The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth

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The Mother in Law is a domestic thriller set in Australia. It follows Lucy and her mother in law, Diana, through a series of strange deaths and unexplained events. I got this one for free from Kindle Unlimited and finished it in one sitting on a plane. It’s dark, it’s twisty, and best of all, it’s unexpected.

The Good

I could not put down this book. When was the last time I finished a book in one sitting? I’ll wait….

Yeah, I can’t remember either. So this was a great one. I loved that there were two narrators, and their perspectives were completely different for a shared event. It’s so true to real life. We tend to think our perspective is the only perspective and that couldn’t be further from the truth. This book highlighted that in the best way possible.

I thought the writing itself was great. It’s the best when I can forget that I’m actually reading. The prose shouldn’t pull from the story IMO. (I’m totally guilty of this as a writer 😅 what’s the point of a big vocabulary if I can’t use it?!)

I also enjoyed the story as a whole. It’s basically a murder mystery. I guessed the killer wrong the whole book until the reveal. Nothing worse than guessing whodunit in the first chapter and being right. Not so with this book.

The Bad

The only nitpicking thing that I can think of for the “Bad” section is that a chapter would stop and switch perspectives just as I was getting into that particular part of the storyline. This happened, like, a lot. By hour four or five of reading, it started to get a little exasperating. I totally get that the author wants me to keep reading, but it felt like I was in a constant state of my curiosity not being fully satisfied until the very end. For me, a little uncomfortable to deal with for the whole book. But I guess it did keep me turning the pages.

The Verdict

Solid 5/5, would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for a thriller or a mystery type thing. And probably one I will read again once I’ve forgotten some of the details. 😊

So… I (finally) started a podcast

If you follow any of my social media platforms, you already know the big news: I started a podcast! This is something I’ve been going back and forth on for…okay, too long for me to actually publicly admit 😅 I’ve always been someone who loathes the sound of their own voice, plus, I’m really introverted. But then again, maybe my introversion is what would make me a good solo podcaster? Not saying I have practice talking to myself, but….

The podcast is called “You’re So Quiet,” and it’s a podcast by an introvert, for introverts. If you’re anything like me, you’ve gotten the “you’re so quiet” comment. (Let’s not forget the time I said “thanks!” to that…..) On YSQ, I’m not going to pretend to be anything but my socially awkward self and I’m inviting you all to come along for the ride! I mean, not like, together. More like…take our own transportation. But be together in spirit. From a distance.

It feels like there’s a lot of pressure to portray yourself as the ideal. Sometimes, this means showing only your highlight reel. This lessens the ability of people to just be themselves, no matter if their true self is on a completely different chart than the societal ideal. So, with this podcast, I’m aiming to inspire people to embrace who they really are, without the filter.

I’ll be dropping new episodes every other Tuesday, at least while I ramp up! I’m so excited to keep sharing with you. So let me know what you want to hear about, and I’ll catch you in a couple weeks. đŸ„°

In the meantime, you can listen to the podcast here. Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe!

A Beginning and an End

It’s the first day of 2021! Is anyone else still stuck in March 2020?? No? Just me, then…

While it’s easy to look back on 2020 and think, “Oh my god, this year sucked,” (and let’s face it: this isn’t one we’ll look back on wistfully) it’s really important – for me at least – to take stock of what I learned this year.

  1. Time is valuable. For me, this was the number one lesson of this year. Time will continue to pass no matter what you decide to do with it. And, as we’ve all seen, your time and your abilities can be cut short at any moment. Whether it was by quarantine, illness, or a death, we have been hit with a reminder that absolutely nothing is guaranteed.
  2. Be in charge of your own happiness. For most of us this year, we were cut off from many usual sources of entertainment: travel, movies, concerts, hanging out with friends, even going out to eat. This meant we all had to get a little creative, or try new things. I personally found that I am really and truly an introvert. While I missed my tennis matches, Bachelorette nights, and writing group, I also enjoyed the time I was able to spend hanging out at home and learning new things. I learned how to garden, tried my hand at video game programming (learning still in progress), and found a new appreciation for at-home solo exercise (shout out to the Nike Run and Nike Train Club apps… you the real MVPs). I finished the manuscript for my sci-fi book and will be sending it out to agents this month (Eep!). The thing is, everything outside our own little worlds can change in an instant. This year was yet another reminder to me that I can choose to be happy and thrive no matter the circumstances.
  3. Technology is truly amazing. Maybe this goes without saying. Of course it’s amazing. But I know I take technology for granted. It’s not something I give conscious thought to, even though it’s in every single aspect of our lives, from our coffee makers to our smart phones to our jobs. It makes everything so convenient. This year, though, it became imperative. I meet with my writing group every Thursday via Zoom so we can critique each other’s work and provide new ideas. Without technology, we would have…sent each other letters? Tried to meet in a park in the Texas heat? More likely, we simply wouldn’t have met at all. How many people would have been cut off from the world entirely without technology? Social media can be toxic, but this year it became a lifeline.

Now for the resolutions. I’ve never really been much of a New Year’s Resolution type of person. You can choose to make a change any day of the year; no need to wait for January 1. However, moving into 2021, I think it’s important not to forget everything we learned in 2020. I’ll keep it short and sweet:

Keep learning. Choose happiness. Tell your people you love them.

What are your resolutions for this year?

Ruth Ware’s One by One

Let me start by saying that I really enjoy Ruth Ware’s writing. I find she is able to keep me guessing until she decides she wants to let me in on the twist. So when a friend of mine said there was a new Ruth Ware book out, I had to have it.

Y’all. I blasted through this 369 page book in less than 3 days. I’m a busy lady, so keeping me engaged that fully is truly a feat.

One by One is inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It’s a murder mystery driven by a killer that’s in the house.

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When a Stranger Calls, anyone?

The Good

There are two narrators in this book: Erin and Liz. The author does a great job of using multiple narrators to drive the story forward rather than letting them hinder it. Related to this, the author created distinct characters outside the narrators. I’m someone that really needs to see the characters and setting. When I’m reading, it’s like I’m watching a movie in my head. She totally nailed it there.

The twist really upped the ante, and the author used this reveal to create really intense tension. My heart was pounding. I absolutely could not put this book down once the twist was revealed. Sorry, pup, our walk has been postponed! Just one more chapter….

The Bad

I felt the two narrators had a very similar voice despite being two different people. This could have been intentional on the part of the author, as if to say they’re not that different after all. For me though, I’d have liked to see more distinction in their thought patterns and not just in their histories.

I also think if you’re a seasoned mystery reader, the twist might have jumped out at you from the start. Though I didn’t guess it, looking back, all the signs were there. (If I’m honest, I’m kind of stretching to put this in the “bad” section. Isn’t it a quality of a good mystery to have everything line up at the end?)

The Verdict

I’ll actually give this one a 5/5. I might be biased – Ruth Ware fan here – but this is one I’ll definitely pick up again. It has a nice cozy mystery vibe, and I’ve recommended it to friends of mine looking for that.


I’d poured everything into nothing, so
it was no wonder when I couldn’t recognize

my own image in the frost. I shrouded
myself in heavy black linen and hoped

passersby wouldn’t hear the echo of my hollow
breathing. The wind still bit at my fingertips.


Hush, I Might Kiss You

C. Brown

She thought the winter would
keep her warm, that the biting

and bitching wind would be but
hushed kisses on her neck,

and the idiosyncratic flakes of
frost would be her shroud.

Her eyes spattered the bleak
panorama with green and gold

reflections of autumn nights on
tempestuous swells and breakers,

becoming the stars hovering above
crookedly bleeding chest organs.

Soft lavender oblivion has kept her
artfully sedated beneath the

steely clouds of Yuletide. Held
underwater, she sees nothing but

nothing, yet her tongue speaks
of the sapphire sun on the horizon.

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