Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin

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Addie Andrews is chasing answers, but she isn’t quite sure what the question may be. She is hoping that Eunice, Arkansas, will provide some answers…Or at the very least, give her a reprieve from her sad story. Recovering from heartbreak and tragedy, Addie decided to take solace in the home of her deceased Aunt, fixing it up to sell so she can get her life back in order.

Out for a walk one day she stumbles upon a poor, sad little Pit Bull puppy, left for dead. She rushes to the local veterinarian’s office and sets into a motion a whole new life for herself–but not everyone is happy that Addie has fallen into life in Eunice. Some local characters are decidedly less than welcoming, and some are downright unsavory… One local man seems to turn up wherever she goes, and he wakes up feelings in her she thought she had lost forever…But why does he keep running away from her whenever they start to get close?

A town mystery, local politics, romance, friendship in the oddest places, and the love of a sweet, innocent puppy make this story unique and fresh. Sit! Stay! Speak!, by Annie England Noblin, is an interesting read if you want to read something a little outside the box this summer….And who can resist a story about a puppy?

 

 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

This book will creep you out. I mean seriously. I read Gone Girl a couple years back and when I saw that the movie was coming out this year, I decided to check out what else Gillian Flynn has been up to. Sharp Objects came onto my radar since it was available in audiobook from my library and I was in need of some new listening. So here it is:

Camille Preaker is a journalist who grew up in a small southern town. She is mostly estranged from her family, but her boss sends her home to cover story-girls keep going missing and when the bodies appear, they are missing teeth. Camille will stay with her overbearing, narcissistic mother and horribly spoiled half sister while she talks to community members and the police about the missing/dead girls.

Going home is never as simple as it seems to be, however. Things aren’t quite right in the small town, there are secrets and somehow Camille can’t help but feel they are somehow tied into her own past. And Camille may not be what she originally seemed, either. What is true and what is warped out of focus? Who is telling the truth and who is hiding something? Who would kill a young girl? Multiple young girls?

I like mysteries, and I LOVE unreliable narrators. If you liked The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry, or if you enjoyed Gone Girl as much as I did, let this book leave you sleepless and horrified. I’m pretty tough and I have to say, Gillian Flynn, you really know how to leave readers looking for psychopathic killers around every corner. If you think you can handle it, pick up Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn today.

Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy #1)

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Up at Butternut Lake, by Mary McNear, is a great read to start off your summer vacation. Widowed single mother Allie Beckett decides to pick up everything and leave her old life, full of painful memories, behind for good… She heads for a cabin that she remembers from her childhood, on Butternut lake in Minnesota…But when she arrives, she starts to wonder if she has bitten off more than she can chew. Raising a young son on a remote lake is not without its challenges, and small town life isn’t as anonymous as she originally thought… Not to mention, the only neighbor for miles is an arrogant, annoying male who seems to find her irresistible.

Will Allie find peace at Butternut lake? Will she find the strength to move on with her life? Will she find love again?

Up at Butternut Lake is a novel about second chances, healing and learning to appreciate the simple things in life. If you like reading romantic trilogies, there are two more books set to come out following Up at Butternut Lake, so keep an eye out for Mary McNear on the bookshelves (and maybe here on my site).

Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer

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Queenie Wake (birth name Queen Elizabeth Wake, much to her chagrin) was born into a family with a slight reputation. Her mother was murdered when she was found in bed with another woman’s husband, and the reputation for low-class and promiscuity has haunted Queenie and her sister, Merry Carole, for their entire lives in North Star, Texas.  Queenie escaped as soon as possible, heading to get a culinary education and explore the world, never to look back on the town that whispered rude comments behind her back and never bothered to take her in as one of their own. When Queenie finds herself out of work after bouncing from city to city for years, and she has nowhere to go but back home to stay with her sister and face the demons she has been running from for a very long time…The love of her life, the truth about her own mother, family, and the dirty little secrets of North Star… When the chef is offered a job cooking the “last meals” for the local prison, she is forced to test her limits and decide what she really wants to do with her life.

Nowhere but Home, by Liza Palmer,  is a novel about southwestern cuisine, small town politics, forgiveness, family, and, more importantly, finding where you belong- in the least likely of places. If you haven’t read other books by this author,  be sure to pick up More Like Her, which is also an excellent example of women’s fiction that addresses deeper heartache and real-life horrors that happen to everyday people. Readers who love Joshilyn Jackson (A Grown Up Kind of Pretty) will also adore this novel.