Cover Crush: Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey

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I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Steal Away HomeSteal Away Home by Billy Coffey

Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Thomas Nelson

“This is a powerful story of grief, love, forgiveness, and holy mystery, and I loved it. Billy Coffey is a master storyteller.” —Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author of The Hideaway

Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now he’s counting on the other to save him.

Owen Cross’s father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father’s firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues—and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.

Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.

From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.

“In one evening, a single baseball game, Coffey invites us into a lifetime. With lyrical prose and aching description, we join Owen Cross on a journey of love, loss, faith, the unexpected—and America’s favorite pastime.” —Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and The Austen Escape

My thoughts:

I love the landscape of this cover and the colors used. It gives the imagery of a dream like story but reading the premise, it is probably far from it. Still…great cover and I will be keeping my eye on how the book does when it come out.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

 Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

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Wish-List 5: World War II – Historical Fiction

I’ve read a lot of Historical Fiction that takes place during World War II but one can never read too many. You will always discover an event that happened. That is how many lives it affected. I have added these to my list and I hope you will too!

The Baker's SecretThe Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

The Boat RunnerThe Boat Runner by Devin Murphy

A DUTCH SEAFARER, TURNED SMUGGLER.

In the tradition of All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, comes an incandescent debut novel about a young Dutch man who comes of age during the perilousness of World War II.

Beginning in the summer of 1939, fourteen-year-old Jacob Koopman and his older brother, Edwin, enjoy lives of prosperity and quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the Koopman lightbulb factory, and the locals hold the family in high esteem.

On days when they aren’t playing with friends, Jacob and Edwin help their Uncle Martin on his fishing boat in the North Sea, where German ships have become a common sight. But conflict still seems unthinkable, even as the boys’ father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth Camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory.

When war breaks out, Jacob’s world is thrown into chaos. The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy, where he is confronted with the moral dilemma that will change his life—and his life’s mission—forever.

Epic in scope and featuring a thrilling narrative with precise, elegant language, The Boat Runner tells the little-known story of the young Dutch boys who were thrown into the Nazi campaign, as well as the brave boatmen who risked everything to give Jewish refugees safe passage to land abroad. Through one boy’s harrowing tale of personal redemption, here is a novel about the power of people’s stories and voices to shine light through our darkest days, until only love prevails.

The Time in BetweenThe Time in Between by María Dueñas

The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Morocco by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

The Wives of Los AlamosThe Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago—and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. box for an address in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery.

And while the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually transformed from an abandoned school on a hill into a real community: one that was strained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. But the end of the war would bring even bigger challenges to the people of Los Alamos, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.

The Wives of Los Alamos is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history, and a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.

The Good GermanThe Good German by Joseph Kanon

With World War II finally ending, Jake Geismar, former Berlin correspondent for CBS, has wangled one of the coveted press slots for the Potsdam Conference. His assignment: a series of articles on the Allied occupation. His personal agenda: to find Lena, the German mistress he left behind at the outbreak of the war.

When Jake stumbles on a murder — an American soldier washes up on the conference grounds — he thinks he has found the key that will unlock his Berlin story. What Jake finds instead is a larger story of corruption and intrigue reaching deep into the heart of the occupation. Berlin in July 1945 is like nowhere else — a tragedy, and a feverish party after the end of the world.

As Jake searches the ruins for Lena, he discovers that years of war have led to unimaginable displacement and degradation. As he hunts for the soldier’s killer, he learns that Berlin has become a city of secrets, a lunar landscape that seethes with social and political tension. When the two searches become entangled, Jake comes to understand that the American Military Government is already fighting a new enemy in the east, busily identifying the “good Germans” who can help win the next war. And hanging over everything is the larger crime, a crime so huge that it seems — the worst irony — beyond punishment.

At once a murder mystery, a moving love story, and a riveting portrait of a unique time and place, The Good German is a historical thriller of the first rank.

More great reads to add from my friends this month!

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede – Thrillers Coming in 2018

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation – Historical Fiction Book Series

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary – The Women Behind Beloved Classics

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books – Christmas Books

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

 

A New Venture Is On The Horizon

LAPit Logo

I am thrilled to announce that on December 4th 2017 I am launching a new marketing business for authors, artists and photographers called, “L.A.P. it Marketing”.  I have a deep passion and unique understanding for these mediums and as a result, I have been exploring new ways to present a marketing strategy that will spotlight each medium to reach a diverse audience online. Social media is unique and reaches millions throughout the world- but what worked three years ago might not work today. Through my years of online marketing, I am known for devising creative ways to market brands. It is important to create new ideas to draw in audiences that have yet to be reached.

Literature, Art and Photography naturally cross over in ways that complement each other. Creating the L.A.P. it Marketing platform will add a new dimension to market these mediums on social media.

L.A.P. stands for Literature, Art and Photography and I look forward to helping authors, artists and photographers expand their brand.

For further information about L.A.P. it, please email me at lapitmarketing@yahoo.com

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

The Book JumperThe Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser

Hardcover, 371 pages

Published January 3rd 2017 by Feiwel & Friend

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.
Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. Amy learns that she is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever the cost.

My thoughts:

Brilliant design! I love it! Even the character’s clothing has words on them! That is awesome! The title is great too. I might just have to add this book to my reading list regardless of hte mix reviews on goodreads.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great book bloggers who cover crush:

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson

A couple weeks back at a book event I attended, the authors were asked what books they liked to read. One author said she liked to read biographies on writers and gave her reasons why. I was really fascinated with her interest in the genre that I decided I wanted to start reading them as well and to start a series of posts of the list of biographies I am compiling for my Library. Once a month I will be highlighting one I have chosen for the that month. Beautiful Shadows is my first on the list and I’m looking forward to learning more about the author behind Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. 

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Beautiful Shadow

The life of Patricia Highsmith was as secretive and unusual as that of many of the best-known characters who people her “peerlessly disturbing” thrillers and short stories. Yet even as her work has found new popularity in the last few years, the life of this famously elusive writer has remained a mystery.

For Beautiful Shadow, the first biography of Highsmith, British journalist Andrew Wilson mined the vast archive of diaries, notebooks, and letters she left behind, astonishing in their candor and detail. He interviewed her closest friends and colleagues as well as some of her many lovers. But Wilson also traces Highsmith’s literary roots in the work of Poe, noir, and existentialism, locating the influences that helped distinguish Highsmith’s writing so startlingly from more ordinary thrillers. The result is both a serious critical biography and one that reveals much about a brilliant and contradictory woman, one who despite her acclaim and affairs always maintained her solitude.

It’s Monday Again…

This weekend was pretty uneventful. I stayed home and read. worked on some art projects, blog posts, website content and watched movies. One needs those kind-of weekends sometimes, you know? Today I am sharing some pictures from my weekend. I’m still reading, Gradle Bird by J.C. Sassen and I will be through with it soon.

I love journals. I started back with it recently and I have such a busy schedule right now it helps keep me grounded.

Journal 11-20-17

I’m in the process of prepping the backgrounds for #christmastags I’ll be using for giveaways at Novel Expressions #Facebook Page in December.

Link to Novel Expressions Page HERE

Christmas Tags Prep 2017

My daughter painted on canvas and when I took this picture, she wouldn’t let me see what she was working on! By the way…. she doesn’t know I took this picture. Ha-ha… Her project turned out great.

Daughter creating 2017 I

I created this tag using Tim Holtz distress inks for the background.  I am so addicted to his products! They are amazing. I do believe the  paper flower is from his product line as well. The picture I took doesn’t do the tag justice but you get the idea…

Tag I Nov 2017

Two weekends ago now at a book event (BOOK EXCHANGE/MARIETTA, GA) I was sitting with author Kimberly Brock and she said she had a friend coming and her name is Emily, do I know her? I said she sounded familiar…. She sat between us and the three of us were having a great time listening to the four southern authors that were being featured at this event. It just now came to me that Emily is the author of The Weight of Lies! I reviewed that book and loved it. Darn it all, I didn’t get a photo with her! Total fan girl here! I am definitely going to include her in my southern writer’s series here at Layered Pages.

The Weight of Lies

Thank you for visiting with me today and be sure to come back this week for more fun posts.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

A Lovely Weekend To You

I’ve had a busy week and lots on my mind for new posts series starting soon at Layered Pages! As many of you know I posted about two giveaways and they are still open. Please don’t miss your chance to enter them. They are fabulous!

Gradie BirdieI’ve stared reading a southern story-Gradle Bird by J.C. Sassen- and I have fully embraced with the soulful sentiment in this story that reaches the core of a person’s heart. I am journaling passages that are making a profound impact on my journey reading this story. A story that touches you so…

So far, I am highly recommended this book. Hopefully I will be able to publish a review of the story soon. This will be part of my southern author’s series that I mentioned in a previous post. I was hoping to get a review up this week but yet again, it did not happen. I know my followers expect to see my book reviews and I need to be better at posting them. There is just not enough time in the day to get everything done!

Paper for book marksI’m also working on another project. I’ve got my paper selected for the 36 handmade bookmarks I’m making for a wonderful group of ladies. Can’t wait to see how they turn out! Bookmarks are so much fun to make. Normally I use scarp paper to make them but these I want to go all out. The ladies I am sending them to read Historical Fiction and I know these patterns are perfect for the genre.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend and thank you for visiting me today! See you on Monday.

Stephanie M. Hopkins