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review 2018-01-16 00:50
The Promise Between Us
The Promise Between Us - Barbara Claypole White

By: Barbara Claypole White 

ISBN: 9781542048989

Publisher:  Lake Union 

Publication Date: 1/16/2018 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars ++

 

Bestselling author, Barbara Claypole White returns following (2016) Echoes of Family and (2015) The Perfect Son with her best yet, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. 

Heart-wrenching a profoundly moving, and insightful story of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and mental health. Relationships. Battling the monsters of the mind. Educating the family members and close friends. Deep understanding and empathy. 

Compelling, beautifully written, and emotionally-charged, you sympathize with each of the characters as they come alive on the pages. A story of shame, love, hope, and redemption. 

“Every thought is just a thought until you assign it meaning.” — Angie Alexander, founder of Friends with OCD 

Written passionately, from five viewpoints —meet Katie, Callum and Maisie MacDonald. Second wife, Lilah, and Callum’s best friend, Jake.

 

 

A post shared by Judith D Collins (@judithdcollins) on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:04pm PST




In Raleigh, NC after the birth of Katelyn (Katie) and Callum’s daughter Maisie, Katelyn begins experiencing harmful thoughts and images. As a mother, she is afraid she will hurt her child. She wants to protect her, and she doesn’t understand what is happening. She wants nothing more than to be a good mother. She worries about everything. Her daughter's safety. 

Katelyn has told no one of her private horror movies playing inside her head. Violent images. Not Cal, not the doctors. Images that play over and over. She is powerless. They may take her away from Maisie. She would lose her forever. She wants to protect her. They would lock her away and think she was crazy. 

She had told the doctor she was worried all the time and he said it was depression and PTSD. Easy fix, they say, “pills and think happy thoughts.” She knows nothing of postpartum OCD. 

Katelyn has a haunting past. According to the professional, adults never escape their childhoods. She saw her mother stab her father at the kitchen table. The dad ran off, and her mom prayed and drank, while she raised her baby sister, Delaney. She was only twelve years old. 

When she finally asks for help, her husband does not understand. He has his inner demons (which he has not shared with his wife). She senses her husband is terrified of her. 

Flash forward we hear from Callum (Professor) which is now raising ten-year-old daughter Maisie. He is newly married to Lilah which is pregnant. 

Jake (uncle J) has been a best friend of Callum’s since grade school and is single. He is a big part of their lives. We also learn later in the book; he also has secrets of the past. Why is he so engrossed in their lives?

Katie (former Katelyn) now a metal artist living in Durham, NC. She works with Ben, the star of the studio. He took her on as a project, years earlier when she became his intern. 

Her work takes her to a docent program in Raleigh, where she lived with Callum and her daughter. She is very nervous about returning to the area. Her anxiety level is high. 

A student. A talented fifth grader, Maisie. Her daughter. She believes her mother is dead. Katelyn now goes by the name of Katie Mack. She keeps quiet and enjoys interacting with the girl. Her precious daughter. However, immediately, she suspects her daughter has inherited her OCD. 

She has all the signs. She becomes concerned for her well-being. She knows what she will face and how she thinks. She will be the one to help her. However, how will she convince Cal, his new wife, and J she has Maisie's best interest at heart?

“OCD goes after what matters most." Tortures you with your worst-case scenario — Staying away from Raleigh was no different from dumping all the knives in the trash nine years earlier. Avoidance.

Katie still hears the voices inside her head. However, she has learned to deal with them differently. She knows she has OCD. OCD lies. It does not go away; however, it is up to her to manage them. 

A woman desperate, abandoned her daughter and family because she thought she, was a monster. Living with her dog in a tent for seventeen months with her dog until he died. She wanted to go home, but suicide seemed the only option. 

When that did not work, she knew she had to do something. Without the resources and money to get the help she needed. Self-directed therapy. She grew up with an unfit mother and knew she did not want that for Maisie.

She decided to tackle her fear. She had nothing to lose. Her first welding class. If she could control fire and make something beautiful of it, she could do so with her life. 

The author cleverly unravels the past and the horrific journey of Katie. From being alone, helpless, homeless, with no health insurance, or anywhere to turn. At one point she turned to suicide but was saved. With her sister’s help and her new career, she was making a life for herself. She continues to tell herself. 

“I control fire; I am strong. I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers.”

This time she will not leave. However, with this disease, stressful situations bring out the beast. She will help her daughter before it is too late. For nine years she had backed herself into a corner and played into the hands of OCD. Convinced herself staying away was the right thing to do. She had remained dead to both Cal and her daughter.

This time she will face her fears. She will be there for her daughter. Katie may be the one person who is instrumental in everyone facing their demons of the past. Understanding mental illness 

Riveting and thought-provoking! The author gets into the minds and hearts of each character. Each person plays an essential part in the overall storyline. (the twist with Cal and Jake) Thereby, providing further depth. Their history, tragedies, anxieties, fears (both past and present). TPBU is not a story just for women. Men play a big part and highly recommend to all readers and genders, and especially parents and grandparents. 

THE PROMISE BETWEEN US reminds me of the show (I love) This is Us. (well-received) And back for the next season. Especially this past week’s new episode with (Kevin) in therapy and the family is called in for a joint session. It is not pretty. The blame and addictions start rolling in. 

When reading, Jake strongly reminds me of Kevin in some ways. (actor, meltdown, obsessive, self-absorbed, etc.) Now in therapy. Randall is successful, has OCD, and childhood issues; Kate has an eating disorder. Jack, the dad, is an alcoholic. 

An excellent example of how those close to these persons cope and their troubled relationships. The Pearson family's generational story unfolds in this TV emotional drama. In moments of love, joy, triumph, and heartbreak; much like the MacDonalds in THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. 

An often misunderstood illness leads people to make desperate decisions, which change the course of their lives. A group of people trapped in a difficult situation with difficulties. A ripple effect on those they hold close.

Riveting, suspenseful and enlightening. Every person should read this book. You will learn something and be more sympathetic and understanding of others. The instant I finished reading, immediately called my son to discuss my grandson. 

On a personal note: I have a bit of OCD (not the voices, intrusive thoughts, or images); however, with perfectionism in work. A strong desire to have everything to carry out a certain way, home meticulously organized, disliking disruptions, and finding it difficult to stop until a task is complete. A total driven workaholic. 

This form of life causes internal and external stress and anxiety, which is not good for your health, especially your heart. Ironically my dad, myself, and my son have the heart issues, auto-immune problems, difficulties sleeping, highly creative, artistic, and Type A driven personalities. A week before my dad passed away at 84 he is worried about vacuuming the carpet and dusting the ceiling fans. 

You look at others and wonder how they can sit down and relax when something is not complete? Unthinkable. I inherited this from my dad, and have passed it down to my younger son (drives his wife nuts), and now my eight-year-old grandson (very artistic and a worrier). 

Often people without these tendencies say, "just get it over it." It will not go away, as the book reiterates. However, with the understanding of those around you, the education and proper help, it can be managed.

The author does an extraordinary job tackling the topic of mental illness with meticulous research and well-developed characters. 

 



The characters tell the story. (this must have been a bear to write). Hat's off to the author! An absorbing (inspiring) journey of one woman’s story of motherhood, love, and determination. Your heart will go out to Katie. She was the perfect person to reach out to Maisie. Often kids will shut down with their parents. If only every child had a "someone" to turn to for understanding. 

The title, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, speaks volumes. More than one promise. More than one with mental illness in this story. Some only hide their illness. White skillfully demonstrates how everyone has a different form of the disease. Everyone handles it differently. 

When spiraling out of control, it can be devastating. From childhood to adulthood. OCD is an illness of the mind. When thoughts are not the problem, but how we deal with them. 

Written with intensity, and a mix of humor, a total package from the first page to the last. Not an ordinary family drama. It almost reads like domestic suspense. It is riveting, and readers will be turning the pages dying to discover the mystery behind Cal and Jake's personalities. 

Plus a former Piedmont Triad NC native, love, and support NC authors. 

The author is at the "top of her game." A perfect choice for book clubs with discussion question included the inspiration behind the book and additional resources for OCD.

Highly recommend! While all White's books I have read have been 5 stars; this one is on a higher level, a 5 Star + +. For fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain and of course, the TV series, This is Us. 

A special thank you to Lake Union and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. Have also pre-ordered the audiobook performed by Justine Eyre.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

Advance Praise

 

“If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her—including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

 

“Barbara Claypole White does not merely write about people with mental illness—she inhabits them; she IS Katelyn, the young mother overcome with images of killing her new baby, the mother who leaves her baby to keep her safe…Later White IS that same child, Maisie, now beginning to struggle with OCD herself—and all Maisie’s worries, all her thoughts and the details of her pre-teen life are precisely, exactly right. Perfect. White knows how to tell a story, too, how to fully create each additional realistic and fascinating character, and also how to increase suspense as the family drama unfolds. This brilliant novel about obsessive compulsive disorder is compulsively readable.” —Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls

 

“In The Promise Between Us, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White explores survival, shame, and above all, compassion. With the deft hand of a true artist, she creates complex characters, whose lives have been ravaged by mental illness—when it goes unchecked and through its tumultuous effect on generations of women from one family. Readers will be drawn into Katie Mack’s world, they’ll root for her and her daughter, Maisie. The Promise Between Us redefines motherhood and sacrifice, delivering a heartfelt story with a powerful message.” —Laura Spinella, bestselling author of the Ghost Gifts trilogy and Unstrung

 

“Barbara Claypole White knocks it out of the park with her latest family saga, The Promise Between Us. In this riveting page-turner, Claypole White digs deep into the intricacies of her characters’ lives and the devastating effects of a mental illness when left unchecked. It can easily be classified as a story about motherhood, family, and sacrifice. But mostly, it’s a tale of love, redemption, and renewal. The Promise Between Us has something for everyone: suspense, romance, and even a hint of mystery. A fast-paced read that captivates from the first word until the last. A definite book club selection that I highly recommend.” —Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal and Amazon Kindle bestselling author of Everything We Keep

 

“In The Promise Between Us, Barbara Claypole White masters the art of bringing a reader up close and personal to the influences and forces of a mental illness. In this powerhouse of a story, Katelyn MacDonald’s decision to give up the precious gift of raising her baby, Maisie, in order to protect her, makes for a compelling page-turner. This is an in-depth portrayal of what it means to live in a world where every single thought or action comes into question; it is a story for the times, a story filled with stark realities; but most important of all, it is a story about hope, healing, and the strength of a mother’s love.” —Donna Everhart, USA Today bestselling author of The Education of Dixie Dupree

 

“With The Promise Between Us, Barbara Claypole White gives us compelling characters and wonderfully complex relationships to shed important light on too little known, too little discussed challenges of mental illness.” —Laurie Frankel,bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is

 

“Some books make you stop and think, and compel you to examine your own perceptions, how you feel about an issue. The Promise Between Us is such a book. The complication at the heart of the story is riveting: suffering symptoms of postpartum OCD that could lead to her harming her newborn, a young mother does what would be unthinkable for most new mothers. She leaves her baby in order to protect her. Is it the right decision? As the consequences continue to ripple out over the next several years, lives are unraveled and rebuilt in ways that are surprising, sometimes painful, often joyful. Combining elements of suspense and romance with laugh-out-loud doses of wonderful humor for leavening, this is ultimately a story about the redemptive power of love. This is Barbara Claypole White at her finest.” —Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of The Truth We Bury

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her previous novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.  Read More 

 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/12/01/The-Promise-Between-Us
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review 2018-01-02 08:31
Just Between Us
Just Between Us - Rebecca Drake

By: Rebecca Drake

ISBN:  9781250167200

Publisher: St.  Martin's Press

Publication Date: 1/9/2018

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Rebecca Drake returns following Only Ever You with her latest twisty and intense domestic suspense/psychological thriller JUST BETWEEN US. In the theme of Big Little Lies, a story of four suburban mothers who become immersed in a deadly crime. 

Friends and bystanders get more than they bargained for by helping out a friend in need. 

“You never really know what happens in someone else’s marriage.” 

Set in suburban, Pittsburgh, PA readers are introduced to four women: Alison, Julie, Sarah, and Heather. Between their children and husbands, and their busy lives, they love their favorite coffee shop on Friday mornings. Told from four different POVs.

Julie is a multi-million dollar producer–a successful real estate agent married to Brian a VP of business development for a significant medical device firm. She believes in staying positive. Very social, an extrovert and a great organizer. Red-hair and energic. Obsessed with fitness, yoga, and healthy diet.

Sarah is little harder to like (by Alison). A former lawyer, with other hidden issues. Prickly at times. Alison envied the relationship between Julie and Sarah. They had a friendship before she came along. Sarah is beautiful, biracial and wears lots of brightly colored scarves and jewelry. Sarah did not have the patience for whining. She is very can-do and opinionated. She is married to Eric, a teacher and they pinch pennies with a family of five. 

Heather, a former model married to a famous plastic surgeon Viktor. Son Daniel. They have the glamorous life and a large home and staff. She now is a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), like Sarah, with of course— a much more substantial household income. 

Alison is an IT consultant, and the women think she has an overactive imagination. She is tall and introverted. (She is the most intriguing). My pick. She had little interest in the country-club life or team sports. She comes across a little desperate, lonely, and needy to the others. She and Michael had moved to Pittsburgh because of Michael’s job transfer. No one knew her unfortunate past. The women think she is negative at times. Often her personality rubs Sarah the wrong way. 

Julie and Alison had kept their careers. Sarah and Heather had not. There was a big difference between the disposal income of course between Heather and Sarah. 

Each of the women has their juicy dark secrets. (Heather, in particular). 

Alison is the first to be suspicious of Heather and her bruises. When comforted, she brushes it off. The other women do not seem to suspect a problem with the handsome and charming doctor. Even the broken dishes in the house. Could it have been something sexual she does not want to discuss? 

Should they mind their own business or try and help? Julie thought Alison was wrong. Is Alison too overly cautious due to her family history? 

Even though Heather denies it at first; however, she ultimately confesses. (think Big Little Lies Celeste and Perry Wright). (things do not play out the same.) She pretends all is ok in their household. From the exterior, they looked like the perfect family. 

The friends begin their own sleuthing and investigating into Viktor’s past. His former wife died. However, was it accidental? They slowly discover secrets Heather has not shared until it is too late. Things get complicated. The women fear for her safety and her young son. 

“The strange thing about a secret is it longs to be told.” Suddenly that is all you can think about.

Then the call comes. Someone is dead. 

Self-defense? A crime scene. How involved will they become? There are secrets in every marriage. This is "only" the beginning of the unraveling. 

Nothing, or no one is as they appear. 

“There are no monsters, just deeply flawed people, all of us given that power to choose, some of us making choices to damaging that they ruin the lives of those they claim to love.” 

Drake cranks up the intensity and the adrenaline. She expertly weaves a web of deceit and lies and keeps the reader guessing what will come next. 

You feel the fear and hysteria from each of the women. The mistrust. In the blink of an eye, things change, and everyone is making impulsive decisions which lead to consequences.

At 40-45% into the book, you wonder what could be coming next? Plenty! It is just getting started. 

 



Someone is watching. Were they not careful enough? A letter. Photos. Blackmail. Video Things get very complicated. 

Action-packed, the hidden secrets behind the façade of ordinary women, across social classes and moral lines. How far would you go to protect a friend? Friendships tested. Betrayal. 

Had they been duped? Will they turn on one another? Who can be trusted? Excusing behaviors. 

“Brushing way the inconsistencies in character. Finding plausibility in the implausible because we want to believe the person we love is incapable of ugliness.” 

The lies we tell ourselves and others. Lines are not always clear between good and evil. Perpetrator and victim. 

On a serious note, a peek inside of domestic abuse and violence. It is not always wrapped, in a clear package. 

“We hurt those that we love; we make choices that we can’t undo, we throw ourselves headlong into battles in the name of rescuing people who never asked to be saved.”

With all this sleuthing, not sure how they could find the time for their families. However, I was dying to know what happens. Hooked from page one to the grand finale. 

JUST BETWEEN US, will keep you reading past your bedtime to learn the secrets held close. I enjoyed the different POVs from the women. The drama was balanced nicely with suspense and humor. Some clever twists and turns you are not expecting. Unpredictable. 

I am glad the author chose to end the book with Alison speaking. Very fitting. Underneath the drama, a cautionary tale. The novel is an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. 

For fans of Desperate Housewives, and twisty domestic suspense thrillers. A few come to mind:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen, Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris, The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, and The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

A special thank you to St. Martin's Griffin and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

Advance Praise

 

A twisty, domestic thriller [...] tense, bombshell-laden, and action-packed." ― Publisher's Weekly

 

"Female friendships flourish, then falter, under the weight of chance events underlaid by secrecy and deceit [...] Drake shows a sure hand in spinning suburban thrillers." ―Booklist

 

"Rebecca Drake's Just Between Us is suspense at its best--a riveting, fast-paced psychological thriller that brilliantly explores the limits of friendship and the secrets we keep from one another." ― New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

 

"Fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris are going to love this twisty, diabolical suburban thriller. Clear your evening, you won't be able to put it down." ― J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Lie to Me

 

"Rebecca Drake's Just Between Us is a stunner - a tense, twisty thriller about four ordinary women that begs the question: When a friend is in trouble, and all you want to do is help, how can everything go so terribly wrong?" ― Karen Dionne, author The Marsh King's Daughter

 

"Rebecca Drake's Just Between Us is a riveting thriller that reveals the dark heart beating in the middle of American suburbia. Every character in this rich novel has a secret, and the secrets get deeper and darker as the pitch-perfect plot unfolds. This is a stunning story of friendship and the tangled lies that bind four women together. Don't miss it!" ― David Bell, author of Bring Her Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Photo Credit: Joseph Mertz

 

REBECCA DRAKE is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir.

 

A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program.

 

Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children. Read More  

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/17/Just-Between-Us
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review 2017-12-30 20:39
The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen

By:  Greer HendricksSarah Pekkanen

ISBN: 9781250130921

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 01/09/2018

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars + + +

 

OMG! THE WIFE BETWEEN US by creative, talented duo, Sarah Pekkanen, (journalist and author of seven previous novels—all of which Hendricks edited) and Greer Hendricks (a former Simon & Schuster editor -authorial debut), is worthy of all the "hype" surrounding the most-anticipated psychological suspense thriller novel of 2018, and "then some." 

From the stunning front cover, the first page—to the explosive, shocking conclusion. MIND-BENDING! Unreliable Narrator. 

The authors cleverly unravel the characters' intimate secrets and deception, until the raw truth revealed. Divided into Prologue, Part One, Two, Three, and the Epilogue. Do not miss a thing. The summary is spot-on. Do not assume anything. Get ready for a wild roller-coaster ride.

The truth between the lies. 

Between the wives, there is a man named Richard. A charming, good-looking, successful hedge fund manager. We soon realize this man is not as he seems. You suspect he is a controlling, abusive, narcissist and a psycho, through the eyes of one woman. This woman must be the angry ex-wife.

Vanessa was married to Richard. We are not sure what happened to their marriage. She has lost all her material possessions and works as a sales associate at Saks on the designer-label third floor. She depends on commissions. 

Richard got the house in Westchester and the Manhattan apartment. The cars, stocks, savings. She never put up a fight. She entered the marriage with nothing. She had not borne him children. She had been deceitful. She had not been a good wife. 

She is thankful she has a few suitcases filled with more exceptional clothing from her former lifestyle since she needs to look the part. She resides with her aunt bohemian artist, Charlotte. Her husband died years before. She had accepted a small lump sum payment she would use to help her aunt. 

Vanessa is hiding something from her past in Florida. (sounds like South Florida- Miami- important for us Floridians). A mysterious past which led her to New York. 

"My husband kept me off-balance for years. He tried to erase me." The bride and groom cake topper. 

Currently, Vanessa is stalking a younger woman. Does this younger version of her former self-remind her of how her life began the downward spiral. The one, leaving her now single. Now her old friends, come into the store, and she waits on them. They pity her. 

 



Richard had kicked her out of the Westchester house. However was she happy, or sad about this decision? Who had controlled the demise of this marriage? Was she relieved to escape this man? Fortunate to be alive? 

She envisions him in the Mercedes with his new younger woman. The woman he left her for. It started before their divorce. She now drinks and takes pills to dull the pain. 

The other woman is Nellie. Vanessa has to stop her before she marries Richard. When she discovered they were engaged, she almost flipped. However, there is more here than meets the eye. 

Vanessa comes across as off balance; however, there are two sides to a coin. She and Richard were unsuccessful in their attempts to have a baby, even with fertility drugs.

Readers learn about another younger woman’s relationship and how she met Richard. A young preschool teacher on a flight. Richard the caring and charming man sweeps her off her feet. Richard wants children. 

Vanessa wonders if the new bride has plans to quit work and devote herself to Richard as she had done. She is obsessed. 

There is also Maureen, Richard’s older sister. After his parents died when he was a teen, Maureen raised him. Does she know how crazy her brother is? 

“But as long as he is with her – the woman who blithely stepped up to become the new Mrs. Richard Thompson while I pretended to be oblivious – I will never have peace.”

Nellie loves her pre-school teaching job and works nights as a waitress with a fun-loving roommate Sam. She is unsure she wants to get married. Unsure she wants to leave the city life for the suburbs and a man who seems controlling, but he loves her, right?

Again, ASSUME nothing . . . Does Venessa want to protect her replacement from Richard, warn her, or is she just jealous? Don’t shoot the messenger. 

Intense, twisty, mind-blowing suspense. THE WIFE BETWEEN US is like a game of cat-and-mouse. Which person is manipulating the other? A tug of war. However, no one has the real facts. The reveal is brilliant. 

The fun part is trying to figure out this triangle. The secrets and motives from Florida and all the missing pieces – worth the wait! As twisty, riveting, spellbinding, and addictive as Gone Girl or The Girl on the TrainI liked it better. 

Sarah Pekkanen (one of my all-time favorite authors-have read all her books) and her talented editor for many years Greer Hendricks (impressive bio) — what a remarkable team!. Can only imagine the fun these two have writing together. No wonder TWBU has been picked up for the next blockbuster movie. I want a front row seat. 

Plus, think of all the deliciously good books to come in the future.Hear they are busy working on their second book (not a sequel). 

Firstly, when you view the cover and its title you think, “the wife between us.” Who could this person be? Could it be a husband and a soon to be bride with an ex-wife or a current wife between the couple? Or, could it be a wife- to- be, and an ex-wife #1 with the ex-wife #2 between them? Or all sorts of wild scenarios. Will there be a wife #3 and why don’t they all meet to compare notes? 

Trust me; there is nothing predictable here. Cleverly crafted (the editor/author), highly creative minds have outsmarted the reader.

When you get to this point in the book, you will question: “What in the heck? What did I miss? Rewinding the pages. However, you did not miss anything. Hang on; the plot soon to be revealed. Do not put the book down. No way you can. Unputdownable.

The secrets and lies of dating, marriage, divorce. Don’t settle for sloppy seconds. For fans of B.A. Paris Behind Closed Doors. Another book I am looking forward to reading: The Woman in the Window, Readers are receiving the "best" of the literary world's experience.

A special thank you (a big huge & kiss), to Goodreads giveaway and St. Martin's Press for an advanced digital reading copy. I have pre-ordered the audiobook (this should be fantastic, performed by Julia Whelan (I adore), Listen to Clip and pre-ordered the hardcover for my library!

 

 



What a way to start 2018! Have a feeling this is going to be a year for the thriller novels turned movie. 

‘Girl on the Train’ Team Takes on ‘The Wife Between Us’ Hollywood Reporter 

Looking forward to Sarah Pekkanen's The Ever After: A Novel Coming June 5, 2018, enthralling domestic drama, perfect for fans of Big Little Lies.

JDCMustReadBooks 

BTW, I was wife #2, saved wife #1, and did I want to protect wife#3? Heck No. Figure it out on your own. Good riddance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/22/The-Wife-Between-Us
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review 2017-12-27 03:04
Waking Kylie
Waking Kylie (Kindle Single) - Alafair Burke

By: Alafair Burke

ISBN:   B075WSDZPJ

Publisher: Harper Collins

Novella 

Publication Date: 12/12/2017

Format: Kindle

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

Alafair Burke returns following Edgar-nominated The Ex, with a twisty "attention grabber" short thriller novella WAKING KYLIE – which features an excerpt from her upcoming highly anticipated novel, The Wife.

Diane Light is the deputy district attorney and had been with the office for nearly eighteen years. Currently, she is back in the courtroom in front of Judge Stone. They are here due to a little girl Kylie, who’s father biological father Kyle Chance seeks to get his daughter returned. 

The State moved to terminate parents rights ten months earlier after the police learned the parents had permitted the child to be sexually abused in exchange for drugs. She was less than two years old when this occurred.

The client claimed he was getting clean and he happened to be estranged from the wife when this occurred. She was placed with a foster mother. Kylie was not an easy child to place. She had experienced trauma. Plus she had been born drug-affected.

Undernourished and suffered from PTSD. Now the foster mother, Janice has been killed by a drunk driver. 

Diane must keep this little girl from going back to her biological father— Even if she takes her in herself. She could be an excellent mother to the little girl. She cannot allow this precious little girl to go back to this monster. Even though the courts primarily blame it on the mother. 

She had asked for a transfer out of the major-crimes until (a coveted position) to the family court. This way she could remain in Kylie's life. Who else would protect her?

Her husband, Greg had left her for another woman, who now had his own family. She formerly was fat; currently, slim. She did not have any children. She was forty-four. She could not comprehend how it could be in Kylie’s best interest to live with a man (now a janitor), who sold her a two-year-old to support his heroin habit?

If she can only get "Matt the Cat" (a disgusting street informant) to catch Kyle — dealing drugs before their next court date. He kept his ears and eyes open for information that he could trade for a get out of jail free card. 

How far will Diane so go to make sure he never sees this innocent little girl again? 

I adore novellas, and this evil twisty one was perfect to set the stage for THE WIFE. I have pre-ordered and anxiously awaiting Jan 23, 2018. (Narrated by Xe Sands)! Listen to Clip. 

THE WIFE is about a caterer (a single woman with a son), who marries her prince charming. Now a famous author and consultant he is accused of sexual harassment. One of the girls goes missing. However, the case may now bring secrets from the wife's past to light. 

I am enjoying all the upcoming new releases in the domestic suspense/thriller genre focused on the wife (secrets of marriages). With Burke, there is always a tantalizing story to be told. Can’t wait. In the meantime, visit with Kylie and get a peek at THE WIFE.

“[A] page-turner.... Classic domestic-thriller elements—the too-perfect couple, the unreliable narrator, the troubled past—are given a good workout in this satisfying round of ‘Who’s the Psycho?’”— The Wife Kirkus Reviews

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/12/06/Waking-Kylie
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review 2017-12-25 05:50
Killman Creek
Killman Creek - Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake Series #2

By: Rachel Caine

ISBN:  1542046416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 12/12/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Rachel Caine returns following Stillhouse Lake with the highly anticipated follow-up, KILLMAN CREEK — a woman, is trying to save herself and her children from her monster sadistic ex-husband serial killer, Melvin Royal. 

"I am twelve days out from rescuing my children from a murderer. I am exhausted, sore, and plagued with headaches. I am heartsick and tired and anxious and most of all —most of all —I am angry. I need to be angry. Being angry will keep us all alive."

This time around we hear from multiple POV: Gwen, Lanny, Sam, and Connor. The fallout of everything that has occurred and to come from each perspective. 

Lance Graham is dead. A partner was a killer. Her husband had turned a cop into a murderer. He had abducted her children. 

Connor nor Lanny will talk about it. They have been traumatized. There is psychological damage. She is unsure how it will play out in the future. She will get them the care they need. She has to make them whole again.

Melvin Royal wants to keep them guessing. He has escaped. Melvin is free to stalk and kill more women. He will murder again. He will want to go out in a grandstanding manner. The FBI is after him as well as the police. No one is safe. Especially his family. 

He is coming for her. He always has a plan. 

Gina has a new identity. The woman who was known as Gina Royal, wife of the horrible serial killer is gone. She is now Gwen. She is not taking any more shit.

Her kids are brave and had been forced to face the ugly truths about their dad. She has to find someone she can trust to look after her kids and keep them safe. Her mom is not a fighter. 

She turns to Javier Esparza and Kezia Claremont to guard her kids. Javier is a retired marine and runs a gun range. Kezia is a police officer - tough, smart, and capable. She has to trust them.

Gwen and Sam must find him. They both have baggage. She is the ex-wife of a serial killer, under threat from Melvin's groupies, his allies, and the internet vigilantes. His followers. 

Sam is the brother of her ex-husband's victim (his last victim), she found strung up in her garage. Tortured and murdered for sadistic pleasure.

Even though Sam had stalked her in the first book, he knows she is not guilty. They must work together. They have one common goal. To take down Melvin Royal.

Gwen Proctor is ready for him. She has left the weak Gina behind. It comes down to Mr. and Mrs. Royal.

As Sam and Gwen are on the run putting themselves in the middle of danger, the kids are worried they may never see their mother again. 

The day all their lives changed. Their dad became a monster. He had taken a piece of their lives and made it part of something awful. 

 



The intensity heats up in this installment. Mel is one sick and sadistic serial killer. The constant impending danger. No one is safe from this monster until someone stops him. 

They are survivors. 

This riveting series must be turned into a film or at least Amazon Video series. Even though this book was not quite as exciting as the first, it was a superb followup.

Now we have to wait until Oct 2, 2018— for the third (3 of 3) Stillhouse Lake Series Wolfhunter River. As I mentioned in my first review, this series reminds me of Joe Carroll in The Following. 

Loved the ending, the covers, and the soundtrack selections by the author. If you adore good well-written crime thrillers, this series is for you!

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer for an advanced reading copy. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith, Lauren Ezzo, Will Ropp, and Dan John Miller for a suspenseful and chilling performance.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/03/Killman-Creek
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