Thursday, October 20, 2016

#FRC2016: An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Fillmore

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Jewish Studies
Department: Historical Fiction
About the book:

Rachel Klein hopes she can ignore the Nazis when they roll into Amsterdam in May 1940. She’s falling in love, and her city has been the safest place in the world for Jewish people since the Spanish Inquisition. But when Rachel’s Gentile boyfriend is forced to disappear rather than face arrest, she realizes that everything is changing, and so must she―so, although she is often tired and scared, she delivers papers for the underground under the Nazis’ noses. But after eighteen months of ever increasing danger, she pushes her parents to go into hiding with her. The dank basement where they take refuge seems like the last place where Rachel would meet a new man―but she does.

An Address in Amsterdam shows that, even in the most hopeless situation, an ordinary young woman can make the choice to act with courage―and even love.
Rachel Klein is living in Amsterdam during WWII.  The Germans are moving towards Amsterdam and Rachel hopes that she can avoid them at all costs.  However, this is not possible and times get harder.  Rachel starts to fall in love with a boy that must disappear.  This forces Rachel to accept that everything is changing and she decides to deliver papers for the underground resistance.  After doing this for some time, her family must go into hiding after something very horrible happens.  They find refuge in a basement and despite their circumstances, Rachel's family becomes even stronger.  Rachel even falls in love during the most unlikely situation.  

This book is very descriptive of the time and makes you feel the horrors that happened.  I loved how this book was also a coming of age story for Rachel.  She shows you how resilient people were during this time.  You will feel tugs on your heart strings for sure while you read this book!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

After a lifetime of private creative writing, I was seized by a subject too important to hide in my journal or a letter to friends. Living in a house where Jewish people were hidden inspired my novel, An Address in Amsterdam, to be published by She Writes Press in October 2016. Since my first lengthy stay in Amsterdam in 2001, I have been visiting, researching, writing, and talking about the Holocaust and resistance in the Netherlands. No, I'm neither Dutch nor Jewish, just a lover of the city of Amsterdam and its people, living and dead. I would have been a neighbor of the deported citizens had I been alive at that time, and I will always wonder whether I would have colluded passively, collaborated, or resisted as I would hope. 

To develop my craft as a writer to be worthy of this topic, I earned my MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2005. I like giving talks which explore the many shades of grey in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, and the wrenching choices which good people face, then and now. The Vermont Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau sponsors my presentation of “Anne Frank’s Neighbors: What Did They Do?," and I am always looking for ways to spread the message that action is always possible against persecution and oppression.

Connect with the author:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#FRC2016: We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Survival Training
Department: Climate Fiction
About the book:

Meg Little Reilly places a young couple in harm’s way—both literally and emotionally—as they face a cataclysmic storm that threatens to decimate their Vermont town, and the Eastern Seaboard in her penetrating debut novel, WE ARE UNPREPARED.

Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take. 

WE ARE UNPREPARED is an emotional journey, a terrifying glimpse into the human costs of our changing earth and, ultimately, a cautionary tale of survival and the human
This book starts out three months after Pia and Ash have left their old life behind in Brooklyn to the very quaint and quiet Isole, Vermont.  It seems like the perfect little town to live a quiet life.  However, there is a very large Storm heading towards Isole.  The Storm causes so much anxiety and fear into the residents of the town.  Some of the townspeople are wanting to prepare for The Storm a la Doomsday while other people are willing to work together to survive The Storm.  This puts a huge strain on Pia and Ash's marriage because they each identify with different camps.  Ash and Pia have more problems than the storm but this provides the backdrop of the story.  We Are Unprepared shows what could be the reality due to global warming.  This is book takes you on an adventure as The Storm approaches and dives into the issues in Pia and Ash's marriage through Ash's point of view.  

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author (taken from the author's website):

I am a writer, environmentalist, crafter, hiker of mountains, swimmer of lakes, and reader of everything. Before I got serious about writing books, I worked for President Obama as Deputy Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget; and prior to that, as Spokesperson at the U.S. Treasury. I've worked at Environmental Defense Fund, a couple great consulting firms, and had more political internships than I can count. I'm eternally grateful to the smart people at Vermont Public Radio for hiring me out of college. I have a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the George Washington University.
So basically, I've had some real jobs too. 
I grew up in the funky hamlet of Brattleboro, Vermont where I wrote terrible, heartfelt poetry in the woods. After an exciting detour in national politics, I'm back at it in New England. 
When I'm not writing, I'm playing outside with my husband Dan and our two delightful daughters.

Connect with the author:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Release Day: The Player by Claire Contreras

The Vise Library was selected to participate in the release for Claire Contreras' newest sports standalone that is being released today!  Check out the cover below (yes, please!)  We can't wait to dive into this book!

I'm naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.
Every man wants to be me and every woman wants to tame me. Until Camila.
The moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.
She wants to keep me at arm's length.
I want her naked in my bed.
She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.
She says I’m bad news.
I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

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Buy the book:
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About the Author
Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages. 

She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she's not writing, she's usually lost in a book. 

Connect with Claire
                                    Website | Twitter |Facebook | Instagram 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Release Alert: Touching Down by Nicole Williams

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The whole world might be in love with him. But all he’s ever loved is her.

Grant Turner’s name is synonymous with football. The fans and media can’t get enough of the player known as The Invincible Man, a nickname he earned while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and the nickname he’s kept by being one of the best players in professional football today. No one can take him down. He’s unstoppable.

But even a suit of armor has its weak point, and Grant’s has always been Ryan Hale.
They were a couple of kids when they fell in love, and just when it looked like the happy ending neither expected was within reach, Ryan disappeared. No explanations. No good-byes.

Grant coped by throwing himself into the game for seven years, and he’s finally moved on. Or so he thinks.

When she walks back into his life, all of those feelings come crashing back, despite the warnings in his head that tell him she’ll leave him again. Grant can withstand the league’s toughest defensive line, but he’s always been weak where she’s concerned.

No man can take Grant Turner down.

But one woman certainly can.

One woman will.

Grant motioned for me to wait when I started to open my door, then he jogged around to open it himself. “This is a date. That means I drop you off in front, walk you up to the front door . . .”
He took my hand and helped me out, grinning all goofy-like when the hem of my dress slid up my legs as I crawled out.
“Give me a goodnight kiss?” I added as I let him take my hand.
He peered over at me, brow raised. “Or a good night something.”
​Giving him a light shove, I tried not to pretend that a good night something sounded as appealing to me as it did to him. “I never should have told you it’s been seven years since my last time.”
​“Yes, you definitely should have.”
​“Why’s that?”
​He grinned at the ground. “Because I can use that knowledge in my favor.”
​“How does knowing that work in your favor?” I angled toward him as we climbed the stairs together.
​After we’d stopped in front of the door, he turned and pulled me closer. “Because I know how bad you need it now.”
​The skin on the back of my neck raised, my lips parting from the acceleration of my breath. “How do you know it’s not a case of the longer you go without it, the less you need it?”
​“No,” he said at last, his head slowly shaking. “Not with something like that. Not with someone like you.” Grant moved closer, not stopping until his chest was pressing into mine, walking me backward until my back ran into the wall. “In fact, I bet you’ve gone so long, I could barely touch you and you’d fall apart in my arms. Am I right?”
​My chest was brushing against his, my legs feeling weak from what was happening. Or what was about to happen. Or what I was imagining was about to happen.
​“No,” I whispered, “you’re not right.”
​His eyes called me out. “There’s only one way to know who’s right.” He kissed the outside of my neck before lightly sucking on my earlobe.
​The moan he drew from me seemed to sweep across the entire estate. My hand clamped over my mouth, but he pried it away.
“No. I don’t want you stifling the sounds you make for me.” Holding my wrist, he slid my hand up the wall until my arm was fully extended above me. The stone was still warm from the sun, heat seeping into my skin. “Other hand,” he ordered before sinking his teeth into my lobe.
​The sensation made me jolt against him, but all he did was press his body into mine harder until I felt trapped between two walls of stone. When I lifted my other hand for him, he gathered it up in his hand with my other wrist. The task of winding around both of my wrists was no challenge for hands the size of his.
​Once he had me pinned, he rocked his hips into mine, practically lifting me up the wall. Another moan escaped from my mouth, but this one was more a cry of pleasure. He was right. He’d barely have to touch me.
​His other hand moved from the bend of my hip to reach something above us.
​“What are you doing?” I breathed, my ribs feeling as though they’d crack from the way my heart was pounding.
​“Unscrewing this light bulb,” he said, right before the wash of light disappeared and darkness moved in around us. “And now, I’m going to take care of you.”

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

#FRC2016: Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Funerals & Lies
Department: Suspense
About the book:

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.
Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fianc√©, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.
As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.
What would you do if you had to bury the person you loved on the day that you were supposed to get married?  That's what Aimee has to do.  Her fianc√©, James, is in a boating accident while he was on a "supposed" business trip.  and Aimee is devastated.  She has known James for her entire life and they were childhood sweethearts.  She is having a very hard time believing that he is gone and starts to question if James is really who she thought he was.  Suddenly, Aimee's life is not planning out in the way that she had always imagined.  It turns out that James may have had some secrets and those secrets could destroy Aimee even more.  Aimee has to decide if she willing to let go or if there is more to James' "disappearance."  

Man, was this a good story!  It was a good suspense novel.  I wanted to know what really happened to James the entire time and what his secrets were.  This book really intrigued me when one of James' paintings goes missing and turns up in Mexico!  (I can't tell you why or who!)  This is a definite page turner and ends with a sequel planned.  You will not be disappointed!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of EVERYTHING WE KEEP. She believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy, and a tabby kitten quite adept at catching flies. Her second novel ALL THE BREAKING WAVES publishes December 6, 2016. Connect with her at

Connect with the author:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: First Rodeo by Judith Hennessey

We were given the opportunity to review First Rodeo by Judith Hennessey.  Read below to find out what this book is about and to see what the Vise Library thought about it!

About the book:

Kate, an attractive, thirty-something, workaholic, single mother, is in the business of pleasing others. At the top of her “yes” list is her sometimes surly and controlling boss: her father. But when a crisis at work spurs Kate to examine her life, she surprises everyone by taking her young son and heading where few high heels have ever gone: Wyoming, home to more cows than humans. There, at the Prickly Pear Ranch, she meets a young, sexy, bull rider, who’s lived a lifetime in just over two decades. He’s full of big dreams of training horses, and his passion fuels Kate’s dormant dreams of becoming an artist, and sparks fly―and once again, Kate shocks everyone, even herself, and jumps on for the romantic ride of her life.

Fast-paced and wildly entertaining, First Rodeo is filled with humorous scenes of city girl gone country, encounters with handsome cowboys, the struggles of the creative process, and a powerful message: the greatest love of all is the love you have for yourself.
The plot of First Rodeo was not what I was expecting, but in a way, that was a good thing!  Kate is stuck in life.  She is recently divorced and works for her father at a car dealership.  She feels that she needs to make some changes in her life.  She wants to be somewhere that always her to decompress and enjoy the scenery to paint.  She and her son take a small vacation to Wyoming.  While on her trip out west she meets Jake, a full-blown cowboy.  They have a great connection right off the bat and Kate starts thinking about what she really wants from life.  Kate begins to think about making herself happy instead of other people.  The backdrop of the landscape made me want to venture out west myself!  Overall, this is a story of growth and something we all do in life.  I felt like this story was very believable and enjoyed Kate's journey.  

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble | 

About the author:

Judith Hennessey was in the automobile industry for 25 years, operated her own advertising agency and is a full-time writer. Her works have appeared in multiple magazines and newspapers including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Actively involved in the film industry, she is the Executive producer of 20 Ways, an award winning short film, has served on the board of New Mexico Women in Film, and is a partner in the New Mexico based production company White Crow Raven Productions. She is also a cowriter of the screenplay adaption of First Rodeo. First Rodeo is her first novel in the Spur Series. Judy lives on an organic farm with her husband in Missouri.
Connect with the author:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

#FRC2016 : Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge(it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title:  ‘Til Deceit Do Us Part
Department: Psychological Thrillers

About the book:

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.
Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.
Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.
From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

We all know that looks can be deceiving and that is the case of Behind Closed Doors.  Jack and Grace have it all: the looks, a beautiful home, friends, career, and marriage (or do they?).  The book starts off after Jack has won another case as a lawyer.  He works hard to defend battered women and has never lost a case.  He makes it his mission to go after the men that physically abuse women.  We are then taken back in time to when Jack and Grace meet, date and get married.  We find out that Grace has a sister (Millie) with special needs and loves her dearly.  Jack accepts Millie as a part of Grace's life.  On the day other their wedding, Millie has an accident on the stairs and Grace is visibly upset.  However, Jack convinces Grace that Millie will be okay and that it is okay to get married without Millie there.  This is where the REAL story begins.  

I can't tell you anything else, but know that this book is a psychological thriller.  There are some difficult topics to read about, but I was flipping through the pages to figure out what Jack and Grace's marriage is REALLY like.  This is nothing like I thought it would be and it kept me guessing throughout the entire book.  I could see this book playing out in real life and that just ups the thriller factor.  If you want a book that is fast paced and action packed, then pick up Behind Closed Doors!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

B.A. Paris grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. Behind Closed Doors is her first novel.

Connect with the author:
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