The Friendship Lie by Rebecca Donnelly

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Pages: 272

Publisher: Capstone

Published: August 1, 20149

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:

Cora Davis’s life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels–to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of things from her parents’ trash-tracking studies: Things don’t always go where they’re supposed to, and sometimes the things you thought you got rid of come back. And occasionally, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, which Cora and Sybella learn when they come across a diary detailing best-friendship problems. Told in two intertwining points of view, comes a warm, wry story of friendship, growing up, and being true to yourself. Written by Rebecca Donnelly, author of How to Stage a Catastrophe (an Indies Introduce and Indie Next List honoree), The Friendship Lie will speak to any reader who has struggled with what to hold on to and what to throw away.

My Review:

I found this book enjoyable and enlightening in regards to recycling. In being a substitute teacher, I have learned that fifth grade is a lot harder than I remember and The Friendship Lie shows that very well. More and more kids deal with situations that when I was younger were few and far between like parents splitting and one moving away and I am not talking about just across town. Kids worry more about the environment than ever before. They understand that we are depleting our natural resources and there is no way to recreate. They also start realizing that once what bound them to their best friend may not be something they like or enjoy anymore. They start coming into their own person.

Donnelly has done a good job in showing all the dynamics above between Cora and Sybella. The most important lesson taught in this book is that sometimes all it takes is a conversation to clear the air in a positive light but sometimes that conversation is the hardest thing of all to start.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Capstone, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

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Pages: 315

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Published: July 23, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads:

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

My Review:

An intriguing, fast-paced read.

My BFF called me on release day and said you have to get this book immediately. So of course, I did and I promptly finished within 24 hours.

I enjoyed the chapters alternating between Free and Captured. I felt it added to the suspense of the train wreck of Lila’s life. I could imagine this being made into a movie. I think it would capture the attention of the audience right away.

If you are sensitive to coarse language (F word) then beware as it is present in this book. It does not feel excessive though. Don’t let that stop you from reading this intriguing book.

A perfect read for the last few summer weekends at the beach or lake.

Sifting Through Clues (A Cookbook Nook Mystery #8) by Daryl Wood Gerber

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Pages: 364

Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing

Published: April 23, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Even though I started reading this series in the middle, I really enjoy the series. My hope is to read the beginning this summer.

Sifting Through Clues has so much to offer from interesting cookbooks to look for, cozy mystery books to read and yummy recipes at the end. I pretty much gobbled it up.

I had no idea who killed Ivy until it was revealed. I honestly thought it was another character and still wanted it to be. Books that can keep me guessing until the end are very enjoyable.

My only problem was with one main, important character, Cinnamon, the Chief of Police. I’m used to the chief being semi-rude with the amateur sleuth but Cinnamon seemed way over the top. She almost seemed too flighty to the point of finding it hard to believe she was a police officer much less a chief. When the book ended I had come to the conclusion I didn’t like her character very much.

Sifting Through Clues will leave you hungry and ready to tackle the recipes included. I’m ready to bake up some cheesy scones.

I received a complimentary copy from Beyond the Page through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Mother’s Day Mayhem (A Tourist Trap # 10.5) by Lynn Cahoon

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Pages: 75

Publisher: Kensington

Published: April 2, 2019

Rating: 3.5 stars

NetGalley:
Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More is almost out of Mother’s Day cards. She has a few more in stock, but she’s set them aside because she needs Greg’s help choosing one for his mother. It’ll be Jill’s first time meeting her boyfriend’s mother, and she’s understandably nervous.

Turns out Jill isn’t the only one having feelings about mothers. Kyle, who works at the antique store next door, needs to find the perfect card for a mother he hasn’t seen since he was five—when she went away to jail. But her arrival in South Cove isn’t exactly celebratory, her behavior toward her son unexpectedly restrained. Piqued, Jill discovers that a mother can never be replaced . . .

My review:
I have enjoyed these novellas until the next full-length novel is released but I felt this was out of order. I would suggest reading Mother’s Day Mayhem before Killer Party.

Mother’s Day Mayhem is the perfect way to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I received a complimentary copy from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Corned Beef and Casualties (A Tourist Trap Novella) by Lynn Cahoon

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Pages: 67

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 5, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It is St. Patrick’s Day in beautiful South Cove, California and the town is throwing a party with green beer and fireworks.

Jill finds herself in shock when one of her customers she felt a kinship to is found dead on the beach. Will Jill do as her detective boyfriend asks and stay out of the investigation or will she wind up right in the middle? Will the luck of the Irish be on her side?

I am enjoying the novellas in this series as I am trying to catch up from the beginning. You get a quick visit and get to catch up with everyone without the experience of a full-length novel.

If you like St. Patrick’s Day, you will want to read this novella. The ending was very intriguing with a bit of magic that the day likes to offer.

I received a complimentary copy of this novella from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

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Pages: 240

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: October 30, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Linden is in Paris to celebrate his father’s birthday with just the family. Unfortunately, Paris is flooding at a rapid rate due to neverending rain and both parents get sick. As Linden tries to care for his father at the hospital he starts realizing he may not have much time left to bond with his father.

My feelings have run from I did not like the book at all (2 stars) to wow, what a powerful message (4 stars). After sitting here a couple of hours after finishing I have decided on a four-star review. I started this book thinking it was mainly about the flood and how it would bring the family together but it is about so much more. The moral I got out of the book is tragedy makes you see things you gloss over in life or refuse to see due to your own shortsightedness. Instead of assuming what others think or see about you, ask them. It is much better than letting the wrong thoughts fester for years. You may lose out on something remarkable being shortsighted.

There are no steamy sex scenes but there is a gay storyline. I don’t remember a lot of obscene language so if there is any it must be minimal and feel right for the story. Of course, tons of Paris landmarks are mentioned so allow yourself time to look them up if you are not familiar with them.

This was my first book by Tatiana de Rosnay and I have already bought Sarah’s Key to read soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Wreath Between the Lines (Cookbook Nook Mystery #7) by Daryl Wood Gerber

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Pages: 213

Publisher: Beyond the Page

Published: November 8, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The holidays have arrived and so has Jenna’s older sister and family along with some holiday drama. As Jenna is trying to save her sister’s marriage, her father’s friend Jake experiences a horrific present in the murder of his friend. Jenna takes it upon herself to solve the murder in time for a holly jolly Christmas day.

This is my second book (but the seventh in the series) that I have read and it has whetted my appetite for the series. I am interested to read how it all started. I agree with other readers that each book can be read as a stand alone but you will get more from the series if you read in order. The author does a superb job in giving enough background information for new readers.

I love that the author includes recipes at the end of the book. A huge pet peeve of mine is reading about such delicious dishes and no recipes. It has been known to turn me off on a series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Beyond the Page through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Santa Puppy (Tourist Trap #9.75) by Lynn Cahoon

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Pages: 90

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This Christmas, Jill is hosting an adopt-a-pet event at her coffee/bookstore. When bathing a sweet pup whose owner has recently passed away reveals a safety deposit box key Jill is on the hunt to find out what is in the box and to find the pup a “furever” home for Christmas.

For me, this was the perfect introduction to the Tourist Trap cozy mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. I was captivated by Jill and her love for reading and animals.

You can read this novella out of order as your first introduction with no problems at all. There are plenty of mentions of things in the past but all the mentions do is make you want to drop everything and read the series from the beginning.

This is not your typical happy ending so you will find yourself a tad teary at times. Unfortunately, I think there are more stories like this in the real world.

I received a complimentary copy of this novella from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

If the Coffin Fits (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #2) by Lillian Bell

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Pages: 296

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

I want to start my review off explaining the three stars. I did not like this book very much and I cannot pinpoint why. I personally think it was just not the right time for me to read it (too many deaths in our family this year). I heavily suggest you read the first book as there is a lot of back story and another mystery that continues from book to book. Not knowing the background of either did not help me like the book. There were explanations of both but I still felt a little lost and confused at times.

I have bought the first book and will read it when I am in a better frame of mind and will re-read the second book. I honestly do think this can be a series I will like and will enjoy to read. Stay tuned to see if reading the series from the beginning and re-reading the second book changes my mind.

Desiree definitely dances to her own tune. Her newly acquired dog, Orion, stole the show for me. He is the reason I kept reading. I love the idea of the possibility of him becoming a therapy dog. I wish more funeral homes would look into this as special needs kids and adults would find these dogs extremely helpful during a time most cannot understand.

In “If the Coffin Fits” Desiree starts out helping the Fiore sisters plan their father’s funeral. A death that is not unexpected and is merciful as Mr. Fiore has suffered years under the care of hospice. Desiree hears the sisters arguing quietly and one accuses the other of something but she is not sure what. Tact may not be in Desiree’s realm of running a funeral home. She comes right out and accuses a sister of murdering their own father. Before Desiree can correct her gaffe, Violet Daugherty is brought in after she faints behind the wheel of her car. When the medical examine turns up some questions, Desiree finds herself in more hot water. Not only with the Fiore sisters but the town itself when they start cancelling and going to other funeral homes. Will Desiree survive this round of questionable deaths in order to continue on her search for her own father who has mysteriously disappeared?

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book for an honest review. Any and all opinions are entirely my own.

Framed in Lace (A Needlecraft Mystery #2) by Monica Ferris

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Pages: 260 (Paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: October 1, 1999

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Betsy is still healing from the murder of her sister, Margot. Her new friend in Excelsor, MN, Jill has asked Betsy to accompany her to the raising of a ferry sunk in 1948. Upon the raising of the ferry, the divers find a skeleton who is believed to be a missing young woman who was believed to be having an affair with one of the Monday Bunches wives. Can Betsy solve the mystery as she did before?

This is the second book in the Needlecraft Mystery series and the second book I have read. It is not my typical cozy mystery style as I prefer culinary or book themed cozies but this series has grabbed my interest and I find myself wanting to return again and again. Betsy, the amateur sleuth, is a little older than your average sleuth which I think adds to the story. She has more life experiences to pull from to help her solve the mystery. She is not all bogged down with finding love and having a family. She is focusing on creating a new life in Minnesota and healing from a recent nasty divorce (from a pig, her words) and the death of her only sister.

I appreciate the knowledge the author has on needleworking and lace making. It shows through beautifully in this story. It made me feel much closer to my Mamaw who does the needlepointing and cross stitching. I remember the hours she would put in to each and every piece she created.

The killer was a little easier to figure out in this book versus the first one but the reasoning why was not as apparent to me until close to the end. Maybe I was just so wrapped up in the beauty of the items being created.

This is a nineteen book series that I am very interested in continuing.