Coulee Chatter: Lets Chat! What Makes a Fascinating Psychopathic or Sociopathic Character? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers


In the spirit of Halloween and our fun new clip art, Norma and I decided to start a discussion post with chilling and unsettling aspects to books that have made our skin crawl or send chilling shivers up our spines.  For our first post let’s talk Psychopathic and Sociopathic characters and what makes them so fascinating and appealing to us readers.

Brenda:  The ones that are most fascinating for me are the characters that draw me right into their manipulating mind games.

Norma: Unreliable sociopathic &/or psychopathic characters are my absolute favorite characters and I find their manipulative, cunning, obsessive behaviour and twisted ways so fascinating and entertaining to read.  The more unbelievable a story is the better for me.  I like my fiction to be just that fiction!

Each of these titles has something brewing – it might be terrifying, harrowing and it might even be thrilling but it will most definitely be fun.  So come join us on this journey through some unexpected doors to places in the world of Psychological Thrillers and a few other genres and see if some of these characters will make your skin crawl.


Norma and I just recently finished reading a psychological thriller, LYING IN WAIT by LIZ NUGENT and after finishing this book we both thought wow that was one of the best psychopathic/ sociopathic characters we have ever read.  So it got me thinking about what makes for a fascinating psychopathic/sociopathic character? And what are some other books that we thought were the best ones that we have read.

Here are a few of our favorite psychopathic/sociopathic characters described in 5 words or less:

Lying in WaitLying in Wait by Liz Nugent

This title releases in Canada November 27, 2018

Psychological Thriller

Character Omitted Purposely:  Sociopathic / manipulative, cunning, controlling, and callous.

Through this door we found img_6561safe from anything too disturbing and unsettling and img_6561fun and entertaining cupcakes to consume after reading this one.

Truth and Lies (DI Amy Winter, #1)Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell

Crime Thriller

Lillian: Psychopathic serial killer / manipulative, terrifying mind games.

Things get a little more disturbing through this door and Lillian hides some of those cupcakes from us only allowing us to find img_6562safe from anything disturbing and unsettling along with img_6561entertaining cupcakes.

Watch MeWatch Me by Jody Gehrman

Psychological Thriller

Sam: Sociopathic character /  intense, obsessed, unnervingly aggressive and chilling.

Through this door, things became quite chilling and Sam was obsessed over keeping those img_6563 cupcakes safe from us but we found img_6561entertaining cupcakes when he wasn’t looking.

Into the Black Nowhere (UNSUB, #2)Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner

Suspense Crime Thriller

Character Omitted Purposely:  Psychopathic character / charismatic, cunning, arrogant with a sense of self-importance and twisted.

Through this door, I stepped into a fascinating game of cat and mouse to find img_6564safe from anything dark and disturbing.  Our psychopath here has a few elements that make them fascinating but very disturbing and a bit different from some of the other darker minds I have read with their charming and dangerous ways.  For a fascinating character, I found all the cupcakes however we cross over to more darker elements than entertaining and I found img_6563for entertainment.

Best Day EverBest Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Psychological Thriller

Of course, we have to add Paul:  Sociopathic character / controlling, unlikable narcissist, deceptive and highly entertaining.

Through this door, Sam shared  img_6561safe and entertaining cupcakes with us.

The Line That Held UsThe Line That Held Us by David Joy

Literary Fiction / Crime Mystery

Dwayne:  Psychopathic character / damaged, unpredictably dangerous, and vengeful.

Some of us reading this one were very cautious stepping through this door.  Once through this door though things get quite violent and disturbing and we found no safe cupcakes here.  I won’t describe this one as entertaining, however, Dwayne gets  img_6563for a fascinating psychopath.  David Joy even managed to make me feel some empathy for him.

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Psychological / Crime Thrillers

Some of the most fascinating psychopaths that I have read came from the Helen Grace Series.  There are seven books to this series and with the newest one being recently published in the UK.  Each psychopath has a very different, disturbing and entertaining one.

Through all these doors things are pretty dark and disturbing so no safe cupcakes were shared with us, however, all theimg_6561 cupcakes for entertaining were.

The Night BeforeThe Night Before by Wendy Walker

Expected Publication Date:  May 14th, 2019

Psychological Thriller

Character Omitted Purposely: Psychopathic character /  charming, obsessed, pathological and manipulative.

We just recently finished this one and even though we wouldn’t say our psychopath was one of the most fascinating characters, however all the characters combined here in this intense mystery were.

Through this door, we didn’t find anything dark and disturbing with our psychopath in this story.   img_6561were shared with us for our safety and entertainment.


Let’s talk!!  What do you think makes for a fascinating psychopathic or Sociopathic character?  What are some of your favorite characters and why?  Join us in sharing your favorite and describing them in 5 words or less.  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you.

First Line Fridays: Vox by Christina Dalcher @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers


First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Books. Where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our First Line Friday is for an upcoming Traveling Friends Group read that we all are pretty excited to start reading.

Vox by Christina Dalcher

If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week’s time, I wouldn’t believe them.

Goodreads Summary

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.


Have you read this one? Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start. We would love to hear from you!!!

Random Book Musings: Where do you spend your time reading? Do you have a special spot? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers


I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question.  We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do.

So this next question that we asked of the Traveling Sisters comes courtesy of Lindsay.  She has always wondered where and what we book lovers like to have close by us while we are reading and where that special comfy place to curl up with a good book is.  I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s random book question:

Where do you spend your time reading? Do you have a special spot? Is there anything in particular that you like to have with you when you read?

LC44-20Norma’s Answer Web_L337-2_brunette_brown eyes

I spend most of my time reading during my lunch break at work and in the evening’s when everyone else is in bed. I don’t really have a special spot but my son just gave us a nice leather reclinable loveseat that is equipped with drink cups as well as USB ports which I am absolutely loving. It is so comfortable and I can have my iPad plugged in while I’m reading. Very handy! I also have a Diet Pepsi with me wherever I go (I’m hooked) and always have to have one close by.

LC44-10Brenda’s Answer Web_L365-2_brunette_green-eyes

My most loved reading spot is in “my chair” in my living room.  My family leaves my chair for me and no one sits in it but me.  It’s so cute they do that.  My favorite time to curl up in it is first thing in the morning with my coffee.  I have mood cups with little motivation saying on it and I choose which one depending on my mood.   In the evening my favorite spot is in bed with a nice glass of white wine.  If it gets too late reading in bed usually leads to sleep reading.  Then in the morning when I look at discussion threads I wonder why I missed things.  lol .


LC44-14 Lindsay’s Answer Web_L353-2_blonde_blue eyes

I love discovering everyone’s most loved reading spots! Thanks for using my question Norma!! 💕 📚 

Mine is the corner of my sectional sofa in my living room. (The cushion actually has a permanent imprint of my butt 🤣). I always have a blanket on me, even in the heat of summer – crazy, I know! More of a comfort thing than a source of warmth. Along with my 75 pound Golden Retriever lap dog, I usually have a coffee or tea to accompany me. I do most of my reading in the evenings once the littles are sleeping, and if I’m lucky enough to have them napping at the same time, I get some quality reading time in the afternoon! 😍

LC44-19  Kristin’s Answer Web_L297-2_blonde_brown eyes

I love this question, and all the responses! I feel like I just got to know you all a little better through your answers ☺️

Norma: I want that chair! It’s like a reclining, cup holding, USB supporting heaven ❤️

As some of you have mentioned, I mainly read in bed at night while everyone else is asleep and all is quiet.

I too have had my kindle fall flat on my sleeping, unsuspecting face—as well as large hardcover books with book lights clipped to them 🤯

I do try to get in some daytime reading when I can, curled up on my couch with a couch cushion supporting my book. If it’s raining or snowing, that’s a drop-everything-and-reading-now kinda day. Oh, and a hot drink of some sort always tags along ❤️☺️

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

graphics by Lovelytocu

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers @SimonSchusterCA

Dear Mrs. Bird
by A.J. Pearce

img_6531Norma’s review

DEAR MRS. BIRD by A.J. PEARCE was an absolutely wonderful, charming, fun, and for the most part an all around light-hearted read that immediately grabbed my attention and had me totally engaged right to the very end. Although there were definitely some very emotional, moving and heartbreaking scenes though that pulled at my heartstrings.

A.J. PEARCE delivers an intriguing and well-written tale here with very interesting, real, and loveable characters. The story was told from the perspective of Emmeline (Emmy) Lake and the setting takes you back to the streets of London during World War II. Emmy Lake was such a delightful and fun-loving character and I thoroughly enjoyed how optimistic, caring, kind and positive she was during such a heartbreaking time.

The storyline was extremely amusing at times and I thoroughly enjoyed the advice column aspects to it and everything that it entailed from the “inappropriate topics” to Mrs. Birds intense and no-nonsense character.

After reading the Author’s Note in the end and learning how the idea of this story began and that many of the letters in DEAR MRS. BIRD were inspired by actual letters and articles from wartime magazines always brings in another added layer to the story for me. So thought-provoking and touching!

Web_L117-2_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Norma, Lindsay and I read Dear Mrs. Bird with our Traveling Friends and we all were immediately drawn into this charming, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. Things start off chirpy when we first meet ambitious, chipper, and optimistic Emmy and we were drawn into the hilarious misunderstandings, witty dialog, meddling characters and refreshing lighter tone to the story.  

A.J. Pearce does a great job giving a voice to the women at the home front though letters to an advice columnist.  We see how women put on their smiley face and tried to find a new normal during the London Blitz. We admired Emmy’s compassion to reach out to help these women find that new normal. Soon reality catches up and things start to turn darker as they start to see death and destruction around them.  The story takes on a darker tone and we didn’t except it take that turn so quickly and would of liked the pacing a bit better for that.  

The ending wraps up well and in even with the darker parts to the story it still remains an uplifting and charming story that really highlights the strength of these women!! We recommend!!

Web_L109-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

This was a light hearted romp in 1940’s London that centered around Emmeline (Emmy) Lake, a strong and determined young woman doing her part to help the war effort. Emmy finds herself employed as the typist for an eccentric and outrageous advice columnist, Mrs. Bird. While the job isn’t exactly what Emmy had hoped it would be, she puts forth her best effort and tries to help improve the columns dying fan base.

The novel gives interesting insight into a women’s side of the war effort. Women’s determination to stay strong and continue living their lives, all the while the horrendous wartime atrocities lingering in their minds. Their men gone to fight the brutal war with no end in sight, yet they continue on helping where they could while longing for their men to return home safely.

This was an entertaining story with likeable characters and witty humour. While I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, I didn’t feel completely invested in them or fully engrossed in their lives. It was more of a light, surface glimpse into their story without a true connection. The novel had a lot of sarcastic humour which had me chucking a few times, but for the most part, felt overdone. I enjoyed the advice column letters scattered throughout the novel and wished the story had a stronger focus on the column itself.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Somewhat intriguing, love the bright colors, the typeset and display of the title with the typewriter keys – very fitting!
Title: Fits the story well and love how it also plays obscurely into the story.
Writing/Prose: amusing, light, and empathically written.
Plot: Engaging, steady-paced, held my attention and extremely enjoyable.
Ending: Warming, touching, memorable and completely satisfying.
Overall: An excellent, uplifting, delightful, and heartwarming read! Would recommend!

Thank you so much from all of us to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and A.J. Pearce for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.


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

The Girl With No Name & Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers @lisareganauthor @bookouture

The Traveling Friends binged read the Detective Josie Quinn Series by Lisa Regan and this was such a fun and extremely enjoyable reading experience for all of us.  The discussion that arose from all three books was absolutely wonderful. I think it does make for a different reading experience when you binge read a series and everything is fresh in your mind and it was interesting to see how we all felt towards Josie as the stories progressed with each book.

Josie has become a favorite strong female character for some of us and we all enjoyed watching her and her relationships grow, strengthen and change with each story.  With each story we learn more about the mystery behind Josie’s demons from her past and when they are finally revealed we all were in total agreement that we just loved how it all came together.

We strongly recommend this series whether you binge read it or read one at a time slowly.


Suspenseful, thrilling & unputdownable!

THE GIRL WITH NO NAME (Detective Josie Quinn #2) by LISA REGAN is a gripping, action-packed, and an entertaining read that immediately drew me in to the characters and storyline.  This was an extremely fast-paced read that had me rapidly swiping those pages as fast as I could. Actually once I started reading this book I was fully invested in this story and read it in one day.  I couldn’t put it down. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it.

LISA REGAN delivers a character-driven story here with lots of twists and turns and extremely compelling characters.  Josie Quinn is probably one of my favorite female detectives and I am totally invested in her character. Her character is probably the best part of this series as well as the supporting cast.  It isn’t hard to get wrapped up in this book along with Josie and her team. I don’t think I was distracted once while I was reading this one.

This was a Traveling Friends Group Read and upon finishing this one I quickly read book #3 in this series and I must say that one was even better than this one and this one was one heck of a ride!

Web_L451-1_brunette_brown-eyesNorma’s Stats:
Cover: I love this cover!  I am a country gal and anything that looks rustic or haunting is very appealing to me!
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, gripping, and proficient.
Plot: Twisty, action-packed, compelling, fast-paced, held my attention fully and highly entertaining.
Ending: The ending was pleasing and satisfying but just made me want more Josie so upon finishing this one went right into reading the next in the series, HER MOTHER’S GRAVE.
Overall: This series just keeps on getting better with each installment!  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Lisa Regan for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters Review for The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan


Wow! I just love this series and absolutely loved this book!  

HER MOTHER’S GRAVE (Detective Josie Quinn Book 3) by LISA REGAN was a highly entertaining, riveting, twisty, and suspenseful read that immediately grabbed my attention and held right to that very satisfying conclusion.

LISA REGAN delivers an absolutely fabulous story here with compelling characters and a gripping storyline that takes us back to Josie’s childhood. The story is told through flashback chapters when Josie was young and in the present with a new case that she is investigating.  I really enjoyed the flashback chapters and thought it flowed perfectly with the present case which added quite a bit of suspense to the story for me. All the mysteries and how they all tied together was perfectly executed.

I really enjoyed learning about Josie’s past and all the things that she endured in the hands of her mother.  But, it definitely wasn’t easy to read – it was quite intense, disturbing, and definitely pulled at my heartstrings.

This was an extremely fast-paced read that had me rapidly swiping those pages as fast as I could – in fact I binged read Book 2 and Book 3 with my Traveling Friends. This series is that good!

Web_L339-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Stats:
Cover: Cover love!  I am a country gal and anything that looks rustic or haunting is very appealing to me!  Out of all three books in this series I would say this is my favourite.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and loved how it played so cleverly into the plot.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, solid, gripping, and proficient.
Plot: Dark, gritty, action-packed, enthralling, suspenseful, held my attention fully and highly entertaining.
Ending: Shocking, satisfying, and took me by surprise.  I didn’t see that ending coming at all!
Overall: The drama, revelations, suspense, thrills, chills, and those shocking twists and turns definitely made me one happy and totally satisfied reader upon closing this book. This was my absolute favourite book from the Josie Quinn series and I can hardly wait to read the next installment!  Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Lisa Regan for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters Review for Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan


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

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston #travelingsistersread


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and that we have yet to read.  It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

I am posting in tandem with Christina from Recipe and a Read.  Her excitement and enthusiasm over starting The Little Shop of Found Things has us so excited that we can’t wait to read it. This sister sure knows how to bring on the excitement and get us cheering for our next read.  We are looking forward to a change of pace with this one and it looks like just the right one to get us dancing in a coulee.

Goodreads summary

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

About the author

Paula Brackston (aka PJ Brackston)is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014).

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book ‘Nutters’ (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.


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