Monday, November 30, 2015
Publication date: March 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster
320 pages; Hardcover
Source: Publisher via NetGalley for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!
In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.
She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.
It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?
With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.
It was the description for The Passenger that made me request this galley. It sounded like one of those super fast-paced thrillers that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat until the end of the book --- and it turned out to be exactly that. And more.
I loved the uncertainty of who Tanya is - or was - throughout the novel. It appears that she has changed identities more than once -- she is too good at this to be new to it. The strain of living new lives is wearing on Tanya though. When her husband dies and she has no alibi, she knows she has to run - because of the mysterious secret from her past. This mysterious secret is slowly revealed over the course of the novel -- and I loved every painstaking moment of the reveal.
I really enjoyed the tantalizing hints given as the novel progresses. Just enough for the reader to makes guesses then change their mind a few times as to exactly what happened in Tanya's past that sent her on the run. I was completely caught up in the story from the first.
No one in The Passenger is quite what they seem or pretend to be. Everyone is a potential threat and Tanya can never forget that. I was on edge the entire time I was reading and loved every minute of it. I think that The Passenger will appeal to any reader that enjoys fast-paced, riveting novels of mystery and suspense. This is definitely a book that I will be recommending.
Monday, November 16, 2015
A tough Navy SEAL and a beautiful Persian woman clash before working together to confront a ferocious common enemy. It is a tale of jihad, terror, and forbidden love. A Jeffrey Quinn novel.
“I stayed up late reading this book a second time. I read it first for the intriguing story and the second time for the wonderful language. Mr. Booker has crafted a timely and compelling story filled with a cast of characters from the slimy to the sublime. I would like to have a friend like the main character, Jeffrey Quinn . . . a man with a past and his own demons . . . honest . . . loyal . . . .” -Rebecca K. McWhorter (5 Star Amazon Review)
About the Author
Soldier of fortune Thomas Booker has traveled widely in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He currently is helping to build a children’s clinic in South East Asia. He resides in Texas.
Book Blast Schedule
November 1 What Is That Book About
November 3 Back Porchervations
November 4 Book Nerd
November 8 One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
November 10 Just One More Chapter
November 12 Boom Baby Reviews
November 16 A Book Geek
November 18 So Many Books, So Little Time
November 25 Queen of All She Reads
November 27 CelticLady's Reviews
December 9 A Literary Vacation
December 29 Broken Teepee
December 31 Passages to the Past
To win an eBook of The Persian Woman please enter using the GLEAM form below. 20 eBooks are up for grabs!
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Monday, November 9, 2015
THE ORACLE (THE SARAH WESTON CHRONICLES, BOOK THREE)
BY D.J NIKO
About the Author
Blog Tour Schedule
The Miracle of Grace by Kate Kerrigan
Publication date: November 1, 2015 by Head of Zeus
eBook; ISBN13: 9781784974879
Grace's life changed with a list. Left in the kitchen by her mother, Eileen, this innocuous 'To Do' list states, below bread, telephone bill and bins: "Tell G I have ovarian cancer, probably terminal."
Brought up in rural Ireland in the 1950s, Eileen's life has been ruled, in order, by the church, her husband and her child. She's had little time to think about herself.
But now time is running out. And Grace is determined to know everything about her mother before it's too late.
THE MIRACLE OF GRACE is a poignant, but ultimately uplifting, novel that reveals a unique relationship between a mother and her daughter.
**Extract from The Miracle of Grace**
I knew the instant I learned I was pregnant, from the moment of his conception, my child’s future was away from me. I had to take my punishment. Keeping the child was not an option; not for respectable girls who understood that it was in the child’s interests to be raised by a good Catholic family. I did not want to give my child away but I had no choice. The ability to measure ‘morality’ against my own right to happiness did not come until it was too late.
I took the train to St Albans on the day I was to hand Michael over. In my purse I had a postal order for six shillings to pay the foster-parents until a permanent home was found for him. I carried a small knitted bag with Michael’s belongings in it. Four white vests, three pairs of nappy pants, five nappies, a romper suit, two pairs of tights, a wooden rattle, a tiny blue rabbit, a dummy and two bottles.
Michael was wearing a brand-new outfit, a two- piece sailor suit with matching hat and mittens which I had bought in British Home Stores. It was a little too big for him but would be good for another few weeks. He was wrapped in a soft wool blanket which one of the girls leaving the house had given to me. As the train clacked past the outskirts of the city, I held my baby in a protective cocoon and thought vaguely of what I might do and where I would go when he was gone. We passed stations with pretty names: Cricklewood, Hendon, Mill Hill – London offered endless places to hide and explore; life here was an adventure waiting to happen, I told myself. Despite that, up until the moment we were separated, I did not fully believe I would have to give Michael away. It didn’t seem real – possible, even. It was as alien to me as the awful fact of pregnancy had been from the joyful reality of Michael when he was born. I was like a child playing on the train tracks, never really believing the train would hit me until it was too late.
I took a taxi to the orphanage, introduced myself at the office, signed the release papers, explained the con- tents of the bag and handed over the postal order without fully taking it in. When the woman smiled and reached out her arms, I did what I had always done when someone in authority asked me for something; I conceded.
As I handed Michael over, I lifted my son’s head to my face and breathed in the sweet scent of him for the last time. This was love, as certain a love as I knew I would ever find. There was nothing grey here, but a bright white certainty; love that came with no price, no duty, no questions. I breathed in on my tears, kissed him a silent goodbye, then breathed out bravely and placed him in the arms of the worker. I held the edge of the blanket for a few seconds, realizing that I wanted to keep it as a memento. When it came loose, the worker looked at me quizzically. I said, ‘Sorry,’ then tucked it back into the crook of the stranger’s arm which now held my son. I did not touch Michael one last time. I loved him so much I was able to give him away. He would be taken into a good family who would give him a good life. I could not keep him because I had nothing to offer him. All I had was a mother’s love. It was hard giving him up, but the past few months had taught me that sometimes life required you to do hard things.
At twenty, I could not possibly have known that it would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do in my life.
**Blog post by the author, Kate Kerrigan**
Falling in love with my mother
I OFTEN joke that if I ever left my husband it would not be for another man, but for my mother. I fell in love with my mother again in my early 30s and we are markedly close.
Through my 30s and 40s my mother has become a companion and friend as well as a supportive and nurturing parent. One of the things that surprises me about our relationship is how coveted it is among my friends. Not just our relationship, but my mother herself.
"I wish my mum was more like your mum,” friends often remark and yet I think this says more about the attitude we have towards our mothers than it does about the woman themselves.
My mother, while she does have exceptional qualities, is not so different from her peers as my friends perceive. It is the fact that I have made an effort to treat her as a woman and not just a mother that has allowed our, in the past, often fraught mother-daughter relationship to flourish into a deep friendship.
Our mothers wore the long flowery skirts and the platform shoes but they left the free-love principles behind. They eschewed contraception AND remained loyal to catholic wedding vows, many stuck it out in unhappy marriages and found they were still primarily cooking and cleaning and minding their children when they thought they would be taking over the world. While society around them partied, the majority of my mother's generation of Irish emigrants spent the '60s and '70s picking rusk crumbs out of their Draylon-covered sofas in the London suburbs, cooking big dinners for tired husbands, feeding babies and taking their daughters to Irish dancing classes in chilly church halls.
Joan Baez was singing on their kitchen transistor about revolution. Erica Jong, The Female Eunuch, Gloria Steinem, free thinking, free love . . . it seemed like everyone was free except them. The revolution was happening on their doorsteps but not in their homes, they could smell the freedom but they couldn't taste it.
She gathered me into her arms and comforted me. I realised then that there was no other human being on earth who would ever love me enough to sympathise with such ugly feelings. And crucially, I realised I still needed her as a mother. I made a conscious decision to let all of the past go and form a new relationship with this person. This woman who had all this love towards me: how would it be if I didn't dismiss her love as a given but took it on afresh? What would happen if, instead of the immature expectation I had always had of this cure-all love, that I simply started to ask for her love, ask for her advice? And crazier still, perhaps even, from time to time, take it on board.
MY generation of women are particularly hard on our mothers. We urge them to be more liberal, more like us. And yet they have witnessed and weathered the almost complete disintegration of their value system whilst still managing to fling their daughters forward into a new era, fuelling us with their dreams as well as their disappointments.
What I have discovered through my mother and her friends in the past 15 years is that these women, with a tremendous amount to offer, often lack the confidence to achieve their potential. What makes them more hard-done by than the generations before them is that liberation was within their grasp but their arms were not long enough to reach it.
Throughout my teens and right up to the end of my 20s I held my mother responsible for everything that went wrong in my life: my inability to form a satisfactory relationship with a man, my bad teeth/feet/legs and fluctuating weight. The biggest thing I blamed her for was the gap inside me that craves love; the gap we try to fill with drink, or food, or sex or therapy . . . seeking the satisfaction of complete fulfilment which we will never find. The only love that is big enough to fill that gap is surely a mother's love. However it's not until you become a mother yourself that you realise the hard truth which is that no matter how big your love is for your child, ultimately they will have to make it on their own.
My turning point with my mother came when I was 31. I was staying in her house in London. I was unemployed, single and childless and my youngest sister had just become pregnant by her boyfriend. I would like to say I had conflicted feelings, but that would be too kind. I was furious and bitterly, bitterly jealous. My mother came into my room early one morning and found me howling, pounding the wall shouting, "It should have been me!"
I am happy to report that I have traced the most successful and happy days of my adult life back to the moment I got sense and finally started listening to my mother.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Publication date:November 1, 2015 by Head of Zeus
ISBN 13: 9781784974862
Source: Publisher for an honest review
New York food writer Tressa returns from honeymoon worried that she has married her impossibly handsome new husband Dan out of late-thirties panic instead of love.
In 1930’s Ireland, her grandmother, Bernadine, is married off to the local schoolteacher after her family are unable to raise a dowry for her to marry her true love, Michael.
During the first year of her marriage, Tressa distracts herself from her stay-or-go dilemma by working on her grandmother’s recipes, searching for solace and answers through their preparation.
Through the stories of these two women RECIPES FOR A PERFECT MARRIAGE challenges the modern ideal of romantic love as a given and ponders whether true love can really be learned.
If you have read my blog much, you will have noticed that I have read and reviewed a few of Kate Kerrigan's other novels and enjoyed them very much. Naturally, I was happy to join the blog tour for two of her newest US releases - Recipes for a Perfect Marriage and The Miracle of Grace.
Recipes for a Perfect Marriage gives the reader the point of view of Tressa in her first year of marriage to Dan interspersed with what turns out to be a journal written by her grandmother which details her marriage and many traditional recipes from Ireland.
While Tressa is lamenting her own marriage and expressing the desire to have a perfect marriage like her grandparents, the reader is learning that Tressa's grandmother, Bernadine, didn't feel she had a perfect marriage for most of her married life. The irony is wonderful and the love stories are refreshing and brutally honest ---- there is no such thing as perfect marriage -- not in the way they are often portrayed in books and movies.
As usual, I found Kerrigan's writing to be charming, funny, and insightful. I particularly enjoyed the short quotes at the beginning of new chapters --- they reflect the wisdom learned by Bernadine and they are true. The recipes were so fun to read - there is a little anecdote that goes with each one.
I have to give credit to Kerrigan --- even though I originally didn't think I'd be that interested in the topic of this book, once I read the first page, I was hooked. I have said many times and it still holds true -- I will read anything Kate Kerrigan writes because she can write about subjects I am not that thrilled about and make them engaging. I love her sense of humor and her honesty about human weakness and our ability to learn and grow.
I was completely taken with Bernadine and Tressa and their honest and sometimes not so nice feelings -- I found it refreshing, quite honestly. I would happily recommend Recipes for a Perfect Marriage to anyone who enjoys books about family, Ireland, or just a good, thoughtful and fun read.
**Extract from Recipes for a Perfect Marriage**
The heart of a recipe, what makes it work, is a mystery. Taste is such a personal thing and yet the right recipe can open a person’s mind to a food they thought they didn’t like. Then again, you can put all the right ingredients together, follow the instructions ex- actly, and still have a disaster on your hands.
That’s how it has always been with me and my Grandma Bernadine’s brown bread. I would do exactly as she showed me, but it would always come out a little too crumbly or doughy or hard.
“You’re too fussy,” she’d say. “Put some jam on and just eat it anyway. It’ll be different again tomorrow.”
And it was always different. But it was never right. Like my marriage to Dan.
they say you just know the man you are going to marry. That’s how it’s supposed to work. You date guys, sleep with them, live with them—get through your twenties having fun falling in and out of love. Then one day you meet this man and you just know he is “The One.” He’s different from everyone else you have ever met. You feel happier, more special, more alive when you are with him. So you get married.
For two weeks you are Barbie and Ken. There’s a big show- off wedding at the Plaza, and you wear a white meringue of a dress even though you are over thirty. You spend what should be the down payment for your first home on fourteen days in the Caribbean.
Then, when you get your “Ken” home, you realize he was an impulse buy. You wanted the “married” label so badly that you didn’t think it through, and now he doesn’t look as good as he did under the spangly lights of singledom. He doesn’t fit you properly, either; although you convinced yourself he’d be suitable for every- day use, you now find him uncomfortable and irritating. He has cost you your freedom; he is the most expensive mistake you will ever make. You have been married for less than three months and everything he does and everything he says makes you scream inside: For the rest of my life! I can’t live with this for the rest of my life!
But you don’t say it out loud because you are ashamed of hav- ing made such a terrible, terrible mistake. Even though you de- spise him for the way he clips his toenails in bed, you know it is not grounds for divorce. You know that this silent torture you are living with is entirely your fault for marrying him when you didn’t really love him. Not enough, certainly. Now that you think back on it, did you ever love him at all, or was it all just about you desperately wanting to get married? Because surely love is too strong to allow these petty everyday annoyances to turn it into ha- tred. Love is bigger than that. Love doesn’t make mistakes. Not real love. Not the kind of love that makes you marry someone.
by the seventh week of married life the statistic that one in four marriages ends in divorce cheers you, and you have decided that six months is a respectable amount of time to be seen trying to make it work.
Except that you know you haven’t. Tried, that is. And you can’t help thinking that perhaps you are just part of a generation of women who finds marriage a challenging and difficult state of being.
Or perhaps there is no universal group, no zeitgeist-y cliché to hide behind.
In which case I am just a woman who married the wrong guy and is trying to find a way out.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Publication Date: October 20, 2015 Atria Books Hardcover & eBook;
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Book Tours for an honest review
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
As always seems to happen when I read a book by Kate Morton, I was immediately caught up in story from the first page. Morton begins the novel with a flash of something mysterious and vaguely sinister that happens in Cornwall in 1933 and then goes into the part of the story that takes place in the 1930's and seems to be leading up to that event.
The other story line takes place in 2003 - Sadie Sparrow is on leave from the police force because she got emotionally involved in a case and made some decisions that landed her in trouble. While on leave, she stays with her Grandfather in Cornwall and discovers the abandoned home of the Edevanes and becomes intrigued by the house itself and the mystery that surrounds it.
Alice Edevane has grown up to be a successful mystery writer who is still haunted by the events of the past. Sadie pursues the answers to what happened to Theo Edevane all those years ago, so eventually she must meet with Alice. I loved the way these two women related to each other. They are each intelligent, stubborn, inquisitive women and both are great characters.
I enjoyed The Lake House so much - just as I have enjoyed all the Kate Morton books I have read so far. I loved the way Morton interweaves the various characters and their story lines. There are a couple of good mysteries to solve, but the novel is about more than just the mysteries - it also has a lot to say about the aftermath of war and how it can destroy lives and families even after the fighting is finished. The novel also highlights the very different views each person has on the same event and how these limited views can cause rifts, misunderstandings and turmoil.
I would strongly recommend The Lake House to any reader who enjoys Kate Morton books, historical mysteries, and just lovely atmospheric novels with wonderful characters. The Lake House was a pleasure to read and I think it may be my favorite Kate Morton novel so far.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | GOOGLE PLAY | ITUNES | INDIEBOUND | POWELL'S
Kate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. Her novels include The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper.
You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at www.katemorton.com or www.facebook.com/KateMortonAuthor
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULEMonday, October 5
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, October 6
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 12
Review at Book Drunkard
Thursday, October 15
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Tuesday, October 20
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, October 21
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, October 26
Review at Beth's Book Nook
Tuesday, October 27
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, October 28
Review at The Maiden's Court
Thursday, October 29
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, October 30
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Sunday, November 1
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Monday, November 2
Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Tuesday, November 3
Review at Bookish
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, November 4
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Words and Peace
Thursday, November 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Friday, November 6
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at Curling Up By the Fire