#FuturisticFriday review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

a-simple-favor

Photo Credit: Harper

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

A Simple Favor

Summary: She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page. Continue reading

Well-Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit

well-played

Photo Credit: William Morrow

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Well Played

Summary: From Today show contributor Meredith Sinclair comes this ultimate resource for awakening your playful spirit, jumpstarting your relationships, and upping your happiness quotient.

In our age of digital addiction, many of us have lost our ability to be spontaneous. More parents are complaining that they no longer even remember how to play…with their children, their spouse, and even with their own friends. Don’t fret! In Well Played, expert Meredith Sinclair helps readers relearn what used to come naturally and shows how to find happiness through play.

For children, playing comes naturally…or at least it used to. But today that kind of spontaneous fun is harder to come by, for both kids and their parents. With hectic lifestyles and constant technology overload, we have simply forgotten how to play. The solution? Relearn the art of integrating fun and creative play into our day-to-day lives.

Well Played will show you how to fit play into your overscheduled lives with plenty of original and entertaining ideas, including:

Why a disco ball is an essential kitchen appliance
Lip Sync Battle, family edition
Parent-child slumber parties…don’t forget the popcorn!
Party like it’s 1949 with old-school table games
12 dates that are way better than dinner and a movie
Stop helicopter parenting yourself—find things that thrill and slightly alarm you all at the same time!
Grown-up field trips to slap on your schedule
“Vino pong”—beer pong’s classier cousin

Packed with fun and engaging line drawings, Pinterest-worthy DIY projects, and hundreds of lists and tips on reintroducing play into your lives, Well Played is an indispensable guide for incorporating quality fun and playtime into our daily lives. Continue reading

Better Get to Livin’ by Sally Kilpatrick

better get to livin

Photo Credit: Kensington

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Better Get To Livin’

Summary: Smart, witty, and delightfully offbeat, this new novel from the author of The Happy Hour Choir and Bittersweet Creek is an uplifting story about following your heart, even when it leads to the last place you’d expect…

Presley Cline has put aside dreams of Hollywood stardom and come back to Ellery, Tennessee, to work in a beauty shop. In truth, the dreams in question were more her mother’s than her own. Presley may have the face and body of a movie icon, but she lacks the stomach for it. Yet a loving relationship and normal home life seem almost as unattainable as an Oscar. Being able to see and speak to dead people certainly isn’t helping.

Presley’s first job, beautifying “clients” at the Anderson Funeral Home, is quite a change from working on a movie set. The place is home to dozens of ghosts all hoping that Presley can help them move on–and also one very-much-alive owner, Declan Anderson. Like Presley, Declan is caught between following family expectations and his own aspirations. But with a little meddling from loved ones and locals–both living and dead–Presley is starting to see that life is too short not to be who you want to be, and the most rewarding journeys involve some unexpected detours… Continue reading

Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron

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Photo Credit: Crooked Lane Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Body on the Bayou

Summary: The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.

Maggie, inexplicably tasked with being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, quickly discovers why everyone else refused the assignment when the Bridezilla hands her a long list of duties — the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke, a mysterious woman with dangerous secrets. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou behind Crozat Plantation and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.

There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of Maid of Honor responsibilities in Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen Byron’s charming and witty series. Continue reading

Can I See You Again? by Allison Morgan

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Photo Credit: Berkley

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Can I See You Again?

Summary: From the author of The Someday Jar comes a witty and warm novel about a matchmaker who’s an expert at matters of the heart—except when it comes to her own…

Matchmaker Bree Caxton has a 98% success rate, a book about to hit the stands, and an amazing boyfriend. Until, that is, he gets cold feet about their future and runs from their relationship.

Afraid no one will buy a book on love from a woman whose love life is a mess, Bree begs her one matchmaking failure, Nixon Voss, to pose as her boyfriend. But when they become a hit with readers, they must carry on their charade just a little longer. Fortunately, they’re both having fun…

But then Bree’s ex decides he wants her back and a newspaper presents a challenge that could expose the truth about her rocky love life. Now she must find the courage to embrace what is, or risk losing something much bigger than her reputation: her heart… Continue reading

Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

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Photo Credit: Harlequin Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Sunset in Central Park

Summary: In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it’s been right under your nose all along…

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents’ divorce, she’s seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset? Continue reading

#FuturisticFriday review: In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

Photo Credit: Provided by #30Authors

Photo Credit: Lake Union, July 1

 

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

In Twenty Years

Summary: Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past. Continue reading