Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Archive for the category “Book Reviews – Glenda”

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

The Ice TwinsAngus and Sarah Moorcraft have a good life. Happily married and a set of beautiful identical twin girls Kirstie and Lydia. When it is said that the girls are identical, they truly are identical in every sense of the word. Their blood type, fingerprints, anything that could identify them from each other is virtually identical. Then one day tragedy strikes and a twin is gone forever. But which one? Angus and Sarah are certain that it is Lydia that has perished but when Kirstie starts to behave strangely and starts to refer to herself as Lydia, they begin to wonder if they made a mistake in their own child’s identity.

What really happened on that dreadful day? Why is Kirstie (or is it Lydia) so very haunted by it? Is it merely a grieving twin missing her other half? Or did something more sinister occur? As Angus and Sarah struggle to try to help their surviving daughter they are also struggling to save themselves as well as their marriage. They both feel blame and regret. Did they favor one twin too much? Is the surviving twin reacting to that favoritism? This book is mysterious right to the very end.

They say every parent of multiple children always secretly has a favorite child. They hope that the other children never suspect but this book makes one think that maybe it does show and can have an effect on both the favored and the “not-so-favored” as they grow and become adults. This book definitely makes me grateful to be the parent of only one child and to have grown up as an only child.

If you pick this book up, be prepared for a read-a-thon because you will not want to put it down.

– Glenda

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesTheodore Finch is a teenager who is fascinated by death. On a daily basis he contemplates ways to die and what it might be like. However, every day something keeps him from actually following through. Something keeps him going just one more day.

Violet Markey is a teenager with a bright future and dreams of leaving her small town for something bigger and better. However, Violet also has demons that she fights in the wake of her sister’s untimely death in a car accident.

When Finch and Violet meet one day in an unlikely spot, their worlds change. Violet was fighting her demons one day and found herself on the ledge of the school’s bell tower – six stories above the ground – contemplating ending the pain. While there she meets Finch who is doing his normal routine of also contemplating the end. At this point it becomes unclear who saves whom but needless to say a friendship blossoms at a most unlikely time. When they decide to team up to work on a class project together they start to realize how deep their feelings run. Soon Finch feels that he can only be himself with Violet and Violet feels that she can finally release some of her demons when she is with Finch.

Soon, though, life happens and as Violet’s world begins to grow, Finch’s world starts to shrink.

This book is heart-wrenching. It’s a story of how love can grow between the most unlikely souls and how life has a way of bringing them together when both are literally standing on the edge.

– Glenda

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

jpegI will start off by saying that this book is not for the faint at heart. The murders are gruesome. That being said, if you love murder mysteries that are full of suspense you will love this book.

Detective Gabriella Versado is not new to the murder scene. This case, however, has disturbed her more than any other. Not only has the victim been horrifyingly mutilated and fused together with an animal, but the victim is an 11 year old child. Soon more victims follow, all left in similar fashion to the first one.

Meanwhile, Detective Versado’s teenage daughter, Layla, is playing with fire of her own with her best friend Cas. They have targeted an online child sex predator and have decided to try to lure him in on their own. But have they bitten off more than they can chew? When they lure him to a public meeting place things get out of hand and they realize that they may have invited a monster’s anger on to them.

Enter Jonno, a freelance writer who will do whatever it takes to get the story. When videos and a blog of the murders go viral on the internet the perpetrator of the crimes seems to thrive on this as does Jonno.

I will say that by the end of the book, the story line takes a very bizarre turn. There is definitely a touch of Stephen King and Dean Koontz in this book, from the gory crime scenes to the supernatural touch in the end. Overall I enjoyed it and would definitely read more from this author.

– Glenda

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I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

I Love You MoreOliver Lane is a busy man. However, he is not busy in the sense that most of us experience. You see, Oliver leads many lives – three to be exact. He has three wives and three children with one on the way. Oh, and of course the wives do not know about each other….or do they?

Oliver’s twelve-year-old daughter Picasso is a very observant child and finds out that her dad isn’t the person she thought he was. Not only that, but she realizes that her mom knows more than she pretends to know. When Picasso discovers that her mom has befriended these two other women in her dad’s life she also discovers a “plan” that they have made together. Picasso is terrified that the plan will be carried out. Mystery and intrigue continue to unfold as you turn the pages of this book.

This book definitely kept me in suspense until the final chapter. Things and people are not always what they seem and this book only emphasizes that fact. It is an excellent read that tells the story from multiple characters’ points of view. It has everything from romance to murder and even a bit of comedy. It is definitely a page turner and I highly recommend it.

– Glenda

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Gemini by Carol Cassella

geminiWhen a Jane Doe came into Dr. Charlotte Reese’s hospital unconscious and fighting for life, she never dreamed how this patient would change her life. Normally when a Jane Doe enters the hospital someone claims them within 24-48 hours. However, when no one claims this woman, Dr. Reese is left wondering who she is and why no one has claimed her? As the woman’s life begins to consume Charlotte, her boyfriend, Eric, gets involved out of curiosity. When he decides to go in to see this woman he realizes how small the world can be.

From this point on Charlotte and Eric’s lives are impacted in ways they never thought possible. Eric is forced to face a past that he thought was gone and Charlotte is left to figure out where she belongs in all of it. Needless to say, the appearance of this mystery woman will change their lives forever.

The twist near the end of this book left my mind reeling. This is truly a love story, drama, and science lesson all wrapped into one book. Find out why the author calls this book “Gemini” by delving into its pages. I promise you won’t want to put it down.

– Glenda

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Long Man by Amy Greene

long manThis is a story of roots – deep roots. Some roots run so deeply that we would make sacrifices for them. In this book, Annie Clyde Dodson has her roots buried deeply in her family homestead where she lives with her husband James and three year old daughter Gracie.

Set in the 1930’s, a river called Long Man has run through the Appalachian town of Yuneetah for generations. However, the Tennessee Valley Authority has plans to dam the river and flood the town to bring electricity and jobs to the area. Most of the town has been evacuated with the exception of a few hold-outs, one of which is Annie Clyde Dodson who has dreamed of her daughter being able to grow up and live on the same farm and fields as her ancestors for generations have. Even Annie’s husband James is willing to leave to make a fresh start in a new town with a new job. However, he may have to do that without his wife and daughter. Annie Clyde is determined to stay until they literally have to drag her out.

Holding on to this dream is consuming the family. Until one day something happens that changes James’ and Annie’s world. Their precious Gracie disappears with only days left until the town is flooded. With the waters coming and a homeless vagrant who comes and goes through the town wandering the area what is most important quickly changes. Will Gracie be found before it is too late? When your most precious possession is threatened, what was once considered the extremely important can suddenly change.

This book really hits home for me as I am currently living in the home I grew up in and can understand the feelings that would be involved if that home were suddenly threatened by the local government. Long Man reminds us to step back and look at what is truly important to us in the end.


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Approaching the Speed of Light by Victoria Lustbader

9780765334909 lightA tragic story from the beginning. Jody was abused both physically and mentally until he was nine years old. When Jody became an adult it appeared he had overcome his childhood demons. He does have his issues, but don’t we all? He struggles with relationships, because he was never really shown how to love and the only real living creature he fully trusts is his canine companion Einstein.

Then one day he meets Tess, an elderly woman who is still grieving her dead son. Jody reminds her so much of her son that she introduces her to her daughter-in-law Ella. Ella and her young son make an almost instant connection with Jody. They both have experienced hurt although in different ways. Even Ella’s son Evan can connect with the hurt of not having the full love of a father as his is mostly uninvolved with his life.

Ella, Evan, and Jody seem to need each other. Then just as it seems as though Jody is finally letting himself open to love another, a chance encounter leads Jody to believe that maybe he can’t even trust himself, let alone others. This realization leads to a decision that will change everything for everyone.

This book really opened my eyes to the long term effects of child abuse. Even when it seems that the person has overcome the hurt, they might not ever completely heal. It has taught me to look at people differently, because I don’t know what has formed their personalities. What happens to us as children has a profound effect on our adult lives. If you doubt that, just read this book.


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The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

9780670025275 lemonJulia knows life can hurt. She has lived through every parent’s worst nightmare. When this nightmare is combined with the loss of her husband as well, she wonders if life will ever make sense again. All that she has left is her beloved dog, Bonnie. Together, Julia and Bonnie embark on the journey to try to heal.

When Julia temporarily moves to her Aunt Graciela and Uncle John’s house to care for the property while they are away, she meets another human who has lived a nightmare of his own. Enter Roberto, head caretaker of the lemon orchards on the property. Roberto is one of the last people someone like Julia thinks she would have anything in common with, but that quickly changes when she learns his story and starts to see him in a completely different light.

Roberto’s nightmare is much like Julia’s, except for him the nightmare has no closure. Julia puts her whole self into trying to help Roberto find his closure. In the meantime, she also finds a love she never imagined she could have. She learns life can hurt, but healing is possible with time.

This story will leave the reader with so many mixed emotions. It really is a page turner and will definitely leave you wanting more of Julia and Roberto!


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The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

9781455517060 killJeffery Deaver has given us another adventure with Detective Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs. This time they are dealing with a combination of the U.S. government and the war against anti-American groups. When a U.S. citizen is shot and killed in the Bahamas you are left wondering if he was truly an innocent victim or a different kind of victim. Either way he is indeed a victim, but of what exactly? Are the “bad” guys really the bad guys?

Lincoln, Amelia, and assistant district attorney, Nance Laurel, find themselves investigating the government in what could be an undercover operation to eliminate possible terroristic threats against the U.S. If what is happening is to protect innocent U.S. citizens, at what point is the government higher than the laws it has put into place itself?

The victim, Robert Moreno, is a man known to be strongly anti-American and his death seems to be more of an assassination than a random act. This event draws attention to an organization known as the National Intelligence and Operations Service. However, with this new found attention on the organization someone seems bent on derailing the investigation.

This book definitely takes the reader on an adventure both inside and outside the U.S. and at times leaves you confused on whose side to be on. In the end it all becomes clear, but getting there is quite the ride. Enjoy!


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