Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the Second Half of 2022 #TopTenTuesday #AnticipatedReads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’ve never before participated in Top Ten Tuesday, but when I saw the topic this week I could not resist…

The rules are simple:

Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post. Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists. Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the Second Half of 2022.

In the order that they will be released:

Family Remains” by Lisa Jewell (published August 9th by Atria Books)

Daisy Darker” by Alice Feeney (published August 30th by Flatiron Books)

The Matchmaker’s Gift” by Lynda Cohen Loigman (published September 20th by St. Martin’s Press)

The Winners” by Fredrik Backman (published September 27th by Atria Books)

We Spread” by Iain Reid (published September 27th by Simon and Schuster)

Black Hearts” by Doug Johnstone (published September 29th by Orenda Books)

The White Hare” by Jane Johnson (published October 4th by Simon and Schuster)

The Winter Guest” by W.C. Ryan (published October 4th by Simon and Schuster)

Bleeding Heart Yard” by Elly Griffiths (published October 19th by Mariner Books)

Meredith, Alone” by Claire Alexander (published Nov. 1st by Grand Central Publishing)So many great reads to look forward to!  Luckily I have all of these loaded on my Kindle compliments of the publishers via NetGalley and Edelweiss. I’m very lucky.

Posted in Anticipated titles | Tagged | 10 Comments

“The Birdcage” by Eve Chase – Book Review @PutnamBooks #TheBirdcage @EvePollyChase #BookReview

“The past lives on like the wrong tense in a Word document,
constantly underlined, needing to be addressed.”

“When there are three half sisters and three rivaling mothers with some overlap,
it’s complicated.”

“We didn’t look related – mismatching dolls from different sets…”

Lauren (age 33) – the youngest of the girls is just thirteen months younger than Kat. Her mother, Charles’ lover, Dixie, was a free spirit who has recently lost her battle with cancer. Lauren and her mother were very close. Lauren came to know her half-sisters at age nine. She always felt that they were a tight unit to which she didn’t belong – though she longed to…

Kat – the middle sister was born just five months after Flora to her father’s American actress mistress, Blythe. Glamourous and stylish, Kat is the driving force of ‘Spring’ a digital wellness company.

Flora  – the eldest sister was born to Annabelle, Charles’ wife. Formerly an interior designer, she now lives with her husband and is a full-time Mum to her four-year-old son, Raff. They live in Surrey.

All three girls adored their father. “Funny and warm and vivid-alive, Dad was one of those people who made you feel like it was your birthday, even when it wasn’t.””A bad decision, wrong time, wrong place, all it takes for your life to change.”As with many of Eve Chase’s novels, the house in this novel is almost a character unto itself. ‘Rock Point’ high atop a seaside cliff in Cornwall, is the family home of the Finch girls. Three daughters, all with different mothers, fathered by the esteemed artist Charles Finch.

The Birdcage” sees the three women returning to the house for the first time in two decades. Twenty years ago, they suffered a trauma at the house during the day of a solar eclipse. The events of that day are never mentioned. Their father has called them back to Rock Point because he has an important announcement to make.

The sisters share a guarded closeness, like they want to be close, yet they are holding back. Lauren always felt left out as the other two sisters were there first – she didn’t meet them until she was nine years old. This book portrayed a somewhat unique study of sibling relationships – both the good and bad aspects of sisterhood and sibling rivalry.

The paintings depicted in this novel are ones that I would love to view. They would tell the story in a visual and evocative way.

With threatening anonymous notes, winter storms, and stifled memories, this book kept me thoroughly invested throughout. I did guess the ‘big’ secret, but that didn’t mar my enjoyment of the reveal one iota.

Family secrets are my weakness when reading fiction and this novel has the perfect blend of secrets, excellently drawn characters, and an extremely atmospheric setting. I’ve read all of this author’s work to date and she never disappoints.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from G.P. Putnam’s Sons (The Penguin Group) via NetGalley.

Expected Publication date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN: 9780525542414 ASIN: ‎ ‎ B09JVT4HK2 – 368 pages

Eve Chase is the author of Black Rabbit Hall, The Wildling Sisters, and The Daughters of Foxcote Manor. Eve Chase is a pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She lives in Oxford, England with her husband and three children.

Connect with Eve Chase on Twitter or on Instagram

Posted in Book Reviews, NetGalley, Women's fiction | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Susie Steiner – a tribute to a fantastic novelist

I was desperately sorry to hear that novelist Susie Steiner lost her battle with cancer yesterday. She had just turned 51 years of age.Susie was one of those authors that I really loved and would buy her books without reading the blurb. Tragically… she didn’t have time to write many.

Susie was the author of the Manon Bradshaw novels. Back in July of 2016 I had the extreme honour of interviewing Susie Steiner for Fictionophile. My interview with Susie.

My review of “Missing, Presumed” ; “Persons Unknown“, and “Remain Silent“.

Here is an article from the Guardian which highlights Susie and her work.

Susie has written extensively about losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is registered fully blind and lived in London with her husband and two children. In May 2019 she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (Grade 4 Glioblastoma) and spent most of 2019-20 undergoing treatment: six hours of brain surgery, chemo radiation, and six cycles of chemotherapy.

And sadly, here is her last Twitter tweet:and today on Twitter:

This insidious disease has robbed so many of us from the people we love…

Posted in author interviews, Authors | Tagged | 19 Comments

“In Bitter Chill” by Sarah Ward – Book Review

DC Connie Childs – is a policewoman with a tiny stature but with an attitude that more than makes up for it. She knows the Derbyshire area well because it is her home county. She works with her instincts and intuition and is quite brusque at times.

DC Damian Palmer – is Connie’s rival on the squad. They are both astute and ambitious and vie for the recognition of their superiors. He has more seniority on the squad that Connie. Palmer is about to get married and he has cold feet. This puts him off his game somewhat.

DI Francis Sadler – thought to be quite handsome, Sadler is a shrewd policeman. He is single, but currently in a relationship with a married woman. He is the direct superior to Childs and Palmer.

DCI Llewellyn – is the most superior officer on the current case and he was also involved in the 1978 case when he was just a new policeman.

When a crime is committed that seems to link back to a historic case Llewellyn reopens the old case to discover whether modern police methods and fresh sets of eyes can solve the old case. In 1978 two young schoolgirls were abducted on their way to school… only one of them returned. What happened that long ago day remains a mystery to all involved.

Rachel Jones – is the girl who survived the abduction. Now in her late thirties, she is single and working in the field of genealogy. She researches and creates family trees for her clients.

Back when I was posting polls on my blog, this series was recommended highly to me by my fellow bookbloggers.  Once again, it seems they’ve chosen wisely. This debut novel was an extremely well plotted police procedural. The joys of starting a series late is that you can read the next one without having to wait a year for the sequel to be written. So far, this series is comprised of four novels. Personally, I can’t wait to read the next three.Set in the Derbyshire Peak District, this was crime fiction with an intriguing plot that features long-held family secrets and the linking of current crimes with a cold case crime in 1978. The police team were personable and made real by their astute rendering by the author. I really liked Connie Childs with the exception of the fact that she despises cats. Her one major flaw in my opinion. LOL

Compelling in its execution, I can highly recommend this novel to all fans of mysteries, family secrets, and character-rich police procedurals.

I purchased a digital copy of this novel from

Published by Faber & Faber – Publication date: September 29, 2015

Also published by Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press in September 2015.

ISBN: 9780571320981 ASIN: ‎ ‎ B00V38KC6U – 368 pages

Sarah Ward is the author of four contemporary crime novels set in the Derbyshire Peak District. Her debut novel, In Bitter Chill, was described by the Daily Mail as a ‘tense, well-told story of loss and family secrets’. Her second book, A Deadly Thaw, was called ‘relentless in its grip’ by the Financial Times. The third book in the series, A Patient Fury, was The Observer’s Thriller of the Month and The Shrouded Path was described as ‘macabre and unsettling’ by The Guardian.

Her Gothic thriller, The Quickening, published using her middle name, Rhiannon Ward was a Radio Times book of 2020. The Shadowing was published in September 2021 and was a Daily Express book of the year.

Sarah is the writer of the Doctor Who audio drama The Unwilling Assassin for Big Finish and The Perils of Nellie Bly, featuring the Fifth Doctor.

Connect with Sarah Ward via her website, or  Twitter.

Posted in 1st in series, Book Reviews, debut novels, Mystery fiction | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fictionophile Blog Update – First Half of 2022 #bookbloggers #bookblog

Yes folks, 2022 has reached the halfway mark. In an effort to keep organized and structure my reading, I’ve compiled this post to track my reading progress since January 1st, 2022

I have read 73 books so far this year and reviewed them all:I am doing well with my NetGalley Reading Challenge:

I am on track with my Edelweiss Reading Challenge:

I’ve read HALF of the titles for my Bookbloggers Reading Challenge  – so on track.

My NetGalley Feedback Ratio continues to stand at 79% but, by my calculations, I should reach 80% this month!At present, there are 127 titles on my NetGalley shelf.

My Edelweiss Feedback Ratio stands at 72%

As of today, I have 180 review commitments outstanding. OUCH! In an effort to reduce this scary number, I am trying hard to refrain from requesting anything for the next few months. Also, sometime within the next few months I will be undergoing major surgery, so I don’t know yet how that will impact my reading and reviewing. I’ve been waiting for  a surgery date now for over eight  months…

Book Blogging… the struggle is real.

Happy Canada Day!

Posted in Book bloggers, Fictionophile report, reading challenges | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Fictionophile’s JUNE 2022 Reading Wrap-Up #bookblogger #MonthlyWrapUp

JUNE by the numbers:

Total books read: 12
Published in 2022: 7
Backlist titles: 2
Five star reads: 5
Debut novels: 2
Books that are part of a series: 3
Goodreads challenge: 73/120 (61%)
GR NetGalley challenge: 45/70 (64%)
GR Edelweiss challenge: 11/25 (44%)

My armchair travels took me to the South Dakota prairie USA (Iris In The Dark); Oslo, Norwary (Unhinged); Sussex, England (The Companion) ; coastal Maine, USA (The Midcoast) ; Sussex, England (Local Gone Missing) ; Lake Garda, Italy (The Other Guest) ; Chesapeake Bay, Maryland USA (The Invisible Husband of Frick Island) ; a mountainous region in an unspecified country (Elsewhere) ; California, USA (Point Last Seen) ; Upstate New York, USA (The Necklace) ; small town England (We Watch You) ; and finally Derbyshire, England (In Bitter Chill)

Not bad for one month.

In this past month I’ve read twelve titles.

I enjoyed every one of them, some more than others of course.

My review of “The Other Guest


My review of “Local Gone MissingMy review of “The Necklace

I feel very lucky to have access to so many wonderful books and hope that you had a great reading month. I hope 2022 is being kind to all of you. ♥

Posted in Fictionophile report, Reading | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Fictionophile’s JUNE 2022 #BookHaul #Bookbloggers #TBR

I’ve added TWELVE review commitments to my TBR this month.

(All book descriptions are linked to Goodreads.)

I received FIVE of these titles from NetGalley.

I received this title from Sarah Hardy in order that I can participate in the Bookouture Blog Tour on August 6th

AND… I downloaded FOUR titles from Edelweiss

I will be participating in the blog tour for this title on July 19th

Finally, I received ONE title directly from the author

Do any of these titles sound good to you?

Are any of them on YOUR TBR?


Posted in Anticipated titles, Fictionophile report | Tagged , | 4 Comments

“We Watch You” by NS Ford – Book Review

Four friends since childhood who are now in their early thirties:

Tina Jameson – has suicidal thoughts and suffers from debilitating depression. It all stemmed from an event in her teens when her three closest friends turned against her… We get to know Tina via her blog entries. NOW, Tina has gone missing. She left her phone and purse at home and just walked out of her house and vanished.

Lauren Gibbons– is our most predominant narrator. She is autistic and works in an office. Her flat is trashed when she is out running. They didn’t take anything – but they did leave something…

Claire Rossi – is a secondary school teacher. Her hard-worked for career is put in jeopardy after allegations come to light…

Jess Mako – is a beautiful model. She is in a steady relationship but is not faithful to her partner. She has a tragic automobile accident…

I was invested in finding out what the girls did to Tina, and found this novel, for the most part, to be a well composed psychological thriller. There was an ominous feel to the narrative.

Told mostly from Lauren’s viewpoint, it also had short chapters that included Tina’s blog posts, some letters from Claire to her dead parents, and another narrative from an unidentified character.

Many serious themes were touched upon. Illegal drugs, mental illness, toxic friendships, betrayal, guilt, regret, and revenge.

Lauren, Claire and Jess feel guilty about what they did years ago to Tina. Lauren even more so than the others. Are they responsible for her disappearance? Has she killed herself? What did they do back then? That question is the driving force of the plot.

Meanwhile – an ‘investigator’ who calls himself Ray is following Lauren. He is in his late fifties and has a definite creepy vibe. He maintains that he made a promise to someone which he must honour. He knows everything about Lauren.

Sadly, I didn’t connect or empathize with any of the characters. They didn’t seem likeable and I felt they probably deserved the revenge that was being dished out to them in spades.

The ending of this suspenseful tale didn’t seem to belong to the rest of the book. It appeared as if the author wasn’t sure how to end her tale so she switched genres near the end. So, while I enjoyed the read, the odious characters and unsatisfying ending ruined the overall impact of this literary debut for me. If you’ve read this novel I’d love to hear your thoughts… If you haven’t yet read it, I must let you know that it is available on Kindle Unlimited.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from the author for review.

Independently Published – Publication date: October 1, 2021

ISBN: 9798541526417   ASIN: ‎ ‎ B09B1BX5RD – 322 pages

N S Ford is a book fanatic, blogger and cat lover who lives in the UK with her family. She has a First Class degree in English. When not reading or blogging, she juggles her writing time with parenting, working in heritage and playing the piano. She is the author of ‘We Watch You‘: a dark psychological thriller with a speculative twist.

Connect with NS Ford via Twitter or her blog.

Posted in Book Reviews, Psychological thrillers | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Teaser Tuesday – June 28, 2022 #NewBook #TeaserTuesday #TheMarshQueen @virginiahartmn @GalleryBooks @simonschuster

My Tuesday post where I’ll ‘tease‘ you with the cover, blurb, and first paragraph of one of the advanced reader’s copies from my own TBR.

This book is a title I downloaded from Edelweiss.

Today, Tuesday June 28, 2022 I want to introduce one of the ARCs on my TBR.

This novel will be published on September 6, 2022

Publisher: Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781982171605 –  384 pages

The publisher’s tagline:
For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing, this “marvelous debut” (Alice McDermott, National Book Award–winning author of The Ninth Hour) follows a Washington, DC, artist as she faces her past and the secrets held in the waters of Florida’s lush swamps and wetlands.
1)  Family secrets and family drama always spark my interest.

2)  The setting. The Florida marshes.

3) The publisher’s tagline says this is for fans of “Where The Crawdads Sing” – a book I adored.

4) The first paragraph speaks to regrets. I think we all have them even if we don’t admit it. They say hindsight is 20/20.

5) This is a debut novel. I’m always eager to try new authors.

“If I were a different person, I could move forward and never look back, never try to fathom the forces that shaped me for the worse. But there are times when a fog rolls in, slow as dusk, beginning with a nodule of regret. I should have, why didn’t I, if only. I replay the day my father left us for good, the sun showing orange through the live oak, him pacing at the bottom of the porch steps, twelve-year-old me looking down with my baby brother, Philip, on one hip. I winced as I gently extracted a strand of my dark brown hair from his doughy little grasp.”

Is this a title that you would consider adding to your TBR pile?

Why, or why not?

Let me know in the comments.

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“The Necklace” by Matt Witten – Book Review

Susan Lentigo – Twenty years ago Susan’s seven year old daughter Amy was brutally raped and murdered. She is stuck in a sort of limbo. She still lives in the same house, has the same poorly paid waitressing job, only now she lives with her mother instead of her husband. He divorced her after Amy’s death and has moved on to a new wife and children. Danny was her high school sweetheart, the only man she has every loved. Since the divorce she has not dated – or even been interested in moving on…

Curt Jansen – has served twenty years for raping and murdering young Amy Lentigo. He is due to be executed in a matter of days. He has recanted his confession and adamantly proclaims his innocence.

Robert Pappas – the FBI agent who was on Amy’s case. Now retired from the Bureau, the Lentigo case has always haunted him.

Kyra – a rebellious teenager who helps Susan when she needs it most.

Susan’s old car breaks down on the way to North Dakota, where the execution of Curt Jansen is to take place. From then on she takes the bus and meets several very interesting characters along her way.  Also on his way to North Dakota is retired FBI agent Robert Pappas who is seeking closure on the case.

What a satisfying read! As a reader of crime novels, it is always SO very gratifying when justice is served!

This story is told in a dual timeline format, with the present day and flashbacks to the time immediately after Amy’s murder.

Susan Lentigo is an underdog – a woman with no money, no power, yet she is courageous and strong. Despite her wavering thoughts about who killed her daughter, she does want to see justice done. I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying Susan on her harrowing trek from Upstate New York to North Dakota. She was a very empathetic character.

This was one of those novels that you just don’t want to put down. The pace was fast, the characters and setting vividly portrayed, and the writing skillful.

The title was a perfect fit for the novel as Amy’s little plastic bead necklace played a pivotal role in the plot.

Although the subject matter of this novel is dark, the book itself didn’t feel dark. If anything, I found it upbeat for most of the time probably due to Susan’s focused sense of purpose. The suspense ramped up and up until the denouement. I can heartily recommend this novel to all lovers of crime fiction and psychological thrillers.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Oceanview Publishing via NetGalley

Publication date: Sept. 7, 2021 – Paperback publication date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

ISBN: 9781608094585   ASIN: ‎ ‎ B08SR91BD4 – 321 pages

Matt Witten, a graduate of Amherst and Brandeis Universities, is a TV writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His television writing includes such shows as House, Pretty Little Liars, and Law & Order. His TV scripts have been nominated for an Emmy and two Edgars, and he has written four mystery novels, winning a Malice Domestic award for best debut novel. He has also written stage plays and for national magazines.

Killer Story is his most recent novel. His previous novel, The Necklace, has been optioned for film by Appian Way and Cartel Pictures, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer.

Connect with Matt Witten via Twitter or Instagram.

Posted in Book Reviews, Favorite books, NetGalley, Page turners, Psychological thrillers | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments