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A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

Source: Tandem Literary
Paperback, 368 pgs.
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A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery came unexpectedly in the mail, but my mom decided to pick it up when she was here on vacation.  She read this one in just a couple of days, and I could hear her giggling on the couch in the evenings.

About the Book:

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single—she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated—her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

Mom’s Review:

Kirk, a cop, is Jen’s husband, and they have an 18-month-old baby who refuses to talk to his own mother once he starts talking.  Stephen, Jen’s brother, likes to play the field, and Pam decides to fix him up with Zoe, who has had an off-again on-again relationship with Chad, a married man.  Add to the mix errors at a clinic where shots are given to women who want to avoid pregnancy.  You can imagine what kind of mess occurs.

Very dramatic, very serious, and a bit suspenseful as you didn’t know what was going to happen.  4 stars.

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at www.SusanMallery.com

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Review and Giveaway: Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.

Now Greer has been given one more chance—a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino—which will be perfect for the film’s climax—when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.

Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who’s seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.

Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it’s too late and disaster strikes?

Review from my mom:

Plot: The plot was exciting, though about halfway through it started to be predictable.  However, that did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. Some mystery, but mostly fast moving because of the movies that were being made on location.

Characters:  Greer Hennessy was ambitious when she set her mind to accomplishing tasks. Eben Thinadeaux, the mayor of the town who also owned a store, was a busy busy man, which makes romance a challenge.

Setting: The Florida setting was well illustrated with Andrews’ prose. 

Recommended: Definitely recommended for is fast-moving plot; very quick read.

To enter the U.S. only giveaway, you must be a resident with a valid mailing address and over age 18.

Leave a comment below to be entered by May 20, 2015, 11:59 PM EST.

Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Source: Tandem Literary
Hardcover, 448 pages
On Amazon, on Kobo

Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews came unexpectedly in the mail, but my mom decided to pick it up when she was here on vacation.  Rather than write a traditional review, I offered to ask her some questions about her reading experience.

Who are the main characters?

Cara, Brook, Jack, Bert, Gordon, Patricia, Cullen Kane, Marie, and Ryan.

Cara is a florist and wedding planner originally from Ohio who moves to Georgia.  She has issues with love after her divorce.

Ryan and Jack are carpenters who restore buildings.  Bert works for Cara in her shop.  Brook is supposed to get married to Harris, but has a bit of cold feet.  Gordon and Patricia and Marie are Brook’s parents.

Does Cara blend in well with Savannah residents?

She seems to fit in with everyone well, and she has a lot of friends.  She also gets a lot of referrals to her flower shop.  She does floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, graduations, etc.

Is it obvious who Cara’s love interest will be?

Yes.  She meets him at his brother Ryan’s wedding.  They hit it off for a bit and then end up going their separate ways, etc.

What’s the theme?

Love has a restorative power.

Overall impression?

Read to see what happens.  5-star reads.

Mom read this one in a couple of days.  Share your thoughts about this one.

Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

While I attend some great panels and meet some authors and publishers in New York City this week, I didn’t want to leave my readers high and dry for reviews. My mom, Pat, has supplied me with enough reviews to get you through until my return. Please give her a warm welcome. If you want, check out my thoughts on Alex Cross’s Trial.

Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo begins with Alex Cross transcribing the story of his great uncle Abraham to make sure his children know there is more than one hero in the family.  The story takes place in Eudora, Mississippi, in the 1900s.  Ben Corbett has been asked by President Roosevelt to investigate ruors of the Ku Klux Klan and lynchings of Black folk in the south.

In this story, attorney Ben Corbett heads back to his hometown in the south to investigate the rumors.  Dealing with slavery, racism, and more, Alex Cross’s Trial is an action packed, suspenseful story.  It will have readers on pins and needles at all times, keeping you interested until its conclusion.  Another five-star read from Patterson.

Thanks to Hachette for sending a free copy of this book for review.

True Blue by David Baldacci

While I attend some great panels and meet some authors and publishers in New York City this week, I didn’t want to leave my readers high and dry for reviews. My mom, Pat, has supplied me with enough reviews to get you through until my return. Please give her a warm welcome.

True Blue by David Baldacci follows former Washington, D.C., cop Mace Perry and her sister Beth, who is the police chief.  Mace was kidnapped and framed for a crime, which she did not commit, and was sent to prison.  Mace spent two years in prison, lost her job, badge, and freedom.

Once released from prison, Mace sets off to right the wrong that had been done to her and find the true criminal who set her up and sent her to prison.  Beth introduces her sister to Roy Kingman, an attorney.  Together, Mace and Roy work to clear her name.  The bulk of the novel focuses on the nasty people they encounter and the people set in their path to derail the process of clearing Mace’s name.

Baldacci has written a fast-paced novel that will entice readers to keep turning the pages until the very end.  This is my first Baldacci book and would recommend this author to others.  Very enjoyable and suspenseful read.  Five stars.

Thanks to Hachette for sending along a free copy of True Blue for review.

I hope you enjoyed this latest Literary Road Trip with Vienna, Va., author David Baldacci and his Washington, D.C., cops.

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

While I attend some great panels and meet some authors and publishers in New York City this week, I didn’t want to leave my readers high and dry for reviews. My mom, Pat, has supplied me with enough reviews to get you through until my return. Please give her a warm welcome.

Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song tells the story of Ronnie Miller, a sullen 17 year old.  She and her little brother come to visit their estranged father in North Carolina.  Her father, Steve, is a musical composer and has been on the outs with his family ever since he left them years ago.  Ronnie has musical talent like her father, and she has a criminal record for shoplifting.

This coming of age story is about redemption in the light of tragedy as a father reaches out to his estranged children during their summer vacation.  How does his daughter view him? Will their shared talents unite them once again? The Last Song is appropriately titled and is a five-star read.

Thanks to Hachette for sending along a free copy for review.

Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

While I attend some great panels and meet some authors and publishers in New York City this week, I didn’t want to leave my readers high and dry for reviews. My mom, Pat, has supplied me with enough reviews to get you through until my return. Please give her a warm welcome.

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s Worst Case is another in the Michael Bennett detective series set in New York.  In this novel, a son of one of New York’s wealthy elite is kidnapped off the street and held hostage.  The twist is that the parents do not have a ransom demand to meet and the prospects of saving their son appear grim.

The killer seems to like playing games with his victims and their families, quizzing the kidnapped victim and killing them if the answers they give are incorrect.  Bennett must follow the clues left for him to solve the case.

However, one kidnap victim was smarter than the others and she answers all the questions correctly.  Surprisingly, she is freed.  Patterson does a great job leaving the killer a mystery; the last person readers would suspect is the killer.

Another fast read with spell-binding action.  Five stars.

Thanks to Hachette for sending along a free copy of Worst Case for review.

Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Mailbox Monday will be postponed until my return.

While I attend some great panels and meet some authors and publishers in New York City this week, I didn’t want to leave my readers high and dry for reviews.  My mom, Pat, has supplied me with enough reviews to get you through until my return.  Please give her a warm welcome.

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro‘s Swimsuit takes place in Hawaii, the perfect place to wear a swimsuit and get some sun.  It is also a perfect place to conduct a photo shoot, but that’s when the fun begins because a breathtaking model Kim McDaniels disappears.

After her disappearance, her parents, who live in Grand Rapids, Mich., receive an anonymous phone call about her disappearance, which causes them to quickly get on a plane to find out the real scoop.  Ben Hawkins, a former cop and now reporter for the Los Angeles Times, is assigned the disapearance story.  However, McDaniels’ disappearance soon spirals into an investigation of a serial killer who kidnaps and brutally murders models while taping the crimes.

Another action filled novel from James Patterson that takes you to new locations in Hawaii and Europe and keeps you reading until the very end.  Another five star read.

Thanks to Hachette for sending a free copy of Swimsuit for review.

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Joint Review With Mom)

James Patterson’s I, Alex Cross is the latest book in the Alex Cross series, and it will shock readers.  Cross must face a death in the family, a health crisis with another family member, and a horrific series of murders that involve call girls, an exclusive gentleman’s club, and a wood chipper.

“I brought home the files I’d gathered and took them to my office in the attic after dinner.  I cleared off one entire wall and started tacking up everything — pictures of the missing, index cards with case vitals that I’d written up, plus  a DC street map, flagged everywhere that victims had last been seen.”  (Page 48)

Each book in the Alex Cross series can be read alone, though readers will miss the evolution of his character if they don’t read them in order.  Patterson is skilled at building tension and suspense in these novels through short chapters, changing points of view, and clipped sentences.  Readers will be running alongside Cross as he uncovers the true identity of the killer, known only as Zeus.

“This was the kind of homicide that used to make me wonder why I keep coming back for more, year after year.  I knew that on some level I was addicted to the chase, but I used to think that if I figured out why, then I’d stop needing it so much, maybe even turn in my badge.  That hadn’t happened.  Just the opposite.”  (Page 48-9)

Cross is a deeper character than most main characters in crime novels, with his psychology degrees, his intense organization during cases, his family, the loss of his wife, and the face offs he has with a variety of criminal masterminds.  Patterson has kept this character fresh even after 16 books, and he still has room to grow.  I, Alex Cross is a welcome addition to the series.

I’m going to turn over the reins to my mom, Pat, for her review of I, Alex Cross.

One of the best books written by James Patterson.  All of his books are exciting and suspenseful and make fast reads.  In I, Alex Cross, Detective Alex Cross is at his birthday party when he gets the phone call about a brutal murder.  He finds out that his niece Carolyn isn’t who she pretends to be and has a life that nobody knows about.  Cross is called in to work on the case.  A five-star read!

Thanks to Hachette Group for sending myself and my mom a free review copy of I, Alex Cross for review.

Don’t forget about the Alex Cross giveaway going on now through April 24th at 11:59PM EST.

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Please stop by the next stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour at Everything Distils Into Reading and In Bed With Books.


This is my 8th book for the 2010 Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge.

Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson & Ned Rust

I’ve been a bit busy reading, but I have some reviews from my mom, Pat, to share.  Today, my mom is going to share her thoughts on the latest young adult book from James Patterson.  Please give her a warm welcome.

James Patterson and Ned Rust’s Daniel X:  Watch the Skies is the next book in Patterson’s young adult series.  In this book, the aliens are taking over the town of Holliswood.  With the prevalence of televisions, computers, and portable devices, its easy to be in the face of every resident and document their downfall.

Daniel X, his sister Emma, and two brothers are still searching for who killed their parents.  This family must face the good and bad in this action-packed book.  Readers will speed through the drama to reach its conclusion.  It’s a page-turner and a five-star, must read.

Please check out the book podcast.

My mom would like to thank Hachette Book Group for sending her a free review copy.  Clicking on title links and coverage images will bring you to my Amazon Affiliate page; no purchase required.

We’ve since passed along this book to Anna at Diary of an Eccentric‘s girl and maybe she’ll come back and give us her perspective.

8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro’s 8th Confession is the latest installment of the Women’s Murder Club series.

Today’s review is from my mom, Pat. Let’s give her a warm welcome.

The Women’s Murder Club mystery continues in 8th Confession and is a suspenseful, fast moving story. In the beginning, a homeless man is found brutally murdered. Meanwhile, wealthy residents of San Francisco continue to have lavish parties, including Isa and Ethan Baily. Someone close to them watches their every move until they are murdered. However, it is unclear how they were killed and there is no apparent evidence of a crime.

Murders continue to happen throughout many locations in California and the Women’s Murder Club must solve these murders. The 8th Confession is not revealed until near the end of the book. Patterson has created another action-filled, five-star read.

Thanks, Mom, for another great review.

***Remember my Rooftops of Tehran giveaway***


Run for Your Life by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s Run for Your Life is another in the Michael Bennett crime drama series. My mom, Pat, will be your guest reviewer today, please give her a warm welcome.

Run for Your Life chronicles another adventure of Michael Bennett, a detective in the New York Police Department who is a single father to 10 children. In this novel, a murderer who calls himself “the Teacher” takes New York City by storm, slaughtering the powerful and arrogant rich people of the city. “The Teacher” selects his victims from those he meets.

Michael Bennett races across the city to investigate these vicious crime scenes, and many of these are difficult to visit. While “the Teacher’s” rampage across the city continues, Det. Bennett’s children fall ill with the flu, making his job even more difficult.

Run for Your Life is another page turner that readers will be unable to put down. Another five-star crime drama from James Patterson, chock full of action.

Thanks, Mom, for another detailed review. Look forward to more from her later this week.