Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Audiobook Review: The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant

 

The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant
Publication Date: June 18th 2024 by Macmillan Audio
Pages: 304
Audio Book Length: 9hrs 41min
Narrator: Emily Pike Stewart
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Libro.fm |  Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Emlyn works as a nature guide in the wildness of Idaho. She fell into the work after being stranded in the small Idaho town three years ago, unconscious and near freezing, left out on her own by her then boyfriend, Tyler. Fortunately, a Forest Ranger, (a sweetheart of a man!) found her, took her in and she stayed, healing and moving on with her life. Unfortunately, her ex-Tyler has shown up asking for help finding Janessa, the best friend that introduced them. Janessa’s gone dark after documenting her vanlife adventure with her survivalist boyfriend on social media. Emlyn is torn over helping Tyler, getting involved by helping track Janessa down, she understandably doesn’t trust Tyler, but Janessa waded in when Emlyn needed help, and even though they are now estranged, Emlyn doesn’t want to abandon her friend if she is truly in danger.
 
The Nature of Disappearing is the second story I’ve enjoyed by Ms. Grant. Her writing is beautiful, almost poetic without being overly flowery and slowing the pace. The Idaho wilderness sounded gorgeous, and I almost felt like I was there.
 
This is a mystery, both in finding Janessa, and in what happened to Emlyn in the past with Tyler abandoning her, and what led to Emlyn and Janessa falling out. The story explores some of the insecurities that led Emlyn to almost dying three years earlier. The years away did her good, but the journey she took to find Janessa was cathartic even if dangerous. I wouldn’t say the story was an edge-of-your-seat listen, more quietly captivating with an underlying tension building. I was hooked from the first chapter and enjoyed every minute!
 
Emily Pike Stewart did a fantastic job bringing the story and characters to life! I listened at my usual 1.5xnormal speed. 

4.5 Stars


Book Description:

In this captivating novel of suspense, a wilderness guide must team up with the man who ruined her life years ago when the friend who introduced them goes missing.

Emlyn doesn’t let herself think about the past.

How she and her best friend, Janessa, barely speak anymore. How Tyler, the man she thought was the love of her life, left her freezing and half-dead on the side of the road three years ago.

Her new life is simple and safe. She works as a fishing and hunting guide, spending her days in Idaho’s endless woods and scenic rivers. She lives alone in her Airstream trailer, her closest friends a handsome and kind Forest Service ranger and the community’s makeshift reverend, who took her in at her lowest.

But when Tyler shows up with the news that Janessa is missing, Emlyn is propelled back into the world she worked so hard to forget. Janessa, it turns out, has become a social media star, documenting her #vanlife adventures with her rugged survivalist boyfriend. But she hasn’t posted lately, and when she does, it’s from a completely different location than where her caption claims to be. In spite of their fractured history, Emlyn knows she might be the only one with the knowledge and tracking skills to save her friend, so she reluctantly teams up with Tyler. As the two trace Janessa’s path through miles of wild country, Emlyn can’t deny there’s still chemistry crackling between them. But the deeper they press into the wilderness, the more she begins to suspect that a darker truth lies in the woods―and that Janessa isn’t the only one in danger.

Poignant, suspenseful, and unforgettable, THE NATURE OF DISAPPEARING explores what it takes to start over―and the cost of letting the past pull you back in.


 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday Post #254

 


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. I'm also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

This last Wednesday marked 12 years of blogging here on Waves of Fiction. I forgot, of course until after the fact. Blogging continues to me my favorite way to talk about books and I really enjoy the little community of bloggers I keep up with!  I'm not a socially outgoing person, I mostly do things with my family and on infrequent occasions do dinner with a couple of friends. I don't feel lonely at all and I think a lot of it has to do with my bloggy friends, so thanks to everyone who stops by and chats! No one gets a booklover like another booklover!

It's been a busy week around the house. My husband trenched 1,500 feet so we can lay out irrigation pipes so we'll be able to stop watering everything by hand! That will literally save me hours every week! We have 600 feet of hose so I can reach everything now.  

My rose garden is doing really well!

Chicago Peace. 
Savannah Sunbelt

Peanut the puzzle kitty


Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)


The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant: 4.5 Stars
The Paris Widow by Kimberly Belle: 4 Stars
Into the Fire by Allison Brennan: 4 Stars
The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center: 5 Stars

As you can see I had a great reading week. I just finished The Nature of Disappearing yesterday and I was thinking of a way to describe it, and came up with quietly captivating. Into the Fire was a prequel to Brennan's upcoming: You'll Never Find Me. I'm even more excited to start it! 

Received/Library Lend:

Unforgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray
Mud Season by Sarah Stewart Taylor
The Mirror by Nora Roberts Lost Bride Trilogy Book Three

Thank you to St. Martin's Press.

Unforgiven is a library lend. An Amish romantic suspense. Mud Season is a short story prequel to Agony Hill coming August 6th. It's currently free on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Mirror was a "read now for 2 days" on Netgalley, the second in The Lost Bride Trilogy series. I loved the first one!


Instagram:





How was your week?


Friday, June 14, 2024

Blog Tour Review: The Paris Widow by Kimberly Belle

 

The Paris Widow by Kimberly Belle
Publication Date: June 11th 2024 by Harlequin Trade Publishing/Park Row Books
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Rating: ★★★★
Links: Amazon | Barnes & NobleHarperCollins BookShop.org | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Adam and Stella have been traveling all over Europe, blissfully still in love after four years, but then a bomb goes off and Adam goes missing. Stella is panicked and desperate in her search for him and it becomes apparent, Adam wasn’t just the nice, normal guy she thought she married. However, Stella has secrets of her own, too.
 
As Stella digs deeper into Adam’s past, it’s not clear who she can trust. There are those who think she was involved with Adam’s business, and that she knows more than she’s letting on putting her in danger, as well.
 
The Paris Widow was an engrossing, action-packed mystery unfolding all over Paris, and parts of Europe, a glamorous backdrop to exciting story! I felt like a lot of the revelations were easy to spot, but the story was still a fun page-turner! A perfect thriller to sink into this summer! 

4 Stars


Book Summary: 


From USA Today bestselling author Kimberly Belle comes a deliciously twisty new thriller following a married couple vacationing in Paris whose trip takes a dark turn when the husband goes missing, dredging up secrets from both of their pasts, perfect for fans of THE PARIS APARTMENT.

When Stella met Adam, she felt like she finally landed a nice, normal guy – a welcome change from her previous boyfriend and her precarious jetsetter lifestyle with him. She loves knowing she can always depend on Adam, which is why when he goes missing during a random explosion in Paris, she panics. Right after what is assumed to be a terrorist attack, she’s interviewed live on TV by reporters, begging anyone who knows anything about her husband’s whereabouts to come forward and is quickly dubbed “The Paris Widow.”

As the French police investigate, it’s revealed that Adam was on their radar as a dealer in the black market for priceless antiquities, making deals with very high-profile and dangerous clients. Reeling from this news and growing suspicions about her husband, Stella can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. And with Adam assumed dead, she realizes that whoever was responsible for the bombing will come after her next. Everything – and everyone -- that Stella has tried to keep in her duplicitous past might be her only means of survival and finding out what really happened to Adam.

An irresistible and fast-paced read set in some of Europe’s most inviting locales, THE PARIS WIDOW explores how sinister secrets of the past stay with us – no matter how far we travel.



Photo Credit: Sara Hannah Photography

Author Bio:


Kimberly Belle worked in marketing and nonprofit fundraising before turning to writing fiction. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and currently divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. She is the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie, Three Days Missing, Dear Wife, as well as The Last Breath, The Ones We Trust, Stranger in the Lake, My Darling Husband, and The Personal Assistant.


Connect with Kimberly Belle:







Thursday, June 13, 2024

Audiobook Review: Home is Where the Bodies Are by Jeneva Rose

 

Home is Where the Bodies Are by Jeneva Rose
Publication Date: April 30th 2024 by Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 256
Audio Book Length: 8 hrs 26 mins
Narrators: January LaVoy, Cassandra Campbell, Brittany Pressley, Andrew Eiden
Source: Publisher
Rating: 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Libro.fm | Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Three estranged siblings, Beth, Nicole, and Michael, reunite after their mother, Laura, passes away. Their meetup is fraught with secrets and resentments, but they band together when they view an old VHS tape with a shocking scene. Their father, who disappeared seven years earlier, is covered in blood with a dead body as their mother films!  They’re blown over, as this is not the loving and attentive parents they knew!
 
Home is Where the Bodies Are was a riveting mystery! I was addicted from the first chapter! What happened years ago is told through their mother’s journals and more video tapes, but also from the three siblings’ recollection of past events. I had an idea of where some of it was going, but was surprised by the revelations, too! I listened intently as it wound up to a thrilling conclusion!
 
The story is told through Beth, Nicole, and Michael’s perspectives, and through Laura’s journals. Each POV had a separate narrator, Beth: January LaVoy, Nicole: Brittany Pressley, Michael: Andrew Eiden, and Laura: Cassandra Campbell, who is a new-to-me narrator. I was thrilled to have a full cast of performers, ones I’ve enjoyed listening to many times in the past. It enhanced my “reading” experience, bringing the characters and story to life! I listened to my usual 1.5x normal speed and faster as the situation became more intense!

4 Stars


Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage and You Shouldn’t Have Come Here comes a chilling family thriller about the (sometimes literal) skeletons in the closet.

After their mother passes, three estranged siblings reunite to sort out her estate. Beth, the oldest, never left home. She stayed with her mom, caring for her until the very end. Nicole, the middle child, has been kept at arm’s length due to her ongoing battle with a serious drug addiction. Michael, the youngest, lives out of state and hasn’t been back to their small Wisconsin town since their father ran out on them seven years before.

While going through their parent’s belongings, the siblings stumble upon a collection of home videos and decide to revisit those happier memories. However, the nostalgia is cut short when one of the VHS tapes reveals a night back in 1999 that none of them have any recollection of. On screen, their father appears covered in blood. What follows is a dead body and a pact between their parents to get rid of it, before the video abruptly ends.

Beth, Nicole, and Michael must now decide whether to leave the past in the past or uncover the dark secret their mother took to her grave.



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Review: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

 

The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
Publication Date: June 11th 2024 by St. Martin's Press & Macmillan Audio
Pages: 336
Audio Book Length: 11hrs 21min
Narrator: Patti Murin & Katherine Center
Source: Publishers
Rating: 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Libro.fm | Audible Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Emma put her life and career on hold to care for her sweetheart-of-a-dad when tragedy struck. Now she gets the opportunity of a lifetime to help re-write a rom-com screenplay with screenwriter Charlie Yates, Emma’s idol, but the job isn’t exactly as described.  
 
I absolutely loved The Rom-Commers! I laughed, I cried, and my heart soared with joy! Hard to go wrong with Katherine Center. There’s always layers, with the characters and with the story. I don’t want to break everything down, because I feel it’s better to go in and experience all the lovely for yourself, but it’s a definite 5-Star recommend!
 
I alternately read and listened to an audio version of the story, and I can recommend either version. Patti Murrin narrates, and she acted her heart out, bringing out all the emotions, making each character come to life! So wonderful! I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed.

5 Stars


Book Description:

She’s rewriting his love story. But can she rewrite her own?

Emma Wheeler desperately longs to be a screenwriter. She’s spent her life studying, obsessing over, and writing romantic comedies―good ones! That win contests! But she’s also been the sole caretaker for her kind-hearted dad, who needs full-time care. Now, when she gets a chance to re-write a script for famous screenwriter Charlie Yates―The Charlie Yates! Her personal writing god!―it’s a break too big to pass up.

Emma’s younger sister steps in for caretaking duties, and Emma moves to L.A. for six weeks for the writing gig of a lifetime. But what is it they say? Don’t meet your heroes? Charlie Yates doesn’t want to write with anyone―much less “a failed, nobody screenwriter.” Worse, the romantic comedy he’s written is so terrible it might actually bring on the apocalypse. Plus! He doesn’t even care about the script―it’s just a means to get a different one green-lit. Oh, and he thinks love is an emotional Ponzi scheme.

But Emma’s not going down without a fight. She will stand up for herself, and for rom-coms, and for love itself. She will convince him that love stories matter―even if she has to kiss him senseless to do it. But . . . what if that kiss is accidentally amazing? What if real life turns out to be so much . . . more real than fiction? What if the love story they’re writing breaks all Emma’s rules―and comes true?


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Post #253

 


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. I'm also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

It was a hot week (in the upper 90s) at home so I spent a bunch of time watering. It does cool off into the 50s at night, so we are able to open the windows before we go to bed to cool things down. I've had to run the A/C a few hours in the afternoon. 

Had a couple of doctors appointments to take care of. One was a skin check because my cousin, who is a couple of years older than me, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma after discovering a lump. He's doing well with immunotherapy, just after two treatments the lump is gone. Cancer treatment has come a long way so that a diagnosis like that is no longer an automatic death sentence. At any rate, it gave my sister and I quite a scare so thus the skin check. We all (cousin included) grew up spending our summers swimming in our pool without sunscreen. My mom used to put baby oil on a lay out for a suntan!

We drove out to East Bay San Francisco to help our daughter finish up packing her house. It closes on Tuesday. Will be driving home today. The weather was beautiful. Hot but not as hot as home. I didn't get a lot of reading done.

Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)


Everyone on This Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson: 4 Stars
Last Girl Breathing by Court Stevens: 4 Stars

Everyone on This Train was a fun mystery, like the previous Benjamin Stevenson book. I also enjoyed Last Girl Breathing even though I wished one thing was different in the end. 

Library Lends:


I downloaded an audio of Closed Casket after seeing Sophia's latest review on the series. Into the Fire is a prequel novella to Brennan's newest coming: You'll Never Find Me. 


How was your week?






Thursday, June 6, 2024

Review: Disturbing the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

 

Disturbing the Dead (A Rip Through Time #3) by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: May 7th 2024 by Minotaur Books 
Pages: 337
Source: Publisher 
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Libro.fm | Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Disturbing the Dead was another exciting mystery in the Rip Through Time series! It’s the third book in a series best read in order. The Grays are invited to a mummy unwrapping, which is distasteful to Mallory with its insensitivity to the dead, but this is 150 years ago. However, the unwrapping serves up a shocking surprise! Mallory, Duncan, and Detective McCreadie hunt up a killer and thief.
 
It’s been fun seeing how Mallory deals with the lack of forensic advances and technology in solving these cases. I also enjoy the relationship between Mallory and Duncan. There’s been a romance brewing, the slow-burn kind. I also enjoy Mallory’s friendship with Isla, Duncan’s sister. The two have scientific minds and big hearts!
 
I was happy that Mallory’s place as Dr. Gray’s medical assistant was more solidified. There were a few ends tied up that have been hanging through the series so far, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I look forward to the next mystery!

I alternately read and listened to the story, and I recommend either version. Kate Handford has done a wonderful job bringing Mallory to life, making each character distinct, both male and female, and with the different accents. I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed. 


4.5 Stars


Book Description:

Disturbing the Dead is the latest in a unique series with one foot in the 1890s and the other in the present day. The A Rip Through Time crime novels are a genre-blending, atmospheric romp from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Victorian Scotland is becoming less strange to modern-day homicide detective Mallory Atkinson. Though inhabiting someone else’s body will always be unsettling, even if her employers know that she’s not actually housemaid Catriona Mitchell, ever since the night both of them were attacked in the same dark alley 150 years apart. Mallory likes her job as assistant to undertaker/medical examiner Dr. Duncan Gray, and is developing true friends―and feelings―in this century.

So, understanding the Victorian fascination with death, Mallory isn't that surprised when she and her friends are invited to a mummy unwrapping at the home of Sir Alastair Christie. When their host is missing when it comes time to unwrap the mummy, Gray and Mallory are asked to step in. And upon closer inspection, it’s not a mummy they’ve unwrapped, but a much more modern body.