Monday, April 30, 2018

0 Season of Stories, SYNC, and more . . .

Here are some links you might want to know about:

The summer of FREE audiobooks has begun! Check out my post about it here: http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2018/04/fall-in-love-with-audiobooks-with-syncs.html


Season of Stories has been going on for a few weeks now, but you can still sign up for it.



Meet the author of The Girl Who Smiled Beads. This book sounds amazing! 


Find out what Paula McLain is reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

0 Fall in love with audiobooks with SYNC's summer of FREE #audiobooks


Fall in love with audiobooks this summer with SYNC's summer of FREE audiobooks. You read that right: FREE. We're huge audiobook fans in my house and we've enjoyed this program over the past few years. I have two (at times) reluctant readers. Audiobooks has helped open the door to exploring new books by making reading fun. The right narrator can make a book come to life like never before. 

With those of you who are unfamiliar with SYNC, here's the deal:

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Returning April 26, 2018, SYNC will give away (aka FREE) two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes.  

SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the OverDrive app. In advance of accessing the program, download the app in advance to whichever device you anticipate listening on and be ready to go! *The app is FREE too! I've downloaded it on my computer since the files can be large and I have limited space on my phone. 

All you need to do is sign-up to get notifications when the FREE audiobook downloads are available. You can receive alerts by text message, email newsletter, or by visiting www.audiobooksync.com. Titles change every Thursday at 7am ET when the program is running.


Remember go to https://audiobooksync.com/ to download these titles.

This week's selection is:




The Great War
by David Almond, John Boyne, Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Dubosarsky, Timothée de Fombelle

Read by Nico Evers-Swindell, JD Jackson, Gerard Doyle, Richard Halverson, Sarah Coomes, Nick Podehl

A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I. Each author was invited to choose an object that had a connection to the war—a writing kit for David Almond, a helmet for Michael Morpurgo—and use it as the inspiration for an original short story. What results is an extraordinary collection, illustrated throughout by the award-winning Jim Kay and featuring photographs of the objects with accounts of their history and the authors' reasons for selecting them. A blend of fiction and real-life events, this unique anthology provides young readers with a personal window into the Great War and the people affected by it, and serves as an invaulable resource for families and teachers alike.


A Study in Charlotte
by Brittany Cavallaro
Read by Graham Halstead, Julia Whelan

The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter. Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends. But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.


Thank you, Candlewick Press and Harper Audio, for this week's selection!

May 3 – May 9


May 10 – May 16


May 17 – May 23


May 24 – May 30


May 31 – June 6


June 7 – June 13


June 14 – June 20


June 21 – June 27


June 28 – July 4


July 5 – July 11


July 12 – July 18


July 19 – July 25

Thursday, April 19, 2018

0 Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepard



by Sara Shapard

Hardcover: Atria | ISBN: 9781501162770 | On sale: April 17, 2018 | 352 pages | $26.99
eBook: Atria | ISBN: 9781501162794 | On sale: April 17, 2018 | 352 pages | $13.99

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.


My Thoughts




A few years ago I watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars. I had not read the books or watched the series from the beginning. I'm not even sure why it was exactly that I ended up watching PLL, but there I was, watching it. Loving it. The psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat. And while I still haven't read the books, one day I will, I can imagine how fantastic they are since the series was so good.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to read Sara Shepard's latest book, The Elizas. It was described as a "Hitchcockian double narrative filled with lies, false memories, and a protagonist that must uncover the truth for survival." I knew I needed this book in my life right then and there.

Eliza wakes up in the hospital surrounded by her family. She learns that she was found unconscious in a pool and her family believes that she tried to kill herself . . . again. But Eliza is positive that someone pushed her into the pool. However, Eliza is having a hard time recalling exactly what happened because she was drunk. Desperate to find out the truth, Eliza begins to investigate what happened that night--certain that someone is after her.

The Elizas is cleverly written, stay-up-all-night-to-find-out-what-happened psychological thriller. I say stay up all night because that's what I did. Yes, I was exhausted the next day, but it was so worth it. I love Shepards writing; I love the characters; I love the plot. This is a book that you definitely need to acquire and read as soon as possible. You won't regret it! Though you might want to read it on the weekend, so you don't show up exhausted for work the next day. 😄


Buy the Book:

Find Sara Shepard Online

Twitter: @sarabooks
Instagram: @saracshepard

Monday, April 16, 2018

0 Mary Shelley Official Trailer and Six Picks: Debuts and Historical Fiction

I am looking forward to watching this movie! 



Looking for a new book? Check out Six Picks



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

0 SYNC audiobooks, Literary Telephone Pictionary, and How the Romance Genre Empowers



SYNC 2018—year 9—launches April 26th and ends July 25th! They will be giving away 26 titles—two paired audiobook downloads a week. This year's authors include Kwame Alexander, Jazz Jennings, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

These audiobooks are FREE to download. All you need to do is go to https://audiobooksync.com and sign up. Easy. Peasy. Lemon Squeazy! 

Check out this year's selection:



If you haven't tried audiobooks before, now is the time! 











Monday, April 9, 2018

2 #Giveaway: The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It's not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren't helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee--something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar's stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother's seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee's house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women...


Thanks to Penguin Random House I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader! To enter, you must have a US address, you must be at least 13 years old, and you must fill out the rafflecopter form below. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. 




Having  trouble with the form? Here's a direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5f8733aa254/?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

0 Why Kill the Innocent?



 WHY KILL THE INNOCENT 
(Berkley Hardcover; April 3, 2018; $26)
Amazon

In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie, a brutal murder draws Sebastian St. Cyr into the web of the royal court, where intrigue abounds and betrayal awaits.

WHY KILL THE INNOCENT transports readers to 1814, during the height of a frigid London winter. Lady Devlin literally stumbles upon trouble when she trips over a cadaver on a snowy city street. She soon realizes that the body belongs to the royal princess’s music instructor, and that murder is to blame. As the winter air turns bitterly cold, the brooding and contemplative Sebastian finds a chilling number of potential suspects, all with ample reason to kill the brilliant musician. Which of them forced Ambrose to take her final bow?


Praise for Why Kill the Innocent
“The best St. Cyr yet.”—Booklist

“The mystery highlights the circumscribed course of women’s lives of the Regency era while exposing the rot that underlies the period’s glitter…. Highly recommended for lovers of historical thrillers.”—Library Journal, starred review


Praise for When Falcons Fall


“Harris’ talent for character development, polished prose, and accurate, Regency-era details makes this eleventh or any of the previous 10 an easy starting point for newcomers to the Sebastian St. Cyr series...Psychologically atmospheric like Imogen Robertson’s Westerman and Crowther mysteries, with the skewering social wit of Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, this is historical mystery at its best.”—Booklist (starred review)

“An engrossing tangled mystery and astonishing tale about a tragic search for identity. An excellent choice for St. Cyr fans and readers of historical mysteries.”—Library Journal

“Strong...[an] intricate murder puzzle.”—Publishers Weekly
 
Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Series

“This riveting historical tale of tragedy and triumph, with its sly nods to Jane Austen and her characters, will enthrall you.”—Sabrina Jeffries, New York Times bestselling author

“Sebastian St. Cyr is everything you could want in a Regency-era nobleman-turned–death investigator: uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant.”—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Thoroughly enjoyable . . . Moody and atmospheric, exposing the dark underside of Regency London.”—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

C. S. Harris is the national bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series (Where the Dead LieWhen Falcons FallWho Buries the DeadWhy Kings ConfessWhat Darkness Brings); as C. S. Graham, a thriller series coauthored by former intelligence officer Steven Harris; and seven award-winning historical romances written under the name Candice Proctor.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

2 Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman Giveaway

Behind every closed door is an open secret. . . 
A Most Anticipated Book of 2018 of InStyle, Elite Daily, PopSugar, and HelloGiggles

OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES By ABBI WAXMAN, author of The Garden of Small Beginnings


Praise for Abbi Waxman & Other People’s Houses

“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author EMILY GIFFIN

“Charming yet provocative. . . . This is a voyeuristic (in a nice way) and humorous trip through what is usually hidden behind closed doors. Waxman is a master at purveying the wry humor that rides just below the surface of even the tough times. An immensely enjoyable read.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A smart, thoughtful look at marriage and suburbia.”—PopSugar

“Once again, [Waxman] manages to take a far-reaching topic and sprinkle it with spicy dialogue, adorable kids, and characters who feel like best friends. . . Recommend to those who like to turn pages quickly without sacrificing complex characters.”—Booklist

“We absolutely adored [The Garden of Small Beginnings]. And if it’s possible, we’re even more in love with her much-anticipated follow-up, Other People’s Houses.”—Hello Giggles

IN HER 2017 DEBUT The Garden of Small Beginnings, Abbi Waxman tackled widowhood and grief with wicked honesty. Readers fell in love with Waxman’s ability to wring humor from a sober situation, and the Lorelai Gilmore-esque widow at the center of the story. The book, an Indie Next selection, became a cult favorite among independent booksellers, and was featured in The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Elle.com, and Woman’s World, among others.

 In her second novel, Waxman again dares to take a dark situation and make it funny. In OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; April 3, 2018), she captures the hilarious havoc one affair wreaks on an upper middle-class LA neighborhood.

 For Frances Bloom, driver-in-residence of her local carpool crew, school dropoff is a chaotic if not predictable affair. Until one of Frances’s steely-eyed kindergarten charges sends her to retrieve forgotten school supplies. That’s when Frances stumbles on her friend Anne Porter— perfect, impeccable Anne—having a 9:00 am quickie with a younger man who is definitely not her husband.

 The affair exposes, to comedic effect, dormant insecurities, neuroses, and strife in the neighborhood. As the carpool line-up unravels one gossip session at a time, the novel alternates between the perspectives of the four families involved: the down-to-earth, level-headed Blooms; the seemingly perfect Porters; the eccentric lesbian couple Sara and Iris; and the mysterious Hortons, hiding a sad secret. 

Waxman, a former ad copywriter, wields pitch-perfect dialogue, capturing how the chaotic aftermath of the affair plays out across the block behind closed doors, in scenarios alternately tender and preposterous. It will all lead up to the portentous return of Anne’s boyfriend, in a final plot turn that tests the carpool crew indelibly and forces their reliance on each other into alarming perspective. 

Waxman’s bubbly skewering of her characters’ idiosyncrasies coupled with her irrepressible humor sets OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES apart from typical suburban satire. Life in the carpool lane will never be the same.

Abbi Waxman is a chocolate-loving, dog-loving woman who lives in Los Angeles and lies down as much as possible. She worked in advertising for many years, which is how she learned to write fiction. She has three daughters, three dogs, three cats, and one very patient husband. She is the recipient of most helpful parent award from her daughter’s preschool. That was many years ago. But still. 

OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES
 | Berkley Trade Paperback Original | April 3, 2018 ISBN: 9780399587924 |$16.00

EXCERPT

Frances pulled into the elementary school lot and Ava got out, sighing as if she were a fourteen-year-old Victorian child disembarking for her day down the mine. She pulled open the door and swung her arm wide.
“Medium-size children may now escape. Mind the gap, and watch out for speeding moms on cell phones.”
The children had already unbuckled and piled out, high-fiving Ava as they passed her. Kate stopped, and Frances turned to see what was up. The little girl’s face was a study in conflict.
“What’s wrong, honey?”
Kate looked at Frances, and her chin wobbled.
“I left my toilet roll tubes at home.”
“Oh.” Frances looked at her eldest child. Ava shrugged, looking back inside the open minivan.
“They aren’t in the car.”
“Oh, OK.” Frances smiled at Kate. “I’m sure the teacher will have lots of extras.” She herself had, over time, sent in three thousand toilet roll tubes. For all she knew they were building a particle collider out of them, or an accurate re-creation of the New York subway system. Let’s hope they didn’t use the obvious choice for subway trains.
“No, I have to have my own ones.” Kate’s eyes were filling with tears, her shit-fit indicator was dropping to DEFCON 3. “It’s for the class project. Everyone else will have them.”
Frances weighed her options. On the one hand Kate was only six, and would not only survive but would forget the trauma of not having had toilet roll tubes. But on the other hand, she was a member of the Yakuza-esque organization known as Miss Lollio’s First Grade Class, whose members fell on the weakest like wolves on a lamb. Forgetting to bring toilet roll tubes and having to borrow some was a Noticeable Event to be avoided at all costs. It wasn’t on the level of peeing oneself, of course, it wasn’t going to give rise to a nickname you couldn’t shake until college, but it wasn’t great.
“My mommy put them in a bag, but she forgot to give them to me.” A note of accusatory steel had entered her voice. Frances gazed at the little angel, whose mother had been heard calling her Butterblossom. Kate’s eyes had gone flat like a shark’s. She knew she would get what she wanted, the only question was when. I am younger than you, old lady, her eyes said, and I will stand here until age makes you infirm, at which time I will push you down, crunch over your brittle bones, and get the toilet roll tubes I need.
“Alright, Kate. I’ll go back and get them after I drop Ava, OK, and bring them back to school for you.” Frances knew she was being played, but it was OK. She was softhearted, and she could live with that.
“Suckah . . .” Ava headed back to her seat, shaking her head over her mother’s weakness, a weakness she loved to take advantage of herself.
“Thanks, Frances!” Kate beamed an enormous smile, turned, and ran off—the transformation from tremulous waif to bouncy cherub instantaneous. Behind her in the line of cars, someone tapped their horn. OK, the brief honk said, we waited while you dealt with whatever mini crisis was caused by your piss-poor parenting, because we’re nice like that, but now you can get a move on because we, like everyone else in this line, have Shit to Do. Amazing how much a second of blaring horn can communicate.
Frances waved an apologetic hand out of the car window, and pulled out of the gate.
She dropped the other kids and was back at Anne’s house in a half hour. Having carpool duty wasn’t the onerous task the other parents thought it was: All three schools were close to home, and all four families lived on the same block. As Frances ran up to Anne’s door she looked over and saw her own cat, Carlton, watching her. She waved. He blinked and looked away, embarrassed for both of them.
She knocked softly on the door, but no one answered. Maybe Anne had gone back to sleep. She turned the handle and pushed open the door, peering around. Yup, there was the bag of toilet roll tubes. She grabbed it and was about to shut the door again when she saw Anne lying on the floor, her face turned away, her long hair spilling across the rug.
“Anne! Holy crap, are you OK?” But as she said it her brain started processing what she was really seeing. Anne, on the floor, check. But now she’d turned her head and Frances realized she was fine. In fact, she was better than fine. Frances had instinctively stepped over the sill and now she saw that Anne was naked, her face flushed, a man between her legs, his head below her waist.
“Shit . . .” Frances dropped her eyes, began to back out, “Sorry, Anne, Kate forgot her toilet roll tubes . . .” Stupidly she raised her hand with the Whole Foods bag in it because, of course, that would make it better, that she’d interrupted Anne and Charlie having a quickie on the living room floor. It was OK, because she was just here for the toilet roll tubes. Nothing to see here, move along.
The man realized something was wrong, finally, and raised his head, looking first at Anne and then turning to see what she was looking at, why her face was so pale when seconds before it had been so warmly flushed.
Frances was nearly through the door, it was closing fast, but not before she saw that it wasn’t Charlie at all. It was someone else entirely.
Frances closed the door and heard it click shut.

Giveaway

Thanks to Penguin/Random House I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, you must be at least 13 years old. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. Comment below with your email address. One comment per household please. 


 

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