Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Web_L521-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review


Unraveling Oliver
by Liz Nugent

Sociopaths and psychopaths fascinate me and I love a great story that delves deep into the mind or actions of both.  After reading Lying in Wait I really became fascinated with what makes a sociopath. Well, Liz Nugent answers that question here for me with our sociopath Oliver.

Unraveling Oliver is a chilling, unique, intelligent and very fascinating look into what makes a sociopath.  The story starts off with a bang with that chilling and intriguing first line that had me hooked and I flew through this one as fast as I could to find out what lead up to that chilling first line.
The story isn’t a whodunnit or not necessary a whydunnit but I would say more of a how did that happen dunnit. Liz Nugent brilliantly takes us back through flashbacks to what might have been the start to Oliver’s unraveling.  Through the POV of the people in his life, Liz Nugent unravels what might have shaped him into a manipulating, cruel and abusive person he was. With each character’s POV, I became more engaged in the story and intrigued by Oliver.

Liz Nugent does such a great job here creating and developing some very compelling characters.  The characters are different from each other adding more layers to the story as we see their POVs.  I enjoyed learning about Oliver through each character. I loved everything about this one from start to finish and I highly recommend.

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

Okay, I am going to try to keep the fangirling under control here, because I just am loving Nugent’s writing style. This book has a gritty, sarcastic undertone that is quite hilarious. Mind you, the situation is not funny but my god I laughed out loud so many times with the one-liners. I work in the Emergency Room as a nurse and admittedly we tend to have a “dark humor.” This defiantly has a tinge of dark humor to it and maybe that is why I can’t get enough of these wonderful witty lines.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a humorous book by no means. Oliver Ryan is a troubled and violent human being. There is no secret made of that as the book opens with him beating his wife into a coma. ” I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.” Yep that is quite the opening line, is it not? If you read Lying in Wait you know how gripping her books are right from the start. For Kim’s full review

FC-2 VerityFrom Debra’s review

This book is told through various character’s POV as they try to come to terms with what Oliver has done. All look back upon their relationship with Oliver. Each giving a brief look into his/her interactions with Oliver and what made Oliver tick. Each person has some small revelation, which added together, really depict the unraveling ‘of’ Oliver. Great title for the book, by the way.

I found this book to be an interesting character study of one man and the many layers of his life. The book shows how the events in his past led to the actions he takes after dinner one night.

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

 

Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday, Traveling Friends Reads

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

It’s that time of the week when we sister up with Traveling Sisters, Christina and Kim and talk about a book we can’t wait to read. Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a meme that is hosted by  Wishful Ending.

Today Kim over at It’s All About The Thrill and I are so excited to talk about The Lies We Told by Camilla Way. Christina over at Recipe and a Read will be joining in with another book we can’t wait to read.

Norma got this one from book of the month and all it took was an I want to read this one….I was all over it and now it’s an upcoming Traveling Friends group read.  Now how does Norma get book of the month well she really does have a book fairy who magically makes these books appear for her just out of the kindness of her heart.  You know who you are and we love you!!

On to more about this book.  We haven’t read Watching Edie but have heard some really good things about it.  I am thinking we will need to put it on our TBR list in the new year.  A few friends have mentioned they really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read The Lies We Told.  It should be a great group read.  As always if anyone wants to join in with us, you can find The Travelings Friends group on Goodreads.

About the book

The highly acclaimed author of Watching Edie returns with a new novel of dark psychological suspense that explores how those closest to us have the most to hide…

When Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he’s left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he’s been kidnapped. Then Luke’s older sister, Emily, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.

Emily wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened–even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke’s mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected.

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Have you read this one or Watching Edie?  What are your thoughts on it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @SimonSchusterCA @liznugentwriter

Happy Canadian Publication Day to Liz Nugent!

LYING IN WAIT BY LIZ NUGENT

Web_L339-4_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

Wowza!!! 5 Absolutely Perfect Stars! Favourite 2018 Read!

Oh my goodness, LYING IN WAIT by LIZ NUGENT was an absolutely fantastic and unputdownable read that had me totally consumed with curiosity right from the moment I read that killer opening line. I was hooked and the suspense was so intense that I was flipping through those pages as fast as I possibly could.

LYING IN WAIT by LIZ NUGENT is an engrossing, dark, disturbing, and dramatic read here that in my opinion had all the elements to make this the perfect psychological thriller. The storyline, the characters, the suspenseful writing, and that totally shocking ending that definitely ruffled some of my feathers made this an all around fulfilling read.

LIZ NUGENT delivers an exciting, twisty, suspenseful, and well-written read here with one of the absolute best characters in a psychological thriller that I have yet read. The way that this story was delivered with such ease and so subtly without any unnecessary graphic content was so gripping and intensely suspenseful in its own way. I love it when an author can write so well that takes you into the story fully then when the reveal comes you are totally blown away which I most definitely was.

Web_L367-4_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s Review

I read Lying in Wait with five of my Traveling Sisters and it made for another fantastic discussion. We highly recommend for group reads!

Lying in Wait’s first line caught our attention, peaked our interest and we all flew through this one as fast and we could. It’s one of the most intriguing starts to a book we have read. The ending left quite an impression with us all too. It had us jumping up out of our chairs, throwing our arms up and cheering or yelling and chanting WOW or WHAT did I just read!!

Lying in Wait is a well-layered, complex and entertaining story that delves into the mind of a controlling, calculating and cold character. When buried secrets start to surface our characters start to unravel and we are drawn into their insecurities, greed and the lengths they will go to keep their secrets buried. The story becomes darker and murkier with each page.

Liz Nugent does a great job creating intriguing and creepy characters with complicated relationships. At times I questioned who was the victim and who was the villain. The characters are fun to dislike and are unlikable in the best possible way.

After reading Lying In Wait, we have put Unraveling Oliver on our list for an upcoming group in November.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Creepy, sinister, suspenseful and immediately had me intrigued. I love covers that have a scary feel to it because I find them so appealing! An extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, and fluid.
Plot: Suspenseful, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: Shocking, maddening, and brilliant. I wanted to throw my precious book at one moment but in the end I was totally satisfied.
Overall: An irresistible, intense, surprising, suspenseful, and fabulous read! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for the opportunity to read an advance  reader’s copy of this book! It was an absolute pleasure reading this fantastic novel!

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Have you read this one? Want to add it to your TBR? Drop us a comment! We love to hear from you.

 

Posted in Sneak Peek Sunday, Traveling Sisters Reads

Sneak Peek Sunday on Monday: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray @BerkleyPub #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Happy Monday!  Today we are sistering up with Kim @ It’s All About The Thrill and Christina @ Recipe and A Read with another Sunday Sneak Peek but on Monday where we take a peek into our thoughts for a highly anticipated group read.

We are talking about different books today, we are reading in our groups. Christina is giving a sneak peek into her current group read and Kim is given a peek into an upcoming group read.

I am taking a peek into a book not published till February 19, 2019, and sharing our thoughts for The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray.   It’s one we highly recommend adding to your TBR list and marking the pub date in your calendar if you don’t already have it.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is a story to think and talk about.  It’s one you will want to talk about!

Brenda’s thoughts

I knew as soon as I received this book and read the description it was going to be a good one for me and I would love it.  It is one of those stories I love that really makes me dig deep into the character’s layers and lives and had me really think about each of them.

Anissa Gray draws us into the lives of honest real like characters and gives them each a strong voice.   We see their struggles and experiences, and what shapes the dynamics within their family.

From Norma’s review

ANISSA GRAY delivers an impressive, interesting and beautifully written read here that is told in alternating perspectives between three sisters, Althea, Viola and Lillian with letters interspersed from Proctor to Althea. The author does such a wonderful job portraying the complicated familial dynamics really allowing us to feel and see right into each of their struggles. I couldn’t help but feel strong emotions for each of these sisters stories and was definitely hoping that they would all find the strength and love they needed.

From Lindsay’s review

Raw. Emotional. Insightful. Heartbreaking. Hopeful.

This is a deeply affecting novel that had me feeling the strong sense of sadness that haunted each of the character’s lives. The author, Anissa Gray, did a fantastic job pulling me into this complicated family’s struggles and relationship dynamics. I was rooting for these characters.

Thank you to Elisha from Berkley for our ARCs.

From Diane review

A story with many layers, and under the layers, many scars. Individual ways of dealing with the trauma that even as adults they do not want to face. Scars that manifest in different ways, until they threaten to spill over into the next generation. Written in a raw, honest manner, a thoroughly believable look at a terribly flawed family, but one that comes together in love to help two young girls. While doing this they face and recognize their own silent and not so silent ghosts of the past, and are forced to deal with them. A book about second chances, if one can find the strength to take them, and the strength of women to cope and change.

From Sandi’s review

Relationships – terrifying! And when they are relationships between a Mother and her daughter they become even more confusing, more highly emotional and possibly more devastating. Then add in relationships with siblings, runaways, lies and prison and you have this amazing debut novel from Anissa Gray.

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We would love to see a peek into your thoughts on what you are reading or excited to read.  It’s a great way to share those thoughts on books you are excited about that are not yet released.  So feel free to participate and link up!

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

Posted in Norma's Keto in a Coulee

Norma’s Keto in a Coulee & A Book: Week Five Wrap Up! Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward #travelingsistersread #ketodiet #BookBloggers

Norma’s Keto in a Coulee Progress

Hello Week Five! So I am still loving my keto lifestyle, and I am so happy to blog my progress to share with all of you. It definitely helps me with accountability issues as well as helping me to stay motivated.  I don’t want to disappoint myself when I am doing so well and this really helps me to stay centered and focused on being a better version of healthy me!

My current read is Watching You by Lisa Jewell and I also thought I would share some book mail that I received yesterday.  I received Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward and I am absolutely in love with that cover.  That cover alone definitely piqued my interest and yup since I’m a cover girl it is definitely one that I need to read!

A few of you already know that I very rarely ever read the book blurb and love to go into my reads blind.  For me it is all about those covers and they are what attracts my attention.  Covers definitely call my name and this one is definitely calling out to me!

Highlight of my week – Today (Saturday) I had the pleasure of spending most of the day with my mom! We went into the city and did some grocery shopping and then went to Michaels to pick up some crafty items. I am wanting to make some handmade bookmarks and bookish mugs. I am not all that crafty but I’m going to give it a whirl and see how it turns out.

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Goodreads Description – Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry… That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian’s romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

Publishing Date:  March 19, 2019

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Goodreads Description – Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam.

Expected Publishing Date:  December 26, 2018

I am not too far in the book yet but already I am intrigued and there is just something about Lisa Jewell’s writing style that I find so appealing.  Her writing alone is enough to grab my attention and hold my interest.  The book starts off with quite the bang and immediately questions have popped into my mind.  I have a feeling this is going to be another quick read and I am really looking forward to reading on to find out all of those answers to my questions.

Is this book on your TBR?

Norma’s Dinner Journal

I know that my photos aren’t the most appetizing to look at but it does show that I am actually baking & cooking! LOL

I eat my breakfast and a lunch, which usually consists of the same thing everyday so I thought I would only include my dinners in my food journal below.

Sunday – Swiss Chalet Quarter Chicken Dinner with Caesar Salad.  We went out for dinner with our son and his girlfriend this evening.  We had such a nice visit with our son and his girlfriend.  This was another memorable & highlight for me this week.

Monday – Loaded Deviled Eggs with a side of veggies. Our family rating 10/10 (Simply Keto cookbook). I haven’t prepared deviled eggs in quite a while and this recipe definitely made my mouth water and they were extremely tasty too. I forgot to snap a pic of these but it was probably more like I didn’t think that they looked all that pretty.

Tuesday –  Garlic Butter-Basted Rib-Eye with Caesar Salad. Our family rating 10/10 (Simply Keto cookbook). Oh my goodness these steaks were simply amazing and they were a huge hit with my hubby. I don’t normally pan-fry steaks because I am not a huge fan – I much prefer to grill them but I must say that these were pretty darn tasty. Definitely a make again recipe.

Wednesday – I had a migraine headache today and didn’t feel like cooking so I prepared a quick meal of cold cuts and cheese with half an avocado.

Thursday – Herb-crusted Pork Chops with mashed cauliflower. Our family rating 7.5/10 (The Keto Diet cookbook). These were pretty good and probably would make again. (photo above)

Friday – Quick and Easy Personal Pizza. Family rating 5/10 (Simply Keto cookbook). I don’t know there is just something about pizza that needs to have that tasty crust. The crust and cheese is probably the best part for me when it comes to pizza so this recipe really didn’t do anything for me other than fill me up. LOL (photo above)

Mini Cheesecakes. Family rating 9/10 (Simply Keto cookbook).  These were pretty tasty and would definitely make again.  My favourite dessert is cheesecake! (photo above)

Saturday – Brought home KFC for supper.

So I still have managed to get up a little earlier everyday this past week to prepare my Rocket Fuel Latte every morning to take to work with me.

Here is the recipe for the Rocket Fuel Latte that I prepare.  I have tweaked it a tiny bit from the original recipe by adding cream.

1 3/4 cups brewed coffee – 1 tbsp. MCT Oil – 1 tbsp. cacao butter (sometimes I use coconut butter & coconut oil) – 1 tbsp. hulled hemp seeds – 1/4 tsp vanilla extract – pinch ground cinnamon – 1 tbsp. collagen peptides – 3 tbsp. heavy cream.  I blend together at high-speed in my blender for about a minute.

Grilled Parmesan Garlic Wings (This was a requested recipe from my food journal from last week.)

1 to 1 1/4 pounds chicken wings – 1 tbsp. avocado oil – salt & pepper

Sauce

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted – 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese – 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning – 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice – 1 small garlic, minced

I cooked the chicken in the oven and once they were cooked I tossed with the sauce and served.

img_6744 Norma’s Stats:

  • Weight: ⬇️0.6 lb
  • Start Date: October 20, 2018
  • Sleep: What’s sleep?!? LOL
  • Energy Level: My energy level is about the same.  I definitely think it would even be better if I was able to get a good nights rest.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy as long as I plan and prepare as well as have all ingredients handy.
  • Affirmation: I am sleep.  (Thank you Tiffany for this affirmation!)

Random Thoughts: I am so proud of myself for sticking to this keto lifestyle and for not getting at all discouraged.  I definitely think that my mindset is in the right place and that has a lot to do with me staying on task and plan.  Also, I allow myself to just be and accept that I might not always make the best choices.  Doesn’t mean that those choices are necessarily bad though.  I don’t have to beat myself up and think that it is all or nothing any longer. That is the way I used to think but not anymore and I am so happy about that.  I have lost 6 lbs in 5 weeks – not bad.  I’m happy with that!  20 more to go!

Please feel free to join me or send me some encouraging words!  All comments are welcome!

Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews

Who I Am by Sarah Simpson #travelingsistersread #BookReview #BlogTour @Aria_Fiction @sarahsimpson

WHO I AM BY SARA SIMPSON BLOG TOUR

 

 

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by! We are so excited and it’s our absolute pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Who I Am by Sarah Simpson and share our individual reviews with you. Thank you so much to Victoria Joss at Aria for inviting us to be a part of this blog tour.

The Traveling Sisters ~ Norma, Brenda & Lindsay! xxoo

img_7038SARAH SIMPSON – About the author
Sarah Simpson has a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has experienced working at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital. She has spent time as a family consultant for Warwickshire and Oxfordshire solicitors and gained knowledge of the Family Court System. She now lives in Cornwall with her husband, three children and animals.

Follow Sarah
Twitter handle: @sarahrsimpson
Facebook: @sarahsimpsoncornwall

About the book

I know everything about you

And you know everything about me… except

WHO I AM.

Andi met Camilla at university. Instantly best friends, they shared everything together. Until their long-planned graduation celebration ends in tragedy…

Years later, Andi is living a seemingly perfect life on the rugged Cornish Coast with her loving husband, happy children and dream home. Yet Andi is haunted by a secret she thought only she knew. Someone out there is bringing Andi’s deepest fears to life. And she knows there’s no escaping the past that has come back to haunt her…

You trusted me with your secrets, you told me everything, you thought I was your best friend… but you have no idea WHO I AM.

Gripping, unputdownable and packed with twists and turns from the first page to the very last, this stunning psychological thriller will make you question whether we can ever really trust the ones we love.

Web_L339-4_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

Gripping, twisty & totally mind-boggling!

WHO I AM by SARAH SIMPSON was quite the engrossing, intense, entertaining and unputdownable psychological thriller that necessarily didn’t grab my attention right away but it definitely had me totally consumed with curiosity in trying to figure out what the heck was actually going on with these characters.

I really struggled in the beginning because I didn’t really connect with the authors writing style but with that being said there was definitely a purpose for the way that this story was written which becomes quite apparent as the story progresses. Regardless of my struggles the storyline definitely was filled with lots of suspense which was so intense that I was anxiously swiping through those pages as fast as I possibly could.

SARAH SIMPSON delivers a dizzying, twisty, suspenseful, and well-written read here that had my head spinning in circles pretty much throughout most of this read. The story is told in multiple perspectives with a past and present timeline which definitely kept me on my toes in trying to figure out how all the perspectives were related. At times I was getting pretty frustrated and antsy eagerly awaiting for some of those subtle clues. But boy of boy it was definitely worth the wait!

As always I like to play detective and my detective skills were on the right track but let me tell you I had no idea how the author was going to pull it all off. Well, I am actually totally floored and truly impressed in the author’s ability to pull this one together in such a way that was so cleverly plotted bringing the whole story together in the end. This is one that those little pieces of puzzles definitely fit together perfectly. And those are probably one of my favourite techniques that an author chooses to use when telling their stories.

Web_L367-4_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s Review

Things started off a little rocky for me at first and I wasn’t sure if this one was going to be one that I read through quickly just to finish it.  Well things really started to pick up for me and I started to pick up on some of those clues and I raced through most of this one in one evening to find out how it ends.  I was completely engrossed and entertained in this story and nothing was stopping me till I found Who I Am really is in this story. Things got quite twisty as I tried to piece things together and my head started to spin and at times I forgot who I was while trying to figure out how everyone fitted into this story.

Sarah Simpson does a great job here developing some interesting characters and we were quite intrigued with one character who seemed to have some background to her. After we finished reading we realized there is a previous book Her Greatest Mistake with that character in it. We will be adding that one to our list in the new year and looking out for her next book I Know You’re There, that will be released April 16, 2019.

Now here is the best thing about this story for me I can’t say I really liked the ending but I sure enjoyed the story.  I don’t think I ever felt that way about an ending before. Usually, how I like the ending is deal breaking for me.  Well, this ending was just perfect and brilliantly written. We highly recommend.

Web_L355-4_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s Review

Twisty, TWISTY, T W I S T Y!!!!!!!!!

Wow – this was really good! I devoured this delicious treat of a novel like a child eating candy. Sneaking in minutes here and there when I should have been doing household chores. It was a thrilling, edge-of-my-seat, highly entertaining adventure that left my brain spinning when finished.

Andi and Camilla, raised in opposite ends of society, meet in university and become roommates. Each girl finds intrigue and allure into the background and lifestyle of the other and they become best friends. The night of their graduation party ends in tragedy, ending the bond that held their loyal friendship. Twenty years later, Andi is living a privileged life but feels a creeping suspicion that something from her past is coming to threaten her. Will the secrets she thought were long ago buried come back to haunt her?

I was glued to the pages of this clever, tension-filled thrilling ride! The story unfolds through multiple characters perspectives with Past and Present timelines which kept me engrossed and anxious from start to finish. There were times that I had to pause to reassess which character’s perspective I was reading, however, this didn’t deter from my overall enjoyment. (This confusion was most likely due to the author being so clever and brilliantly worded that things slipped by my not-so-clever brain). The writing was excellent! Some of the characters’ inner thoughts had a brilliant snarkiness that had me giggling to myself. The conclusion is a twisty, mind blowing whirlwind of pieces of an intricate puzzle being put together. Loved it!

This was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda and Norma which we all really enjoyed. It was an excellent book to discuss and try to figure out. Norma and Brenda’s detective skills far surpassed mine (no surprise there!).

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eerie, forbidding, gloomy, suspenseful, intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, impressive, suspenseful, and an excellent and fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, and mysterious.
Plot: Complex, suspenseful, twisty, bewildering, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention and extremely entertaining.
Ending: An intricately plotted ending that left me feeling totally satisfied, elated and thoroughly impressed.
Overall: The psychological aspects, revelations, suspense and thrills along with those shocking twists and turns definitely made me one happy and totally satisfied reader upon finishing this book. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Victoria Joss at Aria and Sarah Simpson for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

Who I Am is available now!

img_7039CONNECT WEBSITE – AUTHOR Q&A

1. Tell us about your novel, Who I Am.
Who I Am, is my second novel, it’s a dark character driven psychological thriller which plays on the old adage – the grass is always greener on the other side. Isn’t so easy for us all to believe this, especially when times are, let’s say – challenging. I have two main female protagonists who first meet at Edinburgh University, they form a tightly knit relationship very quickly. The novel is set over two time periods so it leads us from these university days in the 1990’s up to the present day. The two characters couldn’t be more different in terms of their backgrounds and their means but when it comes to their emotional needs, they have much in common. Both seek to make fundamental changes to reflect their discontentment which leads them along a twisted, tragic path. They struggle to come to terms with the consequences of some life defining events. This novel also deals with issues of alcoholism, anxiety and depression and their far reaching consequences.

2. What was the most difficult part about writing this book? And what was the most fun part?
Hmm… this is a difficult one to answer without giving the twists away. But fundamentally it was – providing the reader with enough information without revealing the main plot, I know this is true of most psychological thrillers but it was particularly difficult with this one, for reasons I cannot say – sorry. The most fun part has to be visiting some of Cornwall’s most beautiful spots where I set the scenes for my characters. Gosh – this was hard work, to wander the beaches with my imagination 😉

3. Did you do any specific research for the book?
Who I Am is set between Edinburgh and Cornwall, Edinburgh is a city I love and I have had the pleasure of visiting many times and Cornwall is where I live – so the location research was relatively easy. The psychological aspects were very much dependent on my background and experience as a psychologist to be honest. Other technical content (again I can’t be too specific) I mainly researched online, hoping to goodness – no one ever checks my hard drive as it doesn’t make for a sound mind.

4. Do you see yourself in any of the characters in your novel?
Interestingly, no not in this novel, and as I did with Her Greatest Mistake. I certainly recognised the characters traits in other people I know, or have met though as is usually the case with all fictional characters.

5. Can you describe Who I Am in 3 adjectives?
Evocative, twisted and delusive.

6. How long did it take to write the novel and how many drafts did you write?
I began this novel last year but then put it down for quite a while to concentrate on Her Greatest Mistake. I would say about six months and a lot longer in my mind. I edit as I write so it’s difficult to say how many true drafts my novels go through. I would say I did four rigorous edits and then a lot of tweaking.

7. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
This is such a difficult question to answer because I have read so many fantastic books. So, I guess I have to say those books that made a difference at certain times of my life. And books feel different depending on our stage and state of life at the time, but for now I will say – The Song of Pentecost W.J. Corbett.

8. When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I decided to write when I was little more than eight years old, and I used to write all the time at this age and into my teens. For some reason that I still trying to fathom I then followed a totally different life path which took me away from my writing on paper at least. So it was many, many more years before I began writing again which wasn’t until two years ago.

9. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I now live in Cornwall with my husband, three children (not so little anymore),German Shepherd – Arthur and moggy cat – Thomas. I love the simple things in life. Being with my family and being outdoors, walking the coastlines and anything really to with and being close to the sea. I probably, no definitely think too much and I’m a terrible people watcher!

10. What projects are you working on now?
I am currently half way through my third book which is set mostly in St. Ives in Cornwall. This is another character driven, taut, dark and twisted psychological thriller. But it’s all top secret at the moment…

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