Book Review: Deep State

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Hayley Chill is the female action hero I didn’t know I needed. What a fast read. I mean the political intrigue kept me up way past my bedtime and then just when things were wrapping up at the end there is another big unforeseen twist. So fun to read a female lead character that knows her mind and doesn’t let anything or anyone slow her down.

Hayley Chill is an ex-Army boxing champion who is serving as a White House intern. She discovers the body of her boss, Peter Hall, the president’s Chief of Staff, and a single clue, which suggests he did not die of natural causes. Soon enough, Hayley is on the trail to solving the case herself. She isn’t sure who, if anyone she can trust, and as a reader, I wondered just how far up this conspiracy would go.

As a character, you can’t help liking Hayley. She’s come a long way from her West Virginia upbringing, and dealing with unraveling a conspiracy run by a “shadow government” wouldn’t be easy for anyone.

If you enjoy any of the spy-intrigue books, like the Jack Ryan series or watched Scandal or House of Cards, this book will be an excellent match for you. It looks like there is a sequel in the works, so feel free to get attached to Hayley.

Expected publication: January 7th, 2020 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Book Review: Now Entering Addamsville

Who’s ready for some ghost hunting Halloween vibes?

From the publisher:

When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.

Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.

I read this one in a single sitting. I found the small town Indiana setting charming and realistic. The characters are all full of snark and the story simply never lagged. It has more than a little overlap with both Stranger Things and Riverdale. I don’t watch Supernatural but, I know enough of the plot to say that it compares to that too.

If you are looking for scary “light” this one’s for you. Paranormal yes, horror, no.

October 1, 2019

ARC REVIEW-Hope Rides Again: An Obama Biden Mystery (Obama Biden Mysteries)

Here we are again. So happy to catch up with Uncle Joe in the best city ever. Joe Biden is in Chicago on the day of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade no less. It doesn’t take long for him to find both trouble and Obama. They make quite the pair of detectives.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that Andrew Shaffer should be working for Joe Biden writing speeches at this point. I feel like he channels Mr. Biden’s personality in the best way.

The author did his due diligence when it comes to Chicago, accuracy which I appreciate. Everything from food to drive times to the airport are spot on. More importantly, while being super funny, Shaffer doesn’t ignore the real problems that Chicago has with systematic racism, gun laws, and kids just trapped by their geographical circumstances.

It is a true twisty mystery novel that just happens to star two very famous guys.
I read an ARC, so I can’t tell you how it ends.

I liked the end I read just fine, but I’ll buy my own copy in a couple weeks and find out with the rest of you. 

Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer

July 9, 2019

Hope Never Dies (Obama Biden Mysteries #1)

I know I reviewed Hope Never Dies. I know it. The author knows it too; however, the interwebs sucked it into oblivion. It isn’t in my archives, or on Goodreads, it’s gone. Crazy! I blame the Russians.

And so, I will type my thoughts again before I review the super awesome sequel that may indeed be better than the first book because- Chicago.

Spoiler alert for book 2:

When Rahm shows up at the bottom of page 43 (in the ARC) I almost choked on a tortilla chip with spontaneous laughter.

But first things first. You do need to read the first book because it is great. Also, the second book won’t be out til July 9, 2019- so you have a month to read the first book.

Plot-wise there is a recap, so if you are on a desert island and only have book two, you won’t be lost. After all, Obama and Biden are pretty well known. They are those guys who used to hang out in the White House? Joe likes trains and cars, and Barack is married to Michelle and has famous friends. You might remember those days.

I read this book as an ARC, I got a paperback, and then another paperback, cause I keep loaning it out and it doesn’t come back. The audio version is pretty spectacular too. The narrator does a pretty good Biden.

All right, this bromance needs a review. Joe and Obama are fresh out of the White House at the start of book one. Joe’s favorite conductor on the Amtrak has died, and somehow he becomes a detective of sorts. He drags Obama along for this crazy, campy, pseudo-thriller. It’s just so fun. There are celebrity appearances along the way, Bradley Cooper especially made me laugh.

If you need an escape from real life and enjoy fan fiction at its best. You’ll love this.

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Book Review: The Farm

Imagine spending some time at a fancy resort where everything is free. Anything you need is provided to you quickly and cheerfully, and you get to stay for nine months. The only catch? You are a surrogate, and after you give birth, you’ll be sent on your way-richer and yet emptier.

The three main characters are Jane, an immigrant already has a young daughter and works low wage domestic jobs when she can find them. Reagan is a stereotypical white girl who has nothing better to do and signs up just for the cash. And Mae, the tiger mom like Asian-American woman who runs the facility where Jane and Reagan end up. There isn’t much Mae won’t do to ensure a positive outcome for her clients. We also get to see how unprepared Jane is for this kind of situation, where her background and experience only make her more vulnerable. None of the characters are completely good or bad, and it definitely makes you think about our society today.

“….in America you only need to know how to make money. Money buys everything else.”

Isn’t that the truth. This isn’t a Handmaids Tale scenario, it isn’t romance, or even women’s fiction exactly. I’d almost call it horror-lite.

I was waiting for a shocking twist that didn’t appear. After I let the book sit with me a few days I started thinking about the premise and how the fact that this seems plausible and legal is maybe the most dystopian ending of all.

I think it would make an excellent book club read.

The Farm by Joanne Ramos May 7, 2019

Book Review: The East End

The East End is a book you could pick up now if you’ve got a Mother’s Day gift card burning a hole in your pocket. Hint, hint. It’s the kind of caper where the main character has it all figured out. Nothing can go wrong with his plan- so of course, everything goes wrong with his plan. LOL. Corey lives in the Hamptons year-round like he’s a townie, not someone who owns one of those huge houses there. But, he does house-sit in them. The plot stands out for me in that it is such a good example of class assumptions in this country. Being rich does not mean everything is great or that you’ve got your act together. Although Corey is apt to break the law, he feels justified, and you don’t hate him for it for which I give Jason Allen full credit. It isn’t easy building a character that lives within the gray area of society. One night he decides to go over to Sheffield’s when he thinks no one will be home and ends up seeing some things he shouldn’t. It all wraps up, but not in the way I expected, which is always nice! The entire twisty story takes just three days and you’ll want to read it that fast as well. A warning that it contains a lot of swearing, and adult situations. The East End by Jason Allen

ARC Review: Crashing the A List

Grown Up Books for Summer Reading a series all week long right here while I wish that I was going to have a Summer full of lounge chairs instead of drywall…

Loved this- it's only the second romance novel I've read this year, and I am getting more and more positive That I'll be reading more. 
The whole premise of regular gal ending up with a celebrity because of unusual circumstances- pulled me right in. Add in the fact that she worked in publishing and it was right up my alley. Clara loses her job in as a book editor, has to move in with her brother and ends up taking a job cleaning out storage units- yuck. 
A series of events lead her to a famous guy, and she ends up "fake dating" him- which turns into real dating- which made me laugh out loud. This is hilarious and real and perfect for reading at the beach this summer. July, 2019  
Crashing The A List by Summer Heacock