Flash Reviews Vol 2 – The One With All The Secrets

Flash Reviews Secrets

The One With All The Secrets

 

Each of these books has a secret central to the story, some unpredictable and some you’ll know at the start of the story. It’s a mix of contemporary, thriller and historical fiction and includes one of my favourite 5-star reads.

No spoilers here, you’ll have to read them to find out what the secret is!

 

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

Although pacing was patchy and there were some parts in the build-up that I thought was over-explained, the storyline is solid with a slightly dark, sinister edge and a couple of unexpected twists.

The characters, an eclectic group of friends, are so believable. Their character development throughout the story, as their individuality is revealed and accepted, was so natural it was streamless. I’m not sure how to put into words that I found their presence comforting, and it’s this feeling that makes the book so captivating.4 star tiny flash reviews

My full review

Published: 27 November 2017   Read:  10 November 2017

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Suffer Love follows a scripted storyline of forbidden love, a secret big enough to kill any hope of a future.

My first impression was that this was going to be good but it was just a bit bland, the story lacking the depth and substance to bump it up to great. But, an unpredictable twist near the end makes it worth the read.

Published: 23 May 2016    Read: 27 April 2016

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

“Just let it go.” That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

Unnatural Deeds totally blew me over with its mind-blowing twists. The characters revealed themselves slowly and just when you think you know them, everything swivels again.5 star tint flash

Published: 21 November 2016     Read: 14 March 2017

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.

And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

 

Echoes in the Glass by Cheri Lasota

This was not a book I would have picked up myself and to be honest I am not sure I would have persevered through the print edition as the story had some slow moments. However, I received the audio version as a gift and I found myself entranced by the characters, the ghosts and the mystery that linked the story from the past to the present.

Published: 1 December 2013     Read: 25 April 2017

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Finnian bears the scar of an unspeakable crime. Tiria hides the pain of a terrible betrayal. When all their secrets are laid bare, will the truth rip them apart or forever silence the echoes of the past?

Seventeen-year-old Finnian Bell has been on the run for years, but he finally has a chance to rebuild his life while restoring an abandoned lighthouse on the Oregon Coast.

Tiria Vaughn, the lightkeeper’s daughter, is still reeling from the pain of an event that has shattered her innocence. Fear and bitterness have turned her heart from Finnian, but he is determined not to let her go.

The lighthouse harbors dark secrets of its own…

When Finnian and Tiria uncover the story of two teens hidden in the tower back in 1934, they discover a shocking connection that bridges time and death. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret is packed full of heartbreaking events, characters so real they could be your neighbours, secrets, lies and unpredictable twists.4 star tiny flash reviews

Published: 30 July 2013      Read: 8 March 2018

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Miss E. by Brian Herberger

This story held great potential, with a time period seldom covered in YA. Unfortunately, the story was dry, and the message punted came across as preachy. In addition, the narrator had an extremely mature viewpoint which didn’t match her age.

Published: 9 May 2016     Read: 16 February 2017

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Being the new kid in town is a way of life for Bets, but moving to California in 1967 is different. Her father leaves for the war in Vietnam, her history teacher gives an assignment that has the whole school searching for clues, and the town’s most mysterious resident shares a secret with Bets that has been hidden away for decades. When a peaceful protest spins out of control, Bets is forced to reconsider how she feels about the war her father is fighting and her own role in events taking place much closer to home.- Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying has a brilliantly thought-out, well-planned storyline. Every one of the protagonists is under suspicion and my theories followed wherever Ms. McManus led. At one point or another, I thought they were all guilty.

The twists are very clever and the final outcome unpredictable, but I don’t think the story has enough depth. It lacks the intense, dark, formidable atmosphere I was hoping for and which would have taken the book to the next level.4 star tiny flash reviews

My Full Review

Published: 30 May 2017    Read: 25 August 2017

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Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to TBR – May 2018

TBR May 2018

Adding to Your TBR – May 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

It’s May, and while the Northern Hemisphere starts to warm up, down south we are swinging through Autumn surrounded by nature’s brilliant yellows and reds, shorter days and longer sleeves.

Whether you are sunbathing or curled up with hot chocolate I hope you find a few books on my list you love…

 

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Expected: 1 May 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘the book that is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan’. Oh, the pressure the author must be feeling! But if the early reviewers are on to something, I’m going to have a must-read situation.

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TBR May 2018

 

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Expected: 1 May 2018

This tense psychological thriller has already been optioned for a movie adaption by TriStar Pictures. You know you’ve got to read the book before the movie, right?

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TBR May 2018

 

They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Expected: 1 May 2018

The first book in a new fantasy series of the same name, The Smoke Thieves promises dark magic and intrigue. I didn’t particularly like the author’s previous book Half Bad and didn’t read the sequels, but I do like historical, political intrigue, fantasy stories and if it is anything like Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers then it’s going to be good.

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TBR May 2018

 

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A brave soldier turned traitor. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief with no clue about his true identity.

Their lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth about demon smoke intertwines all their fates. Welcome to The Smoke Thieves, a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller

Expected: 8 May 2018

The early reviewers have heaped huge praise on this road train-tripping story full of friendship, family and dark secrets.

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TBR May 2018

 

Arthur Louis Pullman the Third lives in his grandfather’s shadow. The first Arthur Louis Pullman, an iconic Salinger-esque author who wrote the American classic A World Away, died in Ohio a week after he disappeared from his family’s California home. What happened in that week—and how much his actions were influenced by his Alzheimer’s—remains a mystery.

After Arthur is stripped of a college scholarship and begins to lose his grip on reality, he’s sent away to live with his aunt and uncle. There, Arthur discovers a journal written by his grandfather, the narrator pining for something he can’t quite understand and the final sentence containing a train route and a destination.

Eager to escape his own demons, Arthur embarks on a cross-country train ride, guided only by cryptic clues left in his grandfather’s dementia-influenced writing. But as Arthur gets closer to the real story, his journey is complicated by a shaky alliance with a strange girl who’s keeping secrets of her own and by escalating run-ins with a dangerous Pullman fan base. Arthur’s not the only one chasing a legacy, and how much will he risk to find out the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

Expected: 8 May 2018

This is going to be a hard-hitting, difficult and emotional read. And these are usually the best kind. I hope.

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TBR May 2018

 

Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.

But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unravelling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Expected: 8 May 2018

From the author of the very popular Love and Gelato, this promises to be just as good. And no, I haven’t read either yet but I’m keeping the optimistic idea that my TBR might just shrink overnight.

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TBR May 2018

 

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Expected: 15 May 2018

Another hard-hitting emotional story… Girl Made of Stars is already making a mark with an average of 4.4/5 star rating, this is going to be GOOD.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  

TBR May 2018

 

“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex and best friend since childhood, Charlie.

As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Expected: 15 May 2018

The Ensemble has raving early reviews on Goodreads. I love the sound of the complex relationships between the four friends and secrets that bind them together.

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TBR May 2018

 

The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who’s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry sceptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.

In The Ensemble, each character picks up the melody, from the group’s youthful rocky start through to adulthood. As they navigate devastating failures and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied together—by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry together, and by choosing each other over and over again. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Expected: 22 May 2018

The first in the Empirium series, Furyborn has had high praise by early reviewers on Goodreads. I am always hesitant to start new series, especially ones like Furyborn with a complex storyline, as I seldom remember enough about the book by the time the sequels are published. Rereading is a rare luxury that most avid reads have little spare time for so I am tempted to wait until all books are published and read them all together in a feast.

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TBR May 2018

 

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

Expected: 29 May 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘an astonishing novel about navigating death and navigating life, at a time when the only map you have is the one you can draw for yourself’, this sensitive book has huge potential and I can’t wait to read it.

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TBR May 2018

 

How do you deal with a hole in your life?
Do you grieve?
Do you drink?
Do you make out with your best friend?
Do you turn to poets and pop songs?
Do you question everything?
Do you lash out?
Do you turn the lashing inward?

If you’re Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt to understand what’s happened – and is happening – to you. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Expected: 29 May 2018

Yes! Another Kasie West book. We are lucky she is a prolific author because each of her books is a little piece of heaven.

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TBR May 2018

 

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Expected: 29 May 2018

From the author of Beautiful Disaster, which I have yet to read despite recommendations from fellow book bloggers – I really need to get my own TBR under control, this YA contemporary promises to be a book to remember.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)    Book Depository  

TBR May 2018

 

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left. – Abstract from Goodreads

Joanne MacGregor – Author Guest Post & Giveaway

Joanne MacGregor

Joanne MacGregor, one of South Africa’s favourite authors, meets us today to describe what her qualifications and experience as a clinical psychologist brings to her writing.

I love Joanne’s books and am always anticipating the next one. To see why I love them check out my reviews of my favourites: The Law of Tall GirlsRecoilScarred and Hushed.

Thank you, Joanne, for guest posting on Crushingcinders.

 

Meet Joanne MacGregor

Joanne MacGregor

 

Writers always bring themselves — their hopes, fears, experiences — to their stories, and I am no exception. By profession, I’m a Counselling Psychologist in private practice, dealing primarily with adult victims of crime and trauma. It’s tough work and to combat creeping burnout, I started writing fiction several years ago.

I think that being a psychologist helps me have a deeper understanding of human nature and the problems that can occur. Many of my characters (like many people in real life) have problems of, for example, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress. And I think I write more accurately about this because I know what it looks and feels like. I think (I hope!) that my writing, guided by my learning and experience, is deeper, more nuanced, more complex and realistic when it comes to psychological issues.

Because I live in a society with high rates of inter-personal violence, I’ve heard the accounts of people who’ve experienced the real thing (or have relatives who have). I no longer have the stomach for graphic violence in books — the sort of “torture porn” that puts you in an almost complicit ride-along with the evil serial killer as he mutilates and brutalizes. I won’t write those books either. Rather, I like to explore the character’s life and psyche after the event, showing the psychological and emotional consequences that victims of trauma are left to deal with. This aspect is often neglected in genre fiction — too often characters are bereaved, tortured, assaulted and experience all kinds of dramatic agonies, but are up and running, and pretty much back to normal by the next chapter. Take it from someone who listens to pain for a living: that’s not how it works in real life.

My own training and experience as a psychologist obviously also influences how I write therapy scenes in my fiction — those, too, are regularly portrayed in very inaccurate ways in fiction.

While my characters are informed by my knowledge of personality types, psychological traumas and psychopathology in general, I’m religious about keeping the specifics of my therapeutic work and my fiction-writing completely separate. My clients’ confidences are sacrosanct – they go into a locked vault in my brain and will never appear in one of my fictional characters or stories. What happens in therapy stays in therapy! I have no difficulty keeping them separate. My parallel jobs of writer and psychologist occupy very different head-spaces in me. I do them in separate physical locations, use different parts of my brain, and even do them on different days of the week.

I do get a kick out of writing characters who are psychologists, and who are not themselves unhinged, callous, or unprofessional in any of the clichéd ways so popular in fiction and Hollywood tropes. My psychologists are ethical experts, though flawed and inevitably impacted by the weight of the pain and cruelty they hear and absorb on a daily basis. It has always bothered me that psychologists in books and movies are so often portrayed as severely dysfunctional, sexually predatory and unethical. Most of us are really nice, compassionate, responsible and (mostly) sane professionals!

Joanne Macgregor  (Author, Psychologist)
http://www.joannemacgregor.com/
@JoanneMacg

 

Dark Whispers

Joanne MacGregor

 

Joanne’s latest book is an adult thriller called Dark Whispers and is on sale on Amazon for 99c (US).  This sale ends on Sunday 29 May 2018.

 

Between the anaesthesia and the awakening, are the dark whispers…

When a patient in hypnosis describes an experience of mental torture and physical mutilation at the hands of a doctor, psychologist Megan Wright decides to investigate. Determined to find out the truth and stop the abuse, but bound to silence by the ethics of confidentiality, Megan will need to confront the dark mind of a dangerously disturbed man in a deadly battle of wits and wills. – abstract from Goodreads.com

 

The Giveaway


Please note that the book Joanne MacGregor is giving away is an adult thriller and not suitable for young readers.

Giveaway 1 (open internationally)

Joanne MacGregor is giving away 2 ebook copies of her new book, Dark Whispers (an Adult Thriller).

Giveaway 2 (open to South African Residents only)

Joanne MacGregor is giving away 1 print copy of her new book Dark Whispers (an Adult Thriller) to a South African resident with a local postal address.

To Enter

To enter the giveaway answer the following question in the comments. Entries close Sunday 6 May 2018 at 24h00 South African time UTC+2

Joanne MacGregor

South African residents please let us know in the comments that you are #proudlySouthAfrican to be eligible to win the print copy.

 

The scenario in Dark Whispers is of slipping into helpless unconsciousness, knowing you’re at the mercy of a monster. That’s a scary situation! What scares you?

 

Adding to Your TBR – April 2018

  1. TBR April 2018

Adding to Your TBR – April 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

Just a couple of days late… I did it! Almost. With travelling for 42 hours through four countries, surprise visitors and a grand-slam crash of my laptop’s motherboard it is impressive this post got posted at all. Have a good month and happy reading!

 

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

Expected: 1 April 2018

The abstract promises dark, sinister secrets and the early reviewers on Goodreads describe The Forgotten Ones as compelling and heartbreaking.

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The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

 

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.

Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who came to the house one night and never left.

As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the family’s secrets forever. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

Expected: 3 April 2018

Every month while compiling this list there is always at least one book that stands out as a HAVE to read-ASAP. This month The Bakers Secret is The One.

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TBR April 2018

 

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

Expected: 3 April 2018

This book has been on and off this list since I started compiling it three weeks ago. I am really not sure about it. Early reviewers have lavished high praise and something about it makes me think of Big Little Lies, so hoping it is as good as promised.

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TBR April 2018

 

The author of The Garden of Small Beginnings returns with a hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything.

As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this… 

After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families–and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.Abstract from Goodreads

 

Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake

Expected: 3 April 2018

Prequel to the brilliant Three Dark Crowns, these two-in-one novellas explore Fennbirn’s secrets and promises insight into the queens and their complicated journey to the beginning of the story.

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TBR April 2018

 

Uncover the sisters’ origins, dive deep into the catastrophic reign of the Oracle Queen, and reveal layers of Fennbirn’s past, hidden until now.

The Young Queens: Get a glimpse of triplet queens Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine during a short period of time when they protected and loved one another. From birth until their claiming ceremonies, this is the story of the three sisters’ lives…before they were at stake.

The Oracle Queen: Everyone knows the legend of Elsabet, the Oracle Queen. The one who went mad. The one who orchestrated a senseless, horrific slaying of three entire houses. But what really happened? Discover the true story behind the queen who could foresee the future…just not her own downfall. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Expected: 3 April 2018

With exceptional early reviews on Goodreads this book stands out and begs to be read.

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TBR April 2018

 

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Relative Strangers by Paula Garner

Expected: 10 April 2018

Families, secrets, twists… lots of drama. Looking forward to discovering the answers.

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TBR April 2018

 

Why is there a gap in Jules’s baby album? A wry and poignant coming-of-age novel about finding the truth in lies, salvaging hope in heartbreak, and making peace with missing pieces.

Eighteen-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Jules’s life and future look as flat and unchanging as her small Illinois town. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. What she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her — including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush — and the divide between Jules and her mother widens — Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Expected: 10 April 2018

Huge praise from the early reviewers must mean something! Plus, just look at the cover. Stunning!

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TBR April 2018

 

Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined.

Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family’s blessing to pursue the career he’s always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny’s lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can’t stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.

When Danny digs deeper into his parents’ past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Expected: 10 April 2018

Very promising! I can’t wait to listen to this one on Audible.

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TBR April 2018

 

Karen, Eleanor, and Bea have been best friends since childhood. They know everything about each other’s lives, or at least they think they do. Now in their thirties, though their lives are beginning to diverge: Eleanor is a young wife and mother who is struggling to cope with her many responsibilities; Bea is happy being single—or so she lets people think; and Karen is a psychiatrist who, despite the secrets in her past, considers herself the anchor of the group.

But when she takes on a new patient with issues she just can’t quite put her finger on, she begins to realize she may have put her dearest friends in danger. Because her patient knows more about these three women than anyone outside their circle possible could. Or should…-  Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa

Expected: 17 April 2018

This one appeals in a slightly weird Gothic way. A very bland cover and a title that reminds me of the dusty forgotten books in the corner of my parents bookcase. But something about the abstract caught my attention. Have your read it?

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TBR April 2018

 

A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.

Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine—constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him—something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family—and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Girl I Used to Be by Mary Torjussen

Expected: 24 April 2018

Another psychological thriller to add to my definitely, maybe list.

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TBR April 2018

 

The morning after real estate agent Gemma Brogan has dinner with a prospective client, she’s furious at herself for drinking so much. But there will be more to regret than a nasty hangover.

She starts receiving mementos from that night: A photo of a hallway kiss. A video of her complaining about her husband. And worse…much worse. The problem is she doesn’t remember any of it.

As the blackmailing and menace ramp up, Gemma fears for her already shaky marriage. The paranoia, the feeling that her life is spiraling out of control, will take her back to another night–years ago–that changed everything. And Gemma will realize just how far the shadows from her past can reach… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Expected: 24 April 2018

A YA Fantasy from debut author is always exciting. I found the book trailer and was instantly skeptical – it could easily have been a scene straight out of Twilight. What do you think?

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TBR April 2018

 

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Expected: 24 April 2018

A companion to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (recently adapted to movie as Love, Simon) this full length novel follows Leah, Simon’s best friend. I loved Simon vs HSA and am expecting great things from Leah on the Offbeat.

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TBR April 2018

 

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – March 2018

TBR March 2018Adding to Your TBR – March 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

 

What’s on your TBR March 2018? Another month, another list. I’m going to need insomnia or immortality… anyone with a potion?

 

By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell

Expected: 6 March 2018

I am hoping that this book is more like The Night Circus which I loved and less like Carnival which I didn’t.

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TBR March 2018

 

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other travelling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

I loved Letters to the Lost so this is a must-read.

Expected: 6 March 2018

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TBR March 2018

 

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Expected: 6 March 2018

An exceptionally topical subject and great early reviews suggest this thoughtful book is going to be brilliant.

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TBR March 2018

 

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader. 

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. The story of the De La Cruzes is the American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and it cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Expected: 13 March 2018

Another thriller with the victim in a coma… I featured two in my Jan18 TBR post. After the disaster of If I Die Before I Wake, I am slightly reluctant. But… Sometimes I Lie has had fantastic early reviews on Goodreads.

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TBR March 2018

 

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Expected: 13 March 2018

Mixed reviews on Goodreads, but there’s something intriguing about the book. Holding thumbs its a good read.

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TBR March 2018

 

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing.

When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police–she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home–Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai.

Could she have killed him? If not, who did? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

What a beautiful title. I would have read this book just based on that, but it sounds very good and has excellent early reviews on Goodreads.

Expected: 20 March 2018

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TBR March 2018

 

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Expected: 20 March 2018

A difficult subject with a vital message outstanding early reviews suggest a book not to be missed!

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TBR March 2018

 

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

Expected: 20 March 2018

Despite a terribly drab cover, this sounds like an intense read.

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TBR March 2018

 

Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the Dolomites, the mountains that hug the northeastern border of Italy.

While on vacation at the foot of the mountains, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountain’s meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life— Bruno’s in the mountains, Pietro’s in cosmopolitan cities across the world—test the strength and meaning of their connection– Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Expected: 20 March 2018

A dark, Gothic, historical fiction thriller to knock your socks off!

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TBR March 2018

 

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Expected: 27 March 2018

I love Ally Carter’s books which are always packed with adventure, fun, mystery and friends with the addition of espionage or action-packed heists.

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TBR March 2018

 

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly. Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Expected: 27 March 2017

This book reminds me of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, an author who I have grown to love for her ability to bring characters alive and gives voice to their insecurities.

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TBR March 2018

 

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Expected: 27 March 2018

This book has exactly the type of messed-up, gritty, vulnerable characters that I adore.

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TBR March 2018

 

For Penny Lee high school was a total non-event. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other. – Abstract from Goodreads

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