Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

due for publication 27 May 2021

EXCERPT: The Malibu fire of 1983 started not in the dry hills but on the coastline.

It began at 28150 Cliffside Drive on Saturday, August 27 – at the home of Nina Riva – during one of the most notorious parties in Los Angeles history.

The annual party grew wildly out of control sometime around midnight.

By 7:00 a.m., the coastline of Malibu was engulfed in flames.

Because, just as it is in Malibu’s nature to burn, so it was in one particular person’s nature to set the fire and walk away.

ABOUT ‘MALIBU RISING’: Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

MY THOUGHTS: Oh, this was fun! What’s not to love about a dysfunctional family story set in the 1980’s, an era of excess, including big hair and shoulder pads.

TJR is a natural story teller. I could feel the California sunshine, the sand between my toes, and smell the clams cooking. Her characters came alive for me as I became totally immersed in the Riva family saga.

And it is a saga! Told in the lead up to the party with flashbacks to the start, and then the duration of June and Mick’s relationship, Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit growing up,
and culminating in the party itself, this is a story set in a cauldron. I watched with bated breath as it bubbled and surged, simmered, and bubbled and surged some more until finally it boiled over. And I reveled in every moment.


#MalibuRising #NetGalley

I: @tjenkinsreid @randomhouse

T: @tjenkinsreid @randomhouse

#familydrama #historicalfiction

THE AUTHOR: Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones & The Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, and three other novels. She lives in Los Angeles.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid 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 profile page or the about page on

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

Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan

EXCERPT: Nancy (1868)
When I was a child, my mother often told me that we’d been a hundred generations on Clear Island, one branch or another of us, and on the day the last one of us left, the island would sink out of grief to the bottom of the sea. And at sixteen, as I sat in the prow of the Sullivan brothers’ boat, wanting more than anything to risk a backward glance, those words kept me afraid. For the entire crossing, my mother’s voice sang loud inside me and so truthful sounding that, had I turned my head, I felt sure I’d see the cliffs crumbling in on themselves and their blankets of gorse and heather flushing the stony grey water with shades of pink and gold. And worse still, that there’d be scatterings of my dead watching after me from the strand, thin-shouldered and forlorn, knowing I’d never return, that this was the end.

ABOUT ‘LIFE SENTENCES’: At just sixteen, Nancy leaves the small island of Cape Clear for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the effects of the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she is irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair and a devastating chain of events that continues to unfold over three generations. Spanning more than a century, Life Sentences is the unforgettable journey of a family hungry for redemption, and determined against all odds to be free.

MY THOUGHTS: The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan was one of my top five reads of 2018. So I looked forward to Life Sentences with great anticipation. It’s not that I didn’t like it, because I did. I didn’t love it.

There is a family tree at the beginning of the book which helps to make sense of it all. This is the author’s own family, and Billy is the ‘Bill, who’s seven now’ of the extract, son of Liam O’Callaghan and Gina Murphy.

The book (not the story, the book) begins in 1920 with Jer drowning his sorrows at the death of his sister, Mamie. We learn Jer’s story in the first third of the book, his service in WWI, his love for his wife and children, the poverty, the desperation.

The narrative then moves back in time to the 1800s, and we learn Nancy’s story. After the famine and the death of all her family, she leaves the island of Clear and moves to the mainland, where after living as an itinerant picking up seasonal farm work, she falls into a job in service. It is here she meets Michael Egan the man who will father her two children but will never be her husband.

Finally we get Nellie’s story, Jer’s daughter and Billy’s grandmother.

Quite why it was written in this format, I don’t know. It didn’t add to the appeal. For a while there I thought that somehow I had downloaded the wrong book. Although Life Sentences is a scant 250 pages, it is a long story. In the author’s notes, Billy O’Callaghan writes: ‘What’s here in Life Sentences is a skin of fiction laid over a considerable amount of fact and truth drawn from things I’d been told over the years.’

Although the writing is quite beautiful and lyrical in places, in others it just dully recounts events, some of them quite horrific, in the history of this family. It probably is heart-rending, all the more so because of the truth of it, but I was left unmoved, and I don’t know why.


#LifeSentences #NetGalley

‘When the night turns still, what keeps us awake, what haunts us, are the things we’ve done more so than the things we’ve had done to us.’

‘Hell might be the ceaseless repetition of who we are in our lowest moments, with our mistakes, the ones that have defined our lives, playing over and over…’

‘Nobody dies, not really, not when their same blood runs through ever younger bones.’

THE AUTHOR: Billy O’Callaghan is an Irish short fiction writer and author. He was born in Cork in 1974, and grew up in Douglas village, where he still resides.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Vintage via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan 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 profile page or the about page on

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

Magic Lessons (Practical Magic #0.1) by Alice Hoffman

EXCERPT: Hannah came around from the apothecary garden as Maria was studying the pin that had been cast into the tall grass. In the girl’s hands, the silver turned black in an instant, as if brushed with dark paint, though the rubies shone more brightly because of her touch. Hannah clutched the leeks she had gathered more tightly to her chest, and felt an ache inside her bones. The wide-brimmed straw hat she wore to protect her from the sun fell from her head, and she didn’t bother to go after it. What she had long suspected had now been shown to be true. She’d felt it from the start, that first day under the junipers when she spied the baby in her basket, a rare sight that had spread cold pinpricks along her spine. As she’d unwrapped Maria from her blanket, she’d spied an unusual birthmark in the shape of a star, hidden in the crease of the girl’s inner elbow. Right away she wondered if this was the cause of the child’s abandonment, for bloodline witches were said to be marked in such sly, concealed places, on the scalp, upon the small of the back, at the breastbone, along the inner arm. It was one thing to learn magic, but quite another to be born with it.

ABOUT: MAGIC LESSONS (PRACTICAL MAGIC 0.1) – Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

MY THOUGHTS: Love potion #9? There’s a recipe contained in Magic Lessons. But there is a tenth love potion, an enchantment only fit for those so desperate that they do not fear the consequences. There are always consequences.

It is said that love makes the world go round. But some swear by revenge. It must always be remembered though, that whatever you cast out into the world will come back to you threefold. Cast a spell in haste? Repent at leisure.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned . . . from remedies for fevers, salves for cuts, scrapes and infections, a cure for colic, and for dysentery, (no recipes, but it makes for interesting reading) to spells for all manner of things.

But this is mere embroidery for the cloth of the story, of how it all began, the heritage and the legacy of the Owen women.

Despite that we are told the story, rather than experiencing it, it did not take long for Hoffman’s beautiful writing to enchant and bewitch me. The descriptions are vivid, as are the characters. It is an intense blend of history, love and family saga. The witch trials of Salem are touched on, as is the inhumane treatment of women in the 1600s, usually at the hands of men who felt threatened by them, or who simply saw it as a sport.

Prepare to have your heart shattered, and shattered again. Neither the characters nor the plot are predictable. Having just finished Magic Lessons, I am not sure that I am ready to be reimmersed in the 21st century. I may need to brew some calming tea. Oh, and I must remember not to cut my parsley with a knife; to add Hyssop and Horehound to my shopping list; and to buy my own paper copy of Magic Lessons.


#MagicLessons #NetGalley

These are the lessons to be learned:
Drink chamomile tea to calm the spirit.
Feed a cold and starve a fever (I remember both my Nan and my Mum telling me that).
Read as many books as you can.
Always choose courage.
Never watch another woman burn.
Know that love is the only answer.

THE AUTHOR: Alice Hoffman is an American novelist and young-adult and children’s writer, best known for her 1995 novel Practical Magic, which was adapted for a 1998 film of the same name. Many of her works fall into the genre of magic realism and contain elements of magic, irony, and non-standard romances and relationships. (Wikipedia)

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a digital ARC of Magic Lessons (Practical Magic #0.1) 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 profile page or the about page on

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

The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley

EXCERPT: Admiral House, Southwold, Suffolk, June 1943

. . . I tripped up the stairs that turned round and round quickly before Daisy returned. When I reached the top, I put my hand to the knob of the big oak door and twisted it. Daisy clearly hadn’t locked it, because it opened, and one step later, there I was in Daddy’s secret office.

It smelt of polish, and light illuminated the circular walls that surrounded the windows Daisy had just cleaned. On the wall directly in front of me hung what must be an entire extended family of Red Admiral butterflies. They were lined up in rows of four behind glass enclosed by a gilt frame.

As I took a step closer, I was confused, because I wondered how the butterflies could stay so still, and what they had found to eat inside their little glass prison.

Then I saw the heads of the pins that stuck them to the backing. I glanced at the other walls and saw that they too were covered with the butterflies we’d caught over the years.

With a groan of horror, I turned and pelted down the steps and out into the garden. Seeing Daisy approaching from the house, I turned and ran around the back of the Folly and into the woodland that surrounded it. When I was far enough away, I sank down onto the roots of a big oak tree, gulping in breath.

‘They’re dead! They’re dead! They’re dead! How could he have lied to me?’ I shouted in between sobs.

I stayed in the woods a very long time, until I heard Daisy calling for me. I only wished I could ask Daddy why he’d killed them when they were so beautiful, and then hung them up like trophies so he could look up and see their deadness on the walls.

Well, I couldn’t ask, because he wasn’t here, but I had to trust and believe there was a very good reason for the murders in our butterfly kingdom.

As I stood and began to walk slowly back to the house, I couldn’t think of a single one. All I knew was that I never wanted to set foot in the Folly again.

ABOUT THE BUTTERFLY ROOM BY LUCINDA RILEY: Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonising decision. Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it.

Then a face appears from the past – Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam’s inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie’s renewed affection. And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie – and Admiral House – have a devastating secret to reveal . . .

MY THOUGHTS: I loved this multi-generational family saga beginning in the 1940’s when Posy is a child and culminating with Posy’s 70th birthday. The timelines do go back and forth, but do so in a logical and seamless way that in no way interrupts the flow of the story.

It has all the ingredients I expect of a family saga: a big old crumbling family home, mystery, sibling rivalry, romance, secrets, lies . . . But the biggest secret? I never could have guessed what it would be, and it left me stunned.

This is a big book at 628 pages, but it oozes atmosphere and I quickly became entrenched in Posy’s life. Riley’s characters are magnificent; from Posy with her inherent wisdom and dignity, to her sons, both very different and both of whom are facing disasters in their private lives, their families, and finally Freddie, a great love from Posy’s past – they will all worm their way into your heart and occupy your mind from the first to the last page.

I meandered through the first half of this book, content to dip in and out of it between other reads, but once I hit the halfway point I devoured the second half in one sitting, totally engrossed, unable to put it down.

Be warned – you will need tissues. Close to the end I found myself sobbing violently, not pretty crying with tears rolling silently down my cheeks, but the full on waterworks as I railed against the injustice of fate. But I finished with a sigh of pleasure and a smile of satisfaction.

The Butterfly Room is my first book by Lucinda Riley. It definitely won’t be my last. Spellbinding. ❤


#TheButterflyRoom #NetGalley

‘It suddenly struck me that I hadn’t really thought the future through; and now here I was in it.’

THE AUTHOR: Lucinda Riley is an Irish author of popular historical fiction and a former actress. She spent the first few years of her life in the village of Drumbeg near Belfast before moving to England. At age 14 she moved to London to a specialist drama and ballet school. She wrote her first book aged twenty four.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Blue Box Press, Author Buzz via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley for review.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

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

All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White


EXCERPT: I stopped, noticing an unusual postage stamp on one of the envelopes. It was a red US airmail eight-cent stamp showing a picture of aviatrix Amelia Earhart. My name and address had been scribbled in barely comprehensible letters on the front in bold, black ink. Definitely not a graduate of a British boarding school then, so perhaps not a school friend of Kit’s offering condolences.

I looked at the top left corner to read the return address. A. Bowdoin, Esq., Willig, Williams & White, 5 Wall Street, New York, NY. I assumed Bowdoin was either a funeral director or a lawyer, having never clearly understood the difference between the two when it came to death and taxes.

Climbing the stairs, I slid my finger under the flap and began tearing the envelope, not wanting to go through the bother of retrieving a letter opener. Tucking the rest of the post under one arm, I pulled out a piece of letterhead paper and began to read.

Dear Mrs. Langford,

My condolences on the death of your late husband, Christopher Langford. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but my father, Walter, was a huge admirer and shared with me many stories of your husband’s bravery and courage during the war.

We only recently became aware of your husband’s passing when an old war friend of my father’s mailed him the obituary from the Times. It took a while to find us, which is why it has taken me so long to contact you. I realise my letter might be a surprise and might even be an imposition at best. But I hope that you might bear with me so that I might explain myself and perhaps even enlist your assistance.

In the obituary, it mentioned your husband’s brave exploits in France as well as his involvement with the French Resistance fighter known only as La Fleur. As you may or may not be aware, she has reached nearly mythical proportions in French lore – to the point where some say she never even really existed.

My slow progress up the stairs halted, and I grabbed the banister, the other envelopes slipping from their hold under my arm before gently cascading down the steps. La Fleur.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The heiress . . .
The Resistance fighter . . .
The widow . . .
Three women whose fates are joined by one splendid hotel

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz— the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country—and the man—she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz—and to unexpected places of the heart. . . .

MY THOUGHTS: What a splendid journey through three time periods, piecing together the mystery of the identity of La Fleur and her ‘talisman’.

All the Ways We Said Goodbye celebrates the strength of women who survived the war against impossible odds while fighting covertly against the Germans. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, this saga spans two world wars, and a period of discovery. Yes, it is greatly sanitised, and relies quite heavily on the romantic aspect, but the bones of the story are good and solid. While there are no great surprises, it is an interesting read, and I will continue to follow this wonderful collaboration of authors. (Is there a term for a group of authors, I wonder?)

I would love to know the story of how these three came to write together. Personally, I find it quite amazing that three different writers can write together to produce a piece of fiction that moves seamlessly from one narrator and timeline, to another, and another. I have seen less cohesion in books written by a single author! The plot is intricate but not confusing, the characters well depicted. There are multiple narrators on this audiobook, and all are superb.

If you like multi-generational family sagas, this is a good one for you.


THE AUTHORS: Beatriz Williams is the bestselling author of eleven novels, including The Golden Hour, The Summer Wives, A Hundred Summers, and The Wicked Redhead. A native of Seattle, she graduated from Stanford University and earned an MBA in finance from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels, including The Summer Country, The Ashford Affair, and The English Wife, as well as the RITA Award–winning Pink Carnation series. An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, kindergartner, toddler, and vast quantities of coffee.

Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Dreams of Falling and The Night the Lights Went Out. She currently writes what she refers to as “grit lit”—Southern women’s fiction—and has also expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a graduate of the American School in London and has a BS in management from Tulane University. When not writing, she spends her time reading, singing, and avoiding cooking. She has two grown children and currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two spoiled Havanese dogs.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of All The Ways to Say Goodbye written by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White, narrated by Helen Sadler, Nicola Barber, Saskia Maarleveld, and published by Harper Audio. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

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

The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell


EXCERPT: All those versions of herself she has lived. So many different Lillians, all in this one body. If she could reach back through the years and warn the person she once was, what would she say? What would she tell that sorrowful girl standing in a London graveyard scattering earth onto the lid of her mother’s coffin? Or the young woman with grazed knees and a twisted bike lying at her feet? The woman staring down at a solitaire diamond ring, marvelling at its dazzling promise? Would she have a warning for the wife walking away into the woods carrying a crumpled bird in a cardboard box? Or wisdom for the cold-hearted woman standing in this very room watching a man thrash and convulse in front of her? Life, she thinks, is strange and mysterious. Not linear, but a jumbled mess of moments: elation, sadness, pain and excruciating boredom.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Set in a fading family estate nestled within the Chiltern Hills, this is the story of two summers, sixty years apart, woven together to reveal one dramatic family story.

MY THOUGHTS: The synopsis of this book says nothing, yet everything. This is a moving, emotional, heart-wrenching story of the lives of two women, three generations apart. Of Lillian, who literally falls into a life of wealth and privilege; and Maggie, her grand-daughter, come back to care for her ailing grandmother after fleeing the family home some years earlier.

The past and the present circle warily about one another, sometimes overlapping, sometimes becoming entangled as Maggie is drawn into a mystery that she is not even aware of.

The Peacock Summer is beautifully written, and beautiful to read. It overflows with passion, yet is subtle. Hannah Richell has again demonstrated her wonderful ability to make the reader feel and live the emotions of her characters.


THE AUTHOR: Hannah Richell was born in Kent, England and spent her childhood years in Buckinghamshire and Canada. After graduating from the University of Nottingham in 1998 she worked in book publishing and film. Hannah began to write while pregnant with her first child. The result was Secrets of the Tides, picked for the 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year (2013) and ABIA Newcomer of the Year (2013). The novel has been translated into sixteen languages. Her follow-up novel was The Shadow Year and her third, The Peacock Summer, will be published in 2018.

Hannah has written for a number of media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, Fairfax Media and Australian Women’s Weekly. She is a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, though currently lives in the South West of England with her family.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell, published by Hachette Australia. I purchased my copy from Yellow Door Books in Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia. Yellow Door Books and Gifts is owned and operated by Home Support Association. In this business environment, staff and volunteers work alongside people with a disability who seek to develop their work skills and contribute to their community. Proceeds from this business assist in increasing the participation of people with a disability in our community.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and

Watching What I’m Reading…

It’s been a week of long days at work this week, and it all caught up with me today. After I came home from work, I settled down in front of the fire – the weather is abysmal, cold with thunderstorms – and promptly dozed off…for three hours! I guess I must have needed it.

I am currently reading
42759067._sy475_-1 which is a wonderful story of the resistance set in Jersey.

I am almost finished listening to

This week I am planning on reading


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.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale.


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…

Six 😱 approvals this week…(I must stop requesting! Or even slow down)







Several of these requests were due to Susan Dyer of susanlovesbooks….she really is a bad influence on me! 😂🤣😂🤣

Happy reading my friends. ❤😍📚

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

Firstly I must apologize for my absence over the past few days. We had wedding #2 of the three family weddings in 9 weeks. The weather gods were kind to us, the bride was radiant, and everyone had fun. Now a little less than three weeks to wedding #3, for which we will be heading to Australia.

Now onto the real reason we are here. . . Books! Currently I am reading

My Daughter's Secret

for which I gave you a sneak preview last Tuesday. I can’t wait to see where this is going. Only started this last night, and very intrigued.

I am listening to

The Dead Tracks (David Raker, #2)

I have been wanting to get into this series for some time now.

This week I am planning on reading

Two Silver Crosses: A heartwarming family saga of love and war

In 1926 the Holborn twins, Ginny and her blind sister Emily, disappear from their comfortable home in Wolverhampton. Why? No one knew. Ten years later, aspiring solicitor Charlie Commoner is dispatched to France to track them down. What he finds instead is a mystery, a tragedy and a love affair.

But as the Second World War darkens over Europe, so, too, does the legacy from a terrifying disease that holds the family in its grip . . .

Run Away

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs. 

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.

I have to admit to not particularly liking the cover of this one.

This week I have received four ARC approvals from NetGalley.

The Bones She Buried (Detective Josie Quinn #5)

The Last Thing She Remembers

Tomorrow's Bread

Pray for the Girl

I hope you have had a wonderful week’s reading, and that you have another lined up ahead of you. 💕📚

Watching What I’m Reading

Good morning everyone! It looks like I am going to be reading for a good part of the day today. The weather forecast for a hot sunny day was wrong and, while it’s not raining, it is cool and cloudy with a stiff little breeze  –  not pleasant out on the hillside where I had planned on gardening. A day on the sofa with a pot of tea and my book is far more appealing.

Currently I am reading

Between the Lies

What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

And listening to

The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway, #6)

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new entry in a beloved series.
Every year a ceremony is held in Norwich for the bodies in the paupers’ graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this year’s proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series Women Who Kill, working alongside the program’s alluring history expert, Professor Frank Barker.

DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out-and the stakes couldn’t be any higher when another child goes missing.

This week I am planning on reading

The Last Thing She Told Me

Even the deepest buried secrets can find their way to the surface…

Moments before she dies, Nicola’s grandmother Betty whispers to her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden.

Nicola’s mother claims she was talking nonsense. However, when Nicola’s daughter finds a bone while playing in Betty’s garden, it’s clear that something sinister has taken place.

But will unearthing painful family secrets end up tearing Nicola’s family apart?

And hopefully I will start

Death Of A Doll

Hope House, a New York boarding home for women, has led a rather sleepy existence in terms of emergencies. One wastepaper basket fire surely doesn’t count as a five-alarm fire. That is until new tenant Ruth Miller’s limp and lifeless body is found in the courtyard after plummeting to her death.

In a clandestine and hot-chocolate infused meeting, the heads of the house decide Ruth’s death couldn’t possibly have been foul play: no, she must have fallen or jumped. Shy and mousy, it seems Ruth had no friends to question… or ask uncomfortable questions.

But this was no accident: upon Ruth’s arrival, the atmosphere of this happy house shifted, her paranoia was catching, and her last days were filled with dread. If the heads thought a scandal could be averted, they were wrong. It turns out Ruth did have a friend… and she’s out for justice.

This claustrophobic and tense mystery is heralded as Hilda Lawrence’s best. Equal parts cosy and suspenseful, it’s sure to captivate lovers of all genres of classic crime.

Death of a Doll was first published in 1947 and is the third in the Mark East Series:

Mark East
1. Blood Upon the Snow (1944)
2. A Time to Die (1945)
3. Death of A Doll (1947)

I know that I am not going to get much reading done during the week as we have a fundraiser Saturday for Te Reina Worsley, a young mum of 5 who needs life saving surgery not available in New Zealand. You can read her story here

I have had 3 approvals from NetGalley this week

Buried Deep (Jessie Cole, #4)

Their Little Secret (Tom Thorne, #16)

Things Unsaid

I hope you have read some wonderful books this week, and you have many more worthwhile reads ahead of you. Happy reading my friends. 💕📚