#BookReview Before I’m Gone by Heidi McLaughlin @HeidiJoVT @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #BeforeImGone #HeidiMcLaughlin #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview Before I’m Gone by Heidi McLaughlin @HeidiJoVT @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #BeforeImGone #HeidiMcLaughlin #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: Before I'm Gone

Author: Heidi McLaughlin

Published by: Montlake Romance on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 367

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 10/10

New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin tells a poignant story about living life to the fullest—and savoring the small moments along the way.

Palmer Sinclair has never needed anyone’s help. A successful loan officer, she’s all work and no play. But when splitting headaches and blurred vision begin to affect her job, she begrudgingly sees a doctor and receives a diagnosis that leaves her shaken to her core and with little time left. Facing an uncertain future, Palmer makes a bucket list, determined to do the things she’d only dreamed of before she goes.

Kent Wagner has dedicated his life to helping others. An army medic turned paramedic, he’s a regular at Palmer’s bank who makes his monthly car loan payments in person just to see her radiant smile. After responding to not one but two 911 calls involving Palmer, he learns about her bucket list. Touched by her circumstances—and needing a distraction from his own—Kent offers to take Palmer to the places on her list.

Neither is prepared for the emotional journey ahead…or how little time they have left together, but the friendship they find in that brief time might be the most lasting legacy of all.


Emotional, pensive, and profoundly moving!

Before I’m Gone is a beautifully written, poignant novel that takes you into the life of the young, thirty-seven-year-old Palmer Sinclair who, with the help of a new friend, Kent Wagner, spends her last weeks of life reaping as much joy and pleasure out of each day, savouring all the little things, creating memories, doing the things in life that she’s always wanted to do, and falling in love for the first time.

The prose is eloquent and insightful. The characters are strong, compassionate, and endearing. And the plot is a heart-wrenching, absorbing tale of life, love, friendship, kindness, honesty, acceptance, generosity, romance, humour, introspection, and loss.

Overall, Before I’m Gone is a reflective, touching, bittersweet tearjerker by McLaughlin that does a remarkable job of reminding us of what’s truly important in life and highlighting the sheer power of love.


This book is available now.

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Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.

In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.

When writing isn’t occupying her time, you can find her sitting courtside at either of her daughters’ basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Way I Am Now by Amber Smith @ASmithAuthor @simonschuster #TheWayIAmNow #AmberSmith #SimonSchuster

#BookReview The Way I Am Now by Amber Smith @ASmithAuthor @simonschuster #TheWayIAmNow #AmberSmith #SimonSchuster Title: The Way I Am Now

Author: Amber Smith

Series: The Way I Used to Be #2

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 10/10

Eden and Josh decide to give their relationship another chance in this much anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Way I Used to Be that explores how to move forward after trauma—in life and in love.

Eden and Josh never had a fair shot at a healthy relationship. When they dated in high school, they each had their own problems getting in the way of the deep connection they felt toward one another. Unbeknownst to Josh, Eden was carrying the burden of a devastating sexual assault, while Josh was dealing with his own private struggle of having an alcoholic father.

Months after Eden and two other girls publicly accuse their rapist, Eden is starting college while her case goes to trial. Now when she and Josh reconnect, it seems like it might finally be in the right place at the right time for them to make it work. But is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges and chaos of college and the crushing realities of a trial that will determine whether Eden gets the justice she deserves?


Emotional, heart-tugging, and hopeful!

The Way I Am Now is the tender, heartfelt sequel to The Way I Used to Be that takes us back into the life of Eden, a young woman who, after publicly acknowledging being raped by her brother’s best friend, continues to struggle with moving on, the constant dread of a looming trial, strained familial relationships due to overwhelming feelings of anger and guilt, and a reconnection with the one boy she managed to love even when she couldn’t love herself who unfortunately also has baggage of his own.

The prose is raw and sensitive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is a moving tale of life, love, friendship, family, trust, shame, self-blame, loneliness, sexual assault, accepting love, and the intricacies of the legal system.

Overall, The Way I Am Now is a timely, affecting, optimistically heart-wrenching tale by Smith that packs a real emotional punch and ultimately does an exceptional job of highlighting the enduring psychological and emotional effects of rape and the cultural stigmatization that regrettably often still surrounds it.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.




Thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Amber Smith

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, Something Like Gravity, and The Way I Am Now. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats.

Photo by Deborah Triplett

#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA Title: The River We Remember

Author: William Kent Krueger

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 5, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 421

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of This Tender Land.

On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life, The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.


Haunting, intimate, and impactful!

The River We Remember is a gritty, moving, character-driven tale that sweeps you away to Jewel, Minnesota, during 1958 and into the lives of a handful of people, including a sheriff with a tormented past, a wealthy murder victim who seems to have had sadistic tendencies, and a suspect who the people are more than happy to convict purely due to his Dakota Sioux blood and choice of a bride.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, bravery, hope, survival, violence, injustice, racism, abuse, gossip, suicide, community, and fear.

Overall, The River We Remember makes you think, makes you feel, and ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, memorable story by Krueger that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, intricate mystery with a heartbreaking, nostalgic tale, all steeped in an abundance of tragedy, discrimination, and pain.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of The River We Remember, This Tender LandOrdinary Grace (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), and the original audio novella The Levee, as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, including Lightning Strike and Fox Creek. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.

Photo by Diane Krueger.

#BookReview One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley @EmilyMCritchley @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #OnePuzzlingAfternoon #EmilyCritchley #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley @EmilyMCritchley @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #OnePuzzlingAfternoon #EmilyCritchley #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: One Puzzling Afternoon

Author: Emily Critchley

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 350

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 10/10

A mystery she can’t remember. A friend she can’t forget.

I kept your secret Lucy. I’ve kept it for more than sixty years . . .

It is 1951, and at number six Sycamore Street fifteen-year-old Edie Green is lonely. Living alone with her eccentric mother – who conducts seances for the local Ludthorpe community – she is desperate for something to shake her from her dull, isolated life.

When the popular, pretty Lucy Theddle befriends Edie, she thinks all her troubles are over. But Lucy has a secret, one Edie is not certain she should keep . . .

Then Lucy goes missing.

2018. Edie is eighty-four and still living in Ludthorpe. When one day she glimpses Lucy Theddle, still looking the same as she did at fifteen, her family write it off as one of her many mix ups. There’s a lot Edie gets confused about these days. A lot she finds difficult to remember. But what she does know is this: she must find out what happened to Lucy, all those years ago . . .


Absorbing, mysterious, and heartfelt!

One Puzzling Afternoon is a heartwarming, captivating tale that takes you into the life of Edie Green, an eighty-two-year-old woman who, although struggling with a mind that is quickly losing the present while scattering the past, is determined to do whatever she can to piece those memories together before they’re gone for good to find her beloved friend whom she glimpsed only the other day but who actually hasn’t been seen since she disappeared almost seventy years ago.

The prose is evocative and warm. The characters are troubled, genuine, and endearing. And the plot, told in a past/present style, is a delightfully affecting tale about life, love, loss, family, friendship, deception, tragedy, community, dementia, and secrets.

Overall, One Puzzling Afternoon is a compelling, tender, lovely tale by Critchley that I absolutely adored and which did a beautiful job of reminding us that sharing, capturing, and remembering all those special moments in time, good or bad, is truly what life is all about.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.




Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Emily Critchley

Emily Critchley grew up in Essex and has lived in Brighton and London, where she worked in one of London’s biggest bookshops. She has an MA with in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. She lives in Hertfordshire.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse @KateMosse @PGCBooks #TheGhostShip #KateMosse #TheJoubertFamilyChronicles #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse @KateMosse @PGCBooks #TheGhostShip #KateMosse #TheJoubertFamilyChronicles #PGCBooks Title: The Ghost Ship

Author: Kate Mosse

Series: The Joubert Family Chronicles #3

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jul. 11, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Piracy. Romance. Revenge. Across the seas of the seventeenth century, two seafarers are forced to fight for their lives. The sequel to The City of Tears, The Ghost Ship is the third novel in The Joubert Family Chronicles from bestselling author Kate Mosse.

The Barbary Coast, 1621. A mysterious vessel floats silently on the water. It is known only as the Ghost Ship. For months it has hunted pirates to liberate those enslaved by corsairs, manned by a courageous crew of mariners from Italy and France, Holland and the Canary Islands.

But the bravest men on board are not who they seem. And the stakes could not be higher. If arrested, they will be hanged for their crimes. Can they survive the journey and escape their fate?

A sweeping and epic love story, ranging from France in 1610 to Amsterdam and the Canary Islands in the 1620s, The Ghost Ship is a thrilling novel of adventure and buccaneering, love and revenge, stolen fortunes and hidden secrets on the high seas.


Action-packed, alluring, and exceptionally atmospheric!

The Ghost Ship is a rich, informative tale that picks up a few years after The City of Tears left off, sweeping us from France to the Canary Islands in the early 1600s and into the life of the independent, bold Louise Reydon-Joubert who, after dreaming of life on the high seas forever, finally gets her chance when she sets sail on her aunt’s merchant ship the Old Moon with a motley crew, a young Huguenot man accused of murder, and a determination to rid the waters of the Barbary pirates who enjoy nothing more than raping, pillaging and overindulging.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are stubborn, selfless, and courageous. And the plot is an immersive, fascinating tale of life, loss, love, bravery, survival, tragedy, romance, adventure, religion, politics, war, gender fluidity, sacrifice, revenge, the roles of women in 17th century Europe, and the ins and outs of living on a ship.

Overall, The Ghost Ship is another beautifully written, incredibly enthralling third addition to The Joubert Family Chronicles by Mosse that grabs you from the very first page and does an outstanding job of blending historical facts with fiction that is both enlightening, romantic, and wonderfully compelling.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.





Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Kate Mosse

KATE MOSSE is a multiple New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author with sales of more than eight million copies in thirty-eight languages. Her previous novels include Labyrinth, Sepulchre, The Winter Ghosts, Citadel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, and The Burning Chambers. Kate is the founder director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, a visiting professor at the University of Chichester, and in June 2013, was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature. She divides her time between Chichester in the United Kingdom and Carcassonne in France.

Photo Credit: Ruth Crafer

#BookReview Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan @kennedyrwrites @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #KennedyRyan #LongShot #HoopsSeries #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan @kennedyrwrites @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #KennedyRyan #LongShot #HoopsSeries #SourcebooksCasa Title: Long Shot

Author: Kennedy Ryan

Series: Hoops #1

Published by: Bloom Books on Aug. 8, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 10/10

*Reader Advisory: Please be aware of the content warning in the beginning of the book.

From award-winning author Kennedy Ryan comes the soul-gripping, unforgettable first installment of the Hoops trilogy.

Iris DuPree meets August West in a sports bar during her last semester of college. It’s the conversation of a lifetime and sends sparks flying in every direction. The connection is undeniable…but the timing is all wrong. August is poised for the NBA draft, and Iris belongs to another man—basketball’s “golden boy” and August’s long-time rival.

The two go their separate ways, but they often recall that electric night and what could have been. While August has embarked on his all-star life, studded with wealth and fame, Iris’s perfect public relationship has become a nightmare behind closed doors. A tarnished dream of fool’s gold.

When August re-enters her life, the world seems briefly bright again, but Iris’s darkest nights are not over yet. To survive, she must build her own strength and trust that her bond with August can endure after all this time.

Even when her fraudulent prince has vowed never to let her go.


Powerful, consuming, and heartbreaking!

Long Shot is an immersive, emotional, heart-wrenching tale that takes us into the life of the intelligent, driven Iris DuPree as she struggles to survive a surprise pregnancy, broken dreams, a daughter she loves more than life itself, a boyfriend who was once loving but is now always angry, controlling, and brutally violent, a strained relationship with a cousin who always had her back, and a complicated attraction with a man who somehow has been stealing her heart piece by piece since the day they first met.

The writing is tender and expressive. The characters are genuine, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot, told from alternating POVs, is a haunting tale of life, loss, secrets, perseverance, power, shame, self-blame, violence, denial, pain, healing, hope, empowerment, sexual assault, new beginnings, and unconditional love.

Overall, Long Shot is not for lovers of the lighthearted. It’s dark, gritty, raw, at times disturbing, but it’s also tragic, memorable, beautiful, and romantic. It made my heart smile, shatter, and then put it all back together again in 480 pages, and I can guarantee that even though it’s shockingly the first novel I’ve read by Kennedy, it definitely won’t be my last.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Bloom Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Kennedy Ryan

A RITA® and Audie® Award winner, USA Today bestselling author Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish, and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, TIME, O magazine, and many others. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks Title: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

Author: Lucinda Riley, Harry Whittaker

Series: The Seven Sisters #8

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 11, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 784

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, draws Lucinda Riley’s saga to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come when he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan, to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.

In this epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series, everything will be revealed.


Fascinating, heartfelt, and absorbing!

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the eighth instalment in The Seven Sisters series, set from 1928 to 2008, that sweeps you away into the life of Pa Salt, the loving father of seven girls who, after gathering together for the first time in a long time to celebrate his life, finally have the opportunity with the journal he left behind to unravel the secrets of his past and discover how they all came together to become one big family.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are considerate, caring, and troubled. And the plot is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching tale of life, loss, familial drama, self-discovery, grief, friendship, forgiveness, unconditional love, courage, hope, selflessness, revenge, and survival.

Overall, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the brilliant conclusion to an extraordinary saga that is a testament to the amazing storytelling abilities of the late Lucinda Riley, as well as what must have been an incredibly difficult yet unbelievable literary achievement by her son Harry Whittaker. It is hard to believe that this fascinating, mysterious, exceptionally absorbing series has come to an end, but what a way to end. It doesn’t get much better than this. And even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters I’ve come to know and love over these past eight books, it’s been a true pleasure and sheer delight to have been able to immerse myself in the histories, lives, loves and losses of them all.



This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Harry Whittaker

Harry Whittaker grew up in the 1990s and spent the first few years of his life on the rural west coast of Ireland. The son of the author Lucinda Riley, Harry became a storyteller himself, as an award-winning radio presenter for the BBC and a member of one of the UK’s most renowned improv troupes. In 2019, Harry and Lucinda co-authored the Guardian Angels series for children – four reassuring, timeless stories addressing worries that a small child may have.

After Lucinda’s death in 2021, it was announced that Harry would complete the Seven Sisters series on behalf of his late mother. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt publishes globally in May 2023.

Harry lives in Yorkshire, England.

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and, after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four.

Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestseller.Lucinda's Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is inspired by the mythology of the famous star cluster, has become a global phenomenon. The series is a number one bestseller across the world and is currently in development with a major TV production company.

Though she brought up her four children mostly in Norfolk in England, in 2015 Lucinda fulfilled her dream of buying a remote farmhouse in West Cork, Ireland, which she always felt was her spiritual home, and indeed this was where her last five books were written. Lucinda was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and died in June 2021

#BookReview None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #LisaJewell #NoneofThisIsTrue #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #LisaJewell #NoneofThisIsTrue #SimonSchusterCA Title: None of This Is True

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 8, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.

Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.

But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.

Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?


Multilayered, tense, and guileful!

None of This Is True is a meticulous, compelling thriller that takes us into the life of Alix Summers, a successful podcaster who finds her life turned upside down when on her forty-fifty birthday she bumps into a seemingly unremarkable woman also celebrating the same birthday whom she decides to feature in her next series. But Josie isn’t as ordinary as she first appears, and underneath all the subterfuge and denim lies some deep, dark secrets that once they come to light will expose a history of unimaginable terror and violence that will ultimately shatter Alix’s comfortable family life forever.

The prose is intricate and raw. The characters are secretive, manipulative, and consumed. And the plot using a mix of narration, scripts, and interviews, intertwines and unravels seamlessly into a creepy tale about life, loss, family, manipulation, obsession, abuse, deception, jealousy, mind games, violence, and murder.

Every year I’m always excited to read the latest Lisa Jewell release, and this year I have to say I think it might be one of her best. None of This Is True is one of the most spine-chilling, tragic, menacing tales I’ve read, and is without a doubt one of my new all-time faves.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview Dead and Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JoannaSchaffhausen #DeadandGoneBook #DetectiveAnnalisaVega #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Dead and Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JoannaSchaffhausen #DeadandGoneBook #DetectiveAnnalisaVega #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: Dead and Gone

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Detective Annalisa Vega #3

Published by: Minotaur Books on Aug. 8, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 10/10

The next installment of Joanna Schaffhausen’s critically acclaimed Detective Annalisa Vega series.

For Chicago police detective Annalisa Vega, Sam Tran’s death presents an ominous puzzle. The ex-cop turned PI is found hanging from a cemetery tree with a message across his chest that suggests someone holds a murderous grudge against the police. Annalisa suspects the real answer lies in one of Tran’s open cases. She believes he stumbled on a dark secret during his investigations and someone killed him to keep him quiet. Her own family harbors plenty of secrets, something Annalisa is reminded of when her brother turns out to be one of Sam’s last clients.

Vinny Vega hired Tran to find a dangerous stalker on his daughter’s college campus. Now Sam is dead and the stalker remains at large, with Annalisa’s niece Quinn firmly in his sights.

To protect Quinn, Annalisa begins tracing Sam’s steps back through his open cases, which include not only the campus stalker but also a brutal double homicide from twenty years ago. Did Sam finally find the killer? Did he uncover the stalker’s identity? Annalisa must figure out which secret got Sam killed, and fast, or someone else will die. Every move she makes brings her closer to the truth of Sam’s death, and closer to a murderer who will stop at nothing to remain free.


Relentless, sinister, and intricate!

Dead and Gone is an intense, unpredictable thrill ride that takes us back to Chicago, where Detective Annalisa Vega now finds herself delving into the open cases of murdered former CPD officer turned private detective Sam Tran, which include the investigation into a missing mother from the late 1980s, a man looking for justice into the slaying of his wife and her lover, and the protection of Annalisa’s own niece who seems to have become the latest object of fascination for a stalker on her college campus.

The writing is eerie and tight. The characters are diligent, attentive, and flawed. And the plot builds quickly into an ominous tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, lies, danger, obsession, violence, mayhem, and murder.

I’ve been a huge fan of Joanna Schaffhausen since I read The Vanishing Season in 2017, and whether it’s one of her Ellery Hathaway novels or another saga in the Detective Annalisa Vega series, such as this latest release, Dead and Gone, I am always riveted, entertained, satisfied and highly impressed.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

#BookReview Out of Nowhere by Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #OutofNowhere #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada

#BookReview Out of Nowhere by Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #OutofNowhere #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada Title: Out of Nowhere

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 1, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 417

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

#1  New York Times  bestselling author Sandra Brown returns with a fast-paced, emotional thriller where the lives of a young mother and a high-rolling consultant collide under devastating circumstances—culminating in a desperate manhunt that will change their futures forever.
At a Texas county fair, amidst carousels and a bustling midway, children’s book author Elle Portman is enjoying a rare night out with her favorite her two-year-old son, Charlie. But just as they’re about to head home, the unthinkable a shooter opens fire into the crowd, causing widespread panic to erupt all around them.

Also caught in the melee was corporate consultant Calder Hudson. Arrogant, self-centered, and high off his latest career win, he’s frustrated and confused when he wakes up in the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery on his arm.  The doctor tells him that he was lucky—that as far as gunshot wounds go, he pulled through remarkably well.  Others weren’t so lucky, which instills in Calder a furious determination to get justice . . . a goal shared by Elle.

Their chance encounter at the police station leads to a surprising and inexplicable gravitation to one another, but even as the attraction grows, Elle and Calder can’t help but wonder if the unimaginable tragedy that brought them together is too painful and too complicated to sustain—especially while the shooter remains at large.


Adrenaline-pumping, riveting, and twisty!

Out of Nowhere is a well-executed, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of Elle Portman, a hardworking, single mother who, after her worst nightmare comes true, finds herself consistently in the company of the handsome, successful Calder Hudson when it quickly becomes apparent they’re both still in the crosshairs of a relentless, highly motivated killer.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, resilient, and resourceful. And the plot is a cat-and-mouse game full of twists, turns, friendship, deception, desire, temptation, attraction, dangerous situations, red herrings, suspicious personalities, romance, violence, and murder.

Overall, Out of Nowhere is another action-packed, sinister, highly satisfying page-turner by Brown that had the perfect amount of suspense and romance to not only keep me invested, engaged, guessing, and entertained from start to finish but also more than happy to devour it in only one sitting.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to HBG Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.


Photograph courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

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