PRIDE of EDEN by TAYLOR BROWN

Pride of Eden

The enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author of Fallen Land, The River of Kings, and Gods of Howl Mountain

Little Eden is a wildlife sanctuary on the Georgia coast. Rather low rent and shabby. Much like the ruins of an entire development that failed when the interstate moved locations.

Anse Caulfield runs the place. We aren’t sure how he manages that financially but he is a character. A veteran of Vietnam, Jockey, and lover of all wild animals. Especially Henrietta, his prized cat that Anse loves fiercely. When she gets out and is killed, he is obsessed with finding more, saving more animals and righting wrongs.

Anse and Tyler, a vet, live together at the sanctuary and she worries endlessly about Anse.  When another former soldier and animal activist, Malay, shows up looking for work, Anse hires her. She feels the same respect for the animals and the rage at how they are treated. Along with local friend Lope, they take on the smugglers, the back alley sellers of rare cats who are soon abandoned and left to die.

But someone else wants one of the cats they saved. And for a reason, you won’t believe until you read it!

If you read The Gods of Howl Mountain, you know Brown has a gift for weaving stories and characters that is magical. For me personally, my family is from Sapelo Island and St. Simon’s Island. We grew up speaking Geechee and running wild much like the feral cattle left to roam the island. This was very personal to me. The cruelty of people to raise an animal by hand and then let men come in a fenced area to kill it is mindboggling. What kind of person does that?  Turns out, a lot of them.

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for another brilliant read!

NetGalley/ March 17th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE by GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN

You Are Not Alone

Some people contend there are two primal fears. The first and most basic is the end of our existence. The second is isolation; we all have a deep need to belong to something greater than ourselves.”

Shay Miller is in her 30’s and has just been downsized. She’s been roommates with her best friend Sean forever and now he suddenly has a serious girlfriend who would rather not have Shay living there.

Jobless, homeless and alone. This isn’t how she planned her life but it’s how it turned out. She is a loner who wants to belong. To someone or something. She’s brilliant in her field of Data but nailing interviews isn’t her strong suit. You can tell there is going to be an interesting backstory here.

Jane and Cassandra Moore are sisters and own a successful business. They have tons of friends and are so what Shay wants to be. Or does she?

When Shay witnesses a woman jump in front of a subway train, the Moore sisters seem to be the answer to all of Shay’s problems. Since they appeared in her life things just work out. She desperately wants them to like her and that desperation may be exactly what gets her killed.

Whenever I see a new book on the NetGalley shelf by these two writers I am unable to resist asking for it! The flow, the characters, the twists, and turns will have you staying up long past your bedtime just to figure out this puzzle! Because if you are like me, you have an idea but oh my that ending!

Never disappoint!

NetGalley/ March 3rd, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike

Thriller, Psychological Drama, and Mental Illness. It sounds like a recipe for staying up past your bedtime!

Erica Spindler is a master at twisty, mental thrillers.

Ten years ago Sienna Scott was taking a shortcut from the library at college. Wearing a white coat with the hood pulled low, she could barely see for all of the snow coming down. Until she sees the red that shouldn’t be there, and a dead girl wearing the same coat as Sienna.

Sienna’s mother has had mental health issues since shortly after Sienna’s birth. Paranoid delusions, fear of someone hurting her child. She has been locked up in her own house since Sienna left and is getting worse. But what if they really are out to get you? Are you still paranoid?

Sienna is still dealing with the thoughts she has that the girl’s death was meant for her. She just can’t shake that feeling and when her mother agrees with her, the seed is planted.

Shortly after the murder, she was sent to London to live with her aunt. Her father afraid she would turn out like her mother, asked her half-brother to look after her after his death. Since Sienna has been gone so long, he has mainly been taking care of her mother, but now he needs help and Sienna returns.

This was one crazy ride! I suspected everyone at some point. Compulsively readable, a cast of great characters and a great ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

THE GOD GAME by Danny Tobey

The God Game

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It;’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

When Charlie gets an invitation to the G.O.D. Game, his friend Peter accepts for him. And soon their little band of misfits and computer hackers are all playing.

At first, things seem all right. G.O.D. is saying all the right things. But from the beginning, Charlie is suspicious and not really wanting to play along. When the game begins commanding they do bad things, they all want out, except one. But remember the only way out is death. But does it have to be their own death?

At first, I thought this was going to be like the television show, God Friended Me. It was not. It’s not like Stranger Things, or any other show it’s currently being compared to.

There were some good undercurrents going on. The AI believed it was God. The chaos with the Trump controversy. Can one person make the entire world bend to his will? Are we only in it for ourselves? Under the story, there were good pieces you could pick out underscoring our lack of compassion and lack of any moral compass. If the AI got all of its knowledge from watching us, we are in for a sad state of affairs.

NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

When we first meet Ailsa Rae, she is dying. She has lived with a heart condition since her birth and is waiting for a transplant. She has a blog and has blogged about her experience as a patient on the organ registry. She has also had a best friend, boyfriend and a fellow patient in Lennox.

Just as Lennox dies, a heart becomes available for Ailsa. And this is the story of how she learned to live instead of existing.

Months later, she is doing well physically but not so much emotionally. It is going to take a bit of time to stop feeling fragile and stretch her limits. She has ups and downs and uses her blog to ask her followers advice in poll form. She’s missed out on so much and now she needs to learn to be healthy and alive.

I loved her mum. What a woman she is! And she has always been there for her only child. Now they both have to figure out what their new roles and lives will be.

Her new heart is strong and thumping along and it makes itself at home in her chest, she must learn to not only protect it but to listen to it and claim it as her own.

A good story. There were a few discrepancies, but all in all a good story.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press  October 29th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

SECRETS of the CHOCOLATE HOUSE by PAULA BRACKSTON

Secrets of the Chocolate House

In this second book with time spinner, Xanthe is back in her own time and modern-day Marlborough. She is still missing Samuel and wonders if he thinks of her.

Helping her mother in the shop and buying new stock, getting involved in the town and planning a special event for all of the shops.

While looking through the mountains of stock in the shop, Xanthe clearly hears something singing to her. An old and dented chocolate pot. When she holds it she immediately gets a vision of Samuel in danger. Knowing she must go back to the seventeenth century to save Samuel gives her some pause. Her mother is crippled, events are coming up and lo and behold the ex Marcus is in town.

This time Xanthe will learn what it is to be a Spinner of time. She will face a powerful foe and fellow Spinner. While Xanthe travels to put things right, This man wants power and he is willing to kill to get it.

No one does the slip time better than Paula Brackston. This is a series I hope will continue. The characters are so engaging and the mystery must be solved so you are turning pages to the very end. And now we wait.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ October 22nd, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

“Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris, author of The “Tattooist of Auschwitz”

Cilka's Journey

The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?

She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.

When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.

Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?

This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press