Posted in Sneak Peek Sunday, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Sneak Peek Sunday on Monday: The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Sneak Peek Sunday is a weekly meme created by Kim, Christina and I where we give a peek into our thoughts for a book not yet published or we give a peek into an anticipating upcoming group read. It’s a great way to share thoughts on a book not yet published.

Today I am sharing my thoughts along with Kim @It’s All About The Thrill, for The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor to be published February 5, 2019. So pop on over and take a look at her thoughts for this one. Christina @ Recipe and A Read is sharing her thoughts into an upcoming group read for My Lovely Wife  by Samantha Downing and also taking a peek into her upcoming 2019 list of reads.

Goodreads summary 

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, CJ Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.  

Well, I am not even sure I can share my thoughts as I am not sure how I feel about this story. I feel like I was left with a few questions after reading this one. So today I am going to do a little something different with my sneak peek because I am curious about how more of you felt about this story.

A terrifying, bone-chilling atmosphere that felt creepy good or creepy bad? Where some parts used for creep factor that did or didn’t add to the atmosphere or plot? Was it really creepy good or creepy bad? Was it similar to Stephen King’s plot? If you haven’t read this one, are you now curious to find out what you think?

I read The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor with a couple of our Traveling Sisters and it really made for an interesting discussion and it was one that we had mixed feeling with. Not amongst us but with the way we felt about it. It was hard not to make comparisons to Stephen King while reading this one and maybe that had a bit to do with the way we felt about the story.

Putting that all aside it’s also hard not to compare this one to her first book The Chalk Man and I did really enjoy that one however I did have a nagging feeling about that one that I carried over to this story. After reading this one, how I felt about The Chalk Man changed a bit. I wanted darker and creepy with the supernatural. I found the supernatural elements in both stories to be confusing and didn’t really think it was balanced with the humanity and human behavior to the story. I was left asking what was supernatural and what was people just behaving badly.

I haven’t read to many books by Stephen King but what I have read I thought he masterfully balances the supernatural elements to the story to the humanity of the characters. Making his stories darker and creepier. So for me, I think that feeling that this story might be similar to Stephen King’s plots might have affected the way I felt about the story.

So I have a question for you that have read this one. Did you find it was written to be similar to Stephen King’s writing or to the plot of Pet Cemetary? As readers do you think this is something we draw conclusions too and maybe affects our expectations? Drop us a comment and let us what you think. We would love to hear from you.

 

Posted in Traveling Sisters Reads

Ugh, As If Book Stack For Remaining January and February #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We have a pretty tight and intense reading schedule here with our remaining January and February reads. It’s hard not to think “Ugh, as if” lol. However, we are going to do our best to get as many as we can in.

What we are reading in our Traveling Friends Instagram group. You can find us @travelingsistersread to join.

  • The Line Between by Tosca Lee start date January 25
  • Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler start date January 28
  • House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler start date February 1
  • The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict squeezing it in before February 5
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing start date February 7
  • Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward start date February 21

What Norma and I are reading:

  • One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt
  • The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
  • The Beasts Heart by Leife Shallcross
  • Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

What the Traveling Sisters are reading:

  • The Dead Ex by Jane Corry
  • The End Of Loneliness by Benedict Wells
  • The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman
  • The Last Woman in The Forest by Diane Les Becquets
  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
  • I Invite Her In by Adele Parks

What Brenda is reading by herself. That doesn’t happen often….

  • Willa & Hesper by Amy Feltman
  • Last Night by Karen Ellis

From Norma’s never-ending TBR. Book hoarder, book collector or building a library? These are not on our list yet and won’t be till March when we hope to get back into reading a few from our own book library.

Have you read any of these titles listed? Which ones did you love or think could be missed? Do you want to read any? Join in on any? Drop us a comment. We love to here from you!

Posted in Reviews, Reviews by Lindsay

Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore @SimonSchusterCA #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Songs of Love and War

Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore

Lindsay’s review

A charming historical fiction tale set in the early 1900s in Ireland and England. The story follows three young women whose connection weaves thick and thin throughout several years and many life-changing situations. One of the best aspects of this novel is that it largely revolves around an old family castle in the countryside in Ireland. There is love, loss and death. There are ghosts, love triangles and hidden secrets. All of these ingredients add up to one enticing tale that kept me curious to the end. 

While I enjoyed this generational saga, it did feel quite lengthy. My attention did waver in and out as far as feeling truly connected to the characters and storyline. It almost felt as though there was one too many storylines involved that made the novel spread a little too far. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Santa Montefiore for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

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

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: What are your Top 10 Favourite Books of 2018? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday to you all!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s random book question:

We would love to know some of your absolute favourite books that you have read in 2018. Whether it be a list of your top three, top 10 or just your #1 absolute favourite. What are some of your favourite reads of 2018? They don’t necessarily have to be books that were published in 2018 just any book that you have read and was a favourite or top read.

Norma’s Answer

Here are my 13 (baker’s dozen) favourite books that I have read and loved in 2018 in no particular order.

* Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
* The Past is Never by Tiffany Quay Tyson
* The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
* The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
* One Day in December by Josie Silver
* Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
* Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
* Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
* The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol
* The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
* Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
* A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
* Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier 

Brenda’s Answer
  • Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier 
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
  • Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
  • The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
  • Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
  • Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
  • Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson
Lindsay’s Answer

*Fallen Mountains by Kimi Cunningham Grant
*Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent
*The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
*The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
*The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
*The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware
*The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon
*The Taster by V.S. Alexander
*Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
*Need To Know by Karen Cleveland
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

Never Ending TBR Book Stack #1 ~ Do you have any of these to read? Which ones have you read and recommend to read sooner than later? Want to help us knock some of these off of our shelves?

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

graphics by Lovelytocu

Posted in Reviews

Kelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan #BookReview #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Update: The author of this book, Eileen O’Finlan has some exciting news to share about this book. Please head on over to the link below to see what it is…..but here is a hint…..

THE POPE HAS A COPY OF KELEGEEN!

TWO SISTERS LOST IN A COULEE READING

KelegeenKelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan

Deeply affecting, utterly devastating & overwhelmingly sad!

Oh my goodness…..I don’t think a book has ever affected me and my emotions in the way that this one has. It was definitely an excellent read but a tough one that made me feel a little down and depressed, even finding it a little hard to shake that feeling while I was absorbed in this book.

KELEGEEN by EILEEN O’FINLAN is a haunting, shocking, emotional and heart-wrenching tale set in Ireland in 1846 during the potato famine. The amount of pain, sorrow and suffering was extremely tangible and absolutely devastating to read about. Only knowing minimal information about this part of history really affected and impacted me as a reader.

EILEEN O’FINLAN delivers an atmospheric, compelling and important read here that I am so glad that I read. Even though it was a difficult book for me to…

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Posted in Reviews

The Taste of Air by Gail Cleare #BookBloggers #BookReview #travelingfriendsread @gcleare #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We did a little something different here with our group read for The Taste of Air by Gail Cleare. I set up a special group and we had the pleasure of Gail joining us in our discussion. We used discussion questions provided for the story and it really enhanced our reading experience. We received some insight into Gail’s writing experience and she answered some questions we had for her and about the story. We really enjoyed our discussion and this story, that we highly recommend this one for group reads. Thank you so much for joining us Gail and for sending Norma and I our copies to read with the group.

Brenda’s Review

The Taste of Air has it all to make this an interesting and engaging family saga with a mystery to it to add some suspense to the story. It is a thought-provoking emotional yet entertaining and pleasing realistic story that explores the secrets, some that are buried that a mother keeps from her children. Her life before and separate from her grown children.

Gail Cleare does a great job creating interesting realistic characters and I really enjoyed the dynamics between them. As we get to know our characters, secrets are revealed that had us thinking about what we would do in that situation. The story and the discussion questions had us also thinking about our own families and sharing stories with each other. We discussed how we thought we would react to some of the situations in the story and this made for a very interesting discussion.

I really enjoyed this pleasing story from start to finish. The pace is well paced and I was intrigued by Mary’s past. I was completely satisfied with how everything wrapped up and came together in the end. I highly recommend.

Norma’s Review

Heartwarming, delightful & touching!

THE TASTE OF AIR by GAIL CLEARE was such a comforting, uplifting, and enjoyable read that had so much warmth flowing through the pages of this book. I immediately felt a connection to the authors writing style and thought this story was so tastefully told. It wrapped me up tightly in a warm comfy hug transporting me right back to all the tastes of home.

GAIL CLEARE delivers a beautiful, well-written and engaging read here that takes you on a journey full of family secrets, love and relationships with some added revelations and soul-searching for you to ponder right along with the characters. The story is told between the perspectives of Nell and Bridget in the present and Mary’s perspective from the past. I enjoyed all perspectives equally and really enjoyed learning Mary’s secrets as the story progressed. I was totally surprised with the reveal and loved how it all came together in the end.

Can you taste the flavour of the air?

I really never thought of tastes being comforting and nostalgic before reading this novel or else I just took it for granted. It really made me think and realize that different experiences can certainly affect us in how we perceive those different tastes that bring out a sense of happiness, comfort, love and fond memories for us. This novel definitely brought that all out for me!

Lindsay’s Review

An eye-opening glance into one woman’s choice to follow her heart and find true happiness. This novel surrounds Mary and her two adult daughters, Nell and Bridget. Nell is shocked to receive a phone call requesting her presence at hospital hours away from Mary’s retirement home. Confused as to how her mother could be so far from home, Nell packs quickly and leaves to pick up the pieces and find answers as to what happened.  Upon reaching her mother at the hospital, Nell uncovers an avalanche of secrets and people from her mothers’ life that has been hidden for years. Nell and
Bridget work together to reveal the hidden truths behind Mary’s past and the shocking surprises that change their lives forever.


This novel is presented through Mary, Nell and Bridget’s perspectives. Mary’s perspective is revealed through a Past and Present timeline adding multiple layers of intrigue to the story. My favorite parts of the book were the sections from Mary’s past when we learn about her life prior to having children.

These powerful sections reveal much emotion and heartache. I thought the author, Gail Cleare, did a fantastic job with that piece of the story.
I found this novel enjoyable and entertaining, however, there were some parts that felt implausible to me. I liked the characters but didn’t ever get to the point of feeling fully invested in them. What I truly appreciate about this book is that it gave me a lot to think about. It challenged me to consider multiple angles of the character’s choices. The topics presented are intense and thought-provoking.

From Debra’s Review

I found this book to be refreshing and interesting. The subject matter is thought-provoking and captivating. There are situations where readers may stop and ponder “what would I do in this situation?” or “how would I react?” and “would I have done the same thing?”. While the focus on the book is on Mary’s secret, each woman had her own secret as well. I enjoyed how the secret cottage became a place Nell and Bridget to reflect and discuss their secrets and goals/hopes/dreams for their futures. Well written and thought out. This is women’s fiction done right. A pleasure to read!

DeAnn’s Review

This is my first experience with the author Gail Cleare. I was not disappointed. Her story carried me along, revealing surprises and story twists exactly when needed. Not a book of high drama, nor heart throbbing suspense – but a soothing story about a families life, one that needed to come to the surface. Engagingly told, throughout many years, gave the needed time frame and space to unravel all the secrets that were so lovingly kept.

Sweet tale of mothers and daughters and family secrets.

Daughters Nell and Bridget are shocked when they find out that their mother Mary is hospitalized in Vermont when they thought she was living in assisted-living in Massachusetts. In fact, they discover she’s had a cabin in Vermont for many years. This is just the start of secrets that are uncovered throughout this book.

We are treated to chapters with Mary’s life in the past as a nurse in the Vietnam war and the friends that she makes there. The pieces slowly come together and the daughters are able to figure out the puzzle while Mary is struggling in the hospital.

I enjoyed reading this book with the Traveling Friends and having the author participate in our book discussions. It certainly makes me think more about family secrets and how well we know our parents . . . The writing in this book was enjoyable and it made me yearn for New England!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover:
Eye-catching, peaceful, relaxing and an excellent and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: I had no idea the meaning behind this title before reading this novel. I was quite baffled but after reading a couple of chapters the meaning behind this title became quite apparent. I absolutely loved how the title played into the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, suspenseful, and beautiful.
Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, heartfelt, interesting, steady-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Surprising, heartwarming, and satisfying.
Overall: I was definitely taken with this storyline and really enjoyed learning all the family secrets as they unfolded. Making this novel hard to put down. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Gail Cleare for gifting me a copy of this book, it was an absolute pleasure reading it.

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