Review – Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories, by Mariana Enriquez. 

I’m not usually a huge fan of short stories – they always seem to leave me wanting more, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much more from this collection by Mariana Enriquez.  However, on this occasion, I’m glad to report that I was proven wrong. Very wrong. 

Set in Argentina, Things We Lost in the Fire, is a collection of short stories about loss, the macabre, ghosts, and horror. 

Whilst not necessarily happy subjects, Enriquez has a talent of not wasting words. Each word you read is like a building block for the story, and I didn’t ever feel like there were filler getting in the way. 

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye for more by this author! 

Until next time, 

Pegasus. 

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories

Review: Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey #1) by Deanna Raybourn

silent-graveI don’t know what it is but I truly love these Victorian mysteries. Perhaps it is because the ones I’ve read so far have been with ladies set as the main characters.

This one is no exception. Here we have Lady Grey trying to solve the mystery of what might have been her husband’s murder. She is determined to become the strong independent woman that she has always imagined she should be. It’s not always an easy thing to reconcile the person you imagine yourself to be with the person that shows themselves to the rest of the world. Especially when you have a dominate (albeit handsome) detective by your side. Add to that being a widow that should be in mourning in Victorian England…well, it certainly can add many complications to your life.

I was also happy when the mystery was solved. Raybourn did a really nice job of allowing the reader (and the lead characters as well) imagine several different scenario. I even imagined a few that I believe Raybourn was clever enough to desire me to conjure up so I could feel superior that I figured it all out on my own….alas, I was not….The ending was believable, but not any of the ones I imagined. Even better, I didn’t find it drop down jaw unbelievable either….I didn’t feel like she pulled the rug out from under me and went for something totally outrageous just for the drama factor. I really appreciate that from an author. Sometimes, I am often left to feel insulted…instead, Raybourn has made me delighted to follow Ms Grey into her next great adventure….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

When will I learn to read JP books with a box of tissues nearby? I mean seriously, these books reek havoc on my heart.

Allison is a very closed off person. She’s been tossed around in foster care and has learned it’s better to keep to herself than to put herself out there and be rejected or left behind. She had my heart all twisty. She struggles with letting people in. I wanted to reach in and hug her.

After a social media experiment she was pulled into, she realizes that she needs to let people in and to open up her heart a little. There are so many people around her that would love to get close, if only she’d let them. Anxiety is hard to face and even more difficult to let go.

I loved Esben. He’s bigger than life, with a heart of gold. Really, he’s perfect in all the ways that matter. It was wild to see his reaction to the 180 Seconds experiment and to watch him chip away at Allison’s wall until it falls at her feet. It will not be easy. There will be tears. LOTS of tears. But they’ll be worth it.

“I don’t need protection from your past. I need protection from mine.”

Jessica’s books have a way of stringing you along, then tearing your heart out and forcing you to take a deep breath before continuing. Angst must be her middle name. If you loved Flat Out Celeste and Left Drowning/Restless Waters, then this book is right up your alley. This story made me take a good long look at my own life and others around me. You never know who might need a little extra patience and love.

Be brave.

~Melpomene

Buy 180 Seconds here: http://amzn.to/2pTVpo4

Review: Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan

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In case you didn’t know it,  I have a love affair with all things New Orleans.  And while technically this one isn’t set in the Big Easy, it’s close enough.

Bayou Perdu is a small little town in the backwoods of Louisiana.  Close enough to New Orleans to be convenient but far enough to be in its own little world, it’s a typical small town. Everyone knows everyone else, and they’ve been through a lot together.  Even hurricanes.  But this one’s different.  The one they call Katrina is so ominous that even Evangeline’s grandmother is scared and ready to evacuate.

With evacuation comes loss, especially when you return to nothing.  Houses, personal belongings, friends,  these are all things Evangeline is missing as she and her family impatiently wait it out far, far from Louisiana.  She feels as if she’s stuck between two worlds, living two lives.  The question soon becomes, which life will she and her family choose in the end?

A good story, an accurate retelling of events surrounding this devastating storm.  A great read for young adults!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Between Two Skies

Review: White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes 

Anita Hughes does it again – takes me on a luxurious vacation where ladies drip with diamonds, succulent dinners abound, and you can almost taste the salt of the sea. 

Olivia and Finn vacation in St. Bart’s with Olivia’s mom and step dad… and Olivia hopes Finn will finally propose. But the love story is just part of the plot. There’s Sebastian, the long-absent father making an insincere attempt at redeeming himself, Felix the stepdad, trying to be perfect for everyone, and Hadley the mom, a little bit jaded and disappointed about the way her golden years are turning out. 

Hughes did a great job with the characters of Olivia, Hadley and Sebastian. It was harder to get to know the others, but I don’t know that character development mattered too much in this story. I like to read Hughes because she whisks me away from real life — April showers, bills to pay, and a house to clean – into the luxury of a fancy vacation. Reading Hughes, I get to virtually stay in the best villas, go to the best beaches, wear the most expensive cocktail dresses, and eat the fanciest food. 

I’ll take that escape any day. 

-calliope

Buy WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA

Blog Tour & Review: Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

I finished this book in less than 24 hours. 5 years ago this might not have seemed like a big deal…these days it’s a huge deal! I didn’t want to put it down. It hooked me from the first chapter and continued to do so right up to the very end.

Hannah Monroe comes home from an all day business meeting to find her that her house she shared with her boyfriend, Matt Stone is empty. Not only has he moved out, but he has seemingly disappeared into thin air, leaving no trace of the life they shared behind. It’s as if the past 4 years never took place.

For three months Hannah becomes more and more obsessed on trying to find Matt and to figure out what went wrong. Where is he? Is he safe? Why did he leave?

At first I was saddened for Hannah. I couldn’t imagine what she must have been feeling. That sadness soon turned to shock and dismay as I watched her continue to spiral out of control with her obsession on trying to sort out what had happened. Watching her try to come to terms with this all, without any answers was painful. Then, I admit it, I started to become annoyed with her. However it didn’t change the fact that I had started to become obsessed with finding Matt as well! I needed to know what was happening. I had a dozen different scenarios. I suspected a half a dozen people.

When the big reveal happened, I honestly didn’t have a clue. Even as it happened, I was still trying to figure out what was behind all of this, because I didn’t comprehend the truth.

I soon realized it was staring me in the face the entire time! All of the unbelievable suddenly became very clear and very much believable. The farfetched wasn’t so farfetched after all…

Read this book as soon as it comes out. Not only is it full of suspense and a sense of you NEEDING to know what happens, it’s also a very important book. About a subject matter that isn’t discussed nearly enough…I sincerely hope this book is roaring success…not only because Ms Torjussen has written such a thriller of a book, but also because she has written about a subject matter that seems almost taboo.

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review

BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW http://amzn.to/2gZekso

 

How far would you go to find the one that got away?

 

From the imprint that published Fiona Barton’s instant New York Times bestseller The Widow and Clare Mackintosh’s global phenomenon I Let You Go, comes Mary Torjussen’s GONE WITHOUT A TRACE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; 978-0-399-58501-2; April 11, 2017; $16.00)—an electric, compulsive thriller about a boyfriend’s unexplained disappearance, and its corrosive effects on the woman he left behind.

 

In GONE WITHOUT A TRACE, young professional Hannah returns from work to find her live-in boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made, 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 she struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows she’ll do anything to get answers. Where has he gone? Why has he left?

 

Then the messages start—cryptic and creepy texts and videos—and Hannah realizes that someone is watching her every move. And there are signs that someone has been in her house.

As her search for Matt progresses, Hannah treads further into madness and obsession—and the only way out is to come to terms with the one shocking truth she just can’t accept. . .

 

For anyone who has ever asked “Was it something I did?” GONE WITHOUT A TRACE brings to chilling light the doubt, fear, and obsession that can lie dormant in our most intimate relationships.

 

Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, says: “Gone Without a Trace has one of the most interesting narrators I’ve ever come across.”

GUESS THAT MUSE — and Pegasus 

Guess the right muses & Pegasus, and win a prize! 

I was going to make a little chart with 5 essential things each of us loves (besides books), but I think a game will be more fun. 

We are Melpomene, Thalia, Urania, Calliope and Pegasus. You know us by what we read and review. Can you guess who’s who by the list of what else we enjoy? 

A) New Orleans, The Saints (and football in general), Movies, Yarn & vinyl, Scary stuff. 

B) Tarantulas, Scarves, Coffee, My bed, Food.

C) The beach, Traveling, Shoes, Coffee,  Quiet places. 

D) Coffee, Traveling, Tequila, Movies, Chocolate.

E) Making bookish crafts, Disney, Relaxing by the pool, Grocery shopping, Spending time with my family.

Give us your best guesses. We will reveal the answers later this week!