Code Name Sapphire by Pam Jenoff Blog Tour

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Title: Code Name Sapphire

Author: Pam Jenoff

Publisher: Park Row

Publication Date: February 7, 2023

Page Count: 369

About the book:

A woman must rescue her cousin’s family from a train bound for Auschwitz in this riveting tale of bravery and resistance during World War II


1942. Hannah Martel has narrowly escaped Nazi Germany after her fiancé was killed in a pogrom. When her ship bound for America is turned away at port, she has nowhere to go but to her cousin Lily, who lives with her family in Brussels. Fearful for her life, Hannah is desperate to get out of occupied Europe. But with no safe way to leave, she must return to the dangerous underground work she thought she had left behind.

Seeking help, Hannah joins the Sapphire Line, a secret resistance network led by a mysterious woman named Micheline and her enigmatic brother Matteo. But when a grave mistake causes Lily’s family to be arrested and slated for deportation to Auschwitz, Hannah finds herself torn between her loyalties. How much is Hannah willing to sacrifice to save the people she loves? Inspired by incredible true stories of courage and sacrifice, Code Name Sapphire is a powerful novel about love, family and the unshakable resilience of women in even the hardest of times.

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Excerpt:

 Micheline 

February 1942 

Micheline threw the still-smoldering Gauloises cigarette to the ground and crushed it with the high heel of her black leather boot. Then she marched across the darkened Paris street and grabbed the man she’d never seen before by the lapels, throwing him back against the stained brick wall of the station. 

“Kiss me!” she ordered in English, whispering tersely. 

The airman, his crew cut a dead giveaway despite his French civilian clothing and chapeau, stood motionless, too surprised to move as Micheline reached up and pulled him toward her, pressing her open mouth against his. His musty scent was mixed with a hint of tobacco. The streetlight cast a yellow pool on the pavement around them, illuminating their embrace. Micheline felt the man’s body responding against her own. The navy beret which covered her red curls tilted off-center, threatening to fall to the ground.

A second later, Micheline broke away and brought her mouth close to his ear. “If you hope to live, follow me.” Without another word, she started away down the Rue des Récollets. She sensed the one-two beat as he hesitated, followed by the rapid pattern of his footsteps against the icy pavement. She strained hard to make sure she did not hear anyone else following them but did not dare to look back.

Micheline slowed, allowing the airman to catch up. When he reached her, she moved closer, linking her arm in his and tilting her head toward his shoulder. Anyone watching would have thought them just a smitten couple.

Micheline had spotted the airman a few minutes earlier, standing on the pavement outside the Gare de l’Est, a half kilometer from the intended rendezvous spot, looking out of place. It was always that way with the Brits, scared and barely out of school. The passeur, a girl from Brittany called Renee, was supposed to escort the airman. Her instructions had been simple: deliver the soldier to the Hotel Oud-Antwerpen, where a local contact would take him and hide him for the night. But Renee had never shown. Something must have gone wrong and she’d panicked and fled, leaving the airman alone.

Another ten minutes outside the station and the police would have picked him up. There was already a gendarme at the corner, watching the solider too steadily. That might have been what spooked Renee. Micheline, who was in Paris on an unrelated errand but was aware of the planned pickup, had seen the stranded airman by the station and knew she had to intervene. But Micheline had no way to lead him away on the open street without attracting attention. So she had resorted to The Embrace.

It was not the first time she had feigned passion in the service of the network. The Sapphire Line, as it was now called, had formed almost immediately after the war started. They had a singular purpose: ferrying downed British airmen from the Dutch or German borders across Belgium and occupied France to freedom. This was the hardest part of the journey, getting the airmen across Paris from Gare de l‘Est where they arrived to Gare d’Austerlitz where they would set out for points south. It was a few days across France to the Pyrenees, with only a brief stop or two for rest. When the line worked, it was brilliant. But when it failed, catastrophe. There were no second chances.

When they were several blocks from the station and out of sight of the policeman, Micheline pulled the airman into a doorway. He looked as though he expected her to kiss him again. Instead, she adjusted his chapeau in the classic French style so as not to give him away as a foreigner. The disguise, consisting of secondhand, outdated trousers and a too-large shirt, would not fool anyone. And if the clothes did not give him away, his tattered army boots certainly would. He would be forced to take those off farther south anyway. The evacuees tied their shoes around their necks and replaced them with alpargates, the strong laced sandals necessary for crossing the Bidasoa River into Spain.

“Where are you from?” Micheline demanded. She hated to speak aloud out here, but she had to verify that he was actually an airman and not a German spy before taking him to one of their safe houses. If the line was infiltrated even once, it would spread like a cancer, and the entire network would be gone.

The airman paused, his trained instinct not to answer. “Ely in Cambridgeshire.”

“What is the most popular movie in Britain right now?”

He thought for a second. “49th Parallel.”

“Good. What type of plane were you flying? How many men?”

“Halifax. Six. I don’t know if the others made it.” There was a choke in his voice.

“I’m sorry.” There were a half-dozen other questions she wanted to ask to verify his identity, if only there was time. But they had to keep moving. “Come.”

She started walking again more briskly now, savoring the familiar surge of adrenaline that rushed through her as she led the airman to safety. Though just twenty-three years old, Micheline had risen quickly to the top of the network, and she seldom got to undertake rescues herself anymore, instead overseeing operations from her headquarters in Brussels. But the job was fluid and changing. Sometimes, like now, when the mission called for it and there was no one else, she had to jump in. She had nearly forgotten how much she liked being in the field.

As the bell of the church of Saint-Chappelle tolled eleven, Micheline calculated mentally, judging the best way to protect the airman for the night. They had already missed the rendezvous with the contact at the hotel who would have hidden him. Paris was the most dangerous segment of the escape line, but it was often necessary because so many of the trains ran through the French capital. An airman could not simply be dropped at Gare de l’Est and expected to make his way across the city to the southern stations where the trains left for Lyon or Marseilles. No, he had to be individually ferried through the back streets and alleys by someone who knew the city and how to avoid the security checkpoints, and who spoke impeccable French in case they were stopped and questioned.

When they reached the banks of the Seine, Micheline led the airman across the Pont au Change and into the shadowy alleyways of the Left Bank, clinging to the shadows. The cafés were already closed, barkeepers turning chairs onto tables, snuffing out the candles that burned low. She forced herself to walk at a normal pace and not to run. Her close-fitted trench swished smartly below her knees. She looked to the passersby like she belonged in the throngs of students who frequented the Latin Quarter.

Thirty minutes later they reached the safe-house apartment on Rue de Babylone. Micheline took the airman’s hand and led him up the stairs to the apartment, a room which was bare except for a mattress and a weathered armoire and a sink in the corner. He would stay no longer than twelve hours in the city, just enough time to rest and carry on.

Inside, the airman looked weakened and confused. “We went down quickly after we were shot,” he offered, saying too much, as they all did. “They hit the fuel tank.”

“Are you wounded?”

“No. There were others, though. Someone will look for them, right?” She nodded, but it was a lie. The network could not spare the resources to go back and search for those who were wounded and presumed dead. He opened his mouth to ask something else, but she put her finger to her lips and shook her head. It was not safe to say too much anywhere, even here. The airman’s eyes widened. She had seen more than once how very afraid the young soldiers were, the ones who panicked or cried out in their sleep. They were eighteen and nineteen, not more than boys, and thousands of kilometers from home. Micheline herself was just a few years older and sometimes wondered why she could be strong when they could not.

“Empty your pockets,” she instructed firmly. There were too many times when a well-intentioned Brit carried something sentimental from home which would be a dead giveaway if he was stopped and questioned.

The airman glanced around the apartment. Then he turned back toward her hopefully, as if the kiss had been real and matters might continue here. “Did you want to…?”

Micheline stifled a laugh. She might have been offended at the overture, but he seemed so naive she almost pitied him. “Here.” She rummaged in the armoire for new clothes. Then she threw the clothes at him and gestured toward a screen that offered a bit of privacy at the far end of the room. “Get dressed.” He moved slowly, clumsily toward the divider. A tram clacked by on the street below, rattling the cloudy window panes.

A few minutes later, he reemerged in the simple shoes and buttoned shirt of a peasant farmer, an outfit that would help to get him through the south of France to the Pyrenees. She took his old clothes from him. “There’s bread in the cupboard,” she said. “Stay away from the windows, and don’t make a sound. Someone will come for you before dawn. That person will have a key. Don’t open the door for anyone.”

“Merci,” he ventured, and it seemed likely that it was all the French that he knew or understood.

“Bonne chance,” she replied, wishing him luck.

Without waiting for a response, she walked briskly from the apartment. She wondered uneasily whether he would still be safely there when the new passeur arrived to claim him for the next leg of his long journey home or whether another calamity would befall the already-struggling network.

Excerpted from Code Name Sapphire @ 2023 by Pam Jenoff, used with permission by Park Row Books.

About the author:

Pam Jenoff is the author of several books of historical fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan’s Tale. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia, where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Author Website / Facebook  / Twitter  / Instagram  / Goodreads  / Mailing List 

Grumpy Beignet Boss by Melissa Chambers blitz with giveaway

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Grumpy Beignet Boss
Melissa Chambers
(Broussard Brothers, #1)
Publication date: February 7th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He’s betrayed her before, but she won’t fall into his trap again…

After the seventh loan denial, Peyton Boudreaux knows she’ll never get the money to start her own healthy junk food restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She’s left with no other choice than to trudge back home to New Orleans to claim her trust fund with her tail between her legs. But before the money is hers, she’s got to complete the required hours, cleaning grease traps and mopping floors at Boudreaux’s: Home of the Chocolate Hazelnut Beignet. On top of that, she must face the CEO of the dual family business – former love of her life, Braxton Broussard, Traitor. He shot her down both romantically and professionally years ago, and now he’s the one whose butt she’s got to kiss.

Not even the ten years Braxton has spent apart from Peyton have been enough to shake the brown-eyed girl from his fantasies. As much as he loves to see her dressed as a fairy, sitting in his office on Mardi Gras day, he was really hoping he could get the money back into her faux trust fund before she came home to claim it. He can’t let her know her deceased father gambled her cash away. He’s got to find another way to get her the money she’s owed. But more importantly, he’s got to work his way back into her heart, because now that she’s home, he never wants her to leave again.

 

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EXCERPT:

He held eye contact with her, but she was too chicken this time to be the last one to look away. She contained her grin and reached for his drink. “What’s this? Whiskey?”

“Yep. Bourbon,” he said.

She nodded. “Big boy drinks. Last time I saw you with a drink it was the King of Beers.”

She took a sip, trying like crazy to keep her face stoic while the liquor assaulted her throat. She never drank liquor.

“I still drink that, too,” he said. “What about you? What do you drink up in Manhattan?”

“Brooklyn.”

“Brooklyn,” he confirmed.

She shrugged. “Wine. Beer. Cocktail of the hour.”

He furrowed his brow. “What is that now, something with bitters or ginger beer?”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re so two years ago, Braxton. It’s the Boudreaux Booty. Everyone knows that.”

A grin stretched across his face, causing her core to light up like a firecracker. “What’s in it?”

She bit her lip, looking to the sky. “Oh, a little bit of vodka, cranberry juice, OJ, and peach schnapps.”

He furrowed his brow. “I think that’s a sex on the beach.”

She put her hand to her chest. “Is it? I’ve never had that. Have you?” This cheesy flirting was so far out of the realm of the two of them, and Peyton was loving every second of it.

He chuckled, and then shrugged. “Maybe. I can’t really remember. It’s been a while since I…had a cocktail.”

She loved his implication. “Oh, yeah? I had one somewhat recently.”

He lifted an eyebrow, and she could swear his lip curled a little. “You did?”

“Yeah. In Manhattan, actually. I was there for an event. Fleet Week. I had lots of cocktails that night.”

He let out a huff, crossing his arms over his chest. “Sounds like a good time. I hope you were safe…didn’t have too many cocktails.”

“Oh, yes. I’m always safe.” She ran her finger around the rim of his glass. “But you wouldn’t know that about me. We never drank cocktails together before.”

His biceps flexed. “No, we haven’t. I’m a few years older than you, ya know.”

Her chest stung. “I do know.”

“You were never really old enough to have a cocktail with me, were you?”

She shrugged. “Depends. Sometimes people don’t wait until they’re twenty-one to have their first drink.”

He stared deep into her gaze. This time she wouldn’t have let go to save a drowning puppy.

“If we would have had a cocktail together on your prom night,” he said, “before you were twenty-one, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been able to stop.”

She would have traded no ice cream for the rest of her life to hear those words all these years. She nudged his arm with hers. “Maybe that wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world. Cocktails for months. At least until you went back to Vanderbilt and had cocktails with someone else.”

She stood close to him now, her feet inside his legs, loving using her sexuality in a way she never could have when they were younger.

He uncrossed his arms and tugged on her skirt. “Maybe I was afraid if I had cocktails with you, I’d never want to have them with anyone else.”

She closed her eyes, inhaling hard at his words, which tickled every inch of her body. She leaned in closer. “I guess that would have been hard…staying sober at Vandy for four years.”

He shrugged. “Maybe. Maybe not.”

She opened her eyes, and met his gaze, moving close to his mouth. She hovered there, their lips almost brushing. “I guess we’ll never know, will we?”

She stepped backward and then turned and walked toward the house.

 

Author Bio:

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She has served as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of the Love Along Hwy 30A series, the Before Forever series (YA), and Courting Carlyn (YA).

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Group / Facebook Page / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon

 

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The Long Run by James Acker Blog Tour

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commission on any purchase made through the link of the products I share. This commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.**

Title: The Long Run

Author: James Acker

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Publication Date: February 7, 2023

Page Count: 338

About the book:

Two track and field athletes find an unexpected but powerful love in this unapologetically blunt and unforgettably real YA debut.

Sebastian Villeda is over it. Over his rep. Over his bros. Over being “Bash the Flash,” fastest sprinter in South Jersey. His dad is gone, his mom is dead, and his stepfather is clueless. Bash has no idea what he wants out of life. Until he meets Sandro.

Sandro Miceli is too nice for his own good. The middle child in an always-growing, always-screaming Italian family, Sandro walks around on a broken foot to not bother his busy parents. All he wants is to get out and never look back.

When fate—in the form of a party that gets busted—brings these two very different boys together, neither of them could’ve predicted finding a love that they’d risk everything for…

Find this book online:

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Excerpt:

bash 

aug. 17 

mood

I was behind the diner. I was sweating. I was thirteen minutes into my one break of the day and Matty wouldn’t shut the fuck up. 

“You see table five?” 

“Mm. The Cinnaminson kids?” 

“Yeah. They were talking shit. Laughing and shit.” 

“’Bout you?” 

“’Bout you.” 

I didn’t care. I didn’t care what the Cinnaminson track captains had to say. I didn’t care what my good friend Matty had to say. It was the hottest day in a month of hot days, and I guess I just didn’t care.

I sucked my teeth and ate my eggs.

“Cinnaminson kids ain’t shit.”

Matty paced around the dumpsters and I could tell I was disappointing him. He wanted me to take the bait, get angry too. He wanted me to cut my lunch short, storm back through those diner doors and knock some second-string relay meathead’s dick in the dirt. Personally, I just wanted to finish my eggs.

“You don’t wanna know what they were saying about you?”

“Nope.”

“Really? ’Cause I’d wanna know.”

“I’m set.”

Matty rolled his eyes and kicked at the chain-link fence.

“They think ’cause they took State over us one fucking season, they can talk shit all they want. Eat lunch any place they want.”

“Matty. Chill.”

“Like, we work here, man. This is our job, Villeda, they wanna fuck with us? With you?”

“It’s just talk, dude, don’t—”

“You just gonna let them call Bash the Flash a bitch?”

I sighed into my burnt plate of scrambled eggs. This wasn’t a problem that would go away. Matty or the Cinnaminson captains. This heat. I squinted up from my milk crate.

“Can I finish my break first?”

The sun had a bad habit of hitting hardest the second I went on breaks. Made the back of the Rte. 130 Diner a hard place to relax. That’s Jersey summers though. They begin and end with a heat wave. I could barely catch Matty’s smirk through all the glare.

“Fine. Enjoy your eggs. Bitch.”

He slipped through the back door, presumably to find someone else to talk at, and I breathed. That screen door slapped shut and the relief was instant. I was alone. Just me. And my dumpster. My eggs. Just the sun and the heat and this feeling and me for the last three minutes of my break.

I don’t know when summer decided to suck but here we are. And the sad thing is that I used to love summer. I mean, duh, every kid loves summer but, for real. Summer was my jam once upon a time. We were tight, went way back. I loved everything about summer. No school, no church, no homework, all my friends, all the swimming, all of it. But lately, I’ve only been swimming to condition for cross-country. And all my free time goes to extra shifts at the diner. And I kind of hate my friends. Then again, these are all things I’ve brought on myself. So maybe it’s me. Maybe I killed summer. Stabbed my oldest friend right in the back.

It should be said that summer did nothing wrong. This particular summer’s just sucked ass. Every day, something new is wrong. There’ve been a couple of things wrong with today and it’s barely past noon. For one, the air-conditioning unit broke in the diner and we’re about three weeks deep on this heat wave. The local news said the wave is breaking New Jersey records, so congrats, I guess? It got so bad today we ran out of ice and there were customers leaving mid-meal. Had to deal with two unpaid tickets by the end of the breakfast rush. Plus, my boss has been up my ass because he assumes I know how to fix shit like air conditioners. Avi is always asking me or Matty to check on the breakers or look at his shitty car, like busboys should double as a pit crew. He’s bold like that. Presumptuous. Like, he chewed me out this morning for not “smiling right.” I’m sorry, but what the hell does that even mean? I should be doing a song and dance while I wipe down tables at the ass-crack of dawn? Maybe stop counting my tips every close, I’ll give you a fucking grin.

“Jesus.”

I was getting too hot. I took a long breath and leaned back against the brick of the diner. It helped a little. I checked my phone. Two minutes left. I started eating quicker.

Thing is, I should’ve been home by then. Two new kids called out ’cause of the heat, all last minute and shit, turned my opening shift into a full double on the hottest day in decades. Had to steal myself a little minibreak around ten just to cool off. Hid my ass in the walk-in and just waited. Sat on a bag of frozen fries. Sipped a coffee. Stared at my breath. And that was the best part of my day. Which is sad.

Cansado.

Before my mom died, she gave my stepdad a big box of gifts for me. He keeps them in this storage unit at his warehouse and brings me one every Christmas or birthday. They range from stocking-stuffers to books to handwritten notes. Nothing too fancy but I like it that way. So, when I turned eighteen a few weeks ago I pulled a Spanish word-a-day calendar from her pile. It was an inside joke between us because I never had any interest in learning the language. My dad left us when I was eight and, in my head, not learning his language was a great Fuck You to his sorry ass. Mom said I’d regret not learning it one day. Hence, el calendario. As a concession to her, I try to work the day’s word into my life. Some have been easier than others. Today was cansado.

Cansado, cansado, cansado. It was love at first sight, man. I love cansado because it finally puts into words what I’ve been feeling all summer.

CANSADO (adjective)

Tired

Weary

Miserable

All tied up in one word. I’ve been chewing over cansado all day, even in the freezer. Trying it out loud. Tasting it. Cansado. ’Cause sad wouldn’t cut it. It wasn’t like I was depressed or nothing. The internet says depressed is when you can’t feel anything and that wasn’t me. I was feeling a lot of things. I just didn’t like any of the feelings. But cansado? Tired. Weary. Miserable. Fit me like a trusty pair of jeans.

Why was I tired? If I wasn’t clear before, I’ve been working opening shifts and the occasional double six days a week this entire summer. Throw that on top of the long-distance regimen my coach put me on to prep for cross-country and I’m surprised my body hasn’t forced itself into hibernation mode.

As for weary? Now, I see tired and weary as two separate, distinct feelings. I’m tired because I’ve been running hot (literally and figuratively) for three months now. I’m weary for other reasons. Customers who skip out on their bill make me tired. Avi side-eying my tips ’cause he thinks I’m pocketing from the register makes me tired. People I don’t care about make me tired. It’s the other people making me weary. My “friends.” 

I use quotes because if I was drawing up my will, I’d maybe call two people in my life an actual friend. I don’t give out the word easy. It’s not that I’m not liked—the opposite, actually. I am a well-regarded individual. Even got myself a nickname. Bash the Flash. Fastest legs in the Tri-State. I don’t call myself that, but people like to talk.

Ask around about me and you’ll hear a lot of differing opinions.

“Bash? Bash the Flash? He’s chill.”

“He’s loud.”

“He’s cocky.”

“He’s sweet.”

“He’s Mexican.”

“He’s Black.”

“He’s funny.”

“He’s quiet.”

I’m a lot of different things to a lot of different people but the feedback’s mostly all positive. The only thing everyone in my school seems to agree on is that I am “the best.”

I hear this all the time. It seems like a compliment, I get that, but what it really means is that I have to be a chill, loud, cocky, sweet, Mexican, Black, funny, quiet guy depending on whoever’s in my face. And because I’m the best, people are always in my face. The problem with being the best is everyone wants to find out why. The problem with being the best is you gotta prove it every day. To people you don’t know. Or like. That’s what makes me weary. All these people of mine thinking I’m the best.

So, why was I miserable?

Because I love being the best.

Bash the Flash.

I don’t know when it started but I have this itchy need to be great at shit. I guess it’s a competition thing. Probably why I’m such a good runner. It’s not like I get off on being better than people. It’s really not that. I just always want to be improving. It’s a competition with myself. I think that’s why I’ve been so distant with people this summer. I didn’t have a great junior year. My grades were fine, my times were okay, but I just started to get sick of people. I used to be better at the juggling part of school but by March I stopped seeing the point. So, on the last day of classes, I made a deal with myself to focus on myself. Improve my times. Make some good money for the Rutgers fund. Figure myself out a bit. Maybe that’s why summer’s sucked so much. Too much myself. I don’t know about myself. I don’t really know what he wants.

On the Fourth of July a few weeks ago, after I left Matty’s USAAAAAAAY party early, I ended up drunk at Zelley Park. I was sitting on the top of this metal slide I used to love as a kid and I asked myself a simple question.

“Hey. Bash. Whatchu want?”

And I just sat there like a jerk waiting for a response. I didn’t have one. ’Cause I didn’t know.

I banged my head against the brick of the diner and checked my phone again. One minute left. I’d say a minute and some wiggle room but Avi has a sixth sense for when our breaks are up. To his credit, Avi’s good enough to let staff eat free as long as we stick to basics and don’t do it where anyone can see us. My current hideaway is this nice nook between the recycling dumpster and a stack of milk crates/chairs. When I started my break, the dumpster was giving me the perfect amount of shade but it didn’t last for long. Never did. The sun had better places to be.

I squinted up at the big fireball glaring down at me from the sky.

“…Fuck you.”

The sun had no response. Coward.

It took a second to blink the shine out of my eyes. After a few good rubs, my vision came back and I could focus on what was in front of me.

Who.

So, the back of the diner looks out onto this strip mall parking lot. It’s mostly boarded-up businesses, Korean takeout, and this one exotic pet store I have heavy theories is a front for the New Jersey mafia. The lot is usually pretty vacant which makes my dumpster lunch bubble the perfect getaway. I could just breathe there. Not have to be someone. Not have to be.

So, yeah, I was a little pissed to see Sandro Miceli waving at me.

He was a good stretch from the diner but, even with the sun in my eyes, I could still make him out through the chain-link. I don’t know the guy all that well but he’s pretty distinguishable. For starters, he’s giant. Biggest kid in my grade by a good three inches. The track guys call him the Italian Yeti. Tall and hairy. Dude looked like a fucking tree out there in the parking lot, waving a branch for absolutely no one. He had this bright neon green cast on his leg and some of the tallest crutches I’d ever seen wedged under his arms. The guy looked ridiculous. I don’t know how he managed to break his leg but you’d think a person with his injury would be in the shade or in a car or, God forbid, not waving at me across a hot blacktop like a fucking goon.

I took out my phone and pretended to text. Acted like I didn’t see his wave. It wasn’t like I didn’t know the dude. I was a track captain, he was a field captain. We went to the same school, similar parties, it wasn’t like we were strangers. But I still had half a plate of ketchup/eggs to scarf down in my remaining seconds of break and I was going to finish them in peace, damn it.

When I eventually looked up, Sandro Miceli was gone. For a moment, I wondered how long the Italian Yeti must’ve been waving before he realized I wasn’t a guy you wave to.

I checked my phone. I’d gone a minute over break and no one had come to tear my head off. Huh. Little victories.

“VILLEDA!”

I heard the sound of chain-link before I saw Matty climbing up the fence. He was running away from the two Cinnaminson guys I’d seated right before going on break. I was catching them midfight but the trio had already managed to give each other two bloody noses and a torn shirt.

God fucking damn it.

The bigger guy pulled Matty off the fence and sent him cracking onto the pavement. Before either could lay into him too much, there I was breaking a milk crate on the big boy’s back. A cheap shot, sure, but I was tired.

The guy crumpled to the ground and Matty screamed in his face.

“YEAH, MOTHERFUCKER, YEAH!”

Then everyone was up again and I guess we were fighting. It wasn’t the first time I’d fought at Matty’s side. It wasn’t the first time it was all Matty’s fault. But if I’d learned anything in my four-year friendship with Mateo Silva, it was that some people just needed to get punched in the face.

“FUCK YOU!”

“PIECE OF SHIT!”

“FUCKING FAGGOT!”

“HIJO DE PUTA!”

“CINNAMINSON SUCKS ASS!”

Matty was back on the ground with the smaller guy, rolling around, pushing faces and scratching elbows, and I had my guy up against the chain-link. I’d just whacked the dude upside the head, rocking his ear in the perfectly worst way, when I thought about what Avi had said to me maybe an hour ago. How I just couldn’t seem to smile right.

“Don’t look so miserable all the time, Villeda! You’re young! It’s summer! Cheer the fuck up!”

And, you know? I had to give him that. ’Cause the man was exactly right. I was young. It was summer. I should’ve been having the time of my fucking life.

I felt a fist crack against my jaw and knew I’d be losing a tooth. With blood in my mouth and another five hours left in my shift, I declared summer officially dead. Pulled the plug. Called it.

Time of Death: 1:33 p.m., August 17.


Excerpted from The Long Run by James Acker, Copyright © 2023 by James Acker. Published by Inkyard Press.

About the author:

James Acker grew up in New Jersey, and he’s based his entire personality off that fact. He received his Bachelor’s in Screenwriting & Playwriting from Drexel University and won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship for his screenplay Sadboi. When he’s not writing, James lives in Los Angeles with his wonderfully supportive partner and his two recurring stress dreams. This is his debut novel.

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The Story of Keilah by Joann Keder blitz with giveaway

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The Story of Keilah
Joann Keder
Publication date: February 6th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary

Keilah moved to Sandy Salts, Iowa in search of a fresh start. Little did she know, acclimating to the quirky town in the middle of nowhere would be more complicated than she anticipated.

Her elderly landlord, Dee, has a dark secret that has followed her since childhood. Dee’s younger brother was kidnapped decades ago and never found. While the spunky woman tries not to talk about the painful ordeal, the mystery of his disappearance constantly haunts her.

Digging into the cold case residents have all but forgotten, Keilah unwittingly discovers shocking secrets from her own past. The explosive truth she uncovers could change the town of Sandy Salts and Keilah, forever.

 

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EXCERPT:

The Salty Sun, Established 1925

Vanessa Withers, Reporter

Jenny Jacobson, age 82

Our dear Jenny went to be with the High and Mighty yesterday at 4 p.m. She wasn’t upset about dying. As she told this reporter during a chance encounter at a coffee shop, “This lady has gotten her work done and you can only lounge in the sun so long before the sand in your crack becomes unbearable.”

Jenny was born in Wallyville. Her folks were out shopping for a new car that day and lost track of time. She barely outlived her mother, who died at the age of 103 a week ago last Thursday, after finding a big spider’s nest in her bathtub.

Most of Jenny’s life was spent giving to others. After graduating with a teaching degree, she moved to Canada where she taught English and P.E. for twenty-five years. Upon retirement, she decided to move back to Sandy Salts to open a secondhand goods and firsthand ice cream store, called D ’Ya Want Seconds? Folks who couldn’t afford the ice cream could trade clothing or good, used appliances for a scoop. Nobody went away hungry.

She closed the place two years ago in order to fulfill her lifelong dream of traveling the world with a younger man. After finding her companion via an online ad, Jenny and Javier spent time in Spain, Greece, New Zealand, and Cancun. She died last week in the garden of her Sandy Salts home with a smile on her face.

 

Author Bio:

USA TODAY bestselling author, Joann Keder spent most of her years in the Midwest, growing up and raising a family on the Great Plains of Nebraska. She worked for sixteen years as a piano teacher before returning to school to receive a master’s degree in creative writing. A mid-life move to the Pacific Northwest led her to re-examine her priorities. She now creates stories about life and relationships in small towns while her ever-patient husband encourages her on.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

 

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Feeding My Addiction…

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Late post this sharing Sunday because of course there have been too many weeks of behaving and when I do fall off the wagon I do it in spectacular fashion. This week I have, don’t fall over as I say it, twenty three new titles I added to my towering TBR!! Just hoping there’s not an avalanche anytime soon. And of course with so many new titles it took forever putting this post together leading to my lateness. 🤣

As always clicking the covers will take you to the book on Amazon!**

New additions from Netgalley Jan 29th – Feb 5th

“That place has been my whole life. Everything I thought I knew about myself was constructed in those few months I spent within touching distance of the sea. Everything I am is because Alistair loved me.”

Rachel has been in love with Alistair for fifteen years. Even though she’s now married to someone else. Even though she was a teenager when they met. Even though he is twenty years older than her.

Rachel and Alistair’s summer love affair on a remote, sun-trapped Greek island has consumed her since she was seventeen, obliterating everything in its wake. But as Rachel becomes increasingly obsessed with reliving the events of so long ago, she reconnects with the other girls who were similarly drawn to life on the island, where the nights were long, the alcohol was free-flowing and everyone acted in ways they never would at home. And as she does so, dark and deeply suppressed secrets about her first love affair begin to rise to the surface, as well as the truth about her time working for an enigmatic and wealthy man, who controlled so much more than she could have ever realized.

Joining a post #MeToo discourse, The Girls of Summer grapples with themes of power, sex, and consent, as it explores the complicated nature of memory and trauma––and what it takes to reframe, and reclaim, your own story.

When a woman who’d rather do anything than read meets a swoon-worthy bookworm, sparks fly, making for one hot-summer fling in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s new rom-com.

For Samantha Gale, a summer on Martha’s Vineyard at her family’s tiny cottage was supposed to be about resurrecting her career as a chef, until she’s tasked with chaperoning her half-brother, Tyler. The teenage brainiac is spending his summer at the local library in a robotics competition, and there’s no place Sam, who has dyslexia, likes less than the library. And because the universe hates her, the library’s interim director turns out to be the hot-reader guy whose book she accidentally destroyed on the ferry ride to the island.

Bennett Reynolds is on a quest to find his father, whose identity he’s never known. He’s taken the temporary job on the island to research the summer his mother spent there when she got pregnant with him. Ben tells himself he isn’t interested in a relationship right now. Yet as soon as Sam knocks his book into the ocean, he can’t stop thinking about her.

An irresistible attraction blossoms when Ben inspires Sam to create the cookbook she’s always dreamed about and she jumps all in on helping him find his father, and soon they realize their summer fling may heat up into a happily ever after.

Two sisters have one summer to crush their comfort zones and save their grandmother’s legacy in this sweet, sexy, and heartfelt novel by Ali Brady, author of The Beach Trap.

Hannah and Libby need a miracle. The PR agency they inherited from their grandmother is losing clients left and right, and the sisters are devastated at the thought of closing. The situation seems hopeless—until in walks Lou, an eccentric self-help guru who is looking for a new PR agency. Her business could solve all their problems—but there’s a catch. Whoever works with Lou must complete a twelve-week challenge as part of her “Crush Your Comfort Zone” program.

Hannah, whose worst nightmare is making small talk with strangers, is challenged to go on twelve first dates. Libby, who once claimed to have period cramps for four weeks straight to get out of gym class, is challenged to compete in an obstacle course race. The challenges begin with Hannah helping Libby train and Libby managing the dating app on her sister’s behalf. They’re both making good progress—until Hannah’s first love rolls into town, and Libby accidentally falls for a guy she’s supposed to be setting up with her sister.

Things get even more complicated when secrets come to light, making the sisters question the one relationship they’ve always counted on: each other. With their company’s future on the line, they can’t afford to fail. But in trying to make a comeback to honor their grandmother, are they pushing themselves down the wrong path?

Revolution is a bloodthirsty business . . . especially when vampires are involved.

It is 1793 and the French Revolution is in full swing. Vampires—usually rich and aristocratic—have slaked the guillotine’s thirst in large numbers. The mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, and his League are heroically rescuing dozens of aristocrats from execution, both human and vampire. And soon they will have an ace up their sleeve: Eleanor Dalton.

Eleanor is working as a housemaid on the estate of a vampire Baroness. Her highest aspiration is to one day become a modiste. But when the Baroness hosts a mysterious noble and his wife, they tell Eleanor she is the spitting image of a French aristocrat, and they convince her to journey to France to aid them in a daring scheme. Soon, Eleanor finds herself in Paris, swept up in magic and intrigue—and chaos—beyond her wildest dreams. But there’s more to fear than ardent Revolutionaries. For Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they’re out for blood. . . . 

Scarlet is the first book in a wildly engaging new series from Genevieve Cogman, which reinvents the beloved tale of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

A book editor spends one last summer on Fire Island in this sparkling and surprising new novel from the author of A Shoe Story.

As a book editor, Julia Morse lived and breathed stories. Whether with her pen to a manuscript or curled up with a book while at her beloved Fire Island cottage, her imagination alight with a good tale, she could anticipate practically any ending. The ending she’d never imagined was her own.

To be fair, no one expects to die at thirty-seven. So when the unthinkable happens to Julia, rather than following the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, she chooses to spend one last summer near those she loves most.  

As she follows her adoring, novelist husband Ben to their—unexpectedly full—home on Fire Island, she discovers the ripple affect her life has had on the trajectory of so many: her baseball loving, young-at-heart neighbor who believes it’s best not to go it alone, two bright-eyed teenagers eager to become adults, and her best friend who must shake off heartbreak for a new chance at love.

With poignant comedy and insight, On Fire Island is an ode to the stories all around us and to the brightest types of loves…for the people closest to you and the places that shape you.

Bitsy is no one’s ideal princess.

She’s heard it all: that it’s a shame she’s so plain, so lacking in grace. That the best thing for her to do is simply wait (and wait some more), and hope some prince will grant her a happy ending.

Then Bitsy pricks her finger on a spindle and falls down, down, down.

Into a world where cutthroats and con artists are more common than curtsies. Where no one ages and everyone is beautiful. Where an inscrutable evil rests at its core.

A land where Bitsy’s fate and her future are solely in her own hands—and neither are what she expects.

The dark and deadly world of Heartless meets the empowering twist of Cruel Beauty in this thrilling, unpredictable, multigenre retelling of one of the most beloved fairy tales: where instead of falling asleep to await her prince, this sleeping beauty finally wakes up.

In 1934, a luxury cruise becomes a fight for survival as two women’s pasts collide on a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s page-turning new novel inspired by the true story of the SS Morro Castle.

New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all. There’s only one problem. It’s a lie. As soon as the Morro Castle leaves port, Catherine’s past returns with a vengeance and threatens her life. Joining forces with a charismatic jewel thief, Catherine must discover who wants her dead—and why.

Elena Palacio is a dead woman. Or so everyone thinks. After a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, Elena’s journey on the Morro Castle is her last hope. Steeped in secrecy and a burning desire for revenge, her return to Havana is a chance to right the wrong that has been done to her—and her prey is on the ship.

As danger swirls aboard the Morro Castle and their fates intertwine, Elena and Catherine must risk everything to see justice served once and for all.

A starry-eyed romantic, a cynical writer, and (the ashes of) an elderly woman take the road trip of a lifetime that just might upend everything they believe about true love.

Millicent Watts-Cohen is on a mission. When she promised her elderly best friend that she’d reunite her with the woman she fell in love with nearly eighty years ago, she never imagined that would mean traveling from D.C. to Key West with three tablespoons of Mrs. Nash’s remains in her backpack. But Millie’s determined to give her friend a symbolic happily-ever-after, before it’s (really) too late—and hopefully reassure herself of love’s lasting power in the process.

She just didn’t expect to have a living travel companion.

After a computer glitch grounds flights, Millie is forced to catch a ride with Hollis Hollenbeck, an also-stranded acquaintance from her ex’s MFA program. Hollis certainly does not believe in happily-ever-afters—symbolic or otherwise—and makes it quite clear that he can’t fathom Millie’s plan ending well for anyone.

But as they contend with peculiar bed-and-breakfasts, unusual small-town festivals, and deer with a death wish, Millie begins to suspect that her reluctant travel partner might enjoy her company more than he lets on. Because for someone who supposedly doesn’t share her views on romance, Hollis sure is becoming invested in the success of their journey. And the closer they get to their destination, the more Millie has to admit that maybe this trip isn’t just about Mrs. Nash’s love story after all—maybe it’s also about her own.

One of…
Buzzfeed’s Romance Books To Look Out For In 2023
Paste Magazine’s Most Anticipated Contemporary Romance Books of 2023

When a divorced woman attends a sleepaway camp for adults, she reconnects with a man from her past—only to fall head over heels for his sister instead. 

 
Garland Moore used to believe in magic, the power of optimism, and signs from the universe. Then her husband surprised her with divorce papers over Valentine’s Day dinner. Now Garland isn’t sure what to believe anymore, except that she’s clearly never meant to love again. When new friends invite her to spend a week at their reopened sleepaway camp, she and her sister decide it’s an opportunity to enjoy the kind of summer getaway they never had as kids. If Garland still believed in signs, this would sure seem like one. Summer camp is a chance to let go of her past and start fresh.
 
Nestled into the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Carl Cove provides the exact escape Garland always dreamed of, until she runs into Mason—the man she had a premonition about after one brief meeting years ago. No matter how she tries to run, the universe appears determined to bring love back into Garland’s life. She even ends up rooming with Mason’s sister Stevie, a vibrant former park ranger who is as charming as she is competitive. The more time Garland spends with Stevie, the more the signs confuse her. The stars are aligning in a way Garland never could have predicted.
 
Amid camp tournaments and moonlit dances, Garland continues to be pulled toward the beautiful blonde outdoorswoman who makes her laugh and swoon. Summer camp doesn’t last forever, but if Garland can learn to trust her heart, the love she finds there just might.

A fresh new take on Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles, with iconic detective Hercule Poirot recast as a brilliant, brash teen girl named Holiday, and narrated by her childhood friend Linden, an athlete-scholar who fits right in at his elite New England prep school—all the while hiding some secrets of his own.

Michael Linden—or just Linden to his preppy boarding school pals—doesn’t belong in wealthy, storied Martha’s Vineyard. But when his roommate Jasper invites him to spend the end of summer at his massive beachfront home, August House, Linden tries his best to fit in. Linden wouldn’t call it lying, exactly. Though it turns out August House is full of liars.

Then someone is found unconscious in Jasper’s pool, and everyone has something to hide—Jasper, his beautiful sister Eliza, their older brother Wells, and their friends. The accident is written off as just that—an accident—but Linden begins to wonder…

Enter: Holiday Proctor. Linden’s childhood friend, and the one person on the island who knows the truth about Linden. There’s nothing Holiday loves more than a good old-fashioned mystery and she’s convinced there’s a potential killer on the Vineyard. The only question is…who?

She sparkles. He growls. Baring their true feelings could be the start of a wild love story—or the end of it—in a sexy romantic comedy by a USA Today bestselling author.

One spilled glass of wine and bridesmaid Ensley James is ejected from a country club wedding in the rain. Ensley looks on the bright side. That would be her longtime crush Drew Daniels. The moody, broody, skin-pricklingly sexy groomsman is tossed out with her. Waiting out a hot spring storm in a cozy shed for two, it’s time for Drew’s confession: he’s strictly a one-nighter. Ensley’s dare? Give her three date nights and see where it goes.

A veterinarian like Drew is great when it comes to puppy love, but he has his reasons for his rules about women: no true feelings, just flings. So why agree to Ensley’s three-date challenge? Easy. Miss Ray of Freaking Sunshine is absolutely irresistible. Night after night, Ensley and Drew can’t ignore the heat, the growing intimacy—and the unexpected complications. Drew’s walls may be crumbling, but Ensley’s still at risk of being another tryst.

Especially with Ensley’s final confession. This one could be their rockiest challenge yet.

From USA Today bestselling author Olivia Miles comes the heartfelt story of the bond that brings three sisters together to face past regrets and the future of their family’s legacy.

After the death of their beloved aunt, the estranged Burke sisters reunite at their childhood home for an unforgettable summer, each harboring a secret. With their family once again at a turning point, they must overcome their differences to discover what the future holds for the lakefront house and each other.

Leah’s marriage is over, which somehow still doesn’t uncomplicate matters when she reconnects with her first love. Emma is tired of being the responsible one, stuck in her hometown by obligation to her family and by feelings for someone she can’t have. Sadie’s life in New York has all but fallen apart, and she’s haunted by the mistakes she made that led her so far away from home in the first place.

But when they learn that their ancestral estate is in danger of foreclosure, the sisters must find a way to mend the rifts between them to save the only true home they’ve ever known—and with it, maybe they can stitch themselves back together too.

Three betrayed women with revenge in common channel their fury in a twisting novel of psychological suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Jane Doe and False Step.

A women’s boxing class is the perfect place for betrayed wife Katherine to work out her aggressions. Ideal too for Geneva, a teacher disgraced and ruined by a vengeful ex, and Luz, a software engineer battling an unjust system. Maggie, their instructor and mentor, guarantees she can right the wrongs they’ve endured. And if Katherine, Geneva, and Luz really want to unleash their rage, they must do what Maggie says.

Each woman’s secret task has its risks. Call it justice. Call it revenge. It’s bound to be worth it—if no missteps are made. As they take the leap to reclaim what they’re owed, their lives are turned upside down. Because no one could have guessed that it would all end in murder.

Now, coming together to harness their power, Katherine, Geneva, and Luz fear that the game they’ve been playing is playing them.

One of Us is Lying meets A Deadly Education in this fantasy thriller that follows six teenage wizards as they fight to make it home alive after a malfunctioning spell leaves them stranded in the wilderness.

Ren Monroe has spent four years proving she’s one of the best wizards in her generation. But top marks at Balmerick University will mean nothing if she fails to get recruited into one of the major houses. Enter Theo Brood. If being rich were a sin, he’d already be halfway to hell. After a failed and disastrous party trick, fate has the two of them crossing paths at the public waxway portal the day before holidays—Theo’s punishment is to travel home with the scholarship kids. Which doesn’t sit well with any of them.

A fight breaks out. In the chaos, the portal spell malfunctions. All six students are snatched from the safety of the school’s campus and set down in the middle of nowhere. And one of them is dead on arrival.

If anyone can get them through the punishing wilderness with limited magical reserves it’s Ren. She’s been in survival mode her entire life. But no magic could prepare her for the tangled secrets the rest of the group is harboring, or for what’s following them through the dark woods…

A deliciously entertaining novel about the stars of a popular teen show from the early 2000s—and the reunion special, thirteen years after their scandalous flameout, that will either be their last chance at redemption, or destroy them all for good.

Back in 2004, The Daydreams had it all: a cast of innocent-seeming teenagers acting and singing their hearts out, amazing ratings, and a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that steamed up fan fiction forums. Then, during the live season two finale, it all imploded, leaving everyone scrambling to understand why.

Afterward, the four stars went down very different paths. Kat is now a lawyer in Washington, DC. Liana is the bored wife of a famous athlete. Noah, the show’s golden boy, emerged unscathed and is poised to become a household name. And Summer, the object of Noah’s fictional (and maybe real-life) affections, is the cautionary tale.

But now the fans are demanding a reunion special. The stars all have private reasons to come back: forgiveness, revenge, a second chance with a first love. But as they tentatively rediscover the magic of the original show, old secrets threaten to resurface—including the real reason behind their downfall.

Will this reunion be a chance to make things right? Or will it be the biggest mess the world has ever seen? No matter what, the ratings will be wild.

Two strangers find themselves connected by a vast and mysterious library containing many wonders and still more secrets, in this powerfully moving first book in a new series from the international bestselling author of Red Sister and Prince of Thorns.

The boy has lived his whole life trapped within a book-choked chamber older than empires and larger than cities.

The girl has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust, where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never even noticed them. That’s about to change.

Their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another. A journey on which knowledge erodes certainty and on which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned.

A high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman.

Lady Augusta Colebrook, “Gus,” is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents itself: to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.
 
The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots and injures the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.

Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need—society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.

Set in a haunted manor house in a picturesque English village, this debut novel is a page-turning modern-day ghost story, filled with emotional complexity and family secrets. Will be irresistible for fans of Eve Chase, Kate Morton, and Shirley Jackson.

Francine Thwaite has lived all her fifty-five years in her family’s ancestral home, a rambling Elizabethan manor in England’s Lake District. No other living soul resides there, but Francine isn’t alone. There are ghosts in Thwaite Manor, harmless and familiar. Most beloved is Bree, the mischievous ghost girl who has been Francine’s companion since childhood.
 
When Francine’s estranged sister, Madeleine, returns to the manor after years away, she brings with her a story that threatens everything Francine has always believed. It is a tale of cruelty and desperation, of terror and unbearable heartache. And as Francine learns more about the darkness in her family’s past—and the role she may have played in it—she realizes that confronting the truth may mean losing what she holds most dear.
 
As moving and poignant as it is chilling, Her Little Flowers is a story of grief and enduring love—and of the haunting regrets only forgiveness can dispel.

The latest in the delightful cozy mystery series set off the coast of California—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Abby Collette.

When she’s not piloting a glass bottom boat, showing the sights to tourists, Whit sells seashells by the seashore—among many other sea and sand souvenirs—to help keep her family shop, Nautically Yours, afloat. It’s a far cry from her corporate climbing ladder life in Los Angeles, but Whit and her frisky feline, Whiskers, love calling Catalina home and being close to family. Especially Whit’s grandmother Goldy, a fun and feisty senior who always marched to the beat of a different drum.
 
In her youth, Goldy was an item with a Catalina catch named Darren. But it was actually a ruse to fool Darren’s parents who wouldn’t have accepted his preference for men. Eventually, he left the island and chose the life—and life-partner—he wanted for himself. Back in town for his mother’s funeral, Darren takes the opportunity to heal his open wounds, and settle some scores.
 
In a surprise to the residents, Darren produced a documentary about the history of Catalina, and has arranged a premiere screening in the local theater. But his film career is cut short when his partner’s
dead body is discovered the night before the opening. Rumors start swirling that Darren’s documentary was actually about Catalina’s people—and the things they’ve done—giving a lot of folks a lot of motives. Now, it’s up to Whit and her somewhat-ex-boyfriend policeman to catch a killer, and uncover just how much Grandma Goldy knows about the back door deals tied to Darren’s past…

My parents seem to be the perfect couple. But no one knows what I know…

Everyone in the small Midwestern town of Henderson looks up to my perfect parents. With dependable jobs as a midwife and the town sheriff, they help this close-knit community feel safe. But the locals didn’t grow up in my parents’ house. They don’t know what I know. And they wouldn’t believe me if I told them…

After my best friend vanished when we were just fifteen, I left town and never looked back. I couldn’t prove it, but I think my parents killed her.

Now, years later, my little sister has vanished. I have no choice but to go home and play happy families again. Because I have to find out what my parents have done to her. I have to try to save her.

But when bones are discovered on a local farm, and all the evidence leads back to our front door, I realize I was wrong about absolutely everything. And that coming back was the deadliest thing I could do…

An utterly gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat long into the night. If you like Freida McFadden, Lisa Jewell and Gone Girl you will love The Night She Vanished.

When sewist Lydia Barnes finds a dead body soon after moving to a new town, she will need more than shear luck to find the killer, in this novel perfect for fans of Molly MacRae and Anna Gerard.

Lydia Barnes is excited for a fresh start when she moves to the quaint mountain town of Peridot, Georgia. Her friend, Fran, offers her a job at the Measure Twice fabric store and even sets her up on a date with the handsome Brandon Ivey, who also happens to be Lydia’s new next-door neighbor. Finally, things are looking up. But after a disaster first date that ends with a fist bump instead of a kiss, Lydia doesn’t think her night can get any worse. She’s soon proven wrong when she later stumbles upon Brandon’s dead body.

Considered the prime suspect by the police, Lydia calls on her friends to help her hunt for the truth and prove her innocence. But when another body is soon found inside the Measure Twice store, Lydia knows that the killer must be close by, and that this town has more than its fair share of secrets. Who would want to frame the newest addition to Peridot for these terrible murders—and why?

Lydia may discover that while sewing might have a pattern, killing rarely does. Will she be able to stitch together the clues and clear her own name before the killer strikes again?

Trusted surgeon. Loving wife. Murderer?

Before my world came crashing down, I had it all. The successful career I dreamed of. The beautiful red-brick home where I could relax in front of the fire. The handsome, devoted husband whose blue eyes and charming smile always made me feel safe.

As I call time of death, my voice is steady. My colleagues stand hushed around me, their eyes on me, confused, concerned.

I have never lost a patient until today.

My hands tremble inside their gloves. I slide down the cold tiled walls, my heart racing in my chest.

I have never hated a patient until today.

But what choice did I have, once I recognized him?

And what will I do to protect myself, if someone learns the truth?

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have you racing through the pages, gasping for breath until the final jaw-dropping twist. If you love Freida McFadden, Shari Lapena and The Girl on the Train, you won’t be able to put this down.

My son said he walked his girlfriend home. But now she is missing…

Our new home was meant to be a chance for us to start again, to make new friends and forget the past. And as I look around the barbeque we’ve thrown for our neighbours, I dare to dream that things will be all right. I watch my husband joking as he flips burgers and my daughter turning cartwheels on our sun-bleached lawn. And then my gaze falls on my son Jacob, and his new girlfriend Rose, in her light blue jeans and her green crop top. There is a worried expression clouding her beautiful eyes…

The next day I get a call from Rose’s mother that chills me to the bone. Rose never returned after our party.

I wake my still-sleeping son, who walked Rose home the night before, and beg him for answers. Jacob promises he saw Rose to her front door, and I know he would never lie.

But when the police find Rose’s house keys hidden in our garden and a witness claims to have seen them arguing in the street, everyone insists I can’t believe what Jacob is telling me.

I will do anything to protect my boy. But I need to find a way to make the questions stop. Because there’s something about our family that nobody can ever know. And as the search for Rose closes in, how can I keep him safe and keep our secrets hidden?

A gripping and jaw-dropping page-turner with twists to die for. If you love Lisa Jewell, K.L. Slater and Jackie Kabler, you’ll love The Lie.

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