Hello April (Fictionophile updates and March #bookhaul)

Well folks, my “Reading Ireland” went fairly well. I read and reviewed the following seven Irish novels: (just click the title to read my review)

  1.  “The railway station man” by Jennifer Johnston
  2.  “The secrets of Roscarbury Hall” by Ann O’Loughlin
  3.  “The liar’s girl” by Catherine Ryan Howard
  4.  “The yellow house” by Patricia Falvey
  5.  “The dead house” by Billy O’Callaghan
  6.  “Death at Whitewater Church” by Andrea Carter
  7.   “This must be the place” by Maggie O’Farrell

Despite not having a good reading copy, (NetGalley widget didn’t work and I ended up reading a .pdf with wonky formatting) I read and reviewed “Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell in time for the final stop on the blog tour.  It was fabulous and will, without a doubt, be included on my TOP Reads 2018 list.I was delighted to learn that I WON a copy of Alice Feeney‘s “Sometimes I lie“! ♥♥♥ I am SO grateful! ♥♥♥

I received FIVE titles from NetGalley in March

Goodreads blurb: First in a gripping new thriller series featuring investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil. If you love Broadchurch you’ll be completely hooked.
TV journalist and media darling Oonagh O’Neil can sense a sinister coverup from the moment an elderly priest dies on the altar of his Glasgow church. His death comes as she is about to expose the shocking truth behind the closure of a Magdalene Institution. The Church has already tried to suppress the story. Is someone also covering their tracks?
DI Alec Davies is appointed to investigate the priest’s death. He and Oonagh go way back. Oonagh now faces the biggest decision of her life. But will it be hers to make? What secrets lie behind the derelict Institution’s doors? What sparked the infamous three-day riot that closed it? And what happened to the three Maggies who vowed to stay friends forever? From Ireland to Scotland. From life to death.

Goodreads blurb:  A spellbinding romp about a caretaker and a cranky hoarder with a secret—complete with skulking saints, unresolved disappearances, greedy heirs, and a firecracker neighbor determined to get to the bottom of it all.
Maud Drennan is a dedicated caretaker, but her sunny, capable disposition and snappy quips mask a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her in the company of a cast of patron saints who pop in and out of her life like unwelcome tourists. She tries to find solace in her hard work in London…but then she meets the inimitable Mr. Flood.
A menace by all accounts, Cathal Flood is a widower living alone in a Gothic Dorset mansion crawling with collector’s items and feral cats. Stubborn as anything and an extreme hoarder, he has been battling his son’s attempts to move him into an old age home, and rumor has it he sent his last caretaker to the madhouse.
But Maud is this insolent old man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he might be able to fend off the deportation. So the unlikely pair begin to cooperate, connecting over their shared love of folk tales and their suspicion of Gabriel, Cathal’s overbearing son. Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn’t really know this man at all. When she starts poking around, the forgotten case of a missing local schoolgirl comes to light, and a full-steam search for answers begins.
NOTE: This book was also published under the title: “The hoarder”.

Goodreads blurb:  Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.
At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface. The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is a story of friendship, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times.

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist— a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

Goodreads blurb:
Clare has to find them.
Sally Proulx and her young boy have mysteriously disappeared in the stormy town of High River. Clare is hired to track them down, hoping against all odds to find them alive. But High River isn’t your typical town. It’s a place where women run to—women who want to escape their past. They run to Helen Haines, a matriarch who offers them safe haven and anonymity. Pretending to be Sally’s long-lost friend, Clare turns up and starts asking questions, but nothing prepares her for the swirl of deception and the depth of the lies.
Did Sally drown? Did her son? Was it an accident, or is their disappearance part of something bigger?
In a town where secrets are crucial to survival, everyone is hiding something. Detectives Somers and Rourke clearly have an ulterior motive beyond solving the case. Malcolm Boon, who hired Clare, knows more about her than he reveals. And Helen is concealing a tragic family history of her own. As the truth surges through High River, Clare must face the very thing she has so desperately been running from, even if it comes at a devastating cost. Compulsively gripping and twisty, Still Water is a deep dive of a thriller that will leave you breathless.

 I received two titles from Edelweiss in March


Goodreads blurb:

D.I. Callanach #1 On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

From Goodreads blurb:  A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy’s bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda’s twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda’s life. She doesn’t hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy–and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books–now as its owner–she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store’s shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy’s last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy’s past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda’s mother has kept hidden–and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It’s a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

NOTE: I am a bit confused about this one as I was given a time limit to read the book.  Has this ever happened to you?

What confuses me is that 60 days from when I downloaded it is May 19th.  The publication date is June 12th.  Any advice you may have is welcome.

I have recently begun to review books for Thistle Publishing and received three titles from them in March:

We reap what we sow.
A dark, suspenseful novel about a fifty-something man who’s lost his way, and his incendiary relationship with a younger woman. Nominated for the Whitbread First Novel prize.
A portrait of a modern family in crisis, a moving love story and a chilling narrative of revenge, A Perfect Sentence moves swiftly from London through Florence, the South of France and Morocco and ends dramatically in Barcelona’s cosmopolitan Barri Gotic.

She knows what’s best for her son, and it’s not you.
Eve has an idiosyncratic relationship with the truth, is a borderline psychopath (according to her psychologist friend Claire), and has a rather colourful past. But her heart is in the right place. Having recently met Gideon everything seems, at last, to be working out rather well for her. Then he introduces her to his mother. Marjorie clearly believes that she knows what’s best for her son, and it’s definitely not Eve.
Over the next few months Eve struggles as Marjorie seems hell-bent on undermining her relationship with Gideon at every opportunity. Then, a chance meeting with someone very close to Marjorie confirms Eve’s worst fears – there are literally no lengths to which Marjorie will not go to get Eve out of her son’s life. Using her own ingenuity, and with help from some very unexpected quarters, Eve finds herself caught up in a very high stakes game indeed, in which there can be only one winner.

Ezra had it all when he died. A good job. A nice house. His loving wife, Grace.
Grace doesn’t even realise she’s struggling to keep herself together. Until Torin turns up in Redferne Lane. It’s been nearly two years since Grace has seen Torin. Since Ezra’s funeral. Now Torin is back in her life, emotions from the past are resurfacing and Grace begins to realise elements of her life are going wrong. She’s not sure she can take control.
But Grace isn’t the only one with problems in Redferne Lane. Josie has a husband and young family to contend with. Ada is facing the difficulties of old age. Jerome thinks he’s found the perfect girl. Eliza just wants to grow up. And Torin isn’t sure he should have what he wants. They all begin to turn to Grace for answers. Can Grace look beyond her own difficulties and help those around her, even while she’s trying to save herself?

Once again, this year I am participating in Mystery/Thriller Week!

I am reading/reviewing Leslie Tentler’s “Before the storm“.

Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to protect herself.
Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident. Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter…until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town. Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman. But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens.
As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge. Someone from Samantha’s lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her. And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path. Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives.

My Goodreads Challenge is coming along nicely:

My NetGalley feedback ratio needs some improvement:

My Edelweiss feedback ratio needs recusitation even more improvement:


As of today, April 1st, I am going to try to refrain from requesting anything at all from NetGalley or Edelweiss.  NO, this is not an April Fool’s joke!  I will still be adding to my TBR no doubt with publisher invites and the odd blog tour.  Next month’s “Hello May” post will hopefully have no more than 2 titles listed in my book haul.  I MUST get this TBR of mine under control.

I hope that the Easter bunny was good to you!

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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19 Responses to Hello April (Fictionophile updates and March #bookhaul)

  1. Holly B / Dressedtoread says:

    I was super excited to win Sometimes I Lie (with you)!! I hope it is a signed copy 🙂 I have never received a message like that, but I have been denied a book and re-requested and approved! So they will let us re request books. Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Holly. I’ve been remarkably lucky with my Edelweiss requests. I’ve only ever been denied twice. The time deadline is troublesome for me. It makes me less likely to request from that publisher in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Norrie says:

    congrats on winning that book! 😀

    I have the perfect remains since December I think but haven’t read it yet. look forward to reading your review 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good luck with steering clear of NetGalley and Edelweiss – I’m going to try and have a month off too to try and get the review copies under some sort of control! Not sure how long it will last though…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. skyecaitlin says:

    An incredible haul!!! So many look and sound amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ooo that 60 days to review is worrying, I hope that isn’t a common thing. When I requested All the Beautiful Lies, from Harpercollins also, it gave me a deadline to submits the review by (if I remember correctly) but it didn’t say to re-request if I didn’t. I panicked and read it instantly lol 🙈

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Zoe says:

    That 60 days notice is a new one for me. I’ve never seen that. Interesting when they like reviews around publication!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. yvonnembee says:

    Some wonderful books. Ludlow Ladies, Mrs Bird and Perfect Remains are all ones I loved xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Priyasha says:

    Happy reading ❣

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Floryie says:

    oo a very productive month for you! I hear you on the not requesting comment. I enjoy perusing your blog and I find so many reads to add to my lengthy TBR. You are bad for it! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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