For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.
When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…
About Fiona Barton
Fiona Barton lived for many years in London where she worked as a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at The Daily Telegraph, and as chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards. Since leaving her job in 2008 to volunteer in Sri Lanka, Barton has trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world. Born in Cambridge, England, she now lives in southwest France with her husband and is currently at work on a second book.
I love when mysteries are told from numerous points of view and The Widow definitely does this right. Told from the point of view of many individuals involved: The Detective, The Reporter, The Husband, The Mother, and of course The Widow. The ending didn’t manage to be a massive surprise, yet this is still one riveting story from a most promising debut author.
Thanks to the wonderful individuals over at NAL (Penguin Random House), I have a copy to share with one lucky reader! I’m opting to keep it simple: leave a comment expressing your interest in this story to enter!
This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on March 1st, 2016.
Two sisters share the surprising highs and cringe-worthy lows of social media fame, when their most private thoughts become incredibly public in this fresh and funny debut novel.
Sisters Cassie and Sid Sunday have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. In their defense, it hasn’t been easy: life veered in sharply different directions for the once-close sisters. Today, beautiful and big-hearted Sid lives an expat’s life of leisure in far-off Singapore, while harried, iPhone-clutching Cassie can’t seem to make it work as a wife and a mom to twin toddlers in Manhattan.
It doesn't help that Sid spurns all social media while Cassie is addicted to Facebook. So when Sid issues a challenge to reconnect the old-fashioned way—through real, handwritten letters—Cassie figures, why not?
The experiment exceeds both of their expectations, and the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. And they just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.
But first, one of Cassie’s infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up the one place you’d never, ever want to see them: the Internet...
About Lisa Beazley
Lisa traded her corporate communications career for fiction writing when she moved from New York to Singapore with her husband and children. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Lisa has a journalism degree from Ohio University and has lived and worked in Cleveland, Honolulu, and New York City. When she’s not reading or writing, Lisa is sharpening her toad-catching, Lego-building, and deep-breathing skills as the mother of three young boys. Keep Me Posted is her first novel.
One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid; My Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now.
One would be wrong.
Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.
By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep.
Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage....Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing.…Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips.… Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband....again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters.
‘…ready or not, happiness, here I come.’
Organization = happiness? That’s what Jen Lancaster has set out to prove. Her life is in dire need of some organization not just within her house but in her life in general and she thinks that in doing so she’ll be less stressful and have more happiness. She decides to emulate the Queen of Organization: Martha Stewart. The Tao of Martha is her personal accounting of incorporating Martha’s ideals into her daily life, both when it goes right and when it goes horribly wrong.
Having read all of Jen’s memoirs, it’s become a requirement to pick any new ones up even if they have steadily declined over the years. I’m thinking it’s a combination of lack of new material that’s actually worth writing about and a dramatic change in lifestyle from what we originally saw in her first memoir ‘Bitter is the New Black’. In ‘Bitter’, Jen is a much more relatable person as she’s struggling to survive as her and her husband both are unemployed. With each memoir she is slowly transforming into the person who talks only of her cleaning ladies, monumentally expensive landscaping plans and her shopping excursions to affluent stores that I couldn’t even afford to breathe the air of. While the writing still manages to sustain (somewhat) the snark that we’ve all come to know and love, the stories have become achingly superficial. Prime example:
‘Shoot, I haven’t even reserved an organic turkey yet! (“I’ll take ‘The Most OverPrivileged First-World Complain to Ever Be Uttered’ for a hundred, Alec!”)’
Admitting that you’re being shallow still doesn’t make it funny.
While there were a few laugh out loud moments, I found the majority of ‘Tao’ to be incredibly boring. Early in the beginning there’s a 7+ page accounting of her cleaning her desk which includes an itemized description of everything she had stored from over the years. (Considering she just moved/bought her house a few years ago, all this excessive garbage she dragged to the new house makes it even less funny. Like the broken wine glass shards. Really?) One thing I’ve always loved about her memoirs is how each chapter is a story in and of itself but in ‘Tao’, again, wondering if she was just running out of material, there were several stories that lacked any sort of point and entertainment value (and a few stories that were entirely way too personal and included info I would rather just not know). Like the chapter where we receive entirely way too much info regarding her digestive system. Or the chapter where she discusses her massive love for zucchini for several pages. Or the bit how she’s attempting to figure out why her roses are dying when her friend points out that she probably shouldn’t be watering them with a high pressure hose (duh?)
While the funnies were lacking in consistency, this was still a fun and easy read that also managed to teach me a few things:
-15 pounds of Easter candy for 9 kids = bad math.
-When gardening make sure you don’t wear your older underwear so ticks can’t crawl up and attach themselves to your lady-parts.
-If I start stocking up on emergency rations, six jars of marshmallow fluff is not essential.
-If my doctor ever prescribes me Ambien, I’m chaining myself to the bed.
From the acclaimed author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare —and “a talent to watch” (Anne Stuart, New York Times bestselling author of Shameless)—a spellbinding ghost story set in 1920s England.
After her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, Oxford student Jillian Leigh must rive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings. Almost immediately, unsettling incidents - a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own - escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house and is haunting the woods around Blood Moon Bay. If Toby discovered something sinister during his investigations, was his death no accident?
The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken leaves Jillian with more questions than answers - and with the added complication of a powerful mutual attraction. She suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth and begins to discover secrets that lie deep within Rothewell... and at the very heart of who she is.
When Jillian is informed that her Uncle Toby passed away after committing suicide she’s the only family that is willing and able to come and collect his belongings. Upon visiting the quaint seaside village of Rothewell that he was staying at, she finds quickly that there is something strange about this town. Realizing that her Uncle Toby had been staying there working as a ghost hunter she realizes that he may have been right and something is in fact haunting this village. Determined to prove that her Uncle didn’t kill himself Jillian teams up with a gentleman from Scotland Yard to solve the mystery so he can rest in peace.
‘What had just happened between us? He’d touched only my arm, but I’d felt the reverberations of that touch through my body like an echo. I could still feel them now.’
An Inquiry Into Love and Death is comprised of ghosts, family secrets, conspiracy and romance. The romance was the most unexpected addition and I wasn’t sure it was the best addition but it was still nonetheless sweet. It felt very historical romance/bodice ripper to me though and considering I went into this expecting an intricate historical fiction/ghost story it could have been a disappointment. I think the fact that I do enjoy historical romances made this not such a downside but I can see this being a flaw as the marketing on this didn’t hint at this as much as it should have.
There are many spooky moments and the writing was vivid and detailed to heighten the visualization. I found it intriguing that there are not only instances of ghosts but boggarts as well. Having not encountered any boggarts since Harry Potter I thought this was an interesting and fresh concept to the normal ghost story.
This was a well-told and entertaining story but didn’t have anything exceptionally special to garner a higher rating. I think having the understand beforehand that romance plays a huge part in her stories typically will help adjust my expectations prior to starting. Definitely intrigued enough by this author to check out earlier works though.
Hilarious new fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Is the New Black and If You Were Here .
Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.
Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was...or can she?
Lissy Ryder is that kind of girl in school that is super popular and you can’t help but love/hate her. I know we all went to school with at least one Lissy-type. Her 20-year high school reunion is coming up and shortly before, everything about her life seems to falling apart at the seams. She’s kicked out of her swanky gym for not paying the fees, she gets fired from her job and her husband just asked her for a divorce.
Choosing not to wallow and instead pick herself up and go to her reunion she discovers that the people from high school don’t love her as much as they used. Actually? They pretty much hate everything about her. But what can she do? It’s not like she can change the past or anything… right?
I can’t help but love Jen Lancaster. I’ve followed her on Twitter and on her blog for years, I’ve read all of her memoirs, and she’s one seriously hilarious lady. But in ‘Here I Go Again’ I felt that her sense of humor really shined through in a whole new refreshing kind of way.
I loved pretty much everything about the book. 80’s references were strewn throughout (mainly regarding the big hair bands) and being a personal lover of the 80’s (and big hair bands) this was incredibly fun. I loved the cast of characters that were so completely hilarious, although Deva and her quirkiness was my favorite. But what made this most enjoyable was the fact that Lissy’s ‘change’ into a better person after realizing how wrong she was in the past was truly genuine. The time travel bit was goofy but completely intentional. Did it make a whole lot of sense? No. Was it supposed to? No. But was it entertaining? Absolutely.
Jen managed to write an extremely multi-layered story that was hilarious and incredibly enjoyable. Normally with these stories there’s always the picture perfect happy ending, but in ‘Here I Go Again’, well, as Lissy would say:
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city iself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.
That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.
Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.
*Keep in mind, this spoiler is intended for those of you who have read the first four books. Any spoilers for this book will be placed in spoiler brackets; however, I’m keeping spoilers from the previous books visible. You have been warned!*
As if Merit doesn’t have enough to deal with emotionally after the loss of her lover, partner, and Master, strange things are happening in Chicago and the vampires are automatically blamed. Lake Michigan has turned pitch black magical vacuum and is affecting all supernaturals in the area. As the book progresses more events are occurring around the Windy City but there are zero leads as to who could possibly be responsible and who could even be magically strong enough to be able to cause these incidents.
I appreciated how the author didn’t shuffle Merit’s feelings under the rug regarding the loss of Ethan. I think it was vitally important to the story overall to show how affected she was by his absence in order to show how much he truly meant to her (as if we had any doubts). Thankfully, she didn’t turn into a super wimp and she still maintained the bad ass-ness that we all know and love.
Mallory turned into more of a minor character in Drink Deep and didn’t play as central of a role as she has in the past. Mallory is in the middle of taking her exams to become a sorceress and is naturally a bit stressed but it’s putting major strain on her and Merit’s relationship. I always found Mallory to be a major part of this series and I quite liked her. Oddly enough, I had a hard time even liking Mallory in this book.
Jonah has become a partner to Merit and is still trying to convince her of the reasons to join the Red Guard (RG). Jonah was a pretty awesome addition to an already great cast of characters if I do say so myself. Jonah is naturally a seemingly potential love interest for Merit and honestly, I was okay with that possibility. I liked him quite a lot.
Frank Cabot is a representative of Greenwich Presidium (GP) sent to evaluate Cadogan House. Naturally, he’s a huge pain in the ass. As Maja put it quite perfectly, he’s a ringer for Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter.
He was an outsider sent to label us as nonconforming and pound us, square pegs, back into round holes.
What I Felt Was Missing
There were a few key things that I missed in this book. Naturally I missed Ethan as he was such a huge character in the previous books. Also, the whole storyline was extremely tense but nothing was really going on, it was kind of stagnant until the last ¼ of the book when the action finally started happening. I would have loved to see more action throughout the book. But what I missed the most was the humor. I think the banter between Mallory and Merit made for a witty and funny addition to the series and it was sorely missed in this installment.
What I Felt Should Have Been Left Out
So… this is one big major spoiler so you are warned!
View Spoiler »Okay, so hurray Ethan is back. That’s all well and good and yes I’m as happy as the next person… HOWEVER. Merit goes through the healing process getting over the loss of Ethan and all that. And here comes Jonah, the potential love interest. And Chloe Neill gets us to love him and if you were like me I was actually liking the possibility of those two getting together; I mean Merit can’t be alone forever and Jonah would not be the worst one to end up with. Then here comes zombie Ethan and naturally Merit goes straight back to him which I’m FINE with, don’t get me wrong. But creating that potential love interest was a real letdown for me and I think that shouldn’t have been allowed to go as far as it did. « Hide Spoiler
And I’m done.
So regardless of the fact that I was ecstatic to finally be reading this, I went into this with some existing irritation after the loss of Ethan. By the time the ending rolled around I was appeased and of course still plan on continuing the series because I love me some Chloe Neill. Seriously. This is one of the most enjoyable series still running and I’m glad these stories are still as enjoyable as the first. But I’m still looking for one to top Number 3, also known as the current best in the series. 😀
Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.
Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.
Wow… just wow. This was by far the best book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (so far at least). Total 5 stars… LOVED IT. And okay, it’s official. This book has made me an official card carrying member of the Ethan Sullivan fan club. lol That’s all I’ll say.
Twice Bitten opens where the 2nd left off… Gabriel Keene is coming to town and he has requested that Ethan and Merit be in charge of his security detail. Gabriel is working to bring together all the shape shifters so that a vote can be conducted on whether they stay in Chicago or return to their home in Alaska.
This is going to be a super short review because so much happened that I would hate to ruin for readers of this series. Suffice it to say, this book was one major roller coaster ride that I never wanted to stop. The characters were all sorts of spectacular, except I did kind of want to beat Ethan on the head on several occasions, but my opinion did change by the end. Merit and Mallory have kissed and made up, which was phenomenal because their interactions are beyond hilarious. I mean how can you not laugh at a line like this:
“And leprachauns might poop rainbows on your pillow.”
All in all this book kept me enthralled and I can’t wait to dive into the next installation!
You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle yet.
But all that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior, putting mere mortals at ease with their policy of asking a person’s consent before taking a big gulp of the red stuff. However, that doesn’t make good copy for a first time reporter looking to impress his high society family.
So now my “master,” the centuries old, yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan, wants me to reconnect with my own upper class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires—and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge.
The second addition to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series picks up where the first left off (and it’s recommended you read the first before diving into this one.) Merit is still learning to adjust to her new status as a vampire but as Sentinel to Cadogan House. News that vampires are conducting raves where humans are practically slaughtered causes Merit to have to become reacquainted with her family members in order to act as a buffer between vampires and humans. Merit’s ‘separation’ between her and her vampire starts becoming more and more problematic.
So slowly but surely we’re heading in the love triangle direction and I am not all for this… however it’s not the most painful one I’ve encountered. Merit and Ethan obviously have the hots for each other but neither seems willing to act on it… but the tension is still definitely present. Merit and Morgan were practically forced into a courtship at the end of the last book but the emotions aren’t exactly forced, I’m not talking arranged marriages here; however, Morgan certainly has far more feelings for Merit than she does for him.
So I was all for Ethan in this book (as most of you are)… especially after the scene where he (view spoiler) I mean way to touch the squishy parts of my heart. But there’s just something I really like about Morgan… maybe it’s the tall, dark and handsome thing he’s got going for him.
I went to Chloe Neill’s website and she has a picture posted of her interpretation of Morgan and … oooh. I like him even more. Hahaha Up until then I’d be imagining Morgan along the lines of this:
I actually enjoyed this one even more than number one… it was funnier, far more interesting, and way more exciting. Believe it or not I’m actually moving straight on to book 3! 🙂
First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.
Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she?s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries? worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan?s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood.
This was a great start to a new series by Chloe Neill. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read because fun it definitely is.
Vampires existence has been revelealed to humans and they’re still in the… adjusting phase. Some are skeptical, some are convinced, and some are just plain scared. The ‘Chicagoland Vampires’ series introduces Merit, a graduate student who didn’t exactly buy the whole vampire thing, is attacked on campus one night by a rogue vampire. The rogue vampire ends up running off when Ethan Sullivan, master vampire of Cadogan House shows up and saves her life… but ends up making her a new initiate of Cadogan House. When Merit comes to next, she’s already been turned and can’t remember anything since the attack that night. She has some difficulty adjusting to her new lifestyle but that ends up changing as the book progresses.
She’s also got support from her Grandfather who is an ex-cop but still involved in protecting the people. He works with a group of people, Jeff (shapeshifter) and Catcher (sorcerer), who is in charge of ‘patrolling’ the supernaturals in the city; including the ones that the humans still don’t have knowledge about. Catcher accepts the job of teaching Merit how to fight in order for her to be a useful member of Cadogan house, especially since there seem to be more human deaths occurring and quite possibly by the same vampire who attacked Merit.
Naturally, Merit and Ethan have chemistry, but it’s not the immediate hot and heavy for each other chemistry that you typically see. Their chemistry is a chemistry that can’t be helped even though it’s the last thing that either of them wants. Can they learn to fight it or do they eventually give in? Well, I’m going to keep this spoiler free, you’ll just have to read it. 🙂
Highly enjoyable, not lacking in originality, and will definitely be continuing this series!