After a childhood filled with heartbreak, Irene, a talented artist, finds herself in a small Central American village where she checks into a beautiful but decaying lakefront hotel called La Llorona at the base of a volcano.

The Bird Hotel tells the story of this young American who, after suffering tragedy, restores and runs La Llorona. Along the way we meet a rich assortment of characters who live in the village or come to stay at the hotel. With a mystery at its center and filled with warmth, drama, romance, humor, pop culture, and a little magical realism, The Bird Hotel has all the hallmarks of a Joyce Maynard novel that have made her a leading voice of her generation.

The Bird Hotel is a big, sweeping story spanning four decades, offering lyricism as well as whimsy. While the world New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard brings to life on the page is rendered from her imagination, it’s one informed by the more than twenty years of which she has spent a significant amount of her time in a small Mayan indigenous village in Guatemala.


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 Described as “a big sweeping story spanning four decades,” The Bird Hotel captured the heart and soul of this reader. The tale carries us from loss and sadness to beauty in a new and unexpected environment in Central America, filled with so many characters who had tales to tell.

I kept rooting for Irene, among others, and was astounded by the many ways that connected the characters, from the past to the present.

Just when I thought that there wouldn’t be any more surprises, the conclusion brought me to tears with how our main characters’ lives were reunited once again. A brilliant 5 star read from one of my favorite authors.




There was always something slightly dangerous about Joan. So, when she turns up at private investigator Henry Kimball’s office asking him to investigate her husband, he can’t help feeling ill at ease. Just the sight of her stirs up a chilling memory: He knew Joan in his previous life as a high school English teacher, when he was at the center of a tragedy.

Now Joan needs his help in proving that her husband is cheating. But what should be a simple case of infidelity becomes much more complicated when Kimball finds two bodies in an uninhabited suburban home with a FOR SALE sign out front. Suddenly it feels like the past is repeating itself, and Henry must go back to one of the worst days of his life to uncover the truth.

Is it possible that Joan knows something about that day, something she’s hidden all these years? Could there still be a killer out there, someone who believes they have gotten away with murder? Henry is determined to find out, enlisting help from his old nemesis Lily Kintner—but as he steps closer to the truth, a murderer is getting closer to him, and in this hair-raising game of cat and mouse only one of them will survive.


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In alternating story lines, The Kind Worth Saving takes the reader through a series of murders in which some familiar characters appear and reappear.

I couldn’t stop reading as I watched Detective Kimball put the pieces together, and as we enjoy seeing how one person in particular keeps showing up again and again.

Whenever I realized more of the connections, something new and unexpected would occur and I was stunned again. A great tale that was well worth reading, and now I want to grab the previous novel. 5 stars.




Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. Giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the woman makes an urgent call.

Five minutes pass.

The twist

As the train pulls into a station, Ellen is stunned to see the woman step off the train and rush away down the platform, leaving her baby behind.

Then she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone



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 From the very first pages of Trust Me, I was caught up in the suspense of the mother, the baby, and the primary character who steps in to help the young mother. We are enmeshed in the story behind what is happening to Kathryn, as well as wondering what is going on with Ellen, and why she has decided to help.

When the police become involved, we are curious about their agenda, as already we are suspicious of them. Which police officer has his own dark plans and what will finally happen.

As the tale unfolds, I thought I had it all figured out. I just knew which person to trust and who not to trust…and then I was blindsided by what actually happened. An intense thriller that earned five stars.



Over the last few years, prominent people—a retired diplomat, beloved basketball coach, the CEO of an empire—have died in a series of fluke accidents and shocking suicides. There’s no apparent connection, no signs of foul play. Behind it all is a powerful group of women, the Sophie Foundation, who meet over wine and cheese to review files of men who behave very, very badly, and then mete out justice.

Jessa Hall jumped at the mysterious, exclusive invitation to this secret club. The invite comes when she’s at her lowest, aching for a way to take back control. After years of fighting and scratching to get ahead, she’s ready for a chance to make the “bad guys” lose. Jessa soon realizes, though, just how far she’s willing to go and how dangerous this game has become.

Once in the group, it’s impossible to get out. She has nowhere to turn except former friend Gabby Fielding who is investigating the mysterious death of her ex-husband. Aligned in their goal to take down the Foundation, Gabby and Jessa need each other but working together doesn’t mean they trust each other…or that either will survive to tell the truth.


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When old college friends Gabby and Jessa reconnect in their adult lives in The Last Invitation, we are thrust into a sinister world of women meting out a form of justice to those deserving of this punishment.

Our characters alternate in their narrative of their lives and how they end up in this unique situation, and just when we think we understand all the ins and outs of the group, we learn how deadly it can be.

How will Gabby and Jessa fare as they fight the demands of the foundation, and will they find a way to move beyond the secrets of the past?

A tantalizing tale that held me in its grip all the way through, earning 4.5 stars.



My husband’s dead. She’s at my door. She owns my home…

The doorbell rings, just days after my beloved husband’s sudden death. I don’t recognise the woman on our doorstep, with her buttery blonde highlights, a diamond bracelet identical to my own and a bouncing baby boy in her arms.

As I show her inside, I notice her eyes grow wide as she takes in our spacious hallway, and the big squashy sofas that we all used to pile on. She glances at the silver-framed family photos and my little daughter hiding behind my skirts.

She looks at me, her blue eyes serious. ‘I’m sorry’ she says. ‘I know this will be hard to hear. But I am your husband’s girlfriend. And this is his son.’

My world implodes. And then she tells me that she owns our home – and that she’s not going anywhere…

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Jennifer’s nightmare life begins when her husband dies in a tragic accident, but the true disastrous events happen when The Girlfriend appears on her doorstep. Sara arrives with her baby boy Rory, who she claims is Cole’s son, and tells an unbelievable story about how she and Cole were planning a life together, and that the beautiful home is all hers. That she loaned money to him and everything is in her name.

Her proposal is that they both live in the house together, and if they can manage that, she won’t kick Jennifer and her kids out.

If Jennifer thought everything was bad before, living with this woman who has her own agenda will rip her life apart in unexpected ways. Jennifer tries to strike back and does her own research. Can she find an answer? Or will Sara win? 4.5 stars.



A strong marriage can cope with the unexpected. But can it survive the unimaginable?

American nanny Eleanor was never meant to meet Alex. But when she walks into his London police station to report a stalker, everything changes for them both. He’s convinced he can protect her from anything and anyone. She hopes her darkest days are behind her.

As they settle into their life together, two hundred miles away another young couple faces an uncertain future. Christie knows Paul is a decent man, but she can’t shake a clairvoyant’s warning: ‘Never trust your husband . . .’ When a work trip tests their bond, will she overcome her fears for the sake of her family?

Ten years later, both couples are still together, for better or worse. But as doubts and resentments begin bubbling steadily to the surface, all four of them start to question the choices they’ve made.
At least the secrets they all brought into their marriages are still well hidden.

For now.

an interior journey thoughts

As we follow the journey of two couples over the years, Home Truths seems to be a story that will eventually reveal how these couples’ lives intersect at some point. The narrative moves back and forth between them, and most of the time we don’t think about how they might connect with one another.

But then something unexpected happens that brings their lives crashing together, and we are stunned that we didn’t see it all along.

A story that definitely kept me intrigued. 4.5 stars.



Newlywed Jade Westmore has finally found her forever in husband Wells, a charming, successful, and recently divorced architect—only there’s one caveat. Behind the gates of their elysian estate, hidden from street view in the caretaker’s cottage … lives Wells’ first wife, Sylvie.

Three years ago, the original Mrs. Westmore suffered an unfortunate accident—and hasn’t uttered a sound since. Not a physician, psychologist, or world-renowned specialist has been able to elicit so much as a word from the silent woman … until now.

On an ordinary Tuesday while Wells was away—despite instructions to never disturb the fragile woman—Jade visited her isolated predecessor bearing a peace offering: a bouquet of white lilies. Only she wasn’t expecting Sylvie to have something for her as well: a slip of torn notebook paper with a single word scrawled in shaky black ink.


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The Silent Woman takes the reader through the perspectives of the current wife, Jade, and Sylvie, the now silent woman. We learn more as we follow the journey of each of them.

Why would Sylvie tell Jade to “run” when she visits at the guest house? Is there a deep dark secret just waiting to change her life?

As Jade learns more about Wells’ mother Mary Claire and also gets to know others in Sylvie’s life, her interest in previous events takes her down an unexpected pathway. What she learns will change her life as well as Sylvie’s. A story that kept me rapidly turning pages and earned 4.5 stars.



Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher—a story that made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three Saint Ambrose students in the woods behind their school. The case was never solved. Now that Brynn is moving home and starting her dream internship at a true-crime show, she’s determined to find out what really happened.

The kids who found Mr. Larkin are her way in, and her ex–best friend, Tripp Talbot, was one of them. Without his account of events, the other two kids might have gone down for Mr. Larkin’s murder—but instead, thanks to Tripp, they’re now at the top of the Saint Ambrose social pyramid. Tripp’s friends have never forgotten what Tripp did for them that day, and neither has he. Just like he hasn’t forgotten that everything he told the police was a lie.

Digging into the past is bound to shake up the present, and when Brynn begins to investigate what happened in the woods that day, she uncovers secrets that might change everything—about Saint Ambrose, about Mr. Larkin, and about her ex-best friend, Tripp Talbot.

Four years ago someone got away with murder. More terrifying is that they might be closer than anyone thinks.


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When Brynn moves back to St. Ambrose School, four years after Mr. Larkin’s murder, she is just as eager to find out who killed him as she was before. And now she has an opportunity to be an intern at a true-crime show, which could help her find answers.

However, she keeps her involvement a secret, and as she starts peeling back the layers of what happened that day, she learns that there is so much more to the story. And those who were there are not revealing the answers. Brynn’s old friend Tripp, who has not been a friend for a while, begins to warm up to her again. But he is still not sharing much about that day.

Just when she begins discovering more layers, and as Tripp opens up more, their searching leads them to unexpected places. When there seems to be Nothing More to Tell, answers begin to surface. An intriguing tale that earned 4.5 stars.



In the end, I have only myself to blame. I’m the one who let her in.

Jodi Bishop knows success. She’s the breadwinner, a top-notch real estate agent. Her husband, Harrison . . . not so much. Once, he had big dreams. But now, he’s a middling writer who resents his wife’s success.

Jodi’s father, Vic, now in his late seventies and retired, is a very controlling man. His wife, Audrey, was herself no shrinking violet. But things changed when Audrey developed Parkinson’s ten years ago and Vic retired to devote himself to her care. But while still reasonably spry and rakishly handsome, Vic is worn down by his wife’s deteriorating condition.

Exhausted from trying to balance her career, her family, and her parents’ needs, Jodi starts interviewing housekeepers to help care for Audrey and Vic. She settles on Elyse Woodley, an energetic and attractive widow in her early sixties, who seems perfect for the job. While Vic is initially resistant, he soon warms to Elyse’s sunny personality and engaging ways.

And Jodi is pleased to have an ally, someone she can talk to and occasionally even confide in. Until . . .

She shuts Jodi out. And Audrey’s condition worsens—rapidly. Who is this woman suddenly wearing her mother’s jewelry? What is she after? And how far will she go to get it?


an interior journey thoughts

Almost from the very beginning of The Housekeeper, red flags begin to appear, and we are reminded of that saying: “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

As I rapidly turned the pages, wondering what would happen next, I knew that nothing good would come down this pathway. And along the way, other twists appeared to reveal more and more.

I was breathless by the end but satisfied by how it all unfolded. Despite those who did not survive, of course. A 5 star read for me.



The internationally bestselling author of Do Not Disturb and Just Like the Other Girls delivers a heart-pounding psychological thriller about a couple who inherit what seems to be their dream home, until they make a horrifying discovery—and the danger begins.

The Victims . . .

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations, the last thing she expects is builders uncovering human remains. The remains of two bodies, in fact.

The Investigation . . .

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Saffy has nothing to worry about—until the police launch a murder inquiry and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner. Her grandmother, Rose.

The Witness . . .

Rose is in a nursing home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police, but its’ clear she remembers something.

The Killer . . .

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saf-fy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

The Truth . . .

What happened thirty years ago? Why did no one miss the victims? What part did her grandmother play? And is Saffy now in danger?
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From the very first pages of The Couple at No. 9, the reader is swept up in a tense and intriguing tale that reveals secrets from the past and memories that are elusive.

Saffron is newly pregnant and living in an adorable cottage left to her by her grandmother Rose, a woman who is now in a care home dealing with dementia. Occasional lucid moments are all they can hope for, and now that strange things are happening in the little cottage, Rose’s memories could be very important.

Meanwhile, Saffron’s mum Lorna has come for a visit, and while they are both dealing with Rose’s issues, they are struck by some strange events happening in the garden. Bodies buried! Who are the deceased, and what happened to them? The police are busy asking questions of them all, including Rose, and finding they have more questions than answers.

Just when I thought we were on the right track, the whole plot turns upside down and we discover that some of the characters are not who we thought they were. More characters are introduced, and each of them has a piece of the puzzle to reveal.

I was completely drawn in by it all, and while our characters finally learn how to put all the past secrets into perspective, there is definitely a price to pay. A great twisted tale that kept me glued to the pages. 5 stars.