Pages

6/22/22

Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer, by Domhnall O’Donoghue

 


4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK -

Sister Agatha is 118 years of age, whose vim and vigour would put the most robust athletes to shame. However, during a routine check-up, her doctor claims that she has just a week to live - inconvenient, seeing as the beloved sister once made an improbable vow: to be the oldest person in the world. At last count, she was the fifth.

Never one to admit defeat, Sister Agatha concocts a bold Plan B. Using her final days, she intends on travelling the world to meet the only four people whose birthday cakes boast more candles than hers.

And then, one by one, she will kill them. 

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Hailing from Navan in the royal county of Meath, Domhnall is a graduate of the Bachelor in Acting Studies Programme, Trinity College Dublin, later completing a Master's in Screenwriting at Dún Laoghaire IADT.

He now works as an actor and a journalist, dividing his time between Galway, where he films TG4’s award-winning series, Ros na Rún, Dublin and Venice, where he and his Italian lover continuously promise their well-worn livers that they will refrain from quaffing so much Prosecco. (Unfortunately, it seems some vows, just like nearby Rome, were not built in a day.)

Wine-drinking aside, for more than four years, Domhnall has also enjoyed the responsibility of being Assistant Editor at Irish Tatler Man, a title whose various awards includes Consumer Magazine of the Year. Thanks to this role, he interviewed a host of high-profile names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey, David Gandy, and Jacques Villeneuve.

Domhnall has written for the majority of Ireland’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the Irish Independent, The Irish Times and RTE. He also writes a monthly column in Woman’s Way, the country’s biggest-selling weekly magazine.

His first novel, Sister Agatha: the World’s Oldest Serial Killer, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim (Tirgearr Publishing). His second and third books, Colin and the Concubine and Crazy for You were published by Mercier Press, Ireland's oldest publishing house. 


Social Media Links –

FB - Domhnall O'Donoghue (facebook.com)

T - https://twitter.com/Domhnall1982

IG - https://instagram.com/domhnall82


MY THOUGHTS -

This was a very odd little story... oddly amusing, oddly funny, and oddly entertaining!

I love books that dare to be different or quirky and this one fit the bill! This was dark humor at its best. If you like that kind of thing then you will love this book.

This had a great cast of characters. I couldn't wait to see who and what personality would pop up next. I fell in love with Sister Agatha, even though she was at times unlikeable and... odd - I loved her!! In a way she kind of reminded me of Betty White!

Someone else said it was addictive. That's exactly what it was! Addictive! Once I started I couldn't put it down.

The author's writing style was a little different than I was used to, but once I got into the story it didn't really bother me anymore and it started flowing.

I recommend this if you are tired of the same ol' same ol' and want something different, just for fun.  :-)

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Rachel's Random Resources -  Thank You!!


6/20/22

Speakeasy by Elyse Douglas (with a Giveaway)

 


5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK - 

In 2019, A West Village Nightclub Singer, Roxie Raines, stumbles through a basement doorway into the past and finds herself in Roaring Twenties New York, with all its dangers, secrets, excitement, and romance.

Roxie Raines lurches through a secret basement doorway in 2019, and time-slips back to New York’s raucous Roaring Twenties. While she dazzles the speakeasy crowds with her “modern sound,” she gets trapped in the dangerous web of Frankie Shay, an evil club owner. She struggles to escape his control and return to the basement doorway that sent her to 1925.

When she meets the handsome detective, Jake Kane, it’s love at first sight, but Jake has a secret past, and her own time travel secret makes him suspicious.

Roaring Twenties New York comes alive with flappers, gangsters, romance and speakeasies and Roxie’s stunning rise to stardom could come with the price of losing both the man she loves and her own life.

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS - 

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington.

She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed many novels, including The Other Side of Summer, The Summer Letters, The Christmas Eve Series, Time Visitor, Time Change, The Summer Diary, and The Christmas Diary Series.

Website: www.elysedouglas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Facebook: www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas


MY THOUGHTS -

Books written by Elyse Douglas have been some of my favorites and I have come to look forward to reading every one that comes out.

This book went beyond my expectations! I love books that are character driven and this was very much that. I loved Roxie and drew very attached to her. I never thought I would be that interested in the "Roaring Twenties" but this book proved me wrong. I found it to be fascinating, fun, and un-put-downable!

Another score for this awesome writing duo! I loved everything about this story, it's relaxed pace, the great characters, and a hint of love story, but even more so - the need... the need to know more. I had to keep reading because I HAD to find out what was going to happen.

The authors also did a wonderful job of making me want to read the next books in the series. I have a guess what they will be about and I can't wait!

If you enjoy time travel books, or historical fiction, this one is a no brainer! they can't write books fast enough for me.

Thank you - Virtual Author Book Tours for sending me this book to read and review!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

6/16/22

How to Draw Cool Stuff: A Drawing Guide for Teachers and Students by Catherine V Holmes

 


5 STARS!

ABOUT THE BOOK -

How to Draw Cool Stuff shows simple step-by-step illustrations that make it easy for anyone to draw cool stuff with precision and confidence. These pages will guide you through the basic principles of illustration by concentrating on easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings.

With the step-by-step guidelines provided, anything can become easy to draw. This book contains a series of fun, hands-on exercises that will help you see line, shape, space and other elements in everyday objects and turn them into detailed works of art in just a few simple steps.

The exercises in this book will help train your brain so you can visualize ordinary objects in a different manner, allowing you to see through the eyes of an artist.

From photorealistic faces to holiday themes and tattoo drawings, How to Draw Cool Stuff makes drawing easier than you would think and more fun than you ever imagined! Now is the time to learn how to draw the subjects and scenes you've always dreamt of drawing. How to Draw Cool Stuff is suitable for artists of any age benefiting everyone from teachers and students to self-learners and hobbyists.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Catherine V. Holmes is an art/ELA teacher and visual artist from historical Plymouth, Massachusetts. She studied at Boston University and at Bridgewater State College where she earned her BFA and MA in ED. She is currently working towards her second Master s from the University of Scranton. Catherine Holmes specializes in portraits, architecture and illustrations. Her art is inspired by her feelings, ideas, and experiences, whether they are found in nature, the media or in man-made structures. Catherine is also heavily influenced by the interests and suggestions of her students. "To see success through their eyes inspires me to be a better teacher and creator of art."


MY THOUGHTS - 

This is such a cool book! I am an artist, I sketch and paint (watercolor and mixed media). I was very impressed with this book. 

I think the idea behind this book is to teach you the basics and you can grow from there. I love that it doesn't go on and on with a lot of talk. Each page is a step by step guide to drawing simple objects that you can use, change and alter for your own needs. 

For experienced artists I think this book is great for practice! I, myself am looking forward to just going through the book to see what I can do. If you draw the same thing over and over - you get better at it. So just going through the book a few times will increase your strength as an artist.

After using this book are you going to create a masterpiece?... probably not. But you will probably be better at sketching simple objects.

I do recommend this for teenagers and possibly pre-teens and even adults. Like I said, I am looking forward to having fun with it myself!



Thank you TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for my honest review!

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE




6/14/22

The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman's Journey to Every Country in the World - JESSICA NABONGO

 


5 STARS!

ABOUT THE BOOK -

In this inspiring travelogue, celebrated traveler and photographer Jessica Nabongo―the first Black woman on record to visit all 195 countries in the world―shares her journey around the globe with fascinating stories of adventure, culture, travel musts, and human connections.

It was a daunting task, but Jessica Nabongo, the beloved voice behind the popular website 
The Catch Me if You Can, made it happen, completing her journey to all 195 UN-recognized countries in the world in October 2019. Now, in this one-of-a-kind memoir, she reveals her top 100 destinations from her global adventure.
Beautifully illustrated with many of Nabongo's own photographs, the book documents her remarkable experiences in each country, including:

  • A harrowing scooter accident in Nauru, the world’s least visited country,
  • Seeing the life and community swarming around the Hazrat Ali Mazar mosque in Afghanistan,
  • Horseback riding and learning to lasso with Black cowboys in Oklahoma,
  • Playing dominoes with men on the streets of Havana,
  • Learning to make traditional takoyaki (octopus balls) from locals in Japan,
  • Dog sledding in Norway and swimming with humpback whales in Tonga,
  • A late night adventure with strangers to cross a border in Guinea Bissau,
  • And sunbathing on the sandy shores of Los Roques in Venezuela.

Along with beloved destinations like Peru and South Africa, you'll also find tales from far-flung corners and seldom visited destinations, including Tuvalu, North Korea, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Nabongo's stories are love letters to diversity, beauty, and culture―and most of all, to the people she meets along the way. Throughout, she offers bucket-list experiences for other travel-lovers looking to follow in her footsteps.

For armchair travelers or readers planning a trip around the globe, this arresting collection will awe and inspire!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

JESSICA NABONGO is a writer, photographer, entrepreneur, travel expert, influencer, and public speaker. She completed her journey as the first Black woman on record to travel to all 195 countries of the world in October of 2019. At her core, she is a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that connects her passions and talents. She wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them. A first generation American, Jessica was born and raised in Detroit by Ugandan parents. She attended St. John’s University in New York where she earned a degree in English Literature, later completing a graduate degree at the London School of Economics. She uses her blog, The Catch Me If You Can, to share her travel adventures and build a global community. She is also the founder of the lifestyle brand The Catch and The Nabongo List, a new travel luxury membership. 


Order from Amazon - HERE


MY THOUGHTS -

An absolutely amazing book! 

A very nice quality hardcover that is a nice size. There are gorgeous pictures on every one of its 416 pages. Yes, the pictures are beautiful, they definitely draw you in. But, it is her stories of each country that keep you entranced. Each one is fascinating. A couple of thing that I really liked, besides the pictures and the stories - each chapter had a little map showing where the country is (loved this!). I thought this was great because not everyone knows where all the countries are. There are also little boxes with extra info, little tidbits like a list of what to do if you visit.

I love books like this. You can just pick it up and read one small part without feeling like you have finish the whole thing. Each Chapter/country is it's own story to be relished.

I only read a few but this will be on my coffee table for me to pick up and read a little each morning.

I love travel memoirs, and this is one of the best!





Thank you TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for my honest review!

6/8/22

Finding Light in a Lost Year by Carin Fahr Shulusky (Giveaway!)

 

Finding Light in a Lost Year by Carin Fahr Shulusky Banner

May 16 – June 10, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
 

About the book -

Finding Light in a Lost Year by Carin Fahr Shulusky
Roni Wright thought she had everything; huge home, successful husband, kids, and a brilliant career. That is until the worse pandemic in 100 years swept away the shallow façade of her life and she nearly lost it all.   This is the story of how a broken family navigated the most difficult year of their lives and found hope in the middle of so much loss. You will recognize many of the things that nearly broke us all as we struggled with pandemic restrictions and the new normal. But you will cheer as they work their way out of darkness into a better world.
 

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



 


Read an excerpt:

April 2020 – When It Rains, It Pours

On April 1, I picked up my calendar, as I did at the beginning of every month—usually to see what we had coming up and to schedule more—and started crossing off everything. I had already crossed off the March trip to Paris. Now I crossed off this month’s planned trip to the banking conference in San Francisco. I slashed through the conference in New York. And with a little more pain, I crossed off the two Broadway shows to which I had tickets. An old college girlfriend was going to go with me to one and Dan the other. Broadway closed. New York closed. All crossed off, as was the St. Louis Symphony concert to which we had tickets. Canceled. Hockey, canceled. Three birthday parties, canceled. My appointment at the nail salon, canceled. Hairdresser, canceled. Canceled, canceled, canceled. April was looking so gloomy. The only exercise I was getting was walking through one of our beautiful parks with the kids. Sometimes, we took bikes and rode a trail. But with April came gloom and rain and even that little bit of escape became impossible. Then the St. Louis County Executive closed all county parks. We were now required to wear a mask if we were out in public, especially indoors, and to stay six feet apart wherever we were. The gloom was growing daily. My life had no order. We were in free fall. On April 9, we got a big shot in the arm, as it were, when $2,400 appeared in our checking account—a gift from the U.S. government. Officially the money was part of the Economic Impact Payment, but the payments were more often called stimulus checks. We just called it salvation. Like many families, we weren’t sure how we would make ends meet. This money was a gift from heaven—or the government, depending on your point of view. By the second week of April, our school district was making an effort at learning. They asked parents to pick up “home learning packets” from the school. When I drove up to the school, someone handed me the packet for our kids’ grade levels. But when I got home, there was little explanation about the work. It was terribly disorganized and made little sense to me. Katlin wanted to learn more, and Oliver wanted to learn less. I just wanted more alcohol. Lots more. I decided hard times called for hard alcohol. Wine was OK now with lunch, but by dinner time, I needed a cocktail. I set up a place in the basement family room for the kids to study. I tried hard to make Oliver work on letters and sight words. He would work with me for maybe thirty minutes, then he’d start disrupting everything I did. He’d rip papers and run away. Meanwhile, Katlin was trying to figure out her lessons with great frustration. She didn’t know what was wanted of her, and I couldn’t figure it out either. Oliver did everything in his considerable ability to disrupt our efforts. Most sessions ended with all three of us crying. Not only was I failing at trying to teach my kids, I was failing at keeping them out of Nathan’s living room office. Every time Oliver ran away from me, he ran right into one of Nathan’s meetings. No order. No peace. No joy. --- Excerpt from Finding Light in a Lost Year by Carin Fahr Shulusky. Copyright 2022 by Carin Fahr Shulusky. Reproduced with permission from Carin Fahr Shulusky. All rights reserved.
 

About the author -

Carin Fahr Shulusky
Carin Fahr Shulusky was born and raised in west St. Louis County. She attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she received a B.J (Bachelor of Journalism). After college she worked in advertising for GE and Monsanto. She was the first professional woman in her division of each. After 25 years in Marketing, she created her own firm, Marketing Alliance. She was president of Marketing Alliance, from 2002 – 2014. She is a past-president of the Business Marketing Association of St. Louis. Carin Fahr is married to Richard Shulusky. They have two grown children and one marvelous granddaughter. Grandma Carin has a life long love of cooking, even writing her own cookbook. In 2014 Carin retired to devote full time to writing. Her first book, In the Middle was inspired by her own battle to care for her beloved mother, Dorothy Fahr. Many of the stories Carrie Young’s mother tells her in In the Middle came from Carin’s mother. Carin is a lifelong member of Pathfinder Church in Ellisville, Missouri, where she volunteers in early childhood.


Find Carin Online:

carinshulusky.com 
 


MY THOUGHTS -

The topic of this story is something that we have ALL had to deal with, Covid. No one has been able to escape it. It has touched all of our lives in one way or another. A lot of authors have shied away from using this topic in their stories. So first, I give this author huge kudos for using this as the main topic in her book!

Roni, the main character in the story, thought that the virus would never come to the US and if it did it surely would not be that bad as to cause lockdowns. Ha! I remember thinking the very same thing. My husband told me about this virus in China and he was all worried about it and I couldn’t understand why he was getting so worried about a virus that was in China! Like I thought the US was immune to it or something. At first I didn't really like her but then I found myself relating to Roni in so many ways! 

This book felt very real to me. Of course, that’s because it is real, it happened, it happened to all of us, still is! During the pandemic my husband and I always said that it didn’t seem real, that it seemed science-fiction. While reading this book I kept thinking the same thing -  it reads almost like a science-fiction novel, “apocalyptic” as the book called it. Although we all know that it was very real.

I love stories that are real, almost too real and hit home and this one did just that. This family goes through a lot of issues, some good, some bad. But in the end they all grow from it.

A great read. One that will have you nodding your head thinking "Yep, been there, done that".


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours -  Thank You!


Tour Host Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
       
This is a giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Finding Light in a Lost Year by Carin Fahr Shulusky. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
 

Find Your Next Great Read at Providence Book Promotions!

5/31/22

The Rising by Kerry Peresta (with a GIVEAWAY!)

May 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

The Rising by Kerry L Peresta Banner

5 STARS!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
The Rising by Kerry L Peresta

After an assault that landed her in a hospital as a Jane Doe two years earlier, Olivia Callahan has regained her speech, movement, and much of the memory she lost due to a traumatic brain injury. The media hype about the incident has faded away, and Olivia is ready to rebuild her life, but her therapist insists she must continue to look back in order to move forward. The only person that can help her recall specifics is her abusive ex-husband, Monty, who is in prison for murder. The thought of talking to Monty makes her skin crawl, but for her daughters’ sake and her own sanity, she must learn more about who she was before the attack.

Just as the pieces of her life start falling into place, she stumbles across the still-warm body of an old friend who has been gruesomely murdered. Her dream of pursuing a peaceful existence is shattered when she learns the killer left evidence behind to implicate her in the murder. The only person that would want to sabotage her is Monty—but he’s in prison! Something sinister is going on, and Olivia is desperate to uncover the truth before another senseless murder is committed.

 Olivia Callahan Suspense, Book 2

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

“How low you fall points to how high you’ll rise.”
~Matshona Dhliwayo

The stark buildings and barbed-wire-topped walls surrounding the correctional facility reminded me of a Hitchcock movie.

My fingers tightened on the steering wheel. I found a parking spot, and waited in the car a minute, taking in the starkness and finality of a prison compound. My heart did a little lurch when I thought about Monty—my ex-husband and the father of my two daughters—inside. Incarcerated. I guess since I hadn’t seen him since his indictment, it didn’t seem real.

However, I’d learned that having sympathy for Monty was like having sympathy for a snake just before it sank its fangs. “It’s been eighteen months. You can keep it together with this psycho,” I hissed to myself. I hiked my purse onto my shoulder and walked out into the buttery sunshine toward the visitors’ entrance.

I presented my driver’s license, endured a frisk, offered my hand for the fingerprint process, and walked through the metal detector, which of course, went off. With stoic resignation, I endured another frisk, a few hard glances from the guards, and eventually pulled the culprit from the pocket of my pants, an aluminum foil candy bar wrapper.

While I waited for Monty at one of the small, circular tables in the visitors’ room, I scanned the list of do’s and don’ts. Hands must be visible at all times. Vulgar language not allowed. No passing anything to the prisoner. No jewelry other than a wedding band or religious necklace.

I stared at my hands, sticky with sweat. My heart beat in my throat.

I lifted my curls off my forehead and fanned my face with one hand. Three other visitors sat at tables. One woman with graying hair piled like a crown on her head stared at the floor. When she noticed that I was looking at her, she raised her head and threw me a sad smile. A younger woman at another table struggled to keep two young children under control, and an older couple with stress-lined faces whispered to each other as they waited. The room had tan, cinder block walls, a drop-in ceiling with grid tiles that probably hid video cameras, and a single door. No windows. A scrawny, fake plant in one corner made a half-hearted attempt at civility.

The metal door opened. My thoughts were mush, a blender on high. Could I do this? After two years of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and every other kind of therapy the docs could throw at me, shouldn’t I react better than this?

Remember, they’re only feelings.

I squared my shoulders. Wiped my palms on my pants.

As Monty offered his cuffed wrists to the corrections officer, he scanned the room under lowered eyelids. When he saw me, he gave me a scorched- earth glare. After the guard removed his handcuffs, he shook out his arms and rubbed his wrists. The raven-black hair was longer, and brushed his shoulders. He’d been working out. A lot. He wore a loose-fitting top and pants. Orange. As usual, he was larger than life, and in the bright white of the visiting space, surrounded by matching plastic tables and chairs, he was a raven-haired Schwarzenegger in a room full of Danny DeVito’s. I’d once had hope for reconciliation. The thought gave me the shakes now.

He dropped into the chair across from me and plopped his hands on the table. “What do you want?”

I spent a few seconds examining his face—this man I’d spent twenty, long years trying to please, and the reason I’d been assaulted and left for dead by Niles Peterson, a wreck of a man whose life Monty had destroyed as well.

The man responsible for my convoluted recovery from a brain injury that stole my past. Even after two years, I still had huge gaps in my memory, and staring at him felt like staring at a stranger instead of an ex-husband. “My therapist says I need to look back to move forward. I wanted to ask you a few questions, that’s all.”

“Okay,” he grumbled. “I’ll give you a few minutes. Oh, and you’ll love this. I have to attend counseling sessions about how to keep my ‘darker dispositions’ under control, and I have one of those in thirty minutes.”

Resisting a smile, I quipped, “Are they helping?” He rolled his eyes. “What are the questions?”

“I still have problems remembering stuff. There are things I need to… figure out about who I was before—”

“Before you hooked up with my ole’ buddy Niles?” he interrupted, with a smirk. “Before you threw away everything we had? Before you got yourself in a situation that could’ve gotten you killed? Before you started treating me like a piece of shit?”

I was careful not to react. I’d had enough therapy to understand how to treat a control freak that tried to make me the reason he ended up in prison. That part of my life—the part where Monty had been in charge and his spouse had to obey or else—was over. “Are you done?” I asked.

He clamped his lips together.

I folded my hands on the table and leaned in. “I’ll get right to the point. What drew you to me in the first place? What was I like before the accident, from your perspective?”

Monty tried to get comfortable in the plastic chair. Beneath his immense bulk, it seemed like a child’s chair. “Is that how you’re dealing with it?” His lips twisted in disgust. “It was an assault, Olivia. He tried to rape you, for God’s sake.”

I looked away. “It’s over, and he’s in the ground, thanks to you.”

He crossed his arms and glared. A corrections officer lifted his hand. With a grunt, Monty slapped both hands on the small table where the officer could see them.

After a few beats, he sneered, “You mean besides the obvious attraction of an older guy to a high school girl?” “Give me a break, Monty.”

He chuckled. “You were kind of…I don’t know…scared. I was drawn to you in a protective way. You were shy.”

I frowned. “What was I scared of?”

“Your crazy mom had married some jerk that kept you off balance all the time. Don’t you remember him?”

I thought for a few seconds. Nothing came.

“That coma still messes with you, doesn’t it? Well…might be good not to remember. Maybe he did things to you that he shouldn’t have.” Monty raised his eyebrows up and down.

I wanted to slap him, but I kept my expression neutral.

“A brain injury recovery is unpredictable. I still lose memories, even if someone has drilled them into me. I’m trying to use visualization. I have this feeling…that if I can see it, the rest will be like dominos.”

“So you may not ever remember? Even the good things about our marriage?”

I laughed. “We must have very different perspectives about the word ‘good’, Monty.”

Monty’s jaw muscles flexed. “Next?”

“Was I a capable mother? Was I available and…loving to the kids?”

Maybe it was my imagination, but his lower lip quivered. Did the guy have a heart after all? I’d always believed he loved our daughters. I hoped this was true.

“Olivia, you were a good mother. We had our problems, but you made a good home, and took excellent care of the kids. You were at every freakin’ event, every school fundraiser, everything.” He scowled. “I took a big back seat to the kids.”

“What problems did we have? When did they start?”

He leaned in. “You don’t remember our sex life? How terrible it was? Nothing I could do would get you to….” He shook his head. “You couldn’t even fix a decent meal. You should have been grateful you married someone like me so I could…teach you things.”

CHAPTER ONE

“Keep your voice down!” I insisted, embarrassed.

He cocked his head and grinned. “You always had this…desperate need for my approval or whatever. And when you conveniently avoided telling me you weren’t taking birth control it caused a lot of issues that could’ve been avoided.” He snorted. “Like being in here.”

I tried to rein in my disgust.

“So, let me get this straight. Your priority in our marriage was sex and good food and to pin all our issues on your child bride?” My tone hardened. “A young woman who came from a single-parent home? Who had no understanding what a good and normal guy was like?”

He gave me a look that could peel the skin off my face.

“How did you react when I didn’t do things the way you wanted?” I continued.

“Like any man who’d been disrespected. I corrected the issue.”

“How? By yelling? Physical force? Kicking your pregnant wife in the stomach?” This was a memory I had recovered.

A vein pulsed in his neck.

“How often, Monty? Were these reactions a…a lifestyle in our marriage?” “Look,” he snarled, “I don’t know that this is productive.”

“It is for me,” I said, brightly.

I glanced at the closest officer. He had his hands full with an issue at one of the other tables.

“Mom told me that Serena and Lilly floated out to sea one time, on a rubber raft. Do you remember that?”

His eyes found a spot on the wall.

“So you do remember. What happened?”

“Look, they were, I don’t know, four and six or so. I didn’t think it would be a problem for me to run grab a drink from our bag, and come back. I was gone less than five minutes. How could I know they’d lose control of the raft?”

An earthquake of anger shot through me. “You turned your back on a four-year-old and a six-year-old and expected them to have control of a raft? They were babies!”

“Yeah. Well.” He rose. “Looks like this question thing of yours isn’t working for me.” He pushed his chair in with a bang. The correctional officer gave him a look. Monty strode to the officer’s station and held out his wrists. Adrenaline made me a little shaky after he’d gone, but it wasn’t from fear of the man. My therapist would call this real progress.

I left the room and gathered my things from the visitors’ processing center. As I walked out of the prison facility, all I could think about was…why? Why had I married this guy? And stayed for twenty years? I couldn’t even remember myself as a person who could do that.

At least I’d dragged more information out of him. I was determined to piece together the puzzle of the past I’d lost.

***

Excerpt from The Rising by Kerry L Peresta. Copyright 2022 by Kerry L Peresta. Reproduced with permission from Kerry L Peresta. All rights reserved.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Kerry L Peresta

Kerry’s publishing credits include a popular newspaper column, “The Lighter Side,” (2009—2011), and magazine articles in Local Life Magazine, The Bluffton Breeze, Lady Lowcountry, and Island Events Magazine. She is the author of three published novels, The Hunting, women’s fiction, The Deadening, Book One of the Olivia Callahan Suspense Series, and The Rising, Book Two. Book Three in this series releases in 2023 by Level Best Books. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, editor, and copywriter. She is past chapter president of the Maryland Writers’ Association and a current member and presenter of Hilton Head Island Writers’ Network, South Carolina Writers Association, and the Sisters in Crime organization. Kerry and her husband moved to Hilton Head Island, SC, in 2015. She is the mother of four adult children, and has a bunch of wonderful grandkids who remind her what life is all about.

Catch Up With Kerry L Peresta:
www.KerryPeresta.net
Goodreads
BookBub - @kerryperesta
Instagram - @kerryperesta
Twitter - @kerryperesta
Facebook - @klperesta

 

 MY THOUGHTS -

Woohoo!!! Just what I wanted!  I loved the first Olivia Callahan Suspense, The Deadening (review HERE) I have been waiting a year for the second book in this series to come out. So worth the wait!

You might as well grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and get comfortable in your favorite chair because you’re gonna wanna settle in for the long-haul. You won’t want to stop reading until the end.

A very character driven story and I love that. I fell in love with Olivia in The Deadening and just loved her even more in this one. It was wonderful seeing my old "friend" again. I have a thing for books about memory loss. This series is just fantastic. Every time Olivia remembered some of her past, I cheered a little bit. I loved how much she had grown and continues to change in her recovery.

I thought the author had some pretty clever ways of weaving the previous book with this one, so it didn’t feel like you were reading paragraphs of catch-up.

Oh the suspense! Quite a few gasp worthy moments. Olivia was not the only one paranoid, I was suspicious of literally everyone. Time well spent on the edge of my seat. With a very satisfying ending.

OK Kerry, next book please! :-)


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours -  Thank You!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

 

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for The Rising by Kerry L Peresta. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

 

5/15/22

The Feud by Gemma Rogers


 4.5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -

From the stranger in the car, to the madman at her door...

The day my path crossed with Simon Fox I thought I’d already lost everything but then he ran me off the road with his flash car and belittling jibes.
The men in my life had undermined me for too long.
Enough was enough.
Fuelled by alcohol and the desire to get even, I decided a spot of petty vandalism would make me feel a whole lot better.
Wrong. Very wrong...
I hadn’t realised that Simon Fox was not a man to be messed with.
He showed me just how much I still had left to lose.
Soon I was battling for my home, family and life.

Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/36RoFmq


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Her debut novel Stalker was published in September 2019 and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband, two daughters and bulldog Buster.

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/GemmaRogerNews


MY THOUGHTS -

Another great one by Gemma Rogers! I read The Babysitter in 2021 and loved it (my review - https://wall-to-wall-books.blogspot.com/search?q=gemma), so I knew I had to read this one.

I have to admit, this started out a tad slow, but a third of the way in it started getting better, then about half way I could not stop reading! 

Great character development. I really didn't like Kay the main character at first, but as the book went on I really started  liking her more. She had guts (sometimes stupid, not making the right choices, but guts for sure).

The last half, as I said, is definitely a page turner. I read late into the night not wanting to stop. There were a couple of different stories within this book and I loved them both! Both are tension builders.

Overall a great read. This author is a winner and one that I will for sure be reading again! Highly recommended!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Rachel's Random Resources -  Thank You!!


5/11/22

What They Don't Know by Susan Furlong (with a Giveaway!)

May 9 - June 3, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

What They Don't Know by Susan Furlong Banner

5 + Stars!


Synopsis:

What They Don't Know by Susan Furlong

A picture-perfect suburban life fractures. . . and a darker reality bubbles beneath the surface.

Mona Ellison's life is as perfect as the porcelain dolls lined up on her shelves. She has a successful husband, a loving son, a beautiful home, and a supportive group of girlfriends ever ready for their weekly wine night.

But when Mona’s son gets entangled with the wrong crowd and runs away from home, her blissful suburban world begins to unravel. She tells her friends that boys will be boys, that he’ll be back as soon as his money runs dry . . . but deep down she knows there’s something else going on.

Then the police show up at Mona’s door. A young girl has turned up dead in their quiet town, and her missing son is the prime suspect.

Determined to reunite with her son and prove his innocence, Mona follows an increasingly cryptic trail of clues on social media, uncovering a sinister side of suburbia and unveiling lies and betrayal from those she trusted most. And as Mona spirals further from her once cozy reality, a devastating revelation shatters everything she thought she knew. Now the only thing she’s sure of is that she can’t trust anyone . . . not even herself.

With unrelenting psychological suspense and a wicked twist, What They Don’t Know marries small-town thriller and domestic mystery—suburban paranoia at its best.

What They Don’t Know Book Love:

"Part domestic thriller, part small-town mystery, What They Don’t Know is everything suspense fans want: characters who'll make you think twice, a subversive plot, and pages that seemingly turn themselves the deeper you get into the story. In this portrait of suburban life tinged with malice and intrigue, paranoia lurks just around the corner. Read it at night. Don’t plan on sleep." (Tosca Lee, NYT bestselling author of The Line Between)

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Seventh Street Books
Publication Date: May 17th, 2022
Number of Pages: 286
ISBN: 1645060403 (ISBN13: 9781645060406)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

It was the last Tuesday of the month, our normal book club night, and we were gathered at my house—Selma, Alice, Tara, and me—settled in the living room, Moroccan rug plush beneath us, immersed in the decor’s eclectic mix of whimsy and Old-World aesthetic. This would be our last book club meeting, but it was more than that, really. It was a pulled thread in the carefully woven tapestry of our friendships that had begun in college and endured careers, weddings, our first-borns, and remained constant through affairs, divorces, and much worse …

***

Excerpt from What They Don’t Know by Susan Furlong. Copyright 2022 by Susan Furlong. Reproduced with permission from Susan Furlong. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Susan Furlong

Susan Furlong is the author of eleven novels including SHATTERED JUSTICE, a New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. She also contributes, under a pen name, to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea series. Her most recent novel, WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW, has been praised by reviewers as an engrossing and delightfully creepy read. She resides in Illinois with her husband and children.

Catch Up With Susan Furlong:
www.SusanFurlong.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @SusanFurlongAuthor
Instagram - @susanfurlong
Twitter - @Furlong_Sue
Facebook - @SusanFurlongAuthor

 

MY THOUGHTS -
OH MY GOODNESS!!! Can you say "Best book of the year"? 
Might just be! Definitely going on my top 10 list and might just be #1. This story was absolutely excellent and so, so suspenseful. 

Excellent character development. The main character, Mona, was so believable. She definitely had me feeling sorry for her and rooting for her. I loved her. And the husband was painted as a shady one right from the start.

This was one of those books that has you on the edge of your seat throughout and you never  know what is around the corner. I didn't know what to believe and not believe, who I should trust and who I shouldn't. As soon as I started feeling comfortable, something else would happen that left me feeling uneasy again. It was creepy, but creepy good! Not a book that will take long to read... because you won't want to put it down!

Very highly recommended. Now I am going back and putting ALL her books on my wish list!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours -  Thank You!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for What They Don’t Know by Susan Furlong. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours