Thursday, August 30, 2018

TLC Book Tours: Tear Me Apart (Review and GIVEAWAY!)

About Tear Me Apart
Print Length: 496 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (September 1, 2018)
The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apartis the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.
One moment will change their lives forever…
Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.
Who knows the answers?
The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.
With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

What a wild ride of a book!! This book had so many layers--psychiatric facilities, family secrets, mysterious deaths, cancer--all super heavy stuff. Despite all the heavy themes, the author wove it together perfectly to tell a gripping story of the need for truth among years of family secrets and lies.  Though I had put some of the pieces together earlier in the book, I was still unable to put this one down because I had to know what happened to Mindy. The characters were so interesting and well developed. My favorite character was Mindy's aunt Juliet--who risked everything to help find out what happened in Mindy's past. The book switched between letters from two psychiatric ward patients in the early to mid 90s to Mindy's life today, and as the book went on, more and more pieces fell into place.

This was my first time reading J.T. Ellison's work and it certainly won't be my last. When you read it, make sure to read the author's note at the end--there's good information in there that relates to the story.  This is a must read psychological thriller!
 About J. T. Ellison

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband.

Connect with J. T.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

WWW Wednesday: August 29


The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?  

What did you recently finish reading?  

What do you think you’ll read next?
Recently Finished
I enjoyed all of these books! Look for my review of Tear Me Apart tomorrow on the blog for TLC Book Tours! Good Luck With That is absolutely brilliant. Full review on this one soon too!
Currently Reading
Up Next
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Friday, August 24, 2018

TLC Book Tours: After Nightfall (Review and GIVEAWAY!!)

About After Nightfall
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 7, 2018)
Beware of friends with secrets…
Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.
Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.
Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.
“Gripping and arresting! After Nightfall is a stellar psychological thriller. Banner had me second-guessing every character throughout the entire novel. I literally couldn’t figure out who’d done it until the reveal. And it was shocking. Love that!” –Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal bestselling author
“Moody and beautifully atmospheric, After Nightfall is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page, the final sentence even, a heart-stopping revelation. I highly recommend it!” –Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of Faultlines and The Truth We Bury

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

I loved The Twilight Wife, and was so excited to get my hands on this one! I flew through it in two days and couldn't put it down.  The author did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing--the ending totally surprised me. I felt like I couldn't trust any of the characters, and  I thought I had it all figured out, and I was totally wrong!  Then once I knew who the killer was and thought back on the book, all the clues were there. The book is fast paced and well written, making it easy to get sucked into and stay up way too late reading! It's a shorter book, so it's a perfect book to get wrapped up in even if it means staying up late!

If you haven't read this author's work, I highly recommend her books! After Nightfall was my favorite so far. A must read and gripping psychological thriller!
About A. J. Banner
Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous novels of psychological suspense include The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife, a USA Today bestseller. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and six rescued cats.

Connect with A. J. Banner

Facebook | Instagram

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Book Review: Shelter in Place

36425796Title: Shelter in Place
Author: Nora Roberts
438 pages, published May 29, 2018
St Martin's Press
Source: Library

From: Goodreads

Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies' room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone--until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn't satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait--and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

 Wow, what a book! I've read a lot of Nora Roberts' books, but only her romance series--the Bridal Quartet, Inn Boonsboro, etc. This is my first  read of hers in this genre and it was fantastic! This one is a mix of romance, mystery, suspense, thriller, psychological thriller...all rolled into one. Admittedly, if I would've know how much gun violence (beyond the initial incident outlined in the blurb) I probably wouldn't have read it, but I'm so glad I did! The story was well written and engaging, the characters were fantastic, and I was totally engaged in the story up until the very end.

I listened to this one on audio and it was a tough one to listen to at times, especially at the beginning, but was so relevant to the world we live in today. The story kept me guessing all the way to the end, and the ending was perfect. Let's talk about the characters--Reed Quartermaine was DREAMY. I think he's my favorite male main character in all the Nora Roberts books I've read. I also loved Simone and CiCi.  I got so attached to these characters and alternately didn't want to finish the book and leave the characters but was desperate to finish the book to know what happened to them. Overall, I loved this book! It is a bit disturbing at parts (several parts) but is a great read!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

WWW Wednesday August 22


The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?  
What did you recently finish reading?  
What do you think you’ll read next?
Recently Finished
 3651300936505283 18693846
There were things I loved and things I didn't love about When the Lights Go Out. More to come in my review on September 19th as part of the blog tour with TLC Book Tours. After Nightfall was absolutely fantastic. My review for it will be posted Friday with the blog tour for TLC Book Tours. After back to back thrillers, I needed a nice, relaxing read, and that was The House on Mermaid Point! I've read a few other books in the Ten Beach Road series and have been going back and reading the ones I missed. This was a great read!
Currently Reading
Reading and reviewing Tear Me Apart for TLC Book Tours on August 30th. Listening to Kristan Higgins' latest on Audible and LOVING IT. Seriously. It's brilliant.  I want to finish it and know what happens but I don't want to leave these characters.
Up Next
I want to read To All The Boys before I see the movie....and the August Reese Witherspoon book club pick came in for me at the library!
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Monday, August 20, 2018

TLC Book Tours: When The Lights Go Out (excerpt)

About When the Lights Go Out

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (September 4, 2018)
A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 
Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.
Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?
“Kubica brilliantly unravels the lives of two women in this tense and haunting tale of identity and deceit. WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT will keep you questioning everything-and everyone-until the riveting conclusion. A twisty, captivating, edge-of-your-seat read.” –Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of ALL THE MISSING GIRLS

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


The city surrounds me.  A panorama.  With arms outstretched, I can’t help but spin, taking it all in.  Enjoying the view, knowing fully well this may be the last thing my eyes ever see. 
I stare at the four metal steps before me, aware of how frail and broken-down they look.  They’re orange with rust, paint flaking, some of the slats loose so that when I press my foot to the first step, it buckles beneath me and I fall. 
Still, I have no choice but to climb.
I pull myself back up, set my hands on the rails and scale the steps.  The sweat bleeds from my palms so that the metal beneath them is slippery, slick.  I can’t hold tight.  I slip from the second step, try again.  I call out, voice cracking, a voice that doesn’t sound like mine. 
As I reach the roof’s ledge, my knees give.  It takes everything I have not to topple over the edge of the building and onto the street below.  Seventeen floors.
I’m so high I could touch the clouds, I think.  The sense of vertigo is overpowering.  The ground whooshes up and at me, the skyscrapers, the trees starting to sway until I no longer know what’s moving: them or me.  Little yellow matchbooks soar up and down the city streets.  Cabs. 
If I was standing at street level, the ledge would feel plenty wide.  But up here it’s not.  Up here it’s a thread and on it, I’m trying to balance my two wobbly feet. 
I’m scared.  But I’ve come this far.  I can’t go back. 
There’s a moment of calm that comes and goes so quickly I almost don’t notice it.  For one split second the world is still.  I’m at peace.  The sun moves higher and higher into the sky, yellow-orange glaring at me through the buildings, making me peaceful and warm.  My hands rise beside me as a bird goes soaring by.  As if my hands are wings, I think in that moment what it would be like to fly.    
And then it comes rushing back to me.
I’m hopelessly alone.  Everything hurts.  I can no longer think straight, I can no longer see straight, I can no longer speak.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  If I am anyone. 
And I know in that moment for certain: I am no one.
I think what it would feel like to fall.  The weightlessness of the plunge, of gravity taking over, of relinquishing control.  Giving up, surrendering to the universe.
There’s a flicker of movement beneath me.  A flash of brown, and I know that if I wait any longer, it will be too late.  The decision will no longer be mine.  I cry out one more time.
And then I go.

I don’t have to see myself to know what I look like. 
My eyes are fat and bloated, so bloodshot the sclera is bereft of white.  The skin around them is red and raw from rubbing.  They’ve been like this for days.  Ever since Mom’s body began shutting down, her hands and feet cold, blood no longer circulating there.  Since she began to drift in and out of consciousness, refusing to eat.  Since she became delirious, speaking of things that aren’t real. 
Over the last few days, her breathing has changed too, becoming noisier and unstable, developing what the doctor called Cheyne-Stokes respiration where, for many seconds at a time, she didn’t breathe.  Short, shallow breaths followed by no breaths at all.  When she didn’t breathe, I didn’t breathe.  Her nails are blue now, the skin of her arms and legs blotchy and gray.  “It’s a sign of imminent death, the doctor said only yesterday as he set a firm hand on my shoulder and asked if there was someone they could call, someone who could come sit with me until she passed. 
“It won’t be long now,” he’d said.
I had shaken my head, refusing to cry.  It wasn’t like me to cry.  I’ve sat in the same armchair for nearly a week now, in the same rumpled clothes, leaving only to collect coffee from the hospital cafeteria.  “There’s no one,” I said to the doctor.  “It’s only Mom and me.” 
Only Mom and me as it’s always been.  If I have a father somewhere out there in the world, I don’t know a thing about him.  Mom didn’t want me to know anything about him.
            And now this evening, Mom’s doctor stands before me again, taking in my bloated eyes, staring at me in concern.  This time offering up a pill.  He tells me to take it, to go lie down in the empty bed beside Mom’s and sleep. 
“When’s the last time you’ve slept, Jessie?” he asks, standing there in his starch white smock, tacking on, “I mean, really slept,” before I can lie.  Before I can claim that I slept last night.  Because I did, for a whole thirty minutes at best.
He tells me the longest anyone has gone without sleep.  He tells me that people can die without sleep.  He says to me, “Sleep deprivation is a serious matter.  You need to sleep,” though he’s not my doctor but Mom’s.  I don’t know why he cares. 
But for whatever reason, he goes on to list for me the consequences of not sleeping.  Emotional instability.  Crying and laughing for no sound reason at all.  Behaving erratically.  Losing concept of time. Seeing things.  Hallucinating.  Losing the ability to speak. 
And then there are the physical effects of insomnia.  Heart attack, hypothermia, stroke. 
“Sleeping pills don’t work for me,” I tell him, but he shakes his head, tells me that it’s not a sleeping pill.  Rather a tranquilizer of some sort, used for anxiety and seizures.  “It has a sedative effect,” he says.  “Calming.  It will help you sleep without all the ugly side effects of a sleeping pill.”
But I don’t need to sleep.  What I need instead is to stay awake, to be with Mom until she makes the decision to leave. 
I push myself from my chair, strut past the doctor standing in the doorway.  “Jessie,” he says, a hand falling gently to my arm to try and stop me before I can go.  His smile is fake.
“I don’t need a pill,” I tell him briskly, plucking my arm away.  My eyes catch sight of the nurse standing in the hallway beside the nurse’s station, her eyes conveying only one thing.  Pity.  “What I need is coffee,” I say, not meeting her eye as I slog down the hallway, feet heavy with fatigue. 


About Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

Connect with Mary

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



To follow the rest of the tour, click here. Look for my review post on September 19th!

TLC Book Tours