Monday, March 5, 2018

Review: The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls
Simone St. James

In 1950, Idlewild Hall in Vermont was a school for wayward girls, complete with its own ghost and sinister atmosphere when one of the girls went missing. In 2014 Fiona Sheridan a freelance journalist is preoccupied with the restoration of Idlewild Hall mainly because her sister's body was discovered murdered on the grounds in the 1990's. Alternating between the past and present the reader is presented with background stories of the former students and with Fiona's attempts to find out what really happened to her sister, the other girls of Idlewild and the resident ghost. She would also like to know why the new owners would want to reopen a place so tainted with history and ghosts of the past.

I found this fast pace, cleverly written tale fascinating. I can't remember the last time I stayed up half the night to finish something so good. If you're looking for a ghostly mystery with a few twists, this is the one to read.

Thanks to Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Review: The Little French Bistro

The Little French Bistro

The Little French Bistro
Nina George

Marianne is in her sixties, and she's been married to Lothar as long as she can remember. But it hasn't been a happy marriage, and while the couple is in Paris on holiday, Marianne decides to end her life by jumping into the Seine. Things don't go as planned, however, and a stranger pulls her to safety, and she is transported to hospital. Instead of recovering there and returning home to Germany with Lothar she makes a fateful decision to walk out and find her way to the sea. She has always wanted to see the ocean, and she's decided it will be a good place to end her journey in this world.

Striking out towards the coast and ending up in Brittany she is taken in by the scenery and the people. Finding temporary employment in cafe, it becomes more and more difficult for Marianne to end her life. In fact, the end has become her beginning as she finds friendship, love, happiness and belonging in the small harbor town of Kerdruc. Something she has never known before but, will she ever escape the past or will it creep up on her when she least expects it?

This warmhearted, charming story was a pleasure to read. Filled with the sites and sounds of an ancient land, known to locals as the end of the world. Marianne is a captivating character who has the will to follow her dreams even when life seems at the lowest point; reminding readers that it's never too late to dream.

Thanks to Crown Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Review: The French Girl

The French Girl

The French Girl
Lexie Elliott

 A decade ago, when six college friends were having a break at a French farmhouse a local girl, Severine disappeared. When her body is found in a well, the French police arrive in London to question, once again the group of friends. So many years have passed, and most haven't given Severine a second thought, except Kate Channing, mainly because Severine haunts her daily. When the police seem to suspect that Kate may have something to do with the murder, she realizes that her career as a fledgling headhunter in London could be damaged if the rumors spread. But, if she didn't do it who did? What about the others? Did they have motive and opportunity for murder? It's hard to believe that the dark heart of a murderer could exist within this group, and yet it must.

The French Girl was a terrific read. I felt like I knew the characters by the end of the story. This one was superbly written with a great atmosphere and an ending that was not quite what I had expected. I also loved that the author followed the characters after the murderer had been uncovered. I didn't feel that I was left hanging in the end and it provided a satisfying sense of closure to the story. Hopefully, this debut novel will lead to more exciting stories from a talented writer.

Thanks to Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: How Hard Can It Be

How Hard Can It Be?

How Hard Can It Be
Allison Pearson

Kate Redding is almost 50 and she hasn't quite come to terms with it yet. Instead she is struggling with family, career and just about everything life throws at her in the witty and laugh out loud story. Her teenage daughter Emily is distraught over a social media faux pas when this story opens. Kate isn't quite sure how to handle the problem since her own social media experience is limited. Compounding problems at home her husband has decided to retrain as a counselor, meaning he will be without an income for the next two years. Having purchased a fixer-upper which is turning into a money pit, Kate decides its time to get back into the job market. After a seven-year absence from the world of finance, this may not be as easy as it seems. Kate will just have to do what it takes to find a job in the city of London, even if that means lying about her age.

As if that is not enough there is the onset of menopause to worry about, aging parents that need to be looked after, by Kate of course and a marital relationship that has seen better days. All of which will be tested with the appearance of an old boyfriend and Kate's determination to face life head-on. It was not hard to laugh out loud and marvel at the observations made in this book.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Zen Camera

Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography

Zen Camera
David Ulrich

Zen Camera aims to help you gain a new perspective on what you see and hopefully translate that into more interesting and unique photographs. The book is divided into six lessons and designed so that it can be followed like a course. Each chapter contains an overview of the topic being covered and is followed by exercises and tips. You don't need any prior knowledge of photography, or zen for that matter but, you will need to invest a little time, patience and daily practice to see with your minds' eye.

I like the unique concept and the fact that it aims to raise awareness and creativity by finding and seeing something within, with or without a camera in hand. This is an interesting book for anyone who wants to try and create photos with more personal meaning. It doesn't require any special equipment, any camera or cell phone camera will work. This one is all about getting to know yourself and how to let the knowledge you gain shine through in your work. Hopefully, it will inspire you to see something from a totally new angle.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Sunday Silence

Sunday Silence (Frieda Klein, #7)

Sunday Silence
Nicci French

Freida Klein, prominent London psychologist is sure that the serial killer Dan Reeves is not dead. Despite the fact that no one believes her, especially the police, she knows for sure that he is alive and sending her messages. When a dead body is found in her home, the police finally start to believe her. But as soon as Freida's friends and family are targeted she is no longer sure it's the work of Dan Reeves. Could there be another killer on the loose? If there is he or she must be close at hand in order to know so much about Freida's life and work.

This gripping, fast moving tale is one that I really enjoyed. If your looking for mystery and suspense this is one not to be missed.

Thanks to William Morrow for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Follow the Money

Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill

Follow the Money
Steve Boggan

One day freelance journalist Steve Boggan had the idea of following a 10 dollar bill across America as it changed hands, in order to get a glimpse of the country and it's people. Clearly not a journey most of us would think of undertaking. But starting in Lebanon Kansas (for reasons the author will explain) he travels across numerous states, along the way meeting a host of interesting characters. Whether he found himself at a truck stop, a bar, deer hunting or chatting with Amish farmers, he was always ready to drop everything and follow the money, wherever it led.

This memorable road trip across the United States was both endearing and entertaining and maybe just a little crazy.