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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.

Eight Days A Week

The Wives book cover

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher (Graydon House)

December 30, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Oh, readers…do I have a book for you. Fans of psychological thrillers will consume Tarryn Fisher’s latest book, The Wives at top speed. Her story revolves around Thursday, a married nurse living in Seattle. Thursday’s marriage is unconventional. She only sees her husband Seth, one day a week (Thursday). Why is this you ask? Well, Seth is also married to two other women. Because Thursday’s love for Seth is so intense, she agrees to this Polygamist marriage.

Unlike the sister wives you may know from popular television shows like Big Love and Sister Wives, Seth’s wives know of each other, but have never met.  That is the arrangement. Over time, these provisions weigh on Thursday.  When she finds a piece of paper in Seth’s pocket with one of the other wives’ names on it, Thursday begins digging around for information.   What she discovers is not at all what she expects. Unfortunately, I need to stop there. Revealing too much, may put you at risk for a spoiler. Trust me… you will want to see this story unfold, one page at a time.

Taking place in the rainy cities of Seattle and Portland, Oregon, The Wives is a thrilling read.  Fisher’s book does what all psychological thrillers should do……..play tricks with your mind!!!  At times, it was difficult to decipher between what was real and what was not. As the plot thickens, plan to hear your own pulse beating with every turn of the page.  Be prepared to unleash your very own detective skills. Each page is thoughtfully sprinkled with clues that make this story anything but a modern Polygamist love story. With an explosive ending that begs to be read again, The Wives will daze your mind like no other.  Enjoy!

Until Next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Thursday clearly needed another day with Seth in her rotation. Don’t we all wish there were eight days in a week? The Beatles did too. Though there may be more than one experience that inspired the name of their famous song, I think the general idea is obvious! Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Eight Days A Week was released in 1964 and remains popular to this day!!! I personally love it.

Click here to purchase The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

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