#BookReview: The Lucky Ones by Kiersten Modglin

E47319DC-5D19-4EBE-A387-AAD51C53464DReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 17, 2020

The Lucky Ones is FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Get your copy of The Lucky Ones today: https://amzn.to/2QIhS30
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Summary:

They were supposed to die.

Five years ago, the residents of the Gerbera subdivision in the small town of Fallen Oaks were brutally murdered in their beds. The only survivors, now called The Fallen Oaks Five, were children—practically strangers at the time, forever connected by the weight of all they witnessed.

Now grown, the anniversary of their families’ deaths approaches and the Fallen Oaks Five receive letters of warning: the killers are still out there and they aren’t finished with them.

In a race against time and murderers who remain both faceless and nameless, the Five must return to their old homes in order to piece together the events of a night they’d all rather forget. Their old town is riddled with secrets, and every person they come into contact with is a suspect. With everything at stake, can the Five solve the mystery and finally learn the truth about the night that cost them everything? Or will they find themselves victims of a fate they should’ve succumbed to years ago?

 

Review:

Kiersten Modglin has done it again!!!

The twists and turns in “The Lucky Ones” had me shaking my head and going “Are you kidding me?”

I was enthralled with this novel from the moment I picked it up. Kiersten Modglin has away of grabbing you and keeping hold until you read the shocking ending.

It was emotional yet complicated and exhilarating at the same time!!!

If you are looking for action packed thrillers, you must read “The Lucky Ones”, and all of her other books, too….You cannot go wrong and you will not regret it!!!

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

5 Stars.

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#newreleases #suspense #newbooks #books2read #psychologicalthriller #darkreads #newreleasebooks #bookworm #books #ebooks #bookrecs #bookrecommendations #fivestarreads

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#BookReview: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

DEB69DAB-BB7E-42F4-812D-9A5EA3D09FD7Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: January 14, 2020

Summary:

North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

Review:

Count me a lucky girl! I just finished Diane Chamberlain’s “Big Lies in a Small Town”.

The story follows two women in two different time periods. 

The chapters rotate between the two women. I have always had a problem with this type of book because I always feel like I am shifting gears. I understand why the author chose this format and I have to say it didn’t hamper this novel in my opinion. It was brilliant! 

I learned the difference between an artist and an art restorer. They both take a lot of talent, use different skills and different perspectives. 

It was longer in pages than I expected but, I flew through it and did not want it to end. I felt like it ended rather abruptly but, when I thought about it, I decided it was a perfect ending. I had all the information that I needed and indeed it was the perfect ending. 

This is my first book by Diane Chamberlain and it won’t be my last. I like how she built the stories of both women and how I came to care for them both. 

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

5 stars.

 

#BookReview: Lenses, Lust, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #2) by A.M. Ialacci

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Reviewers: Serena Soape & Phyllis Jones Pissanelli

Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Summary:

When Allie Fox became a private investigator, she envisioned herself solving crimes and keeping her hometown of Carteret County a safe place. Instead, to her great regret, she’s found herself trailing cheating husbands and tracking check kiters. All that changes when her autistic brother, Ryan, discovers a body near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Now, Allie is diving headfirst into the investigation.

Everyone in town loved the victim, or so they’re saying. Yet Allie soon discovers many at the Cape have shocking secrets they would kill to keep hidden. As she closes in on the truth, a frightening attempt is made on her life. Can she unravel the clues to reveal the murderer’s identity before becoming their next victim?

Review by Serena Soape:

A.M. Ialacci has written a captivating mystery that had me wondering all the way to the end – whodunit….. and yes I was totally surprised when I found out who the culprit was!

“Lenses, Lust and Murder” was a well written novel with easy-to-like characters.

The main character, Allie does a phenomenal job working hard to crack the case of the murder at Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

Allies’s brother Ryan was one of my favorite characters. They had a very special relationship that was a key factor in solving the murder.

I have read all of A.M. Ialacci’s books and have enjoyed them all. These are definitely action-packed, unexpected and will keep you turning the pages.

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

4.5 Stars.

Review By Phyllis Jones Pisanelli:

The new book by A.M. Ialacci called “Lenses, Lust and Murder” was an interesting book in a few ways. Her writing flow was easy and something you didn’t have to think about. I learned a little about autism along the way without me realizing it. 

I fell in love with the characters. Allie is the main character with a brother on the autism spectrum and he has a sweet little girlfriend named Frankie. I wanted to be their friend and live in their town.  I think you will love these characters as much as I do. 

The murder story at the center of the book is intriguing. I was drawn in by all the suspects lying and covering up for each other. I just didn’t see how they would ever unravel the lies and find out what really happened. I just had to keep reading to find out how it all worked out. 

I hope there is going to be a sequel to this book because I loved it so much and want too know more about these characters and where life takes them. 

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Vanishing (Fogg Lake #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 7, 2020

Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz comes a new gripping romantic suspense trilogy fraught with danger and enigma.

Forty years ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, “The Incident” occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases, causing peculiar effects on its residents, such as strange visions and ominous voices. Not wanting the government to get involved, they chalked it up to the hallucinogenic effects of mushrooms. Little did they know these effects would linger through the generations….

Residents Catalina Lark and Olivia Dayton have been best friends for years and own an investigation firm together, using what they call the “other sight” to help with their business. When Olivia goes missing, Cat frantically begins the search for her alone when the town does nothing about it. When scientist Slate Trevelyan shows up, she has no choice but to accept his help even though there’s something about him she just can’t trust. The duo discovers someone is hunting the two witnesses of a murder in Fogg Lake fourteen years ago—the very one Cat and Olivia witnessed as teens, one that they couldn’t prove happened. Cat and Slate’s search for Olivia takes them down a rabbit hole that is far more dangerous and mysterious than they ever expected, and with a killer in their midst, neither of them can foresee who will come out alive.

Review:

Wow !!!! You will be saying the same thing after you read this novel!!

Jayne Ann Krentz has me on the edge of my seat from the beginning all the way to the unpredictable ending.

I started this novel tonight and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in less than 3 hours!

Fogg Lake and the mysteries surrounding this town were exhilarating and mystical. The characters were exciting and captivating.

I was truly entranced with “The Vanishing”.

This is a must read, you do not want to miss this one !!! I am anxiously waiting for the next book in this trilogy.

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Dear Anna by Katie Blanchard

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: July 16, 2019

Summary:

The poverty-stricken past of Medeia is stained with blood that’s not hers, but it was the price paid for John to bring her into his wealthy life.

His rules made her who she is today — the perfect wife.

Only John is not the perfect husband.

He has Anna.

With vows broken and a prenup staring her in the face, Medeia refuses to go back to the shack of her childhood nightmares. Even if it means more bloodshed.

Review:

Katie Blanchard has “wowed” us with the Audible version of “Dear Anna”.

Medeia being the “perfect wife” and John being the “not so perfect” husband weaved quite the story for us.

From the very first paragraph, I was totally hooked and could not stop listening.

The twists and turns throughout kept me guessing at what might happen to the characters. It was so suspenseful and thrilling it had me on the edge of my seat!

The narration in the book was fantastic !!! It brought the captivating and gripping story to life. Each character was truly memorable!

Katie Blanchard is definitely one of my newer favorite authors and I look forward to more of her books !!!!

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Evening in the Yellow Wood by Laura Kemp

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: December 12, 2018

Summary:

Abandoned by an eccentric father on the eve of her twelfth birthday, Justine Cook has lived with her fair share of unanswered questions. Now, ten years later she leaves her life in southern Michigan and heads north to the mysterious town of Lantern Creek after seeing his picture in a local newspaper. Once there, she discovers her father had been leading a double life and meets the autistic brother she never knew—a young man wis mute but able to read her mind.

When a local girl who looks like Justine is mysteriously murdered, she joins forces with sheriff’s deputy Dylan Locke to capture the killer. But the more they dig for clues to the past, the closer they come to discovering a secret someone will kill to protect. Justine begins to show signs of supernatural power and eventually must stop an immortal enemy that has hunted her family for generation

Review:

I loved “Evening in the Yellow Wood” by Laura Kemp. The Michigan girl wrote a killer book for her debut novel! I’m a Michigan girl, too and I’m so proud of Laura Kemp. Maybe I am partial but, you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. 

The story is outstanding. There’s a little romance, a little folklore, a little magic and a lot of intrigue. This book will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. I couldn’t put it down. Laura’s ease with the written word shines in this book. She has captured the essence of her characters in a way that will stay with you for a long time. 

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started this book but, my expectations were blown out of the water. This is so much more than a murder mystery or a girl looking for her father. Take my word that you will want to read this book!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: In Her Eyes by Sarah Alderson

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 14, 2019

Summary:

You’re at home with your family. You think you’re safe. You’re wrong…

Ava’s life is the kind other people envy: loving husband; great kids; beautiful house. Until the night that a violent home invasion plunges her world into chaos.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ava needs answers to two questions. Who has targeted her family? And why?

But things aren’t adding up. She is starting to suspect that someone knows more than they are letting on. That everything she thought she knew about the people closest to her was a lie.

Ava needs to know what happened that night. And to do that she must decide who she can really trust. Because she’s about to discover that her family is in more danger than she ever imagined…

For fans of Rachel Abbott, Laura Marshall and Cara Hunter, IN HER EYES is a brilliantly twisty thriller about the secrets that lie behind a seemingly perfect life.

 

Review

Sarah Alderson had me hooked from the moment I picked up “In Her Eyes”.

What a cast of characters this novel had…From Ava to Robert to June to Hannah and so many more….. they were all instrumental in the story.  I truly couldn’t tell you my favorite.

I was in awe of the books ending! The twists and turns along the way we’re immense, so many I just never saw coming.

This was my first novel by this author.

If you want to read a thriller that you will not be able to put down, then this book is perfect for you!

I highly recommend “In Her Eyes”! Looking forward to the next Sarah Alderson Book! Sign me up!

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: A Rocky Divorce by Matt Coleman

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: December 11, 2019

Summary:

Raquel “Rocky” Champagnolle is an antisocialite. Swift-thinking. Stiff-drinking. Quick with a joke between Cape Cods, but would rather get lost in a book than a nightclub. Nevertheless, when divorce leaves her stripped bare of everything except wit and a winning smile, Rocky does the unthinkable. She joins the Junior League of Texarkana.

Brimming with blondes, the Junior League affords Rocky the opportunity to sip cocktails and make fun of wealthy people. She even starts to eye-roll her way into a little philanthropy until Junior League matriarch Waverly St. Laurent insults Rocky’s weight. After that, Rocky refuses to put her skills to use solving a string of home invasions plaguing Texarkana’s wealthiest benefactors. Instead, she channels her contempt into spurning the usual Junior League fundraising efforts in favor of transforming a pack of soccer moms into drug dealers.

But then Waverly St. Laurent mistakes her husband for the home invader and shoots him dead. And Rocky finds all the inspiration she needs to awaken her greatest talent. Not solving mysteries. Spite. When Rocky’s finished, Waverly St. Laurent may find herself guilty of killing her husband to cover up a string of decades-old murders. In addition to her greatest crime: fat-shaming Rocky Champagnolle.

Review:

LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY!

“A Rocky Divorce” by Matt Coleman is a worthwhile read. Personally, I found the beginning of the book a little slow. Looking back, I think it was necessary to get to know Rocky, the main character. 

Rocky whose real name is Raquel is a rather brash young woman not afraid to speak her true feelings. She doesn’t hold back! Rocky is an elementary school teacher who gets herself involved in solving crimes and problems. She is so irreverent she mercilessly tickles the funny bone. 

Matt Coleman takes you on a rollercoaster ride with his first book in a new series. You will want to jump in and enjoy the ride. I can’t wait for the next installment to see what Rocky is going to do next.

You’re gonna love her! 

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Now That You’ve Gone by Fiona Gartland

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: October 19, 2019

Summary:

“I’ve witnessed many sordid things in my life. As a stenographer at the Criminal Courts of Justice, I thought I’d seen how low a human being might stoop. But one week into O’Malley v O’Malley and I’d decided there was nothing uglier than a bitter break-up.”

Stenographer Beatrice Barrington is back and working in the family law courts in Dublin when a friend seeks her help. Georgina O’Donnell’s husband, Andrew Dalton, has been murdered and the gardaí are keeping her in the dark. Georgina thinks Beatrice might be able to find some answers through her friend, retired detective Gabriel Ingram.

There has been a rift between Beatrice and Gabriel, but she agrees to do what she can. She contacts him and discovers he now has a lodger in Number 9, Oxmantown Road – a young woman with her own secrets.

Together Beatrice and Gabriel begin to uncover Andrew Dalton’s past. Then a stranger who says he is an old friend of Andrew’s appears and claims that the dead man owed him money. The pressure becomes too much for Georgina, and Beatrice finds herself trying to protect her friend and her family.

But who is she protecting them from?

Review:

Of course, I was enamored with Fiona Gartland’s novel “Now That You’ve Gone”, being that it is a story based in Dublin, Ireland. My favorite place on earth! She truly took me on a trip while I read her story and that was glorious.

Only this story was much more the beautiful city of Dublin, it was a story wrapped up in a dead man, court room drama, and two girlfriends trying to sort it all out.

It was intriguing, inviting and; dare I say, even a bit fun to read! They’re were twists I did not expect!

This is the second book in the series, but could definitely be read as a stand alone. I know I would thoroughly enjoy Book 1. Fiona Gartland is a gifted story teller!

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

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview & #Giveaway: Hounds of the Basket Stitch (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries #11) by Anne Canadeo

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Giveaway: Autographed Print Copy. Please leave comment below by Sun., Nov. 3, 2019 to qualify.

Summary:

The Black Sheep Knitters come to the aid of two sisters–one a victim and one a suspect . . .

Maggie Messina knows that knitting is not only enjoyable, it also calms both the mind and soul. She’s happy to visit two sisters, Holly and Rose Piper, and teach them some simple stitches, while the rest of the Black Sheep knitters tag along. Dana Haeger has known the young women since they were children and is the closest thing to family the Pipers now have. Dana is especially concerned about Rose, who has been easily overwhelmed ever since a car accident many years ago. She is at her best managing the houseful of hounds that she rescues and shelters, while Holly runs the family nursery and remains devoted to Rose’s care. The lesson goes well, but the knitters are troubled about the sisters living alone in such a remote corner of Plum Harbor.

Their worst fears are realized when Holly is attacked in her greenhouse and the building set ablaze. Rose is found unconscious nearby, her dogs running wild. When she wakes, her memory is blank. Holly is hospitalized and unable to offer even a clue. The Black Sheep suspect a mysterious drifter who had talked his way into a few days of wages, and just as quickly, disappeared. Or was it their estranged stepbrother, Toby, full of family grievances and eager to make a claim on the estate? Or, heaven forbid . . . was it Rose? Hovering over all these questions like an ominous shadow is a dark secret from the sisters’ past.

While it seems everything is unraveling, the knitters will need to keep their wits as sharp as their needles to prove Rose’s innocence and stop a killer from striking again.

Review:

Anne Canadeo “Hounds of the Basket Stitch” is a charming, cute, and entertaining novel that involves one of my favorite things……… dogs. So, you cannot go wrong!

The mystery of the story was not only captivating; it kept me wanting to turn the pages because of all of the twists! I never knew what was coming next.

Along with the mystery, there is so much more involved in the story; such as, family, friendship and even, a serendipitous romance. I especially loved the knitting group, the doggie rescue and the Bonus Recipes..shhh! Not sure if I should’ve told you about that.

I was totally enthralled and anxious to find out – whodunnit?

This was the first book I read by Anne Canadeo, but will be adding more to my TBR list.

I’m hooked!

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

5 Stars.