Review of The Cousins by Karen M. McManus (hardcover)

I’m a fan of this author and I must say this book
sounds like just what I need to “stir the juices” 😲😀

Confessions of a YA Reader





The Cousins by Karen M. McManus


Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

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…in the corner…

LOL, I don’t have a basement but my garage
is just like this plus all the kitty poop because
that’s where we keep most of the litter boxes.
We have two corners filled with hidden “gems”
and various critters, dead or alive, and it does
indeed take a good amount of fortitude
to venture into the depths 🤣


Stine Writing

JusJoJan 2021 and Stream of Consciousness Saturday are using the prompt “in the corner”. Check out Linda’s site for all of the rules and to read other entries.

My rambling contribution:
There is a place in everyone’s basement that is “the corner” where everything goes but no one wants to venture to recover anything. No one really knows what is back there. From the top of the stairs you can see boxes and you recognize the old Rubbermaid bin that you put there last summer. What was in that bin anyhow? Yeah, it’ll come to you at some point. There is probably some moisture now trapped between the layers of boxes and other crap stacked back there. If you move it you know what you will see…

You will find at least one, nasty-ass, giant spider who is just pissed that you have ruined a perfectly good bug-catching…

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ARC Review: The Awakening by Nora Roberts

The great Nora Roberts does it again 😉

One Book More

Title:The Awakening

Author:Nora Roberts

Series:The Dragon Heart Legacy (Book 1)

Page Length: 464

Publication Date: Nov. 24, 2020

Publisher:St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: #1New York Timesbestselling author of the epic Chronicles of The One trilogy returns with the first in a brand new series where parallel worlds clash over the struggle between good and evil.

Breen Kelly had always been a rule follower. So when her father left when she was twelve years old, promising to return, she waited. Now, more than a decade later, she needs to move forward. She can wait no longer. A summer trip to Ireland seems like the perfect next step. She never dreamed it would lead her through a portal to another world, where her latent powers of magick will be awakened, her true ancestry revealed and an epic battle against evil fought.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links…

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Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee – Book Review

I love this sentence — “I also found that
the description of each house functioned like
wardrobing for the character who lived inside it.”


Nicole Melanson ~

Poppy Gee’s sophomore novel, Vanishing Falls, is a mystery about the disappearance of wealthy socialite Celia Lily. Set in the Tasmanian rainforest, this book reads like an old-school who-done-it, with a cast of suspicious characters in an isolated location.

Told primarily from three different viewpoints, Vanishing Falls alternates between Celia’s husband Jack, poultry farmer Cliff, and townswoman Joelle, who is the only appealing character in the book. The residents of Vanishing Falls have a grubbiness about them that manifests in shame, envy, and resentment, much of which is uncomfortable to read but feels authentic. These are people beaten down by the harsh realities of social inequality, financial instability, and lack of opportunity. (I will say I would have liked to see either more or less of the ten children involved, but everyone else is fleshed out in explicit detail.)

Vanishing Falls is a wonderfully atmospheric read…

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The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

Great review! I’m drawn to British police
procedurals and am delighted to be introduced to
this series. I’m off to find the first book 🙂

Hooked From Page One

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on book number six in the DI Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer, The Secret Admirer.

The Secret Admirer: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 6) by [Carol Wyer]


‘I tried to talk to you today but you snubbed me and walked away. It wasn’t wise to give me the brush-off, Gemma. I can be a truly good friend but I also make the perfect enemy.’

Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?

Leading the case isDetective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from ‘a secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews…

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The Museum Makers

Until I read this post, I hadn’t realized just
how much I miss going to museums, large
and small, during the pandemic. This book
will be coming out in the US in September
and I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

On The Shelf Books

‘Rachel Morris is one of the smartest storytellers I have ever met … a wonderful and beguiling book’ James Rebanks, author ofThe Shepherd’s Life

‘Without even thinking I began to slide all these things from the dusty boxes under my bed into groups on the carpet, to take a guess at what belonged to whom, to match up photographs and handwriting to memories and names – in other words, to sort and classify. As I did so I had the revelation that in what we do with our memories and the stuff that our parents leave behind, we are all museum makers, seeking to makes sense of the past.’

Museum expert Rachel Morris had been ignoring the boxes under her bed for decades. When she finally opened them, an entire bohemian family history was laid bare. The experience was revelatory – searching for her absent father in the archives…

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Discussion Post: Blending genres

Crossgenre is way up there on my “favorites”
list and I especially love the Nightside series
by Simon R. Green. I also highly recommend
Oasis by Katya de Becerra and the
Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

Hooked From Page One

Welcome to my first discussion post. Recently I’ve been thinking about blending genres in fiction and how reading books that have done this has opened my mind to new ones. For me, when I read a thriller that does this, it always makes the book feel very fresh as it has taken me, the reader, somewhere where I haven’t gone before. It is a very good way of putting an original spin on a theme that has already been done. Readers of my blog will know that I mainly stick with crime and psychological thrillers. It’s a genre I feel comfortable with, but I do occasionally like to step my toe into something different.

Goldilocks: The boldest high-concept thriller of 2020 by [Laura Lam]

One book I’ve read recently which has done what I described above very well is Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This book is described as a thriller, and it certainly has aspects of that, but…

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