Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday - Work but want to Read

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I have had a really good year of reading so far and have realised I want to be reading instead of working, HA, what a dream, I have 20+ years of work life left, sigh.  I do love my job and career but it is so stressful right now I wish I could have a break without going back to it waiting for me, again what a dream :-)

On to books

I am currently reading and enjoying

I reviewed but wasn't impressed - my review 3 star

I also reviewed and loved this one - review 5 star 

 I am staying with the Thriller streak and will read this next

Hope you have an amazing week.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review - Defending Jacob by William Landy

Book Summary from Amazon

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

Published - January 2012

My Review - 3 

I am disappointed I went with the hype, ugggh.  This was on many bloggers Top Ten Lists when it came out and I have had it on my Wishlist for 2 years.  I finally downloaded, thankfully on special.  I do not enjoy thrillers that manipulate the reader, it is a pet peeve of mine.

First, I considered putting it down the first 30% of the book, I just couldn't get engaged, the characters did nothing for me and it was in Boston which I love but nothing about Boston, it could have been anywhere and I couldn't figure out where it was leading the reader.  Bloggers recommended to read on, well it did improve in Part 2, finally which is why I will bump up to 3 1/2 stars, it was sitting at 2 for a long time.

Jacob has been charged with murder and we follow his court journey with his parents Andy and Laurie.  Andy was the DA but put on administrative leave throughout the case.  I found Andy's actions throughout to be ludicrous and illegal, he felt he was in control but he was completely out of control with inappropriate actions.  I never understood Laurie, I don't think her character was developed or in line with what the author wanted us to believe.  The Psychiatrist feedback was interesting but went no where, the idea of the 'murder gene' could have been interesting as part of the case.  The grandfather was intriguing but played a small part in relation to the family history. Did Jacob inherit a tendency to violence?

Overall this book was far to long.  It was repetitive in areas and left to many questions for the reader. If there is detail the reader expects answers or the question is why go into that amount of detail. As a parent I understand believing in your child, supporting and doing all that you can but not once did they ask Jacob did you do it, completely bogus or did they choose to have their head in the sand.  It could have been slightly edgy waiting for the jury's decision since we talked about inaccuracies of the law etc but then the novel goes in a different direction, it felt like a sell out to me at the end.

I thought the ending was just ok, not a shocker to me, I can see many loving or hating it actually.  I may just have been happier that I completed the novel and it was over.  I wish I had decided to give up on it actually, not one I would recommend to fans of Thrillers.


"the act does not create guilt unless the mind is also guilty."  Kindle 30%

We swear that we can take any abuse, beat any challenge.  No test is too great.  Anything for our kids.  But no one is bulletproof, parents least of all.  Our kids make us vulnerable.  Kindle 65%

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday - What are you reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

Did you have good weather for Good Friday?  Any traditions?  In Bermuda, we are celebrate and have the day off, it was gorgeous weather and we went to the beach, it was a lovely day.

I am still reading Defending Jacob, it has improved

I reviewed and loved - J. T. Ellison is a go to author now - my review

I have no idea what to read next, unsure what genre, do I stay in my Mystery zone or go eclectic, decisions decisions.......

Have a great week

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review - When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison

Book Summary

Dear Dr. Owens,

If you are reading this letter, I am dead and I would be most grateful if you could solve my murder… 

Forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens thought life was finally returning to normal after she suffered a terrible personal loss. Settling into her new job at Georgetown University, the illusion is shattered when she receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. There's only one catch. Timothy Savage's death was so obviously the suicide of a demented individual that the case has been closed. 

When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier. 
The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.

My Review - 5

Released - March 1, 2014

JT Ellison just keeps getting better as an author, I have officially added her to my must read author when new books are released.  A few years ago one of her books intrigued me but was a series so I started from the beginning, well this was a let down.  I was so glad a publicist reached out to me and I tried another later in the same series and it was great. I have now read 5 and was only let down with that first book, loved that I gave her another chance.   

This thriller had it all with consistent intensity, you just can't wait to get to the end to have all the puzzle pieces and put it together.  I loved how JT allowed the readers to go on the journey with the Detectives, this is my favourite style, we get the clues when they do and it allows us to be our own Detective. 

Sam, a Medical Examiner, was a character from the series I read so it was nice to go down memory lane with her.  I didn't realise this was the 3rd in her own Samantha Owen series, how did I miss two sigh, will catch up on those for sure.  

Sam receives a letter from a dead man asking her to do his autopsy and investigate his death.  He leaves enough clues in the letter to help, brilliant from all sides. The main story is about a cult and the layering of toxic onion peel by peel was shocking and unbelievable.  Money can really make people that power hunger and evil.

This was an amazing unputdownable thriller, it had me waking up to read more, so good.  You can read this one as a stand alone but I think I may have enjoyed more understanding the undercurrent relationships from the last series.  I highly recommend you try J.T. Ellision, forensics, suspense, character development, touch of romance and they way it comes together is her strength. 

Quotes I loved

"What would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?" - Mikhail Bulgakov

I received this copy from NetGalley.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Monday - I'm Reading and Wondering

Sheila over at Book Journey has an incentive for networking so go over and have fun while adding to your 2014 Wishlist.

I am currently reading - I am finding it a bit difficult to get engaged so far and wondering why, this is my genre of choosing....

Reviewed Prequel, looking forward to Little Mercies, Heather Gudenkauf is a great author.

I watched The Book Thief and Catching Fire - I think book adaptations are improving, what do you think, I loved them both. And I haven't read the books.  I have had Book Thief on my TBR list for a few years and I wasn't a fan of Hunger Games  but enjoyed the movie, but Catching Fire made me say maybe I should read it also.  I am wondering if this is the way to go, I used to always read a book first but if to long on TBR list I wonder if it will help with getting to the book sooner........

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review and WoW - Heather Gudenkauf, Little Lies and Little Mercies

Publication Release date - July 1, 2014

Book Summary

In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.


In this riveting prequel novella to her novel Little Mercies, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores how even the smallest lies can have far-reaching consequences.

When the body of a woman is discovered in a local park—with her bewildered four-year-old son sitting beside her—veteran social worker Ellen Moore is called in to assist in the police investigation. Positioned beneath a statue of Leto, the goddess of motherhood, the crime is weighted with meaning and, Ellen discovers, remarkably similar to one from a decade past.

Ellen's professional duty is to protect the child, but she's not equipped to contend with a killer. As she races to connect the dots, she knows her time is running out. And the stakes are high: if she fails, another mother is sure to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Publication release - May 1, 2014

My Review - 4 1/2 

This is the prequel of Little Mercies which will be released July 1, 2014

We meet a social worker, Ellen, which gets involved in murder cases where children are present, in this case a possible witness.  I enjoyed the character of Ellen and look forward to more of her in Little Mercies.  Her priority is for the little ones without forgetting the important information needed for an investigation, she has integrity which I appreciated and enjoyed.

This novella had it all, enough to get to know the characters, a murder, investigation and an outcome, sweet brilliance.  Heather Gudenkauf didn't use the multiple voice style she usually does, which I love, but I am hoping she brings that back with Little Mercies.  I have enjoyed her books and think she has a sweet tone when dealing with crime or mysterious stories.

I received this from NetGalley - thank you

I highly recommend reading Heather Gudenkauf.

My other reviews by her:

The Weight of Silence 5 my favourite by her so far
These Things Hidden 3 1/2

She has also wrote One Breath Away