Monday, January 20, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 20, 2020


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

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A Long Way From Ordinary
(Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 2)
by Ann Charles and Sam Lucky

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First Street
by Catherine McKenzie, Jasmine Guillory, Elyssa Friedland, Shawn Klomparens, Randy Susan Meyers, and Kermit Roosevelt III
This is being released weekly thru Serial Box. The first episode is free. Give it a try!

Concealed in Death (In Death, #38)
Concealed in Death
(In Death #38)
by J.D. Robb
Narrated by Susan Ericksen 

What I recently finished

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Revealing Hope
(Stealing Light Trilogy Book 3)
by Julie Cassar
Pub date 1/28

Last Summer
Last Summer
by Kerry Lonsdale
Read my thoughts HERE.

What I am going to read next

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Dear Future Self: A Starfish Novella
by Lisa Becker
Pub date 2/4

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Book Spotlight #Giveaway! America Deconstructed by Chaithanya Sohan #AmericaDeconstructed


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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The book I'm giving away this week is very different from the usual books I offer. I read America Deconstructed when it came out at the beginning of last year. It's about sixteen immigrants who left their home countries in search of the American dream. It was a very enlightening and eye-opening book. You can read my thoughts HERE.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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America Deconstructed

America Deconstructed by Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin
Paperback, 184 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Motivational Press

Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan with his mom and siblings. His story, “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he traveled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream.

“I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidiebere and Ifeyinwa, which begins in rustic Nigeria and culminates into a life in America. Their journey chronicles their struggles with language, culture and being African in America.

In the story “ Kosovo, really...cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white.

In the story “I am exotic, mocha, P-diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America.

America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants who have left their home countries in search of the American dream. The stories combine humor and emotions as the protagonists maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.


About the author

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I am Chaithanya Sohan, an Electrical Engineer by day and an author by chance. I am currently a full time Engineer with dreams to be a full time writer at some point. I live in California with my African American husband, kid, mom and 90lbs of German Shepherd goodness named Zed. He has me by his little tail! My everyday is a cultural mix masala of African American-ness and Indian-ness which has been chronicled in the first story, An Alien in America in my book America Deconstructed.

My debut novel: America Deconstructed which will be out in 2018

My next novel: America Deconstructed part 2 or a murder mystery! ~ Author's website

Connect with Chaithanya

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Book Blitz! Silent Threat by Jeff Gunhus ~ Excerpt and a #Giveaway! #SilentThreat


Silent Threat


Silent Threat by Jeff Gunhus
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Thriller


A father charged with treason. A daughter sent to kill him. A shocking conspiracy that changes all the rules of the spy game for a new generation . . .

With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father . . .

Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then, they must attempt the unthinkable: Kidnap the President of the United States . . .

“A brilliantly written thriller. Breakneck twists, political intrigue and bristling action scenes—Jeff Gunhus writes with a gripping and gritty authority.”—Simon Gervais, author of Hunt Them Down

Purchase Silent Threat


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Excerpt

Mara Roberts knew the Agency would try to kill her father the day he got out of prison, she just didn’t expect they’d ask her be the one to do it.

Before she received the assignment, she would have bet even money he would survive whatever welcome party the CIA had planned for him. Too bad his odds had migrated down to zero now that the job was hers.

She sat in her rented Range Rover, waves of Oklahoma heat shimmering off the parking lot blacktop, bending the prison chain link fence into wavering lines. Coils of concertina wire topped the walls, razor blade edges glistening in the sun, each loop perfectly spaced. Just like inside the walls of the Cimarron Correctional Facility — orderly but lethal.

Behind the security gate was a low-slung building with a copper overhang at the entrance. More like a school administration office than a prison. The schematics she’d studied revealed the facility extended back into eight separate cell blocks. Each one housed more dangerous criminals than the previous one. She hoped they’d put her dad in the worst of the lot.

The car idled, both for the AC and in case she needed to adjust her plans and leave in a hurry. The few guards she saw moved slow and had dark sweat pits spreading under their arms and on their backs. She pegged them as complacent. Washed up. Bored. Just like she wanted. As she analyzed the prison’s weaknesses, she couldn’t help but wonder whether her dad had changed much since she’d seen him last.

Sure, he was past fifty now and, according to the photos in the briefing, finally starting to show his age. Wrinkles at his eyes. A close scalp shave, the kind favored by men fighting a losing battle with their hairline. He was still in shape, though. Surveillance camera footage showed a recent fist fight he’d had on the yard, started by some con paid off by the Agency. Obviously a new guy. Anyone who’d been there longer than knew not to mess with the quiet guy with the broad shoulders.

The video showed her dad could still throw a punch, but the couple of jabs he took to his face also showed he’d lost a step or two. Yet, the old man still had skills. And she wasn’t about to underestimate her target. Hell, four years on the run and the last two months in prison might have even toughened the bastard up. If that was even possible. She wasn’t sure it was.

A routine face recognition search through the US prison system by a junior analyst had turned him up. As she read the report, it made her laugh that assets all over the world were searching for him, and there he was serving time under an alias for manslaughter. Seems he took exception to a group of five young men roughing up a prostitute. Four of them ended up with broken bones and long hospital stays. The fifth wasn’t going to harass anyone ever again. It was just like her dad to risk blowing his cover to save someone. Typical Boy Scout bullshit.

She’d been raised on stories about him. Even in her macho world of counter-intelligence they seemed outlandish. Insanely risky missions. Many of them unsanctioned. Succeeding against insurmountable odds. Like stuff out of bad action movies, and yet people swore to her the stories were true, that they’d seen him do these things with their own eyes.

But they always whispered about him, as if just talking about the man and his exploits might suck them into the same darkness into which he disappeared.

Still, even with what had happened, she always heard a grudging admiration as they told her about the exploits of the great Scott Francis Roberts, the father she barely knew. The man she was about to kill.


About the author


Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

Connect with Jeff
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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Release Day! Lies That Bind by Ashley Farley ~ My Thoughts and the Trailer #LiesThatBind

Happy Release Day!

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Lies That Bind

Lies That Bind by Ashley Farley 
Print and e-book, 291 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Leisure Time Books

A suspenseful story of three women who, in search of freedom from the lies that bind them, experience personal growth, discovery, and forgiveness.

Ten years ago, Stuart Carpenter was killed in a single-car accident after retrieving his daughter, Reese, from college. The first responders to the accident saw no evidence of her, and she’s been neither seen nor heard from since. A decade later, Reese’s mother, Eva, struggling to make it through her days, holds out hope her daughter is still alive.

Maggie, on the rebound after the breakup of a long-term relationship, rushes into marriage with a man she knows little about. On the surface Eric is a stable man and a good provider, but when his job takes them from Oregon to Virginia, his dark side begins to show. Eric is ready to start a family. Maggie is more interested in pursuing a career as an investigative journalist. Eric will do whatever it takes to get his way.

On a snowy Sunday in early March, Maggie befriends her across-the-street neighbor, Eva, who confides in Maggie about her missing daughter. The story intrigues Maggie, and she can’t stop thinking about Reese. When Eric’s controlling behavior turns abusive, Maggie uses the investigation of Reese’s disappearance as an opportunity to go undercover. Maggie travels from Virginia to Ohio to Washington DC, unraveling the secrets of the dysfunctional family that drove a young woman to a desperate act of survival.


My thoughts about Lies That Bind ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"Early morning traffic approaching the Portland International Airport is more stop than go."

Ashley Farley has done it again! She has woven a beautiful, heartfelt story of three strong and independent women that will grab you from the very first words and draw you in until the very end. Her stories are always full of great characters that become like friends to me. I love reading her books but I am always a little sad when they are done. I thoroughly love my time in her worlds. 

Lies That Bind is a story that will capture your attention.... and your heart. Reese, Eva, and Maggie are three women, each with their own troubles and issues, whose lives become intertwined and complicated. As they work to help each other, their bonds becomes unbreakable. 

I highly recommend Lies That Bind and consider it a must-read for everyone. I know you are going to love, just like I did. 

I received an ARC of Lies That Bind from the author and this is honest review. 

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VIRTUAL SNOW DAY BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!
DON’T MISS THESE AMAZING GIVEAWAYS.

Grand prize includes . . . wait for it . . . drum roll . . .
a brand-new Apple iPad.

WHEN: TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 4-8 pm
WHERE: On Ashley's Facebook author page

Watch the trailer!



About the author

Ashley Farley

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you've read the last word, then she's done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote Saving Ben in honor of Neal, the boy she worshiped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Ashley


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Release Day! All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White #AllTheWaysWeSaidGoodbye

Happy Release Day!

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All the Ways We Said Goodbye

All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White
Print and e-book, 448 pages
Pubished January 14th 2020 by William Morrow

The New York Times bestselling authors of The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room return with a glorious historical adventure that moves from the dark days of two World Wars to the turbulent years of the 1960s, in which three women with bruised hearts find refuge at Paris’ legendary Ritz hotel.

The heiress . . .
The Resistance fighter . . .
The widow . . .
Three women whose fates are joined by one splendid hotel

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz— the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country—and the man—she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz—and to unexpected places of the heart. . . .


My thoughts about All the Ways We Said Goodbye ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"It was always worse at night."

Three women. Three time periods. Three interesting stories that are tied together in one outstanding book. This was such a amazing read! 

I don't know how three authors can pen a story together, to make each of their thoughts and ideas flow together, to make a captivating story that I personally, as a reader, became so entangled in. I felt like I was living the lives of the three women in the book. 

This is the first book that I have read by Williams, Willig, and White and I am super impressed by their work. This will definitely not be the last now that I have discovered their stories. I highly recommend All the Ways We Said Goodbye if you like, or love, historical fiction. This is one of the best that I have read. 

I received an ARC of All the Ways We Said Goodbye from the publisher via Goodreads and this is honest review. 

About the authors


Beatriz Williams is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of The Golden Hour, The Summer Wives, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and several other works of historical fiction, as well as the screenwriter for the television adaptation of The Summer Wives, currently in development with John Wells Productions. 

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry. ~ Author's website

Connect with Beatriz

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand alone works of historical fiction, including The Ashford Affair, That Summer, The Other Daughter, The English Wife, and the collaborative novels, The Forgotten Room and The Glass Ocean. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. 

After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her “Pink Carnation” series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time. ~ Author's website

Connect with Lauren

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Karen White

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, Dreams of Falling, The Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. 

She grew up in London but now lives with her husband near Atlanta, Georgia. ~ Author's website

Connect with Karen


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Release Day! Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain ~ My Thoughts #BigLiesInASmallTown #NetGalley

Happy Release Day!

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Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Print and e-book, 400 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by St. Martin's Press

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?


My thoughts about Big Lies in a Small Town ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"The children knew it was finally spring, so although the air still held the nip of winter and the grass and weeds crunched beneath their feet, they ran through the field and woods, yipping with the anticipation of warmer weather."

Oh. My. Gosh! This was such an amazing story. I loved everything about it. Diane has a way with words that can create an interesting world, a world with unforgettable characters and fabulous story lines. 

The mural that Morgan is working on, the mural that got her out of prison, is a puzzle to another woman's life. As Morgan restores the mural, the reader learns about Anna Dale and the life she lived, not all of it good or easy, by any means. I loved watching her story unravel and having it be revealed to us.  

Diane Chamberlain writes such engrossing stories and this is one that will definitely go to the top of my list of  'must-read' recommendations. 

I received an ARC of Big Lies in a Small Town from the publisher via NetGalley and this is honest review. 

About the author

Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed doctor’s appointment with nothing more than a pad, a pen, and an idea. She was instantly hooked.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia. She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.

More than two decades ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She wrote two novels using voice recognition software before new medication allowed her to get back to typing. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she’s able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

Diane lives in North Carolina with her significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and their odd but lovable Shetland Sheepdog, Cole.

Connect with Diane


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