Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Top Reads of 2014

2014 has been a hard year emotionally and looking back, not much change from 2013.  I have got to look within and figure it out.

I initially wasn't going to do a Top Ten but when I looked, I haven't read many books and felt like I didn't complete many either BUT the ones I did, I loved or really enjoyed so of course I want to share with you.  The blogging community is all about us sharing our love of books so I don't want to forget that.

Novel Adult - never did figure out this new genre - Psychological Thriller fans that do not mind a few good detailed sex scenes. Warning - there is an incest rape scene, please proceed with caution when reading this amazing book.

My Review 

Adult Fiction - The best laugh out loud book I have read in years. Review 5 star

Thriller - completely edge of your seat, intense thriller. Review 5 star

Thriller - action packed race to the end thriller.  Review 4 1/2 

Thriller - unputdownable, great intensity thriller.  Review 5 star

Women's Fiction - Heather is a go to author for me. Emotional with a genuine embrace.  My Review 5 star

Suspense - Strong women, Charlie's Angels meets Scandal, Summary, didn't review 4 1/2 star

Women's Fiction - great friendship story, loved it.  Review 4 1/2 star

Mystery - great book to keep you reading into the night.  Review 4 1/2

Adult Fiction - Very intriguing multiple points of view perfectly done. Review 4 1/2

I wish all of you a happy, fun filled, healthy, successful 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday - What are you reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I'm going to start a Christmas book tonight.  I loved Jason F. Wright's The Wednesday Letters so this should be fun.

I completed and it will be on my top 2014 list - My Review

I also read this for Bookclub

And this is January's bookclub choice

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review - Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Book Summary

Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell.

But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behaviour becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—compulsively checks the locks and doors in her apartment, trusting no one. But when an attractive upstairs neighbour, Stuart, comes into her life, Cathy dares to hope that happiness and love may still be possible . . . until she receives a phone call informing her of Lee’s impending release. Soon after, Cathy thinks she catches a glimpse of the former best friend who testified against her in the trial; she begins to return home to find objects subtly rearranged in her apartment, one of Lee’s old tricks. Convinced she is back in her former lover’s sights, Cathy prepares to wrestle with the demons of her past for the last time.

My Review - 5 star

This is a chunkster read, 611 pages but what an intense thrill, I completed it in 4 days and I am a normal 1 book a week reader with most books at 400.  This was completely an edge of your seat read.

I loved the 3 year span, Chapters about 2004 with her boyfriend, being swept off her feet to the destructive controlling relationship vs 2007 now living in fear that he will find her and this time, be successful in killing her.  Both time periods were gripping and effective to moving the story along.

Cathy used to party hard with an amazing group of friends.  This all changed once Lee came into her life.  Everyone thought he was perfect, including Cathy at first.  She tried to talk to best friends about the changes but wanting their own perfect boyfriend made them become overshadowed with really understanding.  This sounds crazy but Elizabeth Haynes made it all so real and complicated.

Cathy started a new life after escaping near death. I enjoyed learning more about OCD and PTSD, which she was diagnosed for as part of her escape mechanisms.  Cathy became a new person, different personality in order to protect herself. Throughout this she met someone also which helped her confront her OCD.  The repetition of her checking doors etc for her safety may seem to much for some readers, but I thought it hit home with the intensity of it.

I thought the ending was brilliant.  At times there was some gruesome abuse scenes but so effective, none for the shock factor. Controlling manipulative people can be so charming, it is truly amazing to see the destruction many were affected by.  I loved the end, totally made you think and realise how strong Cathy really was to have survived and fought for her life and rights.

I highly recommend, the repetition for me, created the intensity of the story but may put others off.

Another bloggers review - Matt from A Guys Moleskin, the review that sold me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - This is Where I Leave You

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! 

Just do the following and go here to participate: Teaser Tuesday

Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page 
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

I am trying to get back into my favourite past time and de-stress time - Reading

This teaser is from a book I read during my 2 months of being missing, really enjoyed it and look forward to watching the movie. 


And now I see you, so angry about what happened to your marriage, and I just want to tell you, at some point it doesn't matter who is right and who was wrong.  At some point, being angry is just another bad habit, like smoking, and you keep poisoning yourself without thinking about it."

Have you watched the movie?  Good?

I look forward to networking and checking out the teasers.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not ready to give up........

Friends, I have missed you.  I think of you often but just couldn't get into posting or networking.  I haven't read a book in 2 months, eek.  My mind has been full.

  • Stress at work
  • Moving into the house - all sorts of emotions with this one
  • Trying to build my yoga business
  • Just life

I also think I tried a few books that were terrible or just not the right mood for me which didn't help. Through it all I have realised I think this is the best form for me and I miss many of you and reading books.  

I receive amazon emails and I no longer recognise the newest, lol, now that is showing how long I haven't been here.

I hope to be back.

Holiday preparation is beginning, Christmas is in the air......


I am currently reading

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review - Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler

Book Description

When a top secret program of implanting harrowing memories into innocent people comes to light, neurosurgeon Tom McCarthy is literally caught in the crossfire.  While McCarthy looks forward to a three-day weekend, his office is suddenly raided by two Department of Defense investigators bent on arresting him for a crime he didn't commit.  All hell breaks loose when an inadvertent scuffle escalates, leaving one agent dead at the hands of the other and McCarthy fleeing but hopelessly trapped inside the labyrinthine corridors, heating ducts and stairways of a gigantic Seattle medical center.

With the CIA and Seattle PD closing in, McCarthy unwittingly pulls Dr. Sarah Hamilton into the fray.  And like rats in a maze, they struggle to stay one step ahead of their deadly hunters, while simultaneously uncovering a trail of corruption that reaches shocking dimensions.

My Review 3 1/2

I have read Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler, I enjoy his medical thrillers and so far can see it is a run for your life, medical competitive culture as a consistent style in his books.

It is annoying and a little unbelievable how Physicians can become 'God like' with their thinking, all powerful and will do what they want but with no morals.  How dare they make life changing surgeries without patients knowing?  The Physician doing this secret program is now scared to death that Dr. McCarthy, the Physician that patients have went to for a second opinion will figure out what is going on.  He lies to all in order to put out a hit on Dr. McCarthy.

Without knowing Dr. McCarthy's background, they do not realise he has what it takes to fight back and make sure everyone knows he is the good doctor and prove they are dead wrong.  When he tricks one of the detectives to kill his own, this when all bets are off and bringing him in becomes personal.

The cat and mouse was exciting at first but then became a little repetitive and lost its suspenseful impact. The complexity of the surgeries was to detailed in my opinion but you can tell the author was a neurosurgeon as he uses his experience to capture the true medical details.

I would read more of Allen Wyler's medical thrillers.  Dead End Deal reminded me of "Locked up Abroad".

Go here to purchase

Publishers site, Astor+Blue


Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reading book, can't wait to watch movie - Jonathan Tropper

After watching the trailer I knew I had to read the book, only a few chapters in but I am loving it, so funny.

I can't wait to go to the movies to watch.

Have you read this, would love to read your review when i'm done.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - T. E. Woods, The Justice trilogy

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event spotlighting upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

The Unforgivable Fix (Book 3) will be released October 2014

I am currently reading Book 1 - The Fixer and have downloaded book 2, this is looking like a great trilogy, I am pleased, exciting, great women leads and suspense.  I hope it gets continues to get better.

Never a doubt. Never a mistake. Always for justice. Never for revenge. She’s the person you hire when you need something fixed—permanently. With a strict set of criteria, she evaluates every request and chooses only a few. No more than one job per country, per year. She will only step in if it’s clear that justice will not be served any other way. Her jobs are completed with skill and precision, and never result in inquiry or police investigation. The Fixer is invisible—and quite deadly. . . .
In the office of a clinical psychologist in Olympia, Washington, a beautiful young woman is in terrible emotional pain. She puts up walls, tells lies, and seems to speak in riddles, but the doctor is determined to help her heal, despite the fact that she claims to have hurt many people. As their sessions escalate, the psychologist feels compelled to reach out to the police . . . but it might be too late.

In Seattle, a detective gets a call from his son. A dedicated journalist, he wants his father’s expertise as he looks into a suspicious death. Together they follow the trail of leads toward a stone-cold hired killer—only to find that death has been closer than either could have imagined.

Review to come next week.

Book 2 - The Red Hot Fix

What great covers right.........  have you read them, would love to read your review when I am completed Book 1.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review - The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Published 2012

Book Summary

What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it’s on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact.
Industry is grinding to a halt. Most people have abandoned their jobs. But not Hank Palace. As our story opens, he’s investigating the latest suicide in a city that’s full of suicides—only this one feels wrong. This one feels like homicide. And Palace is the only one who cares. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die?
My Review - 3
I read Bedbugs in 2012 and enjoyed the eccentric and weird story, great for horror fans.  I wanted to try Ben Winters again and have had this on my TBR list for awhile. I am not a fan of series so wasn't sure about this one but with the newest book out and the publisher reaching out, I went for it.
This wasn't my cup of tea, it was a good mystery but a little on the science fiction side and without a true ending due to it being a trilogy.  I love a standalone mystery, in order to have an outcome.  I don't enjoy cliffhangers, it annoys me instead of making me excited for the next.
The story did make you think if the world was coming to an end, an asteroid was coming and all would die, what would you do?  If it was 6 months away, would most people give up life, commit suicide or leave their jobs and travel the world, be with family etc, would that really happen.  I honestly don't know.  I am not sure I would believe the news but who knows.
Detective Hank was new in his role, a dream come true and so when a body was found and everything pointed to suicide, he was committed to proving it was a murder.  I enjoyed this but it felt a little drawn out.
Ben Winters is a good writer and I think he would have a great fan base that will love all his writing. This wasn't thrilling enough for me to continue on with the trilogy but unique story, just not for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review - Before you Die by Samantha Hayes

Book Summary - 

Oh God, please don't let me die.

It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.

Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.

Is history about to repeat itself?

DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.

Are the recent deaths suicide - or murder?

And is the nightmare beginning again?

My Review - 4 

I love Samantha Hayes, she is a go to author for me.  Covers have an impact on readers so I was confused with the similar cover to Until You're Mine (see below), they are similar but not part of a series, possibly same DI but I'm not completely sure.  Now that I have read the book it also doesn't do anything for the story.

I enjoyed the family story line incorporated in the suspense investigation, well done, it kept you wondering what and who was really involved. I thought the characters could have been flushed out better but I think it was intentional at the end.

Gil, is a family member who is autistic and adds to the suspense of the story but is he a reliable character, great distraction.  I enjoyed his mumbling's and artistic way of communicating.  It was amazing how the family accepted him for who he was but they didn't respect him.

Lorraine goes to her sisters house for vacation and when questioning an incident meets up with a Detective that she has no respect for professionally from the past and begins questioning and looking into investigations that may have not been fully complete. Teenage suicides and homeless kids committed suicide and not fully investigated.  Does a suicide note immediately mean suicide? You are able to figure out something is going on but everyone you point your finger to, doesn't really make sense, it is a good challenge trying to piece it all together.

A very scary undercurrent was the bullying Lorraine's nephew was going through.  The family dynamics the teenagers were dealing with was intense, mind blowing at times.  I really judge when reading books and think parents are pretty damn bad, it is written on the wall and you're to scared to do anything, the most ridiculous parenting style in my opinion, just let your child die then, WTF is that, ok, enough venting.

The story was intense, had family drama, many clues that you will enjoy but misleading so it was entertaining to try and figure out.  There were a few, I can't believe it moments, but it was my own bias. The reason for the suicide and or murder, eye rolling.

This can be read as a stand alone. All of her books are solid reads, I have gave Tell Tale 5 stars.

Thank you to Netgally for allowing me to read this one.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What are you reading? World Cup is over.......

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

My last meme post was on June 1st, wow.  I have been happily distracted with World Cup, I loved it. I am for France and they made it to the Top 8, good job.  Congrats to Germany, they played consistently throughout the World Cup, very much deserved.

I mainly have been reading Netgalley reads and have been pleased with them.

Currently Reading - I love the movie adaptations, but this is my first Bourne read.

I read and reviewed this debut - Good Girl, my review 3 1/2

I am considering between 2 reads as my next, I have read a book by both authors before. Bad Moon is a hardback which I used to love by Dead Wrong is an ebook which is my new love.  

Also, my furniture arrived for my new house, happy dance :-)  We now have to put it together, sigh. That is not my strength, I am visual, so fabric, furniture and hardware choices then design, not the put together, lol.

I hope you have an amazing week.

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review - The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Publication - July 29, 2014

Book Summary from NetGalley

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life. 

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter. 

My Review - 3 1/2 star

I enjoyed this psychological thriller debut by Mary Kubica.  My concern is when debuts are labeled as similar to other books, in this case Gone Girl.  I'm tired of it, I wasn't a fan of Gone Girl, which for one, may actually keep readers away from the book.  I also think it sets debut authors up for failure.

I thought this was a great debut, I felt like there was inspiration of authors throughout the novel and so I look forward to MaryK finding her own voice. I thoroughly enjoy when multiple points of view are used and I think it was executed well.  The netgalley version was hard to read as there were no chapters, just continuous writing but that is one of the down faults of an ARC.

The beginning sucked you in and the ending was great with an amazing bonus at the end, brilliant I thought, not shocking as I had the thought but still great unique spin. My concern was in the middle. An abduction plan is set and then Colin decides to keep Mia, I wished I understood more of why.  This is where I think MaryK could have had a hit especially with the unique ending, but it did seem to drag on a bit.

My take was that MaryK couldn't decide if she wanted to focus on the investigation, the lives of those grieving the loss of Mia or the suspense of Colin and Mia victim/abductor relationship and so no area was fleshed out enough, some details came across as unnecessary instead of building on the suspense. This was my main complaint, I thought this book could have been sit on the edge of your seat worthy and it just missed the wow factor.

There was a lot going on in this book but either editing was needed or just further writing experience which she will get in time.  I would give Mary Kubica another try, it piqued my attention and overall I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Apologies for being Missing - WORLD CUP

Blogging Friends,

Please accept my apology for not posting and networking.  World Cup only comes every 4 years and for a whole month. It is the ultimate delight.  I have always been a football fan, no English team but I have been for France in World Cup since 1998 when we beat Brazil 3-0.  Well France has made it to the Top 4, they play tomorrow against Germany.  I have had to take extra time from work to watch my games :-)

I can go on and on but I won't bore you, eeek.  Oh one more for the USA fans.  Your goal keeper Howard IS THE MAN.  He saved the most goals in a World Cup since 1966, amazing.  He was total super hero worthy even though they lost at the end.

I have been reading though......... 

I am currently reading a NetGalley, reminds me of Still Missing, similar but different.

I also finished the June Goodreads Group - A Good Thriller read - my first by Karin Slaughter, I enjoyed it but will go with her new books now, she just released a new one Cop Town.

I also finished another by Marcus Sakey.  So I am officially behind 2 reviews which is not good for me, very hard to go back and review, sigh

So friends, if I have missed a post or review you would like me to check out, let me know.  I do think about you :-) 

World Cup will all be over next Sunday, HOPEFULLY FRANCE AS WINNERS :-)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review - Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Published - August 2012

Book Summary

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a daughter’s unflinching love for her imperfect mother.

My Review - 5 star

Where'd you go, Bernadette is the best laugh I have had by a book in years.  I had to walk away at one stage because I was crying with laughter.  I controlled myself came back and started up again, so funny.  When I found out Maria Semple is a television writer for Ellen DeGeneres, it all made sense.  I was so pleased I gave Maria a second chance.  I tried to read This One is Mine and I abandoned it, this came across as a different writer to me, so well done to her for having talent to write so differently and please a wider range of readers.

Bernadette was a fun character, some will say crazy, I will say eccentric at the highest level.  The summary states is best, she fits the role of the eyes of the beholder.  Bernadette with her daughter and husband live in a house that everyone else thinks is abandoned, and they are wealthy, but she is a brilliant designer so she is going to create the most amazing home right, sometime soon, it must be.  You have to read for the true laughable understanding. Her neighbours and parent association do not like her and she continues to despise them also, calling them gnats.  Is she infesting her own life or is the outside, or maybe she is just not dealing with a full deck, lol.

Bea is able to choose anything she wants after she Aced her report card and chose a vacation to the Antarctica. Her mom agreed but was having an internal melt down due to her lack of social skills.  She was researching the freezing unlivable part of Antarctica instead of the vacationing part and built up a paranoia which had you laughing and also feeling sorry for her.  The author did a fabulous job with Antarctica description.

Bernadette hired an online assistant, the suspense on where this relationship will end was jaw dropping funny. Yes, people can be so naive and stupid, I'm laughing just at the thought.  Bernadette goes missing and the search and pieces of the story all start coming together brilliantly.

Maria Semple uses a unique style to format her story; emails, letters, school notes,  detective notes, even bills to take us on the journey, there is no way you get caught up in the style because you are smiling, giggling and falling over yourself with laughter throughout the book.

Such a great read, I loved it and would highly recommend when you need a light hearty fun read.

This was a book club read and all 6 of us enjoyed it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Do you give Authors second chances?

I just finished Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  It is for a book club meet up in person next week.  I have only been once as a guest and they have invited me to join.  I was excited until I heard the book chosen, sigh.  I tried to read Maria Semple's first This One is Mine and it was a DNF, I could not get into it at all and it wasn't a mood issue.  Well..... talk about a comeback, I loved this one, look out for review this week.

So it got me thinking, I wonder if I should change my reading strategy and give authors a second chance.  If I try a new author to me, not necessarily a debut author and I DNF, I have never gave them another chance.  I have the point, far to many books, not enough hours and days to have considered this.  But now, I think I may just change my mind.  I felt obligated to read Where'd you go Bernadette and am so thankful, I haven't laughed at a book like I did in years, it was refreshing.

The strategy I have had is put the book down and come back to it later, usually at the end of the next book or even months later.  The success for this has been minimum, maybe 2 books and the successful ones, it was my mood that was the issue, not the writing, over description, unlikable characters, etc. but maybe the idea is to pick up another book by them all together and consider the first a write off should be my new strategy.

So do you give authors a second chance?

Out of these authors, which one do you recommend I give another chance?  These were DNF for me but I have considered trying again.

Audrey Niffenegger

I tortured myself at least 4 times trying with this one.  I did watch the movie and liked it, not great but ok.  So would you recommend I try her newest......

Liane Moriarty

I really tried the Husband's Secret and considered going back but i'm over it.  I fell for the hype and just can't go back to this one.  So which one would you recommend now?

Ellen Hopkins

Verse Novels became a simple pleasure, the YA I enjoyed and then Ellen Hopkins released an Adult one. I was excited for this one.   I didn't enjoy the characters, it just didn't work for me.

I did read Crank and thought it was ok, should I continue on?

I look forward to your opinions and strategies regarding giving authors a second chance.

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce