Later by Stephen King

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Supernatural

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

“So yeah, I see dead people. As far as I can remember, I always have.”

“You get used to marvelous things. You take them for granted. You can try not to, but you do.”

After his last two releases being a complete disappointment for me, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I had been wanting to read it for months, but at the same time was hesitant. I even broke buying ban just to get my hands on it. Which by the way..totally worth it!!

For some, the ending will having you thinking WTF?!! And may possibly even ruin it for you. But for me, I can’t say I was surprised if we’re being honest. It had actually crossed my mind early on in the story.

The narrating was really what brought this book to life. It was kinda like A Christmas Story & The Wonder Years. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much, had it been written in third person.

The story is told by Jamie Conklin who can see ghosts (think the movie Sixth Sense), from the time he was a child until now.

I absolutely loved Jamie. There were times he made me laugh out loud. Liz, on the other hand..*shaking my head* I had a bad feeling about her from the start.

I have to say, this was one of the first stories I’ve read where I thought a character got what they deserved!

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

It’s been a while since I’ve roasted a book! This week, I present to you..

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aside from the beautifully painted, eerie setting of a secluded sanatorium turned luxury hotel, there is nothing creepy nor scary about this story. As for the adrenaline rush and thrill ride: 2.5 out 5 🔥

The fact that this was a Reese pick, 1) I walked in with very low expectations, even though I’ve been wanting to read it since it was released on NetGalley..before it got stamped with her seal. 2) I’m not a fan of her book selections. I’ve only ever enjoyed 2 of her choices. I almost passed on this, just because it had her stamp on it. Don’t get me wrong. I love Reese Witherspoon on the big screen. Her book picks, not so much.

When I first started this one, it was a 4 star until I hit the 40% mark. At that point, things kinda fell apart for me and I just wanted to get to the end of the book!

The story weaves between Elin’s struggle to cope with her past and current events happening at Le Sommet. A large portion of the story is about Elin’s past, which makes for a slower paced read.

What didn’t work for me..

⁃ Elin. She was so inconsistent and one hot mess! Rather than feeling sympathetic, I actually found her irritating after the 35% mark. She spends a good chunk of the beginning focusing on her resentment towards her estranged brother and her trust issues with him, yet she readily hands over her findings in Laure’s disappearance so easily. She then asks herself stupid shit like “Would he ever have told me about the break if this didn’t happen?”, after the fact!

⁃ As a former Detective, Elin came across as more of a Rookie to me. Her reaction to the chain of events and the decisions she makes..they all felt like it was her first day on the job as a cop.

⁃ the story suffers from being longer than it needed to be. There were parts that dragged on leading to a very disappointing big reveal! It was the equivalent of getting excited to sleep with the hottie your of dreams, only to find out they suck in bed! Womp, womp. After all the wild goose chasing you do, the ending felt rushed. The motivation behind the killer was completely left field in my opinion. It didn’t quite match up with the whole story behind the sanatorium, which is what I was more interested in. The explanation and connections of what went down in this hell hole was brushed off very quickly.

What I enjoyed..

⁃ As I already mentioned earlier on: the setting. It was the perfect set up for all hell to break loose.

⁃ The adrenaline rush of encountering the masked killer and grotesque murders, were done really well! It’s too bad the rest of the story didn’t have the same effect.

For some, this book is really gonna hit the spot. But for me, it was overhyped and a bit of a let down.

Have you read it? Did you love it? Are you a fan of celebrity picks?

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . .

[Blog Tour] Review & Excerpt: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“First, there was trust. Then, there was betrayal.”

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

If you enjoy:

  • Dual timelines
  • multiple POV’s
  • settings in 1790’s London

Potions? Poison? Murder? Yes please!! Every now and then, I love to throw historical fiction into my mix, and this one had me intrigued from the moment I saw the cover!

The dual timelines from past to present, and multiple POV’s was both done very well 👏 in my opinion. I particularly enjoyed Nella’s story and how she came about wanting to help women by ridding them of men who have wronged them. I mean, would you do it? If you knew you could get away with it? Tempting isn’t it?!!

Personally, I thought it was easy to get invested in the lives of all 3 characters: Caroline (present day), Eliza and Nella (past). I enjoyed their journey (even though it was heartbreaking) and thought this was a beautifully written story of womanhood and women trying to help other women.

Intrigued? Read an excerpt below👇

Nella

February 3, 1791

 

She would come at daybreak—the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I did not yet know.

I knew neither her age nor where she lived. I did not know her rank in society nor the dark things of which she dreamed when night fell. She could be a victim or a transgressor. A new wife or a vengeful widow. A nursemaid or a courtesan.

But despite all that I did not know, I understood this: the woman knew exactly who she wanted dead.

I lifted the blush-colored paper, illuminated by the dying f lame of a single rush wick candle. I ran my fingers over the ink of her words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not just an apothecary, but a murderer. A master of disguise.

Her request was simple and straightforward. For my mistress’s husband, with his breakfast. Daybreak, 4 Feb. At once, I drew to mind a middle-aged housemaid, called to do the bidding of her mistress. And with an instinct perfected over the last two decades, I knew immediately the remedy most suited to this request: a chicken egg laced with nux vomica.

The preparation would take mere minutes; the poison was within reach. But for a reason yet unknown to me, something about the letter left me unsettled. It was not the subtle, woodsy odor of the parchment or the way the lower left corner curled forward slightly, as though once damp with tears. Instead, the disquiet brewed inside of me. An intuitive understanding that something must be avoided.

But what unwritten warning could reside on a single sheet of parchment, shrouded beneath pen strokes? None at all, I assured myself; this letter was no omen. My troubling thoughts were merely the result of my fatigue—the hour was late—and the persistent discomfort in my joints.

I drew my attention to my calfskin register on the table in front of me. My precious register was a record of life and death; an inventory of the many women who sought potions from here, the darkest of apothecary shops.

In the front pages of my register, the ink was soft, written with a lighter hand, void of grief and resistance. These faded, worn entries belonged to my mother. This apothecary shop for women’s maladies, situated at 3 Back Alley, was hers long before it was mine.

On occasion I read her entries—23 Mar 1767, Mrs. R. Ranford, Yarrow Milfoil 15 dr. 3x—and the words evoked memories of her: the way her hair fell against the back of her neck as she ground the yarrow stem with the pestle, or the taut, papery skin of her hand as she plucked seeds from the flower’s head. But my mother had not disguised her shop behind a false wall, and she had not slipped her remedies into vessels of dark red wine. She’d had no need to hide. The tinctures she dispensed were meant only for good: soothing the raw, tender parts of a new mother, or bringing menses upon a barren wife. Thus, she filled her register pages with the most benign of herbal remedies. They would raise no suspicion.

On my register pages, I wrote things such as nettle and hyssop and amaranth, yes, but also remedies more sinister: nightshade and hellebore and arsenic. Beneath the ink strokes of my register hid betrayal, anguish…and dark secrets.

Secrets about the vigorous young man who suffered an ailing heart on the eve of his wedding, or how it came to pass that a healthy new father fell victim to a sudden fever. My register laid it all bare: these were not weak hearts and fevers at all, but thorn apple juice and nightshade slipped into wines and pies by cunning women whose names now stained my register.

Oh, but if only the register told my own secret, the truth about how this all began. For I had documented every victim in these pages, all but one: Frederick. The sharp, black lines of his name defaced only my sullen heart, my scarred womb.

I gently closed the register, for I had no use of it tonight, and returned my attention to the letter. What worried me so? The edge of the parchment continued to catch my eye, as though something crawled beneath it. And the longer I remained at my table, the more my belly ached and my fingers trembled. In the distance, beyond the walls of the shop, the bells on a carriage sounded frighteningly similar to the chains on a constable’s belt. But I assured myself that the bailiffs would not come tonight, just as they had not come for the last two decades. My shop, like my poisons, was too cleverly disguised. No man would find this place; it was buried deep behind a cupboard wall at the base of a twisted alleyway in the darkest depths of London.

I drew my eyes to the soot-stained wall that I had not the heart, nor the strength, to scrub clean. An empty bottle on a shelf caught my reflection. My eyes, once bright green like my mother’s, now held little life within them. My cheeks, too, once flushed with vitality, were sallow and sunken. I had the appearance of a ghost, much older than my forty-one years of age.

Tenderly, I began to rub the round bone in my left wrist, swollen with heat like a stone left in the fire and forgotten. Thediscomfort in my joints had crawled through my body for years; it had grown so severe, I lived not a waking hour without pain. Every poison I dispensed brought a new wave of it upon me; some evenings, my fingers were so distended and stiff, I felt sure the skin would split open and expose what lay underneath.

Killing and secret-keeping had done this to me. It had begun to rot me from the inside out, and something inside meant to tear me open.

At once, the air grew stagnant, and smoke began to curl into the low stone ceiling of my hidden room. The candle was nearly spent, and soon the laudanum drops would wrap me in their heavy warmth. Night had long ago fallen, and she would arrive in just a few hours: the woman whose name I would add to my register and whose mystery I would begin to unravel, no matter the unease it brewed inside of me.

 

Excerpted from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Penner. Published by Park Row Books.

The Push by Ashley Audrain of

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

Even with the trigger warnings, I still wasn’t prepared for this journey. I purposely avoided reading reviews, because I think going into this particular story, less is more. The less you know, the better the enjoyment and reading experience you’ll get from the book.

I’m going to be completely honest, I initially had no intention of reading this one. I didn’t think it’d be my kinda read, but I kept seeing it pop up on my Instagram feed and it was selected in my buddy read group. So of course, I had the FOMO and decided, hey why not?! How bad can it be? While it wasn’t perfect, I’m glad I decided to pick it up, cause I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I will say however, I wouldn’t have pegged this as a thriller or even really suspense.

This was a very raw, emotional and dark portrayal of motherhood. We have 3 separate timelines and POV’s (Blythe, Cecilia & Etta). There were a couple of times I was a bit confused as to who’s story we were reading and what timeline were in, because it bounces back and forth between the present and Blythe’s childhood memories. I caught on quickly though and enjoyed it regardless. There were definitely times I found it hard to read since it dealt with child abuse, mental illness and loss of a child. It was a lot to digest and process.

I had so many things running through my head when it came to Blythe’s story, but I found myself rooting for her and believing her. Her experience as a new mom, really hit home for me. My first born was colic, cried 6 hours a day, hardly slept and wanted to be held ALL the time! It was incredibly exhausting and not what I envisioned motherhood to be back then. Having gone through PPD myself, I understood Blythe in those moments. However, I never neglected my child or went through a lot of the other things she was going through, so I couldn’t relate to it. But I definitely felt her emotions!

THE CHARACTERS

FOX- He was such a dick! It was heartbreaking to watch Fox be as dismissive as he was, and to do what he did!

MRS. ELLINGTON -I loved her and loved that she took on the motherly role that Blythe so badly needed. I wish we got to see more of what happened in her relationship with Blythe in the 2nd half of the book.

CECILIA & ETTA – I couldn’t stand these two women. They were just awful!

I was a little disappointed with Gemma & Blythe’s relationship. I was hoping for some drama in that department. I was surprised and irritated that Blythe never confronted her about the affair. Then what was the point of going through all that trouble?!!

THE ENDING..

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna spoil it. But you’ll either feel satisfied, or you won’t. In this case, it worked well enough for me.

I did think the 2nd half of the book stretched a little longer in some areas than it really needed to, making the ending seem a tad rushed. There were some missed opportunities that I would have preferred and love to have seen instead.

Overall, it was still a good read and one I’d say, is worth picking up.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann

Genre: Middle Grade

Pub Date: Oct 13, 2020

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a really fun middle grade read with witches, magic, a dark castle, curses and ghosts!

It was a very well-written story, with a great cast of characters. Zita reminded me of a young Cinderella but with the powers of a witch, and Mrs. Cantanker was like Lady Tremaine with the ability to summon unearthly things.

It was a slow journey with the bulk of the action happening within the last 5 chapters, but something was always happening along the way to keep the reader entertained.

Would definitely recommend it for a witchin good time!

Twelve-year-old Zita, an orphan and a housemaid, has resigned herself to a life of drudgery when a strange letter arrives, naming her the only living heir to the Brydgeborn fortune. Now the mistress of the castle, Zita soon realizes foul play led to the death of her family. And as she is guided through lessons in the art of witchcraft by the somewhat mysterious Mrs. Cantanker, Zita begins to wonder who is friend and who is foe.

The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins

** Thank you NetGalley & St.Martin’s Press for gifting me an eARC **

Genre: Domestic Suspense, Retelling

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you like:

-domestic dramas & suspense

-multiple POV’s

-retellings

This was a slow burn read, with each character harbouring a secret of their own. I both loved & hated the twist at the end (if that even makes sense), which by no means is a bad thing! It’s the sign of a good writer who knows how to get under your (my) skin! I just wanted a different turn of events and outcome for some of the characters.

I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet, but I do have a general idea of the story and liked the author’s use of the same names!

This was like Wysteria Lane (Desperate Housewives) meets The Usual Suspects. Lies, gossip and drama! There wasn’t one character I was rooting for, Jane included! Which didn’t bother me, cause if you know me by now, I actually kinda like the unlikeable characters 😜. They make for good stories!

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and found myself reading late into the night.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

[BLOG TOUR & EXCERPT] The Last Story Of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Hey Bookworms!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Last Story Of Mina Lee.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Park Row Books

THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE (on sale: September 1, 2020; Park Row Books; Hardcover; $27.99 US/ $34.99 CAN). opens when Margot Lee’s mother, Mina, doesn’t return her calls. It’s a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous and invisible strings that held together her single mother’s life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Buy Links:

Harlequin

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a graduate of UCLA and the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, The Offing, the blogs of Prairie Schooner and Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her essay, “Love (or Live Cargo),” was performed for NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts in 2017 with stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Phil Klay, and Etgar Keret. THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE is her first novel.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @njooyounkim

Instagram: @njooyounkim

Goodreads

Margot

2014

Margot’s final conversation with her mother had seemed so uneventful, so ordinary—another choppy bilingual plod. Half-understandable.

Business was slow again today. Even all the Korean businesses downtown are closing.

What did you eat for dinner?

Everyone is going to Target now, the big stores. It costs the same and it’s cleaner.

Margot imagined her brain like a fishing net with the loosest of weaves as she watched the Korean words swim through. She had tried to tighten the net before, but learning another language, especially her mother’s tongue, frustrated her. Why didn’t her mother learn to speak English?

But that last conversation was two weeks ago. And for the past few days, Margot had only one question on her mind: Why didn’t her mother pick up the phone?

****

Since Margot and Miguel had left Portland, the rain had been relentless and wild. Through the windshield wipers and fogged glass, they only caught glimpses of fast food and gas stations, motels and billboards, premium outlets and “family fun centers.” Margot’s hands were stiff from clenching the steering wheel. The rain had started an hour ago, right after they had made a pit stop in north Portland to see the famous 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan sculpture with his cartoonish smile, red-and-white checkered shirt on his barrel chest, his hands resting on top of an upright axe.

Earlier that morning, Margot had stuffed a backpack and a duffel with a week’s worth of clothes, picked up Miguel from his apartment with two large suitcases and three houseplants, and merged onto the freeway away from Seattle, driving Miguel down for his big move to Los Angeles. They’d stop in Daly City to spend the night at Miguel’s family’s house, which would take about ten hours to get to. At the start of the drive, Miguel had been lively, singing along to “Don’t Stop Believing” and joking about all the men he would meet in LA. But now, almost four hours into the road trip, Miguel was silent with his forehead in his palm, taking deep breaths as if trying hard not to think about anything at all.

“Everything okay?” Margot asked.

“I’m just thinking about my parents.”

“What about your parents?” Margot lowered her foot on the gas.

“Lying to them,” he said.

“About why you’re really moving down to LA?” The rain splashed down like a waterfall. Miguel had taken a job offer at an accounting firm in a location more conducive to his dreams of working in theatre. For the last two years, they had worked together at a nonprofit for people with disabilities. She was as an administrative assistant; he crunched numbers in finance. She would miss him, but she was happy for him, too. He would finally finish writing his play while honing his acting skills with classes at night. “The theatre classes? The plays that you write? The Grindr account?”

“About it all.”

“Do you ever think about telling them?”

“All the time.” He sighed. “But it’s easier this way.”

“Do you think they know?”

“Of course, they do. But…” He brushed his hand through his hair. “Sometimes, agreeing to the same lie is what makes a family family, Margot.”

“Ha. Then what do you call people who agree to the same truth?”

“Uh, scientists?”

She laughed, having expected him to say friends. Gripping the wheel, she caught the sign for Salem.

“Do you need to use the bathroom?” she asked.

“I’m okay. We’re gonna stop in Eugene, right?”

“Yeah, should be another hour or so.”

“I’m kinda hungry.” Rustling in his pack on the floor of the backseat, he found an apple, which he rubbed clean with the edge of his shirt. “Want a bite?”

“Not now, thanks.”

His teeth crunched into the flesh, the scent cracking through the odor of wet floor mats and warm vents. Margot was struck by a memory of her mother’s serene face—the downcast eyes above the high cheekbones, the relaxed mouth—as she peeled an apple with a paring knife, conjuring a continuous ribbon of skin. The resulting spiral held the shape of its former life. As a child, Margot would delicately hold this peel like a small animal in the palm of her hand, this proof that her mother could be a kind of magician, an artist who told an origin story through scraps—this is the skin of a fruit, this is its smell, this is its color.

“I hope the weather clears up soon,” Miguel said, interrupting the memory. “It gets pretty narrow and windy for a while. There’s a scary point right at the top of California where the road is just zigzagging while you’re looking down cliffs. It’s like a test to see if you can stay on the road.”

“Oh, God,” Margot said. “Let’s not talk about it anymore.”

As she refocused on the rain-slicked road, the blurred lights, the yellow and white lines like yarn unspooling, Margot thought about her mother who hated driving on the freeway, her mother who no longer answered the phone. Where was her mother?

The windshield wipers squeaked, clearing sheets of rain.

“What about you?” Miguel asked. “Looking forward to seeing your mom? When did you see her last?”

Margot’s stomach dropped. “Last Christmas,” she said. “Actually, I’ve been trying to call her for the past few days to let her know, to let her know that we would be coming down.” Gripping the wheel, she sighed. “I didn’t really want to tell her because I wanted this to be a fun trip, but then I felt bad, so…”

“Is everything okay?”

“She hasn’t been answering the phone.”

“Hmm.” He shifted in his seat. “Maybe her phone battery died?”

“It’s a landline. Both landlines—at work and at home.”

“Maybe she’s on vacation?”

“She never goes on vacation.” The windshield fogged, revealing smudges and streaks, past attempts to wipe it clean. She cranked up the air inside.

“Hasn’t she ever wanted to go somewhere?”

“Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. I don’t know why, but she’s always wanted to go there.”

“It’s a big ol’ crack in the ground, Margot. Why wouldn’t she want to see it? It’s God’s crack.”

“It’s some kind of Korean immigrant rite of passage. National Parks, reasons to wear hats and khaki, stuff like that. It’s like America America.”

“I bet she’s okay,” Miguel said. “Maybe she’s just been busier than usual, right? We’ll be there soon enough.”

“You’re probably right. I’ll call her again when we stop.”

A heaviness expanded inside her chest. She fidgeted with the radio dial but caught only static with an occasional glimpse of a commercial or radio announcer’s voice.

Her mother was fine. They would all be fine.

With Miguel in LA, she’d have more reasons to visit now.

The road lay before them like a peel of fruit. The windshield wipers hacked away the rivers that fell from the sky.

Excerpted from The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Copyright © 2020 by Nancy Jooyoun Kim Published by Park Row Books

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

On this week’s episode of ‘My Burn Book‘, I present..

Genre: Horror, Thriller

My Rating: DNF (⭐⭐)

“We’ve been quarantined. Nice knowing everybody.”

This sounded so good and was one of my most anticipated reads this summer! But was a complete letdown!

I thought it was slow and read more like a play/script…written by Joey Tribbiani! Remember that episode of Friends where Ross tells Joey to write a play? Well, this is what it reminded me of.

It goes a little something like this:

Natalie said..

Paul says..

Something happens..

The man shouts…

Yeah. Not good! This is my first Tremblay read and a horrible start. I’m hoping his other book, Growing Things and Other Stories is better!

** Thank you Harper Collins Canada for providing me an ARC **

Have you read this one yet? Is it on your TBR? Have you read any of his other books?

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.

Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink

Top Ten Tuesday | Summer TBR

QOTD: What new releases or books are you looking forward to this summer?

Top Ten Tuesday is currently being hosted by That Artsy Girl Reader and this week’s topic is Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

Because I’m such a mood reader and have a hard time sticking to a planned list of reads, I’m just gonna shoot off some new releases I’ve been looking forward to reading but aren’t out yet!!

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

** Thank you Harper Collins Canada for gifting me an eARC **

I can’t wait to buddy read this one next month with Does The Dog Die In This? Book Club

SYNOPSIS
In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering.
Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.
Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Pub Date: August 4, 2020

Where are my Twilight fans at??

I was a huuuge fan of Twilight back when it first came out! Vampires? Werewolves? Yes please! Hate all you want, but I loved it and have no shame in admitting it either. I admit. It’s been years since I last read it, so Midnight Sun will be fresh for me, and interesting to see if I still feel the same as I did then.

SYNOPSIS

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?
Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

Pub Date: September 1, 2020

I loved Serpent & Dove! More than I actually thought I would. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in this one 🙂

SYNOPSIS
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

What’s on your summer tbr??

[#Excerpt] More Than Neighbours by Shannon Stacey @HarlequinBooks

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

The only thing they have in common is a property line! Cam Maguire is in Blackberry Bay to unravel a family secret. Meredith Price has moved next door with her daughter. He’s unattached. She’s a widowed single mom. He’s owned by a cat. She’s definitely team canine. All these neighbors have in common is a property line. One they cross…over and over. And Cam thought he knew what he wanted—until his family’s secret changes everything.

“So you’re staying for the summer, you said? Where do you usually live?”

“New York City, actually.”

Her hazel eyes widened. “Wow. That’s quite a change in pace.”

“It is, but I was ready to get away for a while.” “What do you do in the city?”

“I work for my dad,” he said, which wasn’t technically a lie, but wasn’t entirely accurate, either. “A lot of accounting and paperwork and boring stuff like that.”

She was cute when she wrinkled her nose. “I’m not a fan of boring math-related paperwork.”

A yelp from across the yard caught her attention and she turned to see Elinor swipe at the white puff-ball. Sophie was frowning and picked the dog up, turning her body so the cat couldn’t see him any-more.

“Your cat appears to be bullying my dog.”

“She’s not my cat. And you’re embarrassing your dog by even making that claim right now.”

She arched an eyebrow at him. “If you don’t think cats can bully dogs, you don’t spend a lot of time on the internet.”

“She just wants the dog to know who’s boss, I guess.”

“It’s his yard,” she pointed out.

“She’s a cat.”

“Point taken.” A genuine smile lit up her face and made her eyes crinkle. “They’ll get used to each other. And speaking of that, now that I know you’re going to be my neighbor for a while, I should prob-ably introduce myself properly. I’m Meredith Price, and that’s Sophie and Oscar.”

“Calvin Maguire,” he said, extending his hand. “But everybody calls me Cam.”

As she shook his hand, he noted how soft the skin was and had to resist rubbing his thumb over it.

She tilted her head as she smoothly pulled her hand away from his. “How do you get Cam from Calvin?”

“My initials. Calvin Anthony Maguire.” His mouth twisted in a wry smile. “The fourth.”

“Interesting.”

“It was a better alternative than being Little Cal for my entire life.” He didn’t really want to open him-self up to more questions about his family, since they were the last thing he wanted to talk about. “Since Oscar’s from California, let me guess. Oscar de la Renta?”

She laughed. “Oscar the Grouch.”

“You’re kidding.” He looked at the dog again, who looked like the kind they put on the packaging of fancy dog food. “I don’t really see the resemblance, but maybe it’s a personality thing.”

“He’s actually named after Sophie’s favorite book at the time, and trust me, we spent days explaining to her why we couldn’t make his hair green.”

“He doesn’t bark a lot, does he?”

“I wouldn’t say he barks a lot.” She glanced at the dog before giving him a sheepish look. “It’s more like a really high-pitched yip.”

“That’ll be fun while I’m reading over spread-sheets,” he said, picturing spending his summer being harassed by a stubborn cat and a high-strung dog. “Maybe I should have packed my noise- canceling headphones.”

She looked startled for a second and then her eyes narrowed. “I have a child and a dog, so I guess you’ll just have to figure out how to make it work.”

“Maybe a muzzle?” he asked, but he wasn’t re-ally serious. Yipping dogs weren’t his favorite, but he wasn’t a total jerk.

She stared at him for a long moment before giving him an arch look. “I don’t know if I can find one in your size, but I can try.”

Cam chuckled, appreciating her comeback, but she didn’t even crack a smile. Maybe she hadn’t been joking. And maybe she’d thought he wasn’t, either.

“If you’ll excuse me, we just arrived and I have a lot to do.”

“Nice to meet you,” he said as she walked, and she held up her hand in what looked more like a dis-missive gesture than a wave.

That was fine. If she wanted to play that game, she’d find out he didn’t really care that much. She and her yipping dog could stay in her yard and he’d stay in his.

He had better things to do, anyway. Like learning more about Carolina Archambault, and figuring out how to convince her cat he was the boss.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started