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NEW RELEASE FUN

Wednesdays At One by Sandra A. Miller (Zibby Books), Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen (Berkley Publishing), & Girls and Their Horses by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley Publishing)

July 30, 2023

Dear Book Lovers,

There is a solid month left of summer here in the northeast, which leaves plenty of time to get your hands on some of the latest 2023 books. Today I am sharing a lovely mix of mystery, glamour and rich people behaving badly. Fill your beach bag up with these new releases and get reading.

Cheers to Summer Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Rosen’s latest historical fiction tale combines Estee Lauder’s rise to cosmetic fame during the late 1930s/40s and her friend Gloria Downing’s great success as cosmetic saleswomen turn assistant cosmetic buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. This was the ultimate “Kelly” book! I love reading about women who went against society’s grain during a time when their proper place was standing beside their husbands as dignified wives and homemakers with no brain of their own. Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is filled with all the dreamy lotions and potions that I adore. It made me want to dust an outrageous eyeshadow color on my eyelids, brighten my cheeks with rouge, and swipe the quintessential candy apple red lipstick on my lips. This book is about hardworking women in a male-dominated world who didn’t take no for an answer. It has love and loss, family secrets and conundrums, and best of all—Sparkle and pizzazz! My next trip to the Estee Lauder makeup counter will never be the same again!
Make this book happen! It is a delight!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Wednesdays at One is a slow burn psychological mystery. Dr. Gregory Weber has a successful psychiatric practice and lives in the Boston suburbs with his wife and two kids. Despite how good he looks on paper, he carries a deep dark secret from his past that riddles him with guilt. His past comes back to haunt him when a new patient named Mira starts attending therapy with him every Wednesday at 1pm. This mystery woman becomes more than a weekly client—disrupting his innermost thoughts, family life, and professional boundaries. Who is this woman and why is she here?? 

Miller’s writing is strong and catchy! She created a thick layer of remorse that was truly palpable. She hints at Gregory’s past often and I longed to learn his deep dark secret. She tapped into her characters on a psychological level filled with deep emotion and tremendous intrigue. I will note that I would not put this story in a traditional “thriller” category. There is however, a unique psychological mystery that builds from the beginning making you want to turn the pages. 

If you enjoy reading about characters grappling with moral dilemmas, family emotional drama, and endings with a twisty vibe…Wednesdays at One is for you! 

Click on the book pic to purchase!

GIDDY-UP!!!!!!! I grew up riding horses. I can still remember the distinct smell of the barn, the stiffness of my saddle, the clip-clop sound of the horses walking AND my riding instructor chain smoking Marlboro Reds during our class (can you even imagine?). It wasn’t elite by any means, but it was a place where I learned to love, ride, and respect these magical creatures. 

Girls and their Horses dives into the competitive world of horseback riding. Say goodbye to the local barn up the street where generic rubber riding boots are the style, your parents wait in the car until your lesson is done, and everyone gets a ribbon for participating in the show. Its time to say HELLO to beguiling showjumping, crazy-ass moms, and epic stables where riders stop at nothing to win it all. Dead body anyone?

Heather Parker moves to an exclusive part of Southern California for a chance to give her daughters everything she never had, including a prestigious riding career. With all the money you can dream of and a bit of determination, she sets up her family in the the most sought after equestrian community. She will stop at NOTHING to make her daughters the best of the best! The stakes are high and she is not the only cutthroat one—the girls are just as devious with an extra helping of backstabbing. 

From sports, to academics, to musical endeavors—moms who will do anything to ensure success for their kids are WILD to read about. Brazier trades “dance-mom ” for “barn-mom” in the best possible way. Her story is fresh and entertaining with a novel subculture I have not come across in my fiction reading. I was immersed in all that goes into competitive horseback riding. Brazier captures the equestrian world with precision and ease making her story uber believable. High end boots and stylish breeches, a famous coach and overpriced horses, and rich people behaving very badly—ALL THE INCREDIBLE DETAILS ARE ON POINT. Throw in supreme family drama, an endless supply of a cash, and a whole bunch of fabulous, yet unreliable characters, and you have yourself a posh murder mystery to be solved. Toss this bad boy in your beach bag and get reading!

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

March Highlights 2023

April 6, 2023

Happy Thursday, Sweet Friends!

April Showers Bring May Flowers…but first, let’s talk about my March reading life. Four debut novels, tons of audiobooks, a favorite author, and some backlist beauties paired with a cozy cup of tea filled all my bookworm needs. Here are some of the books I read and where I landed with each of them.

Whether you read one or 21 books this March, I hope you feel delighted with all the words you consumed!

xoxo,

Kelly

George’s debut novel, Maame, absolutely stole my heart, and the audio version was fantastic. Maddie is a character that I want to hug through the pages of the book. This delayed coming-of-age story lived up to the hype and gave me all the feels.

SYNOPSIS:

“It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced-stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare, and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts” She finds a flatshare, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family and the perils–and rewards–of putting her heart on the line.”

Here is the deal, Appiah’s debut novel will land differently with each reader—heavy themes relating to motherhood, marriage, and expectations in life are deeply explored. She did an exemplary job exposing the darker side of parenting by not sugarcoating Efe or Sam’s emotional journey. Be prepared to have profound conversations about this story.

SYNOPSIS:

“On a Spring afternoon in London, Sam hops the stairs of his flat two at a time. There’s £1,300 missing from his and his wife, Efe’s, shared bank account, and his calls are going straight to voicemail. When he finally reaches someone, he learns Efe is nearly 5,000 miles away as their toddler looks around and asks, “Where’s Mummy?” When Efe and Sam met as teens headed for university, it seemed everyone knew they were meant to be. Efe, newly arrived in the UK from Ghana and sinking under the weight of her parent’s expectations, found comfort in the focused and idealistic Sam. He was stable, working toward a law career, and had an unwavering vision for their future. A vision Efe, now a decade later, finds slightly insufferable. From the outside, they’re the picture-perfect couple everyone imagined, but there are cracks in the frame. When Efe and Sam are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, they find themselves on opposing sides. Fatherhood is everything he has dreamed of, but Efe feels stuck in a nightmare. And when a new revelation emerges, they are forced to confront just how radically different they want their lives to be. Already swallowed by the demands of motherhood and feeling the dreams she had slipping away once again, Efe disappears.”

Hello, filthy rich people. Bea is on a mission to marry for MONEY and have it all. Being a con artist is in her blood, so lying and scheming is as simple as an obnoxious air kiss with people you despise. I LOVED this debut. It was juicy and entertaining and the perfect distraction from the busyness of life.

SYNOPSIS:

“Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves–it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape. When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull, and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be. Like mother, like daughter?”

Another debut filled with grandiose living and the ins and out of being rich. Pineapple Street was delightful to listen to on audio. If you are in the mood to bop around inside someone’s head a meander around their life in gorgeous Brooklyn—this one is for you.

SYNOPSIS:

“A deliciously funny, sharply observed debut of family, love, and class, this zeitgeisty novel follows three women in one wealthy Brooklyn clan Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.”

None Shall Sleep was our #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS March selection. I am calling this Silence of the Lambs “light”—perfect for the YA reader in your life. I enjoyed this one on audio!

SYNOPSIS:

“In 1982, two teenagers–serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell–are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case–a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers–things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.”

Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘩: 𝘔𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety. Page by page, she details what her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol looked like back in the day. This book BLEW MY MIND! Incredible on audio!

SYNOPSIS

“After years of hiding her addiction from everyone–from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches–Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory. She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take. Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world.”

Alexis and Logan stole my heart. They both truly came into their own as their stories unfolded. Their fake dating, political dilemmas, and personal baggage make them so much more than a hot politician running for governor and a small-town school librarian. EEEEKKKK…LOVED THIS! Out May 9th!

SYNOPSIS:

“As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek–in bed!–she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new, more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand? Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite–and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly–and shockingly–flees. Alexis is bewildered until suddenly, pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career–and jeopardize Alexis’s job–until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?”

WOW! Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the original feminist. If the history of mental health pertaining to women fascinates you—this is a must-read. The intense imagery blew me away, and Gilman captured her protagonist spiraling into “madness” with an eerieness that I just can’t shake. Freaking brilliant!

SYNOPSIS:

“The Yellow Wallpaper is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women’s physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The story is written as a collection of first-person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal entries from him so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in that period. 

Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up.”

This story was wonderful. I loved Jimenez’s leading characters, Alexis and Daniel. They had plenty of chemistry, lots of steam, and developed backstories that added to their “relationship.” Jimenez always manages to write great love stories that have an extra layer of drama and difficult subject matters. This time around, she brought attention to domestic abuse. She did a fantastic job incorporating a heavy topic in a gentle and sensitive manner. The cherry on top was not only a happy ending but a baby goat in PJs! Another winner from this auto-buy author of mine!

SYNOPSIS:

“After a wild bet, a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddling with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come–the complete opposite of sophisticated city girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And with every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him, either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?”

I threw in some personal development this month. Dr. Hyman has been around for quite some time now and he is the guru on clean and wholesome eating. Despite it being very repetitive, I took away some new tips and ideas for my own health and wellness.

SYNOPSIS:

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is maintaining low insulin levels. Based on Dr. Hyman’s groundbreaking Blood Sugar Solution program, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet presents strategies for reducing insulin levels and producing fast and sustained weight loss. Dr. Hyman explains how to: activate your natural ability to burn fat — especially belly fat; reduce inflammation; reprogram your metabolism; shut off your fat-storing genes; de-bug your digestive system; create effortless appetite control; and soothe the stress to shed the pounds. With practical tools designed to achieve optimum wellness, including meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists, as well as step-by-step, easy-to-follow advice on green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and more, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best.”

*I received some of today’s books as advance reader copies from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

The Senator’s Wife

The Senator’s Wife by Live Constantine ~May 23, 2023 (Penguin Random House)

March 12, 2023

Hello Reading Family!

It is damp and cold here in Maine with more snow on the way. What better way to dream of springtime than to put on your radar a May new release book to pre-order. Not only will you have blooming tulips to look forward to, but also a new book in your mailbox.

Liv Constantine’ latest book, The Senator’s Wife comes out May 23rd and its wildly entertaining. This writing duo knows how to get their domestic thriller ON! I loved the backstory of how Sloane and Whit came to be married. The relationship between them and their deceased spouses was rich in history and dirty buried secrets. The story is told through multiple point of views and I was constantly questioning the reliability of all the characters. I wish I could offer ALL my thoughts on the players in this twisted tale, but can’t without giving anything away. I will share that I enjoyed Sloane’s POV. The potency of her confusion and paranoia was made abundantly clear through Constantine’s fantastic writing. Her frustration of being trapped in her bedroom while her health rapidly deteriorated BLED from the pages in the best possible way. I was literally fiddling about in my reading chair. I adored the political backdrop and of course LOVED the extra “money to spare” being thrown around (Naughty Powerful Rich People…yes please). The craziness of ALL the mind games played MADE this story a wicked BLAST to read. On a side note, Sloane, Whit, and Athena gave me “Mrs. Parrish” vibes and it worked 100% for me.

The Senator’s Wife is a slow burn, snappy domestic thriller-perfect to read at the beach or poolside this summer! It kept me guessing every step the way.

Pre-order this book ASAP!
xoxo,
Kelly

Synopsis:

“After a tragic chain of events led to the deaths of their spouses two years ago, DC philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally starting to move on. The horrifying ordeal drew them together, and now they’re ready to settle down again–with each other. 

As Sloane returns to the world of White House dinners and political small talk, this time with her new husband, she’s also preparing for an upcoming hip replacement–the latest reminder of the lupus she’s managed since her twenties. With their hectic schedules, they decide that hiring a home health aide will give Sloane the support and independence she needs postsurgery. And they find the perfect fit in Athena Karras. 

Seemingly a godsend, Athena tends to Sloane and even helps her run her charitable foundation. But Sloane slowly begins to deteriorate–a complication, Athena explains, of Sloane’s lupus. As weeks go by, Sloane becomes sicker, and her uncertainty quickly turns to paranoia as she begins to suspect the worst. Why is Athena asking her so many probing questions about her foundation–as well as about her past? And could Sloane be imagining the sultry looks between Athena and her new husband?”

Click on the pic to pre-order this book!

*I received an advance reader of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

An Old & A New…Just For You 1/16/23

Just The Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica (Park Row Books) CLICK on the pic to purchase!

I am embarrassed to say that 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘱𝘭𝘦 is my FIRST Mary Kubica book 🤦‍♀️. She hit the nail on the head with her latest domestic thriller, which leaves me deeply wondering…Why on earth haven’t I read her before? ⁣

Here is the scoop…All I need you to know is that Kubica’s book is the perfect ending to a long week. It’s unpredictable, highly entertaining, and doesn’t require a lot of work from the reader. I zipped along the twisty path she paved, casually tripping on the strategically placed obstacles along the way. I am a big fan of her characters and, of course, fell for their polished exteriors while squealing with glee as they, bit by bit, began to unravel. I happily soaked up the buried secrets, feelings of guilt, and layered lies as they seeped from the pages. I loved how Kubica rejuvenated the typical “unaccounted” for female character with a missing husband for a pleasant change (Hallelujah). All in all, Kubica’s tale is a yummy popcorn thriller that I devoured with great delight. It relieved me from a tiresome reading slump and has me eager to conquer her entire backlist.⁣

𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘱𝘭𝘦 hit bookstores everywhere on JANUARY 10th! ⁣Go grab a copy!

SYNOPSIS:⁣

“ Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then, a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found.⁣

Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.”

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine


EEEEKKKKKK…I FINALLY read 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘔𝘳𝘴. 𝘗𝘢𝘳rish by Liv Constantine, and I do not even understand… how or why I’ve waited this long to do so. Nevertheless, Constantine’s book is a juicy thriller chock-full of over-the-top wealth (I love this), style at its finest, and a delicious dose of manipulation…if I do say so myself. ⁣

The premise of this book may appear straightforward at first glance, but I can 100% assure you that it is not. Amber Patterson is tired of being a run-of-the-mill gal who is anything but memorable. Everything changes when she meets Daphne Parrish. To Amber, Daphne has IT ALL—the successful husband, a lavish lifestyle, and everything and everyone at her fingertips. Amber finds a way to befriend Daphne and neatly tucks herself into her sumptuous life. And that, my friends…is when all the thrilling shenanigans begin! ⁣

The pacing of Constantine’s book was outstanding. I could not stop turning the pages. The first half of the book is told from Amber’s perspective, then shifts halfway through to a second narrator. This surprised me in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY. The two perspectives created mystery and intrigue that had my mind bending every which way and THE ENDING…CHEF’S KISS!⁣

The phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” takes on a whole new meaning between the pages of 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘔𝘳𝘴. 𝘗𝘢𝘳rish!

All I have to say is SATISFACTION GUARANTEED!⁣

*I received an advance copy of Just The Nicest Couple from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Top 5 Reads of 2022

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This was such a THINKER and 1000% book club material. I LOVED the unique exploration of women impacted by a serial killer on death row. A character analysis at ITS FINEST! Definitely going to be a future reread! ⁣

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he’s done and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls years ago. But Ansel doesn’t want to die; he wants to be celebrated and understood. 

Through a kaleidoscope of women–a mother, a sister, a homicide detective–we learn the story of Ansel’s life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, twin sister to Ansel’s wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sister’s relationship threatens to devour them all; and finally, Saffy, the detective hot on his trail, who has devoted herself to bringing bad men to justice but struggles to see her own life clearly. As the clock ticks down, these three women sift through the choices that culminate in tragedy, exploring the rippling fissures that such destruction inevitably leaves in its wake. 

Blending breathtaking suspense with astonishing empathy, Notes on an Executionpresents a chilling portrait of womanhood as it simultaneously unravels the familiar narrative of the American serial killer, interrogating our system of justice and our cultural obsession with crime stories, asking readers to consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the psyches of violent men.”

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Every star in the sky goes to Hubert Bird. And I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE. My heart was a blubbering mess reading this tender story on aging, family, and loneliness! ⁣

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it’s a lie. In reality, Hubert’s days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul. Until he receives some good news–good news that, in one way, turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit. Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. 
Along the way, Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . . Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?”

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Everything this author writes is GOLD! I loved EVERY SECOND of her dark psychological thriller with a disturbing cult as a backdrop. BANANAS in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY! ⁣You can read a detailed review from me right here.

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death–delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader–she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it–both inside the cult and outside of it–is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?”

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I am here to share that it is 100% possible not to want a 671-page book to EVER END. To say I savored every word in Backman’s final book of his Bear Town trilogy is an absolute UNDERSTATEMENT!  #Benjiforever

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“Over the course of two weeks, everything in Beartown will change. Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a life far from the forest town, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. There is a new sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake. Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams. Maya’s parents, Peter and Kira, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club’s murky finances, and Amat–once the star of the Beartown team–has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more than it can stand.”

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This story tapped into how tragic, messy, and beautiful life can be. Shapiro’s writing is raw and introspective, and I loved feeling ALL THE FEELS while devouring this family drama. ⁣

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken. On Division Street, time has moved on. When the Shenkmans arrive–a young couple expecting a baby boy–it is as if the accident never happened. But when Waldo, the Shenkmans’ brilliant, lonely son who marvels at the beauty of the world and has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, now retired and struggling with his wife’s decline, past events come hurtling back in ways no one could ever have foreseen.”

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS JANUARY SELECTION

January 9, 2023

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is settled into the new year. Today I am sharing our January selection for the #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS online book club. We will be taking it back a decade and reading Pines by Blake Crouch, which is the first in a trilogy. I loved 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘔𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 and 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, so why not see what this author’s backlist beauty is all about!!!!⁣

As always, we will be reading our selection at our own pace this January, followed by a private Instagram chat at the end of the month.⁣

Check out the synopsis below and come visit me on Instagram @dearmrhemingway to join.

Cheers to all the fabulous reading in 2023!⁣
xoxo,⁣
Kelly

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬⁣
“ One way in. No way out.⁣
Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a mission: locate two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase.⁣
As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation turns up more questions than answers: Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out?⁣
Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan farther from the world he knew, from the man he was, until he must face a horrifying fact–he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS OCTOBER SELECTION

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland Books)

September 29, 2022

Dear Book Family,

It’s that time again. I am THRILLED to announce our OCTOBER pick for #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS. We will be reading The Chain by Adrian McKinty. COME READ WITH US! As always, this is an online book club held on Instagram only. If you are not a big social media person or do not use that platform regularly, do not worry. You can make a generic private account just for this purpose. You are not obligated to follow anyone or take in any followers yourself. I know many people who do this who NEVER post on Instagram but want to participate in our private chat. Just some food for thought.

You can find me on Instagram @dearmrhemingway to sign up.

Katie and I are psyched for this book!

See you all soon!

xoxo,

Kelly

P.S. Check out the synopsis below. It’s a crazy one 😳!

“It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die. “You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.”Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals–and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago. But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.”

Click on the book pic to purchase through my affiliate link.

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Cocktails & Book Tales With Ashley Winstead

July 28, 2022

Dear Fabulous Readers,

I am so excited to announce that I will be going LIVE on Instagram with author Ashley Winstead tonight at 8 pm EST. We will be discussing her new book, The Last Housewife, which comes out on August 16th, and a bunch of other fun things. I hope to see you all there. If you happen to miss it…It will be saved to my Instagram account and can be watched later. In the meantime, here is what I said about all three of her books.

Happy Reading!

Kelly

The Last Housewife (Sourcebooks Landmark)

I’m not going to lie… the potency of some of the scenes is mind-blowing and carries significant weight throughout the story. Survival and redemption ring true, but so does emotional and physical trauma. ⁣

Winstead’s book was BANANAS… in the BEST possible way. Here’s the scoop… Her writing is RAZOR-SHARP, and her attention to detail is veritable. She led me into a dark sadistic world filled with power and humiliation beyond anything my imagination could ever even try and muster up on its own. ⁣

I loved how Winstead brilliantly weaved in themes from some of the foundational thinkers of our time. Rigorous thoughts and pieces of writing from Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and good old Dante were no doubt examined and creatively incorporated into this psychosexual tale, and I was obsessed with every second of it! ⁣

Because The Last Housewife is graphic in nature, it may not be a good-fit read for sensitive readers. Winstead offers trigger warnings for her story in the actual⁣ Book and on her website. Please DM me for specific content warnings if you are in need. ⁣

Synopsis:

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

Fool Me Once (Graydon House Books)

𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦…a ROMANTIC COMEDY Yes, you heard me correctly.  Winstead shifted from four-wheel driving up a steep hill in a blizzard to effortlessly cruising in a convertible down a long, windy country road.  What does this jumble of words mean, you ask?  It implies that 𝐀𝐬𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝗪𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐬.  𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 is a ginormous departure from her other work, and it is literally “swoon-worthy,”… a phrase that thriller readers may not be well-versed in.   𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐞𝐧 𝐋𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝-𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐬-𝐭𝐨-𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐬.  Heartbreak, trust issues, politics, green energy, and laugh-out-loud scenes line the pages of 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦.  Let’s not forget the serious banter and chemistry between our two potential “love-birds” that left my cheeks on the rosy side.  With fantastic rhythm and a wicked fresh storyline, 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 deserves a place on your shelf.⁣

Synopsis:

“Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you), and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…
That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. Four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school–who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind.
Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated–and competitive–as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.”

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife (Sourcebooks Landmark)

WOW! I could not put this thriller down to save my life.  This one kept me guessing literally to the very end. My heart was racing, and my mind was bending with every page I read.  All of the characters had significant issues, and I trusted no one. This book is dark academia at its finest! Can you say SPECTACULAR! 

Synopsis:

“Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.”

Cleopatra’s Dagger & An Honest Lie

April 26, 2022

Hello Gorgeous Readers!

Today I am sharing two books that couldn’t be more different from one another. On tap is a psychological thriller that will knock your socks off and a slow-burn historical mystery with a few dead bodies floating around. Let’s take a peek at these spring 2022 releases, shall we?

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence (Thomas  & Mercer)

Cleopatra’s Dagger was a delight to read.  Lawrence immediately transported me to New York City circa 1880.  Her writing is rich in detail and showcases a feminist journalist way ahead of her time. A serial killer, mysterious dead bodies, and an Egyptian flair fill the pages of this book. I went into this novel anticipating gruesome details and an unsettling storyline; however, I found her writing more intriguing than disturbing.  There were twists along the way that kept me guessing and a “whodunnit vibe” present throughout the book.  I believe that historical fiction and mystery lovers will equally enjoy this slow-burn historical mystery.

Synopsis:

“New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park–the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.”

An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher (Graydon House)

An Honest Lie is my second Tarryn Fisher book, and what can I say…I am a fan.  This novel is a story of survival, redemption, and everything in-between. It is written in two different timelines with a horrific cult as the backdrop. I adored the complexity of Fisher’s characters and was captivated by each messy layer that was slowly unpeeled. I was pulled in many directions, which kept me briskly turning the pages to see what happened next.  One minute I was lingering in sadness, and the next minute I felt like I was on an over-the-top roller coaster ride. Most importantly, though, Fisher kept me wildly entertained while I basked in the sun poolside over spring break.

Synopsis:

“Lorraine–“Rainy”–lives at the top of Tiger Mountain. Remote, moody, cloistered in pine trees and fog, it’s a sanctuary, a new life. She can hide from the disturbing past she wants to forget.

If she’s allowed to.

When Rainy reluctantly agrees to a girls’ weekend in Vegas, she’s prepared for an exhausting parade of shots and slot machines. But after a wild night, her friend Braithe doesn’t come back to the hotel room.

And then Rainy gets the text message, sent from Braithe’s phone: someone has her. But Rainy is who they really want, and Rainy knows why.

What follows is a twisted, shocking journey on the knife-edge of life and death. If she wants to save Braithe–and herself–the only way is to step back into the past.”

Happy Reading my friends!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase.
Click on the book pic to purchase.

May #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS SELECTION

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak (Little, Brown & Company)

April 25, 2022

Hello Beautiful Readers,

The month of May is just around the corner, and Katie @basicbsguide and I have selected 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 by Anna Pitoniak for our next Buddy Read! ⁣

It’s time to dive into something with chills, drama, ambition, and intensity and we anticipate Pitoniak’s 2019 book will deliver.⁣

As always, this is is read at your own pace situation with a killer private chat at the end of May!⁣

DM me over on Instagram to join in the madness!⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣

“𝐀 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞, “𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠” 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 (𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝), 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞. ⁣
𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐢𝐧.⁣

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.⁣


After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit. ⁣


Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

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