Algonquin Books, annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

#BookReview: The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: March 17, 2020

Summary:

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the BanyanThe Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Tran family, set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War. Tran Dieu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Noi, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Ho Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that will tear not just her beloved country but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Viet Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. This is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s first novel in English.

Review:

“The Mountains Sing” is a glorious novel which sweeps across land, generations and hearts. This is a novel you must open and absorb and get to know. Intimately!

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is someone you must get to know because you can feel the pulse of her novel being of generous mind and spirit, even though it is about her families experience with the Vietnam War!! To be a witness was a privilege!

Both Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai & “The Mountains Sing” will leave you feeling inspired!

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai writes this story as if she is making a call to your soul to bring peace to the world! She wants us to read between the lines, and see and feel even more than her words! It is her writing that grabs you and won’t let go!

She pours this very essence onto her pages! You walk this journey with her. You weep, you bleed, you ache, yet….you still look up at the sun!

Quế Mai’s call to peace is heard as we flip the pages!! I trust that as her novel made its way around the globe, hearts are being moved like mountains and they are singing!!

“The Mountains Sing” has a clear message.

I believe this book is a gift to those who read it! To know more about Quế Mai is an honor! She is an entrancing author!

“The Mountains Sing” needs to be read by everyone!

It is a rare gem that I will never forget.

5 Stars.

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Mystery, Romantic Suspense, suspense

#BookReview: A Veil Removed(Henrietta and Inspector Howard #4)by Michelle Cox ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: April 30th, 2019

Summary:

Murder is never far from this sexy couple . . . even during the holidays! 

Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard, Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not as it should be. Increasingly convinced that his father’s death was not an accident, Clive launches his own investigation, despite his mother’s belief that he has become “mentally disturbed” with grief. Henrietta eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which becomes darker—and deadlier—than they imagined as they get closer to the truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs. 

Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college—an attempt to evade her troubles and prevent any further romantic temptations. When she meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges her to think for herself . . . even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life.

Review:

Without a doubt Michelle Cox is a master-craft writer and researcher! When delving into “A Veil Removed” I never expected to learn so much about Chicago in the 1930’s. I felt like I was there alongside Henrietta & Clive! It was breathtaking to be swept away and deeper into the book as I flipped pages. Between the murder mystery, love and romance and high adventure, I was extremely satisfied while reading this novel! Nothing like reading a book that covers everything!

I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

annie mcdonnell, book review, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

#BookReview: What Happened That Night by Sandra Block ~ 4.5 ⭐️

Date of Release: June 5th, 2018

Summary:

One moment Dahlia is a successful Harvard student. The next, she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. Her life veers into a tailspin, and what’s worse, her memory of the attack has been ripped away, leaving a cold rage in its wake.

Now, years later, Dahlia is a tattooed paralegal suffering from PTSD, still haunted by that night. Until one day, a video surfaces online, and Dahlia sees her attack for the first time. Now she knows what happened to her. And she knows who to blame. Her rage is no longer cold, but burning, red hot.

And she is about to make everyone pay.

Review:

Sandra Block never disappoints! “What Happened That Night” has serious subject matter that Sandra handled beautifully.

Rape is a tough subject to write about, but it definitely needs to be; when it is penned by the right person! This is one of those books!

Dahlia is the survivor of a rape that she had forgotten for years, yet the trauma of it was still experienced within her body.

Sandra Block teaches us all a lesson about rape survival as we read a thriller that has us on the edge of our seats, as we scream for justice to be served!

From the very first page I was enthralled and engaged, so much so, I couldn’t put the book down. I read this is one sitting!

I am a huge fan!

4.5 Stars.

book review

#BookReview: How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams ~ 4⭐️

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Date of Release: December 1st, 2020

Summary:

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

Review:

While “How to Fail at Flirting” was a bit too steamy for my taste, the Rom-Com was simply too entertaining to complain about anything in this book!

Denise Williams is a super talented writer! I was impressed with how she integrated serious issues like abuse into this story. I was enamored!

I recommend this book to chick lit lovers that like a little spice!

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley! I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

 

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Netgalley, Random House

#BookReview: The Queen of Tuesday by Darin Strauss ~ 5⭐️

Date Released: August 18, 2020

Summary:

This indelible romance begins with a daring conceit—that the author’s grandfather may have had an affair with Lucille Ball. Strauss offers a fresh view of a celebrity America loved more than any other.

Lucille Ball—the most powerful woman in the history of Hollywood—starred in America’s first big-time interracial marriage. She owned more movie sets than did any movie studio. And she more or less single-handedly created the modern TV business. And yet Lucille’s off-camera life was in disarray. While acting out a happy marriage for millions, in private she suffered. Her partner couldn’t stay faithful. ed to manage her fame with the demands of being a mother, a creative genius, an entrepreneur, and, most of all, a symbol.

The Queen of Tuesday—Strauss’s follow-up to the National Book Critics Circle Award winner Half a Life—mixes fact and fiction, memoir and novel, to imagine the provocative story of a woman we thought we knew.

Review:

I love this cover! It is one of my favorite’s this year!

Darin Strauss has written a novel that not only brought me back to my childhood years, but resurrected Lucille Ball into the 21st-century because I saw this story in vivid colors! It was truly riveting!

“The Queen of Tuesday” reminded me of how I felt watching the “I love Lucy” show. Thoroughly engrossing! Never mind the entertainment!

Darin’s vision and delivery is Exemplary! I am in awe of his writing style! I was enamored with his mix of fiction and memoir! He has left me wanting to know more!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

I’m addicted again, I now own I Love Lucy Tee-Shirts, A Mug and a Bobble-Head! All because of this book! This is how much I loved it!

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Lake Union, Netgalley

#BookReview: The Last Correspondent by Soraya Lane ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: November 1st, 2020

Summary:

When journalist Ella Franks is unmasked as a woman writing under a male pseudonym, she loses her job. But having risked everything to write, she refuses to be silenced and leaps at the chance to become a correspondent in war-torn France.

Already entrenched in the thoroughly male arena of war reporting is feisty American photojournalist Danni Bradford. Together with her best friend and partner, Andy, she is determined to cover the events unfolding in Normandy. And to discover the whereabouts of Andy’s flighty sister, Vogue model Chloe, who has followed a lover into the French Resistance.

When trailblazing efforts turn to tragedy, Danni, Ella and Chloe are drawn together, and soon form a formidable team. Each woman is determined to follow her dreams ‘no matter what’, and to make her voice heard over the noise of Europe is a perilous place, with danger at every turn. They’ll need to rely on each other if they are to get their stories back, and themselves out alive. Will the adventure and love they find be worth the journey of their lives?



Review:

Always championing female roles in war, Soraya Lane really nails it for me with “The Last Correspondent”! The pulse of this novel beats like that of the human heart because you actually believe you are there alongside Ella, Danni & Chloe.
Being drawn in like this, the connection is beyond moving…..it almost sings!
How can you be a female reader and not fall in love with these woman? It resonated with me on so many levels.
I couldn’t help but think of the many strong women in history that give us the rights we have today as women.
So, in closing this book, I was so grateful for authors like Soraya Lane! Authors that dig deep to do the research to share these stories with us. Stories that help us celebrate these women.
Because even if the stories are fiction, you know these women existed!
Soraya wrote a book of strong women that sings of pride, gratitude and remembrance! I will never forget this story!!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

 


annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, Book Release, book review, Holiday Fiction

#NewRelease & #BookReview: Christmas Hope by Violet Howe ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: October 15, 2020

Summary:

Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

It’s been fifteen years since Madeline Kirby adopted four girls and welcomed them into her home for Christmas. The holiday season has always been a special time for the family, and when one of her daughters plans a Christmas Eve wedding at the Cedar Mountain Lodge, Maddie looks forward to spending the week together in joyous celebration.


Wither the cancellation of the ceremony mere days before the family’s arrival, Maddie insists they must all forge ahead to the lodge to pull together and support the jilted bride. Luckily, love is swirling with the snow in the mountain air, and it seems no one is immune, not even Maddie.


She’d given up on romance when a tragic auto accident took her beloved husband along with her only child the year she adopted the girls, but a chance encounter with a handsome stranger ignites a spark that Maddie can’t ignore. As she tries to convince her daughters that love is a risk worth taking in their own lives, can Maddie be convinced she’s not too old for another chance?


If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming holiday stories, and second chances, you’ll fall in love with Maddie and the soul sisters she brought together in CHRISTMAS HOPE, Book 4 of Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from author Violet Howe.


Don’t miss a Soul Sisters book – download them all today!

PreReview:

These are my favorite holiday books!!

Happy Publication Day, Violet Howe!! Book 4 Of “Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge” has been Released Today!!

Book 1 IS FREE!! “Christmas Sisters” l!! Get it NOW!!

Book 2 “ Christmas Kisses” by Judith Keim & Book 3 “Christmas Wishes” by Tammy L. Grace are available NOW & I gave each of them 5 ⭐️!

PREORDER the Rest of this Set Today!! Nola Nash and I will be hosting all of the authors for a Holiday Special on November 19th! Mark your Calendars!

MY. REVIEW….

With each story, these books become more and more my most beloved and favorites to want to share!

Counting the days to each release!!

In the Soul Sister Series, We get to know each sister better by story! But, in “Christmas Hope” we are gifted the opportunity to get to know more about Maddie and her mother, Claire! With each story I feel closer to this family. I’m getting a “Little Women” vibe, and I am loving it!! Violet Howe gives us warmth, grace, humor, joy and a slice of romance all rolled into one, and I was so completely satisfied! Good Samaritan stories always tug at my heart strings!

I honestly thought my favorite character would be a sister, but I may have to consider the fact that it’s the Lodge itself that I love! It’s a place where the magic happens! I love reading a book and wanting to go visit!

I’m so in love with Maddie! I admire the fact that all of the authors in this series were able to keep her the same person, even though they each write so individually. While admiring Maddie, I have fallen head-over-heels for her Mother, Claire!

And….There is a man named Robert that wrapped this book up for me.

This family is such a breath of fresh air! Troubles and all! The laughter is contagious!!

Violet Howe is a writer I will not soon forget! She is definitely a winner when it comes to grabbing you at page one and not letting you go until the last word!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

ORDER Violet’s Book 4 NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BYW3675

Order Tammy’s Book 3 NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wishes-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BTFMK1W

Order Judiths Book 2 NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Kisses-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BV1P9MP

Order FREE Book 1 Here: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BSTHNB7

PreOrder Book 5 Here (Oct. 20 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Dreams-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BX73L24

PreOrder Book 6 Here (Oct. 29 Release):

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Rings-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BXC4XWZ

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, Book Release, book review, Holiday Fiction

#NewRelease & #BookReview: Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace ~ 5⭐️

Date Of Release: October 8, 2020

Summary: 

Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.
With Jo O’Malley’s busy career as a lawyer in Chicago, she rarely gets home to Idaho, but this year is different. Her little sister is getting married on Christmas Eve and she has two whole weeks to spend in the snow-covered mountains, with the three foster sisters she loves and Maddie, the woman who made them a family fifteen years ago.

Things get off to a rough start when the wedding is canceled, but Maddie asks them to enjoy their holidays together at the festive lodge as planned, in order to console their sister. It’s straight forward enough until Jo, through a chance encounter with a gorgeous golden retriever, runs into Luke, a boy she knew from her early childhood when she spent all her time at the local library

Jo’s not sure how to handle the unexpected attraction and her new feelings for Luke, who is all grown up now, handsome, and as kind as ever. He’s set on staying close to his family in Granite Ridge and she has a plane ticket back to her life in Chicago after the new year. Are the sparks between them merely due to the nostalgia of the season, or will Luke open Jo’s heart to the prospect of passion for something beyond her career?

Review:

Happy Publication Day, Tammy L. Grace!! Book 3 Of “Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge” has been Released Today!!

Book 1 IS FREE!! “Christmas Sisters” l!! Get it NOW!!

Book 2 “ Christmas Kisses” by Judith Keim is available NOW & 5⭐️! PREORDER the Rest of this Set Today!! Nola Nash and I will be hosting all of the authors for a Holiday Special on November 19th! Mark your Calendars!

MY. REVIEW….

With each story, these books become more and more my most beloved and favorites to want to share!

Counting the days to each release!!

In the Soul Sister Series, We get to know each sister better by story! Each story by a different author! All being delivered in October. “Christmas Wishes” by Tammy L. Grace is the 8th!

Tammy L. Grace always delivers a beautifully, warm and cozy Christmas story. One that makes you want to be a better person! One that makes you want to adopt a pup (If you don’t have your own canine Best Friend 😉)

We meet Jo, the eldest of the four foster children taken in by Maddie. She leaves a farm where she was with other fosters, yet mistreated, and Maddie’s home feels like a start that may be a refreshing new beginning she’d never expected! I loved warming up to this story, as Jo warmed up to Maddie and her new foster sisters.

Between romance, the sisterly love, the familial love and the pup…I can only say that this book truly does need to be wrapped in a bow because it is everything we look for in a holiday story!

I trust each one will leave me wanting more! Tammy L. Grace is always perfection! I love her stories!!

I can’t wait to learn more about the Sisters!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

ORDER Tammy’s Book 3 Here NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wishes-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BTFMK1W

Order Judiths Book 2 Here NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Kisses-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BV1P9MP

Order FREE Book 1 Here: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BSTHNB7

PreOrder Book 4 Here (Oct. 15 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BYW3675

PreOrder Book 5 Here (Oct. 20 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Dreams-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BX73L24

PreOrder Book 6 Here (Oct. 29 Releease):

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Rings-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BXC4XWZ

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, Book Release, book review, Fiction, Holiday Fiction

#NewRelease & #BookReview: Christmas Kisses by Judy Keim ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: October 1st, 2020

Summary:

Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Hailey Kirby plans to spend a wonderful Christmas holiday at the Cedar Mountain Lodge with her family, celebrating her sister’s wedding as Maid of Honor. Things go awry when the wedding is called off. Hoping to comfort her sister, her mother and three sisters decide to go ahead with their winter vacation plans at the Lodge.

Hailey works in town as the children’s librarian, and under the pen name of Lee Merriweather is secretly the author and illustrator of picture books. Young children adore the stories of Charlie and his dog, Zeke, including Regan, the niece of Nick Hensley, a rock star musician who’s recently moved back to Granite Ridge. When he reaches out to the author to seek permission to write songs to go with the stories, Hailey is forced to confess who she is and the painful reason why she’s been hiding behind a pseudonym.

As Hailey and Nick put their creative minds together, they form a friendship that quickly grows to much more. Hailey learns to trust and discovers some chances in life are worth taking.
Book 1: Christmas Sisters – perma-FREE prologue book
Book 2: Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim
Book 3: Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace
Book 4: Christmas Hope by Violet Howe
Book 5: Christmas Dreams by Ev Bishop
Book 6: Christmas Rings by Tess Thompson

Review:

These are my favorite Holiday Books!!

Happy Publication Day, Judy Keim!! Book 2 Of “Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge” has been Released!! Book 1 IS FREE!! PREORDER them ALL today!! l! Nola Nash and I will be hosting all of the authors for a Holiday Special on November 19th! Mark your Calendars!

Book 1 was certainly 5⭐️! I love seeing tragedy turn into Hope! Especially when family can be more than who we were born into! This Series is off to a magnificent start! I’m so in love with Maddie and her heart. Sometimes we must break completely to find our biggest strengths! Maddie’s strengths are stunning. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and learn more about the 4 girls she fostered…..each different, yet I feel Love will bond them!!

Counting the days to each release!!

Here is my 5 ⭐️ Review For Book 2:

In the Soul Sister Series, We get to know each sister better by story! Each story by a different author! All being delivered in October. “Christmas Kisses” by Judith Keim is the 2nd!

I’m trusting Hailey may be my favorite! She is the Town Librarian who runs into a Rock Star named, Nick! He wants to write music to her books!! The problem?? She writes these books in secret!! No one knows she is the one writing these children’s books. Could this be a problem or a perfect chance to open up??

There is the feel of Christmas…Like a warm crackling fire your heart will be warmed by this story!! Judith Keim always delivers romance so beautifully. I have always loved her writing, because her characters and sense of place are always so real you feel like you know them. When the book ends, you feel like you can run into them at any corner! You always want to visit the town…and, you always want more!!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Order Judiths Book 2 Here: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Kisses-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BV1P9MP

Order FREE Book 1 Here: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BSTHNB7

PreOrder Book 3 Here (Oct. 8 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wishes-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BTFMK1W

PreOrder Book 4 Here (Oct. 15 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-Lodge-ebook/dp/B08BYW3675

PreOrder Book 5 Here (Oct. 20 Release): https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Dreams-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BX73L24

PreOrder Book 6 Here (Oct. 29 Releease):
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Rings-Sisters-Cedar-Mountain-ebook/dp/B08BXC4XWZ




 


book review, Fiction, Mystery, Netgalley, Psychological Thriller, StMartinsPress, suspense, Thriller

#BookReview: Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker ~ 5⭐️

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: 9/15/202

Summary:

In Wendy Walker’s thrilling novel Don’t Look for Me, the greatest risk isn’t running away. It’s running out of time.

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

Review:

Spine tingling, suspenseful thriller is exactly what “Don’t Look For Me” is.

Wendy Walker has perfectly written for us a complex tangled web of dark secrets.

I was literally on the edge of my seat wondering what danger or lies were hiding behind the next page.

This novel was an action packed gripping thriller that you will not want to put down until you know the truth!!!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.