Betty Bites Back: Stories to Scare the Patriarchy edited by Mindy McGinnis, Demitria Lunetta andKate Karyus Quinn

41591785._sy475_-1

EXCERPT: It started with a hashtag.

Well, it started about five years earlier – the first time Billy Ruperts noticed that I’d hit puberty. We were sitting in the hallway, working with a few of our friends on our final history project of Grade seven. He looked at me, then at my chest.

‘Savvy, you’re growing.’ He leaned forward and flicked my pint-sized breast.

That was the first time I felt it. That subtle stomach-churning twirl of rage. I shoved him into the lockers. He split his forehead open on a rusted hinge.

I got an in-school suspension, even after I told them what he did.

Billy got stitched up and a break from homework for the rest of the week. (excerpt taken from ‘The Guardians 1792 by Jenna Lehne)

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Behind every successful man is a strong woman… but in these stories, she might be about to plant a knife in his spine. The characters in this anthology are fed up – tired of being held back, held down, held accountable – by the misogyny of the system. They’re ready to resist by biting back in their own individual ways, be it through magic, murder, technology, teeth, pitfalls and even… potlucks. Join sixteen writers as they explore feminism in fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy-tales, historical settings, and the all-too-familiar chauvinist contemporary world.

(While most of the content is YA appropriate, please note the editors recommend this anthology for 16+.)

Authors:
Liz Coley
Shannon Green
Elaine Griffin
Lindsey Klingele
Kamerhe Lane
Jenna Lehne
Demitria Lunetta
Emilee Martell
Tracie Martin
Cori McCarthy
Kyrie McCauley
Mindy McGinnis
Kate Karyus Quinn
Melody Simpson
Amanda Sun

MY THOUGHTS: As with most short story collections, there were stories I liked, and stories I didn’t like. ‘The Guardians 1792’ was a particular favorite of mine; as were ‘What She Left Behind’ by E R Griffin and ‘We Have But Lingered Here’ by Liz Coley. There were a couple I couldn’t finish, and the remainder were, for my reading palate, decidedly meh. Some were just too extreme.

An interesting collection.

#BettyBitesBackStoriesToScareThe Patriarchy #NetGalley

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/EDITOR: Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.

While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Mindy McGinnis, Dimitria Lunetta and Kate Karyus Quinn via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Betty Bites Back for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on Sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.com https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2933646398?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Advertisements

My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring

46638139._sy475_-2

EXCERPT: ‘What I’d like to do this time,’ says Inspector Williams on his second visit, is ask you a bit about your time in the forces. I believe you joined up after you lost your husband, when he was killed in action. In 1943, wasn’t it?’

‘Is that when it was? I can’t remember dates. Hugh wasn’t at all keen for me to join. He wanted me to wait for him, but I so wanted to do something useful.’ She looks across the room at Pat, who is sitting with her arms crossed looking irritated. ‘Can you remember, dear? When my poor Hugh was killed?’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: You can pay a terrible price for keeping a promise…

Evelyn Taylor-Clarke sits in her chair at Forest Lawns Care Home in the heart of the English countryside, surrounded by residents with minds not as sharp as hers. It would be easy to dismiss Evelyn as a muddled old woman, but her lipstick is applied perfectly, and her buttons done up correctly. Because Evelyn is a woman with secrets and Evelyn remembers everything. She can never forget the promise she made to the love of her life, to discover the truth about the mission that led to his death, no matter what it cost her…

When Evelyn’s niece Pat opens an old biscuit tin to find a photo of a small girl with a red ball entitled ‘Liese, 1951’ and a passport in another name, she has some questions for her aunt. And Evelyn is transported back to a place in Germany known as ‘The Forbidden Village,’ where a woman who called herself Eva went where no one else dared, amongst shivering prisoners, to find the man who gambled with her husband’s life…

MY THOUGHTS: Right off, I have to say that I loved the character of Evelyn. She is perceptive, clever and oh so manipulative! She runs rings around everyone else. I hope that if I make it into my nineties, I shall be as sharp as she is.

While I loved the story of Eva/Evie/Evelyn/Hildebrand, and applauded her and rooted for her throughout, I did have a few issues with the writing. I felt that the author repeated herself a little to often, and that the moving backwards and forwards between the war days and afterwards, and the present (2016) could have been handled a little better. It didn’t flow in parts and a few times I wondered when and where I was…. I felt that Evie’s letters to her husband added little to the plot, and were often a cause of the repetition.

But overall I enjoyed the story (enjoyed it enough to read it in one sitting) and plan to read more by this author.

****

THE AUTHOR: This is the debut novel for Suzanne Goldring, who has previously published Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture vis NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2891283725?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

I finished
46638139._sy475_-1
before I got out of bed this morning after starting it last night. My review will be posted tomorrow.

I am listening to 17187220
So if you saw someone walking to work Friday morning laughing…that was me. I love McKinty’s sense of humour.

This week I am planning on reading

41591785._sy475_

Behind every successful man is a strong woman… but in these stories, she might be about to plant a knife in his spine. The characters in this anthology are fed up – tired of being held back, held down, held accountable – by the misogyny of the system. They’re ready to resist by biting back in their own individual ways, be it through magic, murder, technology, teeth, pitfalls and even… potlucks. Join sixteen writers as they explore feminism in fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy-tales, historical settings, and the all-too-familiar chauvinist contemporary world.

(While most of the content is YA appropriate, please note the editors recommend this anthology for 16+.)

43198533

In small towns, no one lets the facts get in the way of juicy gossip…

Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.

When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.

Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

I had no new ARCs from Netgalley this week, but I have received two directly from authors.

43230472._sy475_

And Owen Mullen (I love this author) has sent me an ARC for Deadly Harm….sorry I don’t yet have any cover art, but as soon as I do, you will see it.

A short post today as I have been at work all day and I really need some dinner. So excuse me while I roast some potatoes and throw together a salad to have with our pork chops.

Happy reading my friends. ❤😍📚

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

40651621-1

I have got to say straight up that I don’t think the cover does this book any favours…and now, on with the review.

EXCERPT: The elevator car maintained its slow descent.

It did not stop at the lobby level. It continued, slowly, on its inexorable downward path.

The injured man, no longer visible, could be heard shouting, ‘Make it stop! Stop the f***ing thing!’

Frantically, the security guard, unable to think of anything else to do, kept jabbing at the button. ‘Come on! Stop, you son of a bitch!’

The top of the elevator car now dropped below the level of the lobby florr.

The screams from the man in the pit grew more intense, and were joined by the woman. A bone-chilling, two-person chorus of death.

The elevator car, like some cunning animal moving in on its prey, maintained its slow descent until it finally came to a stop.

The screaming ceased.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting.

MY THOUGHTS: Not the most chilling novel I have read about elevators – I will still ride them, but pretty damned good!

The chapters are short, tension-filled, and to the point. Linwood Barclay doesn’t muck around…no detours, no side roads, no sight-seeing. Its wham, bam, thank you ma’am, get your teeth into this, do up your seat beat, and hold on tight!

Barclay keeps us guessing as to who is behind the elevator attacks; there are plenty of possibilities. ISIS? The Flyovers?…. or is it someone closer to home? Is the car bombing related? And where will they strike next? Will it be your building? Questions buzzed around my brain the whole time I was reading, but Mr Barclay kindly answered them all by the end.

As I have said occasionally in the past, the scariest thing is….this could happen. Probably will happen at some point. Maybe I won’t ride elevators after all.

****

THE AUTHOR: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels for adults, including No Time for Goodbye, Trust Your Eyes and, most recently, A Noise Downstairs. He has also written two novels for children and screenplays.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin Australia & MIRA via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please visit my profile page on Goodreads.com, or the about page on Sandysbookaday.wordpress.com.

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.com

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay is due for publication September 17.

55 by James Delargy

43358615._sy475_

EXCERPT: Chandler could almost see Gabriel’s heart pound under his tee-shirt. The memories were flooding back, intense and uncontrolled. After a long breath that seemed to suck the last of the oxygen from the stifling room, he continued.

‘I aimed for the ridge. I glanced back and he was about ten metres behind me. I kept running and running until I stumbled on some loose soil and fell into a small clearing. The ground was all, dug up.’ Gabriel stared at him. ‘They were graves.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

MY THOUGHTS: Gabriel? Heath? Gabriel? Heath? Gabriel and Heath? My mind was rather like a tumble dryer while I read this intense debut novel set in the outback of Western Australia.

Then there is the back story of Chandler and Mitchell cleverly interwoven, childhood friends, adult rivals – in more ways than one. Their rivalry puts more than the investigation in danger.

There is a lot going on in this book. But it is clearly written. And cleverly written. The tension is indescribable. The ending debatable.

‘What?!’ I yelled. ‘That can’t be the end. There’s got to be more pages.’ But there wasn’t. I kept thumbing the page turner on my Kindle, glaring at the 100% at the bottom of the page. I threw my arms in the air and stomped around the house. It changed nothing. There was no more.

But I hope there will be.

😍🤔🤨🤯.5

THE AUTHOR: James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland but lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi-rural England where he now lives.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Simon and Schuster (Australia) via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of 55 by James Delgardy for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and

When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

41697486._sx318_-2

EXCERPT: I’m so high I could touch the clouds, I think. The sense of vertigo is overpowering. The ground whooshes up and at me, the skyscrapers, the trees starting to sway until I no longer know what’s moving: them or me. Little yellow match boxes soar up and down the city streets. Cabs.

If I was standing at street level, the ledge would feel plenty wide. But up here it’s not. Up here it’s a thread and on it, I’m trying to balance my two wobbly feet.

I’m scared. But I’ve come this far. I can’t go back.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

MY THOUGHTS: This is probably the least memorable of Mary Kubica’s books that I have read/listened to thus far. Two days after finishing it, I am struggling to recall it. I have the general gist, but the details elude me. In fact, this morning I was sure I couldn’t remember how it ended.

The story is told from both Jesse’s point of view and that of Eden, her mother. it was interesting, but incomplete and, at the end, I was left with unanswered questions.

And the big twist?….fell flat with me.

Unremarkable.

2.5*

THE AUTHOR: Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica, narrated by Julia Whelan and Jayme Mattler, published by Harlequin Audio, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinion.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on Sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter and Goodreads.com https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2957110609

Cast Iron by Peter May

30637292._sy475_

EXCERPT: It smells of animal here. Dead animal. Something that has been hung to ripen before cooking. Hundreds of years of fermenting grapes have suffused the earth with odours of yeast and carbonic gas, stale now, sour, a memory retained only in the soil and the sandstone and the rafters. like all the forgotten lives that have passed through this place, in sunlight and in darkness.

It is dark now, and another life has passed.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: West of France, 1989.

A weeping killer deposits the unconscious body of nineteen year old Lucie Martin, her head wrapped in a blue plastic bag, into the water of a picturesque lake.

Lot-et-Garonne, 2003.

Fourteen years later a summer heatwave parches the earth, killing trees and bushes and drying out streams. In the scorched mud and desiccated slime of the lake a fisherman finds a skeleton wearing a bag over its skull.

Paris, October 2011.

In an elegant apartment in Paris, forensic expert Enzo Macleod pores over the scant evidence of this, the sixth cold case he has been challenged to solve. In taking on this old and seemingly impossible task he will put everything and everyone he holds dear in a peril he could never have imagined.

MY THOUGHTS: Trust me to begin this series with the final book! I have to admit that I did not realize it was part of a series when I picked it up, just that it was a book by an author that I have come to admire. But yes, although I know how it all pans out in the end, I am definitely going to read this series from the beginning, because talk about breathtaking! There was surprise after surprise in Cast Iron by Peter May. Definitely nothing predictable. Breathtaking, heart-pounding, suspenseful thriller!

Enzo appears to be a bit of a womanizer, a charmer, a slightly older man with a penchant for younger women. Yet there is nothing sleazy about him. I think I would quite like him if I met him, although I would be a little too old for his taste. He has a clutch of children, all with different mothers, with whom he maintains mostly amiable relationships. He can be moody, broody and prickly. But he is quick witted, sharp and passionate.

I really enjoyed this book. I place it in the ‘couldn’t put it down’ category, and ‘more please’ Mr May.

*****
THE AUTHOR: Peter May (born 20 December 1951) is a Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and crime writer. He is the recipient of writing awards in Europe and America. The Blackhouse won the U.S. Barry Award for Crime Novel of the Year and the national literature award in France, the CEZAM Prix Litteraire. The Lewis Man won the French daily newspaper Le Télégramme’s 10,000-euro Grand Prix des Lecteurs. In 2014, Entry Island won both the Deanston’s Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and the UK’s ITV Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year Award.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette Australia, Quercus via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Cast Iron by Peter May for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.com https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2818891795?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1