Spring Fever

Hello, Dear Readers!! Happy Spring! I am so glad the sun is shining and we FINALLY have warmer weather. We are now getting ready for summer vacations and arranging schedules with activities so our sweet children won’t drive us to tears by asking every five minutes, “What is there to do? What is there to eat? Can we go somewhere?” While I can’t help with summer scheduling, what I CAN help with is summer reading lists for the whole family. Oh yes, my friends, I am making my child read an hour a day this summer. It is happening. This isn’t one of those, “I will think it, but won’t actually do it.” I refuse to let her brain melt by allowing her to stare at screens 12 plus hours a day. I’ve picked out books, podcasts, audio books and the list keeps on going. I am here to help and you can always e-mail me your suggestions and/or questions @ brittanyschick23@gmail.com. I would love to hear your ideas on books for summer!

One idea is to check your local library for summer reading programs by visiting their website or calling. Librarians are there to answer your questions, so never be afraid to ask! Sometimes public libraries will have reading programs where your child is able to earn prizes based on the amount they have read over the summer. Ella and I are joining Colleyville Public Library’s reading program for adults, teens and children. Yes, all ages are eligible to earn prizes, even you Mom! The program begins May 24th. For Quirky Bookworm readers that live in my area of FW and would like to participate, click here.
Please note: Books read for the Colleyville Public Library Summer Program must be checked out at CPL. Keep copies of your library receipt to show proof when claiming a prize. You are able to participate even if you are not a resident. Register your home library card at the CPL front desk.

Need lists of books based on age for summer 2021? Visit Imagination Soup, a blog created by Melissa Taylor, a former elementary school teacher, literacy trainer and award winning writer. Book lists are arranged by age and genre.

I will also be posting kids podcasts to my FB page. I recently posted Julie Andrew’s Library and my daughter has been listening on the way to school. Download these selections wherever you listen to podcasts.

Ladies, when you get a chance, scroll down to the end of this blog post for one of my most favorite book lists to date that is just for you!!!! I’ve got new book information on some of your favorites-Riley Sager, Grady Hendrix, Megan Miranda, Mary Kubica and more!!! Yay for summer reading!!! Quirky Bookworm tip-visit your local online library catalog and if a book has not yet been released, but already ordered by the library, you can sometimes place a hold in advance. Call your local library for additional details.

Quirky Bookworm Has Been Reading…

I have been hearing about Jenny Lawson for the past several years now via friends, college students, TV, etc. and so, I was very fortunate and thankful to receive a free copy of Lawson’s most recent book release, Broken (in the best possible way), through NetGalley. Many of you may know Jenny as The Bloggess.

Title: Broken (in the best possible way)
Author: Jenny Lawson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Length: 304 pages
I didn’t know what to expect when reading Broken. Would I like her sense of humor? Would it be too harsh? Not only was I surprised by how much I loved her, but also surprised at how much I learned about her life and her struggle with anxiety. Lawson’s anxiety is so intense that there are many times where she is unable to leave her home. She hides in bed unable to face the world around her. She writes of hosting her book signing in NYC, and unable to leave the hotel after her engagement due to being overwhelmed. She watched people go by outside the window. Lawson writes “Becoming my own friend is hard and a struggle, but it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself,” (Lawson, 2021, Broken).
I found her writing to be relatable for those that struggle with anxiety and depression, which I myself do. I know what it is like to want to hide away and not leave a room, to practically pass out before needing to speak before a large group of people and the anxiety of having to talk to a stranger on the phone. This is a must read if you struggle yourself with anxiety and/or depression, or know a loved a loved one who does. Purchase a copy here. Want to hear more about Jenny Lawson? Click here to read her blog and for additional book titles.

How May I Offend You Today?: Rants and Revelations from a Not-So-Proper Southern Lady by [Susannah B. Lewis]

Title: How May I Offend You Today: Rants and Revelations from a Not-So-Proper Southern Lady
Author: Susannah B. Lewis
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: October 2020
Length: 224 pages

Oh Susannah, you’ve done it again! I love her writing and have been following her FB page for years. She talks so openly and honestly about her life. Her writings do include Biblical passages and she is honest about her faith, but not from a judgmental, preachy way that is off putting. I started following her shortly after having Ella. I saw a funny video on FB and clicked over to her page. I really liked how she not only saw humor in everyday life and situations, but also at her ability to laugh at herself. In her most recent book release, How May I Offend You Today, she writes about how we take ourselves too seriously at times. Reading her books is like chatting with a close friend. Click here to visit Susannah Lewis’ website.

HOT AUTHORS, HOT SUMMER: QUIRKY BOOKWORM PICKS FOR SUMMER 2021

HOT, NEW THRILLERS FROM YOUR FAVORITES!

Hostage: A Locked-Room Thriller by [Clare Mackintosh]

The Hostage by Clare Mackintosh will be available June 22, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

A Slow Fire Burning: A Novel by [Paula Hawkins]

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins will be available August 31, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Such a Quiet Place: A Novel by [Megan Miranda]

Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Local Woman Missing: A Novel by [Mary Kubica]

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Not a Happy Family: A Novel by [Shari Lapena]

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena will be available July 27, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Guilt Trip: A Novel by [Sandie Jones]

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones will be available August 17, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Survive the Night: A Novel by [Riley Sager]

Survive the Night by Riley Sager will be available June 29, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Final Girl Support Group by [Grady Hendrix]

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires) will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Drowning Kind by [Jennifer McMahon]

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon is out now and is an Amazon Editor’s Choice for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense! Click here to purchase and read a summary.

The Therapist: A Novel by [B. A. Paris]

The Therapist by B.A. Paris will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

For Your Own Good by [Samantha Downing]

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing will be available July 20, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth is available now and an Amazon’s Editor Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense! Click here to order and read a summary.

The Turnout by [Megan Abbott]

The Turnout by Megan Abbott will be available August 3, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Maidens: A Novel by [Alex Michaelides]

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient) will be available June 15, 2021. Click here to pre-order and to read a summary.

Dark Roads: A Novel by [Chevy Stevens]

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens will be available August 3, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Stranger in the Mirror: A Novel by [Liv Constantine]

The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine will be available July 6, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Malibu Rising: A Novel by [Taylor Jenkins Reid]

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid will be available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Lost Apothecary: A Novel by [Sarah Penner]

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner was named #1 Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Oprah, Bustle, PopSugar, Betches, Sweet July, Good Housekeeping, HELLO! Magazine and Newsweek. It was a #1 Indie Next Pick and #1 Library ReadsPick. Click here to purchase and read a summary.

OUR ALL TIME FAVORITE CLASSIC BEACH AUTHORS

Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty: A Novel by [Lauren Weisberger]

Where the Grass is Green and the Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada) will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

That Summer: A Novel by [Jennifer Weiner]

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner will be available May 11, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Newcomer: A Novel by [Mary Kay Andrews]

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews will be available May 4, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Golden Girl by [Elin Hilderbrand]

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand will be available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Family Reunion: A Novel by [Nancy Thayer]

Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer will be available May 4, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Summer of Lost and Found (The Beach House Book 7) by [Mary Alice Monroe]

The Summer of Lost and Found (The Beach House Book 7) by Mary Alice Monroe will be available May 11, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Stepsisters: A Novel by [Susan Mallery]

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery will be available May 25, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

No Way Out: A Gripping Novel of Suspense by [Fern Michaels]

No Way Out by Fern Michaels is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.

Meant to Be: A Novel by [Jude Deveraux]

Meant to Be by Jude Deveraux is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.

The Path to Sunshine Cove: A Novel by [RaeAnne Thayne]

The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.

Blush by [Jamie Brenner]

Blush by Jamie Brenner will be available June 22, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

The Break-Up Book Club by [Wendy Wax]

The Break-Up Book Club by Wendy Wax will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

If you liked Where The Crawdads Sing…

The Girls in the Stilt House: A Novel by [Kelly Mustian ]

The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.

Learning to Speak Southern: A Novel by [Lindsey Rogers Cook]

Learning to Speak Southern by Lindsey Rogers Cook is available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

All the Little Hopes: A Novel by [Leah Weiss]

All The Little Hopes is Leah Weiss’s second novel, which debuts July 27, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.

Call Your Daughter Home: A Novel by [Deb Spera]

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera is available now and was featured on Oprah’s Summer Reading List for 2019. Click here to order and read a summary.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger was published in May 2020. Click here to order and read a summary.

Missing Daughter by Rick Mofina

Title: Missing Daughter
Author: Rick Mofina
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 2019
Format: Paperback
Length: 512 pages

I LOVE this psychological thriller. This book stayed with me for days after reading it. The Lane’s daughter goes missing and the family does everything they can to find her. They reach out to family members and friends. Phone records are searched, every person involved in their daughter’s life is interviewed by detectives, polygraphs are given and tracking dogs are brought out to the woods behind the family’s home. Years pass with no leads and no sign of their daughter. This novel has so many twists and turns. I slowly read because I wanted to savor every word, and towards the end I had to put the book down a few times because it was so much. Missing Daughter is a must read for those that love psychological thrillers.

Five out of five bookworms. Excellent read!

About the author…

From the author’s website:

Rick Mofina is a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD and patrolled with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He’s also reported from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, the Caribbean, and Kuwait’s border with Iraq. His true-crime freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Telegraph (London, U.K.), Reader’s Digest, Penthouse, Marie Claire, The Moscow Times and The South China Morning Post, (Hong Kong). He has written more than 20 crime fiction thrillers that have been published in nearly 30 countries, including an illegal translation produced in Iran.

His work has been praised by James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Louise Penny, Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, Sandra Brown, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Nick Stone, David Morrell, Allison Brennan, Heather Graham, Linwood Barclay, Peter Robinson, Håkan Nesser and Kay Hooper.

As a two-time winner of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award, a four-time Thriller Award finalist and a two-time Shamus Award finalist, the Library Journal calls him, “One of the best thriller writers in the business.” 

Rick Mofina lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Read more at his website, www.rickmofina.com

Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

Happy Monday readers! We have nine days before it is Christmas Day. Nine. Have I finished holiday shopping? No. Have I started holiday shopping? That would also be a no. Sigh…We have one weekend left before the holiday so I guess you know what I will be doing. My 5 month old dachshund had surgery a few days ago and now has to wear a cone for the next week to keep the incision from getting infected. She will definitely be getting a visit from Santa.

Title: Every Secret Thing
Author: Laura Lippman
Publisher: AVON BOOKS
Publication Date: 2003
Format: Paperback
Length: 410 pages

I know I have several readers of my blog that love suspense. I highly encourage reading Laura Lippman. Every Secret Thing was my first novel that I have read of hers. If you aren’t into suspense novels that are really graphic, this one is perfect. Lippman writes a novel about two young girls that are accused of murdering an infant. After their release from juvenile detention, all secrets and lies are exposed. Lippman writes with detail and keeps the story in an organized timeline so it is easy to follow. The novel isn’t a fast paced, edge of your seat read or a psychological thriller. She is a perfect read for fans of Mary Higgins Clark. The novel was also turned into a movie featuring Diane Lane and Dakota Fanning.

About the Author

Photo Credit: Leslie Unruh

From the author’s website: Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. 

Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. For more information about Laura Lippman visit her website at lauralippman.net

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Title: The Mother-In-Law
Author: Sally Hepworth
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Length: 347 pages

I love Sally Hepworth’s style of writing. She writes from the daughter-in-law’s point of view and the mother-in-law’s point of view as well as other family members. The novel is a thriller in relation to the complications mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws have. Lucy desires a close relationship with a mother-in-law that keeps a distance from her. She knows she isn’t the ideal daughter-in-law according to Diana, a leader in the community who helps women in need. She doesn’t understand Diana’s behaviors and how closed off she is. Hepworth slowly reveals both sides of the story that shows both of their strengths and weaknesses. Her characters are so well developed.

From the author’s website:

Sally Hepworth is the USA Today bestselling author of six novels, most recently The Mother-In-Law (2019). Sally’s books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally’s novels are published in more than 20 territories worldwide.

​Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

Author’s website:
https://www.sallyhepworthauthor.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/sallyhepworthauthor/

YOU by Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 422



You by Caroline Kepnes is a witty, entertaining thriller with a character that is brilliantly creepy. A young man, Joe Goldberg, is in charge of running a NYC bookstore known for rare and used books. A beautiful young woman walks into the store one day and catches his eye. He follows her on social media, around the city and watches her every move through her apartment window. Beck, the unsuspecting victim, begins to fall in love with Joe who will do ANYTHING for her. This isn’t love, this is OBSESSION.

The story is narrated by Joe Goldberg which Kepnes did a brilliant job in creating. I was not able to put this book down. All of the main characters are dysfunctional and cause their own level of drama. The style of the book is different from any thriller I have read before.

Five Bookworms (Excellent Read)

You is also available as a series on Netflix.

Photo Credit: Ace Photography

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You, Hidden Bodies and Providence. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her website at http://www.carolinekepnes.com/author/

How to Not Get Away With Murder

Title: Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered
Author: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Length: 266 pages

I wish this book would have been available 10 years ago. THIS MEMOIR IS A MUST READ FOR TEENAGE AND COLLEGE WOMEN. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered has a whole chapter on red flags to look for in relationships and not apologize for keeping yourself out of risk. “Little girls are taught to be polite, to smile pretty and sit up straight, to be nice and accommodating. And then those little girls turn into grown-ass women who’ve spent years being polite to the detriment of their own wants, needs and safety,” (Kilgariff and Hardstark, p. 29).

Kilgariff and Hardstark also discuss the cult of booze and the cult of perfection. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “But when you get older, you learn the shittiest, most ironic life lesson: “perfection” is not a guarantee for happiness,” (Kilgariff and Hardstark, p. 109). Amen, sisters.

If you have dealt with addiction, cults, wrong choices, bad relationships or have been caught in the cycle of abuse, this book is for you. Even though I haven’t experienced addiction with drugs or alcohol, I know what it’s like to sit still, look pretty and try to be perfect, but not feel good enough. Countless women have gone through this exact same experience. We need to break the cycle for our daughters, sisters and friends. We are worth more than that. YOU are worth more than that.

From the author’s website:

My Favorite Murder is the hit true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Since its inception in early 2016, the show has broken download records and sparked an enthusiastic, interactive “Murderino” fan base who come out in droves for their sold-out shows worldwide.

A top 10 regular on iTunes’ comedy podcast chart, My Favorite Murder has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, Nylon and Rolling Stone magazine.

Aside from being avid true crime enthusiasts, Karen Kilgariff is a stand-up comedian and television writer and Georgia Hardstark is a writer and host for the Cooking Channel.

Find out more at https://www.myfavoritemurder.com/

Five Bookworms (Excellent Read)

Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Length: 290 pages

An Unwanted Guest is the cliche of murder mysteries. The setting is a cozy yet luxurious inn out in the middle of rural New York with no cell or internet service. The guests decide to arrive for their stay despite warnings of a huge blizzard over the weekend. The storm causes the power to go out, of course, and mayhem ensues. An Unwanted Guest reminds me of the game Clue. A little cheesy, but fun to play, or in this case, fun to read. I enjoy Shari Lapena’s thrillers, but I could also see her as an author of domestic fiction.

3 Bookworms (Good Read)

From the author’s website: Shari Lapena is the internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next DoorA Stranger in the House, and An Unwanted Guest. She was a lawyer and an English teacher before turning her hand to fiction. (Her newest book release, Someone We Know, is available starting today, July 30th.)
She lives in Toronto. Find out more at https://sharilapena.com/

Two Thriller Reads for Your Beach Bag

Late summer is here which is hard to believe. I’m in the process of trying to get my daughter ready for the new school year. We are finishing her summer reading assignment and purchasing school clothes the next few weeks. We haven’t vacationed anywhere this year, however, we have visited the community pool several times. I lay out in the sun and read or listen to podcasts while she swims. It’s perfect and we have so much fun. For those that are taking last minute vacations before the start of school, I have two thriller recommendations for your beach bag.

Adam seems like the perfect guy-handsome, smart and successful. The only problem is the other woman-his mother. She does not want Emily around and will do whatever she can to sabotage the relationship. Emily doesn’t realize what she is up against until it is too late. She is starting to believe she will never find the happiness with Adam that she deserves. The Other Woman is a perfect summer escape read with a surprise ending.

The Other Woman is Sandie Jones’ debut novel. I will definitely be reading more of her works as they are published. The novel was completely readable and I enjoyed all of the crazy characters. I could tell by her writing that she enjoys her career and that she loves to surprise her readers.

Photo Credit: Macmillan

From the author’s website:

Sandie Jones has been a freelance journalist for over 20 years, interviewing celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Isla Fisher, Simon Cowell and Naomie Harris. Her debut novel, The Other Woman, is a psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a woman and her partner’s mother. If Sandie wasn’t an author she’d be an interior designer as she has an unhealthy obsession with wallpaper and cushions! She lives in London, England, with her husband and three children. Follow her on Facebook.

Five Bookworms (Excellent Read)

I have always enjoyed novels by Megan Abbott and this one doesn’t disappoint. Kit receives a highly coveted job at the Severin Lab. She would like to be on Dr. Severin’s research team that will be conducting PMDD research. Kit believes she will have no problem being selected as she works additional hours and always arrives to work before anyone else. The only problem is her high school BFF Diane. Kit and Diane share a secret that can ultimately destroy their careers. Diane is chosen by Dr. Severin to work for the lab and be on the team. The two seem close friends. Kit and Diane are now caught up in lies and deceit to keep their secret safe forever.

Abbott’s characters are always intriguing to me. She shows the dark side of humanity while at the same time revealing how everyday situations can become so complicated that it leads good people to making poor choices.

Five Bookworms (Excellent Read)
Photo Credit: meganabbott.com

From the author’s website:

Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels Die a LittleBury Me DeepThe End of EverythingDare Me and The Fever. You Will Know Me was chosen as one of Best Books of 2016 by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston GlobeTime Out NY, the Washington PostGooglePublishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and five Edgar awards, Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s new David Simon show, The Deuce, and is adapting two of her novels for television and feature film.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.

Visit Megan Abbot’s website.

Murder She Wrote

I haven’t blogged in over a month. Summer has been busy with my daughter’s schedule and I have been busy reading, of course. I read several thrillers/true crime books that I am excited to share about. If you haven’t noticed, I am a slow reader so takes me forever to finish a novel and then write a review. In between all of that is my everyday life plus I am always looking for new material to read. I have also been listening to several podcasts related to one of my favorite subjects-true crime. I’ll also catch you up on what I’ve been watching on Netflix. Don’t forget that Stranger Things premieres with new episodes on Thursday, July 4th!

Feel free to share your most recent reads in the comments and your own thoughts about the books I review!

Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: May 29th, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Length: 368 pages

I was not a huge fan of The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware so I wasn’t sure if I would like The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I ended up enjoying this mystery novel much more. Critics have called Ruth Ware this generation’s “Agatha Christie” which I can see why. Ware isn’t one of my all time favorite writers, but if I am looking for a good mystery her writing doesn’t disappoint.

Hal is a young woman who lives on her own and makes a living by being a fortune teller. She receives a letter one day that states she is the recipient of a large inheritance. Hal was not aware that she had family left. Her mother never mentioned family while she was alive and she does not know who her father is. She makes a visit to Trepassen house and soon has more questions than answers. Family secrets are here and she must figure out the mystery before her own life is at stake.

4 Bookworms (Great Read)

From the publisher:
Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children.

Find her on twitter at www.twitter.com/ruthwarewriter, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ruthwarewriter or via her website – www.ruthware.com

Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Length: 375 pages

Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by Dr. Shields as a way to earn cash by answering a few questions. Farris finds herself entangled by Dr. Shields as she continues to visit and answer questions. Does Dr. Shields know more about Farris then she lets on? Farris’s guilt and paranoia continues to grow. Questions of morals and truth haunt her which leads her to realize she hasn’t truly left her past behind.

I enjoyed An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sara Pekkanen more than their debut novel together, The Wife Between Us. An Anonymous Girl is a stunning psychological thriller that will leave readers guessing until the very end and is one my favorite reads of the summer.

Five Bookworms (Excellent Read)

From the author’s website: Greer Hendricks is the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of An Anonymous Girl and The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment, with Greer and her co-author, Sarah Pekkanen, hired to write the screenplay. An Anonymous Girl has been optioned for television, with Greer and Sarah tapped to executive produce. Prior to becoming a novelist, Greer served as Vice President and Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. Read more at www.greerhendricks.com

From the author’s website: Sarah Pekkanen is the author of The Ever After, The Perfect Neighbors, Things You Won’t Say, Catching Air, The Best of Us, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, and These Girls.  Sarah Pekkanen is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl, both co-written with Greer Hendricks. Pekkanen is the mother of three young boys.
Her website is www.sarahpekkanen.com and please find her on Facebook Instagram and Twitter @sarahpekkanen!

Title: True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray
Author: James Renner
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Length: 300 pages

I loved reading True Crime Addict. The author, James Renner, has several personal reasons as to why he is obsessed with true crime. His grandfather is a known child pedophile in their family. This leaves scars on him. Renner’s son starts having serious behavioral problems in school. Does his son carry the similar traits as his great-grandfather or is just his own paranoia? He discusses this in detail. A young girl named Amy Mihaljevic that he falls in love with as a child goes missing in his home state of Ohio. Renner himself was nearly abducted in the local park. He decides as an adult to build a career as a journalist.

Renner takes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Test as an adult. His results are similar to that of Ted Bundy’s, but his psychologist tells him not to worry as many cops and CEOS would score the same, including Donald Trump.

After being fired by a newspaper due to worries over a lawsuit for writing a story about senator Kevin Coughlin, Renner found himself drawn to writing true crime stories again which led to his obsession with Maura Murray.

Maura Murray, a UMass student, disappeared one day in 2004 out in rural New Hampshire. Her car was wrecked and nearby neighbors called to inform the police. By the time the police arrived to the scene, Murray had gone missing. Prior to leaving, she returned her nursing scrubs and informed her professors that there was a death in the family, even though the statement was not true. She packed her belongings in boxes and left an email on top of them that states her boyfriend was cheating on her. She had credit card fraud and identity theft associated with her name. Renner discusses the possibility that she started over with a new life and the wreck was on purpose and used for distraction. He also discusses the possibility she was driving in tandem with another driver and they rescued her. Her ex-fiance, Bill Rausch, was known to be controlling and jealous. According to a mutual friend, Murray was pregnant and looking for a way to escape so she wouldn’t have to share custody with Rausch. Murray has never been found. Renner goes into detail about her case and what possibly could have happened to Murray.

4 Bookworms (Great Read)

From the author’s website: James Renner is mostly known for his true-crime journalism. As a reporter for Cleveland Scene, he uncovered new clues and suspects in the cold-case murder of Amy Mihaljevic. His work led to the successful closure of the Tina Harmon case in 2009. He spent months researching the Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus abductions when the girls were still missing and is haunted by the fact that he had Castro’s name in his notes. His true crime writing has been featured in the Best American Crime Reporting anthology. His selection was the first true crime article to use a dream sequence as a narrative device. Read more at
http://jamesrenner.com/

Follow his podcast, The Philosophy of Crime.

Title: For Better and Worse: A Novel
Author: Margot Hunt
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Format: Paperback
Length: 336 pages

For Better and Worse was a fast paced read for me. Will and Natalie Clark bonded together as a couple in law school. They wondered if they could ever pull off the perfect murder. At first it was a joke between them as law students. Will never thought his wife would actually try to murder anyone until a secret came out in the community that put her young son at risk. Will must now protect his family from the community’s suspicions and police involvement.

Margot Hunt’s novel has all the ingredients for a thriller- an unhappily married couple with secrets, an innocent child put at risk and a popular, beloved leader in the community with secrets of their own. Hunt’s novel is somewhat cliche, but in a situation realistic enough that it draws the reader in. The novel is thought provoking and the reader wonders what choices they would have made in a similar situation.

4 Bookworms (Great Read)

From the author’s website: Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. Best Friends forever is her first psychological thriller.  Her new book, For Better and Worse, was released in December 2018. Read more at
https://margothunt.com/

Title Green River, Running Red
Author: Ann Rule
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: September 28th, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Length: 436 pages

From the Goodreads website: In her most personal and provocative book to date, the #1 bestselling master of true crime presents “her long-awaited definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades” (Publishers Weekly). This is the extraordinary true story of the most prolific serial killer the nation had ever seen — a case involving more than forty-nine female victims, two decades of intense investigative work…and one unrelenting killer who not only attended Ann Rule’s book signings but lived less than a mile away from her home.

Ann Rule was one of the best American true crime authors. Rule started as a Seattle policewoman and has a background in psychology and criminology. Her novels go in great detail about each crime scene and the background/history of each convicted murderer. Green River, Running Red is no different. The serial murder took advantage of prostitutes and runaways-women that were highly at risk. What is amazing is that he was able to get away with the crimes for so long and lead a normal life. No one in his life suspected that he was the Green River killer. He graduated high school and worked the same job for decades. His wife was known as a nice woman in the community. The serial killer did not have many friends, but no one at the time thought it was odd. He kept to himself. Ann Rule always writes in a way that the reader can understand how someone with his profile can be overlooked and gives logical reason for why police sometimes make human errors.

4 Bookworms (Great Read)

From the author’s website: Ann Rule was regarded by many as the foremost true crime writer in America, and the author responsible for the genre as it exists today. She came to her career with a solid background in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Both her grandfather and her uncle were Michigan sheriffs, her cousin was a Prosecuting Attorney and another uncle was the Medical Examiner. Raised in that environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She is a former Seattle Policewoman, former caseworker for the Washington State Department of Public Assistance, former student intern at the Oregon State Training School for Girls.  

She and William “Bill” Rule  had four children, and early in their marriage they lived in El Paso, Texas, and Youngstown, New York, before settling in the Seattle area. They raised their family in Bellevue, Washington, and Des Moines, Washington. Bill was also a writer, but he died of Melanoma at age 43 in 1975 before he could realize his dream of writing “The Great American Novel.”  (The couple divorced a few years before Bill died.) Bill Rule taught creative writing at Foster High School in Tukwila,Washington.

During the last years of her life, Ann lived in Seahurst, Washington, on the shores of Puget Sound. She was the mother of four and also a grandmother. 

Read more about the author and her works at
http://www.authorannrule.com/

Title: A Simple Favor
Author: Darcey Bell
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: Paperback
Length: 298 pages


A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell was an enjoyable read. I was not a fan of any of the characters. All of them are unlikeable and have selfish agendas which makes an interesting plot. Stephanie, mommy blogger, is on the search for her missing friend Emily. She asked Stephanie to pick up her son from school and hasn’t been in contact with family or friends since. Stephanie assumes she had a breakdown due to her highly demanding career in NYC. Her body is eventually found in the lake where her family retreats to each summer. The plot thickens as secrets about Emily’s past are revealed. The novel was made into a movie starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.

3 Bookworms (Good Read)

From the Goodreads website: Darcey Bell was born in 1981 and raised on a dairy farm in western Iowa. She is a preschool teacher in Chicago. A Simple Favor is her first novel.

PODCASTS I LOVE…

Crime Junkie is an amazing, addictive podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers and her friend/producer Brit. Each week they cover a crime they have researched/heard about or that a listener has suggested. RollingStone named Crime Junkie as one of the best podcasts of 2018. For more information, click here.

From the website:

My Favorite Murder is the hit true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Since its inception in early 2016, the show has broken download records and sparked an enthusiastic, interactive “Murderino” fan base who come out in droves for their sold-out shows worldwide.

A top 10 regular on iTunes’ comedy podcast chart, My Favorite Murder has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, Nylon and Rolling Stone magazine.

Aside from being avid true crime enthusiasts, Karen Kilgariff is a stand-up comedian and television writer and Georgia Hardstark is a writer and host for the Cooking Channel.

For more information, click here.

From the website:
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times. For more information, click here.

SHOWS I WATCHED IN MONTH OF JUNE…

Bird Box is a Netflix film starring Sandra Bullock. My husband and I sat down to watch Bird Box last night as we have heard so much about it. The film has to be one of the creepiest I’ve seen in awhile. Bird Box is the idea of what would happen if a virus was spread throughout earth causing people to want to injure themselves. The virus is passed by looking into the person’s eyes that is infected. I do not want to spoil the film so I won’t reveal any more details, but it is a film worth watching.

Madeline McCann, 3 years old, disappeared on May 3rd 2007 from the Praia de Luz resort apartment in Portugal. Her parents were at the resort restaurant( about 160 feet away) checking on their children every half hour. The apartment was accessible by the resort or street. At 10pm, Kate McCann, mother of Madeline McCann, went to check on the children and noticed Madeline was missing. Netflix’s documentary goes into detail about the disappearance of Madeleine and theories of what could have happened to her.

List of Favorite Thrillers

I love a good thriller and so I compiled a list of my favorites. A few I have read recently and the rest are from my list on Goodreads. Happy reading!

Title: The Favorite Sister
Author: Jessica Knoll
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Length:375 pages

Five castmates are fighting to be the most popular on Goal Diggers, a show about women that have accrued wealth by building businesses. Tension mounts between sisters Brett and Kelly. Kelly has always been the favorite of the family leaving Brett to find her own path and become the favorite cast member. Jealousy leaves Kelly fighting to steal the spotlight, but at what cost? If you are a fan of Desperate Housewives, then you will love the latest book release by Jessica Knoll, author of Luckiest Girl Alive.

Click here to purchase.

Jessica Knoll is a New York Times Bestselling Author and currently working on the screenplay based on her novel, Luckiest Girl Alive. She lives in L.A. with her husband. Visit her website and follow her on FB.

Title: A Stranger in the House
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Length: 305 pages

Tom and Karen Krupp seem like a happy and successful couple to their suburban neighbors until Karen vanishes one night in her car to the sketchier side of town. She leaves behind her cell phone and purse. The police knock on the door and tell Tom that Karen was in a car accident. Tom goes to see Karen in the hospital where he finds out that Karen has suffered a concussion and can’t remember any details about the evening or why she drove to the other side of town. She doesn’t believe anyone can be trusted, including her best friend and husband. Karen has the feeling her past is catching up to her and she may lose it all.

My Thoughts
I am a huge fan of thrillers and I absolutely loved A Stranger in the House due to its level of suspense. You begin to wonder who is lying-Tom, Karen or the nosy neighbor. The author slowly reveals all the details of what led Karen to that evening and the ending is perfect.

Click here to purchase

Shari Lapena was a lawyer and teacher before beginning her career as an author. Her novels, The Couple Next Door and a A Stranger in the House, have been bestsellers. She currently lives in Toronto.
Visit her website

Title:Pretty Girls
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date:September 29, 2015
Format: Paperback
Print Length: 548 pages
Karin Slaughter’s writing delights in this novel and it was one I could not put down. Lydia and Claire’s eldest sister, Julia, went missing twenty years ago. The two went separate ways with Lydia becoming a drug addict and Claire seeking safety with her husband, Paul. The sisters reconnect after another girl goes missing which leaves Claire convinced the disappearance is linked to Julia’s death. Claire is the main character and Slaughter does an excellent job creating her character. Claire goes from a weak, dependent woman to one of strength. I highly recommend Pretty Girls.

Click here to purchase

Karin Slaughter is the author of the Will Trent and Grant County series. Her novels, Cop Town, The Good Daughter and Pieces of Her are in development for film and television. Slaughter currently lives in Atlanta. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook.

Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Length: 354 pages

A friend at church was talking about this book last Sunday, which was perfect timing since I had already started this blog. I went to my Goodreads list to see if I had read it, and I did. If you have not read novels by B.A. Paris, then you are missing out. They are that good. Jack and Grace look like the perfect couple on the outside, but inside is a completely different story. The story will make your heart race and play with your emotions so be warned.

Click here to purchase.

B.A. Paris is the author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Her next novel, The Dilemma, will be published in May 2020. She has five daughters and currently lives in France. Follow her on Facebook.

Title: A Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date:January 2, 2018
Format: Hardover:
Length: 449 pages

A.J. Finn’s newest novel is filled with twists and turns that make this book a fast, gripping read.
From the publisher:
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Click here to purchase.

A.J. Finn’s debut novel, A Woman in the Window, is being adapted for film and will be released on October 4, 2019. Finn currently lives in New York City. Follow him on Facebook.

Title: The Wife Between Us
Authors: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Length: 346 pages
From the publisher:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing. 

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

Click here to purchase.

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are the authors of The Wife Between Us, with movie rights being purchased by Amblin Entertainment. They are also the authors of the An Anonymous Girl (published January 2019), which is being adapted for a television series. Follow their websites-Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Title: Never Let You Go
Author: Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Length: 406 pages

I recently read Never Let You Go and I cannot recommend this thriller enough. I love Chevy Stevens. Lindsey Nash escapes an abusive relationship by fleeing with her daughter into the night. Now her ex-husband is out of prison and Lindsey has a feeling he is stalking her again. Without her knowledge, her teenage daughter makes contact with him. Soon, Lindsey is receiving notes and gifts from an anonymous sender. Her ex-husband swears he has changed. Her teenager daughter says the same. Is he telling the truth?

Click here to purchase.

Chevy Stevens is the author of Still Missing, a New York Times bestseller. She currently lives on Vancouver Island with her daughter and husband.

Title: My Husband’s Wife
Author: Jane Corry
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Length: 373 pages

This book is SO. ADDICTIVE. It has been over a year since I’ve read My Husband’s Wife, but I remember it as being a book I could not put down. I found the book at Target from their Target Club Picks selection and you can NEVER go wrong with one of their choices. Grab a Starbucks beverage and spend time browsing their book selections. You won’t be sorry.
Lily, a criminal defense attorney, and Ed, an artist, fall in love and soon their marriage deteriorates. Lily finds herself drawn to Joe, a convicted murderer that she meets during her first murder case. Lily and Ed’s next door neighbor, nine year old Carla, also has secrets as well. Ed starts to paint her when Carla spends more and more time at their house. Ed finds success with his portrait of Carla and Lily finds success with her first murder case. Twelve years later, Carla shows up on Lily and Ed’s doorstep with secrets she is ready to share, including information about the couple’s autistic son.

Click here to purchase.

Jane Corry is the author of My Sister’s Wife, Blood Sisters and the Dead Ex. Her newest novel, I Looked Away, will be available June 21, 2019. Corry spent time working as a writer in residence at a high security prison for men which helps inspire her novels today. She currently lives by the sea with her husband. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook.

Title: She’s Not There
Author: Joy Fielding
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Length: 368 pages

I love Joy Fielding and her book, She’s Not There, is one of my absolute favorites. The writing is just so good. I haven’t had a chance to catch up on her other works, but that is one of my plans for summer. This one I found on my Goodreads list as a book I finished almost two years ago. I do remember the novel as being emotionally intense and with a superb ending.

From the publisher: A lifetime ago, every year Caroline Shipley looked forward to her wedding anniversary. But then a celebratory trip to Mexico for the occasion with her husband and friends ended in the unsolved kidnapping of her infant daughter, Samantha. Now, fifteen years after that horrific time, divorced and isolated,Caroline is forced to relive the kidnapping by reporters who call every year on the anniversary of Samantha’s disappearance. However, this year when the phone rings, Caroline hears the sweet voice of a girl claiming to be her long-lost daughter. Plunged back into the world of heartbreak, suspicion and questions that led the case to run cold so many years ago, Caroline doesn’t know what or who to believe. But when she starts to figure it out, she finds the answers dangerously close to home.

Click here to purchase.

Joy Fielding is a New York Times bestselling author and has more than 24 novels published to date. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook.

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Length: 323 pages

I read The Girl on the Train nearly four years ago and I remember absolutely loving this novel as it has all the ingredients of an excellent psychological thriller. This book will keep you guessing as to who is innocent, Rachel (aka the girl on the train) or the couple she is spying on through her train window every morning and evening on the way to work. One of my all time favorites.

From the publisher: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Click here to purchase.

Paula Hawkins is the author of The Girl on the Train and her new mystery novel, Into the Water.She currently lives in London.

*NEW MYSTERY SERIES*

I have the tendency to start a series and then never finish. There is just so much I want to read and not enough time in the day. Right now I have over 100 books stacked in our bedroom closet that I’ve never read. My husband has been kind enough to let me take over the space. I eventually plan on having a library, but for right now the closet floor will have to suffice. I will be reviewing series on here for readers who follow them.

Title: Fatal Fortune
Author: Miranda Rijks
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Format: Ebook

Dr. Pippa Durant works as a psychologist in the small town of Storrington, England. She is having a normal day grocery shopping after work when she notices people in the store stop to stare at her. Unbeknownst as to why, she gets a call from her brother on the way home saying to check the evening news. Leanne Smith is found murdered in her home after winning the lottery two months prior. Her face is beaten beyond recognition. The police mistakenly use the picture of Dr. Pippa found on top of Leanne’s body at the crime scene to identify the victim and now her face is on every major news channel.

Dr. Pippa comes forward to police saying she has no connection to the victim and the only information she has is that Leanne’s town is ten miles away from her home. Detective Sergeant Joe Swain focuses on Dr. Pippa as the prime suspect. Who could possibly want her framed for murder?

Disclaimer: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts

Dr. Pippa is a likeable character and the supporting characters made for a fun read. The novel had plenty of twists and turns to keep me intrigued.

Fatal Fortune will be published on May 5, 2019. The next two books in the series, Fatal Flowers and Fatal Finale, will be released May 2019 as well. The series can be read independently or in order. I’m not making any promises, but I think this three part series is one I will finish.

Preorder the book here for $0.99 or download for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.


About the Author

Miranda Rijks is the author of I Want You Gone (previously titled The Obituary), a thriller published in April 2019 with great reviews. Rijks has a law degree and worked in marketing prior to becoming an author with a masters degree in writing. She lives in West Sussex, England with her husband and daughter.

Follow Miranda Rijks
Amazon
Facebook
Goodreads
https://mirandarijks.com/