Fatality By Firelight (A Cat Latimer Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon Release Day!!

Fatality by Firelight by Lynn Cahoon
Back into the world of the Warm Springs Writers’ retreat, housed in the old Victorian that was left to Cat Latimer. She is a writer of a YA witchy series and when her ex-husband died, leaving her the house, it’s what she wants to do. Provide a place where writers can enjoy the Colorado scenery and be inspired to write.
The group this week is a diverse bunch. A poet, a nonficton author, a romance writer and a history writer. With the local college providing library resources and the ski slopes just up the hill, it’s the perfect spot for inspiration.

 

Our story begins with the theft of a rare Hemingway book from the library. Cat’s Uncle Pete, the local law, is keeping an eye on the houseguests, as he should because some of them are just a bit off.

When a body is found at the ski lodge and the last person seen with him is one of the guests, Cat puts on her detective hat and tries to get to the bottom of the crime. While at the same time, getting her own book written and still trying to figure out if there was more to her ex-husbands’ death than meets the eye. And also who is this new handsome stranger showing up in town knowing her name?

Between Cat, Shauna and Seth they are sure to come up with some wild speculations and probably solve a crime!

We are loving the Cat Latimer mystery series. There are strong women here. They are just really interesting and good characters, well thought out.

In Book Club this is one of our favorite series and one of our favorite cosy mystery writers! And it’s not just the amazingly well described food, although that Shauna can cook something fierce. We always learn a little something too. The books leave us feeling warm and satisfied! Good Job Ms. Cahoon!

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for this early copy. Release Date is Today!

Every Thing Belongs To Us By Yoojin Grace Wuertz Book Release Day!!

Everything Belongs to Us

Seoul, 1978. At South Korea s top university, the nation s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind.

For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty.

But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever.

In this sweeping yet intimate debut, Yoojin Grace Wuertz details four intertwining lives that are rife with turmoil and desire, private anxieties and public betrayals, dashed hopes and broken dreams while a nation moves toward prosperity at any cost.

Set in a time of great upheaval and change, protests and women living at the bottom rung of society, this book explores the relationships between the haves and the have nots as well as family structures in this time and place.

Jisun and Namin are total opposites socially but they both know they want more.

Everything Namin does is to further her goal of becoming a doctor and getting her family out of poverty. She is exceptionally bright, which affords her more access to education than most in her town.

Jisun is rebelling against her father and his wealth and power not only in businesss but over her as well.

I would like to have heard more in the end from Namin’s point of view.

I really liked the look at the part Americans have played in this country for years and the animosity towards them and the women who dared to love them.

It was a good story.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for this one! Release is Today!

At Balthazar by Reggie Nadelson

 

At Balthazar: The New York Brasserie at the Center of the World

Explore New York restaurant Balthazar and everything that makes it iconic in this brilliantly revealing book that celebrates the brasserie’s twentieth anniversary. Keith McNally, star restauranteur, gave author Reggie Nadelson unprecedented access to his legendary Soho brasserie, its staff, the archives, and the kitchens. Journalist Nadelson, who has covered restaurants and food for decades on both sides of the Atlantic, recounts the history of the French brasserie and how Keith McNally reinvented the concept for New York City.


At Balthazar is an irresistible, mouthwatering narrative, driven by the drama of a restaurant that serves half a million meals a year, employs over two hundred people, and has operated on a twenty-four hour cycle for twenty years. Upstairs and down, good times and bad, Nadelson explores the intricacies of the restaurant’s every aspect, interviewing the chef, waiters, bartenders, dishwashers—the human element of the beautifully oiled machine.

With evocative color photographs by Peter Nelson, sixteen new recipes from Balthazar Executive Chef Shane McBride and head bakers Paula Oland and Mark Tasker, At Balthazar voluptuously celebrates an amazing institution.

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Being familiar with Balthazar’s in NYC, I was happy to read this early copy of Mr. Nadelson’s look at the restaurant from the beginning and straight through to the kitchen, and everywhere in between.

All of the really great restaurants have great stories. Keith McNally has done an amazing job  of making this feel like a French experience. I loved listening to all the stories of the staff, their lives, the patrons and regulars who made a sort of home there.

And there are recipes! Yes, they are sharing some recipes! Just reading the menu makes me hungry! If you have been there or if you are a history or food lover, grab this book!

Thanks so much for this advance copy Netgalley and Gallery Books. Release Date is set for April 4, 2017.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

I have read quite a few early reviews for this book. It looks like one of those that people either love or hate.

The Roanoke family tree has no branches. That should be yur first clue that something is not quite right at the Roanoke house. In the blurb it says ‘an estate in Kansas”, I’ve lived in Kansas. Estate? It sounds more like a House of Horrors. Where are the police in this town? Where are Child Services? Heck, where is any responsible adult?

The only character I felt anything for was Cooper the long ago boyfriend that Lane didn’t bother telling goodbye when she fled. The rest of them had not one redeeming quality. Just bad people doing bad thngs and thinking it’s normal.  It is not.

A dark, and deeply disturbing story of abuse.

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read it. The book is scheduled for a March 2017 release.

Another look?  Check out   Literary Dust  Thanks for the heads up!

A Gentleman In Moscow By Author Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman In Moscow takes us deep into the 1920’s and Count Alexander Rostov.  A man who has been found guilty of writing a poem the government deems seditious. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is not afraid to stand up to the tribunal at all, though it could mean he will be shot.

At 30,  he is looked at as an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin.

He will now reside in the attic room and watch as the decades unfold around him. Avoiding the outside world, he turns to the one smaller one he is  in and discovers much about himself and his fellow guests.

Over the span of 30 years, we watch as he loses his worldly possessions but gains a whole new perspective on his world and the people in it.

The characters are all rich and complex. The language is the descriptive lushness we expect from Towles. This book made me laugh, cry and towards the end I read slower and  slower because I didn’t want it to end. My favorite paragraph was the final one.

What a great book and a great writer.