The Kingdom – Jo Nesbo

Going to try to get back to my book reviews. 2020 has thrown me for a loop. I, however, have not stopped reading just taken a break on book blogging. So now I have a LOT of catching up to do. 🙂

Just finished The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo. Thanks NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing for allowing me to read this ARC. The publication date is November 11, 2020 so mark your calendars!

I have been slow to board the Nesbo train. This is only my second book I have read him. The first one I read was The Bat and I LOVED it!! The Kingdom was a little slow at first but definitely picked up.

Goodreads Summary:

Roy and Carl have spent their whole lives running from the darkness in their past, but when Carl finally returns to make peace with it, the two brothers are inexorably drawn into a reckoning with their own demons.

Roy has never left the quiet mountain town he grew up in, unlike his little brother Carl who couldn’t wait to get out and escape his troubled past. Just like everyone else in town, Roy believed Carl was gone for good. But Carl has big plans for his hometown. And when he returns with a mysterious new wife and a business opportunity that seems too good to be true, simmering tensions begin to surface and unexplained deaths in the town’s past come under new scrutiny. Soon powerful players set their sights on taking the brothers down by exposing their role in the town’s sordid history.

But Roy and Carl are survivors, and no strangers to violence. Roy has always protected his younger brother. As the body count rises, though, Roy’s loyalty to family is tested. And then Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, Shannon, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. Roy’s world is coming apart and soon there will be no turning back. He’ll be forced to choose between his own flesh and blood and a future he had never dared to believe possible.

This story has lots of twist and turns and ups and downs with these two brothers. They justify a lot of bad ideas but one thing that remains is they always have each others backs. This book is definitely worth putting on your TBR list.

The Invited – Jennifer McMahon

InvitedThank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I am an avid Jennifer McMahon fan and have read many of her books. All different, all suspenseful. The Invited is one that incorporates a haunting, building a new home and a touch of Ancestry.com. You might think it is a strange combination, but you will be surprisingly mistaken.

Goodreads Summary:

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

5 stars

This book has many twist and turns, which if you have read any of my reviews in the past, you KNOW I LOVE!

Please, do yourself a favor and read The Invited. It might be your first Jennifer McMahon, but it definitely won’t be your last!

Marooned – James Schannep

MaroonedWhen author James Schannep reached out to me to read his newest release, Marooned.  (Program note:  He reached out to me October 2018 and I have been so back logged I am just now getting to it.  sigh.. sorry James).  I was really excited.  This is a throwback to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I loved as a kid.  The book was masterfully done.  Everything flowed well no matter which choice you made.

 

Now for my big BUT…

 

This is a case of “It’s me, not you”.  I was not really a fan of the subject.  It was a little too Johnny Tremain meets Treasure Island for me.  I am, however, giving this book 4/5 stars because it is so well done.

STAR-4

Thank you James Schannep for allowing me to read your book in return for an honest review.  Keep up the good work!

What am I reading??

Happy 2020!!  My Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2019 was 45 books and I read 47.  So this year I upped my game to 50.  I am, unfortunately, a slow reader so this will be somewhat of a challenge.  Probably doesn’t help that I read 4 books at the same time.  Why do I do this???  I have no idea.  I just love to read so in my feeble mind reading that many at a time makes me feel productive.  I know… I know… I could read 1 book at a time much faster if I just read one book at a time.  But what fun is that???  I usually read one Netgalley ARC, one Indie ARC, and 2 books that are on my TBR.

So let’s get to what I am reading right now:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski:  Have any of you read this one??  It always pops up as one of the scariest books which is why I had to read it.  But this book it taking me forever to read.  There are a couple of stories being told at the same time in this book.  Sometimes it drags, sometimes it reads fast.  I am halfway through this book so you will have to wait a little while longer for a full review.  Right now I have mixed feeling on this one.  Did I mention the pages are very creatively done??  Never read anything like it.
  2. Hidden Bodies (You, #2) by Caroline Kepnes:  Yes, I am reading this AND watching the second season of You on Netflix at the same time.  I read You AFTER I watched the first season.  I really enjoyed the book and reading more into Joe’s whacky thoughts.  This one seems just as good.  I am halfway through this one too.  Quite a few differences in the book and series, but both are good.
  3. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt:  So this one has been on my TBR FOREVER!!  I know, I am really REALLY late to this party.  I am probably about 1/4 through this book and really love reading about all the difference characters.  So far my favorite, of course, is Chablis.
  4. His Name Was Zach by Peter Martuneac:  This one I received as an ARC from the author in return for an honest review.  Not finished with this one yet, BUT…. it is a gripping book!  It is another zombie apocalypse book but it dives more into the relationship between a former Marine and a 14 year old girl who he “adopts” as his daughter.  So far this is a touching story with plenty of excitement thrown in.  Stay tuned for this review.  I have a feeling it will be a good one.

I would love to hear what all of you are reading and/or what is on your TBR for 2020.  I may need to add some to my ever growing list!  lol

 

The Other People – C.J. Tudor

The other peopleThe Other People is C.J. Tudor’s 3rd book.  I have read all 3 and am quite the “fan girl”.  C. J. Tudor is a talent that needs to be a household name like Stephen King.  Her work is thorough, original and gripping.

GoodReads Summary:

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

5 stars

In The Other People you get lots of twists and turns but in the end all twists come together for an amazing Ah Ha moment.  Do you self a favor and read The Other People and then pick up The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place too.  You will thank me later!

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs – Katherine Howe

DaughtersI am sooooo behind on my reviews!!  I am still reading tons, just finding time to write reviews has been few and far between.  And because I am still reading 4 books at a time, I seem to be digging a bigger black hole of reviews.  So, thanks to all for your patience.

This book is the sequel to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which I have not read….. Yet. 🙂  But

I was totally engrossed in this book.  I loved the historical tie in to the Salem Witch Trials and all the “witchiness” this book offers.

 

Katherine Howe does a fantastic job in really letting you feel what each character is feeling.  The story line is intriguing and not a dull spot anywhere in the book.  I look forward to reading more from Howe.

5 stars

Thanks LibraryThing for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.

Monarch Manor – Maureen Leurck

img_0424Two Augusts ago I read a first novel of an up and coming author.  Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck.  It was fantastic and read like she had been writing for years.  The story was well written and flowed magically.  So when Maureen’s second book, Monarch Manor, was published you can bet I jumped at the chance to read it!

 

And Maureen did NOT disappoint.  She weaves a tale of two generations, 70 years apart but so similar in their struggles.  It starts with an old photograph that the main character, Erin, finds in her grandmother’s things.  This photo prompts Erin to want to know more about the people in the photo and her connection with them.  What Erin learns are the similarities of her life and the mysterious life of the people in the photo.

Nothing can come between the bond of a mother and a child.

Please do yourself a favor and pick up Monarch Manor and while you are at your local bookstore you might as well pick up Cicada Summer too!!  You do not have to read them in a certain order but I did love the reference of the character in Cicada Summer in Monarch Manor!

5 stars

Can’t wait to see what Maureen Leurck writes next!!

 

Fangirl BookHermitt 🙂

The Line Between – Tosca Lee

Line BetweenI have said it before and I will say it again. The scariest books are the ones that could happen!

The Line Between is about a crazy cult where the leader has rewritten his own “Bible” and believes he is a prophet from God.  But his beliefs are anything but biblical.  The main character, Wynter (love this name by the way), and her sister are brought to this cult by her mother.  Her mother was looking for a safe, peaceful escape for her and her children to separate themselves from an abusive husband and father.

They find out that this cult is ANYTHNG but safe and peaceful!  Wynter’s aunt is desperate to get them out of there but to no avail.

When Wynter finds out about what is going on in the cult, she is excommunicated and takes shelter with her aunt.  Then things really take a turn for the worse when her sister shows up at her aunt’s with medical samples.

This book is fast-paced, extremely interesting and well written.  I can’t wait to read more from Tosca Lee.

5 stars

Thanks to Creative Edge Publicity for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tenuous: 2038 – Fred Brede

tenNot going to lie… this book scared me.  Nope, it isn’t about ghost or monsters.  It is about an exoplanet that is headed toward Earth.  Nothing scarier than something that COULD happen!

Goodreads Summary:

Life on earth is tenuous at best. The truth must be told despite the efforts of world governments to keep it quiet. An unknown exoplanet is heading for earth. Only the efforts of Paul Planck and his friend Danny can get the word out to the world in time.
Planning their own shelter from the solar storm coming their way proves to be difficult at best with the government breathing down their throats. Love, family and commitment is all that matters now.

 

STAR-4

My Review:

So as I stated in the beginning, yes this book scared me.  It makes you think what WOULD happen if we had an EMP?  How would live without all the electronic comforts we have grown to love and can’t live without?

This book was hard to put down, especially if you like meteorology and astronomy.  My only issue with this book is the ending.  It ended too abruptly with TONS of questions left unanswered.  Maybe there is going to be a sequel.  Let’s hope!

 

Pimp in the Pulpit – Thomas McRae

First off, I want to thank Thomas McRae for a complementary copy of Pimp in the Pulpit in exchange for an honest review.  I have been waaaaay behind on my reviews and would like to extend my apologies to Mr. McRae for waiting so long for this review.

PimpHere is Goodreads summary:

Pimp in the Pulpit is a short story filled with unique characters. Each has a different outlook on life and how they treat family and friends. What is acceptable to some is nothing more than the devils work to the others. The large family has met on several occasions for gatherings, parties and reunions, some went OK but most didn’t. Nobody was sure what went wrong to cause such chaos when the family gathered. There was speculation that when Minister Tierra Joy become involved in any family event planning it quickly turned into a hot ghetto mess.

Well it’s time for another gathering. Lillian McBride, affectionately know as Lucifer is turning 95. Lillian has four children, a son, Tony McBride. She also has three daughters Viola McBride, Minister Tierra Joy and Cleopatra Jones. Will this special occasion bring the family closer or drive them further apart? How will they finance the gathering? How much money that is raised will be stolen or used for other means? Will the huge clan from Texas show up? What about the food, will they have enough? Will the relatives go nuts eating like they are on death row and this is their last meal, consuming it all in fifteen minutes or less? How much of the buffet will they steal and take home? Who will drink too much and act up? Has Cleopatra and her family learned from their previous gatherings? Will they even attend the bash?

Cleopatra is married to Marcus Jones Senior. They have two kids Marcus Junior and Edward (Eddie) Jones. Eddie is a hardworking man and is perplexed about his family’s actions towards his family, immediate and distant kin. He has trouble understanding even his Dad’s outlook on the birthday party. He begins questioning family loyalties, their love for one another while at the same time remembering the advice his Mom and Aunt Gladys told him several years ago. Will this gathering, compounded with the events of the other ones finally open Eddie’s eyes?

3-star-service-contract

Now to the good stuff!  This is a quick short story about a family with all kinds of characters.  Just about everything is represented in this family dynamic, including a little old grandma they call Lucifer!  lol…   This book will have you laughing with all the quick wit of the family.

It is definitely worth a read!