Buttonholed Book Reviews


companionably invites you to these Tours & Spotlight readings:

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Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel

Publication: July 22, 2019 from Haverhill House Publishing

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Tori Garrett is a haunted woman.  After accidentally killing a teenage girl with her car, guilt drives her to the bottle, which eventually costs her job.  Carla Perez is also haunted.  She wants Tori to pay for killing her daughter.  She relentlessly stalks Tori and eventually corners her in a bar and threatens her.

Horrified by this encounter, Tori decides it’s time to get out of town, seeking solace in the one place she found happiness as a child––Cape May, N.J. It’s off-season, but she believes she can dry out and reassemble the tattered remains of her life.

Kind-hearted Amelia Warren, owner of the Seaside House Bed & Breakfast, takes Tori in as the only winter guest at her establishment.  Lonely and broke after her husband’s death, she believes she can find friendship with Tori, but instead finds herself trapped with a woman whose sense of reality is rapidly unraveling, degraded by an unyielding thirst for alcohol.

Chris Silver is a superhero in his own mind.  Tortured by his past, he tries to save the damned and endangered in a bid for redemption.  He’s desperate to save Tori from herself, but can he do so without putting himself in danger?

As Tori descends into madness and alcoholism, the people she relies on most find themselves on a collision course with the bottle.  Will her spirits, both real and imagined, lead Tori to drink herself to death?  Can she defeat her demons before she destroys herself and everyone around her?

Here is a thirty-second trailer for SPIRITS, the debut novel of Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel

and/or  ~

enjoy my interview with Ms. Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel

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The Night Before


Wendy Walker

Publication: May 14, 2019 from St. Martin's Press

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First dates can be murder.

"Ferociously smart." ―AJ Finn
"Riveting." ―Riley Sager
"Addictive." ―Liv Constantine
"Wonderfully tense." ―Aimee Molloy
"Irresistible." ―Mary Kubica
"Impossible to put down." ―Megan Miranda

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love.  She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men.  Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up.  Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister.  Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her.  Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst.  She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet.  As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura.
She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

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The Fountains of Silence


Ruta Sepetys

Expected publication: October 22nd 2019 from Philomel Books

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, unforgettable portrait of love, silence, and secrets amidst a Spanish dictatorship

Madrid, 1957.  Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret.  Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine.  Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera.

Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear.  Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger.  He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves.  Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence--inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.

Enjoy my review of Salt to the Sea

Winter, 1945.
Four teenagers.
Four secrets.

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James A. Moore

April 1, 2019 from Twisted Publishing

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There is no peace in death.  Some people know that better than others, In Carson’s Point, Colorado the dead do not rest, but rise every night and try to kill whatever crosses their path.  Those dead are merely the symptom of something far worse, something ancient and evil that does not care for the Europeans taking the lands, or for those who lived there before.

The living do not matter, the dead are tools, the possible spawn of the pale, white thing lurking in the woods are all that is important to that dreadful force.  It will kill anything that gets in its path and make the living and the deceased suffer for their transgressions.

Carson’s Point is on a course that leads straight to Hell, unless something comes along that can fight back against the unnatural servants of the thing that wants the boomtown destroyed.

The wizard, Albert Miles, is in town for reasons all his own, escaping the latest terrors he’s spread across the land.  He might well be able to save the town, but if he does he’ll exact a terrible price.
The new sheriff has his work cut out for him.  There are savages waiting outside the town, dead things crawling from the grave, bad men set on taking what they want and fools aplenty trying to survive the disasters coming their way until they can once again go hunting for the dreams they hope will change their lives.

Jonathan Crowley could very well be the salvation that the town needs, but he has no desire to help anyone living there and has settled himself on one mission and one mission only: revenge against the soldiers that left him for dead.

The Hunter has quit and no longer wants anything to do with justice for humans or stopping the evil things that feast on humanity’s sorrows. Evil grows throughout the town, mortal evil and things far worse. And when the sun sets, that evil takes root and spreads like wildfire.

 BOOMTOWN, a Jonathan Crowley Weird Western Chronicle

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The Pandora Room


Christopher Golden

April 23, 2019 from St. Martin's Press

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"A wonderful, wild ride." —Michael Koryta, New York Times Bestselling author of How It Happened and If She Wakes

When what appears to be the original Pandora's Box is discovered in an ancient city, neighboring countries fight for ownership and unleash a terrible plague.

The Pandora Room is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora's Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.

In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora.  One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses.

Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale—a chamber which contains a single jar.  “Weird shit” expert Ben Walker joins Sophie’s team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly.

Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses.  Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle.  Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill…or what will emerge when they open it.  For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.

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The Girls Are Gone


Michael Brodkorb  &  Allison Mann

“The Girls Are Gone” tells the true story of two sisters who went missing, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.

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On the evening of April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared. Two of five children born to David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the teenage sisters vanished in the midst of their parents divorce.

The girls father, David Rucki, worked tirelessly with law enforcement to search day and night for his two missing daughters, following every lead while raising three remaining children at home. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, used her newfound freedom to vacation around the world, abandoning her children. And as the investigation intensified, catching the attention of the media, Sandra also disappeared.

On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement.

Criminal charges were filed against four people, including the girls’ mother, for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. “The Girls Are Gone” chronicles key events during the criminal trials of the people who were later convicted or pleaded guilty for their involvement in this heinous crime. The book examines the other adults who aided in the conspiracy to hide the truth and the Rucki sisters.

 To learn more, go to

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The Iron Line


L. M. Merrington

“There’s a ghost train that runs along here at night. They say it carries the souls of those bound for hell.”

Jane Adams is only twenty-three, but she’s already a widow.  A daughter of the railway, after her husband’s death she takes a job as a level crossing gatekeeper in the little town of Tungold, out at the end of the line.  But all is not right in Tungold.  The townspeople are frosty and unwelcoming, and Jane’s only ally is the new young police constable, Alec Ward, an outsider just like her.

When a railway official is murdered, Jane and Alec become determined to get to the bottom of the town’s secrets.  Who killed Brian Mathieson?  And what is behind the mysterious ghost train?  But Jane is also hiding a secret of her own — one that will put her life and everything she cares about on the line.

My review

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L. M. Merrington

L.M. Merrington is an Australian author, freelance writer and consultant.  Her books include two Gothic mysteries, Greythorne and The Iron Line, and a non-fiction communications handbook, Communications for Volunteers: Low-Cost Strategies for Community Groups.  She is fascinated by the Victorian era and particularly enjoys writing Gothic stories and steampunk.

Join Ms. Merrington's mailing list on her site & receive a free short story, Reset.
You'll also get access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, first-look book excerpts and more.

For those book clubbers, over on Ms. Merrington's site

Free Book Club & Teaching Notes – Greythorne

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Poison by Punctuation


Kelley Kaye

High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis.

Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder.  But suspects abound.  The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student.

Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.

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Death by Diploma

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

Here's my review of  Death by Diploma

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Give Kelley a shout ~

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And ~

Here is her 8 steps to Literary Analysis book!  -  Helpful and Humorous!

This is for Educators who really want to help students with tough concepts!

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Transforming Education Classroom by Classroom

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