Sunday, July 30, 2023

Sammy Espinoza's Last Review

The online rumor mills insist that Max Ryan, who hasn’t performed in seven years is preparing for a comeback. Once a heartthrob, this gorgeous talented rockstar was crooning to massive stadium sized audiences and then poof! after two extraordinary tours, he disappeared. But, he actually didn’t. Max has been tucked away in his hometown of Ridley Falls (think Virgin River) working on a brand new solo album. Sammy Espinoza thought she had it all together. Working in Seattle as a music critic, her thriving career abruptly imploded. Sammy’s most recent reviews misled her fans. The truth is she was unsuccessfully trying to hang on to her rocky relationship. Now, single and with her job on the line Sammy comes up with the perfect solution. To save her column she convinces her boss that a trip to Ridley Falls - the town where her parents grew up - would give her access to Max Ryan and the interview of a lifetime. What Sammy has not fully disclosed is that she and Max met eleven years ago before he was a household name and when he flew off to follow his dreams her heart shattered into a million pieces. Sammy is willing to expose her painful past for a chance to learn the truth.This melodious romance is filled with all kinds of love, friendship and family. It is the mixtape of life. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, July 28, 2023

Here, Kitty

Kitty Kittrick lives in the quaint town of Hillsdale, Massachusetts. It’s the kind of community where charming Netflix series are set, everyone knows your name and what you did in the third grade. Kitty walks into the local country club one day intent on playing tennis. This blue eyed blonde appears tall and strong and has never picked up a racket in her life. But Kitty is filled with a remarkable confidence at 16 years old that Peter has never encountered. To everyones surprise (except Kitty’s), she is spectacular and Peter, with his retired high school coach immediately begin training her for an upcoming tournament. Kitty isn’t the only one with a curious personality. Peter’s best friend Dave - whose parents own the club - manages the pro shop and will comfortably describe his autism spectrum to you along with his likes and dislikes, honesty that most find brutal and refreshing. While Kitty’s older sister Nina has dedicated her life to caregiving, a long buried secret returns to Hillsdale that may destroy them. At the same time, Dave’s parents announce they are retiring to the rat’s mouth and the race is on to win the tournament and save the club. This quirky cast of characters endure dysfunctional parenting, neurodiversity and online hookups - they will steal your heart and have you laughing out loud from the very first page. Highly recommend this dazzling new novel by local Key West author Hays Blinckmann. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Dish To Die For

Hayley Snow is enjoying a quiet afternoon with her friend and their dogs at a quiet beach near her home in Key West. When Ziggy gets a little too overexcited Hayley is shocked to discover that the little scoundrel is digging furiously at what appears to be a shallow grave. Another man appears on the scene - supposedly “birdwatching” - and identifies the body as a well known instigator who has made front page news for years. As they call 911 Hayley also alerts her handsome husband Nathan, who happens to be a top detective in town. With an appetite for mysteries, Hayley, a local food critic, cannot resist searching for clues and sticking her nose in all the wrong places. Together with her eccentric 80 year old friend Miss Gloria, her mother who runs a successful catering business, badge yielding husband (to whom she swore she’d stay out of trouble) and an historic Key West cookbook, Hayley whips up a scheme to solve this delicious puzzle. A fabulous cozy with a beautiful setting, fun characters and even some terrific recipes. If you are new to “cozy” mysteries, this is an easy breezy enjoyable book and you do not have to read this series in any particular order! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, July 27, 2023

The Wife App

It all begins as a joke at a divorce dinner. Lauren, Sophie and Madeline are best friends out to commemorate Lauren’s signing of the final papers. Even though she had a rough day, her girls truly understand and always manage to cheer her up. Going down the painful memory lane of what went wrong - the friends are reminded repeatedly how little appreciation they received for the “mental load” that comes with being a “good” wife. The unseen and unsung heroes that it takes to get the many jobs done. Children, career, house, parents and yes, taking care of their husbands as their jobs take precedence over the mundane every day chores of life. Together they conjure up the answer - women need a wife too. With Lauren’s tech background she takes the humor a step further and creates The Wife App, an online task application that pays “Wives” to do these jobs for a set fee. The days of undervalued free labor are over! As the three women put their business smarts and very pretty heads together what started on a whim becomes a huge sensation. Whether drowning in social media FOMO, raising children in this fast paced world of technology or uncoupling as only Gwyneth can do - is a happy modern marriage attainable? Love, friendship, and motherhood in the digital age sends these three women on the ride of their life. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, July 24, 2023

Crow Mary

A Crow Native woman named Goes First is arranged to marry a Yellow Eyes (white) man named Abe Farwell. He is a local fur trader, handsome and her father - the chief, trusts him. Goes First believes it will be good for her people and after the death of her childhood sweetheart she is exceedingly ready for change. It is 1872 and at sixteen years old Crow Mary (as her husband renames her) is the strongest, smartest woman he has every met and much to her surprise, they slowly build a loving relationship. Abe and Mary set off to build a trading outpost in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan, Canada. Mary can handle the hard work, the long dark winters and she is a better shot than most men. But her honest, quiet nature cannot tolerate the group of rough riding whiskey traders that destroys a local Nakota village. Forbidden by her husband to get involved, Mary must single handedly save the women they have abducted. The event spirals out of control into years of court cases highlighting the hateful prejudices the white men have against the indigenous tribes. This astonishing narrative of historical fiction takes the reader through the magnificent landscape of rural America as the lives and traditions of our Native American people were irretrievably destroyed. A heartbreakingly beautiful story, Kathleen Grissom expertly shines a light through Mary’s eyes on an authentic part of history that must not be forgotten. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Business or Pleasure

Chandler Cohen is a writer in Seattle. She lives with her bestie/cousin Noemie and has had success as a ghostwriter for a handful of low level celebrities. She is independent, adorable and smart. Sound like a great resume? The truth is Chandler is miserable and facing a difficult crossroads. She forgot what it was like to write for herself, to hear her own voice instead of pretending for these unappreciative personalities. She finally slept with her decade long unrequited college crush only to be actually crushed when he told her he is emotionally unavailable. And then she meets Finn Walsh. They share an unforgettable meet-cute that leads to a most regrettable hookup. Things couldn’t get any more complicated until her agent sets up a lunch with Finn, whom she failed to recognize as an actor in a previously huge teen cult series. As awkward as this meeting initially begins, Finn is sweet and the deal is too. Chandler takes this all expense paid opportunity to travel with Finn across the country attending conventions for overzealous fans and ghostwrite his memoir. Perhaps this is a chance to finally make enough money and get back to the cozy mystery she abandoned writing long ago. Filled with laugh out loud romcom mishaps, Chandler and Finn are both determined to find out whether this trip is all business or mostly pleasure. Easy breezy and super steamy romance at its best. Another one for your summer list! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happiness Falls

The pandemic wasn’t easy for anyone - but not calling the police right away was the biggest mistake of Mia’s life. She is home from college, slightly bored and low level annoyed at her family all the time. Her twin John is forever in her way and her younger brother Eugene, whom she loves dearly, needs a lot of physical support and attention due to his combined diagnosis of Autism and a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome. One day Eugene returns home after an exercise outing with their dad, Adam, to River Falls Park. But Eugene is more agitated than usual, his clothes are dirty and he has blood under his finger nails and shockingly he is alone. Over analytical Mia ignores what is right in front of her and creates a scenario where this may be possible. Hours pass slowly. John returns, their mom gets home from work and Eugene who cannot speak becomes more and more distraught throughout the day. Adam Parson is missing and his family will do anything to find him. As detectives and various experts get involved, they dive into online sleuthing, tracking Adam’s last location and every lead they can decipher. Immersed in a world of language and what it means to communicate, the emotional and scientific clues shape this fast paced mystery to face the terrifying truth. (This would have been a five star except the end had a little trouble wrapping it up) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, July 7, 2023

The Rachel Incident

Cork City, Ireland in the 2010’s, Rachel is in her senior year of English literature classes at the local college. The economy is struggling and so are her parents. Her very middle class father, a dentist, is devastated that he cannot pay the fees for Rachel’s schooling. She is smart, hardworking and figures out a way to make ends meet. At the local bookstore where she meets James Devlin, a homosexual very deep in the closet with a big beautiful smile and personality to match. They become roommates and spend every moment of their free time together. Rachel and James both work at the bookshop, run wild through the local bars at night while trying not to freeze to death during the brutal Irish winter. Rachel’s crush on her professor Dr. Fred Byrne is the beginning of a rollercoaster ride that changes life forever. Coming of age during the economic recession of 2008 and hurtling through gay rights and abortion issues, Rachel’s intellect and free spirit endure the search for friendship, romance and a future life she never could have imagined. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️