“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

 

 

 

 

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel by Naomi Ragen

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the internationally bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.

Lola/Leah had it all. Or so she thought. A tragic love story, a new love along with a great career, but while her eyes were elsewhere, her lover hops into bed with the boss and the boss has destroyed the business leaving Lola/Leah with no job, no boyfriend, and no place to go.

Although her mother is Jewish, she rebelled against her parents and the faith early on and led her own non-believing life. She has taught her daughter that religion is a cult and she should make her own rules. But Lola/Leah is broken. And curious about her faith.

When she enters a program for newly practicing Orthodox Jews, she finds it hard and rewarding. She knows this is how she wants to live her life. And when love finds her, the same people who showed her the path will try to push her out of it.

There was a lot of writing in this book. A bit too much. But the story. The words. A lot of them hit too close to home. Oh, how we love to convert someone to a believer or bring back a lamb that has strayed. But we still think we are better than you. I was humbled by this book.

A beautiful and powerful look at true faith and love. Well Done!

NetGalley/ September 24th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

29 SECONDS by T.M.Logan

 

29 Seconds

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . . 

Dr. Sarah Haywood has a lot on her plate. A teaching job concentrating on Christoper Marlowe, 2 young children, a husband who has shacked up with another woman, and a boss who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Professor Hawthorne is a nightmare of a boss. Always one step ahead of any accusations of impropriety and not afraid to blackmail his female staff into sex for your job scenario.

Sarah is at a loss to figure out a way to keep her job and not have to sleep with her boss. Which is getting more difficult as he is sabotaging her work and reputation. Sarah is at her wit’s end.

A seemingly unrelated incident happens to her early on. She is witness to an attempted kidnapping of a little girl. She never thought that the little girl belonged to a very powerful man who is very grateful to Sarah. In a very secretive meeting, Sarah meets a man with a lot of money and a lot of power, who doesn’t like to owe people. In his mind, Sarah has saved his daughter and now he is in her debt. So he offers her a one time deal.

Will she take it? Would you? One name. Gone Forever. Would you? No chance of blowback. No chance of anyone finding out. Would you?

This was definitely a thriller!  At first, I was a bit upset with Sarah. She was rather all over the place, but I looked at what she was. An educated woman being jerked around by not one but two men. While holding down a full-time job and with 2 children under 10. Being passed over for promotion for not trading sex for favors.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ September 10th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR! The Escape Room by Megan Goldin @St.MartinsPress @megangoldauthor @netgalley

Escape Room cover

“Welcome to the Escape Room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.”

Escape rooms can be really fun and right now they are all over the place and getting pretty creative. The premise is simple enough. A group of people locked in a room. Together they must look at clues that will allow them to escape. The clues are rarely straight forward and more than once will have you backtracking. In the real world, if you run out of time, they just let you out and you can do the walk of shame.

This isn’t that type of story. In this story, four very competitive co-workers are told that on this Friday evening they will be participating in an escape room challenge. None of them wants to do any team-building exercises, but they also want to keep their jobs and the money that goes with those jobs, so they show up in a building that is undergoing construction, waiting for an elevator to take them to the escape room.

Little do they know as the elevator rises to the 70th floor that they are already in the escape room. And for the next few days, all of their dirty little secrets, failings, and crimes come out and they must all deal with their own shameful behaviors. And most importantly, which one of them is a killer?

Netgalley/ July 30th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Synopsis:
In Megan Goldin's unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising
stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal
game of revenge.
Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game.
They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme
luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive
co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when
the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary
competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve
cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they
realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up
the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final
chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

Author Bio:
MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she
covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia.
She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to
Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM is her debut novel.

 

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire

Cassie is happy. She is one of the only female firefighters in her Austin department. She’s so good at her job she’s about to receive an award for Valor when we first meet her. She loves her job and her team. Cassie is gobsmacked when the presenter isn’t the Mayor but a Councilman. An enemy from high school. Let’s just say he leaves the stage on a stretcher and Cassie may not be making Lieutenant or even have a job left.

Cassie’s mother left her and her father when Cassie was 16 and she isn’t over it or anything else. So when out of the blue she receives a call from Diana, her mother, asking her to move to the Boston area and stay with her for a year while she is having a bit of a problem with her eye.

Reminding herself it is only temporary she heads out knowing that she will have a job with a much smaller and older station with guys she knows don’t want a woman in their boys’ club. But she needs to stay away from Austin and let the dust settle.

Before leaving Austin her Captain had told her to not make waves and DO. NOT. Date. Firemen. Not a problem for Cassie as she doesn’t even believe in love and never dates. The hazing and lack of support at the station is compounded with a new guy who on day one turns her life upside down!

I loved this story. Every character was so well done. This was a tale of perspective, forgiveness, and the complicated love of family. I was so moved by the courage Cassie and her mother had.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 13th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

A STRANGER ON THE BEACH by MICHELE CAMPBELL

A Stranger on the Beach

Told from two points of view, this thriller actually cost me a fingernail!

Caroline is living the dream. A successful interior designer, who quit to raise her daughter who is now off to college, she is determined to get back in the game and earn her own money. Her husband works long, hard hours in order to provide a lifestyle it would seem they both enjoy.

Staring out the expansive glass windows Caroline spots a man on the beach. Staring at her house. She debates calling the police since he isn’t really doing anything, but at the same time, there have been burglaries lately in this enclave for the rich and famous. Later she will say she wished she had called the police.

Aiden is a bartender in a local bar. Having served time for manslaughter and now determined to show his Chief-of -Police brother that he has changed. He isn’t a teenager anymore and is tired of being treated like trash.

At Caroline’s housewarming party everyone wants to know where Jason is. Even her husbands boss isn’t believing her story of him running late. Later when he shows up with a Russian hussy in tow everything blows up and in front of God and everyone he leaves with the Russian girl and wants a divorce.

Aiden is happy to come to the rescue and Caroline is happy to have him. For a bit.

That is all I’m giving away. Let me just say this was one twisted puzzle that had me speechless for a good hour in the end. What???  I did not see that coming. The pace was perfect. The timing was everything in this wickedly good thriller!

Well Done!

NetGalley/St.Martin’s Press July 23rd, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

 

The Escape Room

“Welcome to the Escape Room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.”

Escape rooms can be really fun and right now they are all over the place and getting pretty creative. The premise is simple enough. A group of people locked in a room. Together they must look at clues that will allow them to escape. The clues are rarely straight forward and more than once will have you backtracking. In the real world, if you run out of time, they just let you out and you can do the walk of shame.

This isn’t that type of story. In this story, four very competitive co-workers are told that on this Friday evening they will be participating in an escape room challenge. None of them wants to do any team building exercises, but they also want to keep their jobs and the money that goes with those jobs, so they show up in a building that is undergoing construction, waiting for an elevator to take them to the escape room.

Little do they know as the elevator rises to the 70th floor that they are already in the escape room. And for the next few days, all of their dirty little secrets, failings, and crimes come out and they must all deal with their own shameful behaviors. And most importantly, which one of them is a killer?

Yes, we find out at the end who was running the show. But I have to say it was a rather unsatisfying end.

Netgalley/ July 30th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press