Watching what I’m reading . . .

We’ve had a particularly vicious tropical storm through the North Island of New Zealand over the past couple of days and it seems it’s not finished with us yet. Personally, we have escaped unscathed. My cousin and her husband are marooned in their home, they can’t get down their drive due to flooding, and if they did they’d be unable to go anywhere as their road is closed in both directions. The Mangaokewa burst its banks yesterday afternoon and houses along the riverside were evacuated. But if we think we got it bad, Auckland had it much worse with three confirmed dead and one still missing. It’s the heaviest rainfall recorded in 24 hours since records began. Although clean up has begun, it is going to be a long slow process with rain being forecast for all the coming week.

Currently I am reading One Day With You by Shari Low

One day, five lives, but whose hearts will be broken by nightfall?
It started like any other day in the picturesque village of Weirbridge.

Tress Walker waved her perfect husband Max off to work, with no idea that she was about to go into labour with their first child. And completely unaware that when she tried to track Max down, he wouldn’t be where he was supposed to be.

At the same time, Max’s best friend Noah Clark said goodbye to his wife, Mya, blissfully oblivious that he would soon discover the woman he adored had been lying to him for years.

And living alongside the two couples, their recently widowed friend, Nancy Jenkins, is getting ready to meet Eddie, her first true love at a school reunion. Will Nancy have the chance to rekindle an old flame, or will she choose to stay by Tress’s side when she needs her most?

The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell #coverlove

The night before
Rupert’s 30th is a black tie dinner at the Kentish Town McDonald’s – catered with cocaine and Veuve Clicquot.
The morning after
His girlfriend Clemmie is found murdered on Hampstead Heath. All the party-goers have alibis. Naturally.

This investigation is going to be about Classics degrees and aristocrats, Instagram influencers and who knows who. Or is it whom? Detective Caius Beauchamp isn’t sure. He’s sharply dressed, smart, and as into self-improvement as Clemmie – but as he searches for the dark truth beneath the luxury, a wall of staggering wealth threatens to shut down his investigation before it’s begun.

Can he see through the tangled set of relationships in which the other half live, and die, before the case is taken out of his hands?

And listening to The Mystery of Four by Sam Blake

Tess Morgan has finally made her dream of restoring beautiful Kilfenora House and Gardens into a reality.

But during rehearsals for the play that forms the opening weekend’s flagship event, her dream turns into a nightmare when a devastating accident looks set to ruin her carefully laid plans.

There are rumours that Kilfenora House is cursed, but this feels personal, and becomes increasingly terrifying when more than one body is discovered. Could someone be closing in on Tess herself?

Clarissa Westmacott, ex star of stage and screen, certainly believes so, particularly when she learns that purple-flowered aconite has been picked from the Poison Garden. And Clarissa will stop at nothing to protect the friend she has come to see as a daughter…

Four tragic accidents. Or four brutal murders? Unravel The Mystery of Four . .

This week I am planning to read The Doctor’s Wife for which I have both an audio and digital ARC.

My husband is a doctor. He’s smart and charming and everybody trusts him. Except me.

On the surface, it looks like I have it all – the perfect marriage, the perfect husband, the perfect life. But it’s far from the truth.

Doctor Drew Devlin is not the respectable figure he makes out to be. The reason we moved to this beautiful, old property with a gorgeous view of the sea was because we needed to put our past behind us. It should’ve been a fresh start for us both.

Except I’ve discovered my husband has been lying to me again. He’s using the power he has in his job to mess with people’s lives, and to get exactly what he wants – no matter who it hurts.

But he’s underestimated me. I’ve had plenty of time, in this big, isolated house, to think about all of his mistakes.

And my husband has no idea what’s about to happen next…

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.

In the two weeks since I last posted, I have received seven ARCs for review. They are:

Dinner Party by Sarah Gilmartin

Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry

The Last Passenger by Will Dean

Beginning of Forever by Catherine Bybee

The Edinburgh Mystery by Martin Edwards

The Little Board Game Cafè by Jennifer Page

The Last Dance by Mark Billingham

Do you have any of these titles on your reading radar?

Thank you to all my bookish friends who offered moral support during my husband’s recent surgery. It was greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, they have found more cancer and further surgery is on the horizon, so I will be disappearing again at some point in the reasonably near future.

Have a wonderful week of reading. ❤📚

First Lines Friday . . .

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Welcome to First Lines Friday originally hosted by Reading is my SuperPower.

Instead of judging a book by its cover, here are the first few lines which I hope will make you want to read this book.

This story really begins at midnight one month after Aurora was born, the night of her due date, the night she couldn’t wait for, such was her wish to rush headlong into our lives.

Like what you’ve just read?

Want to read more?

These are the opening lines of one of my current reads, What is Left After by Australian author Natasha Lester. This book was first published in 2010, but is being republished by Fremantle Press and is due to hit the shelves February 01, 2023.

Gaelle has a dream job working for a fashion magazine, and a husband who loves her. Life should be perfect, but life does not always go according to plan. Feeling lost and alone, Gaelle flees to a tiny seaside town on the other side of the country. As she revisits the legacy of a strange, sometimes magical childhood in France, Gaelle finds unexpected help from a thirteenyear-old stranger. As if she was experiencing her childhood all over again, she must ask: when you lose everything you love, what is left over after?

Watching what I’m reading . . .

BRILLIANT BOOK ALERT! This book, which I finished today – a one day read – has earned every star in the Galaxy from me.

I am too emotional at the moment to write a review about this book, but please watch for it in the coming days. I cried, and laughed, and cried some more. I now want to read everything this author has written.

Currently I am reading The Sisters We Were by Wendy Willis Baldwin

I am continuing with my read of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths with #4, A Room Full of Bones.

and doing a read/listen of Devil’s Way (Kate Marshall #4) by Robert Bryndza, which I am loving in both formats.

This week I have six books to read for review in addition to The Sisters We Were. They are:

A Winter Grave by Peter May

It is the year 2051. Warnings of climate catastrophe have been ignored, and vast areas of the planet are under water, or uninhabitably hot. A quarter of the world’s population has been displaced by hunger and flooding, and immigration wars are breaking out around the globe as refugees pour into neighboring countries.

By contrast, melting ice sheets have brought the Gulf Stream to a halt and northern latitudes, including Scotland, are being hit by snow and ice storms. It is against this backdrop that Addie, a young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station, discovers the body of a man entombed in ice.

The dead man is investigative reporter, George Younger, missing for three months after vanishing during what he claimed was a hill-walking holiday. But Younger was no hill walker, and his discovery on a mountain-top near the Highland village of Kinlochleven, is inexplicable.

Cameron Brodie, a veteran Glasgow detective, volunteers to be flown north to investigate Younger’s death, but he has more than a murder enquiry on his agenda. He has just been given a devastating medical prognosis by his doctor and knows the time has come to face his estranged daughter who has made her home in the remote Highland village.

Arriving during an ice storm, Brodie and pathologist Dr. Sita Roy, find themselves the sole guests at the inappropriately named International Hotel, where Younger’s body has been kept refrigerated in a cake cabinet. But evidence uncovered during his autopsy places the lives of both Brodie and Roy in extreme jeopardy.

As another storm closes off communications and the possibility of escape, Brodie must face up not only to the ghosts of his past, but to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that George Younger’s investigations had threatened to expose.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

Open the safe deposit box. Inside you will find research material for a true crime book. You must read the documents, then make a decision. Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the story of the Alperton Angels: the cult-like group who were convinced one of their member’s babies was the anti-Christ, and they had a divine mission to kill it – until the baby’s mother, Holly, came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than go to prison, and Holly – and the baby – disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed – if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong, and the truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined.

The Village Vicar by Julie Houston

Three devoted sisters… One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.

But Rosa’s isn’t the only old face in the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she’s made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.

Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover you can’t run away from the past?

That Night at the Beach by Kate Hewitt

As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.

Finn insists he would never do that. And I so want to believe him. Because I brought my son up right. Because a mother would know, wouldn’t she?

What I don’t know is that the answer to what happened that night on the beach may be a matter of life and death for one of our beloved children… 

The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell

The night before
Rupert’s 30th is a black tie dinner at the Kentish Town McDonald’s – catered with cocaine and Veuve Clicquot.
The morning after
His girlfriend Clemmie is found murdered on Hampstead Heath. All the party-goers have alibis. Naturally.

This investigation is going to be about Classics degrees and aristocrats, Instagram influencers and who knows who. Or is it whom? Detective Caius Beauchamp isn’t sure. He’s sharply dressed, smart, and as into self-improvement as Clemmie – but as he searches for the dark truth beneath the luxury, a wall of staggering wealth threatens to shut down his investigation before it’s begun.

Can he see through the tangled set of relationships in which the other half live, and die, before the case is taken out of his hands?

One Day With You by Shari Lowe

One day, five lives, but whose hearts will be broken by nightfall?
It started like any other day in the picturesque village of Weirbridge.

Tress Walker waved her perfect husband Max off to work, with no idea that she was about to go into labour with their first child. And completely unaware that when she tried to track Max down, he wouldn’t be where he was supposed to be.

At the same time, Max’s best friend Noah Clark said goodbye to his wife, Mya, blissfully oblivious that he would soon discover the woman he adored had been lying to him for years.

And living alongside the two couples, their recently widowed friend, Nancy Jenkins, is getting ready to meet Eddie, her first true love at a school reunion. Will Nancy have the chance to rekindle an old flame, or will she choose to stay by Tress’s side when she needs her most?

One Day with You – two fateful goodbyes, two unexpected hellos, and 24 hours that change everything. 

I have received two new ARCs from Netgalley for review this week.

the audiobook The Mystery of Four by Sam Blake and narrated by Aiofe McMahon

A Mischief of Rats by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

I have 17 requests pending. I have had lot of requests declined this week. 🤷‍♀️

My husband is undergoing major surgery this week, so I am not going promise to post regularly, nor to interact with other bloggers to my normal level. Please keep Pete in your prayers. ❤

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Well here we are, 8 days into 2023. 2022 shot by in some respects, and dragged in others. It’s my friend Jayne’s birthday today, but it seems like only weeks ago we were all laughing around the table in a local restaurant celebrating her 60th. Yet it seemed to take years, but in reality was a matter of months, when I was pulled out of retirement and back into my old job to sort out the chaos my replacement had created. Time is such a funny thing.

It’s going to be interesting to see just how long Charlie has been away from his regular life when, and if, he escapes from Empis in one of my current reads, Fairy Tale by Stephen King. He sure hasn’t lost his touch!

I am also reading Picking Up The Pieces by Amanda Prowse

and listening to Better the Blood by Michael Bennett, a New Zealand crime novel, incorporating present day racial tensions with its roots going back to the colonisation of New Zealand.

This week I am planning on reading Sunrise With the Silver Surfers by Maddie Please

Newly single at sixty, Elin Anderson decides it’s finally time for an adventure of her own. With her marriage to tedious Tom now officially over, Elin plans to visit the family she hasn’t seen in years. First stop: Australia!

But going home is harder than Elin thought. Everywhere she turns Elin sees brightness and colour, which only makes her own life seem even more drab and beige. How has she let herself fade away?

Determined to have some fun, Elin reluctantly agrees to join The Silver Surfers – a group of seniors who travel the coast, only caring about their next big adventure. Because life’s too short to watch the ocean when you could be making waves…

There’s only one catch – her road trip companion, Kit Pascoe. Kit is a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word fun and makes it clear to Elin that this adventure will be subject to his own strict rules.

But with every new day, Elin slowly begins to rediscover who she really is. And she’s certain that rules are meant to be broken…aren’t they?

Devil’s Way (Kate Marshall #4) by Robert Bryndza

When Private Investigator Kate Marshall is rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea, the near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip on Dartmoor.

By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she’s agreed to take on the case, but when Kate and her trusty sidekick Tristan start to look at the events of that fateful night, they discover that Jean has a dark past that could have put Charlie in jeopardy.

Was Charlie abducted? Or did he fall into Devil’s Way? A rushing river that vanishes into a gorge close to where they were camping.

When Kate and Tristan discover that a social worker who flagged concerns about Jean and her daughter was found brutally murdered shortly after Charlie vanished, it makes them question everything they thought they knew about the family…

And We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

Who knows you better than your best friend? Who knows your secrets, your fears, your desires, your strange imperfect self? Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. Since childhood they have seen each other through life’s milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, ‘Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.’

So when Edi is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Ash’s world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi’s care, from chipped ice and watermelon cubes to music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night. Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

I received three new ARCs from Netgalley in the past week – The Wrong Good Deed by Caroline B. Cooney

A Gentle Murderer by Dorothy Salisbury Davis

And The Mistress Next Door by Lesley Sanderson which I am very excited about.

Luke is coming to stay Tuesday night for the rest of the week, so it will be a busy week for me as I am also working. I will cram as much work as I can into Monday and Tuesday so that hopefully I will only need to go in for a few hours Friday morning.

Have a great week of reading. I’m off to plan my menus for the week and make a shopping list. ❤📚

First Lines Friday

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Welcome to First Lines Friday originally hosted by Reading is my SuperPower.

Instead of judging a book by its cover, here are the first few lines.

Lainie Cornell was a real runaway bride. She had crawled out the window of the Country Club, gotten into her car, and driven all the way from Dallas to Houston before she stopped and finally answered her father’s call.

Like what you’ve just read?

Want to read more?

These are the opening lines of one of my current reads, A Chance Inheritance by Carolyn Brown, which is due for publication 10 January 2023.

What do a runaway bride, a free spirit, and a corporate exec have in common? Besides all being down on their luck, Lainie, Jodi, and Becky are Lizzie Cornell’s granddaughters. Upon inheriting their grandmother’s home and family bait shop, the three cousins return to Catfish, Texas, grieving Lizzie’s passing and hoping to find the fresh start they all need. 

Turns out cohabitating together and running the Catfish Fisherman’s Hut isn’t at all like the idyllic summers they spent as children on the banks of the Red River. The days are long and hot, the tourists demanding and rude. And then there’s Chris, a local river guide who seems to have eyes only for Becky. 

But Lizzie’s death has set in motion a chain of events that will cause a new generation of Cornell women to come together. And thanks to this chance inheritance, some local fishermen, and the love of their Granny Lizzie, the Cornell cousins discover that sometimes an ending is really the beginning of a brand-new happily ever after.

This book actually contains two novellas – the title story A Chance Inheritance, and The Third Wish. This is not made clear or even mentioned in the publicity blurb.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Here in New Zealand we are 17 hours into the first day of 2023. Happy New Year everyone! May 2023 be a year of good health, amazing books, and much love and laughter.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Currently I am reading A Song of Comfortable Chairs by Alexander McCall Smith, my first outing with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have to admit that I am not enjoying it as much as the Isabel Dalhousie series which I adore.

I am currently listening to The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley, and oh my goodness, it’s good! I shall probably finish this tomorrow.

I have already read and posted my review for the only title I needed to read for review in the coming week – No One Saw It Coming by Susan Lewis

So I am making a start on the multitude of books due for publication the following week needing reviews. I am starting Reef Road by Deborah Goodrich Royce tonight.

When a severed hand washes ashore in the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach, Florida, the lives of two women—a lonely writer obsessed with the unsolved murder of her mother’s best friend and a panicked wife whose husband has disappeared with their children—collide as the world shutters in the pandemic lockdown of 2020.

I have received one new ARC for review in the past week – You Should Have Known by Rebecca Keller

I am not big on setting goals for the year, but I really want to read the entire Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths in 2023. I have read several of the later books in the series in random order, but enjoy them so much I want to read them from the beginning and in the correct order. I have read the first two books in the break between Christmas and New Year.

I am putting the series aside briefly to read Fairytale by Stephen King for the Goodreads.com Reading for Pleasure Group Read.

I have recently taken part in the Goodreads.com All About Books extended December readathon which finished at midnight New Year’s Eve.

So I plan to have one ‘reading for pleasure’ book underway whenever possible.

Other than the occasional Goodreads.com readathon or group read, I am not going to commit to any challenges this year.

What are your reading plans for the year?

Happy reading!

First Lines Friday

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Welcome to First Lines Friday originally hosted by Reading is my SuperPower.

Instead of judging a book by its cover, here are the first few lines.

They told me she was dead, but I’ve found her.

They said my mother was dead too.

She is now.

Like what you’ve just read?

Want to read more?

These are the opening lines of one of my current reads, No One Saw It Coming by Susan Lewis, which is due for publication 5 January 2023.

Secrets lie at the heart of every family…

When the unthinkable happens…

Hanna’s world is crumbling.

An unimaginable crime has been committed, and everyone’s looking for someone to blame. Her loved ones are under suspicion.

Now Hanna must work out who is threatening her family – before it’s too late.

No one could have seen this coming…

I have read a lot of this author’s books and I always know that I am in for an unpredictable read. She’s certainly not letting me down here!

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Happy holidays my bookish friends. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day filled with love and laughter. Our Christmas Day was quiet, but fun. Then Boxing Day we had an open house and friends dropped by throughout the day. It was a fun day and good to catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while.

Currently I am reading The Girls by Bella Osborne which was published earlier this year. I am only a few pages in, so no comment as yet.

Four old friends. Thrown back together after fifty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?

In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a flat and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they’re in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other?

No One Saw it Coming by Susan Lewis, due to be published early January 2023. I h also only just started this.

Secrets lie at the heart of every family…

When the unthinkable happens…

Hanna’s world is crumbling.

An unimaginable crime has been committed, and everyone’s looking for someone to blame. Her loved ones are under suspicion.

Now Hanna must work out who is threatening her family – before it’s too late.

No one could have seen this coming…

And I am listening to The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley, purely for pleasure. I have listened to quite a bit of this today as I have been pottering around the house and garden. It’s shaping up nicely.

It has been twenty-four years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, ‘Pandora’, is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family.

Yet Helena knows that the idyllic beauty of Pandora masks a web of secrets she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of thirteen, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, he is desperate to learn the truth about his real father . . .

When Helena meets her childhood sweetheart by chance, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed.

I again don’t have any reads for review scheduled for the week ahead so will just be picking reads at random from my backlist and perhaps making a start on my January reads for review.

I have received three new ARCs for review since my last Watching what I’m reading post ten days ago. They are:

The Doctor’s Wife by Daniel Hurst. I have just finished my second book by this author, Til Death Do Us Part, and it was great. I’m really looking forward to this.

The Island of Longing by Anne Griffin, a new author to me.

And The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell, another author new to me.

So, that’s my week all nicely wrapped up. Enjoy your holiday break and make marvellous memories with your loved ones. ❤📚🎄

First Lines Friday

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Welcome to First Lines Friday originally hosted by Reading is my SuperPower.

Instead of judging a book by its cover, here are the first few lines.

‘Someone is out there.’

I’m standing at the kitchen sink, my hands plunged in warm soapy water. Gabe is beside me, supposedly drying dishes but mostly drinking red wine and singing to Èdith Piaf. He made coq au vin for dinner using every pot in the house, but if there is one thing to be said for my husband it’s that he knows how to create a mood. He’s dimmed the lights, lit some candles, even trotted out his best French accent. If not for the kids and my older sister Kat – who is perched at my kitchen counter – it might have been romantic.

Like what you’ve just read?

Want to read more?

These are the opening lines of one of my current reads, The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth.

Before the woman went over the cliff, Pippa and Gabe were happy. They have the kind of marriage that everyone envies, as well as two sweet young daughters, a supportive family, and a picturesque cliff-side home – which would have been idyllic had the tall beachside cliffs not become so popular among those wishing to end their lives.

Gabe has become somewhat of a local hero since they moved to the cliff house, talking seven people down from stepping off the edge. But when Gabe fails to save the eighth, Amanda, a sordid web of secrets begins to unravel, pushing bonds of loyalty and love to the brink.

The first book I read by Sally Hepworth was The Things People Keep, which I loved. Since then I have read and enjoyed The Mother-in-Law, The Good Sister, and The Younger Wife. I also have The Secrets of Midwives sitting in my pile of books on my bedside table.

Have you read anything by this author? What did you think?

Happy reading. ❤📚🎄

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Welcome to an overcast and humid summer afternoon in New Zealand. We were forecast heavy rain today, but instead it has been dry enough for me to get the lawns mowed.

I have my 5 year old grandson, Luke with me. He arrived Thursday evening and I am taking him home Wednesday afternoon. We have put up the tree, decorated the house, played numerous games of snap and go fish. We have started a tradition of ‘elevenses’ and invited ‘Mrs Helen’ my neighbour and walking partner to the first where we brought out the best china and had Christmas cake. I am also teaching Luke to play tennis (sans net), which he loves, and he is excited to, at last, be able to return a volley shot. Tuesday he is coming to aquarobics with me. Quite a few of the women brought their children and grandchildren to the classes during the week and we abandoned the aquarobics in favour of water polo and water bull rush. It was a far harder workout than our normal exercises!

It feels slightly unreal to think that this time next week it will be Christmas Day! I am mostly prepared. I’m just leaving making the chocolate crackles until later in the week. We’re going to Dustin’s Christmas Day, and then having open house here Boxing day.

It was my younger brother’s birthday yesterday, and we have two more family birthdays in December on 27th and 29th, so it’s a busy month for us.

Currently I am reading, purely for pleasure, The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway #1) by Elly Griffiths. I was drawn in from the start and will finish it this afternoon. I have read several books from this series in a rather haphazard manner but am now reading the series from the start, in order.

I am also reading Shadow Sands (Kate Marshall #2) by Robert Bryndza, a title from my backlist. I will also probably finish this today. I am planning on reading #3, Darkness Falls between Christmas and New Year, so that I am all caught up prior to the publication of #4, Devil’s Way, in January. I wholeheartedly recommend this series.

I am also reading WIN (Windsor Horne Lockwood III #1) by Harlan Coben. This is another title from my backlist.

And listening to The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley. When I first started listening to this, I thought it very similar to The Angel Tree, but now that the story has developed, it is very different but equally as enchanting. BTW, I don’t particularly like the cover.

I have nothing scheduled to read for review in the coming week, so plan to knock a few more titles off my backlist.

I received four new ARCs for review from Netgalley this week. They are: The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish, which I am very excited about. This is due for publication 08 March 2023.

One Day With You by Shari Low

Apartment 303 by Kelli Hawkins

And, That Night at the Beach by Kate Hewitt

Anything there that you’d care to read?

I still have 15 requests pending. 😊

I won’t post Christmas Day, or possibly Boxing Day either. But I wish you all the best however you choose to celebrate the festive season.

Happy reading ❤📚🎄