Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.


Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daughters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

curl up and read thoughts


From the first pages of Mother May I, we are drawn into a suspenseful tale of unfolding events that could ruin her family forever. What had Bree’s husband done, all those years ago, to incite this woman who has been following her and has targeted her? The witch-like appearance is the least frightening thing about her, as Bree soon learns.

How can she satisfy the demands of this woman before it is too late for her child?

The pages flew as I kept reading, hoping for a happy ending. But was that even possible?

Motherhood, marriage, and the secrets from the past kept me guessing and hoping for a good resolution.

But just when I thought the end was near, more twists kept coming, and I was biting my nails until I felt safe again. A 5 star read.



Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.

The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

It was supposed to be a simple case of accidental death; all the signs were leaning in that direction. But something about Tatiana’s plea for a closer look takes Clay Edison on a convoluted journey to places he would never have anticipated going.

There is something so appealing about a detective that goes beyond the call of duty. Who knew that all the people who kept standing in his way had their own mistakes to protect?

Of course, Clay showed himself to be an “outside the box” thinker, who sometimes came across as a rule breaker. His attitudes and behaviors made a more interesting story for me.

I liked following the clues with Clay, in Crime Scene, this fascinating tale that takes us from California’s Bay Area to Lake Tahoe.

In the end, justice is done. A 4.5 star read for me.***


It’s that time again!  One month is ending, and another is beginning.  Check in over at Book Date to see what others have accomplished.

I loved so many of my books this month that it was hard to pick a favorite:

I chose these two books:








      Mysteries/Thrillers – 5

     Contemporary Fiction: 6

     Nonfiction – 1


Books Read and Reviewed:  (Click links to my reviews)

JULY 2018:

1.Believe Me (e-book), by J. P. Delaney – (352 pages) – (thriller) – 7/8/18 – (NG – 7/24/18)

2.Castaway Cottage, by Joanne DeMaio – (400 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/16/18 – (Author Review Request)

3.Death of Mrs. Westaway, The (e-book), by Ruth Ware – (384 pages) – (thriller) – 7/21/18

4.Ever After, The (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen – (273 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/12/18

5.Left:  A Love Story (e-book), by Mary Hogan – (236 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/20/18

6.My Girls, by Todd Fisher – (383 pages) – (memoir) – 7/1/18

7.My (Not So) Perfect Life (e-book), by Sophie Kinsella – (439 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/6/18 – (Library Book)

8.Night Moves (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman -(397 pages) – (murder mystery) – 7/5/18

9.Our House (e-book), by Louise Candlish – (416 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 7/18/18 – (NG – 8/7)

10.Season of Silver Linings, The, by Christine Nolfi – (273 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/31/18 – (Author Review Request)

11.Sister of Mine (e-book), by Laurie Petrou – (304 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 7/24/18 – (NG-8/7)

12.Tangerine (e-book), by Christine Mangan – (320 pages) – (suspense) – 7/10/18




February is over!  It was a month of interesting books, making it challenging to choose a favorite.  Check out my reviews by linking to the titles…and hop over to Kathryn, at Book Date, to see what others have accomplished.




1.Bad Things, The (e-book), by Mary-Jane Riley – 332 pages – (suspense thriller) – 2/3/17

2.Behind Her Eyes (e-book), by Sarah Pinborough – 308 pages – (psychological thriller) – 2/10/17

3.Best Awful, The, by Carrie Fisher – 269 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 2/23/17

4.How Will I Know You?, by Jessica Treadway – 405 pages – (mystery/suspense) – 2/28/17 – (Amazon Vine Review)

5.Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (e-book), by Kathleen Rooney – 284 pages – (historical fiction) – 2/2/17

6.My Husband’s Wife (e-book), by Jane Corry – 373 pages – (suspense thriller) – 2/14/17

7.Never Let You Go (e-book), by Chevy Stevens – 384 pages – (suspense thriller) – 2/26/17 (NetGalley – 3/14/17)

8.Pretty Little World (e-book), by Melissa DePino, et. al. – 320 pages -(contemporary fiction) – 2/7/17

9.Rainy Day Women (e-book, Book 2), by Kay Kendall – 278 pages – (historical mystery) – 2/25/17

9.Right Behind You (e-book), by Lisa Gardner – 386 pages – (suspense thriller) – 2/19/17

11.Things We Didn’t Say, (e-book), by Kristina Riggle – 333 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 2/10/17

12.Trophy Child, The (e-book), by Paula Daly – 386 pages – (mystery/suspense thriller) – 2/20/17 – (NetGalley – 3/7/17)

13.Vanishing Year, The (e-book), by Kate Moretti – 304 pages – (suspense thriller) – 2/16/17




BOOKS READ YTD:                                                                    29

FAVORITE FICTION:   Never Let You Go, by Chevy Stevens






Books & fairytales - may 16

Welcome to my Bookish World!  Just back from vacation last week, I’ve been organizing my reading lists and planning ahead for new review books.

My NetGalley list was pretty short, with only four books on it, spread out between 8/23 through 10/11.  So…should I peek at the Reviewer’s Dashboard?  Find something more to add?  I don’t have any outstanding Vine reviews to read…so I’m good.  Right?

Well…imagine my surprise to find Faithful, by Alice Hoffman, to be released on 11/1…available to read now!  So perfectly lined up after my October reads.





From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.


I love everything by this author, but I like that this newest one has none of the “magical” elements of some of her work.  I am a big fan of ordinary characters finding themselves in the midst of extraordinary tragedies.   


Now….since my review list is relatively short, even with this addition (five books, spread out nicely), should I check the Amazon Vine list?  Or let well enough alone?

I should probably focus on reading more of the books I’ve bought recently.  Today I downloaded THREE books that were released today.  More about those later.


What are you reading and adding this week?  What are your policies for requesting review books?



Madeleine on June 15 - coffee




It is time to finish our Bloggiesta weekend.  Check out the Finish Line sign-up.

Here’s what I accomplished this weekend.  What did you do?



My List:

❏  Do two mini challenges  –  Done! 1)  River City Reading – Pic Monkey; 2)The Steadfast Reader:Creating an Attractive Page
❏  change or fix one or more things on my sidebar-Done!  Removed three items
❏  add a page (about me, contact, policy, etc)  Done!  Added contact page!
❏  comment on other Bloggiesta participants’ blogs (at least 20!)   Done!  Still going, too!
❏  change one thing on my layout and/or look (header, theme, background)  Done! New theme, new header, new background!
❏  work on some of my other blogs   Done!  Changed headers on Rainy Days and Mondays & Story Corner!  Changed background on Creative Journey using Digital Scrapbook Images.
❏  delete irrelevant pages   Done!  Removed Reading Room (It is now at An Interior Journey blog)!
❏  create a new gravatar (favicon) to include latest book  Done! Using image of latest book cover
❏  participate in at least one Twitter chat  Done!






Violet Parry and Sally Parry have little in common, except that Violet is married to David Parry and Sally is his sister. The two are at odds through most of the story, each misunderstanding the other and resenting aspects about each other.

Violet seemingly has it all. A gorgeous house in the hills above LA; a full-time nanny; and money enough to buy almost everything she desires. So why is she so unhappy, disgruntled, and vulnerable to Teddy Reyes, the somewhat seedy musician who gives her a bit of attention? Is it, perhaps, because her husband is so focused on giving her everything that he doesn’t really notice her? Or that he only wants her to listen to him, but fails to reciprocate?

What woman wouldn’t feel neglected, since women mostly want to be understood? However, for whatever reasons, Violet is unable or unwilling to express her needs.

Then we have Sally, whose story alternates with Violet’s…She just wants a lot of the same things that Violet already has. A rich husband and enough money, since she’s plagued by credit card debt. She is also diabetic, a bit neurotic, and extremely demanding, but hey, what guy wouldn’t want her? She manipulates constantly to achieve her goals.

David, caught in the middle, seems totally clueless and feels misunderstood and unappreciated. Then, for whatever reason, he seems to get a clue and does an about-face, even though he has discovered his wife’s affair. For someone so successful, he seems to have few people skills. Or maybe it’s just women he doesn’t get.

What I most enjoyed about This One Is Mine: A Novel were the rich details that painted the LA lifestyle in such a way that I could visualize it. I could picture the homes, the clothes, and especially the characters. I liked that none of the characters were picture-perfect. Violet was still a tad overweight from the pregnancy; Sally was thin and could have been attractive, but her personality rendered her tense and almost fake; and Teddy—well, he is portrayed as someone scuzzy and a little bit unclean, which is how I viewed his character.

I also liked the part in which Violet and Sally actually begin to talk to one another and clear up some major misunderstandings they have.

I didn’t really buy David’s turnabout, and found it a bit unbelievable, but it did bring the story to a tidy conclusion.

This is a book for those who enjoy LA stories, or stories about what is going on behind the perfect façade that cloaks the rich and famous. I would give it a 4.5, deducting a bit for how the story ended.




Barbara Walters’ memoir encompasses her more than forty years of television journalism interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds. Finally she turns her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

We learn about her childhood with a father whose love of show business first brought the glamour and risk-taking of that life into her world and a mother, supportive, but often frustrated by the numerous times the family had to uproot in order to follow his dreams. We share her pain as she describes what it was like growing up with a mentally disabled sister whom she loved, but with whom she could share very little as they grew older. Despite her own ambitions, Ms. Walters made sure that her family was cared for during the lean times.

Her love affairs, her marriages, her child—we find out about each event in her life as she tells us in an anecdotal way, almost as if we’re having a conversation.

That is what I most enjoyed about this book…the feeling that I, as the reader, had somehow been granted admission into her living room or dining room while she described in detail the numerous aspects of her life. Her efforts to achieve recognition in a journalistic world that often overlooked women; the competitive moments; her occasional mistakes along the way—all shared with candor, humor, and insight. Her awesome and inspiring climb to a success that has included not only the famous interviews, but the numerous shows she has hosted, from the Today show, 20/20, the Specials…and now The View.

I must admit that the political aspects of the memoir were less-fascinating to me than the celebrity features, but it was clear that she is knowledgeable and that she very diligently did her homework for each and every assignment. And obviously she has kept impeccable records over the years to be able to recount all these moments with such detail.

A most admirable and extraordinary tome, Audition (Vintage), by its very name, sums up an aspect of the author that, perhaps, can shed light on this unique individual. In her own words, she talks about having to “audition” constantly, in the sense that she had to stand out and shine in order to achieve her goals. She had to be better than the best in a highly competitive world, and she excelled.

If I could, I would give this book ten stars, but I will settle for five.

UNFORTUNATE LIMITATIONS — A Review of “Limitations”

Scott Turow’s “Limitations” is another of his legal suspense stories that immediately sweeps the reader into his world.  At the age of fifty-nine, George Mason is immersed in his new career as a judge on the Court of Appeals in Kindle County.  Then an unsettling case comes up for appeal and turns his world upside down.

First of all, there is something disturbing about this rape case…something more horrific than the actual details of the case.  Does it remind him of something from his own past?  His mind carries him back to the past, with recollections of events that he had seemingly forgotten, but which now are in the forefront of his mind.

And then Mason begins receiving threatening e-mails and text messages, soon followed up by an actual life-threatening situation.  Is all of this somehow related to the case before him?  Or is something even more ominous at play here?

Turow also weaves characters from previous books into this one, which I enjoyed—like Sandy Stern and Rusty Savitch, both of whom I recognized from “Presumed Innocent” and “Burden of Proof.”

This is a short book and a quick read.  While it was fun seeing how the clues led to the final resolution of the puzzle in this piece, I did not find this book as compelling as some of his others.  But definitely a four-star read!