Friday, January 19, 2018

Grist Mill Road

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

Matthew and Patrick were inseparable in 1982, spending endless days exploring the wilderness surrounding the Swangum Mountains. Just a bike ride away from their hometown of Roseborn, ninety miles outside of New York City, they created their own adventures under crystal blue skies, with the scent of pitch pines, and the taste of succulent blueberries, until one act of gruesome violence changed their lives in countless ways. Two boys, one girl, taunting words, and a Red Ryder BB gun, defined who they are forever.

There are three narrators in this story. Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah, the young girl and victim of the heinous crime. It's 2008. Patrick and Hannah are married, she's a crime reporter, he's struggling to find a job in the collapsing economy. Hannah knows that Patrick was there on that fateful day, but does not know the extent of his involvement. Matthew resurfaces, nudging his way into the lives of those he once called friends. But forgiveness never comes easy. 

Far beyond the grizzly account of the crime itself, this story is about
perception versus reality, truth versus fiction. The character development
is superb. Some readers will embrace this novel, finding it impossible to put down.
Others will find it abhorrently difficult to fathom. Expect to experience raw emotions
of anger and compassion. Peel away the layers and  prepare for the shocking conclusion.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Dr. Anna Fox lives in isolation, spying on neighbors, popping pills, and drinking bottle after bottle of merlot while watching vintage, black-and-white movies to pass the time. As a child psychologist, suffering from agoraphobia herself, she dabbles in online counseling for others afflicted with the anxiety disorder. And each and every day, she thinks about her estranged husband and eight-year-old daughter that no longer live in the rambling Harlem brownstone they once called home.

Her latest obsession is with the Russell family who recently moved in across the street. Father Alistair, Mother Jane, and Son Ethan, a lanky, nervous teenager who stops in for an occasional visit. It's hard living with a controlling father and his volatile temper.

It's after one of these visits, that Anna witnesses the unthinkable  through the zoom lens on her Nikon camera while peering into the window of the Russell home. Frantic, she stumbles to her phone in a drunken stupor to call for help. But when the police arrive, her highly questionable story is dissected piece by piece. No one heard the piercing screams, no one can corroborate her terrifying ordeal, no one believes her,

So many questions, so few answers. Poor, paranoid Dr. Anna Fox, fabricating a grand tale because she's a lonely, delusional lady.

This deliciously sinister, psychological thriller will delight Hitchcock fans. Short, tantalizing, chapters make it an easy read. The premise may sound familiar, but don't be mistaken; there's an abundance of unexpected twists and complex characters that should play out well when this debut novel is released on film.

Think you have this one all figured out? Close your shades and think again........

Friday, January 5, 2018


Elmet by Fiona Mozley

John Smythe is a big, burly, hulk of a man who lives contentedly off  the land and nature in a corner of Yorkshire, England, once known as Elmet. Lovingly, he protects his two children, the beautiful, brave Cathy and tenderhearted Daniel. Secret missions often take "Daddy" away from home where his dark side erupts, exposing the power of his fists and the fury of his temper.

At one time, John was employed as a debt collector for the landowner Mr. Price, who allows them to live on the idyllic property once owned by the children's mother. Now Price confronts John about possibly forfeiting these living arrangements. John is the voice of a group of dissenting laborers demanding more pay from the farmers, who are led by the landowner himself. Price decides John must fight in order to settle the dispute. But there is far more violence that follows when Price loses a prized possession. A brutal, bloody encounter finds a family under attack, piercing the tranquility they cherish. Fearless Cathy, along with the unwavering support of her brother, sacrifice all in the name of family loyalty.

If you are a reader who wants to start the New Year with a change of pace, I encourage you to check out this selection that has already earned accolades and awards. Mozley's melodic writing, with a whisper of medieval fantasy, is a soulful, emotional debut steeped in legend about a brother and sister's love.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Story of Arthur Truluv

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Arthur Moses is an eighty-five-year-old man who dearly misses his late wife, Nola. His heart aches for her.

So he visits her grave daily, often bringing small gifts or flowers as he eats lunch and reminisces about the life they shared. Along the way, Arthur stops to visit the buried he never knew. You see, Arthur has the striking ability to know their stories, feel their pain, and bask in the peacefulness of this quiet refuge the deceased call home.

It is on one of these soothing, tranquil days, that Arthur spots a young girl from afar. A tentative wave turns into an unlikely friendship between two lonely people. Her name is Maddy, and like Arthur, she enjoys talking to the dearly departed who live in this secluded cemetery. Maddy finds contentment there, away from cruel high school classmates who seem to take pleasure in ostracizing her. She grasps the elusive memory of a mother she knows only from faded photographs, a father who finds difficulty in comforting a daughter he doesn't understand, and an older lover who has discarded her. Maddy is all alone; that is, until she takes a chance on befriending an old, intuitive gentleman who miraculously finds the beauty hidden deep inside her.

Friendship turns into love and admiration, as Maddy and Arthur find that age has no boundaries
when it comes to matters of the heart. Arthur's pesky and persistent neighbor, Lucille, becomes part of this non-traditional family, after losing a love of her own. Together, they find blessings they thought only others were lucky enough to share.

A sweet, poignant story filled with laughter and tears, to lift your spirits this holiday season, reminding us that reaching out to others may bring the greatest joy of all.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Little Broken Things

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

"I have something for you".

As Quinn reads the cryptic message from her estranged sister, Nora, she's puzzled and confused. And when they meet face to face, her curiosity only deepens.

Cloaked in secrecy, Nora arrives accompanied by a little girl with "cherry-colored curls and stone-colored eyes". She leaves without explanation, asking Quinn to take care of the child until she is able to return. Faced with this overwhelming responsibility, Quinn finds herself drawn to the child she calls Lucy and the circumstances of her birth. Hiding a child proves to be impossible, and it's not long before Lucy's existence becomes known to husband, Walker, and her widowed mother, Liz, who prides herself in being the perfect party hostess in this quiet Minnesota town. Her life as a social icon, however, is about to be change as she faces demons that have haunted her for years.

The reader soon learns about what it was like for two sisters growing up in the Sanford household, the secrets their mother struggles never to reveal, and the high-school friend who goes to any lengths to protect a child from harm. The plot slowly simmers chapter by chapter, page by page, leaving the reader ensconced in an absorbing mystery.

Flawed characters, exquisitely defined by love, ultimately find truth in a story so many mothers will embrace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Attorney Abby Williams returns to her dismal hometown
of Barrens, Indiana, with one purpose in mind; to expose
the deceitful environmental practices of Optimal Plastics,
the company that residents worship and adore for restoring
hope and prosperity to a place that was slowly dying.

Things haven't changed that much in ten years. High school football still reigns supreme, gun-toting hunters still love the sport, and some of the girls who taunted Abby in school with their
cruel, callous remarks, still live in town, one even holding a
position of power. Painful, bitter memories haunt Abby, including the disappearance of her friend, Kaycee Mitchell, who loved being the center of attention among her posse of followers. But Abby wonders, what if  Kaycee's leaving years ago is all part of the current investigation of a corporate giant reviving a town in need?

One thing is certain...Abby has outstayed her welcome in Barrens. Colleagues working with her on the Optimal investigation begin to question her mental stability. Lonely and afraid, she trusts no one, not even herself, until one explosive night that proves her gut
instincts may have been right along.

Krysten Ritter, actress turned author, writes a thriller debut that has all
the elements for success. Her storytelling takes a flawed, vulnerable character
on a wild, wickedly suspenseful ride into the sordid darkness of  small-town secrets.
Definitely worth checking out.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Seven Days of Us

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Christmas. That mellow time of year when petty differences are cast aside in order to spend quality time with loved ones. But the very British Birch family soon finds out that seven, solid days of suffocating togetherness can bring some very unexpected challenges and surprises.

It's holiday time, and eldest daughter, Dr. Olivia Birch, comes home to the family country estate to recuperate, after treating patients exposed to a deadly virus during her time abroad. Her gift to the family is seven days of quarantine for everyone and anyone unfortunate enough to cross over the threshold of this tired, old home. What she doesn't mention, is her recent, forbidden tryst with another doctor hospitalized with the virus, and the heightened risk she now faces of contracting it, too.

Home hasn't changed all that much since she's been gone. The strained relationship with her father remains, as he struggles with an unfulfilling job as a restaurant critic. The tediousness of being around her pert, sassy, engaged sister, makes her feel like an outsider
in her own family. And her loving, indulgent mother, still desperately
wants to keep the peace, while clinging to what's left of her marriage
and her own identity.

Olivia's not the only one being less than truthful. Her mother chooses not
to reveal a dire medical diagnosis until after the holidays, but inadvertently
shares the news with a young, incredibly appealing American she
meets at the airport while waiting for her daughter to arrive. In a matter
of just a few days, this same man reappears at their doorstep. He seems to know
quite a bit about Olivia's sister's fiance, far more than he cares to share with
this group of people who warily watch his every move.

Will the curse of seven endless days and nights, side by side, turn out to be a blessing?

A fabulously festive, family drama with a host of complex, likable characters that
arrive just in time for Christmas.