Friday, January 29, 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: The Silent Wife


As 2016 commences, I am back with the program (a bunch of snow days helped with this), and once more I’m participating in The Cephalopod Coffeehouse blog hop. This is a gathering of readers who meet up once a month to discuss the best books we’ve read in the past thirty days.

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I have actually read quite a few books this month, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is a soon-to-be-made-into-a-motion-picture, best-selling novel entitled The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison.



The Silent Wife is deceptively simple. On the surface it seems like any other story about a wife in denial of her husband’s infidelities. But as the layers start to peel back, we learn that nothing is as it seems. Todd may think he’s having his cake and eating it too, but as he tries to make a life with his mistress, he realizes that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. As for Jodi, life without Todd is much harder than she expected, and her resentment soon turns to deep bitterness that takes root in a dangerous form.



My take:  After having read about a half a dozen of these things, I’ve decided I’m a huge fan of the psychological thriller genre.


When I first began reading this novel, I wasn’t sure I could finish it. The entire story is written in present tense, although told in alternating points of view. Present tense annoys me greatly. Quite honestly, neither of the characters are particularly likable. Todd is clueless and spoiled; Jodi is cold and out of touch with her own feelings. After the first chapter or two, I was sucked into the story and forgot all about the present tense. And the plot is so simple, yet engrossing, that even the character’s deep flaws didn’t bother me after a while (and I’m finding nowadays that many novels contain unlikable protagonists). The bottom line? I could not put this book down. It was absolutely compelling to read, and although the basic premise is familiar, I still found myself wondering—what is going to happen?


The story is claustrophobic in a good way, if that’s possible. There really is very little in the way of side plots. We get some insight into the mistress, her family and issues, but the main focus is on these two people—their short comings and emotions (or lack thereof).


A thriller and domestic mystery (there is a twist to the plot) in the vein of Girl on a Train or Gone Girl, The Silent Wife is by far the most riveting page-turner I’ve read this year.  I give it four out of five quills.




Now run on over to these other great bloggers’ sites and check out their reads for the month!




What good books have you read this month?

Friday, January 22, 2016

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is human trafficking awareness month. I thought I would take this time to highlight something good that's happening to combat sex trafficking.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a billboard campaign is underway to raise awareness about the consequences of buying sex. Because demand is what drives this industry, community leaders and elected officials are targeting buyers, telling them simply "don't do it."  Many cities around the United States are waking up and realizing what a devastating effect prostitution and pornography wreaks on a community, but Phoenix is really cracking down, declaring their position: buying sex will not be tolerated.




The idea is to ask men considering it to also consider the consequences of their choice: "Buy Sex, Lose Everything." It's part of the Not Worth It campaign (notworthit.org) that has placed over 50 digital billboards around the city. Men who are caught buying sex in Phoenix risk arrest, criminal charges, negative publicity, loss of job, and loss of family if they have one.

Despite common opinion, prostitution is never a victimless crime. Buyers, their families, and the prostituted women themselves are harmed in these transactions. Areas where prostitution is legal attract those who would traffic and exploit. Although the logic in legalization argues that local, state, government regulation will eradicate illegal trafficking; in fact, these areas become magnets for pimps luring young, vulnerable women into the trade. And as the Not Worth It Campaign asserts, girls who are prostituted are often abused, beaten, and raped by the johns and pimps. No one benefits from this industry except the traffickers themselves.

Contemporary Christian singer, Natalie Grant and her anti-trafficking organization, Abolition International, has partnered with two other anti-trafficking groups to fight human trafficking and restore the women who have been victims of it. Their headquarters is located in Nashville, but their scope is worldwide.  You can check out their website here: http://hopeforjustice.org/ai/

I'll leave you with a song Natalie Grant recorded a few years ago, which has been used in many anti-trafficking organizations due to its thematic material.



Also, there are just a few more days to enter the Goodreads Giveaway of a paperback copy of my novel Captives. The giveaway ends on January 31st.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Captives by Megan Whitson Lee

Captives

by Megan Whitson Lee

Giveaway ends January 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, January 15, 2016

Celebrating Chase


We adopted our retired racing greyhound, Chase, almost four years ago. On Wednesday of this week, he turned nine. Thankfully, greyhounds live up to fourteen years on average, which is a pretty good amount of time for big dogs.






Chase has changed our life. When we made the decision to adopt a retired racer, our beloved cat, Sam, had just died, and we had just miscarried yet another baby. After submitting an application, we were invited to an adopt-a-thon to meet a lot of different greyhounds and where we were given the opportunity to bring our little mutt, Tessa, to see which dogs would interact well with her.


We had our eye on a little brood mama named Calista. We really liked her sweet temperament (and the fact that she was slightly smaller than most of the greys), but a volunteer at the event suggested we weren’t the right home for her as she needed other greyhounds in the home with her. I was just about to get my panties in a bunch—how dare she say we weren’t the right home for her—when my husband called out to me. “Hey honey! what about this one?”

He pointed down to a white and brindle dog that was leaning against his legs and soaking up all of the love offered. At first I thought, wow, he’s really big. We were looking for a smaller greyhound. But as I approached, and saw his big, brown, soulful eyes and the affectionate way he leaned against my husband, I was sold. He came home with us that day.







His racing name was Starz Megabucks. We thought that was quite a mouthful, so we decided to name him Chase (although he still answers to “Megabucks”). In his day, Chase ran in seventy-nine races in Florida and West Virginia and retired at the mandatory retirement age of four and a half when he tore a hind muscle. He had lived with another family before us, but they’d had to give him up after five months due to some sort of hardship. The letter that came with his adoption papers said they had cried when they’d returned him.

Even at nine, Chase loves to run. He dashes around the back yard in circular patterns while carrying a toy in his mouth and squawking it loudly. In the winter, he loves running in the soft, powdery snow, and he’s a sucker for walks. When that leash rattles, he’s up and standing by the door.

In many ways, Chase is like a little kid. He readily understands an extensive list of vocabulary words, and he’s just about the most sensitive and emotional dog I’ve ever come across. But he’s also a klutz. Over the nearly four years we’ve had him, we’ve visited the vet for numerous foot injuries (usually occurring while running in our back yard).

So this, his ninth birthday week, has been a little rough for Chase. Something upset his tummy on Wednesday night (perhaps the birthday cookie?), and he threw up twice. And when Chase throws up, it’s akin to cleaning up after a human. Then yesterday, while running in the back yard, he tore his dew claw. Sigh. He had to be sedated and patched up for that, and we finally got him back around 7:30 last night in a zombified state. As I am a worry-wart mama, I hovered over him until finally collapsing with exhaustion.








A clown and a klutz, Chase (and all greyhounds, I might add) is the most wonderful, the most human-like dog I have ever owned. If my husband and I were not to have human children, then God gave us the greatest dog instead (at least we think he is).

Happy Birthday, Chase!

   



  



Friday, January 8, 2016

Review of CAPTIVES

Head on over this evening to A Bench with a View to check out a review of Captives.




Betty, my blogger buddy, was kind enough to feature Captives today on her wonderful blog, A Bench with a View. It's a great review, and she also features a new suspense novel by Chris Fey, 30 Seconds.



Check out the review and Betty's blog HERE.

Sales and Giveaways

Captives Kindle version is on sale for just $0.99 until tomorrow. Click HERE for amazon link.




Also, be sure to sign up for the free giveaway on Goodreads. I'll be giving away a free paperback copy of the book when the contest ends on January 31st!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Captives by Megan Whitson Lee

Captives

by Megan Whitson Lee

Giveaway ends January 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway








Have a great weekend!