Blog Tour: A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean 🇨🇦

From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes a suspenseful, emotionally charged novel that explores the secrets and hidden truths within a seemingly perfect marriage.

Abbie MacIntyre is living the dream in the picturesque Nova Scotia town she calls home. She is a successful surgeon, is married to a handsome cardiologist, and has a model teenage son who is only months away from going off to college.

But then one fateful night, everything changes. When a drunk driver hits her car, Abbie is rushed to the hospital. She survives, but the accident forces unimaginable secrets out into the open and plagues Abbie with nightmares so vivid that she starts to question her grip on reality. Her perfect life begins to crack, and those cracks threaten to shatter her world completely.

The search for answers will test her strength in every way—as a wife, a career woman, and a mother—but it may also open the door for Abbie to move forward, beyond anger and heartbreak, to find out what she is truly made of. In learning to heal and trust again, she may just find new hope in the spaces left behind.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thomas Allen & Sons is hosting the blog tour all week and there will also be a GIVEAWAY for a paperback copy of the book!

Enter the giveaway here!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pub date: Aug. 14, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (an imprint of Amazon/Brilliance)
Available in Canada through Thomas Allen & Son

Get Your Copy Today!

Indigo – http://ow.ly/89KF30m76X6
Amazon.ca – http://ow.ly/Ebud30m76Tf
Amazon.com – http://ow.ly/jkET30m76Ru

About the author:

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the contemporary women’s fiction Color of Heaven series. MacLean is a four-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and has won the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from the Romantic Times for Best Regency Historical Romance of 2005. MacLean has a degree in English literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a degree in business administration from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She loves to travel and has lived in New Zealand, Canada, and England. MacLean currently resides on the east coast of Canada in a lakeside home with her husband and daughter. For more information about Julianne and her writing life, please visit her website at http://www.juliannemaclean.com.

Follow Julianne:

Website – www.juliannemaclean.com
Twitter – http://ow.ly/YiBL30m76KY
Facebook – http://ow.ly/7Vjg30m76Oe
Goodreads – http://ow.ly/CSjT30m76zg
Bookbub – http://ow.ly/44f930m76Iq

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My Top 5 Books I Read This Summer!

As I’m writing this post, today is the LAST day of summer and it snowed SO MUCH overnight! It’s crazy. I think we had maybe a week or so of fall weather before the snow came and I’m hoping that the snow doesn’t stick (even though it’s been snowing all night and all day so far) so we can get more fall weather. But it’s Alberta so WHO KNOWS.

Anyway, this summer I read a RIDICULOUS amount of books and loved quite a few of them, so it was hard to narrow down my favourites to only 5. But when I went through my list, I wanted to not only pick out my favourites, but the ones that still have me thinking – and ones that I already want to reread.

So, in no particular order, here are the top 5 books I read this summer!

The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

Why I loved it: Oh my gosh, you guys. This book I had gotten via NetGalley as an ARC. I not only requested it because it was written by Kathleen Tucker who is Canadian and has written some very fun new adult books, but also because it takes place in one of my favourite places, Alaska. I fell in love with this book INSTANTLY. I loved the characters, the setting, the romance, the family relationships. I loved that this book, being new adult, didn’t focus on what a lot of books of the same genre do which is usually the romance with very cliched characters. Instead there was a lot of focus on family and Calla’s relationship with her father, but definitely with some sweet romance as well. I absolutely ADORED this book and can’t wait to revisit it.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic and rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow’s tranquility, there’s an undercurrent of danger that exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift pet cemetery out back in the nearby woods. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself…

Why I loved it: When I was maybe 10 or so, I watched Pet Sematary all by myself, in the basement, with the dog, and it FREAKED ME OUT SO MUCH. I never thought I would read the book the movie was based on until I started to really get into Stephen King’s books last year. After reading a good handful I decided to finally bite the bullet and dive into this one and it was just so so good. I love how readable Stephen King’s books are. Yes, he goes into great detail and the books are LONG but I love every minute (mostly) of reading his books. This book had me terrified in certain spots but I think it helped me to not be so scared of watching the movie now (yes, it still freaks me out nearly 30 years later) and I’m actually looking forward to watching it again.

Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

It was a cloudless summer day in the year 1900. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared. They never returned. . . .

Mysterious and subtly erotic, Picnic at Hanging Rock inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir. A beguiling landmark of Australian literature, it stands with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of intrigue.

Why I loved it: This book didn’t get 5 stars from me but it’s one of those books that I have NOT been able to stop thinking about. I picked this up after seeing lots of people talk about it and after seeing a few previews of the latest TV adaptation. I remember reading a synopsis of the book about how the reader will have to decide if the story was fact or fiction and that just sold me. This was a pretty quick read and the horror of the story is very subtle. It’s not really horror, but just unsettling. Certain things are talked about in the book, or happen, that absolutely creeped me out, where it was almost for the reader to decide what was seen or what happened with hints at the fantastical or horrific. I started reading more about the story after finishing it and I can definitely see myself rereading it very soon.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming him or for a determined sales rep named Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light. The wisdom of all those books again become the lifeblood of A.J.’s world and everything twists into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read and why we love.

Why I loved it: For years now I’ve heard such great things about this book but never got around to picking it up. I actually never thought I would read it until I found it at the thrift store for $3 and decided to pick up a copy. When I went away for vacation I took this book with me and dove into it first thing and was HOOKED. I love stories that take place in bookstores, but I also love stories about the people who live there and the changes that take place in their character. I was hesitant to like Fikry, but even after the first chapter he grew on me. I loved the chapter introductions where Fikry talked about his thoughts on certain short stories (his favourite) and I loved the relationships he cultivated throughout the story. It was almost bittersweet seeing that the story goes all the way to the end of Fikry’s life and I even shed a tear towards the end. This was a beautiful book.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting;’ Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Why I loved it: It’s kind of funny that this book made me top list now because when I first read it, years ago, I really didn’t like it. I am so so glad that I picked up a new copy (something I do often when I want to reread a classic – plus there are so many great editions of many classics) and dove into it for an entire afternoon/evening of reading. I read the whole thing in one sitting because I loved Jackson’s writing style. I remember thinking how weird it was that the people chosen to stay at Hill House were so chatty and funny when they spent time together, but when you have that mixed with odd characters and the house that is pretty much a character in itself, it’s almost like they’re covering up for something. By the end of this story, I was definitely creeped out and so excited to catch the Netflix show in October – and probably a reread after. I could see myself rereading this every fall – it’s just the perfect scary book.

And those are my top picks for the summer! I think it’s funny that three of the books are horror/thriller but I love reading those genres any time of the year. What have been your favourite reads of the past three months?

10 Classics I Recently Read: Gaskell, Bronte! (#3)

Instead of writing individual reviews for all of the books I read this year, I thought I’d do some reading wrap-ups throughout the year. I’m loving reading the classics lately and have brought 10 of my most recently read classics here to share with you. Read my thoughts and let me know what you think about these books in the comments!

The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

I had heard so many good things about Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing that I knew I had to dive into something soon. When I decided to work on some of my Little Black Classics, the story collection, The Old Nurse’s Story caught my eye. This tiny book contains two of Gaskell’s more horror-esque stories, The Old Nurse’s Story and Curious But True, and honestly, I’m not sure if it was the best introduction to Gaskell’s writing. I did enjoy the stories, but I feel like the first story took a bit to get into and there was a lot of build up for such a short story. I think maybe I wanted more suspense? I think I might have to give this one a reread. The second story was very interesting, about a gathering of strange people, but I feel like it was just getting started and then it ended. I did really enjoy reading both of these and they are stories that have stuck with me since reading, so maybe I’ll give the collection a reread and then start one of her novels.

The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Bronte

I’ve been trying to read more Bronte works this year and thought I’d throw in this poetry collection by Emily Bronte (taken from the book of complete poems by Emily). I had recently read another poetry collection, Woman Much Missed, by Thomas Hardy, and thought that was just okay, so I was a little hesitant to read more poetry. I did enjoy these poems and there were a few that really stood out to me. I definitely think that I enjoy Emily Bronte’s poetry more than Hardy’s but I’m also thinking that poetry just isn’t for me. I think the issue with this Victorian poetry, is the emphasis on rhyming and exclamation points – the rhyming structures start to sound too similar, so reading this in a few sittings is almost exhausting when I’m looking for something different. Regardless, some of these poems are packed with a lot of emotion and I did enjoy reading them, but I don’t think I’ll read the full collection.

The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen

I am ridiculously behind on my Jane Austen reading so when I had to bump up my TBR reading, I picked this one up, but just couldn’t get into it. Later that month, I picked it up again and decided to read it out loud to myself to get into Austen’s writing and I’m so happy I did that! I feel like Jane Austen’s work is just meant to be read out loud because it’s just so entertaining. I’ve only read two of Austen’s novels and these stories are far from those, with drunkards and murder and the like, but they were still a lot of fun to read and had some really hilarious passages. The selection for this Little Black Classic is from Austen’s book Love and Freindship and I’m really excited to read those now.

The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James

Earlier this year, I picked up The Turn of the Screw by James at the used bookstore but still hadn’t gotten to it when I picked up this little classic to read. After finishing this one, I wondered if I even wanted to read The Turn of the Screw because this book bored me to tears. It makes me think slightly of reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Little Black Classic, where I just couldn’t get into the story and the writing. I think this reviewer states it perfectly when he writes: “For me, this was an attempt by an insecure author to write back against reviews he has received in a clever way. Perhaps he is suggesting that somewhere along the line someone has missed the point of his work. And to be honest, I don’t really care.Another reviewer points out that she just doesn’t get Henry James and maybe he’s just too cryptic. In any case, I think I’m going to put this one and The Turn of the Screw in my donation pile.

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

This book has intrigued me for a while now ever since I started seeing a TV commercial for the TV adaptation. The synopsis for this story of a group of young ladies who go on a picnic to the famous Hanging Rock says “whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.” That paired with the mystery of the story had me hooked and I have to say that this was a joy to read! I love a good mystery/thriller when it comes to classics and this one was one of those books that I’ll not soon forget. The whole story was just unnerving to read and it left me with so many questions and all I wanted to do when I finished it was read what other people thought of it and what their theories were. This is a story that doesn’t have a set resolution at the end which is slightly unsettling, especially with some of the images Lindsay conjures up in the tale. Ultimately, though, I don’t want to say anything else because what I loved about this story was that I went into it was very minimal knowledge of the story which made it even more mysterious. I can’t wait to see the adaptation now – and maybe give this a reread in the future!

A Slip Under the Microscope by H. G. Wells

As with a lot of classic authors, H. G. Wells is one of those names that has come up many times, especially when it comes to science fiction. I’ve seen the adaptation for The War of the Worlds (though I still have yet to read the book) and I have a copy of The Time Machine on my shelf. I know that Wells is one of the pioneers of science fiction writing and I think that knowledge made my reading of this short Little Black Classic less enjoyable. There wasn’t a lot about the two stories in this collection that screamed “science fiction” and I honestly didn’t enjoy either story that much. After reading other reviews where people praise these stories, saying that though Wells is most known for science fiction it wasn’t all that he had written, it would’ve been nice to go into these knowing that there wasn’t going to be anything – or, at least, very minimal – resembling science fiction. The stories were okay but not something that hooked me onto his writing. Needless to say, I do want to read more of his more well-known books and I’ll ultimately decide from there on whether or not H. G. Wells is for me.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

I once owned this gorgeous collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories in this beautifully illustrated hardback and now that I’ve read this short Little Black Classic collection I’m kicking myself for donating it years ago. I hadn’t read any Poe since university and I forgot how much fun he was! I didn’t enjoy every story in this collection; The Tell-Tale Heart was definitely a favourite, as well as The Cask of Amontillado, but one of his most famous works, The Fall of the House of Usher was just boring for me. I do love Poe’s writing and how he dives right into the thick of the story without any preamble or flowery language. His stories are macabre and evil and unsettling, but dare I say there’s a touch of humour here and there? I really wish I had kept some of my old university anthologies because I’d love to read more of Poe’s work now. His tales are perfect for the fall!

Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll

Last year I had stocked up on a few Persephone classic titles that I really wanted to read and being a lover of food, I knew that I would love Kitchen Essays. It’s essentially a collection of essays that Jekyll wrote anonymously to a newspaper that were on different food topics and included recipes. It’s such a fun look into the past and what food was popular. It reminded me of those pictures from the 1970s of food that you can’t even imagine eating, except there are no pictures and you have to use your imagination. Jekyll had different titles for each essay, from food for weddings, food for the bachelor, food when you’re gaining weight, losing weight, etc. The food is quite … interesting. I’ll admit, there were a couple recipes that had me intrigued, but it was interesting how vague a lot of them were. They definitely weren’t recipes like we’d see these days, but one would start by telling the cook to make a basic pancake mix and go from there. There is a lot of aspic, some brains, and a lot of egg whites. Definitely a fun read if you want to visit the food of the early 1900’s!

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

After rereading and falling in love with Jane Eyre, I knew I needed to stay in that world a little more. Earlier this year I read Rhys’s book Good Morning, Midnight and I really enjoyed it. I thought I’d get another one of her books, namely this one, but when I heard it was from Bertha’s perspective I realized I had to reread Jane Eyre first. I’m sure glad that I did because had I not revisited these characters (Bertha and Mr. Rochester) I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much. It’s interesting to think that this is ultimately a piece of classic fan-fiction because I can’t imagine a different author piggy-backing on someone else’s fame which is how this book comes across. But seeing so little of Bertha in Jane Eyre, it’s nice to get her backstory, as disjointed as some of it is. It’s interesting to see her descent into madness.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This isn’t the first classic that I’ve revisited after not enjoying it the first time. I read this maybe 4 or 5 years ago and I remember saying that I didn’t understand why the story seemed to focus on just one of the main characters, Eleanor, AND that I didn’t think it was that scary. Can I just insert an eye roll here? Revisiting classics now that I feel I’ve not only grown as a reader, but also now that I feel ready to read them has been an amazing experience. I’m realizing that my tastes have matured so much and I’m able to immerse myself in so many different types of classics without thinking that they need to have a major amount of action or horror or whatnot. With this book, I picked up the GORGEOUS Penguin Horror edition with black edging on the pages and I pretty much read it in one sitting while in a cabin, alone, on vacation. It. Was. Amazing. I can’t believe I ever griped about this not being scary because this book was TERRIFYING. By the time I was getting through the last chapter I was extremely gripped, my heart was pounding, and I wondered why the heck I decided to read such a story BY MYSELF IN A CABIN IN THE WOODS. Shirley Jackson is a master and I’m happy I have a few more of her books on my shelf to read (The Sundial and Hangsaman) and I can already see myself buying some more. Highly, highly recommend this one! Also, I’m SO excited that this is coming to Netflix as a miniseries – it’s going to be so good!

What classics have you read recently? Have you read any of these ones? What did you think of them? What’s on your classics reading list for 2018?