Book Review: Tell Me Goodnight

(*Disclaimer: I did receive a free advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you Kelsey for the copy!)

Here’s the synopsis of Tell Me Goodnight which is out TODAY here.  A widowed father and his 3 young daughters find a way to make it through life…with the help of a newly hired babysitter who comes into their lives at the right time.  You can read more about the summary of the book on Amazon or Goodreads, usually I would give more detail, however, I am here to tell you what this book is truly, sincerely about.

Every line in this book is damn near quotable.  Every.  Line.  The magic felt in this book was unreal and tears sprang to my eyes numerous times throughout this novel.  This book deals heavily with loss and grief, but we also see a hurting man go through the healing process.  Sometimes we find friends in unlikely places and situations and this certainly rings true for Jon.  Sometimes we need that friend to kick our butt into gear and get us out of a funk and that is exactly what happens.  I have never cheered more for a couple than I have while reading this book…

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This sweet quote above is spoken by Jon (the widowed father) to his girls every night before they go to bed.  We eventually find out where it came from and the reason why it is said, is so sweet.  Maybe even as sweet as the love that slowly blooms in this read (Kelsey SLAYS the slow burn in this one).

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When we think all hope is lost and a dream is about to given up, magic happens.  Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees and that’s what happened to Jon.  Characters from past novels of Kelsey are seen in this book, but don’t worry.  If you haven’t read Daisies & Devin or The Life We Wanted you won’t miss anything.  If you have, you will be SO PLEASED with the cameo appearances!

I have never written a review that lacks in a summary, but this book was just so moving.  I hope I have done this book justice and I have let you know just how freaking amazing it is.  It was a very emotional and healing read.  Words cannot express the flow of words that traveled on paper like a beating heart looking for its soulmate.  If you are a fan of romances this is a must read.  If you are struggling with grief and heartache, pick up this book.  Let the words speak to you, because they will.  Yes, there is a happy ending and I understand there is one because it’s a work of fiction, but that doesn’t mean that the words within this book cannot help heal you as well.

5 stars.  This book blew away all my expectations.  If you have read it, let’s chat.  If you haven’t, get it STAT.

Thursday Quotables: May 23rd

I have just been thinking how I want to make note of more quotes when I read.  I can highlight when I read on my Kindle and I want to use that feature more.  I think I may want to invest in a reading journal as well where I can write down quotes that speak to me.  I have read a few books lately where I want to savor them and having some quotes from them would do me some good.

I came across a meme for Thursday called Thursday Quotables.  Books Kat Likes has joined in on the weekly fun and came up with this great description of what this is…

This feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines will be, and you’re invited to join in! Created by Lisa, over at Bookshelf Fantasies.

You should join in too!  Let’s all share quotes together!  For my first quote I have chosen a quote from the book The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister.

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People lie, Emmeline, but smells never do, my father had told me.

Ok, ok, ok…one more from the same novel…

Smells don’t care what the mind or heart wants, however. Scents will find their way around the darkness of closed eyes, slipping past barricades of thought. The body is their accomplice. We can live without food for weeks, and water for days, but try not to breathe and the lungs mutiny.

What is a quote from a book that has stood out to you??  Let me know in the comments, I can’t wait to collect more quotes!

Blog Tour: The Scent Keeper

ScentKeeper

 

What an interesting read.  The first thing I want to say is that if you are part of a book club, this is a MUST READ.  I promise you there is SO much to talk about throughout the book.  My thoughts?  I am very conflicted…

I could not get into this book until Part 2.  The entire first part of this book talks about scented paper and living on a deserted, desolate island where this little girl and her father forage for food.  Mermaids leave surprises in boxes every so often for supplies, but it all centered around a machine that made scents.  They left the paper in bottles and eventually the smells started to fade and it sent the father into a nose dive depression.   I just could not get into this book about scents.  I ended up speed reading most of this book as I really was having a hard time grasping the concept of it.  Toward the end of part 2 and for all of part 3 I did slow the pace of my reading down and really try to understand it.

We get past the scents and eventually the daughter, Emmeline (pronounced like on-the-line…don’t do what myself or her school teacher do and call her Emmelene haha), makes it to civilization and learns a whole new world (complete with a love interest).  Here is where my interest peaked and where she started to learn who she was and sought to seek out where she came from (remember, she was only raised by Dad and had no idea what her last name was or who her mother was).

I also enjoyed how the book ended.  I usually am only a fan of concrete endings, however, I know where Emmeline is going to end up and I really like how she leaves things off…the author did a good job.  For this book, it was the perfect ending.

People may wonder why I even bothered to continue to read this book if I was not enjoying it at first.  Here’s the thing.  Just because I personally do not like something, does not mean that someone else out there won’t.  Despite the fact that I was not into it, the author did a fantastic job at describing the surroundings and I was able to imagine such beautiful scenery.  The writing in this book was top notch, I just didn’t care for the content (at the beginning).  I also feel like this book needed that content at the beginning to create the book that it is.  Bauermeister is very talented, that is very obvious within her writing.

For this reason, I am not rating this book.  What I will do when I most my review to Goodreads and Netgalley, I’m not too sure, but I will figure something out.  This is a stop on The Scent Keeper blog tour and below please find more information about the author and the book.  Included is a sample of the first chapter so you can judge for yourself.  Again, this book turned in to an amazing read and I am happy I read it.  There is SO much to discuss about this book.  If you’ve read it, let’s chat!!

This book is released TOMORROW, May 21, 2019, so look for it at the links below or at your local bookstore!

Scent Keeper - Author Image_credit to Susan Doupé

About the Author:
Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
About the Book:
Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. 
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them.  As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.
Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.

Chapter One Excerpt…

THE BEGINNING

Back before there was time, I lived with my father on an island, tucked away in an endless archipelago that reached up out of the cold salt water, hungry for air. Growing up in the midst of the rain and moss and ancient thick-barked trees, it was easy to forget that the vast majority of our island was underwater—descending down two, three, five hundred bone-chilling feet. Forever really, for you could never hold your breath long enough to get to the bottom.

Those islands were a place to run away, although I didn’t understand that at the time. I had nothing to run from and every reason to stay. My father was everything. I’ve heard people say that someone is their “whole world,” their eyes filled with stars. But my father was my world, in a way so literal it can still grab my thoughts, pick them up, and toss them around like driftwood in a storm.

Our cabin was set in a clearing at the center of the island. We were not the first to live there—those islands have a long history of runaways. Almost a century ago there were French fur trappers, with accents that lilted and danced. Loggers with mountainous shoulders, and fishermen who chased silver-backed salmon. Later came the draft dodgers, hiding from war. Hippies, dodging rules. The islands took them all in—the storms and the long, dark winters spat most out again. The beauty there was raw; it could kill as easily as it could astonish.

Our cabin had been built by the truest of runaways. He set up in a place where no one could find him and built his home from trees he felled himself. He spent forty years on the island, clearing space for a garden and planting an orchard. One autumn, however, he simply disappeared. Drowned, it was said. After that the cabin was empty for years until we arrived and found the apple trees, opened the door. Raised the population of the island to two.

I don’t remember arriving on the island myself; I was too young. I only remember living there. I remember the paths that wandered through those watchful trees, the odor of the dirt beneath our feet, as dark and complicated as fairy tales. I remember our one-room cabin, the big chair by the woodstove, and our collection of stories and science books. I remember the smell of wood smoke and pine pitch in my father’s beard as he read to me at night, and the ghostly aroma of the runaway’s pipe tobacco, an olfactory reminder that had sunk into the walls and never quite disappeared. I remember the way the rain seemed to talk to the roof as I fell asleep, and how the fire would snap and tell it to be quiet.

Most of all, I remember the drawers.

My father had begun building them when we moved into the cabin, and when he was done they lined our walls from floor to ceiling. The drawers were small things, their polished wooden fronts no bigger than my child-sized hands. They surrounded us like the forest and islands outside our door.

Each drawer contained a single small bottle, and inside each bottle was a piece of paper, rolled around itself like a secret. The glass stoppers of the bottles were sealed with different colored waxes—red in the top rows, green for those below. My father almost never opened the bottles.

“We need to keep them safe,” he said.

But I could hear the papers whispering inside the drawers.

Come find me.

“Please?” I’d ask, again and again.

Finally, he agreed. He took out a leather book filled with numbers and carefully added one to the list. Then he turned to the wall of drawers, pondering his choice.

“Up there,” I said, pointing up high to where the red-wax bottles lived. Stories always begin at the top of a page.

My father had built a ladder that slid along the wall, and I watched him climb it almost to the ceiling, reaching into a drawer and drawing out its bottle. When he was back on the ground, he carefully broke the seal. I could hear glass scritching against glass as he pulled out the stopper, then the rustle of the paper as he unrolled it into a plain, white square. He leaned in close, inhaling, then wrote another number in the book.

I meant to stay still, but I leaned forward, too. My father looked up and smiled, holding out the paper.

“Here,” he said. “Breathe in, but not too much. Let the smell introduce itself.”

I did as he said. I kept my chest tight and my breath shallow. I could feel the tendrils of a fragrance tickling the inside of my nose, slipping into the curls of my black hair. I could smell campfires made from a wood I didn’t recognize; dirt more parched than any I had ever known; moisture, ready to burst from clouds in a sky I’d never seen. It smelled like waiting.

“Now, breathe in deeply,” my father said.

I inhaled, and fell into the fragrance like Alice down the rabbit hole.

 

– – –

 

Later, after the bottle had been stoppered and sealed and put back in its drawer, I turned to my father. I could still smell the last of the fragrance lingering in the air.

“Tell me its story,” I asked him. “Please.”

“All right, little lark,” he said. He sat in the big chair and I nestled in next to him. The fire crackled in the woodstove; the world outside was still.

“Once upon a time, Emmeline . . .” he began, and his voice rolled around the rhyme of it as if the words were made of chocolate.

Once upon a time, Emmeline, there was a beautiful queen who was trapped in a great white castle. None of the big, bold knights could save her. “Bring me a smell that will break the walls,” she asked a brave young boy named Jack . . .

I listened, while the scents found their hiding places in the cracks in the floorboards, and the words of the story, and the rest of my life.

Book Review: Once A Liar

Thank you to Netgalley for access to reading Once A Liar in exchange for my honest review!

I don’t think I have ever disliked a protagonist as much I have in this book.  Almost immediately I could not stand Peter Caine; egotistical, disrespectful, liar, cheater, and borderline psychopath are words I would use to describe him, but, I couldn’t get enough.

The book flips between then and now and we follow Peter from a marriage to his law firm partner’s daughter, birth of his son, cheating on his wife, death of his law firm partner, divorce, new girlfriend, death of his ex-wife, and then the death of his side girl, Charlie Doyle.  Did you get all that?

The primary focus of this book is who killed Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the district attorney.  The district attorney who would pimp her out to people to bribe them.  The district attorney who so desperately wanted Peter to join his side and work for him.  The district attorney who wasn’t aware of the affair Peter was carrying on with her, in fact, only his ex-wife knew.  How long had the affair been going on?  Well, let’s just say it hadn’t really stopped…

Peter has no remorse for anything he does and is just so focused on being on top and making money.  The job of being a criminal defense attorney has taken a toll on him and turned his heart into stone.  Someone could absolutely be guilty on all counts, but, Peter would make sure they would walk away without a slap on the wrist.  He even walked away from his own son, never forming a relationship with him.

I had to see how this ended because I had to see SOMETHING happen to Peter Caine.  I found the book to be fairly predictable early on with who killed Charlie.  If *I* could guess who did it, I don’t see how anyone couldn’t predict it.  You guys know I never see endings coming.  The book reaches it climatic part right at the end of the book and gets resolved quickly.  I felt a little conflicted about the end because I ended up hating a lot of people, ha!  That’s all I will say!  I used to feel bad for everyone who knew Peter and then, nope, I take back all of my sorrow I once had for all of you cold, heartless people!

I am going to give this book 3.5 stars which I will round up to 4 on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.  It was pretty predictable and it felt odd to read a book where you can’t stand the protagonist the entire read.  I also felt like the death of Charlie wasn’t justified enough.  I mean, I get it and the whole point of the book was revenge, but, I just didn’t enjoy how the death of an innocent person was used for it.  It felt a little much for me.  Does that make sense?  The writing was great, I just did not particularly care for the way revenge took place.  Have you read this book?  What are your thoughts?

 

Details

Title: Once A Liar

Author:  A. F. Brady

Publisher: Park Row

Release Date: January 29, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

Stacking The Shelves: February 23rd

Here’s my usual blurb about today’s post…I stumbled across Stocking The Shelves on Jill’s Book Blog (check it out). This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality.  Here’s what they say about it…

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I bought 1 physical book this week and I am SUPER excited about this one.  There have been a LOT of mixed reviews (it’s either a people hate it or people love it type of book) and I am ready to read it for myself and form my own opinion.  Here it is…

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Goodreads Summary

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

I look forward to reading this one.  Have you read it?  Thoughts?  I’m so proud of myself for only adding one new book to my collection this week!

 

 

First Line Fridays: February 22nd

As always First Line Friday comes courtesy of Hoarding Books Blog.  I discovered this magic thanks to Crystal at Must Love Reviews.

This week I am highlighting a book I’m about to start shortly, here we go…

I was born without a voice, one cold, overcast day in Brooklyn, New York. No one ever spoke of my condition. I did not know I was mute until years later, when I’d opened my mouth to ask for what I wanted and realized no one could hear me.

Wow.  Know the book?  I will say, this has my interest and I’m ready to start this bad boy!  Here it is…

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I will probably start this today considering I have a snow day, er, ice day.  It’s my kids’ first snow day and my 2nd spanning across my 13 year teaching career (I had one 11 years ago).  Growing up we had them all the time but here in the desert they are RARE!  What better way to enjoy it than by reading?!?  What are you reading on this winter day?

Book Review: I Am Watching You

Woah.  I need a moment to process what just happened.  Everything I knew that was happening just changed in a split second!

Let me set this book up for you…read it.  Ok, ok, ok…but just a little because this book is a page turning, nail biting thriller that will leave you speechless.  It is a story about a young teenage girl who goes missing on a trip to London.  It is told from multiple perspectives; a witness who saw her traveling to London on the train, the father, the friend she was traveling with, and a private investigator that the witness hired.  The case ends up going cold and unsolved for over a year until…well, just know that the case gets solved and you find out whodunit…and if you can guess who did you must be a psychopathic serial killer.

I read this as a buddy read with my friend and we finished this book within days.  I took off running and then she surpassed me and was cheering me on to finish.  You should see the text I sent her when I finished reading chapter 46.  I would show you, but, then I’d have to kill you.  Honestly we didn’t know much about this book except that I have heard rave reviews about it and it was highly rated.

We almost didn’t read it because she kept seeing reviews where people drone on about the witness describing flower arrangements…ok…so to those reviews I say, yeah, not quite what it seems.  I will say that Driscoll does an amazing job at stringing you along and giving you just enough details to keep you hooked and wanting more.

This earns a solid 5 star rating from me.  It was just…amazing.  I have since added her other 2 thrillers (one out and one coming out soon) to my want to read list because that’s how amazing this read was.  I am telling you, my mind was absolutely blown!  And for what it’s worth, my friend who can usually predict everything in a thriller, did not see the ending coming.  Read it.  Tell all your friends.  Then come back and TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS BOOK! OH EM GEE!

 

Details

 

Title: I Am Watching You

Author: Teresa Driscoll

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: October 1, 2017

ASIN: B06Y1264PX

ISBN-10: 9781542046596

Amazon //\\ Goodreads

 

BONUS:  I want to share a quote from this book that speaks VOLUMES to me.  Also, after reading this book, good luck to my kids to ever getting them to allow me to go anywhere by themselves! 😉

Because once you become a parent, you learn that love can involve more fear than you had ever imagined, and you never quite look on the world in the same way again.

Doesn’t that just hit right home for my fellow parents out there???  Anyway…pick up the book, trust me, it’s a GREAT one!