Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Blast: THE FOUND CHILD by Jo Crow

The Found Child

by Jo Crow

September 18, 2018 Book Blast



Synopsis:


The Found Child by Jo Crow

One mother's life can change in the blink of an eye—and there's no going back.
Elaine's worst fears become a reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer. She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. While awaiting test results from herself and her husband Nathan, she approaches his business partner, Roger—her ex-lover—to see if he could be a possible match. Instead, an even greater shock awaits: Jakob is not her biological son. For years, she has been raising someone else's child.
The news threatens to send Elaine back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once before, pushing her already fragile mental state to the breaking point. As the family faces one crisis, a ghost from her past emerges to jeopardize everything she's built. But is the threat real, or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues to unravel, she can't trust anyone—not even herself.



Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Published by: Relay Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 372
ISBN-10: 1726446328
ISBN-13: 978-1726446327
Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads





Read an excerpt:



Prologue


Telling parents that the search for their missing infant had gone cold was a job that no one wanted. And honestly, Detective Aaronson had tried to pass it off to someone else—to his partner, Miller, and then to a uniform. Ultimately, though, the chief had put his boot down and pushed it back on Aaronson. He was the point man. He and Miller had worked the case together for a month before the leads dried up, but it had been Aaronson who had sat with the parents, talked to them on the phone, and kept them updated.
He'd been the one to give them hope, so it followed that he should be the one to take it away… right?
They had agreed to meet him at the station. That seemed to be the best choice. No one wanted to get this kind of news in their own home—it would put a stain on the place that would never wash out. No, it was more professional to have the talk here in one of the small conference rooms. No decorations, no distractions, nothing to make the moment seem too casual. Only gray brick, white linoleum and a wooden table and chairs that were plain and utilitarian. Unemotional.
Now he sat across from them, steeling himself and trying to work up some moisture in his mouth. There was water, but they hadn't poured a glass so he wasn't about to. Both of them had dark circles under their bloodshot eyes, and a waxy pallor to their skin. They hadn't slept in a month, he figured. He'd have put money on it. Hell, he could barely sleep when his teenager stayed out late with her friends on a weekend. And their child had been gone for more than a month. As a parent, he understood part of their pain. Just part of it. That's what made this so damn difficult.
"We're not closing the case," he said, his tone as flat as he could manage. "But as of now, the leads—"
"You're not looking anymore?" the mother asked. Fury filled her eyes, and loss. One of those was for him.
"It's only been a month," the father said. "You can't stop now. Please, our son is out there somewhere—we know it."
"I can feel him," she said. "You have to believe me, I can feel him here." She clutched at her chest, at the threadbare, peach-colored sweater she wore.
You have to keep it short, the chief had said. Keep it direct and then refer them to the counselor. That's your job.
Aaronson wondered if the chief had ever done this before. He imagined he'd had, but to make it seem so simple… Of course, there were regulations. He couldn't be the counselor and the detective, and there were good reasons for that. "We will keep the case open," he told them. "If any new leads come in, we'll follow up on them."
He meant it, too. But the truth that he knew, and that these two knew even if they didn't want to believe it, was that after seventy-two hours, most of these cases were never solved. Every day after that windows closed, the likelihood of finding a child like theirs dropped exponentially until it plummeted to a fraction of a percent which itself really only represented the handful of miracle cases that had been resolved sometimes decades after a disappearance.
"Please don't do this," the father begged. He took his wife's hand, and they leaned into one another. "One more month. There was that woman—"
"At the moment, Andrea Williams has been cleared as a suspect," Aaronson said. That poor woman's life had been all but destroyed already. "We've been over her life with a fine-toothed comb. If new evidence emerges, we'll look into it again, but I'm telling you that she's not who we want."
"So, what do we do now?" the mother asked. "What do we do now that you've abandoned our boy? Abandoned us?"
Aaronson was so close to breaking. He stood from the table. "I swear to you both," he said, the words bitter on his tongue, "that we will pursue any and every lead that comes across my desk. We're not abandoning anyone. Alright?" And while it may have been technically true, it sure felt like a lie.
Nothing but contempt came from them, and he didn't blame them at all. And he hated himself for what he had to say next. "There's a counselor here. Doctor Amari. She's a grief counselor, and it's free to see her. I can send her in, but I have to leave you now. I'm sorry. Really, I am."
They turned their faces from him.
As he left, he closed the door gently even though he wanted to slam it hard enough to shatter the glass. He wasn't even sure who to be angry with. Himself, mostly, he guessed, or the whole damn department. And Andrea-fucking-Williams, who had wasted their time from the beginning by lying to protect herself instead of telling them the truth about her record so that they could have moved on.
He took only two steps before the mother wailed loudly behind him. The entire department went quiet. That sound was one they all knew. It was the sound of a woman who had lost the last shred of hope she'd had. The shred that he'd taken away from her.
That was the sound of a mother whose child had died. And, at this point, Aaronson had nothing to suggest it wasn't true.
He'd failed them.
***

Excerpt from The Found Child by Jo Crow.  Copyright © 2018 by Jo Crow. Reproduced with permission from Jo Crow. All rights reserved.






Author Bio:


Jo Crow

Jo Crow gave ten years of her life to the corporate world of finance, rising to be one of the youngest VPs around. She carved writing time into her commute to the city, but never shared her stories, assuming they were too dark for any publishing house. But when a nosy publishing exec read the initial pages of her latest story over her shoulder, his albeit unsolicited advice made her think twice.

A month later, she took the leap, quit her job, and sat down for weeks with pen to paper. The words for her first manuscript just flew from her. Now she spends her days reading and writing, dreaming up new ideas for domestic noir fans, and drawing from her own experiences in the cut-throat commercial sector.

Not one to look back, Jo is all in, and can't wait for her next book to begin.

Catch Up With Jo Crow On:


Goodreads & Facebook!




Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jo Crow. There will be 5 winners of for this tour. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon GC; there will be 3 winners of one (1) A Mother's Lie by Jo Crow eBook; and there will be 1 winner of one (1) A Mother's Lieby Jo Crow audiobook.  The giveaway begins on September 18, 2018, and runs through September 25, 2018.  Void where prohibited.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Book 341: WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT by Mary Kubica

When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9780778330783 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778316893 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781848456709 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781488023576 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205071 (audiobook)
ASIN: B076PNB3MB (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Park Row
Release Date: September 4, 2018 


A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 
Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she's ever known.
Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie's mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what's real and what she's only imagined.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman's split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie's secret past. Has Jessie's whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?    


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For as long as she can remember, it's always been just Jessie and her mother. Now that her mother has died of metastatic breast cancer, Jessie is all alone. She has no close friends and no family. She's not quite sure what to do with her life but she's thinking of college and that's when her life begins to unravel. First, she's having difficulty sleeping. Okay, she's not having difficulty sleeping, she can't sleep at all, and she knows that the longer she goes without sleep the worse things will become for her healthwise. Second, her FAFSA or financial aid form has been "rejected" because her social security card is tied to the identity of a deceased person. Now Jessie must prove that she is who she is, only she can't find her birth certificate or her social security card. The longer Jessie goes without sleep, the more disconnected from reality she becomes and she begins to think that she may have been kidnapped as a child or worse. As the lines between reality and Jessie's overactive imagination begin to blur even more, can she discover the truth before it's too late?

When The Lights Go Out is the fifth book released by Mary Kubica and I've had the pleasure of reading all of her books. This is one of those books that isn't quite what it seems from beginning to end (no, I'm not going to spoil the ending!). The story is told in the alternating voices of Jessie in the present day and her mother Eden from the past to just a few years ago. The reader gets to bear witness to the pain and despair of infertility and infertility treatments firsthand via Eden's memories, as well as the pain and despair Jessie feels over the death of her mother and her loss of sense of self and identity. As Eden's story unfolds, the reader begins to imagine the unthinkable that perhaps Jessie was correct and she was kidnapped as a child. It is hard to read either story without feeling a sense of empathy and overwhelming compassion for both Eden and Jessie. Eden becomes just as lost as Jessie as her quest to become pregnant unravels with an unexpected miscarriage followed by a divorce when her then-husband no longer wants to continue with the costly IVF treatments. However, Jessie's sense of loss seems more harrowing because she's lost her mother, her identity, and seems to be losing her mind as well. Ms. Kubica has a way of writing that draws the reader into the story, or at least this reader, and I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next (and no, I'm not going to reveal what happens next, read the book). I will say that When The Lights Go Out is dramatically different from previous books by Ms. Kubica, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story, characters, action, and settings. This story does provide psychological suspense, lots of drama, and tons of twists and turns to keep the reader on edge. If that sounds appealing to you, then I urge you to grab a copy of When The Lights Go Out to read. If you're not quite sure about the psychological suspense, then I urge you to grab a copy of When The Lights Go Out simply for the drama and twists and turns. I hope you won't be disappointed.  

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the




Meet the Author



Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Good Girl and Pretty Baby.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.




Connect with Mary via  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



This review and blog tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours




Thursday, September 6, 2018

2018 Book 330: TEAR ME APART by JT Ellison

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
ISBN: 9780778330004 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781460396711 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781538517307 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077YQH18P (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: August 28, 2018 


The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison's Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.
One moment will change their lives forever…
Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she's suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.
Who knows the answers?
The race to save Mindy's life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family's deepest secrets.
With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.   


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Lauren Wright has devoted her life to providing her daughter Mindy with everything she needs, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. Now that her daughter has suffered a traumatic leg injury that has revealed a catastrophic disease process, she wants to do anything possible to prolong her daughter's life...or does she? One little lie cascades into another and another and before anyone knows it, Lauren becomes someone no one really knows anymore. Mindy knows her mother is hiding secrets from her past and now that she knows she's adopted, she's wondering just what those secrets truly are. Juliet Ryder, Lauren's sister, knows that Lauren's story doesn't quite add up, but she's truly willing to do anything, even skirting the law, to find the truth and Mindy's birth parents if it means prolonging her life. Jasper, Lauren's husband doesn't really know what to believe. He's astonished to learn that Lauren isn't Mindy's birth mother and begins to wonder what other secrets she might be keeping from him. The more Mindy, Juliet, and Jasper uncover, the more they realize they may have never really known Lauren at all. Just how far is Lauren willing to go to protect her secrets and ostensibly Mindy's life?

Tear Me Apart is one of those reads that you think you've figured out, but the twists just keep coming. This story is filled with psychological chills and thrills, along with tons of family drama, angst, and a few murders (yes, that's a few murders...read the book to find out who dies!). Of course, there's a lot more going on in the story than just one person trying to protect their secrets, a mother protecting her child, a child trying to recuperate from a potentially life-threatening disease, or a family recovering from a series of mind-blowing revelations. Ms. Ellison has also thrown mental illness, severe depression, and suicide into the mix for a story that left this reader on tenterhooks from beginning to end. In many ways, this year has been a banner year for me as a reader as I've had the fortune to read a number of wonderful books and Tear Me Apart is definitely being added to this list. I enjoyed the characters, the action, the settings, the drama, and the suspense. So, for all of you suspense-thriller readers, go out and grab a copy of Tear Me Apart to read. For fans of family drama, yes you guessed, I'm recommending you grab a copy of Tear Me Apart to read as well. Seriously, this is one story that I think every reader can enjoy reading. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the


Meet the Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series "A Brit in the FBI" with #1 New York Time bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband.


Connect with J. T.




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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

2018 Book 324: THE BOY AT THE KEYHOLE by Stephen Giles

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles
ISBN: 9781335652928 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781335005465 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488098611 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205170 (audiobook)
ASIN: B0781P7HWF (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Release Date: September 4, 2018 



Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.
Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.
As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.
Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.



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It's 1961 and it's been a rough year for nine-year-old Samuel Clay. His father died several months ago and then his mother reportedly left in the middle of the night to return to America and seek funding to save the family's business. She's been gone for more than five months and Samuel's imagination is beginning to run wild. All he has are a few postcards from his America detailing her journeys across America. But the more Samuel reviews the postcards, the more he realizes that something isn't quite right. His mother hasn't even called, according to the housekeeper, Ruth. Now Ruth has had to fire the last housemaid due to limited funds. Samuel's imagination had already been running in overdrive, then his best friend, actually his only friend, Joseph Collins, tells him a story about a German housekeeper that had murdered all of the residents of the house. When Joseph begins to question whether Samuel's mother is really in America, Samuel begins to believe that Ruth has done the unimaginable. She has murdered his mother and hidden the body. Then he believes she's murdered not only his mother but his father as well all to keep their wealth. The only course of action for an inquisitive young boy is to begin searching for clues, as well as listening and looking through keyholes to find out the truth. Has Ruth done the unthinkable or is Samuel the high-strung and unbalanced young boy that Ruth always accuses him of being? Whose version of the truth is based in reality?

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles was a rather fast-paced read. Samuel is a likable character and one that evoked a lot of sympathies. It's hard to imagine a nine-year-old bereft of friends or close family, stuck in a home with a housekeeper and no word about his mother's whereabouts or even if she's remotely interested in how he's doing. It was hard feeling sympathy toward Ruth, but she's also left in a tenuous position where she's struggling financially to maintain a household that isn't hers and raising a child that isn't hers either. All she can do is the best she can to provide for this child she's grown to care for and protect him the best way she knows how. There aren't a lot of characters in The Boy at the Keyhole as most of the action and drama is between Samuel and Ruth and occurs in the house. The ending was dark, twisted and a definite surprise (no, I won't tell you what happened...read the book!). For those of you into dark suspense (and by dark, I mean psychologically dark not blood-guts-and-gore dark), you'll want to grab a copy of The Boy at the Keyhole to read. If you're not sure about dark, twisted suspense reads but are a fan of suspense reads, then I suggest you set aside your qualms and read The Boy at the Keyhole. This may not be the perfect read for everyone, but it is, perhaps, an excellent introductory read for those new to the suspense genre.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the


Read an excerpt here.



About Stephen Giles


Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children's series "Anyone But Ivy Pocket", penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. The Boy at the Keyhole is Giles' first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.



Giveaway


Enter to win one (1) print copy of The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles. This giveaway runs from 12:01 AM ET on September 4, 2018, through 11:59 PM ET on September 10, 2018. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on September 11, 2018. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Please note that the book will be supplied to the winner by TLC Book Tours at the conclusion of the blog tour. 

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada. Void where prohibited by law. 

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Instagram Tour
Monday, September 3rd: @bookpairings

Tuesday, September 4th: @hotcocoareads

Wednesday, September 5th: @worldswithinpages

Thursday, September 6th: @novelmombooks

Thursday, September 6th: @dropandgivemenerdy

Friday, September 7th: @biblio-files

Saturday, September 8th: @booksbeforebedtime

Sunday, September 9th: @jennblogsbooks "Sock Sunday"



Review Tour
Tuesday, September 4th: The Book Diva's Reads

Wednesday, September 5th: Mama Reads Blog

Thursday, September 6th: Bookchickdi

Friday, September 7th: Cheryl's Book Nook

Monday, September 10th: Literary Quicksand

Monday, September 10th: Books Before Bedtime

Tuesday, September 11th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, September 12th: Bewitched Bookworms

Thursday, September 13th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

Thursday, September 13th: Rockin' Book Reviews


Monday, September 17th: Girl Who Reads

Tuesday, September 18th: Buried Under Books

Wednesday, September 19th: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, September 20th: @wherethereadergrows

Friday, September 21st: A Bookworm's World

Monday, September 24th: ReadWonder

Tuesday, September 25th: Kritter's Ramblings

Tuesday, September 25th: @booksncatsncoffee

Tuesday, September 25th: Books and Cats and Coffee

Wednesday, September 26th: Sweet Southern Home

Wednesday, September 26th: @lesa_cap

Thursday, September 27th: Books & Bindings

Friday, September 28th: What is That Book About



This review, giveaway, and blog tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours


Monday, September 3, 2018

Book Spotlight: PROMISES AND PRIMROSES by Josi S Kilpack



Promises and Primroses, Mayfield Family Series Book #1, by Josi S. Kilpack
ISBN: 9781629724577 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781629736983 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781982575922 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B07GSDWDFQ (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: September 4, 2018


Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions.  If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family's inheritance.
Peter, Elliott's eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can't he stop thinking about her?
Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.
But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.
Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.


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Read an excerpt here.


Meet the Author

Josi S. Kilpack wrote her first book while on bed rest with her third child in 1998 and hasn't stopped. Her most recent books have been Historical Romance through the Proper Romance line with Shadow Mountain Publishing.

She currently lives in Willard, Utah with her husband and children.


Connect with the author at Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Website, and Goodreads.