FRACTURED by Catherine McKenzie & GIVEAWAY


“When a neighborhood seems more like a typical high school clique, you know things will not turn out well.”

In Catherine McKenzie’s new novel, FRACTURED (Lake Union Publishing) bestselling novelist Julie Prentice, her husband, Daniel and their twins move from the Pacific Northwest to the mid-west and what they believe will be a slice of heaven. Julie has been the target of a stalker after writing the bestselling novel, “The Murder Game” and it’s no longer safe for their family to stay in Tacoma, Washington. They’ve moved to what they believe is the idyllic community of Mount Adams, a district outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Welcome, neighbor!”

She doesn’t know anyone in her new town, but she takes daily early runs every morning and is soon running with her next door neighbor, John Dunbar. An accident happens on their street and she finds herself once again the target of unsettling harassment.

“We know where you live.…”

Has Julie’s stalker, Heather Stanhope found her, or are her neighbors out to get her, too? And what’s with the woman who thinks she can reign over the neighbors with her rules in the “Pine Street Neighborhood Association?” As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly.

Is Julie a reliable narrator, or seeking attention? Life can seem lovely in Mount Adams and in an instant, completely change. The alternating points of view between Julie and her neighbor, John keep the pace moving and McKenzie manipulates time, so the reader must pay attention. FRACTURED is a tense thrill ride that asks the question: do you ever really know your neighbors?

Catherine McKenzie has fast become one of the psychological thriller genres most outstanding authors. I’ve been fortunate to have read some fabulous suspense novels this month, including Karin Slaughter’s, A KEPT WOMAN last week and McKenzie’s writing has elevated to that playing field, after early chick-lit focused books.

FYI: In Catherine’s novel, FRACTURED, Julie Prentice writes a book called, THE MURDER GAME. THE MURDER GAME by Julie Prentice will be published November 1st.

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About Catherine McKenzie

Catherine McKenzie, a graduate of McGill University, practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages. HIDDEN was an Amazon #1 bestseller and a Digital Book World bestseller. Her fifth novel, SMOKE, was an Amazon bestseller, a Goodreads Best Book for October 2015, and an Amazon Top 100 Book of 2015.

Connect with Catherine

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing we have one copy                                       of FRACTURED to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever been the                                                         subject of stalking or some kind of harassment. We’ll announce a                                                 winner this Monday, on Halloween.


GIVEAWAY – Review of THE NEXT by Stephanie Gangi




“What the hell,” Joanna exclaims, upon entering the crowded, unpleasant realm of the spirits. “I pictured something out of a Nancy Meyers movie. I follow a light through a meadow, up a slate walk to a many-windowed house with white sofas, and…all the dogs I’ve had to put down greet me and frisk around me.”

BookSparks’ Fall Reading Challenge 2016 continues on with THE NEXT (St. Martin’s Press) – INDIE NEXT November pick and a perfect novel to read this Halloween. Divorced, Joanna DeAngelis dies young of recurrent cancer surrounded by her young daughters Laney and Anna, and her bestie 90-pound poodle, Tom. But instead of getting her life in order, she’s glued to Twitter, obsessing over her former lover, Ned, a Columbia professor who left her mid-disease for Trudi, a celeb dermatologist. Once she passes on, she takes her anger with her.

“She joins “the unresolved dead,” those unable to stop wanting what they cannot have, doomed to haunt their old neighborhoods, to orbit rather than rise. Her new mantra: “Make Ned pay.

Her fury is so extreme that it survives her death, and moves with her right into the Next world. As a ghost, she stays in touch by cellphone and the Internet. Sensed, though unseen by her daughters, her dog, and others, a truly “Mad” Joanna proceeds to use her powers to possess Ned’s body. She takes over his speech and actions in truly terrifying ways. Gangi has a blast with her undead character, who dive-bombs her own memorial service, trashes Dr. Trudi’s penthouse, and turns Ned completely social non-grata. As Ned comes to fully regret the huge mistake he can never undo, Joanna’s daughters struggle to find their ways in a motherless world. Or sort of motherless, anyway.

Eventually Joanna gets kind of bored torturing Ned and she reflects on the wisdom she’s left behind for her daughters and for us, her readers.”Rise and shine. Always make the bed. Look both ways. Don’t smoke after twenty-five. Three drinks maximum. Have fun but stay safe. Make your own money. Don’t have a boss–be a boss. Dance, in the car, in the supermarket, on graves. Barefoot whenever possible.” There’s not much funny about cancer, divorce and a broken heart, but in The Next, Gangi offers the next best thing.


Stephanie grew up in Brooklyn, attended the State University of New York at Buffalo and now lives in New York City. She got her standard poodle Enzo when she was leaving a relationship, and he helped her make the transition. Stephanie says she named Enzo, Enzo before learning of Enzo in THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. Enzo helps her write by getting her up early and taking her on long walks where she plots her stories. For ALL things Stephanie, check her out at twitter @gangi_land or on her website


Thanks to BookSparks and St. Martins Press for providing a copy of THE NEXT for an honest review. We have one copy of the novel to giveaway.Go up to the top of the review and in the comments area, tell us what the scariest book you ever read … not a thriller, more like a ghost story, to tie into our Halloween theme. We’ll announce our winner next Monday, October 31st, Halloween day.


@BookSparks  #FRC2016  #TheNext  #Reading     #Ghosts

GIRL UNBROKEN by Regina Calcaterra & Rosie Maloney & GIVEAWAY


We first met Cookie, a pill-popping, alcoholic with five children from five different men in, ETCHED in THE SAND: A True Story of Five Siblings who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (William Morrow) by her oldest daughter, Regina Calcaterra. Her only son, Norman, was spared her abusive tirades that included calling her four daughters “whores’ and “sluts.” Cookie would beat the girls, 4-year-old, Regina received the most brutal, once being tied to a radiator for days. These parts of the book leave the reader wondering how Regina grew up to be the successful woman we read about in the rest of the book.


Now Regina pairs with her youngest sister, Rosie Maloney to tell Rosie’s harrowing, yet triumphant, story of childhood abuse and survival in GIRL UNBROKEN: A Sister’s Harrowing Story of Survival from The Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho (William Morrow). Through it all, they had each other. Rosie, the youngest, is protected by her older sister, Regina. Their mother, Cookie, blows in and out of their lives “like a hurricane, blind and uncaring to everything in her path.”

But when Regina discloses the truth about her abusive mother to her social worker, she is separated from her younger siblings Norman and Rosie. And as Rosie discovers after Cookie kidnaps her from foster care, the one thing worse than being abandoned by her mother is living in Cookie’s presence. Beaten physically, abused emotionally, and forced to labor at the farm where Cookie settles in Idaho, Rosie refuses to give in. Rosie tries to get child welfare services to investigate her mother in Idaho, but Cookie is always able to put up a good front for their visits. Like her sister Regina, Rosie has an unimaginable strength—enough to get her out of Idaho and out of her living nightmare.

Filled with maturity and grace, Rosie’s memoir continues the compelling story begun in ETCHED IN THE SAND. Both sisters are able to write about a past that would have destroyed most of us down, certainly scarred us. Perhaps writing is part of their healing.

I remember being intrigued to read ETCHED IN THE SAND because I’m also from Long Island and the oldest sister. I found it so sad, but I also found a hero in Regina, and now Rosie, as well. Rosie was fiercely protective of her siblings when they were all young, and carries guilt for not doing more.

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Regina CalcaterraAbout Regina Calcaterra

Regina Calcaterra, Esq. is the bestselling author of Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island, which has been integrated into academic curriculums nationwide. She is a partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz and is a passionate advocate for children in foster care.

Find out more about Regina at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Publishing we have one copy of GIRL UNBROKEN to giveaway. Just tell us about a story you’ve ever read about child abuse and what you learned from it. We’ll announce a winner next Monday, October 31st on Halloween day.


THIS WAS NOT the PLAN by Cristina Alger & Giveaway


A lawyer’s drunken office-party speech is captured on camera and goes viral leaving him humiliated and unemployed.

In THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN (Touchstone) by Cristina Alger, Charlie Goldwyn has been litigating night and day for nearly a decade at one of New York’s top law firms, defending some of the guiltiest white-collar offenders. He’s making a boatload of money and hoping to make partner, but his home life has suffered. His wife, Mira, whom he rarely ever saw, died in a plane crash going to a wedding he didn’t attend, because he had to work. Now his twin sister, Zadie is helping him raise his five-year old son, Caleb who he rarely sees.

After working seventy-two hours straight on a big case and hoping to get home to recognize the anniversary of Mira’s death, he is forced to stay at the office for the summer associate’s welcome party. Charlie proceeds to have too many vodkas, and just as he’s about to leave, one of the partners calls him up to make a speech to the associates. Charlie is totally drunk and he gives an unfiltered, bitter speech about life at the firm and working for clients he knows are guilty, which goes viral and gets him fired. Immediately, he wants to get revenge on whoever uploaded the video.

Stuck at home with his son Caleb, Charlie thinks it will be a cakewalk, until he learns about Caleb’s obsessions with possible disasters, his need to wear girl’s clothing in pinks and purples and being a loner in preschool. Charlie quickly realizes being a full-time dad, may be tougher than litigating. He meets some fellow stay-at-home-dads and begins to take a closer look at the life he’s been leading. Revenge begins to look a little less important, as well as being a tough powerful lawyer.

Maybe it’s time to do things a little differently….Maybe I need to loosen up.

Zadie gets engaged and this initiates her and Charlie to get in touch with their estranged lawyer father in the city, who has never acknowledged them. It’s interesting to note that when people slow down, they can “look around and smell the roses.” It may be a simple concept, but unfortunately, few of us embrace this reality before it’s too late. Charlie is blessed to be given a second chance, and readers are able to take away what they want from his experience, while enjoying a beautiful novel.

THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN is a sweet story about fatherhood and family. Alger does a lovely job creating a menagerie of characters that are unique and fully developed. This novel is yet another example of how “untraditional” – the traditional family has become. A family today is whomever comes together to love one another. In this case: father, son, sister/aunt/wife, brother-in-law/husband/uncle and numerous friends. The relationship between Charlie and Caleb is warm and delightful. I promise you will fall in love with Caleb.


Cristina Alger is a lifelong New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer. She lives in New York with her family, and is currently working on her third novel.

For all things Cristina, check out her out on twitter @CristinaAlger or her website

We have one copy of THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever had to change gears after your plans were completely turned upside down? We’ll announce a winner Monday, October 24th.


THE KEPT WOMAN by Karen Slaughter & GIVEAWAY



Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.

BookSparks’ Fall Reading Challenge 2016 continues with Karin Slaughter’s novel, THE KEPT WOMAN (William Morrow). Reading a Karin Slaughter novel is never easy, but oh how much fun! THE KEPT WOMAN once again, grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the last page. After two intense stand-alones, Slaughter brings back Will Trent and the gang whose personal problems are just as dark and likely violent as the creeps they investigate.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Will Trent has been sleeping with medical examiner Dr. Sara Linton for the past two weeks, even though he’s still married to that psycho, Angie Polanski, who he can’t seem to get around divorcing. He’s been waiting for her next appearance which happens when her Glock is discovered near the scene of a grisly murder of a dirty cop. Now Trent’s boss, Amanda Wagner who loves to ride his and partner, Faith Mitchell’s ass wants to know how Angie is connected to the murder of the cop.

It only gets more complex: the murder scene is drenched in blood that isn’t the cops, it happens on the construction site of NBA All-Star, Marcus Rippy, who is well-known to Will as the guy who raped and walked away from charges because his manager, Kip Kilpatrick, and his army of lawyers performed legal magic. The never-ending stream of police procedurals continue from there, turning out what readers are calling,one of her best books ever. …but then again, aren’t they all?… It’s no secret Slaughter’s well-known for her complex plotting and furious pacing and her magic fills every page of THE KEPT WOMAN. It’s one helleva ride you’re going to love taking!

The best part about reading a Slaughter novel? Just about every character is a mess and has a totally screwed up professional and personal life. It’s like reading about at least several people you know – except for the killers, hopefully!


For all things KARIN check her out on Facebook, twitter @SlaughterKarin and on her website


Thanks to BookSparks for providing a copy of THE KEPT WOMAN for an honest review. We’re lucky to have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us which of Karin’s two dozen plus novels is your favorite. I know mine. It’s your turn to tell us yours. We’ll announce a winner next Monday, October 24th. Good luck!

@BookSparks   #FRC2016   #thriller








Sherry M. wins ECHOES of FAMILY by Barbara Claypole White


Michelle M. wins WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly


and Denise K. wins MARROW: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser


Thanks to all our winners and have a great week.

xxx cindy



MARROW: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser & Giveaway


MARROW: A Love Story (HARPER WAVE Books) by Elizabeth Lesser is a mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns she is a perfect match, she faces a far more complex question about what it really means to love.

Hoping to give Maggie the best chance for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a “soul marrow transplant,” examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining the past, digging up old assumptions and finally and offering each other forgiveness until all that is left is exposed true love the other.

It Takes Courage to Love Well.

The takeaway for me after reading MARROW: A Love Story is, life is precious, over, gone, lights out, entirely too quick. We’re here on this earth for a short time and blessed to have people come in and out of our lives during our limited journey. Some may be family members, others friends and acquaintances. But our short time with each one must be embraced. This memoir was a wake-up call for me to stop and value the people near and dear; to stop talking around one another and speak to each other’s hearts. Make time for a cup of coffee or an afternoon to get a bite. Love may take courage, but it really shouldn’t be difficult.

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elizabeth-lesser-apAbout Elizabeth Lesser

ELIZABETH LESSER is the author of THE SEEKER’S GUIDE and the New York Times bestseller, BROKEN OPEN. She is the co-founder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences that focus on holistic health, psychology, spirituality, creativity, and social change. Prior to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and childbirth educator. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.

Find out more about Elizabeth at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HARPER WAVE Books for providing a copy of MARROW for an honest review. We have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us about a special experience you’ve shared with a sibling or friend.

We’ll announce a winner Monday, October 17th.