AnnAlysis: Thorns of Rosewood

thorns of rosewoodFrom Goodreads:
Gloria Larsen knows only three things about her birth mother: she was over forty, she lived in Rosewood, Nebraska, and she was accused of murder in 1974. 

When Gloria is offered a job as newspaper editor in the small town, she jumps at the opportunity to discover the identity of her birth mother. Digging into the past, she finds a story of the disappearance of a judge’s wife and four friends accused of murder. Gloria tracks the now-elderly women to an assisted-living facility. This is Gloria’s chance to write the story of a lifetime and finally know her heritage. Even if she can’t learn the truth of her origins, she must find out what really happened to Naomi Waterman Talbot.

My Thoughts: 
As a journalist, this book struck a cord with me IMMEDIATELY! What journalist wouldn’t love a chance to hear a story that no one has ever heard and have a chance to write that story for the world to hear?

This is a wonderful small town murder mystery that has been haunting the town for decades. Instead of ever getting down to the bottom of it, the story was sealed up and the community is left with rumors to spread and pass on through the ages.

The story is told through the past and the present – when the main characters were just girls, to now, when they are Golden Girls….literally. One thing I don’t know about Gloria is how she could ever break her sessions into multiple ones. Once I would have gotten them going, I’m not sure I would have been able to stop and put it on hold for another time. Their story is riveting and very hard to put down and to be honest, hard to figure out. I have a love/hate relationship for books I can’t get :)

I give The Thorns of Rosewood 5 out of 5 bookmarks and I’m seeing that a second book in the series in the works. Woo woo!

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Released: February 2014
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AnnAlysis: Charming

charmingFrom Goodreads:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die. 

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.

Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

My Thoughts:
Wow! What an awesome read! Krystal Wade grips you from the beginning and keeps you hanging on until the end. I read a couple of pages here and there late last week, but did most of my reading this weekend, in a couple of sittings. I could not put the book down.

Haley is a phenomenal teen character. She has been through more in her short teenage years than most of us could imagine living more than double what Haley has lived. A tragic accident rips her family into pieces and in this book you learn what that can do to someone, especially someone so young, and the lengths this young girl, wise beyond her years, will do to keep her family together, even if it’s by a raveled thread.

You can tell by the cover that this is not a sparkles and rainbows books. It’s dark, it’s gritty and honestly there are parts that will absolutely infuriate you. But there are other parts. Other parts that will show you a glimmer into the brighter side. Like the light at the end of the tunnel and what will keep Haley pushing forward.

There are some characters that keep us coming back. We all have that list of male characters that just really woo us. Chris Charming has made my list. I absolutely, without a doubt, love this character. It’s amazing how a fictional character, who you just read about on the pages of a book, can stick with you the way they do. He’s everything that you hope for in a man, whether you are a teenager, or an adult, or an adult hoping the young ones you care about meet that special person.

With all of that said, this book also leaves you with some great thoughts. This book is wrapped up with a real life, very serious issue: domestic abuse. There’s a very short list of people who know what Haley goes through, even some under her own roof aren’t privy to what happens behind closed doors. And therein lies the problem. This book shows what can happen when you keep abuse hidden, but also shows what can happen when it goes too far, and comes to light. We have vast differences in how things are handled. Granted, I was not and am not a victim of abuse, so I cannot speak from personal experience. But Wade did a wonderful job of painting such a heart wrenching picture and putting everything out on the table.

I give Charming 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: October 6, 2014
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AnnAlysis: Black Thursday

black thursdayFrom Goodreads:
A bad deal for Mrs. Frugalicious

When Maddie Michaels, AKA Mrs. Frugalicious, is invited to take a local news crew with her on a Black Friday shopping expedition, she’s excited to show viewers at home how to score the season’s best savings. Despite a negative comment from Contrary Claire– the sole naysayer in her growing Frugarmy–Maddie is hopeful her first TV appearance will be a bargain-savvy success.

But Black Friday eve takes a bleak turn when a shopper is crushed beneath a pallet of toasters. After learning that the victim could be Contrary Claire, it becomes clear that Claire has made more than one enemy. Maddie finds herself dealing once again with a murder investigation. Will she catch the killer before someone else is slashed like a sale price?

Includes couponing tips!

My Thoughts:
What a better way to kick off fall and the start of the holiday season than with a little Black Thursday/Friday shopping murder-mystery?

This is the second book in the Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mysteries. I didn’t have a chance to read the first one, but this one stood alone well on its own. It’s a nice little cozy murder-mystery with a little fun along the way. Although there is the seriousness of the murder, it’s still a light read.

And as the summary says, it does include couponing tips. I normally don’t like reading e-books with footnotes. They just don’t translate well to the digital edition and you forget what the author was talking about when you finally get to the footnote. However, I absolutely loved these couponing tips. I’ve never been into couponing, but when I see the shows and read this book, it really makes me want to start.

I really like the cast of characters in this book, and the ending left us wondering if there could be a 3rd book in the series coming ….. Fingers crossed.

I give Black Thursday 4 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: October 1, 2014
Author Website

AnnAlysis: Fifty Years in Polygamy

fifty years in polygamyFrom Goodreads:
There is much ado about polygamy these days. Media coverage, HBO’s Big Love, TLC’s Sister Wives, the acts committed by cult leader Warren Jeffs and his followers–all of these keep a slew of polygamy-related issues at the forefront of society. But none can depict the ongoing, daily atrocities and heartaches that are hidden behind the scenes, behind closed doors, within the hearts and souls of thousands of smiling faces.

Kristyn Decker’s memoir recounts the harsh realities of being born and raised in the second largest polygamist sect in America–the Apostolic United Brethren, or the AUB (Allred Group). For five decades, Kristyn, then Sophie, was caught up in a cult of plural marriage … and lived it until she thought it would kill her. When she finally had the courage to leave, she knew she had to share her story.

Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies describes a life of religious submission, lies, secrets, poverty, abuse, jealousy, depression, and loneliness. The gripping, detailed events in this book will shock you but will also inspire compassion, understanding, and perhaps even the courage to change your own life.

My Thoughts:
The second that I saw this book on NetGalley, I had to download it. It’s not really down the aisle of books I normally choose, I don’t normally read a lot of non-fiction, but something about it called my name and intrigued me.

It was a very long book, but I am so glad that I picked it up. Kristyn’s story is absolutely amazing, and quite heartbreaking. I’ve never known much about Polygamy, but as the summary of this book shared, it’s become more public lately due to the TLC show, so I’ve gotten a glimpse here and there.

I think it’s very hard to review a non-fiction book. How can you review someone’s life? I will say this book is gritty and sometimes painfully honest. She throws everything out on the table, no matter how difficult that part of her life was. It is very admirable that someone who went through so much, starting at such a young age can open up and tell their story.

I really enjoyed the book and give it 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: April 2012
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AnnAlysis: The Chase

the chaseFrom Goodreads:
Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line. Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals. Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills f their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad. A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare. From the Hardcover edition.

My Thoughts:
This is the second book in this series. I downloaded it the second I saw it on NetGalley because I love Janet Evanovich, but had to buy the first book in the series first. I’m super OCD about reading books in order.

I absolutely loved the first book. But this one I didn’t love as much. I still loved the characters and the premise of the series, but I didn’t love this story as much. It was still action packed and the pair travels across the world doing secret little dirty work, but it just fell flat for me.

However, it didn’t fall enough that it will keep me from picking up the rest of the series. I love having a series on hand to read whenever I need a pick me up and I really want to see where the relationship between Nick and Kate goes.

I give The Chase  3 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: February 2014
Author Website

Other books in this series:
The Heist