The SEAMSTRESS of NEW ORLEANS by DIANE C.McPHAIL

Can we take a look at this gorgeous cover? Stunning!

It’s 1900 and a new century has dawned and women are making some noise. Fighting for equality in a man’s world.

Alice Butterworth knows all of those rules. She also knows she needs to find a job as it looks like her husband is not going to be returning from his business trip. Desperate and broke, she overhears women talking about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. How a seamstress can flourish there. And Alice is a good seamstress. So to New Orleans, she goes. Carrying a parting gift from the no-good husband. A baby.

She finally arrives at an orphanage where she can stay and teach sewing to the older girls.

Constance is a young mother and wife. Her husband is shady at best. He isn’t coming home either. She knows this for certain. She works very closely with the orphanage and meeting Alice she offers her lodging with her little family while she helps her create a gown for the Leap Year Ball for Mardi Gras. It’s an all-women Krewe which at that time was forward. But she needs something to take her mind off of the fear she feels. Who is the mysterious man following her? And why?

This is a story of women helping women. Of being brave and standing together. While there was quite a bit of Mardi Gras trivia, this was ultimately about empowering women.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Kensington Publishing Corp. A John Scognamiglio Book


THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


BLOOMSBURY GIRLS by NATALIE JENNER

Bloomsbury Girls

The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

The war is over in London and the delightful Evie Stone is back. Having completed her studies at Cambridge she is hoping to get a position at the school. However, in typical fashion, the position goes to a man.

Using one of her contacts from The Jane Austen Society as a reference, she applies for a job at Bloomsbury Books. Selling new and rare books and resisting change in any form for a hundred years. Run by men and the fifty-one rules. Yes, 51.

But it’s 1950 and things are about to be shaken up like a snow globe with Evie’s arrival.

The women who work here, Vivien and Grace are tired of all of the men treating them as less than. Vivien’s fiance died in action in the war and Vivien is angry about a lot of things. Being passed over for a job she is very qualified for as well as her mortal enemy Alec, Head of Fiction. Vivien wants to write. She is constantly writing. Alec wants to write but never can.

Grace, the married one in the group is a glorified secretary who is just trying to support her family after her husband came back from the war a different man. A mean man who she wishes she could leave.

And then there is Evie. One of the first class of female students allowed to graduate and earn a degree at Cambridge. But Evie isn’t there to just work out a system for the messy rare book section, she has a purpose and is looking for something. Something she found at the great house in Chawton.

A chance meeting with Daphne Du Maurier has lit a fire under these women. Why can’t they follow their dreams? When other women join their cause, such as Peggy Guggenheim, Sonia Blair, Ellen Doubleday, and others, things are getting done. Have the women outplayed the men here? Oh, yes. And it is delicious.

I am so happy to see Evie! I so wanted to hear how she was getting on. And in this tale, she may even find love!

Very Well Done once again!

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press







NERUDA ON THE PARK by CLEYVIS NATERA

An exhilarating debut novel following members of a Dominican family in New York City who take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification

A beautiful debut novel. Eusebia and her husband, Vladimir, along with their daughter, Luz, have lived in Nothar Park which is a predominately Dominican part of New York for twenty years. Having come from the Dominican Republic.

Eusebia is considered an elder in the community and she isn’t happy about the gentrification going on around them. Especially when the owner of their building decides to go condo and sell the units. So they must move out or be bought out. They are both proud of their daughter, a lawyer in a fancy firm downtown.

All the while behind Eusebia’s back, Luz is helping her father design the perfect house in the Dominican Republic for him and his wife when they retire. They have worked hard and sacrificed for their dreams and their daughter.

After an accident, Eusebia is even more determined than ever to keep her neighborhood as it is. She enlists her group of women friends and they come up with a plan that may get them all killed.

Meanwhile, Luz has lost her job and fallen hard for the man leading the demo project. This pits mother and daughter against each other and will lead to dangerous results.

It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. Natera’s writing weaves together themes of family, identity, and community and what we are willing to sacrifice for those we love.

It is a beautifully told story.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 by Ballantine Books





THE MAGNIFICENT LIVES OF MARJORIE POST by ALLISON PATAKI

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

An epic reimagining of the remarkable life of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the American heiress and trailblazing leader of the twentieth century, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sisi

Marjorie Merriweather Post was not born in the type of wealth that would later allow her to own Mar-a-Lago and entertain heads of state from around the world. She grew up modestly in Battle Creek, Michigan after her family came there for the curative methods of Dr. Kellogg. Yes, that Kellogg. And yes, that Post, as in Grape Nuts. What her father learned while there led him to mass-produce cereal and food that was quick and easy to fix allowing the housewives to not live in the kitchen.

Her father encouraged her ambitions. He wanted her educated and able to form her own opinions. Marjorie took all of those lessons to heart. She lived and loved with all of her being.

Her first job was gluing cereal boxes in the barn. While she would go on to become the Cereal Heiress, she always gave more than she received.

She wasn’t very interested in the rules of society when it came to what she should or should not do and she threw herself into whatever she was passionate about. She was the wealthiest woman in the USA before she turned thirty. She was passionate about so many causes and love. She was loved, betrayed and had some ugly things to deal with as well. She married four times and gave her all. She was an amazing woman who left an amazing legacy behind.

I loved getting to know Marjorie. What a woman! And Pataki fills this book with such passion it isn’t difficult to find yourself staying up past your bedtime!

NetGalley/ February 15th, 2022 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

DECIMATE by CHRISTOPHER RICE

Decimate

Claire and her brother, Poe, were on a camping trip with their father. The one who is passed out drunk in front of the fire. Poe insists on going into the woods to explore and Claire reluctantly goes along even though it is pitch black and they have no idea where they are going.

In the next minute, the Montana woods explode. A blinding light and a pulse of energy knock them down the mountainside leaving them injured and not at all sure what has happened to them. Their father is screaming aliens and after that their mother divorces him and keeps Claire while their Dad keeps Poe.

Even apart they feel connected somehow. Something has happened to them and they both handle it by self-medicating and ignoring the whole thing. Until a tragedy occurs and Claire must return to Montana for answers.

This is a story of life and death. Near-death experiences taken to the next level. What does happen at the moment of death? And what happened to them as kids? The answers will blow your mind.

Always a pleasure to read Rice.

NetGalley/ : May 10th, 2022 Thomas & Mercer

Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Spark House #2

It’s great to be back at Spark House again. London Spark has finally broken up with her boyfriend. And now fun London has come out to play with her sisters, Avery and Harley. Celebrating out on the town. When a handsome stranger walks up to the table with eyes only for London, she tells him she has a boyfriend.

London doesn’t even have time for love. She handles the business aspect of Spark House and isn’t so keen on it, but it’s been a family business for a long time. London really enjoys the creative side of things. And with her Etsy shop going strong she already barely gets any sleep.

Luck or fate? When London takes a meeting with a huge media company that wants to sponsor them and their green ineciatives. But London isn’t big on meetings. Her anxiety overwhelms her to the point that she is nervously making origami stars again. All the time. So going to meet with these people has her in a state. But once she gets going, it’s not so bad.

Until a gorgeous man in a gorgeous suit walks in looking stunned. London thinks he looks familiar but can’t place him. He, however, has no problem placing her.

When Jackson takes over the account so he can spend more time with London, his team is shocked. This is not the Jackson they know. He doesn’t have relationships or work directly with the client.

But oh the spark between these two. What’s the answer to not mix business with pleasure? Put someone else in charge. But these two have painful past experiences and aren’t exactly spilling them all at once.

There was so much stress going on for London. Her anxiety, her sisters whom she loves but isn’t happy with Avery not willing to hire help. Jackson comes with his own baggage and a woman who thinks he belongs to her. Sparks will fly in all directions.

I loved the first book and I loved this one too. It’s nice once in a while to read a love story.

NetGalley/ May 10th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin





SUCH BIG DREAMS by REEMA PATEL

A savvy former street child working at a law office in Mumbai fights for redemption and a chance to live life on her own terms in this fresh, propulsive debut novel about fortune and survival.

Rakhi is just twenty-three years old but is still deeply affected by the loss of her best friend eleven years ago. She may work in a law office, but she is still living in the slums of Mumbai. Justice For All is a human-rights law organization headed up by a well-thought-of lawyer who gives her a chance.

She smart. Very smart. And though she is looked down on by others, she is managing to get by.

And then she meets Alex. Alex wants the real India experience. And in return he makes promises. It sounds like a good deal. But if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Everything Rakhi knows will be turned upside down. She will have to make choices that are hard for her in order to survive. And she is looking at the reality of the costs of getting yourself back.

Very impressive debut novel!

NetGalley/May 10th, 2022 by Ballantine Books




MY WIFE IS MISSING by D.J. PALMER

My Wife Is Missing

When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them–even confront the secrets of his own past–in D. J. Palmer’s My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband…

Michael is worried about his wife, Natalie. Her insomnia is getting worse. She isn’t sleeping at all. He thinks she’s paranoid and she thinks he is sleeping with one of her co-workers.

When said co-worker turns up dead, Natalie can barely function. She is sure her husband has killed the woman. On a trip to New York, Natalie suggests Michael run out for pizza. When he returns she and the children are gone.

Questioned by the police and released, Michael sets out to find his family only to have the detective on the case decide to ride along. Michael is pretty sure the guy thinks he has something to do with what is going on and Michael feels guilty for something he may or may not have done years ago.

Through Natalies’ voice, we hear about their past. How they met, and about his long-dead family. A past he never speaks about. Which now sounds suspicious.

I am not giving anything away here. If you are a fan of Palmer’s then you know you are going to have a long night trying to untie all the twists and turns of this excellent read!

NetGalley/ May 10th, 2022