2019 Book 392: SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age  by Kiley Reid 
ISBN: 9780525541905 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780525541929 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780593107065 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07RLSB7QV  (Audible edition)
ASIN: B07QLJ7VTN (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 31, 2019 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons


A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown-up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.





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Emira Tucker is a twenty-five-year-old Black female struggling to determine what she wants from life. She has successfully completed college and has her undergraduate degree, but she’s at a stage in her life where she simply can’t decide what comes next other than it should be a full-time job with benefits. She’s currently biding her time by babysitting for one family and typing at a political party office. Although she’s able to pay her bills, she’s struggling to make it from month-to-month. The one overriding joy in her life is her three-year-old charge, Briar Chamberlain. Briar is inquisitive in a very unique manner and a toddler that seems to be struggling with the notion that she’s no longer the light of her mother’s life since her baby sister arrived. One night while out celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday, Emira receives a somewhat frantic call from Alix Chamberlain to please come over and take Briar out of the home while the police arrive to investigate an incident of vandalism. Emira takes young Briar to a local market so that Briar can spend time looking at the nuts, teas, and displays. All is well until a market security officer approaches Emira and questions her authority to be out with Briar. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on one’s perspective, another shopper witnesses this so-called “intervention” and records the episode on his phone. One phone call later, Peter Chamberlain arrives at the store, confirms that Emira is their childcare provider, and yes she had permission to take Briar out of the home. Emira doesn’t want the video released and presumably receives the only copy of the recording as the gentleman in the store deletes it from his phone. After a serendipitous meeting on the train a few days later, Emira reconnects with this gentleman and they begin dating. Fast forward a few months and Emira learns that her new boyfriend, Kelley Copeland, had actually dated her boss, Alix Chamberlain, back in high school. Their relationship did not end well. Kelley warns Emira about Alix. Alix warns Emira about Kelley. And then the video is released and Emira’s life is forever changed. Who released the video and what was their motivation? Is Kelley as bad as Alix suggested or perhaps it’s Alix that has major issues?

You know you’re reading a really good book when you don’t want to put it down for any reason. I began reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid early in the day and was very upset when life interrupted my reading. Okay, not life necessarily, it was a bad migraine and an asthma attack necessitating a visit to my local urgent care, but I digress. In an era when overt racism is on the rise and we hear way too many stories about people being assaulted (verbally and otherwise) because of “living while Black” (driving while Black, studying while Black, shopping while Black, reading while Black, napping while Black, eating out while Black, etc.) in the news and on social media, Such a Fun Age touched a nerve. As an older Black female, I empathized with Emira and wanted to shield her from the overwhelming notion of “I know what’s best for you” advice she received from both Alix and Kelley. Alix seemed to go out of her way trying to insinuate herself into Emira’s life, even spying on her via checking her text messages and emails. (Side note, just in case you couldn’t tell, both Kelley and Alix are white.) This isn’t a lighthearted read, although there are moments that are touching and brought a smile to this reader’s face. I loved reading about Emira and Briar’s interactions and those were often the most touching. I enjoyed meeting Emira’s friends and support system, but wish I could have learned more about Zara, Shaunie, and Josefina. Such a Fun Age touches on so many issues that it would be impossible to discuss them all but privilege, race, racism, friendship, family and interpersonal relationships, interracial relationships, self-awareness, and self-development are some of the major themes. I found this story to be both heart-warming and thought-provoking and I highly recommend it to readers of all genres. I enjoyed Such a Fun Age and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. (Seriously, add this book to your TBR list then grab a copy ASAP!)



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. 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.”

2019 Book 6: THE BURNING ISLAND by Hester Young

The Burning Island (Charlie Cates #3) by Hester Young
ISBN: 9780399174025 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698190795 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780525590941 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07CR3T912 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 12, 2019 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 


The newest haunting mystery from the beloved author of The Gates of Evangeline, featuring Charlie Cates, a headstrong heroine who must confront her unwanted supernatural gift and bring dark secrets to light if she ever wants to leave the Big Island . . .

Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved–her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.

With a deliciously eerie and fast-paced story told in vivid prose, all with an overlay of supernatural suspense, The Burning Island is a pulse-pounding mystery perfect for fans of Jennifer McMahon and Kate Atkinson.



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We were all introduced to Charlotte “Charlie” Cates in The Gates of Evangeline. (If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it…again!). Since then, Charlie has relocated to the Southwest, enlarged her family, and continues to struggle with her paranormal or “psychic” gifts. The Burning Island begins with Charlie out with her fiancé, Noah Palmer, in an attempt to locate a missing boy. They find him just in the nick of time, but not before the local police scrutinize them closely in fear they may have had some part in the boy’s disappearance. It isn’t until Charlie’s fiancé unwittingly reveals that Charlie is psychic and her abilities led her to the boy’s location that the police begin to back off. It helps that their story is confirmed when the young boy wakes up from his ordeal and reveals that he wandered off after a disagreement with his parents and got lost in the desert. But now the public knows that Charlie has psychic abilities and their home is surrounded by media and their phones are bombarded with interview requests and calls for help by other parents. Fortunately, Charlie’s best friend Rae talks her into a “girls week” instead of their usual “girls weekend.” Then Charlie’s editor gives her a plum assignment in Hawaii making this a working vacation for Charlie and an opportunity to get paid whilst enjoying a tropical paradise. The job is to profile a local volcanologist that is also a triathlon competitor and winner. Little does Charlie know that this man’s daughter has been missing for more than six weeks and she may be leaving one taut and restrictive situation for another. Can she determine the truth about this missing Hawaiian teen in just one week? Can she do so without bringing undue attention and possible harm to herself and others?

As with the previous two books in this series, The Gates of Evangeline and The Shimmering Road, I found The Burning Island to be a fast-paced and engrossing read. I would have liked to get more of the family vibe with Charlie’s growing family (she’s had the baby and her newly discovered, much younger sister has been incorporated into the family), but it was nice to see the friendship dynamic between Charlie and Rae. Charlie is still a bit unhinged by her “gift” and isn’t quite sure how to deal with it, so it was also interesting to see her comfort level grow over the course of this book. There’s a lot more going on The Burning Island than just the case of a missing teenager, such as an isolated and possibly abused family residing next door to the inn Charlie’s staying at, the skewed family dynamics in the Nakagawa family, and more. Both Charlie and Rae have issues they need to deal with and trying to think about them and come to a possibly life-changing decision in just a week seems more than difficult to me. Can they do it? Possibly. Do they do it? Read the book to find out for yourself! Like I said, there’s a lot going on in this story and it’s part personal quest, part thriller, and part mystery with paranormal aspects. For those of you that have already read The Gates of Evangeline and The Shimmering Road I probably don’t have to recommend that you read The Burning Island, but I will anyway. For those of you that haven’t read The Gates of Evangeline and The Shimmering Road, I strongly encourage you to grab copies of both of those books, read them, and then grab a copy of The Burning Island to read. Seriously, this is a #mustread series. Happy reading!


Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ 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 #45: THE SHIMMERING ROAD by Hester Young

The Shimmering Road (Charlie Cates #2) by Hester Young 
ISBN: 9780399174018 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698190788 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781524703042 (audiobook)

ASIN: B01HCGYY6K (Kindle edition)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 
Publication Date: February 14, 2017


A pulse-pounding mystery from the author of The Gates of Evangeline featuring Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, an unforgettable heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her…

When soon-to-be mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to have recurring dreams about harm coming to her unborn daughter, she knows these are not the nightmares of an anxious mom-to-be. They are the result of her mysterious gift. But before she can decipher what these dreams might mean, Charlie learns that the mother who abandoned her when she was a toddler is the victim of a double murder in Arizona. The other victim Jasmine, a half-sister Charlie never knew she had has left behind a child, a little girl who speaks to Charlie in her dreams and was present on the night of the murders. Convinced that she must help her orphaned niece, Charlie travels to Tucson, Arizona, where she must confront her painful ties to her mother and delve into her sister’s shadowy past.

To untangle the web of secrets that will reveal the truth of her nightmares, Charlie can no longer avoid her family s checkered history. Who is in the racy photos that turned up in Jasmine s apartment? Where is her niece’s father, whom Jasmine was rumored to have been seeing again on the sly? Was her mother’s charity work in Mexico really as selfless as it seemed? And most important of all, what did her niece really witness on the night of the murders?

The search for answers leads Charlie across the Mexican border, from the resort town of Rocky Point to the border town of Nogales, and elucidates the meaning of her dreams in most unexpected ways. Ultimately, to protect her niece and her unborn child, Charlie must battle not just evil but the forces of nature, in one final terrifying encounter in the Tucson desert.

A thrilling mystery that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist that is unputdownable. If you love Kate Atkinson and Alice Sebold, you should not miss Hester Young.



At the end of The Gates of Evangeline (a highly recommended read), Charlotte “Charlie” Cates is pregnant by her new lover, Noah Palmer. Their relationship seemed doomed from the start since Charlie lived in Connecticut and worked in New York and Noah lived and worked in Texas. Fortunately, they are in love and committed to working on their relationship and looking forward to their growing family. Charlie has moved to Texas and is really trying to make things work, but she feels as if she’s living in the shadows of Noah’s former life with his ex-wife. Just as things are about to come to a head in Texas, Charlie receives a phone call informing her that her long-estranged mother and a half-sister she never knew about have been murdered in Arizona. If that’s not troubling enough, Charlie seems to be the only living family member left for her half-sister’s daughter, Michaela or Micky. After traveling to Arizona, Noah becomes enamored with the idea of adopting Micky and adding another child to their little family. Charlie isn’t quite sure if she’s ready to make that step, but with no other alternatives available they stay in town for awhile. Charlie and Noah try to learn as much as possible about Charlie’s mother, Donna, and her half-sister, Jasmine. Is it possible that Jasmine’s past was the reason for her and her mother’s murder? How does Donna’s job assisting poverty-stricken and troubled women in Nogales, Mexico tie into her murder, if at all? The more Charlie and Noah learn the more questions they have and these questions raise even more doubts and fears than ever before. Can they find the answers before another murder takes place?

If you read my review in 2015 for The Gates of Evangeline, you probably recall that I loved that book (this was one of my favorite reads for that year). If you haven’t read it, trust me, run out and grab a copy to read as soon as possible. The Shimmering Road is the second book in the Charlie Cates trilogy and pretty much takes off where The Gates of Evangeline ended. I found The Shimmering Road to be a fast-paced and engaging read. I enjoyed learning more about Charlie and witnessing her growing relationship with Noah. There are a lot of issues raised in The Shimmering Road, including abject poverty, drug abuse, childhood prostitution, politics, murder, family drama, mystery, a bit of romance, the paranormal, and more. There are good guys, bad guys, and not-so-bad guys, but it’s not always easy to tell who’s who and that alone kept me guessing until the bitter end. Ms. Young provides plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep the reader off-balance and wondering just what is going on, and I’ve got to say, I love that in a story. I loved the characters, the settings, and the action not to mention the storylines. So now, yes you guessed it, I’ve got to recommend that you grab a copy of The Shimmering Road to read immediately after you read your new copy of The Gates of Evangeline. Seriously, this is a good series and one you don’t want to miss. I’m looking forward to book three in this series and just may bide my time with a reread of both books (yes, they are just that good).

Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss. 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 Showcase & Giveaway: UNTETHERED by Julie Lawson Timmer

Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer
ISBN: 9780399176272 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698407862 (ebook)
ASIN: B01AHKXJGE (Kindle version)
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons


When Char Hawthorn’s husband dies unexpectedly, she is left questioning everything she once knew to be true: from the cozy small town life they built together to her relationship with her stepdaughter, who is suddenly not bound to Char in any real way. Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love knows no bounds. 

Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants the girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.




Read an excerpt from Untethered here.



Praise for the book

“Harper Lee famously wrote that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. In Untethered, Julie Lawson Timmer makes mincemeat of this old chestnut, proving that a modern family can indeed consist of people who find their own way to each other, however circuitously. The pulse of the story is in the journey, and the triumph is in the unexpectedness of the destination…a poignant page-turner worth going to the mat for.” Elizabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

“[A] thoughtfully written and ultimately uplifting celebration of families!” Kirkus Reviews




Meet the author:



Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Ontario and earned a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University before heading south of the border. She has a law degree from Southern Methodist University and works as in-house legal counsel in Michigan. She is the author of Five Days Left and lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and children.



Connect with the author:     Website      |     Facebook      |     Twitter 





Enter to win a print copy of Untethered (open to US residents only).  This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, June 13th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 14th by 10:00 AM ET. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher (thank you, Putnam). The book will be shipped by the publisher to the winner.


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2016 Book 87: JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye 
ISBN: 9780399169496 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698155954 (ebook)
ASIN: B0125VU6LE (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 22, 2016  
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Reader, I murdered him. 

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr. Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?



When we first meet Jane Steele, she is a young girl living in isolation. She still has her mother, an artistic woman with a fragile personality, in her life. All that changes when her mother commits suicide, followed by the accidental death of Jane’s cousin Edwin Barbary. At this point in her life, Jane’s life begins to closely align with Jane Eyre’s in Lindsay Faye’s Jane Steele.

After the death of Jane’s mother and cousin, Jane is sent to the Lowan Bridge School. She strives to survive in a brutal and twisted environment governed by Vesalius Munt, the director of the school. While at Lowan, Jane meets and befriends a young student, Rebecca Clarke. Years go by without Jane committing any major transgressions, and then she is forced to act on behalf of her friend Clarke, who is starving to death. Her action results in her second murder. Jane and Clarke leave Lowan and fend for themselves in London for a few years when tragic circumstances force Jane to act once again. By the age of 24, Jane has found out that her aunt has died and that her family estate has been taken over by Charles Thornfield. Fortunately for Jane, Mr. Thornfield is seeking a governess for his young ward. Needless to say, Jane is hired for the job and seeks to investigate her inheritance while at the family estate.

As many of you know, Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite books and one that I reread every year or so. When I found out that Jane Steele was a gothic retelling of this story I was beyond excited. Jane Steele is much more than a dark and twisted retelling of Jane Eyre; it is a story filled with dark humor, romance, murder, mayhem, and mystery. I was hooked with the line “Reader, I murdered him.” Ms. Faye has crafted a host of colorful and memorable characters, including Vesalius Munt (headmaster at Lowan), Amy Lilyvale (teacher at Lowan), Mr. Grizzlehurst (publisher and erstwhile landlord to Jane and Clarke for a few years), Sam Quillfeather (constable and doctor of medicine), Sardar Singh (Thornfield’s butler), Charles Thornfield, Sahjara Kaur (Thornfield’s ward), and more. One of the many things I enjoyed while reading this book was that each chapter was prefaced by quotes from Jane Eyre and that Jane is constantly looking to that book for guidance in her life. I could go on and on about all of the things I liked about this book, but will sum it up with I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to reread it (yes, I enjoy rereading standout books). If you like gothic stories or are a fan of Jane Eyre, then you’ll definitely want to add Jane Steele to your TBR list. If you’ve never tried to read anything gothic then Jane Steele might be the perfect place to start. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Faye in the future.


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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2016 Book 76: SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW by Margaret Dilloway

Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway 
ISBN: 9780399170805 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780425279212 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780698160712 (ebook)
ASIN: B00L9B8650 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 15, 2016  
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons


Rachel and Drew Snow may be sisters, but their lives have followed completely different paths.

Married to a wonderful man and a mother to two strong-minded teens, Rachel hasn’t returned to her childhood home since being kicked out by her strict father after an act of careless teenage rebellion. Drew, her younger sister, followed her passion for music but takes side jobs to make ends meet and longs for the stability that has always eluded her. Both sisters recall how close they were, but the distance between them seems more than they can bridge. When their deferential Japanese mother, Hikari, is diagnosed with dementia and gives Rachel power of attorney, Rachel’s domineering father, Killian becomes enraged.

In a rare moment of lucidity, Hikari asks Rachel for a book in her sewing room, and Rachel enlists her sister’s help in the search. The book—which tells the tale of real-life female samurai Tomoe Gozen, an epic saga of love, loss, and conflict during twelfth-century Japan—reveals truths about Drew and Rachel’s relationship that resonate across the centuries, connecting them in ways that turn their differences into assets.


On the surface, Rachel and Drew Snow had a fabulous family: a charming and doting father as well as a loving mother that was always there for them. Appearances are often deceiving, as their father was often verbally and emotionally abusive and their mother never stood up for her children. Twenty years have passed and now Rachel and Drew are brought together in their quest to help their mother deal with dementia and uncover secrets of her past in Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway.

As a teenager, it was presumed that Rachel Snow might one day make it to the Olympics as a swimmer. Her father was proud of her accomplishments and praised her abilities until an injury permanently sidelined her from competition. She then began to act out and was eventually thrown out of her parent’s home at the tender age of seventeen. Drew was considered the quiet child and once her idolized older sister was gone, she made no effort to rock the boat. Drew immersed herself in music, but always knew she could count on financial support from her father as long as she behaved appropriately. Neither Rachel nor Drew know anything about their mother’s life in Japan, how she wound up becoming a mail-order bride, or why she stayed with such an abusive partner for all those years. All that changes when Rachel launches a legal battle against her father to continue his financial support for his wife, her mother, as she suffers from dementia. One of the things Rachel and Drew uncover is a handwritten book detailing the life of Tomoe Gozen, an onnamusha (a female warrior) and concubine in 12th-century Japan, as well as that of Yamabuki Gozen (her sister wife). Rachel and Drew have this book translated and try to find out the meaning it has for their mother. Can they uncover the true meaning of this book entitled “Sister of Heart” before it is too late?

As most of you know by now, I enjoy reading stories that blend historical elements with a contemporary timeline. Sisters of Heart and Snow provides a fascinating fictionalized glimpse into the lives of two amazing women from 12th-century feudal Japan, one that is perceived as pampered and cultured and the other seen as a fierce warrior. The more that is revealed, the more the reader realizes that both women are warriors in their own right and that Rachel and Drew exhibit qualities from both of these warrior women. I found Sisters of Heart and Snow to be a fast-paced and engrossing read that provides dysfunctional family drama, a bit of romance, sibling rivalry, and a search for purpose. This is one of those books that provides such great information on historical figures that I now want to learn more about the history of the warrior geisha (fortunately, Ms. Dilloway provides a bibliography for additional reading). If you enjoy reading historical fiction or contemporary family dramas, then you’ll want to add Sisters of Heart and Snow to your TBR list. I enjoyed reading Sisters of Heart and Snow so much I’ll be recommending it to my local book groups as a future group read.


Disclaimer: I received a print copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher. 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.”



Meet the author:

(c) Saflower Photography

Margaret Dilloway is the author of How to Be an American Housewife, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, and a middle-grade fantasy series which Disney-Hyperion is publishing on April 5, 2016 beginning with Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their three children.










Enter to win 1 of 3 print copies of Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway courtesy of the publisher using the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway runs from 12:01 AM ET 3/13/2016 through 11:59 PM ET on 3/20/2016 and is open to US residents only. The winners will be announced on or after 3/21/2016.


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2015 Book #232: SILENT CREED by Alex Kava

Silent Creed (Ryder Creed #2) by Alex Kava
ISBN: 9780399170775 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698160682 (ebook)
ASIN: B00OQSF9FS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons


Most of them were asleep in their beds when the ground gave way. . . . When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows the difference between finding survivors and the dead—is time. Heedless of the dangers, Creed and his best search-and-rescue dog Bolo frantically wade through the chaos of twisted tree limbs, crumbled cement, and unrecognizable debris, when a second slide catches up with Ryder. And he is buried alive. Bolo makes it out, though, and leads the heroic rescue of his master. What they get when they pull Ryder out from the mud is much more than they bargained for. The secrets in the mud around Creed run deep, pointing to a possible serial killer and unexpectedly dredging up painful, hushed-up pieces of Creed’s own past. The mysteries unearthed will bring Ryder Creed face-to-face with his past loyalties, deeply embedded survivor’s guilt, and a powerful figure from his past. He’ll have to rely on his dogs if he wants to make it through alive. 



Ryder Creed has been asked by a former colleague to help in a search and rescue mission after a deadly mudslide in North Carolina. What he finds in North Carolina raises a variety of questions about the true purpose of his mission. Silent Creed is the second book in the Ryder Creed series. Ryder is a dog handler/trainer based in Florida. His dogs have been trained to sniff out contraband as well as search-and-rescue. Knowing that he’ll be facing dangerous circumstances due to the mudslide, Ryder chooses to bring one of his larger dogs, Bolo, on this mission. Unfortunately for Ryder and Bolo, they are caught in a second slide shortly after their arrival in North Carolina. Fortunately for Ryder, Bolo leads the rescue. The story becomes even more twisted when Maggie O’Dell enters the picture at the behest of a friend. Ryder and Maggie are unwittingly put in a situation that appears to be more of a cover-up than a search for bodies and the truth.

I found Silent Creed to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. The story takes quite a few twists and turns, and because of a migraine episode I found it difficult to keep track of the story. However, once I got the migraine under control I was able to backtrack and pick up the threads of the different storylines. Ms. Kava takes a natural disaster scenario, a search and rescue mission, weaves it with a government conspiracy involving government-sponsored bioterrorism, and finishes things off with a cliff-hanger ending. If you enjoy thrillers then you’ll definitely want to add Silent Creed to your TBR list. I look forward to reading the next book in the Ryder Creed series.


Read an excerpt from Silent Creed here

Disclaimer: I received a print copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss and 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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