Cover Reveal: The Wight Thing by Award Winning Author Elisabeth Marrion

About the book:


Eight friends meet up after the untimely death of Isabelle’s husband. Having never lost sight of each other since their university days and now retired, they seize the moment and formulate a plan to search for a place where they could all live together. As they embark on this new journey, secrets begin to emerge.

Christine harbours a longing which she has never acted upon; while Steve dreads his next doctor’s appointment. Isabelle is hiding the biggest truth of all, which, if it comes to life, could have devastating consequences.

Is friendship enough to keep them together?

‘A wonderfully warm, powerfully written, story populated with memorable characters.’ The Wishing Shelf

About the Author:

Elisabeth Marrion BRAG

ELISABETH MARRION was born August 1948, in Hildesheim Germany. Her father was a Corporal in the Royal Air Force and stationed after the War in the British occupied zone in Germany, where he met her mother Hilde, a war widow.

As a child Elisabeth enjoyed reading novels and plays by Oscar Wilde, Thornton Wilder and never lost her love of reading novels by Ernest Hemingway, or short stories by Guy de Maupassant.

In 1969 she moved to England, where she met her late husband David. Together they established a clothing importing company.  Their business gave them the opportunity to travel and work in the Sub Continent and the Far East. A large part of their working life was spent in Bangladesh, where they helped to establish a school in the rural part of the country, training young people in trades such as sign writing, electrical work and repair of computers and televisions.

For inspiration she put on her running shoes for a long coastal run near the New Forest, where she now lives.

Author Website

Elisabeth Marrion’s book The Wight Thing is expected to be released sometime in March and Layered Pages has an interview with Elisabeth on March 9th! Don’t miss it!

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April in Paris, 1921: A Kiki Button Mystery by Tessa Lunney

I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing this book. I hope to get to the story next week, though I won’t post a review until closer to the publish date. I love reading stories set in the early 1900’s. Check out what the book is about below. -Stephanie M. Hopkins

April in Paris, 1921April in Paris, 1921

A Kiki Button Mystery

by Tessa Lunney

Pegasus Books

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 03 Jul 2018

About the Book:

Kiki Button—war veteran, party girl, detective, and spy—finds that she can’t outrun her past exploits, even in the glittering world of Jazz Age Paris.

Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.

Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.

About the Author: Tessa Lunney is an emerging talent on the Australian literary scene who has recently won a number of their major short fiction awards. She has had her fiction, poetry, and reviews published in Southerly, Mascara, and Contrapasso, among others, as well as Best Australian Poems 2014.


The Abbot’s Tale by Conn Iggulden

I have this book to review but I hate to say it that I am really burned out on medieval history at the moment. I was a hardcore reader of the genre for so long… I wish I wasn’t burned out because its making it hard to get through the story. Sigh. I’ve taken a step back from it and hope to be able to pick it up later. I’ll have to get in contact with the publishers to tell them and I’m not looking forward to that.  Do you ever get this way? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you get through it when feeling burned out. Especially when you have to get reviews turned in. 

Stephanie M. Hopkins

About the book:

The Abbot's Tale II

In the year 937, the new king of England, a grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to go to war in the north. His dream of a united kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field—on the passage of a single day.

At his side is the priest Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit (perhaps enough to damn his soul). His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome—from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan’s vision, by his guiding hand, England will either come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule . . .

From one of our finest historical writers, The Abbott’s Tale is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings—the man who can change the fate of England.

Book Review: Cold Feet by Brenda Novak

Cold Feet by Brenda NovakWhen the past won’t go away…

The Seattle police suspect Madison Lieberman’s father was the serial killer they call the “Sandpoint Strangler.” Madison refuses to believe it. Her father is now dead, and all she wants is the chance to create a new life for herself and her six-year-old child.

Then she discovers something in the crawl space beneath her parent’s house. Something that makes her question her father’s innocence. Or the innocence of someone else who’s equally close to her…

When another woman turns up dead, crime writer Caleb Trovato wonders whether they’re dealing with a copycat killer. Or is the real Sandpoint Strangler still alive? Caleb’s sure Madison knows more than she’s telling, and he’s determined to find out what. But he doesn’t expect to fall in love – or to lead Madison and her child into danger…

My thoughts:

When I read stories, I like to feel like part of the gang of the characters- if you will and this story was character driven and I couldn’t wait to call it an evening to pick up the story and read what would happen next with my favorite characters, Madison Liberman and Caleb Trovato. I have to admit, I wasn’t really feel the attraction between them until the end but I did enjoy their interactions with each other.

As for the plot itself, I quite enjoyed it and was surprised who the killer turned out to be. I didn’t see it coming. Its great when the author has you suspecting so many people and the back and forth of who it could be. I love that. I also like that fact that while this story was about a serial killer-it wasn’t overly dark and gruesome so it made it easier to read but yet it was believable. If that makes sense…

I enjoy Brenda Novak’s stories and I like that her stories are character driven and you feel emotionally invested. Novak’s stories also make for great summer reads or anytime for that matter.

I rated this book three stars.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

I acquired this book on NetGalley and I am kicking myself for not picking it up sooner to read and review! I started this book today in the car line waiting to pick up my daughter from school and I am absolutely in love with this story already! I’m only about four-chapter in and wow. More to come! -Stephanie M. Hopkins

 Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha SilvaMr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Hardcover, 276 pages

Published October 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Shakespeare in Love meets A Christmas Carol in this transporting debut novel set during the whirlwind period in which Dickens wrote his beloved classic, as he embarks on a Scrooge-like journey of his own.

For Charles Dickens, each Christmas has been better than the last. His novels are literary blockbusters, and he is famous on the streets of London, where avid fans sneak up on him to snip off pieces of his hair. He and his wife have five happy children, a sixth on the way, and a home filled with every comfort they could imagine. But when Dickens’ newest book is a flop, the glorious life he has built for himself threatens to collapse around him. His publishers offer an ultimatum: either he writes a Christmas book in a month, or they will call in his debts, and he could lose everything. Grudgingly, he accepts, but with relatives hounding him for loans, his wife and children planning an excessively lavish holiday party, and jealous critics going in for the kill, he is hardly feeling the Christmas spirit.

Increasingly frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace and inspiration in London itself, his great palace of thinking. And on one of his long walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets a young woman in a purple cloak, who might be just the muse he needs. Eleanor Lovejoy and her young son, Timothy, propel Dickens on a Scrooge-like journey through his Christmases past and present—but with time running out, will he find the perfect new story to save him?

In prose laced with humor, sumptuous Victorian detail, and charming winks to A Christmas Carol, Samantha Silva breathes new life into an adored classic. Perfect for fans of Dickens, for readers of immersive historical fiction, and for anyone looking for a dose of Christmas cheer, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is destined to become a perennial holiday favorite.



Cover Reveal: The Renewal by Mike Torreano

The Renewal By Mike TorreanoAbout the book:

Print Length: 248 pages

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (March 19, 2018)

Publication Date: March 19, 2018

Ike McAlister has finally put the ghosts of his past to rest. He’s found new joy with a spirited wife, a young daughter, and a mountain valley ranch where a man can make something of himself. But a coming railroad through the South Park valley threatens to take his land and tear his hard-won peace apart.

Discovering that the railroad could easily bypass his ranch, he organizes opposition and earns the animus of the formidable foreman. When Ike’s brother Rob, the sheriff, is bushwhacked, Ike sets out on a high stakes quest to get the killer before the killer gets him.

Available on Amazon for Pre-Order.

About the Author:

Mike T

Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of history and the American West.

His western mystery, The Reckoning, was released September 2016 by The Wild Rose Press and the sequel, The Renewal, is due to be released soon. He’s working on the next western now and he also has a coming-of-age Civil War novel looking for a publisher.

Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers. An experienced editor, he’s taught University English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other western writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in 19th century America.

Author Website

Layered Pages interview with Mike will be posted here on march 5th! Don’t miss it!

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The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Me in Summer time 2017Yesterday I was walking the dog in the morning and I stopped to talk with a neighbor who asked me what I was currently reading and I told her at the moment I’m reading a modern-day mystery thriller. I then asked her what she was reading and she told me she just finished The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish and would I be interested in reading the story? I told her I would be delighted to. She went in her house and brought out the book for me to borrow.

This evening I started reading, The Weight of Ink and I adore the literary medium written! I won’t be getting much sleep tonight. Take a look below at a fine example of her writing style.

Page 9: “And in the silence-the unmistakable silence of an old house-she felt, for just an instant, the old feeling; the impossible ache of standing so close to a piece of history. A feeling like something dropping endlessly inside her- like being in the presence of a long-ago lover who had once known every inch, but now refused to acknowledge her.”


About the book:

The Weight of Ink

An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book.

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

About the Author:

Rachel Kadish

I often begin writing when something is bothering me. Years ago, I was thinking about Virginia Woolf’s question: what if Shakespeare had had an equally talented sister?

Woolf’s answer: She died without writing a word.

What, I wondered, would it take for a woman of that era, with that kind of capacious intelligence, not to die without writing a word?

For one thing, she’d have to be a genius at breaking rules.

My novel The Weight of Ink reaches back in time to ask the question: what does it take for a woman not to be defeated when everything around her is telling her to sit down and mind her manners? I started writing with two characters in mind, both women who don’t mind their manners: a contemporary historian named Helen Watt and a seventeenth century Inquisition refugee named Ester Velasquez. It’s been a delight working on their story.

The Weight of Ink is my third novel, but I’ve also written two other novels and one novella, plus a few dozen essays and stories. Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, I put words to paper because it’s my way of metabolizing life. To paraphrase Henry James: I don’t really know what I think until I see what I say.



I love the cover, premise and from what I have read so far, the story has inspired me to come up with an art piece for it. More of my thoughts on this beautiful story soon!

Stephanie M. Hopkins