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text 2017-06-05 16:30
Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 450 pages.
The Thrall's Tale - Judith Lindbergh

I went with this book for Tomorrowland #34 (child on the cover) since it's been on my shelf so long.

 

I've been trying to figure out just how long it's been sitting there unread, and I have to admit that I'm not sure. I know I picked it up for $5 or so in the bargain section at Chapters (actually I think it was at one of the stores still under the Indigo name). The book was published in 2006 so it probably wasn't put in the bargain section until 2007...maybe 2008? Regardless of which year it was, it's kind of sad that it's been on my shelf close to a decade even if it hasn't quite reached that mark.

 

It's about time I read it, isn't it?

 

So far it's about a bunch of people emigrating from Iceland to Greenland, and the main point of view character is Katla, a thrall (read: slave) of one of the leaders. I don't think this is going to be a very happy story.

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review 2017-03-06 13:22
The Trophy Child
The Trophy Child: A Novel - Paula Daly

By:  Paula Daly

ISBN: 9780802125941

Publisher: Grove Atlantic

Publication Date: 3/7/2017

Format: Other

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

Paula Daly returns following The Mistake I Made landing on my Top Books of 2015, with her fourth and latest domestic suspense THE TROPHY CHILD with an array of dysfunction and madness, mixed with mystery.

Our favorite DS Joanne Aspinall (from previous books), revisits—always finding herself in the middle of trouble and mischief.

Karen Bloom (achievement-obsessed) is a tiger mom to ten- year-old Bonte. Karen is married to womanizer Noel and does not pay much attention to her stoner son, Ewan, and her teenage stepdaughter, Verity (drug possession). She had to agree to weekly onsite drug tests and counseling sessions.

Of course, Karen compares the other two children, to her precious Bonte. Brontë goes missing, and Karen is, of course, crazy with worry, since her daughter is her life.

Karen did not care that people called her a tiger mom. She was proud of it “It was an easy way to justify their own lazy lives, their own acceptance of mediocrity.”

And Karen was very sorry, but she wasn’t having that for Bronte. It was her duty to prepare her daughter for the life ahead of her in the best way she knew how.

Life was a competition. Only the best and the brightest succeeded, and if that meant Karen had to put her own hopes and dreams on the back burner, while she invested everything she had in Bronte’s future, so be it.

In the meantime, we catch up with Joanne, joining secondchance.com and her share of bad men and dating. She is always good for a few laughs.

Joanne is called in to investigate when Bronte goes missing from Windermere. She soon learns and is shocked to find a connection to Noel. (Seamus-whom she had gone to bed with six nights previously). She had no idea he was married. She had sex with the father of a missing child. Not cool.

Noel is a small-town GP. He had to be careful so as not to run into his patients. There was his first wife, then Karen. Second marriage problems, and stepchildren.

The child returns unhurt, (where was she), but not before Karen has stirred up all sorts of problems and outrage. Then Karen turns up murdered. Not liked by many, did Noel kill his wife? Was she sleeping around? There is a long line of suspects.

Now Joanne must find the killer and figure out what happened to Bronte. Was the same person involved?

A crazy bunch, this was my least favorite of all Daly’s books. I have read all her books and each has been 5-star, except for this one. Too much drama and not enough likable characters, except for Joanne (she is always a spark); however, beginning to question even her choices.

Fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies may enjoy the dysfunction, drama and dark humor.

A special thank you to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/03/The-Trophy-Child
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review 2017-01-24 23:30
Fatal
Fatal: A Novel - John Lescroart

By:  John Lescroart

ISBN: 9781501115677

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 1/24/2017

Format: Other

My Rating:  4 Stars 

 

New York Times Bestselling author, John Lescroart returns following The Fall (2015) with a totally different type novel than his norm. FATAL, the unexpected, the deadly consequences of a one-night stand.

As you begin reading you will think you are embarking on another “The Affair” American television series (currently catching up with the last season); however, minus all the continuous down and dirty sex scenes.

Set in San Francisco, a gripping domestic suspense of a woman who chooses a burning desire--to commit adultery-- infidelity, leading to a dark and suspenseful journey. A dangerous web of deceit.

Kate Jameson, age 44 is married to Ron (a lawyer) with two children.

They attend a dinner party and Kate becomes obsessed with Peter, also married. Her best friend is a cop, Beth Tully. They had been friends since college and shared their thoughts. She had warned her not to act on her lustful feelings.

However, Kate does not listen. A one-night stand turns into a nightmare. The lives it touches. Crossing lines. Harmful secrets. Could she go back to normal? Shattered lives. Deadly consequences. Murder.

A gang of terrorists. A shooting. Kate and Beth are wounded, then six months later. Peter winds up dead, plus more.

Be patient, a slow start; however, about 50% the intensity heats up.

 




A shocking stand-alone tale (coming from this author), straying from the usual Dismas Hardy style---writing from a woman’s point of view, a strong driving force which navigates the novel. A different tone than the norm, character-driven, with more sensitivity and relationships between women and men.

Give Fatal a whirl! Lescroart is welcome to lead us down a different path, as long as he leads us back with another Dismas Hardy (coming soon), can’t wait! A superb storyteller (no matter the genre) from the master. Perfect cover!

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Check out the Interview with John! 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/11/Fatal
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review 2017-01-15 05:26
The Guests on South Battery
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White
Tradd Street #5
ISBN: 0451475232
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Publication Date: 1/10/2017
Format: Other
My Rating: 4 Stars 
 
The queen of the South, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns (2016) landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 list and (2014) Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #4) with the continuation THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY (#5) with more mystery, history, spirits, a twist of paranormal and dark family secrets.
 
"There is always a way to look past the bad to see the good."

Set in the Holy City - historic Charleston, SC, we pick up from the last book with Melanie (Middleton) and Jack Trenholm, settling into marriage with a busy lifestyle and twins, Sarah and JJ (Jack, Jr), and Jack’s daughter, Nola, a sophomore at Ashley Hall. Nola is also interested in a boy named Cooper which Jack must warm up to.

They are the owners of a historic home on Tradd Street (an interesting story from previous books), with its quirks and their dogs. The restless dead had left her along for almost a year as Melanie settled into her new life as wife and mother without the distraction of spirits needing her for something.

Jack is a bestselling author (charming, funny, and irresistible) and Melanie, a successful Realtor, is returning to work after her maternity leave. They are coming up on their first year as parents. Melanie is having a hard time finding and keeping a nanny since she likes things a certain way with her routines. This has been the reason she has been delayed getting back to work, much later than she planned.

Melanie’s first day back, feeling a bit insecure, not having lost all the baby weight, she lands a new client, Jayne Smith from Alabama, who has recently inherited a prominent historic home, the Pinckney mansion. Being an orphan, she is not related to the owner and hates old homes and has never been to Charleston.

She wants Melanie to sell it and find her a new one. Something fresh and new with lots of metal, glass, and stone. Ironically, she is a qualified nanny and does not mind Melanie’s attention to order and details. A match made in heaven.

However, Jayne is not so sure she wants to move into Melanie and Jack’s house since it is also old and historic until she decides about her own living arrangements. However, she soon learns it feels like a home and feels comfortable there.

Melanie and her mom (both with psychic gifts) decide they want to try and discover the past of the house, to warn off the spirits for Jayne to possibly decide to hold on to the home since there was a lot of history. After all, it was on South Battery near the corner of Legare, a huge white house with the portico and columns.

Button Pinckney was an acquaintance of Melanie’s and a good friend of both her mother and mother-in-law. They all went to school at Ashley Hall years ago, and her mom had attended the funeral.

Why would Jayne inherit a home from a stranger? Jayne was raised in the foster care system and was never adopted. Melanie liked her and wants to help. If they can warn off and rid the house of spirits, evil, and ghosts- maybe Jayne will decide to keep the house.

Melanie had a flash of déjà vu, since a man Vanderhorst had left her his crumbling old home that she did not want or need either, not so long ago. She knows all too well about an albatross of a house left to an unsuspecting stranger.

We meet up with Dr. Sophie Wallen-Arasi, professor of historic preservation at the College of Charleston, and Melanie’s mom, Ginette, as well as Melanie’s annoying cousin and Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Rebecca—plus her husband, Marc Longo who stole Jack’s book idea, the story of a disappearance and a murder that occurred in the twenties in her house and made it into a runaway bestseller (with Jack being dropped by his publisher as a result).

An ongoing mystery of the Pickney house. Button never married. She had an older brother-Sumter. He married Anna, another classmate and they had a daughter. She died when she was a child. Anna and Sumter divorced shortly afterward and Anna remained in the house with Button. She died about ten years later. Sumter never remarried and moved to New York after his divorce.

Melanie’s parents have recently remarried and have a good relationship. In the meantime, Melanie lets her old insecurities get in the way making her jump to the wrong conclusions. We also meet up with Detective Thomas Riley and he helps Melanie run a background check on Jayne for the nanny job and he seems to like Jayne. Melanie and Ginette are curious why a generous philanthropist decided to give her entire estate to a deserving orphan.

However, Melanie and Ginette get more than they bargained for with ghosts of the past at the old Pickney mansion. From chilling spirits, haunting ghosts, a cat, a disturbing antique doll, a hanging, a past mental illness, warnings to go away, and desperate cries of help— Jayne, Melanie, and Jayne may have more in common than they may know.
 
Under the mold, falling plaster, spirits of the past, and its sadness, they soon realize there must have been happiness before the tragedy within the walls. It may be worth the chance of a new beginning. Houses are like people. They all deserve a second chance at happiness.

Old secrets which have been buried, all come to the surface. A decades-old mystery to be solved with a shocking conclusion.

As always, Karen White is multi-talented, writing southern women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance, literary, and historical, crossing many genres. Always love her tales of Charleston and the dark family secrets of the South. I especially loved the reference to Wendy Wax (very cool) —another favorite.

Charleston is such a beautiful city with its historic architecture, and always love catching up with familiar landmarks. Well-crafted and engaging. An intriguing twisty mystery with paranormal elements, enjoy catching up with familiar characters. I enjoy Jack and Melanie’s relationship and the dramas of their lives. If you love history, southern fiction, and ghost stories you will enjoy the series.

Having read and enjoyed all the books in the series, highly recommend them all! In addition to the reading copy, also listened to the audio version (nicely done as always), narrated by Aimée Bruneau, with a charming southern accent.

Looking forward to the next- hoping we hear more about Jayne's mysterious past. 
 
Cannot wait for The Night the Lights Went Out (cover love), Coming April 11, 2017.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/04/The-Guests-on-South-Battery
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review 2017-01-09 05:09
Good Behavior
Good Behavior - Blake Crouch

By: Blake Crouch 

Letty Dobesh Books #1-3

ISBN: 9781503940499

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer 

Publication Date: 11/15/2016

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars + + +

Top Books of 2016

 

Blake Crouch returns from Wayward Pines and Dark Matter (2016) with his latest smashing hit, GOOD BEHAVIOR The book, audio, TV series- (The Letty Dobesh Chronicles): EPIC! Brilliantly crafted.

Extraordinary from book, audio, to TV on-screen, Landing on my Top Books of 2016, and best 2016 book to screen. The collaboration between Blake Crouch and Chad Hodge is a “match made in heaven.”

Yes, I am enjoying the ride. Please do not let it stop!

Ongoing: “I am the best me I can be!” (Letty)

In the series, Letty is fresh out of prison, (meth-addicted) when she overhears a hitman being hired to kill a man's wife. When she sets out to derail the job, she puts herself in the crosshairs of a killer, entangling them in a dangerous and seductive relationship, and so much more.

This sexy hitman man Javier may be her path and key to redemption. That is if she does not screw it up.

Javier is sensitive and caring. He has pain in his life and his past. Leading him to his path as a hitman. They have a love/hate relationship. He lives on the outskirts of society due to an event from his childhood (we discover in the TV series).

A constant pull between them as well as their own individual lives. They have a connection and this makes them want to be better. They are perfect for one another. They rescue each other and find a home in one another.

Forgive me here, since I have watched the TV series (Season one Episodes 1-9, read the book, and listened to the audio (twice). You could say, I LOVE GOOD BEHAVIOR, so using this review as a combo review of all three.

I first listened to the audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan and the author, Blake Crouch. (Exceptional).

Directly afterward, quickly immersed in Amazon Prime (TNT) TV Good Behavior. Purchased the entire season. Taking the fantastic information provided by Blake in the audiobook and applied to how the 3 novellas were transformed to on-screen.

This is a “Must” to read the book and learn all the backstory. The backstage, inside scoop of how the author created these characters, and his collaboration with Chad Hodge for the television show. Quite intriguing. (Dying for a Season 2)….please, please!

In between, while getting caught up with the TV episodes, anxiously awaiting the weekly next episode, was “granted my wish” for a digital copy of the book, Good Behavior via NetGalley. Was so excited, with “Christmas coming early”, began diving into the book, and once again, read it in one sitting. I bookmarked so many pages.

Letty Dobesh is troubled, flawed, beautiful, striking, smart, inventive, charismatic, self-destructive, a chameleon. She crosses between good and bad. A constant struggle. She is authentic. Real. Even though in (Episode 9) not happy with her attitude and kicking Javier to the curb with her betrayal. (Let’s hope she can turn her mistakes around once again). I was dying with this one. Javier is good for her.

Don't score. Don't kill.

We follow Letty on a journey as she attempts to discover who she really is, and wants more than anything to make peace with that woman, even if she does not fit “inside the box” society has drawn for her. She wants to be a good mother, a daughter, and a friend; to make up for her past mistakes and misdeeds. Every time she tries, she gets knocked down.

Crouch is pitch perfect with his character development of both Letty and Javier. I like the transition from the book to the screen.

The book:
• The Pain of Others
• Sunset Key
• Grab

After each of these novellas the author adds some insightful commentary about the work, the show, images, and other additional content from the journey, he has taken with Letty. No, I would not dare skip over these parts. I love it!

With the book, it is like a backstage pass, with a peak at the inside operations. The reader becomes invested in the characters, the story, and a fan for life. Letty is flawed, irresistible, broken, lovely and brave. She wants desperately to get her son back. She keeps running into obstacles and pulled in by her addictions to stealing and the high. She is so good at being bad!

I wanted to hold off writing my review until the last TV episode Season One; however, being it was on my Top Books for 2016 List my fellow GRs friends wanted to know my thoughts. Yes, I loved it!

Letty Raines is a thief and con artist whose life is always one wrong turn, one bad decision, from implosion. Michelle Dockery is amazing. Juan Diego Botto (Javier) is sexy and to die for; each episode, I love him even more. Currently I am in HIS corner.

Christian, Jacob, Estelle ( a piece of work), Rob and the other supporting characters only add to the intense drama. What a riot! In the meantime, I am now just finishing the 9th episode, and let me say, starting at episode 5, I fell totally in LOVE. A turning point, from five on.

Letty and Javier are intimately connected on so many levels, and ultimately become each other’s saviors. Both emotionally-- two souls which are perfect for one another.

At the opening of the 5th episode, when Letty opens with, “you came.” Javier replies, “you called.”

OMG, that look between the two of them, was the best since Jerry McGuire’s "You had me at 'hello," and Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, "I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year. It wasn't over… it still isn't over."

A modern SEXY twist of The Notebook and Bonnie and Clyde. Letty can rock a wig. I think she needs to have her own line. I would definitely buy one.

Season One: (TV)
• So You’re Not an English Teacher (Good opening-Statesville, NC caption) even though filmed in Wilmington; Letty is rocking the red bob wig—love the Grove Park Inn) book mention, even though not filmed here. She has the southern accent down as well as the blonde bangs.
• Only the Best for Mrs. Diaz
• From Terrible Me
• Your Mama Had a Hard Night (Letty-Sad but moving)
• Beautiful Things Deserve Beautiful Things (Hilarious!)** My favorite. Loved the short blonde wig and the St. John’s knit ensemble—Classy!
• We Pretend We’re Stuck (Loved the tie in with Jacob)- Emotional
• The Ballad of Little Santino (Javier-Sad but moving) Fantastic look at his character’s past.
• It Still Fits Bitch – A fun episode featuring Letty’s mom and Jacob. Tables are turned.
• For You, I’d Go with Strawberry – Did not like the turn this one took. Please get Letty back on track with Javier. Bad, bad girl. Sure, there is a plan here.

Waiting anxiously for the next episode . . .. in suspense.

Letty and Javier: Sexy, dangerous, thrilling, and flawed. With their tough exterior, we see their hearts, their desires, and love of family. The pull- of right and wrong. A fitting title for a struggle between right and wrong. Good and evil. From danger, intrigue, style, humor, emotion, heart, sex appeal, well-developed characters and an edge of your seat plot. All the ingredients for a HIT! Superb acting and pitch-perfect writing.

OK, Crouch fans and everyone else, BUY—the book, GOOD BEHAVIOR and watch the series! A show stopper. Hats off - A job well-done. Hopefully, we will see Season Two. I am hooked! Fingers crossed. 5 Stars +

Now that I have sold you on the book, and the author, I want to add a side personal note: I am a native of Statesville, NC, as is the author, Blake Crouch.  Read More on my Blog @  JDCMustReadBooks

A very special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for granting my wish with a review copy.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/26/Good-Behavior
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