Saturday Shoutout: Q & A with Mark Tilbury @MTilburyAuthor

Happy Saturday everyone, I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your weekend. I have a Q & A to share today with Mark Tilbury, I recently read his latest release, The Key to Death’s Door and LOVED it! Here’s a little information about the book:


If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light that lets him to go back to the past, Lee finds himself reliving the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.

Q & A

1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.

I tend to write in the afternoons. I’m pretty useless at doing anything in the morning except drinking coffee! I sit in a room with the curtains closed and music on to drown out any possible distractions. I target 2,000 words a day and try to keep going until I reach it. Not that it always happens that way – sometimes the muse decides to have a day off, and I just have to walk away and leave it alone.

2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?

I started with poems and adventure stories when I was about eight or nine. I was naturally quite good at English, and one particular teacher encouraged me to write. I loved creating my own worlds. It was my way of being in control in a world controlled by adults. Make them do what I wanted for a change!

3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?

Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Tom Sharpe. I’ve tried to take a little something from each of them and mould it into my own style. Koontz’s description, King’s natural way of talking to his audience and Tom Sharpe’s humour

4. Anything you can tell us about current projects?

My latest novel, The Key to Death’s Door is being published by Bloodhound Books on 16th April. Teenager Lee Hunter nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically. As time passes, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

I’ve also just finished the first draft of a new novel which has a working title of The Hunter of Lost Souls. Without giving too much away, it’s about a woman who is attacked and left for dead after her assailant is disturbed by a man walking his dog. As she recovers, the headaches and nosebleeds begin, and she soon realises she has been left with an ability to see into the mind of her assailant.

5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.

I nearly always start with a character. He/she speaks in my head. Something completely random. Peter King in The Liar’s Promise said, ‘What doesn’t kill you will make you wish it had.’ That was interesting enough for me to really take notice. Think about who would say such a thing? Where could they fit into a story? The stories themselves are usually random ‘what if?’ ideas. In the Liar’s Promise it was – what if a young child remembers a past life in which she’d been murdered, and the killer is still at large? Then it’s just a case of matching story to character and seeing where it leads.

6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?

Liam Truman from The Abattoir of Dreams. Gutsy, stood up for what he believed in, took no crap. Someone I really admired. He held onto hope for all he was worth, even when facing death. The only character in one of my books who made me cry when writing him.

7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?

Readers can e-mail me using this address or send me a message on my Facebook page

8. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Three months. I’ve written six so far, and each one has come in around that time, regardless of length.

10. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?

Lee Hunter in The Key to Death’s Door. He’s more of a follower than a leader, but he’s never afraid to take part or test himself. Fortunately, I’ve never experienced any of the horrors Lee does in the book, but I imagine it’s how I might react if I did.

11. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?

I’ve been extremely lucky to have received a lot of compliments about my books, but for me it’s the ones who say they wouldn’t normally read this type of book, but they are really glad they did. It’s as if I’ve converted them, and that, for me, is so rewarding.

Huge thanks to Mark for joining me today!

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell


Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller



She was fifteen, her mother’s

golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.


It’s been ten years since Ellie

disappeared, but Laurel has never given up

hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.

Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.

And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?

Who still has secrets to hide?


There is something about the manner in which Lisa Jewell weaves a tale, the style of her writing has a mesmerizing quality that makes her books true page turners. Just to be completely honest and upfront I do want to say that I did see several of the big twists coming from a mile away. For whatever reason I wasn’t bothered in the slightest though, there was something compelling about Then She Was Gone regardless of my being able to accurately predict several things.

Missing children stories always get to me on a personal level and when the case is years old, it’s even more heartbreaking. Laurel lost more than just her daughter Ellie, her marriage crumbled and her relationship with her two other children suffered as well. Devastation after devastation for this poor woman and I couldn’t help but hope that she would find some small bit of peace in her life, I felt awful for her and can’t imagine not knowing what happened to your child.

This was an emotional thriller, Jewell writes fascinating characters with complex histories that you can’t help but be interested in. If you’re a fan of the author already, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, it’s a fast paced engaging read with a really strong plot and the kind of book you’ll want to read in one or two sittings.

Then She Was Gone in three words: Intriguing, Spellbinding and Addictive.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: A Home at Honeysuckle Farm by ChristieBarlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources


Release date: April 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperImpulse

Genre: Women’s Fiction


A family secret

One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever…

A second chance

Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. So, when Alice learns her beloved Grandie is ill, she knows this is her last chance to heal the family rift.

A forever home?

But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense.

Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again?

I’m so pleased to be helping close down the blog tour for A Home at Honeysuckle Farm today!


When I curl up with a new Christie Barlow book I just know I’m about to have an enjoyable read, every single time she nails the perfect combination of elements that I crave in lighthearted fiction; a relatable and fun protagonist, a pretty setting, an interesting storyline and a hint of a mystery and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm delivered on all fronts.

Alice was they type of character that I wish was my own friend, she’s sweet and funny with a huge heart and an endearing personality. Her mom and grandfather have a very strained relationship for reasons unknown to her and this is where the secretive, mysterious aspect comes into play. Often times in women’s fiction I feel like attempts at plot twists are super obvious, but Barlow always manages to surprise me. Besides Alice, the village of Brook Bridge was chock full of amazing secondary characters, a truly charming and delightful group of people.

I’m such a huge fan of Christie Barlow and I could gush over this book all the live long day, but I’ll spare you and just say that if you want a read that will make you smile and keep you entertained, look no further.

A Home at Honeysuckle Farm in three words: Warm, Sweet and Happy.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

She loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page Christie Barlow author

Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage


Release date: July 17, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.


I want to start by saying that I think this book will be extremely divisive, it’s uncomfortable, bold and full of shocking scenarios, and very over the top. BUT, it worked really well for me and there was an originality to it, I really haven’t read anything like it before and it’s not a book I’ll soon forget.

This alternates between a mother, Suzette, a woman who desperately wants to connect to her daughter, and Hanna, a seven year old girl. While obviously I could relate more to Suzette, Hanna’s point of view was far more compelling to me. She’s a creepy little girl and I wasn’t quite sure if she was a super clever little actress, skilled in sophisticated manipulation or a child with some serious mental issues who needed professional help in the worst way. Many of her chapters were chilling, a glimpse inside the mind of a child who behaves in abhorrent ways is the type of stuff nightmares are made of!

While this was definitely a thriller it almost read like a horror novel at some points, Stage created a really creepy atmosphere in the Jensen home, one full of uneasiness and dread and undercurrents of a dark danger. She’s a gifted writer and her ability to write two distinct narratives was excellent, if you’ve read this I would LOVE to discuss it!

Baby Teeth in three words: Controversial, Twisted and Wicked.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Blog Tour: The Last Friend by Harvey Church @HarveyChurch1 @CarolineBookBit #TheLastFriend


Release date: January 9, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life

Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.

The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand

When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.

The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance

And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.

What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?

Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Last Friend! I read and really liked this book late last year and am so pleased to be sharing some more with you guys today.

The Last Friend – Harvey Church
Character Spotlight
– Special Agent Mike Klein –

| Who is Special Agent Mike Klein

Klein is an old-school investigator. He began his career investigating missing people, kidnappings, abductions, ransoms, etc.. But with funding constraints, his unit has shrunk. He’s now overworked, hitting the mid-point in fifties and eyeing retirement.

He believes in the justice system, the rule of law, and that makes things difficult for him in the case of Elizabeth Glass and the many other young girls who have gone missing in The Last Friend.

| The Inspiration for Klein’s Character

Once, while I was out of town with my family, I dined out at a restaurant. Nothing fancy, just a regular place, and it was packed. At the next table, there was a trio of older men. One of them was the most handsome older man I’d ever seen – strong jaw, penetrating eyes, the kind of tan and weathered look that belongs in a Western Romance. At this man’s worst, he’d look better than me at my best. As we all do, I started wondering what this man did for a living. In my mind, he was an investigator. The only reason he was dining at this restaurant was because the owners had kidnapped kids from across the country and forced them into working for them, and this special agent was going to lock the place down once his crème brûlée arrived. (Okay, I might have had wine, on an empty stomach, but that was honestly how Klein’s character came to me).

| The Creation of Klein

Er, see above?

I’ll add that bringing the old guy from the restaurant into my novel involved giving him traits that—oh, wait, I get to talk about that next…

| About Klein’s Character

So, as I was saying, adapting the good-looking old man to the novel wasn’t as easy as I thought. Was he married? What’s his past? What does his office look like? And, most importantly, how do these things reveal themselves when Klein is a secondary character to the grieving father (Donovan) and his missing daughter’s last friend (Monica)?

To compensate for Klein’s secondary role in the Last Friend he is the secondary character of another novel I’ve written (The Last Night) as well as one in development for a summer 2018 publication. The summer 2018 novel gets more into Klein’s head as he tidies up some loose ends from The Last Friend, particularly that opening chapter…

| Does he have any similarities with anyone ‘real’?
If so .. tell us more!

If anyone ever asked me what Klein and I have in common, the answer would be: nothing. We are polar opposites in terms of our nicotine addictions, our calm and collected way of dealing with injustice, our beliefs in the ‘system,’ our views on politics, how we dress, and what’s important to us. That’s not to say or suggest that special agent Mike Klein is an idiot (because it’s probably the other way around), but we’d probably not cheer for the same football team. And if we were ever seated at a bar together—okay, we share an appreciation for single malts, which is a start, I suppose—we’d probably disagree about things like fiscal policy, which Netflix show to watch next, and whether David Hasselhoff is going to make a comeback as Michael Knight.

| What do you like most about your character?

He’s fearless and certain about everything he does. Klein doesn’t make mistakes. Plus, he’s the type of guy that offers hope that a better world exists outside of all of the horrible things that happen around us.

| What do you dislike about your protagonist’s character?

Klein’s inflexibility doesn’t allow him to see shades of grey. For Klein, everything is a black and white problem. In The Last Friend, that’s not a big problem—a young girl was kidnapped and her captor should suffer. But in The Last Night, things aren’t so black and white, and that causes issues for Klein.

| Would you and Klein be friends ‘in real life’?

I think it’s good and smart to be friends with people who can save your life, and Klein could definitely do that. But he probably wouldn’t cheer for my favourite teams, and he’d likely try to stiff me for the tab if we went out for drinks. Plus, I bet he enjoys golfing, and I can swear and throw things out of frustration in the comfort of my own home, without having to pay inflated green fees, thank you very much. So, no, Klein and I likely wouldn’t be friends.

| What’s Next?

Up next for Klein is the novel, The Last Night. In this one, Ethan Vernon’s wife was taken away from her home in an ambulance in the middle the night. Except she never made it to the emergency room. When Ethan starts doubting himself, he searches the other hospitals, always with the same result: your wife’s not here. At his wits’ end, he calls emergency services and learns that no ambulance was ever dispatched to his house in the first place. In fact, Ethan himself becomes a suspect in what he believes is a massive cover-up, only to come face-to-face with a truth he might rather never know. Guess who is in the middle of this mess? Yup, special agent Mike Klein.

About the Author:

Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.

His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.

For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.

He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.

Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick!

Don’t forget to sign up for his email list at

Harvey Church Online:

Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepherd


Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.


I’m a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars, both the books and the show (the books were better, duh) but I haven’t read anything else from Shepherd since the final installment of that series and that was quite a few years ago, so naturally I was very excited to read one of her adult novels to see if she could still reel me in with something with a bit more maturity. While overall this was an entertaining, easy read it didn’t have that bite, that sharpness that I need in a “grown up” thriller.

There WAS plenty that worked for me here, I absolutely love books about books and this one alternated Between Eliza’s POV in the present and chapters from her debut novel, The Dots. To begin I was equally invested in both narratives but as the lines between fact and fiction started to get fuzzy, I found myself more interested in Eliza’s book rather than her story. I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem per se, but I didn’t expect to feel like that nonetheless.

I really think that my main issue is that I’m far too seasoned in terms of reading true, gritty thrillers to be surprised by this one. This would be perfect for a YA audience or anyone who is wanting to branch out into thrillers who isn’t as jaded and picky as me. It would also be ideal for anyone who is looking for a lighter suspense read with no gore or graphic details, this focuses more on paranoia and the unknown than violence. Shepherd is a solid writer and does write page turners though, I’m sure the right audience will love this but unfortunately that’s just not me.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay


Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Psychological Thriller


They say you never forget your first love. What they don’t say though, is that sometimes your first love won’t forget you…

A police interview room is the last place Angela expected to find herself today. It’s been hours, and they keep asking her the same inane questions over and over. “How do you know the victim?” “What’s your relationship with Mr. Parker?” Her ex’s wife has gone missing, and anyone who was close to the couple is a suspect. Angela is tired of the bottomless questions and tired of the cold room that stays the same while a rotating litany of interrogators changes shifts around her. But when criminologist Novak takes over, she can tell he’s not like the others. He’s ready to listen, and she knows he’ll understand. When she tells him that her story begins a decade before, long before Saskia was in the picture, he gives her the floor.

A twenty-something young professional, Angela claims to have no involvement. How could she? It’s been years since she and H.P., Mr. Parker that is, were together. As her story unfolds, it deepens and darkens. There’s a lot to unpack… betrayal, jealousy, and a group of people who all have motives for retribution. If Angela is telling the truth, then who’s lying?


Our Little Secret is the ultimate binge worthy book, you can’t help being drawn into an intoxicating, dark web of intrigue, betrayal and obsession. It opens with Angela being interrogated by Detective Novak about the disappearance of a woman named Saskia. Angela seems genuinely puzzled as to why she’s being questioned, Saskia is only her first love, HP’s wife. But underneath the surface there is danger lurking and Angela is the quintessential unreliable narrator.

There was a quiet intensity to this book, Angela takes her time telling the story of how her and HP met and fell in love back in high school. She’s has a captivating presence and I was hanging onto her every word, there is something about her that makes you feel sorry for her one minute and then the next you’re wondering if she’s entirely sane. She’s highly complex and endlessly fascinating, I would love to read more about her honestly. This is definitely a slow burn but I was at no time frustrated or bored, I was still very eager to find out what was really going on. The ending was perfect, chilling, dark and ultimately satisfying, recommended as the perfect weekend binge read.

Our Little Secret in three words: Subtle, Manipulative and Smart.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Key to Death’s Door by Mark Tilbury @MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook


Release date: April 16, 2018

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Thriller


If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light that lets him to go back to the past, Lee finds himself reliving the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.

I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Key to Death’s Door!


There is something wholly unique about Mark Tilbury’s writing, yes there’s always some supernatural elements that sets them apart from most thrillers, but it’s much more complex than that. Maybe it’s the concepts he comes up with for his premises, maybe it’s his dark, gritty writing style or maybe it’s his ability to examine the very evil depths of humanity in a way that’s both frightening and fascinating. Whatever it is doesn’t really matter in the end because the combination of it all makes for a gripping read every single time and I’ll always read any of his new books.

Reincarnation is explored here and while I don’t necessarily believe in it, it’s a very interesting topic. Lee is a young man who has a terrible experience with a near drowning and something happens during it that’s unexplainable. It’s like he’s transported to an entirely different life in a different place and time and while he’s scared witless, he’s also very curious as to what this all means and why it seems to be connected to his real life. I adored Lee and his best friend Charlie, they had a special relationship and the way they joked and teased each other made me laugh and lightened the heavy mood.

As always, Tilbury has crafted the ultimate villain, the type of character that chills you to the core. I hated this man with a passion, no one can evoke anger in me better than this author, and no one can keep me frantically flipping pages to see what happens next quite like he can either. The intensity was electrifying by the end and my heart was in my throat. If you don’t mind a supernatural twist in your thrillers, please check this one out, or really any of his other books.

The Key to Death’s Door in three words: Menacing, Horrifying and Gripping.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his fifth novel, The Key to Death’s Door published along with The Liar’s Promise, The Abattoir of Dreams, and The Ben Whittle Investigations relaunched, by Bloodhound Books.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.


Review: The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner


Release date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Little Brown

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


When a young widow’s reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family’s old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she’s forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.


Every spring/summer there is a small group of authors that release new books that I buy solely based on their name on the cover alone. I don’t care what the blurb says or what the cover looks like, I just know I’ll be reading it and I’ll most likely love it and find myself recommending it as a must read. Think Elin Hilderbrand, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Emily Giffin. This may be my first Jamie Brenner read, but if her previous and future books are as fantastically well written and engaging as The Husband Hour was, (and I’ve heard they are!) then she’ll most certainly be on my little list.

While this book is truly Lauren’s story and I had the strongest connection with her it’s also a story about the other women in her immediate family, her mom Beth and her sister Stephanie and I love nothing more than a story about a family of strong women with complex lives. Lauren is a twenty nine year old widow, just typing that out makes me sad, and five years after Rory’s death she’s still grieving, hard. Brenner’s portrayal of a woman dealing with the aftermath of losing her spouse was incredibly moving and woefully raw. She made me feel all of the feelings and I was so rooting for just a little slice of happiness in Lauren’s life. The documentary about Rory’s life forces her to examine their marriage with a sharp lens and face some hard truths and there were some surprising revelations that I was totally not expecting but appreciated all the same.

Besides the emotional component this also explored some important issues that impact military personnel and their families. I don’t want to say too much, but Brenner examined these issues in a way that educated me and made me really think on a deeper level. This one has it all, highly recommended by me and I have a feeling it’ll be on several summer reading lists in the months to come.

The Husband Hour in three words: Moving, Insightful and Heartfelt.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Somebody’s Daughter by Rochelle B. Weinstein #LakeUnionAuthors


Release date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community.

Then, on the night of the girls’ fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe’s heartbreaking mistake—a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal.

As the family’s core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter’s reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage, a family, and friendships forever.


The entire plot of Somebody’s Daughter focuses on the Ross family and how a risqué scandal involving the daughter, Zoe impacts their family. The effects are devastating and have serious repercussions, Zoe’s sister, Lily has to deal with gossip and rumors at school and online and her parents marriage begins to find itself on shaky ground as well as Zoe’s actions stir up old memories for Emma. The characterization is fantastic and felt so true to life, many times while I was reading this I felt like I was witnessing private family moments not meant for public consumption, that’s how accurate Weinstein’s portrayal was. I felt their emotions right alongside them, their pain, confusion, anger and disappointment among many others, this was a highly emotional read.

This book totally wrecked me, it took some of my worst fears as a parent to girls and magnified them in a wholly realistic and believable manner. As much as this was an emotional read, I think it’s such a timely one and covers an important subject that impacts not only parents, but the youth of today. Social media is here to stay, every single day new apps are hitting the market that appeal to young men and women and as teenagers, they’re not capable of always making good choices which makes the fact that they literally have thousands of apps available at their fingertips so, so scary. Forget apps and just think about the phones themselves, everyone has one and that isn’t changing either, but do kids today really know the power technology has? How one mistake, one wrong decision, can seriously impact their life, possibly forever? One picture, one video can have huge implications. This book explores these questions and many more, I could go on and on, its times like this that I wish I had read this one with a book club!

Highly recommended for parents of both girls and boys, it was written in such a smooth way and ended up being a super quick read for me because I just had to know what would happen to each member of the Ross family, I was totally invested and cared for these people.

Somebody’s Daughter in three words: Timely, Touching and Fluid.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.