Fans of shows like the CSI franchise, CriminalMinds, Mindhunter, Thomas Harris’s ‘RedDragon‘ & ‘Silence of the Lamb‘, this is for you! (And definitely for ME!) Thank you @amazonpublishing @tlcbooktours for my gift copy of ‘The North Face of the Heart‘ by Delores Redondo! (pub 6/1)
“A composer is always thinking about his unfinished work.’- Stravinsky
In a propulsive thriller by the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Baztán Trilogy, a female detective follows a sadistic killer into the eye of a storm…
Amaia Salazar, a young detective from the north of Spain, has joined a group of trainees at the FBI Academy in Virginia. Haunted by her past & having already tracked down a predator on her own, Amaia is no typical rookie. And this is no ordinary student lecture at Quantico. FBI agent Aloisius Dupree is already well acquainted w/ Amaia’s skills, her intuition, & her ability to understand evil. He now needs her help in hunting an elusive serial killer dubbed “the Composer,” & in solving another case that’s been following him his whole life.
From New Jersey to Oklahoma to Texas, the Composer’s victims are entire families annihilated in the chaos of natural disasters, their bodies posed w/ chilling purpose amid the ruins. Dupree & Amaia follow his trail to New Orleans. The clock is ticking. It’s the eve of the worst hurricane in the city’s history. But a troubling call from Amaia’s aunt back home awakens in Amaia the ghosts from her childhood & sends her down a path as dark as that of the coming storm.
Redondo’s razorsharp writing makes this utterly gripping, atmospheric, gritty, dark story so haunting & disturbing, it’s hard to put down. Plus, I studied Forensic Criminology in college w/ plans to work in CSI & profiling before becoming a stay at home mother, so I was fascinated by it.
Want to win a copy? Click HERE to head to the GIVEAWAY on Instagram. There’s one winner, US & CAN residents only.
Dolores Redondo studied law and the culinary arts before writing The Baztán Trilogy, a successful crime series set in the Basque Pyrenees that has sold over 1.5 million copies in Spanish, has been translated into more than thirty-five languages, and was adapted into a popular film series.
Twice nominated for the CWA International Dagger Award and a finalist for the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle, Redondo was the recipient of the 2016 Premio Planeta—one of Spain’s most distinguished literary awards—for her stand-alone thriller All This I Will Give to You, which has also been optioned for feature film and television development and will be translated into eighteen languages.
📚Time for a 6 book GIVEAWAY geared towards the men in honor of Father’s Day later this month! Yes, ladies, you can enter the giveaway, too, for yourselves or enter to win these fantastic novels for your father, husband, brother, older sons, grandpa’s, etc. I will even send the books to them wrapped nicely & with a Father’s Day card stating that you thought they would enjoy these books for some summer reading. All of the books are in new condition & some are arc’s, & I have @blackstonepublishing to thank for all of these gifted books! (*Click HERE to see yesterday’s giveaway, too!).
❓Q: Does your husband/boyfriend read books? (And if you’re a male, & following my page, you probably do, so Thank You!) My husband doesn’t read books, but he doesn’t balk at or mind my talking about them all of the time, so I guess that’s good enough for me.
📖’River, Sing Out’ by James Wade not only has a gorgeous cover (I mean, REALLY gorgeous!) but it’s a masterfully written, haunting, dark story w/ such taut, beautiful prose, it will leave you breathless. It’s available this Tues, 6/8. (*See below for full blurb & click on any of the highlighted titles to add them to your Goodreads lists.) Wade’s previous, award winning novel, ‘All Things Left Wild’, is also included in this giveaway.
📚You can enter to win ALL six books pictured for yourself or for another reader by clicking HERE to go to the giveaway on Instagram & doing the following: 1- LIKE this post. 2- Must be following @mom_loves_reading 3- Tag a couple bookish pals (Unlimited entries, 2 tags per comment) Bonus 5 entries: SHARE to your stories & tag me. **Giveaway is on Instagram, is US residents only, runs 6/5-6/8/21, & isn’t affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after or you’ll be excluded from all of my future giveaways, & there’s a LOT. (& it’s rude.)
Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somewhere in the Neches River bottoms during her escape. Jonah agrees to help her find and sell the drugs so she can flee East Texas.
Chasing after them is John Curtis, a local drug kingpin and dog fighter, as well as River’s boyfriend, the dangerous Dakota Cade.
Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in violent fashion as all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.
With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.
‘All Things Left Wild’ by James Wade: After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb’s moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill.
Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice.
Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul.
‘The Rebel Nun’ by Marj Charlier: Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth-century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.
At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest-husbands.
Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of uncloistered nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face excommunication, possibly even death?
In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.
‘Felonious Monk’ by William Kotzwinkle: Meet Tommy Martini, the monk with an anger management problem. Since killing somebody with a single punch is not a needed talent in a monastery, he spends his time praying, meditating, and taking his anger management medicine. But his meditations are interrupted by a legacy from his uncle, a crooked priest. Arriving in a New Age Arizona town to claim his inheritance, Brother Tommy meets a charismatic, smoking-hot cult leader who claims that women are being impregnated by alien beings while they sleep. Tommy’s own sleep is disturbed–by cartel hitmen, Mafia bill collectors, and women intrigued by his vow of chastity. He loses his anger management medicine in time to deal with the hitmen, but the women present an uphill battle.
William Kotzwinkle’s quicksilver touch has produced an effervescent piece of entertainment filled with suspense, turns you won’t see coming, and the humor for which he is famous.
The summer of 1966 burned hot across America but nowhere hotter than the cotton fields of Mississippi. Finding herself in a precarious position as a black woman living alone, Bernice accepts her brother Floyd’s invitation to join him as a servant for a white family and she enters the web of hostility and deception that is the Kern plantation household.
The secrets of the house are plentiful yet the silence that has encompassed it for so many years suddenly breaks with the arrival of the harvest and the appearance of Jesse and Fletcher to the plantation as cotton pickers. These two brothers, the sons of the house servant Silva, awaken a vengeful seed within the Missus of the house as she plots to punish not only her husband but Silva’s family as well. When the Missus starts flirting with Jesse, she sets into motion a dangerous game that could get Jesse killed and destroy the lives of the rest of the servants.
Bernice walks the fine line between emissary and accomplice, as she tries her best to draw secrets from the Missus’s heart, while using their closeness to protect the lives of the people around her. Once the Missus’s plans are complete, families will be severed, loyalties will be shattered, and no one will come out unscathed.
With a dazzling voice and rich emotional tension, Pale explores the ties that bind and how quickly humanity can fade and return us to primal ways.
Two years ago, Dr. Gina Brady broke Thomas Prescott’s heart, but now her panic-stricken satellite phone call starts it beating again with a fury. Thugs kidnapped the good doctor from the remote jungle village where she was working, and now the retired homicide detective’s expert skills are desperately needed to save her.
Led by a colorful, but perhaps untrustworthy local guide, Prescott journeys deep into the Bolivian Amazon, plunging into a world where the only thing more dangerous than the gun-toting drug traffickers and the ruthless tribesmen, is the jungle itself.
When Gina’s trail leads to a chance encounter with an archaeological expedition, the search for the missing doctor takes on even deadlier consequences. But Prescott will not relent in this punishing quest until, once again, he holds Gina in his arms.
************************* 💁🏼♀️You can click on the highlighted titles above to add any of them to your Goodreads lists & click HERE to go to Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram & enter to win ALL SIX books for yourself or if you would like, I can wrap them nicely & send them to the person of your choice (US residents only) along with a card & personal note from you.
📖So, what are you reading this weekend or what have you read recently. Please share in the comments. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!😊
Murderino Monday & a GIVEAWAY! (Please note: the giveaway can be entered by clicking HERE & going to the giveaway post on Instagram. You can comment on this blog post for additional bonus entries, but must enter initially on the IG post.)
Things that happened in 1969: American’s landed on the moon for the first time; Charles Manson’s cult members murdered 5 people including pregnant actress, Sharon Tate; Matthew McConaughey & I were both born (I mention him because I just finished listening to his book, ‘Green Light’, which I will be reviewing soon!😉); & a women was murdered at Harvard only to have the mystery of the crime swept under the rug by the university (& even her family) & remain unsolved for half a century. Enter, Becky Cooper….
“You have to remember”, he reminded me, “that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.“
1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.
Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.
‘We Keep the Dead Close’ is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.
Not since Ronan Farrow’s book ‘Catch & Kill‘ & Michelle McNamara’s ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” have I read a book so well-researched, positively captivating, & addictively all-consuming. Part-memoir, part true-crime/whodunit murder mystery that you will solve right along w/ the author, until the shocking end when the crime is solved. (Tip: Don’t Google about the murder before hand or risk ruining the mystery for yourself.) Cooper’s decade long obsession w/ Jane Britton & who murdered her is reminiscent of McNamara’s fixation on the Golden State Killer.
‘We Keep the Dead Close‘ is fascinatingly informative, hypnotically engaging, & vividly atmospheric.True crime fans will love this comprehensive & twisty tale. And I have a hardback copy to send to one of you! To enter this giveaway, click HERE to go to the Instagram post. (*Giveaway is not affiliated w/ Instagram.)
About the author: Becky Cooper is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and Senior Fellow at Brandeis’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting. Her undergraduate thesis, a literary biography of David Foster Wallace, won Harvard’s Hoopes Prize, the highest undergraduate award for research and writing. Research for this book was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. She is also the author of Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers (Abrams, 2013).
The gripping true story, told here for the first time, of the Last Call Killer & the gay community of New York City that he preyed upon.The Townhouse Bar, midtown, July 1992: The piano player seems to know every song ever written, the crowd belts out the lyrics to their favorites, & a man standing nearby is drinking a Scotch & water. The man strikes the piano player as forgettable.
He looks bland & inconspicuous. Not at all what you think a serial killer looks like. But that’s what he is, and tonight, he has his sights set on a gray haired man. He will not be his first victim. Nor will he be his last.
The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s & ‘90s & had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, the skyhigh murder rates, & the AIDS epidemic, his murders have been almost entirely forgotten.
This gripping true-crime narrative tells the story of the Last Call Killer & the decades-long chase to find him. And at the same time, it paints a portrait of his victims & a vibrant community navigating threat & resilience.
This is Celadon Books first true crime book & boy, is it a good one! Elon Green really did a fantastic job creating this fascinating, non-fiction book, & it is very well researched. As I always do when reading true crime books or listening to podcasts, I went down the Google rabbit-hole to devour even more information about Richard Rogers, who was dubbed the Last Call Killer, watching interview videos, looking at crime scene pics, & reading more & more about Roger’s heinous crimes. True crime show ‘Mark of a Killer’ (on Oxygen) has an episode about the LCK that I plan to watch on Prime soon, too.
This book does get pretty graphic & I did have to put it down a few times to regroup. It also brought to mind a more well-known serial killer who also killed gay men & dismembered them (sometimes ate parts)…Jeffrey Dahmer. (Oh, & please do not confuse LCK, Richard Rogers, w/ the fabulous composer, Richard RoDgers, who has a theater in NYC named after him where ‘Hamilton’ is currently housed.👇🏻)
‘Last Call‘ is positively gripping, riveting, & addictive reading for true-crime aficionados like myself. This is a book you will want to devour in one sitting & then research more about (like I did w/this book & many others, like last years ‘American Predator‘), just don’t blame me when you have nightmares. ‘Last Call‘ releases this coming March 9th, so pre-order it & get it on your TBR lists.
Click HERE to add ‘Last Call’ to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to pre-order this book at an indie book store near you using BookStoreLink. Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it a LIKE or a story share.
Click HERE to go to Elon Green’s website & learn more about him & this book!
Happy Pub Day & Thank You @forgereads for my gift copy of ‘And Now She’s Gone‘ by Rachel Howzell Hall!
Isabel Lincoln is gone. But is she missing?
It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated & dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets & the truth she’s hidden from her friends & family.
Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat & mouse game, ‘And Now She’s Gone’explores the nature of secrets — & how violence & fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.
Fun fact: 15 yrs ago when I was pregnant w/ my twins I had planned to name one of them Grayson Jean (Jean was my Grandma’s name, & is my mom & my husband’s mom’s middle name) if they were girl twins. In the last decade there was a sudden explosion of the name Grayson & it’s a widely popular now. But I still love it!
‘And Now She’s Gone‘ is a very powerful, thought-provoking, character driven novel that may appear to be a bit lengthy, but honestly, it moves along effortlessly & you will find it very hard to put down. It is suspenseful, crime fiction at it’s best with some unexpected twists, razor sharp writing & dialogue, & paced with perfection.
‘And Now She’s Gone‘ is written in a past & present day timeline & has some real edge of your seat moments balanced out with some humor here & there. I really loved the book & hope there’s a follow-up book, & in the meantime, I need to get my hands on more of Rachel Howzell Hall’s writing! (Content warnings for ‘And Now She’s Gone’: racism, physical/emotional abuse, assault, animal death)
Click HERE to add ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ to your Goodreads list. Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love. Click HERE to visit Rachel Howzell Hall’s website. Click HERE find ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ at an independent bookstore near you or online. Click HERE to get ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ on audiobook from Libro.fm & use my code MOMLOVESREADING to get a 2nd audiobook for FREE.
Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the bestseller & Anthony-, ITW- & Lefty Award-nominated THEY ALL FALL DOWN (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, & City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister w/ James Patterson, which was included in the NY Times bestseller The Family Lawyer. She is currently on the board of directors for the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, & lives in Los Angeles. Her next novel AND NOW SHE’S GONE (Forge) will be published in September 2020. A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed ‘Crime in the City’ series & the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program & is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was named one of Apple iBooks’ “10 Authors to Read in 2017.” She lives in Los Angeles w/ her husband & daughter.