Posted in Reviews

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella @randomhouse @KinsellaSophie #travelingsistersread #bookreview

Norma’s Review

Hilarious, delightful, & heartwarming!

I couldn’t be more excited that Becky Brandon née Bloomwood is back in this latest installment to the Shopaholic Series. This is one series that I eagerly and patiently wait for the next installment. Thank you so much, SOPHIE KINSELLA for writing such a fabulous and entertaining character. I absolutely adore Becky and you! CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC did not disappoint me at all in fact it exceeded all my expectations!

CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC (Shopaholic #9) by SOPHIE KINSELLA is a lighthearted, entertaining, and fun festive read that had me laughing-out-loud hysterically right from the very start. You can’t help but fall in love with Becky and be amused by all of her farcical antics. She is definitely a one of a kind character that is so darn entertaining and lovely.

SOPHIE KINSELLA delivers a fast-paced, amusing, fun, and well-written read here that has us following along with Becky as she has been tasked to host Christmas for the very first time. This book was extremely fun and I was definitely entertained by Becky and all of her holiday season mishaps.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: An intriguing, festive, adorable, lovely, amusing, colorful, and whimsical book cover that depicts this storyline well.
Title: The title speaks for itself! 🙂
Writing/Prose: Humorous, engaging, fun, smart, and well-written.
Plot: Engaging, fast-paced, fun, cute, captivating, humorous, heartfelt, and entertaining.
Ending: I was thoroughly touched and moved in the end leaving me with a great big satisfied smile on my face! Definitely a feel-good ending!
Overall: I loved spending time with Becky! She is by far my most favourite character ever!! I want to be Becky’s BFF! This book will definitely put you in the holiday spirit! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, The Dial Press / Random House Publishing Group and Sophie Kinsella for the opportunity to read this fabulous book! I absolutely loved the escape into Becky’s world!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Well Met by Jen DeLuca @BerkleyPub #travelingsistersread #bookreview

It’s been a while since Norma and I have had some different thoughts on a book we have read together. As always, it made for an interesting discussion between Two Sisters with two different views.

Norma’s review

WELL MET by JEN DELUCA is an adorable, charming, heartwarming, romantic, and sweet lighthearted rom-com that captured my heart and attention.  I was immediately hooked and fully absorbed within this tale. I absolutely loved the small town atmosphere and the Renaissance Faire elements to the storyline, and got a kick out of the hate to love relationship between Emily and Simon.  

I’ve always had this fascination and appeal to renaissance times so I absolutely loved the Renaissance Faire backdrop to this story.  It was definitely fun experiencing that through the eyes of the characters. The playacting and Simon’s secret alter ego was extremely attractive and swoon-worthy!!  Loved his character!

JEN DELUCA delivers a fast-paced, amusing, and well-written read here that had the perfect mix of humour, romantic moments, steam, tension, and warmth.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between Emily and Simon grow and thought that they had some good chemistry happening there. The supporting cast was also great and complimented the dynamics of the storyline extremely well.

Brenda’s review

Well Met starts off with such a great opening line and it hooked me in right away.  I was smitten with the story theme here with enemies to lovers and the Renaissance Faire adds something different and fun to the story. 

At about the halfway mark, things started to slow down for me and I wanted to feel more tension, suspense and substance to the characters and their relationships.  It’s not an easy thing to pull off for this picky non-romantic soul and I am in the minority here with my thoughts. 

Norma’s Stats:

Cover:  An intriguing, cutesy, colorful, playful and amusing cover that depicts this storyline well.

Title: I have a foggy idea of what “Well Met” means, as for the meaning behind the title I see how creative, fitting, and intriguing it is in relation to the storyline. 

Writing/Prose: Witty, engaging, smart, and well-written. 

Plot: Charming, fast-paced, fun, sweet, steamy, romantic, captivating, humorous, heartfelt, and entertaining.

Ending:  A lovely feel-good and satisfying ending that put a big smile on my face!

Overall: A laugh-out-loud rom-com with a lovely heroine and a fabulous romantic hero that is absolutely swoon worthy!  Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our complimentary copies!

Posted in Behind the Pages, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Friends Reads

Behind the Pages Q & A With Kim Michele Richardson author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek @KYBookWoman #behindthepagesgroup

Kim Michele Richardson spend an insightful hour with us answering our questions in the Behind the Pages Goodreads group. We learned so much more about this story and after our discussion we appreciated and love THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK even more.

Brenda Welcome, Kim Michele! Thank you so much for joining us. I have not heard of “blue-skinned people” or the Pack Horse Project before reading your story. I love when I read about something I haven’t. Your story was such an eye-opening.

What inspired you to write about both?

Kim Michele Hi, Brenda! For 80 years these brave, heroic Kentucky packhorse librarians were ignored and only given a nod in a couple of amazing children’s books—the women’s historic legacy, but a small footnote in history. Their courage and dedication for spreading literacy to the poorest pocket of the United States—the hills of eastern Kentucky and during its most violent era, deserved more in literary history. I felt it would be a privilege to tell their story. And when I learned of the blue-skinned people of Kentucky who suffered from congenital Methemoglobinemia, I was determined to give them a voice they’d long been denied.

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t feel a tremendous honor for the opportunity to finally introduce these fierce, female packhorse librarians, and the blue people from my home state of Kentucky.

Brenda What research did you do?

Kim Michele I spent 5 years on this book with many 12-16 hour days.
Thousands of hours went into exploring everything from fauna to flora to folklore to food, and longtime traditions indigenous to Appalachia. I’m also able to live in that landscape and spend time with native Appalachians who have taught me the lyrics and language of their people and ancestors. Other research took me to coal-mining towns and their history, visiting doctors, speaking with a hematologist to learn about congenital Methemoglobinemia, and exploring fire tower look-outs and their history. There was the fun and interesting research on mules.

And last, during this remarkable and sometimes crazy and dangerous journey of living full time for a year in Appalachia for research and writing, I clumsily fell off a mountain. Alas, I can’t claim a cool story like a ‘bear or snake chased me’. I was simply toting a stack of Pyrex dishes down crooked mountain steps for an elderly mountain woman when I stumbled. The Pyrex flew out of my hands and went bouncing off concrete. I received seven breaks to my arm, but nary a nick or scratch on any of the Pyrex.

A week later, my husband caught Lyme’s disease, which forced us back home to our Kentucky city to seek medical care.

Norma Hi, Kim Michele! Thank you so much for joining us! I am a reader that chooses my books by covers and how intrigued I am by them. The cover design definitely intrigued me and it is one that I knew that I had to read. Did you have a vision of what you wanted the cover to look like? Are you happy with the finished product? Would you mind sharing with us a little insight into how the cover came about.

P.S. – Looks like there are a few different versions of covers out there. I bought my copy in the States and was published by Sourcebooks Landmark.

Kim Michele Hi, Norma, thanks for the question. There are several versions, one for foreign which is Harper Collins Canada, and the U.S. version as well as the ARC.

Publishers create and control covers, and although they will often ask for the author’s input, the publisher has the final decision. This is due to the marketing and art teams that are deemed professional and more skilled than the writer.

On this book we had several designs. Originally, the art team created one of the covers with a vivid blue filter. But sometimes a buyer like Barnes & Noble will come in and ask for changes. In this case, B & N wanted the blue filter removed. After much discussion and input from many, the publisher ended up with this cover.

The design was more of a literal metaphor, both beautiful and sad—the whole concept of being smeared because of color. Sort of like how the gaze of Troublesome’s townsfolk reduces Cussy Mary to a color. . . The U.S. publisher as well as Harper Collins Canada adopted this metaphor for their covers.

DeAnn I really loved this book! I found it interesting that few men were part of the Pack Horse Project. Were you more drawn to this because so many women were involved?

Kim Michele Good evening, DeAnn, and thanks for your question.

The project alone was a fascinating, unknown part of history, but having it mostly women-driven, made it more unique. It showed fierce, courageous women in a unforgiving landscape, accomplishing what many never could, and battling everything from inclement weather, mistrust, treacherous landscapes and extreme poverty, and again, doing it all in Kentucky’s most violent era—the bloody coal mine wars.

Also, women who defy the odds, achieve great measures, both in the past and present, should be recognized as more than a blip in history, and should be lifted up and shown for the true heroes they are.

Brenda My heart went out to the people in your story and I felt the power of words with each. I loved the positive effects the Pack Horse Project had to the people in times of heartbreak. What inspired or motivated you to write about the impact that the books had on the people in your story?

Kim Michele Great question! As a foster child, I remember going to my first library one lonely summer and checking out a book. The librarian sized me up and then quietly said, “Only one? You look smarter than a one-book read, and I bet we can find you more than just one.” She reached under her counter, snapped open a folded, brown paper sack, handed it to me, and then marched me over to shelves filled with glorious books. I was shocked that I could even get more than one book, much less a bag full of precious books, and I was moved by her compassion, kindness, and wisdom.

Librarians are lifelines for so many, giving us powerful resources to help us become empowered.

Mary Beth How did you select the names of your characters? I loved Cully!

Kim Michele Thank you for the question. On selecting names, I chose Cussy because I wanted to have her family come from the tiny village in Cussy, France. Generally, I research old Kentucky social security indexes, and birth rolls and death indexes of my state for names. A few times I’ve used my ancestors, like Mudas (Muddy) Summers in LIAR’S BENCH which was indeed plucked from my great-grandparents.

Brenda Do you have any feel strong emotions for your characters? Is there one that stands out more for you?

Kim Michele Yes, I grew up under the grinding heels of poverty, spending my first decade in a rural Kentucky orphanage and then on to foster care, and beyond, to finding myself homeless at age fourteen. So I can relate to marginalized people, and have much empathy for Cussy and her family, anyone who faces prejudices and hardships. It’s easy to feel pain deeply, particularly if you’ve gone through hardships in your own life.

They are all so dear: Young, innocent Angeline, fire-tower lookout RC, ol’ weak-eyed Loretta— there’s too many to choose just one. We have Junia, Cussy Mary’s protector.

It was important for the packhorse librarians to have trusted mounts. So I gave Cussy a mule since they are stronger and can outlive horses and donkeys. When you think of a mule you think of it being stubborn. But not so, mules are wise and won’t do anything to bring harm to themselves. They are the greatest preservationists. Surprisingly, I’m finding so many are endeared to that ol’ feisty mule, and I receive many sweet and funny letters about her.

Brenda Is there anything you would like readers to get out of your story?

Kim Michele The novel won’t change the world, but if I’ve dropped seeds of courage, empathy and kindness into this sometimes tumultuous and charged world as we know it today, that’s all I could ever hope. Another is that poverty and marginalization are not so much economics or politics or societal issues as much as human issues which are best grappled with by reaching deep into the lives of those suffering them.

What Kim Michele had to say about us The Traveling Sisters group was such a delight—these amazing women are the smart, fierce readers I love to write for

For more Q & A with Kim Michele Richardson and other author Q & A, you can find the group here

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

The Whisper Man by Alex North @CeladonBooks @alexnorth @about_thethrill

Hot supreme diggity dang! We are busting out a groove here and boogieing to the beat of excitement with this Traveling Friends group read. We all had a such a hard time putting this one down once we started reading it. It’s one fabulosity read.

Brenda’s review

Alex North does some mighty fine footwork here with this creepy, unnerving, and captivating dark, suspenseful thriller.  It has all the elements here to make this a spooky and compelling read for me. There are some supernatural overtones here that send my imagination into overdrive with some unexplainable elements to this story. That dark and twisted thriller mind of mine had me a little unnerved here while reading this story.   It’s a police procedural with a glimpse into a dangerous and broken killer. It has well-layered characters with complicated and compelling relationship between father and son. I loved the dynamics here between the characters.  

Alex North does such a great job here with Jake who stole the show for us.  It’s not easy to pull off a creepy, story with a child character being the centre of it and he nailed it here for us.  We loved the eerie feeling going on here with the whispering but never felt disturbed by it. The story is entertaining and fun yet just enough dark and twisted.  Just the way I love it! 

I highly enjoyed the time I spend with this spooky story and the characters along with my Traveling Friends!!  I highly recommend it. 

Norma’s review

Suspenseful, a little bit spooky, & definitely full of heart!

THE WHISPER MAN by ALEX NORTH is an engrossing, fast-paced, tense, dark, and eerie novel that had me fully immersed in this story right from the very start. What and who “The Whisper Man” is and represents in this tale is downright brilliant, unnerving and definitely has this creepy and spooky vibe resonating throughout this novel. The following rhyme definitely gave me the chills.

If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. 
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.

Although I wouldn’t necessarily say that this novel creeped me out though or scared me out of my wits but it definitely had an underlying spook factor with the supernatural overtones to the story. I found to be quite absorbing and appealing.

ALEX NORTH delivers an atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistibly unsettling thriller here that thoroughly entertained me. The little boy in this book definitely stole the show for me! He was the shining star and I loved his character so much!! He reminded me so much of the little boy in the movie The Sixth Sense.

The story is told in short chapters from alternating perspectives of Tom Kennedy, Jake (his son), DI Amanda Beck, and DI Pete Willis. I was never confused once and I absolutely loved the short chapters as it definitely helped to keep the pacing high to easily hold your attention. 

Lindsay’s review

Intense. Haunting. Addictive. Engrossing. Chilling.

Seven-year-old Jake and his widowed father, Tom, move to Featherbank. A new town for a new start after the passing of Jake’s mom. Featherbank has a past filled with secrets. Jake seems connected to some of these long buried stories and secrets of the small town. Not long after moving to Featherbank, a young boy goes missing which stirs up old memories of a serial killer who once lived in there.

This was a spine-tingling, heart-pounding, sleep-with-the-lights-on story! I am not one for reading scary stories (I’m a big chicken!), but this was so engrossing that I became addicted to the novel from the very start. I couldn’t put it down once I began this shocking and unforgettable journey. The frightening parts were not gory or over-detailed, but simply created an extreme feeling of tension and nervousness that I couldn’t shake. The characters were fantastic! I was invested in them from the first chapter. The changing narratives was perfectly executed and added multiple layers to this mesmerizing novel. Simply put, the writing was excellent! I look forward to what Alex North comes out with next.

We read this one along with our Traveling Sister Kim! Check out her review here

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: An eye-catching, relevant, eerie, sinister, brilliant, intriguing, suspenseful, and extremely fitting representation to storyline. This cover definitely caught my attention and I love it! 
Title: Appealing, creepy, suspenseful, significant, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly and meaningfully into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, suspenseful, engaging, captivating, and fluid. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing! 
Plot: Chilling, sinister, suspenseful, unsettling, moving, riveting, fast-paced, clever, absorbing, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. 
Ending: Spine-tingling, rewarding, and thoroughly satisfying!
Overall: An excellent read that had me thoroughly engrossed and immersed in this tale from start to finish! And learning that this story was inspired by the author’s own son who told him he was playing with “the boy in the floor” was quite clever and in itself frightening. I highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Celadon Books for gifting us and our Traveling Sisters a copy of this book. It was an absolute pleasure reading and discussing this book in our group.

#travelingsistersread #travelingfriendsread

Posted in Behind the Pages

Q & A Behind the Pages with Kimberly Belle @KimberlySBelle @goodreads

Kimberly Belle spend an amazing evening with us and our Traveling Sisters and Friends answering our questions in our Goodreads group Behind the Pages. It was such a fun time and we loved all the insight we got into herself, her books and her writing process. After our discussion a few of where say “Holy Shooty Balls” along with Norma and some of us were doing my famous book dance

As a group we have read three of her books and loved them all. We talked about most of Kimberly books with her. I am excited to share the love for one of our favorite author here with some Q & A from our discussion with Kimberly.

Brenda What draws you to write suspense thrillers?

Kimberly As for why I write suspense, I write the kinds of books I like to read, and about subjects that everyone can relate to: relationships. Parent-child, husband-wife, siblings. I love exploring the emotions that come along with these types of bonds, mostly because they’re so universally recognizable. Toss in the suspense angle—a lying spouse, a child gone missing—and it’s a what-if scenario everyone can imagine themselves in. That’s the appeal of the genre, I think, that people read it and think, that could have been me.

While I’m at it, can I just gush about how women are writing SUCH great crime fiction? We women are killing it (ha!) because we write stories that are realistic and reflect what’s happening in the world. As the ones who are all too often on the receiving end of the violence or crime, we bring a unique perspective to the table. Our stories are relatable. They’re real. And I love that women are taking control of the narrative and transforming the victims into heroes—women fighting back, getting even, saving the day, solving the crime, rediscovering their strength. Today’s heroines are no shrinking violets. They are strong and they kick ass, like Beth, and I love it!! 🙂

Brenda What does your writing day look like for you? Do you have a routine?

Kimberly I am best in the morning, so I typically am behind my laptop by 8 or so. I warm up by checking emails and socials, then get to writing as quickly as I can. I write with the program Scrivener, which counts down from my deadline and gives me a daily word count to guide me. Sometimes I hit it pretty quickly, and sometimes it takes all day. I typically lose steam around 3 or 4, then finish up with socials and emails. And I’ve found, if I ever get stuck, the best remedy is a workout or a walk with the dog, something physical. By the time I’m home, most plot knots have been unwound.

Heidi This was a good read and it would be really interesting to get some background!

Kimberly The Marriage Lie (TML) was really the product of a brainstorming session. I should probably start off by saying that I fly a lot (a lot), so when it came time to think about ideas for a new story, a plane crash was pretty front-of-mind, and it’s right up there with the worst possible things that could happen to a person. But then I started thinking about what that would be like for the people left behind, especially if there were some kind of deception involved on the part of the person who was killed. The action for the story filled in from there.

As for Dear Wife, that was a gift from the writing gods. I had just spent months putting a proposal together for another story when Dear Wife woke me up in the middle of the night. My eyes popped open and the story was right there, fully formed, playing in my head like a movie. I knew my characters, the major plot points, how the story began and ended. In the morning, I called my editor and pulled the proposal, then asked for another week or two to throw together a new one. Thankfully, she loved the story just as much as I did.

Brenda How do you come with ideas for your books?

Kimberly I find story ideas everywhere. In the news, on radio and tv, in snippets overheard at the grocery story or coffee shop. But what really inspires my writing—and the difference between and an idea and inspiration—is when an premise gives me a visceral reaction, a fluttering in my stomach or a tightening in my chest that tells me I’m on to something. With The Last Breath, it wasn’t the father coming home from prison to die that put me in knots, but imagining how that would feel for his adult daughter, Gia. For The Marriage Lie, that moment when Iris receives the note in her dead husband’s handwriting made me giddy and sick to my stomach at the same time. Once I’ve found my story seed, the bigger challenge is then translating that feeling to the page in a way that summons a similar reaction in the reader. Thanks for reading!

Brenda What comes first for you, plot/story or the characters? Has there been a character you just had to write about? Do you plan or does it all come together as you are writing?

Kimberly Plot is typically what I come up with first, then I spend lots of time thinking about what kind of person would best fit in the story. I want a main character who has something to learn, who will come out better on the other side, so they’re typically dealing with some kind of issue. Character is actually something that doesn’t come easy for me, and I have a degree in psychology lol. It takes time for me to really get into their heads.

My stories have a lot of moving pieces, so I spend months thinking them through before I write the first word. I start with the basics: character, major plot points, a one or two sentence synopsis, and then I take it from there. I brainstorm, add subplots and secondary characters, fill in and expand on the many blank spots. Once I have a fairly detailed outline, I’ll run it by my agent and editor, who are both brilliant at pointing out all the places it could be better. Crafting a story is a group effort, and their feedback and ideas really help me as I’m shaping the plot.

But even with the outline, I always give myself room for things to change and develop as I write. Sometimes that means adding characters (like Evan in THE MARRIAGE LIE) or rewriting chapters from another point of view (a couple of Jeffrey chapters ended up Marcus’s in DEAR WIFE). But I can make those changes because the bones are already there, both on paper and in my head.

That said, I’ve never – not once – changed an ending. I go into a story knowing exactly how it will end, and with I every chapter I write, I am moving steadily closer. All that goes to say: yes, this story ended exactly like I’d planned it

Lindsay I’m curious to know how long it took you to write Dear Wife. I imagine that storyline would have taken a lot of planning and rereading.

Kimberly The writing part was about six months or so, with a bit of plotting and thinking on the front end, and a couple months of edits on the back. This is pretty typical of my stories. Even though I write from an outline, it still takes me a good 6 months to get the story from my head onto paper.

Brenda I just read The Marriage Lie and I loved Iris. I wanted to be her best friend. I wanted to yell at her at times and other times I wanted to hug her. I also loved Beth in Dear Wife and loved the twisty road she took us on. She was a little harder to warm up to for me but wow, in the end, I loved her. How do you go about capturing your characters’ voices and getting into their heads?

Kimberly That’s IMO the hardest part of writing a story, making sure that the characters feel real and make decisions that fit their personality rather than just to move the plot. IT’S SO HARD, lol. But I do know I’ve gotten them right when they get really loud in my head, and start talking to me. Some of them are really talkative, too, like Dave. He had a LOT to say. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words – so thrilled you loved both books!

Norma This is something I have always wondered about while reading and thought I would ask you this question. I’m really curious in knowing how you choose your character names. Do you have some type of connection or relation to the names you choose?

Kimberly For me, it’s really a gut decision. I keep a list of names that I like, but a name has to fit my vision of the character. It’s not a science by any means. It just has to feel right.

Dorie Dear Wife was one of the only thrillers so far this year that was really well done, I loved it. My question for Kimberly is “was there anything that motivated to write about spousal abuse?”

Kimberly Thank you, Dorie! Dear Wife is my second book about spousal abuse (Three Days Missing also had this as a theme), and it’s a subject inspired by a dear friend whose backstory is similar to Kat’s in Three Days Missing. She’s is in the midst of a very messy divorce from a husband who beat her in a public setting—pretty much exactly what happened to my friend. It’s a fictionalized story crafted around a real-life one, and writing it helped me sort through all the emotions I felt, the sadness and helplessness and anger, while watching my friend go through her divorce. I thought I’d worked through all my emotions until the idea for Dear Wife popped into my head, and I realized I had more to say, this time through a woman who is fighting back in the most brave, kick-ass way. Beth is angry and determined and willing to risk it all for her freedom—all the ingredients for the best kind of heroine. My friend, btw, is doing great, and she was the one who encouraged me to write her story. She figured if it helped even one person change their situation, it was worth telling. She’s my hero!

Brenda I loved Ethan in Three Days Missing. Loved Beth’s strength in Dear Wife and Iris was just so likable. From all your characters, do you have a favourite and why?

Kimberly Hmmm, that’s like asking me to choose my favorite child. 😉 I love them all equally, but I do relate most to Gia in The Last Breath. Her wanderlust and wanting to save the world. I worked for nonprofits in a previous career, and a lot of her frustrations about that industry were mine, as well, as were her thoughts about her small-town Tennessee home (guess where I grew up lol). There’s a lot of me in her, or her in me. And I love and adore Miss Sally, too. I wish she was real so we could be BFFs.

Brenda Was there one character that was more of a challenge to develop for you?

Kimberly I think the most difficult (and the one who went through many rewrites) was Stef in Three Days Missing. I wanted her to be one way for the outside world but very different once you got inside her head so she would parallel one of the big themes in Three Days Missing, that you never know what’s going on behind another person’s closed doors. A lot of what people show the world is not who they are in private, and I definitely explore that – the good, the bad, and the really, really ugly – with Stef.

Brenda In The Marriage Lie, I loved the strong relationship and dynamics between Iris and her brother. What motivated you to write about such a strong bond between them?

Kimberly In all my books, I try to give my heroines a character like Dave in The Marriage Lie or Lucas in Three Days Missing, someone who is a strong and unapologetically on their side, an ally the reader will believe in and root. There were a couple in Dear Wife, too, though perhaps a little less obvious. But IMO we all need an ally in our lives, and that includes my fictional characters.

Kim I can’t tell you how excited I am that you are here with us today. You are one of my absolute favorite authors. I have read all your books and love them all! The Marriage Lie is my favorite though. I have read it twice, then my mom read it ( and loved it) then her cat tried to eat it…so that book has seen alot of love! LOL Also I want to say you are so involved with your fans on social media, I love it! I am sure it is very time consuming for you but I can tell you we really appreciate it!

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we don’t know?

Kimberly Well, if you follow me on social media, you’ll know I’m a little obsessed with all things Dutch. Not just because my husband was born in Holland and half my family lives there. Not just because strolling Amsterdam’s streets and canals feels like walking through a postcard. Not just because of the food and the shopping and the flowers and the museums, all of which are world class. Because of all those things and more.

I moved to Amsterdam a zillion years ago, when I was young and in love and life was an adventure, before there were babies and mortgages and sixty-hour workweeks. Maybe it’s nostalgia for that easier time, but that sense of freedom is what sticks with me the most when I think of that place, the feeling that everything and anything is possible there. You want to play your flute and pass out tulips on the street corner? Cool. Eat salted licorice and French fries with mayonnaise? Yum. Ride your bike naked through the rain? Um, you might be a little cold, but go for it. The Dutch are a little weird, a lot crazy, and always authentic, and Amsterdam will always feel like home.

Oh, and I speak Dutch like a native. 🙂

Jayme I have loved ALL of your books, Kimberly and eagerly await your next! Any idea what it might be about? Are you taking a break or currently working on it? How long does it usually take you to complete a book? In other words..how long do we have to wait!

Kimberly Thanks, Jayme! I’m always working on the next one (just ask my poor husband lol), am currently revising next summer’s book, a story about a newlywed woman who discovers a woman’s body under their lakeside home’s dock. The police show up, and in the stress of the moment, she follows her husband’s lead and lies about ever having met the woman. It’s not a big lie, and she doesn’t really think much of it at the time, but soon that one little lie turns into an avalanche. As the police close in on the woman’s killer, she uncovers dangerous truths about her husband and her marriage, as well as dark secrets that have been simmering below the lake’s currents for years. Current title is Stranger in the Lake (but that could change), coming (probably) June 2020.

Norma It isn’t no secret that I absolutely LOVED Dear Wife……it was awarded my favourite thriller saying….”Holy Shooty Balls!!!” lol – that means I was totally blown away with everything about the book….the writing, the storyline, the characters, the intensity…..everything

Kimberly I want “oh shooty balls” on one of my covers – love it!

What Kimberly had to say about us I can’t think of a better evening than being curled up on my couch with a glass of wine and my laptop, chatting about writing and books and life. The Traveling Sisters & Friends are so much fun, and the hour flew by. It was such an honor, thanks for having me!

To view the discussion and other Q & A or see who we have coming up, you can find the Behind the Pages Goodreads group here

#behindthepagesgroup #travelingsistersread #travelingfriendsread

Posted in Reviews

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger @lisaunger @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa

Lisa Unger nails it here with The Stranger Inside. It is now available and we are pretty excited about this one. There was a bit of dancing going on for The Traveling Sisters after we got over our shock from that brilliant twisted twist! This is one we highly recommend you run to your device or to your local book store and snatch this one up as fast as you can. Lock yourself in a room because you won’t want to be disturbed once you start reading this one. You will be dancing with us in no time!!

Norma’s review

Holy Shooty Balls!!  Suspenseful, tense, & compulsively readable!

THE STRANGER INSIDE by LISA UNGER is an engrossing, fantastic, tension-filled, dark, and thrilling novel that was absolutely unputdownable.  I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining book. I was fully immersed in this story–I don’t think my mind wandered even once while I was reading this book. 

LISA UNGER delivers a vividly descriptive, atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistible thriller here that I absolutely loved and was thoroughly impressed by.  The characters were extremely interesting, compelling, and definitely held my full attention.

The storyline was one that I found myself totally drawn into.  I was questioning and pondering the actions and reactions of our characters here to a point where I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat on pins and needles in anticipation of how it was all going to play out.  I was fully engaged and invested in this tale and the ending left me with shivers and goosebumps!          

Brenda’s review

WaHoo! Hot diggity dang that was good!!

The Stranger Inside is a unique, clever and compelling character study into good people who do bad things. From the start I was drawn into the minds of our main characters, Rain and Hank and their behaviour. Both are dealing in different ways with the childhood trauma they endured involving each other. An avenger killer is unmasked from the start. It’s all about the reveal after that as Rain revisits their memories from their past. The lines are blurred here between right and wrong not only for the characters but for me as well. I found myself questioning vengeance and justice.

Lisa Unger creates an original killer here and I was feeling disturbingly empathic for our characters. I was on a bit of a roller coaster of different feelings here while reading this one and was questioning those lines between right and wrong. It all about the reveal here and I was on the edge of my seat. The tension builds at a rapid speed to that clever dark and twisty reveal. I loved the way this all came together with insight, compassion, danger and tension. I highly recommend!

Lindsay’s review

An engrossing, suspenseful, tension-filled, pulse-pounding, addictive novel!

Rain Winter is a stay-at-home mom who resigned from her high pressure career as an investigative journalist when she had her daughter, Lily. Though she loves being home with Lily, she finds herself drawn into a new murder case that could be linked to past cases.

I was hooked from page 1! The way this book is narrated is brilliant! The tension builds as each chapter progresses. I loved the characters! I really enjoyed the motherhood side of the story from Rain’s perspective. I could strongly relate to her character being a stay at home mom who feels the pull back into the career world. 

This was my first book by this author, Lisa Unger. I was extremely impressed! I adored the writing! The pace and flow were excellent which kept me fully engaged in the story and invested in the characters from start to finish. This has easily earned a spot on my 2019 Favourites list!

Thank you to Harlequin for sending our copies to read and review! There are going on our favorite shelve!

From Stephanie’s review

The Stranger Inside is an intricately layered psychological thriller that will keep you riveted from start to finish. It’s a story of survival, the impact of survivor’s guilt, and the lingering impact of childhood trauma and violence at the hands of a monster. The book is absorbing, suspenseful, and utterly compelling. More than anything, it will leave you questioning what exactly is justice in the face of evil and does evil deserve their fates. Check out Stephanie’s Novel Fiction here

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