Posted in Blog Tour

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai **Book Review** @algonquinbooks

Hello book people!

Today I am sharing with you a book I cannot adequately put into words how much I loved. This is one of those stories that will stick with me for a long time a beautiful story about resilience and family.🇻🇳

My Thoughts

Gorgeous and miracle a poignant tale of resilience and heart. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s lush and vivid storytelling transported me to Vietnam. The story spans most of 20th century Vietnam told from alternating perspectives in dual timelines from grandmother and granddaughter. 1950s Trần Diệu Lan is Born the daughter of a wealthy farmer. As a young girl she was told by a palm reader that she would live a hard life and indeed she did. From the death of her father to the great hunger to the land reform, to the Vietnam war she stood strong and fought hard for her life and the lives of her loved ones. 1970s Hương is living with her grandmother while her parents are off at war fighting against South Vietnam and the Americans. A young girl growing up in the shadows of war, tradition, and change. Both these storylines were equally riveting, heartwrenching, compelling, and beautiful.

As an American I have always thought of the Vietnam war as an American tragedy, where the average age of the combat soldier was 19. This book was very eye-opening and really made me realize that the people of Vietnam suffered even more then I could ever imagine. The French, the Japanese, and then the Americans all invading, forcing their own ideologies on the people of Vietnam for decades. I cannot adequately express how remarkable this book was and I encourage everyone to pick it up.

Quyen Ngo narrates this audio book bringing the perfect tone to this story’s beautiful pros. There are Vietnamese sayings told in Vietnamese sprinkled throughout this book and it was lovely to hear them read to me in Vietnamese. I really love learning so much about the Vietnamese culture and people in this book. I love when a book gives us a glimpse into different cultures and traditions. This is the first book in English from Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and I am definitely hoping it is not her last. Simply stunning!

This book in emojis 🇻🇳 👩‍👧 🍵 📚 👩🏻‍⚕️

*** Big thank you to Algonquin Books for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War.

Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English. 

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson **Book Review** @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours

Hello lovely book people!

Have you read this one yet? I strongly encourage you to pick it up, it was so good! The perfect read while your social distancing.

My Thoughts

What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though he’s not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog years ago to commit murders. The blog post was about the eight perfect murders committed in literature. Perfect meaning the killer was almost guaranteed to get away with it. Mal is sucked up into the investigation not only to find out who is using his list, but also to prove his innocence. Tense and addictive I was completely hooked!

Graham Halstead does an exceptional job of narrating this audiobook. He really brought the perfect voice to Mal. His steller delivery and perfect pacing added some extra tension to this already engaging story. I loved all the literary references in this book. The story unfolded so well the perfect amount of twists, turns, and misdirection. I have seen other reviews mention that this book does spoil all the books on the perfect murder list and I suppose it does, but I also think it probably sparked some interest for those books as well. Mal was such a sympathetic yet quirky character who I didn’t quite trust, bu I was definitely rooting for. The secondary characters were all equally interesting and I cannot forget the cat Nero. Another winner from this exceptional author.

this book in emojis. 🔎 📚 ✍🏻 🧩 🐱

*** Big thank you to William Morrow & Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About Eight Perfect Murders

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)

“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner

“Fiendish good fun.” —Anthony Horowitz

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. There is killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jim Ferguson

About Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

Find out more about Peter on his website and follow him on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz **Audiobook Review** @harlequinbooks @harperaudio

Happy Monday evening!

Have you adjusted to the time change yet? This was such a sweet sentimental story that I loved every minute of!👰🏼🤍

My Thoughts

A sweet, sentimental, multi generational tale. Brenda Janowitz’s storytelling completely swept me up in this enchanting story. Three generations of women connected buy this stunning wedding gown. Rose a Paris seamstress in the late 1950s, Joan a young proper college student in 1982, and her daughter Rocky A rebellious techie in 2020. Each woman had their own voice and their own story to tell. The story jumps around between these three women in short well crafted chapters. I was completely and equally invested in each of these women’s stories and found the pacing absolutely perfect. The gown meant something different to each of these women with the common thread of love.

The short chapters left me wanting more, but I was always happy to get back to the next woman’s story. I started this book with the intention of only listening to a few chapters and ended up finishing it pretty much without a break. The audio is narrated by Cassandra Campbell Who masterfully gave each woman her own unique voice and did a marvelous job with the French accent. I had recently read a book about Grace Kelly and that gave me a better appreciation of this gown and its meaning. Rose took pride in her work and did everything she could to emulate the princess’s wedding gown, while still adding her own touches. Joan added her own touches to the gown and learned that fairytales can have more than one happy ending. Rocky struggled with the gown it really wasn’t her, but it meant so much to her mom. Eventually even Rocky found a way to make the gown work for her. Such a beautiful story of love, family, tradition, expectations, choices, and mothers and daughters.

This book in emojis. 👰🏼 👰🏼 👰🏼

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris – and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and, of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky”, has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress – or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’ history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future. 


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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin *Audiobook Review*

Happy Monday book lovers!

You guys! This is such a great thriller and it’s even better on audio! I really cannot express to you how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book! And interesting fun fact part of the story takes part in my stomping grounds!🎧🌴

My Thoughts

Alison Gaylin completely sucked me in with this tense absorbing dark story. 1976 California the Inland Empire ( fun fact is where I live). Two teenagers go on a killing spree that ends with them both dying in a fire. Present day quinton a crime podcaster is investigating these serial killers whose actions had a direct impact on his life. In the course of his investigation he happens across a film journalist living in New England who also has a tie to the story. What transpires is a tents and disturbing search for the truth. The book is told from the perspective of Quinton, Robin, and a young April Cooper (one of the teenagers). I found each of these characters perspectives unique and compelling. Aprils story was told to us in letters written to her future child, this was both chilling and endearing. Not going to lie I really liked April as well as Quinton and Robin and as things began to unravel I was shocked. This was a book that really made you question how well do you know the people in your life? Your parents? Your significant other? Your coworker? And the twists kept coming! As soon as I thought aha I got this figured out the book slammed me and said not so fast inspector Berit! This was just a brilliantly told story that kept me invested and on the edge from first page to last! If you love thrillers, books about serial killers, crime podcasts then this is a can’t miss!

🎧🎧🎧

Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, James Fouhey

Both narrators did a wonderful job with the narration of the story. As always getting a voice to extremely well develop characters just adds another dimension to the story. You can listen to the narrator’s as they present this scripted podcast of what Quinton was working on during this book.

https://m.soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/preview-of-never-look-back-episode-one-of-the-podcast-closure

*** Big thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

For thirteen days in 1976, teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California’s Inland Empire, killing a dozen victims before perishing themselves in a fire… or did they? More than 40 years later, twentysomething podcast producer Quentin Garrison blames his troubled upbringing on the murders. And after a shocking message from a source, he has reason to believe April Cooper may still be alive. Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond is coping with rising doubts about her husband and terrifying threats from internet trolls. But that’s nothing compared to the outrageous phone call she gets from Quentin… and a brutal home invasion that makes her question everything she ever believed in. Is Robin’s beloved mother a mass murderer? Is there anyone she can trust?

Told through the eyes of those destroyed by the Inland Empire Killings—including Robin, Quentin, and a fifteen-year-old April Cooper—Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Thursday all!

Well January is flying by! Today I have a review for a book that really was kind of a love-hate thing.

My Thoughts

Whitney D. Grandison has written a compelling debut. This was kind of a mash up of the friends to lovers/enemies to lovers trope. Tyson Trice has just gone through a major tragedy and the loss of his beloved Pops. Five months away from turning 18 he goes to live with old family friends who live in an affluent area of Southern California. When they were little Trice and Mandy were the best of friends, but now Mandy is not quite certain of Trice because of his background. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a romance aficionado to figure out where this one’s going. Even though this story was predictable and somewhat clichéd I still enjoyed the story.

Trice, (Who prefers to go by his last name rather than his first name, because he was named after his father) was a lovable sympathetic character. Although he was constantly contradicting himself, there were some definite conflicts between his words and his actions. Then there was Mandy, what a spoiled entitled princess she was. I grew up in Southern California somewhere between these fictional cities of Linderwood and Pacific Hills. This is such a diverse checkerboarded area that I really doubt anyone would automatically assume someone was a “thug“ just because they were from a bad neighborhood. Well that is with the exception of dear Mandy. Even though we were constantly told what a sweet person she was I never saw that through her actions. I honestly thought Trice could’ve done much better for himself, possibly with her best friend. But I guess the heart wants what it wants. The story was told from both characters perspectives and I really got quite annoyed when I was in Mandy’s head. While I appreciated the diversity in the story I thought occasionally it was a bit stereotypical. I guess this is all to say I’m a little conflicted on this one. On one handI thought the characters were very vivid and well drawn, but on the other hand I really was not rooting for this couple. I was definitely wanting the best for Tyson, but I could’ve cared less what happened to Mandy. So I guess the title is super appropriate, it was kind of a love-hate thing!

this book in emojis. 📱 💰 📓 🎵 🏖

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Adenrele Ojo and Barrie Buckner. I thought both these narrators did an outstanding job and really added the perfect voice to these characters (even that Mandy).

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation, and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

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Berit☀️✨

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Tuesday all!

This was a cute story that made me want to go to Paris. I have traveled so many places through my reading. I’m not a huge fan of airplanes, so it’s probably the best way for me to do it!

My Thoughts

Books, food, romance, and Paris what more can you want from a book? This was such a fun story with a slight holiday vibe. Rebecca Raisin brought the beauty of Paris to life with her descriptive writing and dazzling storytelling. Sarah feels as though she is in a bit of a rut so when her friend Sophie who lives in Paris offers a book shop swap she jumps at the chance. The city of lights, holiday time, and a book shop, it’s a dream come true. But has Sarah bitten off more than she can chew? The bookshop is busier than she expected, the staff is unreliable at best, and her boyfriend seems to be putting his job before traveling to Paris. Will Sarah be able to find her inner strength and turn things around?

Sarah was a great character, but I did want to give the girl a major peptalk. This book shop swap was not as advertised. Sarah was doing her friend Sophie a favor and Sophie didn’t seem to give her the knowledge she needed to be successful in this bustling hostile environment. I am not certain if this is a French thing, but I cannot imagine working anywhere especially retail where people popped in and worked when they chose to? There was no set schedule? Just reading about it stressed me out. Fortunately Sarah made some good friends that made this all a little more bearable. As the book progressed the magic of Paris inhabited Sarah more and more. I loved her character development throughout the story. The romance in this story was really in the background, this really was more about Sarah becoming fierce. I was glad of how things ended with Sarah and her boyfriend.

Cute story, charming characters, books, and Paris.

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Sally Scott. I am pretty certain that she is British, so I am not certain why she was narrating a book that was primarily told from an American’s perspective? I mean if I had to speak in a British accent I’m sure people would find all kinds of things wrong with it. While her French accent I thought was brilliant, her American accent bothered me a bit. She dropped her R’s that drove me nuts, but did admittedly bother me less as the book went on.

This book in emojis. 📚 🇫🇷 🧀 🥖 🎄

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Husband Material by Emily Belden @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Monday everybody!

Only a couple more days and 2019! Excited to share with you today my review for this fun quirky story!

My Thoughts

This book was just what I needed! Sweet, quirky, and delightful. Not really a romcom more like women’s fiction with a sprinkling of humor and a generous dollop of romance. This is the story of Charlotte who is in her 20s and lost her husband five years ago. Unsure of how to navigate being such a young widow and not wanting the label Charlotte has made it that no one in her life knows that she was ever even married. She has re-entered the dating field but treats it more like a math problem than anything else. Using an algorithm to find the perfect man. BUT everything is turned topsy-turvy when she gets a surprise package with her husband’s ashes inside. Charlotte is now forced to face the past, the truth, and her future. What follows is an engaging story filled with memories, tenderness, heartbreak, hope, forgiveness, and closure.

Charlotte may not have been the most relatable character, but I had a lot of sympathy for her. She had lost her husband at such a young age and was still caring around so much grief and guilt. Her neurotic tendencies really did not help the situation. She had kind of isolated herself from people, avoiding ever being hurt again, and also avoiding ever being loved again. I found the secondary characters roommate Casey and love interest Brian much more interesting than Charlotte if I’m being honest. Brian was a pretty great guy and I loved all the interactions with him. Casey was the perfect counterbalance to Charlotte, and I loved how eventually she basically told her how it is! Later in the story there is a secret revealed and I think Charlotte handled it much better than I might have. I love watching Charlotte bro and rediscover herself throughout the course of this book. Emily Belden has written a clever refreshing story and I’m looking forward to the next book from this author.

This book in emojis 👩🏻‍💻 🐶 ⚾️ 🍨 ⚱️

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Piper Goodeve. I truly believe this made the story more relatable to me, she gave Charlotte a human side. Charlotte was kind of a dry character, but I think piper’s voice made her more lively. And more relatable. This might be a book I liked more because I listen to it rather than read it.

*** Big thanks to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Sometimes love is unpredictable….

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk – so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law – and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not. 

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Wicked Redhead by Beatrix Williams @tlcbooktours @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Saturday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this entertaining story! I listen to this on audio and I think the audio made it an even better book!🎧

My Thoughts

Beatrix Williams has spun an entertaining story. This is the second book in the wicked City series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, however I do think not having read the first book detracted from my enjoyment a little. I had a hard time getting into the story and I think that’s because I did not know the character’s background. I love feisty female characters, I love books that take place in the 20s, and I love books set in multiple time periods. This book had all three and more. The book starts in 1924 with Ginger down in Florida having run from danger and tragedy that happened in New York in the previous book. The story than a bounces to 1998 and Ella who has just left her husband and is living in an apartment that is situated over the speakeasy where ginger once worked. Ginger’s presents is still very strong in the building and Ella is intrigued. What follows is a story filled with scandal, danger, secrets, lies, love, Family, blackmail, and deceit. I have to admit I found the 1998 storyline a little more compelling, however Ginger was such a wonderful character. I also loved the little bit of mystery and what tide Ella and ginger together. I’m excited to see how everything is going to play out in the last book in the series.

This book in emojis. 🛥 🏖 🍸 🎷 👩🏻‍🦰

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Dara Rosenberg and Julie McKay. I love when books told from multiple perspectives are narrated by different narrators. I also thought both these narrators gave such authenticity to the character and time period that they were narrating.

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About The Wicked Redhead

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 10, 2019)

The dazzling narrator of The Wicked City brings her mesmerizing voice and indomitable spirit to another Jazz Age tale of rumrunners, double crosses, and true love, spanning the Eastern seaboard from Florida to Long Island to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1924. Ginger Kelly wakes up in tranquil Cocoa Beach, Florida, having fled south to safety in the company of disgraced Prohibition agent Oliver Anson Marshall and her newly-orphaned young sister, Patsy. But paradise is short-lived. Marshall is reinstated to the agency with suspicious haste and put to work patrolling for rumrunners on the high seas, from which he promptly disappears. Gin hurries north to rescue him, only to be trapped in an agonizing moral quandary by Marshall’s desperate mother.

1998. Ella Dommerich has finally settled into her new life in Greenwich Village, inside the same apartment where a certain redheaded flapper lived long ago…and continues to make her presence known. Having quit her ethically problematic job at an accounting firm, cut ties with her unfaithful ex-husband, and begun an epic love affair with Hector, her musician neighbor, Ella’s eager to piece together the history of the mysterious Gin Kelly, whose only physical trace is a series of rare vintage photograph cards for which she modeled before she disappeared.

Two women, two generations, two urgent quests. But as Ginger and Ella track down their separate quarries with increasing desperation, the mysteries consuming them take on unsettling echoes of each other, and both women will require all their strength and ingenuity to outwit a conspiracy spanning decades.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Beatriz Williams

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Playground by Jane Shemilt @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Saturday all!

This book! What a crazy ride!

My Thoughts

What a wild ride, this is a playground you want to avoid taking your children to! You know how you feel when you get off one of those playground merry go rounds? A little shook, a little queasy, a little unstable, A little flustered, that’s how I felt after reading this book. Three couples Meat and form a fast friendship. Their children all get along so well and this leads to barbecues, dinners, and even vacations together. All three couples are very different, but they are all very damaged and have some major secrets. What follows is a story full of deceit and tragedy. I would classify this as a dark domestic drama, despicable characters doing questionable things. I found myself shaking my head at these characters several times, I could not believe how involved they were in their own lives and how oblivious they were to what was going on with these kids. There are several tragedies in this story and I am still a little confused as to the reaction of some of the characters. This is one of those books where you don’t necessarily like any of the characters, but the story is so compelling you just have to find out what the heck is going on.

The story jumps between multiple perspectives and I have to admit I found this a little confusing in the beginning. There are a lot of characters and I couldn’t exactly figure out whose kid belonged to who for the first little bit, but once I did it became a little more clear. This book really kind of made me think about people’s priorities and made me put myself in these character’s shoes. Some actions are a little more forgivable than others, I’m still a little angry with some of these characters. A twisty story with a disturbing ending that still has me reeling.

🎧🎧🎧 This Book was narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden Who I thought did a wonderful job. There really is nothing better than having a book set in England read to you in an English accent!

This book in emojis 😕 😖 😩 🙄 😬 😦

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About The Playground

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 30, 2019)

“Beautifully written and suffused with dread. Jane Shemilt’s domestic settings are seductively vivid, and the final outcome is profoundly shocking and terrifying.”
— Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny

Big Little Lies meets Lord of The Flies in this electrifyingly twisty follow-up to Jane Shemilt’s breakout debut The Daughter.

Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world.

But has this knowledge come too late?

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Kate Shemilt

About Jane Shemilt

While working full time as a physician, Jane Shemilt received an M.A. in creative writing. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize for The Daughter, her first novel. She and her husband, a professor of neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol, England.

Follow Jane on Twitter and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thenanny

Happy Wednesday everybody!

So excited to share with you today my review for this Erie and atmospheric story. Gilly MacMillan has sealed her status as an autoread for me with this book!🖤

My Thoughts

Sometimes the truth hurts so much, you’d rather hear the lie.

Gilly MacMillan has crafted a haunting and atmospheric story. An eerie tale threaded with Mystery with a strong Gothic feel. This was not a fast paced edge of your seat thriller full of twists and turns. This was a slow burn that completely transported me into the lives of these characters. I could feel the chill in the air and the goosebumps on my skin, I was right there in this big creepy house with Virginia, Jo, Hannah, and Ruby. The strength of this Book was in the storytelling, I was captivated from first word to last.

Jocelyn has not been home for years. But after the death of her husband she has to pack her and her daughter up leave California and head home to the UK. Jo’s return home forces her to face both her estranged mother and the abandonment of her nanny over 30 years ago. After the remains of a body are found in the lake on the family property and the missing nanny returns to town things start to both piece together and fall apart. The story is told from multiple perspectives and bounces between past and present. Neither Virginia or Hannah were tremendously likable, but as things were revealed I definitely saw the good in one of them more than the other. Jo was likable, but she was also very frustrating with how gullible she was. Ruby really was my favorite character in this book a flash of color in the midst of all the gloom. A beautifully told Gothic family Drama sprinkled with Mystery and a touch of thriller.

This book in three emojis: 🛶 🏚 🎨

🎧🎧🎧 Clare Corbett, Patience Tomlinson, and Ben Eliot narrate this audiobook. All three of them did a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life giving them each a unique voice. My only tiny complaint is that occasionally I got a little confused because they both did Virginia’s voice so differently. I can understand why this would be they probably did not record together, but sometimes I had to think twice and think oh this is the other narrator doing her voice because there was dialogue in both sections. I’m sure this is often the case, I just noticed it more in this book than I usually do.

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of the book ***

About The Nanny

• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (September 10, 2019)

The Nanny kept me in white-knuckled suspense until the very last page. Gilly Macmillan’s breakout thriller is a dark and twisted version of Downton Abbey gone very, very wrong.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author

The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #thenanny and tag @williammorrowbooks, @gillymacmillan, and @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo (c) 2018 Céline Nieszawer/Leextra

About Gilly Macmillan

Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, and The Nanny. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.

Find out more about Gilly at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.