Sunday, 30 April 2017

#BookReview Omens by Kelley Armstrong #bookreview #bookbloggers (@KelleyArmstrong)

Omens by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.


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I read the novella Lost Souls a while back and loved it. Since I never read any of the Cainsville books before I Lost Souls was I eager to get my hands on the first book in the series (and the second and third). 

As a big fan of urban fantasy was I curious to see how this series would turn out. Luckily the first book is really good and it was great to get the backstory for the characters in Lost Souls.

Olivia has it all, that's until it's revealed that she was adopted as a child and that her real parents are serial killers. Now, her mother can't stand her, her fiance is (or mostly his mother) hesitant about marrying her and the press is after her. She needs a job and somewhere safe to go. And, through weird events does she learn of a town called Cainsville...

Omens is a great book. I love the mix of paranormal and crime and Olvia is a very likable character. Cainsville intrigues me, you can really feel that the town is hiding things. That it looks normal on the surface, but underneath ... well, there is definitely something weird with the town and the ones living there. Then, there is Gabriel. Olivia doesn't know what she will make of him, he used to be her real mother's lawyer, but now there is bad blood between them. Now he wants to help her, well for a price of course.

Omens is just the kind of book I love to read. I love weird little towns in the middle of nowhere and Cainsville is just the kind of town that I just know have a lot of secrets. The first book managed very well to introduce the characters. I'm curious to learn more about Olivia, her parents, Gabriel etc. If you like urban fantasy will you love this book!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

#BookReview Ararat by Christopher Golden #bookreview #bookbloggers

Ararat by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meryam and Adam take risks for a living. But neither is prepared for what lies in the legendary heights of Mount Ararat, Turkey.

First to reach a massive cave revealed by an avalanche, they discover the hole in the mountain's heart is really an ancient ship, buried in time. A relic that some fervently believe is Noah's Ark.

Deep in its recesses stands a coffin inscribed with mysterious symbols that no one in their team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers can identify. Inside is a twisted, horned cadaver. Outside a storm threatens to break.

As terror begins to infiltrate their every thought, is it the raging blizzard that chases them down the mountain - or something far worse?


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I was really bummed when I was not once, but twice declined for this book on NetGalley. So, when the book was released did I actually buy it, despite the fact that I seldom buy new books. But, just luck at the cover, it's fabulous and the blurb really intrigued me. I couldn't wait to read the book. 

Perhaps I did have too high expectations because the book didn't really rock my boat. Sure, it was interesting to read, but it was never intense or terrifying, not even a bit chilling to read. It was ... OK. I just thought the story would be better. But, looking back can I see one big problem with the book and that's that the characters never came to life for me. They weren't fleshed out enough to make me care for them. I wanted to care for Meryam and Adam and the rest, but even when things started to go out of hand on Ararat, and people started to get killed off did I not really find the story intense because they were just names and let's face it, of course, the less important people would get killed off first before the more important ones were at risk. As usual. Yeah, I'm a grumpy horror fan. But, I like my horror books to be surprising and terrifying, not following a  formula. Even then ending felt predictable. 

The book was not all bad, I liked the beginning best when everything was still unknown and the ship hadn't been found and the things that happened after that. And I was curious to see how it all would end. But, for being a very short book did I feel like it took me ages to get through it. 

So Ararat didn't turn out to be as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. I liked the idea more than the result and I wished the characters had been more fleshed out.

Friday, 28 April 2017

#BookReview Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley (SWE/ENG) #bookreview @BazarforlagSE

Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Elvaåriga Anahita, från en förnäm men fattig indisk familj, inleder en livslång vänskap med den viljestarka prinsessan Indira. Anahita följer med Indira till England som hennes ledsagerska just innan första världskriget bryter ut. I England träffar hon Donald Astbury, motvillig arvinge till den avsides belägna herrgården Astbury, och hans intrigerande mor.

Nittio år senare möter vi den unga amerikanska filmstjärnan Rebecca. När hon spelar in en film på det nu förfallna Astbury Hall dyker Ari, Anahitas barnbarn, oväntat upp och tillsammans börjar de avslöja de hemligheter som hemsökt släkten... 


Med en del spökhistoria, en smula romantik, lite historiska vingslag och massor av familjedrama skapas en underbar berättelse...

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Jag älskar att läsa böcker med exotiska platser och Midnattsrosen verkade ha alla ingredienser som jag gillar i en bok med två tidslinjer: en sorglig historia, ett intressant mysterium och starka kvinnliga karaktärer. Och på ett sätt fick jag det, i alla fall delvis. Men för att en bok med två tidslinjer, en samtida och en i det förflutna, ska fungera är det nödvändigt att de är lika intressanta att läsa. Visst, det är inte ett problem om den ena berättelsen är lite bättre än den andra. Problemet med den här boken är att nutidshistorien aldrig blir intressant och att Rebecca, den vackra filmstjärnan, aldrig fick chansen att skina. Det känns som om hon är bara där, så att Anahitas barnbarn Ari, skulle ha en kvinnlig följeslagare i sin sökning efter Anahitas "förlorade son. Rebecca's egna historia försummas tyvärr.

Bokens början är mycket spännande med den gamla Anahita som ser tillbaka i sitt liv och ger Ari en nedskriven redogörelse om sitt liv. Det är Anahitas återberättelse som höll mig intresserad genom bokens gång, hennes tidiga liv med sin mamma och pappa, när hon möter den rika Indira och flyttar hem till dem och senare resan till England med Indira för att börja skolan där. Det här är den del jag älskade mest i den här boken. Sedan möter Anahita Donald Astbury, och för att vara ärlig tyckte jag inte att de hade mycket kemi. Det kändes mest som en typisk händelse, två olämpliga människor möts och förälskar sig i varandra och det hela kan bara sluta på ett sätt. Olyckligt! Jag ogillade inte Donald, han var bara inte en intressant karaktär. Sedan uppstår naturligtvis problem och Anahitas måste åka tillbaka till Indien. Och det är här jag började få problem med Anahitas berättelse. Det blir förutsägbart, och för mitt liv kan jag inte förstå Donalds handlingar och ännu mindre kan jag förstå hur Anahita fortfarande kan älska honom tillräckligt för att acceptera hans ursäkter.

Den sista delen av boken blev det en hel del skumläsning för att komma igenom, eftersom mitt humör växlade, ena minuten var handlingen irriterade att för att sedan bli tråkig. Det som höll mitt intresse uppe ända till slutet var att jag ville få ett svar på vad som hände med Anahitas son. Tacksamt nog var slutet bitvis bra. 

Midnattsrosen var en besvärlig bok att bok att läsa i och med att handlingen var så ojämn. Med nästan 600 sidor hade handlingen behövt vara jämnare. Jag önskar att boken hade tagit upp mer mer om Anahitas liv i Indien efter att hon hade lämnat England för gott och jag skulle gärna ha bytt ut Rebeccas historia för det. Om jag inte hade gillat Anahita så mycket skulle den här boken varit mycket svårare att läsa.

Tack till Bazar Förlag för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .

In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impov­erished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury -- reluctant heir to the magnifi­cent, remote Astbury Estate -- and his scheming mother.

Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant cor­ner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .


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I love to read books with exotic locations and Midnight Rose seemed to have all the ingredients that I like in a dual-timeline book; a sad story, an interesting mystery, and strong female characters. And, in a way did I get it, partly. However, for a book with two storylines, one contemporary and one in the past to work is it necessary that they are equally interesting to read. Sure, it's not a problem when one is slightly better than the other. The problem with this book is that the contemporary story never gets interesting and that Rebecca, the beautiful movie star, never got the chance to shine. She's just there, in the present, so that Anahita's great-grandson Ari while searching for Anahita's "lost son" has a female companion in his search. Her own history is sadly neglected.

Now, the beginning of the book is very intriguing with the old Anahita looking back at her life and giving Ari a written down account of her life. It's Anahita's life throughout this book that kept my interesting up, her early life with her mother and father, coming to live with the wealthy Indira and later on traveling to England with Indira to start school there. This is the part I loved the most in this book. Then Anahita's meets Donald Astbury, and to be honest, didn't I think that they had a lot of chemistry. It felt just like a typical kind of thing that happens in a romance book, two unsuitable people meet. I did not dislike Donald, he was just not an interesting character. Then, of course, problems arise and Anahita's has to go back to India. And, here is when I started to get a problem with Anahita's story as well as Rebeccas. It gets predictable, and for my life can't I understand Donald actions and even less can I understand how Anahita can still love him enough to accept his excuses.

The last part of the book did I skim a lot to get through since my mood alternated between annoyed and bored. What kept my interest up until the end was that I wanted to get an answer to what had happened to Anahita's son.

Midnight Rose was a hard book to read, with almost 600 pages to read had I hoped the story to be more even, but it had a lot of ups and down. I would have loved to have read more about Anahita's life in India after she left England for good and I would have gladly exchanged Rebecca's story for that. If I had not liked Anahita so much would this book have been much harder to read.    

Thanks to Bazar Förlag for the review copy!

#BookReview Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #bookreview @bookouture

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The truth was dead and buried…until now.
When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy - and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?


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I finished Blood Lines just a couple of weeks before I got my hands on Dead Souls. And, I just couldn't wait to start reading the newest Kim Stone book. I have come to like Kim, Bryant, Stacey, and Dawson quite a lot and I liked that Angela Marsons in this book went for a different approach by letting Kim work with her old partner Detective Travis in a joint investigation with West Mercia since the bones found are in a field that borders to the two police districts. And, they have a past, a dark past, and in Dead Souls we finally get the chance to get to know what really happened that left them so angry towards each other.

Meanwhile, Bryant and Dawson have to work together, alone for the first time and there is some friction between them, especially since they have different appearances and Dawson has a tendency to not think before he does something. This leaves Stacey free to pursue a case that has been closed, a young boy committed suicide but Stacey can't let it be.

I found the splitting of the team, the different cases an interesting new approach and I loved to see how the team under Kim showed that they can do things without her that they have learned enough to stand on their own legs (most of the time). I also liked seeing Kim back with Travis, because there were moments when they were almost back to how they once were. And, they really needed a heart to heart. I liked that in this book all the main characters had a central role, as much as the cases were interesting was it also nice to get to know Kim, Bryant, Stacey, and Dawson a bit more.

Dead Souls is a thrilling new book. I found the storylines were all interesting and the book's theme of hate crimes is something that we are facing more and more nowadays in real life. The book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting from the beginning with Silent Scream. 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review

Thursday, 27 April 2017

#BookReview The Killing Season (Ett långt spår av blod) by Mason Cross (SWE/ENG) #bookreview #bookbloggers @ModernistaRed

The Killing Season by Mason Cross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

När Caleb Wardell, den ökände Krypskytten från Chicago, rymmer från death-row två veckor före sin avrättning vänder sig FBI till Carter Blake. Han är en man med en unik förmåga att spår upp personer som inte vill bli hittade, och en person som Wardell dessutom är bekant med sedan tidigare.

Tillsammans med Elaine Banner - en ambitiös FBI-agent som förenar livet som singelmamma med en alltmer framgångsrik karriär - måste Carter spåra Wardell, som nu förflyttar sig över USA och dödar till synes slumpmässigt.

Men Carter och Elaine finner sig snart vara åskådare mer än aktörer i fallet. Och medan de desperat försöker förstå sig på en man som dödar av ren lust, uppdagar de ett virrvarr av lögner och korruption som ska skaka om hela landet.


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Jag var överlycklig över att få chansen att läsa den här boken. Jag älskar att läsa böcker med huvudpersoner som har ett hemligt förflutet, FBI agenter och jakter på galna mördare och den här boken lyckas få med allt det. Carter Blake är en man som kan spåra upp människor som inte vill bli hittade och han kontaktas av FBI för att hitta Caleb Wardell, "Krypskytten från Chicago", som har rymt två veckor före sin avrättning. Blake tillsammans med agent Elaine Banner jagar Wardell över landet med Wardell skjuter folk slumpmässigt, eller är det verkligen slumpmässigt? Kan Wardell ha en dödsplan?

Berättelsen i den här boken är intensivt spännande och jag fann Carter Blake fascinerande och jag vill verkligen veta mer om honom, hans förflutna och vad som gjorde honom till mannen han är idag. Jag gillade även Elaine Banner, hon är en tuff kvinna som jonglerar sitt liv som ensamstående mamma med en karriär som FBI agent. Tillsammans är de ett bra team i denna bok.

Jag gillade vändningarna i boken att allting inte är som det verkar. Det verkar som om Wardell har hjälp från någon, men vem skulle hjälpa en man som Wardell? Slutet är verkligen spännande, med en konfrontation mellan huvudpersonerna och sanningar som avslöjas. Jag rekommenderar varmt denna bok och ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok i serien!

Tack till Modernista för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake.

That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in.

When Caleb Wardell, the infamous 'Chicago Sniper', escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a man with certain specialised talents whose skills lie in finding those who don't want to be found. A man to whom Wardell is no stranger.

Along with Elaine Banner, an ambitious special agent juggling life as a single mother with her increasingly high-flying career, Blake must track Wardell down as he cuts a swathe across America, apparently killing at random.

But Blake and Banner soon find themselves sidelined from the case. And as they try desperately to second guess a man who kills purely for the thrill of it, they uncover a hornets' nest of lies and corruption. Now Blake must break the rules and go head to head with the FBI if he is to stop Wardell and expose a deadly conspiracy that will rock the country.

Slick, fast-paced and assured, THE KILLING SEASON is the first novel in the gripping new Carter Blake series.


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I was thrilled to get the chance to read this book. I love main characters with a secret past, FBI agents and a hunt for some crazy killers and this book manage to have it all. Carter Blake is a man that can find anyone and he is contacted by FBI to find Caleb Wardell, the 'Chicago Sniper', who has escaped two weeks before his execution. Blake together with agent Elaine Banner is hunting Wardell over the country as the killer is shooting people at random, or is it really random? Could the man have a killing plan?

I found the story in this book to be intense and thrilling and I found Carter Blake intriguing and I really want to know more about him, his past and what made him into the man he is today. I liked Blake and I also like Elaine Banner, she is a tough woman who is juggling her life as a single mother with a career as an FBI agent. Together are they a good team in this book.

I liked the twists and turns the story took. It seems that Wardell could have help from someone, but who would help a man like Wardell? The ending is really thrilling, with a confrontation between the main characters and truths being revealed. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next book in the series!

Thanks to Modernista for the review copy!

#CoverCrush: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski #bookbloggers

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



A special collector's edition of the New York Times bestselling novel that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher.

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.

And a cold-blooded killer.

His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

For fans of the video game and the uninitiated alike, The Last Wish is the opening chapter of The Witcher series.


Some thoughts about the cover:

This is what I want to see when it comes to fantasy novels. A cover with a fire breading dragon. Need I sat more? As a fantasy fan is this pretty much drool worthy...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

A Literary Vacation
IndieBRAG

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#Wishlist April: Historical Fantasy/Horror #bookbloggers #bloggersblast

I was thinking of making a Sci-fi list this month, but while I was going through my want-to-read list on Goodreads did my thoughts shift towards another direction. So, instead, here are 5 Historical Fantasy/Horror titles that I want!

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Winter, 1862. A malevolent spirit roams the cold and gloomy streets of Victorian London, the vampiric ghost of John Polidori, the onetime physician of the mad, bad and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron. Polidori is also the supernatural muse to his niece and nephew, poet Christina Rossetti and her artist brother Dante Gabriel.

But Polidori's taste for debauchery has grown excessive. He is determined to possess the life and soul of an innocent young girl, the daughter of a veterinarian and a reformed prostitute he once haunted. And he has resurrected Dante's dead wife, transforming her into a horrifying vampire. The Rossettis know the time has come – Polidori must be stopped. Joining forces with the girl's unlikely parents, they are plunged into a supernatural London underworld whose existence they never suspected.

These wildly mismatched allies – a strait-laced animal doctor, and ex-prostitute, a poet, a painter, and even the Artful Dodger-like young daughter – must ultimately choose between the banality and constraints of human life and the unholy immortality that Polidori offers. Sweeping from high society to grimy slums, elegant West End salons to pre-Roman catacombs beneath St. Paul's cathedral, Hide Me Among The Graves blends the historical and the supernatural in a dazzling, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

The bestselling author of Ilium and Olympos transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O'Brian.

Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean.

The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching one seaman at a time or whole crews, leaving bodies mangled horribly or missing forever. Captain Crozier takes over the expedition after the creature kills its original leader, Sir John Franklin.

Drawing equally on his own strengths as a seaman and the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he's rescued, Crozier sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until Crozier begins to fear there is no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare.

A thrilling tale of high-altitude death and survival set on the snowy summits of Mount Everest, from the bestselling author of The Terror 

It's 1924 and the race to summit the world's highest mountain has been brought to a terrified pause by the shocking disappearance of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine high on the shoulder of Mt. Everest. By the following year, three climbers -- a British poet and veteran of the Great War, a young French Chamonix guide, and an idealistic young American -- find a way to take their shot at the top. They arrange funding from the grieving Lady Bromley, whose son also disappeared on Mt. Everest in 1924. Young Bromley must be dead, but his mother refuses to believe it and pays the trio to bring him home. 

Deep in Tibet and high on Everest, the three climbers -- joined by the missing boy's female cousin -- find themselves being pursued through the night by someone . . . or something. This nightmare becomes a matter of life and death at 28,000 feet - but what is pursuing them? And what is the truth behind the 1924 disappearances on Everest? As they fight their way to the top of the world, the friends uncover a secret far more abominable than any mythical creature could ever be. A pulse-pounding story of adventure and suspense, The Abominable is Dan Simmons at his spine-chilling best.

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…

As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.

Cora and her husband hunt things – things that shouldn’t exist.

When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible. But if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present.





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Want to see more wishlist?
Check out these that my friends have posted:

Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

#BookReview The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley @AtriaBooks #bookreview #bloggersblast

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.


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The Shadow Sister is book three The Seven Sisters series. I had wanted to read this series from the beginning and I was a bit unsure how it would go starting with book three. But, despite some mentionings from the previous book did I find this book to work as a stand-alone. Although now I really want to read the previous two books!

I found the title of this book to be very fitting, both the main characters in the present time Star D'Aplièse and Flora MacNichol that lived in the beginning of the 20th-century are both shadow sisters. They both have to find their own way in life. Star by daring to finally break free from living her life in symbiosis with her sister CeCe and Flora who has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sisters will one day have to choose between her own happiness or her sisters.

I got very engaged in both Star's and Flora's lives. Sure there were times I wanted to scream at them to not be stupid and think of themselves, but they are both very undemanding and their love for their sisters makes them make decisions that go against what they really want. I did have moments when I just wanted them both to be a bit more selfish, and tell them to reach for the stars!

The Shadow Sister is a thick book, but absolutely not a dull book. A lot of things are going on, I do admit that I did want the story to get going at a faster pace sometimes, but at the same time, I enjoyed reading about the people in the book. From the bookish Orlando to little Rory, and Mouse who had lost so much in life. And, of course, Star and Flora, both storylines were interesting to follow.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book which seems to be starring CeCe!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 24 April 2017

#BookReview Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo #bookreview #bloggersblast

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

As the First World War rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook, in the wedding of the social calendar. Sydney has other adventures in mind; she is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. As international tempers flare, the German embassy releases a warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk. Undaunted, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage with Edward, not knowing that disaster lies ahead.

In London, Isabel Nelson, a young woman grateful to have escaped her blemished reputation in Oxford, has found employment at the British Admiralty in the mysterious Room 40. While she begins as a secretary, it isn’t long before her skills in codes and cyphers are called on, and she learns a devastating truth and the true cost of war.

As the days of the voyage pass, these four lives collide in a struggle for survival as the Lusitania meets its deadly fate


**********

Erin Davis review pretty much sums up my feelings for this book. But I guess that I have put down some thoughts I have on the book and not just refer to her splendid review. This is not a book that I liked so it's a pretty negative review...

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo appealed to me as I'm interested in reading about WW1 and the suffragette movement. I was looking forward to seeing how the author would combine the storyline on the ship and that of the codebreaker Isabel in London. I'm sad to say that the book didn't really manage to satisfy me. I wanted intensity, but what I got was a bombast story with shallow characters and extremely predictable storyline.

The storyline with Isabel was marginally better than the one with the sisters on the ship. Still, the fallen women storyline has been done so many times before and better. Although I did enjoy the part when Mildred, Isabel's nemesis got what she deserved. I always like it when a despicable person gets what she/he deserves. What really troubled me was that Isabel getting an important job and the first thing she does is reading a letter from Churchill, because the envelope wasn't sealed ... seriously? And, when I think about it, shouldn't they have done a better background check on her, now that she has such an important job?

Then we have Sydney and Brooke Sinclair. Sydney is a suffragette fighting for women's rights, at least she is supposed to be it, but it never rings true and mostly she is portrayed as a poor rich girl that pretends to be a suffragette, but I lost all respect for her when she in spite decided to change from first class to third on the ship because she was arguing with her sister. Like a child with a tantrum. Brooke isn't much better, she is rich, but she wants a title and the best way is to find a poor aristocrat and marry him.

Then we have the romance story, oh this one was so easy to see that it's almost laughable. I won't give it away, but you can see right from the start how it all will end.

So, this was not a story to my liking, I persevered until the end, but It's not a book I can recommend. 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#CoverReveal: Blue Bottle Tree by Beaird Glover @parliamentbooks


There’s no such thing as Voodoo. At least, that’s what most of the Baptists in Bellin tell themselves. But Seven LaVey knows better.

In a small rural town just outside of Nashville, Voodoo conjures and curses simmer and seethe under the noses of the many who will never know. Seventeen-year-old Seven romanticizes about the meaning of life while held captive as a zombie under the shell of a kiddie pool. He's counting on the strength - and maybe even love - of a certain redheaded clarinet player to save him. But will she?

Filled with betrayal and revenge, two families struggle with a curse that stretches back to Voodoo-ienne Marie Laveau in this contemporary southern gothic adventure. Prepare for a wildly original twist on the paranormal.


Author bio:

Beaird Glover grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee. He graduated from The Evergreen State College of Olympia, Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. He then moved to Southern California and wrote Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Presidential Election (Aegean Park Press). He has traveled extensively and lived in eleven of the United Sates, and Taipei and Buenos Aires. His poems have been published in the New York Quarterly and his chapbook of poetry was selected by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top 10 Best of 1994. More recently, he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn and has worked as a physician assistant. Beaird now lives in New Orleans with his wife Kim and their cats.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

#BlogTour Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray @partnersincr1me #giveaway #bookbloggers

Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour April 17 – 28, 2017

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Book Details:

Genre: Amish Fiction
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 006246910X (ISBN13: 9780062469106)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #1

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 2

Someone was coming. After reeling in his line, Isaac Troyer set his pole on the bank next to Spot, his Australian shepherd, and turned in the direction of the noise.
He wasn’t worried about encountering a stranger as much as curious to know who would walk through the woods while managing to disturb every tree branch, twig, and bird in their midst. A silent tracker, this person was not.
Beside him, Spot, named for the spot of black fur ringing his eye, pricked his ears and tilted his head to one side as he, too, listened and watched for their guest to appear.
When they heard a muffled umph, followed by the crack of a branch, Isaac began to grow amused. Their visitor didn’t seem to be faring so well.
He wasn’t surprised. That path was rarely used and notoriously overrun with hollyhocks, poison oak, and ivy. For some reason, wild rosebushes also ran rampant there. Though walking on the old path made for a pretty journey, it also was a somewhat dangerous one, too. Those bushes had a lot of thorns. Most everyone he knew chose to walk on the road instead.
He was just wondering if, perhaps, he should brave the thorns and the possibility of rashes to offer his help—when a woman popped out.
The new girl. Hannah Hilty.
Obviously thinking she was completely alone, she stepped out of the shade of the bushes and lifted her face into the sun. She mumbled to herself as she pulled a black sweater off her light-blue short-sleeved dress. Then she turned her right arm this way and that, frowning at what looked like a sizable scrape on it.
He’d been introduced to her at church the first weekend her family had come. His first impression of her had been that she was a pretty thing, with dark-brown hair and hazel-colored eyes. She was fairly tall and willowy, too, and had been blessed with creamy-looking pale skin. But for all of that, she’d looked incredibly wary.
Thinking she was simply shy, he’d tried to be friendly, everyone in his family had. But instead of looking happy to meet him or his siblings, she’d merely stared at him the way a doe might stare at an oncoming car—with a bit of weariness and a great dose of fear.
He left her alone after that.
Every once in a while he’d see her. At church, or at the market with her mother. She always acted kind of odd. She was mostly silent, sometimes hardly even talking to her parents or siblings. Often, when he’d see her family in town shopping, she usually wasn’t with them. When she was, he’d see her following her parents. With them, yet separate. Silently watching her surroundings like she feared she was about to step off a cliff.
So, by his estimation, she was a strange girl. Weird.
And her actions just now? They seemed even odder. Feeling kind of sorry for her, he got to his feet. “Hey!” he called out.
Obviously startled, Hannah turned to him with a jerk, then froze.
Her unusual hazel eyes appeared dilated. She looked scared to death. Rethinking the step forward he’d been about to do, he stayed where he was. Maybe she wasn’t right in the mind? Maybe she was lost and needed help.
Feeling a little worried about her, he held up a hand. “Hey, Hannah. Are you okay?”
But instead of answering him, or even smiling back like a normal person would, she simply stared.
He tried again. “I’m Isaac Troyer.” When no look of recognition flickered in her eyes, he added, “I’m your neighbor. We met at church, soon after you moved in. Remember?”
She clenched her fists but otherwise seemed to be trying hard to regain some self-control. After another second, color bloomed in her cheeks. “I’m Hannah Hilty.”
“Yeah. I know.” Obviously, he’d known it. Hadn’t she heard him say her name? He smiled at her, hoping she’d see the humor in their conversation. It was awfully intense for two neighbors having to reacquaint themselves. By his reckoning, anyway.
She still didn’t smile back. Actually, she didn’t do much of anything at all, besides gaze kind of blankly at him.
Belatedly, he started wondering if something had happened to her on her walk. “Hey, are you okay? Are you hurt or something?”
Her hand clenched into a fist. “Why do you ask?”
Everything he wanted to say sounded mean and rude. “You just, uh, seem out of breath.” And she was white as a sheet, looked like she’d just seen a monster, and could hardly speak.
Giving her an out, he said, “Are you lost?”
“Nee.”
He was starting to lose patience with her. All he’d wanted to do was sit on the bank with Spot and fish for an hour or two, not enter into some strange conversation with his neighbor girl.
“Okay, then. Well, I was just fishing, so I’m going to go back and do that.”
Just before he turned away, she took a deep breath. Then she spoke. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not making any sense.”
“You’re making sense.” Kind of. “But that said, you don’t got anything to be sorry for. It’s obvious you, too, were looking for a couple of minutes to be by yourself.”
“No, that ain’t it.” After taking another deep breath, she said, “Seeing you took me by surprise. That’s all.” Isaac wasn’t enough of a jerk to not be aware that seeing a strange man, when you thought you were alone, might be scary to a timid girl like her.
“You took me by surprise, too. I never see anyone out here.”
Some of the muscles in her face and neck relaxed. After another second, she seemed to come to a decision and stepped closer to him. “Is that your dog?”
“Jah. His name is Spot, on account of the circle around his eye.”
“He looks to be a real fine hund.” She smiled.
And what a smile it was. Sweet, lighting up her eyes. Feeling a bit taken by surprise, too, he said, “He’s an Australian shepherd and real nice. Would you like to meet him?”
“Sure.” She smiled again, this time displaying pretty white teeth.
“Spot, come here, boy.”
With a stretch and a groan, Spot stood up, stretched again, then sauntered over. When he got to Isaac’s side, he paused. Isaac ran a hand along his back, then clicked his tongue, a sign for Spot to simply be a dog.
Spot walked right over and rubbed his nose along one of Hannah’s hands.
She giggled softly. “Hello, Spot. Aren’t you a handsome hund?” After she let Spot sniff her hand, she ran it along his soft fur. Spot, as could be expected, closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention.
“Look at that,” Hannah said. “He likes to be petted.”
“He’s friendly.”
“Do you go fishing here much?” she asked hesitantly.
“Not as much as I’d like to. I’m pretty busy. Usually, I’m helping my father on the farm or working in my uncle’s woodworking shop.” Because she seemed interested, he admitted, “I don’t get to sit around and just enjoy the day all that much.”
“And here I came and ruined your peace and quiet.”
“I didn’t say that. You’re fine.”
She didn’t look as if she believed him. Actually, she looked even more agitated. Taking a step backward, she said, “I should probably let you get back to your fishing, then.”
“I don’t care about that. I’d rather talk to you.”
Her eyes widened. “Oh?”
“Jah. I mean, we’re neighbors and all.” When she still looked doubtful, he said, “Besides, everyone is curious about you.”
“I don’t know why. I’m just an Amish girl.”
He thought she was anything but that. “Come on,” he chided. “You know what I’m talking about.”
Looking even more unsure, she shook her head.
“First off, I’ve hardly even seen you around town, only on Sundays when we have church. And even then you never stray from your parents’ side. That’s kind of odd.”
“I’m still getting used to being here in Kentucky,” she said quickly.
“What is there to get used to?” he joked. “We’re just a small community in the middle of cave country.”
To his surprise, she stepped back. “I guess getting used to my new home is taking me a while. But that doesn’t mean anything.”
Aware that he’d hurt her feelings, he realized that he should have really watched his tone. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just saying that the way you’ve been acting has everyone curious. That’s why people are calling you ‘The Recluse.’ ”
“ ‘The Recluse’?”
“Well, jah. I mean you truly are an Amish woman of mystery,” he said, hoping she’d tease him right back like his older sister would have done.
She did not.
Actually, she looked like she was about to cry, and it was his doing.
When was he ever going to learn to read people better? Actually, he should knock some sense into himself. He’d been a real jerk. “Sorry. I didn’t intend to sound so callous.”
“Well, you certainly did.”
“Ah, you are right. It was a bad joke.”
“I better go.”
Staring at her more closely, he noticed that those pretty hazel eyes of hers looked kind of shimmery, like a whole mess of tears was about to fall. Now he felt worse than bad.“Hey, are you going to be okay getting home? I could walk you back, if you’d like.”
“Danke, nee.”
Reaching out, he grasped Spot by his collar. “I don’t mind at all. It will give us a chance to—”
She cut him off. “I do not want or need your help.” She was staring at him like he was scary. Like he was the type of guy who would do her harm.
That bothered him.
“Look, I already apologized. You don’t need to look at me like I’m going to attack you or something. I’m just trying to be a good neighbor.”
She flinched before visibly collecting herself. “I understand. But like I said, I don’t want your help. I will be fine.”
When he noticed that Spot was also sensing her distress, he tried again even though he knew he should just let her go. “I was done fishing anyway. All I have to do is grab my pole. Then Spot and I could walk with you.”
“What else do I have to say for you to listen to me?” she fairly cried out. “Isaac, I do not want you to walk me anywhere.” She turned and darted away, sliding back into the brush. No doubt about to get covered in more scratches and poison ivy.
Well, she’d finally said his name, and it certainly did sound sweet on her lips.
Too bad she was now certain to avoid him for the rest of her life. He really hoped his mother was never going to hear about how awful he’d just been. She’d be so disappointed.
He was disappointed in himself, and was usually a lot more patient with people. He liked that about himself, too. And this girl? Well, she needed someone, too. But she seemed even afraid of her shadow.
***
Excerpt from Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
  Shelley Shepard Gray

Author Bio:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Wendy Corsi Staub and William Morrow. There will be 2 winners of one $25 Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 15th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere #bookreview #bookbloggers @HeneryPress

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Interior Decorator Madison Night accepts an assignment in Palm Springs with handyman Hudson James, she expects designing days and romantic nights. But after spotting a body in the river by the job site, she causes a rift in the team. Add in the strain of recurring nightmares and a growing dependency on sleeping pills, and Madison seeks professional help to deal with her demons.

She learns more about the crime than she’d like thanks to girl talk with friends, pillow talk with Hudson, and smack talk with the local bad boys. And after the victim is identified as the very doctor she’s been advised to see, she wonders if what she knows can help catch a killer. An unlikely ally helps navigate the murky waters before her knowledge destroys her, and this time, what she doesn’t know might be the one thing that saves her life.


**********

I first read a book by Diane Vallere last year (A Disguise to Die For (Costume Shop Mystery, #1)), and I found the book to be charming, just the kind of cozy mystery I like to read. So, when I got the chance to read this one did I not hesitate. I quite like the idea of an interior Decorator that has a thing for Doris Day. 

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much is a great book. I came to like Madison Night quite a lot, I especially liked that she is not a young thing. That she is a mature woman over forty who just stumbles over mysteries like this one in this book. Nowadays it's like all the books I read the main characters (women) are around 20-40 years old. Nothing wrong with that, but I like authors that actually decide to something different from everyone else. Another thing, for a cozy mystery, did the book feel very serious, with Madison dealing with PTSD, seeing a dead body and being mistrusted because no dead body is found and clashing with her boyfriend's brother-in-law among other things. 

But, it worked, there are no gruesome deaths, but at the same time, it has not a silly plot, despite Madison's Doris Day passion (obsession). I quite liked the mystery in this book, even though I did have an inkling of whom was behind it all and was right about that. It was a very good book, perfect when you want a mystery, but have read too many heavy crime novels. 

I found the book to be just to my taste, loved the cover, like the characters, there is a hint of a triangle drama, she had to choose between two men in the previous book or one of the previous books. Did she make the right choice? Well, Hudson, her boyfriend is a nice guy, but I kind of like Tex Allen as well. So, it will be interesting to see what the future will bring because I will definitely read the next book in this series, and the previous as well if I can get them.

I want to thank Liz D Publicity & Promotions for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!


Links:










About Diane Vallere:

Diane Vallere is a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She is president of Sisters in Crime and writes the Samantha Kidd, Madison Night, Costume Shop, and Lefty-Award Nominated Material Witness Mysteries. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh @arrowpublishing #bookreview #bookbloggers

The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first body comes as a shock

The second brings horror

The third signals the beginning of a nightmare


When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.

Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.

Then another body appears against the Wall.

And another.

As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.

Who is the Killer on the Wall?


**********

The Killer On The Wall is a chilling story about Isla Bell, a young girl that finds three bodies propped against Hadrian's wall. This will have a great impact on her life. She will, later on, dedicate her life studying the brains of serial killers, in hope that one day she will find what makes a person a killer. Then, 20 years later a body is found propped up against the wall, and then another.

I found The Killer On The Wall the be interesting to read. There are several POV's in this book, among them are Isla, her husband who survived the first attack 20 years ago, and her father who caught the killer. But, the one person I think I liked the best was Mina, a young cop that has been transferred from London to Briganton to get away from her overbearing family. Now she faces a nightmare with a serial killer loose.

I read The Missing Hours by the same author last year and I think this book is better. This story was much more interesting and all these different characters make this story engrossing to read. The ending was perhaps not that surprising since there is just not many suspects to chose from anymore. However, I found it fitting because even though one can know a person well, can even the best of us be blind when it comes to seeing things...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier Blog Tour @hfvbt @HMHCo #TheHalfWivesBlogTour #HistFic



The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0547491166

Genre: Historical Fiction


Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning.

Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child—a daughter, eight-year-old Blue—with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed.

The Half Wives follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth. Marilyn distracts herself with charity work at an orphanage. Henry needs to wrangle his way out of the police station, where he has spent the night for disorderly conduct. Lucy must rescue and rein in the intrepid Blue, who has fallen in a saltwater well. But before long, these four will all be drawn on this day to the same destination: to the city cemetery on the outskirts of San Francisco, to the grave that means so much to all of them. The collision of lives and secrets that follows will leave no one unaltered.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Kobo

Praise

“Pelletier’s second novel unfolds a complex story in the span of 24 hours… [The author] expertly fills in the back story—introspection and memories mingle smoothly with the present… Well-crafted characters struggling alone with shared grief furnishes a coursing river on which this intriguing story effortlessly flows. Tough to put down.” —Kirkus Reviews
The Half Wives is a profoundly hypnotic and mesmerizing work. The characters do not capture you as much as claim you, as the writing—languid, heartbreaking, and hopeful—pulls you deep into their world. The backdrop of Old San Francisco comes gloriously alive, as though the mist of the city itself rose from every page.”—Kathy Hepinstall, author of Blue Asylum and others
“Stacia Pelletier’s The Half Wives is set in the past, but it is a story for any time: a poignant, sometimes heart-rending, beautifully crafted, always gripping tale of loss and love, and the human need to try to set things right. A great read.”—Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

About the Author

Stacia Pelletier is the author of Accidents of Providence, which was short-listed for the Townsend Prize in Fiction, and the forthcoming The Half Wives. She earned graduate degrees in religion and historical theology from Emory University in Atlanta. A two-time fellow of the Hambidge Center, located in the mountains of North Georgia, she currently lives in Decatur, Georgia, and works at Emory University’s School of Medicine.

For more information, please visit Stacia Pelletier’s website.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, April 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at Rainy Day Reviews
Friday, April 7
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, April 11
Review at West Metro Mommy
Friday, April 14
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Tuesday, April 18
Review at Books, Dreams, Life
Wednesday, April 19
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, April 20
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Monday, April 24
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Friday, April 28
Review at Reviews by Room With Books
Tuesday, May 2
Review, Guest Post & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs
Wednesday, May 3
Giveaway at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, May 4
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Clarissa Reads It All
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, May 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee


#CoverCrush: Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander #bookbloggers

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!




Set amid the beauty and decadence of the Ottoman Empire, Lady Emily’s latest adventure is full of intrigue, treachery, and romance.

Looking forward to the joys of connubial bliss, newlyweds Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves, diplomats of the British Empire, set out toward Turkey for an exotic honeymoon. But on their first night in the city, a harem girl is found murdered, strangled in the courtyard of the Sultan’s lavish Topkapi Palace. Sir Richard St. Clare, an Englishman who works at the embassy in Constantinople, is present and recognizes the girl as his own daughter who was kidnapped twenty years earlier. Emily and Colin promise the heartbroken father that they’ll find her killer, but as the investigation gains speed, they find that appearance can be deceiving—especially within the confines of the seraglio

As a woman, Emily is given access to the forbidden world of the harem and quickly discovers that its mysterious, sheltered walls offer no protection from a ruthless murderer. As the number of victims grows, Emily must rely on her own sharp wits in a heart-stopping finale if she is to stop a killer bent on exacting vengeance no matter how many innocent lives he leaves in his wake. 


Some thoughts about the cover:

I have to admit that the I quite like covers with women's faces cut off. Well, not in a bloody kind of way of course. But just like the cover for Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander. But, that's not really what caught by attention. It's the city of Constantinople at the bottom of the cover that really caught my eyes. I just look at the city, amides the mist and clouds and in that light and it looks magical.

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Sandcastle Sister by Lisa Wingate

The Sandcastle Sister by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*An Outer Banks Novella*

I want to be like this stretch of freshly cleared shore. At times I think, I'm ready. Let the waves wash over me. But then I catch myself running from the tide just before it happens . . .

New York editor Jen Gibbs knew when she bought Evan Hall's next blockbuster book, it would change her career. She didn't know it would change her life. But after being sent along on the European book tour, at Evan's request, she has made a promise she's not sure she can keep--she's crossed professional lines and accepted Evan's surprising engagement proposal. Now she's scared to death. In Jen's family, marriage represents the death of every dream a woman holds for herself.

Can the revelation of her mother's long-held secret open the doors to Jen's future and change her beliefs about life and love?

**********

When I read The Sea Keeper's Daughters (book 3 in the Carolina series) did I not know how much I would come to love that book, or rather love the whole series. But, the story was so gripping and beautiful that I bought the previous two books in the series and loved them as well. The Sandcastle Sisters is the last novella that I had left to read. Now I just hope that Lisa Wingate will write another book in the series.

The Sandcastle Sister takes place after The Story Keeper and it's like an interlude to the book with Jen Gibbs trying to decide if she should marry Evan Hall or not. She has said yes to his proposal, but in her family marriage is more like a slavery for women than an equal union. A call from her sister makes her head home to find out more about her mother's family and perhaps decide if she dares marry the man she loves.

This sweet little novella made me remember how much I love the Carolina series. I loved reading about Jen again and the story was pleasant albeit short. Hence, the 3-star rating. I liked the novella, but at the same time, it's like an appetizer when I want a full meal. When the story really starts to get somewhere it ends. At the same time, it was a nice ending. I just want more!

You should definitely read this book if you have read the previous books/novellas in this series and if you have never read The Carolina series should you really do it! 

Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Missing by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?


**********

By no one else's fault than my own did I get the impression that this would be a paranormal book and that was what I was looking forward to reading. However, this is a YA thriller, a whodunit book about Winter, a young girl who discovers that the people that have left the little town of Reeve's End have perhaps met a grisly end. Among them is Winter's sister that left a year before and never was heard from again.

Young adult is not a genre I read that often, but I've lately been reading up on Kelley Armstrong and this book seemed interesting and it turned out to be quite a good book. For a YA is it actually really good. However, despite that Armstrong managed to create a really great female lead characters and also write an interesting story, did I not completely fall for the story, especially not the ending. I don't know, it just didn't really intrigue me and I felt that the book lacked suspense.

Missing was an interesting book. I came to like Winter very much, she is a strong character and I loved how Winter, despite her upbringing has a goal in life. I also loved the little town of Reeve's End, there is just something special about town like this, far from civilization. The best part of the book was the beginning when everything was still a mystery and one wondered what was going on, what had happened with all the youngster? Personally, would I have loved a paranormal angle to the story, but it worked as a thriller, despite the lack of a truly suspenseful ending.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!