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Let’s talk about books. What type of book do you like to read? Do you stick to the same authors or are you willing to take a chance on something radically different from your norm? I have a cluster of authors that I gobble up the new books they put out like a binge eater…all in one sitting. And in between waiting for said authors to put out the next book, I have a group of “fill in” authors. And then there are the ones I read because I am so very curious about everything. It has been pointed out to me that my reading list is probably linked to Homeland Security but how can you have an opinion on anything if you haven’t fully researched it?

On my bookshelf you will find every James Patterson novel, every Laurell K. Hamilton, every Stuart Woods, Harlan Coben, Catherine Coulter, Iris Johansen, Anne Rice, Laura Childs, Tom Clancy, George R.R.Martin, Kim Harrison, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, Karin Slaughter, Don Winslow, Sara Blaedel along with all the classics. I don’t do romance books, no heaving bosoms or glistening abs for me.

Reading is a magical thing that can take you places you would never have access to in the living world. I love everything about books. The cover, the feel, and smell of the paper, it all has to come together for me.  Books are like a good friend who stays around.

So here we are going to be talking about books. What we’ve read, what we are reading and what we hope to read. I find it so interesting that two people can read the same book and have totally different takes on it. But that is the fun of books and imagination. Everyone is different and I am intrigued by those different opinions.

Stick around for some really good, new authors I have found and feel free to make suggestions and comments!  Join us on Facebook for free books, authors looking for reviewers and new releases and giveaways! On Twitter, @GaPirate  Email me at piratepatty@hotmail.com. Have your Marketing people or Publisher contact me for reviews.

HER THREE LIVES by CATE HOLAHAN

Her Three Lives

“All human beings have three lives. Public, Private, and Secret” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A very appropriate quote to start off the book. This standalone thriller is the latest from Holahan and it’s a twisty one.

Greg is a recently divorced architect who met Jade, twenty years his junior and fell head over heals for her six months ago. His ex-wife, Leah, got the house and the grown kids so Jade and Greg are living in a rental while their forever home is built and with Jade pregnant they will all be glad when things calm down.

Jade’s public life is pretty good. She’s a media influencer and designer. She is in love with Greg, having a baby and living the good life. Only divorce after 25 years and two kids is not going to be a love fest. The kids hate her and the ex is a nut.

Jade’s private life is complicated. When one evening she and Greg are going out. She is still in the bathroom when she hears the doorbell and then hears screaming. Running out of the bathroom she’s met by an intruder. While Greg survives, the baby does not. Someone deliberately made sure the baby did not live.

As they try to piece together what happened and why, I kept thinking someone was trying to gaslight them. But who? And why? Greg goes into full security mode and installs cameras in every room, alarms, and trackers. He’s also very paranoid.

Jade’s secret life is not as bad as she believes it to be, but when you leave it off of your dating profile, it becomes something that could hurt you.

With the ‘help’ of Violet, Greg’s daughter, he begins to doubt Jade. Is she trying to kill him for money? Was she even pregnant and why is she visiting a prison?

Oh what a tangled web this was. These kids were just vile and their mother a loon.

So what did I think? It was a good idea for a book, but to me there was no sense of urgency and Greg was a pretty limp character.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 Grand Central Publishing

BLOOD AND TREASURE DANIEL BOONE AND THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S FIRST FRONTIER by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier

The middle of the 1700’s were full of uncertainty for the thirteen colonies that Great Britain has founded so far. There are so many different battles going on it’s no wonder everyone was a little anxious.

Everyone wants to find a new frontier. And they are all willing to die for it. The Natives, the French, the Spanish and of course our mother country. The conflicts were gruesome and cruel. Everyone was lying. Someone’s word meant nothing. The Natives were rightly upset and everyone wanted a piece of the country.

And here is where we meet Daniel Boone. Well, actually my husband is a direct descendant of his sister, Elizabeth, so we thought we knew pretty much everything. We did not.

The name Daniel Boone brings me immediately to the song. First off, he wasn’t a big man. He wasn’t at all like the movie and cartoon versions. He was a man with a passion for finding out what lay beyond the Appalachians. He wasn’t a fighting man, but he did his part for the revolution. It’s always dangerous to turn people from the past into larger than life characters and that has been done with Boone.

It was a fast read and based on a lot of research. How did Boone become such a legend? He was seldom home, working as a trapper with a friend or his brother. They would be gone for long periods of time. He saw his fair share of suffering in his own household and they always seemed to be on the edge of financial ruin and yet Daniel did what he had to do to care for his family.

Here you can read his story as told from many different people. The history of America is in this book and I am better for having read it.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press



Margreete’s Harbor by Eleanor Morse

Margreete's Harbor: A Novel

Set in Maine’s coastal area during the late ’50s through the ’60s, this novel takes us through the lives of Margreete and her family.

Margreete is an independent woman who is slowly forgetting who she is and was. So when she accidentally starts a fire in her kitchen, her children know they need to do something. Margreet isn’t going anywhere as she flits through the book wondering what these people are doing in her house.

Her daughter Liddie and her husband and children move in with her to try and keep her in the house and out of a nursing facility. None of them are happy about it and soon we are dealing with an unhappy wife who just wants to play her cello, kids who are dealing with the turbulence that was the sixties, a husband who can’t be quiet about the Vietnam War and who cheats on his wife. All the while Margreete is fading into the background, almost forgotten herself.

Against the backdrop of all the craziness of the sixties, there were a lot of things happening in this book. But the one thing that wasn’t was communication. A very dysfunctional family dealing with a matriarch who doesn’t even know who they are. The question of when to let someone you love live a better life outside of their home is never an easy one. I felt so bad for Margreete and by the end of the book she was almost invisible.

NetGalley/ April 20, 2021 St. Martin’s Press






WHAT YOU NEVER KNEW by JESSICA HAMILTON

What You Never Knew

Meet the Bennett family. June, May and their mother. Imagine finding out that everything you believed about your family was a lie.

The book is told from the POV of May and June. One is dead and one is alive. June is all grown up now with her own family. When her sister dies, she finds out that the place they loved the most, Avril Island, which her family owned and where her father disappeared in a mysterious way had not been sold as their mother told them, but is still sitting waiting for her.

Feeling lost and looking for answers, June heads to the island. But not everyone is welcoming and there are as many secrets as trees. Things begin happening that are hard to explain. And the answers she gets are shocking.

The point of view May tells is rather disjointed, but then she is dead. I have to say the ending left me unsatisfied. The writing seemed a bit stiff. This is not anything like The Lovely Bones that it is compared to.

NetGalley Reviews/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books



THE GOOD SISTER by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Good Sister

Fern and Rose are twins. And as different as two people could be. Rose is married and seems to be happy with life except for the fact that she can’t get pregnant.

Fern is more of a free spirit but has severe sensory issues. The world and it’s inhabitants are a bit too extra for her.

But they both have secrets. Rose protected Fern from their crazy mother. Or did she?

Rose manipulates Fern into having a baby for her. And as soon as she is pregnant Rose turns into someone Fern doesn’t know at all.

I loved Fern. She has all these issues but she finds love with someone who understands them perfectly. But in the end, will she be able to stand up to Rose? Or will her mother actually save the day and expose who is the sociopath here?

That was some ending! Did not see that coming!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

Lost in Paris by Elizabeth Thompson

Lost in Paris

When a deed to an apartment in Paris turns up in an old attic trunk, an estranged mother and daughter must reunite to uncover the secret life of a family matriarch—perfect for fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Beekeeper’s Daughter.

Hannah Bond fled Florida for a quiet life without her mother, Marla. Marla is unstable at best and an alcoholic to boot. Her specialty is choosing good for nothing men. Well he was good at the black eye part. So Hannah has fled to London to lead Jane Austen tours through the countryside. And she loves it.

Marla is about to shake up Hannah’s quiet world. Since Hannah isn’t answering her calls, she shows up in London at Hannah’s flat. She is here to solve a mystery and she needs Hannah’s help. Hannah isn’t too keen on anything to do with her mother. But Hannah is a bookworm and we can’t run from a good adventure. Marla has a key and a deed to a Paris apartment.

There are also old newspaper clippings about the death of Andres Armand. A famous writer who great-grandma Ivy seems to know a lot about. The two of them set off for Paris to find a perfectly preserved apartment that hasn’t been entered since 1940.

These are the things I dream of. A mysterious key, a secret Paris apartment and lots of nude paintings of Granny Ivy.

They are keeping the apartment, no matter what.

Hannah and Marla are not close at all. Hannah resents her mother for not being there for her and Marla comes with baggage and lots of sketchy behavior. Is she drinking again? Can Hannah trust her? 

All I had to see was “a secret apartment from 1940” and I was hooked. This was such a good look at mother and daughter dynamics. And the secrets. The half-truths and the misunderstandings. But there is always a chance at forgiveness and acceptance.

What a lovely story.

NetGalley/April 13th, 2021 by Gallery Books

THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS by M.E.Hilliard

The Unkindness of Ravens: A Greer Hogan Mystery

A GREER HOGAN MYSTERY

Meet Greer Hogan. Librarian and murder mystery lover. A puzzle solver. A widow whose husband was murdered. Who would have thought in the smaller Village of Raven Hill she would again be stumbling over a body? In the library no less!

Unfortunately, the body is also a friend of Greer’s from school. Who in the world would want her dead? When Greer finds a cryptic note left for her by the victim, she decides this time she is not going to let it go.

There have already been a couple of deaths that the police say are accidents. But are they? Who are these people in this small village and what kind of dark secrets are they harboring?

Stirring up all kinds of trouble with her questioning, Greer is soon the object of the killer’s fury.

This was a good first book in the series. Greer is a strong female with a few soft spots. I would have liked to have heard more about her background and I’m sure we will.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

When the Stars Go Dark by PAULA McLAIN

When the Stars Go Dark

A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

The beginning of this book had me imagining all kinds of reasons Anna is hiding out from her own past and present. A Detective in San Francisco, it’s obvious that something has happened to make her leave the city and head to Mendocino, where she lived as a kid.

The day she arrives the first thing she hears is about a missing girl in the area. This is bringing up a lot of emotions and flashbacks from her time living here with her foster parents. A girl went missing then as well. And that crime is still unsolved. When another girl goes missing Anna realizes she may be exactly where she is supposed to be at the moment. With all of her experience and knowledge of predators, she can’t help but get involved.

There are some true crimes and names here that you will recognize. There is a lot about trauma and human nature. This one had everything. I’m sure I bit my lip at least twice. What I loved about this book was the rawness of the emotions. There was no attempt to pretty up the facts. They tore at your heart to the very end.

When you are brave enough to face your demons, then maybe you can reclaim your life.

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Ballantine Books



THE BOHEMIANS by Jasmin Darznik

Dorothea Lange has had her share of pain in her life. Surviving polio was a major one. Left with little to no self-confidence and a limp, she finds her passion in a small photography shop in New York.

In 1918 she arrives in San Francisco. A city still rebuilding itself and full of men returning from war and the hideous behavior of the people toward the Chinese. She is way out of her comfort zone until she meets Caroline Lee, a mixed-race woman with a mysterious past who has also known her share of sorrow.

Caroline introduces Dorothea to the Monkey Block, a large colony of artists of every medium. Caroline is an expert seamstress and clothing designer and it is her dream to open her own salon. Dorothea wants to open her own photography studio.

Caroline introduces her to all the names we know and love, such as Maynard Dixon, Ansel Adams, Mabel Dodge, Frida Kahlo, and more. Dorothea falls hard for Dixon, a brilliant artist but a horrible lover.

Dorothea and Caroline open the photography studio and do very well. Things are going well, they are making money and Dorothea is neck-deep into this new world of art and political upheaval as many see the Chinese as less than human and want them out of the country. Sound familiar?

I so enjoyed reading about how Dorrie got to San Francisco. The 1920s were not kind to minorities or women but Dorrie pushed a lot of boundaries. Everything in her life is changed with an act so horrendous it sends Caroline far away and Dorrie is on her own.

In the first half of the book, I was really interested. Then there came the part about her feeling guilty for being gone from her sons for so long while taking pictures documenting internment camps and the people suffering during the depression. Wait…she had children? When? With who? Not another thing was mentioned about it and it felt unfinished. The rest really made no sense.

The people in this book are real and the author kindly elaborates on them in the end. All in all, I was rather confused by the end.

NetGalley/ Expected publication: April 6th, 2021 by Ballantine Books

DEADLY EDITIONS by PAIGE SHELTON

Deadly Editions (Scottish Bookshop Mystery)

A Scottish Bookshop Mystery #6

Edinburgh bookseller, Delaney Nichols, is at the Cracked Spine Bookshop working hard as usual, when a mysterious person in a cloak brings her a note. The note is from good old Shelaigh O’Connor, who at age 70 is still causing trouble. This time Shelaigh has come up with a treasure hunt.

A treasure hunt that will net the winner a first edition of The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson! And that’s not all, the winner also gets her entire library and some cash. Delaney is definitely in the race.

After their first meeting of the group of treasure hunters, Edinburgh finds itself with several home invasions. Some look a lot like Shelaigh’s previous tricks. When they find a man dead, a man Shelaigh knew, people are suspicious. Until Shelaigh herself goes missing.

Is this part of the game? A red herring? Or has a killer taken her out of the game permanently? And could Delaney be his next target?

This is such a good series. I really enjoy the characters and the setting.

NetGalley/ April 6th, 2021 by Minotaur Books