Monday, May 28, 2012

Lori's Book Sense

Lori's Reading Corner

Welcome back to Lori's Book Sense.  

Since it's Memorial Day Weekend, and the official start of summer, I thought that instead of providing you with some reviews of the books I've read this past month, I'd share with you some of the amazing books that will be coming out this summer. 

I apologize in advance if this list makes any of your TBR piles topple over. 
(All my reviews will be posted on or about the publication date at the request of the publishers)

15 Seconds: A Novel by Andrew Gross (release date July 10th) ~ 15 seconds can tear your life apart . . .
Henry Steadman didn't know what was about to hit him when he pulled up to a red light. A successful Florida plastic surgeon, he is in town to deliver a keynote address at a conference when suddenly his life becomes an unrelenting chase to stay alive.
Stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation, the situation escalates and he is pulled from his vehicle, handcuffed and told he is under arrest. Several other police cars arrive and the questioning turns scary, but just as Henry is released and about to move on, a blue sedan pulls up and the officer is suddenly killed. As the car speeds away, there is only one suspect left behind–Henry. In that moment, his idyllic life becomes a free fall into hell as he becomes the target of a police manhunt, as well as being pursued by a cunning, unnamed perpetrator bent on some kind of vengeance.
When Henry turns to a close friend for help, and he, too, ends up dead, Henry realizes he's being elaborately framed. But in a chilling twist, the stakes grow even darker, and he is unable to go to the police to clear his name, without bringing on dire and deadly consequences.
With breakneck pacing and nonstop action, 15 Seconds shows what can happen when even the best life is turned upside down in an instant. It is also the story of an innocent man, framed for murder, who has to save the person he loves the most, all while being drawn closer and closer to an inevitable face-to-face standoff with a man determined to destroy his life.

This book was AMAZING!!!! 

A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb (release date July 31st) ~ This novel is about a kid with a big head, a hospice nurse and a surgeon, a family of witches, spells, spices, herbs, a greenhouse, and basketball.
It’s about a woman named Jaden, with one blue eye and one green eye, who does what’s right, and wears some kick – butt boots while doing it.
It’s about her son, Tate, who shows courage and strength in the face of enormous adversity. It’s about an outspoken soap opera actress and a muscled single father of four who creates original floral bouquets.
It’s about family.
I went way back in the Bruxelle family’s history to build the story: From England and a torch wielding mob, to South Carolina pre-Civil War and the Underground Railroad, to the difficulties of the Oregon trail…and on to the modern story out in the country in Oregon.
The old, white house, built by Jaden’s ancestors, and surrounded by the flowers and herbs that this family has planted for centuries, has its own story to tell, as do Tate and Jaden, who, in the end, truly need a little magic and a miracle.
This is my next up. I have adored every other book Cathy has written, so I know I won't be disappointed with this one.

Don't Say A Word by Beverly Barton (release date July 31st) ~  Cross Your Heart. . .
One by one, they will die. He has waited patiently, planning their final moments. Their tortured screams, their pleas for mercy--all will be in vain...
And Hope. . .
Homicide detective Julia Cass has witnessed plenty of crime scenes. But the murder of a Chattanooga judge is shocking in its brutality. Teamed with FBI agent Will Brannock, Julia delves into an investigation that soon unearths more bodies--all mutilated in the same way, all left with a gruesome souvenir of a killer's ruthless rage. . .
To Die. . .
The only way to stop the slaughter is to predict the next victim. But when you're dealing with vengeance at its most ruthless, one wrong move can make you a target. . .and the next word you utter could be your last. . .

I'm reading this book now and am savoring every word. Ms. Barton passed away suddenly in April of last year, and this is her last book. I have always been a huge fan and will miss her books tremendously.

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain (release date Aug 7th) ~ Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell—the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she’s committed—is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she’s inflicted on him and start moving on with his life.

To this end, Archie throws himself into the latest case to come across his desk: A cyclist has discovered a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged, skinned, and found hanging by his wrists from a tree. It’s the work of a killer bold and clever enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park and yet leave no trace.

And then Archie gets a message he can’t ignore—Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Archie finally agrees to visit Gretchen, because he can’t risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that’s what he tells himself . . . but the ties between Archie and Gretchen have always been stronger, deeper, and more complex than he’s willing to admit, even to himself. What game is she playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from Gretchen’s past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?

At once terrifying and magnetic, “Beauty Killer” Gretchen Lowell returns with a vengeance in Kill You Twice, Chelsea Cain’s latest razor-sharp psychological thriller.

It is impossible for Chelsea Cain to write fast enough for me. I adore Gretchen and Archie. And since Gretchen is a female Hannibal Lecter and I'm a huge SOTL fan, it's no wonder I love these books. Kill You Twice is the best one  yet! (Oh, and rumor has it, they're turning the books into a TV show. Sweet!)

Pulse by John Lutz (release date July 3rd) ~ The killer's depravity is insatiable. What he does to his victims is unthinkable. Homicide detective turned P.I. Frank Quinn has seen this M.O. before. A demented ritual, it's the work of Daniel Danielle - a notorious serial killer who blurs the line between male and female, human and monster. Danielle disappeared ten years ago. Is a copy cat repeating the crimes? Or has Danielle made a deadly return? Either way, this time the killing won't stop.

This is the 7th book in the Frank Quinn series, and each one gets better and better.  Full disclosure ~ this book should not be read on a full stomach. 

Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery) by Ellery Adams (release date July 3rd) ~ When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

I can not WAIT for this to come out. This is the first book in Ellery's new Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series.  I know it will be a hit! 

Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense by Alafair Burke (release date June 19th) ~ Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan town house, a coveted spot at the elite Casden prep school. When she is found dead in her bathtub, a handwritten suicide note left on her bed, her parents insist that their daughter would never take her own life.
But Julia's enviable world was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription antidepressants and ADHD medication ran rampant among students; an unlabeled bottle of pills in Julia's purse suggests she had succumbed to the trend. And a search of Julia's computer reveals that in the days leading up to her death she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying against an unlikely victim.
NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but she knows from personal experience that a loving family can be the last to accept the truth. When the Whitmires use their power to force a criminal investigation, Ellie's resistance causes trouble for her both at work and in her personal life. As she is pressured to pursue a case she doesn't believe in, she is pulled into Julia's inner circle—an eclectic mix of overly precocious teenagers from Manhattan's most privileged families as well as street kids from Greenwich Village. But when the target of Julia's harassment continues to receive death threats, Ellie is forced to acknowledge that Julia may have learned the hard way that some secrets should never be told.

Never Tell is book four in the Ellie Hatcher series and will knock your socks off.  Teens, secrets, drugs, and money. Could you ask for anything more?

Murder on the Half Shelf (A Booktown Mystery) by Lorna Barrett (release date July 3rd) ~ Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed…

A mysteries series (this is book #6) set in a town filled with could you not want to read them?  I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this and I have two more books to go before I start it. YAY!

Hearse and Buggy (An Amish Mystery) by Laura Bradford (release date June 5th) ~ Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in.Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.
Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between.
As Claire investigates, she uncovers more than she wanted to know about her neighbors. And suddenly, everything she had hoped to find in this peaceful refuge is at risk . . . 

This is the first book in the Amish Mystery series and I am really looking forward to starting it.  It's in my mini-mini TBR.

You Don't Want To Know by Lisa Jackson (release date Aug 1st) ~ Two years ago, Ava's two-year-old son Noah went missing, and his body has never been found. Ava has spent most of the past two years in and out of Seattle mental institutions, shattered by grief and unable to recall the details of Noah's disappearance. Now she's back at the family estate she once intended to restore to its former grandeur. But as Ava's mind comes back into focus, her suspicions grow. Ava can't shake the feeling that her family and her psychologist know more than they're saying. Unwilling to trust those around her, Ava secretly visits a hypnotist to try and restore her memories. But the strange visions and night terrors keep getting worse. Ava is sure she's heard Noah crying in the nursery, and glimpsed him walking near the dock. Is she losing her mind, or is Noah still alive? Ava won't stop until she gets answers, but the price may be more than she ever thought to pay...

Is Noah alive? Or is Ava losing her mind?  Creep factor times ten.  Sounds like a sure-fire hit to me!

The Playdate by Louisa Millar (release date July 3rd) ~ You leave your kids with a friend down the street. Everyone does it. Until the day it goes wrong.
For the past few lonely years, Suzy has been the only one to reach out to her neighbor, single mother Callie, and her frail daughter Rae. Suzy welcomed them into her large, apparently happy, family, and has been a rock and best friend to Callie. But it’s time for Callie to find her own way, and going back to work is the first step towards rediscovering her old confidence. But why does she find it so hard to tell Suzy about her new job? And who will look after Rae while she’s gone? Callie’s return to work precipitates a chain of events that reveal the isolation, turmoil, and dark secrets behind the doors of a seemingly peaceful neighborhood.
     The Playdate is a gripping psychological thriller—a chilling evocation of modern life, where seemingly longstanding friendships are superficial, and overwork and exhaustion lead parents to make impulsive decisions about the care of their children. This is a debut thriller from a striking new talent readers won’t soon forget. 

Bet you'll think twice before leaving your kids with a friend again. 


  1. Thanks for telling us about some of these titles.

  2. My mother, of all people, is a huge Chelsea Cain fan. I'll have to get her this latest one. Thanks, Lori. Maggie

  3. Thanks for the recommendations, Lori:)