Monday, July 13, 2020

Giveaway - The Lion's Den - Katherine St. John

Sex! Betrayal! Intrigue! Got your attention!? I've got a hot summer read to givea way to one lucky reader. The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John.

What's it about?  From Grand Central Publishing:

"A dream vacation on a luxurious yacht turns deadly in this pulse-pounding beach read and perfect book club pick about glamour, friendship, romance, and betrayal on the Riviera.

Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous girls' getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once aboard the luxurious Lion's Den, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.

The dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as Belle and the handful of other girlfriends Summer has invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host, and Belle comes to see Summer for what she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Belle soon realizes she's going to have to keep her wits about her -- and her own big secret close to her chest -- if she wants to make it off the yacht alive." Read an excerpt of The Lion's Den.

"Katherine St. John is a native of Mississippi and graduate of the University of Southern California. Over the years she has worked as an actress, screenwriter, director, photographer, producer, singer-songwriter, legal assistant, bartender-waitress, yoga instructor, real estate agent, and travel coordinator . . . but finds she likes writing novels best. Katherine currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children." You can connect with Katherine on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read The Lion's Den, I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader! Enter for a chance to win using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends July 25/20.

Friday, July 10, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #320

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
Lauren Beukes's new novel Afterland has already released - and its definitely on my TBR list. I quite like apocalyptic tales. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Two very different looks this week - blue skies and a flower vs. what looks to be a catastrophic volcano/bomb/burning something.  Light vs. dark. Knowing the premise, I would say that the UK cover is closer to the story inside. But, I like the US cover too. I'm a sucker for bright pink. But with that flower, I would have been thinking 'break up story.' 
Both covers have a blurb from George R.R. Martin. Ahh, a tough call this week. For 'just because it catches the eye more', I'm going to go with the US cover. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Have you read Afterland?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Love Story of Missy Carmichael - Beth Morrey

I do love my mayhem and murder tales. But I like a story that grabs you by the heartstrings too. Such is the case with The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey.

There are a lot of  books with seniors as the main characters - finding their way, robbing banks, starting revolts at the care home and more. I wonder if there's a genre tag for these?

No revolts or robberies in this one. Just a seventy nine year old, lonely ex-librarian named Missy Carmichael. Her husband is gone, she's estranged from her daughter and her son and grandchild live in Australia. (She's in England) She's lonely, but avoids people and spends her time waiting. For what, she's not sure.

And then something does happen - a dog named Bob, two eclectic women and a small boy invade her life, her home.....and her heart.

The publisher used this phrase to describe the book. And I think it's perfect....."a life-affirming, deeply moving “coming-of-old” story, a celebration of how ordinary days are made extraordinary through friendship, family, and the power of forgiving yourself–at any age."

Morrey does a wonderful job creating her characters. Missy is not a warm and cuddly person in the beginning. But as her life is remembered, I started to understand her pain. And as she starts to venture out into life again I was so happy for her and mentally kept urging her forward. Angela is bigger than life and I loved her 'pushiness'. Her son Otis gives Missy a chance to play and hug a small person again. And Sylvie - her enthusiasm for everything and everyone is infectious.

The plot grabbed me by the heartstrings and didn't let go. Every so often you need a pick me up tale. And The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is just right. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Love Story of Missy Carmichael.

Kudos to Beth Morrey - this was a fantastic debut novel.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Over the Counter #458

What book caught my eye this week? This one doesn't release until October, but I'm hoping my library buys it....

A Walk Around the Block: Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About) by Spike Carlsen.

From Harper One:

"The bestselling author of A Splintered History of Wood uses a walk around his hometown to explore how every part of our urban landscape—from manhole covers and recycling bins to pedestrian crossings and bike lanes—impact and shape our lives in this fascinating work of popular science.

 A simple walk around the block set Spike Carlsen off on an investigative journey to discover everything he could about every thing we take for granted in our everyday life.

Leading readers on a spirited tour of his hometown, and a few other environs, he teaches us how to best appreciate and make the best use of the world’s most useful things with illuminating narrative tales about the hidden world outside and underneath our front door.

With wit and everyman expertise, Carlsen explains the engineering marvels, unheralded utilities, and how to make the best use of the world’s most useful things, including:

How the addition of a front porch reduces crime and increases property value
How planting a $10 boulevard tree cuts air-conditioning costs by 20 percent, while generating approximately $30,000 worth of oxygen and $31,000 worth of erosion control.
How a simple walk, in addition to reducing the chance of a stroke (20 percent), cardiovascular disease (30 percent), and broken bones (40 percent), can increase creativity by 60 percent.
Engaging, entertaining, and informative, illustrated with black-and-white photographs, A Walk Around the Block celebrates all the seemingly random yet essential stuff we encounter yet overlook every day. "

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Smacked - Eilene Zimmerman

My latest listen is Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene Zimmerman.

From Penguin Random House:

"A journalist pieces together the mysteries surrounding her ex-husband’s descent into drug addiction while trying to rebuild a life for her family, taking readers on an intimate journey into the world of white-collar drug abuse.

Something was wrong with Peter. Eilene Zimmerman noticed that her ex-husband looked thin, seemed distracted, and was frequently absent from activities with their children. She thought he looked sick and needed to see a doctor, and indeed, he told her he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Yet in many ways, Peter seemed to have it all: a beautiful house by the beach, expensive cars, and other luxuries that came with an affluent life. Eilene assumed his odd behavior was due to stress and overwork—he was a senior partner at a prominent law firm and had been working more than sixty hours a week for the last twenty years.

Although they were divorced, Eilene and Peter had been partners and friends for decades, so when she and her children were unable to reach Peter for several days, Eilene went to his house to see if he was OK.

So begins Smacked, a brilliant and moving memoir of Eilene’s shocking discovery, one that sets her on a journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly thirty years became a drug addict, hiding it so well that neither she nor anyone else in his life suspected what was happening. Eilene discovers that Peter led a secret life, one that started with pills and ended with opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine. He was also addicted to work; the last call Peter ever made was to dial in to a conference call.

Eilene is determined to learn all she can about Peter’s hidden life, and also about drug addiction among ambitious, high-achieving professionals like him. Through extensive research and interviews, she presents a picture of drug dependence today in that moneyed, upwardly mobile world. She also embarks on a journey to re-create her life in the wake of loss, both of the person—and the relationship—that profoundly defined the woman she had become."

My Thoughts:

Wow, just wow....I cannot even fathom what Zimmerman and her children have gone through. And I think it's quite brave of her to write about her life - and her ex-husband's death. I applaud her sharing this reality. Will their story help else realize someone in their life need help before it is too late? Maybe. Illegal drugs use is found everywhere regardless of gender, race, financial status or locale. Zimmerman inserts facts, figures and other interviews alongside Peter's story, painting a bigger picture.

Smacked is an eye opening and brutally honest memoir. It's heartbreaking to listen to, especially as  children were so affected. This audiobook is so very personal, as Zimmerman herself reads the book. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of Smacked. How can you really rate someone's life? Five stars for the telling and sharing.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Review and Giveaway - Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

I love crime fiction and am always excited to discover a new author. Angela Marsons is my latest discovery. Silent Scream is the first book in her Detective Inspector Kim Stone series. And I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader, courtesy of Grand Central Publishing!

Right off the bat, I really liked the lead character. Kim is opinionated, pushy and likes to buck authority. But its all for the good - finding killers is her job and she's darn good at it. There's a great team backing Kim, three disparate personalities, all with a unique set of skills. I liked all of them as well and appreciated the relationship between the four.

Silent Scream opens with a startling prologue and hideous crime. Fast forward to present day - someone is killing seemingly random victims - until Kim find a link between them - something from all their pasts. Archaeologists are brought in. There are cryptic missives from the killer as well - and they're pretty dark.

I have to say that Marsons did a fantastic job with not just the police procedural details, but the archaeological bits as well. Everything rang true. Detailed.

Her writing is smooth, the pacing is great, the dialogue works and the and descriptions of time and place brought the 'Black Country' setting to life. The plot is well planned and executed. There are multiple choices for whodunit - and a nice little gotcha in the end. Well played.

An excellent read - I'll definitely read others in this series. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Silent Scream.

 And if you'd like to read Silent Scream, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends July 18/20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Book of Second Chances - Katherine Slee

A book with a book on the cover and in the title? Count me in! Katherine Slee's latest release is The Book of Second Chances.

Emily was in a tragic accident as a child. She lost her parents and was raised by and lives with her Grandmother Catriona, a much loved children's author. Emily provided illustrations for the picture books. Until she loses her Gran as well. Emily has happily lived her life within the walls and garden of the cottage they shared.  But a letter delivered after Catriona's death will send Emily on a hunt across the globe to find one last manuscript. To hold on to the house, she needs to undertake the search. Her childhood friend Tyler accompanies her.

Clues are provided by excerpts from her Grandmother's diary. The first stop leads to another clue and another piece.....of her Grandmother's life. And through this search Emily learns more about her Gran's life - and loves. And along the way....more about herself as well.

Slee does a wonderful job of creating the character of Catriona. We never meet her in person, but come to know her through Emily's memories, friends, loves, pictures and diary entries. Emily takes longer to come to know as she has built up so many defenses over the years. Her quick mind and imagination draw the reader to her. I loved the descriptions of the picture books' stories and illustrations.

Slee has used birds to open each chapter. Emily loves birds as well. There's a neat index at the back that details each bird and their meanings. It ties in nicely with what goes on in that chapter.

Slee has a way with words. I was easily caught up in the past and intrigued by the present. I enjoyed her writing very much. Both narratives thoughtfully consider love, loss, grief, forgiveness and hope. (And it feels a wee bit magical as well!) See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Book of Second Chances.

"Each character, each place, took inspiration from her own life, her own highs and lows, because it's not possible to appreciate the good without the bad. The light without the dark. The joy without the sorrow. 'But most of all', Emily whispered. "most of all, we have to try.'"

Friday, July 3, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #319

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another... 

US cover
UK cover
I loved Ruth Hogan's previous book, The Keeper of Lost Things. I'm looking forward to reading her new release, Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So....a similar look on both covers with the cladding (or maybe ship lap lol), the crown in the upper left, a few flowers on the edge of the UK cover compared with the window box filled with climbing flowers. I think this week it's going to come down to colour preference. I do like the blue of the US cover, but I like the multi coloured UK a bit more. And that little hotel at the top - it's hard to see, but it says Brighton Pier. So, UK for me this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer. Any plans to read Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Girl From Widow Hills - Megan Miranda

I've really enjoyed Megan Miranda's previous books. Her latest is The Girl From Widow Hills.

Arden was a child when she went missing for three days - having sleepwalked into the night. Miraculously she was found. But the aftermath ended up being too much for her single mother - and Arden herself. Arden has no recollection of thse missing days. An adult now, Arden has reinvented herself - new name (Olivia), new locale. Until the night she sleepwalks - and trips over a dead body. 

Ohh, great premise! Who is the corpse? Does Olivia know him? Did he know her? And worst of all - did she have something to do with this man's death? After all, she's sleepwalking again....

I loved the uncertainty. The reader is with Oliva as she tries to piece together what's going on, rather than with the police investigation. Miranda gives us lots of suspects and questionable behaviour to muddy the waters. Including Olivia herself. We learn more about Olivia's past with newspaper articles from the past. As these inserts continued, I started to have my own suspicions.

I liked Olivia as a lead character, but worried about her naivete at points - as I was mentally yelling at her....No, they're lying!

As the final pages drew near, I thought I knew whodunit. I was right, but the ending was really well done - and tension filled! See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Girl From Widow Hills.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Over the Counter #457

What book caught my eye this week?  I loved paint by numbers when I was young. Less mess with this version I bet...

Paint by Sticker: Dogs. From Workman Publishing:

"Best in Show! Peel the sticker, place the sticker, and watch your painting come to life.

If only you had a tail to wag! This completely engrossing activity book for dog lovers and crafters alike has everything you need to complete 12 fantastic canine portraits, including a frisky dachshund, a pug begging to play, and a handsome husky showing off those alert blue eyes. And note - the card-stock pages are perforated, so every finished picture can easily be removed for framing." 

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Every Step She Takes - K.L. Armstrong

I really enjoyed K.L Armstrong's summer novel last year and was excited to see she was releasing a new book - today in fact is the day for Every Step She Takes.

Genevieve has a life she likes living in Italy - a home, a job and a boyfriend. Until the day she comes home and finds her door unlocked. And inside is a parcel from the US addressed to Lucy Callahan - a name Genevieve hasn't used in ten years.

"Too much time has passed, and I'm the only person who still cares what happened to me. Yet it takes only this unlocked door to slam me back to that life."

Okay, that's in the first five pages.....and I needed to know...who is Lucy, why is she hiding and what happened to her?

Every Step She Takes is told in first person, so the reader is along for the ride as Genevieve returns to the US to confront both the past and the present. The story unfolds in alternating chapters from ten years ago to present day. I always enjoy this story telling method, finding how the pieces fit together.

Although she thought she was putting the past to rest by going back to the US, someone else has other plans and Gen is in trouble - again. Determined to prove her innocence, she runs. Armstrong gives many us suspects to choose from as Gen tries to find the real culprit.

Armstrong adds some twists and turns along the way to the final whodunit. I appreciated not having a final answer until almost to the end. A few of the plot developments will require a grain of salt, but didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

I started Every Step She Takes with my morning tea on the back porch and finished up just before dinner. Armstrong writes many series (can't get enough Rockton), but I enjoyed having a stand alone to spend the day with. Armstrong's writing is very 'readable', moves along at a good clip and is entertaining. See for yourself  - read an excerpt of Every Step She Takes.

(K.L. Armstrong is a nom de plume of Kelley Armstrong.)

Monday, June 29, 2020

Seven Lies - Elizabeth Kay

Seven Lies is Elizabeth Kay's newly released debut novel. And what a debut it is!

Jane and Marnie have been the best of friends since childhood. They have forged what seems to be an unbreakable bond despite being polar opposites. Jane is the first to change their dynamic by marrying. But when her husband dies, she wants to retreat back to the ways things were. But Marnie's life is moving on as well - she too has found a man. But....Jane doesn't like him very much. When Marnie asks her if she does in fact like him... well, that's the first lie she tells Marnie.

Kay does a fantastic job drawing these two characters. Jane is flat out scary. And obsessive. And she wants Marnie all to herself, to have Marnie need her. Marnie is eminently likeable. It's hard to see what she sees in Jane. But that just tells the reader how good Jane is at, well, at lying. Kay does a fantastic job at drawing the dialogue and interactions between the two. Jane's mother and sister are just as wounded and add to the dysfunctional feeling of Jane's life.

The reader sees everything through Jane's eyes. The book is told almost as a confession, with Jane detailing how things got to where they are. The next six lies are revealed as we come closer and closer the final pages. I didn't see what was coming with the end of her confession. Brilliant! And then to discover an epilogue that was just as unexpected. But perfect!

Disturbing, unsettling and an excellent original debut. No lie. If you like domestic noir and suspense, you need to pick up Seven Lies. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Seven Lies.

Friday, June 26, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #318

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US Cover
UK cover
Karen Dionne's debut novel, The Marsh King's Daughter was a runaway best seller. She has a new book, The Wicked Sister, coming out in August on both sides of the pond. Yup, added to my TBR list! The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So we have a child's face on both covers. Hidden in the greenery on the US cover, with not much eye to judge. But that half a face shot on the UK cover is unsettling. Not sure if its the stare or the unsmiling mouth. White font for both covers, but I like the US font a bit more. It's not perfect or fully filled and the worn look works well. The orange sepia of the UK cover is quite effective. Both books have cover blurbs from authors I like. But I have to say - if you're getting a cover blurb from Karin Slaughter that says "massively thrilling and altogether unputdownable" - I definitely want to read your book. So I am going with the UK cover this week. What about you? 
Which cover do you prefer? And plans to read The Wicked Sister?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Dilemma - B.A. Paris

Bestselling author B.A. Paris is back with a new book - The Dilemma.

Livia has been planning her fortieth birthday party for twenty years. She never had the wedding she wanted, so this party will be all she dreamed of - and it has to be perfect. But as the day of the party draws near, Livia has decisions to make. She has a secret, one she knows she needs to share with her husband Adam....but when?  Before or after the party? Adam has a secret as well. One he too is in a dilemma about - when to tell Livvy? And each of their children have secrets as well.

The narrative changes from Livvy to Adam in alternating chapters. We come to know each of them and their extended circle of friends as well. The driving question of course is what those secrets are. Paris does a great job of stretching out the reveal, with foreshadowing, hints and partial truths giving the reader another reason for just 'one more chapter.'

Neither Adam or Livia want to hurt their spouse by revealing their secrets. But as they each hold theirs closer to their chest, the complications and implications from those decisions start to compound. Therein lies the dilemma.

Paris's previous books have been suspense tales and that's what I went in expecting. The Dilemma is a page turner, but not a thriller. Instead it is an exploration of family relationships, dynamics, decisions,friendship, love and loss. The reader can't help but ask themselves what decision(s) they would make. Read an excerpt of The Dilemma.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Over the Counter #456

What book caught my eye this week?  Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World Hardcover by Scott Harrison.

From Currency Books:

"New York Times Bestseller • An inspiring personal story of redemption, second chances, and the transformative power within us all, from the founder and CEO of the nonprofit charity: water.

At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models—repeat. But 10 years in, desperately unhappy and morally bankrupt, he asked himself, "What would the exact opposite of my life look like?" Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa and discovered his true calling. In 2006, with no money and less than no experience, Harrison founded charity: water. Today, his organization has raised over $400 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 10 million people around the globe.

In Thirst, Harrison recounts the twists and turns that built charity: water into one of the most trusted and admired nonprofits in the world. Renowned for its 100% donation model, bold storytelling, imaginative branding, and radical commitment to transparency, charity: water has disrupted how social entrepreneurs work while inspiring millions of people to join its mission of bringing clean water to everyone on the planet within our lifetime.

In the tradition of such bestselling books as Shoe Dog and Mountains Beyond Mountains, Thirst is a riveting account of how to build a better charity, a better business, a better life—and a gritty tale that proves it’s never too late to make a change.

100% of the author’s net proceeds from Thirst will go to fund charity: water projects around the world."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Credible Threat - J.A. Jance

J.A. Jance is a prolific writer, penning numerous books in a number of series - all of which I've enjoyed. Credible Threat is the latest (15th) entry in the Ali Reynolds mysteries.

This time out, we know who the antagonist is right from the beginning. A series of threats have Archbishop Francis Gillespie asking Ali to look into things for him as the police have dismissed his concerns.

The listener comes to know the antagonist, her thoughts and actions even as Ali and her team work to put the pieces together. It is always a question - which is preferable - to know the guilty party ahead of time? Or to be along for the ride as the protagonist seeks answers? I don't really have a preference. It depends on how its presented. And I liked the way Jance unfolded things.

Listening to a J.A. Jance book is like settling in with an old friend. I've come to like and enjoy all of her characters. Jance fills out the personal side of them as well, moving along their lives with every new book. There's lots of detail as well of actions, settings and dialogue. This may have some listeners finding the pace a bit slow. I often listen while I'm doing other things such as cleaning or going for a walk. The leisurely, comfortable pace suited me perfectly with this novel. And the level of detail made the story and interactions more realistic. Character development is just as important as plotting with Jance.

There's been one new 'character' introduced in the last couple of books that I wasn't too sure of. Frigg is an AI. (Artificial Intelligence) Ali's husband B. runs a cyber security firm, so Frigg fits into things via this connection. Her use has been toned down a bit and I find it is more realistic in this book. She's also a credible and easy way to introduce new clues and evidence into the plot.

The scenario at the heart of Credible Threat isn't new, but Jance puts a nice spin on her version.

I chose to listen to Credible Threat. The reader was Karen Ziemba. Ziemba has narrated previous Ali Reynolds books, so the continuity is nice. She has a very pleasant voice, is easy to listen to and understand. She's got a calm, measured way of speaking that suits the character. She provides credible voices for supporting characters as well. She captures the emotions, action and tenor of the plot with her voice. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of Credible Threat.

Another great listen from Jance. I'll be watching for her next book.


Monday, June 22, 2020

The Persuasion - Iris Johansen

Let's start off this week with a great giveaway! Iris Johansen has just released The Persuasion - the 27th book in her popular Eve Duncan series.

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"When she becomes a madman's target, Eve Duncan's daughter Jane must team up with longtime love interest Seth Caleb in this suspense novel from the #1 bestselling author of Smokescreen.

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy Seal Joe Quinn are about to give Seth Caleb their trust for the most important duty of his life: keeping their daughter, Jane, safe at any cost. Her talent as an artist has caught the attention of a brilliant psychopath with a violent past.

Seth, Jane's strongest ally and fiercest protector, is determined to keep her out of danger, but that becomes nearly impossible when Jane is forced to take matters into her own hands and confronts the madman who wants her for himself . . . and wants Seth Caleb dead.
As Jane and Seth chase down their bloodthirsty adversary, they finally commit to a life together -- in the culmination of the epic love story that fans have been eagerly anticipating. As the two come face to face with danger, one thing is made clear: it will take both of them working together to confront and defeat this evil." Read an excerpt of The Persuasion.

"Iris Johansen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 consecutive bestsellers. Her series featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan has sold over 20 million copies and counting and was the subject of the acclaimed Lifetime movie, The Killing Game. Along with her son Roy, Iris has also co-authored the New York Times bestselling series featuring investigator Kendra Michaels. Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia." You can connect with Iris Johansen on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

If you'd like to read The Persuasion, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, noPO boxes please. Ends July 4th. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 19, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #317

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another... 

US cover
UK cover
The 25th entry - The Sentinel - in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series releases in late fall of this year. And there will be another author listed as well. Child is  passing the character and future books off to his younger author brother Andrew. The Sentinel will be a joint effort. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Roads, bridges, travel - all of these are part of Jack's world. I really like the overpasses on the US cover. They form an X which seems fitting. After all, an X represents the unknown. But the bridge is good as well - unknown destinations, burning bridges, bridge over troubled waters? The greens used in the UK cover do draw my eye a bit more. Previous UK cover in this series have also used a solitary figure on the cover. But, the absence of anything but the road on the US cover does appeal to me. What's at the end of the road? On the road? A tough call this week, but I'm going to go with the US cover.
What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Sentinel?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Perfectly Famous - Emily Liebert

I've been listening more and more to audiobooks. The other thing I've noticed is that I'm trying out a lot of new to me authors and many books that I might not have picked up in print form.

My latest listen is Perfectly Famous by Emily Liebert.

Ward DeFleur (a nom de plume) is a successful author who seems to have it all.....until her teenage daughter is murdered. The killer was never found. With her life in shambles, Ward goes into hiding of her own volition.

Bree Bennett is newly divorced and is a also mom to a teen daughter. Bree is bored with her life and decides to try and rekindle her career as a journalist by writing for the local newspaper. What she focuses on is telling DeFleur's story. And that focus becomes an obsession with finding the author.

I liked the premise. Where is DeFleur? Why is she hiding? It is grief or something else? How is the investigation into her daughter's murder progressing? Will Bree find her?

What I had a hard time with? The main character. I found Bree to be so...well to be a lead I just couldn't get behind. She needs to have a new man in her life and Liebert's storyline gives her two to choose from. Cameos from former hubby. Her daughter is angry and is acting out. And this is when Bree decides she has to travel and leave her child with a friend for a few days. Honestly she just seemed full of herself and I never really understood why she was so driven to find Ward. Bree's investigative skills need some work as well. She takes information from someone she's just met as the gospel truth without even following up on her own to confirm. The whodunit is telegraphed long before the reveal. And really, Bree? You should have seen that coming. Now, with that reveal, I thought the book was done. But things keep going with a few more threads that just felt like weird add-ons. The whole book seemed very "Days of Our Lives" soapy. With a side of  'it was only a dream". I do have to say, I really liked Bree's Mom - she had some great lines.

Not that being said, I did listen to it in its entirety. There were two readers for this novel - Tavia Gilbert and Natalie Naudus. Both are award winning narrators and both turned in excellent performances in Perfectly Famous. Their voices are pleasant to listen to, easy to understand and clearly enunciated. They both captured the emotion of the characters and the action of the plot very well. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of Perfectly Famous. 

This may be a case of me not being the right listener for this book. I'm a bit of a pragmatist. And I do love a good mystery. Perfectly Famous started off strong, but ended up being just an okay listen for me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Over the Counter #455

What book caught my eye this week? This one isn't released yet, but seems very apropos.....

Bunker: Building for the End Times Hardcover by Bradley Garrett.

From Scribner Books:

"A thought-provoking, chilling, and eerily prescient look at “prepper” communities around the world that are building bunkers against a possible apocalypse.

Currently, 3.7 million Americans call themselves preppers. Millions more prep without knowing it. Bradley Garrett, who began writing this book years before the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, argues that prepping is a rational response to global, social, and political systems that are failing to produce credible narratives of continued stability. Left with a sense of foreboding fueled by disease outbreaks, increasing government dysfunctionality, eroding critical infrastructure, nuclear brinksmanship, and an accelerating climate crisis, people all over the world are responding predictably—by hunkering down.

For this book, Garrett traveled across four continents to meet those who are constructing panic rooms, building underground backyard survival chambers, stockpiling supplies, preparing go bags, hiding inflatable rafts, rigging mobile “bugout” vehicles, and burrowing deep into the earth. He has returned with a brilliant, original and never less than deeply disturbing story from the frontlines of the way we live now: an illuminating reflection on our age of disquiet and dread that brings our times into new and sharper focus.

The “bunker,” Garrett shows, is all around us: in malls, airports, gated communities, the vehicles we drive. Most of all, he reveals, it’s in our minds."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Don't Turn Around - Jessica Barry

I read Jessica Barry's debut novel Freefall last year - and really liked it! (my review) I was excited to pick up her just released second book - Don't Turn Around. And I'll tell you up front - I think the thrill factor was even higher in this book!

Cait works as a bartender, really wants to be a writer and volunteers with the Sisters of Service. The Sisters will get a woman what she needs or where she needs to be. Rebecca needs help and Cait is her driver on an overnight run, taking her from Lubbock, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Okay, I was hooked from the prologue. "And then she hears it: a long, shivering scrape of metal against metal. She sees a face at the window. It's him. He's outside and he's trying to get in."

And from there, the timeline moves back and forth from past to present, and told from each woman's perspective. They both have secrets - but which woman is he after? It doesn't much matter - they're alone in the dark on a deserted stretch of road. They'll have to trust each other to make it through the night. We also have chapters from a number of men - any one of which could be the unknown truck driver following them. The vitriol in their chapters is palpable.

Barry employed the same back and forth technique in her first book. It's absolutely one of my favorite methods of storytelling. It's so hard to not read just one more chapter.

I was surprised to find out the reason Rebecca needed a ride - and then I wasn't. It's a story you'll find in some newspaper every day. Cait's reasons tie in as well. I'm going to be obtuse here as I don't want to provide spoilers. But the reasons are real and serious themes.

But what had me almost breaking my rule of not flipping ahead in a book is the tension, suspense and danger of the pursuit of Cait and Rebecca. So well written! And well played. The chapters count down the mileage to their destination which was another great way to ramp up the suspense. There was no way to predict where the plot was going to go and I was kept on my toes. One big twist near the end had me shouting out loud - no way!

An excellent suspense novel - one I definitely recommend. Read an excerpt of Don't Turn Around. I'll be watching for book number 3!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Troop 6000 - Nikita Stewart

I am drawn to non fiction that informs me, teaches me and opens my eyes. Troop 6000 by Nikita Stewart is one of those books.

It's hard to see the subtitle on the cover but it reads 'The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World'.

Giselle Burgess worked a full time job to provide for her five children. Rising rent, spiralling bills and health issues had her falling behind and finally.....homeless. She became one of the 60,000 people that are housed in one of New York City's homeless. shelters daily.

She and her five children lived for a year in a room at a Sleep Inn in Queens. Two beds, six people, one bathroom, no kitchen. Curfews, sign in and out procedures, rude 'resident care' staff and more. Giselle had worked for the Girl Scouts of America in the past and came up with an amazing idea - a Girl Scout Troop in the shelter. The ideas, ideals and community would help out not just the children living in the shelter but their parents as well.

Giselle is a force of nature. She made connections, weathered uncertainty, overcame adversity and kept on trying. And Troop 6000 was born. Investigative report Nikita Stewart wrote a story for The New York Times and that led to support, networking - and other troops. She followed the members of the original troop and the leaders for a year.

I became so immersed in the story of this group of women - their strength and determination. And that of the girls as well.

I chose to listen to Troop 6000. The reader was Robin Miles. She did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. I find that listening to a book immerses me in a story more. This time for sure - I felt like I was part of the conversation. Miles has a pleasant voice, easy to listen to, well enunciated. She captured the tenor of the book well.  Listen to an excerpt of Troop 6000.

"Troop 6000 is both the intimate story of one group of girls who find pride and community with one another, and the larger story of how, when we come together, we can find support and commonality and experience joy and success, no matter how challenging life may be."

Read an excerpt of Troop 6000.                 

Friday, June 12, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #316

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
I enjoyed Kevin Kwan's runaway bestseller Crazy Rich Asians. And the movie was lots of fun as well. He's got a new book coming out the end of this month - Sex and Vanity. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. At first glance they could be the same cover. The author's name is in white on both covers with 
two fonts that are very similar. The title font on the US cover is a bit flashier and seems to match the title (and premise) better than the stark UK title font. The pool is pretty close on both covers, although the UK provides umbrellas. Day vs night? The cityscape is again close, but not an exact match. I do like it split on the US cover - it seems to frame the building and pool.  And well, I really like the color of those pink lit trees. Fushia? That and the night scene seal the deal for me this week - US cover. What about you?
Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Sex and Vanity?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Over the Counter #454

What book caught my eye this week? (Not over the counter and under the scanner though!) This one releases in September of this year. It was actually the title that had me taking a second look...

Hot Cheese: Over 50 Gooey, Oozy, Melty Recipes by Polina Chesnakova and photographed by Paul Sirisalee.

From Chronicle Books:

"Turn up the heat, it's time to get cheesy!

The cookbook Hot Cheese celebrates the magical combination of heat and cheese in over 50 recipes. Whether melted between crusty bread, baked until browned and bubbly, or fried for the perfect crunch-to-ooze factor, there are limitless ways to enjoy the thrill of hot cheese.

• Includes no-fuss snacks, hearty and healthy-ish meals, and party favorites
• Features twists on beloved classics and inventive, cheesy combinations
• Filled with bright and stylish photography to satisfy any cheese lover

Melt over delectable recipes like Easy Poutine, Smoked Gouda Chicken Cordon Bleu, and The Best Nachos in the World.

This cheesy cookbook also features handy guides to throwing your own fondue or raclette party. Filled with plenty of guilty pleasures, kid-friendly recipes, and crowd-pleasers, this is the perfect gift for anyone who loves cheese and comfort food."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

500 Miles From You - Jenny Colgan

I get so excited when I hear that Jenny Colgan has a new book coming out! 500 Miles from You is newly released - and it was everything I knew it would be. Colgan's works are perfect feel-good, rom-com escapist reads that will put a smile on your face.

Lissa is a public health nurse in London. After witnessing a horrible accident, she is diagnosed with PTSD. Her supervisor suggests a three month job swap to a quieter location and she reluctantly agrees. The exchange will take her to the Scottish village of Kirrinfeif in the Highlands. And Cormac, the local village health nurse will take her place in London.

The two of them are fish out of water as each environs is foreign to them. One quiet and one busy. I enjoyed seeing each place through their eyes. The two haven't met, but start to communicate by email. Slowly at first....

Colgan's characters are always so well drawn - people you'd like to meet and perhaps be friends with. They're engaging and the reader just can't help but like them. And in this case, hope that there might be more in store for these two...

Characters from previous (and just as wonderful) books are brought back in Kirrinfeif. Their lives have moved along and we get to catch up with them. The supporting characters are just as well drawn. The setting is so cosy as well - I'd love to have a wee cottage on the Loch. Cormac's sounds perfect!

The back and forth, missteps and miscommunications on the way to happily ever after are such fun to read. Colgan is quite funny. But, she also weaves a few serious topics into her books as wll. I'll leave it for you to find them. Well done.

Colgan is my go-to author when I need a warm, witty feel-good comfort read. And this latest did not disappoint.  Read an excerpt of 500 Miles From You. Can't wait for the next Jenny Colgan book!

Monday, June 8, 2020

On Ocean Boulevard - Mary Alice Monroe

The newly released On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe is the latest (6th) entry in her Beach House series. But - you can read it (and the others) as stand alones.

On Ocean Boulevard is set on the beautiful shores of South Carolina.

Through good fortune and bad, three generations of the Rutledge family end up back on Sullivan’s Island at the same time. Cara has weathered much in her life, but she's at a joyful point - remarriage to a man she dearly loves and the joy of being a parent to young Hope. Linnea returns home when both her relationship and job end. But fate steps in for Linnea and both love and life are looking up. And Linnea's parents are hoping to turn their fortunes around by building and selling a one of a kind oceanfront home.

But....and you know there's a but. More than one really. Not one of the women's plans goes smoothly. Friendships, relationships, family, hopes and dreams are all put to test this summer.

I liked the main characters very much. I think readers of all ages will find a character they relate to. Out of the main threads, I enjoyed Cara's story the most. I had a harder time with Linnea's plot line. I found her to be a bit wishy washy. And I wasn't as enamoured of the two visitors from England who are part of her story. Without revealing too much, I'll say that I thought Gordon is a bit of a pompous donkey and I never really found him appealing. Pandora is trouble. (Really the name was overkill) I didn't buy her as someone I would want to befriend. And her 'mates before dates' rule was so high schoolish.

Munroe starts every chapter off with facts about loggerhead turtles. I learned quite a bit. Eco politics plays a large part in this book as well.

On Ocean Boulevard is a slower paced novel, with detailed description of settings, dress, food, etc. While it painted clear images, I sometimes wanted things to move faster.

Cassandra Campbell was the reader for this book. She is one of my favorite presenters. She has such a versatile voice and always gives an excellent performance. She slowed her reading speed to match the slower pace of life, speech and settings of the book. Her South Carolinian accent was honey smooth. She did provide an English accent that was believable for the two visitors. She captured the emotion and feelings of the players very well. Her voice is pleasant, easy to listen too and clear to understand. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of On Ocean Boulevard.

I liked On Ocean Boulevard, but enjoyed last year's The Summer Guests a bit more.

Friday, June 5, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #315

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
Sophie Hannah has been writing the 'new' Hercule Poirot mysteries with the blessing of Agatha Christie's estate. The fourth by her, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, releases later this summer/early fall. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right.
I've quite enjoyed the previous three and think she's done a good job. Each cover follows the style and look of the previous books in their particular series. I do like the 'real' images that the US covers have been employing. The blood on the ring lets the potential reader know there's murder afoot. The shadows add to the dangerous feel. The red font really pops against the grey background. The UK cover employs black and red as well, but the white font used for the title and author doesn't have the same impact. The drawing used for the image is okay, but doesn't really grab me. So, an easy choice for me this week - US cover. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Killings at Kingfisher Hill?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Over the Counter #453

What book caught my eye this week? (Not over the counter and under the scanner though!) This one isn't released yet, but I'd be very curious to read it.....

Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks Paperback by William Ottens.

From Skyhorse Publishing:

"Published in cooperation with the American Library Association, an insider’s look at one of the most prevalent, yet commonly misunderstood institutions!

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of librarian William Ottens’s experience working behind service desks and in the stacks of public libraries, most recently at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. In Librarian Tales, published in cooperation with the American Library Association, readers will learn about strange things librarians have found in book drops, weird and obscure reference questions, the stress of tax season, phrases your local librarians never want to hear, stories unique to children’s librarians, and more.

Ottens uncovers common pet peeves among his colleagues, addresses misguided assumptions and stereotypes, and shares several hilarious stories along the way. This book is must reading for any librarian, or anyone who loves books and libraries, though non-library folks will also laugh and cry (from laughing) while reading this lighthearted analysis of your local community pillar, the library."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Guest List - Lucy Foley

I loved Lucy Foley's last book - The Hunting Party. But her newest novel, The Guest List? Absolutely fantastic!

All the elements of a 'locked room' (one of my favourite techniques) mystery are in place. An isolated setting on an island, the island has a dark past and rumours abound, this is the first event to take place at the renovated 'Folly', a huge storm that cuts off communication and power. Now for the most important element - the players.

Jules is determined that she and Will will have a fairy tale wedding. Despite the short time they've known each other, she's never felt like this about anyone else. Uh huh. Except they each have secrets. And so does the 'plus-one', the best man, the bride's sister, the bride's best friend, the wedding planner and a few more that are on the guest list - including the body. But we don't even know who gets killed right away - that too is a mystery.

Foley chose a wonderful way for the story to unfold. Each of those characters get a chapter, a place to tell their story - and secrets. The reader is privy to all of them and can see how things might go, intersect or connect. Foley leaves each chapter with addictive cliff-hangers and some delicious foreshadowing. The timeline flips back and forth which only heightened the tension with each new revelation.

There's more than one suspect for the final whodunit. I had my theories and was happily proven wrong. There are one or two 'gotchas' that you won't see coming that had me shouting 'no way! out loud.

Foley has written an atmospheric, addictive, on the edge of your seat, one more chapter before bed read. I loved it - one of my top reads for 2020. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Guest List.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Fair Warning - Michael Connelly

I've read every book Michael Connelly has written and loved them all. I was really happy to see that Connelly was bringing reporter Jack McEvoy back for a tale of his own in the newly released Fair Warning. If you haven't read Jack's first two cases, The Poet and The Scarecrow, you're missing two great reads.

Jack is now working for an online consumer protection news site. But murder has found Jack again. When a woman he had a one night stand with a year ago is found killed (in a most unusual way), Jack finds himself on the suspect list. And he can't help it - he begins to investigate the case on his own, against the advice of his editor and the police. For single-minded Jack, it's all about the story, the heck with the danger he brings to his doorstep - or that of others.

The who, what, where and whys behind the killer's methods and motives are current and so very disturbing. The dark web, genetics and extreme misogyny. All seen in current newspaper stories. I think this reality is what makes this plot so frightening.

Connelly's writing is just so good. Engaging and entertaining. His work just flows. I was drawn into the book from the first pages. Easy to do when there's such a great premise - and lead character. Jack is impulsive, driven and dedicated. He's not always right but you can't help but admire his tenacity. I appreciated that his personal storyline was continued, bringing back Rachael, the FBI agent (and love interest) who was in the last book.

The reader won't be able to predict the course of the book. I had predicted one twist that never came to fruition. And the ending wasn't what I had expected either. I really enjoy being kept on my toes.

A fantastic read and most definitely recommended. And one more cool fact - Fair Warning is real. You can check it out here. Myron Levin is in the book as the editor of Fair Warning - a job he holds in real life. And Connelly is on the board of directors.

Friday, May 29, 2020

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #314

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
I'm jumping up and down here! A new book is coming from Ruth Ware. One By One releases in the late Fall 2020. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. "A company retreat gone wrong... "  Both covers employ the same mountainous setting. The US has a much stronger avalanche image. The chalet is obliterated on the US cover (if there was an image), while the UK gives us a clear look at it. And one lone figure walking towards it. I like that somewhat ominous figure. As always, the UK cover employs a tagline that lets the potential reader have an idea of what they'll find inside. So, that's my deciding element for this week - UK for me. What about you? 
Which cover do you prefer?  Any plans to read One By One?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

My Kind of People - Lisa Duffy

Yes, Lisa Duffy's new novel, My Kind of People, is the latest of my summer listens. I'd love to live in that house with a view of the ocean!

Everyone on Ichabod Island knows the story of ten year old Sky. She was found as an newborn abandoned at the local fire station. She was adopted by the couple that found her. But, she's lost those parents as well - to a car accident. In their will, they've asked their friend Leo to raise Sky.

Leo loves Sky, but this is a huge transition for all of them. Leo's husband Xavier doesn't want to leave their home in the city and can't get used to this new situation.

That sets the stage for My Kind of People, but there's much more to this story. There are a number of other plot lines that intersect with Leo and Sky's story. Maggie often looks after Sky, but her own life is in turmoil. A relative of Sky's arrives on the island as well - what are their intentions? And every small town has a busy body doesn't it? Duffy has created a particular odious woman named Agnes. She's pretty easy to dislike. There are also chapters from a mystery woman scattered throughout the book. Who is she? Sky's friend Frankie and local handyman and neighbor Joe complete the cast.

I really liked Leo. He's kind, thoughtful and caring. Maggie is the female version of Leo, also very easy to warm up to. Sky is well depicted and I really enjoyed the conversations and interactions between Frankie and Sky. Xavier was hard to like, despite Leo's love for him.

Duffy has written a wonderful story of love, loss, friendship, family, hope, happiness and more. (And you might just need a tissue or two....)

I chose to listen to My Kind of People. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - listening to a book is immersive - I feel much closer and involved in the story. My Kind of People employed four narrators - Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Nancy Linari, Madeleine Maby and David Sadzin. They were all really good and matched the mental images I had created for the characters. I always enjoy having more than one reader - it's more 'real', if you will and feels like those conversations are really happening. Leo's voice was warm and caring, Sky's voice was childlike and Maggie was just comforting. The mysterious  woman sounded well, mysterious! They all had clear speaking voices and interpreted the author's work well. The emotion and timbre of the story was also well depicted. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of My Kind of People.

I thought about the title after I finished listening to My Kind of People. Each character in the book  would have a different take on who their 'kind of people' would be. Duffy has created some wonderful characters that I would be happy to have in my life. And it made me think about my circles of people. Those of you who love character driven novels or television shows like This is Us, are going to love My Kind of People.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Over the Counter 452

What book caught my eye this week? (Not over the counter and under the scanner though!) I've been playing a lot of my old vinyl lately......

The Decade That Rocked: The Photography Of Mark "Weissguy" Weiss.

From Insight Editions

"Mark “Weissguy” Weiss set an unmatched standard for rock photography. Starting out as a teenager by sneaking into concerts with a neighbor’s 35mm camera, he embarked on a legendary career that took him around the globe and onto some of the most memorable album and magazine covers in rock history– featuring the likes of Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, and Mötley Crüe to Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, and KISS, and so many more. With 700+ photos, brand new interviews, and stories from Mark himself, The Decade That Rocked is a monument to the photography, friendships, and legacy of an artist that helped define ‘80s rock." "Mark Weiss is a rock star. If he didn't have a camera hanging around his neck, it would be a Les Paul guitar." - Gene Simmons, Kiss

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over the counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)