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.



As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career—including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora.

A former teacher, the glare of the spotlight is unnerving for Emma, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected…but then the unthinkable happens.

A man is found dead in Emma’s home. A man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

Thanks to Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog for this one. She included it in her Stacking the Shelves post. I read the description and quickly added it, an audio review hopeful.


After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.

I stumbled on this upcoming release after I finished Rock Paper Scissors. It’s scheduled for release in August and is a library audiobook hopeful.



A pulse-pounding novel about a small-town business owner found dead and the teenage girl caught in the crosshairs, American Girl is the latest thriller from international best-selling author Wendy Walker.

Charlie Hudson, an autistic 17-year-old, is determined to leave Sawyer, PA as soon as she graduates high school — in the meantime, she works as many hours as she can at a sandwich shop called The Triple S to save money for college. But when shop owner Clay Cooper — a man who is both respected and feared by many in this economically depressed community — is found dead, each member of his staff becomes a suspect in the perplexing case. Charlie must work to protect herself and her friends, and uncover the danger that may still be at large in their tightknit community.

Best-selling author Wendy Walker returns with another riveting thriller, told through the eyes of an unforgettable protagonist.

Please note: This audio contains strong language, distressing situations, and descriptions of violence that some listeners may find upsetting. Discretion is advised.

This was free with my Audible membership and I discovered it while browsing the new stuff in the Audible Plus catalog. The author is an auto read!


Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him.

Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere.

But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband.

The man who killed my son.

My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbours whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom?

They don’t really know me at all….

Another discovery from my Audible Plus catalog browsing. I have another audiobook by this author already sitting in my wishlist.



Christmas during World War II is a time for small miracles in this bittersweet short story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Child and In Farleigh Field.

Jack and Maggie Harris are adrift on ravaged streets during the London Blitz. Their home is gone. They have nowhere to go and nothing left to lose. With only the memories of their greatest loss—the death of their child during a Christmas years before—Jack and Maggie settle in a seemingly deserted mansion for the night.

Inside they find shelter, warmth, and a bit of cheer. They also discover a surprise. Now, in the darkest of times, the unexpected compassion of strangers will make this Christmas one to remember forever.

Another discovery from my Audible Plus catalog browsing.


Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him.

Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere.

But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband.

The man who killed my son.

My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbours whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom?

They don’t really know me at all…

Yet another discovery from my Audible Plus catalog.



Private Investigator and ex-World War II veteran Aloysius Archer heads to Los Angeles, the city where dreams are made and shattered, and is ensnared in a lethal case in this latest thriller in #1 New York Timesbestselling author David Baldacci’s Nero Award-winning series.

No description yet nor an audiobook cover but I’m jumping into the line now. This is a library audiobook hopeful.


Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….

Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

I became a fan of the author after one book! Thanks to Rose @ Novels and Teacups for her recent review and putting it on my radar.



Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.

I was blown away by The Night Swim so when I saw this on the Sunday Post by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books, I immediately added it and recommended the audiobook for library purchase.


An embattled actress turns to podcasting when she becomes entangled in a dark conspiracy at a spiritual retreat in this absorbing mystery about fame, violence, and our morbid fascination with murder—from the acclaimed author of Dead Letters.

Olivia Reed needs a break. She doesn’t want to think about her name plastered on tabloids or be reminded of her recent meltdown on a Manhattan street. Her micromanaging publicist has just the thing in mind: a remote retreat in Upstate New York—the House of Light. It’s not rehab; it’s a spiritual center, a site for seeking realignment and personal growth. There will be yoga and morning meditation, soft bamboo-blend fabrics and crystals to snuggle.

But Liv will soon find that the House of Light is filled with darkness. A prickly local, Ava, informs her that something twisted is lurking behind the Light’s veneer. There have been a series of mysterious suicides committed by women caught in the Light’s web, and no matter who Ava talks to, no one believes her. To get the truth out and put her celebrity to good use, Liv starts a podcast, seeking to connect the dots and expose the Light’s true intentions. Because beneath the glowing skin of the Light’s inhabitants lie rotten souls, and Liv starts to wonder if anything—even her own life—is how it appears.

Caite Dolan-Leach brings her tantalizing voice, gift for atmosphere, and a cast of delightfully devious and absorbing characters to this riveting novel of suspense.

Same Sunday Post by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books. Definitely a library audiobook hopeful.



When Veronica Levy bought her home on the Outer Cape, she imagined generations of her family gathering there each summer for many years to come – but things didn’t work out that way. Forty years later, Ronnie’s husband is gone. Her son, Sam, is in California, and rarely makes the trip back home. Her daughter, Sarah, packs her kids’ summers full of enriching, educational, resume-building activities that do not include collecting seashells or playing Frisbee on the beach. When Sarah’s stepdaughter announces her engagement, it feels like a natural end point. Ronnie will reunite the family for one last summer celebration, and then say goodbye to the house she’s loved for her entire life.

Another soon-to-be smash hit from the “undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a hilarious, delicious, and wickedly observed story about parents and children, husbands and wives, the places we call home, and all the ways that love can surprise us.

By now, my inability to resist the books in the Can’t Wait Wednesday post by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra should be obvious. Here’s another one!


It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.

Already an international bestseller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.

I ignored this mostly, not being drawn by the cover or description, that is until I read the review by Zoe @ What’s Better Than Books. Thankfully, my library had the audiobook.



Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of 10, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets – Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

I’ve had this on my Audible wishlist for quite some time but never added it to my shelf. It was selected as the February book of the month in one of my Goodreads groups so I jumped off the fence.


Annie comes home from a market trip with her young son, George, only to make a gruesome discovery. Could the perpetrator be the new lodger she and her husband, David, just rented their spare bedroom to?

Emily dreams of one day owning a house where her son, Josh, and the little one on the way can grow up, but when her husband, Aidan, insists on leaving his lucrative job as a luxury car salesman, she senses something more is afoot – even while she harbours a secret of her own. What is Aidan hiding, and will it jeopardize their young family’s future?

Meanwhile, Aidan’s boss, Marcus, finds himself caught between placating his wife Dani’s all-consuming desire to get pregnant and managing the less than savoury group of associates now helping to run his car dealership. How far is Marcus willing to go to prove his love for Dani? Or will his business come first?

Another great find in my Audible Plus catalog.



What happens when four assistants risk everything to say enough is enough?

Best friends Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max are overworked and underpaid assistants to some of the most powerful people in the entertainment industries. Like the assistants who came before them, the women know they have to pay their dues and abide the demeaning tasks and verbal abuse from their bosses in order to climb the ladders to their dream jobs.

But as they are passed over for promotions and the toxic office environments reach a breaking point, the women secretly start an anonymous blog detailing their experiences, which snowballs into hundreds of others coming forward with stories of their own. Confronted with newfound viral fame and the possibility of their identities being revealed, the assistants have to contend with the life-changing consequences of speaking out against those who refuse to share the power.

I still haven’t decided if I want to participate in the blog tour but I know I want this on audio! Yes, it’s an audio review hopeful.


An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

I received this audiobook as a gift from Simon & Schuster for being a longtime newsletter subscriber! 



Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.

Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.

Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted?

I hadn’t heard of this book until I read the review by Susanne @ Books are a Girl’s Best Friend.com and was hooked! Another library audiobook hopeful.


It started with a letter. It ended with a love story.

Every December, Josie posts a letter from her home in London to the parents she lost on Christmas night many years ago. Each year, she writes the same three words: Missing you, always. But this year, her annual trip to the postbox is knocked off course by a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger–a stranger who will change the course of Josie’s life.

Josie always thought she was the only one who avoided the Christmas season, but this year, Max has his own reasons for doing the same–and coincidence leads them to spending the holiday together. Aglow with new love, Josie thinks this might be the start of something special.

Only for Max to disappear without saying goodbye.

Over the course of the next year, Max and Josie will find that fate continues to bring them together in places they’d never expect. New York City. Edinburgh. The quiet English countryside. And it turns out, Max had every reason to leave and every reason to stay. But what does fate hold for Josie and Max as Christmas approaches again?

I had this on my library wishlist for some time, unsure about it, until so many positive reviews by Goodreads friends started showing up. I finally put it in my hold queue and added it to my shelf.



Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée.

Searching for clues means investigating her own family. And she doesn’t like what she finds. A laptop filled with incriminating information. Other women.

But when Elisa becomes friends with Josh’s new girlfriend and starts to question things she thinks are true, Elisa wonders if the memories of a horrible incident a year ago have finally pushed her over the edge and Josh is really innocent. With so much at stake, Elisa fights off panic attacks and a strange illness. Is it a breakdown or something more? The race is on to get to the truth before another disappearance because there’s a killer in the family…or is there?

This showed up at my library and I’m still a little iffy about it but am going for it!


Never Too Late Series

Everything went wrong. And then she went gray.

At 47, newly divorced makeup artist Lela Bennett is dreading her next steps. Dating. Meeting people. Not letting herself go. But then she runs into Donovan James and tries something different—sleeping with her sexy crush from college. Unfortunately, in a post-orgasm stupor, Lela confesses she was in love with Donovan all those years ago. He responds by leaving while she sleeps. The next morning, her gray hairs are practically taunting her. She knows she has to get it together. Forget men. Embrace her age. Own her gray.

Donovan James is a marketing genius, but his ex-wives will tell you—nothing freaks him out like feelings. Three years after his one-night stand with Lela, he’s focused on his daughter’s lifestyle company, but unprepared to meet the face of the beauty division. It’s Lela. With stunning silver locks and new confidence, she’s no longer swayed by his charms. When business starts booming, the universe seems intent on throwing them together time and again. And suddenly, two people convinced that romance was behind them are wondering if love could be what’s next.


She can’t hit the snooze on her biological clock forever…

Love, career, kids—Brooklyn Monroe wants it all. Her beauty company? A triumph. Her love life? Total fail. At 42, that makes motherhood her top priority. With no man in her life, she’s prepared to fly solo, but her plan is derailed when a mailing list mishap turns Brooklyn into a someone-get-me-pregnant internet meme. Making her PR nightmare go away entails a soul-baring interview on national TV. And the guy asking the questions? Her all-too sexy ex.
Talk show host Alec Trakas is the king of bad timing. Case in point, his heartbreaking romance with Brooklyn. Alec was all about commitment but Brooklyn was launching her start-up, and forever wasn’t in the cards. Now a shot at his ultimate dream job depends on convincing Brooklyn to spill the secrets leading to her viral celebrity. It sets Alec’s star rising, but puts Brooklyn in a sea of flirty men. Fate has thrown them back together. Sparks are flying. But is the timing finally right? Because having it all might not be worth the risk of losing each other again.

Both of these books showed up at my library and I grabbed them right away! 



A vivid behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and the evolution of criminal profiling, written by the pioneering forensic nurse who transformed the way the FBI studies, profiles, and catches serial killers.
 

Lurking beneath the progressive activism and sex positivity in the 1970-80s, a dark undercurrent of violence rippled across the American landscape. With reported cases of sexual assault and homicide on the rise, the FBI created a specialized team—the “Mindhunters” better known as the Behavioral Science Unit—to track down the country’s most dangerous criminals. And yet narrowing down a seemingly infinite list of potential suspects seemed daunting at best and impossible at worst—until Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess stepped on the scene.

In A Killer By Design, Burgess reveals how her pioneering research on sexual assault and trauma caught the attention of the FBI, and steered her right into the middle of a chilling serial murder investigation in Nebraska. Over the course of the next two decades, she helped the budding unit identify, interview, and track down dozens of notoriously violent offenders, including Ed Kemper (“The Co-Ed Killer”), Dennis Rader (“(“BTK”), Henry Wallace (“The Taco Bell Strangler”), Jon Barry Simonis (“The Ski-Mask Rapist”), and many others. As one of the first women trailblazers within the FBI’s hallowed halls, Burgess knew many were expecting her to crack under pressure and recoil in horror—but she was determined to protect future victims at any cost. This book pulls us directly into the investigations as she experienced them, interweaving never-before-seen interview transcripts and crime scene drawings alongside her own vivid recollections to provide unprecedented insight into the minds of deranged criminals and the victims they left behind. Along the way, Burgess also paints a revealing portrait of a formidable institution on the brink of a seismic scientific and cultural reckoning—and the men forced to reconsider everything they thought they knew about crime.

Haunting, heartfelt, and deeply human, A Killer By Design forces us to confront the age-old question that has long plagued our criminal justice system: “What drives someone to kill, and how can we stop them?”

One of my trusted Goodreads friends read and recommended this book so when it showed up at my library, I got in the queue.


What family secrets are behind two disappearances? Seattle detective Tracy Crosswhite is determined to uncover the truth in the latest installment of New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s heart-stopping series.

Returning from an extended leave in her hometown of Cedar Grove, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself reassigned to the Seattle PD’s cold case unit. As the protective mother of an infant daughter, Tracy is immediately drawn to her first file: the abduction of a five-year-old girl whose parents, embattled in a poisonous divorce, were once prime suspects.

While reconstructing the days leading up to the girl’s disappearance, Tracy is brought into an active investigation with former partner Kinsington Rowe. A young woman has vanished on an isolated jogging trail in North Seattle. Divided between two critical cases, Tracy has little to go on except the treacherous deceptions behind a broken marriage—and now, the secrets hiding behind the closed doors of a deceptively quiet middle-class neighborhood.

To find two missing persons, Tracy will have to follow more than clues, which are both long cold and unsettlingly fresh. Given her own traumatic past, Tracy must also follow her instincts—to whatever dark and dangerous places they may lead.

The Tracy Crosswhite series was selected as a group read by one of my Goodreads groups and I’d collected all but this 8th book.



Back at the Café after a break for Christmas!
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

 

28 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Oh my gosh Jonetta! What an incredible list of books! I want to add them all!🤩. Hope you enjoy! Happy New Year! Wishing you a year filled with fabulous reads!💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I love the Tracey Crosswhite series so very much. You are making great use of your Audible Plus options. I read a book by Darby Kane and it was twisty but I loved it. I’m working on my goals for 2022. I have 8 series so far I want to catchup / finish. Any books / authors you would particularly recommend for me?

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First on your list should be the DI Kim Stone by Angela Marsons. I’d also recommend the Lucy Kincaid series by Allison Brennan, which also intersects with her Max Revere series. We opted to read the trilogies that are connected to Lucy because there is character crossover. If ever you’re interested, we have the reading order list.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marialyce💜 All three of those books sound wonderful! I’ve followed that true crime on Dateline and can’t wait to see what you think about Pam. I’m already in for The Appeal and The Cage is calling my name now😏

      Have a fantastic week!

      Liked by 1 person

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