Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey @SimonSchusterCA @NetGalley #bookreview

Action-packed, intense, & thrilling!

WOMAN ON THE EDGE by SAMANTHA M. BAILEY is a gripping, captivating, and suspenseful thriller that weaves quite the palpable and emotional story. I was immediately hooked and was so gripped with what I was reading that I was frantically swiping those pages as fast as I possibly could to reach that very satisfying conclusion.

SAMANTHA M. BAILEY delivers a foreboding, complex, intriguing and propulsive read here with quite the compelling and realistic characters. I was emotionally connected to both of our main characters here and the storyline. Nicole’s anxiety really rang true and I totally felt for Morgan. And I definitely needed to know what the connection was between them. I was definitely rooting for a happy ending for both Morgan and Quinn.

The story is told from alternating timelines and perspectives which definitely kept me interested and fully immersed in this tale.

This story is not perfect by no means as there were some little things here and there that I thought could have been a little bit better portrayed but all in all I was thoroughly entertained, intrigued and engaged.

To sum it all up it was a brisk, interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable read with a very satisfying ending that definitely kept me on the edge-of-my-seat. I would recommend it!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Samantha M. Bailey for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. It was an absolute pleasure!

Book Blurb from Goodreads

A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps…

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life. 

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle @goodreads @AtriaBooks

Soul-stirring, striking, & an unexpected gem!

IN FIVE YEARS by REBECCA SERLE is an engaging, touching, heartwarming, and absolutely beautiful story of love and friendship that I was immediately drawn into and quickly devoured. The storyline definitely kept me intrigued and took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride right to the very end.

REBECCA SERLE delivers a fantastic, captivating, emotional and beautifully written story here with some startling twists and turns that will definitely give you all the feels. The characters are so relatable and genuine that it is extremely easy to get emotionally attached to them and be fully absorbed in their lives. I was thoroughly impressed with the storytelling here and the direction that this story took was downright ingenious. You think you know what is going on but wait, what just happened? Totally surprising the reader, well me anyway. There were definitely some aspects to this story that kind of ruffled my feathers a little bit but on reflection I thoroughly enjoyed how everything played out.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: N/A this time around because my ARC didn’t have a finished cover.
Title: Intriguing, effective, relevant, emotive, meaningful, and a significant representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, witty, engaging, readable, and beautiful. I absolutely loved the writing style!
Plot: Intriguing, unpredictable, poignant, emotional, twisty, heartwarming, touching, moving, thought-provoking, insightful, entertaining, captivating, and steadily-paced.
Ending: An emotional, thought-provoking, and slightly vague ending which I thought worked out very well.
Overall: 4.5 Stars rounded up! Our main character here, Dannie totally captured my heart and fully consumed my thoughts while I was reading this story. I highly recommend it!

This book is available now!

Thank you so much to Mimi from Goodreads for the ARC.

Book Blurb from Goodreads

Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams @BerkleyPub

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is now available!!! We are excited to bring you our reviews for this highly anticipated book for us that left us wanting more from this book club. We look forward to the next book Crazy Stupid Bromance.

Undercover Bromance is the second book to the Bromance Book Club featuring members of a all male romance book club. We fell in love with this group of entertaining, loveable men who read and discuss romance novel in the first book. Here in this story Mack and Liv (sister-in-law of Gavin) take centre stage.

Norma’s review

Amusing, heartwarming, and dreamy!

I absolutely fell in love with The Bromance Book Club and could not wait to read this book. I thought this was just as amazing as the first book and thoroughly enjoyed Mack & Liv’s love story just as much as I did Gavin & Thea’s.

UNDERCOVER BROMANCE (Bromance Book Club #2) by LYSSA KAY ADAMS is a charming, delightful, fun, sweet, witty, adorable, romantic, and brisk read that was absolutely unputdownable. Even though it was mostly a lighthearted read with plenty of laugh out loud moments it also tackles an important topic of sexual harassment in the workplace which was a little maddening and tough to read at times. Royce’s character really irked the heck out of me.

LYSSA KAY ADAMS delivers quite the exciting, entertaining, and sexy story here that has so much heart and is packed full of swoon-worthy awesomeness. I loved the book club aspect and the addition of the farm where Liv lived was such a delight to read. The secondary characters were just as important to the storyline as the main players were.

I absolutely loved the enemies to lovers trope here with Liv and Mack. Both of their characters were so entertaining and I loved the dynamics between the two of them that had me rooting for them all the way to their happy ending.

Brenda’s review

Trickle me red!! Is it hot in here or is it just me after reading Undercover Bromance. Lyssa Kay Adams turns up the heat here in this story in more ways than one.

Things get heated here between Liv and her formal celebrity chef boss after she witnesses him harnessing an employee. When Mack and members of the Bromance Book Club find out they assist her in bringing down the chef for his actions.

Things also get heated in a different way between our enemies to lovers Mack and Liv. The banner between them left me laughing out loud, cringing with the exhausting at times bickering and blushing like a red velvet cupcake. I myself had a love-hate relationship here with the dynamics between them.

I can be one tough cookie when it comes to rom-com and the lighter side of some important issues used, and that overthinker in me takes over. The sexual harassment storyline missed the mark for me and I struggled with letting that go as I was reading it.

Overall I really enjoyed Uncover Bromance and recommend it to readers looking for a fun, entertaining read with a little steam it. I look forward to the third book Crazy Stupid Bromance.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Fun, eye-catching, relevant, appealing, bright, intriguing and an effective representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, clever and I loved how meaningful it was in relation to the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, fresh, clever, engaging, captivating, humorous, fluid and charming.
Plot: Steamy, fun, delightful, adorable, lighthearted, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and highly entertaining.
Ending: A swoon-worthy, happy and satisfying ending.
Overall: A romantic comedy that is packed full of heart and absolutely unputdownable. I had so much fun reading this extremely engrossing, enjoyable & entertaining book. I also really appreciated the message here about us women standing up for ourselves and fighting against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace! Let me tell you it isn’t all that easy to do and this definitely struck a chord with me because I have personal experience with sexual harassment in the workplace. Would highly recommend!

Thanks so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our copies of this fabulous book to read!

Behind the Pages Q&A with Samantha Downing @smariedowning

Samantha Downing joined us in our Behind the Pages Goodreads group to discuss My Lovely Wife with us and we are very excited to share some the Q & A with you all here today.

The paperback version of My Lovely Wife is now available!!! Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.

Brenda Welcome, Samantha! Thank you so much for joining us! I loved My Lovely Wife and I am excited about the paperback release because I think it is one everyone needs to read. We read My Lovely Wife in two different reading groups and we all loved it! It made for an exciting discussion. Tell us a little bit about how this journey has been like for you

Samantha Hello everyone! Thank you for having me!

This journey has been really exciting. I can’t explain how thrilling it is to have people read something that you’ve been working on for so long! Publishing is a long process, but to be able to see your book on the shelves makes it all worth it. I’m grateful to be a published author!

Norma Hi Samantha and welcome! Thank you so much for joining us! I absolutely LOVED My Lovely Wife! It was a favourite and I always recommend it first to anyone who asks me what my favourite thriller is. How much time do you spend promoting? It must be fun seeing all the positive feedback. Tell us how that feels.

Samantha I try to spend as much time as I can promoting my book! I’m on social media every day, interacting with people as much as possible. And I have signings whenever I can. I also go to writer’s conferences, which are really fun.

The positive feedback is really incredible, especially for this book. It’s dark, so I didn’t know how many people would really enjoy it. I’ve been both surprised and happy that so many people like it!

Lindsay Hi Samantha! Thank you for being here with us! I LOVED My Lovely Wife! Such a brilliant and unique storyline! How did you come up with that storyline? Did something spark your initial idea for the storyline?

Samantha Thank you so much for having me! The original idea for My Lovely Wife came from a documentary about a couple who kidnapped a woman. In that case, the man was the instigator and he pretty much forced his wife to go along with it. I started wondering about it the other way around. What if the woman was the instigator? What would she look like?

So I answered my own question and came up with Millicent.

Mary Beth Yay, For Q&A with one of my favorite authors! Welcome Samantha! I loved My Lovely Wife and He Started It. I would like to know where is your favorite writing place?

Samantha Thank you so much! Oddly, I love to write in airports and on airplanes. First, because the noise is like white noise…I just filter it out. Also because I never connect to the internet in airports so it’s easy to keep focus!

Paulette Samantha welcome! My Lovely Wife what a stunning debut, it lived up to the hype hands down…. congratulations on your success. I would love to know where the inspiration for this book came from? did you find any of these characters personally relatable to you

Samantha Thank you! The original inspiration was a documentary…and then it took on a life of it’s own! I think there’s a bit of me in every character, that’s unavoidable. For example, Millicent is a control freak and so am I! Rory is very sarcastic, and I am the same way.

Also, I come from the California suburbs so that suburban life is something I know a lot about.

Terry Hi Samantha, I just wanted to tell you I loved what a smart and twisted book that was! No spoilers, but I totally was fooled and yelled “What?!?” at the ending – very entertaining!
Did you actually figure out the ending, then write the rest of the book to lead into it? It makes me want to read it over again to find clues….

Samantha I did not know that would be the ending! Because I don’t plot my books, I don’t know how they are going to turn out at first. Usually by the middle, I figure out where I want to go…but sometimes I change my mind :)Then I have to go through edits and revisions, of course!

Brenda I loved that My Lovely Wife was narrated from the husband’s perspective, rather than the wife. Why did you decide to his POV over Millicent’s?

Samantha This was very deliberate. I wanted Millicent to be seen only through her husband’s eyes, so we only see what he sees and hear what he hears. After all, this is how we know people in real life. We make judgments based on our interactions with them…we can’t ever know what is in their heads. That’s how I wanted to present Millicent, through the eyes of someone who loved her.

Brenda What I loved about My Lovely Wife is how you created a multi-dimensional couple and family. I found it fascinating to see the different sides to them as a couple, parents and the disturbing couple they were. The children brought some fascinating dynamics to the story as well.

How did you go about creating this? Did you start with the idea of them and the different sides to them, mapping it out or did they come together as you were writing?

Samantha I didn’t really map it out, because I don’t plot my books. But what I wanted to show was a very normal couple with a normal life. Because if they didn’t have a normal “front” they would get caught very quickly. People had to believe they would never do such a thing in order for them to get away with murder.

And they are very normal…until they aren’t!

Brenda I recently finished He Start It and loved it!! Can you give us a sneak-peek into it?

Samantha Thank you very much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! He Started It is about three siblings (and two spouses) who have to go a on a road trip in order to get their grandfather’s inheritance. Along the way they have to deal with family secrets, old grudges, and a lot of scores to settle.

I loved writing this book, it was so much fun, and I hope you all enjoy it as well!

Brenda I found both Millicent and Beth snarky fun and entertaining. In their voice can you tell us a little bit about each?

Samantha This is such a great question! I will give it a shot in their voices:

Millicent: I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m a wife, a career woman, and above all else, I’m a mother. That’s all you need to know. Thank you.

Beth: Look, I’m not saying I’m a bad person, per say, I’m just saying I’m not perfect. Really, who is? I don’t know. Never met anyone perfect, so don’t expect me to be

Brenda What would you like readers to get from your books?

Samantha My goal is to write the kind of book you can’t put down. I’m a reader, like everyone here, and to me there’s nothing more enjoyable than a book you can’t stand to put down. The kind of book you think about until you can pick it up again.

For me, that kind of book is usually a thriller, as that’s my favorite genre. And that’s the kind of book I hope to write. A page-turner, so to speak!

For more of our Q & A with Samantha Downing can be found here

Our Traveling Sisters reviews can be found here

Blackwood by Michael Farris Smith @HBGCanada

Sweet goodness, gracious!! Blackwood is one remarkable story that surprised me!

What a unique talent Michael Farris Smith has here with setting the powerful and distinctive tone and mood to Blackwood. I have not experienced anything like it before. It provoked a quiet feeling of bleakness, darkness and hope that whispered to me through the imagery used to the story.

The bleak, dark and sinister evil that hovers over the edges of Red Bluff, Mississippi and the story quietly started to consume me when the man, the women and the boy drift into town and awaken the evil lurking in the Kudzu. There are some dark secrets buried under a blanket of leaves that create a landscape of fear and regret that consumes these characters.

The words are written with grace and are haunting beautifully quiet. As I was reading, all I could hear was the creepy vines whispering the secrets of the past, keeping the darkness alive. There is some hope that creeps in the end, leaving me with some quiet thoughts after reading this one. I highly recommend!

Thank you to HBG Canada for my copy on NetGalley

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen @SimonSchusterCA #bookreview #travelingsistersreads

Unsettling, stunning, & evocative!

PLEASE SEE US by CAITLIN MULLEN is a raw, edgy, dark, eerie, distressing, and compelling psychological thriller that absolutely enthralled me. I was immediately taken and entranced with how mesmerizingly poetic the enigmatic narrative was that I couldn’t put this book down.

It’s a storyline that appears to be something that we have all read before but let me tell you this is nothing but as there is something a little different here that makes this quite the impressive and immersive read. There is nothing cheery here it’s a pretty bleak and hopeless story.

CAITLIN MULLEN delivers a fantastic, suspenseful, vivid, richly detailed, well-crafted and well-written story here with interesting and compelling characters. The story is told in alternating perspectives between a few key players here. The first is Clara, a young psychic, Lily who returns to her hometown of Atlantic City, and Luis who watches and knows things. Also, we hear from a set of absolutely fascinating characters the six “Janes” who are lying in the Marsh. I absolutely loved how the author gave these dead women a voice to tell us their own stories. That was so clever and such a unique spin to the storyline.

Another aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed was Clara’s visions and her tarot card readings. I find that sort of thing totally fascinating and it just adds in this extra layer of intrigue and mystery to the storyline for me.

Expected Pub Date: March 3, 2020

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, enticing, mysterious, ominous, creepy, intriguing, emotive, and an effective representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, effective, relevant, emotive, and an extremely meaningful and fitting representation to storyline. The meaning behind this title is absolutely brilliant! Love it!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, mesmerizing, engaging, readable, and beautiful. I absolutely loved the writing style!
Plot: Intriguing, eerie, evocative, emotional, suspenseful, heartbreaking, unsettling, moving, disturbing, entertaining, captivating, and fast-paced.
Ending: I thought the ending was imperfectly perfect and that’s all I’m going to say.
Overall: 4.5 Stars rounded up! Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in this richly detailed storyline that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could. I highly recommend it!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC!

Book Blurb from Goodreads

In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Chloe Benjamin, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.

Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there.

Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face. If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims?

Evocative, eerie, and compelling, Please See Us is a fast-paced psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.