#ReadingChallenge, Amazon First Reads, Just for Fun, Reading Challenge

Amazon First Reads March 2021

As you know I love to find out what Amazon First Reads has in store for its Prime Members and this month is no different!

This months choices are:

Thriller

A Deadly Influence by Mike Omer, Pages: 443, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: From bestselling author Mike Omer comes the first in a new series full of the psychological twists and police procedural turns that his fans have come to know and love.

Lieutenant Abby Mullen is no stranger to crisis. As the hostage negotiation instructor for the NYPD, she deals with worst-case scenarios every day. Nothing fazes her anymore.

That all changes when she gets a call from Eden Fletcher, a fellow survivor of the infamous Wilcox cult. The two haven’t spoken since the night of a tragic, fiery massacre, when their paths diverged. But now Eden needs Abby’s help: someone has kidnapped her son and is demanding a $5 million ransom. As Abby throws herself into the case, she can’t help but wonder why the kidnapper has targeted Eden. But Eden refuses to talk. She’s silent about the relics of their shared past hanging on her walls. About the kidnapper’s possible motives. About what’s happened in the years since she and Abby parted ways.

As the truth closes in, Abby realizes that her past may not be as far behind as she thought…and it’s come home to collect.

Book Club Fiction

The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah, Pages: 445, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: Go on a powerful journey of forgiveness and healing with The Light Through the Leaves, a transcendent novel of love, loss, and self-discovery by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars.

One unbearable mistake at the edge of the forest.

In a moment of crisis, Ellis Abbey leaves her daughter, Viola, unattended—for just a few minutes. But when she returns, Viola is gone. A breaking point in an already fractured marriage, Viola’s abduction causes Ellis to disappear as well—into grief, guilt, and addiction. Convinced she can only do more harm to her family, Ellis leaves her husband and young sons, burying her desperate ache for her children deeper with every step into the mountain wildernesses she treks alone.

In a remote area of Washington, a young girl named Raven keeps secrets inside, too. She must never speak to outsiders about how her mother makes miracles spring from the earth, or about her father, whose mysterious presence sometimes frightens her. Raven spends her days learning how to use her rare gifts—and more important, how to hide them. With each lesson comes a warning of what dangers lie in the world beyond her isolated haven. But despite her mother’s cautions, Raven finds herself longing for something more.

As Ellis and Raven each confront their powerful longings, their journeys will converge in unexpected and hopeful ways, pulled together by the forces of nature, love, and family.

Suspense

Lies we Bury by Elle Marr, Pages: 299, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: A novel about secrets and revenge by the number one Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Missing Sister. It’s only by confronting who she was then that she can understand who she is now.

I was born in captivity…

Two decades ago Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison—the only home she’d ever known. At twenty-seven, Marissa’s moved beyond the trauma and is working under a new name as a freelance photographer. But when she accepts a job covering a string of macabre murders in Portland, it’s impossible for Marissa not to remember.

Everything is eerily familiar. The same underground lairs. Sad trinkets and toys left behind, identical to those Marissa had as a child. And then there is the note meant just for her that freezes Marissa’s blood: See you soon, Missy.

To determine the killer’s next move, Marissa must retrieve her long-forgotten memories and return to a past she’s hidden away. But she won’t be facing her fears alone. Someone is waiting for her in the dark.

Domestic Suspense

The Perfect Marriage by Adam Mitzner, Pages: 292, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: The price of true love is betrayal, suspicion, and murder in a thriller of twisting suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Best Friend.

James and Jessica Sommers are celebrating their first blissful year together, an unexpected second chance at true love. Unfortunately, their newfound shot at happiness is not without collateral damage.

There’s Jessica’s ex-husband. He pretends for all the world that he’s resilient and strong. If only for the sake of their teenage son, profoundly vulnerable in his own way. James’s ex has taken a different road. Bitter, vengeful, and threatening, she wants only the worst for the happy couple. And then there’s the couple themselves: Are they truly as in love as they seem?

When James enters into an extraordinarily profitable, if shady, transaction with a beautiful art dealer, Jessica and James’s seemingly perfect marriage takes a dark and tragic turn.

Amid suspicions, tested loyalties, revenge, and guilt, no one escapes unscathed from sins committed in the name of love.

Contemporary Fiction

Adulting by Liz Talley, Pages: 332, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: USA Today bestselling author Liz Talley’s emotional and heart-lifting novel about facing the past, unconditional love, and a woman on the verge of a breakthrough.

After another all-night bender, one more failed stint at rehab, and a parole violation, self-destructive actress Chase London has to deal with her demons. She’s been written off as a Hollywood casualty by almost everyone, including her own mother. But handsome superstar Spencer Rome has her back. So does an uncompromising stranger determined to start Chase at square one and help her pull her future into focus. If Chase is willing.

Life coach Olivia Han is devoted to “adulting” boot camp therapy. It’s not just her professional specialty, though—it’s also one way to avoid focusing on building a life of her own. To escape the pressures of Tinseltown, the two women head to Olivia’s cabin in the wilds of Northern California. There they discover a place in need of TLC. As they work together to rehab the once-charming cabin, they create a refuge where Chase can come to terms with her unsettled past, and where Olivia has an unexpected reckoning with her own troubling history.

For two women doing damage control, this is a time for second chances—in life, in finding love, in forgiving family, and in an emerging friendship that might be exactly what each of them needs to heal.

Historical Fiction

The Secret Stealer by Jane Healey, Pages: 443, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: A female American spy in Nazi-occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

Memoir

I’m in Seattle, Where are You? by Mortada Gzar, Pages: 309, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: An award-winning Iraqi writer creates a new world for himself in Seattle in search of lost love.

As the US occupation of Iraq rages, novelist Mortada Gzar, a student at the University of Baghdad, has a chance encounter with Morise, an African American soldier. It’s love at first sight, a threat to them both, and a moment of self-discovery. Challenged by society’s rejection and Morise’s return to the US, Mortada takes to the page to understand himself.

In his deeply affecting memoir, Mortada interweaves tales of his childhood work as a scrap-metal collector in a war zone and the indignities faced by openly gay artists in Iraq with his impossible love story and journey to the US. Marginalized by his own society, he is surprised to discover the racism he finds in a new one. At its heart, I’m in Seattle, Where Are You? is a moving tale of love and resilience.

Children’s Picture Book

Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night by Annelouise Mahoney, Pages: 33, Publication Date: 1 April 2021

Synopsis: An enchanting woodland tale about bravery and friendship from a debut author-illustrator.

Julius and Macy like to play heroes. Julius pretends he’s the defender of the forest, while Macy has a quieter strength. When their snack disappears one night, they decide to track down the only one who could have taken it—the Night Goblin. They both have to be brave in their own ways, and they ultimately discover that the real thief isn’t anything like they imagined.

With its endearing characters, this gently told tale reminds us that we each have courage within us and that kindness can make all the difference.

*** Which book will you choose? I’ll let you know which book I choose in a few days. ***

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