Adding to TBR – December 2018

TBR December 2018Adding to Your TBR – December 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

There’s an exciting selection of books about to be released. A mix of contemporary, thriller, fantasy, paranormal, mystery and historical fiction. Hope you find a few you’ll love. Preorder now for the holidays!

 

Winter Loon by Susan Bernhard 

Expected: 1 December 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘A haunting début novel about family and sacrifice’, and with unusually high ratings (4.26/5 star) for a first book, this is a highly anticipated read. I can’t wait! #YA

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Abandoned by his father after his mother drowns in a frozen Minnesota lake, fifteen-year-old Wes Ballot is stranded with coldhearted grandparents and holed up in his mother’s old bedroom surrounded by her remnants and memories. As the wait for his father stretches unforgivably into months, a local girl, whose own mother died a brutal death, captures his heart and imagination, reminding Wes that hope always floats to the surface.

When buried truths come to light in the spring thaw, wounds are exposed and violence erupts, forcing Wes to embark on a search for his missing father, the truth about his mother, and a future he must claim for himself—a quest that begins back at that frozen lake. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Expected: 3 December 2018

Nancy Bilyeau, a popular historical fiction author, has drawn inspiration from her own Huguenot ancestry. The storyline sounds amazing and it includes art and espionage, I’m looking forward to this one. #historicalfiction

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TBR December 2018

 

In eighteenth-century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice. 

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue… 

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage. 

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Expected: 4 December 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘richly atmospheric’ and ‘replete with folklore and suspense’ this dark, mysterious story sounds intriguing. #historicalfiction

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TBR December 2018

 

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known. – Abstract from Amazon.com

 

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst 

Expected: 4 December 2018

Dragon-shifters, wizards and a high stake heist – what more could you want! #YA #Fantasy

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TBR December 2018

 

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Strange Days by Constantine J. Singer

Expected: 4 December 2018

Strange Days is described as contemporary fiction with a sci-fi edge on Goodreads. A début author combined with very few early reviews doesn’t give us much to go on. Holding thumbs it is good! #YA #ScienceFiction

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TBR December 2018

 

Alex Mata doesn’t want to worry about rumors of alien incursions–he’d rather just skate and tag and play guitar. But when he comes home to find an alien has murdered his parents, he’s forced to confront a new reality: aliens are real, his parents are dead, and nobody will believe him if he tells. On the run, Alex finds himself led to the compound of tech guru Jeffrey Sabazios, the only public figure who stands firm in his belief that aliens are coming.

At Sabazios’s invitation, Alex becomes a Witness, one of a special group of teens gifted with an ability that could save the Earth: they can glide through time and witness futures. When a Witness sees a future, that guarantees it will happen the way it’s been seen, making their work humanity’s best hope for stopping the alien threat. Guided by Sabazios, befriended by his fellow time travelers, and maybe even falling in love, Alex starts feeling like the compound is a real homeuntil a rogue glide shows him the dangerous truth about his new situation.– Abstract from Goodreads

 

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

Expected: 4 December 2018

It’s set in a library! Mixed reviews again so we’ll just have to decide ourselves. #YA #mystery

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TBR December 2018

 

Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it’s community service, but he likes his work. Especially if it means getting to see Mallory.

Mallory spends a lot of time keeping her head down. When you’re sixteen and homeless, nothing matters more than being anonymous. But Spencer’s charm makes her want to be noticed.

Then sinister things start happening at the library. Mysterious symbols and terrifying warnings begin to appear, and management grows suspicious. Spencer and Mallory know a homeless teenager makes an easy target, and if they can’t find the real culprit soon, they could lose more than just their safe haven… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak

Expected: 4 December 2018

Some mixed reviews on Goodreads but almost all reviewers describe this book as a twisty, suspense-filled read. #mystery

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TBR December 2018

 

Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she’s determined to uncover her family’s dark secrets, even if they bury her.

Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound–the ominous thump before all went quiet.

In the morning, her mother was gone. The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn’t just difficult–he was deadly.

Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend and a father and brother who’d rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn’t whether she can uncover what really happened that night…it’s what will remain of her family if she does? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones 

Expected: 4 December 2018

Excellent early reviews on Goodreads and many reviewers mention how well Sherry Jones has researched both the era and Josephine Baker herself. #HistoricalFiction

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TBR December 2018

 

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Deadfall by Stephen Wallenfels 

Expected: 10 December 2018

With the storyline flashing between past and present Deadfall promises to be fast-paced and unputdownable. #YA #thriller

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TBR December 2018

 

Twin brothers Ty and Cory Bic are on the run. When they encounter a dying deer in the middle of a remote mountain road with fresh tire tracks swerving down into a ravine, they know they have to help. But when they reach the wrecked car the vehicle appears empty, with signs that the driver escaped.

Until they hear a sound coming from the trunk.

Ty and Cory are escaping demons of their own. But what they discover in the trunk puts them in the crosshairs of something darker and more sinister than their wildest nightmares. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

Expected: 11 December 2018

Another book with mixed early reviews. I have always been fascinated with courtroom themed stories and am hoping this one is going to live up to my anticipation. #mystery

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TBR December 2018

 

Till death do us part,

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right.

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

Expected: 11 December 2018

This Lie Will Kill You is described as being a ‘page-turning thriller that exposes the lies the five survivors tell about a deadly night one year ago. This storyline has been done to death, but hoping this book will stand out. #YA #thriller

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TBR December 2018

 

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Fade by Demitria Lunetta 

Expected: 11 December 2018

A mystery / paranormal story featuring a haunted house. To read on dark lonely nights – if you dare. #YA #mystery #paranormal

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TBR December 2018

 

We don’t want to disappear. We want to be found. 

Something terrible happened in her basement. Haley can feel it. 

Four girls went missing several years ago, and the police never solved the case. But Haley knows the missing girls were murdered. How else can she explain the hostile presence in her house? 

The ghostly girls need something from her. And unless Haley can figure out what they want…she might be next. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard 

Expected: 18 December 2018

Hunting Annabelle has received high praise from early reviewers who describe it as ‘gritty’, dark and twisted’ I really hope this story helps to remove the stigma that blankets mental illness. #thriller #mentalhealth

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TBR December 2018

 

Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.

Then Annabelle disappears.

Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken first hand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the centre of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened then he’s able to remember?

Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Expected: 31 December 2018

Great early reviews who describe it as being a ‘fast-paced and intriguing mystery’ perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty (whose books you know I love) so can’t wait to read it. #mystery

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TBR December 2018

 

Greyhill, Virginia—refuge of old money, old mansions, and old-fashioned ideas about who belongs and who doesn’t—just got a few new residents. When Bess Warner arrives in town with her husband Cole and their kids, she thinks she knows what to expect. Sure, moving to Cole’s small hometown means she’ll have to live across the street from her mother-in-law, and yes, there’s going to be a lot to learn as they take over Cole’s family’s inn-keeping business, but Bess believes it will be the perfect escape from Washington. She needs it to be. After losing her White House job under a cloud of scandal, she hardly knows who she is anymore.

But Bess quickly discovers that fitting in is easier said than done. Instead of the simpler life she’d banked on, she finds herself preoccupied by barbed questions from gossipy locals and her own worries over how her twins are acclimating at the town’s elite private school. When the opportunity to write an article for the Washington Post’s lifestyle supplement falls into Bess’s lap, she thinks it might finally be her opportunity to find her footing here…even if the subject of the piece is Greyhill’s most notorious resident.

Susannah “Cricket” Lane, fruit of the town’s deepest-rooted family tree, is a special sort of outsider, having just returned to Greyhill from New York after a decades-long hiatus. The long absence has always been the subject of suspicion, not that the eccentric Susannah cares what anyone thinks; as a matter of fact, she seems bent on antagonizing as many people as possible. But is Susannah being sincere with Bess—or is she using their strangely intense interview sessions for her to further an agenda that includes peeling back the layers of Greyhill’s darkest secrets?

As Bess discovers unsettling truths about Susannah and Greyhill at large, ones that bring her into the secrets of prior generations, she begins to learn how difficult it is to start over in a town that runs on talk, and that sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to uncover what everyone around you is hiding…. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – November 2018

TBR November 2018

Adding to Your TBR – November 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

I’m sitting in the warm South African sun surrounded by a pile of ‘already read’ books. Registering each one at Bookcrossing.com so they can be released for other readers to find. #bookswithwings This also makes room for new books!

November 2018 books are waiting for you…

 

The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard

Expected: 1 November 2018

There is very little available about this book, it’s barely mentioned on Goodreads… an undiscovered gem? #thriller

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TBR November 2018

 

Anna has everything worked out – a successful company, all the comforts she needs and no ties. But when she stumbles across the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania, everything changes. Anna is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.– Abstract from Amazon

 

 

 

 

Frost by Sam Neumann

Expected: 1 November 2018

Another book that has received little attention. It was the cover that caught my eye first, but the abstract has me excited to read it. #thriller

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TBR November 2018

 

A small town, a wayward woman, and the murderer who won’t leave her alone. 

Amy Frost is getting desperate. When her fledgeling stand-up comedy career falls flat, adding one more failure to a long list, she is forced to move back in with her mother in her hometown in the Colorado mountains. All the things she thought she had left behind have again become her reality, and at thirty-one years old, Amy is terrified of winding up in Ballast, Colorado, forever. 

But she is shaken out of her self-pity when Arnold Dooley, the man who murdered his wife and was later acquitted, walks into her place of work. 

The town of Ballast falls into hysteria upon learning Dooley has taken up residence on its east end, and the residents begin scheming ways to remove him. But Arnold takes an interest in Amy and begins to offer her large sums of money for seemingly innocuous tasks. Sceptical and guarded, Amy spurns the proposition until it becomes too enticing to ignore, and soon finds herself thrust into a twisted world of depravity. The only way out is for Amy to uncover who actually killed Arnold’s wife—and why they’re after her. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

Described by early reviewers as a sinister, gothic, historical fiction/mystery thriller. #thriller

Expected: 1 November 2018

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TBR November 2018

 

After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.

As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Expected: 6 November 2018

The world building has been described as vivid and gorgeous by early reviewers on Goodreads. #YAfantasy

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TBR November 2018

 

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.
Each generation, a competition is held to find the next  Empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she wEmpresshiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

Expected: 6 November 2018

I love the sound of this book which has had rave reviews on Goodreads. #YAfantasy

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TBR November 2018

 

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good. 

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Athena’s Champion by David Hair & Cath Mayo

Expected: 8 November 2018

Based on Greek mythology this book, the first in the Olympus Trilogy features young Odysseus as the hero. I am looking forward to getting lost in Ancient Greece. #YAfantasy

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TBR November 2018

 

Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead, the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death.

Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits, and his skill as a warrior can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston

Expected: 13 November 2018

I loved Ashley Elston’s This Is Our Story so The Lying Woods has been on my TBR forever. This is the one I need now! #YA #Thriller

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TBR November 2018

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees’ retirement accounts, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.

Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father’s crimes. It’s bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac–and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.

Owen’s only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets–and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past–and write a better future. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Expected: 13 November 2018

An intriguing abstract caught my attention. It’s had mixed reviews so I will have to find out for myself. #YA #Mystery

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TBR November 2018

 

I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie–beautiful, saintly Jamie–was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed.

On the eve of Kyle’s sentencing a year after Jamie’s death, all the other “chosen ones” are coping in various ways. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.

Now she finds herself drawn to Charlie, Jamie’s boyfriend–knowing all the while that their relationship will always be haunted by what-ifs and why-nots. Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Love You Gone by Rona Halsall 

Expected: 15 November 2018

I know this psychological thriller is going to break me but I can’t wait to read it anyway! #Thriller

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TBR November 2018

When Mel arrives at the holiday cottage in the Lake District, she expects to find the heating on and her husband Luke and the two children waiting for her. Maybe a bottle of wine open… 

Instead, there is just a note on the side, saying they’ve gone out for a walk. 

But they aren’t back several hours later, and Mel knows something is wrong. Really wrong. When a search doesn’t find them, she has to confess to the police that her marriage isn’t all that it seems. 

Even if that risks her own secrets being revealed… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Any Second by Kevin Emerson

Expected: 20 November 2018

Not as sure I will like this one, but it’s excellent early reviews promise a book worth a second look. #YA #thriller

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TBR November 2018Five years after being kidnapped, Elian’s captor sends him into the mall–with a bomb strapped to his chest.

Across the mall is Maya, a girl whose crippling anxiety holds her prisoner in its own way. 

Whether it’s chance or fate, Maya keeps Eli from ending them all. And now nothing is the same. Drawn together by their dark pasts, Maya and Eli know it takes only seconds for their entire worlds to change. But time will tell if meeting each other will change them for better or worse. – Abstract from Goodreads

The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor

The First Time I Died

The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor


Outside myself, I saw my body drifting in the black water, still as death.

The prologue sets the atmosphere, and it wasn’t long before I was falling headfirst into the story.

First-time nerves. Next time I die, I’ll be sure to take detailed notes…

So captivating, I read deep into the night not able to stop until I knew… I had to know.

A prickle of primitive fear rippled up my spine.

Flirting back and forth between past and present keeps the mystery alive, as does Jo MacGregor’s careful and analytic writing.

And if I had my way, I’d never come back.

I loved the paranormal element, it added to the tension and rounded out the characters.

Feeling the pull of the pond, it’s frigid, watery kiss, the embracing darkness.

Jo Macgregor’s adult psychological thrillers are dark and this one is no exception, although admittedly being more of a mystery thriller it’s not quite as dark as her first Dark Whispers which I still get shivers when I think of it.

If you have only read her YA books (written as Joanne Macgregor) and you definitely should if you haven’t, you’ll be surprised at how dark her writing can get, and I love it! Links to my reviews: Recoil Trilogy (dystopian)The Law of Tall Girls – my favourite! and Scarred (contemporary), Hushed (retelling)

We have all heard the saying you should write about things you know, and again Jo Macgregor’s career as a psychologist shines through her new book. She shared her thoughts on this in a guest post earlier this year.4 star tiny flash reviews

 

 

Title: The First Time I Died 

The First Time I Died

Series: Garnet McGee # 1

Author: Jo Macgregor

Publication Date: October 8th 2018

Publisher: Jo Macgregor

Source: Review copy

 

Purchase this book 

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Add to your shelf:

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The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone. 

When Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown for the holidays, she vows to solve the mystery of the murder which shattered her life ten years ago. 

But then the unexpected happens — she dies in an accident and gets brought back to life by paramedics. 

Now she’s hearing words, seeing visions and experiencing strange sensations. Are these merely symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and an over-active imagination, or is she getting messages from a paranormal presence? 

Garnet has always prided herself on being logical and rational, but trying to catch a killer without embracing her shadow self is getting increasingly difficult. And dangerous, because in a town full of secrets, it seems like everybody has a motive for murder.— Abstract from Goodreads.com

Adding to Your TBR – October 2018

TBR October 2018

Adding to Your TBR – October 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

TBR October 2018. Just spent a week in beautiful Cape Town with family and new friends and will be heading back home tomorrow with gorgeous photographs, inspiration and buckets of love. Enjoy these October’ 18 books!

 

The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker

Expected: 1 October 2018

Set in Germany during WWII this book sounds very good. I am about to start the Audible audio edition. #Historicalfiction

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly    

TBR October 2018

 

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage—in name only—to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too—atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war.

As Anton struggles to adapt to the roles of husband and father, he learns of the Red Orchestra, an underground network of resisters plotting to assassinate Hitler. Despite Elisabeth’s reservations, Anton joins this army of shadows. But when the SS discovers his schemes, Anton will embark on a final act of defiance that may cost him his life—even if it means saying goodbye to the family he has come to love more than he ever believed possible. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Expected: 2 October 2018

First in a new fantasy series of the same name. #fantasy

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

TBR October 2018

 

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young 

Expected: 2 October 2018

Focusing on grief this book also includes a scavenger hunt so of course it’s a must read! #YAcontemporary

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

TBR October 2018

 

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world — the best friend in the whole world — has died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife?

In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just what Raquel needs to move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Expected: 2 October 2018

I am not usually attracted to time-travel books and have been disappointed by them in the past, so not exactly sure why this is on my list other than the great early reviews on Goodreads. #historicalfiction

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

TBR October 2018

 

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak 

Expected: 9 October 2018

From the author of The Book Thief, this #Contemporary has had rave reviews on Goodreads.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

TBR October 2018

 

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. 

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. 

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore 

Expected: 9 October 2018

I love the sound of this book which reminds me of  Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans. #fantasy

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

TBR October 2018

 

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Witch Elm by Tana French 

Expected: 9 October 2018

FYI: Although the same book, the UK editions are titled The Wych Elm. #mysterythriller

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

TBR October 2018

 

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria 

Expected: 9 October 2018

Exceptionally good early reviews hint at a dark but hopeful story. #fantasy

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

TBR October 2018

 

In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Expected: 16 October 2018

Written by the author of the fantasy series Shatter Me which I love, this book is set in the aftermath of 9/11 and focuses on religious and racial prejudice. A must for school libraries everywhere. #historicalfiction

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   

TBR October 2018

 

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Expected: 16 October 2018

Written by the author of The Orchid Thief this is one of the rare #nonfiction books on my list. #librariansunite

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TBR October 2018

 

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today’s climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books—and that they are needed now more than ever. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

That Night by Amy Giles 

Expected: 23 October 2018

An emotional story of a community wrecked by tragedy. #YAcontemptorary

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TBR October 2018

 

One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live.

The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while trying to put good into the world through random acts of kindness — to pay back a debt he feels he owes the universe for taking the wrong brother.

Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother, with the help of her elderly next-door neighbor, and tries to make ends meet. Without her best friend, who’s across the country at a special post-trauma boarding school, and her brother, who died that night, Jess feels totally alone in the world.

When Jess and Lucas’s paths cross at their shared after-school job, they start to become friends… and then more.

Their community — and their families — were irrevocably changed by a senseless act of violence. But as Jess and Lucas fall in love, they’ll learn to help each other heal and move forward — together. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Expected: 30 October 2018

Rave early reviews = a must-read. #fantasy

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TBR October 2018

 

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas–wielders of magic–are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son–not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country–and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost. – Abstract from Goodreads

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Thousand Perfect Notes

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

I have been so excited to read A Thousand Perfect Notes. Excerpt from my June TBR post where I flail around in anticipation: C.G. Drews (aka Cait @Paperfury) is an extremely popular book blogger (slightly obsessed with cake and stabbing) who writes fun blog posts, laugh-out-loud Twitter feeds and is an amazing photographer as seen in her Instagram posts. 

Sharing music is personal because music speaks, it feels, it breathes. 

But with that anticipation came a bundle of anxiety – what if I don’t like it, and it’s Cait. Everyone knows the Paperfury and who am I to judge… I shouldn’t have worried. It was Cait’s voice, a little tamer than her blog posts, but recognisable and I loved it.

The characters are brilliant! I am so in love with Joey and August – they totally stole the show.

“… I want a knife.” Of course she does. Tiny, scary, violent child.

Is possible C.G.Drews aka Paperfury is more marshmallow than world dominator? As I anticipated cake, chocolate, knife-brandishing and stabbing are featured in the book, but not quite in the way I expected.

It’s like fruitcake but also has almonds and small explosions of chocolate…

The cover is beautiful! I bought the Kindle edition when it first came out, but when I saw the paperback in a bookshop at Singapore’s Changi airport. I just had to have it and I have been carrying it around with me just because I am not ready to let the story go.

What he wants most in the world is to cut off his own hands.

I questioned one aspect while reading (in the spoiler box below), but this didn’t detract from my overall experience of the story.

Spoiler Alert!

It was out of character for Beck to leave Joey to go to the hospital with their mom.  All the time he was with August I couldn’t stop worrying that social services would step in and separate the siblings, wanting to scream at Beck to go back and get her! Although I do also realise that as Joey had called the ambulance it would be difficult to explain why she wasn’t there.

[collapse]

He floods the house with music that shook the world a hundred years ago.

PS Cait’s second book is called The Boy Who Steals Houses (due 4 April 2019), Have you ever seen such a brilliant title? I love it!

People can betray you, but the piano does not.

5 star

 

 

 

Title: A Thousand Perfect NotesThousand Perfect Notes

Author: C.G. Drews 

Publication Date: 7 June 2018

Publisher: Orchard Books

Source: Purchased

 

 

Purchase this book 

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Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

 

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

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