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Weekly Book Club {7.4.18}

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Today I’m sharing a couple more books that I downloaded from my library’s ebook collection. A psychological thriller and a great parenting/mom book!

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1. Mommy Burnout by Sheryl G. Ziegler– The ultimate must-read handbook for the modern mother: a practical, and positive tool to help free women from the debilitating notion of being the “perfect mom,” filled with funny and all too relatable true-life stories and realistic suggestions to stop the burnout cycle, and protect our kids from the damage burnout can cause. Moms, do you feel tired? Overwhelmed? Have you continually put off the things you need to do for you? Do you feel like it’s all worth it because your kids are happy? Are you “over” being a mother? If you answered yes to these questions, you’re not alone. Parents today want to create the ideal childhood for their children. Women strive to be the picture-perfect Pinterest mother that looks amazing, hosts the best birthday parties in town, posts the most “liked” photos, and serves delicious, nutritious home-cooked meals in her neat, organized home after ferrying the kids to school and a host of extracurricular activities on time. This drive, while noble, can also be destructive, causing stress and anxiety that leads to “mommy burnout.” Psychologist and family counselor Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is well-versed in the stress that moms face, and the burden of guilt they carry because they often feel like they aren’t doing enough for their kids’ happiness. A mother of three herself, Dr. Z—as she’s affectionately known by her many patients—recognizes and understands that modern moms are all too often plagued by exhaustion, failure, isolation, self-doubt, and a general lack of self-love, and their families are also feeling the effects, too. Over the last nineteen years working with families and children, Dr. Z has devised a prescriptive program for addressing “mommy burnout”—teaching moms that they can learn to re-energize themselves and still feel good about their families and their lives. In this warm and empathetic guide, she examines this modern epidemic among mothers who put their children’s happiness above their own, and offers empowering, proven solutions for alleviating this condition, saving marriages and keeping kids happy in the process.

My Rating: 5 Stars

The full title of this book is Mommy Burnout: How to reclaim your life and raise healthier children in the process. Um- yes please. I devoured this book in less than a day. It was just what I needed to read at this stage of my life. I’m in a place that is very conducive to mommy burnout. I have kids going a million different directions all the time and I feel constantly behind and having to play catch up. If you’re a mom struggling to keep it all running smoothly I highly recommend this read!

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2. Appetite for Innocence by Lucinda Berry– A serial rapist is kidnapping teenage girls. But he’s not interested in just any teenage girls—only virgins. He hunts them by following their status updates and check-ins on social media. Once he’s captured them, they’re locked away in his sound-proof basement until they’re groomed and ready. He throws them away like pieces of trash after he’s stolen their innocence. Nobody escapes alive. Until Ella. Ella risks it all to escape, setting herself and the other girls free. But only Sarah—the girl whose been captive the longest—gets out with her. The girls are hospitalized and surrounded by FBI agents who will stop at nothing to find the man responsible. Ella and Sarah are the key to their investigation, but Sarah’s hiding something and it isn’t long before Ella discovers her nightmare is far from over. 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

I loved this book. I must warn though- it has some sexual violence trigger warnings. I could not put this book down! It was extremely fast paced and well paced. The narrative is told in dual perspective and dual time periods (then and now) so it took me a few chapters to really settle in but once I did- I could not stop reading. I highly recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers. 



Weekly Book Club {6.27.18}

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These are 2 more books that I downloaded from my local library’s overdrive ebook collection. I’ve been doing that a lot more now that my library seems to get the new release books every week. I’m saving a ton of money on book purchases these days Ha!

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1. Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison– They built a life on lies. Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her. Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

My Rating: 4 Stars

This was a solid 4 star read for me. It hooked me from the very first sentence and I had to know what was going to happen. There were some twists and turns and things I didn’t see coming which I always appreciate. It held my interest for the whole book. I did see where the ending was going ahead of time but I still enjoyed the journey to get there. I will say that the 2 main characters are pretty unlikable but for me, I didn’t need to like them to enjoy this story. I liked the dual point of view between Sutton and Ethan and the unknown point of view. I don’t want to spoil anything about this story which is making it hard to give my opinion. Just read it!

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2. Decluttering at the Speed of Light by Dana K. White– While the world seems to be in love with the idea of tiny houses and minimalism, many of us simply can’t purge it all and start from nothing. Yet a home with too much stuff is a home that is difficult to maintain, so where do we begin? Add in paralyzing emotional attachments and constant life challenges, and it can feel almost impossible to make real decluttering progress. In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out–for good! But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader’s clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter–the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn’t seem urgent–as well as how to make progress when there’s no time to declutter.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

I downloaded this e-book from my local library on a whim while I was in the middle of moving chaos. I’m determined not to allow any clutter in our new house. None. Nope. Not any at all. This book was good and offered some good strategies. If you’re new to decluttering and organizing then you will get a whole lot out of this book. If you’re deep into decluttering then you probably won’t get as much out of it but it still offers some good strategies for everyone. 



Weekly Book Club {6.20.18}

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I have a big backlog of books to share so I’m excited to get back into doing my weekly book club posts! I can’t even remember when I carved out time to read but I somehow managed! Both of these were ebooks that I borrowed from my library’s overdrive collection. 

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Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline– Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor. Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

My Rating: 4 Stars

I really enjoyed this story! It was different and unique and written very well. The storyline was paced well and characters were dynamic. I wasn’t sure how it would all turn out so it kept my interest really well. I think I finished this one in less than a day!

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Look For Me by Lisa Gardner– The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I love this series! This is book 9 in the Detective D.D. Warren. I have not read all of them and the ones I have read were out of order. But none of them disappointed! The stories are always fast paced, interesting, and unique. One of the main characters in this book, Flora Dane, is a character from a past book. I didn’t read the previous one and it didn’t detract from this book at all. But I’m definitely going to read it now because her story sounds amazing! Highly recommend this series!



Weekly Book Club {3.28.18}

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I haven’t had a lot of free time lately but I’m trying to fit in at least 20 minutes of reading a night before bed. Every spare second has been consumed with getting this house ready to go on the market. I’m so ready to move so I can read books again!

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Need to Know by Karen Cleveland– Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened. Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This one was so close to a 5 Star read for me. I really enjoyed it. The story line flowed nicely with good pace, there was enough tension to keep me interested the entire time, and the characters were well developed. The angst of Vivian’s situation was almost palpable throughout the entire book and I thought the way she handled things was portrayed very realistically. My only complaint was the ending. I thought it wrapped up the story and drama a little too quickly and neatly despite the author leaving room for future books. I hope she does write a second one! Definitely recommend!

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Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner– In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin. Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style–posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss. To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology–that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy–dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was a truly gripping book. It was a gritty, dark read that was uncomfortable at times but I enjoyed every minute of it, if that makes any sense. I finished this book in 6 hours because I could not put it down! I started it around 9pm and woke up at 4am with my iPad on my face and only 1 chapter left to read. Ha! I loved the suspense, the mystery, the police procedure of this story. I liked the main characters and I can’t wait to read more from this series!

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Weekly Book Club {3.21.18}

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Today I’m sharing 2 books by 2 of my most favorite authors! These authors are must reads for me no matter what they write. I borrowed both these books from the local library and enjoyed them so much!

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Judgment Road by Christine Feehan– As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat. Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

My Rating: 5 Stars

This is the first book in a new series that’s a spinoff of both the Sea Haven and Sisters of the Heart series. You see a lot of the same characters and that makes it so much fun for me to read. It’s like reuniting with old friends! I enjoyed this book a lot. I wasn’t sure how much I would love this second spin off series but it started with a bang! I can’t wait to read the rest of the books!

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Dark in Death by J.D. Robb– It was a stab in the dark. On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional. Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series. The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.

My Rating: 5 Stars

And yet another awesome installment in the In Death series that I love so much! This is book #46 and I still get so excited with every new story she writes. I highly recommend this one…and all of them! The mystery was good, the plot flowed, and the characters were as amazing as ever. 

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