Sunday, October 23, 2016

#MMBBR #Review Only Daughter by @AnnaSnoekstra @HarlequinBooks

In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman's dark past becomes another's deadly future 
In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.  
She'd been enjoying her summer break: working at a fast-food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—a presence in her room at night, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.  
Eleven years later she is replaced. 
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.  
Soon the impostor is living Bec's life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends' names. Playing with her little brothers. 
But Bec's welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the impostor dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.

Wow, this spine tingling novel had me both nervous and excited.  There were many twists and turns and I never really knew what was to come next.  It was written in such a way that kept my interest because of the alternating perspectives.  There was such a brilliant plot, great characters that were developed at a perfect pace and a story that was original, engaging and well plotted.  A great read for fall or for a book club!

Anna SnoekstraAnna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia in 1988. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at Melbourne University, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.

Anna's short films and music videos have screened around the world. She has written an array of published and award winning short fiction. Her debut novel ONLY DAUGHTER will be published in September 2016 (Mira).

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mixing It Up by @traciebanister Release Week Blitz #Giveaway #MMBBR

Mixing It Up by [Banister, Tracie]
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?
The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her jobeven if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.
Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a saut√© pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.
As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Purchase a copy of Mixing It Up between October 19th, 2016 and October 25th, 2016 and you could win this fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s heroine and her love of French food!
This prize pack includes:
Garnier-Thiebaut Oh, La La, Chéri French-themed 4-piece Kitchen Linens Set
(Apron, kitchen towel, pot holder, and oven mitt.)
Kate Spade Deco Dot Recipe Box with 8 tabbed dividers and 40 recipe cards
The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano

To enter this giveaway, simply e-mail the author at with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 26th, 2016 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Mixing It Up within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)
Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine Only the Hunted Run: A Sully Carter Novel by Neely Tucker

“The test of a crime series is its main character, and Sully is someone we'll want to read about again and again.” —Lisa Scottoline, The Washington Post

“Fast-moving and suspenseful with an explosively violent conclusion.” Bruce DeSilva, Associated Press

“Tucker’s Sully Carter novels have quickly sneaked up on me as one of my favorite new series.” —Sarah Weinman, “The Crime Lady”

The riveting third novel in the Sully Carter series finds the gutsy reporter investigating a shooting at the Capitol and the violent world of the nation’s most corrupt mental institution

In the doldrums of a broiling Washington summer, a madman goes on a shooting rampage in the Capitol building. Sully Carter is at the scene and witnesses the carnage firsthand and files the first and most detailed account of the massacre. The shooter, Terry Waters, is still on the loose and becomes obsessed with Sully, luring the reporter into the streets of D.C. during the manhunt. Not much is known about Waters when he is finally caught, except that he hails from the Indian reservations of Oklahoma. His rants in the courtroom quickly earn him a stay at Saint Elizabeth’s mental hospital, and the paper sends Sully out west to find out what has led a man to such a horrific act of violence.

As Sully hits the road to see what he can dig up on Waters back in Oklahoma, he leaves his friend Alexis to watch over his nephew, Josh, who is visiting DC for the summer. Traversing central Oklahoma, Sully discovers that a shadow lurks behind the Waters family history and that the ghosts of the past have pursued the shooter for far longer than Sully could have known. When a local sheriff reveals the Waterses’ deep connection with Saint Elizabeth’s, Sully realizes he must find a way to gain access to the asylum, no matter the consequences.

This book was a wild ride.  Even though I never read the other books in the series I was still able to follow the story line without an issue.   It was very intense and quite thought provoking.  It was paced so well and the plots were so interesting.  There were times that I was holding my breath because it got so intense and I never knew what way it was going to twist or turn.  A great book to snuggle up with and get lost in this Fall.

#FirstLine ~ He couldn't count the shots for the screaming

Neely TuckerThe third novel in the Sully Carter series, "Only the Hunted Run," publishes on Aug. 30, from Viking. Publishers Weekly, the first to file a review, dubs it "provocative...a terrifying thriller."

Sully, one of the few reporters stuck in Washington in the August doldrums in the summer of 2000, is filling in for a colleague when shooting breaks out in the Capitol building. The killer, Terry Waters, kills a congressman from Oklahoma by stabbing him through the eyes with a pair of ice picks. He also manages to escape.

Sully, the only surviving witness, soon finds himself being tracked down by Waters. This pursuit eventually leads both men to St. Elizabeths, the gothic mental hospital in Southeast D.C, which scars everyone it touches -- if it doesn't bury them.

Based on a real-life shooting at the Capitol in 1997, "Hunted" follows "The Ways of the Dead" and "Murder, D.C." As always, the streets of the city, from the power of K Street to the deadly avenues just a few blocks away, are as central to the story as the characters. 

The previous Sully novels have drawn extensive praise. The Daily Mail (U.K.) dubbed "Murder" one of 2015's Best Three Crime Novels. Kirkus: "There’s no more satisfying sight than a writer who knows exactly what he’s doing—and only gets better at what he does.” The Miami Herald, said of "Ways, "This book is worthy of Elmore Leonard’s legacy…an exciting first novel that echoes the best writing of Pete Hamill and George Pelecanos, mixed with a bit of The Wire and True Detective.”

Tucker was born in Lexington, Miss., one of the poorest places in America, in 1963. He has filed stories from more than 60 countries or territories and is currently assigned to the 2016 Presidential campaign. 

His memoir, "Love in the Driest Season," was named one of the Top 25 Books of 2004 by Publishers Weekly. It has been published in the U.K., Germany, Australia and Brazil. It has twice been optioned for film development in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine The End of Miracles by Monica Starkman @shewritespress

International Book Awards 2016 finalist for literary fiction

Margo Kerber has endured difficult years battling infertility while trying to sustain her good marriage and satisfying career. When a seemingly miraculous pregnancy ends in a late miscarriage, Margo is devastated. For a time, the unshakable yet false belief that she is pregnant again provides relief from all-consuming grief. When her fantasy inevitably clashes with reality, Margo falls into a deep depression requiring admission to a psychiatric unit. Uncertain if the sometimes chaotic environment there is helping or making her worse, she seizes an opportunity to flee. Alone on the city streets, new fantasies propel her to commit a crime with devastating consequences for herself and others.

Written by a prominent psychiatrist, this stirring portrait of one woman’s psychological unraveling takes readers on a journey across the blurred boundaries between sanity and depression, madness and healing.

What an amazing book.  Filled with intrigue, suspense and sheer engagement of the mind.  Starkman really gets the human mind and can capture its unraveling after heartbreak with such sharp detail and honors the struggles faced by many.  The story was twisty and turny and kept me gripped me to the pages.  It was intense, well drawn out and one not to be missed.  It was almost hard to put into words how I felt about this book, so please read this book and come back and tell me your thoughts! We all need to talk about this book! 

#FirstLine ~ The dream was always the same—a flood of babies dribbling out of her mouth, dozens, tumbling head over heels. 

Monica Starkman
I am a psychiatrist/novelist. As a faculty member of the University of Michigan Medical School's Department of Psychiatry, I'm a clinician, scientific researcher and teacher. My novel: The End of Miracles, draws deeply from my experiences on psychiatric units and with patients. I also write regularly and have my own page as an Expert for Psychology Today : . Other articles have been in, The New Republic and Vogue. I publish the results of my research in the scientific literature. These articles are primarily about the effects of stress hormones on mood and brain structure. I also study conditions related to women (such as the first investigation of women’s reactions to the use of fetal monitors during labor). This interest, too, is at the core of The End of Miracles. So you could say that my two professions: psychiatrist and novelist, are two sides of the same coin.

Monday, October 17, 2016

#MMBBR #Review #AdultColoring #Coloring Edgar Allan Poe: An Adult Coloring Book by @odessabegay

Dive into the macabre, mysterious world of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tales with popular coloring book artist Odessa Begay (Little Birds). Inspired by Poe’s beloved stories, Begay has created images that reference settings, motifs, and details that fans will recognize.

Odessa Begay


Any fan of Poe will be delighted when they grab their coloring tools and dive into the illustrated mind and works of one of the greats.  I like that there are quotes worked into the drawings, it adds a really neat element.  I feel that these pages would be best colored with colored pencils.  I always make copies of the pictures and color those, but if you color in the book the book with markers, they may bleed through.  There are a lot of small details and some of them so into the binding of the book.    There is definitely something for everyone in this book.  I really like it!  A must for Poe fans and an coloring treat for all.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#MMBBR #Review Memory House: Memory House Collection (Volume 1) by @BetteLeeCrosby

A MAGICAL LOVE STORY... Memory House, a place where friendship turns to love and love lasts forever.

Ophelia Browne knows a memory can outlive its owner. She knows because she's been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she's nearing ninety, and needs to find a successor - soon. 

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and she fears things have gone too far. 

Winner of the 2015 FAPA President's Book Award Silver Medal

There is something interesting and different when you read a book that has touches of magic mixed into a story filled with so much heart.  In the Memory House you are taken into a house that hold secrets, memories, love and so much more.  You are shown what friendship and love really mean and are shown that nothing is ever so black and white, but various shades of gray.  It was a delightful story and I am excited to see that this is only the first book the series.

Bette Lee CrosbyUSA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures."

Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down."

"Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write."

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

Crosby's published works to date are: Silver Threads (2016), The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd (2016), Baby Girl (2016), What the Heart Remembers (2015), The Loft (2015), Memory House (2015), Passing through Perfect (2015), Wishing for Wonderful (2014), Blueberry Hill (2014), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Jubilee's Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Life in the Land of IS (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

#MMBBR #Reviews #ChapterBooks @HolidayHouseBks @EnaJones #VivianVandeVelde #BooknerdBoyBraden

Thirteen-year-old Clayton's new assignment for the Special Service means adopting a new identity indefinitely. He has to leave behind his friends and beloved lacrosse team to live as Max Carrington, a student at the Sydney Brown School, where the President's son Kyle is a seventh grader. But Clayton isn't the only new kid at school and there's something odd about his fellow outsider, James Scott. Is James hiding something, and is he a threat to Kyle?
The chaos of undercover life keeps Clayton on his toes as he rushes from one crisis to the next, while a cutthroat school election brings out some strong personalities at Sydney Brown. To make matters worse, Clayton's new lacrosse team is set to play Masters Academy in the playoffs. It looks like he will face off against his best friends and former teammates! Clayton's adventures are better than ever in this funny and heartwarming sequel to Clayton Stone, At Your Service.

Braden's Review:

I was so excited when I got to read an early copy of Clayton Stone, Facing Off because I gave the first book, Clayton Stone, At Your Service, a 10 star review.  In this book, we get to hang out with Clayton this time there is a new identity for Clayton, but all the same adventure and suspense as there was in the first book.  I never really knew what was going to happen and that makes for a really fun reading time. I was always excited to fill my Mom in about what Clayton was doing.  Another hit!!! 

A gleefully oblivious Squirrel narrates this rib-tickling chapter book about how he turns a family get together upside-down.
Squirrel, the chief mischief maker from 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel / 1 Dog = Chaos is ready to party. He enters Cuddles-the-dog's house through a special entrance for squirrels on the roof, aka the chimney. Holiday festivities are soon in shambles, and Cuddles, the presumed culprit, is banished to the basement. Meanwhile, the littlest human runs away into a snowstorm unnoticed by everyone except Squirrel.
Long-suffering Cuddles must team up with the willfully obtuse Squirrel to rescue the child in this comical story told from a squirrel-centric point of view."

Braden's Review:
This book is so funny.  We read it together as a family and had such fun watching this squirrel cause chaos, but it was also pretty heartwarming.  It was a fun mix of many things and my family and I think it was really great!  It could be a new family read together favorite!

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