Genre: General Fiction

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin
@jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriend

#BlogTour #BookReview The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin @jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriendTitle: The Good Friend

Author: Jo Baldwin

Published by RedDoor Publishing on February 21, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Heavenly Creatures meets The Hand That Rocks the Cradle in this exciting debut novel about friendship, love and jealousy.

Once upon a time they were best friends. They were all friends. So when Jenny moved to Australia to focus on her swimming career, she not only lost Kath, but her soul-mate Tom. It was for the best. Or so they said. Now, eight years later, Jenny seeks out her childhood friend and heads to rural France where Kath has settled. At first the women fall back into a close relationship, but before long strange and malicious behaviour leads Jenny to realise the truth: that Kath has played a clever game all along to manipulate and control those around her. And Jenny is her biggest victim.

Set against the glorious backdrop of the Languedoc lavender fields, The Good Friend is a beautifully written psychological drama about love, lies and a dangerous obsession. Because once the truth is revealed, there’s no going back…


Review:

Ominous, slick, and unnerving!

The Good Friend is a slow-burning, character-driven thriller that delves into just how much our relationships and friendships can define us and highlights just how parasitic and manipulative some of them can truly be.

The prose is edgy and tense. The characters are complex, deceptive, and vulnerable. And the plot builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels a sinister tale of friendship, love, secrets, lies, deception, jealousy, violence, and revenge.

Overall, I would have to say that The Good Friend is a brooding, malicious, atmospheric tale that kept me riveted from start to finish and had an ending that left me, in a good way, completely unsettled.

 

This book is available on February 21, 2019.

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

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and Jo Baldwin for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jo Baldwin

Since completing a degree in French, Jo Baldwin has spent a large proportion of her life in France, first in Paris where she worked in magazine publishing, and later in the Languedoc where she has a holiday home. Jo now lives in Oxford with her husband and three children and works in educational publishing.

 

 

 

For more information on Red Door Publishing visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham
@LauraTrentham @StMartinsPress

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Military Wife by Laura Trentham @LauraTrentham @StMartinsPressTitle: The Military Wife

Author: Laura Trentham

Series: A Heart of a Hero #1

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on February 5, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?


Review:

Absorbing, moving, and incredibly uplifting!

The Military Wife is a tender, heartfelt story that delves not only into the emotional and psychological struggles and hardships of being part of the military and the effects they have on both the enlisted themselves and their loved ones, but also the patience, understanding, support, and trust required to maintain a relationship and individuality under those conditions.

The prose is effortless and well turned. The characters are scarred, genuine, and endearing. And the story is a mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, forgiveness, grief, familial drama, friendship, community, courage, resilience, and moving on.

Overall, The Military Wife is a beautifully written tale with a lovely mix of hope, grit, emotion, and romance that exceeded my expectations. It’s an impressive start to the “A Heart of a Hero” series and I can’t wait for the publication of book #2.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

Present Day

Winters in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, were temperamental. The sunshine and a temperate southerly breeze that started a day could turn into biting, salt-tinged snow flurries by afternoon. But one thing Harper Lee Wilcox could count on was that winter along the Outer Banks was quiet.

The bustle and hum and weekly rotation of tourists that marked the summer months settled into a winter melancholy that Harper enjoyed. Well, perhaps not enjoyed in the traditional sense . . . more like she enjoyed surrendering to the melancholy. In fact, her mother may have accused her of wallowing in it once or twice or a hundred times.

In the winter, she didn’t have to smile and pretend her life was great. Not that it was bad. Lots of people had it worse. Much worse. In fact, parts of her life were fabulous. Almost five, her son was happy and healthy and smart. Her mother’s strength and support were unwavering and had bolstered her through the worst time of her life. Her friends were amazing.

That was the real issue. In the craziness of the summer season, she forgot to be sad. Her husband, Noah, had been gone five years; the same amount of time they’d been married. Soon the years separating them would outnumber the years they’d been together. The thought was sobering and only intensified the need to keep a sacred place in her heart waiting and empty. Her secret memorial.

She parked the sensible sedan Noah had bought her soon after they married under her childhood home. Even though they were inland, the stilts were a common architectural feature up and down the Outer Banks.

Juggling her laptop and purse, Harper pushed open the front door and stacked her things to the side. “I’m home!”

A little body careened down the steps and crashed into her legs. She returned the ferocious hug. Her pregnancy was the only thing that had kept her going those first weeks after she’d opened her front door to the Navy chaplain.

“How was preschool? Did you like the pasta salad I packed for your lunch?”

“It made me toot and everyone laughed, even the girls. Can you pack it for me again tomorrow?”

“Ben! You shouldn’t wantto toot.” Laughter ruined the admonishing tone she was going for.

As Harper’s mom said time and again, the kid was a hoot and a half. He might have Harper’s brown wavy hair, but he had Noah’s spirit and mannerisms and humor. Ben approached everything with an optimism Harper had lost or perhaps had never been gifted with from the start. He was a blessing Harper sometimes wondered if she deserved.

“Where’s Yaya?” She ruffled his unruly hair.

Of course, her mom had picked an unconventional name. “Grandmother” was too old-fashioned and pedestrian. Since she’d retired from the library, she had cast off any semblance of normalcy and embraced an inner spirit that was a throwback to 1960s bra burners and Woodstock.

“Upstairs painting.” Ben slipped his hand into Harper’s and tugged her toward the kitchen. Bright red and orange and blue paint smeared the back of his hand and arm like a rainbow. At least, her mom had put him in old clothes. “Yaya gave me my own canvas and let me paint whatever I wanted.”

“And what did you paint?” Harper prayed it wasn’t a nude study, which was the homework assignment from her mom’s community college class.

“I drew Daddy in heaven. I used allthe colors.” The matter-of-factness of his tone clawed at her heart.

No child should have to grow up only knowing their father through pictures and stories. Her own father had been absent because of divorce and disinterest. He’d sent his court-ordered child support payments regularly until she turned eighteen but rarely visited or shown any curiosity about her. It had hurt until teenaged resentment scarred over the wound.

Noah would have made a great dad. The best. That he never got the chance piled more regrets and what-ifs onto her winter inspired melancholy.

“I’m sure he would have loved your painting.” Luckily, Ben didn’t notice her choked-up reply.

He went to the cabinet, pulled out white bread and crunchy peanut butter, and proceeded to make two sandwiches. It was their afternoon routine. Someday he would outgrow it. Outgrow her and become a man like his daddy.

She poured him a glass of milk, and they ate their sandwiches, talking about how the rest of his day went—outside of his epic toots. His world was small and safe and she wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Her mom breezed into the kitchen, her still-thick but graying brown hair twisted into a messy bun, a thin paintbrush holding it in place. Slim and attractive, she wore paint-splattered jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt that read: I make AARP look good. Harper pinched her lips together to stifle a grin.

“How’s your assignment coming along?” Harper asked.

“I’m having a hard time with proportions. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure my man’s you-know-what shouldn’t hang down to his kneecaps.”

Harper shot a glance toward Ben, who had moved to the floor of the den to play with LEGOs. As crazy as her mom drove her, she was and would always be Harper’s rock. The irony wasn’t lost on her. As hard as she’d worked to get out of Kitty Hawk and out of her mother’s reach when she was young, she’d never regretted coming home.

“It’s been a while for me, too, but that’s not how I remember them, either.”

“A pity for us both.” Her mother pulled a jar of olives out of the fridge and proceeded to make martinis—shaken, not stirred. She raised her eyebrows, and Harper answered the unspoken question with a nod. Her mom poured and plopped an extra olive in Harper’s. “How was work?”

Harper handled bookkeeping and taxes for a number of local businesses, but a good number closed up shop in the winter. “Routine. Quiet.”

“Exactly like your life.”

Harper sputtered on her first sip. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I hate seeing you mope around all winter.” Her mom poked at the olive in her drink with a toothpick and looked toward Ben, dropping her voice. “He’s been gone five years, sweetheart, and you haven’t gone on so much as a date.”

“That’s not true. I went to lunch with Whit a few weeks ago.”

“He was trying to sell you life insurance. Doesn’t count.”

Harper huffed and covered her discomfort by taking another sip. “What about you? You never date.”

 “True, but your father ruined me on relationships. I have trust issues. You and Noah, on the other hand, seemed to get along fine. Or am I wrong?”

“You’re not.” Another sip of the martini grew the tingly warmth in her stomach. Their marriage hadn’t been completely without conflict, but what relationship was? As she looked back on their fights, they seemed juvenile and unimportant. It was easier to remember the good times. And there were so many to choose from.

She touched the empty finger on her left hand. The ring occupied her jewelry box and had for three years. But, occasionally, her finger would ache with phantom pains as if it were missing a vital organ.

“You’re young. Find another good man. Or forget the man, just find something you’re passionate about.”

“I’m happy right where I am.” Harper hammered up her defenses as if preparing for a hurricane.

“Don’t mistake comfort for happiness. You’re comfortable here. Too comfortable. But you’re not happy.”

 “God, Mom, why are you Dr. Phil–ing me all of sudden? Are you wanting me and Ben to move out or something?” Her voice sailed high and Ben looked over at them, his eyes wide, clutching his LEGO robot so tightly its head fell off.

“You and Ben are welcome to stay and take care of me in my old age.” Her mom shifted toward the den. “You hear that, honey? I want you to stay forever.”

Ben gave them an eye-crinkling smile that reminded her so much of Noah her insides squirmed, and she killed the rest of her drink. She was so careful not to show how lonely she sometimes felt in front of Ben.

“Harper.” Her mom’s chiding tone reminded her so much of her own childhood, she glanced up instinctively. Her mom took her hand, and her hazel eyes matched the ones that stared back at Harper in the mirror. “You’re marking time in Kitty Hawk. Find something that excites you again. Don’t let Ben—or Noah— be your excuse.”

Harper looked to her son. His chubby fingers fit the small LEGO pieces together turning the robot into a house. She had built her life brick by brick adding pieces and colors, expanding, taking pride, until one horrible day she’d stopped. Maybe her mom was right. Was it time to build something new?

 

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

 

About Laura Trentham

LAURA TRENTHAM is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

#BookReview
The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Thériault
@PGCBooks @OneworldNews

#BookReview The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Thériault @PGCBooks @OneworldNewsTitle: The Postman's Fiancée

Author: Denis Thériault

Published by Oneworld on June 1, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Tania moves from Bavaria to Montreal to fine-tune her French and fall in love. Finding work as a waitress at a low-key restaurant in a working-class area of the city, she meets Bilodo, a shy postman who writes haiku and who is passionate about calligraphy. The two hit it off but then one stormy day their lives take a dramatic turn, and as their destinies become increasingly entwined the two are led into a world where nothing is as it seems.

The Postman’s Fiancée reunites readers with the touching and much-loved characters first found in The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman, charming readers once again with his deft touch and lyrical prose with this love story that will move readers, young and old alike.


Review:

Original, moving, and bittersweet!

The Postman’s Fiancée takes us back to Montréal and into the lives of Bilodo, the lonely postman, and Tania, the besotted waitress, as they both learn just how all-consuming obsession, desire, and love can actually be.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are tormented, eccentric, and spontaneous. And the plot is a poetic, humorous, at times haunting tale about love, loss, friendship, destiny, coincidence, passion, and the cyclical nature of life.

Overall, The Postman’s Fiancée is another beautifully written, tempestuous, zany novel by Thériault that does a wonderful job of reminding us just how precious and fragile life truly is.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About Denis Thériault

Denis Thériault, romancier et scénariste, est diplômé en psychologie. Il a été quatre fois finaliste aux prix Gémeaux. Son premier roman, L’iguane (XYZ, 2001), a remporté le prix France-Québec 2001, le prix Anne-Hébert 2002, l’Odyssée 2002 et le Combat des livres 2007 de Radio-Canada. Son deuxième roman, Le facteur émotif (XYZ, 2005), a remporté le Prix littéraire Canada-Japon 2006. Ses romans sont publiés au Canada anglais, en Allemagne, en Chine et en France.

#BookReview
Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg
@randomhouse

#BookReview Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg @randomhouseTitle: Night of Miracles

Author: Elizabeth Berg

Series: Arthur Truluv #2

Published by Random House on November 13, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

A delightful novel about surprising friendships, community, and the way small acts of kindness can change a life, from the bestselling author of The Story of Arthur Truluv

Lucille Howard is getting on in years, but she stays busy. Thanks to the inspiration of her dearly departed friend Arthur Truluv, she has begun to teach baking classes, sharing the secrets to her delicious classic Southern yellow cake, the perfect pinwheel cookies, and other sweet essentials. Her classes have become so popular that she’s hired Iris, a new resident of Mason, Missouri, as an assistant. Iris doesn’t know how to bake but she needs to keep her mind off a big decision she sorely regrets.

When a new family moves in next door and tragedy strikes, Lucille begins to look out for Lincoln, their son. Lincoln’s parents aren’t the only ones in town facing hard choices and uncertain futures. In these difficult times, the residents of Mason come together and find the true power of community–just when they need it the most.


Review:

Honest, pensive, and affecting!

Night of miracles takes us back to the small town of Mason, Missouri and into the lives of many, including Lucille Howard who’s still teaching people to bake, befriending those who are lonely, and selflessly helping those in need; Iris, a middle-aged woman, struggling to move on after a recent divorce; Tiny, a large man with no confidence and courage; and Abby, a young mother battling for her life against a relentless disease.

The prose is vivid and sincere. The characters are complex, genuine, and engaging. And the absorbing, astute plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride of love, loss, friendship, family, community, thoughtfulness, loyalty, and companionship.

Overall, Night of miracles is another beautifully written tale by Berg that made my heart fill with joy and burst with heartbreak. It’s a perceptive, sentimental, poetic tale that reminds us that life is not only about the highs and lows but also all those quieter moments in between.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. She adapted The Pull of the Moon into a play that enjoyed sold-out performances in Chicago and Indianapolis. Berg’s work has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and three of her novels have been turned into television movies. She is the founder of Writing Matters, a quality reading series dedicated to serving author, audience, and community. She teaches one-day writing workshops and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. Some of her most popular Facebook postings have been collected in Make Someone Happy. She lives outside Chicago.

Photo by Joyce Ravid

#BookReview
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
@tatianaderosnay @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay @tatianaderosnay @StMartinsPressTitle: The Rain Watcher

Author: Tatiana de Rosnay

Published by St. Martin's Press on October 23, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 240

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah’s Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, set against a Paris backdrop, fraught with revelations, and resolutions

Linden Malegarde has come home to Paris from the United States. It has been years since the whole family was all together. Now the Malegarde family is gathering for Paul, Linden’s father’s 70th birthday.

Each member of the Malegarde family is on edge, holding their breath, afraid one wrong move will shatter their delicate harmony. Paul, the quiet patriarch, an internationally-renowned arborist obsessed with his trees and little else, has always had an uneasy relationship with his son. Lauren, his American wife, is determined that the weekend celebration will be a success. Tilia, Linden’s blunt older sister, projects an air of false fulfillment. And Linden himself, the youngest, uncomfortable in his own skin, never quite at home no matter where he lives—an American in France and a Frenchman in the U.S.—still fears that, despite his hard-won success as a celebrated photographer, he will always be a disappointment to his parents.

Their hidden fears and secrets slowly unravel as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster, and the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city. All members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances. In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, de Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.


Review:

Vivid, captivating, and melancholic!

The Rain Watcher is a moving, beautiful portrayal of a city in turmoil and a family struggling to understand, accept, and outwardly show compassion and love for each other.

The writing is impassioned and eloquent. The characters are empathetic, distressed, and genuine. And the plot is a mesmeric, foreboding tale set both in the present day and mid-1900s about life, loss, love, family dynamics, secrets, determination, hope, sacrifice, and the desolation and destruction mother nature can reap.

The Rain Watcher is a wonderful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a nostalgic, heartbreaking, consuming tale that reminds us of the complex relationship that can exist between a father and son and highlights once again de Rosnay’s insight and passion for La Ville-Lumière.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tatiana de Rosnay

TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of more than ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling novel Sarah’s Key, an international sensation with over 9 million copies sold in forty-two countries worldwide that has now been made into a major film. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris.

Photograph by Charlotte Jolly de Rosnay.

#BookReview
The Good Sister by Morgan Jones
@PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Good Sister by Morgan Jones @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Good Sister

Author: Morgan Jones

Published by Pan Macmillan on October 2, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Morgan Jones’ heart-stopping thriller, The Good Sister, sees one father go further than he ever knew possible, to rescue a daughter who doesn’t want to be saved.

A missing daughter. A desperate father. A journey to save them both.

Sofia Mounir’s world is not her own. Her mother is sick, her father broken, the London they live in is dying of greed and self-obsession.

So she flees, to Raqqa: heart of the caliphate, foundation stone of a just world that she will help to build. From violence and sacrifice will grow something beautiful, and she will be part of it. Her faith will be equal to everything asked of her.

Until it isn’t. Until it becomes clear that not all her new brothers’ and sisters’ intentions are as pure as her own. Until even her faith becomes a liability.

Where do you turn, when the future you’ve longed for wants you dead?


Review:

Unnerving, raw, and impactful.

The Good Sister is an action-packed, harrowing, pensive tale that delves into the unconditional love of a father for his daughter and the heart-wrenching and horrifying struggle of a nation to live, believe and find peace in a landscape rife with oppression, greed, and violence.

The prose is edgy and taut. The characters are complex, tormented, and driven. And the plot told from two different points of view, is a compelling, well-crafted tale about family, faith, conviction, greed, corruption, extremism, instability, fear, danger, abuse, cruelty, and murder.

Overall, The Good Sister is a fast-paced, thought-provoking, haunting novel with an authentic feel that I can’t honestly tell you I won’t soon forget.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Morgan Jones

For over a decade Morgan Jones worked for Kroll, the world’s largest investigations company, where he specialized in Russian matters and international disputes. Under the name Chris Morgan Jones, he wrote the critically acclaimed spy thrillers, An Agent of Deceit, The Jackal’s Share and The Searcher. The Good Sister is his first novel writing as Morgan Jones. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
@D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPressTitle: The Dream Daughter

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Published by St. Martin's Press on October 2, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.


Review:

Enthralling, memorable, and heart-wrenching!

The Dream Daughter is a unique, moving, time-slip novel that takes you into the life of Caroline Sears as she embarks on a perilous journey to save and protect her unborn child.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are genuine, compassionate, and courageous. And the captivating, time-travel plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale about life, loss, family, determination, hope, solace, sacrifice, remarkable medical and scientific advances, and a little magic.

The Dream Daughter is ultimately a mesmerizing, creative, well-written story that may be a little different than Chamberlain’s previous novels, but is nevertheless an emotional, satisfying, page-turner of a tale that reminds us that a mother’s love is all-encompassing, selfless, powerful, and everlasting.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her bachelor's and master's degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.
Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She's currently at work on her next novel.

#BookReview
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
@khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini @khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCATitle: Sea Prayer

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Published by Riverhead Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 48

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.


Review:

Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!

Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.

The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling, emotional plot as they transport you from the greens and reds of content country life to the blacks and browns of turmoil and war, and then on to the blues and dark greens of the unpredictable, endless raging sea.

Overall I would have to say that Sea Prayer is a short but incredibly poignant tale that reminds us that the base of humanity is kindness, compassion, and strength and that no matter nationality, locale, or religious beliefs everyone deserves to be loved, protected, and free.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. Hosseini is also a U.S. Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Photo by Brian Sokol.

#BookReview
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell
@JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPub

#BookReview The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell @JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPubTitle: The Lost Carousel of Provence

Author: Juliet Blackwell

Published by Berkley Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris .

Present day, San Francisco. During her free time, professional photographer Cady Drake shoots local carousels, a hobby inspired by a gift that transformed her childhood: a wooden rabbit supposedly created by master French carver Gustave Bayol a century ago. And when she’s offered a freelance assignment for a book on the antique merry-go-rounds of Paris, Cady can’t refuse the opportunity to visit the famous carousels for the first time….

1900s, France. In a small town outside of Avignon, a husband and young wife struggle to keep up their ancestral chateau–and start the family they so desperately desire. For the children they hope to have, the Clements hire the famous Bayol to build a carousel, but as the carver and his apprentice work on the beautiful and whimsical creation, fate will entwine them all in unseen ways–for generations to come…

Present day, Provence. As Cady’s research leads her to the dilapidated Chateau Clement and its fabled carousel that was lost to the ravages of World War II, she will uncover a shocking truth in a set of one-hundred-year-old photographs that could guide her in reuniting a family torn apart by petty jealousies over several generations.


Review:

Intriguing, atmospheric, and uplifting!

The Lost Carousel of Provence is an alluring tale predominantly set in the majestic southeastern region of France during the early 1900s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Maelle, an independent, hardworking young woman struggling to showcase her talents and prove her worth in a male-dominated environment. Fabrice, a lonely, elderly man who has sacrificed, endured and lived a life weighed down by deception, regret, and unrequited love. And Cady an intelligent, independent, young woman who endeavours to photograph all the lost carousels of France and uncover all the stories and secrets that surround them.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are scarred, complex, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, life, family, friendship, community, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little insight into the designing and building of some of the most famous merry-go-rounds of all time.

Overall, The Lost Carousel of Provence is an informative, romantic, mysterious tale that is a well-written, exceptionally researched, beautiful, picture postcard of the history, landmarks, culture, culinary fare, and lost art forms of a country Blackwell obviously loves and knows well.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris and The Paris Key. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover's Mystery series. A former anthropologist, social worker, and professional artist, Juliet is a California native who has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

#BlogTour #BookReview
How We Remember by J.M. Monaco
@jm_monaco2 @RedDoorBooks #HowWeRemember

#BlogTour #BookReview How We Remember by J.M. Monaco @jm_monaco2 @RedDoorBooks #HowWeRememberTitle: How We Remember

Author: J.M. Monaco

Published by RedDoor Publishing on September 13, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Jo returns home following her mother’s death, she is shocked to learn of an unexpected inheritance and her mother’s diary. Jo thought she could put to rest her darker past until an entry implies the messy aftermath of an uncle’s sexual advances towards her when she was fifteen. Like the diary, Jo’s memory of events is full of gaps, but one thing is certain – she will never regain what was lost. What is the full story of what happened between Jo and her uncle?

How We Remember traces the effects of alcoholism, mental illness and abuse on one Irish-Italian-American, working-class family. As Jo’s first-person narrative weaves together past and present stories, she creates a portrait of her family’s life and her own as she faces new decisions amidst the tragic consequences of mismanaged grief.

Full of moments of light and dark, Monaco’s debut novel –set during a week that anyone would dread –provides a mesmeric narrative portraying the pain of grief, the tenuous nature of memory and the earth-shattering effect that the death of the ‘glue’ of a family can cause. How We Remember is an unforgettable novel that tackles issues every reader will be able to relate to on some level.It’ll capture hearts and capture imaginations.


Review:

Sobering, unsettling, and intense!

How We Remember is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Jo O’Brien, a middle-aged woman struggling to come to grips with the loss of her mother, a past full of secrets and abuse, a debilitating illness, and familial relationships that are strained and fractured.

The prose is somber and raw. The characters are complex, tortured, and damaged. And the heart-wrenching plot uses a reflective past/present style to unravel all the personalities, motivations, and relationships within it.

How We Remember is ultimately a novel about family, life, loss, deception, manipulation, infidelity, abuse, forgiveness, and the long-lasting effects of a dysfunctional childhood. It’s well written, deeply emotional and does an exceptional job of reminding us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it.

 

This book is available September 13, 2018.

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

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and J.M. Monaco for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About J.M. Monaco

My writing identity is JM Monaco. Friends here in the UK tell me the surname sounds unique and somewhat exotic. Outside this little island I know this isn’t the case.

I am a fiction writer with a particular soft spot for North American fiction, probably because my formative and university years took place in the USA. While England has been my home for well over twenty years now, there’s something about the birthplace where my extended family and some friends still reside that has a strong pull. If I could, I’d spend solitary blocks of time there in a quiet lake cottage in the northeast pondering my ambiguous relationship with that landscape. I’d write up a tumultuous storm that may eventually take the shape of a draft for a novel or multiple stories, then come back to the UK where I could clean it all up in edits with my husband and children surrounding me with love and endless offers of tea and healthy meals. As this can only happen in fantasy, here in the southwest of England, UK, is where I stay, holed up in a drafty north-facing study/writing room, often gazing out at the rain and rolling my eyes when I hear my daughter shout, ‘What’s for supper tonight?’ Reading, thinking, writing, are all interrupted with the demands of others, the good and bad, life’s routines, a bit of excitement here and there mixed with the mundane. This is where stories are born. Oh, but wouldn’t it be heaven to have that nice little place by the lake.

 

 

 

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