★ Happy Publication Day ★ THE FAMILY PLOT by Megan Collins | HOW TO KILL YOUR BEST FRIEND by Lexie Elliott

Happy book birthday to these two summer thrillers! I’m looking forward to reading both. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing digital ARCs. My reviews will be posted soon, but until then, check out the blurbs —

by Megan Collins
(Atria Books)

From the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door, this “masterpiece of gothic suspense and horror, filled with dark family secrets and stunning twists” (Michele Campbell, author of It’s Always the Husband) follows a family obsessed with true crime as they gather to bury their patriarch—only to find another body already in his grave.

At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse is haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she is unable to move beyond the disappearance of her twin brother, Andy, when they were sixteen.

After several years away and following her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house, where the family makes a gruesome discovery: buried in their father’s plot is another body—Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.

Dahlia is quick to blame Andy’s murder on the serial killer who terrorized the island for decades, while the rest of her family reacts to the revelation in unsettling ways. Her brother, Charlie, pours his energy into creating a family memorial museum, highlighting their research into the lives of famous murder victims; her sister, Tate, forges ahead with her popular dioramas portraying crime scenes; and their mother affects a cheerfully domestic facade, becoming unrecognizable as the woman who performed murder reenactments for her children. As Dahlia grapples with her own grief and horror, she realizes that her eccentric family, and the mansion itself, may hold the answers to what happened to her twin.

by Lexie Elliott

If you suspected your best friend, the person you were closest to in the whole world, was a murderer, what would you do? Would you confront her? Would you help keep her secret? Or would you begin to feel afraid? Most importantly, why don’t you feel safe now that she’s dead? From the author of The French Girl comes a novel full of secrets, suspense, and deadly twists.

Georgie, Lissa, and Bronwyn have been inseparable since dominating their college swim team; swimming has always been an escape from their own problems, but now their shared passion has turned deadly. How can it be true that Lissa, the strongest swimmer they know, drowned? Granted, there is something strange about Kanu Cove, where Lissa was last seen, swimming off the coast of the fabulous island resort she owned with her husband.

Lissa’s closest friends gather at the resort to honor her life, but Georgie and Bron can’t seem to stop looking over their shoulders. Danger lurks beneath the surface of the crystal-clear water, and even their luxurious private villas can’t help them feel safe. As the weather turns ominous, trapping the funeral guests together on the island, nobody knows who they can trust. Lissa’s death was only the beginning…

Are these books on your wish list? Have you read these authors before? Click on the titles above for the link to Goodreads. Happy reading! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

The Weekend Wrap-Up

A weekly recap post linking up with:


Thank you to all the hosts! Click the links above to visit them and join the fun.

Here we are, already wrapping up the month of July. Did you know that August 1st is the start of my Halloween season? I’m excited. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten much reading done over the past couple of weeks. In the evenings I’m so tired, I just crash. Maybe it’s the heat.

Myrtle the Nightmare Catcher with a recent read. ♥

First off, I want to share a photo of sweet Myrtle, who I won in a giveaway last week. She’s a nightmare catcher crafted by Jenclair from Bayou Poste & Craft / A Garden Carried in the Pocket. Myrtle is so cute, and I love her details, like the heart patch pined to her clothes and the sachet of lavender sewn on her back. Thank you, Jen!

Some other news — I’m starting a new job soon! Prior to the pandemic, I was a teacher’s aide in a special ed classroom, but I left when my own kids started remote learning. I’ve decided to return to the same work but at a different school. Even though my family and I are fully vaccinated, I still have concerns, especially since younger students aren’t eligible for the vax yet. But, I’m still looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

I might not have as much time to blog and blog hop until things get settled with the new school year. I won’t be on an official hiatus in August, but I may be missing from time to time!

★ I wanted to add that I’ve greatly enjoyed blogging this year and redirecting my focus back to the blog community. I’ve made some great new friends and reconnected with old ones. Thank you all for being so awesome! ★

Last Two Weeks on the Blog:

Currently Reading:

  • WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Anna Bailey
  • THE PEOPLE WE KEEP by Allison Larkin
  • DEATH IN CASTLE DARK by Veronica Bond

Recent Bookshelf Additions:

  • MRS ENGLAND by Stacey Halls (The Book Depository)
  • BEFORE YOU KNEW MY NAME by Jacqueline Bublitz (The Book Depository)
  • AN AMBUSH OF WIDOWS by Jeff Abbott (NetGalley)
  • THE GOLDEN COUPLE by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (NetGalley)
  • CACKLE by Rachel Harrison (NetGalley)
  • HOW TO BOOK A MURDER by Cynthia Kuhn (NetGalley)

Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful August! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Vintage Gothic Suspense: NIGHTMARE IN JULY by Clara Coleman

Publisher: Lancer Books
Release Date: 1967

“The first time she met him, Amanda Swanson recognized the mark of evil deep in the stranger’s cold blue eyes. He terrified her even though she couldn’t name the secret he threatened her with. Yet her husband, knowing it, condemned her to spend the summer alone with him — and the legacy of violence he carried with him.”

Amanda Swanson’s husband Paul owns a publishing company. She was an editor there at one time, but quit working after they got married, feeling it wasn’t right to work at the same company or at a competing publisher. I was never convinced she was happy about the situation, but suddenly her life was dedicated to supporting Paul’s publishing ambitions. If only he were worthy of her loyalty!

Paul is ecstatic when he receives an incomplete manuscript in the mail that he believes will be a huge success. Paul invites this once-in-a-lifetime literary talent to finish his book at their secluded country home where they spend weekends.

When Amanda first meets Jordan Youngfield, she senses that something is off about the young author. Things get worse when Paul insists that she stay with Jordan in the country for the summer while he works in the city. Jordan’s behavior becomes more threatening, and Amanda fears for her safety, but Paul only cares about getting that finished manuscript…

“The last thing I did that night before I fell asleep was remind myself that danger surrounded me — that the Mill was a place of terror that July.”

Overall this was a suspenseful and enjoyable quick read. Jordan’s character needed more fleshing out, but he did come across as creepy. I felt bad for Amanda having to be second to Paul’s publishing company, plus he was a condescending jerk. The ending was good. Not a big surprise, but satisfying. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Waiting For — Wednesday: CACKLE by Rachel Harrison

A weekly post to highlight an upcoming book or new release that I’m looking forward to reading. This week’s pick is…

by Rachel Harrison
Release Date: October 5, 2021

A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.
All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.  
Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?

I’m not even sure what to expect with this book, but the second I saw the cover I knew I had to get my hands on it. Is CACKLE suspense? Humor? Horror? Contemporary fiction? All I know is that I’m thrilled to have been approved on NetGalley to read it!

It’s never too early to plan your Fall/Halloween reading. What’s on your list? — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪