Meme

Saturdays at the Café


Saturdays at the Café
is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.



Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience’s attention. Her latest story–a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal–is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner’s office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence.

Emma Ford has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won’t be complete until she can clear Victoria’s name. Alone she’s had no luck, but she’s convinced that Avery’s connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria’s DNA.

But the twisted puzzle of Victoria’s private life belies a much darker mystery. And what Avery doesn’t realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery’s own secret past–one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . .

Donlea is an auto read for me and I found out about this upcoming release from Marialyce @ yayareads! An audio review hopeful.


“The night was expected to bring tragedy.” So begins one of the most highly-anticipated thrillers of 2022.

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey, four teenagers working late at the store are attacked. Only one inexplicably survives. Police quickly identify a suspect, the boyfriend of one of the victims, who flees and is never seen again.

Fifteen years later, more teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream store in the same town, and again only one makes it out alive.

In the aftermath of the latest crime, three lives intersect: the lone survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive the horrors of her tragedy; the brother of the fugitive accused, who’s convinced the police have the wrong suspect; and FBI agent Sarah Keller who must delve into the secrets of both nights—stirring up memories of teen love and lies—to uncover the truth about murders on the night shift.

Twisty, poignant, and redemptive, The Night Shift is a story about the legacy of trauma and how the broken can come out on the other side, and it solidifies Finlay as one of the new leading voices in the world of thrillers.

The old NetGalley email strikes again. Of course, I’m holding out for the audio version, scheduled for release in March, and am hoping my library buys it.



Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.

Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan’s misgivings.

When a waitress at the café goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her own past—failed romances, a disturbing experience she’d rather forget, and the trick mirror of nostalgia itself—if she wants to survive this homecoming.

Another NetGalley email that put this book on my radar. It’s not scheduled for release until April and I’m hoping for the audio version from my library.


The medical term is prosopagnosia. The average person calls it face blindness—the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face, even the faces of those closest to you.

When Eleanor walked in on the scene of her capriciously cruel grandmother, Vivianne’s, murder, she came face to face with the killer—a maddening expression that means nothing to someone like her. With each passing day, her anxiety mounts. The dark feelings of having brushed by a killer, yet not know who could do this—or if they’d be back—overtakes both her dreams and her waking moments, thwarting her perception of reality.

Then a lawyer calls. Vivianne has left her a house—a looming estate tucked away in the Swedish woods. The place her grandfather died, suddenly. A place that has housed a dark past for over fifty years.

Eleanor. Her steadfast boyfriend, Sebastian. Her reckless aunt, Veronika. The lawyer. All will go to this house of secrets, looking for answers. But as they get closer to bringing the truth to light, they’ll wish they had never come to disturb what rests there.

Yet another find from that NetGalley email! A library audiobook hopeful, scheduled for release in March.


Alex, a single mother-of-two, is determined to make a fresh start for her and her children. In an effort to escape her troubled past, she seeks refuge in a rural community. Pine Ridge is idyllic; the surrounding forests are beautiful and the locals welcoming. Mostly.

But Alex finds that she may have disturbed barely hidden secrets in her new home. As a chain of bizarre events is set
off, events eerily familiar to those who have lived there for years, Alex realizes that she and her family might be in greater danger than ever before. And that the only way to protect them all is to confront the shadows lurking in Pine Ridge.

The last of the books included in that NetGalley email. Another library audiobook hopeful.


Top FBI negotiator Quentin Savage is hurled into his worst nightmare when a terrorist attack on a luxury hotel propels him from esteemed keynote speaker to powerless captive.

Haley Cramer is co-owner of a private security firm and prides herself on her independence, but she is shaken to the core when gunmen attack a conference she is attending. She survives, but only because Quentin Savage pretends she’s his wife.

Together Savage and Haley plot their escape from a ragtag army of brutal but efficient thugs while struggling to figure out exactly who the enemy is. Why was the conference attacked, and why was Quentin a specific target?

I got this second book in the series on sale for $.99 at Amazon but it’s on sale everywhere.


Desi is the mastermind behind her dream getaway house. Nestled high into the mountains of North Carolina, it is a sleek place, a luxurious place, a dark place.

A place full of secrets.

Secrets about the man she longs for, a man who is not her husband. Secrets about the roots of her family that must never, ever, see the light of day. When Desi and her family arrive from Chicago to spend the summer in the mountains, the seeds for the tumultuous months to follow are planted—her marriage on the rocks, not knowing which way they’ll go. Her seventeen year-old daughter Jules, falling in love for the first time with a local boy—and forging a new path that will take her to uncharted places. And Carter—a man Desi knew long ago, before she expunged him from her life for good.

All hurtling toward events none of them can undo.

Thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read for the heads up in her Stacking the Shelves post. I’ve enjoyed earlier books by this author and I’m again hoping my library purchases the audiobook.


A young woman takes a job as a nanny for an impossibly wealthy family, thinking she’s found her entrée into a better life – only to discover instead she’s walked into a world of deception and dark secrets.

Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.

When Sarah Larsen finds the notice, posted on creamy card stock in her building’s lobby, one glance at the exclusive address tells her she’s found her ticket out of a life of long hours waiting tables for little pay.

At the interview, the job seems like a dream come true: a glamorous penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side; a salary that adds several zeroes to her current income; the beautiful, worldly mother of her charge, who feels more like a friend than a potential boss. She’s overjoyed when they offer her the position, signing the NDA without a second thought. These are important people, after all–they can’t be too careful about who they hire.

In retrospect, the notice in her lobby was less an engraved invitation than a waving red flag. For there is something very strange about the Bird family. Why does the beautiful Mrs. Bird never leave the apartment alone? And what happened to the nanny before her, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances? It soon becomes clear that the odd behaviors Sarah initially dismissed as the eccentricities of the wealthy are hiding something much darker and more sinister. But by then it’s too late for Sarah to seek help–she’s become complicit in their secrets. And, after all, discretion is of the utmost importance.

Can’t seem to resist another nanny story! A library audiobook hopeful.


Her husband is missing.

Visiting her family’s South Carolina estate, socialite Gray Godfrey wakes from a night out to an empty bed. Her husband Paul is gone and a thrashing hangover has wiped her memory clean. At first, she’s relieved for the break from her tumultuous marriage; perhaps Paul just needed some space. But when his car is found abandoned on the highway, Gray must face the truth: Paul is gone. And Gray may not want him found.

Her life is unraveling.

When a stranger named Annie calls claiming to know Paul’s whereabouts, Gray reluctantly accepts her help. But this ally is not what she seems: soon Annie is sending frightening messages and revealing disturbing secrets only Gray could know. As Annie’s threats escalate and Gray’s grip on reality begins to slip, the life she thought she had and the dark truth she’s been living begin to merge, leaving an unsettling question: What does Annie want? And what will she do to get it?

A chilling look at marriage, madness, and the lives we think we lead, When You Find Me is a daring debut from a talented new voice in psychological suspense.

One of my Goodreads friends recently reviewed this book and I was hooked. Another bonus is the audiobook version is free with my Audible membership!


The American West in the early 1960s appears to be a pastoral paradise: golden wheat fields, mist-filled canyons, frolicking animals. Aspiring novelist Aaron Holland Broussard has observed it from the open door of a boxcar, riding the rails for both inspiration and odd jobs.

Jumping off in Denver, he finds work on a farm and meets Joanne McDuffy, an articulate and fierce college student and gifted painter. Their soul connection is immediate, but their romance is complicated by Joanne’s involvement with a shady professor who is mixed up with a drug-addled cult. When a sinister businessman and his son who wield their influence through vicious cruelty set their sights on Aaron, drawing him into an investigation of grotesque murders, it is clear that this idyllic landscape harbors tremendous power—and evil. Followed by a mysterious shrouded figure who might not be human, Aaron will have to face down all these foes to save the life of the woman he loves and his own.

The latest installment in James Lee Burke’s masterful Holland family saga, Another Kind of Eden is both riveting and one of Burke’s most ambitious works to date. It dismantles the myths of both the twentieth-century American West and the peace-and-love decade, excavating the beauty and idealism of the era to show the menace and chaos that lay simmering just beneath the surface.

Only a gazillion of my friends have given this great reviews so when it showed up at my library, I grabbed the audiobook!



Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but no matter how far you run, your past will always catch up to you…


Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, Paloma decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.

Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. Paloma flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there’s no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?

My library continues to rock! This audiobook showed up this week and I quickly grabbed it.


From a distance, Claudia Castro has it all: a famous family, a trust fund, thousands of Instagram followers, and a spot in NYU’s freshman class. But look closer, and things are messier: her parents are separating, she’s just been humiliated by a sleazy documentary, and her sister is about to have a baby with a man she barely knows.

Claudia starts the school year resolved to find a path toward something positive, maybe even meaningful – and then one drunken night everything changes. Reeling, her memory hazy, Claudia cuts herself off from her family, seeking solace in a new friendship. But when the rest of school comes back from spring break, Claudia is missing.

Suddenly, the whole city is trying to piece together the hours of that terrible night.

Another intriguing title that showed up at my library this week. It’s more YA-ish than my normal reading but I’m willing to give it a chance.



Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing 14 gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed – inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?

Nothing about this appealed to me until I read review after review from trusted book friends on Goodreads and gave it more consideration. I finally moved it from my library wishlist and got the audiobook.


The discovery of a missing Amish bishop’s remains leads chief of police Kate Burkholder to unearth a chilling secret in The Hidden One, a new thriller from bestselling author Linda Castillo…

 

 

I’m reading this series with a Goodreads group and just learned about this upcoming release. I’m listening to the series and know my library will get the audiobook as that’s been my source for all the books to date.


The aunties are back, fiercer than ever and ready to handle any catastrophe–even the mafia–in this delightful and hilarious sequel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A for Aunties.

Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can’t wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name.

Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. It turns out Staphanie and her family are The Family–actual mafia, and they’re using Meddy’s wedding as a chance to take out a target. Her aunties and mother won’t let Meddy’s wedding ceremony become a murder scene–over their dead bodies–and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.

I had no idea this was going to be a series until I saw the second book in the Can’t Wait Wednesday post by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra (yeah, again). A library audiobook hopeful.


Breed warrior Micah is one of the Order’s best, his reputation for cold justice and lethal skill rivaled only by that of his formidable father, Tegan. So, when a mission Micah’s leading in an off-limits area called the Deadlands goes terribly wrong, leaving him the sole survivor of an apparent Atlantean attack, he won’t rest until he has answers…and vengeance for his fallen team.

Phaedra thought it was only a dream, a hideous nightmare. Yet somehow, she had been transported from her life in Rome to a stretch of barren forest when it suddenly lit up with unearthly fire, obliterating everything in its path—including the fiercely handsome Breed warrior she’d encountered in the dream. Or so she believed, until their paths cross again and Phaedra finds herself, and her Atlantean people, at the center of Micah’s wrath.

With tensions between the Breed and the Atlanteans already edging toward war, and another powerful nemesis growing bolder by the day, uncovering the stunning truth about what happened in the Deadlands will force Micah and Phaedra to work together in an alliance forged by fate and an undeniable desire neither of them can resist.

There was a time when I read a lot of paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, so much that I had to take a break. I plan to resume them in 2022 and this is one of that’s near the top of my list. This audiobook showed up at my library and I added it.



Hi Mich. It’s Gabe.


After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She’s perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago.

It’s been a long time.

Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents’ demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he’s the successful co-owner of LA’s hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It’s the last place Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe’s been running from catches up with him.

I’ve missed you.

Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm’s length or picking up right where they left off—in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families—who think they’re dating—and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adiós again?

Another great library find this week! Of course, I got the audiobook version.


A newbie Seattle detective gets an education in corruption in a short story by Robert Dugoni, the Amazon Charts and bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series.

His old life in the rearview, Del Castigliano has left Wisconsin to work homicide for the Seattle PD. Breaking him in is veteran detective Moss Gunderson, and he’s handing Del a big catch: the bodies of two unidentified men fished from Lake Union. It’s a major opportunity for the new detective, and Del runs with it, chasing every lead—to every dead end. Despite the help of another section rookie, Vic Fazzio, Del is going nowhere fast. Until one shotgun theory looks to be dead right: the victims are casualties of a drug smuggling operation. But critical information is missing—or purposely hidden. It’s forcing Del into a crisis of character and duty that not even the people he trusts can help him resolve.

I hadn’t even heard about this short story by the author until it was offered for audio review. It’s only an hour but I’m sure it’s a gem.



The American West in the early 1960s appears to be a pastoral paradise: golden wheat fields, mist-filled canyons, frolicking animals. Aspiring novelist Aaron Holland Broussard has observed it from the open door of a boxcar, riding the rails for both inspiration and odd jobs.

Jumping off in Denver, he finds work on a farm and meets Joanne McDuffy, an articulate and fierce college student and gifted painter. Their soul connection is immediate, but their romance is complicated by Joanne’s involvement with a shady professor who is mixed up with a drug-addled cult. When a sinister businessman and his son who wield their influence through vicious cruelty set their sights on Aaron, drawing him into an investigation of grotesque murders, it is clear that this idyllic landscape harbors tremendous power—and evil. Followed by a mysterious shrouded figure who might not be human, Aaron will have to face down all these foes to save the life of the woman he loves and his own.

The latest installment in James Lee Burke’s masterful Holland family saga, Another Kind of Eden is both riveting and one of Burke’s most ambitious works to date. It dismantles the myths of both the twentieth-century American West and the peace-and-love decade, excavating the beauty and idealism of the era to show the menace and chaos that lay simmering just beneath the surface.

This is the third book in the Holland Family Saga and the audiobook was available from my library.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

 

17 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. So many great choices! I also got the Robert Dugoni – I love his books – and I’m eyeing that Charlie Donlea also. Right now I’ve just filled up my tbr all over again so I will have to look at others later.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All these books sound fantastic! The Night Shift and My Sweet Girl are definitely going on my TBR list! I love blogging, but I swear my TBR list gets bigger near enough every single day 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that is a very impressive haul! Once there were Wolves sounds interesting. The Resting Place reminds me, that I think I have a bit of face blindness as well. I do recognise people I am close to, but it takes many meetings before I start to recognise new faces.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots of wonderful choices on your blog. The Robert Dugoni is a definite add for me! I love your new design on the page. It so peaceful.

    I added The Whistling by Rebecca Netley, Nice Girls by Catherine Dang, and The Deepest of Secrets by Kelly Armstrong.

    Enjoy your Sunday and the coming week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for noticing my new design! You’re the first💜 I needed a logo and when other members mentioned they used Canva in response to Tessa’s Friday question a week ago, I signed up for the free trial and created two…one spelled out and one with initials for my site page. I also created a new image for these Saturday posts. It was fun!

      I found Nice Girls at my library and put it on the wishlist. I’ll wait for your review😏

      Have a fantastic week!

      Like

  5. I just requested a few of those mystery/thrillers from Minotaur books – Pay Dirt Road and The Night Shift – and also Under Lock and Skeleton Key from that email. I just finished the sampler, and those were the ones that most caught my attention and that fit into my schedule. I hope you enjoy them!

    Liked by 1 person

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