Posted in Book Reviews

Sing Along: Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @bookouture #BlogTour

I’m really happy to share my stop on the blog tour for Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea with Ali The Dragon Slayer!

annie's lovely choirTitle: Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea
Author: Liz Eeles
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: May 18th 2017
Format: eARC
Number of pages: 331
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When twenty-nine-year-old Annie Trebarwith receives an unexpected letter from a great-aunt she’s never known, she leaves her shoebox-sized flat in London and catches a train to the rugged Cornish coast.

Salt Bay is beautiful and Annie begins to kindle a bond with her great-aunt Alice. Even though there is zero phone signal and the locals – including the gorgeous but brooding Josh Pasco – can be decidedly grumpy at times, Annie starts to feel at home in Salt Bay.

Soon Annie’s love of music leads her to relaunch the Salt Bay Choral Society, and she’s surprised to see how just much the choir means to the community – and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior…

But London is calling Annie back, and she has to make a decision. Give up her old life completely, or leave Salt Bay, her new-found family – and the choir – behind?

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is a heart-warming story about family, belonging and the healing power of music, perfect for fans of Jo Thomas, Holly Martin and Carole Matthews.

Continue reading “Sing Along: Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @bookouture #BlogTour”

Posted in Book Reviews

Dartense: the dark/intense Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson #BlogTour @OrendaBooks @JoGustawsson

I can finally open my mouth and let go of all the feelings Block 46 stirred in me! It was hell not to share, and the story is still so vivid in my mind. Let’s unleash the beast… Or beasts.

block 46Title: Block 46
Author: Johana Gustawsson
Publisher: Orenda Books
Date of publication: May 15th 2017
Format: eARC
Number of pages: 300
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light. Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

Continue reading “Dartense: the dark/intense Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson #BlogTour @OrendaBooks @JoGustawsson”

Posted in Book Reviews

Tipping the Scale of Justice: Two Lost Boys, LF Robertson #BlogTour @TitanBooks @laroquette88

I am very excited to be today’s stop on Titan Books’ blog tour for Two Lost Boys and I wish the author a fantastic publication day!

two lost boysTitle: Two Lost Boys
Author: L. F. Robertson
Publisher: Titan Books
Date of publication: May 16th 2017
Format: eARC
Number of pages: 352
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Over-worked, underpaid, and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted fifteen years ago along with his brother Emory of kidnapping, rape and murder of two prostitutes, but Janet discovers a series of errors made by his previous lawyers. Andy may well be guilty of something, but what?

Continue reading “Tipping the Scale of Justice: Two Lost Boys, LF Robertson #BlogTour @TitanBooks @laroquette88”

Posted in Book Talk, The Pub Corner

The Pub Corner: You Don’t Put Donna in a Box

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An innocent question we are often asked. Well, the layman version is “What kind of books do you read” and I have to answer that at every family gathering.

There is no right or wrong answer. We’re allowed to enjoy several genres, even ALL genres if we want to! Why not? No one will smack your head with an encyclopedia if you cross an invisible line and pick a book they don’t expect you to.

But I did notice that the more I read, the pickier I become. When I started blogging, I would say “Oh, I love crime stories, but nothing too gruesome.” Fair enough. Since then, I learned a lot about my reading habits and genres.

I can now proudly say I cannot resist a psychological thriller, that the suspected husband trope is my downfall, and that I would give all my chocolate bars for a well-executed police investigation or my collection of socks for an unreliable character to root for.I look for details that make a good book an excellent one, I swear and I get frustrated when my expectations aren’t met. Books taught me a lot about myself, what I can take, and what I’d better stay away from. I believe this is the difference between a casual reader and the devourers of books that we are. Our brains get trained to look for certain things, our nails accept the fact they will be bitten because of a chilling story, our eyes learn to fly over the pages. We just grow with every story.

But I refuse to be put in a box!

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I call this freedom. And we are free to open up to the entire world. Or worlds. Assuming your favorite genre doesn’t put you in said genre’s jail.

Why?

Because despite my unconditional love for women in terrible situations or hard-boiled detectives, I can also appreciate different dishes and learn to enjoy other things. Battles (when they are not too long!) cheesy moments, meetings with fae, the making of viruses. It usually requires a little more effort on my part to get into those stories, but stepping out of your comfort zone can be so rewarding. I have learned about and from fairy tales, magic realism, coming of ages stories. I must admit they also are very welcome after a row of very very heavy and dark stories!

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I say yes to favorite genres and no to limitations! I say yes to readers making the jump to try new things! Go out there, pick that book (no, not Lolita, it’s not worth it!)

The world is gigantic and your next adventure is waiting. Maybe try a different shelf! 😉

This was a (useless) message from the Bookish Organization of Donna shared with you after a terrible fight interesting discussion about the importance of opening our minds to different genres, cultures, countries, and authors.

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Where’s your comfort zone? Do you dare step out of it? 

Posted in Book Reviews

After the Butterfly Effect… Meet: The Cobra Effect, by Christy Esmahan @ChristyEsmahan

the cobra effect
Title: The Cobra Effect
Author: Christy Esmahan
Date of publication: November 27th 2016
Format: eBook
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐and a half!

Cory Banks, a workaholic researcher, has been focused on one goal his entire life: finding a way to clean up the oceans. Living in India, he genetically engineers a bacterial strain that will degrade plastics. Disaster strikes and the bacteria grow out of control, eating holes in boats, buoys, life jackets, etc. Desperate to stop the bacteria, Cory comes up with a plan to create a virus that will specifically attack them. But to do this he needs the help of a virologist and there’s only one person who is skilled enough to handle this emergency on short notice. Her name is Sarah Spallanzani and she also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. Having recently finished her travails in The Laptev Virus, Sarah agrees to take on the problem. But tension mounts when Sarah discovers a second bacterial strain and suspects Cory of sabotage.

Continue reading “After the Butterfly Effect… Meet: The Cobra Effect, by Christy Esmahan @ChristyEsmahan”

Posted in Book Reviews

Steamy Review: Kane by Jillian Quinn @jquinnbooks

kaneTitle: Kane (Face-off series book 2)
Author: Jillian Quinn
Publisher: Penn Publishing
Date of publication: April 12th 2017
Format: eARC
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

As the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Tyler Kane has an ego the size of his hockey stick. He’s hot as puck, outscores all the centers in the league, and can get any girl he wants. Except the girl he wants is off-limits, a constant reminder of the bad decisions he made in the past. Until he meets Kennedy Lockwood, a feisty sports reporter that challenges Tyler and forces him out of his comfort zone.

He should leave her alone and spare her the drama that comes with his life outside the rink. But she insists there’s more to his story, wants to crack the ice around his heart and expose his secrets in the process. When Tyler agrees to an exclusive interview with Kennedy, he had every intention for it to end with smoking hot sex.

But he didn’t realize the sexy blonde who writes about hockey players and their big sticks would be the one to hit him the hardest.

Kane is a standalone hockey romance novel with a HEA and the second book in the Face-Off Series. This book can be read without reading the first book, but it is recommended to read them in order.

Continue reading “Steamy Review: Kane by Jillian Quinn @jquinnbooks”

Posted in Book Reviews

Got a Secret? ARC Review: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @bookouture

the darkest lies

Title: The Darkest Lies
Author: Barbara Copperthwaite
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: May 12th 2017
Format: ARC
Number of pages: 433
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk? 

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.

Continue reading “Got a Secret? ARC Review: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @bookouture”

Posted in Mental Health

Blog Therapy n°2: Mental Health Month and Election Day

May is Mental Health Month. Thanks for blogging or I would never have known! Okay, it might be because it’s an American thing and I do not currently live there. But mental health is important everywhere and I wish my country would take such initiatives.

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As you may know, today is a big day for France. We are voting to elect our next president. When I woke up with morning, I had the same pit in my stomach as I had the day the orange puppet of a US President was elected. This doesn’t bode well.

They say “Don’t talk politics if you want to keep your friends.” Well, for me today, it’s vote for worse or worst. I do not recognize myself in either party or face representing it. The placards everywhere don’t help, they make me want to run over them. (If you disagree, it’s fine. All opinions are valid here.)

Then you have the TV coverage. Hours of debat. Scandals. Who did what. Who hid what. I feel the world has lost sight of what is important and we are rushing through space into a giant wall.

Now, what’s the link between Mental Health and the election, except that both make me want to scream and hide? I can’t recall one of our candidates mentioning the subject of mental illnesses. Security, terrorism, money. Oh, they love those! It creates a fearful atmosphere and keeps people scared of their neighbors. And I realized this relentless talking about the scenarios, the plans, the numbers, had an effect on me and my anxiety. All this fuss which is supposed to bring us together and unite a nation, bear the values of a country, have only managed to make me sick.

So today, I’m voting. Then I’m shutting myself out from everything.

Mental health is about taking care of yourself. Today more than ever for me.

I decided I needed a post to vent, and to share my ways of taking a step back and be gentle with myself. So here is my plan for the next 24 hours!

Continue reading “Blog Therapy n°2: Mental Health Month and Election Day”