April Wrap Up

The Halo Effect was a literary mystery, really good. 

Teach was a hot and steamy read about an forbidden romance. 


Royally Roma was a cute romance if a bit stereotypical. 

A Presence of Absence was a good Nordic Noir novel.

Ragdoll was brilliant! 

When We Danced at the End of The Pier was a gorgeous historical fiction. 

The Second Chance Tea Shop was a cute, romantic read.

Skintown was a bizarre read. 

Appetite for Innocence was another dark, gripping read from Berry.

I loved The Night the Lights Went out

White Sand, Blue Sea was an ok read. 

Will to Live is the second book in a series I’m really enjoying. 

I loved Gone Without a Trace.

The Cornish Escape was a lovely romance mixed with a bit of mystery. 

The Trophy Taker was a solid crime read. 

Forks, Knives and Spoons was a really fun book set in the late eighties/early nineties. 

Faithless was a classic Nordic Noir novel.

Kill or Die was a fast paced thriller. 

The Beachside Flower Stall was a delightful read. 

Game Point is the fourth in a series that I jumped into, loved it! 

Last Breath was another awesome book in the Erika Foster series. 

A Wedding in Italy was a gorgeous story.

Sleep Tight was another winner from Mitchell. 

I listened to the audiobook version of The French Kiss and liked it. 

Slightly South of Simple was fantastic, a perfect summer read. 

Lie to Me was a little different than I expected but still good.

Rage Against the Dying was a fantastic read.

Dead Woman Walking was fantastic.

Fear the Darkness was great, this series gets better and better. 

Ice Cold Alice was about a female serial killer, really good. 

I listened to The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living it was cute with an awesome narrator. 

A Twist of the Knife was the third in a phenomenal series. 

The Puppet Master was a decent read, a little improbable but overall good.

If We Were Villians was a really smart book.

The Girl on the Bus was a good thriller.
April was another fabulous month for me, I read 35 books! Well, two were audiobooks, I still count those. 

Choosing a favorite this month is proving to be extremely difficult for me so I’m cheating. I’m picking favorites from a few categories. 

Favorite can’t put it down read: 

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton. I just love her books, I’m planning to go back and read her earlier stuff at some point this summer.

Favorite chick lit/women’s fiction: 

Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey. This is just the quintessential summer read!

Favorite series of the month: 

Well since I binged it in record time it’s obviously Becky Masterman’s Brigid Quinn series! 

Favorite thriller: 

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza, this series just keeps getting better! 

Favorite debut: 

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole just blew me away! 

The fact that I couldn’t possibly pick just one favorite just shows that I read some phenomenal books this month! I have some really great books planned for May, then as we get into summer I’ll be celebrating my first blogiversary! I’ll be doing at least one giveaway, so stay tuned. 

I’m also planning on not taking on as many tours and stuff in June/July/August. I have several reasons for this, first I need to tackle my personal TBR. I’m dying to read some stuff that’s been sitting on my shelf for months. Secondly, we should be done building our house and moving by August so I need to leave myself some time to get settled in to a new place! Third, my girls will be off school and I want to do some fun stuff with them, we also have a couple of vacations planned. I’m hoping that by easing back I can ward off blogger burnout/reading slumps too! 

How was April for you? Link me to your own wrap up if you have one and here’s to a fantastic May! 

Blog Tour: The Girl on the Bus by N. M. Brown @normthewriter @Bloodhoundbook

Goodreads|Amazon UK|Amazon US
Release date: April 28, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


A retired detective and a young woman are about to face their worst fears. 

Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her former friend and room-mate, Laurie, for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up and seems to have vanished. 

Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter. Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice. 

The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods he and Vicki track the killers who are working across the dusty freeways of North America. 

Soon Vicki and Leighton find themselves nervously waiting at a remote bus stop expecting the arrival of the bus. 

Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie? 

And can they both escape with their lives? 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Girl on the Bus. I’m hosting with Sean’s Book Reviews so make sure you check in there to see his thoughts as well. 


I have to admit, the title of this one put me off initially. I know many of us are sick of titles with the ubiquitous Girl in it, but when I read the blurb I was intrigued enough to set my feelings of hesitation aside. I’m really glad I didn’t let something as silly as a title put me off as this was a fast paced, scary and intense read. 

There are several viewpoints in this book and quite a few characters, but not too many that the story gets convoluted. The two main characters are Vicki and Leighton, she’s a young woman who is concerned when her friend that’s due to visit never arrives and he is a recently retired detective with a painful past. I liked both of them and enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve over the course of the book. 

This was an absorbing read, I was really wrapped up in the whole thing, I kept thinking about what I would do if a loved one stepped on a bus and vanished into thin air. I think I would have the dogged persistence just like Vicki and I would search until I found answers. When she and Leighton did uncover the truth I was horrified, shocked and completely creeped out. I don’t want to say too much more about exactly why I felt those emotions, you need to read it for yourself and then we can chat! I only wish there would’ve been a bit more detail about the killer and they way they operated but overall it was a unique read that had me hooked. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy. 

About the Author: 

Norman M. Brown is an author living and working in Scotland. He attended secondary school in Stirling where he spent more time in the library or in the nearby park with a paperback, than he did in classes… Ironically, having graduated from Stirling University with a degree in English, he soon ended up back on the classroom again – where he has shared his love of fiction for two decades. 

Having experimented with poetry, scripts and short stories over the years, he finally decided to write sit down and write the type of fiction he would like to read. The result was his crime thriller -The Girl on the Bus. As result, Norman was delighted to be signed to Bloodhound Books at the start of this year. The Girl in the Bus, is his first published novel. He is currently writing a second novel based on its protagonist – detective Leighton Jones.    


Review: If We Were Villians by M. L. Rio @SureAsMel @Flatironbooks

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: April 11, 2017

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 


Enter the players. There were seven of us then, seven bright young things with wide precious futures ahead of us. Until that year, we saw no further than the books in front of our faces.

On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it.

Ten years ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But in their fourth and final year, the balance of power begins to shift, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students’ world of make believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent.

Part coming-of-age story, part confession, If We Were Villains explores the magical and dangerous boundary between art and life. In this tale of loyalty and betrayal, madness and ecstasy, the players must choose what roles to play before the curtain falls. 


This was a really smart, sharp book, definitely more mysterious than thrilling and very literary and profound. Oliver is the narrator and it begins when he’s about to be released from prison after serving ten years for an unknown crime. The detective that worked the case has always known that he didn’t know what really happened back in 1997 and Oliver finally tells him the truth about that year. Clearly you know that something terrible and tragic occurred, but you don’t know what exactly did happen, however you know that it involves Oliver and six of his friends and fellow actors from school. This impending sense of doom and unease worked very well alongside the atmosphere and setting of a small college shrouded in mystery. 

This was cleverly formatted as parts of it read like a play, it was divided into acts and scenes and there were even sections with dialogue formatted as a play. It was very Shakespearean as the actors at Dellecher only perform his plays, but it wasn’t confusing because Rio mixes it with modern day language and dialogue making it extremely easy to follow. 

This was an impressive debut, the seven characters were deeply developed and complex, and while I didn’t particularly like any of them, I liked following their stories. They were pretentious, egotistical and had a flair for the dramatic, they are all actors after all. What begins as a series of arguments and misunderstandings between them, often fueled by said egos and alcohol, turned into something much deeper and more dangerous in the end. This is a dark tale of betrayal, obsession, friendships, rivalries, love, and revenge all based on a group of friends with a very insular existence. Lines are often blurred as it’s difficult for them to distinguish the stark difference between real life and the characters they portray on stage, and this difficulty to differentiate proves to be a fatal error for one of the seven. The twist in the end was unexpected and satisfying leaving me with a feeling of understanding, but also sadness. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Flatiron Books for my review copy. 

Extract: One Endless Summer by Laurie Ellinghan @LaurieEllingham

Goodreads|Amazon UK|Amazon US
Release date: April 20, 2017

Publisher: HQ Digital 

Genre: Women’s Fiction 

Three best friends.
Three continents.

Three months to live.

How long can you keep a secret?

Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.

Lizzie’s battle with cancer is coming to an end, and now she’s ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. There are only three months, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!

Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.

Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…

As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late… 

One Endless Summer sounds like such a great read and though I didn’t have the time to read it yet, it’s coming up in my TBR as soon as possible. I have a deleted scene to share today, I love that, so many times when I finish a book I long for a bit more time with the characters. 


Deleted chapter from One Endless Summer

One Endless Summer follows Lizzie, Jaddi, and Samantha as they backpack around the world. And with them for every step of the way is Ben, the cameraman, sent to capture the final months of Lizzie’s life.

In the first draft of One Endless Summer, Ben had his own chapters, showing a softer side to the grumpy cameraman and a different perspective on the journey. By draft two it was clear that Ben’s voice wasn’t needed. He is still an integral part of the story, but not one the reader needed to hear. It was real Kill Your Darlings moment for me and I was sad to cut his scenes. Here is a deleted scene from Ben as he ponders his role on the trip:



Why did women always go to the toilet in groups? And why did they always take so long? A wry smirk touched Ben’s face as he recalled his father’s theory on the matter. The minute his mother and sister would leave in search of the ladies room, his dad would lean across the restaurant table and whisper to Ben and his brother: ‘There they go again, off to take part in the women’s world toilet origami competition. What do you think they’ll be making today? The Eiffel tower?’

​His dad had a lot of theories. Some funny, some outright bonkers, and others which made a lot of sense too, like when he’d said to Ben growing up ‘Always trust your gut, it will keep you safe. The minute you start ignoring your gut, you lose your way in life. I’ve seen it happen.’

​Ben’s gut had told him not to accept this job, but he couldn’t figure out why. He’d sworn after the Lola Frost documentary he would stop working with people, especially famous ones. Had that been the reason? Still, he hadn’t meant to sound so rude when he’d spoken to Lizzie on the plane.​

​Animals made so much more sense. Animals knew nothing of the fruitless euphoric highs of fading celebrities when they got a bump in their popularity ratings, or a mention by someone seemingly more famous than then. Always followed by the lows and the snide jealousy as someone else’s face appeared on the magazine covers. He had yet to meet a sadder and more pointless existence.

​He should be lying in a dusty plain in Botswana, capturing the birth of lion cubs. Not babysitting three girls.

​The problem he had, the reason he kept being passed over for the wildlife footage, what he hated to admit, was that he had a knack for the babysitting jobs. He didn’t get sucked into the life of the entourage like so many of his colleagues. Only filming the best bits, the part of the story the celebrities wanted the world to see. That life didn’t interest him.

​It’s why some of the producers called him Sherlock. It wasn’t just the connection to his surname. He had the uncanny ability to sense when something was about to happen, a feeling in the pit of his stomach, a sixth sense, a radar in his brain beeping at him to reach for his camera and capture a moment that would otherwise have been missed. Sometimes it was just a look, like the expression on Jaddi’s face when she’d spoken to Lizzie’s brother. A flash of raw emotion before the wall went up. Other times it was something more juicy, a sudden kiss, a lovers’ quarrel, he’d seen it all.

​Whatever it was, the warning noise on his radar beeped into overdrive as he stared at the toilet door the girls had disappeared through. How long did they need in there? Ben unzipped his holdall and hoisted his camera onto his shoulder.

​Using his foot, he eased open the door and stepped into the restroom.

Well that scene just makes me want to read the book even more now! Thanks to Laurie for sharing that fabulous bonus material today. 

About the Author: 

Laurie lives in a small village on the Suffolk borders, with her husband, two children, and their cockerpoo, Rodney. When she is not disappearing into the fictional world of her characters, preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand, she is running through the countryside, burning off the chocolate intake and plotting her next chapter.


To find out more visit http://www.laurie-ellingham.com, or find her on Twitter @LaurieEllingham and Facebook


Review: The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne @Abigail_Author

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: August 30, 2016

Genre: Suspense


Manipulated by fear and love…could you cut the strings and take back control? 

Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain? 

Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems. 

Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them? 

One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.


This story in told in three separate parts and from two viewpoints, that of Billie and Adam. Part one is set in the present day and you’re first introduced to Billie. I really felt for her, it’s clear she’s experienced some trauma in her past and she’s very withdrawn, wounded and vulnerable. When you learn exactly what happened to her you can sympathize completely. Adam seems to recognize Billie when they share a table in a coffee shop and while he portrays himself as a kind, gentle man to Billie, inside he vows revenge to get revenge on her, but why? And how? 

Part two ends on a cliffhanger and flips back to the past where you follow both Adam and Billie from young adulthood all the way until present day. Things merge together in part three and the tension mounts in this section. The pace is fairly steady in the first two parts, but as you get closer to the end things pick up and the chapters get shorter and more nerve wracking. 

I liked Osborne’s writing style, she was able to craft Billie in a way that appealed to my mothering instincts and I just wanted to take care of her. Adam wasn’t the sort of character that I liked very much, but that never bothers me and the puppet master was one manipulative, cunning, evil man. My only issue with the book was that parts of the big climax seemed implausible, I don’t want to say exactly why as it would be a huge spoiler, but I found myself thinking things wouldn’t go down exactly that way. I did enjoy the read, it was quick and kept my attention, I would definitely read another book by the author. 

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Blog Tour: Love and Crime: Stories by V. S. Kemanis @VSKemanis

Release date: May 1, 2017

Publisher: Opus Nine Books

Genre: Literary short stories, psychological suspense 


Eleven compulsively readable short stories… Anyone who appreciates supple writing and fine storytelling will enjoy every minute spent reading these stories” – Foreword Reviews (five-star rating)

“V.S. Kemanis is a strong writer… [A]ny reader with a love of fine writing in short story format should find pieces to savor among these well-written offerings” – BlueInk Reviews (starred review)
 Loves big and small, crimes forgiven or avenged. These are the themes that drive the eleven diverse stories in this new collection of psychological suspense by storyteller V.S. Kemanis.

Meet the husband and wife team Rosemary and Reuben, master chefs known to sprinkle a dash of magic into every dish. Lucille Steadman, a dazed retiree who can’t explain why she’s left her husband, only to discover, too late, the meaning of love and commitment in the most surprising place. Franklin DeWitt, an esteemed ballet critic who witnesses—or abets?—a bizarre criminal plot to topple a beautiful Soviet ballerina. Rosalyn Bleinstorter, a washed-up defense attorney whose stubborn belief in her own street savvy leads her unwittingly into a romantic and criminal association with an underworld figure.

These are just a few of the colorful characters you’ll get to know in these pages, where all is fair in love and crime. While the endings to these tales are not always sweet or predictable, and self-deception is rarely rewarded, the lessons come down hard and are well learned.

Amazon|Barnes and Noble|Apple|Smashwords

About the Author: 

V. S. Kemanis grew up in the East Bay Area of California in a family with six amazing siblings and parents passionate about politics, social issues, theater and music. Mealtimes were often raucous, stimulating, intellectual and fun gatherings in a household full of family and interesting guests, musicians, actors, artists, professors and university students.

Ms. Kemanis holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Colorado, School of Law, at Boulder. In her legal career, she has been a criminal prosecutor of street crime and organized crime for county and state agencies, argued criminal appeals for the prosecution and defense, conducted complex civil litigation, and worked as a court attorney for state appellate courts. She is also an accomplished dancer of classical ballet, modern jazz and contemporary styles and has performed, taught and choreographed in California, Colorado and New York.

Dozens of short stories by Ms. Kemanis have been published in noted literary journals and award-winning collections. Her three novels in the Dana Hargrove legal mystery series draw on her personal experience in criminal law, juggling the needs of family with a high-powered legal career. Ms. Kemanis is a member of the Mystery Writers of America.


Review: A Twist of the Knife by Becky Masterman @mastermanbecky @MinotaurBooks

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: March 21, 2017

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 


Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, “the most original female character to anchor a crime series in years,” (The New York Times) is back—on a case staking family, friendship, and a man on death row.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, now happily settled in Tucson, doesn’t go back to visit her family in Florida much. But her former partner Laura Coleman, whose life she has saved and who saved her life, is living there now. When Laura calls about a case that is not going well, Brigid doesn’t hesitate to get on a plane.

On leave from the Bureau, Laura has been volunteering for a legal group that is trying to prove the innocence of a man who is on death row for killing his family. Laura is firmly convinced that he didn’t do it, while Brigid isn’t so sure—but the date for his execution is coming up so quickly that she shares Laura’s fear that any evidence absolving him from the crime may come too late.

Edgar Award and CWA Gold Dagger finalist Becky Masterman’s third Brigid Quinn novel is the masterful follow-up to Fear the Darkness and Rage Against the Dying. 


I’m sadly wrapping up my Becky Masterman binge here, I reviewed Rage Against the Dying and Fear the Darkness earlier this week, and though I LOVED my experience with this series, I’m bummed that I’m now caught up and I have to wait along with everyone else to see what Brigid Quinn gets up to next. This series is fantastic, the more I read, the more I loved Brigid and the third installment revealed so much more about her personal life and brought a deeper understanding of who she is and what drives her.

All of the books in this series have some seriously gripping prologues, but this one is my favorite thus far. It’s 1980 and a young Brigid is about to witness her first execution, a man on death row is about to be killed in the form of the electric chair. She talks about the odd feelings she has while simply sitting and watching as a man dies despite everything on the inside screaming at her to help him, its unnatural and goes against every instinct she has. It was very chilling and set the stage for the story perfectly.

Brigid leaves Arizona and heads to Florida when she receives word that her father is sick and in the hospital. While I missed the setting of AZ, I also appreciated seeing Brigid back home where it all began. Laura Coleman from Rage Against the Dying is back and it was nice to check in and see how she was recovering after the events that happened in that book. Coleman is working to exonerate a man named Marcus Creighton who was sentenced to death after the murder of his wife and the disappearance of his three children. 

I’ve had a kind of morbid fascination about cases where an innocent man (or woman) is incarcerated for awhile now, so the premise for this one intrigued me. In 2015 alone, 149 people in US prisons were exonerated and released after their innocence was proven. On average, they spent 15 years behind bars. 15 years for something they didn’t do. Can you even imagine? It’s a terrifying thought, and while I won’t reveal if Creighton was actually innocent or guilty, I will say that this one gave me plenty of food for thought. 

I don’t quite know how, but Brigid’s voice just gets stronger and more distinctive with each book. Maybe it’s because as the series progresses Masterman delves deeper into her character and peels back more layers of her personality, or maybe it’s because by now I’ve grown rather attached to her, but whatever the case is, my connection with this sarcastic, bullheaded, amazing woman continues to grow. She doesn’t just skirt the boundaries of the law when it suits her, she stomps on them, grinds them into dust and never looks back. She is one seriously tough, intimidating woman and if she was real, I would be tempted to knock on her door with a cup of coffee in my hand, the stories she could tell… The glimpses inside her head as she struggles to work out a case always draws me in, it’s like watching an extremely complicated puzzle being put together. Sometimes you think you have everything in the right spot until just a couple of pieces don’t fit exactly right, but then, you have an AHA moment and it all makes sense. Brigid always fits it all together faster than me, and that’s exactly how I like it as I don’t want to be able to figure it all out alone. Masterman is now an autobuy author for me and I can’t wait for book four, what a brilliant series this is. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Minotaur Books for my review copy. 

Audiobook Review: The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller 

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: August 9, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Genre: Chick Lit

Narrator: Jorjeana Marie

A full-hearted novel about a big-city baker who discovers the true meaning of home—and that sometimes the best things are found when you didn’t even know you were looking.

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.

Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.


With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.


But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.


This was a really fantastic book to listen to, I’m sure it was just as delightful to read, but there was something special about the audio version of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. The narrator was amazing, she really brought the characters to life and I can still clearly hear her melodic and pleasant voice in my head days after finishing the book. 

My favorite part about this book was the gorgeous descriptions of the food that Livvy made. Louise Miller is a pastry chef and her knowledge was so very apparent as she went into great detail about several of the recipes Livvy makes and the combination of the lovely descriptions and Marie’s soothing voice was a magical combination for me. 

The characterization was fantastic, Livvy was extremely well developed as was Margaret, her new boss at the Sugar Maple Inn. Dottie is Margaret’s best friend and Hannah is Livvy’s and both of them were well drawn as well. It follows Livvy’s life over the course of a year and is broken down into sections by season and by the end, I felt like I had really come to know and admire Livvy. She’s really quirky, a true individual who dies her hair every color of the rainbow depending on her mood and she plays the banjo. 

This was a warm, cozy read that made me smile, but there were also tender, sad scenes that touched me as well. Miller infused plenty of humor, small town charm, and heartfelt moments into a charming story about starting fresh and learning to depend on someone besides yourself. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Blogging for Books for my review copy. 

Blog Tour: Ice Cold Alice by C. P. Wilson @bellshillwilson @Bloodhoundbook

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: April 12, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 


They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID. 

This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind. 

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts. But McGuire might have met her match… 

What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands? 

Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante? 

I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Ice Cold Alice today!


Oohh I love a good female serial killer novel, I realize that says…something about me and I’m ok with that! This was a super fast paced read, I think I may even have whiplash now. 

The premise of this immediately caught my attention, as I already mentioned I love a female serial killer and combine that with a clever social media angle and I’m all in. Alice chronicles all of her kills on her blog, and at first, it garners little attention. When a celebrity shares one of her posts on twitter, it goes viral and her following grows exponentially and now the game is really on. This wasn’t full of a bunch of crazy twists, though it did have its fair share of surprises, but instead it was a good old fashioned game of cat and mouse. You have Alice, the vigilante killer targeting abusive spouses and you also have the viewpoint of Kathy, the police officer working the case. It flips back and forth between Now and Then so you see what pushed Alice to her breaking point and you also see Kathy climbing the ranks in the department. These are two strong women who have a lot more in common than you would think. 

I don’t know if I’ve ever rooted for a serial killer so hard before, as much as I knew what Alice was doing was very wrong, there is still a sense of justice in her actions. It’s hard to feel bad about the death of a person who abuses their wife and kids. It ended well, but things were also left wide open for a sequel and I’m eager to see what will happen next. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy. 

About the Author: 

C.P. Wilson writes Psychological Thrillers. Ice Cold Alice is due for publication by Bloodhound Books on April 20th, 2017 and is currently being adapted to a screenplay. 

Wilson is also the author of ten works of fiction in multiple genre and one non-fiction memoir under the name Mark Wilson.

Wilson currently teaches Biology in a Fife secondary school, is one half of a parent-team to two very active children, and mentors independent authors. He writes in his spare time, in lieu of sleep.

Wilson’s short story ‘Glass Ceiling’ won first prize in May, 2015 on Spinetingler’s Short story competition. dEaDINBURGH: Vantage reached the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2014 and was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, 2015.


Review: Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman @mastermanbecky

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 


Ex-FBI Agent Brigid Quinn thinks she has a second chance at life. After too many years spent in the company of evil, she’s quit the Feds and is working out what normal is meant to feel like. She’s swapped serial killers, stakeouts and interrogation for a husband, friends and free time. But when you’ve walked in darkness for so long, can you stand the light? When a local teenager dies in a tragic drowning accident, the community thinks Brigid might be able to help comfort the family. But when she does so, something doesn’t add up. And it’s no easier at home: after a bereavement in the family, Brigid has reluctantly taken in her niece to give her a break before she starts college. Brigid’s ever-patient husband Carlo tells her they must go easy on Gemma-Kate, the grieving youngster. Which is fine, until she starts taking an unhealthy interest in dissecting the local wildlife. For Brigid, death still seems to be wherever she turns. But as she herself starts to feel unwell, it’s her own mortality that is the most troubling. And as she tries to get to the bottom of a series of allegedly accidental deaths and increasingly gruesome occurrences at home, she slowly realises that maybe this time, she’s let the darkness inside the only place she ever felt safe. Sometimes, death is closer than you think. 


There’s something special about this series, I don’t remember being this excited about discovering a new to me author, or bingeing a series in record time since I picked up Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. (I then proceeded to race to Goodreads where I found out she had a series and I never looked back) Anyway, my Becky Masterman binge has been amazingly fun and I have to thank Chelsea (again) for putting this phenomenal series on my radar. 

Things pick up shortly where the first book ended and Brigid Quinn has slipped back into her peaceful existence in Tucson, Arizona and is still married to Carlo. I may be developing a bit of a crush on him, he has the patience of a saint and as much as I like Brigid, she would be very hard to be married to. She’s taking on some cases as a PI as she physically can’t just stop investigating and life is pretty great. Then her sister in law dies and despite some reservations, she honors her promise of taking in her teenaged niece, Gemma Kate so she can establish residency for college. 

I fell more in love with Brigid in this book and it’s just as strong as the first one. She has such a powerful voice, and Masterman delved deeper into her psyche this time around. I liked finding out more about her family and though they only make a brief appearance, the insight explained a whole lot about who she is. She narrates the story in hindsight, which was so clever as she would drop subtle hints about the events to come that piqued my curiosity without giving anything away. 

This time around Brigid isn’t hunting down a mad killer, she’s searching for a danger very close to home. She’s extremely paranoid and I found myself very wary of all the characters and their motives as well. The plot twist stunned me and was executed to perfection, as this point, I don’t think Masterman can do any wrong, she’s an incredibly talented writer and Brigid is the type of character that stays on your mind long after you turn the final page. I can’t wait to dive into book three, but what will I do when I’m done, there’s no book four yet?!

Overall rating: 5/5