Sailing in a Sea of Words

Literature Fanatic. Writer. I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book. I hope you enjoy my reviews and they inspire you to read the book yourself!

Book Review: Finding the Dream

Finding the Dream (Dream #3) - Nora Roberts

Book: Finding the Dream


Author: Nora Roberts


Genre: Fiction/Romance/Family


Summary: Laura Templeton found out the hard way that nothing in life is guaranteed. The daughter of a wealthy hotelier, she had always known comfort, privilege, and security. But by the age of thirty, her storybook marriage had been destroyed by her husband's infidelity. Laura's divorce left her both emotionally and financially devastated - but determined to rebuild her life without the Templeton fortune. Laura had always defined herself as a wife, a daughter, or a mother. Now, she must finally discover Laura the woman . . . -Penguin Group, 1997


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Book Review: Holding the Dream

Holding the Dream - Nora Roberts

Book: Holding the Dream


Author: Nora Roberts


Genre: Fiction/Romance/Family


Summary: Surrounded by the sweeping cliffs and beauty of Big Sur, Kate Powell treasured her life at Templeton House. . . and the family who raised her like one of their own. Although Kate lacked Margo's beauty and Laura's elegance, she knew she had something they would never possess - a shrewd head for business. Driven by ambition, Kate measured her life's success with each soaring promotion. But now, faced with professional impropriety, Kate is forced to look deep within herself - only to find something missing in her life. . . and in her heart. -Penguin, 1997.


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Book Review: Daring to Dream

Daring to Dream (The Dream Trilogy, #1) - Nora Roberts

Book: Daring to Dream


Author: Nora Roberts


Genre: Fiction/Romance/Family


Summary: Margo, Kate, and Laura were brought up like sisters amidst the peerless grandeur of Templeton House. But it was Margo whose dreams first took her far away... Margo Sullivan had everything a young woman could ask for. But while growing up along the rocky cliffs of Monterey, she couldn't help but dream of bigger things. The daughter of the Templetons' stern Irish housekeeper, Margo had been treated like a member of the family. Deep down, she knew that money could not buy the thing she craved most - her mother's acceptance. Maybe things would be different if she could be sweet like Laura, or had Kate's shrewd head for business. But all Margo knew how to do was be Margo, and that meant doing things her own way - no matter what the consequences. . . -Penguin, 1996.


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Book Review: JFK's Last Hundred Days

JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and The Emergence of a Great President - Thurston Clarke

Book: JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President


Author: Thurston Clarke


Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography/Presidents/U.S. History


Summary: Fifty years after his assassination, President John F. Kennedy's legend endures. Noted author and historian Thurston Clarke reexamines the last months of the president's life to show a man in the midst of great change, both in his family and in the key issues of his day: the cold war, civil rights, and Vietnam, finally on the cusp of making good on his extraordinary promise. JFK's Last Hundred Days presents a gripping account that weaves together Kennedy's public and private lives, explains why the grief following his assassination has endured so long, and solves the most tantalizing Kennedy mystery of them all - not who killed him but who he was when he was killed and where he would have led us. - Penguin Books, 2014.


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Book Review: Once in Every Life

Once in Every Life - Kristin Hannah

Book: Once in Every Life


Author: Kristin Hannah


Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi/Historical Romance


Summary: Tess Gregory is a woman who has been given a miraculous second chance at life. Jack is a man who abandoned hope long ago. Imprisoned by savage memories, he believes he has nothing to offer anyone, especially a woman like Tess, who dares to ask for the impossible . . . his love. -Ballantine Books, 1992.


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Book Review: The White Rose

The White Rose - Amy Ewing

Book: The White Rose


Author: Amy Ewing


Summary: Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude. But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised - a mysterious house in the Farm. But there's a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known? With twists and turns that will have readers on the edges of their seats, The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel, and fans won't be able to put it down until the final shocking moments. -Harper Teen, 2015.


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Book Review: River Road

River Road: A Novel - Carol Goodman

Book: River Road


Author: Carol Goodman


Genre: Fiction/Present Day/Thriller/Mystery


Summary: Nan Lewis - a creative writing professor at a college in upstate New York - is driving home from a faculty holiday party after finding out she's been denied tenure. On her way, she hits a deer, but when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is nowhere to be found. Eager to get home and out of the oncoming snowstorm, Nan is forced to leave her car at the bottom of her snowy driveway to wait out the longest night of the year - and the lowest point of her life . . . The next morning, Nan is woken up by a police officer at her door with terrible news - one of her students, Leia Dawson, was killed in a hit-and-run on River Road the night before. And because of her damage to her car, Nan is a suspect. In the days following the accident, Nan is shunned by the same community that rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident six years prior. When Nan begins finding disturbing tokens that recall the death of her daughter, Nan suspects the two accidents are connected. As she digs further, she discovers that everyone around her, including Leia, is hiding secrets. But can she uncover them, clear her name, and figure out who really killed Leia before her reputation is destroyed for good? -Touchstone, 2016.


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Book Review: The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden - Susanna Kearsley

Book: The Rose Garden


Author: Susanna Kearsley


Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi/History


Summary: Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time. But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs. -Sourcebooks, 2011.


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Book Review: Seduction

Seduction: A Novel of Suspense - M.J. Rose

Book: Seduction


Author: M.J. Rose


Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller


Summary: Grieving his daughter's death, Victor Hugo initiated seances from his home on the Isle of Jersey in order to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communicated with Plato, Shakespeare, Dante - and even the devil himself. Hugo's transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it has been believed. . .  A hundred years later, recovering from her own great loss, mythologist Jac L'Etoile is invited to Jersey to uncover a secret about the island's mysterious Celtic roots. She's greeted by Neolithic monuments, medieval castles, and hidden caves. But the man who has invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, hopes she'll help him discover something quite different . . . something that will threaten their sanity and put their very lives at stake. - Atria, 2013


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Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

Book: The Forgotten Garden


Author: Kate Morton


Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery


Summary: A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book - a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go. -Washington Square Press, 2008.


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Book Review: Apparition Island

Apparition Island - Jenifer LeClair

Book: Apparition Island


Author: Jenifer LeClair


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: A chilling tale of murder unfolds during a fierce September hurricane on the Maine coast in this haunting story of two deaths mysteriously bound together by the long reach of time. As Hurricane Ivan bears down on the coast, the crew of the Maine Wind retrieves the body of a young woman from the sea. Who is she and how did she die? The search for the woman's identity thrusts Homicide Detective Brie Beaumont into an investigation on Apparition Island in the aftermath of the violent storm. A verdict of undetermined death begs the question: Was this an accidental drowning; did Claire Whitehall commit suicide, or was she murdered? As a baffling investigation unfolds, Brie is drawn back into a decades old cold case - one that has cast its shadow into the present, where she could become its next victim. - Conquill Press, 2015.


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Book Review: All Dressed in White

All Dressed in White: An Under Suspicion Novel (Under Suspicion Novels) - Alafair Burke, Mary Higgins Clark

Book: All Dressed in White


Author: Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke


Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Romance


Summary: Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared. In present-day New York City, Laurie accepts an uninvited visitor into her office: Amanda's desperate mother, who begs Laurie and her Under Suspicion television team to investigate Amanda's disappearance. It's an appeal Laurie, a widow too familiar with the grief felt by the families of victims of unsolved crimes, can't refuse. Soon she and the team are re-creating the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda's friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery, as the series has done in the past. With Amanda's former fiance now married to one of Amanda's bridesmaids, her jealous sister now integral in the family business, playboy groomsmen still behaving badly, a too-friendly wedding photographer, and rumors about the "beloved" bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air - and a reason to direct Laurie's attention elsewhere. One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda's disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden "until death do they part. . ." - Simon & Schuster, 2015


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Book Review: The Splendour Falls

The Splendour Falls by Kearsley, Susanna (2014) Paperback - Susanna Kearsley

Book: The Splendour Falls


Author: Susanna Kearsley


Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Romance


Summary: Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary town of Chinon, and promptly disappears - well, that's Harry for you. As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a thirteenth-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a "treasure of great price." And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, another Isabelle lived at Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry. As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself. -Sourcebooks, 1995


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Book Review: The Bones of You

The Bones of You - Debbie Howells

Book: The Bones of You


Author: Debbie Howells


Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Mystery


Summary: I have a gardener's inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer. Children who don't die before their parents. When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she's stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate's daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic - girls like Rosie don't get into real trouble - Kate's sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed. Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons - graceful mother jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister, Delphine - the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie's life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead. Weaving flashbacks from Rosie's perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love. - Kensington Books, 2015.


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Book Review: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

Book: Vampire Academy


Author: Richelle Mead


Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Supernatural


Summary: Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. Her best friend Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir: a guardian whose blood is a powerful blend of vampire and human. Rose's life is dedicated to protecting Lissa from the dangerous Strigoi - the fiercest vampires, who will stop at nothing to make Lissa one of them. After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and Strigoi are always close by. -Penguin, 2007.


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Book Review: The Demonologist

The Demonologist - Andrew Pyper

Book: The Demonologist


Author: Andrew Pyper


Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Horror/Supernatural


Summary: David Ullman is a literature professor at Columbia University, with special expertise on Paradise Lost. The epic poem about Satan and his court of fallen angels makes for a fascinating lecture, but at the end of the day for David, it’s just another text, a class work of fiction. . . until he travels to Venice with his beloved daughter, Tess, who - to David’s utter horror and disbelief - is abducted by one of the very demons whose existence he denies. Following symbols taken from the pages of Paradise Lost, and opening himself to the possibility that demons walk among us, David races to save his daughter from the entity’s grasp. If he fails, he will lose Tess forever. - Simon and Schuster, 2013.


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Currently reading

A Demon Summer: A Max Tudor Mystery by G.M. Malliet