Good Girls Lie

by J.T. Ellison

Buy the book: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBoundBAMTargetGoogleiBooksHarlequinKobo

Good Girls Lie is an eerie atmospheric thriller set at a boarding school. We get to follow a young girl who is heading to the Goode School in the small quint town of Marchburg Virginia. It opens with the murder of a young graduate and doesn’t stop. This tightly woven tale full of murder, hazing, and secrets will keep the reader turning the pages. You won’t be able to put this one down. If you are new to J.T. Ellison or a long time reader of her’s you will not be disappointed with Good Girls Lie.

 

About the book: Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

Book Excerpt: 

1

THE HANGING

The girl’s body dangles from the tall iron gates guarding the school’s entrance. A closer examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she’ll never see the achievement. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the edges. The last tendrils of dawn’s fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground. 

There is no breeze, no birds singing or squirrels industriously gathering for the long winter ahead, no cars passing along the street, only the cool, misty morning air and the gentle metallic creaking of the gates under the weight of the dead girl. She is suspended in midair, her back to the street, her face hidden behind a curtain of dirty, wet hair, dark from the rains. 

Because of the damage to her face, it will take them some time to officially identify her. In the beginning, it isn’t even clear she attends the school, despite wearing The Goode School robes.

But she does. 

The fingerprints will prove it. Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is hanging from the school’s gates. Know who, and know why. But they will never tell. As word spreads of the apparent suicide, The Goode School’s all-female student body begin to gather, paying silent, terrified homage to their fallen compatriot. The gates are closed and locked—as they always are overnight—buttressed on either side by an ivy-covered, ten-foot-high, redbrick wall, but it tapers off into a knee-wall near the back entrance to the school parking lot, and so is escapable by foot. The girls of Goode silently filter out from the dorms, around the end of Old West Hall and Old East Hall to Front Street—the main street of Marchburg, the small Virginia town housing the elite prep school—and take up their positions in front of the gate in a wedge of crying, scared, worried young women who glance over shoulders looking for the one who is missing from their ranks. To reassure themselves this isn’t their friend, their sister, their roommate. 

Another girl joins them, but no one notices she comes from the opposite direction, from town. She was not behind the redbrick wall. 

Whispers rise from the small crowd, nothing loud enough to be overheard but forming a single question. 

Who is it? Who? 

A solitary siren pierces the morning air, the sound bleeding upward from the bottom of the hill, a rising crescendo. Someone has called the sheriff. 

Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city’s small downtown, huddles behind its ivy-covered brick wall. The campus is flanked by two blocks of restaurants, bars, and necessary shops. The school’s buildings are tied together with trolleys—enclosed glass-and-wood bridges that make it easy for the girls to move from building to building in climate-controlled comfort. It is quiet, dignified, isolated.

 

 

About the Author:  J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

 

Connect with the Author: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsBook Bub

If you are lucky enough to live in a one of the cities she is doing a stop in grab a seat and go listen to her talk, meet her and get her to sign your book. I have to say you are so luck if you can! I wish she was coming to my city or heck anywhere close to my city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much Netgalley and Harlequin – MIRA books for allowing me to read this nail biter. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Last Affair

by Margot Hunt

Buy the Book: AmazonBNBAMWalmartTargetiBooksGoogleHarlequinIndieboundKobo

 

 

I could not put this book down. I read it so fast and enjoyed every minute of it. This book was all over the place but in a good way. The author weaved such a story with so many characters and their take on the events as they unfolded. We got many different points of view and got the see the people and how 1 affair unraveled and destroyed so many people. Yet that wasn’t even the shocking moment. While I knew many of the characters were unhinged I never ever guessed that what went down was going to go down! WOW – totally didn’t see it coming.

I loved how the book opens with the murder then we get all the months leading up to the climatic moment. Got to say in this one I can’t think of one main character that was likable or reliable.

If your looking for a great book to gift this holiday season to you or a fellow bookworm. Please think about adding THE LAST AFFAIR to your list. I know I will be reading more by this author in the future.

About the book: Gwen Landon—poster woman for perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”

Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon’s husband at a hotel in Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth proves too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.

Prologue Excerpt: Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.

There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with both a dining set and outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.

Again, except for the dead body.

The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The paramedics had assessed the situation, and quickly determined that the woman was dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.

“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.

“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said. He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.

Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”

“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.

Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats. Overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”

“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”

“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”

“No, it doesn’t.”

The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said. Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son. The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.

“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.

“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of that. Building a case, basic detective work.”

Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth quirked up in a half smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. Husband said she hasn’t had any recent conflict with anyone.”

“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,” Reddick pointed out.

“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he did.”

“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”

“What’s that?”

Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.

“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

 

 

Author BioMargot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

Find her at: FacebookInstagramTwitterGoodreads

 

 

Thank you Netgalley and MIRA books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of THE LAST AFFAIR.

We Are Unprepared

by Meg Little Reilly

we-are-unprepared-by-meg-little-reilly

 

 

Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take.

WE ARE UNPREPARED is an emotional journey, a terrifying glimpse into the human costs of our changing earth and, ultimately, a cautionary tale of survival and the human spirit.

First Thoughts:

I was excited to read a book where the thrill in the thriller was environmental. I haven’t read a book where the main issue at hand is about the environment and what is happening to it.

Characters:

Ash and Pia are the main character that you are introduced to right of the bat. There are other characters that I feel are strong supporting characters. For me the book seemed more about Ash and his point of view. At times oh my stars did I not like him. He was an arrogant, unfeeling guy but he comes around and that is all thanks to the sweetest character of them all August.

Plot and Writing:

The plot of We Are Unprepared was an interesting one and while I did like the idea and the writing was good it just took to long and at a slower pace than I liked. You have to read more than 60% of the book before the massive beyond super storm hits. For me it was just a bit to long. I really wanted to give it up at times.

Final Thoughts:

I think if the book would have moved at a faster pace than I would have liked it more than I did. Overall it was well written and not a bad read. I just wanted it move faster and have the storm unfold sooner rather than later.

thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge, Meg Little Reilly and Mira  for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.