Book Review: Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters by Emily Carpenter

Reviving he hawthorne sistersAbout the Book:

Expected publication: October 20th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

Dove Jarrod was a renowned evangelist and faith healer. Only her granddaughter, Eve Candler, knows that Dove was a con artist. In the eight years since Dove’s death, Eve has maintained Dove’s charitable foundation—and her lies. But just as a documentary team wraps up a shoot about the miracle worker, Eve is assaulted by a vengeful stranger intent on exposing what could be Dove’s darkest secret: murder…

Tuscaloosa, 1934: a wily young orphan escapes the psychiatric hospital where she was born. When she joins the itinerant inspirational duo the Hawthorn Sisters, the road ahead is one of stirring new possibilities. And with an obsessive predator on her trail, one of untold dangers. For a young girl to survive, desperate choices must be made.

Now, to protect her family, Eve will join forces with the investigative filmmaker and one of Dove’s friends, risking everything to unravel the truth behind the accusations against her grandmother. But will the truth set her free or set her world on fire?

My Thoughts:

With a dual time line, one of the main themes to the story is about finding out Dove’s life back in the 1930’s and Eve must uncover a mystery in Dove’s past to protect her family. Not everything is what it seems and the more she uncovers, the more the story unfolds and Eve questions if she can trust the people around her.

There is a good flow to the story and the dual time-line worked for me. I was also interested in the theme of uncovering your family’s past. Throughout history and to this day people in all cultures have been interested in where they came from and so forth.

For me, the mystery would have had more depth to it if the Dove’s and Steadfast Coe scenes were fleshed out a bit more than they were. I feel like there was more focus on the revivals more than anything.

I think that Althea, Griff and Eve make a great team and would love to read more stories based around them.

I have to say when reading a story, I want to make a connection to the characters or at least one of them and that didn’t happen for me in this story. Overall it is a good story but I really wasn’t invested in the characters.

I thought it was really neat how the author added the old hymns throughout the book. That was a nice touch and has brought back a lot of fond memories for me.

I have rated this story three stars and I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie Hopkins

 

Non-fiction on the LP Radar Part I

I have recently complied a list of non-fiction books I want to eventually read. If you have read any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts. I’ve always been drawn to non-fiction for several reasons including, evidential support on subjects that interest me, and the value it brings to the table of reading, knowledge and looking at sources from different avenues. I’m also interested in reading about people from different walks of life and why they do what they do or what led them to do it in any situation whether it be crime, or making major decisions that impact lives. That is only the beginning of my interest in the genre but it sure does back a punch. 

Today I’m sharing three from my list and will be posting more in the coming weeks. -Stephanie Hopkins 

The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill Family and Defiance During the BlitzThe Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

by Erik Larson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

Bad BloodBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

American PredatorAmerican Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

by Maureen Callahan

Go deep into the investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Alaska PD.

Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil”, he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried ‘kill kits’ – cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools – in remote locations across the country, and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years – uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake – many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the culmination of years of on-the-ground interviews with key figures in law enforcement, and in Keyes’ life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files.

Cover Crush: Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno

Ordinary HazardsI adore images of birds and this one is fantastic! The colors, texture and composition is beautiful. Normally I’m not a fan of fonts over-whelming a book cover however the large fonts of the title and author’s name doesn’t take away from the bird image and I feel it adds depth. -Stephanie Hopkins 

Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno

Atria Books

Pub Date 18 Aug 2020

Description

It’s 5pm on a Wednesday when Emma settles into her hometown bar with a motley crew of locals, all unaware that a series of decisions over the course of a single night is about to change their lives forever. As the evening unfolds, key details about Emma’s history emerge, and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train.

Why has Emma, a powerhouse in the business world, ended up here? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up to recapture the love she once cherished? An exploration of contemporary love, guilt, and the place we call home, and in the tradition of Ask Again, Yes and Little Fires Everywhere, Ordinary Hazards follows one woman’s epic journey back to a life worth living.

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Mixed Media ATCs

“Form itself, even if completely abstract … has its own inner sound.”
― Wassily Kandinsky

ATC Cards 4-19-2020

 

Today I’m sharing a few of my new ATCs I’ve made recently. I was running short on art embellishments for my journal projects and decided to make ATCs. These cards are at the top of my list of favorite DIY Art projects. I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I love the abstract look of the backgrounds.

I took a few playing cards and added Gesso on the front and journal paper on the back. Having done that, doesn’t that make them now jouranling cards? Anyhow, for the front of the cards I made the backgrounds using a few of my scraps from my collage master boards and painting master boards that I created for my mixed media projects.

After I applied the paper I used oil pastels to highlight the edges and used a few embellishments and then applied some stencil patterns and wording to complete the cards. If you want to create art using DIY Master Boards and not sure how to get started, feel free to ask me and I would be delighted to give you pointers. It is a lot easier than it sounds and you can be really creative with them. Actually, I think they are a great way to discover your creative vibes-if you will. -Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

 

Creativity Takes Courage

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” ~Edward de Bono

Here are pages I worked on this past weekend in my Mixed Media Art Journal. I’ll be adding wording on the pages to the left and might leave the brighter color pages to the right, blank. Creating these pages was so calming and freeing. I love the abstract feel to the one on the right and I used acrylic paints and added water to them to give a watercolor look to them. The pages on the left are colors that remind me of the ocean and the butterfly represents a new beginning as I have said on previous posts. I tend to use butterflies a lot in my journals. -Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie Hopkins.)

 

Novels on the LP Radar

The Preserve

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Today I’m sharing three novels that are on my radar and will be watching closely. I’m extremely interested in the premises and loving the covers!

The Preserve by Ariel S. Winter

Atria Books

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 03 Nov 2020

Description

The critically acclaimed author of the “bold, innovating, and thrilling” (Stephen King) novel The Twenty-Year Death and the “brilliant” (Booklist, starred review) novel Barren Cove returns with a dark and compelling mystery set in the near future.

Decimated by plague, the human population is now a minority. Robots—complex AIs almost indistinguishable from humans—are the ruling majority. Nine months ago, in a controversial move, the robot government opened a series of preserves, designated areas where humans can choose to live without robot interference. Now the preserves face their first challenge: someone has been murdered.

Chief of Police Jesse Laughton on the SoCar Preserve is assigned to the case. He fears the factions that were opposed to the preserves will use the crime as evidence that the new system does not work. As he digs for information, robots in the outside world start turning up dead from bad drug-like programs that may have originated on SoCar land. And when Laughton learns his murder victim was a hacker who wrote drug-programs, it appears that the two cases might be linked. Soon, it’s clear that the entire preserve system is in danger of collapsing. Laughton’s former partner, a robot named Kir, arrives to assist on the case, and they soon uncover shocking secrets revealing that life on the preserve is not as peaceful as its human residents’ claim. But in order to protect humanity’s new way of life, Laughton must solve this murder before it’s too late.

The Preserve is a fresh and futuristic mystery that is perfect for fans of Westworld and Blade Runner.

Someone Like You

I absolutely LOVE this cover and thought about using it for my cover crush series. Isn’t it stunning and so fitting for the premise. I give the cover a five star rating!

Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury

Atria Books

Pub Date 05 May 2020

Description

Science raises questions only love can answer in this moving and thought-provoking novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “heart-tugging and emotional” (Romantic Times Book Reviews) life-changing fiction.

One frozen embryo. Two families with life-long secrets. And a guy who never planned to fall in love again.

Maddie Baxter West is shaken to the core when she finds out everything she believed about her life was a lie. Her parents had always planned to tell her the truth about her past: that she was adopted as an embryo. But somehow the right moment never happened. Then a total stranger confronts Maddie with the truth and tells her something else that rocks her world—Maddie had a sister she never knew about. Betrayed, angry, and confused, Maddie leaves her new job and fiancé, rejects her family’s requests for forgiveness, and moves to Portland to find out who she really is.

Dawson Gage’s life was destroyed when London Quinn, his best friend and the only girl he ever loved, is killed. In the hospital waiting room, London’s mother reveals that London might have had a sibling. The frozen embryo she and her husband donated decades ago. When Dawson finds Maddie and brings her to Portland, the Quinns—her biological parents—welcome her into their lives and hearts. Maddie is comforted by the Quinns’ love and intrigued by their memories of London, who was so much like her. Is this the family and the life she was really meant to have?

Now it will take the love of Dawson Gage to help Maddie know who she is…and to help her find her way home.

The Templars

I never get tired reading about this history! Should be interesting. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Templars

The Legend and Legacy of the Warriors of God

by Geordie Torr

Arcturus Publishing

History

Pub Date 03 Apr 2020

Description

Shrouded in myth and conspiracy, the history of the Knights Templar is little understood. Geordie Torr pulls fact from fiction, revealing the astonishing tale of this military-religious order that dominated the politics of the medieval Middle East.

Initially created to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land in the wake of the First Crusade, the Templars soon became an institution of incredible power, possessing wealth and influence throughout the courts of Europe. Yet just two centuries later they dramatically fell as its members were accused of heresy and burned at the stake.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the wars between Christians and Muslims, this illustrated book brings to life the legacy of this secretive order and the characters who defined the era.

 

Cover Crush: Hush by Dylan Farrow