Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Friends Reads

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim @AngieKimWriter @goodreads

YAHOO!!! Our June Traveling Friends Goodreads Group pick Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is wrapping up and it was one fantastic group read! Angie Kim nailed it here with her stand out, stunning, unique and twisty debut!!

Brenda’s review

From the very first page, Angie Kim writes an insightful, masterfully plotted and well-layered story here. One like no other I have read before. For me, it’s stories like this that I seek out and I need as a reader. It had me digging deep into the depth of the story and my mind raced with all kinds of thoughts that were provoked from the insight to the themes and elements in the story.

Miracle Creek explores a few themes here and it is so well developed and paced. There is a mystery here with a whodunit and the drama starts to unfold in the courtroom.  The mystery is so well weaved into the storyline it becomes just one of the elements that make up this story. The story turns into a fascinating study as we see the characters version of the truth and just how the truth can be altered or influenced.  The character’s moral compass is examined and a well played out dominion effect takes hold and wraps up this ending. It’s mind-blowing and absolutely fascinating how it all plays out. 

Angie Kim had me connected to each character in one way or another with the moving and insightful look into parenting. Each character conflicted and desperate in their struggles and feelings of being alone with their inner thoughts. I felt so many emotions as we see their thoughts and the judgement from others. The ending wraps up so well and after discussing this one in the group I was left with such a clear picture as to how one thing lead to another creating a brilliant well plotted story from start to finish.

Miracle Creek made for a stand out group read for us and one that will be a favourite of mine. There is so much to talk about here and in the discussion I could see all the different things we each picked up in the story that really enhanced the reading experience for this one.  I could talk about this one forever.

Norma’s review

Riveting, affecting, & vivid!

Wowza! I absolutely LOVED this and think all the buzz surrounding this book is so well deserved and warranted.

MIRACLE CREEK by ANGIE KIM is a poignant, moving, gripping, powerful, captivating and absolutely stunning debut novel that captured my attention and heart right from the very first page. I was immediately drawn into this murder mystery and found it so irresistibly unputdownable.

ANGIE KIM delivers a fascinating, suspenseful, interesting, engaging and beautifully written courtroom drama story here that was absolutely perfect in every way. The characters and storyline definitely got under my skin and I was intensely impressed with how masterfully done this story was.

This was such a powerful and thought-provoking read that I was totally invested and immersed in. I especially loved the emotive courtroom drama scenes which definitely created lots of intrigue and edge of your seat suspense. 

Traveling Friends Read

Some thoughts from our friends reviews from Goodreads.

This book introduces us to various characters who at first come across as likable but as the book progresses and as more information is divulged, their likability dwindles and suspicions shift. Most have secrets, hidden agendas, and secret thoughts. As their chapters progressed, the characters are fleshed out as are their inner thoughts and what they were really thinking and doing leading up to the explosion -Debra

The writing is expressive, the interactions between the characters feel natural and it is easy to feel empathy for most of them. Individual voices are clearly distinguished in chapters told by various characters as they relate the events leading up to the accident that changed their lives forever. All the characters have their own minor human flaws and failings, which contribute to the accident in one way or another. Intelligent and thoughtful, this is a novel that will appeal to a wide audience. – Carolyn

Told from many POV’s, Kim does an amazing job presenting this story from individual perspectives. The characters are so well written and so well developed, hearing each of their voices and their side of the situation gives life and understanding to the entire story. It is a reflection on how quickly and easily words/actions/situations can be judged, misconstrued, and misunderstood. Their stories are heartbreaking and fascinating, all in one. – Nikki

If you’re a parent, MIRACLE CREEK will hit you like a freight train right where it hurts most, because when it comes down to it, parents and children form the center of this brilliant novel. We all want the best for our children, right? Only who decides what is best? How will our choices affect our and their lives? And what if your child is sick, and in pain, and you’re just trying to stay afloat here and do the best you can? – Heidi

#miraclecreek #goodreadssummerreadingchallange #travelingfriendsread 


Posted in Reviews, Sister Read Reviews, The Sisters Recommend

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman @BerkleyPub @amplecat #travelingsistersread #thebookishlifeofninahill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman is available today! This is the perfect book for all us bookworms out there who love anything bookish and like our main character would rather read over anything else. We highly recommend grabbing this one as soon as you can and spending some time with our fun, imaginative and very entertaining bookish introverted millennial heroine Nina Hill!

Brenda’s review

Abbi Waxman nails it here with everything about this story and our main character Nina Hill. I loved everything about this story and Nina. Nina is a character that I am sure any bookworm can relate to and she has all the traits that make up the DNA of us book lovers. I have never related so much to a character before and I instantly connected to her.

Abbi Waxman does such a fantastic job here using wit and humor yet care as she explores love and the dynamics between family, friends and the love of reading in such a unique way. She creates fun, colourful and likable characters that bring some chaos and anxiety to Nina’s quiet and organized life. We see how Nina grows and adapts to the changes that life throws at her in such a hopeful and feel good way that outshines anything I have read before.

I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this story but will end my review by saying Abbi Waxman has set the bar here for me by creating such a compelling, introvert, giving her conflicts, adding layers of depth to her and then letting her grow. I can’t recommend it enough!

Norma’s Review

Delightful, amusing, & full of heart!

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by ABBI WAXMAN is an engaging, fun, charming, and lighthearted tale that totally captures the beauty and life of a bookworm perfectly.  I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of how relatable, thoughtful and fantastic this story was. I pretty much had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this book.

ABBI WAXMAN delivers an interesting, witty, endearing, and beautifully written read here with lovable and quirky characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me.  I think reading a book about a bookworm is probably one of the most satisfying, pleasurable, gratifying and validating experiences out there and so relatable to all of us book lovers.  I was totally taken and fascinated with Nina Hill’s character and she fully captured my heart. There were so many times I felt a strong kinship to Nina and nodding in agreement to pretty much every aspect of her character and to plenty of scenarios in this book.  

I loved reading Nina’s day planner pages and how they were used as chapter breaks which definitely added a little extra flare to the novel for me.   

Norma’s Stats:

  • Cover: Pretty, intriguing, whimsical, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline.  I absolutely love everything about this cover — especially the color schemes. 
  • Title: Appealing, intriguing and absolutely love how perfect the title is to the storyline.  The title of this book definitely enticed me to read it. Anything book related in the title I’m in!  
  • Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, witty, fluid, fun, engaging, and captivating.  I totally connected with and absolutely loved ABBI WAXMAN’S writing style. 
  • Plot: Fun, humorous, touching, memorable, perfectly-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
  • Ending: The last line of this book was perfection!  Absolutely loved it!
  • Overall: I absolutely adored this book and didn’t want it to end!  It definitely gave me that huggable, warm and fuzzy feeling! Would highly recommend!

Thank to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for providing us with an advanced copy of this book. 


Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera @DebSpera @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa #travelingsistersread

Lindsay’s review

This book has earned top spot on my 2019 Favourites List – I loved every single thing about it!

Gertrude, Retta and Annie are three women from very different backgrounds. Their lives’ intertwine and connect throughout this mesmerizing story set on a plantation in South Carolina in 1924. Each woman has a background filled with family tradition, expectations and secrets. Told in alternating perspectives, the novel shifts seamlessly between each character adding layers of detail and intrigue. Racism, poverty, hunger, sexual assault are just a few of the heavy topics covered within this unforgettable tale. It packs a heavy punch and is executed with the force of exceptional, spellbinding writing.

The characters were so well developed and undeniably endearing that I actually miss them now that I have finished the novel. They stole my heart. They were charming, determined, vulnerable, strong and flawed females who each faced their own struggles and challenges. During a time when women were not respected as worthy or independent, these three face their challenges head on.

As I read this story, I continually felt a sense of astonishment that this is a debut novel. The writing is stunning and exquisite. The words flowed off the page effortlessly and landed snuggly inside my heart. The author, Deb Spera, has set the bar high for a spectacular debut novel.

I feel I should give warning that there are some highly disturbing topics covered throughout this book that deal with child abuse. Though these scenes are uncomfortable to read, they are handled in a very mature and respectful manner without getting into extreme detail which I appreciated.

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a physical ARC to read and review! 

Brenda’s Review

I almost missed reading Call Your Daughter Home in my book chaos and if it wasn’t for Lindsay I just might have. Set in 1924 South Carolina after infamous boll weevil infestation that devastated the land and the economy Debra Spera brings us an unforgettable story that is not to be missed by historical fiction lovers. I sure am glad I didn’t.

Call Your Daughter Home is an impressive, compelling and engaging story that explores the lives of three equally unforgettable, strong southern women who come together through place in desperate times.   The story is told through each of their distinctive voices and we see each of their own conflicts surrounding their relationships with their daughters and husbands.   

Deb Spera does such an amazing job here creating such well-developed characters that caught my heart and I was immediately drawn into their lives by the emotional depth to each.  I was captivated by the sense of place and could feel the danger lurking for each woman like I could feel the danger from the creatures of the swamp. I loved how Deb Spera weaved the lives of these women together and formed a bond between them allowing each woman to become stronger as they faced their own conflicts and in the end came together to stand up for justice.  I highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy from Edelweiss.


Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle @HarperCollinsCa @KimberlySBelle @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks #travelingsistersread

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle is available today! After reading this one there were a few excited and happy Traveling Sisters expressing just how much we loved it! We all highly recommend!

Norma’s Review ~ Favourite Thriller 2019

Holy Shooty Balls!!! Thrilling, highly compulsive, & mind-blowing stuff!

Oh my goodness what did I just read? An absolutely fabulous thriller that’s what! This book was incredible and I am so thrilled to say that this book is my new favourite!!! 

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. 

KIMBERLY BELLE delivers quite the impressive, clever, intriguing, tension-filled and well-written read here that was extremely well-plotted and flowed effortlessly. I was feeling every emotion possible while I was reading this book. These characters were brilliantly written and those subtle clues were perfectly interspersed to make this such a satisfying and fulfilling read

Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada / Park Row Books and Kimberly Belle for my complimentary copy. It was an absolute pleasure reading this novel!!


Brenda’s Review

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 story line and turns into an exciting, entertaining and compelling thriller. She introduces us to the characters through their different POV and kept us guessing on how they are connected by layering clues along the way, with those multiple plot twists. She reveals what we need to know right at the perfect time and skillfully keeps it feeling new without it ever feeling predictable making it entertaining yet plausible.

The link between our characters is the biggest surprise here with just how Kimberly Belle is able to create that high suspense and tension keeping that excitement going right up to that explosive ending that had me on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend!

I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Love this simplistic and classy cover. It is such a fabulous and fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, clever, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how the title played so brilliantly into storyline. I might have squealed a little bit when the meaning behind the title was revealed to us. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, enthralling, fluid, efficient and effortless. 
Plot: Clever, intriguing, dark, twisty, intense, suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. An absolutely fabulous storyline!!!! 
Ending: An explosive ending that left me feeling totally fulfilled and satisfied! Fabulous!!
Overall: It was such an irresistible, enjoyable, fun and thrilling book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Would definitely recommend


Posted in The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry @pcalhenry @BerkleyPub #thefavoritedaughter #travelingsistersread

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry is now available!

Brenda’s review

The Favorite Daughter is a moving, heartfelt story that delves into the power of memories, learning to forgive when betrayal rips you apart and discovering what home means to you. The story explores a family separated by betrayal and brought together by their father’s illness. We see the effect of betrayal, secrets and heartache had on this family that left me with so much to think about. 

From the first pages, I was completely immersed in this family drama and fascinated by how betrayal affected this family and how the power of memories shaped them. The family explores the past by creating a memory book of their father’s past and secrets start to come out. Through the layers in the story, Patti Callahan Henry shows us the meaning of forgiveness and had me thinking about how that can shape us and how memories can define what home means to us. It had me thinking about the memories we might want to forget, the importance of family secrets being revealed or not, and about time lost within a family. 

The ending came together so well for me and pulled on a few of my heartstrings. I was left thinking about forgiveness and memories in a different way than I have before. I highly recommend this well-done story! 

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy.

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

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks #somechoosedarkness #travelingsistersread

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is available now!

It’s no secret to just how much The Traveling Sister’s love Charlie Donlea and we have been reading his books in our groups since reading The Girl Who Was Taken. It was one of our first Traveling Sister group reads even before starting our Goodreads Group two years ago. Since then we have been introducing him to our members and everyone has become a fan for sure!

We read Some Choose Darkness with a few of our Traveling Sisters and with a few friends on Instagram and of course we all loved it. I highly recommend if you haven’t read any of his books to give this one a go. Now we all have our different favourite books and mine is Don’t Believe It. I do suggest reading The Girl Who Was Taken first because Don’t Believe It has a recurring character from The Girl Who Was Taken and it added a little more interest to the story.

Brenda’s review

Deadly secrets hiding in plain sight, a forensic reconstructionist, a cold case and the search to reconstruct the crime.

Some Choose Darkness is a gripping, suspenseful fascinating character study and compelling thriller with interesting strong characters. I loved the fierce, intelligent and determined characters of Rory and Angela. I love the dynamics created here between them that was done so differently with one from the past story line and the other character in the present.

Charlie Donlea boldly writes another entertaining, well layered story with those red herrings and carefully laid clues that only he can write and he has become a master at. We were drawn into uncovering the dark truth that connects the past to the present with some of us making those connections before others. Of course I didn’t make too many and that heart pounding ending left me once again tongue-tied after reading it and then shouting I can’t believe you did that to us again Charlie Donlea. I should of seen that coming. There are some unanswered questions that left me thinking and needing to discuss them in the group and in the end we all agree we really didn’t care. I highly recommend!

Norma’s review

Gripping, suspenseful, & fabulous characterizations!

Well the absolute perfect hook for enticing me to read this book was being invited to read her story from none other than our protagonist herself, Rory Moore in a very clever letter. It was just enough to pique my interest and get me excited to dive into this story!

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS by CHARLIE DONLEA is an entertaining, dark, disturbing, suspenseful, and engaging psychological suspense novel that I must admit didn’t immediately grab my attention. I did have a little bit of problem with the repetitive nature of the story in the beginning, although I quickly learned its purpose though. Once I ignored that little niggling voice in my head I was able to sit back and enjoy this story and fly through those pages. 

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. CHARLIE DONLEA definitely shines when it comes to how interesting and fleshed out his characters are. 

The story is told in alternate timelines and perspectives which I absolutely loved. There is a pivotal point in the story that happens around the halfway mark which I thought was quite the brilliant way to add tension and suspense to the storyline.

So I played at being an armchair detective and I’m not playing that game anymore as I pretty much had the whole ending figured out and it definitely ruined it for me. I really need to learn to just read the story and try not to piece things together so much. I felt the ending was a play by play of what I already had figured out. I definitely felt a little letdown and was not all that impressed with myself. LOL Although I will say I absolutely loved one aspect to the ending and so look forward to reading more about Rory Moore in the future. Hint…hint! 

Lindsay’s review

Another outstanding fast-paced, gripping thriller by Charlie Donela! I loved everything about this book!

Rory Moore is a quirky forensic reconstructionist who investigates cold murder cases. She insists on working alone and has an unexplained ability to pick up hidden details that have been overlooked by the police force, making her a valuable asset to local detectives. Rory’s father passes away, leaving her to close down his law practice. Through this process, Rory is introduced to a case that she can’t shake. A convicted murderer who has been in prison for the last forty years is set to be released on parole and her father was his attorney. While she dreads having to face the courtroom and public eye on such an infamous case, she is deeply drawn into the clients’ history and solving the many unanswered questions.

I have read and loved all of Charlie Donlea’s books and this is no exception! He has the magical writing formula that makes his novels undeniably captivating, addictively suspenseful and heart-poundingly unforgettable. He creates vivid and fascinating characters that engross and wrap you up in the story from page one. He consistently provides an absolutely fantastic read leaving me itching to read his next work!

I absolutely adored the main characters in this book! They were strong, flawed, unique females who I was fully invested in from start to finish. Donlea included characters on the autism spectrum within the story, leaving an impactful impression. I truly felt for these characters, immersed in their world, getting a serious glimpse into their minds and struggles. It was eye-opening, engrossing and heart wrenching.

Warning: the crimes involved within the plot are very dark, creepy and disturbing. Though they made me uncomfortable while reading them, it heightened the suspense and fueled my fascination to find out how things would come together in the end.

From Debra’s review

Donlea is quickly becoming my go-to writer. There are Authors who I anxiously await new books from and he is right there at the top of the list. I enjoy that his plots are plausible. There are twists, turns and reveals but all of them seem plausible. Nothing comes to far out of left field. He does his research and writes very good mystery/crime/psychological fiction. His book contains interesting characters who I feel for, root for and some I boo and hiss at. I also appreciate that his books are intelligent. He does not spoon feed his readers. True, some will figure out things around the half way mark. I figured out one thing fairly early but still didn’t now everything until around the 55% mark. Even if you figure things out or don’t, this is still a riveting tale about “the Thief” his “rush” and the women who he encountered and had in his life.

Again, I was captivated from page one. I found this story to be engrossing, well thought out, perfectly paced, exciting and intelligent. There were some suspenseful moments, but more importantly, Donlea knows how to write interesting and fully developed characters which we care about. I cared about what happened to the female characters in this book. I admired their strength and the way their minds worked. The strength in this book was not only the way in which the story was told via multiple POVs but in the characters themselves.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I’m kind of neutral when it comes to this cover design. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how it played so fittingly into the storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, fluent, appealing, straightforward, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Disturbing, dark, chilling, edgy, memorable, fascinating, suspenseful, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: I was a little bummed in the end as I didn’t find it all that surprising or twisty. 
Overall: Rory was such a fabulous, refreshing & quirky character! I absolutely loved her and kind of wanted to join her in drinking a Dark Lord stout with her! Would recommend

Thank you so much to Kensington Books for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley

Have you read any of Charlie Donlea’s book? Have a favourite? Want to read any of his book? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!