Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN

Image
Genre: Cookbook
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Author: Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Release Date: March 20, 2018



Grab a copy of The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook and head into your kitchen. Who said healthy recipes have to take hours? The book begins with an introduction to healthy cooking. It covers aspects like shopping for quality ingredients on a budget and avoiding splurges.

It goes into clean eating and different diets that follow those guidelines. You'll learn about the staples to keep on hand and kitchen tools you need to have. Once you're past those informative sections, you dive into the recipes. They're broken down into categories:

Smoothies and BreakfastsHearty Soups and SaladsEasy Appetizers and SidesSimple Snacks and Mini MealsVegan and Vegetarian MainsFish and Seafood MainsChicken and Turkey MainsBeef and Pork MainsDesserts and Sweet TreatsSauces, Dressings, and Staples

Some of the recipes are designed for your slow cooker. If you have the chance, I find that I…

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Image
Setting: New York
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Author: Gae Polisner
Release Date: March 13, 2018



Bound together by a passion for art, Klee and his father had a strong relationship for almost all of Klee's life. That is until tragedy took his father from him. In the aftermath of grief and a move to a new town, Klee bonds with a girl at his new school. She becomes his rock. When he finds she's just added another wrong to his already growing list of painful experiences, Klee winds up in a psychiatric hospital for those under the age of 18.

It's in Northhollow that Klee is forced to face everything that's gone wrong in his life. As he finds his way back to the young man he wants to be, Klee realizes that some things are not as they first appear and that to heal, he needs to be okay with it.

What a beautifully told story of family dysfunction and mental illness. In Sight of Stars took me a couple of tries to get into. I am so glad I stuck with it. Klee…

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd

Image
Setting: Florida
Genre: Suspense
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Author: Amy Lloyd
Release Date: March 6, 2018



The Innocent Wife approached a question I often ask. Why on earth do women fall for serial killers who are on death row? When the news came out that a woman wanted to marry Charles Manson, I was baffled. Knowing his history, why on earth would you fall in love with someone so evil?

Dennis Danson was tried and convicted for the brutal murders of several young girls 20 years ago. An ocean away, school teacher Samantha starts following his case. People are convinced he's innocent and will keep fighting to clear his name. Samantha gets caught up in the fight. After exchanging letters with him, Samantha leaves England behind.

Soon, Samantha finds herself marrying Dennis. His lawyers finally succeed in getting him exonerated. As Samantha gets to know this stranger she's married, she starts to wonder if they all have it wrong. Is Dennis a brutal serial killer who really is g…

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Image
Setting: New York City
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: March 27, 2018



Just a note that the publisher offered a sneak peek through Netgalley. While I got to read a few chapters, I did not read the entire book. This review is based on this sneak peek.

In just one moment, three young adults are drawn together. Freya is a YouTube sensation who loses her voice while recording her debut album. Harun's situation feels bleak, and he feels running away from his family is the only solution. Nathaniel is in New York City after spending essentially his entire life caring for his father. All three feel they have lost their way. Uniting may be the key to helping them find it.

So far, this book is touching on major issues teens and even adults face. Depression, loneliness, feelings of abandonment, and so much more. I think most teens will find a part of themselves in one of these characters.

I Have Lost My Way seems to be just as t…

The Longest Silence by Debra Webb

Image
Genre: Suspense
Publisher: MIRA
Author: Debra Webb
Release Date: March 6, 2018



Eighteen years ago, Joanna Guthrie escaped from the clutches of a ruthless kidnapper. While she wants to forget, it's impossible. It's harder when every year or so, more young women disappear. Joanna cannot stay silent any longer. This time, she wants to help.

Tony LeDoux may not exactly be with the FBI any longer, but he's not giving up on this latest case. It's his niece that's missing. He will do whatever it takes to find her. When Joanna approaches him, he listens. He teams up with her to unravel the cases, both past and present, and try to save the girls who are currently missing.

Meanwhile, there's a killer out there who will do everything it takes to stay hidden. That means killing anyone who dares try to put an end to a very long cycle of brutal crimes.

There are plenty of twists in The Longest Silence to keep you guessing. The story, at times, is extremely brutal. I found m…

The Friend by Teresa Driscoll

Image
Setting: England
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Author: Teresa Driscoll
Release Date: March 22, 2018



The premise in Teresa Driscoll's second suspense novel will get your attention, especially if you're a parent. In The Friend, Sophie befriends her new neighbor. While her husband and townspeople don't warm to Emma, Sophie befriends the woman. Soon their boys are becoming good friends and spend a lot of time together.

Sophie and her husband are hours away when they get a call. Ben, Emma, and Emma's son have been in a horrible accident. Sophie is desperate to get back to her son who is in the hospital and about to undergo surgery. As the train slowly makes its journey back, Sophie starts to wonder if trusting and befriending Emma was the worst mistake she's ever made.

I can only imagine being hours away with no car when you get a call like that. You have to rely on public transportation to get back, but every minute that goes by feels like…

Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate

Image
Setting: Chicago
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: MIRA
Author: Courtney Evan Tate
Release Date: March 20, 2018



Many years ago, Dr. Connie Cabot's father was arrested for murdering a woman and her husband. Connie remembers seeing their bodies, but she can't remember details. Since her father was sentenced, she's never spoken to him.

Connie is married, but her long hours in the ER weigh a bit on her marriage. When she starts having panic attacks and hearing voices, her sanity is questioned. To unravel what's really going on with her, she'll need to go back to her teenage years and figure out what really happened.

Such Dark Things has a number of twists in its swift pace. I can't say I was shocked when certain revelations were made. I saw them coming. I never connected with the characters, either. Jude was scum in my opinion. Connie was a little more likable, though at times, I wondered how she could be so gullible.

The story bounces between Connie and her…

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

Image
Setting: Chicago
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Graydon House
Author: Emily Belden
Release Date: March 20, 2018



At 25, Allie Simon is on a hot track to a promotion. She has a chef boyfriend who is the talk of the town. Together, they're a power couple that's on the rise. When Benji talks her into fronting the money to helping him become part owner in a restaurant in Chicago's prime restaurant zone, she panics. After all, $30,000 is just about her life savings. She also knows he's a killer in the kitchen, so she agrees. Just in time for him to fall off the wagon and disappear.

Allie has about $1,000 to her name. The only way out of this is to have the new restaurant prove to be a success. It means quitting her job and diving into a world that she knows little about. With the help of the other partners, the goal is to make this restaurant work without Benji. Worse, they only have about a month to make this happen.

There's nothing messy or unfinished in Hot M…

Half a Heart by Karen McQuestion

Image
Setting: Wisconsin
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union
Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: March 13, 2018



Logan Weber stopped talking when his mother died. His father's cruelty has him suffering every day. When his father decides another beating is in order, Logan flees. He winds up hiding in a moving van and finds himself ditched in another state with only the clothes on his back.

As Logan tries to keep himself sheltered and fed, he doesn't realize that the grandmother he was told died is actually out there and trying to find him. The problem is that his father is also hot on his heels and only one can get there first.

Half a Heart is a poignant, often maddening look at a young boy's determination to find his place in a world that hasn't shown him much in the way of kindness. I really liked Logan's grit. At the same time, I found myself questioning the actions of many adults. Once they saw a kid who appeared to be alone or questioned if the kid was alo…

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Image
Genre: Young Adult Publisher: Delacorte Press Author: Ashley Woodfolk Release Date: March 6, 2018

Cover art often has a way of drawing me to a book that I might have overlooked. That's the case in The Beauty That Remains. This is a debut novel from Ashley Woodfolk. It's a tender look at death and those left behind.
Autumn, Shay, and Logan have all suffered a tremendous loss. Autumn's best friend died in a car crash. Shay's sister passed away after a long battle with leukemia. Logan's ex-boyfriend is also dead following an overdose. The three know each other through music. The three are all coping as they try to come to terms with painful losses. 
Autumn blames herself. Shay misses her sister desperately. Logan is just as lost and shuts everyone out. It's music that brought them together once, and it's music that may be the thing that draws them back into the world of the living.
Connections between characters in The Beauty That Remains may not be tight, bu…

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Image
Setting: Vermont
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Author: Simone St. James
Release Date: March 20, 2018



Set in 2014 and the 1950s, The Broken Girls is a haunting mystery that's both endearing and spooky. Journalist Fiona Sheridan is still haunted by her sister's murder. She's convinced that her sister's popular boyfriend was to blame, but she also feels there are things that aren't quite right about the case. When new owners purchase a long-abandoned school for troubled girls, Fiona dives in with plans to cover the story of the school's past and future.

Things end up dragging Fiona own a road she's not ready for. A body of a girl is found in a well on the property. It brings memories of her sister's murder. Fiona makes it a goal to uncover the truth about this former student who was believed to have run away. The more Fiona digs, the more she realizes that her instincts into her sister's murder may have been right all along.

I always love…

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Image
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Author: Alice Feeney
Release Date: March 13, 2018



Sometimes I Lie starts off with a bang. Amber Reynolds is in a coma. She says her husband doesn't love her anymore. She also admits that sometimes she lies.

That's essentially the plot to the debut novel from Alice Feeney. Amber is in a coma, in the hospital, trying to remember what put here there. As she works through her childhood, a situation at work, her marriage, and her relationship with her sister, she struggles to remember how she got where she is.

She can't move, talk, or open her eyes. She doesn't know if her husband tried to kill her, though her instincts have her believing he may have. She isn't sure who she can trust or how to get out of the coma she's in.

The twists Sometimes I Lie keep you guessing. Amber may be an unreliable narrator. She also may be telling the truth. Just when you think you have it figured out, something else happens to ha…

Going Places by Kathyrn Berla

Image
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Author: Kathryn Berla
Release Date: March 20, 2018



Going Places had its ups and downs. At heart, it's a coming of age story about an 18-year-old boy who doesn't dream of going to college. Hudson Wheeler wants to create graphic novels and launch his two businesses. One of those businesses has him helping the elderly with tasks that fall below the criteria of emergencies.

To meet some of his goals, he convinces his mom to let him leave high school and get homeschooled for his final year. He'll take yoga and an art class at the local school, but other requirements will be done at home on his schedule.

His senior care and dog walking businesses seem to do very well and sometimes overlap. It's at the home of one senior client where he discovers a mysterious older man. The veteran continues to see his young daughter in a neighbor's window. The problem is there's no way this young girl is the veteran's daughter. …

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Image
Setting: England
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Release Date: March 13, 2018



She should be extremely happy, but tragic events from just a year ago haunt Anna Johnson. She is a new mom and has a loving boyfriend, but her parents' suicides weigh heavily. First, her dad jumped off a cliff, and months later her grieving mom did the same.

Anna's life changes when a card saying, "Suicide? Think again" arrives. She immediately goes to the police. That triggers a chain reaction that puts this new mom and her daughter at risk. Someone out there knows the truth, and the more Anna and the police dig to unravel the truth, the more dangerous it will become.

Hooked. I was so completely hooked by the time I'd read the first page. The description of Anna nursing her new daughter was so tenderly written. Her maternal instinct made me really like her. As the mystery gets underway, I couldn't stop reading. I knew one part of the mystery, bu…

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Image
Setting: Yellow Springs, Ohio Genre: Women's Fiction/Suspense Publisher: St. Martin's Press Author: Jessica Strawser Release Date: March 27, 2018

In her second novel, Jessica Strawser delves into the startling disappearance of a mom and her twins. Kristin is a likable mom with young twins. She's a college administrator and wife to a popular OB/GYN. While Kristin was about to go through a divorce, none of her friends could make sense of her disappearance.
Gathered around a neighbor's firepit, a group of women meet for wine and friendship. Most of the story is told by Clara, the closest to Kristin. Clara is baffled by the disappearance. It's also bringing up memories she'd rather forget. The other key character is Izzy. She's the only single woman in the group. She's the newcomer and is hoping for a fresh start away from her family.
Media attention to the case is making it hard to enjoy peace and quiet in the neighborhood. Paul, Kristin's husband, is…

Falling for the Brother by Tara Taylor Quinn

Image
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin
Author: Tara Taylor Quinn
Release Date: March 6, 2018



Harper Davidson is the head of security for a shelter for women. She's shocked when her ex-husband's grandmother arrives. The woman's broken arm and bruises prove she's being abused, and Harper cannot believe Mason Thomas, her ex-brother-in-law', and his suspicions that her ex is to blame.

Harper knows her ex isn't a great guy, but he adores his grandmother. She also knows that Mason is an outstanding detective and has excellent gut instincts. She also has a hard time hiding her attraction to him. She can't afford to get involved and put her job on the line. Instead, she decides to work with Mason and try to get to the truth.

Falling for the Brother is a quick read. The attraction between Mason and Harper is clear. I liked her daughter's involvement with the grandmother, too. It added an extra layer of family ties that kept the reader…