2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.
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Book Review: Elsewhere by Dean Koontz

Got to be honest, three stars is being a little generous… This doesn’t feel like Dean Koontz – at least not the Dean Koontz I enjoy. That Dean Koontz is the one who wrote Watchers and Lightning, Odd Thomas and Ashley Bell (lest you think I only like the early stuff). In books like those, I always fell into his stories straight away – the characters were always compelling people you really wanted to cheer for, even when they were a little off. This time the good guys felt a little flat and the bad guys a little formulaic. Continue reading Book Review: Elsewhere by Dean Koontz

Book Review: Looking for Alice: A Gunvor Strom Novel by Luna Miller

This one didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be… The blurb makes a big deal out of the older female retiree detective angle, which is what drew me to the story – much in the way of the Hulda series by Ragnar Jonasson. I read a lot of mysteries and they tend to run together after a while, so a protagonist who doesn’t follow the typical form of a disaffected alcoholic male or abused woman who takes back her life tends to catch my eye. Unfortunately I should have taken a clue from the cover on this one – it features a young blond, which should have clued me in that this was not entirely going to be about said older retiree Detective. Continue reading Book Review: Looking for Alice: A Gunvor Strom Novel by Luna Miller

Book Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

About the Book
The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same. Continue reading Book Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

Book Review AND Excerpt: Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

Today I’m pleased to bring you another title in the Harlequin Trade Publishing Winter 2021 Mystery and Thriller Blog Tour! Aftershock is the second book in the Jessie Teska series, and it’s every bit as enjoyable as the first (which I reviewed last January). Definitely read them in order – I always say that, but it’s pretty much always true! – because you’ll have a lot more character context and a much richer reading experience as a result. Enjoy!

About the Book
When an earthquake strikes San Francisco, forensics expert Jessie Teska faces her biggest threat yet in this explosive new mystery from the New York Times bestselling authors of Working Stiff and First Cut.

At first glance, the death appears to be an accident. The body is located on a construction site under what looks like a collapse beam. But when Dr. Jessie Teska arrives on the scene, she notices the tell-tale signs of a staged death. The victim has been murdered. A rising star in the San Francisco forensics world, Jessie is ready to unravel the case, help bring the murderer to justice, and prevent him from potentially striking again. Continue reading Book Review AND Excerpt: Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

Excerpt: Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick

Today I’m delighted to bring you another title in the Harlequin Trade Publishing Historical Fiction 2021 Winter Blog Tour! I’m transporting you to 1930s Havana for a novel based on the true story of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban-born Hollywood actress and singer, as her daughter Nina traces her mother’s life from Cuba to Hollywood to understand her mysterious death. Enjoy!

*Please note that there is some adult language in this excerpt.

About the Book
Find Me in Havana is a new historical novel from Serena Burdick, the author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES – think NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA meets THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO.

Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration—from Havana to New York’s Copacabana and then Hollywood—becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. Not the revolving door of husbands and the fickle world of film. Not even the tragic devastation of Castro’s revolution that rained down on her loved ones. Continue reading Excerpt: Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick