March 30, 2014

Series Sunday: Divergent

(Divergent #1)

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"Welcome to the day we honor the democratic philosophy of our ancestors, which tells us that every man has the right to choose his own way in this world. Or, it occurs to me, one of five predetermined ways." ~ pg. 32

My Series Sunday pick is Divergent, the first book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. Beatrice "Tris" Prior is a sixteen-year-old living in dystopian Chicago. The city is divided into five factions (groups formed to seek a single-minded goal):

  • Abnegation (the selfless)
  • Amity (the peaceful)
  • Candor (the honest)
  • Dauntless (the brave)
  • Erudite (the intelligent)

On an appointed day, all 16 year olds are given simulation tests and the chance to pick which faction to devote the rest of their lives to. Beatrice must decide whether to stay with her Abnegation family or transfer to Erudite or Dauntless. In the initiation process, Tris is struggling to rank high among peers and keep a secret hidden that could mean death if it is revealed.

The unexpected romance took a backseat. It took me 64% into the book to "get it." I couldn't understand why it was a bad thing, let alone dangerous, to be divergent. What is wrong with being multi-faceted? Then it clicked. The government wants to control society and have everyone act and think according to their assigned factions. Divergents pose a threat because they belong to more than one faction and cannot be conditioned or predictable. Divergents' brains are spread across different factions making it impossible for the government to control them. So bottom line, divergents must be killed. Sound confusing? You are not alone; but that is my explanation. Readers of the series, please chime in with your thoughts. Then check back soon for my rating of the movie adaptation. I hope it is clearer on the big screen.

My edition is the complete series collection. It includes Q&A with the author, quotations that inspired Divergent, a playlist, writing tips, and a faction quiz with results (my favorite of the bonus material).

Other than the obvious confusion of the plot, I look forward to watching the movie adaptation and continuing the series. I don't know where the author came up with this idea but the thought of factions is not unrealistic. I can totally see the world being divided into personality groups and controlled by the government. Wait—isn't that already happening?

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 2011
Pages: 329
Edition: eBook
Book Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Movie Rating: (To Be Updated Soon)


March 28, 2014

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget."

~ Allegiant by Veronica Roth


March 27, 2014

Guest Post: D.W. Carver

Author of Nightmares and Other Therapy

Welcome to Literary Marie's Precision Reviews. Today we have a special guest post from D.W. Carver, author of Nightmares and Other Therapy.

Guest Post:
I am D W Carver, English, married with three adult sons and live in a suburb of London. I have been writing ever since I learned how. I have no real memory of a time when I started to write stories but know the first ones were simply written versions of the tales I used to tell myself when I was in bed trying not to think about monsters and bogeymen.

In the late eighties I worked for a national UK mental health charity as a counsellor, travelling round East London and Essex and running self-help groups. In those days lay organisations weren’t given much credence by the professional services and to be fair there were a lot of people out there who took their personal suffering as an ideal apprenticeship for teaching others ‘the right way’ and didn’t do a lot of good. This lack of interest from the health professionals actually helped us a good deal as my charity developed what to us was a common sense service – helping people to overcome practical difficulties one at a time. For example, one of my first clients was a young agoraphobic mother who couldn’t do the walk to school and used to go to the front door every morning in her night clothes when neighbours passed and ask one of them to take her son to school, allowing them to believe she was too lazy to do it herself. We helped her by planning a way she could practise the walk in company, with people stationed at the beginning and the end and eventually alone. In a very short time she was able to do the school walk by herself.

That was fairly typical of my experience – people needing very little actual help to overcome anxiety problems that had crippled them for years and when I began to write novels I often used this device. My lead characters (almost always female) were psychically injured by past events and brought themselves back to a full life with their own power of will and growing self-confidence. Naturally, my books involve a lot more gangsters, killers and general sociopaths than I tended to meet in the real world, but I did encounter my share of dangerous people.

A word of warning for potential readers: I spent many years working in rough areas and what is fairly common-place behaviour from my experience might be shocking to others. I recall long ago that an editor asked me to ‘water down’ an episode in one of my books as, to him, it was unbelievable. This had already been diluted from something that had actually happened in my presence.

Book Description:
My novel ‘Nightmares and Other Therapy’ is about Michael and his teenage girlfriend Laura as they run away to avoid Michael’s arrest and find somewhere to start a new life. 

Hospitals are supposed to help. Michael found that wasn't always true. Michael couldn't understand the nightmares that made him violent on waking, mostly because he didn't have the courage to think his problem through. Eventually, pressured into entering a mental hospital by his employers he thought that here he would find answers and a way to a better life. He was never more wrong.

Excerpts from Reviews:
For starters I really enjoyed how this book was written. The tone and pace of the book made it all the more enjoyable.

Although this isn't necessarily a happy book, I'd still recommend it. It's well written and is very thought provoking.

The characters are a lot of fun. It was unique and the major plot point that separates this novel from the others on the shelf. The split persona between Michael and his imaginary friend is extremely well-done.

It was well written, with believable and realistic characters.

Fast paced thriller/chiller that kept me up late into the night. Very original story line.

Those who like a good thriller will enjoy Nightmares and Other Therapy.

About the Author:
For more information, please visit 
Click here to order or add Nightmares and Other Therapy to your reading wish list.   


March 26, 2014

Guest Post: J. Cafesin

Author of Reverb

Welcome to Literary Marie's Precision Reviews. Today we have a special guest post from J. Cafesin, author of Reverb.

A Life in the Arts:

How do you get good at anything?

How do you get great?
Obsession—Practice most all the time.

Pick any famous author, artist, musician, and they'll all have obsession in common. And while we, the public, enjoy the fruits of their creative labor, those closest to these individuals were/are generally left wanting.

Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, “was an indifferent and often inattentive father and husband.”

Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame, “worked 12 hours a day seven days a week, [and] his wife, Carol, tended to their daughters, Jodi and Anne.”

Adrienne Armstrong, wife of Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day said of her husband after the release of the album American Idiot, “I think it challenged us to a new level, pushed us pretty far, the farthest I ever want to go.”

The creatives above are all men. All married and all had/have children.

Now lets explore a few famous women.

The romance novelist Jane Austen never married. She was, in fact, 'relieved in later life to have avoided the pitfalls of married life, not least the huge risks of childbirth, “all the business of Mothering.”' 

Georgia O'Keeffe, the surrealist artist “wanted to have children but agreed with him [her husband, Alfred Steiglitz] that motherhood was incompatible with her art. She needed to focus all of her attention on her painting.”

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul has never married, “the very idea of what it means to be a wife and the responsibility and sacrifice that carries—I wouldn't have held that very well." And she never had children. “If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the "Oprah" show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would've probably been them."

Ms. Winfrey had the guts to address the unvarnished, unspoken truth when she referred to the “responsibility and sacrifice,” in being a partner and parent. The investment of time, physical and psychic energy it takes to keep a marriage vital, and the even greater demands of being a conscientious parent, interferes, and often waylays the creative process.

Men have historically been the breadwinners in the family environment. And while this trend is slowly changing, the fact is women who seek personal excellence, especially in the arts, often have to choose between pursuing greatness and being, at least, an available partner and parent. Even today, men rarely have to make this choice. Regardless of this disparity, anyone, man or woman, obsessed with becoming great [at anything] should recognize the 'sacrifice' and costs to pursuing brilliance.

As a wife, mother, and a writer, my creative muse is constantly vying for prominence over the needs of my husband and especially my children. When my kids were babies, the creative process encountered fewer distractions. I could stay rapt in story, run dialog in my head while changing diapers or pushing them on the swing at the park. Small kids, small problems. Big kids, big issues. Now the parent to a tween and teen, my siren is often overwhelmed by the very real traumas and trials of adulthood my children face every day. To help them navigate these tumultuous times, I question, probe, even invade their space to stay connected, be there for them as a sounding board, a trusted confidant to lean on, to envelope them in a hug and hold them when they're falling.

I chose to marry, to have kids. And while I willingly choose to be present, available for my family, forfeiting the relentless pursuit of my creativity is a battle I engage in daily. Much of my fiction focuses on this internal war, as in my novel Reverb, through James Whren's obsession with his music, the cost to the lives he touched and the price he eventually paid absorbed in making it with his muse. My recent novel, Disconnected, explores the propaganda of the 1960s still being sold today, as Rachel struggles with the reality that we can't 'have it all,' be everything we want to be, and still be there for our kids and family.

We glorify the brilliant author, the renown artist, successes in business, often secretly wish to be one of the famous. But to become great at anything means obsessively working at the job or craft, honing a skill set with relentless practice, which is the fundamental reason why genius is so rarely achieved. The price those who solely engage with their creative muse must pay is actualizing a full and balanced life.

Book Description:
James Whren is brilliant, beautiful, rich, and taken—with his genius for creating music. Desired by many, he commits to no one but his muse. On the eve of his brother's funeral his father shatters his life, and James is left abandoned in hell with no one real to save him.

His odyssey to freedom takes him beyond the looking glass, to the reflection of friends and lovers. Humbled and alone, James escapes to the Greek island of Corfu. But instead of finding solace there, loneliness consumes him.

Until Elisabeth, and her son, Cameron...

Reverb is a love story, a psychological thriller paced with romantic suspense. It is a tale of redemption—the evolution of a modern man from solipsist to integrated awareness, the journey inadvertently awakening his capacity to love.

Genre: Psychological Thriller paced with Romantic Suspense

Pub Date: January 2013

About the Author:
J. Cafesin is a novelist, essayist, realist and idealist. For more information and to purchase Reverbplease visit


March 25, 2014

March eMags

I am Living La Vida NOOK with these March eMags:

Entertainment Weekly ~ All Eyes on Divergent

MacLife ~ Upgrade Your Apps: Better Mail, Maps, Camera, Browser, Music

Essence ~ Bravo! Our Epic Year at the Movies

Marie Claire ~ Spring Fashion: 457 Sexy & Chic Inspiring New Looks

Elle ~ Meet Dakota Johnson: The Star of Fifty Shades of Grey

Ebony ~ Salute to Black Hollywood Starring Angela Bassett

Vogue ~ The Rihanna Effect: How the Unstoppable Pop Diva Became a Full-On Fashion Force


March 23, 2014

Series Sunday: K is for Killer

(Kinsey Millhone Alphabet #11)

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"It was a compulsion, like a sneeze." ~ pg. 48

My Series Sunday selection is K is for Killer, the 11th book in the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series by Sue Grafton. Nothing ever good happens when you open the door for an unexpected guest. Grieving mother Janice Kepler knocks on P.I. Kinsey Millhone's office door late one night. Her beautiful daughter Lorna was murdered but the killer was never caught, a suspect was never apprehended. Kinsey tries to piece together what happened and determine which of Lorna's friends is the killer: a local DJ, a teenaged prostitute, her sloppy landlord or his exotic wife.

When I first read the synopsis and started reading K is for Killer, I thought it was a story of hanky panky gone wrong. The deceased has a dull day job but works as a prostitute and in pornography at night. There were so many characters/killer prospects that I almost had to keep track on a sticky note. Although, it did not make the story hard to follow, thanks to Sue Grafton's skilled writing.

My only gripe with this series are the meaningless descriptions that fill the pages. It begins with a lot of repetition describing the main character Kinsey and what she does for a living. Is it really necessary? How many readers pick up a random book and start reading in the middle of a series? I am willing to bet hardly none. So why still explain Kinsey's history in the 11th installment? Anywho...I will continue on with the series. The cases are getting more interesting and I want to find out more of Kinsey's personal life.

Title: K is for Killer
Author: Sue Grafton
Published: June 1997
Pages: 260
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥

March 21, 2014

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"There is one mirror in my house."

~ Divergent by Veronica Roth

The movie premieres in theaters today! Are you going to see it? Watch the trailer below.

March 20, 2014

After I'm Gone

"When destiny wants to fuck with you, it can afford to be patient. Destiny has all the time in the world." ~ pg. 32

Felix Brewer disappeared on July 4, 1976, leaving behind a wife (Bambi) and three daughters. His mistress, Julie Saxony went missing almost ten years to the day on July 3, 1986. It was assumed Julie had gone to join her old lover Felix...until her remains are found. Fast forward 26 more years and a retired Baltimore detective, Sandy Sanchez, is working the cold case for extra cash. He discovers a tangled web of deceit, lies and jealousy revolving around five women (faithful wife Bambi, dead mistress Julie and three very different daughters) bound together by one man: Felix.

Lately I have jumped on the bestseller wagon by immediately reading newly released popular books. After I'm Gone is featured in a few magazines and on a few bookish sites. The synopsis seemed mysterious enough to read right away. At a quick glance, the six sections sounded interesting too: Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Miss Me, Tell Me, and Never Let Me Go.

"You can rewrite life all you want. It's still a play where everyone dies in the end." ~ pg. 159

Some people argue that if you've read one mystery, you've read them all. Not so. But in this case (pun intended), the same detective mystery recipe was used. The alternating points of view between present-day (2012) and back-in-the-day (starting in 1959) tended to slow me down in After I'm Gone. The cliché of the retired cop trying to solve one more big cold case. The same cop who lived an ain't-shit life but can solve cases better than anyone. Same ole, same ole.

Title: After I'm Gone
Author: Laura Lippman
Published: February 2014
Pages: 275
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥


March 19, 2014


"His brand of sex comes with a warning label." ~ pg. 35

What a perfect title to a love story gone wrong. Raw begins with a six-year-old girl saving a hurt eight-year-old boy. They exchange names and go separate ways. Twenty years later, they meet again except Lexi does not realize Twitch is the boy she once saved. Lexi only sees him as he is now: her stalker.

I was emotionally involved in the characters of Raw. I really cared about their lives and the outcome of their unconventional love. How is it possible to fall in love with your stalker? Only a moron, right? And this, along with a few other twists, made it interesting to see unfold. It is very well written and I was pleasantly surprised to learn the author is only in her mid-twenties. This standalone novel is evidence that readers make the best writers. So per the author's message at the end of the book, I am proud to write and share my review of Raw. I hope you follow my recommendation (and the other 10,000+ positive reviews).

Note to Author: Hey, Belle! (We are on a first-name basis in my head.) You are definitely on my radar now. I will read whatever you release next. Thank you for stepping outside of the romance box and writing a novel that earned a spot in my best books of the year.

Title: Raw
Author: Belle Aurora
Published: January 2014
Pages: 252
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


March 18, 2014

Missing You

"Does pain happen if you don't remember it?" ~ pg. 45

NYPD Detective Kat Donovan is shocked when scrolling through profiles on an online dating site. It's not just any profile pic that makes her heart skip a beat. It is the picture of her ex-fiancé Jeff, whom she hasn't seen in 18 years. But when she reaches out to him, she is left confused by his reaction. Any hope Kat had of reuniting with Jeff disappears as an investigation unfolds, making her question the love of her ex-fiancé, her boss, her mother and even her father, whose murder was never fully explained.

New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben never disappoints. Missing You has elements of a great mystery: dead bodies, intense scenes, engaging dialogue, suspense and conspiracy theories. There are layers to the story told in separate chapters that when put together, creates quite the mysterious story. Not to mention two words that I thought would never be seen in a Harlan Coben novel—twerking and catfish—made its way into the story.

Whether you are a Myron Bolitar fan, a Mickey Bolitar fan, or just a Harlan Coben need to read this new thriller. It releases today (March 18). Start your day off right by purchasing or downloading it. You don't want to miss out on reading Missing You.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: Missing You
Author: Harlan Coben
Published: March 2014
Pages: 416
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥


March 16, 2014

Series Sunday: Deceptive Innocence, Part Three

(Pure Sin #3)

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"I'm seeking comfort from the man I want to destroy, and the reason I need comfort is because someone is trying to keep me from destroying him." ~ pg. 22

My Series Sunday selection is Deceptive Innocence, Part Three in the Pure Sin series by Kyra Davis. Still focused on revenge and destroying the Gables family, Bell is falling fast in love with Lander, the youngest son. She is doing the forbidden and falling for her mark. The sexual chemistry is strong between Bell and Lander. Off the charts hot! Meanwhile, their individual agendas just may clash.

Deceptive Innocence, Part Three is my favorite of the Pure Sin series so far becomes it combines Kyra Davis' new (erotica) and old (mystery) writing skills. It delves deeper into Bell's pysche and the Gables brothers motives. I was hoping part three was the end of this trilogy. Silly me, huh? But it is apparent from the ending that this story is far from over. A full length novel (300+ pages) titled Dangerous Alliance will finish the series. I am not yet sure whether this new structure of three novellas and one final novel is preferred, but it seems to have worked for the author.

Deceptive Innocence, Part Three is available tomorrow (March 17, 2014). Be sure to download this third installment that is sure to have you panting for more passion, lust and revenge.

Title: Deceptive Innocence, Part Three
Author: Kyra Davis
Published: March 2014
Pages: 192
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


March 14, 2014

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"The statutory definition of homicide is the 'unlawful killing of one human being by another.'"

~ K is for Killer by Sue Grafton


March 13, 2014

The Comfort of Lies

"More than anything, she knew she should say no. More than anything, he tempted her to say yes." ~ pg. 203

When I received a review copy of The Comfort of Lies, I was eager to dive in reading. The title alone piqued my interest. Aren't we all comfortable with lies? I was drawn in from the first page.

The Comfort of Lies has an alternating point of view between three very different women all connected to a five-year-old girl: Tia, the birth mother; Caroline, the adopted mother; and Juliette, the wife of the birth father. Five years ago, Tia was in love with an unavailable man. He broke ties when she became pregnant so she gave the baby up for adoption. Caroline felt pressured to please her husband and adopt a baby despite being a workaholic. Juliette thought she had a picture-perfect life with a loving husband, two sons and a thriving business...until she learned of Nathan's affair and intercepts a letter containing photos of his daughter. Upset and in search of the truth, Juliette's actions lead her to Caroline and Tia's door looking for answers. None of the characters are prepared for the consequences of lies told.

Sharp writing. Emotional story. Complex characters. Layered drama that kept me flipping the pages. The Comfort of Lies was just published a few short weeks ago, making it a prime pick for a book club (discussion questions/readers guide included). You will not be disappointed if you purchase this novel; get snowed in with this good read from an award-nominated author Randy Susan Meyers. Watch the trailer below and read an excerpt here.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: The Comfort of Lies
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: January 2014
Pages: 326
Edition: Paperback
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


March 12, 2014

Guest Post: Lance McCulloch

Author of The Colors of Blue

Welcome to Literary Marie's Precision Reviews. Today we have a special guest post from Lance McCulloch, author of The Colors of Blue.

How My Book Was Written:
I’ve always believed that each of us has a story to tell. Since high school, I wanted to write a book. However, the subject, genre, and even the story never developed until I closed the door of my office and wrote the first line. This did not occur until I was in my 40’s. Like any story, the author must have some motive to push us over the edge and start writing. Mine arrived in the form of motivation, seeking the way out of a failing technology business and a need to escape all that can go wrong with a small business.

In the fall of 2009, I found myself in the most difficult position I had ever faced. I had started a gear and technology business years earlier and by 2008 had developed and patented a unique technology. This led to a multimillion dollar distribution contract between my small company and a public company out of Dallas, Texas.
I had trusted this company, signed a contract that laid out the deal, shaken hands, and celebrated with them over nice wine and dinner. However, unbeknownst to me, they had a plan in place that would eventually lead to the destruction of my company.

By the end of 2009, things started smelling funny as they piled up excuse after excuse why they would not pay us. I asked for mediation, according to the contract’s terms, but they refused. In the end, they wanted a contract that allowed for then to control our product without assuming any risk. This is not what we had negotiated almost two years earlier, and not something I was willing to give at the time. The result was that my company was running on fumes and I knew I’d be forced to lay off staff, sell assets, and shut the doors. I loved my employees and this became a horrible period in my life, not to mention the loss of significant investment. I needed to find something uplifting.

I’ve always loved fly-fishing and found the hours alone in the Colorado wilderness to be the perfect, thoughtful place to sort through my life. Alone on the river, I had considered losing my mom and how my father dealt with her death years ago.  As it turns out, this set the roots of the story I had to write.

America is the greatest place in the world to live and do business, but it is not perfect. To pursue justice, I had to take another large financial chance; legal costs are not cheap and just to be heard, I would need to spend over $100,000 to bring my case forward in the judicial system. Somewhere along a Colorado river, I concluded I could not live with myself if I simply let them walk away without owning up to what they had done. It’s the bet they never thought I would take, and they were almost right.

In the depths of closing my business and filing the law suit, I closed my office door, sat down, and wrote the line: ‘Sarah Field lives in a world of colors.’  Eventually, this became my book, The Colors of Blue.  When I finished, I shared it with family and friends, cleaned things up a bit, and let it settle onto my shelf.  On November 18, 2013, I published The Colors of Blue on Amazon.

The trial began in Dallas, Texas on the 2nd of December, 2013. I was the key witness and spent three and one half days on the stand. As these things go, I would not land on my pillow until after midnight for each of the sixteen days of trial. Needless to say, it was exhausting. However, aside from my wife and family, there was one bright light that awaited me each evening. This was to look through the email and the Amazon reviews of those who had read my book. Those turned out to be both affirming and positive, seeing that others were finding joy in the something that had been such a positive experience to create. The Colors of Blue has 32 reviews on Amazon as I write this and a 4.5 star rating.

On the 19th of December, 2013, we had rested our case. This meant that we could no longer call any witnesses. However, the defense paraded three more onto the stand that all had the same, canned, message, they would never do anything as sinister as cheating another company. All fingers were pointed at me and my employees and that, if there were any problems, they were due to us.
On the 30th of December, the jury found the company guilty of fraud and awarded my small company compensation. This is the story of how The Colors of Blue came to fruition. It’s funny, but in some way I should thank this company. I have discovered writing to be a very positive force in my life because it is something I love to do. Furthermore, they have given me a great story to write, something that I would never have gotten the opportunity to do had they ever settled out of court.

Book Description:
The Colors of Blue is an intelligent and compelling mainstream romance whose characters peel away complex layers of deceit, grief, loss and discovery during a riveting journey that at last binds hearts together and renews the promise of true love.  

About the Author:
For sample chapters, book excerpts and more information on The Colors of Blue, please visit     


March 11, 2014

You Should Have Known

"For the rest of my life, it's the first thing they'll say about me when I leave the room." ~ pg. 345

Grace Sachs is a successful therapist, mother to a young son and wife to a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital. Grace is also the author of You Should Have Known, a book about women valuing their intuition and first impressions. It all hits the fan when the Grace's own marriage is in headlines. A bloody murder, a missing husband and unbelievable revelations rock Grace's world. She must heed her own advice and piece together what she knows and does not know.

I am the type of reader that reads every word. I don't want to skip pages or miss any reactions. But this novel? Seriously encouraged me to skim. Of the 383 pages, 183 pages are unnecessary. There is so much background information and detail that gets in the way of what comes next, what really matters in the plot. While the formula of psychological thriller plus not knowing who your spouse really is had all the makings of a good novel, it was a struggle to finish reading.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: You Should Have Known
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Published: March 2014
Pages: 383
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥


March 9, 2014

Series Sunday: Sempre Redemption

(Forever #2)

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"This boy—this stubborn, selfless, stupid boy—had given himself to the mafia. He handed control of his future over to the men they hated most in exchange for her life. For her safety." ~ pg.7

My Series Sunday pick is Sempre Redemption, the second book in the Forever series by J.M. Darhower. Young lovers Carmine and Haven are trying to keep their relationship in tact while tangled in the mafia ring. In order to save Haven, Carmine had to swear his loyalty to the mafia. Uh oh! Meanwhile, Haven discovers her worth.

Another 500+ page novel! I like big books and I cannot lie (♬ cue Sir Mix-a-Marie ♬). I so appreciate the author wrapping up the story in two books and not dragging it out in a trilogy, which is the latest literary trend. Sempre Redemption is the book that never ends and I'm not sure I wanted it to. Although it was not as good or intense as the first book in the series.

As a reminder, Darhower encourages us to become abolitionists against human trafficking. You have to love fiction with a cause! As a message to the author: keep slinging words and prove your writing is worth reading.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: Sempre Redemption
Author: J.M. Darhower
Published: December 2013
Pages: 530
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥  

March 8, 2014

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Video

According to The DNA of a Successful Book infographic, 300-page books have an 87% completion rate. Do you like big books? If so, do you complete them all?

Watch the parody video of the classic song Baby Got Back.


March 7, 2014

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"When I first pulled up to the address, I thought that something was missing."

~ Almost Royalty by Courtney Hamilton

March 6, 2014

CRAVING HIM Cover Reveal

Kendall Ryan's Craving Him is the follow-up to the sexy contemporary romance Working It. Emmy Clarke is a sweet southern girl in New York City's cutthroat fashion industry. Ben Shaw is a gorgeous, wealthy male model who introduces her to a world of pleasure. Without further is the awesome cover reveal.

**drumroll please**

The eBook editions of Craving Him (pre-order) and Working It are available for $3.99 each. Craving Him is available in eBook on March 24 and in paperback on June 17.

Order Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-a-Million ~ Indie Bound

March 5, 2014

Dark Places

"Something to happen, something that got bigger than they were, something that had unintentionally major consequences. Ripples." ~ pg. 136

Dark Places begins with Libby daydreaming about killing herself. Spatter, splatter. What a twisted, mean character. Then again, life isn't so happy-go-lucky when your family was slaughtered when you were seven years old, and it was your testimony that convicted your brother of the murders. Libby was the only one who survived the Prairie Massacre. It explains why 31-year-old Libby has been depressed for twenty-four years.

With trust funds down to less than $1,000 and no job, Libby accepts an offer from the Kill Club, a group obsessed with notorious crimes. Hoping to financially gain from her tragic past, Libby agrees to revisit the details of that night...for a fee. The narration switches to 1985 and events are told through the eyes of Libby's mom and brother. Prophesized doom.

Dark Places has been on my reading list ever since reading Gone Girl from author Gillian Flynn. On a whim, I read it one Sunday afternoon along with a couple buddies. Oh, what a suspense! My theories were dispelled after every chapter. It was the type of mystery I read nonstop until it was solved. And even then... The obvious was not so obvious.

I know the movie (scheduled for release in September 2014) will be just as mysteriously thrilling. Libby will be played by the talented beautiful Charlize Theron. I highly recommend reading Dark Places but be sure to have a fluffy book on deck to stop your mind from spinning this dark tale.

Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Published: May 2009
Pages: 345
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥