Sunday, February 10, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

My Thoughts 
At first this story started out calm and collected and I was wondering what everyone was raving about.  She was driving in horrible conditions and then had to pull into a rest area. Then Darby walks by the van and sees the hand.  OMG!  I just about hide a heartattack!
I mean is she sure that's what she saw or was it all her freezing cold imagination?
What would you do if that was you?  I asked myself that as I was making my way through this crazy story page by page...
Would I try to figure out who's van it is?  Probably...
Would I think of a way to free the child?  I think so...
Would I then come up with a plan as to how to kill her kidnapper?  I'm not so sure...that's a rather large feet to tackle all on my own!
But you do you girl!
I mean there were A LOT of cringe worthy moments through out this book, but it was worth it!
Get your copy today!  I can't type it all out our I will ruin your experience!

Drink Selection
 I'm pairing this crazy tale with a Blizzard - bring on the bourbon!  


Taylor  Adams

About Taylor
Taylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award. His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state. EYESHOT is Adams' debut novel, published by Joffe Books.

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Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

They say you never forget your first love. What they don't say though, is that sometimes your first love won't forget you...

A police interview room is the last place Angela expected to find herself today. It's been hours, and they keep asking her the same inane questions over and over. "How do you know the victim?" "What's your relationship with Mr. Parker?" Her ex's wife has gone missing, and anyone who was close to the couple is a suspect. Angela is tired of the bottomless questions and tired of the cold room that stays the same while a rotating litany of interrogators changes shifts around her. But when criminologist Novak takes over, she can tell he's not like the others. He's ready to listen, and she knows he'll understand. When she tells him that her story begins a decade before, long before Saskia was in the picture, he gives her the floor.

A twenty-something young professional, Angela claims to have no involvement. How could she? It's been years since she and H.P., Mr. Parker that is, were together. As her story unfolds, it deepens and darkens. There's a lot to unpack... betrayal, jealousy, and a group of people who all have motives for retribution. If Angela is telling the truth, then who's lying?

My Thoughts 
Wow!  What a great story!
Angela never quite got over her first love, not by a LONG shot.  She is obsessed and that is putting it mildly!  She and HP were a match made in heaven or so she thought until Saskia came in and stole her best friend (love of her life) out from under her.  
Now she's (Angela) landed herself in a police interview room after Saskia goes missing.
 She should have done herself a favor and asked for a lawyer a long time ago.
She claims she has had no involvement with HP in years but as she talks herself out of trouble (or so she thinks) she's really talking herself right into prison. 
I highly recommend this quick read to all thriller lovers. 

Drink Selection
 This selection is leaning me towards a stiff drink, Scotch of the Rocks please!  Make that a double!


Roz Nay

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The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

My Thoughts 
 What an amazing story about the trials and tribulations that can take place between sisters.  This was such a powerful story with many important side stories backing it up.
Ruth and Millie had to different childhoods due to the treatment from their mother and father (who never called his wife out on her behavior).  Ruth was always portrayed as the ugly duckling who should take whatever she can get and be happy.  On the flip side Millie was treated like the little princess that could do no wrong and deserved a prince (literally) to sweep her off her feet.
That type of behavior on behalf of their mother will cause a deep seated animosity between the girls.
This story also has issues revolving around domestic violence, abuse and bullying as well.
I highly recommend this book to many and it is one of my top picks of the year!

Drink Selection
   I'm going to pair this selection with The Pink Squirrel - doesn't it just sound fun?


Lynda Cohen Loigman
About Lynda
Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Lynda's second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.

Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

My Thoughts 
This book is quintessential Sparks and to be honest a good percentage of the book was a tad drawn out and boring for me.  Although, I can say that I like the premise of the book with the letters in the mailbox on Sunset Beach.
I love the scenes that took place in Africa, they were breathtaking in detail and awe.
I hoped from the beginning that Tru and Hope would end up together from the very beginning, but that wouldn't make for a good Sparks tale now would it?

Drink Selection
A perfect southern drink to go with the beach and sunsets would be a Mint Julep.  Delish, am I right?


Nicholas Sparks
About Nicholas
Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.
Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), and The Longest Ride (2013) as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His eighteenth novel, See Me, published on October 12, 2015. His newest book, Two by Two, will be published on October 4, 2016.
Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, have had a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars.
In 2012, Sparks and his publishing agent and creative partner Theresa Park, launched Nicholas Sparks Productions, with Park as President of Production.  A film version of The Guardian is currently in development, as is a film based on Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers’s friendship with Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo.
Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands. Click to watch the Runner’s World video with Nicholas.
The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages was launched in 2011. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because the Sparks family covers all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

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The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.
My Thoughts 
This is the most poignant read of 2019.  I can say that right now, hands down.  It's relevant, sad, scary, hopeful and breathtaking all in one.
Yara's intimate details on the topic of anorexia and other eating disorders are disturbing in a very must read kind of way.  I have always wondered what life would be like for someone with that condition and Yara delivers with a brilliant writing style.
Anna has stopped living her true life and has sustained on only popcorn, apples and coffee.  She currently weighs 88 pounds and has fainted several times.  In an effort to save her life, her husband Matthius enrolls her onsite treatment at 17 Swann Street.  
Here she meets many girls with their own personal demons.  But they become a team and learn to fight together.  But this disease takes lives, will they all make it?
Drink Selection
 Perfect drink pairing would be a Mimosa!  Delish!


Yara Zgheib
About Yara 
Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D'études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, The Idea List, and Holiday Magazine. She writes on culture, art, travel, and philosophy on her blog, "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea.

Link to Purchase 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Elevation by Shephen King

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

My Thoughts 
 I'm not sure how I feel about this book - I'm personally not seeing the point to this story.  
I'm lost as to why the main character, Scott, is wasting away and there is no reason why?  Not to be a spoiler but it's NEVER said!  What the heck?
I've never read a book by Stephen King and truthfully this story is not making me jump on the bandwagon.  
Aside from the main plot, the characters around the town of Castle Rock are well written and interesting but it doesn't truthfully help with my confusion and lost state.

Drink Selection
 I need a few drinks of something (no idea what) to wrap my head around what is happening in this story!


About Stephen 
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

My Thoughts 
 What an AWESOME book!  I loved everything about this book especially the fact that I was completely snowballed all the way to the very end!
The fact that many of you may not have read this story yet now crosses my mind so I will NOT spoil it for you.
But I will say that I 1000% did not see this ending and I love when a story can shock me that much.
Pammie drives me COMPLETELY crazy throughout this book and I can honesty say that if I were Emily and Pammie was a boyfriend/husband's mom I would be getting a divorce ASAP.  I can only handle so much and she surpassed my limits FOR SURE.
I can secretly say I was happy when Adam's brother treated her well BUT THEN I remembered they are from the same mother and thought she should RUN!
But then bits and pieces started creeping in and you can see the controlling nature out and that is never ok!
This story will grab from the beginning and have your mind spinning at the end.

Drink Selection
I needed a bottle to get through this book!  WOW!  Riesling hands down!

About Sandie 

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

Link to Purchase