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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana
- Iowa
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- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
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- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (2)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 100 books. 22% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: My Latest and Greatest

It's Tuesday and you know what that means—it's time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite bookish meme.  If you want to join in the fun (and you really do), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read a few instructions, make your own list, then spend some happy hours hopping around the book blogosphere.  It's a great way to spread some love in our community, discover new blogs, and, of course, get more recommendations for your TBR pile mountain mountain chain.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Recent Additions to My TBR List.  Since I add books constantly to my TBR list on Goodreads, I can't remember which titles are the literal last ten I added.  So, I'm just going to talk about ten I've added recently that I'm really excited about.  Sound good?  Here we go:

Top Ten Most Recent Additions to My TBR List:

1.  The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber—I'm in the middle of Weisgarber's newest historical novel, The Glovemaker (available February 5, 2019), which I'm enjoying.  Weisbarger's written a couple of other books, but this is the one I most want to read.  It's about a black family trying to survive on South Dakota's drought-dry plains in 1917.

2.  The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman—I'm a big fan of Goodman's Gothic thrillers and her newest sounds like another intriguing read.  It concerns an abused woman and her son who are stranded in the middle of a snowstorm in New York.  A stranger takes them in for the night.  As the blizzard worsens outside, shocking secrets are being revealed inside ... 

3.  The Hidden by Mary Chamberlain (available February 7, 2019)—I can't resist a dual-timeline novel that features WWII, so I'm drawn to this one about a young German woman trying to find a mysterious woman who appears in an old photograph of her mother's.

4.  Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler (available July 30, 2019)—I loved Kibler's 2012 debut, Calling Me Home, and I've been waiting anxiously for her to publish something else.  This one, her sophomore novel, is a dual-timeline novel about a woman in the present who's seeking to uncover the history of a home that once offered "ruined" girls hope and help.  

5.  The Orphan of Salt Winds by Elizabeth Brooks—A newly-adopted orphan arrives at her mysterious new home on the edge of a marsh. She soon discovers that her adoptive parents have a house full of secrets and lies.  While trying to make sense of her new world, her life is rocked again when a German airman crashes in the marsh.  What happens next will haunt her for the rest of her life.  Sounds good, no?

6.  The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman (available February 5, 2019)—This middle grade novel is about a group of children trying to survive on the streets of India.  Sounds heartbreaking, but intriguing.

7.  The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods—Another middle grade novel, this one revolves around a young boy who's saved from a car accident by a black WWII veteran.  As a thank you, the boy gets his rescuer a job at his dad's auto shop.  This is the Jim Crow South, however, so there's tension, even as the boy discovers just how much of a hero the vet really is.

8.  Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson (available July 1, 2019)—I'm fascinated by true stories of women who disguised themselves as men in order to serve in the Civil War.  This novel is about a young woman looking for a way to escape an abusive home and finding herself—and true love—on the battlefield.

9.  The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns (available May 28, 2019)—Another dual-timeline novel (my favorite!), this one concerns a Japanese woman who is cast out when her traditional family discovers that she's pregnant with the child of an American sailor.  

10.  Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan—This psychological thriller about a pregnant woman who's receiving threatening notes that call into question her husband's loyalty and her own ability to be a mother, sounds intriguing.

So, there you have it, ten of the most recent additions to my TBR mountain chain.  What do you think of my selections?  Have you read any of these?  What titles have you added to your TBR list lately?  I'm truly interested to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!
Monday, January 28, 2019

Plotless Historical Novel a Long, Meandering Slog

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When the Givens Family immigrates from Ireland to the United States in 1819, it's to escape poverty, not embrace it.  In doing so, however, they've lost everything.  With their mother dead and their father gone for good, the three Givens teenagers are left to fend for themselves.  James vows to make a decent life for himself with his thriving candle-making business.  Flighty Erasmus, who seems destined for a different sort of existence, finally finds his calling as an itinerant preacher.  Olivia, who refuses to embrace social mores, is likely headed straight for spinsterhood.  While the three of them head in their separate directions, they will all become caught up in the crises and chaos of a booming Cincinnati. 

None of the Givens' could have foreseen their involvement in the most divisive and dangerous cause of all—slavery.  While James refuses to risk his position in society by embracing abolition, his siblings become actively engaged in helping slaves escape their cruel masters.  The unforeseen consequences of their perilous work will have an especially heavy impact on Olivia.  None of the Givens', in fact, will escape unscathed as the situation with a certain slave family escalates and finally explodes.

It's tough to describe the plot of The Eulogist, a historical novel by Terry Gamble, because, really, it doesn't have one.  The tale is episodic instead of focused, making for a read that is slow, meandering, and dull.  It's not uninteresting; it's just not very exciting.  The characters are likable, the setting is atmospheric, and Gamble's prose is capable.  Overall, though, The Eulogist feels like a long, anticlimactic slog.  If I hadn't committing to read the novel for this blog tour, I likely wouldn't have gotten beyond its second chapter.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Eulogist from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Want more opinions on The Eulogist?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking the links below:

Tour Stops

Tuesday, January 22nd: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, January 23rd: Instagram: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, January 25th: Instagram: @giuliland
Monday, January 28th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, January 29th: Instagram: @lifebetweenwords
Thursday, January 31st: Peppermint PhD
Friday, February 1st: Broken Teepee
Monday, February 4th: Instagram: @readvoraciously
Tuesday, February 5th: Instagram: @wellreadmama
Wednesday, February 6th: What Is That Book About

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Scone Cold Killer a Fun Start to Southern Cozy Mystery Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Little Boggy Creek, Florida, is a far cry from New York City, but it may be just what Gia Morelli needs.  In the wake of her ex-husband's betrayal—not only of his clients, but also of their marriage—she's looking for a place to start over, a refuge where she can lick her wounds and start rebuilding her shattered life.  Opening the All-Day Breakfast Café is a brave first step.  Despite a few hiccups, things are going well for Gia—until she discovers a dead body in the dumpster behind the restaurant.  She recognizes the corpse's manicured hands and a distinctive ring.  It's her ex-husband, Bradley Remington, but what is he doing in Florida?  And how did he end up dead in a dumpster?

Suspicion for the murder naturally falls on Gia.  Despite his gentle questioning, even handsome Detective Hunter "Hunt" Quinn seems to think she had something to do with Bradley's death.  Although she's warned against sticking her nose into police business, Gia knows the only way to clear her name is to find the real killer.  Can she get to the bottom of the puzzling case?  Or will Gia's dead body be the next one stuffed into a dumpster?

I'm not a huge fan of cozy mysteries, but occasionally I stumble across a series that I enjoy.  Katherine over at I Wish I Lived in a Library mentioned Lena Gregory, so I decided to give her All-Day Breakfast Café books a whirl.  Scone Cold Killer, the first installment, introduces Gia and her cozy new hometown of Boggy Creek.  Although the townsfolk are not as colorful as I would have liked, there are some fun and abrasive personalities who should make for entertaining reading throughout the series.  Mystery-wise, the plot is pretty straightforward.  Nothing too surprising or original.  As in most cozies, there's a lot of improbable action going on in Scone Cold Killer, but the willing suspension of disbelief is a requirement going into any book in this genre, so that didn't bother me.  Much.  All in all, I enjoyed this light, fun read.  It's quick, entertaining, and written well enough that I want to continue reading about Gia's adventures.  I've already read the second installment, checked the third out of the library, and bought the first book in Gregory's Bay Island Psychic series, if that tells you anything!

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the All-Day Breakfast Café series [Murder Made to Order and A Cold Brew Killing] by Lena Gregory as well as of cozy mysteries by Ellie Alexander)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Scone Cold Killer from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
Friday, January 25, 2019

Absorbing Appalachian Mystery An Intriguing Start to New Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Kinship, Ohio, is a hardscrabble Appalachian town where coal is king.  Despite a recent collapse that killed a number of people, the Bronwyn mine is still functioning under the same unsafe conditions.  Talk of unionizing simmers below Kinship's surface, despite the mine owner's efforts to quash it with Pinkerton muscle.  Trying to keep the peace is Daniel Ross, the town's much-respected sheriff.  When Daniel dies while transporting a prisoner, dissolving his careful control of Kindred, it's like putting a match to a tinderbox.  It's only a matter of time before the place erupts in violence with Pinkertons and unionizers battling for supremacy. 

Until a replacement sheriff can be hired, Daniel's widow—26-year-old Lily Ross—is made his official stand-in.  Her appointment may be a joke to everyone else, but Lily refuses to be anyone's puppet.  Her first act as sheriff is to open an investigation into her husband's death, the details of which have never added up to her.  Another case lands in her lap when Marvena Whitcomb, a moonshiner and secret union organizer, comes to Lily, pleading for help to find her missing teen daughter.  From what Marvena says, it's obvious she and Daniel knew each other well, even cared for one another.  Why has Lily never heard of the woman?  The more the two widows interact, the more clear it becomes—Daniel kept secrets from both of them.  What was he hiding?  Did he know something that got him killed?  Lily won't stop until she finds out the truth, no matter how unsavory it might be.

Inspired by Maude Collins, Ohio's first female sheriff, The Widows is an intriguing, atmospheric tale by Jess Montgomery.  Under the author's assured hand, Kinship comes alive as a place brimming with a unique landscape, history, culture, and people.  Its two heroines—each from a very different walk of life—are formidable women, but also compassionate and brave.  Plotwise, The Widows remains compelling and engrossing throughout.  I thoroughly enjoyed this absorbing novel, the first in a planned series.  I'm already waiting anxiously for the next installment.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of novels by Julia Keller and Jennifer Haigh)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, sexual innuendo, and references to prostitution

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Widows from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Quirky and Compelling, Jackson's Novels Are Always Winners in My Book

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Despite my tendency to overwrite and overshare when I craft them, I generally like to write my own plot summaries for the books I review.  In some instances, however, the professional version is done so well that I don't even bother.  Case in point: Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson.  This says everything you need to know about the novel in one succinct, but intriguing paragraph:

Nonny Frett understands the meaning of the phrase "in

between a rock and a hard place" better than any woman
alive. She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the
other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two
men: a husband who's easing out the back door; and a
best friend, who's laying siege to her heart in her front
yard. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her
and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who won't forget
how they were done wrong. Now, in Between,
Georgia, a feud that began the night Nonny was born
is escalating and threatening to expose family secrets.
Ironically, it might be just what the town needs...if only

Nonny weren't stuck in between. 

I've enjoyed every book I've read by Jackson and Between, Georgia is no exception.  It tells a poignant story, but one that's filled with humor, heart, and hope.  Like Jackson's other novels, this one is filled with unique, interesting characters doing unique, interesting things in a quirky, atmospheric Southern town.  The plot skips along at a steady pace, making Between, Georgia a hard-to-put down saga.  In traditional Jackson style, this story hits on themes like identity, tradition vs. new ideas, and the true meaning of home and family.  Although this one isn't my favorite of Jackson's (that would be The Almost Sisters), I really enjoyed it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books by Joshilyn Jackson, including Someone Else's Love Story; A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty; and The Almost Sisters.  Although sassier, Jackson's novels also remind me of those by Karen White and Anne Rivers Siddons)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Between, Georgia with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Spotlight On: The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

I wasn't able to get The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson read and reviewed in time for my stop on its blog tour, so you're getting a spotlight today instead.

I haven't read anything by Jonasson, but his books certainly sound delightful.  Have you read them?  What did you think?

The hysterical, clever, and unforgettable sequel to Jonas Jonasson’s international bestseller The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

He's back. Even older. Even funnier.

It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harboring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un. Yikes!

Soon Allan and Julius are at the center of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. Needless to say, things are about to get very, very complicated.

Another hilarious, witty, and entertaining novel from bestselling author Jonas Jonasson that will have readers howling out-loud at the escapades and misfortunes of its beloved hundred-year-old hero Allan Karlsson and his irresistible sidekick Julius.


Want to see what other bloggers/Instagrammers thought of The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-Year-Old Man?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking on the links below:

Instagram Features

Tuesday, January 15th: Instagram: @wellreadmama
Tuesday, January 15th: Instagram: @basicbsguide
Wednesday, January 16th: Instagram: @readingbetweenthe__wines
Thursday, January 17th: Instagram: @girlwithnoselfie
Friday, January 18th: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Saturday, January 19th: Instagram: @wherethereadergrows
Sunday, January 20th: Instagram: @sjwonderlandz
Monday, January 21st: Instagram: @createexploreread

Review Stops

Tuesday, January 15th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, January 16th: Instagram: @rendezvous_with_reading
Thursday, January 17th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Friday, January 18th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Monday, January 21st: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, January 22nd: Instagram: @mrsmurphyreads
Tuesday, January 22nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, January 23rd: What Is That Book About
Thursday, January 24th: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, January 28th: Laura’s Reviews
Tuesday, January 29th: Based on a True Story
Wednesday, January 30th: Helen’s Book Blog
Thursday, January 31st: Man of La Book
Monday, February 4th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, February 5th: Instagram: @theunreadshelf
Wednesday, February 6th: Write – Read – Life
Thursday, February 7th: Stacy’s Books
Friday, February 8th: Read Till Dawn
Friday, February 8th: Lit and Life
Friday, January 18, 2019

Dark, Disturbing Psychological Thriller Impossible to Put Down

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After the traumatic events that shattered her life fourteen years ago, Susanna Fenton took her baby daughter and ran—away from her husband, away from the media, away from her neighbors' judging eyes and wagging tongues.  Changing her name, her city, and her occupation, she's desperate to remain anonymous.  After 14 years, it appears she's been successful.  Until a young man walks into her counseling office and starts asking unsettling questions about Susanna's past.  Who is Adam Geraghty?  What does he want?  And, most important of all, what has he done to her teenage daughter?

The Liar's Room by Simon Lelic has a simple, yet chilling premise.  Its format—basically an intense therapy session that takes place over five hours—is also minimalistic.  However, these elements, combined with a small cast of complex characters and the slow unraveling of their shocking secrets, make for a tense, unputdownable psychological thriller.  I read this one in a day because I could not stop reading.  The novel is that intense.  While the story completely engrossed me, I didn't end up loving it.  It's definitely mesmerizing, but The Liar's Room is also a sad, depressing story that's as disturbing as it is memorable.  Overall, then, I liked it but didn't love it.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I'm not sure to what to compare The Liar's Room.  Any ideas?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Liar's Room from the generous folks at Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Rags-to-Riches Romance Far-fetched, But Fun

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  I realized only after finishing In Dog We Trust that it is the fifth book in a series.  While the installments do not appear to need to be read in order, characters from earlier books do make cameo appearances in the newer ones.  In order to remain completely free from all possible spoilers, you may want to read the series in order. 

Jocelyn Hillier's mother always told her never to get personally involved with the summer people who flock to Black Dog Bay, Delaware, every summer.  Doing their laundry in order to pay your bills is one thing; canoodling with a tourist is quite another.  In the 27 years she's been alive and living in the resort town, Jocelyn has always obeyed her mother's rule.  Then, a chance meeting puts her in the middle of a squabble between two of them.  Before she knows it, Jocelyn is working as a dog walker for one Richie Rich and dating another.  

When Jocelyn's cantankerous boss dies unexpectedly, leaving his vast wealth to his three prize Labs, and naming Jocelyn as their legal guardian, she's stunned.  As the dogs' primary caregiver, she's suddenly living in the lap of luxury with access to millions of dollars.  Of course, some people—including her boss's estranged son, Liam Sheridan—are angered by Mr. Allardyce's ridiculous dying wishes and will do whatever it takes to get the money to which they believe they are entitled.  While persistent Liam starts out as a thorn in Jocelyn's side, it's not long before she's feeling a deep, unsettling attraction to the enemy.  Even as he schemes to take away every penny his father bequeathed to his pups and their spirited guardian, who isn't about to take Liam's duplicity lying down ...

I didn't realize until after I'd finished In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick that it is the fifth installment in a series.  The setting of the romantic comedy seemed familiar, which makes sense since apparently I read—and really enjoyed—the second book in the series, New Uses for Old Boyfriends, back in 2015.  Although In Dog We Trust is lighthearted and funny, I didn't end up liking it as much as I did its predecessor.  The situation in which Jocelyn finds herself just seems far-fetched, her antics silly and immature.  Because our heroine has no real story goal, the novel's plot seems episodic and meandering, with no real focus.  I get that it's a rom-com that's supposed to be light and diverting, but still, I would have appreciated a little substance from In Dog We Trust.  In the end, I enjoyed this cute romance enough to finish it, but I can't say I loved it.  It turned into just an okay read for me.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Black Dog Bay series by Beth Kendrick.  Also reminds me of On the Same Page by N.D. Galland and a bit of other small town romances by Robyn Carr and RaeAnne Thayne)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs) and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of In Dog We Trust from the generous folks at Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New Authors, Old Year

It's Tuesday and you know what that means!  Time for my favorite weekly meme, Top Ten Tuesday.  Today's prompt is all about new authors you discovered in 2018, which will be a fun one.  Before we get to that, though, here are the deets on how to join in the TTT fun.  It's simple:  click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read a few guidelines, make and share your own list, then hop around the book blogosphere visiting other people's posts.  It's a great way to spread the bookish love by revisiting favorite blogs, discovering new ones, and, of course, adding great-sounding books to your toppling TBR pile.  What's not to love?

Okay, here we go with Top Ten New (to Me) Authors I Discovered in 2018:

1.  Emily Carpenter—You know I love me a good Gothic yarn, especially when it involves family secrets, creepy old houses, and some nail-biting suspense.  Emily Carpenter's books deliver on all accounts.  She only has three out so far (with another one coming in March) and I read all of them in 2018.  My favorite:  The Weight of Lies.

2.  Lori Rader-Day—I'm a big psychological thriller fan, so Rader-Day's books definitely caught my attention.  I read three out of her four this year and enjoyed two of them.  My favorite:  Under a Dark Sky.

3.  Dervla McTiernan—I loved this Irish author's debut, The Ruin.  It's a dark, but very compelling mystery.  A sequel, The Scholar, will be out on May 14.  I can't wait!

4.  Kristina McMorris—I'm a sucker for historical fiction and I find books about orphans and children in crisis especially moving.  Naturally, then, I wanted to read Sold On a Monday as soon as I heard about it.  I enjoyed it and plan to read more of McMorris' work.

5.  Hester Fox—Fox's ghostly, atmospheric debut, The Witch of Willow Hall, earned lots of buzz last year.  And deservedly so.  I can't wait to see what Fox does next!

6.  Elizabeth Byler YountsThe Solace of Water, Younts' most recent novel, was one of my favorite 2018 reads.  It convinced me to start Younts' Promise of Sunrise trilogy, which is about how World War II affects an Amish community in Delaware.  Having been raised Amish, Younts has a unique perspective on the culture/religion, which gives her books a refreshing authenticity.  My favorite:  The Solace of Water.

7.  Alison Gaylin—Domestic thrillers are my jam, so I had to give Gaylin's books a go in 2018.  I read and enjoyed two of hers.  My favorite:  And She Was.

8.  Emma Berquist—I loved Devils Unto Dust, Berquist's debut novel.  It's a Western/horror mash-up that satisfies on every level.  I can't wait for her newest, Missing, Presumed Dead, which comes out in May.

9.  Joanna Barker—Regency romance is far from my favorite genre, but I do count on them for light, amusing entertainment that I can sandwich between heavier reads.  It's rare for me to really love a book in this genre, but Barker's debut, The Truth About Miss Ashbourne, really charmed me with its tight prose, engaging plot line, and well-developed characters.  I'm definitely keeping an eye out to see what this talented newcomer does next.

10.  Sarah Maine—The first book I read in 2018 was The House Between Tides, Maine's atmospheric debut.  I enjoyed it and have been meaning to try the author's other two novels ever since.

So, there you go—ten authors I discovered last year.  Hm, I just realized that they're all white women and most of them are debut authors.  Interesting.  Perhaps I need to work on diversifying my reading this year?  Anyway, have you read any of these authors?  What do you think of their work?  Which new-to-you authors did you discover in 2018?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will happily return the favor.

Happy TTT!

Martha's Vineyard Rom Com Dull and Unsatisfying

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When her aging, cantankerous uncle injures himself in a fall, Joanna Howes is drawn home to Martha's Vineyard to take care of him.  She's anticipating a short visit, but as Henry's leg refuses to heal, Joanna fears she may be in town for the long haul.  As her bank balance dwindles, the freelance journalist agrees to take a job writing for one of the two local newspapers.  When it becomes obvious she won't be able to pay her bills on the part-time gig, she begins working for the rival paper as well.  Publishing articles under two different names, she hopes to keep her separate identities ... separate.  The more undercover she tries to delve, however, the more complicated her already messy life seems to get.

Things become even more chaotic when Joanna accepts a date with a handsome stranger only to realize he's at the center of a controversy that's got locals (including her Uncle Henry) hot and bothered.  Joanna can't tell her uncle—or either of her editors-in-chief—that her objectivity is being more and more compromised with every minute she spends with Orion Smith.  How can she keep the professional distance she needs in order to report fairly on Orion while she's falling so hopelessly in love with him?  The last thing Joanna needs is more knots in her already tangled-up life, but that's what she's getting.  Can she get herself sorted before she loses everything that's important to her?

On the Same Page, a romantic comedy by N.D. Galland, has a fun premise with lots of potential.  Unfortunately, that potential just isn't realized.  While I enjoyed learning about Martha's Vineyard's dual personality, that's about the only thing in this novel that intrigued me.  For me, the story ran on and on, with so much extraneous detail that it felt
overly long and dull.  In addition, I just didn't care for Joanna.  Selfish and dishonest, she doesn't ever risk enough to cause enough tension and suspense to make her tale interesting.  She doesn't grow as a character, which makes the novel feel unsatisfying.  In the end, then, I didn't love this one.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of On the Same Page from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Want more opinions of On the Same Page?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking on the links below:

Instagram Features

Monday, December 31st: Instagram: @oddandbookish
Wednesday, January 2nd: Instagram: @laceybooklovers
Thursday, January 3rd: Instagram: @giuliland
Saturday, January 5th: Instagram: @sjwonderlandz
Sunday, January 6th: Instagram: @somekindofalibrary
Monday, January 7th: Instagram: @books.tea.quotes

Review Stops

Monday, December 31st: BookNAround
Wednesday, January 2nd: Tales of a Book Addict
Thursday, January 3rd: Instagram: @diaryofaclosetreader
Monday, January 7th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, January 8th: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Wednesday, January 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, January 14th: What Is That Book About
Tuesday, January 15th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, January 16th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, January 17th: From the TBR Pile
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