#BookReview: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

793D7907-DB63-450A-8360-57FA9F2310F6Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: July 21st, 2020

Summary:

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.

 

 

Review:

I was left weeping and celebrating all at the same time! “The Book of Lost Names” pulled out emotions in me that were so intense I felt a true desire to do better, be better….Like Eva!!

When such raw beauty & awe resonates from the pages of a novel, it is because authors like Kristin Harmel can take a character like Eva and make her feel so real to us that we want to reach out and hug her in gratitude!

With the most tender kind of writing for a time in our history where the suffering was intensely exquisite, Kristin Hormel writes with delicacy and in such a warm way that this entire story leaves you breathless, closing the book grateful for knowing this part of history.

I am very grateful for all that I learned! Not only about history, but humanity and it’s desire to rise above darkness and truly be a bright light!

Eva and “The Book of Lost Names” is forever imprinted upon my heart. Like a tattoo!  As I am sure the true forgers had imprinted themselves on the hearts of so many children.

Bravo, Kristin Harmel! You took a cold, dark time and made it feel warm because of the hope of the people!

Any Child with a Lost Name would be proud to read this novel and keep it close!

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

5 Stars.

I’ve added Kristin Harmel to my favorite author’s list!

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Author Bio:

Kristin Harmel is the #1 international bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES, THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. After stints covering health and lifestyle for American Baby, Men’s Health, and Woman’s Day, she became a reporter for PEOPLE and spent more than a decade working for the publication, covering everything from the Super Bowl to high-profile murders to celebrity interviews with the likes of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, OutKast, Justin Timberlake, and Patrick Dempsey. Her favorite stories at PEOPLE, however, were the “Heroes Among Us” features—tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of those features—the story of Holocaust-survivor-turned-philanthropist Henri Landwirth (whom both Walter Cronkite and John Glenn told Kristin was the most amazing person they’d ever known)—partially inspired Kristin’s 2012 novel, The Sweetness of Forgetting, which was a bestseller all over the world.

In addition to a long magazine writing career (which also included articles published in Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz—where her assignments included flying to London three times to interview the cast of the Harry Potter films. She has appeared on Good Morning America and numerous local television morning shows–and even stumbled into a role as an extra in the 2003 American Idol movie while awaiting an interview with Kelly Clarkson.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She travels frequently to France for book research (and—let’s be honest—for the pastries and wine) and writes a book a year for Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster.

Live Interview:

Order Today from Kristin’s Favorite Independent Book Store…There are a limited number of autographed copies!

Writers Block Book Store

Orlando, Fl.

https://www.writersblockbookstore.com/book/9781982131890

#BookReview: The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine

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Reviewer: Ann Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: May 19, 2020

Summary:

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

Review:

“The Wife Stalker” is written with knot-like prowess! One woman’s desire to get her husband back evolves into an exquisitely tantalizing tale that won’t let you go until the very..last..word!

Did Leo fall vulnerable to Piper’s clutches? Did Joanna just have a gnawing desire to crush their relationship? Was there more to this addictive story that the Constantine Sisters brought to life?

The ending will blow your mind…like dynamite!!

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

5 Stars.

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Authors Bio:


Liv Constantine is the pen name of USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling authors and sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine, co-authors of the Reese Witherspoon book club pick, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH. Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via FaceTime and burning up each other’s emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark story lines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. Their next book, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, will be released on May 7, 2019.

Visit them at www.livconstantine.com

Live Interview:

 

#BookReview: Little Voices by Vanessa Lillie

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: October 1st, 2019

Summary:

The voice in her head says he’s guilty. She knows he’s innocent.

Devon Burges is in the throes of a high-risk birth when she learns of her dear friend’s murder. The police quickly name another friend as the chief suspect, but Devon doesn’t buy it—and despite her difficult recovery, she decides to investigate.

Haunted by postpartum problems that manifest as a cruel voice in her head, Devon is barely getting by. Yet her instincts are still sharp, and she’s bent on proving her friend’s innocence.

But as Devon digs into the evidence, the voice in her head grows more insistent, the danger more intense. Each layer is darker, more disturbing, and she’s not sure she—or her baby—can survive what lies at the truth.

Review:

Among the turbulence of a dark incessant postpartum-depression voice needling at Devon Burges and the murder of her friend the night she gave birth there is an underlying ferocious story yearning to combust!

I read Vanessa Lillie’s smart and expertly executed debut crime thriller with the eyes, ears and soul of a woman knowing the strength that explodes from inside when we are called to seek justice for our friend! “Little Voices” nails this intense desire like a hammer!!

Vanessa Lillie touches on so many variables that women struggle with and weaves them all into this thrilling story with a climactic unexpected ending. Woah! Fooled me!

5 Stars!

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Authir Bio:

Vanessa Lillie is originally from Miami, Oklahoma, where she spent a lot of time investigating local ghost stories at the public library. After college, she worked in Washington, DC, until moving to Providence, Rhode Island, which she calls home with her husband and dinosaur-aficionado son. Smitten with the smallest state, she enjoys organizing book events and literary happenings around town.

Website:
*Instagram:

*You MUST FOLLOW Vanessa on IG! She has an Amazingly Fun page. Vanessa and her son share wonderful pics, with Debut thrillers, New Releases,  Sales, etc! She is so much fun!

 

The Write Review Live Interview:

#BookReview: The Assistant’s Secret by Emerald O’Brien

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 16th, 2020

Summary:

Josephine Oliver has a secret.
As an assistant at security titan, Locke Industries, she’s presented with an opportunity to advance her career in the form of a test.

Josephine jumps at the chance to dig herself out of debt and earn the company’s respect on her way up the corporate ladder. But a visit with a potential client leaves her shocked, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about the company, those she works with, and herself.

When the client takes a particular interest in her, and his demands grow increasingly dangerous, Josephine must continue to fight for the life she’s always wanted or find a way to escape their clutches after learning the darkest secret of all.

In this installment of the standalone LOCKE INDUSTRIES SERIES, The Assistant’s Secret may be the one to destroy everything…

Review:

I was completely enthralled in “The Assistant’s Secret” from the moment I began this thriller.

Emerald O’Brien has a way of capturing you with the complicated characters initially and then the unexpected twists keep you wanting more.

Josephine met a number of challenges throughout this intriguing novel.

The ending was definitely a jaw-dropping and mysterious final turn in Josephine’s life!!!

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

4.25 Stars.

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Author’s Bio:

Emerald O’Brien is a Canadian writer who grew up just east of Toronto, Ontario. She studied Television Broadcasting and Communications Media, and graduated from the program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario.

When Emerald is not reading or writing unpredictable stories packed with suspense, she loves baking, bonfires, binging Netflix shows, and spending time with family.

A horror movie enthusiast, Emerald can be found watching them at the movie theatre with her best friend or while cuddled up on the couch with her two beagles: Tucker and Wynnie.

Get your free ebook, exclusive to Emerald’s newsletter subscribers today: http://www.emeraldobrien.com/your-fre…

Connect with Emerald:
Website: http://www.emeraldobrien.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmeral…
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Live Interview with author, Kiersten Modglin:

#BookReview: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 7, 2020

Summary:

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Review:

Colleen Oakley totally shocked me with the last scenes of “You Were There Too”! This story was poignant, intense and beautiful! With a completely unexpected ending! I had to remind myself to breathe!

The story of Mia Graydon and the boy, Oliver she was dreaming of grew extremely intense after they met in person. It was quite the ride!  I was so invested in Mia’s choices. It was as if each decision reflected upon my life somehow.

Colleen Oakley really made me think long and hard about my Dreams and my thoughts on destiny and listening to those little hints about fate that I sometimes ignore as I walk through my life.

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

4 Stars.

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Author Bio:


Colleen Oakley’s novels have been named best books by People Magazine, Us Weekly, Library Journal, and Real Simple, and both were long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire, her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world’s biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her fourth novel THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND will be published by Berkley/Penguin in summer 2021.

#BookReview: This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 26, 2020

Summary:

An ingeniously witty novel about the risks—and rewards—of opening your life to new people by Amazon Charts bestselling author Camille Pagán.

No new people: that’s Annie Mercer’s vow. It’s bad enough that her boss sabotaged her chemistry career and her best friend tried to cure her with crystals. But after her fiancé, Jon, asks for space while he’s gallivanting around Paris, Annie decides she needs space too—from everyone.

Yet when Harper moves in next door, Annie can’t help but train a watchful eye on the glamorous but fragile young woman. And if keeping Harper safe requires teaming up with Mo, a maddeningly optimistic amateur detective, who is she to mind her own business?

Soon Annie has let not one but two new people into her life. Then Jon reappears—and he wants her to join him in France. She’s pretty sure letting anyone get close won’t end well. So she must decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk?

Review:

Camille Pagán always delivers novels where her characters crack wide open, and we get to watch as they try to heal their souls! She writes with truth and honesty about their trials and tribulations. But, we do find ourselves laughing out loud and smiling as she has them walk their path!

I adored Annie Mercer! I was rooting for her! When I closed “This Won’t End Well”, I felt very close to Annie!

This novel was written using a rather invigorating approach, that I found to be genius! It was so original! She had her protagonist Annie Mercer share texts, emails and journal entries as she told us her story!! It felt more intimate! So cool!

The very essence of this story is hope and never giving up on yourself.

Truly unforgettable!

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

I’m the author of six novels, including This Won’t End Well, I’m Fine and Neither Are You, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

I’ve written for Fast Company, Forbes, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Real Simple, Time, and many others.

When I’m not at my computer, you’ll find me with my nose in a book, running after my two kids, or planning my next trip (most likely to Puerto Rico, where my husband was born and raised). Visit me at www.camillepagan.com.

Live Interview:

#BookReview: Husband Material by Emily Belden

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: December 30, 2019

Summary:

Sometimes love is unpredictable…

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.

Review:

Spunky! Lovable! Uplifting! Super-Cute Read from Emily Belden!

“Husband Material” was so hilarious and light hearted considering Charlotte is a widow with a pretty heavy story to share. She is hiding this reality from everyone until her husbands urn shows up on her doorstep, being delivered 5 years after his death.

This story wraps up her past, present and possibly future in a Beach Bag Worthy Romantic Comedy! I loved her! If there is a fictional character I’d want to be friends with, Charlotte is definitely that girl!

Anytime is a great time to get to know Charlotte Rosen!

4 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Emily Belden is a food journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is the author of the novels Hot Mess and Husband Material, and of Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. After she tiled her bedroom floor in over 60,000 pennies – all heads up for good luck – she was a guest on The Today Show and her story was covered by media outlets across the country. A Chicago native, Emily lives with her rescue dog in the West Loop, conveniently close to many of the city’s best restaurants.

Live Interview:

 

#BookReview: What Happened That Night by Sandra Block

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 5, 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 does it again! I’m in awe of her writing! I’m in awe of the care with which she handles sensitive subjects! I’m in awe of her delivery!!

“What Happened That Night” is the search for vengeance by a character that you’ll champion from the first few pages. A fire was burning in my own soul for Dahlia!

I felt her need to make others pay….and it had me flipping those pages wickedly!

I cried for her. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Such an amazing ending!

A Special Thank you to Sandra Block for handling this vicious subject as wonderfully as you did. Giving Dahlia this voice; I loved it! Absolutely loved it!

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab. Little Black Lies is her debut, a finalist in the International Thriller Awards, and The Girl Without a Name and The Secret Room are the other books in the Zoe Goldman series. Her latest stand-alone novel What Happened That Nightcomes out in June 2018.

 

Live Interview:

#BookReview: The Lucky Ones by Kiersten Modglin

E47319DC-5D19-4EBE-A387-AAD51C53464DReviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 17, 2020

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:

Boom! Kiersten Modglin starts “The Lucky Ones” off so quickly it’s like you’re off to the races!! I had to know what was going on with the “Fallen Oaks Five”!! My need-to-know felt like front line news!!

Of Course, The story was “mind boggling – Kirsten Modglining”!! The twists and turns were at every corner in this small town!

Kiersten has a gift! She leaves you breathless! Always a shocking ending! And, you will always need to finish her novel in one sitting….

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

5 Stars.

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: The Nanny’s Secret (A Locke Industries Novel) by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 16, 2020

Summary:

Olivia Mendes has a secret.
With her new position as a nanny for the prestigious Locke family, she’s learning just how powerful secrets can be.

Orrick and Iris Locke, owners of the billion-dollar security company known as Locke Industries, are beautiful, mysterious, and seemingly perfect. When she enters their home, Olivia quickly discovers everything is not what it seems. The Lockes’ elusive empire is built on dark and terrifying truths and with Olivia now a part of their lives, she has no choice but to play her role.

As she finds herself digging deeper into the Lockes’ web of lies, Olivia begins to question everything she’s learned. When the family’s insidious nature is revealed, her loyalties will be put to the ultimate test.

In this installment of the standalone LOCKE INDUSTRIES SERIES, The Nanny’s Secret may be the one to destroy everything…

 

Review:

Holy thriller !!!!! I was truly shocked at the spine-tingling ending of this fantastic novel!!!

Kiersten Modglin is the queen of twists and “The Nanny’s Secret “ is no exception.

You are instantly trapped in the tangled web of secrets from the beginning of this page-turner until the riveting ending!

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

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:


Kiersten Modglin is an award-winning author of bestselling psychological suspense novels. Kiersten lives in the rural Midwest with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her ‘The Queen of Twists.’ A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.