Summer on Firefly Lake: Blog Tour

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I am very excited to read Firefly Lake series!  This is seems to be the book you need to add to your bag when you head off to the beach or sit out on the deck/patio.   I have a few days off and am looking forward to digging into The Cottage at Firefly Lake (Book 1) followed by the sequel Summer on Firefly Lake.

SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE (Firefly Lake: #2) Jen Gilroy
July 25, 2017; 368 (Forever)


Genre: romance, contemporary, fiction, series, small town

Sometimes love is better the second time around . . .
Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband’s needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she’s building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire—and the one kiss they’ve shared-has turned everything upside down . . .

Attorney Nick McGuire wasn’t meant to be a family man. His career has always been his focus and after taking time out to help his mother, he’s ready to get back to the city . . . until Mia and her daughters arrive at Firefly Lake. Mia is beautiful and intriguing, and it doesn’t take long to realize being “just friends” will never be enough. As the summer nights turn colder, Nick will have to choose between the life he’s always wanted . . .
and the woman he can’t live without.

Firefly Lake




Jen Gilroy grew up under the big sky of western Canada. After many years in England, she now lives in a small town in eastern Ontario where her Irish ancestors settled in the nineteenth century. She’s worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write contemporary romance to bring readers’ hearts home. A small-town girl at heart, Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband, Tech
Guy, is her real-life romance hero, and her daughter, English Rose, teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday.



2016, 272 Pages (William Collins)
Genre: psychology, poetry, nonfiction, anxiety

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)

I have always loved reading poetry, especially classic poetry. I love the flow, imagery and words of poetry. I find that as I read them it is a way to calm my anxiety. It calms my worries more than my fears. It is a way for me to get grounded. As I learn more about myself through counseling, books and writing I am getting a better handle on what keeps me going. I requested this book in order to read cool poetry and instead I learned more about my anxiety and myself. This is a great book for discovering great poems and/or exploring yourself and your stresses.

A Dark So Deadly…it must be read! Book Review

33229330A DARK SO DEADLY Written by Stuart MacBride

2017; 608 Pages (Harper Collins)

Genre: Scotland, police procedural, mystery, suspense, thriller, humour, fiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★★1/2


DC Callum MacGregor has been moved into the Misfit Mob squad.  That is where the POlice Scotland stick officers that have been tainted in some way.  Callum is accused of compromising a crime scene.  In fact, the real culprit is his pregnant girlfriend who needs the maternity leave pay.  For the sake of his new family he takes the blame and now must be one of the Misfits.  Being in the Misfit Mob means that you get the “no-where” cases, but Callum lands a big case.  A body has been found mummified but it turns out it has close ties to a current case. Since the other divisions are busy Callum and his team must solve the case…and hopefully without any mistakes!

This novel did take me a bit to finish but that is only because of the length.  I would stop to finish off other commitments but always came back when I had time.  I love all the quirky realistic characters and the dark humour.  I know this is a standalone novel but I do hope we see more of Callum, Franklin, Mother and the rest.  The chemistry between the characters are great and I was either enthralled or chuckling.  The ending, which I didn’t see coming was mostly great as it tied all the loose ends together. I really liked this novel and highly recommend it if you like gritty and dark humour in your suspense.




Mary Kubica: Double Review Feature

Last month for my book club we read, Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl.  I was really excited to read this book as I had heard good things about her novels.  I love a good suspense book so I nominated this for one for book club.  Maybe my expectations were too high going in, as this novel fell a bit flat for me.


the good girlTHE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica

2014; 352 Pages (Mira, Harlequin)

Genre: suspense, mystery, psychological thriller, fiction,

Rating: ★★★

Mia has gone missing.  Mia has been found.

After dinner with her boyfriend, Mia Dennett has never been seen again.  We find out that Mia goes home with Colin Thatcher who kidnaps her and holds her hostage.  Besides her mother, Gabe Hoffman (the cop) are the only ones who seem to be really looking for her.  Then Mia is found and she cannot remember her ordeal.

Kubica divides this novel into before and after – before Mia is kidnapped and after Mia is found.  In this format we are given the beginning and end of the story, but not the details of why and how. I kind of liked this aspect of the story because you build up to what actually happens.   Mia’s kidnapping is told through Colin (her abductor), Gabe (the detective) and Eve’s (Mia’s mom) point of view.  I wasn’t really interested in Eve’s point of view other than to know what Mia was going through post-kidnapping.  Gabe’s point of view gives us a bit of the inside to Colin’s life and how they find Mia.  Colin’s point of view is probably the best as it provides us with most of what is going on with Mia during that time.  BUT, a lot of the story is tell instead of show.  This seems to slow the story and pace down and also takes out the action.  I did finish the novel,  and was interested in knowing how it ended, but it wasn’t a page turner for me.  I would put it down and only the looming date of book club motivated me to pick it back up. I just didn’t connect with the most of the characters as they felt a bit distant.  Instead of hearing their point of view and feeling the emotions, it felt more like getting a third account of a story.  I didn’t care for the ending and just could not buy all of what was happening.  I gave it a three as it was an okay read but nothing stellar.  This is just one book, so I am looking forward to reading her newest novel…Every Last Lie.


every last lieEVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica

June 2017; 288 Pages (Mira, Harlequin)

Genre: suspense, mystery, psychological thriller, fiction,

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★1/2

Before Nick and his daughter, Maisie return home from ballet class they stop off to get Chinese food.  Clara waits at home with their infant son, Felix.  Instead of returning home, Nick has been killed in a car accident (Maisie survives without a scratch).  The police rule it as an accident, with Nick at fault.  Clara is devastated.  She cannot tell her daughter that Nick is dead and soon starts to suspect maybe his death is more than accident.

This is my second novel by Kubica, and the second time she goes back and forth between before and after an incident.  In this case there is before Nick dies and that is told through Nick’s point of view.  Then there is after he dies, that is Clara’s point of view.  I liked the first half of the novel, then it started to get a bit weird.  I found the ending not satisfying at all. I get the allure of taking the story that way, but it just left me feeling disappointed.  Again it was hard to connect with the characters, but at least this time they were fleshed out a bit more.  I think I am going to pass on Kubica for now…or maybe try an audio version and see if that can bring the characters come to life.






*originally published on 11/09/2016

cover75524-mediumANGELS BURNING Written by Tawni O’Dell

2016; 288 Pages (Gallery Books)
Genre: fiction, literary, psychological, mystery

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★★

“On the surface, Chief Dove Carnahan is a true trailblazer who would do anything to protect the rural Pennsylvanian countryside where she has lived all fifty of her years. Traditional and proud of her blue-collar sensibilities, Dove is loved by her community. But beneath her badge lies a dark and self-destructive streak, fed by a secret she has kept since she was sixteen.

When a girl is beaten to death, her body tossed down a fiery sinkhole in an abandoned coal town, Dove is faced with solving the worst crime of her law enforcement career. She identifies the girl as a daughter of the Truly family, a notoriously irascible dynasty of rednecks and petty criminals.

During her investigation, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother years earlier is released from prison. Still proclaiming his innocence, he approaches Dove with a startling accusation and a chilling threat that forces her to face the parallels between her own family’s trauma and that of the Trulys.” (From Publisher)

Tawni O’Dell’s first novel, Back Roads is one of my favourite books.  I have read it a few times, and even listened to it on audio! It is a dark story but also so realistic and very well-written.  O’Dell also has this dark humour that balances the book and keeps it from getting too depressing.  The “heroes” of her novels are always so interesting as they are not what you would expect.  I read O’Dell’s second and third books and liked them but they lacked the punch of Back Roads.  I had a chance to read and review this book, but went in with no expectations…punch! Dove reminds me a lot of Harley – an older sibling trying to take care of the little ones, while trying to grow up themselves.  Right off you feel for them, but come to realize there is so much more to them. The secrets and mystery are key to the novel’s allure but it is the characters who will stay in your mind.  Highly recommend this book!

Biography Review: Wollstonecraft Women

*originally published on 11/09/2016


2015; 672 Pages (Random House)
Genre: history, literature, authors, feminist, biography

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★★
I was in my first year of college taking my second English course, the Romantic Period, that I first heard of Wollstonecraft and Shelley.  For me, this was a difficult course but yet one of the most interesting classes.  I read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and immensely enjoyed the Gothic tale.  It was amazing to know that a women wrote such a brilliant horror tale.  Then I learned that Mary Shelley was the daughter of writer, Mary Wollstonecraft.  Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman which I inhaled for a class assignment.  Since reading some of their works, I have added everything else to my tbr list. And, then I saw this biography and knew I had to get my hands on it.
Although mother and daughter, these two brilliant women never knew one another – Wollstonecraft died of an infection in 1797 at the age of thirty-eight, a week after giving birth. Nevertheless their lives were so closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies so eerily similar, it seems impossible to consider one without the other.

Both women became famous writers; fell in love with brilliant but impossible men; and were single mothers who had children out of wedlock; both lived in exile; fought for their position in society; and thought deeply about how we should live. And both women broke almost every rigid convention there was to break: Wollstonecraft chased pirates in Scandinavia. Shelley faced down bandits in Naples. Wollstonecraft sailed to Paris to witness the Revolution. Shelley eloped in a fishing boat with a married man. Wollstonecraft proclaimed that women’s liberty should matter to everyone.

Not only did Wollstonecraft declare the rights of women, her work ignited Romanticism. She inspired Coleridge, Wordsworth and a whole new generation of writers, including her own daughter, who – with her young lover Percy Shelley – read Wollstonecraft’s work aloud by her graveside. At just nineteen years old and a new mother herself, Mary Shelley composed Frankenstein whilst travelling around Italy with Percy and roguish Lord Byron (who promptly fathered a child by Mary’s stepsister). It is a seminal novel, exploring the limitations of human nature and the power of invention at a time of great religious and scientific upheaval. Moreover, Mary Shelley would become the editor of her husband’s poetry after his early death – a feat of scholarship that did nothing less than establish his literary reputation.” (From publisher)

I actually read this book April 2015, before the published date, but I could not write a review. Every time I sat down to write something I felt like it wasn’t good enough. How do I review two women I admire so greatly- as a reader, writer and feminist? It’s daunting but I would rather give it a try and let people know how much loved this book. This book is 600+ pages and I read this in 3 days! There is a lot of information but it reads like a novel. Gordon does a great job combining storytelling and facts. This is what I would want to read when I was in history classes. She is able to bring both women to life and made me even more thirsty for information. Next year I want to read more about and from mother and daughter. I also would love to read something else by Charlotte Gordon as her writing skills are remarkable.

Book Review: The First Mrs. Einstein

*originally published 11/09/2016

I have been hard at work in getting my new website up and running. I have been planning and learning things beyond my capacity. I am hoping that if all goes well I can launch on January 1, 2017. In the meantime, I will still be posting reviews, but to a lesser extent. I am happy to announce a new feature called, Woman Crush Wednesday. I hope to showcase great women in books – whether real or created characters. And on to the review…

3052281THE OTHER EINSTEIN Written by Marie Benedict

2016; 304 Pages (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Genre: historical fiction, fictionalized biography

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★★

While I do not understand physics and mathematics, I have always been fascinated by the women and men who excel in the field.  Einstein has always seemed like a fascinating character, but I have not actually read anything on him. Other than him being brilliant I have not heart much about his personality.  When I saw this novelized biography of Einstein’s first wife I figured, why not?

Mileva “Mitza” Marić at the age of 20, went to Zürich University to get her degree in physics.  In 1896, women were getting married and having children, as their family dictated.  Mitza’s father sees his daughter only excelling in school.  It is due to his efforts to get her educated that she attends an elite school that has not let many women through their doors.  Once accepted into the program she must also get the acceptance of her peers and professors.  With her brilliant mind and hard work she is able to impress fellow student, Albert Einstein.  As the two study together they become closer and Mitza must decide if she can be a wife and a scientist.  

I had not heard of Mileve Maric before I read this novel, and it has been my loss.  This women with a slight limp and a powerful mind is a true inspiration woman.  I can only imagine how much she must have endured in her life to do something she was good at but was frowned upon. Also, her limp has been brought up a few times in the book.  It has been equated to a deformity.  It seems a bit harsh but that was what it was like in those times, and what some people thought.  Since finishing the novel, I have Googled to find more information and hope to find a biography to read.  

Now, the novel is based on real people but it is a fictionalized version.  Benedict has taken liberties with the facts to write a beautiful novel.  I started this novel on Saturday night but had work the next day so I had to put it aside.  Once I got home, I read till I finished the book.  Then with every book that touched me, I held it while I processed it all through my mind.  Benedict has a way of taking a reader to the time and place of the setting but also into the mind of the characters.  I went in thinking I would learn a bit more about Einstein but instead came away with great admiration for Mitza. This novel is about Mitza, not Albert, so you get her perspective and and her life.  Albert was portrayed as a bit of a…jerk.  That is because using facts, Benedict has given us Mitza’s side of the story.   I know some readers had a problem with this novel not be more “factual” about the Einsteins.  For me, I love a good story…if it is a fictionalized story of a real person it leads me to read a biography or memoir.  I read this book for entertainment, if you will, and The Other Einstein delivers!




Image: Pinterest


Ms. Benedict has been kind enough to provide My Novelesque Life with a guest post! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

THE OTHER EINSTEIN: Researching and Writing

By Marie Benedict

 When I first decided that I would write THE OTHER EINSTEIN, a novel about Mileva Maric who was Albert Einstein’s first wife and a physicist herself, I rolled up my sleeves and dug into the research. This deep dive into the past, utilizing original source material if I can get my hands on it, is one of my favorite aspects of writing historical fiction and the closest step I can take into the time portal I dreamed about in my childhood. I adore losing myself in the minutiae of the daily life of historical figures so that I answer long-held questions about their roles in the past, in this case understanding Mileva’s part in Albert’s four most ground-breaking theories.

But this time was different. This time, finding original source material about my character was unusually challenging. And this was a hurdle I hadn’t expected given that my character — based on the real-life woman Mileva Maric — was married to one of the world’s most famous and written-about men during the most prolific period in his life.

Countless tomes about the iconic Albert Einstein sat on the shelves of bookstores and libraries that I visited. Those books sometimes referenced Mileva Maric, but only rarely with any specificity or detail. A few wonderful books emerged which gave me information about Mileva and the world from whence she came, among them Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance by Dennis Overbye, In Albert’s Shadow: The Life and Letters of Mileva Maric by Milan Popovic, and Einstein’s Daughter: The Search for Lieserl by Michele Zackheim. But otherwise, it was hard to find information about Mileva. Why was this, I wondered. Was it because people had their gaze so firmly fixed on the man that they forgot to look at the woman bolstering him?

I rejoiced when I found Mileva’s letters, which can now be found in Albert Einstein/Mileva Maric: The Love Letters by Jurgen Renn and Robert Schulman and Reading Mileva’s own words to Albert, her best friend Helene and a few others, I came to understand her brilliant, insatiably curious mind as well as the unsure, naive woman who lurked behind it. I began to see how a woman as intelligent as Melissa might also be emotionally insecure enough — due to a childhood and young adulthood without friends or romantic ties due to her unusually sharp mind and physical defect — to withstand certain unacceptable behavior from the mercurial Albert. It was this particular research that allowed me to excavate Mileva Maric from the past.

Wake the Devil: Book Review

*originally published on 09/26/2016

28256202WAKE THE DEVIL (Sturgis and Kale: #2) Written by Robert Daniels

2016; 352 Pages (Crooked Lane Books)
Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller, romantic suspense, fbi

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY)
Rating: ★★★1/2
Beth and Jack are back…solving a crime together and living together.  It has been several months since Beth and Jack met and now they cannot envision a life apart.  They also cannot stay away from serial killers.  One day, while a married couple, two doctors, are taking some time off there is a tragedy.  One doctor is dead and the other should have been, and is now being stalked by the killer known as the Sandman.  There are a few days left until the doctor and her colleague are to testify at a grand jury.  Beth and Jack have to keep the two witnesses alive, and also find the man behind the Sandman.  If they lose the Sandman there will be more people dead in the future.
I really enjoy the characters in this book…so much so, that even the quickness of the romance between Beth and Jack doesn’t faze me.  I am just hoping that Beth and Jack can stay an alluring couple like Dallas and Roarke (In Death series by JD Robb), as I am loving this series.  I wasn’t as enthralled by the Sandman storyline but love the suspense of the plot and how it comes together.  I CANNOT wait till the next book.  Robert Daniels is definitely on the must read author list!

Past Blog Tour: The Darkness Knows

*originally published on 08/30/2016

As I write this blog post I am listening to the Old Time Radio program, Let George Do It.  I started listening to old time radio since high school – when my insomnia would keep me up late listening to the radio.  On an AM station every so often they would play a few old radio programs – from the 1930s-1960s.  One of favourite parts in the program is listening to the radio ads from that time.  No wonder people were smoking in that time – smooth flavourable cigarettes sounds pretty dandy.  I like listening to sitcoms, dramas and theater but mystery and suspense are my absolute favourites.  I cannot even begin to list the shows I love.  I enjoy that period of the “Golden Age” so when I saw the synopsis for Cheryl Honigford’s debut novel, The Darkness Know I added it to my TBR.  Sourcebooks was extremely kind to send me a physical advance copy to read and review!


26213995THE DARKNESS KNOWS  (Viv and Charlie Mystery: #1) Written by Cheryl Honigford

2016; 330 Pages (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Genre: historical mystery, old time radio, golden age, fiction, suspense

(I received an ARC from the Publisher via NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★★

 In Chicago, 1938 Vivian Witchell has landed the plum part of Lorna Lafferty in a detective radio series.  Graham Yarborough, the debonair actor,  plays the lead of Harvey Diamond, PI.  If she can prove herself in this role and other small roles she just may have a chance in Radio.  One night as Vivian heads back to the station to grab an umbrella she comes upon the body of a prominent radio actress, Marjorie Fox.  The only problem is that everyone disliked Marjorie so the suspect pool is plentiful.  In a letter found by Marjorie’s body it indicates that Lorna Lafferty might be the next victim.  Fearing for her life, but not willing to give up her roles to her arch nemesis, the station hires it’s consulting PI, Charlie Haverman, as her bodyguard.  As Charlie tries to discover the identity behind the letter and murder, Vivian inserts herself as his gal Friday.  Can Charlie find the killer before Vivian makes herself an open target?

This is Cheryl Honigford’s debut novel so I had fair expectations going into the book.  I have higher expectations when it about a subject I am passionate about.  I was trying to tell myself it’s okay if this novel doesn’t quite meet up to expectations…page one I was hooked.  Honigford actually seems genuinely a fan of that era and golden age radio.  Vivian, a woman looking for her independence and a bit of fame, is a great character. She reminds me a bit of the character Brooksie in Let George Do it.  Brooksie might be the “sidekick” character, but she is the tough one that holds the hero up and keeps the story flowing.  Though in this book Vivian is the main character and we see everything through her voice, and Charlie is the glue that keeps them going.  Vivian can be rash where Charlie is reason.  The two mix very well with chemistry and characters working well with one another.  I loved the secondary characters around them, but at times felt they were a bit kitschy.  Honestly, that would be my only “flaw” with this book if it really is one. It never hindered my enjoyment of the book at all.  I loved the characters, enjoyed most of the story and am very hooked on where Viv and Charlie go in the future.  I do kind of wish that Viv was more of a “working-class” character BUT her being from a wealthy family is also intriguing.  I do think Mrs. Witchell is a blast!  I would recommend this novel to fans of historical mystery, cozy mysteries, historical fiction of the 30s and anyone looking to know more about Old Time Radio!  Book two won’t be out till next Fall  next year, so I am a bit disappointed with the wait…as if I have no other books to keep me occupied.


I have “spoken” with Cheryl on Instagram and she is a very kind person  Her and Sourcebooks have been so kind in providing me some fun stuff for you.  Including answering my questions!

Q&A with Cheryl Honigford:

  1. What drew you to Old Time Radio and as a setting for your book?


I’ve loved old time radio since my eighth grade reading teacher, Sister Barbara Jean, played a cassette of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” in class. I remember that the “live broadcast” from Grovers Mill gave me chills. It was so far ahead of its time. Also around that time I happen to see Woody Allen’s “Radio Days” which is a fictionalized memoir about his childhood mixed with behind the scenes action of fictional radio programs in NYC. Something about it struck a chord me with me. Years later, I started listening to old time radio through my earbuds at my desk at work. Then when I started writing a mystery for Nanowrimo shortly after that it naturally fell together to set it in a radio station in the era that I loved.

(War of the Worlds was one of my first radio programs and I too felt the Welles passion through this production.  No movie version can touch it)


  1. What do enjoy most about OTR?

It’s such a different way of telling a story. When you’re reading a book, you imagine everything – the way characters look, how they sound, you can even read their thoughts sometimes. In the movies and on TV, you don’t have to imagine much of anything. It’s all laid out for you. Radio is halfway between the two, a purely auditory medium that engages your imagination.


  1. Do you have a favorite Radio Program(s)? Actors/Actresses?

My favorite program, hands down, is Suspense ( And my favorite episode is “Sorry, Wrong Number” starring Agnes Moorehead. Suspense, in general, is just a consistently well-crafted 30 minutes. I particularly love OTR horror programs though – Lights Out, Beyond Midnight, Macabre, The Creaking Door, Inner Sanctum, Nightfall, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater… Funnily enough, I don’t really care for the detective shows I modeled “The Darkness Knows” after – Shhh, don’t tell Graham and Vivian.

(I love Agnes Moorehead – especially in radio as she brings the characters to life.  Sorry Wrong Number is one of my favourite along with Welles’ The Hitchhiker.  I won’t tell Viv and Graham – and  I am sure I listen to enough of the detective ones for both of us)


  1. How did you come up Vivian?

She’s been lurking in my subconscious, I suppose. I just started writing the story and there she was on page one. I came across a tidbit about “screamers” in an old Radio Guide during my research, and so that became her specialty and what we find her doing in the very first line of the book.

(I loved learning that tidbit, and I really enjoyed her as a character)


  1. Where do you see this series going in the future?

Oh, all kinds of places! There will be more Chicago, more radio, more bickering between Viv and Charlie… Hollywood might come knocking for Vivian at some point. And WWII is also looming on the horizon, so that opens up a lot of possibilities.

(I am so excited to hear that and am waiting…semi-patiently for the next book!)



Review: Sting

*originally published on 08/20/2016

29203612STING Written by Sandra Brown 

2016; 400 Pages (Grand Central Publishing)
Genre: romantic suspense, mystery, fiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★

Shaw is a hitman hired by another to help with a hit.  The hit is a woman, Jordie Bennet.  She is beautiful and mouthy, as per Shaw.  He decides to turn on his partner and kidnap Jordie for a bigger payout.  Jordie, is the older sister of Josh Bennet, who has escaped police custody and is on the run.  He and his boss have embezzled 30 million dollars and for a lighter sentence Josh admitted to the crime.  Having second thoughts Josh decides to go on his own.  Shaw is hoping he can get the 30 million in exchange for Jordie.  But the sparks between her and Shaw just might change his plan.

The “mystery” of who Shaw really is, in my opinion, is easy to figure out as Brown drops a few details. (I will not say what in case you want to read this book and figure out the secret).  From a few pages in I was just waiting to see how the secret would be revealed.  In romances for a happy ending the “hero” must redeem himself if he is not the straight up guy in the beginning.  While it was an easy book to read I found this novel, just okay.  I miss the “pow” factor like in her earlier books.