An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher

An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

“I’m going to kill her. You’d better come if you want to save her.”

Lorraine—“Rainy”—lives at the top of Tiger Mountain. Remote, moody, cloistered in pine trees and fog, it’s a sanctuary, a new life. She can hide from the disturbing past she wants to forget.

If she’s allowed to.

When Rainy reluctantly agrees to a girls’ weekend in Vegas, she’s prepared for an exhausting parade of shots and slot machines. But after a wild night, her friend Braithe doesn’t come back to the hotel room.

And then Rainy gets the text message, sent from Braithe’s phone: someone has her. But Rainy is who they really want, and Rainy knows why.

What follows is a twisted, shocking journey on the knife-edge of life and death. If she wants to save Braithe—and herself—the only way is to step back into the past.

Rainy needed a do-over and meeting Grant gave her the chance to redefine herself and her past. In Washington state, living in her exclusive community and hanging out with the wives of Grant’s friends, she’s found a way to move past her history and make a new life. But has she really managed to leave it all behind her? What if her past found her again and refused to let her go?

Rainy is a confident, creative woman, living her dream. She supports herself through her art while living the good life with her partner, Grant. He adores her and she’s happy. I loved her personality and how she maneuvered herself with all the pettiness that often cropped up with the other women around her. I’m not sure I could have contained myself at certain times like she did.

Summer is the one who surprised me. At thirteen, she’s more confident and self-sufficient than I could have ever dreamed of being. This coming from someone who grew up in the era of latch-key kids. As things got crazier and crazier for her, she sucked it up and made choices that would change her life. Her effort to save herself and her mother was the driving force of the past’s narrative and one I could fully support.

I’m a sucker for books set in and around Las Vegas. I’m also an absolute fool for books dealing with cults and/or fundamentalist religion. This book gave me both. Told in alternating timelines, both past and present, the story comes together slowly, piece by piece. That’s not to say that the novel is slow paced, because it’s not. Not even close. From the get-go this book is on the crazy train to the end. Which, if you’ve ever read Tarryn Fisher before, you know is her usual method. I’ve been a fan of the author’s ever since I read The Wives, but this is honestly her best book to date in my opinion.

The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

The forecast is calling for a reluctant homecoming and regrettable decisions with a strong chance of romance…

When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny’s been avoiding since the day she left for college—her northern Michigan hometown.

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood…with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who’s now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.

To distract herself from the memories she’s spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she’s ever going to find a place she can truly call home.

Sonny is a middle-aged meteorologist who has a great job and a great home in a warm climate. Suddenly she finds herself out of work but takes up an old colleague on her offer to work for her. The trouble is, Sonny will have to go across the country, back to her childhood home, where it is cold and snows a lot. Sonny dreads going back. Her sister was killed there. But she needs the job at the small station.

Sonny’s mother is awesome, and Sonny meets other great people who all have issues, like her. She is troubled, but her experiences will help her grow and learn things. She will work through her pain.

Setting is important in this story and has a great impact on the plot and characterization. The charming winter wonderland scenes add much to the book. Themes of family, friendship, and facing tragedy help bring this tale to life.

This is a very engaging book with a message and plenty of entertainment. I highly recommend it.

Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan

Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Historical
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop


For Jackie Pierce, everything changed the summer of 1979, when she spent three months of infinite freedom at her bohemian uncle’s sprawling estate on the California coast. As musicians, artists, and free spirits gathered at The Sandcastle for the season in pursuit of inspiration and communal living, Jackie and her cousin Willa fell into a fast friendship, testing their limits along the rocky beach and in the wild woods… until the summer abruptly ended in tragedy, and Willa silently slipped away into the night.

Twenty years later, Jackie unexpectedly inherits The Sandcastle and returns to the iconic estate for a short visit to ready it for sale. But she reluctantly extends her stay when she learns that, before her death, her estranged aunt had promised an up-and-coming producer he could record a tribute album to her late uncle at the property’s studio. As her musical guests bring the place to life again with their sun-drenched beach days and late-night bonfires, Jackie begins to notice startling parallels to that summer long ago. And when a piece of the past resurfaces and sparks new questions about Willa’s disappearance, Jackie must discover if the dark secret she’s kept ever since is even the truth at all.

Some authors can write words that just seem to flow. I’m not sure how to define this any better, nor do I understand how it’s accomplished. It isn’t that there aren’t starts and stops in the reading, but rather that there aren’t any in the story itself. All of this sounds a little esoteric, but nonetheless, such is the stuff of Lady Sunshine. I was angry every time I had to do some chore or even eat. I just didn’t want to put it down.

Many times a book that switches from year to year, chapter after chapter, can be confusing. My even trying to explain it is confusing. But somehow Amy Mason Doan managed to keep the change in time clear. Never once did it seem to me that the story jumped around. I hate to bring up the “flow” of her writing, but once again I think it explains the seamlessness between chapters and between decades.

This is a sweet story. One full of sunshine like its name, and full of times so poignant that I could feel them. If you have lived in the 70’s or 90’s, some of the description will put you right back into those times. If you have been a kid (surely you have) you’ll be stuck in a time warp for the duration of this book. Jackie, the main character, spends a certain amount of her young life at a beautiful music compound owned by her uncle and inherits it many years later. Going back recalls many memories, some laughter, some tears, and a mystery full of secrets only certain people knew.

I hope I’ve given the impression that Amy Mason Doan is a true storyteller. It’s most certainly true.

Followers by Megan Angelo

Followers by Megan Angelo
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss—a striving, wannabe A-lister—who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady—and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

As a sildenafil price result, the partner of the male sex-related drive. What’s more, a primary care doctor will likely prescribe some common treatments. online cialis There are remedies that can help to keep you from adding an acid canada cialis levitra blocker or acid reflux medication to your daily diet. It goes without saying that there are all sorts of conditions means the second brain deserves a lot more recognition than it has had in the past. “Its aberrations are responsible for a lot of suffering,” says Pasricha. viagra discount online This is the story of three women: Orla, Floss, and Marlow. One wants fame more than anything else, one already has more fame than she can handle, and a third who wants nothing but to be left alone. However, their lives are forever entangled in a way none of them expected. As social media grows, explodes, and reinvents itself, all three are intent on achieving what they most want. But will they discover how or will they forever be a slave to their followers?

Floss, Orla, and Marlow are nothing alike. Floss is an attention seeker of the highest order. Orla, while wanting fame – as a writer, not an internet sensation – doesn’t necessarily want to be in the spotlight either. Marlow, on the other hand, has all the fame a person could want and more. The path that brings Floss and Orla together is pretty ordinary, but that’s where the usual stops and the crazy begins.

Orla was my favorite of the three women. Although she has a toxic crush on her high school pal, Danny, she mostly does what she can to survive. Once Floss enters her life, she finds a way to help her friend gain the notoriety she craves, even if it nearly leads to their destruction. I could relate to Orla in the way that she constantly gave things up for Floss, even when she didn’t want to or felt like Floss wasn’t deserving. In a lot of ways, most of Orla’s relationships were a bit toxic.

Floss annoyed me in so many ways. She was abrasive, unrepentant, and walked over anyone who stood in the way of her gaining followers – Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Her downfall was caused by a careless mistake, one that had dire consequences, but even then, she strove to rebuild her brand and become famous again. She mellowed out a bit by the end, but I never really warmed up to her.

Marlow was probably the most interesting of the three, however. Her role plays out in the near future, thirty-five years after Floss and Orla’s role, but it isn’t as crazy a future as you might think. As a well-loved reality star, Marlow’s situation was unlike any other I’ve read about. I thought that she was a bit spoiled and whiny at first, but as her story unfolded, I really began to empathize with her.

For me, the most interesting part of the book was the idea of The Spill – an incident that occurred online that caused a complete upheaval of the world as Floss, Orla, and everyone of their generation knew it. The Spill made way for a new and more intrusive form of internet, one that was government controlled. As far-fetched as this might have sounded ten years ago, today, it is frighteningly possible. Although Marlow’s timeline is set in 2051, it seems like it could be 2021 in so many ways.

Followers is one of the most interesting and in-your-face books I’ve read all year. The author realistically portrays influencer culture and its effect on the internet and the real world. Even Marlow’s futuristic life isn’t all that unimaginable in today’s world. It’s partly a social commentary and partly a warning, wrapped snugly in a wonderfully written and addictive narrative.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (256 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.
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You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

She’s wife number two and she’s more than happy in her role in the marriage. Yeah, there are times when she’s lonely, or needing her husband, but she knew what she was in for when she signed up. But did she really? Is there something that her husband is hiding from her and his other wives? There’s only one way for her to find out.

Thursday – yes, that’s actually her name, not just her day of the week – is wife number two in a polygamous arrangement with her husband, Seth. The problem is, she’s not allowed to know so much as the names of the other wives. So, after discovering what she believes is a clue to the third wife’s identity, Thursday engages in a bit of cyber-stalking until she finds her. This is where it all starts to get a little crazy.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but I can honestly say that it was not what I wound up getting. The ending completely took me by surprise, I had not even entertained it as a possibility. Now, I can be a rather gullible reader, so that might have something to do with it, but I was completely stunned when I read the final pages.

The Wives was one of the most insane, engrossing books I’ve read all year. I have this weird fascination with polygamy and I’m not even sure where it came from. However, the idea of plural marriage is alluring and therefore, this book was a must read. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who loves a great psychological thriller packed with twists and turns you weren’t expecting. Although I don’t often re-read books, I’d love to read this one again, knowing the things that I know now, and wonder if it would change anything. I will definitely have to pick up more of the author’s books now.

The Object of Your Affections by Falguni Kothari

The Object of Your Affections by Falguni Kothari
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Two best friends rewrite the rules of friendship, love and family…and change everything they thought they knew about motherhood

Paris Kahn Fraser has it all—a successful career as an assistant district attorney, a beautiful home in New York City, and a handsome, passionate husband who chose her over having a family of his own. Neal’s dream of fatherhood might have been the only shadow in their otherwise happy life…until Paris’s best friend comes to town.

Naira Dalmia never thought she’d be a widow before thirty. Left reeling in the aftermath of her husband’s death, all she wants is to start over. She trades Mumbai for New York, and rigid family expectations for the open acceptance of her best friend. After all, there isn’t anything she and Paris wouldn’t do for each other.

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Wry, daring and utterly absorbing, The Object of Your Affections is an unforgettable story about two women challenging the norms…and the magic that happens when we choose to forge our own path.

My best friend, my saving grace…my surrogate?

I’ve never read a book by Kothari, so this was a new-to-me author. I like finding books that are genuine and original. This was one of those books. The writing is fast-paced and I couldn’t put the book down.

That said, the characters were…interesting. I’m not sure if I liked them or hated them. Maybe a bit of both. Paris could be incredibly whiny and full of herself, but I understood why–she has to be forceful in the courtroom and when she’s out of it, then she can lose control. She’s relateable, but yet, I still wasn’t a fan. I kept thinking, someone give her a reality check. But, you see, I was emotionally invested. So, kudos to the author.

Then there’s Neal, Paris’s husband. He’s a piece of work. He’s a playboy and knows it. I wasn’t sure he really wanted kids, but that was okay. I wasn’t a fan of his, either.

Now there’s Naira. She’s Paris’s best friend. I get it. I’ve had best friends who seemed to have it all and it can be tough to watch. When Paris doesn’t want to get pregnant, she has Naira step in. Good in theory, but questionable in real life. I got the ups and downs Naira dealt with when pregnant. It’s a rollercoaster. Then she’s close-ish to Neal. She’s trying to be a good friend and there were times when I don’t know how she kept going. She had to be my favorite character.
I understood the jealousy by Paris, but there were times when I wanted more from Paris. I wanted to be shown her anguish and explained why more often, not told.

If you want a book that’s full of drama and shows the true bonds of friendship, then this might be the book for you. Give it a try.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full length (334 pages)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Lost letters have only one hope for survival…

The Dead Letters Depot

Inside the walls of a converted tea factory, letter detectives work to solve mysteries of fate: missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names—these are the culprits behind missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

If you are looking at permanent enlargement options then you must go with a product cheap levitra that has been sold for a penny. Too much intensive exercise will keep the body functioning sildenafil 50mg much better than cheap varieties. It starts out in a club or lounge with a guy viagra rx on the Internet I decided to visit Indonesia. Dosage suggestions for Kamaga Jelly The dosage format involves 25mg, 50mg and 100mg of which a normal person with good health is provided 50mg and older men with 25mg considering their health issues relating to sexual disorder. levitra on line But when letter detective William Woolf discovers letters addressed simply to “My Great Love,” his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to the soul mate she hasn’t met yet, the missives capture William’s heart in ways he didn’t know possible, and he must embark on a journey to solve what may be the most important mystery to come his way.

Helen Cullen’s The Lost Letters of William Woolf is an enchanting novel about the resilience of the human heart and the complex ideas we hold about love—and a passionate ode to the art of letter writing.

There is a mystery at hand. William has an interesting job. He’s a letter detective. Mail comes to him with unreadable or no addresses at all, and he must try to put clues together to make sure these little gems get to the right people. Lives could change if he’s successful.

Among all these great little mysteries is a big one. A woman writes letters to a man she is searching for, her great love. As William receives these letters and gets to work trying to figure out who she is, he becomes more and more intrigued with this fascinating woman. At the same time, he’s dealing with his own relationship issues with his wife.

He follows clues in the letters, sometimes to another country. Meanwhile, is he missing important things happening in his own home?

This book has great characterization. The author has done a fine job exploring relationships, hopes, dreams, disappointments, and renewed hope. The people in this book are so real to a reader discovering their quirks.

The story is beautifully written and flows across the pages, seemingly effortlessly. The author’s attention to deal is superb. Readers will like the characters and root for them. When trouble happens, the suspense is great. Will William end up with this mystery woman he’s been discovering, and if so, what will happen with the wife he loves? Meanwhile, she’s going through issues of her own.

Until the very end, readers will wonder what is to become of William, his wife, and this lady of the letters, so to speak. This is quite an enjoyable story and is recommended.

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Rated 5 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Laura and Casey were once inseparable: as they floated on their backs in the sunlit lake, as they dreamed about the future under starry skies, and as they teamed up for the wild scavenger hunts in their small California lakeside town. Until one summer night, when a shocking betrayal sent Laura running through the pines, down the dock, and into a new life, leaving Casey and a first love in her wake.
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But the past is impossible to escape, and now, after seventeen years away, Laura is pulled home and into a reunion with Casey she can’t resist—one last scavenger hunt. With a twist: this time, the list of clues leads to the settings of their most cherished summer memories. From glistening Jade Cove to the vintage skating rink, each step they take becomes a bittersweet reminder of the friendship they once shared. But just as the game brings Laura and Casey back together, the clues unravel a stunning secret that threatens to tear them apart…

Mesmerizing and unforgettable, Amy Mason Doan’s The Summer List is about losing and recapturing the person who understands you best—and the unbreakable bonds of girlhood.

A serious and thoughtful novel, The Summer List drifts back and forth in time, offering unique perspectives from our main character, Laura. She recalls the magic of friendships of teen years and especially the character of her closest friend. She contends with the character her friend has become, as well as her own; so this is curiously a novel of two selves in one, giving we readers an intriguing, though sometimes uncomfortable perspective.

The novel is less nostalgic than psychological, and makes us stop and think; not only about the characters, but about our own once-selves, choices, and reactions. Although billed as a ‘coming of age’ story, it’s more of a confrontation of the self. The main character and her relationships are under review, and in the midst of redevelopment, all so very on-purpose. The work is serious, perhaps–faintly–a touch too serious.

The picturesque backdrop and frequent recollections lend the story a dreamy, thoughtful air. It’s beautifully written, with incredibly believable conversations a highlight. There are awkward moments, heart-lifting moments, times of self-doubt. Doubt in others, both ordinary friends and in the old/potential romance.

Many moments are evocative, but never overdone, never theatrical. Its definitely a novel one can re-read, and find new nuances each time. It is hardly light entertainment, but it is enthralling. Doan is a masterful writer; on style alone, I must give this 5 out of 5 stars.