Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (57)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Burning Through Their Eyes by Eugene Knight. This novel is the sequel to In Between Dreams that I read a few weeks ago. After finding out he had a murderous twin brother, Toby moved to work with a scientific researcher at a university, studying powers that evolve between twins, while living with his pregnant girlfriend. In this installment, one of Toby's sons (also twins) is kidnapped for his abilities and Toby must do whatever he can to save him. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (266)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


American Gods (p. 284)
   - Neil Gaiman

There are stories that are true, in which each individual's tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it too deeply. We build a shell around it like an oyster dealing with a painful particle of grit, coating it with smooth pearl layers in order to cope.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Fifteenth of June

34377777Can we lose a loved one without losing ourselves?

Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Thomson is haunted by a troubled past. After struggling for years with alcoholism and antisocial behavior, he ends a stable relationship with his girlfriend and finds himself without a home, job, or purpose.

Just as he learns that his father is terminally ill, he meets a stranger who offers him a flicker of hope for a better future. But is he ready to bury the past?

Rich with dark humor and a keen insight into the human condition, this debut fictional release from author Brent Jones delves into life’s most pressing trials—destructive relationships, love, loss, and pursuing happiness.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones explores the impact of childhood trauma onto adulthood and how much strength, courage, and help it takes to move on. As the main character, Drew, deals with the twentieth anniversary of his mother's murder as he also deals with a relationship ending and a terminal diagnosis for his father. 

Drew Thomson is not the easiest character to like. He's very troubled and deals with his depression and lack of emotions with drugs and alcohol. Drew has never been taught how to understand and truly face the struggles that come with life. So he hides from them, alone and inebriated to an extreme point. Right from the start, readers will undoubtedly feel pity for him. I could even see some readers not liking him at all as he doesn't exactly try. His father has always advised him to take life as it is, just accept it, and go with the flow. Yet, following this (bad) advice has only pushed Drew to further dislike himself and create a bad environment around himself. His best friend, Neil, is a horrible person, using drugs, alcohol, and women to create a facade of success and happiness. Though, I think this does well to symbolize the idea of rock bottom that Drew has sunken to. And truly, the only way for Drew to go is up. With the help of a complete stranger, Sierra, Drew decides to try. Try to live, try to improve, try to find his truth and live it. 

The position that Drew starts from is one of darkness and depression. At first, it seems like Drew has completely given up, ready to accept his drinking and drug-induced haze as a way of life. This does make it hard to connect with Drew at the beginning of the book, but it also offers a starting point from which to grow. As the book continues, Jones does a good job at bringing readers to a sense of understanding. There are always reasons behind a person's actions and Jones subtly highlights the motives that deeply effect Drew in order to bring readers into his corner. However, it does become a little frustrating as a reader and a witness to read all of Drew's destructive behavior. Even though, there is a echo of hope as Drew realizes that if he just tried, then maybe something good could come of it because he really has nothing left to lose. 

While Drew faces these internal struggles, his father, Russell, is dying from lung cancer. Russell seems to be the only constant in Drew's life and readers will witness the fear Drew feels as that consistency is threatened. The Fifteenth of June focuses on Drew's inability to live and feel as he thinks a normal person would and then compounds that stagnant and unfeeling nature with external circumstances that could push Drew over the edge. Throughout the novel, though, as Drew makes bad decision after bad decision, he comes to a metaphorical crossroads. He learns that though it won't be easy, by any means, he is capable of change. Because of that, this book can be taken as an inspirational story about a man who overcomes his darkness and looks to the future with a new sense of hope and humanity. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (56)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to ...

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I've been really excited about this book for a couple of weeks now. I know I'm late in reading it (they've already started the TV version) but I'm still really looking forward to it. Shadow starts working for a trickster named Wednesday doing various odd jobs because his life has been turned upside down after his release from prison. From these tricks, Shadow learns about the reality of fantasy in American life and a war brewing beneath the surface.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (265)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


The Fifteenth of June (81% Kindle)
   - Brent Jones

He brought his car to a rapid halt in the middle of the lane. A powerful floodlight poured through his rear windshield from a vehicle behind him.

Friday, May 19, 2017

She Wants It All - Blog Tour

NEW RELEASE! SHE WANTS IT ALL (Book 3, Sheridan Hall Series)

Author: Jessica Calla
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: BookFish Books
Cover Designer: Anita B. Carroll, Race-Point US

About She Wants it All...

Happy to sing cover songs with his band and float through New Jersey University with little to no effort, Dave Novak spends the first week of college partying. Then he meets Maggie Patrinski. Performing on stage in front of hundreds is easy for Dave, but the mere thought of Maggie sends his heart racing and turns him into a bumbling idiot. Even so, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Maggie’s not exactly thrilled when her roommate sets her up with Second Floor Dave, the hottie with a reputation. Not only has she just had her heart broken, but she’s vying for a competitive summer internship and studying to become a vet. She doesn’t have time for guys and isn’t interested in falling in love, especially when she may be moving across the country for the summer.

But as Maggie gets to know Dave, his charm wins her over and she falls hard and fast. The problem? Maggie has goals, Dave doesn’t. Maggie studies, Dave doesn’t. Maggie wants it all, Dave only wants her. With their summer plans up in the air and past mistakes creeping back into their lives, their future together is uncertain. The only thing they’re sure of is that when they’re together, they’re better.


Will this be the final book for the friends of Sheridan Hall? In this third installment in the Sheridan Hall series, as their Freshman year in college comes to an end, Maggie and Dave are thrown together, but neither of them are ready for the sudden sparks that fly from the moment they embark on a date arranged by their mutual friend Megan (the main character in book two of the series).

As Maggie and Dave share the position of narrator, each of their characters come to life, shedding their supporting roles of the previous books and gaining main character status. At the end of book two, Maggie has just been dumped by boyfriend, Winston. She's sworn off boys, determined to focus on school and get a veterinary internship in Olympia, Washington. But roommate Meg made a deal and her agreement was that Maggie would go on a date with second-floor-Dave, who is rumored to have quite the reputation.

With the progression of the story line, readers learn that even though Maggie is heartbroken, she's a woman who truly wants it all. She wants the internship, the amazing grades, and the boyfriend who is completely devoted. She's an avid reader of the romance genre herself and she dreams of meeting her own hero one day. Though some readers may see this as naive, Maggie is aware of how it seems. Yet, that doesn't stop her from wanting it all. The ups and downs of this romance with Dave show that she's an intelligent and beautiful young woman who is trying to find her path. Specifically the path that allows her to be in love and be successful.

Unexpectedly, Dave just might be the beacon to that path. Early on in Freshman year, Dave made a bit of a name for himself in the rumor mill. He went a bit wild with his new college freedom and his reputation paid the price. Yet, when he first saw Maggie, all of that changed. She became his dream girl even though she had a serious boyfriend. And then, suddenly, she was single and Dave saw his chance. His determination to be a better man for Maggie is obvious, but he struggles to clear his name of the swirling rumors of his busy sexual life. As a lead singer in a band, he's constantly being hit on and propositions come from nearly every direction, especially from his neighbor, Suzi. But he wants to change. He wants to be deserving of Maggie's attention. Though his inability to speak when he's with her doesn't exactly help the situation.

When Maggie and Dave both realize that the other isn't the person they thought, the relationship takes a serious turn. After learning about each other, Maggie and Dave decides that the real is better than the fantasy, but there's trouble brewing as Winston decides that he wants Maggie back. Even though Dave is a bit obsessive and Maggie is a bit inconsistent, I think readers will root for this couple to defy the odds and the forces working against them.

My favorite things about this book is the evolution of the characters and how accurately their personalities as college Freshman are represented. Even though the book only covers a couple months, a lot happens that pushes the characters into adulthood. They each have to make complicated decisions that will alter their futures. Their Freshman year has been anything but easy, and it's written as such. Yet, when given the chance, the characters grow into their selves and experience a deepened sense of understanding in regard to love and friendship.

Readers who have enjoyed the first two installments of the Sheridan Hall series will really love this book. It's contemporary romance at its core with some very juicy descriptions. Though I didn't exactly like Maggie's views of romance-novel love, the deeper meaning of being able to have it 'all' translates well through her actions. I mean, when I was in college I wanted the same thing: perfect grades, perfect boyfriend, perfect future. (And I read my fair share of romance novels.) But real life is messy and discovering that while also learning how to adapt to it is the real lesson that will connect Maggie to readers. As for Dave, readers will no doubt think his stuttering and nervousness around Maggie are cute and quirky characteristics, but his evolution while discovering and searching for his own path and passion will make Dave seem real and dimensional.

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Other Books In the Sheridan Hall Series...

SHE LAUGHS IN PINK (Book 1, Sheridan Hall Series)

SHE RUNS AWAY (Book 2, Sheridan Hall Series)

About the Author...

Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance, new adult, and women's fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she's not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you'll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once).

Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.

Rafflecopter Giveaway! $25 Amazon Gift Card

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Jarful of Moonlight

34854104A Jarful of Moonlight, a poetry collection, by Nazanin Mirsadeghi, is simply described as "a collection of inspirational poems about love, hope, pain, grief, self-discovery and empowerment" (Goodreads). The poems, all untitled, are separated into sections that resonate the overlapping theme. The poems themselves are short and simple, easy to understand with concise imagery. This simultaneously gives a distinct impression while also leaving a little bit more to be desired. I tend to enjoy more metaphorical or feminist poetry because that's what intrigues me. Therefore, I felt a little disconnected from these poems, wanting a starker juxtaposition, a deeper truth to be revealed, or a more vibrant explanation. There were two poems that really struck me, one of which is as follows:

tell me
this walk
on the edge of a cliff
waiting for rock 
to crumble
under my feet
is not love

The image that this poem depicts, in my opinion, is one of the strongest in the collection. Fear, hope, danger, resentment, disbelief... all of these feelings flash through me while reading these seven simple lines. Through this, and a few others, I know that Mirsadeghi has power as a poet. And I've no doubt that others who read this collection will connect with different pieces, some more and some less. The variety within the collection then makes me think that Mirsadeghi's poetry offers something for everyone. Though, as with poetry, I doubt that the same meaning will be drawn from them by different people. For those who enjoy reading poetry, I would definitely say to give this collection a shot. As I couldn't find any other poetry collections by the author, I assume that this is their first published work and can't help but feel that there are deeper meanings that this poet will reach with more work, even though this collection specifically didn't speak to me as much as others I have read.

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (55)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

A Jarful of Moonlight by Nazanin Mirsadeghi. Time to slip in another collection of poetry! This book is a collection of poems that cover themes of love, hope, and pain while providing inspiration. Hopefully this book will provide a little break from fiction and leave me feeling inspired. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (264)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

She Wants It All (Sheridan Hall #3)

She Wants it All (Kindle 43%)
    - Jessica Calla

I walk past him and open the door, tilting my chin toward the hallway. "Maybe that's your problem, Win. You're always being 'realistic.'" It's the same word he used when we broke up. It's not realistic for us to spend the rest of our lives together. We're only in college. Jerk. "Sometimes I have no idea what I ever saw in you. Thanks for your support." 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Destined, a Novel of the Tarot

12744962This is the year Emily learns how to deliberately shape the future. She gets the courage to walk away from her safe routine and takes a job at the fabulous curio shop owned by Henry Paradis, an occult scholar. Recognizing her psychic talents as the valuable gifts they are, Henry teaches Emily to accept her magical nature and “look forward.” She chooses the path to light, finds lifelong friends, falls in love with an incredibly sexy man, learns the power of desire and intention, faces her worst fears and is swept toward awakening.

The mystical images of the Tarot’s archetypal trump cards chart the way, 22 sequential steps along the path to success known as “The Fool’s Journey.” Illustrated by images from the Payen Tarot of Marseilles (1713), which is the oldest surviving Tarot deck.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Gail Cleare shares one woman's journey of change, self-discovery, and love in her novel, Destined. Though it was first published a few years ago, there is now an e-book copy available, allowing this novel to be newly discovered. Full of magic with themes of friendships, personal growth, and learning to trust, I believe this book will resonate with readers. 

Emily is the main character of this novel and she's not in the greatest place at the beginning. She angrily storms out of her workplace, vowing to start over. However, throughout the book, Emily is a generally happy person who lets her past experiences shape her future. This does make her a little overcautious, but it also allows her to grow within the confines of the novel. Emily is also incredibly friendly and caring. She wants to be trusted and help others when she is able to. Her caring nature touches various characters in the book, demonstrating how much one person can help a community. It's really amazing how quickly she forms her own community after finding a job at an eclectic goods store. 

The store, run by the very enjoyable Henry Paradis, is what opens Emily up to the magical realism that runs throughout this novel. From laughing bells to positive visualization, this book brings the idea of magic into the folds of everyday life. The way the story follows the progression of the tarot deck adds to that magic, as readers get a little teaser of what each chapter will be about. Though overall the novel is focused on how Emily changes her own life by going after what she wants and learning how to forge her own path, the love story that accompanies that evolution is also a sweet addition. Though Tony Novak wasn't my favorite character at the beginning of the book, he does grow on readers through his positive outlook and generally sweet disposition, even if he is a little 'all-in.' He is the kind of character that dives into things head first because he makes a decision as to what he wants and then he goes directly for it, no holds barred. At times, this seemed a little obsessive to me, but I think his character's goodness and trustworthiness eventually won me over. 

Destined is a very positive novel that shows both character evolution and how choosing your own path and making every choice to get there allows you to have the life you want, the life that will make you happy. It also offers a strong sense of community that readers will enjoy, as the book isn't only about Emily, but everyone who lives and works on Market Street. This book offers so much, I think readers who enjoy magical realism, love stories, and character growth will really enjoy Destined

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (54)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

She Wants it All by Jessica Calla. This is the third book in the Sheridan Hall series and the spotlight will fall on Dave and Maggie, characters included in the previous novels. I really enjoyed the second book in the series and am definitely excited to read this one. As a contemporary romance, I think this will be the perfect book to kick off summer reading. AND there's a blog tour next Friday, May 19th. The review will be posted on that day and will include author bio, links for purchase, and perhaps a giveaway... 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (263)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


Destined (Kindle 13%)
   - Gail Cleare

And frankly, I didn't trust him. There was something kind of threatening about his smooth, practiced charm. He made me feel awkward and unsophisticated.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Everything, Everything

18692431My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

*Contains Spoilers*

Eighty percent of Nicola Yoon's young adult novel, Everything, Everything, was exactly what I expected from this book. The other twenty percent threw me for a roller coaster sized loop that, to me, pushed the book to the next level. It's one thing to write a contemporary romance for young adults; it's quite another to include a twist the size of a tornado. Though, I don't think I can fully review this book without including the twist. Therefore, if you haven't read the book and don't want me to spoil it for you: I give you complete permission to not read the rest of this review. However, I can say that I'll try to keep the twist as vague as possible, if you'd like to read it anyway. 

Madeline Whittier is a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood who suffers from SCID, also known as bubble boy disease. Maddy has been shut away from the world for eighteen years, living in a perfectly clean house that protects her from the outside triggers that could kill her. The only two people she ever sees are her mother and her nurse. Maddy is an intelligent girl who was mostly okay with her situation. Yet, when Olly moves in next door, he shows her that there's a difference between living and being alive. And thank God he did. With Olly, Madeline gets to be an almost-normal teenage girl complete with a crush, late night chatting, and secret keeping. As she experiences all of this for the first time, readers will sympathize with her situation and hope for an outcome that doesn't kill her. The whole novel is told from Maddy's point of view almost in journal format. It's like a collection of glimpses into her world that combine to tell the story. There are also drawings included to illustrate Maddy's thoughts and feelings, which work to emphasize her imagination and hopeful outlook. 

Readers learn about Olly from Maddy's observations and they'll come to feel very strongly about his situation. His life at home involves an abusive father that often ends in a physical confrontation. The way that Maddy describes it brings readers into the action and they'll fear for Olly just as Maddy does. For a teenager in a very difficult situation, Olly's outlook on life is fairly bright. As Maddy describes him, Olly is full of energy and light though he's often cast in shadow. As a reader, I appreciated Olly's loyalty to Maddy from the beginning, as well as his protective and caring nature. As the two teens grow closer, Maddy begins to realize her feelings for Olly as more than a friend. He becomes someone she can trust and decides that he can help her feel alive by escaping her life for just a couple of days, even if it means she'll die. 

Looking at the plot in a deterministic way, Maddy would never have learned the truth about her life if it weren't for Olly and their trip to Hawaii. Maddy learns, from her mother, that her family has been to Hawaii before, a couple of months prior to the death of her father and her brother. She decides that she needs to visit there and applies for a credit card and promptly runs away. Though I do find this a little unbelievable, as I assume that Maddy had never applied for any kind of identification. She doesn't have a driver's license as she isn't allowed to be outside. Therefore, how could she have an ID that she could use to get on a plane? With her mom being so protective, I couldn't imagine her applying for a passport either. Looking past this plot hole, as a reader I'm glad Maddy went to Hawaii as it ends up saving her life, though she does kind of die while she's there. 

This is where the twist comes in, and I'll refer to is as 'the twist' as to not completely spell it out for those who would rather not know exactly what happened. I have a couple huge problems with the twist. First, is that against the law? Maddy's mom is a doctor and therefore had to take an oath to help heal people. What she does goes against this oath and I assume that Maddy's mom has her medical license taken away after the twist is revealed, but this is neither confirmed nor denied in the book. Secondly, I would think that Maddy's mom needs to be institutionalized after this twist is revealed. There's obviously been a very large psychotic break that her mom needs to work through. And after the twist is revealed I would almost expect her mom to be a danger to herself. Though, after the twist comes out, there aren't any signs that Maddy's mom is dangerous. 

The plot of this novel follows Maddy becoming friends with Olly, falling in love, finding out the truth about her life, and attempting to move on. I admit that I had a difficult time putting down this book. The chapters are short and push readers to keep going. It was highly entertaining, frightening at times, and full of hope. The writing style is very concise, not including anything past what is required to know and understand the story. This adds to the journalistic feel of the novel. However, I wasn't completely happy with the ending. I feel like I did get to know Maddy and watch her come of age in a unique and fresh way, but the ending is a little too concise. I think Maddy's evolutionary arc as a character would have been stronger if readers got to witness more of how Maddy reacts to the new potential of her life. An epilogue would have been enough to satisfy this curiosity. However, overall Everything, Everything is everything that a reader would expect from a story like this and I suspect that other novels by Nicola Yoon will be just as entertaining and surprising. As a movie is coming out, based on this book, in a couple of weeks, I'm very interested to know how this story will be represented through film. As a book, I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy young adult stories, fresh writing styles, and tornado sized twists. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Dog Walker (The Detective's Daughter #5)

32057840Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present.

January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage and disappears.

Twenty-nine years later, Helen's body has never been found. Her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago. But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Dog Walker, by Lesley Thomson, is a detective novel that delves into the cold case of Mrs. Helen Honeysett, a young woman who disappeared thirty years ago on the Thames river towpath. Stella, the owner of Clean Slate, a cleaning company, is hired by the victim's husband, Adam Honeysett, to clear his name after all these years. With a community full of suspects, some living and some deceased, Stella and her partner Jack must turn over old stones, and open old wounds, to find out what happened on January 7, 1987. 

Stella Darnell seems to be a born detective. She's calm under pressure, doesn't mind pushing the wrong (or right) buttons, and is open minded enough to not cast blame prematurely. Her father, Terry, was also a detective and his instructions on how to ask questions or get suspects to open up guide her actions. Stella is a trusting woman, but she doesn't allow that to cloud her judgement. She seems to accept people exactly how they are, which allows her to see others from a unique, nearly outsider, perspective. Though Stella is one of the main characters, not a lot of the book's detail is about her. This might seem like it would be difficult to connect to her character, but Thomson's writing style makes up for this. The details that build Stella's character come out in her delicate actions and thorough thought process, as well as her spontaneous soirees led by intuition and interest. With her web of trusted allies, readers learn a lot about Stella from the background. There isn't just one main trait about Stella that brings readers to feel a connection with her, it's a combination of attributes that work to make her three-dimensional. For example, the fact that she owns a cleaning company says a lot about her personality. Stella likes when things make sense, when the dust is cleared away and the truth can be seen in the clutter that makes up a person's life. 

Though Jack's character offers readers a different sort of connection. Jack is Stella's partner in detective work and also works for her at Clean Slate, along with working on the London underground. Jack is a character connected to the supernatural. He believes in ghosts and True Hosts and gives off the sense that he's being haunted. Though he's truly only haunted by his own memories, or lack thereof. Jack likes to keep secrets and walk the streets during the midnight hours. If Stella were light and air, then Jack would be darkness and shadow. Jack balances Stella out, especially in their detective work. He has a sense about people, though it isn't always correct, that guides him to search for meaning in signs and discover the unseen. Readers will witness his wanderings and want to understand his haunting. His protective nature in regard to Stella will bring readers to his side while his emotional or sensed perceptions of the suspects will help lead them to the novel's conclusion. 

The Dog Walker revolves around the cold case file of Helen Honeysett. She disappeared on a winter night in 1987 while running, an act she did every night at precisely eight o'clock. Helen's character haunts the novel as her husband and the neighbors that live in the Thames cottages open the door to the past. Her husband, Adam, was the main suspect in the murder investigation until a neighbor's daughter told police that she saw her father follow Helen to the towpath that night. Though Helen's body was never found and no arrest was ever made. The details that the suspects share with Stella and Jack all add up to an un-obvious conclusion. Though I would love to say I had it all figured out, I was wrong in my suspicions, which makes the detective novel that much more fun. As readers join Stella and Jack on this cold case, they will undoubtedly be intrigued by the characters that make up the Thames Cottage community as well as the relationships that work between them. Let the title of this book be the first clue for this interesting and intriguing story of love, loss, judgement, and mystery. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (53)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. With the movie for this book coming out in a couple of weeks, I couldn't resist picking this one up. A young girl, who has been medically confined to her house, makes a dramatic decision to explore the outside world even though it could lead to an illness that could kill her. I'm definitely looking forward to reading this and then seeing the movie! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (262)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


The Dog Walker (p.35-36)
   - Lesley Thomson

'Where is Helen Honeysett's ghost supposed to go after you cleanse the house of her?' Suzie appeared to have accepted the ghost's existence. 'Have you an exit strategy?' 

Monday, May 1, 2017

In Between Dreams

33302427Toby, was only a child when his father was murdered, not a day goes by where the image isn’t burned into his head. Toby, continuously has vivid dark dreams, he learns most of his dreams aren’t dreams at all, but visions of people being slaughtered.

Toby, has no choice, but to try and find the person behind these murderous dreams, and stop them from committing any more heinous murders, even if he finds out he's the killer himself.

*May Contain Spoilers*

In Between Dreams by Eugene Knight is a psychological crime thriller that connects a serial killer with a young man who is the son of his first victim. Toby often suffers from terrifying nightmares where he witnesses torture and murder. When his therapist, Dr. Louis, comes up with an unbelievable explanation, Toby wonders if the killer he sees in his dreams is real. When the victim toll rises drastically, Toby begins to understand that his dreams aren't dreams at all, but visions. 

Ten years after the murder of his father, Toby is a twenty-two year old young man who has a beautiful girlfriend and a mother that is still struggling to regain her life since her husband died. Toby is a caring son and dutiful boyfriend. He takes care of his mother while also offering help, in the form of odd jobs, to the surrounding community. He spends a lot of time with his best friend, Brian, acting like a teenager. Riding bicycles, dirt bikes, and digging through dumpsters to find valuable things that have been thrown away. Some of his actions are a bit on the childish side, but he also knows when to act like an adult. This isn't surprising for a character in his early twenties with no job, currently, and no real responsibilities. Though, Toby's character is really put to the test with this serial killer on the loose. Especially since he becomes the main suspect early on by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The sense that heroism has been pushed onto a regular young man will connect readers to Toby, as they fear for his life and the life of his loved ones. 

The plot of this novel is fearfully exciting. It is definitely on the edge of the horror genre because a lot of the chapters have a gruesome details that set the tone of the book. The story line revolves around Toby and his visions of the murderer. He meets a Dr. Niles, who studies psychic connections between siblings, specifically in twins, and pushes Toby to wonder if he has a brother. If so, then Dr. Niles thinks that his brother is the one who is committing the murders. In a race against the killer, Toby must do all he can to find the truth. The pressure is added when the detective on the case happens to be the same one who had investigated his father's murder and did a shoddy job of it. The novel as a whole is very intriguing and has a good plot development. Though the version of the book that I read had quite a few errors in regard to word choice, spelling, and sentence structure, looking past that allows for the book to be an interesting read. The pace of the novel gets faster and faster as the killer's ultimate goal becomes glaringly obvious and it threatens to destroy Toby's life. I think readers who enjoy crime thrillers, psychological twists, and surprise endings will enjoy this book. Though a second edition with more editing would make it a bit stronger. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups