2017 Book 188: THE SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS by Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett 
ISBN: 9780399585111 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780399585128 (ebook)
ASIN: B01M5FJK9W (Kindle Edition)
Publisher: Berkley 
Release Date: June 13, 2017

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive. 

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be… 





Jamie Allenby left Earth in protest of the forced emigration of so-called undesirables. She spent over thirteen years with her lover on one of the planetary outposts before leaving him and that planet for the relative solitude of the planet Soltaire. It is there that she survives a deadly viral outbreak and hopes to make it back to Earth to begin again in Anne Corlett’s The Space Between the Stars.

When we first meet Jamie, she is waking up from a brutal and deadly viral outbreak. The only information everyone appears to have received is that this virus is lethal and that only 0.0001% will survive. Although Jamie craved solitude and wide open spaces, this was not exactly how she wanted to receive it. Longing for human companionship, she leaves the rural farm on Soltaire for the space dock. It is there that she eventually meets up with two additional survivors: a former priest and scientist on a spiritual retreat. These three are very fortunate in that they are picked up by a cargo ship heading back to the larger planetary outpost of Alegria. The ship makes several pit stops along the way for fuel and brings aboard several more survivors before arriving at Alegria. At first, everyone is overjoyed to see that so many have survived the brutal outbreak. This joy quickly turns to fear when they are told that the administration on Alegria is refusing to allow anyone to leave and that they will be enforcing a “breeding” program since so many children were killed in the outbreak. Jamie and a few of her shipmates make a break for it and successfully land on Earth, but have no idea what awaits them there. Will they find any survivors? Will they be faced with a new administration trying to enforce rules for humanity’s survival? 

When I first began to read The Space Between the Stars I feared this was just going to be another dystopian space opera with shades of The Handmaid’s Tale meets Firefly/Serenity. I was pleasantly surprised (and no I won’t tell you why I was surprised, read the book to find out for yourself!). Yes, there is a dystopian governmental presence but it isn’t all-pervasive (nothing like the Alliance as seen in the television series Firefly or the movie Serenity). Yes, there is an occasional reference to religion and passing reference to a breeding program, but it is nothing like Gilead as seen in The Handmaid’s Tale. At its core, The Space Between the Stars is about a handful of survivors struggling to make sense of things and carry on. There’s the ship’s captain, Callan; the possibly autistic young man, Finn; the loner veterinarian, Jamie; the ship’s engineer, Grace; the former priest, Lowry; and the former research scientist, Rena. The bulk of the story centers on Jamie and her interaction with these five characters. I found The Space Between the Stars to be a relatively fast-paced, easy, and enjoyable read. I liked all of the characters (even the bad guys) and kept turning the pages because I had to know what would happen next. If you enjoying reading dystopian fiction, then I urge you to grab a copy of The Space Between the Stars to read. If you’re not sure about dystopian fiction but you enjoyed watching Firefly or Serenity, then I urge you to grab a copy of The Space Between the Stars to read. For those of you simply looking for something a little bit different to read, look no further and get yourself a copy of The Space Between the Stars

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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2017 Book 112: GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen
ISBN: 9780399585012 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780399585029 (ebook)
ASIN: B01KGZVR4G (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Berkley Books 
Publication Date: April 18, 2017


Hannah Monroe’s boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she’ll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth…



Hannah Monroe has everything she ever wanted. She enjoys her work and her career is on the rise. She’s paying down her mortgage on her own home. And she’s in a great relationship with a wonderful man. Hannah’s life is turned upside down when she returns home from a conference to find that the man of her dreams has disappeared. Not only has he left her, but he has removed all trace of himself from her home and their life together. Matt’s disappearance is the beginning of Hannah’s downward spiral into possible madness. She calls Matt’s employer only to find he left months ago. She calls every hotel for miles to find him. She tracks down his coworkers to see if they can reveal any clues to where he is. She even tries to find Matt’s mother, a woman she despises, to get answers only to find she’s disappeared as well. Just when Hannah feels she’s starting to come to grips with Matt’s disappearance, she begins to receive strange text messages and phone calls and it seems as if someone is coming into her home when she’s away. Has Matt returned? If these texts, calls, and visits aren’t from Matt, who are they from and why? Why did Matt leave the way he did? Hannah is desperate to find answers to these questions and more, but will she be willing to accept the truth if she ever finds it?

I found Gone Without A Trace to be a fast-paced and engaging read. Ms. Torjussen has crafted a story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the bitter end. Initially, I felt sorry for Hannah, but the more I read the more I realized that all is not as it appears (no, I won’t tell you any more…read the book!). Ms. Torjussen introduces us to only a handful of characters and they all come across as deeply flawed in some way. Hannah’s past is slowly revealed as the story develops and the reader gradually comes to understand that her childhood was far from idyllic. Her father was and continues to be abusive and very manipulative, with her mother often being the victim of that abuse. Hannah’s best friend seems to epitomize passive-aggressive behavior and isn’t very likable. I found Gone Without A Trace to be a chilling psychological thriller and suspenseful read. There’s a lot going on in this story and if I revealed it all you wouldn’t need to read it, but here’s a partial list: childhood abuse, spousal abuse, anger management issues, and murder. If you enjoy reading stories with unreliable narrators or a good thrill, then you’ll definitely want to add Gone Without A Trace to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Torjussen in the future. 


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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2016 Book 129: FINDING FRASER by KC Dyer

Finding Fraser by KC Dyer 
ISBN: 9780399584367 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780399584374 (ebook)
ASIN: B01C9379K4 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: May 3, 2016 (paperback)
Publisher: Berkley


I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser? 



Emma Sheridan has just turned 29 and the only thing she knows for certain is that she can’t go on with things the way they are. After being fired from her job, she opts to sell almost all of her worldly possessions and begin a quest to find her dream man in Finding Fraser by KC Dyer.

Emma’s not quite sure what she wants out of life, but she’s almost positive she’ll find it Scotland. Her sister, her younger and quite accomplished sister, Sophia feels that Emma has lost her mind, but this doesn’t deter Emma from her goals. Her journey begins with a pseudo-travel blog entitled FindingFraser.com and she chronicles her travels and quest to find the perfect Scots modeled after her hero, Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series. Emma’s travels begin with a bus trip from Chicago to New York, with a quick stop in Philadelphia where she gets to briefly meet Herself (a.k.a. Diana Gabaldon) and have her copy of Outlander signed, hooks up with the Beauchamp Belles (if you have to ask you obviously aren’t a die-hard Outlander series fan), and runs into (figuratively and literally speaking) Scottish author Jack Findlay. Shortly after arriving in Scotland, she’s robbed of her computer, cash, prepaid credit cards, and even her contact lenses by a friendly traveler con-artist. Emma cashes in her return plane ticket and heads for the Scottish highlands, where she helps deliver a baby, assist in the delivery of twin lambs, and gets a job (illegally) as a waitress/barista in a local café. She also meets Hamish, a local mechanic that’s in love with California and 80s American rock music, and quickly presumes he is the love interest she’s been searching for . . . or is he? Will Emma find true love or return to Chicago with little to show for her efforts?

I found Finding Fraser to be a fast-paced and engaging read. Ms. Dyer has filled the book with humor, romance, and a heroic quest for love that becomes one of self-discovery. Emma is a deeply flawed, quirky, often naive, and lovable character. Her story is partially told by blog entries—complete with blog comments, as well as beautiful prose highlighting her interactions with Hamish, her co-workers, her landlord, author Jack Findlay, and others. Finding Fraser is part romance, part self-discovery, and part comedy with hints of sadness that are all too realistically told. I smiled and laughed while reading this story and felt very protective of Emma by the end, as if she was a younger relative in need of looking after. Did I enjoy reading Finding Fraser? Yes! If you’re looking for a quirky, yet poignant romance to read then look no further, Finding Fraser is just the book for you. Don’t think you’re a romance reader? Then Finding Fraser may just be the book to change your mind. Seriously, you need to put Finding Fraser on your TBR list, then set aside a few hours to read (and hopefully, enjoy) this book. 

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Book Spotlight: FINDING FRASER by KC Dyer

Finding Fraser by KC Dyer
ISBN: 9780399584367 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780399584374 (ebook)
ASIN: B01C9379K4 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: May 3, 2016 (paperback)
Publisher: Berkley


I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser? 



Praise for Finding Fraser:


“Jamie Fraser would be Deeply Gratified at having inspired such a charmingly funny, poignant story–and so am I.” -Diana Gabaldon, author of the New York Times Bestselling OUTLANDER series

“I loved this book. It transported me to a Scotland I wished I’d grown up in. Everything about it is a delight, and it’s all authentic–the environment, the characters, the dialogue and the sheer enjoyment of it all.” – Jack Whyte, best-selling author of, most recently, THE GUARDIANS OF SCOTLAND series

“FINDING FRASER is for everyone who ever fell in love with a fictional character. Dyer blends humor, a love of Scotland, and romance into a page-turner that will keep readers cheering on the main character and turning pages.” -Eileen Cook, Author of Remember, and other books for teens and adults

“FINDING FRASER is an absolute must-read for any Outlander fan. The story is both hilarious and romantic, as well as guaranteed to have readers turning the pages until the wee hours to discover if the heroine finds her very own Jamie Fraser.” – Laura Bradbury, author of the best-selling MY GRAPE ESCAPE series 



The Author:

KC Dyer resides in the wilds of British Columbia in the company of an assortment of mammals, some of them human. She likes to walk in the woods and write books.


Connect with the author:     Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter 



The Book Diva’s Reads is giving away one digital copy of Finding Fraser by KC Dyer. This giveaway is open to US residents only and the winner will have the option of choosing to receive an ebook copy from one of the following vendors: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo. This giveaway ends 11:59 PM ET on May 5th and the winner will be chosen and announced by 10:00 AM ET on May 6th.

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2015 Book 365: THE SEAFRONT TEAROOM by Vanessa Greene

The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene 
ISBN: 9780425281260 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780698195790 (ebook)
ASIN: B00U5L7T9E (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 1, 2015 
Publisher: Berkley


The first rule of afternoon tea: never rush. Take time to savor it. Just like friendship…

The Seafront Tearoom is an insider secret in small-town Scarborough – a beachfront haven with the best tea and cakes in town – and  journalist Charlie Harrison would love to put it on the map with a feature in her magazine. But single mom Kat Murray doesn’t want to see her favorite sanctuary overrun by tourists and begs Charlie to seek out other options. She offers her help, as a “tea obsessive,” and so does French au pair Séraphine Moreau, whose upbringing makes her a connoisseur of everything sweet and indulgent.

Together the three women will scour the countryside for quaint hideaways and hidden gems, sharing along the way their secrets, disappointments, and dreams – and discovering that friendship, like tea, takes time to steep. But learning too that once you open your heart, the possibilities are endless.  



Charlie Harrison is a single woman, content with her job as a journalist, and still getting used to the idea that her wedding is off. Kat Murray is a single mother trying to find a job to support her small family. Seraphine Moreau is an au pair striving to reconcile her feelings for her lover against her family’s possible objections. All three women are brought together in The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene.

On the surface, it doesn’t appear that Charlie, Kat, and Seraphine have a lot in common. Charlie has a fantastic career and is in line for a promotion she has worked hard for, editor of a food magazine. Kat is a struggling single mother with deep ties to the local Scarborough community through her family. Seraphine is living in Scarborough temporarily as an au pair and struggling to make the right decision in her love life. Charlie has a struggling relationship with her sister, Pippa, primarily because she feels that Pippa is constantly judging her and finding her lacking. The thing that brings these women together initially is the joy of food, especially tea, and good company. What is a chance encounter between Kat, Seraphine, and Charlie becomes a deep friendship built around tea and coastal tearooms.

The Seafront Tearoom is a quick and engaging read. I enjoyed reading about the intrapersonal and interpersonal struggles of each character. Kat has to deal with the estranged father of her child and her growing attraction to the local veterinarian. Charlie grows closer to her sister when Pippa’s marriage is floundering and learns that appearances can be deceiving in all manner of things. Seraphine must decide if she’ll be true to herself and her lover Carla despite any familial backlash. A chance encounter in a tearoom provides deep friendship and leads to second chances for love. Obviously there’s a lot more going on in this story, but the main points to the story for me where the friendship between Charlie, Kat, and Seraphine and the joy they find in sharing a cup of tea. I’ve got to admit, that one of the things that initially drew me to this story was the idea of tea and friendship. I’m just as obsessed about tea as I am about books and the only thing I found lacking in this story was the lack of descriptions and/or histories of the teas mentioned…but that’s just me. So, grab a cup of tea (coffee, hot chocolate, or beverage of your choice), relax, and enjoy The Seafront Tearoom.


Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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