Posted in Behind the Pages

Upcoming Behind the Pages Q & A with Christina McDonald @Christinamac79 @goodreads #behindthepagesgroup

WaHoo!!! Christina McDonald (one of our favorite authors ) has a new book Behind Every Lie releasing February 2020, and it’s a highly anticipated book for The Traveling Sisters! We are so thrilled about it and yes there is a bit of dancing going on.

Christina is joining us in The Behind the Pages Goodreads group for a Q & A on September 21 @ 5:00 pm EST. She is giving us a sneak peek into Behind Every Lie, talking a bit more about The Night Olivia Fell and her writing process.

To join our fun you can find the group here

Posted in Reviews

Good Girl, Bad Girl (Cyrus Haven, #1) by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham

Brenda’s Review

Good Girl Bad Girl was a monthly group read for the Traveling Friends Goodreads group and one that left us all excited for what comes next for these characters.

WaHoo!! I feel like a hot, hot mighty fine new series is in the frying pan here. I am all for our new damaged duo here with forensic psychologist Dr Cyrus Haver and good girl bad girl Evie who Cyrus fosters and I really want to see more of them. They are an unlikely pair but as good together as peppers and onions.

Good Girl Bad Girl starts off as a slow-burn as we get to know our main characters. The pace becomes faster and faster and the action ignites with the tension increasing at a rapid pace until we get to that explosive ending.

It’s all about our main characters here for me and I love the dynamics between Cyrus and Evie. Their dynamics brings some heart and soul to this disturbing thriller. Both are broken, vulnerable in their own way and flawed with a dark, tragic childhood. Circumstances have brought this unlikely pair together and they find themselves bonding over trying to solve a crime they shouldn’t be. Both have different intriguing abilities to see into people’s minds that complement their fascinating and complicated relationship.

There are two mysteries here that are weaved together so well. There is a lot going on here with the crime to the story. My head was a little rattled after finishing this one and I am so glad to have had some friends to discuss this one. I highly recommend for group reads.

I am waiting not so patiently to see more of what’s in the frying pan for these characters. Please hurry Michael Robotham and give us a hint.

*************************

Norma’s Review

Gritty, gripping, & thrilling!

GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL (Cyrus Haven #1) by MICHAEL ROBOTHAM is a suspenseful, intriguing, dark, disturbing, and slow-burn mystery/thriller that immediately drew me in. I was totally invested in this story and couldn’t put it down.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM delivers a complex, character-driven, multi-layered, compelling, and mysterious story here with fascinating and great characters.

I absolutely loved the dynamics between our two main characters here with Cyrus and Evie. Both characters were extremely compelling and quite fascinating to read. I especially enjoyed Evie’s character and was definitely intrigued by her special ability.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: A suspenseful and intriguing looking cover that definitely enticed me to read this book.
Title: Suspenseful, intriguing, and my curiosity was definitely piqued in finding out the meaning behind it. Who is the good girl? Bad girl?
Writing/Prose: Well-written, compelling, captivating, clever, and compulsively readable.
Plot: Unpredictable, gritty, gripping, unsettling, dark, fascinating, thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: An explosively satisfying conclusion!
Overall: I was totally intrigued and fascinated here with the characters and the mystery to solve. Would recommend!

Posted in Behind the Pages

Behind the Pages Upcoming Author Q & A with Kimberly Belle @KimberlySBelle

We are very excited and honored to have Kimberly Belle joining us September 15 @7:00pm EST for a Q & A in the Behind the Pages group.

We, will, be asking her questions about her books and writing process. Join us by asking Kimberly Belle a question or share some love with her. Check back to see what she has to say. You can find the group here

Brenda’s review for The Marriage Lie

This is not your typical marriage lie here. Kimberly Belle skillfully weaves the layers of deception here with the lies and secrets in this marriage. She builds that suspense and tension to keep me turning those pages as fast as I could. Then reveals those secrets at just the perfect time to keep me on my toes and guessing just how deceitful Will is.

I loved our main character, Iris, who wears her heart on her sleeve and I wanted to be her best friend. She is strong yet vulnerable and I enjoyed her character’s growth. At times I wanted to yell at her and others I wanted to hug her.

The ending came together so well and satisfying for me and I was left a little surprised with that final twist. I highly recommend for an entertaining easy read.

Some thoughts from the Traveling Sisters for Dear Wife

Kimberly Belle nails it here with this intense thriller. Dear Wife is one exciting thriller that is not to be missed. The most exciting thing here is how Kimberly Belle takes a story that really isn’t a new storyline and turns into an exciting, entertaining and compelling thriller.  Brenda

DEAR WIFE by KIMBERLY BELLE is a gripping, suspenseful, dark, brisk, and twisty thriller that was absolutely unputdownable. I was immediately sucked in and devoured every single page of this spellbinding entertaining book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could. Norma

Compulsive, well-plotted, clever and un-putdownable are just a few words that instantly come to mind when I think about DEAR WIFE. Heidi

Kimberly Belle lays out some clues for you…if you follow along carefully you may think you have it all figured out. I had an A-ha moment at about 65% . I was partially right. Which is ok with me-because what that says to me is-no plot holes! And, there was just enough time left to resolve, but not rush the ending.

BUT, what was best. I wasn’t entirely right either. The author managed to still SURPRISE me, because there was more than one way that this story could be resolved…and ANY one of them would’ve been PLAUSIBLE, which is a MUST for ME, in my suspense novels. Jayme

#behindthepagesgroup #travelingfriendsread #dearwife #themarriagelie

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior @HazelPriorBooks @BerkleyPub

Norma’s review

Enchanting, sweet, & heartwarming!

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by HAZEL PRIOR is a feel-good, delightful, up-lifting, lighthearted, and lovely story that completely entranced me.

HAZEL PRIOR delivers an engaging, humorous, entertaining, enjoyable and beautifully written tale of music and love here that is told through alternating chapters between Dan and Ellie. 

I absolutely loved Dan’s endearing, quirky, fun, innocent & loveable character and thought that he definitely stole the show. He was the highlight of the book for me and I loved how selfless, caring, carefree, giving, creative, and loving he was.

I was thoroughly entertained and invested in Dan and Ellie’s relationship and was rooting and hoping for the best for both of them.

Brenda’s review

Ellie and the Harpmaker is an entertaining, uplifting eccentric escapism with unusual likable characters. There is nothing new to the overall plot of the story.  It’s all about the tone to the story. The quirky personalities of the characters drew me into the story right from the start. At times their peculiarities seemed a little extreme yet fun.

Hazel Prior creates an oddly charming and enchanting fairy tale feeling story that is full of heart.  I loved the warm friendship here between our main characters and watching their relationship blossom through kindness and quirky moments.   I highly recommend for when you are in the mood for a quirky, feel-good story.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Not all that creative of a cover design but I do actually quite like the color schemes and the simplicity of it which is an effective and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: A simple and unimaginative title that represents the storyline quite effectively.
Writing/Prose: Lovely, engaging, captivating, humorous, and readable.
Plot: Fun, quirky, endearing, charming, lighthearted, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: Heartwarming, uplifting, and a feel-good ending that left me feeling such warmth and love for these characters and this book.
Overall: This book was such a breath of fresh air to read and one that is packed full of heart. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for gifting the both of us an advance copy of this book.

Posted in Traveling Friends Reads

Traveling Friends Goodreads Group Read: The Whisper Man by Alex North @CeladonBooks @writer_north @goodreads ##TheWhisperMan #travelingfriendsreads

Our Traveling Friends Goodreads group read for The Whisper Man by Alex North is about to start. The Traveling Sisters are doing some dancing and we are excited to join our friends and dive into this highly anticipated group read. 

Let’s be friends, join the dancing and discussion! We love to hear our friends thoughts!! You can find the group here

From Goodreads

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window… 

Thank you to Celadon Books from all The Traveling Sisters for our copies and making this a very special group read for us!

The Traveling Friends Group Read
Posted in Behind the Pages

Behind the Pages Q & A with Noelle Salazar author of The Flight Girls @noelle_salazar #behindthepages

We had the honor of Noelle Salazar joining us live in our Goodreads Reading Group Behind the Pages with The Traveling Friends where we asked her about her book The Flight Girls. She spent an enjoyable hour with us answering our questions and sharing such wonderful insight into The Flight Girls. We fell in love with these strong women all over again. I am excited to share some of the Q & A with you here on our blog.

Brenda I was in the bookstore yesterday and I saw The Flight Girls upfront. I always get a little excited seeing a book I enjoyed upfront and I just want to tell everyone around me they should read it. lol 

How does it feel to see your book on the shelves of bookstores?

Noelle I will admit, it is AMAZING to see my book in stores. Five year or so years ago, when I was just starting out trying to find an agent, I told a good writing friend that if I only had one book on one shelf in one store I’d be thrilled. To have people sending me pictures of stacks of my book on store shelves all over the United States is surreal. And soon it will be in the UK as well. It feels wonderful. It’s been a long road. I’m so pleased. 

Brenda Tell us a bit about who the women of the Women Airforce Service Pilots were?

Noelle The WASP were a group of brave women who stepped up to serve their country the best way they knew how – by flying. Thanks to them, many male pilots were able to go fight overseas – something the country desperately needed but that the men were unable to do because bodies were needed to test patched-up warplanes that had already seen action, new planes right off the production line, and even target towing for live ammunition gunnery training from the ground. The women trained to do these jobs without military benefit and with all the spunk and American pride you can imagine. Over 1,000 served. 38 perished in service. When their service was over, they were no longer allowed to fly military aircraft and many went back to whatever they’d been doing before the war. Only some found jobs with commercial airlines, but not as pilots. 

Brenda What inspired you to write about The Flight Girls? 

Noelle I found a small anecdote written by a pilot in her flight logbook. At the time of the entry, she was a civilian pilot training airmen recruits on the island of Oahu. Cornelia Fort was in the air when the Japanese flew in. She was the first American pilot to spot the Japanese fleet. Cornelia Fort, tragically, was the first American female pilot to die in service. She was flying a plane and a male pilot in another plane got too close and clipped her wing. She crashed and died. 

That one logbook entry started this entire idea of a story for me. From there, I read more anecdotes – and what stood out was the women’s spirit. Their courage. And their different walks of life. I’d gone to Navy bootcamp at 18 yrs old and had witnessed some of this myself. I have fond memories of that time. In a way, this story also honors the women I spent time with in the heat of an Orlando Navy base. As well as the many other groups of women I’ve had the privilege to become sisters with over the years. 

Lindsay It was eye opening to read about the stereotyping and discrimination the girls received in their roles as pilots. They often weren’t taken serious as career women. Did you find it frustrating to write those parts?

Noelle The hardest part of writing those parts was letting them stand. How badly I wanted to correct the situation. To have the women mouth off. To stand their ground. To give a little lip service. But the truth is, in the 40’s that didn’t often happen. Women were just starting to get their feet under them. To have a voice. To speak with that voice. Entering the workforce helped. And for the WASP, working for the military I think helped even more. They were in a man’s world doing a man’s job – and many times doing it better. But they still had to know their “place”. I tried to find a good balance of showing the discrimination and showing the women at times taking it and at times standing up for themselves. I gave Audrey more of a voice in those matters too – because she is the protagonist – but also because she seems to me the type of woman so sure of her skill she doesn’t need to pretend otherwise – and won’t. 

Lindsay Did you know the fate of each of the characters before writing the book? Did you have that planned? Or is that something that came about as you were writing?

Noelle Good question. I did not plan any character’s fate but Audrey and James. The rest of the characters showed up on their own, and left on their own. Or stayed. Only one character’s fate changed during the editing process – and I’m so glad. I often think I might one day write her own separate story. I will admit though, it was hard to lose certain characters. I could see their futures – and to have their lives snuffed out broke my heart. But such is the price of war… 

Lindsay I adored Audrey’s character! Was her character inspired by anyone you know personally? 

Noelle I love Audrey too – thank you. She was larger than life in my mind and she will always hold a most special place in my heart. We worked together, Audrey and I, creating exactly who she was – and who she evolved into, which was a fuller, more realized version of herself. 

I get asked a lot if she is me, or if she was inspired by someone but the truth is – Audrey is the woman I aspired to be at 20-something years old. She knows herself. She’s sure of herself. She has a goal. I was none of those things then (and sometimes still). I admire her. Instead of writing someone I know, I wrote the woman I want to be. And in writing her, I became who I want to be. 

Lindsay How did you research for this book? Did you meet with any female pilots?

Noelle In the beginning, the research was tough. There wasn’t a lot of information on the world wide web to be found. Even less books. It took 6 years of off and on research to find what I did – and today I still come across new facts that make me wish I could add them in. 

Right before my first round of edits I got to speak on the phone to Jane Doyle. She gave me great tidbits of what daily life in training was like – something I couldn’t really get from books or articles. I wanted the mundane details: What did you do when you got up in the morning. What was downtime like, etc. And she told me with great spirit about how she met her husband during the time she was stationed at the same base as him. Jane passed away this past February. In May I attended the Annual WASP Homecoming Reunion. I met two other WASP. And I met Jane’s daughter, who had come in her mother’s memory.

Norma I am a reader that loves covers and titles of books. Can you give us a little bit of insight into the finished cover and title of this book? Did you have your say in both or did they change at all?

Noelle I will admit the title gives me some pause still. For years this novel had one name and one name only. Now, in my heart it has its “real” name and its “stage” name. 😉 I love The Flight Girls and it was painstaking to find something we all agreed on. It was a decision based on marketing – and I will say – the marketing department sure knows their stuff – clearly! But in my heart, she will always be “War Bird”. And thus, my little bird – as I tend to call her. I even got bird tattoos in her honor. When I found out the title was going to have to be changed there was a mourning period. A loss of breath. And a tear or two. But she’s flown well under her new names. She hasn’t faltered one bit. 

As for the cover, I never had ideas in my head for what she would look like, which made it all quite exciting. Every version like unwrapping a present. Is this her? This one? Maybe this… I did like their original idea, two women perched on the wing of a plane – so reminiscent of the photos you see of the women from that time. But the final product makes my heart full. There is an iconic photo of three women passing beneath the sign to the airfield where they trained at Avenger Field and, to me, the cover image (which was done using real live models!) is perfection

Brenda What do you want readers to take from the story? 

Noelle The bonds of sisterhood. How women are stronger together. I’ve experienced this time and time again personally. And it’s funny because there have been times in my life that I almost feared other women – stereotyping them in my mind so as not having to reveal myself – and then craving their company because who gets me better than another woman? The trials, the discrimination, the loneliness, the masks we sometimes wear… There is no one better to share with than another female. To bare our souls to one another only makes us stronger – not weaker. 

Brenda You kept the story events lighter here and focused on the camaraderie of the women and add a bit of romance. Was there a reason you focused more on that? 

Noelle There are many heavy historical fiction stories out there to be read and coveted. The Nightingale is one of my absolute favorites. My bones ached reading that book. I wanted it to never end and end all in the same breath. All The Light We Cannot See, Sarah’s Key… so many more. I wanted to write something lighter. There’s room for stories that don’t linger on the heartache, but on the other sides of the stories. There was a whole different life happening in the states than what was seen overseas. We were able to carry on in a way other countries weren’t. We were fortunate in that way – and I felt it was okay to see a bit of that. To let these women shine a little. Because they did shine. They soared

For more Q & A with Noelle Salazar can find it here Check out the group and see who our upcoming authors.

What Noelle has to said about us

I had a lovely time doing a Q&A with Traveling Sisters & Friends. Wonderful questions that made me fall in love with my characters and books all over again. I hope I get the chance to participate with the next book!  ~NS