Watching What I Read. . .

It is the last Sunday of the year . . . I hope you have all had a wonderful year’s reading and are looking forward to an even better one in 2019.

2019… good grief, it only seems like 5 minutes since the new Millennium was staring us in the face and we were all worrying about computer systems crashing and major disasters.

I am currently reading

Watching You

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

And, oh my! This is good. .. a slow burner, but sooooo good!

I am also reading

Rattle (The Bone Collector, #1)

A serial killer to chill your bones

A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.

What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

I am reading this after the second book in the series, The Collector, which I loved. I am only 4 chapters into this, and absolutely enthralled.

This week I am planning on reading

The Rumour

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

SHADOWS OF REGRET: If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge?

for which I am participating in a blog tour later in the month.

From the #1 bestselling author of Fifty Years of Fear, SHADOWS OF REGRET is the unforgettable story of a woman’s struggle to rejoin society.
Katie committed a terrible crime. Sixteen years was the price she had to pay.

Once released from prison, she finds the world has changed.

Isolated and alone, she struggles to make sense of her new life. Starting again isn’t easy, especially after what she’s done.

Despite not feeling free or safe, Katie overcomes her fears and confronts the future. But history won’t remain forgotten.

Gradually, memories of the past are revealed. When Katie finally exposes the awful truth and sees there are others who share the blame, she must choose her path.

Will she seek redemption, or will she take revenge?

I have received no ARC approvals this week. No surprise there as I guess everyone is on holidays, except me. There is a song I love sung by Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings called ‘Mothers,  Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’. I would like to amend that to “Mothers Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Work in Hospitality’!

Cheers

Sandy

 

Advertisements

Friday Favorite – Where I Lost Her by T Greenwood

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Where I Lost Her

EXCERPT: I stand in the shadowed doorway, staring at the heavy wooden door. I feel the sweat trickling down my neck. The air is hot and fragrant, the smells unfamiliar. Strong. I think the sweetness comes from the Jacaranda, those trees that stand sentry along this street, an explosion of violet petals. The pavement is littered with their castoffs, like purple confetti after a parade. The impossible beauty of all that color, the cloying sweetness, brings tears to my eyes. But there is another scent, lingering beneath. Tainting it. It smells like something burned. Like something spoiled.

The phonecall came this morning, to the hotel, where we have been staying. Waiting. I have learned such tremendous patience in the last five years, though I worry sometimes that the line between patience and foolishness is a thin one. I have been made a fool of before. Believed promises. Paid dearly for my optimism and blind faith. And yet, trust is like an affliction. Hope overriding all sensibility. This has become my religion: my faith, like all other faiths, driven by the most simple and primitive, selfish want. Accompanied by a wilful and necessary blindness.

Our lawyer said to come right away.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Where I Lost Her follows one woman’s journey through heartbreak and loss to courage and resolve, as she searches for the truth about a missing child.

Eight years ago, Tess and Jake were considered a power couple of the New York publishing world–happy, in love, planning a family. Failed fertility treatments and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption have fractured their marriage and left Tess edgy and adrift. A visit to friends in rural Vermont throws Tess’s world into further chaos when she sees a young, half-dressed child in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer.

The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police and Jake point out, Tess’s imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, not only to save the little girl she can’t forget but to salvage her broken heart as well.

MY THOUGHTS: 5 very sparkly stars for Where I Lost her by T Greenwood.

Tess and Jake are spending the weekend with their friends in rural Vermont. Although Tess has had too much to drink, she drives to the liquor store to buy another bottle of wine. On her way back to the camp, she sees a small girl dressed in a tutu and ladybug boots on the road. The child takes fright and disappears into the woods. Tess reports the incident and a search is reluctantly started. But no-one has reported a child missing, and there is no trace of her.

And Tess has a past……

This book was compelling and breath-taking reading. I did not want to put it down. I could not put it down. I was consumed by it.

Greenwoods writing is lyrical, beautiful and at the same time thrilling and suspenseful. I will be looking for more from this wonderful author.

💖💕💖💕💖

THE AUTHOR: T. Greenwood is the author of twelve novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won three San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. BODIES OF WATER was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award. Her twelfth novel, RUST & STARDUST, will be published in August 2018.

She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer’s Ink and online for The Writer’s Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also a photographer.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing a digital ARC of Where I Lost Her by T Greenwood 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/1764741371

Watching What I’m Reading

The last Sunday before Christmas, and only one more to go before the end of the year. . .

I have just finished reading

For Better and Worse

5 shimmering stars from me. Watch for my review.

I am currently reading

Willem's Field: A Novel

which I picked up at a library sale some time ago. It just seemed to call to me during the week and so I plucked it from its box. It is more delightfully meandering than slow, and has some very interesting characters.

I am listening to

Watching You

which is promising to be every bit as good as the other novels I have read by this author.

My next read is

The Collector (The Bone Collector, #2)

The Collector by Fiona Cummins is the gripping sequel to Rattle.

Jakey escaped with his life and moved to a new town. His rescue was a miracle but his parents know that the Collector is still out there, watching, waiting…

Clara, the girl he left behind, is clinging to the hope that someone will come and save her.

Life has fallen apart for Clara’s mother as she starts to lose hope.

The Bone Collector has a new apprentice to take over his family’s legacy. But he can’t forget the boy who got away and the detective who had destroyed his dreams.

Detective Etta Fitzroy’s life collapsed when the Collector escaped. With Clara still missing, and a new wave of uncannily similar murders beginning, will she be able to find him again?

The Collector is back and this time he has nothing to lose . . .

And I also plan on reading

The Girl in the Corner

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes the poignant tale of a woman who has always been there for her family. But will they be there for her?

Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweethearts. They’ve shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard’s larger-than-life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.

Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would-be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven’t in years. But in the break from real life, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddenly she’s questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one-sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees?

When Howard comes looking for reconciliation, Rae has a choice to make: keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.

I have 4 new ARCs  approved from NetGalley this week.

The Silent Patient

The Suspect

The Dry Grass of August

Dirty Little Secrets

Have you any of these on your TBR list? Or have you already read them?

Happy reading my friends. 🎅📚💕

The Memory by Lucy Dawson

The Memory by Lucy Dawson

EXCERPT: There was a car some distance behind, the headlights tracking us. I stared at them, getting closer, as we drove past the iron-gated entrance to a lonely farm; the otherwise deserted road on one side lined with tall foreboding pine trees, and the other giving way to a steep drop off down into the valley. This could be the start of a film. Someone following us, an unknown threatening presence in the car. . .

ABOUT THIS BOOK: She’ll never forget… I’ll never forgive.

People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks.

An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman.

Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.

MY THOUGHTS: “I have no idea what is going on…..so why am I reading with a thumping heart that is sitting somewhere in my throat, rather than where it is supposed to be?” This is the comment I made at just over 25% into The Memory by Lucy Dawson.

Did you ever play blind man’s buff as a child? You were blindfolded, spun around until totally disoriented, then had to stumble about trying to find someone to tag. Reading The Memory was a similar experience for me. Lucy Dawson is very good at leading her readers up the garden path. She had me expecting to end up in one place, but the twists and turns (and there was a glaring clue that struck a chord at the time, but which I quickly dismissed) took me somewhere entirely different.

I am not going to talk about the plot, because I don’t want to give anything away, but if you like a book filled with secrets, lies and manipulative characters, then The Memory is definitely a read that you will love.

🎅🎅🎅🎅

THE AUTHOR: Lucy studied Psychology at Warwick University before becoming a children’s magazine editor. Her first bestselling book – His Other Lover – was published in 2008. Since then she has published four other novels and her work has been translated into numerous other languages. She lives in Exeter with her husband and children. Lucy finds writing in the third person uncomfortable.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Memory by Lucy Dawson 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/2597739829

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. 🎅💕💖📚

Watching What I Read. . .

Because all my reads last week were short, I managed to fit in an extra two books!

Murder in the Dark (Ishmael Jones, #6)  and

The Woman Who Kept Everything

So watch for my reviews over the coming days.

Currently I am reading

Transcription

Which I am loving. Atkinson writes with a richness of detail that draws me in so that I am ‘there’, in the novel, experiencing everything along with her characters.

I am listening to

The Lucky Ones

Which I am also enjoying. I have a feeling that I know who is behind Allison’s ‘fall’, but I may be wrong. I often am.

This week I plan on reading

Broken Ground (Inspector Karen Pirie, #5)

Alice Somerville’s inheritance lies six feet under in a Highland peat bog – a pair of valuable vintage motorbikes buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally organises their recovery, she finds an unwelcome surprise -a body with a pair of bullet holes . . . and Nike trainers. DCI Karen Pirie of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems.

Meanwhile an overheard conversation in a cafe draws Karen to the heart of a murder she thought she’d already prevented.

As Karen gets closer to the several truths, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, but I love McDermid’s writing.

The Memory

She’ll never forget… I’ll never forgive.

People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks.

An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman.

Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.

Another writer that I greatly admire. Her books are always gripping and unpredictable.

Four ARC approvals from NetGalley this week . . .

The Man With No Face

The Lost Traveller (County Cork, #7)

The Parisians

The Thing About Clare

I am looking forward to seeing what you are reading, and what new books you have on your shelves. I do love to indulge in a bit of book envy!

The weather is absolutely beautiful today, as it was yesterday, so I am off to work for a couple of hours, then I plan on spending the remainder of my day in the garden.

Happy reading my friends 💕💕💕💕💕

 

The Diary by Vikki Patis

The Diary by Vikki Patis

EXCERPT: ‘Lauren, please!’ Her cries followed me out of the front door. They haunted me in the days after her death. They followed me to Plymouth, to Cornwall. They live inside my head. Hannah talks to me in my sleep; she lies down beside me and whispers in my ear. She comes back over and over again to remind me of what I did. Because I don’t deserve to forget.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: ‘I know all your secrets, Lauren.’

Lauren has spent years running away from her home town, her childhood and the memories of her best friend, Hannah.

Until the tenth anniversary of Hannah’s death forces her to return home and to the group of friends she abandoned there. It should be a quick visit, just so Lauren can pay her respects.

At home, Lauren finds Hannah’s old diary. A diary full of secrets. The terrible things Lauren did, the lies she’s told, the reason she ran away. And she receives a message:

‘I don’t know why you’re back, but I know why you left.’

But no-one else has seen the diary, and Hannah’s dead, isn’t she?

MY THOUGHTS: There was the occasional flash of brilliant writing in The Diary, but mostly I found it slow, repetitive and overly angst-ridden. I applaud the author’s motivation for writing this book – she features the eternal problems of bullying and suicide, but I found her treatment of them somewhat heavy-handed.

The premise for the plot was good, but it just never seemed to develop its full potential. Likewise there was little in the way of character development. The characters remained one dimensional, and I had trouble feeling anything for any of them. The fact that it took me 4 days to read this relatively short book is also telling.

I was going to rate this book 2.5 stars. But for those very occasional flashes of brilliance which, at one point, had me briefly convinced that the author had found her stride, that is the rating it would have received. Those moments earned an extra 0.5 star.

Despite my criticism, I think this author shows promise and I will be putting my hand up for her next book.

😐😐😐

Love the cover!

THE AUTHOR: Vikki Patis is an author and blogger, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. When she isn’t working as a Regulatory Affairs Manager, she can usually be found drinking tea, baking cakes, or taking walks in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner and two cats.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Diary by Vikki Patis 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