Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer

Title: Little Girl Lost
Author: Carol Wyer
Series: DI Robyn Carter, #1
Published: January 2017, Bookouture
Format: ARC E-book, 274 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told.

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances.
A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir.
For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the men. But as she starts to delve into the cases, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted.

Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

Gripping, fast paced and nailbitingly tense, this serial killer thriller will chill you to the bone. Perfect for fans of MJ Arlidge and Angela Marsons.

My thoughts: This is the first book in Carol Wyer's newest series, DI Robyn Carter, and I absolutely loved it!!! It is such a tightly woven, twisted psychological thriller that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

I love when I find new series that I just know will be a good fit for me and that's what I feel about this one. DI Robyn Carter is such a great character - she has drive and determination to solve the cases she is given, yet she also has baggage and scars that haunt her and make her a real person. She's relatable and flawed. I definitely look forward to getting to know more about her and digging more into her psyche as the series progresses!

This first book - WOW! It's a whirlwind almost from start to finish as you try to figure out just what is going on. I loved the way the story was told, from three perspectives and found myself trying to link it all together only to keep coming up short time and time again. Each of the three sections - that of Alice's part told in the past, Robyn's sections and Abigail's sections were all equally engaging and left me with more questions than answers most times. Each time you read one part, it's like a clue or secret is revealed, but more times than not, those clues or secrets only brought up more questions.  

As I stated above...this is a twisted book - and I mean that in a good way - this book will have you frantically flipping the pages, desperate to figure out who is who and just what is really going on. Who is lying and who is telling the truth, because you quickly come to realize that not all is as it seems. This book is dark and twisted, but oh so good!!!

As soon as I had read the description of this book, I knew it was going to be a crazy ride - I just didn't know how crazy it would be. And now, I cannot wait for the next installment in this series...I have a feeling this is going to be one of my new favorite series!!!  

Books in this series:
  1. Little Girl Lost

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Last January, I read The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth when it was first released in hardcover, and I really enjoyed it! You can find my thoughts on the book here. Today the book is being released in paperback and to celebrate, I am helping the publishers get the word out. I also have 1 copy of the book to giveaway - be sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post for details!

Title: The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: January 2017, St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

What readers are saying: 

For better or for worse’ takes on new meaning in Hepworth’s devastatingly beautiful love story.” ―People magazine 

“Sure to appeal to fans of Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult, and Lisa Genova; book clubs will be lining up.” ―Library Journal

“An unconventional tearjerker of a love story...poignant and nuanced.” ―Publishers Weekly 

“This captivating story serves as a reminder of just how important those people and moments are that keep us going when it seems like our world is falling apart.” ―RT Book Reviews

“Hepworth’s debut, The Secrets of Midwives, was critically acclaimed, and it’s always a formidable task to impress readers with a second novel. But with The Things We Keep, Hepworth proves that literary lightning can indeed strike twice.” ―BookPage 

“Sally Hepworth delivers a beautiful, moving story with thoughtful grace…A lovely novel about the depth of memory, The Things We Keep may leave very few readers with dry eyes.” ―Shelf Awareness

“Stunning and beautiful, as well as heartbreaking and inspiring.” –Kirkus Reviews

“With startling insight and intense compassion, Hepworth creates a character who watches her intellectual world implode while at the same time experiencing a new romance. A rare gem.” –The Columbus Dispatch

“Heartwarming, fulfilling, and genuine.” –The Missourian
“This book is such a page-turner! At the end, we were left full of hope and love.”—Woman’s Day 


Thanks to Katie at St. Martin's Press one reader can win a copy of  The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the rafflecopter by January 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends January 24th. 

Good Luck!!!  


Book Spotlight: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

Today, The Wicked City, the latest book by Beatriz Williams comes out and I'm super excited about this one. This is the first book in her newest series.  I've had the pleasure of meeting Beatriz quite a few times and will be seeing her again next week. She's delightful and I have really enjoyed all the books I've read of hers, and I love that familiar characters have a habit of popping up again and again! My review of The Wicked City will be up in a few days, but in the meantime, please enjoy this spotlight and the bonus video that Beatriz put together about her books and New York City and do let me know if you'll be reading the book or seeing Beatriz on tour :)

Title: The Wicked City
Author: Beatriz Williams
Series: The Prohibition Series, #1
Published: January 2017, William Morrow
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Ella Gilbert impulsively—and, in her mother’s mind, foolishly—moves out of her luxurious Soho loft when she discovers her husband cheating. As she unpacks in a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building, it’s hard not to be depressed—until she’s doing laundry and runs into her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, who warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Apparently it had been a speakeasy during Prohibition, and Ella can’t help but be intrigued by the tall tale from her handsome neighbor.
And what a speakeasy it was. In 1924, Geneva “Gin” Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at the Christopher Club, just the kind of Village hideaway she imagined finding in Manhattan. But the fun turns dangerous when she’s caught up in a raid. And in the fallout, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.
Gin is headstrong and independent, and the last thing she wants is Oliver bossing her around and knowing what’s best. Plus, she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall (from Beatriz William’s A Certain Age) wrapped around her little finger and begging to make an honest woman out of her? This taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent doesn’t know what he’s in for.
Gin’s adventures—even by Roaring Twenties standards—will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.
And in the present, as Ella learns more about her predecessor and finds herself inspired to dance to her own rhythm in her own city.
THE WICKED CITY is Beatriz Williams at her finest, weaving together historical research, a strong sense of place, and headstrong adventures from women who aren’t afraid to take charge of their own destinies.

Early Praise for The Wicked City: 

“Williams deftly weaves together Ginger’s Jazz Age woes with Ella’s contemporary troubles, though Ginger steals the show. An otherworldly atmosphere, pulse-raising tension, and swoonworthy romance all provide a stellar foundation for what will become a series starring the dame-with-a-heart Ginger and her stalwart swain, Oliver Anson.”—Booklist
“The novel moves between the storylines smartly and quickly with powerful cliff-hangers and the two women leap off the page with a clarity and strength of purpose that is rare in stories. The connections forged between them across the decades is a journey of discovery for the reader.”—All About Romance 

Bonus Material:
Beatriz put together a short video about her books and New York City: 
About the author: A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, BEATRIZ WILLIAMS spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

THE WICKED CITY  by Beatriz Williams
William Morrow, Harper Collins Publishers  
January 17, 2017 
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062405029; $26.99
E-book ISBN: 9780062405036; $12.99

Sunday, January 15, 2017

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in January 13


This cold I have is one stubborn cold! But, I think it's finally easing up - and I am starting to feel more like myself!!! While I've been sick, I've been pretty much housebound, so I've been looking around Pinterest for workouts and found a ton of yoga flows. I'm hoping to start doing some of them on a regular basis. My gym offers yoga classes, but I never seem to make it to the classes :( Maybe this will be the jumpstart I need!

January Goals:
  • 10K steps M-F, at least 7,500 steps on the weekend - met
  • 30 minutes of active walking every day, M-F - met
  • Eat mindfully/eat enough (esp. in important while training!) - met
My training plan for the Challenge Walk MS I'll be doing in March of 2017:

  • 4 miles, 2 days a week, interval training - met
  • Distance walks (distances will vary, try to do 2 days, back-to-back ) - didn't do this week
  • Try to attend one yoga class a week - didn't make it to class, but did do some yoga one day at home

Here's how my last week went:    

Jan  7:  11,744 steps
Jan  8:  14,840 steps + 15 minutes Yoga

Jan  9:  10,409 steps 
Jan 10: 10,398 steps
Jan 11:  15,456 steps
(5K+ - 4.33 Charity Miles for MS)
Jan 12:  20
,699 steps (10K - 6.29 Charity Miles for MS)
Jan 13:  10
,743 steps 

Total Steps: 86,173 steps

Audiobooks listened to last week (since I'm not much of a music fan, I listen to books while I walk):
  • Finished The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley, narrated by Jessica Preddy
  • Started Lost Girls by Angela Marsons, narrated by Jan Cramer

How did your week go? You can find this week's link-up here.

***In March, I'll be doing the CHALLENGE WALK MS in Savannah, GA. It is a three-day, 50-mile walk that tests your strength and your spirit, and makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with MS and their families.

To help me reach my fundraising goal, click here :)

Virtual 5K /10K Tally:
     January:                               May:                             September:   
           5K  -  3                                  5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -  1                                10K  -                                  10K  - 
     February:                             June:                            October:

           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                 10K  -   
     March:                                  July:                             November:
           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                  10K  - 
     April:                                    August:                        December:
           5K  -                                     5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -                                    10K  -                                  10K  - 


Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Title: The Perfect Girl
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Published: September 2016, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Source: Personal copy

Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same.

Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead.
In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe's former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.

Unfolding over a span of twenty-four hours through three compelling narratives, The Perfect Girl is gripping, surprising, and emotionally complex—a richly layered look at loyalty, second chances, and the way secrets unravel us all.

My thoughts: Gilly Macmillan is back with her second book after her debut novel, What She Knew - which I loved!!! And she did it again with this one - another gripping psychological thriller that had me guessing what was really going on until the very end.

I loved the way this story was told - not only alternating between multiple points of view, but also before and after. Before and after what? This book immediately pulls you in and has you wondering just what has happened and I also loved how the suspense slowly builds. You know something big has happened but Gilly Macmillan doesn't actually give you all the answers. And now something else has happened in the present and again, we aren't sure exactly what. 

As the story unravels, we get to know all the characters - some by their narrations and some by the narrations of others - which I found to be quite clever. This is not so much an action-packed story as it is a character-driven tale that pulls you in and has you spinning in circles trying to figure out what is going on. Secrets abound, family dynamics definitely come into play and the characters are compelling in their own unique ways - some are quite likeable and some are definitely not, but they are all needed to tell this story!

Gilly Macmillan is definitely on my auto-buy list - she has crafted two incredibly well-thought out, gripping tales and I cannot wait to see what comes next from her!!! 


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