REVIEW: ALL THE COLORS OF NIGHT, BY JAYNE ANN KRENTZ

North Chastain possesses a paranormal talent that gives him the ability to track down the most dangerous psychic criminals. When his father suddenly falls into a coma-like state, North is convinced it was caused by a deadly artifact that traces back to the days of a secret government program known only as the Bluestone Project. North knows his only hope of saving his father is to find the artifact. He is good when it comes to tracking down killers, but to locate the relic he’s going to need help from a psychic who knows the shadowy world of obsessive collectors, deceptive dealers and ruthless raiders.…

With her reputation in ruins after a false accusation, antiques expert Sierra Raines is looking for a fresh start. She turns to the murky backwaters of the paranormal artifacts trade, finding and transporting valuable objects with a psychic provenance. When North Chastain approaches her for help, Sierra takes him on as a client, though not without reservations. North represents the mysterious Foundation, the secretive organization established to police the underworld populated by psychic criminals and those, like Sierra, who make a living in the shadows of that world.

North and Sierra soon find themselves at the scene of the Incident, which occurred decades ago in Fogg Lake. The town and its residents were forever changed by the disaster in the nearby Bluestone Project labs. The pair unearths shocking truths about what happened that fateful night, but they are playing with fire—someone in town knows what they’ve discovered and will do anything to make sure the secrets stay buried.
 

curl up and read thoughts
Just as I enjoyed the first Fogg Lake book because of its clever and magical elements, I was eager to pick up All the Colors of the Night.

One of the challenges for me with this story, as with the first one, was understanding all the psychic issues and keeping the characters’ talents sorted. Even though I would be hard pressed to recite the various aspects of the abilities possessed by each one, and also had trouble trying to decide how each of them managed their various skills, I did enjoy trying to follow them. There was just enough that I could relate to that I kept reading until the very intriguing conclusion. 4.5 stars.
 
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ANOTHER BACKLOG BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s rediscovered book is one I bought in July 2017:  Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, by Julie Lawson Timmer.

I am not sure why I bought this book, but the blurb did grab me.

Synopsis:

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

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What have you uncovered amongst your shelves?

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FROM THE BACKLOG…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s rediscovered book is one I purchased in September 2016:  The London Train, by Tessa Hadley.

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I am not sure why I bought this book, but I have read other books by the author, so that was probably why.

Synopsis:

Two lives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting with immediate and far-reaching consequences in this compelling, sophisticated tale from acclaimed New Yorker writer Tessa Hadley, author of Accidents in the Home and The Master Bedroom. As father struggles to reestablish a relationship with his estranged daughter in London, surrendering himself to an underground life of illegal squats and counterculture friendships, a wife decides she must flee her suffocating marriage to return to Wales, where in Cardiff she may rediscover the passions that once fueled her life. Embracing change and facing loss, in a story evocative of Alice Munro’s Runaway and Julia Glass’ I See You Everywhere, Hadley’s powerful characters illuminate the furthest reaches of love, hope, and determination.

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What have you found buried in your shelves?

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REVIEW: ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW, BY KRISTAN HIGGINS

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters—Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad—and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she’s spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what’s been going on in their marriage all along.

curl up and read thoughts

A story about family, with its issues, sibling rivalries, and even infidelity, Always the Last to Know was a book I felt like curling up with on a long rainy day. I was drawn to each of the characters, from the artistic Sadie to Juliet with her architecture and her special closeness to the mother Barb. Sadie’s close connection to John, the father, was changed by his illness, and even when she came to stay in the family home, she held on to hope that all would return to normal.

But each family member soon discovers that hopes and dreams do not necessarily come to those who work hard toward that goal. What they do learn, however, is that they can create their own versions of family life, despite the challenges they are facing.

I rooted for Sadie to finally connect to Noah, her long-lost love, discovering a way that they could be together in spite of what seemed like very separate versions of happiness. A story that held my interest until the end, it earned 4.5 stars.

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ANOTHER REDISCOVERED BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s discovery was purchased on June 16, 2020:  A Million Little Lies, by Bette Lee Crosby.  I had read other books by the author, so I was eager to add this one.

Description:

When Suzanna Duff was ten years old, she lost her mama, and that’s when the lies began. At first, they were just harmless little fibs, a way to hide her unbearable loneliness and the truth about a daddy who came home rip-roaring drunk every night. But in time, the lies grew bigger and now, when she is a grown woman with a daughter of her own, they threaten to destroy everything she loves.

The irony of this situation is that Suzanna never planned to stay in Georgia, she was simply passing through, looking for a fresh start in New Jersey. Attending that wake with her daughter Annie, was a fluke. An opportunity to enjoy a free meal. It should have entailed nothing more than a solemn nod and a brief expression of sympathy but, Ida Parker, the grieving widow mistook her for her the granddaughter who was carried off as an infant. Too embarrassed to do anything else, Suzanna played along. What harm was there in pretending to be someone else for a few hours? Hours turned into days and days into weeks; strangers became friends, love happened, and before long a year had flown by.

Now the past is standing on her doorstep and Suzanna must decide to leave here and disappear as she has done before, or tell the truth and break the hearts of those she loves most.

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What have you found in your backlog today?

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP: HELLO, OCTOBER!

FAVORITES FOR SEPTEMBER:

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Genres:

        Mysteries/Thrillers – 6

        Contemporary Fiction:  3

        Nonfiction:  2

       

BOOKS READ & REVIEWED IN SEPTEMBER:

Click titles for my reviews

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SEPTEMBER 2021:

1.28 Summers (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand – (418 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 9/13/21

2.56 Days (e-book), by Catherine Ryan Howard – (307 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 9/18/21

3.Apples Never Fall (e-book) by Liane Moriarty – (464 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 9/29/21

4.A Slow Fire Burning (e-book), by Paula Hawkins – (306 pages) – (murder mystery) – 9/7/21

5.Downstairs Neighbor, The, by Helen Cooper – (357 pages)(murder mystery) – 9/10/21

6.Good Son, The, by Christopher Andersen – (325 pages) – (Nonfiction Reading Challenge) – 9/5/21

7.Her Perfect Life (e-book), by Hank Phillippi Ryan – (322 pages) – (mystery) – 9/21/21

8.Maid (e-book), by Stephanie Land – (268 pages) – (memoir) – 9/4/21 – (Nonfiction Reading Challenge)

9.Other Side of the Door, The (e-book), by Nicci French – (370 pages) – (murder mystery) – 9/24/21

10.Rock Paper Scissors (e-book), by Alice Feeney – (291 pages) – (thriller) – 9/15/21

11.Surfside Sisters (e-book), by Nancy Thayer – (304 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 9/2/21

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BOOKS READ IN SEPTEMBER : 11

BOOKS READ YTD: 98

PAGES READ IN SEPTEMBER: 3,732

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What did your September look like?  Enjoy October.

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SEARCHING THE BACKLOG…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s unread book comes from a July 1, 2018, purchase:  Beautiful Exiles, by Meg Waite Clayton.

I like this author, and I realize now that I have two or three of her books unread!  What’s up with that? I even viewed an Amazon Prime movie based on the book and loved it.  I need to read it now!

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton comes a riveting novel based on one of the most volatile and intoxicating real-life love affairs of the twentieth century.

Key West, 1936. Headstrong, accomplished journalist Martha Gellhorn is confident with words but less so with men when she meets disheveled literary titan Ernest Hemingway in a dive bar. Their friendship—forged over writing, talk, and family dinners—flourishes into something undeniable in Madrid while they’re covering the Spanish Civil War.

Martha reveres him. The very married Hemingway is taken with Martha—her beauty, her ambition, and her fearless spirit. And as Hemingway tells her, the most powerful love stories are always set against the fury of war. The risks are so much greater. They’re made for each other.

With their romance unfolding as they travel the globe, Martha establishes herself as one of the world’s foremost war correspondents, and Hemingway begins the novel that will win him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Beautiful Exiles is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman—ahead of her time—claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love.

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What have you been overlooking lately?

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REVIEW: APPLES NEVER FALL, BY LIANE MORIARTY

The Delaney family love one another dearly—it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .

 

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

 
 
 
 
curl up and read thoughts

 

Apples Never Fall tells the story of a family with secrets and hidden conflicts; the Delaneys keep their story to themselves. They have a façade to protect as a company of tennis stars.

It is hard to say who is in charge of this family, as both Stan and Joy have their roles to play, and they seem to maintain those parts well.

 

The tale sweeps back and forth in time, focusing on the disappearance of Joy, the mother, as police try to find out what happened to her, while directing their gaze upon Stan.

The young woman who had showed up on their doorstep one night, claiming abuse, seemingly takes over the household until family members begin to question her stories and her goals.

Just when I thought I knew where the story was going, it would take a new turn. By the end, I had a much clearer picture of them all and what kept them together in spite of their conflicts. A 5 star read.

 
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BACKLOG BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today I found a book I bought in January 2016, and because I loved the series and the author, I am surprised that it is still unread on my Kindle!  The Summer’s End, by Mary Alice Monroe is one I need to read soon!

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Synopsis:

It is the last summer that Marietta “Mamaw” Muir and her three “summer girls” will ever spend at their beloved Sea Breeze before it is sold. As the end draws near, Mamaw and half-sisters Dora, Carson, and Harper struggle to find new places in the world.

Harper intended to stay only a weekend, but a rift with her wealthy, influential mother left her without a home. Free from her mother’s tyranny and encouraged by her family on Sullivan’s Island, Harper has at last discovered her talents and independent spirit. Now, the historic beach house’s fate hinges on her courage to decide the course of her own life. To do so, she must recognize her newfound strengths and accept love fully into her life—of her family, of the lowcountry, and, most of all, of ex-Marine Taylor McClellan, the wounded warrior who has claimed her heart.

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What have you rediscovered on your shelves?

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REVIEW: HER PERFECT LIFE, BY HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN

Everyone knows Lily Atwood―and that may be her biggest problem. The beloved television reporter has it all―fame, fortune, Emmys, an adorable seven-year-old daughter, and the hashtag her loving fans created: #PerfectLily. To keep it, all she has to do is protect one life-changing secret.

Her own.

Lily has an anonymous source who feeds her story tips―but suddenly, the source begins telling Lily inside information about her own life. How does he―or she―know the truth?

Lily understands that no one reveals a secret unless they have a reason. Now she’s terrified someone is determined to destroy her world―and with it, everyone and everything she holds dear.

How much will she risk to keep her perfect life? And what if the spotlight is the most dangerous place of all?
 
 
 
curl up and read thoughts

Alternating stories sweep back and forth in Her Perfect Life, revealing two sisters: Cassie, the older one who disappeared from college when the younger sister, Lily, was only seven years old, and adult Lily who is struggling to keep her “perfect life” going.

In the past, searches yielded nothing, which left Lily, her mother, and her grandmother believing that Cassie had left on her own and didn’t want to come home.

But in the present, Lily’s TV producer, Greer, decides to work with a detective who has presented himself to her, hoping to find Cassie. And finally solve a case his own father had worked on.

But are those helping Lily find answers truly on her side or is there another agenda? As we follow the narratives of each sister, we come to our own conclusions, and are stunned by the twisted plans of some of the characters. 5 stars.
 
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