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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

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Release Date - March 19, 2019



While I loved The Last Year of the War, I also hated that people don't seem to learn from the past. This book takes the reader back to WWII and the atrocities many U.S citizens faced simply because their ancestors were in Germany or Japan.

Elise Sontag only knows Iowa as her home. Her parents became U.S. citizens 20 years earlier, long before she was born. Her father's job as a chemistry teacher is part of what makes the U.S. government decide he's a threat. The family is whisked off to an internment camp in Texas.

Mariko Inoue is in a similar position. Her family lives in Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop the U.S. government from deciding their Japanese heritage makes them a threat. That family is also sent off to the Texas internment camp where Elise and Mariko become friends.

It isn't too long before Elise and Mariko are both sent back to their ancestral countries with their families. Elise, her parents, and her brother will be tr…

Murder From Scratch by Leslie Karst

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Release Date - April 9, 2019



I'm a sucker for culinary mysteries. I never caught wind of Leslie Karst's first Sally Solari Mystery, but that didn't keep me from indulging in Murder From Scratch. Sally's busy running her newly inherited restaurant. Despite a somewhat moody chef and impending partnership deal, she finds herself taking in her distant cousin.

Evelyn's mom died of a drug overdose. Evelyn is blind and found the body when stumbling over her. She's devastated, but there's no family who can take her in except for Sally's dad and he's allergic to dogs. Sally agrees and quickly learns that her cousin is fun, very independent, and an excellent cook.

Soon, the pair realize that Evelyn's mom did not accidentally overdose or commit suicide. She has to have been poisoned intentionally. Police detectives aren't quite as convinced. Sally and her cousin decide it's worth finding what is needed to get the police to open a murder investigat…

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

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Release Date - March 5, 2019



I'd heard so many people say that the ending to Beautiful Bad was truly shocking. I saw it coming, so that ended up being a bit of a letdown.

The story focuses heavily on three people. Maddie and Jo were best friends, joined into a friendship during their years in the Balkan Peninsula. The dangers they faced there drew them together. It's also there that Maddie was introduced to a British security officer, Ian. Their relationship grew fast but rocky.

In Kansas, Maddie and Ian are happily married with a young son Charlie. There's been a horrific crime and the police need to unravel what happened.

Beautiful Bad takes place in past, recent past, and present. You get to know Maddie's story when she lived in Bosnia and frequently went to Macedonia to see Jo, as well as her life in New York City and Kansas. Ian's story is told as he is in Iraq. There is also the police officer who responds to the 911 call and hears young Charlie's cries a…

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler

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Release Date - March 12, 2019



Imagine if Greg Brady from The Brady Bunch had driven Jan Brady and caused a crash that led to Jan's death. That's the premise behind Bonnie Kistler's House on Fire.

Leigh is a divorce lawyer, so she knows the statistics on how many marriages don't last. She's been through it. When she met builder Pete Conely, she was stunned by how well her twin sons and daughter got along with Pete's son and daughter. Their fifth year anniversary has arrived, so they decide to leave 14-year-old Chrissy at home with her 17-year-old step-brother.

Neither expects the call that will change their lives. Kip's been arrested for DUI with Chrissy in the truck when it goes off the road. Within 12 hours, a traumatic brain injury ends Chrissy's life and Kip is now facing manslaughter charges.

Leigh and Pete are now pitted against each other. Kip swears he didn't do it and that Chrissy was driving because he was drunk. Leigh cannot believe her d…

Convergence by Ginny Yttrup

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Release Date - March 1, 2019

Years ago, a stalker tore Denilyn Rossi's life apart. Though he's in jail, recent events convince her that she's being stalked again and all signs point to her original stalker. As a psychology professor and former victim, she has the experience and knowledge to handle what's thrown her way, but when it's you, it's personal and hard to manage.
Adelia Sanchez is a fan of Rossi's work. She has a life to live and things to prove to herself. When she and Deni cross paths, it will lead to unimaginable consequences.
It's been a few years since I've picked up one of Yttrup's novels, but Convergence really intrigued me. It sounded like it was going to be an incredibly creepy ride. 
Sadly, even though chapters were clearly represented as to who was speaking and when it was, I couldn't get past the jumps from one character to the next and past to present. I felt incredibly bogged down by these changes. I was having to rea…

Me For You by Lolly Winston

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Release Date - March 12, 2019



You know, I'd heard so many things about Lolly Winston's prior novels that I was dying to see what the buzz is about. I've heard Good Grief is an exceptional book. Maybe I need to try that one. Me For You fell really flat for me and I struggled to finish it.

He's 54 and madly in love with his wife of many years. Rudy wakes up with big plans for a day together. He never suspects that his still sleeping wife is actually dead. Ten months later, he's still uncertain how to move on.

His job playing piano for the shoppers at Nordstrom's helps. It also helps that he's slightly smitten with Sasha, a Hungarian woman who suffers her own secret loss. As she and Rudy get to know each other, they form a friendship that may be what they both need to get through their grief.

Rudy's world explodes when the police come with shocking news. His wife may not have died of natural causes after all. She may have been poisoned. The investigation …

I Am Yours by Reema Zaman

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Release Date - February 5, 2019



I Am Yours is haunting, maddening, sad, and heartwarming in one. Really, the memoir begins before Reema Zaman is even born. Her mother is in college when she enters an arranged marriage. Reema is her firstborn. As she grows up, she questions the role of women in this world. She sees her mother trapped in an unhappy marriage. Her own dabbles in relationships lead to a range of outcomes. It ends up being a powerful look at relationships between men and women, families, and humans in general. It's not always pretty, but it's painfully honest.

I've seen some of the meanness that exists. I housed a Muslim college student for a month. The comments made when people thought we couldn't hear - maybe they just didn't care - stunned me. I watched a mother tell her young daughter that "men with brown skin" are dangerous. I watched three older men follow us around the store while saying he must be up to no good. This was essentially how…