book review and interview: lowcountry bordello

Today, I'm delighted to be a part of Susan M. Boyer's virtual book tour, for her latest instalment in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series: LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO! This post is a little on the long side, but that's because I've got a review AND an interview!

I know, it's a lot of excitement for a Monday morning. Haha!

The Synopsis:

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.
With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.
The fourth in the Liz Talbot mystery series, LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO has Liz poking around an unexpected location. Namely, a bordello (as I’m sure you savvy readers already picked up, ha!). But Liz has more than her case to juggle, because she’s getting married! Not that she seems to care much for the actual wedding, but that's what I like about Liz. 

I mean, it’s not like Liz is anti-wedding…okay, she actually kind of is, but her reasonings come from a good place. I like to think it's because this time, she's more excited about the lifetime that comes after the big day, rather than the big day, itself. And frankly, with the wedding planner Liz's mother commandeered, I would've been hiding out in a bed and breakfast too. Under the guise of her case, of course. But to keep it real, what sounds like more fun: getting your wedding dress tailored or figuring out a possible murder? Haha!

Yes, I mean possible murder, as the book starts out with a frantic call to Liz regarding a dead body that may or may not, in fact, exist. And it’s those sorts of details that make the series so strong. Why have a straightforward murder plot, when you can have a murder plot laced with questions regarding whether the murder actually took place? Ha! 
When I saw that the cover had a bra, I was all: MUST DO TRIBUTE MANI. Haha! So that's what I did. The lace bits were tricky, but for the most part, I think the whole thing turned out pretty well!

As I’ve come to expect from the series, there were lots of suspects, so Liz and her partner Nate had to work pretty hard to figure out what really happened. None of the suspects were particularly trustworthy, and I enjoyed Liz’s process of sussing out the truth in the midst of wedding-planning mania.  

I did have one concern with LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO, though, and that had to do with the overall tone. Throughout the first three books, I got to know Liz as an even-tempered, non-judgemental character, but that wasn’t the case here. Although Liz protested that she “couldn’t care less” that her case took place in a bordello (and I’m still not sure that it was a bordello in the first place), she made more than a handful of snide remarks about the women who lived in the house. Each time, I was irked enough to be pulled from the story, which was both distracting and disappointing. Had those moments not been included, I would have enjoyed this book more. Even so, it was a nice cozy, and I’ll continue to pick up new books in the series.  

Okay, so now that you've read my two cents about LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO, now it's time for the interview!

*bangs gong*

To put a face to the name, here is the lovely Ms. Boyer, herself, along with a small bio:

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations, including the Macavity. Lowcountry Boneyard, the third Liz Talbot mystery, was a Spring 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. Lowcountry Bordello, the fourth book in the series, was released November 3, 2015. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels.
Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

Hi Susan! I’m such a fan of the Liz Talbot series, so thank you very much for agreeing to a little Q and A on my blog. I’m thrilled to have you! Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here! And thank you for reading—I’m so happy you enjoy spending time with Liz. 

1. Every writer’s process is different. Some are pantsers, some are plotters, and some are drinkers. Kidding! Sort of. I think it’s common knowledge that Hemingway was a bit of a drinker, but I digress. As you’ve now written four Liz Talbot mysteries, has your writing process changed? I started out as a plotter, and I’m still a plotter, but I have refined the process quite a bit. I use a spreadsheet, with one line for each chapter of the book, and the plot point that’s delivered in that chapter. Once I start writing, I often change things—my characters may take me in a different direction. I can always modify the spreadsheet.

2. Your descriptions of private investigator work are always incredibly detailed.  That level of background detail on suspects, locations, and other information related to the case, disguise the relevant information until the very end, when I say: “Oh yeah! That’s from that one scene that I thought was about kissing but it was actually a plot hint!” How do you organize all of those thoughts? And have you ever described a peripheral character who ended up standing out, demanding a larger role because of their vivid descriptions? Thank you! I researched how to be a private investigator like I wanted to be one. I actually did. As a child I wanted to be Nancy Drew. I digress—apologies! The spreadsheet is the key to organizing my thoughts, for sure. Absolutely, once my characters are developed, they have minds of their own.

3. One of the characteristics of Liz that I like most is that she’s not an “accidental” private investigator. There aren’t a series of too-convenient coincidences that lead her towards the truth. That girl works for her leads, in a delightfully old-school way. Yes, she uses technology, but she also understands the personal touch. It reminds me of the mysteries I used to steal from my dad’s pile by his bed, so I’m wondering if you were at all inspired by other, traditional mysteries. Thank you! Liz will appreciate that you recognize I make her work hard for the money. Have you seen what she charges? She needs to work hard. I’ve loved mysteries for as long as I can remember, staring with Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. I graduated to Agatha Christie and many others. I’ve read most of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. I’m a huge Sue Grafton fan, and I love Robert B. Parker’s books. 

4. I have a few friends who have recently become published authors themselves (shout-out to Scott!). The after-publication responsibilities of balancing writing, promotion, marketing, and social media seems like a never-ending struggle. How do you manage all the moving pieces required for author life? It’s a constant balancing act, and truthfully, I don’t have the act down cold just yet. I just try every day to do the best I can, then try not to fret too much about what I haven’t finished at the end of the day.

5. What does your perfect writing day look like, and where would you be? Would there be snacks? (Haha! Of course there would be snacks. I’m really asking what kind of snacks you’d have.) A pair of kittens playing at your feet? Would you be lounging in a blue velvet wingback chair? Dictating to a hunky assistant who’s continually too hot to wear a shirt, has a vocabulary that rivals a thesaurus, and is at the ready to give you a high-five after inspiration strikes?* I would be in a cottage by the ocean on a quiet stretch of beach, with my office overlooking the waves. I like to write with my laptop on a lap-desk from a chaise or recliner. I’d need good coffee in the morning, then iced peach tea until around three when I switch to decaf. Having easy meals in the refrigerator would be heaven. Nothing fancy, just grab and go. And something salty—popcorn would be great—and Lindor milk chocolate truffles. 

*If you have an assistant like that, could I borrow him sometime? ;)

6. In LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO, Liz curls up with a Harlan Coben novel. I am a super fan of Harlan Coben, so I’m dying to know if you had a specific book in mind. THE STRANGER? HOLD ME? Oooo! Was it BACKSPIN? I freaking love the Myron Bolitar mysteries. I LOVE Harlan Coben novels! I had the one in mind that I was personally reading at the time, which would’ve been Six Years, I think. My favorite (I think) is Tell No One.

Thanks so much for answering my rambly questions, Susan! And for including me on your tour! My pleasure—thank you!


So now that you know all about the Liz Talbot series AND you've met the author, all that's left is to enter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Good luck! And don't forget to check out Susan M. Boyer's other books! Links to all her social media accounts are posted below the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Website:              http://www.susanmboyerbooks.com/
Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/Susanmboyerbooks
Twitter:                https://twitter.com/susanmboyer
Pinterest:             https://www.pinterest.com/susanmboyer/


halloween 2015 round up

I'm a few days late in posting pictures from Halloween, but it's only because I've just recovered from the crazy pants level of fun. Haha! For those who don't know, I decided to hop on a plane and head east for this year's Best Night of the Year, to attend the Pretty in Pink Halloween Party, at the Fredericton Farmer's Market. 


Because it's simply the best Halloween party ever. Period. End of sentence. 

And this year, just like I'd expected, it was freaking awesome!!

So here are some pics from the night! The good news is that my crew and I are really good at staying in the moment during our super fun times, but the bad news is that means we don't take a lot of pictures after we start drinking. I did manage to remember to whip out my iPhone's awful camera a few times, though, so here are a few of my faves (read: the only pictures I actually took. Haha!). 

Thankfully, I chose a costume that didn't require elaborate make-up this year, but I still had to throw on my hilarious Halloween-prep tank top. Because...well, just say the phrase aloud and you'll see why I'm obsessed with it. Haha!

A pal of ours who's just as pro-Halloween as the rest of us wasn't able to make it, so we printed out a picture of her head and put it on a stick. You know, because a head on a stick is totally a Halloween-y thing to do. Ha!

From the left, we've got quasi-retired Thor (I like to refer to her as Parcheesi Thor, as she probably flew up from her retirement village in Florida, ha!), Jigsaw, the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, head-stick pal, Cat in the Hat, and an adorable preggo scarecrow.

Omg, guys, I loved this costume so hard! And I was nervous about it getting squished in my bag but the hula hoop popped out pretty nicely! Also, it was quite a fitting costume as I am totally "fragile," in terms of my ability to bruise. ;)

One last group photo before we left, which included Parcheesi Batman, Thing 1, and a Dalmatian.  I know that I'm biased, but we made a pretty awesome crew.

At the Market Halloween Party, there were four gals who went balls-to-the-wall with their costumes by becoming rural New Brunswick snow globes!! There are little Styrofoam bits at the bottom of each globe, which the gals would toss up to complete the effect. Obviously, she couldn't do that here because she had a drink, but it was super cool to see them do it, later in the night. And with the four of them wandering around, they kind of resembled a lit-up caterpillar. So great! (Side Note: I love my friend on the right so, so hard. That expression was on her face all night! Haha!)

Another one of my favourites was this gal's Mad Hatter costume. Her hat was HUGE! And you can't see it, but on the other side, there was the card and an enormous feather. Plus, she had a gorgeous tutu and blazer. Well done, Mad Hatter!

As usual, the band was unbelievable and the dance floor was packed for the entire night. Props go to the dude dressed in the inflatable raptor costume. I can't begin to imagine how hot he must have been! Seeing a raptor head rock out to 80s music kind of made my night, so thanks for taking one for the team, sweaty-face raptor!

Again, the angle isn't quite right for you to see how incredible this jellyfish costume was, but rest assured that it was mental. Her head was completely lit up, and was much more bulbous than it seems in this picture. Definitely one of my favourites!

There were a few more costumes which blew my mind, but like I said earlier in this post, I didn't always remember to take a picture. Notable other costumes included Scotty P, who had "no ragrets," from We're The Millers (her entire outfit was on-point, from the bandana to the tattoo), a Maleficent who had hand-made wings made of real feathers, and a Carmen Sandiego, who not only had a red trench coat, but the most perfect red hat. Gah! Everybody looked so good!!

It was definitely a night that ranked a solid 15 out of 10 for fun and I already can't wait for next year. Woot woot for Halloween!!!


when the internet says you're a communist

Before our most recent (and very important) election, I was undecided on who to vote for. I mean, I knew I wouldn't be voting for the Conservatives (because noooooooo), but I didn't know which of the other three parties would get my "X." Now that all the hoopla is over, I thought it'd be a funny story to share.

By happenstance, my brother came for a visit about four days before The Big Vote, and we were discussing the concept of strategic voting, which was a relatively new concept to me. In a nutshell strategic voting came out in full-force this year, in a push to kick out Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (who've been running the country for the better part of a decade), and it encouraged people to vote for the non-Conservative candidate who was most likely to win their riding. A strange way to vote, mostly because in some instances (including mine) you're voting for who you don't want, instead of who you do want. Considering I wasn't sure who I even wanted in the first place, though, my brother suggested I take the same political quiz he did, which he found to be very helpful. 

"AWESOME!" I declared. Because I love quizzes. Especially ones that tell me which fantasy character I'd be. Haha!

I diligently read all the questions, choosing thoughtful responses, but after I got my result, I was a bit confused.

Yes, you read that right (both that last part, and the title of this post, haha!). 

I'd scored a solid 90% with the Communist party

Naturally, this left me feeling like I'd fallen down a fascist rabbit hole of political leanings. Don't get me wrong, I've always been a left-leaner when it comes to government. I support social programs and am happy to pay tax in order to support universal healthcare. I also think that we should, as a collective society, make sure that the vulnerable are protected, and I strongly believe in a woman's right to do whatever the hell she wants with her body. Always. 

But had I ever self-identified as a Communist? Of course not. And furthermore, I didn't even know that we had a Communist party, in Canada. We're a democracy, so it'd be democrazy for it to even exist. 

Oh man. See! I find too much humour in dumb fake words to be a Communist. I'd last exactly one second under a Communist regime. Also, I don't like the colour red, like, at all, and I'm pretty sure that all true Communists want an all-red wardrobe, all the time. Add to that my desire for everyone to maintain personal freedom whilst using a hard hand against those who harm others, like violent repeat offenders, white collar dudes who steal money, and people who play Christmas music in the summer, and it just doesn't make sense why I'd identify with 90% of the Canadian Communist party's platforms.

That is, unless the quiz meant that I don't want to be a Communist as much as I want to be in a Dictatorship. Err...with me as the dictator, of course.

Holy crap on a cracker, it's so obvious! What a relief! 

With that decided, I began to think what my term as dictator would look like. For starters, I wouldn't be your run-of-the-mill dictator. That's been done to death. Literally. No, instead of being a no-smiling, hard assed dictator, I'd be a friendly, outgoing one! I mean, when was the last time you saw a dictator crack a joke or give a high-five? Probably never. But I'd change all that: high-fives for awesome people, and karate chops to the throat for the d-bags.

Yes! It all makes so much sense, now! I just want to be in charge! And not to brag, but I'm totally the smartest person ever (according to a recent poll of those present in my office, who are pretty much just me and my two dogs), so it's obvious that I'm more than capable of running an entire country without pesky rules and legal regulations stopping me. By the time I whipped everyone into shape, nobody would even miss a democratic society! Rainbow cake with extra sprinkles for everyone (who I don't imprison for super righteous and totally not personal reasons like selling me something but only telling me it's backordered until after my purchase)!

So thanks, political quiz! Without you, I never would have discovered my new life goal! To become Dictator Jennie! Oh yes, that really does sound nice. Haha!

Here's a draft of my first propaganda poster. I think it's pretty on the money, don't you? 


the time I went to jenny lawson's book tour!

About a month ago (or maybe longer, actually) I got a text from a blogger pal, Daniela, saying that Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess, was coming to Toronto for a book signing event. I freaking love Jenny’s blog, and her two books, so I was all over it. And finally, this Tuesday, it was time!

On my way down to the city, I stopped in at my local Coles to pick up another hardcover copy of LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED. I'd lent my first copy to a friend, and couldn’t get it back in time, but I wasn’t about to let the opportunity of getting two signed books pass me by. Also, I’d spent quite some time painting a tribute mani, one hand for each of Jenny's covers, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as cool to show her without also having both books. However, I was grossly disappointed to find that they didn’t have any in stock.

Yes, I know, I should have prepared earlier. Shut it. 

Anyway, I was explaining my plight to the wonderful staff, some of whom I’ve gotten to know over the last few years of book-buying, when Steph—the staff member who makes THE BEST recommendations ever (seriously, it’s like she’s in my brain and she introduces me to new authors every time we chat)—casually mentioned that she had a copy in her car and that I was welcome to it.

I blinked, not sure if I heard her right. But I had. The store didn’t have any hardcovers, but she did…in her car…and she was going to give it…to me. 

Note: This is when the die-hard bibliophiles are nodding along, because you get it. A paperback novel is great for reading, but when it comes to being signed, it’s hardcover all the way.

So with two hardcover books in hand, and one intense hug later (seriously Indigo, give that woman a raise! Or at least a high-five. She rules!), I was in my car, heading downtown, and feeling more jazzed than ever. 

When I eventually arrived at my baby brother’s condo (thanks, bro!), I was starving and raided his freezer for chicken fingers and fries (err…thanks again, bro!). While they were cooking, Daniela and I were texting and...well...I think it’s best to just let the screenshots speak for themselves. For clarification, I took the screenshots this morning. The texts actually started around 4:15pm, on the day of the signing, which was scheduled for 7:00pm. 

Thankfully, the end of this part of the story is good. Daniela arrived a few minutes later, we both got seats, and my ballet flats didn't get soaked on my way to the signing. Wins all around. Haha! (Well, except for the Jays. They didn't even almost win against the Royals, that night. Let's not talk about it.)

For the next two hours, we chatted away, catching up, while the excitement in the room steadily began to pulsate. But by “room,” I actually mean “children’s section of the bookstore.” Not exactly the place I would’ve put Jenny Lawson, but whatever. Haha! The wait on terribly uncomfortable chairs (I swear my butt’s still sore) went by with a little help from the organizers, including one activity of Tweeting about what made us #furiouslyhappy, for the chance to win a gift card.

This was mine:

And wouldn’t you know it, I won one of the $5 gift cards! WOOT!

But even better? The Bloggess herself RT'd it! INFINITY WOOT!

In the midst of all the Twitter mania, the children’s book section was filling up rapidly with all sorts of interesting people. I must say, between the inflatable sheep, carved armadillo, Elvis head, custom made t-shirts, and feather boas, I very much felt like I’d found my people. It was a very fun wait.

It was about twenty minutes before Jenny was set to take the stage, when I realized that in my haste in leaving my brother’s condo, I may have forgotten to shut of his oven. Luckily, his building has a concierge, but finding the number proved to be quite the challenge. Luckily, Daniela helped and we managed to find the front desk number (from an oddly, non-specific Google search) and therefore saved ourselves (mostly me) from the humiliation of having to tell my baby bro that I burned down his entire building. Haha!

Then, Jenny arrived!!

She read two chapters: "Furiously Happy Dangerously Sad" and "I've Found a Kindred Soul and He Has A Very Healthy Coat," and then answered questions from the audience, which is when I fell even more in love with her. She’s as kind as she is funny, guys. And that's saying something because you know how freaking funny she is.

After the reading, we all lined up for the signing. Again, the vibe in the room was giddy happiness mixed with enthusiastic fandom. And unfortunately, that energy seeped into my pores and suddenly, I found myself getting nervous. It was already super hot in the room children’s section, but as I thought about what I was going to say, I morphed into a total sweat bucket. And with my pale skin, all I could think was: I’m going to look like a tomato in the picture! YOU MUST CALM YOURSELF. Naturally, that internal, repeating concern only served to raise my core temperature even higher, making my sweat very much not of the "glistening" sort, and when I was ushered up to the stage, I kind of lost my mind. Meaning, my brain sprouted wings and fluttered out of my skull, leaving my body standing there stupidly, unsure on what to do, as evidenced by this photo:

Despite seeing multiple people get their book signed FIRST and THEN get a picture, my brainless body decided to reverse the process. So while Jenny was laughing at my shirt (it says "Let's get sheet faced"), attempting to actually meet me, I wasn't even looking at her!! Also, OMG MY RED FACE.

I eventually turned to actually acknowledge Jenny like a real, functioning human, and formally introduced her to Whitney Hooston (my awesome owl purse) while clumsily handing her my books without realizing the one with my name sticky-noted on the flap wasn’t up first, which resulted in no personalization for LET'S PRETEND (you remember how I miraculously got a copy, right? How beyond happy I'd been?!). *headdesk* I was just about done at that point, which was a good thing for everyone involved, but then I sort of yelled, "Oh! I’m the nail girl!" Because, as you've read so far, I’m very eloquent under pressure. 

She did seem to love them, though, which officially increased my body temperature to a level only found on surface of the sun, and honestly, I don’t remember much after that. Haha! I did get a picture with her where we both looked at the camera--a book signing miracle!

What was really nice about the setup was the stage. With Jenny sitting behind it, and a little step for us, it put our heads almost at the same level, instead of having to awkwardly crouch down. Nicely done there, Indigo!

I stepped aside while I attempted to recover my brain from wherever the heck it flew off to, and Daniela got her book signed. Before leaving, we took a picture with the 5' tall Rory cut-out, because that's what you do when there's a 5' tall raccoon photo op. Obviously.

As you can see, we were both still so starstruck that we didn't copy his signature, two-hands-out-wide-mouth smile. Curse our fandom-ness. Haha! And Whitney wasn't all happy with seeing just how tall Rory was. From a distance, he seemed like a more reasonable target.

Oh, and for a better look at my nails, here they are:

So that's the fairly ridiculous story about the very first book signing I attended, although I suspect that Jenny would probably appreciate the insane-ness. Congrats for reading the entire thing! Holy longest post ever, eh? Haha! And thanks again to Daniela, for inviting me! Love your face, girl!!

Have you been to any awesome book signings? Let me know in the comments!


book review (with tribute mani!): library of souls

This is the third book in the Miss Peregrine’s series, and because I don’t want to spoil the amazingness that is this series, my review will focus on why you should totally still read Library of Souls… after you’ve read the first two. Because it’s a series. And that’s how series work best. Haha! As the cover is freaking incredible, I had to do a tribute mani to go along with my review. You know, because that's how my reviews work best. ;)

The synopsis, from Goodreads (which is nice and vague and won't ruin the first two for you--nicely done there, synopsis writer!)

The adventures that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued with Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.

As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. 

Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography.


The coolest thing about the Miss Peregrine’s series is the way it’s written. Yes, there are words strung together in delightful sentences, which are then compiled into paragraphs (like every other book in existence), but what those words are based on is the difference. Throughout all three books, there are old, black-and-white photos. Most are creepy, some even unsettling—a very Nightmare Before Christmas, kind of vibe, if Nightmare Before Christmas included real people. (Fun Fact: Tim Burton’s actually directing the movie, which makes the most sense ever, haha!) And having the creep-tastic photos to go alongside the story is what puts this series into its own category.

Painting these distressed wings to match the cover photo (which is also in the book itself) was equal parts challenging and super fun. Totally worth it, though! And a matte topcoat gives it just the right amount of vintage flair. I just love it! 

Most of the photos are real, and are indexed in the back of each book. Now, I don’t know how much the photos inspired the story, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a huge impact on the plot. They all fit perfectly together, as if they’d been developed for the explicit purpose of ending up in Ransom Riggs’s hands so he could bring them all together to tell a tale that is as engaging as it is original. I mean, I literally cannot think of a single other book I’ve read that uses a similar format.

Photos aside, the story itself is extraordinary. With its enormous cast of characters, I can’t begin to imagine how many storyboards Mr. Riggs would have needed to keep them all straight. Because each character is three-dimensional—almost real enough to touch. Plus, the majority of characters are “peculiar,” which means that they have some kind of power. Not quite to an X-men-ish degree, as most aren’t particularly useful on a day-to-day basis, but heck, I’d take any one of them. Err…except for the bees. I’m not a fan of bees. So I tip my hat to the author, because I legitimately don’t know how he did it. Frankly, I’m even a bit jealous.

If awesomely creepy black-and-white pictures and characters with strange powers aren't enough to hook you, there’s time travel, super high stakes (the state of the world!), deep friendships, mental-face adventures that keep you on the edge of your seat (literally--I was perched on the couch for a large percentage of each book), and a small splash of romance. So if you’re looking for a way to ignore your family/friends/pets for 24 – 48 hours, depending how long it takes for you to read three books, I highly recommend the Miss Peregrine’s series.