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

About the book:

The Wight Thing_REVISED COVER PROOF 20 FEB II

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.

Website

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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

 

Novel Expressions Blog Tours

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If you are a Jane Austen fic Fan and have a blog, please get in contact with me! Thanks! My email: novelexpressions1@yahoo.com

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Novel Expressions Blog Tours

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Wish-List 5: William R. Forstchen

In this month’s Wish-List 5, I am making a bold statement. -Stephanie M. Hopkins

One Second After (After #1) by William R. ForstchenOne Second After (After #1) by William R. Forstchen

New York Times best-selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real … a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages … A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the BeachFail Safe, and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future … and our end.

One Year After (After #2) by William R. ForstchenOne Year After (After #2) by William R. Forstchen

The thrilling follow-up to the New York Times bestselling novel One Second After.

Months before publication, William R. Forstchen’s One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read. Hundreds of thousands of people have read the tale. One Year After is the thrilling follow-up to that smash hit.

The story picks up a year after One Second After ends, two years since the detonation of nuclear weapons above the United States brought America to its knees. After suffering starvation, war, and countless deaths, the survivors of Black Mountain, North Carolina, are beginning to piece back together the technologies they had once taken for granted: electricity, radio communications, and medications. They cling to the hope that a new national government is finally emerging.

Then comes word that most of the young men and women of the community are to be drafted into an “Army of National Recovery” and sent to trouble spots hundreds of miles away.

When town administrator John Matherson protests the draft, he’s offered a deal: leave Black Mountain and enter national service, and the draft will be reduced. But the brutal suppression of a neighboring community under its new federal administrator and the troops accompanying him suggests that all is not as it should be with this burgeoning government.

The Final Day (After #3) by William R. ForstchenThe Final Day (After #3) by William R. Forstchen

The highly-anticipated follow-up to William R. Forstchen’s New York Times bestsellers, One Second After and One Year After, The Final Day immerses readers once more in the story of our nation’s struggle to rebuild itself after an electromagnetic pulse wipes out all electricity and plunges the country into darkness, starvation, and terror.

After defeating the designs of the alleged federal government, John Matherson and his community have returned their attention to restoring the technologies and social order that existed prior to the EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) attack. Then the government announces that it’s ceding large portions of the country to China and Mexico. The Constitution is no longer in effect, and what’s left of the U.S. Army has been deployed to suppress rebellion in the remaining states.

The man sent to confront John is General Bob Scales, John’s old commanding officer and closest friend from prewar days. Will General Scales follow orders, or might he be the crucial turning point in the quest for an America that is again united? As the dubious Federal government increasingly curtails liberty and trades away sovereignty, it might just get exactly what it fears: revolution.

Pillar to the Sky by William R. ForstchenPillar to the Sky by William R. Forstchen

From William Forstchen, the New York Times bestselling author of One Second After, comes Pillar to the Sky, a towering epic to rank with Douglas Preston’s Blasphemy and Michael Crichton’s Prey…

Pandemic drought, skyrocketing oil prices, dwindling energy supplies and wars of water scarcity threaten the planet. Only four people can prevent global chaos.

Gary Morgan—a brilliant, renegade scientist is pilloried by the scientific community for his belief in a space elevator: a pillar to the sky, which he believes will make space flight fast, simple and affordable.

Eva Morgan—a brilliant and beautiful scientist of Ukranian descent, she has had a lifelong obsession to build a pillar to the sky, a vertiginous tower which would mine the power of the sun and supply humanity with cheap, limitless energy forever.

Erich Rothenberg—the ancient but revered rocket-scientist who labored with von Braun to create the first rockets and continued on to build those of today. A legend, he has mentored Gary and Eva for two decades, nurturing and encouraging their transcendent vision.

Franklin Smith—the eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire who will champion their cause, wage war with Congress and government bureaucracy and most important, finance their herculean undertaking.

The Goddard Space Flight Center—the novel’s pre-eminent hero, it’s enormous army of scientists, engineers and astronauts will design, machine, and build the space elevator. They will fight endless battles and overcome countless obstacles every step of the way.

Day of WrathDay of Wrath by William R. Forstchen

This novella by New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen imagines a horrifying scenario where, in the course of one day, the terrorist group ISIS carries out massacres in schools and on highways across the United States. With a surprisingly small but well-organized and ruthless force, the nightmarish devastation brings America to a state of near-paralysis.

Author of ONE SECOND AFTER and PILLAR TO THE SKY, this heart-stopping novella brings home just how fragile our defenses and infrastructure really are. It is also a story of heroic efforts to save lives, while sounding a wake-up call to American citizens and their government.

 

Story: Bob Petersen arrives with his daughter at the Middle Grade school in Maine where he teaches, expecting another regular day but worried about what recent ominous news reports might portend. Suddenly his school — along with many others across the United States — is under attack. Gunmen burst in, slaughtering children and adults alike.

From the ISIS leader in Syria, to the murderous rampages throughout the U.S., Day of Wrath reveals with chilling effect how national panic and paralyzing terror at the spiraling violence can bring a mighty country to a near-standstill. Petersen’s fight to save lives and stop the merciless gunmen provides edge-of-the-seat drama. Day of Wrath is a provocative work that should stimulate an intense national debate.

Note: ONE SECOND AFTER was cited on the floor of Congress as the book everyone should read.

Check out these other wish-list by my amazing fellow book bloggers!

A Literary Vacation

Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede

Mary Rowlandson’s Rescue by Alfred Woollacott, III

Me in Summer time 2017I have found Alfred Woollacott’s article Mary Rowlandson’s Rescue to be fascinating because much of this history relates to Alfred’s ancestry.  Not only that but the time period Al writes about in the article below, marks King Philip’s War as the last major effort by the Indians to force out English settlers in the Southern New England part of the Americas. Many people and towns suffered greatly during this war and many were surrendered and were sold into slavery.

Furthermore, what interest me about this post is Mary Rowlandson and the lengths John Hoare went to for her release. The ordeal she experienced is undoubtedly traumatic and how she endured it is extraordinary.

I have many thoughts and questions about King Philip’s War, the people captured and having read the blog post below I am starting to have a deeper understanding of its history and look forward to learning more.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

A Narrtive of captive

Mary Rowlandson’s Rescue

At sunrise on 10 February 1676 during King Philips’s War. Native Americans attacked the remote town of Lancaster, killing thirteen and taking over twenty-four captives, among them Mary Rowlandson and her three children. Her six-year-old daughter succumbed from her wounds after a week of captivity. For eleven weeks, Mary and her children were forced to accompany their captors as they raided other settlements and eluded the English militia. On 2 May, Concord’s John Hoare paid a £20 ransom while at Redemption Rock  in Princeton, and Mary’s ordeal ended…read more of the article HERE

About Author:

Alfred W

Alfred Woollacott, III retired from KPMG after a career spanning 34 years, choosing to reside full time at his summer residence on Martha’s Vineyard. Being “45 minutes from America” and with a 50 – 60 hour per week void to fill, he began dabbling into his family history. His dabbling grew into an obsession, and he published several genealogical summaries of his ancestors. But certain ones absorbed him such that he could not leave them. So he researched their lives and times further while evolving his writing skills from “just the facts ma’am” to a fascinating narrative style. Thus with imagination, anchored in fact and tempered with plausibility, a remote ancestor can achieve a robust life as envisioned by a writer with a few drops of his ancestor’s blood in his veins.

When not writing, Al serves on several Boards, and keeps physically active with golf, tennis, and hockey. He and his wife of 44 years, Jill, have four children and ten grandchildren.

Author Website

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