Friday, May 13, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby

Title: The Girl Who Stayed
Author: Tanya Anne Crosby
Genre: Mystery fiction
Publisher: The Story Plant
Release Date: April 19/2016
Acquired: Print arc sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.

THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.


I drove home from work today with this book lingering on my mind. I've come to the conclusion that I don't know how to completely appreciate it, nor can I completely disregard the quiet storm it created at my core. The best I can describe The Girl Who Stayed is this: it was a subtle psychological thriller masquerading as a cozy mystery.

The cozy elements were all there: the small town, the southern hospitality, the home cooked comfort food attached to friendly neighbours. The air of danger lingered, but was not imminent. There were no mind-numbing twists, or heart-stopping revelations, at least no bluntly stated ones. The story began and ended with Zoe Rutherford. We followed her shape-shifting storyline along a jagged mental state. Her sister's disappearance 31 years ago was the catalyst, her 8-year long abusive relationship, intermingled with flashbacks of an abusive father, played the role of the sand between the rocks. Zoe has come back home, with the intention of fixing up her family home to be sold, or to find out what really happened to her sister? We were pulled slowly along as she attempted to figure it out.

To say this book moved at a glacial pace would be a little harsh, but it wouldn't be completely untrue. The first 3/4 of it was spent in a haze, as Zoe spends time reminiscing on her past, describing every last detail of her present (I now have an overwhelmingly thorough understanding of stair construction), and questioning her future. It was such a frustrating state of mind to be in, the most odd state of limbo. I KNEW with all of the knowing in me that something grim and grisly and all-around uncomfortable would rear it's head at the end, but the road to that reveal was just so....calm. So soul-searchy, and normal. But it wasn't the kind that when the huge BOO! was revealed, you jumped 5 feet out of your seat. It was dark, but the most dull shade.

I feel as though I should end this review by telling you that the descriptions I used to explain The Girl Who Stayed is not a direct reflection of how I felt about the book. Because I enjoyed it for the most part, and was surprisingly satisfied with it's vague conclusion. It's just that I experienced such odd feelings of uncertainty while reading this narrative, like I was being kept in front of the veil, unable to peek behind it to see the gruesome, horrifying truths. 

With that said, I obviously enjoyed being kept partially in the dark, because Miss Crosby will definitely be getting my business again. 

Recommended for Fans of: Mind of Winter Laura Kasischke, The Starter House by Sonja Condit, A Line of Blood by Ben McPherson, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Mystery.


credit: author's Goodreads page

Tanya is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her first romance novel “Angel of fire” was published in 1992 for Avon Books. She is a five-times nominee for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and her novels have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, French, Russian and Chinese.



Thank-you to Trish at TLCBlogTours, and The Story Plant for sending me a print arc to read and review for this tour! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

Title: When the Moon is Low
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Genre: Cultural Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 30/2015
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.

Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.

Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.

Monday, April 18, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: All Stories are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer

Title: All Stories Are Love Stories
Author: Elizabeth Percer
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: March 22/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

In this thoughtful, mesmerizing tale with echoes of Station Eleven, the author of An Uncommon Education follows a group of survivors thrown together in the aftermath of two major earthquakes that strike San Francisco within an hour of each other—an achingly beautiful and lyrical novel about the power of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring strength of love.

On Valentine’s Day, two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within the same hour, devastating the city and its primary entry points, sparking fires throughout, and leaving its residents without power, gas, or water.

Among the disparate survivors whose fates will become intertwined are Max, a man who began the day with birthday celebrations tinged with regret; Vashti, a young woman who has already buried three of the people she loved most . . . but cannot forget Max, the one man who got away; and Gene, a Stanford geologist who knows far too much about the terrifying earthquakes that have damaged this beautiful city and irrevocably changed the course of their lives.

As day turns to night and fires burn across the city, Max and Vashti—trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium—must confront each other and face the truth about their past, while Gene embarks on a frantic search through the realization of his worst nightmares to find his way back to his ailing lover and their home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Title: The Opposite of Everyone
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 16/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with Southern Oral Tradition to re-invent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birthname Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own—one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. Separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that Karmic debt—until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter. “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.”

Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it’s too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together—her own.

The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

REVIEW: The Visitors by Simon Sylvester

Title: The Visitors
Author: Simon Sylvester
Genre: Contemporary/Mythological
Publisher: Melville House
Release Date: December 29/2015
Acquired: E-arc sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Nobody moves to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and few leave – but leaving is exactly what seventeen-year-old Flora intends to do. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flo is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flora finds a kindred spirit in his daughter Ailsa.

Life on Bancree becomes desperate as people begin to disappear. Reports of missing islanders fill the press and unnerve the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers on Dog Rock.

Convinced of their innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Could the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?