Announcing This Fall’s Best Books

 

If you haven’t read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, please do so immediately. It’s a very good book that explores the real person of Georgia Tann, who ran a black market business of taking children from their parents and adopting them out to wealthy people. Her story is pretty incredible and there are even a few podcasts out there that discuss this historical villain.

Now there’s a follow up to Before We Were Yours, Before and After.

Here’s what you need to know:

The incredible, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In Before and After, Wingate and Christie tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.

You are going to love Before and After especially if you are a fan of history. I HIGHLY recommend reading Before We Were Yours which is out now.

Due out October 22.

 

 

This Little Dark Place by H.S. Hatch is an interesting thriller, I was hooked from the first page.  This is the best kind of book where you start it, look at the clock and hours have passed and you’re nearly finishing with the novel!

Here’s the scoop:

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

The story is structured as letters from Dan and there are some twists and turns which is what a reader whats in a thriller. I highly recommend this novel!

Out on October 10

 

 

Creepy, atmospheric A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan is the perfect book for fans of historical fiction with a supernatural element.

Here’s what you need to know:

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.
At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die. For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . . 
An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read next winter.

This crime story appealed to me right away because I always love the idea of a remote setting with a group of people, one of which may or may not be a killer, kind of like an Agatha Christie type scenario.

I enjoy historical crime drama and I think you will too!

Due out on October 4.

 

 

 

Innocent or Guilty by A.M. Taylor sure kept me guessing. I think this book is going to be very popular when it comes out. True crime and podcasts are so popular right now and the author brings these elements to the story, its a winning combination!

The murderer might be closer than you think…One morning ten years ago, the town of Twin Rivers changed forever when the body of Tyler Washington was found in the woods. Son of the mayor, star of the high school basketball team – his death struck right at the heart of this tight-knit community.

For Olivia Hall, Tyler’s death heralded the start of her own personal nightmare – her twin brother, Ethan, was arrested for Tyler’s murder. Ten years later, Ethan is still in jail. Olivia is convinced he is innocent, and now, a true crime podcast has taken up his case.

As the podcast digs deeper, secrets, lies and shocking revelations are all uncovered. For the first time, Olivia dares to hope that Ethan may be set free. But if he didn’t kill Tyler, who did? And how far will they go to keep their secrets safe?

I loved the podcast idea because I am hooked on listening to podcasts right now! I like to try to figure out how the story is going to play out, especially when its a murder mystery. If you are a fan of podcasts like My Favorite Murder, Crimelines, Sword & Scale then you will want to get your hands on this novel! Intriguing, well-written and a book you will want to read this fall.

Due out on September 28.

 

 

 

This was a fantastic book! Bad Memory by Lisa Gray centers around a private investigator named Jessia Shaw. I typically don’t love series but there is something about Lisa Gray’s writing that I really enjoy and this was a very good suspense novel. I really liked Thin Air which was the first in this series.

Synopsis:

Private investigator Jessica Shaw is leading a quiet life in a Californian desert community, where she spends her days working low-level cases. But when a former resident asks Jessica to help her sister, Rue Hunter—a convicted murderer whose execution is days away—Jessica can’t resist the offer.

Rue doesn’t remember what happened the night two high school students were killed thirty years ago, but everybody in town is certain she’s guilty. As Jessica looks for answers, she finds that local rumors point one way and evidence points another. And nobody wants to face the truth. Meanwhile, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that someone is stalking her—now more than ever, she knows she can’t trust anyone.

As Jessica digs deeper, she encounters local secrets in unlikely places—including the police department itself. But the clock is ticking, and Jessica must find the truth fast—or Rue’s bad memory may be the death of them both.

Excellent writing, the author did a really good job of keeping me guessing. The plot was strong enough that I kept reading because I really had a desire to know the truth! I will be looking forward to the next in this series.

Due out October 24.

 

 

I read this book very quickly! From the first pages, The Poison Garden by A. J. Banner pulled me in and I absolutely loved it. There is nothing better than a suspense/thriller that’s perfectly paced and expertly written.

Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

This was a five-star read for me. I rarely give out five stars on Goodreads so when I do, you know its a book you need to get your hands on.

October 22.

 

 

I enjoyed Safe Home by Kerry Watts and thought the author did a good job in braiding together multiple people who could possibly be guilty. I wasn’t totally sure which direction the book would go in which is what you want when reading a thriller.

When Darren Lucas returns home from work, he finds an unusual silence in his normally loud and chaotic family home. His wife Claire sits in unwashed pyjamas, surrounded by piles of laundry. But the silence isn’t just from her. It’s from their six-month-old son Finlay’s room too. There are no shrieks of laughter, no calls for ‘Daddy’ as the front door closes. Instead, as Darren peers into his son’s bedroom, he sees nothing except Finlay’s beloved teddy bear lying on the bed. There’s no sign of Finlay at all.

Detective Jessie Blake is called to the family’s home and she soon senses something isn’t right with the couple. Darren is avoiding making eye contact and Claire seems disconnected – completely unable to account for the last few hours of her afternoon.

Friends rally round the young family, as a search of the small Scottish village begins and it’s not long before Jessie and her team make a devastating find. Buried deep in the undergrowth of a local woodland lies Finlay’s tiny body.

As Jessie begins to piece together the last few hours of Finlay’s life, she uncovers some big secrets in the small community. But who took the little boy? And is anyone telling the truth about what happened that day?

A quick and easy read with a satisfying ending.

Due out September 26.

 

 

The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen is a beautiful book and extremely well written. Everything you need to know is in the synopsis below:

Ruth has been single-handedly raising four young daughters and running her family’s Indiana farm for eight long years, ever since her husband, John, fell into a comatose state, infected by the infamous “sleeping sickness” devastating families across the country. If only she could trade places with her older sister, June, who is the envy of everyone she meets: blonde and beautiful, married to a wealthy doctor, living in a mansion in St. Paul. And June has a coveted job, too, as one of “the Bettys,” the perky recipe developers who populate General Mills’ famous Betty Crocker test kitchens. But these gilded trappings hide sorrows: she has borne no children. And the man she used to love more than anything belongs to Ruth.

When the two sisters reluctantly reunite after a long estrangement, June’s bitterness about her sister’s betrayal sets into motion a confrontation that’s been years in the making. And their mother, Dorothy, who’s brought the two of them together, has her own dark secrets, which might blow up the fragile peace she hopes to restore between her daughters.

An emotional journey of redemption, inner strength, and the ties that bind families together, for better or worse, The Sisters of Summit Avenue is a heartfelt love letter to mothers, daughters, and sisters everywhere.

I loved the sisters and their issues, the setting, the place. The author puts the reader right back in the 20s and 30s and its books like this that make me turn to historical fiction when I need a break from thrillers and crime stories. Don’t miss this book!

Due out September 10.

 

 

The Sleepover by Carol Wyer is book number 4 in Detective Natalie Ward series but you can read it as a stand-alone like I did and you won’t be lost. This gripping thriller is a quick read, you will be turning the pages quickly to see what’s going to happen next.

Roxy had a secret. Now she’s gone. When fourteen-year-old Roxy says she’s going for a sleepover at her best friend Ellie’s house, Cathy sees no reason to check her daughter’s story. The two families are neighbours, and the girls are in and out of each other’s homes every day.

It is a decision she will regret. A day later, Roxy is found murdered in exclusive Linnet Lane, miles across town, in a house owned by two brothers with no apparent connection to Roxy. Detective Natalie Ward, called to lead the investigation, is determined to get to the bottom of why Roxy was in the basement of this grand Victorian mansion when she should have been eating chocolate in her pyjamas with her best friend.

As Natalie begins to look closely at Roxy’s stepfather and three brothers, she discovers that Roxy had recently been admitted to hospital with suspicious injuries. Her mother Cathy seems very jumpy and Ellie refuses to talk. Who are the people that knew Roxy best in the world protecting?

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears. When Cathy’s body is discovered close to where her daughter was found, Natalie is forced to face the grim fact that the killer is just getting started. She is troubled by the reaction of Roxy’s brother Seth to the tragedies and when his alibi falls through she brings him in for questioning, certain she is making headway.

But while Seth is in custody, one of Roxy’s school friends is found murdered and Natalie knows she must cast her net wider. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. What is Ellie hiding about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

This was my first Carol Wyer novel but won’t be my last. She is a fantastic writer and I am looking forward to reading more from her.

Due out September 5.

 

 

How can you resist a book that’s titled Stalker? This novel by Gemma Rogers starts with the rape of Eve Harding.  Who raped her? Eve is on a mission to find out when the police can’t help her.

Tightly written and emotional, this is an intense book, one that is gripping and addictive. What I’m saying is, clear your calendar and make time to read this from beginning to end because you won’t be able to put it down!

Eve Harding’s world implodes one Sunday morning when she is violently assaulted and raped walking to a South London train station. As her attacker evades the Police and is left to roam the streets to stalk his next victim, Eve is forced to seek out her assailant before he strikes again. With vengeance in mind, Eve is determined to find him in time and deliver justice on her own terms. In a game of cat and mouse, who is stalking who?

A classic game of cat-and-mouse that left me with a bit of anxiety! In the best way possible of course.

Due out on September 10.

 

 

When She Returned by Lucinda Berry was another book that I want to recommend.  Like I always say, I like books with storylines that I haven’t seen a million times before. I enjoy an interesting plot with characters who can move the story forward.

Synopsis:

Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot eleven years ago, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she may have been abducted by a cult.

Kate’s return flips her family’s world upside down–her husband is remarried, and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn’t look or act like she did before.

While the family tries to help Kate reintegrate into society, they discover truths they’ve been hiding from each other about their own relationships. But they aren’t the only ones with secrets. As the family unravels what happened to Kate, a series of shocking revelations shows that Kate’s return is more sinister than any of them could have imagined.

I think this book is going to be getting a lot of great reviews. You really want to know what happened to Kate, and how is her family going to deal with her reappearance? This one would make a really good series.

Due out October 15.

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