In The Dark~ A Review

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Never before have I read a book this unexpected, this twisty, this…phenomenal.

Loreth Anne White has written a vivid and intense mystery that will both keep you guessing, and clamouring for more by the end. Every time I thought I knew who was manipulating the characters, I’d find out I was wrong. The clues are so well-placed that they hardly seem important until pages later. The plot is full-steam-ahead and never lets up until the end. You’re always kept guessing, always wondering, never sure of that next chilling step.
This is man vs man, man vs nature and man vs self at its very best.

The setting is so well developed, so real, that it becomes just as much a killing force as any of the human characters. The wilderness can kill you, make no mistake. ‘In The Dark’ points this out in bold and then underlines it in case you missed the lesson the first time.

This is a stunning novel, written by a brilliant author. I am a new fan now, and likely will be for years to come.
Thank you Loreth Anne White, for sacrificing family time to write this, for sharing your white-hot talent and for trusting ARC readers.
Thank you also to NetGalley and Montlake for the system by which I found a new favourite, in exchange for an honest review.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find the rest of this ingenious author’s catalogue.

Snow Creek ~ A Review

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This was the first book I’d read by Gregg Olsen, and overall, I was very pleased with it. I love a book that builds slowly, and this one had questions galore! I was kept guessing all the way through. The cover makes a lot of sense by the end of the story. There were a couple of subplots happening while the main mystery was being investigated, which added to my enjoyment. All the characters were unique and stuck out for reasons all their own. Each of them was memorable, and everyone had a secret. Because that’s what we expect from mysteries.

The book had an underlying storyline that really had me guessing and tied up with a hefty wallop that I didn’t see coming. All I can say about it without giving anything away is WOW! The main plot also tied up with an ending I definitely did not see coming. So far, it was a very satisfying read. A five-star.
But…
(You saw that coming, right?)
But the book closed with one unresolved question, and for me, that took the rating down a star.
That being said, the book had amazing writing, wonderful worldbuilding and characters that must have been taken from real life they were so vivid and well-written.

I would absolutely read more by Gregg Olsen!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Changing Course~A Must Read!

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Another hit outta the park!

No matter what genre Brey Willows turns her hand to we can count on meeting incredible characters, falling into a mind-blowing world and being swept away by a wonderful story. To say I loved this one is a bit of an understatement. I consumed it. I couldn’t put it down and I will read it again.
The characters (except for the walk-ons) are all well-drawn and memorable. Even the bad guy. Even the bad guy that was supposed to be the bad guy, but really wasn’t. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean)
The landscape was so real I could feel sand and grit and desperation.
The ending made perfect sense and was not contrived in any way. It was a great wrap-up. And would you look at that cover! Gorgeous! The romance worked perfectly too!
Loved it…loved it…loved it!

You can get a copy on November 1, 2019 at BoldStrokes Books

Thank you to NetGalley, and Bold Strokes Books for the opportunity to read the ARC, and to Brey Willows for sharing her gift once again.

Mowat, Ontario-Ghost Town Connected To Possible Murder?

Mowat was a mill town that attracted residents in 1897 on the northwestern shore of Canoe Lake in western Algonquin Park. Mowat was a lumberman’s town that included all the usual stores and businesses of the early mill villages including a hospital for a town that grew to a population of more than 500, the largest town in the Park. A school opened in 1898, listing 30 pupils in attendance. But then the lumber industry entered a recession and the population dwindled to just over 200. By 1914 it was down to 150. The community continued to decline and in 1946 the school closed having only 6 pupils. Soon the trains stopped running and Mowat became a ghost of its former self. A fate all too common in Northern Ontario, including, to a lesser extent my home base.

After Mowat’s decline the Group of Seven painter, Tom Thomson painted and lived in the area. Thomson often stayed at Mowat Lodge, a tourist retreat operated by Shannon and Annie Fraser, which made use of a converted Gilmour company building. In 1917 Thomson died in Canoe Lake under mysterious circumstances after staying at the lodge. Speculation is that he was murdered. During the time Tom Thomson used Mowat as his ‘home base’ in the Park, residents there included visitors from as far away as Europe, cottagers from the United States of America, as well as from Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Toronto. The population of Mowat also included those people who serviced tourists’ needs, such as hotel operators and guides. Park staff watched over all of them, maintaining the safety of the area, and enforcing Park regulations.

Today, time and forest regrowth has reclaimed most signs of the community of Mowat, originally named in honour of Sir Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896. Only a few cottage leases, old foundations, and the Tom Thomson cairn commemorating the artist’s life remain in Algonquin Park.

Next time, we’ll take a closer look at Tom Thomson himself and the influence Algonquin Park had on his paintings, as well as the circumstances surrounding his death. Did he die by misadventure or was he murdered by spies?

One Walk In Winter ~ A Review

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I would not describe myself as a romantic, so why was I reading this book? I read Georgia Beers to learn how to write settings well, how to write characters that stand out in memory and to be entertained. But not for the romance.
Until this book came along.

The settings, both interior and exterior are vivid and capture the reader’s imagination. The characters, even the front desk clerk and chef and Olivia’s Mom, stand out as unique, likeable and unforgettable. And Walter….oh Sir Walter captured my heart in one easy bound through the snow. And while Ms.Beers completely charmed me with her snowy woodlands, working art studio and a resort I’d love to spend time in…what won me over the most was the romance.

I am not a romantic person — except with my partner. But I ate up the dynamic between Hayley and Olivia. I cheered for them when they worked together and by Christmas Eve, I wanted them to get over themselves and admit there were sparks. I loved the romance in this, Ms. Beers’ best book yet.

If I ever give a romance book five stars, it has never been for the romance angle. This book changed all that.

This is the very first book I have ever read in my life that I actually said “awww” aloud when I finished it.
The. Very. First.

This is Georgia Beers at her best.

Why are you still here? Go read it!

A Tragedy & A Mystery Resolved

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(photo credit RCMP)

I probably spend far too much time researching Canadian crime, but it’s gratifying to find a story that can bring closure – even more than fifty years later. On a foggy August morning in 1959, pilot Ray Gran and conservation officer Harold Thompson were flying from Buffalo Narrows to La Loche, Sask. Sometime during the flight, their Cessna 180 single-engine airplane went down over Peter Pond Lake. Neither were ever heard from again.

But in January of this year (2019), RCMP divers on the URT (underwater recovery team) not only recovered the men’s remains, but they also laid Canadian flags at the wreckage site. Find out why, the role that family played, as well as why they waited to dive six months after the plane was found here.

Do any unsolved stories from your part of the world stand out in your memory?

Daughter of Fire ~ A Review

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This is my second review of this book. The internet gremlins stole the first one, a very long one, I might add.

I cannot get this book out of my head!
I used to read more fantasy than I do nowadays, so I hesitated all of a minute when I had the chance to get this book as an ARC. (Thank you to Ylva for the opportunity)
The cover is gorgeously eye-catching, one that would make an excellent poster.

We are introduced to Aeryn’s world and interact with it, through her eyes and experiences. We feel ill when she does, writhe with the power of uncontrolled magic with her and feel her confusion and fear as her world is turned upside down. The world-building in this story is excellent. We are sucked in at once and there’s nothing to distract us from the story. In fact, I came to resent the fact that I had to cook and do dishes. Didn’t my family care I was engrossed in a phenomenal story? Ha! No…they didn’t.
Aeryn’s world is turned upside down and we are right beside her as she tries to make sense of her travelling companions that are still mysteries to her as they part company. We are as unsettled as she is, as new to everything as she is and we ARE Aeryn. Have I mentioned this book will pull you in?

The ending is a sticking point for many reviewers, but I understand why this book closed the way it did. When a manuscript is large, it’s not always easy to find a stopping point that serves both story and readers.
But this ending rocks Aeryn’s world, and ours.
It literally took my breath away. Like, I had to remind myself to breathe.
I cannot wait to see what Aeryn does with this new knowledge in the next book, which I understand will follow this one shortly.

If I have to pay for it, I gladly will.

I will read this one again and again. It’s that good. I suspect I’ll find new things to gush about on my next reading.

Get this. Prepare for an ending that is not the end while you prepare to get the next book. Because you’ll want to know what happens next.