Summer of Mystery (Authors)

Every booknerd loves a signed book. The only thing better than a signed book is getting the opportunity to get it signed in person. This summer I had the opportunity to do that with three incredible authors.

Linda Castillo

Linda is the author of the Kate Burkholder series and was in town for her latest book, Down a Dark Road, which I attended with my dad. The series is set in Ohio and Linda’s book tour always stops in the area. This was my fourth time getting to see her and it is always a wonderful time. I always love hearing about her inspiration for the books and her path to getting published. This particular tour stop has become my new favorite because when I went to get my book signed she remembered my name before I even said anything!

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter was in the Cleveland area for her new book The Good Daughter and I attended it with my Book Buddy, Amanda. One of the first books I reviewed on this blog was one of Karin’s Will Trent books. I didn’t know it was part of a series when I started reading it, but once it was done I had to go back and read the rest of the series and thus discovered a new favorite author. Karin spoke of her childhood and how she started writing (stories about her sisters being mutilated lol). In regards to The Good Daughter in particular she shared that the inspiration for Gamma was one of her old English teachers. She also shared that both the Will Trent series and Cop Town has been optioned for tv series. I asked her if there would be any more books with the characters from this novel and she said no, other than the prequel novella. “The characters have been through enough, don’t you think?”

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline was in the Cleveland area for Exposed, part of her Rosato & DiNunzio series, and I attended it with Amanda. Lisa was a hoot! She had us laughing the whole event. She told a lot of stories about her family and how she got started writing. Before this event I had only read one book by her, One Perfect Lie, but afterward I read the first book in the series that preceded this series (I’ve decided I want to read them all in order, so I haven’t read Exposed yet) and really enjoyed it. Hearing Lisa’s stories and her style of humor really added something to the reading experience and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

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Chocolate Book Tag

I was tagged for this by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (she’s awesome, check her out). Thanks Deanna! I’m going to try and keep my answers to only books I have read this year.

Dark Chocolate: A book with a dark theme/content

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. There are definitely some parts that are hard to read in this book. But it’s so good!

 

White Chocolate: A light-hearted/humorous read

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Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren. I smiled my way through this whole book.

 

Milk Chocolate: A book with a lot of hype that you are dying to read

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Honestly, I don’t really care that much about the whole super hero thing that’s so popular these days, but since Leigh Bardugo wrote it, I want to read it!

A Wafer-Free KitKat: A book that surprised you lately

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Even though I didn’t really enjoy most of the book and figured a lot of stuff out, the very final twist definitely surprised me and I loved it!

Chocolate With a Caramel Centre: A book that makes you feel gooey on the inside

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Only You by Denise Grover Swank. I was shipping Kevin and Holly so hard during this whole book.

Snickers: A book you are going nuts about

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Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton. This is one of my favorite books of the year and I tell everyone to read it. READ IT!!!

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Marshmallows: A comfort read that you turn to again and again

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My Lady JaneSince I’m trying to stick with books I’ve only read this year, this is one of the few re-reads I’ve done. It’s so funny and cute and I love it.

 

Box of Chocolates: A series that has something for everyone

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What’s a tag without mentioning Red Rising? This is another re-read this year. It has actions, twists, romance, space, politics, romance, and terrific writing.

Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author — a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

I received a copy of this title from the publisher via a Good Reads giveaway. It does not impact my review.

Every time I see Karin Slaughter is publishing another book that isn’tWill Trent book, I am a little disappointed. Then I read it and am angry at myself for ever thinking I would be disappointed in a Slaughter book. The Good Daughter is not quite what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it.

The story is told through the POVs of sisters Sam and Charlie in both the past and the present. 28 years ago their home was attacked which resulted in the loss of their mother and deep physical and emotional scars for both of them. Both sisters were a little hard to like at times, but I was rooting for them. I loved Charlie’s estranged husband, Ben, who was so sweet, but definitely had some flaws of his own. Sam and Charlie’s dad, Rusty, was another difficult character. He spoke in a lot of riddles and spent his life defending the people no one else wanted to defend, which often came with some dire consequences. He did very much love his family, though, which I liked. There are also many references made to Sam and Charlie’s mother, Gamma. Gamma was her nickname (think gamma ray) and I really wish they would have called her something else. Every time I saw it, I read it as “Gramma” and which resulted in me picturing her as an old woman.

Even though there are a couple of crimes/mysteries involved in the plot, I really felt like this was much more a family drama than Slaughter’s usual mystery/suspense. A lot of time was given to the relationship between the sisters and their parents and how each of them dealt with the fall out from what happened 28 years ago. That’s not to stay the crime element wasn’t good, because it was. Slaughter really knows how to create atmosphere and spares no graphic detail when it comes to the more violent acts (readers who are squeamish of those things should be forewarned). There are nice little reveals peppered throughout the story to move the plot along and while none of them were really shocking, I appreciated the writing all the same. I did guess what happened in the present timeline before it was revealed, but the “why” was a lot more involved than I was expecting. There was also something from the past timeline that was revealed that I didn’t guess. I did think that the resolution to the mysteries were wrapped up a little too quickly, though. I was almost to the end of the book and felt like there was a lot more crime solving to go when things all of sudden were figured out.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Good Daughter. Despite the rather long chapters, the pace was really steady and I kept finding myself saying “one more chapter” far after it was time for me to go to bed. The mystery storylines were intriguing, but it was really the family relationships that stand out. There are some really intense emotional moments and this was the first time I’ve almost cried at a Karin Slaughter book. I am so excited for the opportunity to go to one of the book tour stops and meet her next month.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

Review: The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.

The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn’t belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found.

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter’s triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike.

I was late to the party with the Will Trent series. The first book of the series I picked up was the book prior to this one, Unseen. It was actually one of the first books I reviewed on this blog. After that, I went back and read the whole series. And loved it. And have been (impatiently) waiting for the next installment ever since. After three years, Slaughter finally gave us more Will Trent and it was definitely worth the wait!

Karin Slaughter has such a great style of writing. Her use of shifting POV and timelines is always used to the greatest effect possible and is done with such skill. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I decided to put this book off until a library book became available instead of buying it because I read a review that (incorrectly stated) the second half of the book was told from Angie’s (Will’s “wife” and resident psycho) POV. I’ve always hated Angie and didn’t think I could stomach half a book from her (not to mention being a little annoyed of only getting half a book from Will, Sara (his girlfriend), and Faith (his partner)). But, of course, I should have had faith in Slaughter’s storytelling. We get Angie’s POV at the beginning, middle, and end of the book. The middle, where we go back in time a bit and find out just what Angie was up to, was definitely one of the best parts of the book. Yes, I still hate Angie. Yes, she’s still a psycho. But I actually really loved being able to get in her head and plot-wise it was pretty intense.

The mystery of the book was really well done. I loved the build up and the little reveals. There were several things that completely surprised me and I love that. As a fan of the series, I also love the character development. Will Trent is such a complicated character and his relationship with Angie is so complicated, as well. I really enjoyed the exploration of their twisted relationship and how it affected those around them.

Overall, I really loved this book. Slaughter never disappoints me and I am so happy that we finally got another book in this series. I definitely recommend it to fans of mystery/suspense/crime. I already can’t wait for the next one!

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Books On My Fall TBR List.

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1. Yes, it’s on every list today, but I’m so excited for Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo! It’s out today, but I’m waiting until tomorrow to buy it when I go to a book signing!!

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2. Roseblood by A.G. Howard. I’ve had this on my TBR forever and I got approved for an ARC of it yesterday and I’m so excited! It’s a Phantom and the Opera re-telling and I don’t think I’ve ever read one of those before.

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3. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. This is going to be the show that will fill the Pretty Little Liars void this spring on Freeform, so I thought I’d read it before then to see if I want to watch the show.

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4. The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter. I have been waiting for a new Will Trent book for-ev-er! And I have to wait a little while longer until my library hold comes in.

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5. The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer Armentrout. This book has FINALLY came to the library so hopefully my hold will come in soon.

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6. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This book is getting amazing reviews.

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7. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. No, I do not expect this to be great, but I’m really excited to read it.

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8. Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) by Erin Watt. This series is the definition of Guilty Pleasure Read.

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9. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham. I love Lauren Graham (and Gilmore Girls).

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10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Every friend I have on Good Reads that’s read this adores it. Yet another library wait list I’m crossing my fingers will come in soon.

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS FALL?

Birthstone as Books Book Tag

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I saw this tag over at Bookish Things and Tea and thought it looked like a fun one. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like.

GARNET (JANUARY)- Associated with warding off negative forces and dark energies, name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.

Most of the books I think of are YA fantasy/paranormal books, but the villains almost always have some type of redeeming quality/tragic backstory that makes us feel sorry for them. I can’t think of one that’s just straight up evil. So instead I’m going to go with adult mystery and go with about any killer/bad guy in a Karin Slaughter book. Her books usually have some really dark material and the things the bad guy does often makes me sick to my stomach.

AMETHYST (FEBRUARY)- Purple is associated with royalty, name a book with regal qualities…You can base your choice on characters or choose the king (or queen) of all books.

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I think I’ll take this one literally and go with The Royal We.

AQUAMARINE (MARCH)- Washed out, name a ‘wishy washy’ character, a character who is not strong or is a follower.

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Shay from An Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter. When it came to the relationship with Travis she is always one step forward, three steps back. It drove me crazy.

DIAMOND (APRIL)- A diamond in the rough, name a book that you loved but is not well known.

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I’m going to go with the whole Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. I do not see nearly enough of her and she is amazing!

EMERALD (MAY)- Said to balance energy, name two characters who balance each other well.

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I’m going to go with McKenzie’s answer and go with Shazi and Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn series. The strongest thing for me in the series was their relationship and I felt like they’re one of the few YA couples that really are a pretty evenly matched team.

PEARL (JUNE)- Associated with loyalty, name a character who is loyal to the end.

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Kai from The Lunar Chronicles. Even when things looked really bad for Cinder, he was always trying to look out for her.

RUBY (JULY)- Blood red, name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry.

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The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter. Lucy was selfish and hypocritical and it took until the very end of the book for her to admit to any blame whatsoever.

PERIDOT (AUGUST)- It pales in comparison to other gems, name a supporting character who you like better than the main character.

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Bianca and Leo from The Art of Lainey. I would have much rather read a book about them than about Lainey and Micah.

SAPPHIRE (SEPTEMBER)- Blue like the ocean which is calming, name a book that had a calming affect on you.

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. Her books just make me so happy,

OPAL (OCTOBER)- Iridescent, name an iridescent book; this can be with a beautiful cover (shiny, colorful) or you can base it off a character (quirky? unique?).

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. I will never stop hyping this book.

TOPAZ (NOVEMBER)- Associated with resilience, name a book with a character who rises to the top in a time of adversity.

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Emma from One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. She has so much to deal with and she works her way through it.

BLUE ZIRCON (DECEMBER)- Associated with friendship, name a book with a friendship you want to be a part of.

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The crew from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I want to pull off a heist with these guys.

The GoodReads Book Tag

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I recently saw this tag over on Rattle the Stars and thought it looked like a fun one.

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

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Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein. I had some issues with it, but overall it was really cute.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing. I just finished Shuffle, Repeat, and haven’t started a new one yet. I guess I still have Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh marked as “currently reading”, but I started it like two books ago and I don’t think I’m going to finish it anytime soon.

What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?

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Chance of a Lifetime by Marissa Clarke. I generally don’t reach for books with this type of cover on it, but I am interested in it because one of the main characters is blind. I love seeing books that can break stigmas on disabilities.

What book do you plan to read next?

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My hold from the library finally came in for Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, so it might be what’s next. I’m not really sure if I’m in the mood to jump back into the Shadowhunter word, though.

Do you use the star rating system?

Of course

Are you doing a Reading Challenge?

Yes. I actually met my goal of 75 books with the last book I read. I’m debating between increasing it or just feeling accomplished.

Do you have a wishlist?

I have a TBR.

What book do you plan to buy next?

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I am thinking about either P.S. I Like You by Kasie West or Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?

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I am actually really horrible at remembering quotes. I bookmark and highlight all these lines when I read, but they rarely stick with me. There is one, though, that I love from Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I have no idea why this is the one that stands out when there are soooo many good lines from that series.

…It isn’t their concern. And it shouldn’t be mine. Apparently my head is going to roll. I ask them what they will swing. “I have all the axes.”

Who are your favorite authors?

  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Pierce Brown
  • Linwood Barclay
  • Kasie West
  • Linda Castillo
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Allison Leotta
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Liane Moriarty
  • Jojo Moyes
  • just to name a few…

Have you joined any groups?

I’ve joined one book club group, but I haven’t actually been interested enough in any of the books they were reading to actually participate in it yet.

What do you think that Goodreads could do better?

Obviously the 1/2 star thing. I use a 1/2 star rating a lot on my blog and when I transfer that rating to Good Reads, I always round down (i.e. 3.5 Stars on blog = 3 Stars on Good Reads). I think my average rating would be higher if we had half stars.

I also would like to see Nook Book/Epub versions to choose from. I know that Good Reads is owned by Amazon now, so that’s probably not going to happen. But the number of pages in a Nook Book varies SO MUCH from the hard copy – and even from the Kindle. So when I’m updating my status, I have to use the percentage instead of page number to get an accurate picture – and since my particular Nook doesn’t tell me percentage, I have to calculate it.

Tagging:

Feel free to tag yourself if you would like.

We should be Good Reads friends! Come friend me!