Book Review: Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter

Every Single Secret II

Pub Date 01 May 2018

Emotionally guarded Daphne Amos always believed she’d found a kindred spirit in her fiancé, Heath. Both very private people, they’ve kept their pasts hidden from the world, and each other, until Heath’s escalating nightmares begin to put an undeniable strain on their relationship. Determined to give their impending marriage the best chance of succeeding, Heath insists that Daphne join him on a seven-day retreat with Dr. Matthew Cerny, a psychologist celebrated for getting to the root of repressed memories. Daphne reluctantly agrees—even though the past is the last place she wants to go.

The retreat’s isolated and forbidding location increases her unease, as do the doctor’s rules: they must relinquish their keys and phones, they’ll be monitored at all hours by hidden cameras, and they’re never to socialize with the other guests.

One sleepless night, Daphne decides to leave her room…and only then does she realize that the institute is not at all what it seems—and that whatever’s crying out from Heath’s past isn’t meant to be heard. It’s meant to be silenced.

My Thoughts:

I love reading psychological thrillers and I admire writers who pen them because to really get in the mind of a sociopath or psychopath, one has to explore the dark side and in this particular case, it’s beyond creepy! Doing so is not always easy and coming up with a premise for these stories, you want to have quite the imagination to keep your readers hooked. Carpenter’s stories do this for me, and she out did herself with Every Single Secret. There is also the fact that this story is set in my state which makes it all the more intriguing.

This story has so many surprises and unexpected twist and turns that keeps you in suspense throughout the book.  Carpenter is great at setting the stage for a gothic southern story and she does it with such flare that I am always curious as to what she will write next. Her characters are so complex and at times you feel like you might not want to get too deep into their minds…I say this in a good way. She also has you question the characters actions and motives throughout the story and I find this thoroughly engaging.

When I first saw the book cover and title, I knew I had to get my hands on this story quickly! I had wondered about the cover and how it related to the story and when I got to that part, I was stunned! It’s a whopper and intensely chilling and had me a bit freaked out!

There are monsters all around us…

I rated this book four stars.

I obtained a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Cover Crush: Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Burning FieldsBurning Fields by Alli Sinclair

Harlequin (Australia), TEEN / MIRA

MIRA

Historical Fiction, Romance

Pub Date 21 May 2018

Description

  1. The world is struggling to regain a sense of balance after the devastation of World War II, and the sugar cane-growing community of Piri River in northern Queensland is no exception.

As returned servicemen endeavour to adjust to their pre-war lives, women who had worked for the war effort are expected to embrace traditional roles once more.

Rosie Stanton finds it difficult to return to the family farm after years working for the Australian Women’s Army Service. Reminders are everywhere of the brothers she lost in the war and she is unable to understand her father’s contempt for Italians, especially the Conti family next door. When her father takes ill, Rosie challenges tradition by managing the farm, but outside influences are determined to see her fail.

Desperate to leave his turbulent history behind, Tomas Conti has left Italy to join his family in Piri River. Tomas struggles to adapt in Australia—until he meets Rosie. Her easy-going nature and positive outlook help him forget the life he’s escaped. But as their relationship grows, so do tensions between the two families until the situation becomes explosive.

When a long-hidden family secret is discovered and Tomas’s mysterious past is revealed, everything Rosie believes is shattered. Will she risk all to rebuild her family or will she lose the only man she’s ever loved?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful cover and I like that fact that you can see all of the young girl in this cover. I feel like there are way too many images of people with their head missing on book covers. I like the soft tones in the background and the cover as a whole really says a lot about the story I’m guessing. It certainly resonates with the title…

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great cover crushes from my fellow book bloggers: 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum

Every Single Secrets by Emily Carpenter

Me in Summer time 2017I’m a little over half way through reading this book for review and I want reality to go away so I can spend my whole attention to the story! Have you ever felt kinship with a story? I’m half way through this one and its making a profound impact on me and the fact in takes place in the state I live in helps to. Hehe…

There are so many secrets in this book and the suspense is killing me! I want to know now!! Emily Carpenter is an amazing southern suspense writer. I want her to crank these stories out faster! Haha…

Last time I say her at a book event I told her I envisioned her writing a story set in Hilton Head that takes place in the early 1900’s. I wonder if she will…? She has such a grasp for atmospheric and character driven stories.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Every Single Secret IIAbout the book:

Expected publication: May 1st 2018 by Lake Union Publishing

In this harrowing psychological thriller, a young couple must save their relationship by doing the unthinkable: sharing their darkest secrets…

Emotionally guarded Daphne Amos always believed she’d found a kindred spirit in her fiancé, Heath. Both very private people, they’ve kept their pasts hidden from the world, and each other, until Heath’s escalating nightmares begin to put an undeniable strain on their relationship. Determined to give their impending marriage the best chance of succeeding, Heath insists that Daphne join him on a seven-day retreat with Dr. Matthew Cerny, a psychologist celebrated for getting to the root of repressed memories. Daphne reluctantly agrees—even though the past is the last place she wants to go.

The retreat’s isolated and forbidding location increases her unease, as do the doctor’s rules: they must relinquish their keys and phones, they’ll be monitored at all hours by hidden cameras, and they’re never to socialize with the other guests.

One sleepless night, Daphne decides to leave her room…and only then does she realize that the institute is not at all what it seems—and that whatever’s crying out from Heath’s past isn’t meant to be heard. It’s meant to be silenced.

April in Paris, 1921: A Kiki Button Mystery by Tessa Lunney

I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing this book. I hope to get to the story next week, though I won’t post a review until closer to the publish date. I love reading stories set in the early 1900’s. Check out what the book is about below. -Stephanie M. Hopkins

April in Paris, 1921April in Paris, 1921

A Kiki Button Mystery

by Tessa Lunney

Pegasus Books

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 03 Jul 2018

About the Book:

Kiki Button—war veteran, party girl, detective, and spy—finds that she can’t outrun her past exploits, even in the glittering world of Jazz Age Paris.

Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.

Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.

About the Author: Tessa Lunney is an emerging talent on the Australian literary scene who has recently won a number of their major short fiction awards. She has had her fiction, poetry, and reviews published in Southerly, Mascara, and Contrapasso, among others, as well as Best Australian Poems 2014.

 

Cover Crush: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

The Queens of Innis LearThe Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Sci Fi & Fantasy

Pub Date 27 Mar 2018

Description

Dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton’s debut adult epic fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear.

Three Queens. One crown. All out war.

Gaela. Ruthless Commander.
I am the rightful heir of Innis Lear. No more will I wait in the shadows and watch my mother’s murderer bleed my island dry.

The King’s hold on the crown must end—willingly or at the edge of my sword.

Regan. Master Manipulator.
To secure my place on the throne, I must produce an heir. Countless times I have fed the island’s forests my blood. Yet, my ambition is cursed.

No matter what or whom Imust destroy, I will wield the magic of Innis Lear.

Elia. Star-blessed Priest.
My sisters hide in the shadows like serpents, waitingto strike our ailing king. I must protect my father, even if it means marrying a stranger.

We all have to make sacrifices. Love and freedom will be mine.

“Amazing. Just Amazing.”–Robin McKinley

My thoughts: 

Powerful cover. I love the tones and the vibe it gives. I’ll be reviewing the excerpt from NetGalley and blogging about it soon!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great cover crushes from my fellow book bloggers: 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

Cover Crush: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season

A Southern Novel of Two Sisters and the Storms They Must Weather

by Lauren K. Denton

Thomas Nelson–FICTION

General Fiction (Adult) , Women’s Fiction

Description

From the author of the USA Today Bestseller, The Hideaway comes another story of families and mending the past.

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have long since buried their desire for children of their own. While Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget her dream of motherhood. But when her free-spirited sister, Jenna, drops off her two young daughters for “just two weeks,” Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As the two weeks stretch deeper into the Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world—and revel in the laughter that now fills their home. Meanwhile, record temperatures promise to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Attending art retreat four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She finally has time and energy to focus on her photography, a lifelong ambition. But she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home as a single mom.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims a steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that will change her family’s future, even as Betsy and Ty try to protect their beloved farm and their hearts. Hurricane Season is the story of one family’s unconventional journey to healing—and the relationships that must be mended along the way.

“A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest Southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author for The Hideaway

My thoughts:

What a magical cover…I love this layout and the colors used. It reminds me of those magical evenings in the south.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great cover crushes from my fellow book bloggers: 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

Book Review: The Secret Life of Mrs. London

The Secret Life of Mrs. LondonAbout the book:

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

My thoughts:

Jack London is known for being a prolific writer. He is well known today for his two novels, White Fang and The Call of the Wild but who is the man behind the stories? What was his personal life like and who were the people in his life that supported his work? When I spotted this book at NetGalley I crossed my fingers and hoped I would get a review copy and sure enough, I did. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be accepted to review this book. I absolutely love it when modern writers write about other writers about their commercial successes-if you will. After reading The Secret Life of Mrs. London, I started to research him further and what I found made such a bigger impression on this story. Jack London lived quite a life to say the least…

This story is told in Mrs. London’s-Jack’s second wife-point of few and it was extraordinary! I was captivated right from the start to finish, I didn’t want the story to end to be honest. I was quite envious of the authors beautiful flow of story-telling, she weaved the story so in tuned with that era and captured so eloquently what life must have been like for Mrs. Jack London. She was an intriguing woman and contributed to Jack’s work in a big way. When reading this story, you realize that without her in Jack’s life, you question if he would have been the writer he is known for.

I would also like to add that I enjoyed the passages from London’s books at the beginning of each chapter. The only problem I had with this story is that it ended.

Wonderfully drawn characters, beautiful prose, larger than life story-telling and a story I will hold close to my heart for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to all and hope to see more stories like this from this author. I am a big fan!

Five-star rating!

I obtained a copy from the publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie M. Hopkins