Testimonial and Book Spotlight

A White Room

“Jenny went above and beyond as my cover and bookmark designer. Not only is she talented as a designer, but she is patient, polite, and easy to work with. I felt completely comfortable giving her my opinion on design and telling her what I did and didn’t like. Further, her clients are her top priority. She spent countless extra hours helping me to work through several snafus with my printers. She made phone calls on my behalf and even worked on a holiday weekend to help me meet a deadline. I couldn’t have asked for a more talented or professional designer, and I am so grateful that I found her. I plan to work with her again and again in the future.”  ~ Stephanie Carroll

Historical Editorial

About White Room:

At the close of the Victorian Era, society still expected middle-class women to be “the angels of the house,” even as a select few strived to become something more. In this time of change, Emeline Evans dreamed of becoming a nurse. But when her father dies unexpectedly, Emeline sacrifices her ambitions and rescues her family from destitution by marrying John Dorr, a reserved lawyer who can provide for her family.

John moves Emeline to the remote Missouri town of Labellum and into an unusual house where her sorrow and uneasiness edge toward madness. Furniture twists and turns before her eyes, people stare out at her from empty rooms, and the house itself conspires against her. The doctor diagnoses hysteria, but the treatment merely reinforces the house’s grip on her mind.

Emeline only finds solace after pursuing an opportunity to serve the poor as an unlicensed nurse. Yet in order to bring comfort to the needy she must secretly defy her husband, whose employer viciously hunts down and prosecutes unlicensed practitioners. Although women are no longer burned at the stake in 1900, disobedience is a symptom of psychological defect, and hysterical women must be controlled.

A novel of madness and secrets, A White Room presents a fantastical glimpse into the forgotten cult of domesticity, where one’s own home could become a prison and a woman has to be willing to risk everything to be free.

Based on historical trends of the era and inspired by the classic Victorian novels The Yellow Wallpaper, The Secret Garden, and Wuthering Heights, author Stephanie Carroll has taken women’s empowerment in fiction to an all new level in this inspiring debut.

A White Room was featured as a Notable Page Turner in Shelf Unbound Magazine and named 2013’s Best Cross-Genre Title by USA Book News.

To read behind the scenes material about “A White Room” and learn about future books by Stephanie Carroll in addition to giveaways, freebees, and how to become a test reader, visit her  website  and sign up for the VIP Reader newsletter.

About Author: 

Stephanie Carroll

As a reporter and community editor, Stephanie Carroll earned first place awards from the National Newspaper Association and from the Nevada Press Association. Stephanie holds degrees in history and social science. She graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fresno.

 

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Halloween and Spooky Reads

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Halloween is practically around the corner and I’m trying to decide if I want to just stick with my fall reads or add a couple books for this spooky occasion. Hmm…there are two books I think I will add that will be perfect and I’m dying to get to them. However, today you won’t find out what they are. I know, I know…I’m a tease. I think I will blog about them and post it next week for your enjoyment. I do like to keep people in suspense. Okay, maybe I’m getting a tiny bit carried away with that statement. Ha!

Have a great weekend everyone and see you on Monday!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer -Book Review

the-good-sisters1931, Mother Superior Agnes offers sanctuary to a desperate young woman fleeing for her life. Only to wake in the morning to discover a terrible fate has befallen one of the Sisters – in a room locked from the inside. Agnes can’t help but fear that she has allowed a great evil to enter the convent, but she has no idea how far reaching the consequences of that one fateful night will be…

Over 80 years later, Kate Parker, divorced, alcoholic, and broke, moves into the dilapidated old convent she dreams of turning into a bed and breakfast, whilst changing her life. Although the locals refuse to go near the place at night, Kate is determined to stay while the renovations take place. But when she starts to hear strange noises at night, and the crucifixes she had removed reappear on the walls, Kate starts to suspect she is not entirely alone in her new home.

A chilling and disturbing new novel from the bestselling author of The Ghost House.

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My thoughts:

This story was one I almost did not finish. I had some issues with it but I rallied on. First I’d like to mention what I did not like about it and then get on to the not so great things.

I did like the dual timelines of the present and past. I felt that was nicely done and helps the mysterious aspects of the story along. The idea of a woman buying a house that was once a Convent to turn it into a bed & breakfast is pretty interesting. There were parts to the story that was chilling, atmospheric and had “some” tension. However, I do need to mention I did get a bit spooked in certain scenes. That was cool.  Do these things alone give it a high rating for me? The answer is no. There were too many other issues with the story.

First off, the characters are clearly older than twenty but the story and the character’s language feels a bit-young adult like to me. As I said above, there were parts of the story where there was tension but it wasn’t built up enough to make it powerful-if you will. The plot line of the “a terrible fate” of the nuns was not strong enough to me. Too wishy washy. Which is disappointing because that could have been really fantastically gruesome. There are a few details about the plot that needed to be fleshed out more and wasn’t. Details I can’t mention without spoilers.

I really wanted this story to grab me but it didn’t happen. I did sympathize with Kate somewhat. To a point. The other characters were not remarkable. I am-actually-really shocked I continued to read the story. But in a way I am glad I did. The second half of the story became more interesting and the dialogue got a little better. Just a little.

I am rating the overall story two and a half stars.

I am rating the cover, four stars.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

 

 

**Bookish Happenings**

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Today, I thought I would share some bookish things that have been going on this week from my fellow book bloggers, indieBRAG and myself at Layered Pages. We are completely drawn into the world of stories and the people who write them. Our passion is to share our love of reading, good reads and our hunt for them. Daily we are exploring social media and various book sites for the next great read. In this post, I will share some posts highlights and events happening this week from the people I mentioned above.

First, I would like to mention a few things that are happening at Layered Pages and what I have been posting about this week. I’ve had several posts: About the indieBRAG Halloween Event that is going on. (more info about that below or just click on the link to find out more), An Oldie but Goodie Book Review, A post on a Book Hangover and cures for it, and my cover crush for the week! My highlight for the week is my Oldie but Goodie post. I love reading my older reviews! I learn a lot from them and how my writing has developed.

Right now I am reading several books. A couple of them are buddies reads: To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. (the discussion on that is really good!), The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (I have LOTs to say about this book!), Lincoln’s Autocrat (The Life of Edwin Stanton) by William Marvel, The Civil War Source Book by Philip Katcher (I’m having issues with some of the content but it’s interesting), and this weekend I am starting, Yesternight by Cat Winters. I know, it’s a lot of reading material to read at once but I am able to keep up with it and I can’t help myself.

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Here is a few of my fellow book bloggers highlights for the week! Be sure to check them out. These bloggers are so dedicated to their craft of sharing stories and a big support to the book world. I highly recommend you follow their blogs as well.

strong-cold-deadA Bookaholic Swede’s Post highlight this week: Blog Tour: Strong Cold Dead by Jon land.

Flashlight Commentary’s Post Highlight this week:  Cover Cliché: Portrait d’une negresse

A Literary Vacation’s Post Highlight this week: Audiobook Review: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

The maiden’s Court’s Post Highlight this week: Book Review: Pox Americana by Elizabeth Fennpox-america

2 Kids and Tired Book’s Post Highlight this week: Childhood Favorites…Little Mommy

Let Them Read Book’s Post Highlight this week: Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

indieBRAG is holding a month long Halloween event here! Be sure to check out all the great posts by some our B.R.A.G. Honorees, book deals and enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!

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Another great event indieBRAG had this month was a Teen Event of great books and blogs from our authors who write books for our teen audience. Please be sure to check out those great post at the indieBRAG Blog here.

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Thank you all for visiting Layered Pages today and checking out what is happening with my fellow book bloggers, indieBRAG and I! We greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm for great reads! Check back next week with all of us for more great bookish happenings!

indieBRAG Halloween Event!

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indieBRAG is holding a month long Halloween Event featuring some of our award winning authors who write great stories that are perfect for October reads or for anytime. Be sure to check out their fun Halloween post, sales, giveaways and enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card from indieBRAG here

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Are you, or is someone you know, a self-published Author?

If you or someone you know is a self-published author and would like to be considered for a B.R.A.G. Medallion, we encourage you to submit your book! Submitting your book for consideration is easy—simply provide the required information about your book and yourself as an author, submit payment information (consideration is a nominal fee of $50.00), and we’ll take care of the rest!

Submit your book here