Rachel McMillan’s Murder Mystery Prize Pack and Facebook Party

I did receive this book complimentary from Litfuse Publicity Group for my review. These thoughts are my own.

Here is a snippet from the author’s landing page and Facebook Party:

 Meet best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem, who launch their own Sherlock Holmes-esque consulting detective business in 1910 Toronto in Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!


This was an interesting book. I am rating it a 3/5. There were parts that I liked such as the wit of Merinda and Jem. Based in 1910, you know a woman’s place was not solving murders and traipsing around in trousers. I found it hilarious to see these two women buck up against those traditional values of the time. Merinda was very quirky and lived on the edge, while Jem tried to keep her reasonable but also wanted to play detective to solve these murders. Their commentary alone was what kept me reading this.

What I didn’t like was that there were too many story lines and factors at play. For me it was hard to follow, and it didn’t seem to flow very well at first. There was a lot of bouncing around, and the character development was on the weaker side. It took me until midway through to feel like I knew what was going on.

The author did seem knowledgeable about the era, and it was a new twist on Sherlock Holmes mysteries. However, I feel like she was trying to hard to seem historically accurate, which is why I got lost in the details.

It’s not bad, but it wont be something I highly recommend as a read. This is a series, so maybe if you read more it would flow better for you. For me it was just ok.

Book Review-Leaving Time

Stop what you are doing and get this book.


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I LOVED this book. I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan, and if you weren’t aware I am obsessed with elephants. So this was meant to be a good book for me.

Picoult told this story from four different points of view: Jenna, Serenity, Virgil, and Alice. Alice is Jenna’s mother. She went missing when Jenna was three, so Jenna has been searching for clues for the past 10 years to find her. Now thirteen, she enlists the help of Serenity, a psychic, and Virgil, a PI. When you are reading Alice’s perspective you actually go back in time before the disappearance to give you some context.

I thought the way she laid out the book was brilliant. I was never confused on who was talking since each chapter was a different character. I also felt having the four different perspectives showed you different sides of the same story which brought depth to the plot line.

I am not going to tell you more to the story because I don’t want to give anything away. I want you to experience all the emotions I did with every twist and surprise.

This is honestly one of the best books I have read in a long time. Seriously it is possibly now in my top five all time favorite books is how much I loved it.

Not only is it a story about human emotions and how intertwined and messy but beautiful they can be, it also talks A LOT about elephants. I would call myself a novice expert (if that is a thing) on elephants. Every research paper in elementary school up to high school I did on elephants. I had all kinds of elephant encyclopedias/magazines growing up, and give me all the elephant figurines at the dollar store please. One of my dreams growing up was to work with elephants at a zoo or sanctuary. How I found this book was because I was setting up my yearly donation to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. (Click here if you want more information on that or to read about the lady elephants there.) Anyway, so I know when a writer is speaking the truth on elephants.

She wrote so beautifully on the emotional capacity of these wonderful animals, and the way it fit into the story was just great. I thought the flashbacks from Alice were a nice touch, and I honestly didn’t see the story unfolding as it did. And I am usually pretty good at predicting things. Total surprise with each chapter.

So I am sure that was the vaguest book review ever, but honestly you need to read this without me giving away any spoilers.
As a caveat though, from the reviews on Goodreads, it seems that this book is either hit or miss with people. Either you love it like I do, or people thought it was too much to keep up with and didn’t carry well between characters. I will let you decide. I think though if you are a fan of Jodi or of elephants, you will like the book.

Have you read Leaving Time? What is your favorite Jodi Picoult book?

Recent Reads

In the last couple weeks, I finished two books. This is momentous for me to be reading like this after the last year rut.


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I rated this 3 stars. It was an extremely easy read, and it was jam packed with insider Bachelornation information. This was honestly the reason I got the book. I wanted to know all the secrets. Sean is easily my favorite Bachelor from the show too. I did find it really interesting to hear his personal thoughts on his love story and how he made decisions. I have been watching this show since Trista’s season (she was the first Bachelorette), so I am obviously hooked on the franchise. I am also pretty naive, so I found it fascinating to read how much is staged in the show. (Duh Stephanie.) If you are a Bachelor fan, this is a fun read to get behind the scenes.


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I gave this book 4 stars. I really loved this book. It is a non-fiction book written like a fiction novel. The first half of the book follows the Mercury Seven wives, who are the first group of Astronauts here in the United States. These women were catapulted from fame during the early 60s known as the perfect housewives. They received a contract from Life magazine and were followed around during each mission. These women were supposed to be perfect, but there are so many hard emotions that come along with husbands being gone and being in a dangerous and unknown career. This book allowed them to open up about those darker emotions that they could not show in those earlier years. It portrayed the rawness of how marriages suffered amongst the expectations and competition. But it also showed how these women became friends and were support for one another when their husbands went up (and came down or never returned in some cases). I would have given it a 5 star because I honestly did love it, however the last half of the book was not as good as the first half. Towards the middle of the book, Koppel also wrote about the Gemini and Apollo missions which had several new groups of wives. I felt like she went into much greater detail about the Mercury Seven, and then zipped through the rest of the groups so quickly that sometimes it was hard to keep track of who she was talking about. All in all, I highly recommend this read. It was really interesting to read about this perspective of the space missions. And now I can go watch the TV show.

What have you been reading lately? Do you read more than one book at a time?

Book Review-The Longest Ride

First of all, thank you for the sweet comments to my post yesterday. Sometimes it can be scary to be raw and open on the blog, but it is nice to know that it is well received. It meant a lot.

Secondly, I am here to announce that finally. FINALLY. my book rut is over. Bring all the books to me.

I just finished The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks last week, and I am already halfway through another book. Yes, yes, and yes.

I knew a book from good ol’ Nick would get me back.


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In true Sparks fashion, this is a book about love.

But what I love about this book in particular is that it is two different stories woven together. One follows a new young couple and their journey to love, but the other follows an elderly couple’s memories of love with flashbacks of sorts.

It was a brilliant way to show how love transcends many different situations and can surprise us in so many different ways but yet be so comforting in it’s normalcy.

You knew that in the end these two couples would be connected, but the plot kept you intrigued until the very end. It was like a carrot being dangled. I just wanted more and wanted to know the why and how.

I don’t want to share too much about the book because the secrets within are really meant to be read, and not summarized by me a little ol blogger. I would hate to ruin it for you.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

I love YA books, and Nicholas Sparks happens to be one of my favorite authors. I know he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and some people find that all of his books are the same. I think that he does have some underlying similarities in all of his books, but I think this one was pretty sharp with using two very different couples to show parallel love stories. But hey I am a sucker for a YA love story novel.

This review sums up my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for reading.

Are you a Nicholas Sparks fan? What is your favorite NS book?

Reader’s Block

For the past year I have had a reading block. I just don’t feel the urge to dive into a book like I normally do.

I don’t know if it is laziness or just being pulled into the direction of different technologies (read I love my TV shows), but I just haven’t read anything for fun completely in the last year.

One reason for this is I started two books that I just couldn’t finish.

I have never been one to stop a book part-way through. I always try to push my way through a bad (to me) book.

But these two, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. And I feel like that has really impacted my gusto towards reading. The fact that I picked these two right after each other and had two failures back to back just made me lose my reading mojo.

These two books were Monuments Men by Robert Edsel and The Missing by Tim Gautreaux.

I started Monuments Men last January and finally had to put it away in May. Then I started The Missing and put it away once we moved to our new place in December. Neither of them I finished.

Others may find these to be good books, but I just found them to be too heavy. I got lost in the words, and not in a good way. I read for fun and don’t want it to feel like work. (I mean seriously I have the reading tastes of a 16 year old girl.)

For Monuments Men, I felt like I was reading for a class with trying to remember all the details and how everything was connected. I did like the personal letters and maps which is honestly what kept me picking it back up each time. I was really disappointed that I didn’t like this more with my history background. I think that it reminded me too much of a textbook that I shied away from it eventually. I didn’t want to feel obligated to read it.

For The Missing, it was similar in how I got lost in the details. The way the author described things made me bored and thinking, “Just get on with it.” I also feel like the story was so drawn out that I just couldn’t deal with all the side stories that really had nothing to do with the missing girl at hand. The premise was good and it had its moments, but overall it was just too much. I realize that maybe if I read further things may have been connected at the end. But he lost me half way through, and I just couldn’t bring myself to continue.

So I have had a hard time feeling motivated to read again and feel the pressure for that next book to really draw me back in. I wanted to pick a book that is going to get me jazzed about reading and not be a chore to do. With that there was a lot of hesitation to read again because I didn’t want to be disappointed for the third time in the last year.

But alas, I did just start a new book, so we’ll see how it goes. My problem now is that I can barely get through a couple pages before I fall asleep since I read before bed mostly. So it may take awhile.

But seriously, I want to be like this again.


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Have you ever been in a reading rut? What is your go to book/author that gets you excited about reading?