Monday, July 8, 2019

GIVEAWAY of The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

GIVEAWAY!! Woo hoo! I am so excited that the lovely people from Penguin Books have allowed me to give away a copy of my new favorite book:


Talk about cool beans. This book! Oh my! If you read my last post then you know how much I LOVED it. And, you know that you MUST read it ASAP.  So, if you want a chance to win a copy, just leave me a comment.  Oh, and don't forget to include your email address, so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.  US only.  Last day to enter 7/12/19.  Good luck!!

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

(Thank you to Penguin Books for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls – a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place – Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly light-hearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become, and establishes Craig Davidson as a remarkable literary talent.

my thoughts:

Misfit kids, the 1980s, and summer time - what more could I want in a book? Especially one that has been likened to Stranger Things and Stand By Me - two of my favorites! How could I not want to gobble this book up, right? And that book title, The Saturday Night Ghost Club - talk about cool and intriguing. The title alone would get me to read this story. Plus, the book's cover - I just love the colors and the visuals - the kids hanging out, the neighborhood, and the ghost of a girl. Hmm...that cover alone would make me pick up this book. Suffice it to say, I LOVED this book!!  Like, I really LOVED it - the story, the characters, the adventures - talk about UNFORGETTABLE!!

This is the story of Jake Baker, a neurosurgeon who is married with a son. He's a practical man, who holds people's lives in his hands. He's methodical, intelligent, and very good at his job.  However, this book isn't about his life as a neurosurgeon.  Nope, its about the summer he was twelve.  The summer that changed everything.  The summer he won't ever forget.

Its the last day of school and Jake is heading home.  Or at least he is trying to, but his arch nemesis, Percy, won't let him.  Okay, Percy is actually his ex-friend who turned bully on Jake.  And now, on the last day of school he has decided to torment Jake by throwing firecrackers at him.  Yep, Percy and his lackey, Terry, (you just know that Percy would have a sidekick) have cornered Jake.  Reeling from the first firework that scorched his retinas, made his ears ring, and have him lying on the ground, Jake prepares for the next firecracker by throwing his hands in front of him.  Except, the next firecracker doesn't come.  When he looks over at Percy, he sees blood. Seems like Percy got injured.  But, how? Well, turns out that someone came to Jake's rescue.  Yep, a girl is standing nearby holding a rock in her hand, ready to clock Percy in the head once more. Unhappy that he got hit and that his plan to torture Jake has gone awry, Percy and his lackey scram.  Jake tries talking to the girl, but finds that words seem to be failing him. She grabs her skateboard and skedaddles.  And now, summer has truly begun.

So, what is summer time like for Jake? Well, without any friends, it pretty much consists of Jake hanging out at his Uncle C's (C for Calvin) shop, the Occultorium.  One day he's there listening to his Uncle and Lex  (Uncle C's bff) talking about UFOs when a boy walks into the shop.  A kid about his age.  Turns out the kid wants some help.  His grandmother just passed away and he wants to talk with her and make sure she's okay.  Uncle C says he can help. He goes down into his basement and brings up a box with a "psycho-phone" in it. Well, the phone doesn't work and the boy doesn't get to talk with his grandmother.  However, the three make a plan to ensure that Billy (that's the kid's name) does get to say "goodbye" to his grandmother.  And following that outing, the Saturday Night Ghost Club is born.  Along with a new friendship - Billy and Jake. Oh, and turns out that the girl who rescued Jake from Percy and the firecrackers, is none other than Billy's older sister, Dove.

As the summer unfolds, and the two friends get to know one another, we find out more about Jake's family and Billy's.  We learn about local legends/rumors of the supernatural variety as this motley crew investigates them around town.  We watch Jake fall in love.  We cheer for Jake when he stands up for himself and fights back.  And we learn about how bad things (actually, horrifying and traumatizing things) happen to good people.  This is a story chock full of adventure, magic, the supernatural, nostalgia, and emotions to the nth degree.  It is such a delicious treat to read. It has everything and more.  These kids and their stories are troubling, relatable, authentic and real.  And the things we learn about them and their families will break your heart and tear you up.  Their will also be moments when you can't help but smile, laugh out loud and whoop for joy.  This is a book that just delivers.

Talk about an awesome book! Craig Davidson has knocked it out of the park with The Saturday Night Ghost Club.  This is a story that will have you reminiscing about your own childhood and leave you feeling ALL THE FEELS.  The writing is excellent - the way it hooks you right in and keeps you turning pages all night long.  You can't help but want to stay in the story and read more about Jake, Billy, Uncle C, Dove, and Lex.  Best friends, bullies, crushes, secret clubs, BIG revelations, bicycling all over town, hot sunny days, and ghost stories - this book has it all in spades and it just screams Stranger Things, Stand By Me, and Goonies all rolled into one.

And, that is all I will write about the book. It is just too good to missed, so I don't want to ruin anything for you by writing too much about what happens. You have to read it for yourself and experience all the awesomeness that is The Saturday Night Ghost Club.  I am serious - it is a must-read!!  So, definitely check it out!

Thank you to Penguin Books (Penguin Random House) for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From the Edgar Award-winning author of If I Die Tonight

Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

For thirteen days in 1976, teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California’s Inland Empire, killing a dozen victims before perishing themselves in a fire… or did they? More than 40 years later, twentysomething podcast producer Quentin Garrison blames his troubled upbringing on the murders. And after a shocking message from a source, he has reason to believe April Cooper may still be alive. Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond is coping with rising doubts about her husband and terrifying threats from internet trolls. But that’s nothing compared to the outrageous phone call she gets from Quentin… and a brutal home invasion that makes her question everything she ever believed in. Is Robin’s beloved mother a mass murderer? Is there anyone she can trust?

Told through the eyes of those destroyed by the Inland Empire Killings—including Robin, Quentin, and a fifteen-year-old April Cooper—Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

my thoughts:

Mystery-thrillers are my jam. They are always a fun read - chock full of twists and turns, crazy scenarios that terrify, and unforgettable characters. So, of course, I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of  Alison Gaylin's book, Never Look Back. A suspense-filled story to get lost in on a grey, rainy summer day (yep, that's Florida for ya) sounded perfect to me. I jumped right in and let me just say, OMG!! What a book!!

I absolutely LOVED Never Look Back!! Told in dual timelines from different perspectives, this story takes you on quite a trip. Teenage murderers went on a killing spree and then died in a fire. Fast forward to forty years later and a podcaster is starting to wonder if both teenage murderers died in that fire.  Yep, seems like something isn't quite right about their deaths and with a bit of digging the truth may finally be brought to light. The question is, at who's expense? Yikes!

Talk about a terrific story! The writing was top notch - clever and thrilling. The characters were fascinating - I didn't want to stop reading about them. And the story - unputdownable! I found myself hooked right from the start - gripping with a capital "G"!  Loved this book!

I would happily recommend Never Look Back to fans of Gaylin and anyone looking for their next mystery-thriller - you will LOVE this book to bits!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Never Look Back
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Paris in July 2019

It is time for Paris in July and I am thrilled. I absolutely LOVE this challenge. And, thanks to Tamara for being the host with the most - Thyme for Tea.  I am so excited to get started. One month devoted to all things French - what more could I want, right? This challenge is so my jam.

Here's what I'm thinking of reading:




Of course, along the way I may change my mind - especially if I get inspired to read something else. As for films, I may re-watch a few of my favorites: Midnight in Paris, Le Divorce, and 2 Days in Paris. Let me know if you have any suggestions for books or film. Thanks!

If you want more information, check out Thyme for Tea - you will LOVE her blog and you may decide to sign up for Paris in July. Hope you are having a great week! Happy reading!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

OUT TODAY: The Poison Thread: A Novel by Laura Purcell

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book: (summary from Goodreads)

A thrilling Victorian gothic horror tale about a young seamstress who claims her needle and thread have the power to kill

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy, and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor, and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work brings her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted by the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets one of the prisoners, the teenaged seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another strange idea: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread--because Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations--of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses--will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? The Poison Thread is a spine-tingling, sinister read about the evil that lurks behind the facade of innocence.

my thoughts:

Gothic literature is my new jam. I am so serious. The history, the mystery, and the horror - what more could I want in a story? Am I right?

Laura Purcell has created another Victorian tale that will leave you feeling haunted long after you finish reading. She has written an excellent story about two women who meet at a prison. Dorothea is from the upper class and is volunteering at the local prison, while Ruth is a prisoner who has been charged with murder. The women get to talking and Ruth reveals that it was the supernatural power in her stitching that caused all the death and accidents.  Talk about an unusual confession. Dorothea soon finds herself questioning everything, while the dark and twisty Ruth begins to share her story of a past that will make you feel sorry for her.  These two women are such fascinating characters that you won't want to stop reading about. I absolutely LOVED getting to know them.

The Poison Thread is a well written story that is intriguing, chilling, and surprising. The ending will leave you shocked! And the writing -  oh, my! It is fantastic! Its creepy, atmospheric, vivid, and unsettling. You can't help but laugh one minute and then be frightened the next. This book will hook you from the start and keep you up til the wee hours - you won't want to stop reading! I really enjoyed getting caught up in this spellbinding tale - it was such a delicious read! I just loved the idea of "death by dress" - how crazy and fun! And these two women - their stories - I just loved how different they were and how they could find themselves forging a bond. You can't help but question Ruth - is she telling the truth? is she a cold-blooded killer? or is she mad?  Oh, the twists and turns will leave you questioning everything, just like Dorothea. What a treat!! I would happily recommend The Poison Thread to fans of Purcell and fans of Gothic literature - you will LOVE this book to bits!!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!