White Houses by Amy Bloom @AmyBloomBooks #BookReview #travelingsistersread


White Houses
by Amy Bloom

Brenda’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

White Houses has been sitting on my shelf for some time and finally, I grabbed it off my shelf and found a grassy, shady spot to hide in a coulee till I finished reading this story.

Amy Bloom beautifully captures the hidden love between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena “Hick” Hickok. She does a fanatic job creating a compelling picture of the relationship between these very different women from different backgrounds. Though Hick’s perspective she brings to life their relationship while giving us Hicks’ take on Franklin Roosevelt and life in the White House. We see some history as well though Hicks’ eyes that really added to the story.

Hick makes an interesting and compelling voice and she really steals the show here in this story for me. She is tough with brass knuckles who is funny and opinionated and I really enjoyed learning their story through her.

White Houses was a very interesting read for me as it pulled into the story yet at times I found myself uninterested in parts but still completely drawn into the emotional depth of this brilliantly written story. I highly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House and Amy Bloom for a copy to read and review.


As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner #BookReview #travelingsistersread


As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

The Traveling Sisters Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brenda and I were lost in a coulee with four of our Traveling Sisters reading As Bright as Heaven and we were all drawn into this eye-opening, emotional, and heartbreaking read. It led to a very interesting discussion where we shared our thoughts on the things that we learned from this read and also our thoughts on grief.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN by SUSAN MEISSNER is a story about love, loss and family. It was such a fantastic, enjoyable and beautifully written historical fiction novel that we thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

This is the first book that most of us have read that centered around the Spanish Flu and it was definitely an eye-opening experience for us as we knew little about the Spanish Flu. We really appreciated what we learned here with some of the devastating effects that the pandemic of 1918 had on the world. Susan Meissner does a good job balancing history and with focusing on the impact it had on the Bright family.

SUSAN MEISSNER does such a fantastic job creating an interesting and unique setting here with this story that really added some layers to the storyline for us. A few of us had different reactions to the setting that brought out different emotions for us. It gave us a different and interesting perspective to the tragic events of such a devastating pandemic.

Susan Meissner delivers a well-written and compelling read here with interesting, honest and believable characters that touched all of our hearts. We absolutely fell in love with the Bright family and thoroughly enjoyed reading this story through the four different perspectives of the Bright women/girls of the family. Each given a strong voice that set them apart with their age and personalities, allowing us to feel for each one.

The cover of this book is so beautiful and the title is extremely fitting to this story!

This was definitely an interesting, entertaining, enjoyable and unforgettable story that I am so happy to have discussed and read with my fellow Traveling Sisters. Would recommend!


Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter @EmilyDCarpenter #BookReview #travelingsistersread


Every Single Secret
by Emily Carpenter

Brenda’s rating and review: 5 of 5 stars

Norma and I were lost in a coulee reading Every Single Secret with five of our Traveling Sisters and we ended up in a coulee we have never been in before. I will get to that a little bit later. We were split into two different coulees with most of us in one and two sisters in another with some things just not working for them enough to suspend disbelief to enjoy this one.

Every Single Secret was such a stand out for some of us. It’s an exciting, fun and entertaining yet dark and disturbing read that left us thinking are we reading a thriller or is a horror movie playing out in our head. It had that feeling of tension like you get when you are watching a horror movie.

Our main characters Daphne and Heath start off keeping every single one of their secrets a secret and that had us questioning them and a bit frustrated at times in the dynamics of their relationship. Allowing the suspense to increase and creating the right amount of tension that had us glued to the pages.

We loved the setting of the creepy house that was represented as a retreat. Well, the creepy retreat I won’t say anything more about that to you. The description of the retreat left us intrigued and with the feeling of creepiness all at the same time.

Emily Carpenter caught our attention right away, had us questioning many things, with some of us figuring out some things along the way, then took a twist that had us reading as fast as we could till we got to the end. We were speechless and wondering did we really like this one.

Great job Emily Carpenter you have thrown some of us Traveling Sisters in this group off our game and into a coulee we have not been in before. You stunned us, left us speechless, wondering what we just read and asking ourselves did we like this story. That isn’t something that has happened to most of us before. You made this group read a very unique and interesting one. So for throwing us into the tongue-tied Coulee, Every Single Secret gets all the stars from me.

We highly recommend giving this one a go and see if Emily Carpenter can leave you feeling like most of us did.

Published May 1, 2018


Norma’s Review

4.5 Stars!  

Well this book pretty much left me totally speechless upon finishing!

EVERY SINGLE SECRET by EMILY CARPENTER is an intense, dark, chilling, and suspenseful psychological thriller novel that immediately drew me in and held my interest right until that shocking and action-filled ending.  This book was so entertaining and extremely hard for me to put down. I raced through this one!

EMILY CARPENTER delivers a well-written, unique and twisty read here that had me pretty much-questioning everything that was happening within the pages of this book.  The way that the details were revealed to us was extremely well-done and the setting was creepily atmospheric which I totally loved.

I always like to figure out why an author chooses a certain title or cover for their book and I’m not going to say too much about the title but I will mention something about that extremely clever cover though.  Once you learn the significance of the birdhouses on that beautiful front cover you will be a little shocked and in awe of this author too!

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, enjoyable, fast-paced, and clever read with an ending that left me speechless!  For a book to leave an impact on me like that means it was a great read! Would recommend!


Susanne’s Review

3 Stars.

When Daphne and Heath meet, its instantaneous. Their connection. After a few months, they just know: soul-mates. And yet, both have secrets. Secrets, they have never shared with each other – and I’m not talking about the small stuff. As it turns out, their pasts – well, they are anything but ordinary. And they’ve kept every last detail from the other.

Though Daphne would like to keep it that way, Heath has something else in mind. He would like to bear all to his beloved and he has found the perfect place to do so: a therapy based retreat center for couples. Once there, Heath seems right at home with the Dr., and the other guests. Daphne, however is immediately suspicious: of everything, including being filmed for twenty-two hours a day, and, of the Dr.

Moving at breakneck speed, it is hard to keep up the pace. It is only when multiple storylines are told, that a few of the chapters become somewhat frantic. And then.. you’re reading and all of a sudden – you’re like What?! As if! For me, it stretched the confines of believability as I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what in heck was going on. Yet, from a pure entertainment standpoint, well, it got

Thank you so much from all of us to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Emily Carpenter for the opportunity to read and review this title.


The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet @RebeccaLFleet #BookReview #travelingsistersread


The House Swap
by Rebecca Fleet

Norma’s review and rating 3.5 of 5 stars

THE HOUSE SWAP by REBECCA FLEET is a slow-burning domestic psychological thriller novel that I found to be quite the enjoyable and entertaining read.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that there is a lot of action happening here though as the scenes unravel quite slowly but the way that this story was written I found to be rather compelling and suspenseful.  I really connected with Rebecca Fleet’s prose and I would say that is one of the main reasons why I found this book to be so enjoyable.

REBECCA FLEET delivers a well-written domestic suspense story here filled with marital indiscretions, addiction and healing that was a slower-paced read with some surprising twists near the end that I didn’t see coming.  I was pretty much baffled the whole time trying to figure out who our unknown narrator was.

I really found the concept of house swapping with strangers to be quite intriguing but it isn’t something that I would find myself doing though but it was fun living vicariously through Caroline and Francis’s eyes though.  

There were a few aspects of this novel that I wasn’t totally satisfied with but for the most part, this novel worked for me!  Would recommend!


Brenda’s Traveling Sisters Review

Norma and I started off in the comfort of our favorite, familiar lush coulee reading The House Swap with three of our Traveling Sisters and we were swapping coulees while we read this one. Not too far into this story, we were looking to swap coulees and we patiently waited for things to pick up and were rewarded around 2/3 into the story.

The House Swap started off a little slow and a bit confusing for some us as we tried to piece together the mystery here and some of us were looking to swap coulees a few times. Once things started to pick up it took us by surprise and things started to move quite fast for us right up until the end.

Rebecca Fleet does a good job here with the house swapping concept and creating an unsettling setting here with the houses that were swapped. We all thought it was an interesting concept for a domestic thriller. We kept swapping ideas as to who is who and what is what as we read this story.

In the end, we did end up swapping coulees and were left in the barren coulee with mixed feelings towards this story. It lead to a very interesting and enjoyable discussion amongst us but I won’t go into it as we think this one is definitely one to go into not knowing too much about it. We recommend giving it a go and see if it has you wanting to swap houses anytime soon.

Publishing Date:  May 22, 2018

Thank you so much from both of us to Edelweiss, Pamela Dorman Books and Rebecca Fleet for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review!


The Taster by V.S. Alexander #travelingsistersread #BookReview

The TasterThe Taster by V.S. Alexander

Review and Rating by Brenda 5 of 5 stars

I was lost in a coulee reading The Taster with Lindsay and this one really surprised us and not what we were expecting. The Taster gave us a different perspective on WWII than we are used to reading and we learned some things we were not aware of. The story really had us thinking, wanting to know more and we really enjoyed our discussion.

V.S Alexander takes us to the places Hitler lived, giving us some insight into his life and relationships and as to why Germans followed him. The story is told from the perspective of one of Hitler’s servants Magda Ritter who becomes a taster. Her job is to taste his food for poison. We were intrigued and became fascinated by a part of history we never really put much thought into before.

V.S Alexander does a good job balancing history here and storytelling and we loved the unique angle the story was written from. A little high on drama sometimes with a little spin at the end that left us fascinated and completely satisfied in a coulee after reading this one. We highly recommend.


Lindsay’s Review

This was a captivating, suspenseful, addictive and fascinating read!

This story revolves around Magda Ritter, a young woman employed by Hitler during WWII. Magda blindly applied for work with the Third Reich, not knowing what the job would be – she was simply looking for employment. She was hired as one of Hitler’s “tasters” – a group of young German women who lived on Hitler’s properties whose job it was to taste his food prior to him eating meals to ensure it wasn’t poisoned. What a job! I had no idea about this piece of history prior to reading this enthralling story.

The unique story, the courageous characters, the piece of history – it was all so fascinating to me! The author, V.S. Alexander, had me engrossed from the first to last page. The story flowed and unraveled perfectly with a pace that kept me hungry for more and wondering how things would conclude. I always find myself drawn to WWII historical fiction novels and this one really stands out as it explored a completely new angle for me.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books and V.S. Alexander for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!



Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @bookouture #travelingsistersread #BookReview


Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza

Review and rating by Brenda: 4 of 5 stars

Deadly Secrets is the sixth book in one of our favourite series and was another great read for us. The Girl In The Ice was one of the first sister reads that we did together making this a special series for us. We highly recommend if you haven’t started this series to start with that one. It really is too good to miss.

Norma and I were lost in a coulee reading Deadly Secrets with Susanne and we all really enjoyed reading this one. Things got a little rocky for Susanne and me with the last book to the series Cold Blood. We were left feeling a little uneasy about reading any future installments to the series, but we are happy to say Deadly Secrets left us happy sisters dancing in a coulee after reading it.

What really made Deadly Secrets such a great one for us was Robert Bryndza did such a great job balancing the case with the focus on our characters who we have grown to love. We see more of Erika and more into her personal life as she confronts some of her painful memories from her past. There is also some more focus on Moss and we all were very happy to see her take a bigger role in the case. We liked getting to know her a bit more.

Deadly Secrets starts off strong and keeps on going right to the brilliant ending that left us all very satisfied in our coulee. This is one not to be missed and we all highly recommend.


Norma’s Review

I am absolutely thrilled to say that ROBERT BRYNDZA has delivered another highly entertaining & enjoyable read here!  I am a huge fan of Detective Erika Foster and this series and haven’t missed one yet. They are so good!

DEADLY SECRETS (Detective Erika Foster, #6) by ROBERT BRYNDZA is a fast-paced, dark, chilling, and gripping police procedural thriller that grabbed my attention immediately and held it right until that thrilling and unexpected ending.  

ROBERT BRYNDZA delivers a well-written and captivating read here with a fresh and intriguing storyline.  The characters are very likable, engaging, and they always keep me highly entertained. I really enjoy Bryndza’s writing style!

I absolutely love Erika Foster’s character and really enjoyed seeing her character a little more vulnerable in this book.  

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, exciting, tense, fast-paced and a quick read with a satisfying ending. Would recommend!!


Susanne’s Review

Literally, a Scream!  Now, THIS is the Robert Bryndza we all know and love.

Hot off the heels of her last case, Erika Foster drives by the scene of a murder on Christmas Day and it immediately gets her attention.  A woman’s cold, frozen body is found right outside of her home, with her neck slashed. Detectives Foster and McGorry investigate only to find that the body is that of 22-year-old Marissa, a burlesque dancer whose life was anything but ordinary.  Meanwhile, a man in a gas mask is assaulting both men and women around town. Are the two related? Detective Moss works feverishly to figure it out before someone else gets hurt.

“Deadly Secrets” is heart-stopping and gritty. This installment includes all of our favorite detectives and also highlights McGorry and Moss specifically, which is a real treat.  Foster’s vulnerabilities start to show through, thus, I’m excited to see what‘s next for her. This is one police procedural that increased my pulse rate from the get-go and didn’t let up.  It is twisty and turny and crazy compelling and that ending? My gosh… while it might have been a little far-fetched for my liking, it sure got my attention and somehow, I just know it’ll get yours too.  

Published April 13, 2018

Thank you from all of us to NetGalley, Bookouture and Robert Bryndza for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.




Sunshine Rays on Kierney Scott in a Coulee @Kierney_S @bookouture #BookReview #travelingsistersread


The sun was shining down on Kierney Scott in the coulee as my Traveling Sisters and I were reading the first two books in the Detective Jess Bishop series.  I was lost in a coulee with Lindsay reading the first one Forget Me Not and we both loved Jess Bishop right away and were quickly drawn into her secrets and the demons that haunt her. When we saw the second installment Cross Your Heart on NetGalley and were very excited to read it. We pulled Kaceey and Susanne into the coulee with us to read it, however they had to catch up on the first one.  I have added their reviews for Forget me Not to this post and Lindsay and mine can be found here on the blog.

Forget Me Not (Detective Jess Bishop, #1)Forget Me Not by Kierney Scott

Susanne’s Review

FBI Agent Jess Bishop arrives at the Louisiana Swamp to find the dismembered body of Lydia Steiner. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first body the team has found. For Jess Bishop, there is something about the markings on Steiner’s body that look familiar.. something that reminds her of things long forgotten. Complicating matters is Jamison – Jess’ former partner and best friend who returns to the team making her face things she would do anything to avoid.

While investigating the case, more bodies pile up and Jess works feverishly to find links between the victims and while doing so, she finds links to her past as well. This case is going to take things from Jess she never imagined possible and trying to find the serial killer? Well, it might just tear her apart.

“Forget Me Not” by Kierney Scott was a fast-paced, suspense novel that kept me on my toes. It also tugged at the heart and had characters that I liked, a lot. This novel is the first in the Jess Bishop series and I am eagerly looking forward to the next.


Kaceey’s Review

A new voice in the crime thriller genre! Well done Kierney Scott! 

 Jess Bishop is a special agent with the FBI.  As most of these leading lady special agents, she is typically tough as nails and deeply flawed.  But I have to admit she does stand apart from the other leading characters in this genre.  The balance works really well showing both her personal and professional life.

 As Jess and her team investigate the disturbing work of a serial killer.  It’s a race against time to take down a killer before he strikes again…or strikes closer to home!  Her team includes her former partner Jamison who had left on an undercover assignment.  Is there too much water under the bridge? Can they rekindle the chemistry of the past?

 Personally, Jess is not doing well.  She is determined to keep her past hidden. But uses unhealthy outlets to keep her demons at bay.  Can she just move on? Maybe with a new man in her life? Enter

 This book can be graphic at times and let me (a hardened thriller lover) squeamish at times! 

The ending was shocking and had me quickly moving onto book two Cross Your Heart. 


 Cross Your Heart (Detective Jess Bishop, #2)Cross Your Heart by Kierney Scott

Brenda’s rating and review: 4 of 5 stars

I was lost in the dark, unearthly craggy coulee with Lindsay, Kaceey and Susanne reading Cross Your Heart and we really enjoyed reading this one together. Kierney Scott takes us down another jagged rocky path here with Detective Jess Bishop.

Cross Your Heart is a chilling and disturbing story that pulled us deep into the coulee not wanting to leave till we finish this gripping story. The story picks up after the devastating events that left Jess with an injury. We follow her as she deals with the events that caused her injury. She thinks she is ready and is determined to get back to work. When a young girl is taken and Jess is cleared and back to work she sees some connections to cold cases of three missing girls, she is determined to solve the case.

Kierney Scott does a good job developing these likable, flawed, damaged and interesting team of characters. We all really loved the dynamics between them and we grew to love and care for them even more.

With the same sense of tension as the first one, we enjoyed the twists and turns right to the satisfying ending We highly recommend reading Forget Me Not first and then quickly follow it with Cross Your Heart!


Lindsay’s Review

4.5 stars!

My love for FBI Special Agent Jess Bishop has grown even more after finishing this gripping and suspenseful Book #2 in this fantastic series!

Jess is working a case to find a serial killer who abducts and murders young, vulnerable girls. Jess discovers a link that connects several cold murder cases, bringing the FBI hot on the trail of an aggressive serial killer. Jess and her team have such an entertaining camaraderie – their personalities are very different, yet compliment each other so well.

I flew through this book! I found it highly suspenseful, perfectly paced and grippingly addictive! I can’t wait to see what happens with Jess in the next book in the series!


Susanne’s Review

FBI Agent Jess Bishop is damaged. In more ways than one. If you ask her, of course she’ll deny it. Yet all you have to do is look at her mangled hand which bears evidence of her last case, to see it. While recuperating she investigated cases on her own and she found something. Young girls who have gone missing in the area – all of whom were found with blue cotton candy under their fingernails.

Ava is a terminally ill girl. She is taken from the hospital, a bag of blue cotton candy left on her bed. This is it. Ava is the link and soon the entire team investigates, including Jess’ partner Agent Chan and Jess’ former partner, Jamison, who returns after being injured. Yet things are not the same between her and Jamison. They will never be the same. Not after what went down.

Enmeshed in the investigation, things go awry. Jess takes risks she knows she shouldn’t and yet, for her, there is no other way. She cannot outrun her demons. All she can do is hide in her work and do her best to track a killer before it’s too late.

“Cross Your Heart” by Kierney Scott is one heck of a mystery/suspense. I was all in. Jess Bishop, Agent Chan, Jamison and Lindsay are characters you can’t help but absolutely love. They are damaged, soulful and are as real as you and I. This is the second book in the Jess Bishop series and I highly recommend that you read book 1 first as it gives you background into the characters.


Kaceey’s Review

Jess is back to the grindstone and working hard! Maybe just a tad sooner than she should be. But when she gets wind of a potential serial killer hunting young school-age girls…well you know, there’s no stopping that girl!

Jess is a special agent with the FBI fighting the personal demons from her past while simultaneously tracking down the living demons walking free. 

 The team around her are all strong, colorful characters who support and keep a close eye on her. Yes, even Jamison!  Good colleagues… good friends.

 This is a shorter book under 300 pages and reads super-fast, but there’s a lot of action jam-packed into this speedy book. And of course, there’s also the all-important emphasis on Jess’s personal life too! Come on Jess! Tear down those walls and let someone in!!

Enjoyed this book more than book one, and am looking forward to continuing with this series.

Thank you from all of us to NetGalley, Bookouture and Kierney Scott for an ARC  to read and review. 



Come From Away by Genevieve Graham #BookReview #travelingsistersread @SimonSchusterCA @GenGrahamAuthor

Come from AwayCome from Away by Genevieve Graham

Norma’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never read a Genevieve Graham book before and when I was given the opportunity to read this one I was absolutely thrilled! I have always been quite partial to reading books with themes surrounding our Canadian history and with the setting and the different perspective of World War II that was written here was quite the welcome and refreshing read for me. I suspected that I was in for a treat while reading Come From Away and I most definitely was!

COME FROM AWAY by GENEVIEVE GRAHAM was an emotional, heart-warming and interesting Canadian Historical Romance novel that I found quite the fascinating read. The story captured the setting, time period, heartbreak and the difficulties surrounding the war perfectly and with the romance that develops we see a different side to the enemy.

GENEVIEVE GRAHAM delivers a well-paced and beautifully written story here with interesting, compelling, and believable characters that I found quite compassionate to read about. The story was told in alternating perspectives between Rudi and Grace and through Rudi’s story we really got a different understanding and look into the war. I really enjoyed the romance between our two main characters, Rudi and Grace.

In the end I thought this was a beautiful love story, vividly descriptive and really appreciated reading a part of our Canadian history! Would recommend!

Published on April 24, 2018

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Genevieve Graham for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.


Brenda’s Review

Come From Away is connected to Tides of Honor but can be read as a standalone. It was my first book by Genevieve Graham and I look forward to reading more.  In Come From Away the lives of The Baker children are the focus here and we meet our main character Grace Baker.

Come From Away is an interesting and engaging story of love and war seen from a different angle with some Canadian history here. The angle and setting were very refreshing and I really enjoyed seeing a different perspective to WWII set in Canada.  I loved the feeling we got from the setting and it really set the tone for the story.

Genevieve Graham does a good job weaving romance, war and Canadian history here with more focus on the romance that at times did feel a little melodramatic.  She creates strong, likable and interesting characters and I enjoyed the dynamics between them all. I recommend for historical fiction lovers who like some romance to their stories.

Thank you NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Genevieve Graham for a copy to read and review.





How to Walk Away by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #BookReview #travelingsistersread

How to Walk AwayHow to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Norma’s rating:  4.5 Stars!

HOW TO WALK AWAY by KATHERINE CENTER was an extremely uplifting, kind, and heartwarming novel that captured my heart and drew me in almost immediately.  There is so much goodness within the pages of this book! This is a story filled with romance, forgiveness, hope, courage, love, and resilience.

KATHERINE CENTER delivers a well-written and engaging read here with interesting, honest and believable characters.  I absolutely loved the voice of our main character, Margaret “Maggie” she was so strong-willed and at times comical. The witty banter that ensued between the characters was extremely enjoyable and made me smile quite a few times.  Maggie’s sister, Kitty was also such a great character and I absolutely loved her resourcefulness and the love and support she showed to Maggie through her recovery.

This book was definitely an inspirational, entertaining, enjoyable, and unforgettable story that was a most welcome and refreshing read for me.  The ending was bittersweet and very satisfying. This was my first novel that I have read by Katherine Center and it won’t be my last. Would recommend!

Published May 15, 2018

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Katherine Center for the opportunity of reading an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review!


Brenda’s Traveling Sister Review

Brenda’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Norma and I started off lost in a coulee with seven of our traveling sisters reading How To Walk Away. This story lead to another interesting and fun discussion amongst us as we dug deep into the layers and meaning to this story.

How to Walk Away is an inspirational heartwarming story told by our memorable main character Margaret who experiences a traumatic accident. It is Margaret’s story of recovery that focuses on second chances, acceptance and family support and love.

Katherine Center does a great job creating likable, interesting well-developed characters and we loved the dynamics between them and their relationships. We all really loved the dynamics between sisters Margaret and Kit and loved the humor and warmth Kit brought to the story.

Most of us loved the ending and were left lost in the inspirational, sunny sweet smelling lush coulee feeling so warm and happy with this story while one sister was left standing alone with a little too much sweetness that affected her enjoyment for this story till another sister joined her. We highly recommend for readers who like a lighter, inspiring feel-good story or for a nice change of pace from darker reads.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Katherine Center or a copy to read and review.

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