HELLO JULY! WRAPPING UP JUNE….

It is that time again!  Can you believe that June is over already?  And while I didn’t reach the number of books read and reviewed as I did in May, it was a month full of wonderful characters, plots, and unforgettable moments.

Check out my titles, linked to my reviews:

***

JUNE 2015:

1.    Ana of California (e-book), by Andi Teran – 368 pages – (coming-of-age story) – June 28, 2015

2.   Before We Met (e-book), by Lucie Whitehouse – 276 pages – (psychological suspense thriller) – June 22, 2015

3.   Bones of You, The (e-book), by Debbie Howells – 320 pages – (psychological suspense) – June 19, 2015

4.   Crash & Burn (e-book), by Lisa Gardner – 399 pages  – (suspense thriller) – June 1, 2015

5.   Crooked Little Lies (e-book), by Barbara Taylor Sissel – 346 pages – (suspense thriller) – June 8, 2015

6.   Cry, The (e-book), by Helen Fitzgerald – 320 pages – (psychological suspense) – June 10, 2015

7.    Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave – 260 pages – (contemporary fiction) – June 11, 2015

8.    Golden State (e-book), by Stephanie Kegan – 288 pages – (family drama) – June 13, 2015

9.   Monday’s Lie (e-book), by Jamie Mason – 283 pages – (psychological suspense) – June 3, 2015

10.  Neighbors, The (e-book), by Ania Ahlborn – 223 pages – (horror) – June 23, 2015

11.  New Neighbor, The (e-book), by Leah Stewart – 304 pages – (suspense/family drama) – June 26, 2015

12.  Rocks, The, by Peter Nichols – 414 pages – (historical fiction) – June 4, 2015

13. Things You Won’t Say (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen – 352 pages – (contemporary fiction) – June 7, 2015

14.  Three Wishes (e-book), by Liane Moriarty – 375 pages – (contemporary fiction) – June 15, 2015

15.   Week at the Lake, A, by Wendy Wax – 349 pages – (contemporary fiction) – June 21, 2015

***

BOOKS READ IN JUNE 2015 –   15

PAGES READ IN JUNE 2015 –    4,877

BOOKS READ YTD:    99

FAVORITE FICTION READ:   Tied:  Crash & Burn; The New Neighbor

***

What did your month look like?  Come on by and share!

***

REVIEW: THE NEIGHBORS, BY ANIA AHLBORN

4199dl3Z4DL

 

 

Andrew (Drew) Morrison has finally escaped. Driving away from the home where he and his mother lived together after his father left years before, he feels the wings of freedom lifting him up and away. For years, he has been his agoraphobic/alcoholic mother’s lifeline, her link to the outside world she cannot face.

He feels guilty leaving her, but he has no choice, he tells himself. He heads across the small town of Creekside, Kansas, to Magnolia Lane and the room at his old friend Mickey’s house. Disappointed at the filth of his friend’s home, Andrew scours and redecorates his own space. And then, as if he has stepped into a fairytale, he is drawn into the world of Harlow Ward, the gorgeous woman living next door in the cute fairytale cottage, from which come plates of cookies and home cooked dinners. He is soon addicted to the attention and the charm, but as he finds himself hooked on Harlow’s world, and sees the rage of the now resentful husband Red, Drew begins to sense that all is not right in the Land of Oz.

Behind the façade lie deep, dark secrets, and the dark inner world of the people next door will bring terror and horrifying events. Who, if anyone, will live to tell about it?

The Neighbors was a heart-clutching horror tale that kept me turning pages, even as I wanted to run away and hide. Why did Harlow do what she did? What events in her past created her, and what would she continue to do to escape the pain? An intriguing tale for those who love horror…which I do not. For me, 3 stars. But others might find the story gripping and fascinating.

REVIEW: THE BONES OF YOU, BY DEBBIE HOWELLS

25605825

 

 

In a small English village, a young girl has gone missing. Rosie Anderson’s eighteen years flash before her eyes, as she looks down upon the life she lost; she describes this “movie of her life” as she sees it, in freeze frame images, starting in her childhood. Her voice is the first one we hear, and we will see her alternately reveal much as the story continues.

Our story then picks up with our narrator, Kate McKay, a friend of the Anderson family. Neal and Jo are Rosie’s parents, and Kate has just learned from Jo that Rosie has gone missing. Kate’s daughter Grace is distraught at the news of Rosie’s disappearance, and in the early days of August, there is still hope that she will be found. Or that they will all discover that Rosie has just gone off with a friend and no harm has come to her. After all, Rosie is not known for rebellious streaks.

Neal Anderson is a renowned journalist, charming, and many are in awe of him. His wife Jo is gorgeous and their home is perfect. Everything seems perfect. As we know in life, nothing is perfect.

And as “The Bones of You” unfolds, we learn that nothing is as it seems, and darkness lies beneath the surface. Abuse, dangerous passions, and perhaps even murderous impulses. Who can know what such people are capable of…what secrets might hide beneath the polished veneer? And why is Delphine, the youngest daughter, seemingly ignored? What secrets might she be hiding?

We see the layers of this dark, psychological suspense unpeeling slowly, and meet others in the village, like Rachael, a friend of Kate’s, and Angus, Kate’s husband. Laura is a journalist friend of Kate’s who appears after Rosie’s body is found and the determination has been made that she was murdered.

Kate was close to Rosie, who enjoyed coming over to spend time with the horses. Kate is an earthy character, a gardener, while Jo is distant, seemingly superficial, and unpredictable in her moods. She is often aloof, and then needy. Who can tell what is really going on in her perfect world, now destroyed by her daughter’s death?

There is a slow build of suspense and gradual revelations, both from Rosie’s perspective, and then through bits and pieces from others. What happened to Rosie? Could her boyfriend Alex, whom the parents disapproved of, be responsible? Or could her murderer be someone even closer?

A chilling story that kept me rapidly turning pages, figuring out some of it fairly early, but then stunned by what is finally revealed. And we see how a moral compass was lost, a brain short-circuited, and someone slipped into madness. How what we see in others often hides the truth and we may never know what that is. Until someone finds the courage to step forward. 4.5 stars.

**This e-Arc was received from the publisher via NetGalley.

BLOG WHACKING: WHAT I DID WITH MY SURPLUS….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wednesdays are a good day to curl up and consider my blog world.  I have been purging my home interiors, ridding myself of much of the book hoard….and someone posed the question of taking a look at my numerous blogs.  Just a thought.  Thanks, Patty, @Books, Thoughts, & a Few Adventures...LOL.

The fun I had with my HUGE number of blogs has diminished over time, although I don’t think I will ever have just one.  I do like my eclectic, quirky sites.  But I could examine a few of them.

So that’s what I did. 

After Bloggiesta finished, I especially zeroed in on my one remaining Blogger site, and an e-mail from Amazon Associates about major changes in widgets, links, etc., propelled me forward.  My only reason for remaining in that site was the advantage of those widgets.  So…without too much thought, but after examining my posts and changing links to any reviews on that site (there were only two!), I deleted it.

Yes, Story Corner went bye-bye earlier this week.  Even though it was my first blog.  And there was a little tug of sentimentality, but most of what I wrote there could easily be created elsewhere.

 

 

PicMonkey Collage-may storycorner revisedy corner

 

Next I took another look at my ten remaining sites, all on Word Press.  No, Chocolate & Mimosas is still a lot of fun, even though I don’t post there very often.  Snow Chronicles, my writing journal, is still functional.

So that left…Going out on a Limb.  Yes, I loved it for a while.  And when I pulled up the book review category, there were LOTS of reviews posted there.  Pages, in fact.  What to do?  Well, the only site that linked to them was this blog, Curl up and Read, and the reviews were all in 2010-2013.  So my ruthless decision?  Delete those pages on this blog, and keep only 2014-2015.  Everything I review is on Goodreads, anyway.

 

 

PicMonkey Collage-gol sept 1

 

 

Done!  Now I need one of these, as a reward for the hard work:  LOL

 

 

saturday lunch, with drinks

 

I will be going to lunch with a friend later, and then we’re going to see the movie I’ll See You In My Dreams, with Blythe Danner, et. al.

 

illseeyouinmydreamsposternew

 

***

So that’s how my day is going so far….lots of grunt work, followed by a lovely reward.  What are you up to on this Hump Day?

***

LET’S CURL UP & READ “SECRET SISTERS”

wow logo on march 25Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

It has been a wonderful year so far, in terms of great books on my shelves.  I am always looking forward to the next new release from favorite authors, so today’s book fits in with that particular quest.

Secret Sisters, from Jayne Ann Krentz, is an exciting romantic suspense novel coming on December 8, 2015.

 

 

25194146

 

Blurb:  Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….

***

I love books with suspense, a little romance, and stories about sisters.  Even if the sisterhood is more about friendship, and even when the relationship is challenging.

What are you eagerly awaiting?

***

REVIEW: EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES, BY LAURA DAVE

23492613

 

 

Georgia Ford grew up in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County, California, and even though she left her family’s home to seek a different way of life, the values she learned at home formed the core of her. In LA, she is a real estate lawyer and her fiancé is an architect, but she has never forgotten her family and home.

So as her wedding day approaches, she is eager to enjoy the comfort of the family, with her parents, and brothers Finn and Bobby, and the celebration of the Last Harvest party that will happen just days before her wedding.

But on the day she is trying on her wedding dress for final alterations, she glances out the window and is stunned to see her fiancé Ben in a situation that will change everything. His secrets will alter the course of their lives. She flees the store, still wearing the wedding dress, and drives up to Sebastopol, expecting the comfort of the familiar home and family.

However, more secrets await her there, as she walks in on an unexpected series of events. Will Georgia find a way to face what has happened to her, and what is unfolding before her at the winery?

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel was a light and enjoyable read, with plenty of drama, especially the kind that occurs in families all the time, but in Georgia’s situation, everything seems to be happening at once. But could the events unfolding be a form of synchronization, something her father has always believed in? A coordination of events operating in union? Will everything that is happening signify that something better is just around the corner?

Narrated from Georgia’s first person perspective, the story flows back and forth in time, showing the beginnings of the vineyards and The Last Straw winery, and offering a glimpse of the characters in a variety of situations. Without revealing too much of the story’s details, I will simply say that I was not sure how everything would turn out, as there were some unexpected turns at the last minute, but as I reached the conclusion, I sighed with satisfaction. 4.5 stars.

REVIEW: THE ROCKS, BY PETER NICHOLS

23310175

 

 

The lovely Mediterranean setting was a great draw for this book, but the unusual writing style left me feeling confused a lot of the time.

The writer takes us from the present, in the opening chapter, and then swerves back to the past, and we see the characters in their earlier incarnations.

Two primary characters, Lulu Davenport and Gerald Rutledge, octogenarians at the beginning, were once in love…and as the story spins back in time, we see what happened to them over the years. Their children and grandchildren are the recipients of their legacy and their traditions, and while I love the idea of such events, I simply did not enjoy The Rocks: A Novel.

Many others will probably engage with this story, but I was not one of them. Three stars.