Book Reviews · Fiction · psychologicalsuspense · Thriller

Insomnia may keep some folks awake all night, but ‘Insomnia’ the book is a great way to pass the time while you’re waiting for the ever elusive REM sleep…

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😵‍💫Insomnia may keep some folks awake at night, but what better way to pass the time than by reading today’s featured new release!

Happy Pub Day to Sarah Pinborough & her latest release, ‘Insomnia’, a twisty, imaginative, brilliantly addictive, thriller that will keep you up all night—in a good way—flying through the pages of this gripping, suspenseful new release.

“If you loved Behind Her Eyes, prepare to be totally and utterly blown away by Insomnia. Sarah Pinborough is a twisted genius.” — Lisa Jewell

IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, MADNESS LIES . . .

Emma can’t sleep.

CHECK THE WINDOWS.

It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer.

LOCK THE DOORS.

Her mother stopped sleeping just before her own fortieth birthday.
She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it.

LOOK IN ON THE CHILDREN.

Is that what’s happening to Emma?

WHY CAN’T SHE SLEEP?

Readers either loved it or they didn’t, but when it came to Pinborough’s debut thriller, ‘Behind Her Eyes’, released in 2017, I LOVED it! I gasped outloud when I read those final few pages, then went back & reread them again. It totally blew me away! The premise was fresh, very unique, & so many levels of crazy, I thought about it long after I read it.

The Netflix adaptation was pretty good as well, but not as fab as the book IMHO. I feel like if you hadn’t read the book previously, before watching the limited series, you’d be a little confused (my husband totally was when he watched it with me, but I clued him in on the basics, but had to hold back on giving away that cray-cray ending!).

They did leave a few things out & changed a couple scenes here & there. ‘Behind Her Eyes’ is definitely a book I recommend often to thriller readers who haven’t read a bajillion of them & can guess every outcome by the end of the first chapter like I often can these days. (But I couldn’t back then, so this book rocked my world! 🤯📖🙌🏻)

As you can see from my Instagram photo at the top of this post, I have all of Sarah Pinborough’s adult novels & ‘13 Minutes’, which is one of her young adult novels. I think ‘Behind Her Eyes’ is still my favorite thriller by the New York Times Bestselling author, but I’d say ‘Insomnia’ is definitely the new contender for 2nd favorite.

📖In this twisty, mind-bending thriller, Emma Averell worries that her crippling insomnia is a sign that she’s slowly going insane—like the mother she’s worked so hard to leave in her past.

Emma Averell loves her life—her high-powered legal career, her two beautiful children, and her wonderful stay-at-home husband—but it wasn’t always so perfect. When she was just five years old, Emma and her older sister went into foster care because of a horrific incident with their mother. Her sister can remember a time when their mother was loving and “normal,” but Emma can only remember her as one thing—a monster. And that monster emerged right around their mother’s fortieth birthday, the same age Emma is approaching now.

Emma desperately wants to keep her successful life separate from her past, so she has always hidden her childhood trauma. But then she’s unable to sleep, and now losing time during the day, also one of the first symptoms her mother showed. Is the madness in her blood, just as her mother predicted? Could she end up hurting her family in her foggy, frenetic state? Or is she truly beginning to lose her mind?

Insomnia’ & Sarah Pinborough’s other novels, are available now wherever books are sold.

You can add ‘Insomnia’ to your Goodreads list by clicking HERE.

You can give my Instagram post about the book some LIKE love by clicking HERE. (PS: Be sure to check out THIS post while you’re there, to enter my latest GIVEAWAY for another fantastic new release.)

You can also use BookStoreLink to find ‘Insomnia’ & any other book you’re in the mood for at a nearby or online independent bookstore.

©️Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is a New York Times bestselling, Sunday Times Number one & Internationally bestselling author who is published in over 30 territories worldwide. Having published more than 25 novels across various genres, her books include Behind Her Eyes, now a smash hit Netflix limited series, Dead To Her, now in development with Amazon Studios, and 13 Minutes and The Death House in development with Compelling Pictures. Sarah lives in the historic town of Stony Stratford, the home of the Cock and Bull story, with her dog Ted. Her next latest novel, Insomnia, is out now.

(*The above book graphics are courtesy of the publisher ©️William Morrow —an imprint of Harper Collins publishers)

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Blog Tour and Pub Day for e-book ‘Why I Held Your Hand’ by Augusta Reilly

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Happy Pub Day & Thank You to @getredpr #booktour & @augustareillyb for my e-copy of ‘Why I Held Your Hand‘ by Augusta Reilly!

Here’s an e-book release that will surely get your blood pumping! There’s a little sugar & a lot of spice in this fairly short, rom-com, available today in e-book form…

Laura Delaney loves her small mountain hometown of North Powell with its quaint charm, stately Victorian homes & surrounding hiking trails. Unfortunately, when it comes to attracting travel dollars, it can no longer compete with the flashy hot springs & ski slopes of nearby competitors.

That’s why she hires a hotshot marketing team to figure out how to inject the old magic back into North Powell’s sagging tourist trade. What she doesn’t expect is for the team to include David Harper. Smart, funny, handsome, & amazing in bed, he’s the perfect man. All she needs to do now is keep their relationship under wraps until the project is over.

But that’s easier said than done when she’s assigned to work with Spence Markham, the company’s offbeat “idea man” & David’s professional nemesis. When Spence suggests hosting a Dickens Festival to revitalize the town’s once-booming holiday season, Laura is thrilled. She’s even more thrilled when Spence falls in love with Powell House, the dilapidated Victorian that Laura hopes to renovate & turn into a town museum. But is Spence falling in love with her as well?

As the Festival nears, Laura’s feelings for both men intensify. Her relationship w/ David has only gotten better—& hotter—& yet she finds herself counting down the days until she can see Spence again. Soon, what started as a simple assignment becomes a tale of two possible futures. But which one will Laura choose?

Why I Held Your Hand‘ is a quick, charming, festive rom-com with small-town atmosphere (that worked well for this small-town girl), & enough romance, spice & steam to keep the heat of summer hanging on! (Seriously, you may need to turn the A/C on for this one!)

Click HERE to order this now on Kindle.
Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love! (maybe even share it in your stories…*hint hint*)

Augusta Reilly has been writing for women’s magazines and literary publications for two decades. In her earlier years, she was a prolifically (if not proudly) published pulp fiction author whose anonymous literary masterpieces included ‘I Had The New Year’s Baby With Santa!’, ‘Prom Night in the County Morgue!’, ‘My Husband’s Sperm Were Kidnapped and Held For Ransom!’, ‘My Son the Pimp!’, and countless other titles, all of which ended in an exclamation point. She is a graduate of McGill University and lives in beautiful Douglas County, Colorado with her husband, three cats, and way too many kids.

Book Reviews · Fiction · HistoricalFiction · OwnVoices · Thriller

Happy Belated Pub Day and Book Review of: ‘When No One is Watching’ by Alyssa Cole

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Happy Belated Pub Day & Thank you @williammorrowbooks for my gifted copy [partner] of ‘When No One is Watching‘ by Alyssa Cole! (pub 9/1)

Q: What was the last thriller you read that taught you about something you otherwise didn’t know much about?

‘Rear Window’ meets ‘Get Out’ in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed & NY Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born & raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, & the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past & present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour & finds an unlikely & unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney & Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia & fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, & the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney & Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

Cole has pivoted from writing romance novels to bring us one heck of an amazing suspense/thriller that is so much more than just an entertaining read. The first line of the book says it all: “History is f–king wild.”

Gentrification: the process of renovating or improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste. (Problem w/ this is property values increase thereby increasing cost of living in that area, while affordable housing decreases & lower income residents are displaced.)

Unflinchingly well-crafted w/ knowledge & insight, Cole gives readers a much needed history lesson on the aftermath of this process, having lived in neighborhoods like this in the past. With a keen sense of atmosphere, richly drawn narrative & characters, ‘When No One is Watching‘ is clever, riveting, eye-opening & twisty. Highly recommend!

Click HERE to add this book to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit Alyssa Cole on Instagram.
Click HERE to visit ME on Instagram & give this post a LIKE.

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, & sci-fi romance. Her romantic comedy A PRINCESS IN THEORY is a NY Times notable book for 2018. Her Civil War-set espionage romance AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION was the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, & also the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award Book of the Year. She’s contributed to publications including Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, & others, & her books have received critical acclaim from The NY Times, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, & various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can generally be found watching anime w/ her husband or wrangling their menagerie of animals.

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · WomensFiction

Book Review: ‘Impersonation’ by Heidi Pitlor

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Thank you @algonquinbooks for my gifted copy of ‘Impersonation‘ by Heidi Pitlor! Pub Day was a couple days ago on 8/18 so Happy Belated Book Birthday, too!

Book Synopsis:
Allie Lang is a professional ghostwriter and a perpetually broke single mother to a young boy. Years of navigating her own and America’s cultural definitions of motherhood have left her a lapsed idealist. Lana Breban is a powerhouse lawyer, economist, and advocate for women’s rights with designs on elected office. She also has a son. Lana and her staff have decided she needs help softening her public image and that a memoir about her life as a mother will help.

When Allie lands the job as Lana’s ghostwriter, it seems as if things will finally go Allie’s way. At last, she thinks, there will be enough money not just to pay her bills but to actually buy a house.

After years of working as a ghostwriter for other celebrities, Allie believes she knows the drill: she has learned how to inhabit the lives of others and tell their stories better than they can.

But this time, everything becomes more complicated. Allie’s childcare arrangements unravel; she falls behind on her rent; her subject, Lana, is better at critiquing than actually providing material; and Allie’s boyfriend decides to go on a road trip toward self-discovery. But as a writer for hire, Allie has gotten too used to being accommodating. At what point will she speak up for all that she deserves?  

A satirical, incisive snapshot of how so many of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class.

Impersonation’ takes place in the months leading up to the last presidential election in 2016 & in 2017. The story touches on feminism, motherhood, struggling to make ends meet, & accountability for ones actions. It’s a fast-paced, nuanced, funny, & thought-provoking story that is unflinching & well-written. A provocative story of two women caught up in one another’s life, & together they make the perfect feminist mother!

Impersonation‘ is available now. Apple Books has even chosen ‘Impersonation’ as one of the Best Books of August!
Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to visit Heidi Pitlor‘s Instagram.
Click HERE to visit MomLovesReading on Instagram & give this post some LIKE love!

About the Author:
Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007 and the editorial director of Plympton, a literary studio. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington PostPloughshares, and the anthologies It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. She lives outside Boston

Book Reviews · Fiction · Thriller

Book Review: ‘Survivor Song’ by Paul Tremblay

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Thank you @williammorrowbooks (partner) for my gifted copy of ‘Survivor Song‘ by Paul Tremblay! (pub date 7/7)

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds & are driven to bite & infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick & dying, & hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine & curfew. But society is breaking down & the government’s emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is 8 mos pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—& in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her & for her unborn child.

Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she & Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, & sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink..Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling & all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers racing through the pages…& shake them to their core.

As far as the Co-Vid pandemic, I dislike everything about it. When it comes to books or movies about viruses making people cray-cray, SIGN ME UP! I loved movies like ‘Outbreak‘, ‘Contagion‘, ‘World War Z’, ‘Quarantine‘ & ‘The Crazies‘ & even Chris Pine’s 2009 movie (w/ a virus that originates in China [yep!]) called ‘Carriers‘.

Survivor Song‘ gave me vibes of all of the above & then some! I love that the protagonists are female (Nat & Rams) & the lengths Nat goes to in order to protect her friend. This is apocalyptic horror/thriller, with a heap of suspense, scoop of sci-fi, & a big ol’ cup of female friendship. ‘Survivor Song‘ is a fast-paced, heart-pounding, anxiety inducing, nail-biter of an entertaining as hell read! (If you are already experiencing a lot of CoVid anxiety, maybe save this one for another time…)

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Click HERE to add the book to your Goodreads lists.

QOTD: Who else is really into the virus/contagion/outbreak kinda books/movies? Hey, I learned a LOT from each of them!

What others are saying about ‘Survivor Song’:

“For the past few years, Paul Tremblay has been setting the standard for modern horror. His genius is that he never forgets the core of a great horror novel resides first in its characters. In Survivor Song, he revitalizes the zombie novel by keeping the focus narrow and intimate: two women, in the space of a few hours, just trying to get across town. The result is heartfelt and terrifying, in a narrative that moves like a bullet train.” (Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters and Wounds)

“A cinematic scope, scenarios grounded in the real world, and a breathless pace make this thriller one of the must-read titles of the summer. A prescient, insidious horror novel that takes sheer terror to a whole new level.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Fresh and surprising. Survivor Song may be one of Tremblay’s best – beautifully detailed, viscerally frightening, and deep with emotional resonance.” (Dan Chaon, New York Times bestselling author of Ill Will)

“Tremblay has earned worldwide acclaim because he is able to seamlessly combine reality with speculative elements, and his newest may be his most prescient yet. . . . Gorgeously written about terrible things, the relatively short Survivor Song is a good choice for fans of pandemic epics . . . and novels that probe themes of friendship, family, and social commentary amidst chillingly realistic horror.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Tremblay is an undeniably skillful writer. The sentences are lean where they need to be, decorative where they need to be. . . . He knows how to drive the story forward, while affording it a layer of linguistic color.”  (New York Times)

Survivor Song is a breathlessly compelling read, powerfully frightening and very moving – a nightmare that rings all too terribly true.” (Ramsey Campbell, author of The Wise Friend)

“The vividly drawn characters of Ramola and Natalie give the story an uncommon emotional intensity. This is genuinely hard to put down.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Gripping . . . a thinking person’s thriller, interspersed with moments of hilarity . . . a buzz-saw of a novel.”  (Los Angeles Times)

“A terrifyingly realistic take on the zombie trope. . .A fast-paced, gritty, emotionally wrenching thriller.” (Book and Film Globe)

“Survivor Song is a horror novel with a lot of heart; an engaging, immersive, touching, fast read that’s incredibly timely and packed with sharp observations. I would say it’s one of Tremblay’s best, but that is something most reviews say, so instead I’ll say this: Maine has its horror guy, and now Massachusetts has its guy.” (Vol 1Brooklyn)

Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly online, and numerous year’s-best anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his family.