Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1)

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source: free ARC via Bethany House (Twitter)
title: Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book 1)
author:Nancy Mehl (Twitter)
published: December 4th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
pages: 336
genre: Suspense/Mystery/Christian Fiction
first line: He stood in the middle of his secret room, staring at walls covered with old newspaper clippings.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Kaely Quinn’s talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she’s demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, the reporter’s ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem’s predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.

my thoughts:

Well, I have to start off by saying that Mind Games was so good! I still thought about it after I turned the final page. This book starts off the Kaely Quinn series by Nancy Mehl.

Kaely Quinn is a FBI behavior analyst who is known for her unconventional method for profiling suspects. She is the daughter of a notorious serial killer Ed Oliphant a.k.a. the Raggedy Man. Now there is a serial killer on the loose who seems to have it out for Kaely and writes a cryptic poem about his victims that has the FBI trying to figure out his next move.

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Delicate Crochet: 23 Light and Pretty Designs for Shawls, Tops and More

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source: free review copy courtesy of Netgalley/Rowman & Littlefield
title: Delicate Crochet: 23 Light and Pretty Designs for Shawls, Tops and More
author: Sharon Silverman
genre: crochet pattern book
published: December 2018
pages: 176
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:
Light, airy pieces crocheted in fine yarns show off the beauty of your crochet stitches and are a dream to wear! The shawls, cardigans, tops, and other designs in this collection are light as a feather, super soft, and made to drape beautifully across your body. These lacy pieces are fun to crochet and very versatile. Change up the yarns to create looks for day or night, work or play, city or suburbs.

Pattern contributors include Kristin Omdahl, Robyn Chachula, Marty Miller, Amy Solovay, Vashti Braha, and others known for their innovative, gorgeous crochet designs. Each of the 23 patterns includes full written instructions and charts as needed. All special stitches are fully explained and skill levels range from easy to advanced.

my thoughts:

I was lucky to receive a copy of Delicate Crochet: 23 Light and Pretty Designs for Shawls, Tops and More. This pattern book is gorgeous. The creations are beautiful. There are 23 patterns here from 11 designers so there is a nice variety. The patterns range in skill levels from advanced beginner to the advanced crocheter. I’d say most of these patterns are more on the challenging side, but that is a good thing. The techniques and the yarns used give the pieces a delicate, sophisticated look. I love experimenting with stitches and yarn because the possibilities are endless.

One of my favorite patterns is the Yveline Wrap made with the Tunisian stitch. Frills are added on top of the Tunisian stitches for a finishing touch, I love that idea. Tunisian is one of my favorite techniques and I would love to make this one day.
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Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

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source: Purchased
title: Starry Night: A Christmas Novel
author: Debbie Macomber(Twitter)
genre: contemporary holiday romance
published: 2013
pages: 231
first line: Carrie Slayton’s feet were killing her.
rated: 3 out of 5
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blurb:
’Tis the season for romance, second chances, and Christmas cheer with this new novel from Debbie Macomber.

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a mega-bestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.

My thoughts:

I was in a Christmasy mood so I ordered a copy of Starry Night a few weeks ago. I am a seasonal reader and I try to enjoy at least one holiday book this time of year.
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Starry Night is my first time reading Debbie Macomber. I’ve often seen her books around and I know she is popular in the genre and that some of her books have been made into Hallmark Christmas movies. In the foreword for Starry Night she mentions that she writes a Christmas book every year.

While I found Starry Night to be sweet Christmas romance, it did not blow me away like I wanted it too. It revolves around Chicago based columnist Carrie Slayton who is about to quit her job because she can’t see herself getting ahead with no serious assignments only gossip column stuff. Her boss tells her that if she can find and interview mysterious author Finn Dalton then she will have more serious assignments moving forward and be able to advance her career. Finn wrote a book about living in the wilderness that became an international bestseller and he has gone into hiding ever since. With the holidays around the corner Carrie decides to use her vacation time to find the mysterious Finn.

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Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

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source: purchased
title: Heart-Shaped Box
author:  Joe Hill
published: 2007
genre: horror
pages: 366
first line: Jude had a private collection.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit….

my thoughts:

I re-read Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill this past October. The protagonist Judas Coyne is a 54-year-old rock-star who lives with is assistant and his current 20 something year old goth girlfriend Georgia.

Judas enjoys collecting macabre items, he has a snuff film and a hand written letter from a woman killed for witchcraft during old witch trials among other things. One day his assistant tells him he received an email offer to buy a ghost online. The ghost comes attached to a dead man’s suit. Judas cannot resist and he buys it for his collection. The suit and ghost arrive to his home inside a black heart-shaped box. When Georgia goes to touch the suit she is pricked with what they assume has to be a pin. Not long after Judas starts seeing a man’s ghost in his home and Georgia’s pin prick starts to get badly infected. When Judas decides to call the suit’s previous owner, a woman named Jessica, she tells him the real history behind the suit and it involves someone from Judas’ past. He then becomes frantic trying to rid himself of this ghost before it is too late.

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn was amazing

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title: Dark Places
author: Gillian Flynn
pages: 349
genre: crime thriller/mystery/suspense
published: 2009
first line:  I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
rated: 5 out of 5!
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Blurb:
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.

Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

my thoughts:
Sometimes you finish reading a book and you just don’t know what to do with yourself. That was how I felt after reading Dark Places.

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First of all, I breezed through the 349 pages in about one week which is alot of reading for me because I tend to take about two weeks to finish a book. Between work and everything else, there are days I can’t read a single page but Dark Places had me hooked. This is the kind of book that invades your sleep. I was up late the one Friday night reading “just one more chapter” before I finished it up Saturday morning over coffee and toast.
I dove into this one right after I finished Sharp Objects which was amazing as well.

Look at these first lines…

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp it.”

-p. 1, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

And then the story takes right off and twists and turns and doesn’t stop until the very end. I was left speechless and breathless during much of it. I thought about it long after I turned the final page.

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