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Monday, May 21, 2018

REVIEW: Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood @stmartinspress @tgwood505

Rust & Stardust
by T. Greenwood

Thanks so much to St. Martin's Press for this amazing copy.
This one will be sticking with me for quite some time.
Highly recommend.

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publish Date:  August 7, 2018
352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute―unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita.

My Review:

I don't think a book has hit me this hard in quite some time.  It's important to realize that while this is based on true events, it is actually still a work of fiction.  Take some time and research the actual case to get a full idea of everything that happened.  I highly recommend that you read the author's note at the end.

As the real life events that helped inspire Nabokov's Lolita, we already know what to expect from this read.  It's not a topic that's easy to read about for some.  Greenwood writes with such poetic ease, that this story just jumps off the pages and you find yourself turning page after page after page.

The thing that stand out is that we have to remember this happened in 1958.  While I was reading I kept wondering HOW did he get away with this?  Why wasn't anyone helping Sally?!  Of course, things were different then and it was harder to trace a person.  What Sally endured during her two years of abduction was terrifying and the author does an amazing job of letting Sally be heard.

Told through various POVs: Sally, her family, those who came into contact with her and made her feel somewhat safe at the various locations she ended up at... while fictionalized, Greenwood gives us a full view of what might have been based on the facts that are available.  

Educate your children.  This was so heart breaking.  It actually makes me somewhat glad I don't have any children so I won't have to worry about this to a daughter of my own.  I'm ever grateful now for the Amber Alerts that help to make catching these monsters a bit easier.

I could go on and on and on and on.  Instead, I'll stop here and just tell you to read this.  Once you pick this up, it'll be hard for you to put this down.  I know this will be sticking with me for quite some time.  

Sally, I heard you.


SPOTLIGHT: Farewell Olympus by Jack Messenger @39stepsJack

Farewell Olympus 
by Jack Messenger

Publisher:  Greyhound Press
Publish Date:  June 17, 2018
Kindle Edition
310 Pages

A long, hot summer in the capital of the world.

When a patron of the arts named Serge loans him a luxurious penthouse apartment in central Paris, Howard can’t believe his luck. Now he can live cheaply while he translates articles for shortlived websites and doomed art journals nobody reads. And he’ll have more time to devote to his inscrutable French girlfriend, Delphine, a trainee lawyer.

Then, disaster strikes, in the shape of Eugene, Howard’s half-brother and personal nemesis, who sows chaos and discord wherever he goes. Abruptly, Howard’s uneventful life is plunged into mystery and farce. People are suddenly not what they seemed, and danger lurks in every restaurant. Serge himself is implicated in wrongdoing, while Giles, an Englishman abroad and seldom sober, knows more than he’s prepared to tell.

Can Howard and Eugene overcome their mutual antagonism long enough to survive? Should Howard forgive Eugene for being better looking? Will Eugene ever help him with the housework? Above all, will they ever agree about anything, particularly women?

Farewell Olympus is about love and rivalry, ambition and morality, Armageddon and the quest for the perfect croissant. Witty, intelligent and entertaining, it will make you feel you are too, even if you have no experience of volleyball.


 Jack Messenger is a full-time writer and freelance editor, and the author of the new novel Farewell Olympus. After living in deepest France for eight years, he exchanged self-sufficiency in fruit and veg for a life of glamour and greyhounds in Nottingham, UK, and is thus more than qualified to write about culture shock and miscommunication. A life-long reader and writer, and a successful author of non-fiction, Jack’s fiction has been reviewed as ‘compelling’, ‘fantastic’, wonderful’, ‘serious’ and ‘engaging’ by people who clearly know what they are talking about. His collection of short stories, Four American Tales, published to wide international acclaim and no financial profit, can be found for free virtually everywhere, including his website, where you are also encouraged to linger over compelling book reviews and ponder life’s mysteries.

SPOTLIGHT: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer @calvindemmer #theseawasafairmaster

The Sea Was a Fair Master
by Calvin Demmer

Come check out this short story collection that touches on all my favorite genres!

Publisher:  Unnerving
Publish Date:  June 5, 2018
Kindle Edition
Genre: Short Stories, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Crime, Horror

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.

“A collection of dark and fierce flash. Demmer’s short tales of horror and the weird will delight, disturb, and unsettle readers.” – Maria Haskins, author of Dark Flash

“Calvin Demmer has a lean writing style that is delicious in collections. These short stories deliver punches to the reader and then end before a recovery is possible!” – Somer Canon, author of Killer Chronicles

“THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER is a literary kaleidoscope made from flesh with razor-sharp fragments twisting inside to form a bloody trunkful of blending images and genres, sci-fi and crime and horror mix to reveal vignettes as terse and surprising as a night of binge-watching The Twilight Zone. Demmer leaves no fear untouched – sharks and clowns and serial killers pepper these stories, daring the reader to turn the page, not knowing what fresh horror awaits them. A strong debut by a masterful new voice in horror. Don’t miss it.” – Philip Fracassi, author of Behold the Void

“Demmer’s debut moves like a rabid dog straining against its chain. Each story hits like a flash of sharp teeth, every tale snarling with its own sudden bite. This is an engaging first collection from a versatile new talent.” – Karen Runge, author of Seeing Double

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.

SPOTLIGHT: Caleb's Window by John J. Siefring #CalebsWindow #JohnJSiefring

Caleb's Window
by John J. Siefring

Publish Date:  February 12, 2018
274 Pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, career barriers, and loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.

John J. Siefring is the author of the novels CALEB'S WINDOW and AN IMPORTANT DAY. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in the Bronx, he has assumed various career tracks, including Wall Street, NYC cab driver, college professor, and clinical psychologist.

Siefring received his doctoral degree in psychology from Fordham University, New York. He has been in private clinical practice in Northport, Long Island, specializing in the area of neuroscience and has held positions on the adjunct faculty of Stony Brook University, Pace University, and Long Island University. He has also been affiliated with St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City, and Huntington Hospital, New York. He lives on Long Island and Manhattan. 

#allthebookreviews: The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz @deankoontz @randomhouse

The Crooked Staircase
by Dean Koontz

Thanks so much to Bantam for these free copies in return for our honest opinions.
Scroll below to see both our five star reviews!

This is a series worth reading, thriller fans - GET IN!

Publisher: Bantam
Publish Date:  May 8, 2018
512 Pages
Series:  Jane Hawk #3
Genre:  Thriller

"I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead."

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane's enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane's ruthless pursuers can't stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

My Review:

I've been a huge fan of Dean Koontz since I was eight years old.  He's incredibly talented and always manages to get me involved with the characters.  My favorites by him are Watchers and Lightning, in that order.  This Jane Hawk series I think is my favorite series by him.  He really drew me in when introducing me to Jane Hawk and her plight in book one.  Book two I thought was good but didn't quite engage me as well as book one.  However, it's KOONTZ, and I just knew he was setting the stage for something and I believe he delivered in this book three.  

Written in 5 parts from different perspectives, we get to know a little more about who is protecting her son and I absolutely love the dynamic of Travis (Jane's son) and his "aunt and uncle".  Kids are just so damn resilient, aren't they?!  I knew I was enjoying the read but it wasn't until I got to the end of part four and literally gasped out loud that I realized just how immersed I was in the storyline.

I tell you what - I can't wait for book four - I NEED IT NOW!  I feel like Jane is SO CLOSE to her goal... but is she actually?!  I DON'T REALLY KNOW.  I do know that I love her spunk and a woman scorned, who also happens to have a shit ton of skills in her arsenal, is someone you do NOT want to mess with.

Engaging, calculating and fierce.  Get to know Jane Hawk.  Tell her I sent you. 😉


Jessica's Review:

So my partner reader, Chandra, and I have been in this series from book one. We both have been on the same page as far as which books we've enjoyed. I know a lot of people, us included, were a little bummed with book two. I promise you, THE CROOKED STAIRCASE is worth continuing with the series! Dean Koontz was setting everything up for this third installment and we both loved it!

We get a story told in five parts from different perspectives. If you've followed my reviews then you'll know this is a writing style and choice that I love. The readers get more from Jane's son, Travis, and get to see how this is all affecting his life. With Jane still on the run to get more information on these supposed suicides, the action and suspense ramps up. I agree with Chandra, the end of part four. Holy crap! I'm telling you, this is so worth picking up and continuing with the series. 

Jane Hawk is strong female lead that we don't see much of in these types of action thrillers. I love her and seeing her progress throughout the series. I can't wait for book four in the series! I need to know what's going to happen. Will she ever find out what's going on? You'll find yourself flying through this 500+ page novel like it's nothing. 

I give this one 5/5 stars! 

#allthebookreviews: BLANKY & SOUR CANDY by Kealan Patrick Burke @kealanburke

by Kealan Patrick Burke

Jessica and I's first love is HORROR and KPB happens to be, in my humble opinion, the KING of the horror novella.  Sour Candy and Blanky are proof why.  We both loved these deliciously creepy stories - continue below to see why and then go get your own copies. 

Publish Date:  November 13, 2015
Kindle Edition
67 Pages
Genres:  Novella, Horror

At first glance, Phil Pendleton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat together overlooking the lake. Some might say the father is a little too accommodating given the lack of discipline when the child loses his temper in public. Some might say he spoils his son by allowing him to set his own bedtimes and eat candy whenever he wants. Some might say that such leniency is starting to take its toll on the father, given how his health has declined.

What no one knows is that Phil is a prisoner, and that up until a few weeks ago and a chance encounter at a grocery store, he had never seen the child before in his life.

Publish Date:  September 12, 2017
Kindle Edition
73 Pages
Genres:  Horror, Novella

In the wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon.

Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room, a room now stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers...except for her security blanket, affectionately known as Blanky.

Blanky, old and frayed, with its antiquated patchwork of badly sewn rabbits with black button eyes, who appear to be staring at the viewer...

Blanky, purchased from a strange old man at an antique stall selling "BABY CLOSE" at a discount.

The presence of Blanky in his dead daughter's room heralds nothing short of an unspeakable nightmare that threatens to take away what little light remains in Steve's shattered world.

Because his daughter loved Blanky so much, he buried her with it.

My Review:

After reading Kin, I knew I needed more Burke.  So I immediately purchased just about everything he wrote.  Jack & Jill blew me away and I'm typically not huge on novellas and short stories.  Burke manages to pack SO much into 67 pages and it's mind blowing.  Right from the beginning, there's a sense of dread and it just increases page after page. 

This book certainly deters me even further from children, Walmart and sour candy.  There's really not much creepier to me than children - I don't know what it is but **shiver**.   The word "Daddy" certainly takes such an ominous tone in this read.  I couldn't imagine having my life completely put upside down that I begin to question my own sanity.  Just to have it flip flopped on me again... and AGAIN!  He certainly brought in an element that I was NOT expecting and that was a nice surprise.

Seems he can do no wrong in his novella writing and I'm eager to devour the rest of his work.  Burke has managed to spark my love for the novella again.
Remember folks, don't take candy from strangers... and NEVER EVER take them from children.


My Review:

Grief works in mysterious ways.  Anyone who has lost someone deals with the sadness and emptiness left in their own way.  No way is more right than another.  Time actually does not heal all wounds and that gaping hole left by the person who is no longer with us feels endless.

The author takes us on Steve's journey after the death of his 11 month old daughter and that damn Blanky she seemed to adore.  Why does this keep showing up? They DID bury her with it, right?

This is one of those novellas that leaves you wondering what actually happened within the story.  Whose perspective is correct and just how far would your grief take you - or are you the sole cause of your own grief and you can NEVER EVER run away from THAT?

I love that this is set in Ohio and Burke's referencing the true nature of an OSU Buckeyes fan!  Little details like this are ones that really get to me sometimes. So thank you, Kealan, for that since I lived in Ohio for 16 years and TOTALLY get it.

Again, he packs a lot of story into a short amount of book and is clearly a master of storytelling.  Do yourself a favor and pick up some of his work.  Any horror fan would be smart in doing so ;)


Jessica's Reviews:

After reading KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke I couldn't wait to pick up more of his work. I started with his novella, BLANKY. I'm amazed that he could turn such an ordinary and unsuspecting item into some terrifying. With the novel being just under 80 pages, I don't want to give away too much information on it. We follow a husband and father that has endured every parents' worst nightmare - losing their infant child in the middle of the night. Events begin to spiral as the missing baby blanky reappears, what really happened that night?

If you like novellas and horror found in everyday situations or items, then this is a perfect one to fly through!

I give this 4/5 stars.

Immediately after finishing BLANKY, I continued with SOUR CANDY by Kealan Patrick Burke. This one I liked a little more simply because of the uniqueness of the plot. A mysterious child, sour candies, and a man withering away. What hold does this child have on him? Is he a menace or a protector? This was another story that was just under 80 pages and I think you need to go into it with as little info as you can. Keeps the suspense and eeriness up!

Another quick horror story that you'll flip through in less than an hour. 

I give this 5/5 stars

SPOTLIGHT: Jacob Modak - 3 Novels, 1 Novella, Lots of Entertainment! @jacob_modak


Hello readers!  Spotlighting author Jacob Madok today!
Continue below to get blurbs of 3 of his novels and one novella.
Happy Reading!


How does a self-made media tycoon with a violent, poverty-stricken past, reconcile his growing desire for true love with an insatiable love of women? We Danced a Jungle's Madness is the story of William Fontanel, a magazine founder who’s enjoying the financial and romantic fruits of his success. But he can’t seem to settle his libido with his deep need for true love. And all this while trying to make peace with his past, contend with the enigmatic and power-driven will of businessman Ray Ellenton, and inject hope back into the city’s slum, The Mad Walk, with his media influence. William narrates us into the world of sex and pleasure, slum life, the gentle arms of love, and the darkness of real violence. It’s an exploration of redeeming qualities, and the forever damning things human beings are capable of.


Set on a farmhouse outside a city's limits, an expanse of nature surrounds. It's the story of a man, a woman, and a little girl living life together in need of healing in the wake a tragic loss. Here for all, in gorgeous crafted story, is a unique and special timeless vision of what beauty, gratitude, honour, family, love, and happiness's ultimate truth is. And also what it means to brave life's inevitable grief, so as to never let oneself give in to a world that can at times cast a seemingly ever dark and inescapable shadow over us all.


The God In Man, the first novel in the Of Life and Brotherhood Trilogy, tells the story of Dieter, who at a young age finds himself the last remaining member of his family as he returns home to find them being murdered. Almost brought to death by their killers, he is saved by three men who belong to a centuries old brotherhood of warriors. Having no blood relatives left to care for him, Dieter sets off with his three new companions to hunt down those responsible not only for his family's murder, but the slaughter of countless others over hundreds of years. Journeying towards their fate uncertain of survival, the three men teach Dieter the true ways and nature of life and brotherhood.


The steel clash sound of battle and blood-fury still hangs in the air, and the brothers have their mission. Find the evil within a fallen city, and kill it all. River City, the second novel in the Of Life and Brotherhood Trilogy picks up where volume one left off. The warriors face their duty, which they are almost certain will result in their certain death. A seeming suicide mission for the sake of all free people's safety. But they go regardless, as is the warrior's way. They do what's right, hunt evil, even if it means their death. Who survives? This explosive story bridges from volume one and sets up for the third and final volume of the trilogy.

SPOTLIGHT: The Anarchist Thing To Do by Michael Raship #ZowalBooks #LiteraryFiction

The Anarchist Thing To Do
by Michael Raship

Publisher:  Zowal Books
Publish Date: July 11, 2017
337 Pages
Genre:  Literary Fiction

In 1975, six-year-old Skye moves with her family from a hippie commune in the Vermont woods to the suburbs of New York. Skye’s parents are anarchists, the family is an anarchist family, and their reasons for the move, like their reasons for everything else, are political. They are returning to mainstream America to spread the word there about their homemade version of anarchism. As a child growing up within the small, happy world of her family, Skye never questions that her parents are heroes whose political beliefs are going to spark a revolution.

But when Skye becomes a teenager, in the Reagan eighties, she comes face to face with some unpleasant facts: her parents are the town laughingstock, and the anarchist revolution to which they have dedicated their lives is never going to happen. Although even Skye has to admit that some of her parents’ New Agey ideas are pretty kooky, she tries to remain true to her family’s high ideals as she takes the first steps towards finding a place for herself in the world outside her family. But when her parents suddenly break off contact with the family doctor and become fanatical converts to a belief in the healing power of the mind, Skye suspects that her mother is seriously ill and is rejecting the conventional medical treatment that her life depends on.

Michael Raship was born in 1960 in New York City and grew up in the Long Island suburbs. He studied mathematics at university, but since graduation has been working overseas as a teacher of English as a foreign language, living for many years in Thailand and then in Japan. He is the author of The Anarchist Thing to Do and When the Genies Go Free (forthcoming in 2018). 

SPOTLIGHT: Tug Wyler Mystery Series by Andy Siegel @fsbassociates #andysiegel #tugwylermysteryseries

Tug Wyler Mystery Series
by Andy Siegel

Spotlighting this series for you today!  Love a good mystery?  Check out this series by Andy Siegel.
Loving on these simplistic covers. 😍

Continue below to get an overview of the series, blurbs about each book and about the author.

About the Series

Tug Wyler will thrust readers headfirst into the emotionally charged high-stakes arena of medical malpractice law.  At the center of each book lays the rush to cover up genuine wrongs. What keeps Tug digging deeper and deeper into the circumstances is his compulsion to make the system work for people at a disadvantage with their life situation stacked against them. Tug is unswerving in his dedication because justice is an outcome the big insurance companies—through their high paid lawyers—vigorously resist.

Suzy’s Case

When Henry Benson, a high-profile criminal lawyer known for his unsavory clients, recruits Tug to take over a multimillion-dollar lawsuit representing a tragically brain-injured child, his instructions are clear: get us out of it; there is no case. Yet the moment Tug meets the disabled but gallant little Suzy and her beautiful, resourceful mother June, all bets are off. When his passionate commitment to Suzy’s case thrusts him into a surreal, often violent sideshow, the ensuing danger only sharpens his obsession with learning what really happened to Suzy in a Brooklyn hospital. Did she suffer from an unpreventable complication from her sickle cell crisis that caused her devastating brain injury? Or, did something else happen . . .

Cookie’s Case

Cookie, an angel in stiletto heels, is by far the most popular performer at Jingles Dance Bonanza. To her devoted audience, she’s a friend, therapist, and shoulder to cry on, all rolled into one. While meeting an old pal at the club, Tug doesn’t expect to pick up a new client but quickly realizes the gallant Cookie—dancing in a neck brace, each leg kick potentially her last—is in need of a committed champion. Believing that Cookie is the victim of a spine surgeon with a sloppy touch, Tug takes her case. But as he seeks both medical cure and a fair shake for Cookie, he realizes—a tad too late—that sinister sights are now trained on him.

Nellys Case

Nelly Rivera, when Tug first sees her, lies helpless in a hospital bed. Once sassy, active and ambitious, she’s now a young woman with an uncertain future and a present seemingly tied to dependency. Discovering exactly what happened to her in a dental office while under anesthesia and who was responsible, however, is just one of Tug’s goals. For he soon enough learns Nelly has recently inherited a hefty sum from her late father’s life insurance. Which definitely complicates matters. The closer Tug, committed as always to gaining justice, gets to the truth, the more elusive it becomes.

Eltons Case

Wrongfully locked up for a crime he didn’t commit, the wheelchair-bound Elton Cribbs's immediate situation soon goes from bad to tragic. Could it have happened that, while in custody and being transported with less than suitable care in a police van, he suffered the injuries which rendered him a paraplegic? Certainly, ever since then—for the past decade—he’s led the life of an aggrieved victim, seeking justice while rejecting pity. Retained now to litigate Elton’s case even as the clock’s ticking, Tug finds himself caught in the unlikeliest of conflicts. After all, what’s he supposed to think when the defendant, otherwise known as the City of New York, begins offering him millions to settle while at the same time maintaining its allegation that Elton’s case is a phony one?

Jenna’s Case

A teen-aged girl can be among the most vulnerable of human beings. And the preyed-upon young woman at the dark center of Jenna’s Case is certain to win the heart of readers. Believing Jenna Radcliff to be the victim of a Brooklyn doctor willing to put greed above his oath to do no harm, Tug takes on her case with deeply felt zeal. Yet what he quickly comes to understand is that his new client—once an obviously bright, outgoing girl (and ace neighborhood jump-roper)—is now a nearly mute shadow of her former self. As he proceeds to amass evidence against the conscienceless and defiant surgeon who’d willfully mutilated Jenna, Tug unfortunately soon discovers that the forces set against him are not only more numerous than he’d imagined but also more deadly.

About the author:

Andy Siegel is a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney in New York City. A graduate of Tulane University and Brooklyn Law, he grew up on Long Island and now lives in Westchester County. In 2008, he was elected to the board of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. The first book in the Tug Wyler series, Suzy's Case, was selected as a Poisoned Pen Bookstore Best Debut Novel, a Suspense Magazine Best Book, and was named one of's Best Beach Reads.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

REVIEW: ★★★★★ The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison @gallerybooks @LisiHarrison

The Dirty Book Club
by Lisi Harrison

Thanks so much to Gallery Books for this free copy in return for my honest review.

What a fantastically beautiful and hilarious book about friendships and a club that brought even the most unlikely of girls together to become life long friends.

Publisher:  Gallery Books
Publish Date:  May 22, 2018
336 Pages
Genres:  Women's Fiction, Contemporary

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor Gloria and an ocean that won't shut up.

One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she's left a mysterious invitation to a secret club—one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives...and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.

My Review:

Grab a double chardonnay, a calls glass of Dewars or your dirtiest martini and sit down for this fantastic read about how one group of friends brings together four unlikely women to continue The Dirty Book Club and become life long friends.

"Share everything together, share nothing when apart."

Look - we all have our secrets don't we?  But don't we all have that one or two or three people that pretty much know everything or the everything that you can give that even your spouse/partner would never know? I am lucky to have two such girlfriends in my life - my ride or dies - my family.  And as such, this book really resonated with me.  If you look at your group of closest friends, you can see the differences in personalities can't you?  It's always been fascinating to me how everyone has a role to play and how it balances the rest out.  Yin/Yang.  Through thick and thin and silences and misunderstandings - some judgment to no judgment - doesn't matter.  Because you never leave your family... even when you don't like them, you still love them.  This book exudes this and I loved every single word of every single page.  

Let me just say that there were some definite laugh out loud moments in this story.... and some hilarious words of advice.  "Men Come First, Men Leave First."  Seriously you guys, definitely take a moment to read this book and have some belly shakes!  There's one particular drunken texting conversation that I almost fell over reading.  

And in case you haven't noticed from everything I've already written, this has a LOT of heart.  I'm certainly missing my closest ones right now and thinking back on others who have impacted my life greatly.  Everything happens for a reason.  And if you're reading this review, then this is your reason to pick this book up and read it!!  When you're done I'll be at the bar with a drink waiting for you so we can discuss.  😉