Behind the Blog: Meet the Blogger Series- Tina and The Team from Trip Fiction @TripFiction

Ever wonder about the person behind the blog?  I mentioned back in January (here) that I would be starting a Meet the Blogger series.  This series will feature some of my favourite bloggers as we go behind the scenes and have them answer the questions!

Next up is Tina and The Team from Trip Fiction!

Trip Fiction is basically one of the coolest blogs ever; do you ever want to escape somewhere?  Maybe travel to Egypt or spend an afternoon in Paris?  Well, type in your locale of choice into the Trip Fiction database and out pops a book for you to escape in! Super fun concept and amazing for developing diversity in your TBR pile, I always head to Trip Fiction when I feel the need to “get away”.

Keep reading to see what Tina, a member of the team at Trip Fiction, had to say about the world of blogging, her favourite books and reading in general.

Continue reading “Behind the Blog: Meet the Blogger Series- Tina and The Team from Trip Fiction @TripFiction”

Book Review: Gone Astray (Michelle Davis) @PGCBooks @M_Davieswrites

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 9.41.40 PM.pngWhile I was book slumping, Chelsea (my book BFF from The Suspense Is Thrilling Me) was giving me suggestions of what I NEEDED TO READ to help me get over my struggle. One of her most highly recommended reads was Gone Astray by Michelle Davies, so, naturally, I added this one to the top of my TBR pile.

Following a Family Liaison Officer, Maggie, as she is assigned to work the case of a missing teenager, Rosie. Rosie’s parents have recently struck gold after winning the lottery; did Rosie go on her own will, was she kidnapped? Maggie must work with the family as the police tirelessly look for Rosie.   Family is ripped apart, friendships are betrayed and one thing is made clear: money cannot buy you happiness.

I have always been clear that I am a fan of an abduction story; usually, I find myself interested in stories told through the perspective of the missing person but I really did enjoy the change of pace by having the main character a Family Liaison Officer. I do not know much about them so I did find that it absolutely brought some new life into an abduction tale.

Continue reading “Book Review: Gone Astray (Michelle Davis) @PGCBooks @M_Davieswrites”

Book Review: The Lying Game (Ruth Ware) @SimonSchusterCA

The Lying Game

I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I know, I know, what kind of thriller lover am I?

I have them all purchased, sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me but I am a slave to my TBR pile and hadn’t been able to read them yet. So, I was more than thrilled when #cjsreads made The Lying Game by Ruth Ware a July title.

The novel opens with a body being discovered and Isa, a new mother, receiving a text from her childhood friend. A text she knows to always respond to. A text she hoped she would never get. Travelling to Salten, a boarding school she spent a year in, she meets up with Kate and two other friends who all went to the school; notorious in their time, they were known for playing The Lying Game. A game blurred with reality, and soon, the girls realize that their past is not as buried as they had hoped.

From the first pages, I was pretty much hooked. It sort of had that chick lit, Pretty Little Liars vibe that I enjoy in a thriller. Imagine Big Little Lies and a sort of darker Gossip Girl. I really enjoy where I can get that sort of “feeling” from a piece of fiction for an adult, especially since it usually can only be found in the realm of YA.

I found myself flying through the pages, which were narrated by Isa, and was gripped trying to figure out what had gone on in their past (which was also explored). I had plenty of theories.   This one peaked for me in the middle, it had a sort of “SAY WHAT” moment and I was completely perplexed.

However, I found the ending to be a little lacklustre. It sort of went the tried and true route and I felt a little disappointed.

Overall, I felt like this one was fast paced and juicy enough to be a perfect read for the beach.

I gave it a 4/5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher and the author for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to know if Chandra and Jessica felt the same way as I did about The Lying Game?  Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Lying Game (Ruth Ware) @SimonSchusterCA”

Author Spotlight: Becky Masterman (Brigid Quinn Series) @mastermanbecky @PenguinCanada

My friends Amy (Novel Gossip) and Chelsea (The Suspense Is Thrilling Me) are awful influences. When I was telling them about my looming TBR pile, they suggested that I add Becky Masterman’s novels to the mix.

I had never heard of this author before and upon my research, I discovered her Brigid Quinn series that features a kick ass, female, ex-FBI agent who holds no prisoners.   This is right up my alley, so, obviously, I threw all my reading plans out the window and read the first three novels in the series.

Continue reading “Author Spotlight: Becky Masterman (Brigid Quinn Series) @mastermanbecky @PenguinCanada”

Book Review: The Marriage Pact (Michelle Richmond) @michellerichmon @randomhouse

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When newlyweds, Alex and Jake, receive a wedding gift that invites them into an exclusive and mysterious group for married couples, they are flattered.   The goal of The Pact is simple.  Keep marriages happy and intact.  Seduced by the glamorous parties and sense of community, they embrace The Pact.  They are given a manual with all the rules, one being: don’t mention The Pact to anyone.   As Alice and Jake try to adhere by their rules, they realize how much different The Pact is and how dangerous The Pact can be.

I love any book that has a cult vibe, so when I discovered The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond it immediately moved to the top of my TBR pile.  I loved how this one took the domestic suspense genre and gave it a twist.   I was so glad to read something where the conflict lies not between the married but couple, but instead, the married couple against the world.   It really was like married people Fight Club.

Richmond is able to create two incredibly likeable characters in Jake and Alice.  They complement each nicely and were very realistic.  She also was able to create such a well put together and fast paced plot.  I was engaged throughout and was continuously worried about Jake and Alice as they navigated their way through The Pact.   Truly, at times, it became super creepy!   I couldn’t believe the lengths that the members were willing to go.  I read this one as a buddy read with Danielle from The Blonde Likes Books and we were continuously messaging each other with our worries.

I did feel like the ending was a random and kind of out in left field for me, especially in regards to the general tone of the book.

Overall, even with the random ending, I loved this book and would highly recommend it!!

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

This one was a #cjsreads pick for July; keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Marriage Pact (Michelle Richmond) @michellerichmon @randomhouse”

Book Review: Watch Me Disappear (Janelle Brown) @janelleb @randomhouse

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.19.30 AM.pngI have never read a Janelle Brown book before but I am always eager to try a new author; so, when #cjsreads chose Watch Me Disappear for one of our July titles, I was pumped.

The book opens just about a year after Olive’s mother, Billie, has gone missing during a hiking trip.  Now presumed dead, Olive’s father, Jonathan, is in a legal battle in order to declare Billie dead and Olive is trying to get her life back in order.  However, Olive begins to see her mother.  First thinking it is a hallucination and then wondering if it is a sign, Olive shares her experiences with her father and they both, in their own way, begin to dig into Billie’s life.  While looking for the truth, secrets come to light, leaving both reeling.

My first thought once I finished reading was that this book was not marketed correctly; I didn’t find this one fit into the mystery/thriller genre.  I would have deemed it contemporary fiction.    Going in, I was expecting a fast paced, psychological type thriller and instead, I found this to be more of a slower read.  Even with this, I did feel like it was actually paced quite well.   Brown is able to string her reader along and keep them captivated.  I found myself completely engrossed with the actual plot.

Narrated through alternating perspectives by Jonathan and Olive, Brown weaves a tale of deception and grief.  I was captivated throughout the chapters; especially interested in the chapters highlighting Jonathan’s novel (he is writing a memoir about the time spent with his wife) and his struggle for answers.

The book has a very strong, sort of metaphysical aspect that I thought was really interesting.  Throughout, it remains very unclear whether or not Olive is truly experiencing something more parapsychological or if she is truly working through the grieving process.    I really like the ambiguity of this fact and it propelled me to continue reading.

My one real issue with the text was the characters themselves.  I didn’t feel particularly attached to anyone.  It could have gone either way for me; Billie could have been alive, she could have been dead.  It really made no difference to me.  I wish the author had spent more time developing the character relationships so I could have been more invested.

Another bone I have to pick with this book regards the ending.  I was SO MAD when I read the final pages.  As soon as I finished I sent a caps locked rage filled e-mail off to everyone I knew had read the book.  I was RILED up.

Regardless of my general feelings about the end, I felt like this was a stellar read.   I think that readers who enjoy a family drama or a piece of contemporary fiction will devour this one.  However, if you are looking for a fast paced thrill ride, you would be disappointed.  I gave this one a 3.5/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica had to say about Watch Me Disappear!

Continue reading “Book Review: Watch Me Disappear (Janelle Brown) @janelleb @randomhouse”

Book Review: Devil’s Call (J. Danielle Dorn) @Inkshares @jdanielledorn

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 2.07.21 PM.pngI am going to open this review by being brutally honest.

When I received this book for our July #cjsreads titles, I almost added it automatically to my DNF pile. I don’t do Westerns and I don’t (usually) read historical fiction, let alone fantastical historical fiction; this book was set in the iconic American frontier on the eve of the Civil War and had to do with witches.   However, I decided to read the first chapter (to say that I tried) and, I must say, shame on me for judging this book!

Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn ended up surprising me!

From the first few pages, I was hooked as I followed Li Lian, a woman in a long line of witches who goes on to avenge her husband’s murder. Dorn brilliantly drew me in with the narrative style (told sort of diary style by our protagonist) and held on to me tight! I found this one incredibly entertaining.

I do think that this title was slightly mismarketed as a horror novel; I didn’t find anything about this one particularly scary. It really was more like occult fiction. Also, do not be thrown off by the Western aspect of this novel, I promise it is not overwhelming or distracting.

Overall, this novel surprised me greatly and that is not easy to do when you read as much as I do! I give this one 3.5/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of Devil’s Call.

Continue reading “Book Review: Devil’s Call (J. Danielle Dorn) @Inkshares @jdanielledorn”

Book Review: The Breakdown (B.A Paris)

The Breakdown.pngThis appears to the year for the highly anticipated follow up novel; with Paula Hawkins second novel, Into the Water, releasing back in May and Fiona Barton’s The Child out in July, the next on my list was The Breakdown, the second novel from Behind Closed Doors author, B.A Paris.

The Breakdown follows a woman, Cass, who comes in contact with a woman who ends up murdered hours later; overcome with guilt, she cannot stop wondering what would have happened if she stopped and pulled over to help. Since that day, things seem to be falling apart, first, she is forgetting small things and next thing she knows packages are showing up at the door that she doesn’t remember ordering.   As things begin to unravel and the only thing she can seem to remember is the woman she didn’t save, Cass cannot help but wondering who can she trust, if she cannot trust herself….

This novel gave me some mixed feelings.

Initially, I did find that this one was slow to get into, predictable and incredibly redundant.  The first 30% of the book is the guilt about seeing the woman the night she was murdered and struggling with the fact that she didn’t do anything to save her.  The next 40% of the novel is Cass struggling to remember things and dealing with, what she thinks, is early, onset dementia.  Although Paris is consistent in her narrative, I wanted to tell Cass to pull it together!!  I didn’t find her incredibly likeable.

I did find the last 20% of the novel was a breeze to read; fast paced and twisty, as the plot unfolded I was completely sucked in and dying to know what the outcome would be.   Although I predicted a majority of the plot, I was impressed that Paris has a few tricks up her sleeve and in the end,  I ended up having a few things thrown at me that threw me for a loop!

This one read a bit to me like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins meets Before I Go to Sleep by S.J Watson; a narrator who is struggling and unreliable, yet you feel for them and are unsure if they are on your side.   So, if you are a fan of domestic thrillers with an unreliable narrator, you’ll be interested in this read.

I gave it 3/5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

This one was a #cjsreads pick for July; keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought about this one.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Breakdown (B.A Paris)”

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.43.21 PMIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week.

It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

Last week was incredibly busy on Clues and Reviews.  I managed to read seven titles over the past week and have been working to organize my TBR pile.  I also made an exciting announcement with Chelsea over at The Suspense Is Thrilling Me about our online book club!  If you missed it, check it out HERE!  We are so excited and are hoping that as many people as possible are able to participate!

This week, I also hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal!  I have read 202 books so far this year which surpassed my goal of 200 books!

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Keep reading to see what I read last week, what I am reading now and what I plan on reading.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr”