Hello March! (Fictionophile updates & book haul)


Fictionophile’s readership continues to grow!

During the month of February an additional 112 people have begun following this blog!  That makes a total of 1,312 followers altogether!   I am continually amazed.  Thanks everyone!

cloverbarI am taking part in two TLC Book Tours in March

Laura Lippman’s “Wilde Lake” on March 6th.



The bestselling author of the acclaimed novels After I’m Gone, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.

and Jane Haseldine’s “Duplicity” on March 31st


Blurb: Julia Gooden knows how to juggle different lives. A successful Detroit crime reporter, she covers the grittiest stories in the city while raising her two young boys in the suburbs. But beneath that accomplished façade is another Julia, still consumed by a tragedy that unfolded thirty years ago when her nine-year-old brother disappeared without a trace.

Julia’s marriage, too, is a balancing act, as she tries to rekindle her relationship with her husband, Assistant District Attorney David Tanner, while maintaining professional boundaries. David is about to bring Nick Rossi to trial for crimes that include drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and bribery. But the story becomes much more urgent when a courthouse bomb claims several victims—including the prosecution’s key witness—and leaves David critically injured.

Though Julia is certain that Rossi orchestrated the attack, the case against him is collapsing, and his power and connections run high and wide. With the help of Detective Raymond Navarro of the Detroit PD, she starts following a trail of blackmail, payback, and political ambition, little imagining where it will lead. Julia has risked her career before, but this time innocent lives—including her children’s—hang in the balance, and justice may come too late to save what truly matters…


I have signed up to participate in “Reading Ireland Month“!

(or The Begorrathon as it is affectionately known)7-titles-for-reading-ireland-month-2017

I am hoping to read 7 titles that are set in Ireland/written by Irish authors.

Don’t hold me to seven as I DO have other reading commitments.  However, it is my aim to read these seven titles during the month of March:

  1. The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston
  2.  Secrets we keep by Faith Hogan
  3. The stolen child by Lisa Carey
  4. Out of the blue by Gretta Mulrooney
  5. After the rising by Orna Ross
  6. The Ballroom Café by Ann O’Loughlin
  7. The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

I will also try to feature an Irish author in one of my blog series.


I was pleased to see that I have my eighth pre-approval on NetGalley.aria-pre-approval


Over the past month I have received the following five titles from NetGalley

ng-the-birdwatcher“The birdwatcher” by William Shaw

Police Sergeant William South has a good reason to shy away from murder investigations: he is a murderer himself.

A methodical, diligent, and exceptionally bright detective, South is an avid birdwatcher and trusted figure in his small town on the rugged Kentish coast. He also lives with the deeply buried secret that, as a child in Northern Ireland, he may have killed a man. When a fellow birdwatcher is found murdered in his remote home, South’s world flips.

The culprit seems to be a drifter from South’s childhood; the victim was the only person connecting South to his early crime; and a troubled, vivacious new female sergeant has been relocated from London and assigned to work with South. As our hero investigates, he must work ever-harder to keep his own connections to the victim, and his past, a secret.
The Birdwatcher is British crime fiction at its finest; a stirring portrait of flawed, vulnerable investigators; a meticulously constructed mystery; and a primal story of fear, loyalty and vengeance.

ng-faber-and-faber-wish-granted-the-doll-funeral “The Doll Funeral” by Kate Hamer

I read Kate Hamer’s “The Girl in the Red Coat” and really enjoyed it.  When I saw this listed on NetGalley I was sad to discover that it wasn’t available – but that you could ‘wish for it‘.


The publisher, Faber & Faber, granted my wish!

The blurb:

My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.

I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.

ng-secrets-we-keepThis is one of the titles I requested for “Reading Ireland” month. 

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept. A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlon and Adele Parks. The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny? Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.


I read a wonderful novel by Jennifer Johnston called “Shadows on our skin“, and I just knew that I would have to include one of her titles in “Reading Ireland Month“.

Winner of the Whitbread Literary Award for Best Novel: In the wake of the Great War, a young woman’s life is turned upside down when she befriends a soldier of the grisly struggle on Ireland’s horizon

Nancy lives with her aunt and ailing grandfather in a seaside town not far from Dublin. Eighteen and about to go to university, Nancy has spent her summer consumed in part by unrequited thoughts of her first love, Harry, a man eight years her senior. Nancy’s one haven is the beach, where she has discovered an abandoned hut and claimed it as her personal sanctuary. One day, she arrives there to find that her inner sanctum has been invaded by a grizzled and desperate-looking man whom she names Cassius. An IRA foot soldier on the run, Cassius becomes something of a father figure to Nancy, and in a pivotal moment she agrees to deliver a message for him—a decision that will change her life forever.
A beautiful coming-of-age novel set against the nascent Irish Troubles, The Old Jest is an award-winning portrait of loyalty, loss, and of one fateful encounter that propels a young woman into adulthood.  



“The Blackbird Season” by Kate Moretti

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense.


and one title from Edelweiss:


“Sister Sister” by Sue Fortin

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.

Alice thinks Claire is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac. Two sisters. One truth.


Also, I have agreed to read and review:

“Practicing Normal” by Cara Sue Achterberg (approached by the author)


and, “The Yellow House” by Jeroen Blokhuis (approached by Holland Park Press)
this is a novella-length, fictional portrait of the life of Vincent van Gogh.the-yellow-house-holland-park-press

That’s eight more review commitments!

Next month, I plan to have a maximum of two.


and… just in case you were worried that I didn’t have enough to read… LOL

here are the Kindle titles I purchased from Amazon.ca last month:

$ 2.99

$ 2.99

$ 4.99

$ 4.99

$ 3.99

$ 3.99

$ .99

$ .99

So…. that’s me.  March all planned out.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans. LOL  Happy reading!



About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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21 Responses to Hello March! (Fictionophile updates & book haul)

  1. That’s quite a month! Looking forward to seeing where your reading takes you


    • Fictionophile says:

      We’re travelling near the end of the month so I’m starting to stress I won’t get everything read. I have to keep reminding myself that the world won’t end if I don’t meet the goals I’ve set for myself. LOL


  2. Christine says:

    Wow, lots to explore on this post, Lynne. And congrats on your autoapprovals!!


  3. My you’ve got a busy month. Love the sound of the Beggorathon. Congratulations on your 8th auto approval and all your new followers. Happy Reading xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for taking part in Reading Ireland Month. I’m a big fan of Jennifer Johnston. Don’t forget to link your reviews to the main post x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tina Woodbury says:

    Auto approve! That’s fantastic. I’m a new blogger and waiting to request a book from Netgalley till I get a few months under belt. Something to aspire too.
    Looks like you have a lot of great books in store for you this month!
    Happy reading!


  6. carhicks says:

    Good luck to you. I plan what I am going to read at the beginning of the month,then stuff gets in the way, I change books and then it all goes kaput. I wish I could be as organized as you are.


    • Fictionophile says:

      Ha-ha. My husband would laugh aloud if he read your comment about me being organized. I’m working on it. I guess I hope that if I write this stuff down for others to see I’ll stick to the plan more. But then… I have been known to wear rose-coloured glasses.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. nickimags says:

    Great post! I love the look of your Reading Ireland Challenge 🙂


  8. 112 new followers in one month! Go you!!!


  9. Congrats on the auto approval. I only currently have one, which is Penguin Michael Joseph, but it’s great to be able to read any of their books!
    Looks like you have a fantastic bookish month, excellent post! 🙂


  10. Diana says:

    wow, 8 auto-approvals is major. I have only been auto-approved by one publisher but unfortunately, they don’t publish many thrillers so I haven’t used my benefit much. 8 is huge. Congratulations.

    Most of these titles are familiar. I really liked Sister Sister. I hope that you will too. Happy reading.


    • Fictionophile says:

      I don’t take advantage of my auto-approvals as much as I should. Right now I am desperately working on getting my 80% ratio badge, so I am very reluctant to even look at what they have to offer so that I won’t be tempted. I have auto-approval on Poisoned Pen Press and Severn House and they always have a way of tempting me.


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