Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble

Friends and Other Liars: A Novel

To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he’s dead.

When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby’s whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.

Because even friends keep secrets. They just don’t stay secret for long.

Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blur, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.

When Ruby left her small hometown for NYU, she never looked back. From New York to London and back to New York, for ten years she hasn’t spoken to her crew. Now one of them has committed suicide and she reluctantly comes home for the funeral.

Told from multiple points of view, and time, past and present, it is full of all of the angst of high school and teenagers who are now adults but sink right back into their old roles once they are together again.

Danny has left them each an envelope with a secret that they hold. They are to share them with the group or there will be consequences. All of them have something and while some of it is just petty, some are life changing.

They all come from pretty dysfunctional families, the only difference is to what degree of dysfunction. I really did not like Danny. He was a manipulative drug addict who should have taken responsibility for his own life. I mean come on this is ten years after high school. Why try to hurt so many people on the way out?

It wasn’t a pretty story, the people were raw and human and doing the best they could with what they knew.

All in all it was pretty depressing.

Netgalley/Sourcebooks  February 6th 2018

IT’S MONDAY AGAIN! WHAT’S ON YOUR LIST?

I hope everyone had a refreshing weekend! I read all week-end and tried really hard to stay off of social media. I managed to get five reviews in the draft folder which is sitting at 22 right now which is also the amount of books I have on NetGalley at the moment.

So here’s what I’m reading this week. And now time for a mini-rant.

Things that irritate me:

When the Book Blurb tells the entire story. I don’t need or want to read it if you’ve already told me everything that happens.  Leave a little mystery please!

Reviews a mile long. Look I’m just here to tell you whether I liked it or not. I’ll tell you why too. But I am not going to de-construct someone’s work. A Critique and a Review are different animals.

Most of us receive ARC copies of a book or Uncorrected Proofs so I expect a mistake or two. It doesn’t bother me or make it to the review because I know the Publisher will have corrected it by the time the book is released. It’s the over all tale I’m interested in.

And no, this isn’t about you. Whoever you are, I read an article over the weekend and I totally agreed with it. When your blurb tells too much you rob the reader of discovering the little gems in the story. So, yeah, stop that.

xx Patricia   What’s everyone reading this week? Anything good and juicy I should know about?

THE EASTER MAKE BELIEVERS By Finn Bell

The Easter Make Believers

When an innocent family is taken hostage in their home no one is ready for how fast it all goes terribly wrong. As the close knit community of small town Lawrence reels from the shock, detectives Nick Cooper and Tobe White stand among the dead bodies knowing that it’s not over. Because while grateful that at least the two young daughters survived unscathed, they now know that their father is still missing, somehow impossibly vanishing from a house surrounded by police. The mystery deepens as Nick and Tobe realize that they know every gunman lying dead here – because up to last night they were the leaders of the biggest criminal gang in the country. As the desperate search and rescue mission starts it soon collides with their own challenging investigation leading them into the centre of a deeper, older tragedy. Where they begin to learn just how far someone will go for those he truly, dearly hates.

Set in New Zealand during a late snowstorm, which has its own voice in the book, Nick and Tobe are called to a scene that goes from bad to worse. A family being held hostage in their own home. And Nick recognizes them all as a family of gang members. Why are a bunch of gang members here in this tiny town with a family tied up and held hostage?

When snipers take out the targets inside, an explosion is set off and the father and one of the known gang members is missing. Where did they go?

As Nick and Tobe strike out to find where the tunnel went and where the missing men went, the storm hits. Stuck in blizzard conditions and having no luck finding them, they duck into a mine entrance and that is where everything is turned upside down and the author leaves us with our mouths hanging open! Plot Twist!

A really great thriller! Well Done Mr. Bell!

 

 

By The Book a novel by Julia Sonneborn

By the Book

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

Billed as a modern look at Jane Austin’s Persuasion, the lead character, Anne, was possibly a Lit snob. A typical thirty something with enormous student debt, needing a book deal to secure tenure. Of course her book is on 19th century women authors.

In the book she is about as scatterbrained as most professors and although she has her PHD, why is it that the Jane Austen types are always so intelligent except for men. They are continually languishing over some troubled and large and unavailable men. This is rather a sore point with me.

How can you be so smart and fall into bed with someone you just met? Knowing absolutely nothing about them?

Along with her best friend/mentor, Larry, who is not only gay but was almost a cliched stereotype. And there’s the new Author in Residence who is my idea of a horrible author and person. It was difficult to like any of them but at least Larry made me laugh the entire time!

This will be released on February 06, 2018   Netgalley/SimonandSchuster

Perish(Gardiner and Renner Thriller) by Lisa Black

Perish (Gardiner and Renner, #3)

Bestselling author Lisa Black takes readers on a nail-biting journey to the dark side of justice as forensic expert Maggie Gardner discovers troubling new details about her colleague Jack Renner, a homicide detective with a brutal approach to law and order . . .

The scene of the crime is lavish but gruesome. In a luxurious mansion on the outskirts of Cleveland, a woman’s body lies gutted in a pool of blood on the marble floor. The victim is Joanna Moorehouse, founder of Sterling Financial. The killer could be any one of her associates.

Maggie knows that to crack the case, she and Jack will have to infiltrate the cutthroat world of high-stakes finance. But the offices of Sterling Financial seethe with potential suspects, every employee hellbent on making a killing. When another officer uncovers disturbing evidence in a series of unrelated murders, the investigation takes a surprising detour.

Only Maggie recognizes the blood-soaked handiwork of a killer who has committed the most heinous of crimes—and will continue killing until he is stopped. Burdened with unbearable secrets, Maggie must make an agonizing choice, while her conscience keeps telling her: she’s next.

Jack and Maggie have settled in to a somewhat shaky truce. He may have a rather unorthodox hobby, but he does work well with Maggie and his partner. I like to think of them as CSI meets Dexter.

There were suspects coming out of the woodwork here and all had different reasons for wanting to get rid of the boss. There were so many unlikable characters in this book that I was actually cheering for the serial killer cop!

The story revolves around Sterling, and we get more than a few lessons on finances and shady mortgage lenders and what is legal is not always ethical, and as much as I love a good Lisa Black novel, about half of that could be taken out. It detracted from the story and I found myself skimming over it and I don’t like to do that.

The motive and the killer were both a shocker in the end and we can only hope there will be another Jack and Maggie book!

Netgalley/Kensington  January 30.2018

No Time To Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

Thinking about what matters (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

From acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, and with an introduction by Karen Joy Fowler, a collection of thoughts—always adroit, often acerbic—on aging, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation.

Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s blog, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her wonder at it.

On the absurdity of denying your age, she says, “If I’m ninety and believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub.” On cultural perceptions of fantasy: “The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?” On her new cat: “He still won’t sit on a lap…I don’t know if he ever will. He just doesn’t accept the lap hypothesis.” On breakfast: “Eating an egg from the shell takes not only practice, but resolution, even courage, possibly willingness to commit crime.” And on all that is unknown, all that we discover as we muddle through life: “How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.”

 

If you are familiar with her blog then you have a head start. The book is easily read.

Each section talks about a topic and how that topic affects us. Such as Aging, The Literary World, And generally trying to make sense out of everything. Interrupted by sections on her cat Pard and his oddities.

It reads like a blog. And that is really what it is. All of her blog posts re-set in a book form. She is a very interesting lady and I laughed a lot during this book.

We will miss you greatly!

Netgalley/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

 

 

 

Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin

Should've Been You (Man Enough, #3)

Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!

National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.

Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.

However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?

This was a sweet story.  High School is over and the three friends have gone their own ways. Hannah is still best friends with Jase, but it seems rather one-sided as she uses him to get her out of jams and as a plus one. But Jase wants more and always has.

He was always romantically interested in Becca, not Hannah, but one small lie led Jase to believe she did not return those feelings and both moved on but never lost that feeling that they could have been something.

Can this homecoming Christmas fix the past and lead to love? It just might!

Netgalley/Swerve     January 30, 2018

A Little Bit of Grace ( A Cypress Key Novel ) by Phoebe Fox

A Little Bit of Grace

Family is everything—Grace McAdams’s mom must have said it to her a thousand times before she died. Before Grace’s dad ran off with an aspiring actress half his age. Before only child Grace found out she was unable to have children of her own. Before Brian—her childhood best friend, business partner, and finally her husband—dropped a “bombshell” on her in the form of her stunning new replacement.

Which means Grace now has…nothing.

Until a letter from a woman claiming to be a relative Grace never knew she had sends her on a journey—from the childhood home she had to move back into (three doors down from the happy couple) to a tropical paradise island to meet a total stranger who claims to be family. And Grace starts to uncover answers about the eccentric woman her family never mentioned: an octogenarian who writes a viral relationship-advice blog, a compulsive (and highly successful) matchmaker…and the keeper of an unimaginable family secret held for more than fifty years.

A heartfelt, funny story about family and forgiveness, starting over when the happy ending ends, and handling it all with a little bit of grace.

I read this in one sitting it was so good. Grace made me laugh, cry, and even stomp my feet. Just when she was about to chuck it all and never leave her house again after temporarily losing her sanity and thoroughly embarrassed herself, she finds a postcard in the neglected stack of mail.

Someone from her mother’s past? A relative? The mystery could not have unraveled soon enough. Throwing a few things in a bag, she heads to Florida to meet this mysterious relative.

From Grace to Millie to Bridget to just about everyone in this book these were some of the best characters I’ve read in a long time. A wonderful beginning I hope to more.

This beautiful story about families, time, secrets and acceptance and who we really are when we are honest with ourselves. I loved every bit of this story. A very rarely given 5 Stars!

Netgalley/Henery Press     January 23,2018

Debut Author Corbin M. Cowan

IMG_1206

Today I want to introduce to you my latest favorite author. Corbin. He’s 5 and he is obsessed with snowmen. My office can attest to that as they are all over the walls.

I’m proud to say that the love of my life has now written a book. See there was a reason he needed that printer for Christmas!  As I said he is 5 and likes animals, swimming, and being Spiderman in his spare time away from Pre-K. His favorite food is chicken with a whole wheat breading and pomme frites with a tomato sauce reduction. Yes, that is chicken nuggets.

He has an imagination that is so great to see these days. And we foster that.

IMG_3788

Here is a look at his writing process. His mom even made a video of the final product for us.  He hand writes everything and uses only markers as his hands are small and pencils hurt.

 

As you can see, his edits are complete and he is on to the sequel. We will be entertaining all offers of representation for the book and the film rights.  Just message us!

xx Patricia   Enjoy!