Welcome to another edition of Monday from the Interior, spotlighting Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by Lady Q.’s Let Them Read Books; and What Are You Reading, led by Sheila, at Book Journey.


The mailbox this week brought one review book and one contest win; I bought one; and I received one as a gift from the authors.

Here’s My Loot:

1.  She Can Run, by Melinda Leigh (Amazon Vine)

Elizabeth was a young widow with two small children when she met Congressman Richard Baker. Handsome and wealthy, with a sparkling public image, Richard seemed like the perfect man to provide the security that Beth and her kids were craving. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret about her new husband, Beth realizes he will go to any lengths—even murder—to keep it. After barely escaping with her life, she and her children flee. They eventually make their way to a secluded estate in the Pennsylvania countryside, where Beth dares to hope she has found a safe place at last…

Forced into retirement by an unexpected injury, Philadelphia homicide detective Jack O’Malley is mourning the loss of his career when his uncle abruptly dies, leaving Jack to dispose of his crumbling country house. Unbeknownst to him, his uncle engaged a caretaker just before his death, a mysterious woman with two children and a beautiful face that haunts his dreams. Determined to know her, Jack begins an investigation into Beth’s past. When he uncovers the shocking truth, and a local woman is viciously murdered, Jack puts his own life on the line to keep Beth and her children safe.

2.  Best Kept Secret, by Amy Hatvany (Won from Great Thoughts)

Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.

Her drinking snuck up on her – as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that’s left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie.

It wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist.  But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control.  Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.

Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop.  But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn’t understand, she is reaching for the bottle – even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again.  And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store.  It’s only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….

Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming, Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it’s a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart.

3.  A Room Swept White, by Sophie Hannah

TV producer Fliss Benson receives an anonymous card at work. The card has sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four – numbers that mean nothing to her. On the same day, Fliss finds out she’s going to be working on a documentary about miscarriages of justice involving cot-death mothers wrongly accused of murder. The documentary will focus on three women: Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard and Rachel Hines. All three women are now free, and the doctor who did her best to send them to prison for life, child protection zealot Dr Judith Duffy, is under investigation for misconduct. For reasons she has shared with nobody, this is the last project Fliss wants to be working on. And then Helen Yardley is found dead at her home, and in her pocket is a card with sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four …

4.  Whistling Woman (e-book), by C. C. Tillery (gift from authors)

In the waning years of the 19th century, Bessie Daniels grows up in the small town of Hot Springs in western North Carolina. Secure in the love of her father, bothered with her mother’s desire that she be a proper Southern belle, Bessie’s determined to forge her own way in life. Or, as her Cherokee great-grandmother, Elisi, puts it, a whistling woman.

Life, however, has a few surprises for her. First, there’s Papa carrying home a dead man, which seems to invite Death for an extended visit in their home. And shortly before she graduates from Dorland Institute, there’s another death, this one closer to her heart. But Death isn’t through with her yet. Proving another of Elisi’s sayings, death comes in threes, It strikes yet again, taking someone Bessie has recently learned to appreciate and cherish, leaving her to struggle with a family that’s threatening to come apart at the seams.

Even her beloved Papa seems to be turning into another person, someone Bessie disagrees with more often than not, and someone she isn’t even sure she can continue to love, much less idolize as she had during her childhood.

And when Papa makes a decision that costs the life of a new friend, the course of Bessie’s heart is changed forever.



Here’s a glimpse of my reading and blogging this week:






Review:    The Accidental Activist, by Alon Shalev (Read Nov. 10, but reviewed 11/28 for blog tour)

Review:     Second Nature (e-book), by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Review:     Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher

Review:    The Kingdom of Childhood, by Rebecca Coleman

Review:     V is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton

What’s Up Next?

1.  Brownie Fix, by Ellen Cardona

2.   The Next Always, by Nora Roberts

3.  Dirty Secret, by Jessie Sholl

4.  Mrs. Nixon (e-book), by Ann Beattie


So here are my past and upcoming weeks…hope you all come by and share your own reading moments.


    1. Oh, I’ve caught a few episodes of that show…scary! It reminds me of my early days in social work, when elderly people built a blockade of stuff around them until their lives were in danger.

      Thanks for visiting, Brunette Librarian, and enjoy your week.


    1. I was surprisingly busy! And yes, that Dirty Secrets book has been on my radar since I entered a contest for it (and didn’t win). I tucked the cover away in my folder and when I kept stumbling on it, I finally bought it. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.


  1. Hi Laurel-Rain,

    Four completely diverse storylines this week, you’ll have something to read, no matter what your mood!

    I have been meaning to read this Sophie Hannah book for ages, so you have prompted me to dig out my copy, and I really like the sound of the Melinda Leigh book, another new author that sounds like she is here to stay!

    I hope that you enjoy them all, the Nora Roberts is sure to be good also.

    Have a great week.


    1. Yes, I really enjoy Hannah’s books, Diane. I read about my first one on a blog…don’t even remember whose! And after finishing the first one, I was hooked. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


  2. I’ve read only one book by Anne Beattie, which was really good but it was years ago. A pity I don’t care too much for foreign presidents and their wives. I’ll read your review and see what it’s like.


  3. Lots of new to me titles in your mailbox this week! They all look good but the first one really grabbed my attention. I am also curious to see what you think of the new Nora Roberts. I think that is a book I could share with my mom. I love the new winter blog look. I wish I were brave enough to change my template. I am not very computer savvy.


    1. Thanks for the compliments on the blog…some of the WP themes are easy to change out, as they come with custom headers and backgrounds…then I upload photos I like.

      I am excited about the books I received, too, and the Nora Roberts will be the next one I read….thanks for stopping by, Beth.


  4. I loved Best Kept Secret … one of my faves this year! Hope you enjoy it. Off to see what you thought of The Kingdom of Childhood.

    Have a wonderful week and happy reading 🙂


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