Watching what I’m reading…

Firstly I will apologise; if this post seems a bit rushed it’s because I have been called in to work and need to start soon – very soon.

Currently I am reading

47141578._sy180_

and I have downloaded but not yet started listening to

35611346._sy180_

This week I plan on reading

44554544._sy475_

A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.

Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.

Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.

44424442._sy475_

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

This week I have been approved for 6 new ARCS from Netgalley, despite my good intentions!

46370336._sy475_

47960945._sy475_

48412385._sy475_

Plus I bought a couple of hard copies of books…but they will have to wait until next week. I need to open up!

Enjoy your Sunday and happy reading!

48053165

47943149._sy475_

43723860._sy475_

Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell

923045-1

EXCERPT: Ralph barely noticed Jem the first time he saw her. He was arguing with his girlfriend, Claudia, sitting at his desk, cradling the phone under his chin as he carelessly pulled elastic bands into tight ligatures around his wrists in an apparently subconscious attempt to cut off his blood supply and end the painful predictability of it all.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Meet the residents of the London brownstone on 31 Almanac Road who together weave a tangled web of romance. Ralph, a ne’er-do-well artist, suddenly realizes he’s head over heels in love with his new flatmate Jem, the most fun and sensible girl he’s ever encountered. Unfortunately, Ralph’s best friend, Smith, has already won Jem’s affections, although Smith has not entirely given up his passion for the femme fatale, Cheri, who lives upstairs. Across the hall, Karl and Siobhan have been happily unmarried for years, until Karl gets a smashing job as a London rush-hour DJ and momentarily gets tempted into Cheri’s cozy lair.
These six star-crossed tenants become more enamored, and more confused, as the story progresses-until their true destinies are revealed on one crucial night-the evening of the extravaganza that is . . . Ralph’s party.

MY THOUGHTS: Light, fluffy, funny but with hidden depths, Ralph’s Party is reminiscent of the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Ernest. I enjoyed this comedic romp, Lisa Jewell’s first novel which she wrote as the result of a dare. There are a few cringeworthy moments, but nothing out of character. Though I must admit that Ralph’s character could be extremely irritating at times.

Jewell’s ability to round her characters out is already in evidence here, as is her ability to think outside the box. Not everything went as I expected, she has thrown a few surprises in the mix.

I enjoyed Imogen Church’s narrative style, and I will be either reading or listening to the follow up, After the Party, which picks up the story eleven years from where Ralph’s Party ends.

😊😂🤣😊

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Imogen Church and published by Penguin, via Overdrive. 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 or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1389580081?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Amazing Things Are Happening Here by Jacob M. Appel

Amazing Things Are Happening Here by Jacob M. Appel

EXCERPT: (from the short story Live Shells)The decades are creased into Donald’s face like the rings of a tree. He’s grown a beard, put on weight, sprouted hair from the cusps of his ears. I approach unseen in the shade of a coconut palm and listen to his speculations on the recent cold snap and the prospects for the upstate orange crop while Grandmama nods and smiles and clicks her knitting needles together as though she’s heard it all before. She was already an old woman when I married Donald and she can no longer tell the difference between strangers and long term acquaintances she’s since forgotten, so she hedges her bets, treating even the water-meter man and the Jehovah’s Witness proselytizers like kissing cousins. Donald is no exception. And me? I’m not sure how to proceed after twenty-one years, so I step into the afternoon sunlight, my jaw clenched to hold my composure, but at the very moment when Donald recognizes me, my eyes rivet to the double knot in the right sleeve of his shirt. I stare at the haunting spot where the limb should be, unable to avert my gaze, fully conscious that I’m behaving the perfect fool.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: “In his new short story collection, AMAZING THINGS ARE HAPPENING HERE, Jacob Appel renders our post 9/11 world through a variety of personalities, each narrating their unique and startling stories. Meet the shy high school student with a crush on a girl dying of leukemia, the mother whale who beaches to save her offspring, the search for the VA hospital’s lunatic who goes missing and never returns, and more. We are in the hands of a patient, master artist who watches the world unfolding around him, sees its protagonists’ inadvertent mistakes, and observes them endeavoring to reclaim their dignity. These stories lift us far above the realm of entertainment, and instead enrich and enliven the psyche’s oceanic heights and depths.”–Marilyn Krysl

MY THOUGHTS: What can I possibly say after Marilyn Krysl’s succinct and spot on observation except that Appel is an author who never disappoints, and that I read this wonderful collection in one sitting.

Appel is a master of human observation, and he conveys these observations into quirky and entertaining short stories that reflect our dreams and ambitions, our failings and frailties.

My favorite story in this collection is The Bigamist’s Accomplice, which I featured in my preview of this book on my webpage sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

THE AUTHOR: Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Black Lawrence Press via Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC of Amazing Things Are Happening Here by Jacob M. Appel for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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 my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2718398730

The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom by Beth Miller

The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom by Beth  Miller

EXCERPT: What happened next, Leah used to ask.

It’s a good question.

It was adorable, how fascinated she was by our love story when she was little. She still is fascinated in a sense, if last night was anything to go by. Maybe horrified is a more accurate description. Anyway, I don’t want to think about last night. I don’t want to think about Leah’s face as she stood in the doorway, the black eyeliner she favours making her seem even less childlike, looking at me with that cool, clear way she has. I prefer to think about Leah when she was little, and I could do no wrong as far as she was concerned. Not now, when she is fourteen, and angry, and has been missing for five hours.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Meet Eliza Bloom: She likes to live life by the rules: long, blue skirt on Thursdays, dinner with mother on Fridays and if someone tells you a Valentine should be anonymous, give your new husband a blank card. Nothing is out of place in her ordered life…

But last night her teenage daughter found something in a hidden shoebox that no-one was supposed to see and started asking questions. Questions that might just change everything in Eliza’s carefully constructed world.

Join Eliza as she shows you how to run away with the love of your life (quite fast actually, as your family are coming after you), how to make your grandfather happy (this might involve a little bit of lying), how to let someone you love go (actually, this never gets easier) and how (now, this is a bad idea) to keep secrets from your new husband.

The only way to truly live is to learn how to open your heart.

MY THOUGHTS: I. Loved. This. Book.

I didn’t want it to end. Ever.

I wanted to stay with Eliza, the Scarlet Woman of Hackney E5, as she muddled her way through life. She made me smile. And laugh. And shed a few tears. And Alex? (‘My name is Alex Symons and I’m an idiot. It’s been a few weeks since I was last a complete idiot.’) Lord, I love that man! I want a friend like Deborah. One who is not afraid to call it like she sees it, and who loves you no matter what. And Leah? The glue that holds the package together, the tsunami that tears it apart.

Six hours after I finished reading The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom, I am still not ready to say goodbye. I want to stay immersed in the world of this unconventional family. I am not ready, nor willing, to return to the ‘real world’.

More please, Beth Miller!

THE AUTHOR: Beth Miller’s first novel, When We Were Sisters, was recently published by Ebury Press. Her second novel, The Good Neighbour, will be published in September 2015, also by Ebury. She is currently writing her third novel, The Privacy Room, and is also working on a book about the world’s greatest radio show, called For The Love of The Archers. She is a columnist for The Chap magazine, and the rest of the time she runs courses about writing, works with fellow writers as their book coach, and drinks tea while staring vacantly into space. She has been a sex educator, alcohol counsellor, and inept audio-typist. She has a PhD in psychology, which has yet to come in handy.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom by Beth Miller 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 my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2726960119

A Taste of. . . Tuesday . . . Amazing Things Are Happening Here by Jacob M Appel

Amazing Things Are Happening Here

This excerpt is from the title story Amazing Things Are Happening Here, one of eight  short stories contained in this volume.

We were short one lunatic.

I know it’s entirely out of bounds to refer to our patients as lunatics, and I generally don’t, but it’s also not every night that Bernadette does a head count and comes up one head short. Fact is, it hasn’t happened before in my seventeen years as charge nurse, which is as good as never as far as I’m concerned. Sure, we’ve had agoraphobics who’ve hidden under beds, and once a detox patient dozed off inside an electric dryer, but all it takes is a careful search and we find them. There’s just not much place to lose oneself on a psych ward. When I first started here at the VA hospital in Laurenville, back when male nurses stood out like drag queens and most of our vets were straight off transports from the Gulf, doddering Miss K was the charge nurse on the graveyard shift, and she’d get the census wrong often as not, but Bernadette is studying to be an NP, and she’s the queen of arithmetic. If she says we’re missing a nutcase, we’re missing a nutcase. Time to dispatch the paddy wagons and the giant butterfly nets – or, in the language of the Veterans Administration, to implement code white.

This new collection of short stories is due to be published April 1st by Black Lawrence Press.

I hope you have enjoyed your little taste of Jacob’s new collection of short stories, and that you will be tempted to sample some more.

Happy reading 💕📚

 

Five Star Friday – Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana by Jacob M. Appel

Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radarscreaming read me?

Then take a look at my Five Star Friday pick. It may be old. It may be new . But it is a book that is special to me  one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I selected this book today because I have just received a copy of Amazing Things Are Happening Here, Jacob’s latest collection of short stories due for publication April 1st.

I hope you enjoy these short stories as much as I do.

EXCERPT: From the short story Silent Theology-
My dead wife is dating Greta Garbo. It’s that same spiteful streak Helen had when she was alive. She could have chosen Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart or Gary Cooper – and instead she goes out and picks up Greta Garbo, because I once made the mistake of joking that I ‘d married the second sexiest woman on earth.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: In his ninth book and fifth collection of stories, Jacob M. Appel introduces readers to a a diplomats wife who attempts to seduce her chimney sweep through Norwegian lessons, a minister whose dead wife is romantically involved with Greta Garbo and a landlord menaced by a rent-delinquent mime.

MY THOUGHTS: Jacob M Appel has done it again. He has written another collection of short stories that tickle your funny-bone and pull at your heart strings.

All of us seek love and understanding on some level – yet not all of us are prepared to give it. You will recognise parts of yourself, parts of people you know, as Jacob gives us a glimpse into the lives of the unpredictable characters he is so good at portraying.

A wonderful collection of short stories, in my opinion his best yet.

💖💖💖💖💖

THE AUTHOR: Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Jacob M Appel and Black Lawrence Press for sending a copy of Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana all the way to NZ for me to enjoy in exchange for an honest and unbiased 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 my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1767838258

 

Watching What I’m Reading

What a merry weekend it has been! Which is the reason this post is a little late. . . We traveled to Rotorua Saturday for my husband’s work Christmas party, then back home early yesterday morning to put the final touches to my staff Christmas lunch so that those who were working yesterday could enjoy it before we had to open for business.

With everything that has been going on, I am afraid that I didn’t get as much reading done during the week as I had planned. I am just about to start

The Memory

which I had planned to read last week .

I have just started listening to

The Beginner's Goodbye

This week I am planning on reading

For Better and Worse

which I featured in last week’s ‘A Taste of … Tuesday’ post.

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

I have received three ARCs from NetGalley this week  –

Between the Lies

The Collector (The Bone Collector, #2)

The View from Alameda Island

And that’s my lot for the week. I hope that you have had a wonderful week’s reading, and that you are not getting stressed by the rapid approach of Christmas, because that’s not what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if things aren’t perfect. What matters is the love you feel for your family and friends, spending time with them, and creating beautiful memories. And if you can do some random act of kindness to make someone else’s day a little better, that is a bonus.

I bought my almost twelve year old grandson

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)      The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)    The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)

for Christmas, and I will give him the remainder of the series for his birthday. I also managed to pick up a copy of

We Need to Weaken the Mixture

for my husband, and a couple of titles off the sales table for myself

Need You Dead (Roy Grace, #13)  and  Tell Tale: Short Stories

Have a wonderful week of reading,my friends. 🎅💕💖📚

Twelve Days of Winter: Crime at Christmas by Stuart MacBride

A Christmas read with a difference. . .

Twelve Days of Winter by Stuart MacBride

ABOUT THIS BOOK: On the First Day of Christmas…

Twelve Days, twelve stories

Billy Partridge wasn’t really cut out to be a cat burglar, but Dillon hadn’t really given him any option. It was either do the job, or come up with thirteen grand by Thursday … or have both his legs shattered. And the leg thing didn’t even write off what he and Twitch owed Dillon, just deferred the interest. Come the 15th of January there’d still be thirteen thousand to pay.

Then there’s newbie after-school drug-dealer Brian, who probably shouldn’t be taking advantage of the job’s fringe benefits; Philippe, a chef with anger-management issues and a lot of very sharp knives; Mr Unwin, the undertaker with the golden touch; and Lord Peter Forsythe-Leven, MSP, learning the hard way that having it all just means you’ve got so much more to lose…

Twelve short stories, all set in Oldcastle, all taking their twisted inspiration from the classical Christmas song. Murder, betrayal, drugs, sex, and tinsel.

MY THOUGHTS: Although this is definitely not my favorite by Stuart MacBride, it is still well worth reading. It is blackly humorous, seedy Scottish Noir. Not one character has a redeemable feature. It is filled with criminals, pedophiles, and other generally unsavory, detestable characters. Just my sort of Christmas book!

The stories are all linked together, although this is not immediately obvious, by the various characters and their greedy machinations. The first story is by far the best and sets the tone for the following eleven tales.

🎅🎅🎅.5

THE AUTHOR: Stuart MacBride (that’s me) was born in Dumbarton — which is Glasgow as far as I’m concerned — moving up to Aberdeen at the tender age of two, when fashions were questionable. Nothing much happened for years and years and years: learned to play the recorder, then forgot how when they changed from little coloured dots to proper musical notes (why the hell couldn’t they have taught us the notes in the first bloody place? I could have been performing my earth-shattering rendition of ‘Three Blind Mice’ at the Albert Hall by now!); appeared in some bizarre World War Two musical production; did my best to avoid eating haggis and generally ran about the place a lot.

Next up was an elongated spell in Westhill — a small suburb seven miles west of Aberdeen — where I embarked upon a mediocre academic career, hindered by a complete inability to spell and an attention span the length of a gnat’s doodad.

And so to UNIVERSITY, far too young, naive and stupid to be away from the family home, sharing a subterranean flat in one of the seedier bits of Edinburgh with a mad Irishman, and four other bizarre individuals. The highlight of walking to the art school in the mornings (yes: we were students, but we still did mornings) was trying not to tread in the fresh bloodstains outside our front door, and dodging the undercover CID officers trying to buy drugs. Lovely place.

But university and I did not see eye to eye, so off I went to work offshore. Like many all-male environments, working offshore was the intellectual equivalent of Animal House, only without the clever bits. Swearing, smoking, eating, more swearing, pornography, swearing, drinking endless plastic cups of tea… and did I mention the swearing? But it was more money than I’d seen in my life! There’s something about being handed a wadge of cash as you clamber off the minibus from the heliport, having spent the last two weeks offshore and the last two hours in an orange, rubber romper suit / body bag, then blowing most of it in the pubs and clubs of Aberdeen. And being young enough to get away without a hangover.

Then came a spell of working for myself as a graphic designer, which went the way of all flesh and into the heady world of studio management for a nation-wide marketing company. Then some more freelance design work, a handful of voiceovers for local radio and video production companies and a bash at being an actor (with a small ‘a’), giving it up when it became clear there was no way I was ever going to be good enough to earn a decent living.

It was about this time I fell into bad company — a blonde from Fife who conned me into marrying her — and started producing websites for a friend’s fledgling Internet company. From there it was a roller coaster ride (in that it made a lot of people feel decidedly unwell) from web designer to web manager, lead programmer, team lead and other assorted technical bollocks with three different companies, eventually ending up as a project manager for a global IT company.

But there was always the writing (well, that’s not true, the writing only started two chapters above this one). I fell victim to that most dreadful of things: peer pressure. Two friends were writing novels and I thought, ‘why not? I could do that’.

Took a few years though…

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Twelve Days of Winter: Crime at Christmas, by Stuart MacBride, narrated by Ian Hanmore, published by HarperCollins Publishers, via OverDrive. 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 my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2622131022

A taste of. . . . Tuesday

Have you ever watched with abject horror and morbid fascination those programs about hoarders? Wondered how they could possibly live like that? Today I am going to tempt your reading tastebuds with a little tidbit from The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley, published by Avon Books.

Enjoy!

The Woman Who Kept Everything

The boiling hot water splashed over Gloria’s fingers. ‘Waargh!’

She did a little agony dance whilst she waited for the pain to ease, blowing on her fingers. Damn. She’d need to get outside to dunk her hand in the cold water barrel.

Her oldest friend, Tilsbury, was always harping on about that darned pan; said that using it, without a lid, instead of a kettle, might prove disastrous one day. Gloria wouldn’t buy a kettle, though. Said she didn’t have the money for expensive items like that. Well, her son, Clegg, had given her a credit card for ‘essential items’ but she never went anywhere to use it. In fact, she rarely went out at all. She didn’t really need to.

Today she’d knocked the pan by accident, reaching over to check the potato soup she was cooking for their lunch. These days she was always eating potato soup, on account that she had a large sack of them, out back, that Tilsbury had got from someone in the know. She liked that it could be a cheap nourishing meal when she had onions, carrots and a good stock in it.

But, today, she only had potatoes. Add a bit of salt and it would have to do, she’d thought. Anyway, the hot water for their tea, boiling away in the pan next to the soup, had sploshed onto her left hand as she’d leaned over the grimy stove to stir their meal.

Gloria grunted as she hitched up her Crimplene dress and clambered over the piles of squashed cardboard boxes and magazines, nearly slipping on mouldy teabags, decomposing potato skins, marmalade-smeared crusts and other detritus around the kitchen sink unit. She no longer noticed the stink like rotting cabbage. Empty, dripping or congealed milk cartons, plastic bags and other household rubbish also littered the floor – more obstacles to tackle – in order to get to that cold water barrel, outside by the back door. The original Georgian taps in her kitchen sink had long since seized up. So the only water she could use was in that rainwater barrel, outdoors: for cooking, for occasional washing, for everything really.

But, at seventy-nine, she knew she was getting too old for all this.

I hope you enjoy this little tidbit, and that it might tempt you pickup a copy of this book for yourself.

Happy reading my friends.

 

Watching What I’m Reading

What a week it has been. Although it is officially summer now, the weather is still in changeable spring mode. It was cold and wet enough yesterday that we lit the fire. Today it is 26.5C and we have had a gloriously fine morning, but now clouds are rolling in, the thunder is rumbling and the wind has picked up.

I have had a good week’s reading, finishing the reads I had set myself last week. Currently I am reading

The Diary

which I started last night.

I am about to start listening to

The Lucky Ones

the cover of which caught my attention and sidelined me from my objective of finding the audiobook of one of my Netgalley backtitles.

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night–was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

And I am about to start reading

Transcription

which, you may remember, I featured a few weeks back on my Taste of…….Tuesday post.

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.
Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

This week I am planning on reading

Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn #4)

I have read the other books in this series, and they have been excellent as I am sure this one will be.

Watching her friend dragged away in handcuffs, Josie couldn’t believe for one second that Gretchen had killed that poor boy. Confession or not, someone else was involved. She would find out who…

When the body of a young student is found on the driveway of a local Denton home, a photograph pinned to his collar, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. The house belongs to Gretchen Palmer, a dedicated member of Josie’s team, missing for the last twenty-four hours.

Working around the clock, Josie is stopped in her tracks when Gretchen hands herself in to the police. She knows that there’s no way Gretchen could ever be a killer, so why would she confess to a murder she didn’t commit? 

Digging deep into Gretchen’s secretive life, Josie uncovers a link between the boy, the photograph and a devastating case in Gretchen’s past. But just when Josie thinks she has it all figured out, the bodies of a young couple surface on the other side of town. Can Josie get to the truth in time to save her friend from a life in prison or certain death? 

I have had a great haul of ARCs from NetGalley this week.

Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn #4)

Montauk

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1)

Die Last (Max Wolfe, #4)

A very mixed bag! Some of these have been sitting on my ‘wishlist’ for ages. ..

And of course, I bought a copy of

Mavis and Dot: Frolics, foibles and friendships by the seaside

which the author wrote in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer. All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

Well, that’s my lot for the week.

Happy reading my friends. 😎