Book Review | Midnight on the River Grey | Blog Tour!


Welcome to the Blog Tour for Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Midnight on the River Grey
Author:
Abigail Wilson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
July 2, 2019
Genre: Historical Suspense/Gothic Romance

She knew the house was keeping secrets. If only the darkness would speak . . .

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

After reading the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued.  I love a good mystery, and that is something Midnight on the River Grey definitely has!

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Book Review | Ornamental Graces

Ornamental Graces.jpgTitle: Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

Pages: 366

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Christian/Catholic

Publisher: Multa Verba Publishing (Oct. 11th, 2016)

Summary

After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend.

Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of—sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.

Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?

Ornamental Graces 

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

As many of you probably already know, I love Christmas so much!  So, when I received Ornamental Graces for review, I was quite excited.  I’m a sucker for a Hallmark Christmas movie, and this book sounded just like one.  While I ended up enjoying this one just as much as any Hallmark movie, it was so much more than that, too!

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Book Review | Girl, Wash Your Face

girl wash your face.jpgTitle: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Pages: 240

Genres: Nonfiction, Self-help

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Feb. 6th, 2018)

Summary

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.

Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

what i thought

After hearing so much hype about Girl, Wash Your Face, I was so intrigued.  It’s not the type of book I typically read, but since it was the January pick for the Book Lovers Book Club, I was excited to give it a read and see what I thought!

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Book Review | The Grownup

the grownup.jpgTitle: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Pages: 64

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Crown (Nov. 3rd, 2015)

Summary

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

The Grownup
what i thought

The Grownup is the first book I’ve ever read by Gillian Flynn, so going into it, I didn’t quite know what to expect.  I knew her books were a wild ride, but I did not know quite how wild this book would be!

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Book Review | Tied to Deceit | Tied to Deceit Blog Tour!

Tied to Deceit tour banner new.jpg

Hey everyone!  To celebrate the recent release of Tied to Deceit by debut novelist, Neena H. Brar, I’m reviewing the book for my stop on the blog tour!

BOOK COVER PIC.jpg

Title: Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar

Pages: 328

Genres: Mystery

Published by: Penguide (Aug. 4th, 2018)

Summary

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.

As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.

Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.

Praise for Tied to Deceit:

“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise.

Brar enhances her taut murder mystery with an engaging setting that effectively incorporates the local culture. The smart, believable denouement will have readers looking forward to Brar’s next endeavor.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“A literary mystery saga that includes far more depth and psychological and cultural insights than your typical murder mystery’s scenario.”

-D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Tied to Deceit

What I Thought

When I first read the synopsis for Tied to Deceit, I was instantly intrigued! I love a good mystery, and this one looked like it would not disappoint.

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Book Review | The Ugly Teapot

the ugly teapot.jpgTitleThe Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes

Pages: 205

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure

Published by: Self-published (March 30th, 2016)

Summary

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world. 

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special. 

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do. 

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . . 

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.

The Ugly Teapot: Book One: Hannah

What I Thought

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author!*

When I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I instantly said yes.  The plot sounded so intriguing.  Plus, it just looked like such a fun middle grade read.  This book, while I ended up not loving it, still has a lot of appeal.

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Book Review | Spellbook of the Lost and Found

31456593Title: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Pages: 357

Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Mystery

Published by: Kathy Dawson Books (Aug. 8, 2017)

Summary

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

What I Thought

I found out about this book when I was reading about upcoming 2017 releases, and after reading the summary, I just had to read this book! Plus, look at that gorgeous cover!  I wish I could say I ended up loving this book as much as I thought I would, but unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened.

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Book Review | The Haunting of Hill House

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Title: The Haunting of Hill House

Pages: 182

Genres: Horror, Classic, Mystery, Fiction

Published by: Penguin Classics (Nov. 28, 2006 [originally 1959])

Summary

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

The Haunting of Hill House

What I Thought

A couple years ago, I read the short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson.  It was the first time I had read anything by her, and I found it so creepy.  So, when I discovered The Haunting of Hill House, I thought it would be a perfect Halloween read.  I wanted to read it last year, but I didn’t get a chance, so I’m so happy I finally got to read it this year!

I found the premise of this book to be very intriguing.  All the guests, who all live very different lives, are invited to stay in a haunted house to see how they experience its hauntings.  All the characters were very well-written, and I feel like each one helped make the story what it was.  I felt like Eleanor made the perfect view-point character.

I really loved Shirley Jackson’s writing in this novel.  It is so atmospheric, without being overly so.  Also, unlike some classics, it’s writing is very straight to the point, without any unnecessary descriptors.

Also, while the book is eerie, and it definitely has its moments, it’s still not as scary as I anticipated.  I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat, so that didn’t bother me, but it might be a bit disappointing if you love horror, and are expecting this book to be super scary.  Still, let’s just say though, I personally, would never want to live in Hill House!

I really loved the book up until the ending.  Personally, I found it to be a bit disappointing.  I expected more.  That being said, I know a lot of people found the ending to be perfect, so maybe you’ll love!

Overall, aside from the ending, I really enjoyed this book.  I found it spooky, but not terrifying, and it was the perfect book to read during Halloween time.  I would definitely recommend this book to those who love classic horror fiction, or anyone looking for something spooky to read.

3 stars 2


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Book Review | Hopeless

15717943.jpgTitle: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Pages: 408

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult

Published by: Atria Books (May 7, 2013)

Summary

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

What I Thought

Hopeless is the second Colleen Hoover book that I’ve read.  The first one was Maybe Someday, and you can check out my review for that one here, and while it was good, I didn’t love it.  Because of that I was a bit more tentative going into this book.  There were parts I loved about Hopeless, and other parts that, quite frankly, I didn’t like at all.

Okay, I don’t want to be super negative, so I’ll get what I disliked out of the way first.  Honestly, I didn’t like Holder – especially in the beginning of the novel.  Keeping it spoiler free, he comes off as incredibly creepy and controlling.  In the beginning of Sky and Holder’s relationships, all sorts of red flags were going off in my head about him, and it bothered me how those issues were never truly addressed.  Holder was just written off as “passionate.” Umm…no thank you.  Call it whatever you want, but I’m going to tell you it was abusive.  I almost didn’t finish this book because of him.  His character does flip about halfway through the book, and he no longer comes across as abusive, but his behavior in the beginning of the book really turned me off of his character, and quite frankly, part of the story.

That being said, I’m glad I did stick around to read the end!  The rest of the characters are quite interesting.  I really did like Sky and her best friend.  I wish Six, her friend, had been in the story more.

Also, this book had so many plot twists and unexpectedness that I was fly through the pages after the halfway point.  My emotions were all over the place while reading it!

Just a head’s up though, this book is very intense!  There are a lot of heavy topics in this book, and honestly, it was almost too much for me to read at time.  Don’t go into this book expecting something romantic and fun.  No, the whole book isn’t heavy, but when it is, it really is.

Overall, this is another Colleen Hoover book that I liked, but didn’t love.  The ending of this book really redeemed the entire story for me, but I don’t like romance books where I don’t like the love interest, and I didn’t like Holder.  I wish I liked her books more, but I don’t think I’m on the Colleen Hoover train just yet.  I think if you’re a fan of romance novels, but are looking for more depth, and don’t mind some heavy themes, then Hopeless is definitely the book for you!

3 stars 2


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Book Review | Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

32946791.jpgTitle: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Pages: 262

Genres: Mystery, Adventure, YA, Middle Grade

Published by: Amazon Digital Services (Nov. 30, 2012)

Summary

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world! 

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)

 

What I Thought

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  A huge thank you to the author for sending me a copy!*

When I found out this book was described as a mix between Nancy Drew, Pippi Longstocking, and Amelia Earhart, I knew I had to read it!  If you’ve been following my blog and social media for a while, you know Nancy Drew is one of my favorite fictional characters, and I’ve always loved Pippi Longstocking as well.  Plus, I’m from Ohio, “the birthplace of aviation.” 😆 So really, this book seemed perfect for me.

I want to start by saying I loved Kitty Hawk!  She was such a strong, brave, independent character.  I loved her thirst for adventure, and the fact that she was able to fly a plane so well was really cool to me.  She really did remind me of Nancy Drew, which is always a plus to me!

Something I really appreciated in this book were the maps that were included.  Honestly, I don’t know much about Alaska, and especially where certain cities and locations are, and the little maps helped SO much.  I was really able to see where Kitty Hawk was at and where she was going, and it gave me more of an idea on what it was like traveling to the different places.

Another thing I liked, and yet at the same time disliked a little, was all the information in this book.  I learned so many interesting facts about Alaska and the Yukon Gold Rush, and I really appreciated the work and effort that the author must have went through to make sure things were accurate.  That being said, I almost felt like there was a little too much information at times.  There were chapters where I felt like I was almost being given information overload, or like I was reading a textbook.

I will say, though, I loved the plot.  The mystery was fun and exciting, and very unpredictable.  There were several plot twists that I did not see coming at all!  Plus, the chapters in this book were very short, which is something I loved, because it gave me the excuse to read “just one more chapter” quite often!  I will say, it’s described as a young adult book, but it really felt more like a middle grade book to me.  I think I would have really loved this book at 13.

Overall, this was really a fun, adventurous read.  Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold was very original, and I really appreciated that.  Honestly, I could see the Kitty Hawk series as a TV show.  It gave me 90’s – early 2000’s PBS Kids vibes.  Remember shows like Wishbone and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?  I could definitely see a show like that for Kitty Hawk!  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for adventure and to learn something new, especially for those who love Alaska.

3 stars 2


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