The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

***Spoiler Alert!***

So I’m not as tongue-in-cheek as the author and I’m just going to say the truth. This story is about three women:

Nellie:

First we have Nellie, a regular girl who scores the perfect man in Richard Thompson. He’s wealthy, handsome, caring, compassionate-her savior when all is low. Everything is perfect…except that Nellie is afraid she will damage it and send him scurrying.

Also she gets weird hang ups calls, feels as if someone is following her, etc, Is she in danger? Is not all as it seems? Or is she just crazy?

Hmm…

Vanessa:

Second we have Vanessa, Richard’s former wife. She can’t let him go, as she doesn’t want him to hurt another. She details the Hyde side of Richard. His anger, his constant demands, his fighting, blaming, etc. He ruined her life and she will do all she can to keep him from doing it to another.

Emma:

The third woman, Richard’s new fiancée; Emma, who Vanessa wants to help. She has her own dark secrets and hidden face under the masque of sweetness, innocence, and naivety.

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

While Richard is an abusive two-faced man, the Dr. Jekyll persona he shows to everyone, and his hidden Hyde side he only shows to her-Vanessa also has two faces. There is the strong, determined, learned Vanessa-and then her nervous, compromising, submissive side, Nellie.

What?!

Yes these two women are actually the same person.

I thought this was a very well written novel and captures your attention right away.

While it was a great read, it was hard for me to read as what she describes is what I experienced with my husband. one month in our marriage and I was done with his Dr. Jekyll and Hyde life-never knowing which way he will be, trying all you can do to make him not mad, and living with his Dark side.

Thankfully, my divorce was finalized October 24th and I am now legally single. I wish, like Vanessa, I had never met him and never let him into my life-at least all is done and I can move forward.

For more abusive relationships, go to The Enemy We Know

For more not in a series mysteries, go to The Woman in the Movie Star Dress

For more stalkers, go to The House on Foster Hill

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

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Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Thoughts Before Cooking:

You know me and smoothies! And I’m game for anything that uses up my big container of oatmeal. I found it from pinterest and it is from The Schmidty Wife.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup of Oatmeal
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana
  • 4-5 Ice Cubes

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was good. What amazes me is that there is only a little bit of peanut butter but it is so overpowering. A yummy smoothie

For more smoothie recipes, go to Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bark

For more breakfast recipes, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

For more drinks, go to Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

The Woman in the Movie Star Dress

The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana

A young woman comes to Hollywood to escape her past. She starts working in a vintage dress shop that has gowns all the way back from Joan Crawford.

From 23 Skidoo 2082 S. Winchester Blvd San Jose, California

There is one special dress however, that is beautiful and the woman desires it.

One day she discovers that it has the power to transform human character from the previous owner into the clothing-changing from an insecure girl to a bombshell heartbreaker.

One day someone comes asking about a red dress, the special one. She starts looking into the history of the dress and stumbles on a secret and a mystery.

What?!

Thoughts After Reading:

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. Let me say that I could not stand this book.
The book cover and story line was so appealing that I could not wait to read the book, but once I started I found it impossible to continue.

Ugh!

  1. The characters were boring
  2. There is no action or movement
  3. They introduce so many characters in confusing ways that you find yourself unsure who is who
  4. There are so many flashbacks it makes it hard to follow what is current and what is past.

I was sorely disappointed.

For more not in a series mysteries, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart
For more mysteries, go to The House on Foster Hill

The Man Next Door

“The Man Next Door” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Mr. Mensch just finished with one of his “guests” and is looking for a new “visitor” to join him. Mr. Mensch inherited millions from his penny-pinching, miserly father. He has moved around the country and had many “visitors” stay with him in his basement or secret rooms.

This is not good

He’s been looking at his neighbor Bree Matthews, watching her. He knows that choosing her would be dangerous, police would come-but he can’t get her out of his head. She had been remodeling her townhouse next door and had a leak destroy everything. She came over enraged and yelling that the contractor told her it was his fault-he had a leak pouring onto her roof. Mensch just told her calmly to get another contractor take a look-its not his fault. While he was calm on the inside, a fire was growing inside him. He wanted her.

The next day, Bree came to apologize and admit she was wrong. She had another contractor view and it turns out the original contractor cut a lot of corners. Mensch accepted her apology and couldn’t deny it. She was to be his next visitor.

That night he went to work, cutting out the stone in the basement that connects the two houses, his plan to get in and get Bree.

Bree has been having a bad weekend. She had her beautiful home decorated and destroyed by shoddy work. She is taking the contractor to court, which caused a fight and break up with her boyfriend Kevin Carter, as he felt she should just accept the settlement. She had to spend their planned Friday night alone, leave the office early Saturday because she has a cold, and spent all Sunday in bed miserable. Now she is heading to court and is woken early because of a strange grinding noise from next door. Ugh!

She doesn’t know how much worse her life is about to get as that noise marks Mensch’s entrance. He breaks in, drugs her up-makes it look as if she was abducted on her way home Friday night, and imprisons her in her basement. Will she make it out okay, or face the same fate as his previous’ visitors?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it. It was so engrossing that I read faster and faster until I reached the conclusion. I had to know if she survived or ended up dead in the river.

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more short stories, go to A Much Expected Murder

For more books with kidnapping, go to The Secret Adversary

For more serial killers, go to The House on Foster Hill

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So today we celebrate with a romantic murder mystery!

letmecallyousweetheart

Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark

This is the first Mary Higgins Clark book I had ever read, so it is special to me. Years back I was just watching TV shows and movies on Youtube on my phone while I was working on something on the computer. The movie Let Me Call You Sweetheart came on, and I started watching it.

I got so into the film, I decided to read the book.

Kerri McGrath is a divorced mother and works for the D.A. Her ex-husband left her to trade up for a new wife/partnership in a law firm and has been pretty absent in Kerri and their daughter Robin’s life.

One day he was taking Robin out and she didn’t have her seatbelt on. They were in an accident and she gets her face damaged. Kerri takes her to the best plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Smith. While they are waiting, Kerri sees a beautiful woman that looks so familiar to her, but she can’t remember where or why. She asks about her name, but doesn’t recognize it.

It sticks with her, and she keeps thinking of roses. It continues to trouble her until one day it hits her like a flash! The woman was a dead ringer for Suzanne Reardon! The Sweetheart Murder!

Eleven years ago, Suzanne Reardon was found dead in her home, sweetheart roses thrown everywhere. Her husband was arrested for her murder and the case quickly sewn up. It bothers Kerri that Dr. Smith would make a lookalike, and not one but TWO, as she discovers another woman done over the same way. She calls for the old files and begins to research into the case.

Geoff Dorso is pleased she is interested, as he is the defense attorney for Skip Reardon, Suzanne’s husband. He never believed that Skip was guilty and has been trying for the last eleven years to find something that proves it and help him get his freedom. He eagerly goes over the case with Kerri, hoping they find something new, along with falling head over heels for her.

But not all are happy that Kerri is looking into it. Her boss Frank Green made his career on that case and he is up for promotion, one that could go away if it turned out he sent an innocent man to jail. He encourages Kerri to let it go as she has a ton of current cases that are in need of looking into.

State Senator Jonathan Hoover, and friend of Kerri’s, is not interested in her dragging this up as he and the party were interested in elevating Frank Green and appointing Kerri to judgeship, but that won’t happen if she keeps looking into this.

Don’t mess with it

Jimmy Weeks, Mafioso, is dead set against any investigation into the Suzanne Reardon case. Right now he is going on trial, Kerri’s ex-husband, Bob, being his defense attorney. He tells Bob in no uncertain terms that he needs to get his ex-wife to quit or else bad things will happen.

Kerri is waffling between looking into the case and letting it go, especially with the threats against her, her job, and her daughter. But then she uncovers something and believes that the real killer is still out there. Will she be able to figure it out in time? Or will this be her last case?

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this book. I enjoy it so much that I reread it a lot. I definitely recommend it to anyone.

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to This Pen for Hire

For more on Mary Higgins Clark, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more mysteries in retrospect, go to The Disappearance of Edwin Drood

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to The House on Foster Hill

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bark

So I love yogurt and when I saw this recipe I thought it would be interesting to try out. I found it on pinterest and it comes from Hello, Wonderful.

Plus strawberries are a Valentine’s Day staple, so I thought it would be a cute one to do before the holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • Dried Strawberries (I couldn’t find any so I used Dried Cran-Strawberries)

Directions:

  1. Line a flat pan with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with yogurt, making sure it is not too thin (about 3/8 of an inch thick).
  2. Sprinkle with dried fruit.
  3. Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen.
  4. Remove frozen yogurt from pan and peel off parchment paper.
  5. Break into pieces.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It wasn’t that good. The fruit kept popping off the yogurt and it was so hard it made my teeth hurt.

When it did soften it kind of melted everywhere.

Ugh!

Not something I would repeat.

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta

For more recipes, go to Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I love kale, so when I find a recipe I want to make it! I found this on Pinterest but it originally comes from Budget Bytes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • 1/2 lb of Pasta
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Butter
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Pull the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into small pieces.
  2. Rinse the kale in a colander under cool, running water; letting it dry.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. When water is boiling throw in pasta noodles, cooking al dente (about 7 mins).
  5. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  6. While pasta is cooking; add olive oil, butter, and minced garlic to another pot or skillet.
  7. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 mins or until garlic is soft and fragrant.
  8. Add the kale and continue to saute until kale has wilted and turned a deep green color (about 5-7 mins).
  9. Turn the heat off.
  10. Add the pasta to the pot with the kale.
  11. Toss pasta and kale together.
  12. Let them cool to the point that no steam is rising from the pot. You want the pasta hot but not hot enough to melt the Parmesan cheese.
  13. Season the pasta and kale with salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
  14. Add the grated cheese.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was really good.

I love kale and I love pasta and this was a great combo!

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie

For more Budget Bytes reccipes, go to Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta

For more pasta dishes, go to Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

This story is told in twi different times, with two different points of view:

Present Time:

Kaine Prescott has lost her husband and has a stalker. She tried to get the police to investigate both more thoroughly, but both have come to dead ends.

After two years, she moved to Wisconsin and bought a house, sight unseen, in her late grandpa’s hometown.

As she fixes the house up, she discovers a dark history and secret surrounding it, connected to a long ago mystery. As Kaine continues investigating will she find the answers or succumb to a past and present killer?

Past:

Ivy Thorpe assists her father, the town doctor, in trying to exhume and discover what caused the death of the bodies the police find. The House on Foster Hill has always held bad memories for Ivy, but with the discovery of a dead woman’s body, a baby, and possible serial killer. Will Ivy outsmart the killer, or will she be the next in his deadly list.

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

It was good with great characters but the present day reveal was disappointing.

I expected more from the novel than the obvious and chunkily thrown in villain.

I really enjoyed how the author switched back and forth between the ’60s with Ivy and the present day with Kaine. This back and forth was extremely interesting, captured your attention, and made you want to find out what happened next.

For more serial killers, go to Real Murders

For more stalkers, go to Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Another smoothie?

So yah, I drink a smoothie like every morning. There are going to be a lot of them being posted on here. This one I found online from Daily Smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or Other Milk of Your Choice
  • 1/4 Cup of Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp of Jelly

Directions:

  1. Add milk to blender first.
  2. Follow with peanut butter, jelly, and banana.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was okay.

Not that good and to be honest I would never make it again.

For more smoothies, go to Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

For more drinks, go to Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie