70s score that sounds straight out of an episode of Charlie’s Angels was a delight. It’s currently availabile for “free” with an Amazon Prime subscription. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

Welcome to another Totally Overdue Tuesday book review.  I am working on reviving this blog and catching up on some long overdue book reviews. 

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz, a stand-alone Southern Gothic novel and a departure from Erotica and The Original Sinners series was published in June 2016. 

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.
In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed. -

If you follow my reviews, you know that I adore Tiffany Reisz. I never want any of her novels to end. She’s not only a master at creating characters to fall in love with despite their imperfections, her world building is impeccable. Her strengths are on full display with this dark, twisty love story. Outside of the Original Sinners universe, Tamara is my favorite of all Reisz’s characters. I loved her relationship with Levy. I also loved learning about Bourbon. This book is also a bit of a love letter to Bourbon, I was left thirsting for a drink that I don’t even care for. 

Definitely pick up The Bourbon Thief and every single one of Tiffany’s books while you’re at it. 

Special Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC in exchange for a fair, honest review.