The Missing Years Blog Tour

 

 

The Missing Years Cover
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BLURB
She thought she would never go back…
Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.
Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.
With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…

Book Information
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (6 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786495570
ISBN-13: 978-1786495570
Amazon

 

My Review

This book was like the perfect read for me given that I was reading this beauty while actually in the Highlands as I was on a little tour with my friend who is visiting. But aside from the context being perfect, The Missing Years is a GREAT mystery thriller. With Ailsa’s father missing, there’s already mystery and intrigue wrapped around our protagonist, but my favorite part about this book was actually the theories that Aisla had between each chapter about what happened to her father. I thought that was just so creative and loved getting to the end of a chapter to see what her next theory was for her father. Was he dead this time, was he hiding in a tropical climate, did he have a new family?

Aisla wears the years of her father’s disappearance internally and even to an extent an outsider as another character or even as us the reader can see how this has left a mark on her. With her mother recently passed and what happened to her Father still unanswered, she’s a woman who has seemed to keep many people at arm’s length, including her half sister Carrie. Trying to redeem that relationship, Aisla asks her sister to join her at the house she’s halfway inherited. The other half still technically belonging to her father.

With a life keeping people at a safe distance, Aisla is temporarily stuck in a small community, one that knows each other and all the goings on, and that includes knowing about her, and her family. People who were friends with them, people that had run-ins for better or worse with them, and Aisla is faced with the fact she can no longer hide.

There was such a great chilling and supernatural undertone to this and this is just another book I could sing praises for repeatedly. I loved the Manse itself and I loved the setting. [I’m not totally biased at all living in Scotland.]

Another aspect that really made this book enjoyable was the reconnecting of Aisla and Carrie, it felt really organic and natural. They have a big age gap, Aisla has been absent, and they don’t immediately become close as ever and I love that they struggled but obviously cared deeply for each other.

Elliott does a good job of keeping you guessing for a good chunk of the book. You may have inklings but you’re just not quite sure for a while and she just makes everything feel so natural as if Aisla is this real person and I find it hard to believe she wasn’t and this is just a story! Elliott also does a good job with giving us some LGBTQIA rep. She also doesn’t tie up everything too neatly at the end though she does give you a satisfying ending which is a huge bonus in this genre.

Overall definitely a 4 star read and one I plan on giving a reread someday!

 

About the Author

Lexie Elliott Author picture

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

www.lexieelliott.com
Facebook
Twitter

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

The Missing Years BT Poster

In Search of a Witch’s Soul

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Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.

When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.

As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

1920s, prohibition exists but not as we know it, it’s a prohibition on magic. Anna Caill a flapper girl and private eye who helps Witches (which are both men and women) who come to her with cases. Not to mention she goes against the 18th amendment to use the Living Memory spell whenever she can to help ease the pain she’s been in from losing a loved one.

Jesse Hunt comes in with what seems a pretty straight forward missing person’s case with a person not really missing, just run away, but why is she so drawn to Jesse Hunt? And is this case as straight forward as she thought?

[Trigger Warning: Character death(s), some steamy love scenes in general if that’s a thing that may be a no for you or a trigger]

Pros:
-Guys…GUYS. It’s prohibition era, NOIR urban fantasy! IT IS A MYSTERY WITH FANTASY [I am freaking out!]
-Quick, fast-paced read
-Such a great integration of magic into the 1920s setting
-1920s slang even used throughout the narration not just when characters talk
-Jesse Hunt is pretty cool
-Jack is very cool
-Small twist in the epilogue that I hope means we get to see more of Caill!!!
-Caill is an awesome flapper who solves freakin’ mysteries and helps out witches.

Cons:
-More erotic than I thought? Which isn’t necessarily a con but it really just goes wham bam and you’re peering around you wondering if anyone can see you blushing.
-1920s slang may seem trite to some instead of immersive
-Jesse Hunt may be eye-roll inducing for the first 60% bahaha
– You may find it too predictable [In Lieber’s defense I would imagine that she meant it to be predictable to us, it was supposed to be a surprise for Caill, not us lol]
-May have tropes you hate that I don’t want to give away too much and give out spoilers, but some usual romance tropes, a bit of a love triangle.

This isn’t my usual thing as far as reading something with steamy scenes but I loved it and just read it in like a handful of hours between two sittings last night and this morning. I think Lieber has a fantastic voice and I really hope there’s more to this! IF NOT I GOT SOME WORDS FOR HER!

[I received an eARC copy of this in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley, here is the GoodReads Link]

 

It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get-

Just joking. But I do have that song stuck in my head now.

I think I’ll be talking about book clubs but before I do…..

Updates: So I’ve never done like a book haul before, just post pictures when we go charity shopping, but I may actually be able to do one for March! I just preordered the paperback of Cindy Pon’s Want for my YARC challenge (the library didn’t have it and the Kindle version was more expensive by enough that it made a difference and I bought the paperback, so I’ll be twiddling my thumbs for that, and A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia Cole…not to mention….Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller! (Comes out March 1 for us U.K. peeps!)

So there we have it, three new books when the newest book I bought was the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, used, this past summer.

As far as reviews go, I’ll probably not post any reviews for my Agatha Christie reads on here, I might on GoodReads if I feel it’ll add something but it just feels like an unnecessary cluttering of the blog if I do it here!

I’ve finally started Dead Man’s Blues last night which is a large read, got through part one and there are 8, so, it’ll probably take me a few days as I’m trading off between that, an ARC, and my huge nonfiction slow burn read, The Romanovs. This weekend I plan to finish and review the ARC by Sunday, hopefully finish Dead Man’s Blues by Monday/Tuesday, and then really knuckle down on my February TBR that I’ve been ignoring to push down my NetGalley list (I am not allowed to browse on there until I’ve finished what I’ve picked up already). However, I feel I may not get to Becoming Michelle Obama, until late March, I was 90 on the hold list when I signed up (or 89…one of those two) and uh I’m 79 now, so progress, but, it’ll be a minute! Also on hold for two others but I’m in the single digits on those so I’m not too worried. : End Updates

Alright, now that I’ve got my mindless rambling out of the way, let’s talk, Book Clubs! I’m in one right now as well as in some reading groups on GoodReads (if you’re on there, feel free to snoop, I’m in 4, but active in 3 as I can’t get to the books they have in the last one, but the moment I can get one I’ll leap in!

Are you all in book clubs, and are they online or physical ones? I was the secretary of the High School Book Club and though I did enjoy it I found that most of their reads were not something I found interesting, I will admit though that at least two books had a really big impact on me. One neat thing about that club was that the school funded it entirely so we didn’t have to pay for the books. The others books I was able to give away to friends and so it was no harm no foul, but now as an adult, if I can’t get it at the library that means having to buy it. If it’s old or commonplace I can snag it cheap but if it’s not, well I’m like Scrooge and I cry over my pennies as they pry them from my hands at the counter. Such as, I spent 8 dollars (my kindle is still connected to my American Amazon and American bank card) on Stalking Jack the Ripper, and as someone who wasn’t very fond of that, I glare at it daily on my carousel on my KFire, in fact, I keep it in my carousel for that very reason, to glare at it.

I love that book clubs get me into genres I might not normally dive into, honestly, I do, but I also hate when we read ab ook that I know is going to be one everyone loves and I’m in the corner like this:

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I also sometimes get very busy with other reads and forget and then I’m rushing to read and in a state of panic….like this:

I think for me I better enjoy doing a book club with people I know, or one that perhaps focuses on certain novels. Like I love my Agatha Christie GR group, but, because I know I’ll enjoy every book, not to mention, I don’t have to sit there with them in person. I am friends with the person who leads the FB one with the regrettable kindle purchase, and it’s nice to be in a book club with people I know in real life but via online. The only problem with this one is that it’s a free for all, people just recommend a read for the month and it’s randomly chosen, which is not the problem…The problem is that I can see myself being uncomfortable if I really don’t like the read and it was recommended by someone I like and know.

“Let’s read my favorite book, guys!”
“OKAY!”

Oh crap, I hate their favorite book.

“So what did you think of the book that changed my life?!”

I really don’t like feeling very guilty and I hate telling people I hate something they love. I mean I’m mean…but I don’t go soul-crushing for no reason!

So I can prep myself, has this happened to any of you all, book club situation or not? Did you just say ‘it just wasn’t for me’ or were you like ‘UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!’

Are you all proud of me? I finally had the energy to use gifs, can you tell???

In the end, my verdict on book clubs? I love them but I am an ugly ball of anxiety and lies in them.

The Spitfire Girls ARC Review

First off, guys, I’m wheezing because I accidentally wrote Spitefire and I feel like that was my subconscious talking.

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Blurb: At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground, their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned.

There is friction from the start, between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home.

As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war.

Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

[^ Let me tell you if I read that last little line/rhetorical question, I may not have jumped so eagerly to read it.]

Pros:
-Freakin WWII Women Pilots, I mean, seriously, how awesome is that?!
-Women Pilots
-Women Pilots flying huge bomber planes
-Are we seeing my pattern here yet?
-It’s sweet and fluffy and a book you can pick up and read while waiting for an appointment without getting too consumed.

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy stereotypical characters: You have the brash rude and horrible American, the demure, sweet, insecure small girl, the stoic ‘I can’t show emotions’ Commander.
-Honestly, the American in the first chapter is just shown as headstrong but then suddenly when we see her next she’s a spoiled little princess, or at least that’s what Lane wants you to think and I ended up just liking her more because she was competitive, ambitious, and went after what she wanted.
-The rivalry between the American and little Ms. Perfect was vomit inducing, of course, the sweet quiet one is the favored one, who wouldn’t want an insecure pilot flying a bomber plane?
-Of course, we have to have the overly confident one go through a personality change -ugh-.
-She switches between three characters and it just feels like they have no depth and their love stories are mushy gushy, so if you like that [the mushy gushy], throw it up in the pros!

Really I’m just not a sweet and fluffy person but I can tell you one thing, had this been a movie, I would have probably thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, I wanted to give this 2.5 but I realized, why should I rate a book so low just because I’m an unbelievable cynic? I hate sweet fluff with no depth, but, you know what, sometimes it’s nice to read that and not have to deal with a book that will emotionally drain you, plus it’s nice that she chose to focus on these women in history. I just feel that others have and will do better with this time in history. I intend to look into more books about our female WWII pilots.

This book comes out on February 26, I read this in exchange for an honest review and received it via NetGalley.

Harry Potter Book Night & The Week Ahead

So, I’m dead tired, I’m actually leaning back in the recliner and my head is dangling off the side of it as I type this. Does it sound uncomfortable? Well, it is.

Today at our library was Harry Potter Book Night, and the event was so much fun for my daughter! They had a man come in to explain some creatures, and she got to pet the cutest and largest snake I’ve ever seen in my life, and I was so proud of her as she is usually the type to shy away from anything not fluffy [she was even excited to see the tarantula!]. She also got make a winged key and a dragon egg and spent probably two hours doing everything so it was a nice Sunday for us. I wish her school would have done something for it as well but I’m super happy that our library did and I basically screamed ‘take my money’ at them when they announced they were.

I’m chugging along with bookstagram, the blog, and still….still progressing through the ARCs.

I’ve got two ARCs for this week plus The Priory of The Orange Tree extract I got from NetGalley, and then that’s it I’m taking a week break so I can go through my monthly Agatha Christie and reading the follow-up book to The Axeman’s Jazz; Dead Man’s Blues.

There’ll be at least one review post this week, and I’ll do a list of my top Dystopia picks tomorrow. Speaking of Dystopia novels, anyone have a favorite in that genre?

That’s it, there’s my post, I’m going to go to bed now, lol toodles everyone!

#YARC 2019

[***That Featured Image is not mine, holy cow I can’t do anything with graphics, credit goes to the hosts, all of whom I’ve linked below***]

I honestly don’t even know what I’m doing with my life anymore but after preordering Descendant of the Crane and then wanting to read Not Your Sidekick…I, I just realized I might as well at this point. Besides, it’s not like there’s any downside to joining such an amazing challenge!

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge is hosted by these lovely people:

What’s my current progress? 1! I finally got my first read done and it was so amazing and beautiful and wonderful. -Sob-

Current Badge:
Green and blue award badge with a brown Phillipines Tarsier in the center, and with one gold star above the award.

My Goal: 10!

I know that’s the lowest badge that little adorable Pilippine Tarsier, but I’ve got so many reading goals that I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

What books am I hoping to read? (this=read)
The Night Tiger (I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Ghost Bride)
Descendant of the Crane (Already pre-ordered!)
Not Your Sidekick
Not Your Villain
Not Your Backup
Brothers (I started this book a long time ago, but lost my place so, redo!)
Mao’s Last Dancer (I’ve had it for ages, it’s time)
Ignite the Stars
Jade City
Jade War
Want

I will be keeping track of what I want to read and what I’ve read via a GoodReads shelf, but this will not be limited to this challenge, so I’ll not link it but if you have me on GoodReads feel free to check out the shelf!

Toodles!

Mini Review Day

I’ve finished 3 ARCs/Free Readers this week so I’ve decided it’s just best to do them in one fell swoop.

I’ll just go in the order that I finished them.

  1. Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead

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    I think it was my overall lack of belief that Holmes would have a daughter that had made me skeptical of this book of Arabella, but if he ever would have been written to have one, no doubt she would have similar emotional issues just like Brynn has written Arabella. Henry is nice, he’s real, and he’s also quick to show his emotions which makes a nice contrast. I was actually SO disappointed that the one thing that seemed plausible for her to feel in regards to being conventional in a role as a wife was suddenly just changed for the love of Henry.She had a really nice writing voice but she was just a bit too all over the place. Really, having Holmes’s daughter and Reich Brides in the same novel is just too much for me. I will be going back to read the first book because if it’s paced more evenly and has a less ludicrous plot, then I will totally enjoy it more. And I did give this three stars because I did enjoy it, it just wasn’t out of the water amazing because of the issues I had with it personally. [SideNote: The author liked my review on GoodReads and all I thought was ‘oh god does she secretly hate me now’ lol] If it wasn’t for her writing style I probably would have given this 2.5.I read this as a free reader copy from Netgalley and was not paid or swayed in any other way on my rating and opinion of this book.
  2.  Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire

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    It took me until 25% to actually get into this book. For those of you who have seen Hot Fuzz, it’s that type of humor and with that type of level of gore at times as well! The problem for me was that I liked it when I had it in my hands but didn’t want to pick it up again when I put it down, until 25% and then I really got into it and just accepted the humor for what it was. At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on, but either way, in the end, I really enjoyed this! Some nice use of misdirection, some annoying characters that were blessedly meant to be annoying and a whole gang of ridiculous constables that had me chuckling at times. I can’t imagine how Inspector Church didn’t smack them all about. Also, I feel like everything I read lately is the Late 1800s-WWI/WWII era, I don’t know how this happened. If you enjoy a mystery novel that doesn’t mind taking a laugh and not being too serious, I would recommend this. It is the first in the series so no stepping into the middle and being confused for me.I read this as a free reader copy from Netgalley and was not paid or swayed in any other way on my rating and opinion of this book.
  3. Hashtag Authentic

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    If you’re not interested in Instagram or tips about it then I wouldn’t recommend this. If you are, then I would highly recommend this, Sara has a really nice writing voice and I have a sneaking suspicion she’d write a pretty good motivational speaker book. It’s a quick pleasant read and as someone who is trying to interact more with a certain community via Instagram, I found this helpful and even bookmarked a few pages to go back to! I’ve rated this on how useful and enjoyable it was to me, it’s not meant to be a literary masterpiece and she gives you exactly what she says she will as far as content goes. [Kudos to this being a short read!]Again, if you’re NOT interested in building up your Instagram/or doing it via help from an Instagram coach, it will be a horrible read for you. There’s nothing mind-blowing in here, some of it is very obvious and if you already have a style on Instagram, keep it, no need to lose your voice to find it/find a different one if you’re happy lol.