I’ve Got My Eye On You

World War II affected every aspect of life worldwide and one couldn’t possibly learn everything there is to know about the war experience. There are so many extraordinary stories out there that Historical Fiction writers have written on the subject.

There are countless stories about women during the war and their involvement.  While I have read a number of those stories, I have to say that I’m a bit burned out on these novels at present. Having said that, I’ve got my eye on, “The Invisible Woman” by Erika Robuck, and hope to discover material I haven’t come across before.

Where is my current interest in the era, you might ask? I’m captivated with the Medieval Strongholds aka Castles in Germany during World War II and the roles they played. Are there any Historical Fiction books that focus on this very topic? If you know of any, please comment below! -Stephanie Hopkins

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The Invisible WomanThe Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

Berkley Publishing Group

Historical Fiction

Pub Date 09 Feb 2021

Description

“An extraordinary profile of immense courage and daring.”—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Left Cuba

“If you only read one WWII book this year, make it this one.”—Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphans

In the depths of war, she would defy the odds to help liberate a nation…a gripping historical novel based on the remarkable true story of World War II heroine Virginia Hall, from the bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

France, March 1944. Virginia Hall wasn’t like the other young society women back home in Baltimore—she never wanted the debutante ball or silk gloves. Instead, she traded a safe life for adventure in Europe, and when her beloved second home is thrust into the dark days of war, she leaps in headfirst.

Once she’s recruited as an Allied spy, subverting the Nazis becomes her calling. But even the most cunning agent can be bested, and in wartime trusting the wrong person can prove fatal. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that ravaged her first operation, and will do everything in her power to avenge the brave people she lost.

While her future is anything but certain, this time more than ever Virginia knows that failure is not an option. Especially when she discovers what—and whom—she’s truly protecting.

Key To The Past

A Key Canvas Edited

“The present is the key to the past” ― Charles Lyell

Yesterday afternoon I added the final touches to a canvas piece I’ve been working on this week. It really does feel good to be working with canvas again. For the last few months I’ve been working in my art journals and making embellishments. It’s time to mix it up again.

The abstract painting is on paper that I attached to the canvas with Matte Medium. I love the color paints I chose for this medium and I think the key adds an element of mystery. What door to the past does it open for you?

Have a great weekend! See you Monday. -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.)

 

Like Clock Work

This week I created a new mixed media piece. I could have gone with a gold and brown background but I didn’t want to over think this piece or what colors worked together and so forth. My only thought was to give it a funky steampunk look to it, if you will.

I worked with two canvases, my painted papers and scrap pattern papers for the collage. Then used white gesso, stencil, Tim Holtz Stamps, texture paste, a few acrylic colors and Black StazOn Ink. The image is from a paper by Graphic 45 that I use sparely. I believe I ordered the clock work elements on Amazon a couple years back.

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.)

Discover Your Life Purpose

“Discover a purpose that gives you passion. Develop a plan that makes you persistent. Design a preparation and motivates you to optimize your potentials. Do it because you love it!”― Israelmore Ayivor

AA8

Mixed Media Art by 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.)

Mixed Media Art Challenge Completed

On May 12th I started a Mixed Media Art Challenge  to see how many art projects I could create within the 30 days. The challenged ended on Jun 10th-if I did my math right. The challenge was to use black, white and pink stains, paint and ink for background colors . only. Below in the slideshow is what I accomplished with in that 30 day time frame.  There are thousands of different ways to create art by just using those mediums for the background. I created journal pages, ATCs, journal pockets, journal cards and hand-made embellishments. Which one if your favorite?

Though the challenge is over, I would like to continue to see how many more backgrounds I can create and really challenge myself to grow with my craft. I do have lots of scraps left over so I will be using those as well. Also, I will be working with wood panels and canvas. This wasn’t a challenge I did with other paper crafters-mind you- but one I chose to do by myself. -Stephanie Hopkins

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“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh

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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.)

Cover Crush: The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli

The Cover: Hands down this is a fantastic cover in my opinion. Is it the dress, or sketched house and tree? Or maybe the colors used? The woman sitting in front of a window reading and you can actually see her face? Or the fact the title is named after Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House? All of the above! 

The Story: There are three time-lines to this story. Not sure how I feel about that. Hmm….I will have to think on this. Having said that, the premise sounds really intriguing and it’s set in one of my favorite periods in history. Plus, I love reading about writers. As for the romantic intonations or themes -if you will-I’m wondering just how much of that is weaved into the story.

Stephanie Hopkins

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The Orchid HouseThe Orchard House

by Heidi Chiavaroli

Hardcover, 432 pages

Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers

Concord, Massachusetts

 

2001

Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865

While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019

After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

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Book Spotlight and Other Things

I came across the book below on NetGalley and while there looks like a lot of sad tones to the premise, the themes sound powerful. I wonder if it will live up to its expectations? Hmm…adding it to my reading pile because I’ve enjoyed Hart’s stories in the past!

My 30-day Mixed Media Art Challenge ended a few days ago and I still need to blog about it. Hoping to this coming Monday. This weekend will be busy and I still need to upload some images to my computer. I look forward to sharing the pieces from that challenge! Have a great Thursday! -Stephanie Hopkins

The UnwillingThe Unwilling by John Hart

St. Martin’s Press

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 02 Feb 2021

Description

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

Gibby’s older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.

Jason won’t speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn’t known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.

But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.

Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother’s hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

What he discovers there is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra’s murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.

This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

 

Creative Soul Journey

“Create things you wish existed.”

This passed weekend I made a few art journal pages and made some new Artist Trading Cards. I added elements to four of them. Saving the rest to embellish later. I used papers I painted and stenciled the backgrounds. I have a few scraps left over from the paper that I’m going to use in a other projects. The journal pages will be featured later on.

I meant to get some reading time in but that didn’t happen.

For shame!

I know.

Stephanie Hopkins

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Cover Crush: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Pull of the StarsThe background and the image of the pocket watch grabbed my attention. I love textures and the depth it gives the cover.  The premise looks pretty intense and with themes that hit close to home during this time but its important to read about history, humanity and survival.

-Stephanie Hopkins

The Pull of the Stars

by Emma Donoghue

Little, Brown and Company

Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction

Pub Date 21 Jul 2020

Description

Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. A small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, by the bestselling author of The Wonder and ROOM

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In the Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

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Agreeable Friends

A Dogs best friend

 “Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ― George Elliot

Another sneak peak project of my 30 Day Mixed media Art Challenge. I created these trading cards by using my painted papers and playing cards from the Dollar Tree. The ephemera is by Tim Holtz.

Painted ATC by 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.)