Manic Monday

me-iiThis past weekend was so refreshing! I was able to get lots of reading time in, watched movies on Netflix and spent time with family. Also, I had a lot of time for life reflection and my writing goals for this week. Yesterday, I set a goal for the week to write two whole chapters of my historical thriller I am working on. Today I will start with writing the prologue. I know exactly how it will read and it brings me to tears! This will be a powerful story of a southern town and two families during the reconstruction of the south to the present time. Interestingly enough, as I find myself researching, taking notes, writing out certain scenes as they come to me, I’m already thinking about sequels and a possible anthology for the story. The themes and characters of my story gives me so much room to expand on. I’m am really looking forward to exploring this further.

I’m calling today Manic Monday because everyone knows what it’s like to get back to the daily grind of things for the week. Especially people with children. This morning was a bit hectic getting the kid out the door for school and now I must sort myself out, get organized and get to work! To sort myself out, I’m taking a quick walk with the dog to our neighborhood lake!


Be sure to check out the books below that I recently acquired to read for review! Really looking forward to it! Enjoy your Monday everyone and stay positive!

Stephanie M. Hopkins


caught-in-the-revolutionCaught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport’s masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eyewitness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold.

Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St Petersburg) was in turmoil – felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt. There, the foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows.

Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US Ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva.

Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action – to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a “red madhouse.”

three-minutes-to-doomsdayThis edge-of-your-seat memoir from former FBI agent Joe Navarro reveals the shocking, inside details of how he spearheaded a 1980s investigation into a colossal espionage breach that would have left the US defenseless in a Soviet attack.

In 1988 FBI Agent Joe Navarro divides his time among SWAT assignments, flying air reconnaissance, and working counterintelligence. A body-language expert with an uncanny ability to “read” the suspects he interrogates, Joe dreams of snaring an assignment that will get him noticed by headquarters. Then he interviews Rod Ramsay.

Ramsay is a former American soldier who is linked to a soldier-turned-traitor, Clyde Conrad. When Navarro notices Ramsay’s hand twitch at the mention of Conrad’s name, Joe thinks he smells a liar. He insists to his bosses that they launch an investigation. What follows is unique in the annals of espionage detection—a cat-and-mouse game played at the highest level. Navarro is the FBI agent who can’t overtly tip to his target that he suspects him of wrongdoing lest he clam up, and Rod Ramsey is the suspected traitor—an evil genius with the second highest IQ ever recorded by the US Army—who enjoys sparring with his inquisitor. Navarro must pre-choreograph every interview, becoming a chess master plotting twenty moves in advance.

And the backdrop to this battle of wits is the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the very real possibility that Russian leaders may launch all-out war. If they do, they will have Ramsay to thank, because as Navarro learns over the course of nearly fifty mind-bending interviews, Ramsay has handed the Soviets the ability to utterly destroy the US. Three Minutes to Doomsday puts it all into exciting focus, from the shocking revelations of what Ramsay and other American soldiers leaked to the human factors that even today expose our most critical secrets to thievery.

where-blood-runs-deepSmall community. Big secrets. 

When police fail to solve the disappearance of a young man, Private Investigator Patrick Haskell is called to investigate.

Before he went missing, Reg Coombes, an avid historian, had been researching the existence of so-called ‘ghost villages’ – old, deserted communities.

One such village, Witherych, is said to be located close to the isolated hamlet of Marshwood.

Marshwood also happens to be the location of Coombes’ last-known whereabouts.

On the hunt for answers, Haskell travels to Marshwood undercover, using the alias Patrick Harley.

But what begins as a routine investigation soon goes awry as Haskell’s questions are quickly met with the suspicion and hostility of the small community.

And while the residents of Marshwood maintain that Coombes returned to London, Haskell is convinced that something more sinister is at play.

As he digs deeper, Haskell soon discovers that the Marshwood residents are not exactly what they seem…

Drawn into a sordid tale of abduction and murder, will Haskell be able to uncover the twisted secrets of the tiny village?

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