Adding to Your TBR – July 2018

TBR July 2018

Adding to Your TBR – July 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

Here is your July reading list. I hope you find a book (or two) you love. Happy holiday reading!

 

Snap by Belinda Bauer

Expected: 1 July 2018

Snap has gathered a number of incredibly high early ratings on Goodreads.

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TBR July 2018

 

Snap decisions can be dangerous . . . 

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, Jack, now fourteen, is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

Expected: 3 July 2018

The abstract sounds a little generic so I am not sure about this one. The early reviews on Goodreads are very good which is usually a very good indication of a great read – so long as there is more than a handful of 5-star ratings you can be sure it’s not just the author and their family punting it.

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TBR July 2018

 

On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Lerner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies. 

Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including some who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search—if Marina chooses to publish it. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Expected: 3 July 2018

I love this cover. It’s pretty in a dark, and slightly menacing way, and will look gorgeous on my shelf. #coverlove Now I am seeing a heart-shaped sweet (candy)… perhaps it’s a bittersweet story – or maybe I am just hungry!

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TBR July 2018

 

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood

Expected: 3 July 2018

I am very excited about this book, although I am nervous about seven PVO’s (Point of Views). Although, each one is written by a different author so the voices should be unique enough to tell apart.

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TBR July 2018

 

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Caged by Ellison Cooper

Expected: 10 July 2018

A dark, evil psychological thriller. Yes please!

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tbr July 2018

 

FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who’d been slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession…a killer who is closer than she thought. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Expected: 17 July 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘A life-changing secret destroys an unlikely friendship in this “magnetic” psychological thriller’ so I am definitely looking out for this one.

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TBR July 2018

 

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.

More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfil the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Expected: 21 July 2018

I have listened to one of Karin Slaughter’s audiobooks The Good Daughter via Audible last year and loved it! It got a rare 5-star rating for me and I have been wanting to pick up another of her books.

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TBR July 2018

 

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Silent Hearts by Gwen Florio

Expected: 24 July 2018

Another story that has been compared to A Thousand Splendid Suns! This honour is a dubious one though because it is bound to be far more critically analysed by eager readers. Hope it can stand up for itself.

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TBR July 2018

 

For fans of A Thousand Splendid Suns comes a stirring novel set in Afghanistan about two women—an American aid worker and her local interpreter—who form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them in Kabul.

In 2001, Kabul is suddenly a place of possibility as people fling off years of repressive Taliban rule. This hopeful chaos brings together American aid worker Liv Stoellner and Farida Basra, an educated Pakistani woman still adjusting to her arranged marriage to Gul, the son of an Afghan strongman whose family spent years of exile in Pakistan before returning to Kabul.

Both Liv and her husband take positions at an NGO that helps Afghan women recover from the Taliban years. They see the move as a reboot—Martin for his moribund academic career, Liv for their marriage. But for Farida and Gul, the move to Kabul is fraught, severing all ties with Farida’s family and her former world, and forcing Gul to confront a chapter in his life he’d desperately tried to erase.

The two women, brought together by Farida’s work as an interpreter, form a nascent friendship based on their growing mutual love for Afghanistan, though Liv remains unaware that Farida is reporting information about the Americans’ activities to Gul’s family, who have ties to the black market.

As the bond between Farida and Liv deepens, war-scarred Kabul acts in different ways upon them, as well as their husbands. Silent Hearts is an absorbing, complex portrayal of two very different but equally resilient women caught in the conflict of a war that will test them in ways they never imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault

Expected: 24 July 2018

Another psychological thriller… I might be developing a new favourite genre!

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TBR July 2018

 

I hear myself whispering. Not again. Not again.

Why did I ever come back here? Surely because of you. Because I thought of something I’d always meant to tell you. Because you were the only one I ever really wanted to tell it to…

Therapist Dr. Mark Fabian is dead—bludgeoned in his office.

But that doesn’t stop former patient Nadine Raines from talking to him—in her head. Why did she come back to her hometown after so many years away? Everyone here thinks she’s crazy. And she has to admit—they might have good reason to think so. She committed a shockingly violent act when she was sixteen, and has never really been able to explain that dark impulse—even to Fabian. Now that Fabian’s dead, why is she still trying?

Meanwhile, as Detective Henry Peacher investigates Fabian’s death, he discovers that shortly before he died, Fabian pulled the files of two former patients. One was of Nadine Raines, one of Henry’s former high school classmates. Henry still remembers the disturbing attack on a teacher that marked Nadine as a deeply troubled teen.

More shockingly, the other file was of Johnny Streeter, who is now serving a life sentence for a mass shooting five years ago. The shooting devastated the town and everyone—including Henry, who is uncomfortable with the “hero” status the tragedy afforded him—is ready to move on. But the appearance of his file brings up new questions. Maybe there is a decades-old connection between Nadine and Streeter. And maybe that somehow explains what Nadine is doing in Fabian’s office nearly twenty years after being his patient. Or how Fabian ended up dead two days after her return. Or why Nadine has fled town once again.

But as Nadine and Henry head toward a confrontation, both will discover that the secrets of people’s hearts are rarely simple, and—even in the hidden depths of a psychologist’s files—rarely as they appear. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson

Expected: 25 July 2018

I’m taking another dive into the Second World War. I am drawn to these stories, despite the inevitable heartbreak.

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TBR July 2018

 

In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war.

Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Expected: 26 July 2018

A little touch of murder mystery with a side of thriller.

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TBR July 2018

 

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually, we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Expected: 31 July 2018

Another stunning cover and this time matched with a mesmerising title! I know this will be a tough read emotionally but one that shouldn’t be missed.

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TBR July 2018

 

In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990’s Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both

The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs and assassinations hover just outside the neighbourhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the riptide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. 

Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation. Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Expected: 31 July 2018

I haven’t found a good fantasy novel since The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, so ready to be wowed. This one has had rave early reviews – holding thumbs.

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TBR July 2018

 

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Expected: 31 July 2018

Yes I know, this post is full of murder stories. This story has a dark, creepy tinge that for some reason really appeals…

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TBR June 2018

 

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First, there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the centre of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – June 2018

TBR June 2018

Adding to Your TBR – June 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

June is stuffed full of great releases and this is a list of the twelve I am the most excited for. Of course, my TBR is murmuring (ha! I wish) in the corner – it knows I can’t keep up. Goodreads is in on the plan to take me down and helpfully points out that although I have read forty-four books so far, I am eight books behind schedule if I am to achieve the total I faithfully declared I would read in the Reading Challenge. Fortunately, no one knows I have already reduced the total in a vain attempt to see the completed stamp at the end of the year…

 

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Expected: 5 June 2018

This fantasy is a retelling of the opera Turandot written by Giacomo Puccini, which is it’s self a retelling. The original story was written by Nizami Ganjavi and published in 1197 as part of a collection called The Seven Beauties. With this rich background, there is much pressure on the début author but the early reviewers have high praise with the pre-publication average rating on Goodreads an amazing 4.43 out of 5 stars.

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TBR June 2018

 

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Expected: 5 June 2018

I was lucky enough to read an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of Save the Date and loved it! It’s a delicious, fun-filled, crazy, chaotic whirlwind of a book. Hard to put down.

TBR June 2018

 

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Expected: 5 June 2018

So, this is magical realism? What makes it different to fantasy. Ever so slightly confused but rave reviews indicate it’s well worth reading to find out.

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TBR June 2018

 

A magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. A summer that will become legend.

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Expected: 5 June 2018

Friendships and secrets. What’s not to love? I have just read her first book, Every Last Word and was blown away by richly layered characters and the unpredictable twist.

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TBR June 2018

 

Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all re-examine the things they hold true. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez

Expected: 5 June 2018

This is the first book in an epic fantasy series of the same name. I am slightly put off by the cheesy title and the cliché cover but hoping I am proved wrong.

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TBR June 2018

 

Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. 

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Expected: 7 June 2018

A Thousand Perfect Notes is my most anticipated read this month. Although I am absolutely sure this emotional book will destroy me I can’t wait to read it. 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. She is also very supportive of fellow bloggers, generous enough to share her knowledge in tutorial posts, always replies to comments and takes the time to return the favour. So to Cait, now a published author and whose second book is due in 2019, keep writing with the aim of totally overloading our TBRs! PS Cait’s second book is called The Boy Who Steals Houses – have you ever seen such a brilliant title? I love it!

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TBR June 2018

 

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

 

 

The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall

Expected: 19 June 2018

A highly anticipated historical fiction set in the Southern United States in the 1960s. The description includes a dysfunctional family and dark secrets so obviously, I am in!

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TBR June 2018

 

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Expected: 19 June 2018

Spanning generations, this story promises to take us behind the scenes of The Beijing Duck House to meet the staff and discover their secrets…

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TBR June 2018

 

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay. 

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Date by Louise Jensen

Expected: 21 June 2018

So, at last, a thriller on the list this month. Just one caught my eye though but the early reviews promise it’s a good one.

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TBR June 2018

 

Something bad has happened to Alison Taylor. 

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. 

By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her. 

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

Expected: 26 June 2018

It was the first two lines of the abstract below that prompted me to add this book despite not liking most of Carlie Sorosiak’s first book If Birds Fly Back. But there was also a part of the book that I loved – if you want to know more the link above is to my review on Goodreads.

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TBR June 2018

 

There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.

Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.

Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.

After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.

But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Your Destination Is on the Left by Lauren Spieller

Expected: 26 June 2018

I love this cover! And it’s about art and artists. I have the impression it might be as good as I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson which will be brilliant! High hopes indeed.

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TBR June 2018

 

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. 

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck travelling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings compiled by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

Expected: 26 June 2018

These short stories featuring East and South Asia folklore and mythology sound amazing. Short stories are what I turn to when life gets too crazy and it’s difficult to concentrate on a novel.

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TBR June 2018

 

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.  – 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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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