Posted in Reviews

The Girl With No Name & Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers @lisareganauthor @bookouture

The Traveling Friends binged read the Detective Josie Quinn Series by Lisa Regan and this was such a fun and extremely enjoyable reading experience for all of us.  The discussion that arose from all three books was absolutely wonderful. I think it does make for a different reading experience when you binge read a series and everything is fresh in your mind and it was interesting to see how we all felt towards Josie as the stories progressed with each book.

Josie has become a favorite strong female character for some of us and we all enjoyed watching her and her relationships grow, strengthen and change with each story.  With each story we learn more about the mystery behind Josie’s demons from her past and when they are finally revealed we all were in total agreement that we just loved how it all came together.

We strongly recommend this series whether you binge read it or read one at a time slowly.

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Suspenseful, thrilling & unputdownable!

THE GIRL WITH NO NAME (Detective Josie Quinn #2) by LISA REGAN is a gripping, action-packed, and an entertaining read that immediately drew me in to the characters and storyline.  This was an extremely fast-paced read that had me rapidly swiping those pages as fast as I could. Actually once I started reading this book I was fully invested in this story and read it in one day.  I couldn’t put it down. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it.

LISA REGAN delivers a character-driven story here with lots of twists and turns and extremely compelling characters.  Josie Quinn is probably one of my favorite female detectives and I am totally invested in her character. Her character is probably the best part of this series as well as the supporting cast.  It isn’t hard to get wrapped up in this book along with Josie and her team. I don’t think I was distracted once while I was reading this one.

This was a Traveling Friends Group Read and upon finishing this one I quickly read book #3 in this series and I must say that one was even better than this one and this one was one heck of a ride!

Web_L451-1_brunette_brown-eyesNorma’s Stats:
Cover: I love this cover!  I am a country gal and anything that looks rustic or haunting is very appealing to me!
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, gripping, and proficient.
Plot: Twisty, action-packed, compelling, fast-paced, held my attention fully and highly entertaining.
Ending: The ending was pleasing and satisfying but just made me want more Josie so upon finishing this one went right into reading the next in the series, HER MOTHER’S GRAVE.
Overall: This series just keeps on getting better with each installment!  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Lisa Regan for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters Review for The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan

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Wow! I just love this series and absolutely loved this book!  

HER MOTHER’S GRAVE (Detective Josie Quinn Book 3) by LISA REGAN was a highly entertaining, riveting, twisty, and suspenseful read that immediately grabbed my attention and held right to that very satisfying conclusion.

LISA REGAN delivers an absolutely fabulous story here with compelling characters and a gripping storyline that takes us back to Josie’s childhood. The story is told through flashback chapters when Josie was young and in the present with a new case that she is investigating.  I really enjoyed the flashback chapters and thought it flowed perfectly with the present case which added quite a bit of suspense to the story for me. All the mysteries and how they all tied together was perfectly executed.

I really enjoyed learning about Josie’s past and all the things that she endured in the hands of her mother.  But, it definitely wasn’t easy to read – it was quite intense, disturbing, and definitely pulled at my heartstrings.

This was an extremely fast-paced read that had me rapidly swiping those pages as fast as I could – in fact I binged read Book 2 and Book 3 with my Traveling Friends. This series is that good!

Web_L339-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Stats:
Cover: Cover love!  I am a country gal and anything that looks rustic or haunting is very appealing to me!  Out of all three books in this series I would say this is my favourite.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and loved how it played so cleverly into the plot.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, solid, gripping, and proficient.
Plot: Dark, gritty, action-packed, enthralling, suspenseful, held my attention fully and highly entertaining.
Ending: Shocking, satisfying, and took me by surprise.  I didn’t see that ending coming at all!
Overall: The drama, revelations, suspense, thrills, chills, and those shocking twists and turns definitely made me one happy and totally satisfied reader upon closing this book. This was my absolute favourite book from the Josie Quinn series and I can hardly wait to read the next installment!  Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Lisa Regan for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters Review for Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan

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Have you read this series? Want to read them? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston #travelingsistersread

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and that we have yet to read.  It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

I am posting in tandem with Christina from Recipe and a Read.  Her excitement and enthusiasm over starting The Little Shop of Found Things has us so excited that we can’t wait to read it. This sister sure knows how to bring on the excitement and get us cheering for our next read.  We are looking forward to a change of pace with this one and it looks like just the right one to get us dancing in a coulee.


Goodreads summary

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

About the author

Paula Brackston (aka PJ Brackston)is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014).

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book ‘Nutters’ (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

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Have you read this one?  Want to read this one?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih #travelingsistersread #BookReview

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My Real Name Is Hanna
by Tara Lynn Masih

Web_L117-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

The story begins with us meeting Hanna as she tells her granddaughter “I will say my real name to you for the very first time” and from that very first sentence I was intrigued to learn Hanna’s story.  She tells us the story of how her family came to their underground sanctuary, how they stayed alive, how their spirits were tested while the world above carried out their crimes.

My Real Name is Hanna focuses on an Ukrainian Jewish family and their story of survival and sacrifice and is inspired by actual events.   I have read so many stories of survival in camps and have often wondered about the people who hide and their stories of their survival.  Hanna and her family consumed my thoughts and my heart while I read their story.

We are taken back to the past where we meet young Hanna a strong and inspiring character who makes this book an excellent choice for a YA read.  I was moved by the bravery of Hanna and her family and heartbroken with the things they had to experience while hiding in the forest and then eventually being pushed further away to live in underground caves. We could feel and imagine the darkness around them that increased our worry for the hunger, sickness and danger they faced.

My Real Name is Hanna is written with compassion, empathy and hope.  We could see from the detailed descriptions the research and consideration Tara Lynn Masih, put into this story. The characters came alive for us and I kept imagining the real family Tara Lynn Masih, based this story on.

I highly recommend this one as a must read for any Historical Fiction lover and for readers looking for an inspiring story of survival and sacrifice.  

Web_L149-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

A haunting and devastating Holocaust story of one Jewish family’s struggle to survive. Hanna is thirteen years old and living in Soviet-occupied Ukraine when the Gestapo arrive in her small town to ‘eliminate all Jews’. She and her family, along with a neighbouring Jewish family, flee to the forest to hide out and avoid capture. From there, they must flee further, taking them into underground caves where they must battle starvation, isolation, complete darkness, constant dampness and disease. Her family’s
strength and determination to remain together and survive was very touching and inspiring. What they endured, living in their extreme conditions and always in fear of being found, is unimaginable.

The story is told from Hanna’s perspective which I really enjoyed. The author, Tara Lynn Masih, did a wonderful job putting the reader into Hanna’s mindset, creating a vivid and loveable teenage girl. Hanna’s family was a beautiful cast of characters who worked their way into my heart. Though I have read many Holocaust stories, I have not read anything about Jews hiding in underground caves which I found very interesting and unforgettable.

Thank you form both us to NetGalley, Mandel Vilar Press and Tara Lynn Masih for a copy to read and review.

Web_L151-2_blonde_blue-eyesFrom Rose’s Review and please check out her link to her blog for an outstanding posts with recipes.

I enjoyed this book for so many reasons, including the unflappable hope that the exiled group retains throughout their three death-defying years together. Summoning the stories of their ancestors and religious beliefs, they are able to push through month after month of darkness, starvation, and fear.

What this book lacks in length, it makes up for with colorfully layered and descriptive prose. While Masih doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the Holocaust, she does point out even the smallest points of beauty, which is likely how those in hiding had to think.

In addition to the descriptions of nature, there’s also a major focus on food. For starters, the Jewish culture is rich with flavorful, hearty family meals. Secondly, Hanna and the families she hides with are unable to eat anything for long stretches of time, much less their traditional dishes. I’d suggest this for lovers of language who are looking for a quick but educational read.

This book inspired me to try out some yummy recipes for Rosh Hashanah. Check out my full review and my attempt to cook cholent on my blog.

Web_LF05-4_blonde_blue-eyesFrom Debra’s review

This book is a well written account of what it was like to live/survive during the Holocaust. Where neighbors either helped neighbors or turned on them. Where hatred and racism tore away people’s morals and values. A time when fear and hatred ruled the day. But in the darkness of the caves, humanity existed. People helped people, lives were lived, hope remained, and the true meaning of what makes a home is learned.

This is a timely book as there are so very few Holocaust survivors left in the world. My Ma passed away in 2017. Books such as this one keeps their stories and memories alive. No one truly knows what he/she is capable of until they are placed to the test. Readers may ask “could I survive this?” I hope none of us ever have to find out.

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Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!