A History Glance Of The First Valentine’s

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In America before the mid 1800’s Valentine’s Cards were handmade including real lace, ribbons and what-not. If you do a little research, you’ll find all sorts of stunning handmade vintage cards online. Maybe you even have one passed down to you.

Then the whole mass production of card making by machines came about towards the end of the 19th century and they arrive in abundance to retail stores making Valentine’s Day- most likely- the biggest card selling day of the year.

Lets back track a little to an earlier time in history. Valentine’s Day goes way back to even the Roman times, but who knows, maybe even earlier.

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Did you know that British Library in London houses the oldest known to us humans, surviving Valentines? From what I learned it is a poem composed in French in 1415 by Charles Duke of Orleans to his wife, which he sent while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Wow, now that is some Valentine’s card! Can you imagine? Then again, it is said that Saint Valentine himself actually sent the first valentine so who really knows. The important thing to remember is that the tradition of expressing one’s special greetings and love is a really old affair.

Let’s get back to card making, shall we? This year I decided I wanted to make a few Valentine Cards with the focus of personalizing each one and blending my style with what I know each persons’ interest. What fun that was and I want to encourage people to consider making your Valentine’s to love ones and friends. They are much more appreciated and from the heart. They also carry on the traditions of the old arts and give you a sense of calmness and a moment of slowing down in this fast-paced world we live in. Happy Valentine’s Day! -Stephanie

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“No copyright on images infringement is intended” Used for blogging about history purpose only.

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

 

Cover Crush: Veiled in Smoke (The Windy City Saga #1) by Jocelyn Green

My thoughts on the cover and my overall impression about my first glimpse of the story description: 

The Cover first caught my attention and as I read the book description, I became even more interested in the over all presentation of the book. This story is written in the era I’m highly interested in our American History. Of course, when there is a bookshop mentioned, there is no question that I want to read the story ASAP!

The cover really speaks for itself and clearly shows that there is a fire sweeping a city with the imagery of smoke. Not only that but the title speaks volumes on that score. The ladies dress is absolutely stunning and her facing the smoke filled city is quite atmosphereic! I’m rating this book cover five stars! -Stephanie

Veiled in smokeVeiled in Smoke

(The Windy City Saga #1)

by Jocelyn Green

Paperback, 416 pages

Published February 4th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father, and after Meg burns her hands in an attempt to save a family heirloom, they make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend not only died during the fire–he was murdered. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless, injured, and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father’s innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

Available for request on NetGalley

Last week’s Cover Crush

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

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

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Advance Readers Copy Approved!

I’m seeing quite a few of particular hues in book covers this year. I love it and St. Martin Press and NetGalley approved me for an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of The Jane Austen Society!! I am thrilled to no need! I will be starting with this one right after I finish Finding Dora Maar.

I’ve also acquired an ARC of The Indigo Ghosts by Alys Clare by NetGalley and Severn House Publishers. The premise sounds fantastic! Check it out below and let me know what you think. I adore both covers!

I have been in a reading/reviewing slump for a while and these new ARC’s will really help, I think. I am so thankful for the publishers’ for not giving up on me! I hope you all are having a wonderful week and happy reading! -Stephanie

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The Jane Austen SocietyThe Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner
St. Martin’s Press
General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 May 2020
Description

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

The Indigo GhostsThe Indigo Ghosts

by Alys Clare

Severn House Publishers

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 02 Jun 2020

Description

In this gripping forensic mystery set in Stuart England, Gabriel Taverner uncovers a series of shocking secrets when he’s summoned by his former naval captain to investigate strange goings-on aboard his ship.

October, 1604. Former ship’s surgeon turned country physician Gabriel Taverner is surprised to receive an urgent summons from his old naval captain. Now docked in Plymouth harbour, having recently returned from the Caribbean, Captain Colt believes his ship is haunted by an evil spirit, and has asked Gabriel to investigate.

Dismissive of the crew’s wild talk of mysterious blue-skinned ghosts, Gabriel is convinced there must be a rational explanation behind the mass hallucinations. But matters take a disturbing turn when he and the captain discover a body hidden behind one of the bulkheads. Calling on the help of his old friend, Coroner Theophilus Davey, piece by piece Gabriel uncovers a terrifying tale of treachery, dark magic, unimaginable cruelty – and cold-blooded murder.

 

What Lies Between The Pages

Stories affect the reader in so many ways. What lies between the pages will determined the outcome of our thoughts, emotions and our sense of connection to the characters and their lives. We can learn much from these stories and experience human conditions that we might not otherwise experience for ourselves.

Today I am sharing two books that are available on NetGalley and I will be keeping my eye on how these books influence readers. Both titles and covers are dramatic and stunning.

Both books focus is World War II and present people’s lives surrounding the war and the tribulations they face. There are many layers to these stories and one can tell profound imagery of horrors of the war. -Stephanie

The Blameless Dead IThe Blameless Dead

by Gary Haynes

Endeavour Media

Endeavour Quill

Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 18 Mar 2019

Description

In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them.

As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.

Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.

The Blameless Dead is an epic edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps across centuries and continents, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms.

It Happened in TuscanyIt Happened in Tuscany

by Gail Mencini

Capriole Group

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ Titles

Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Pub Date 18 Feb 2020

Description

If you could only choose one, which would it be — honor or duty?

On February 18, 1945, Will Mills and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division scaled Italy’s treacherous mountains at night to break through the nearly impenetrable German line. Severely wounded, Will was rescued by Italian partisans, and one, a beautiful girl, tended his injuries until he could rejoin the U.S. troops. Will’s wartime decisions and actions have haunted him for seventy-five years and molded him into a bitter, angry man. Will finagles his thirty-two-year-old neighbor, Sophie Sparke, into traveling with him to find the partisan who saved his life and to confront the demons that torment him. Their quest through Tuscan hill towns exposes their darkest secrets and alters the course of their lives.

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

This Day In History, Handmade Cards & Bookish Delights

Happy Monday! This weekend was busy with art, card making, chatting with friends and much reflection. Today I had planned a “This Day In History” post and had it all planned out how I wanted to talk about the different events that happened. However, looking through history timelines, I was a bit dismayed at all the sadness and wars noted for this day. Yikes! I know many of the events made an impact our how history and its important to discuss but that isn’t were I was wanting to go with the topic. I chose two interesting events for two reasons. The first, is the U.S.A. War Time Mail because during that time and still often today that was an enormous important way of communication due to the lack of technologies we have today. Then I thought about as I was hand making Valentines Cards how much we have lost the communication of mail, putting pen to paper and letter writing.

The Second one I chose was about Elvis Presley. To this day he is still talked about and his music is listened to by many. Elvis and his art plays’ a big part in music history. There are many books about him as well and today I am spotting lighting Careless Love by Peter Gualnick. Full book description below.

1941 – U.S.A. War Time Mail

War Mail

1941: Mail Route was created between Washington D.C., and Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the mail for this route was carried on buses which were built with facilities on board for sorting, handling, and dispatch of mail.

1958 – Elvis Presley

1958: Elvis Presley’s ballad “Don’t” reached #1 on music charts. This was his ninth #1 hit single since he had produced “Heartbreak Hotel”. In all, Elvis had recorded a total of 17 #1 hits.

On another note:

ten valentine cards 2-2020Yesterday, I made several Handmade Vintage theme Valentine’s Cards and have them ready to mail out today! I am thrilled with them and they come from my heart. Each one is personalized and will reflect about the person I’m sending it too and shows a little of my style in crafting. I’m already thinking about 2020 Vintage Christmas Cards!

In light of Valentine’s being on Friday, I’ll be posting my weekly Cover Crush on Thursday at Layered Pages. Friday I will be blogging about Valentine’s Day and you’ll be able to get a better look at the cards. Have a beautiful week, everyone! -Stephanie

Careless Love The Unmaking of Elvis PresleyAbout Careless Love by Peter Guralnick

Careless Love is the full, true, and mesmerizing story of Elvis Presley’s last two decades, in the long-awaited second volume of Peter Guralnick’s masterful two-part biography.

Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick’s two-volume life of Elvis Presley, was acclaimed by the New York Times as “a triumph of biographical art.” This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis’ life in rich and previously unimagined detail, and confirms Guralnick’s status as one of the great biographers of our time.

Beginning with Presley’s army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unravelling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the complex playing-out of Elvis’ relationship with his Machiavellian manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It’s a breathtaking revelatory drama that for the first time places the events of a too-often mistold tale in a fresh, believable, and understandable context.

Elvis’ changes during these years form a tragic mystery that Careless Love unlocks for the first time. This is the quintessential American story, encompassing elements of race, class, wealth, sex, music, religion, and personal transformation. Written with grace, sensitivity, and passion, Careless Love is a unique contribution to our understanding of American popular culture and the nature of success, giving us true insight at last into one of the most misunderstood public figures of our times.

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“No copyright on images infringement is intended” Used for blogging about history purpose only. Image and credit of picture from Harvard Club Washington, DC

If you missed my Saturday Sunday Post on the Mighty Smash Book please check it out HERE

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

Saturday Sunday: The Mighty Smash Book

Often times traditional scrapbooks or journaling entail lots of expensive supplies, planning and aren’t always easily travel friendly. With smash books and glue books, you can just paint, glue, draw, doodle, write on the go and keep all your thoughts and memories with you without all the fuss of supplies. For your books, you can use old books, little notebooks, note pads, mix media pads of any size and so on…. anything you choose. You can even make your own smash book/glue book out of your own pages. It is that simple. You can even glue up-cycle envelopes to your pages to add your notes and thoughts on paper. For travel adhesive I recommend glue sticks. No mess and no fuss. As I say a lot, “The skies the limit.” I also use smash books for my master boards.

I have different sizes of smash books and glue books. Some are not finished; some are complete or some I will just keep adding to. They don’t have to be themed, or they can be. They can be random things you love or random things you don’t like so much. Anything goes. They are so much fun and you’ll enjoy them always. If you don’t have a lot of supplies to scrapbook the traditional way, I highly recommend you use this method. Below is a bigger size book I started in the beginning of February. This particular smash book will stay home.

Supplies you can use you probably already have:

Newspapers

Magazines

Junk Mail

Old Books

Old Wrapping Paper

Note book Paper

Wrapping Tissue Paper

Spiral Notebooks

Card Board from your groceries

Receipts

Your pictures

Pens

Pencils

Your kid’s old paints

Crayons

Postcards

Tickets

Stickers

Mini Watercolors kits for painting are great for travel and you just need one brush and a little water. I have one of those brushes that you can fill with water. So cool!

These are just the start of what you can use…

Don’t think about it, just get started and create. Make it your own. -Stephanie

Cover Crush: Olive the Lionheart by Brad Ricca

My thoughts on the cover and my overall impression about my first glimpse of the story description: 

Although the cover reminds me a bit of a movie poster (maybe it’s the positioning of the fonts?), I still love it and the colors used. If you read the book description below, even the main character is a, “Redhead.” That one got a smile out of me. Now, it would have been hilarious if the character’s name was, “Auburn.”  As in, “Auburn the Lionheart.” Ha! I’m getting a kick out of this week’s cover crush write up! On a sober note, is there not enough contrast in the layout? Hmm…Or maybe the ladies color of dress and travel trunk does the trick? Or is it her looking off to the distance of a new world unknown to her? See how her upper body is slightly turned with her left arm behind her back? Its as if she is unsure she should continue on, knowing the dangers she obviously will be facing. Regardless, the cover definitely has a dramatic effect going on.

I’m curious as to how the author portrays Olive-since this is based on a true story- and if she will be another predictable heroine I often see in stories or how will the author portray the different cultures mentioned. However, the story does draw on Olive’s own letters and secret diaries so there is that. Will this story truly be real life like or will it be sugar coated so not to offend anyone? If you know the history of Africa during that time or of anytime, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Also, I’m invested in keeping an eye on how this story influences readers. Having said all this, St. Martin Press is one of my favorite publishers because they tend to publish quality stories. The gist of what I’ve read from the description below is that Olive the Lionheart entails jungles, swamps, cities, deserts, letters, secret diaries, cobras, crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs. Whew, that is a lot to digest. Sign me up! -Stephanie

Olive the LionheartOlive the Lionheart

Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman’s Journey to the Heart of Africa

by Brad Ricca

St. Martin’s Press

Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 11 Aug 2020

Description

In 1910, Olive MacLeod, a thirty-year-old, redheaded Scottish aristocrat, received word that her fiancé, the famous naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa.

So she went to find him.

Olive the Lionheart is the thrilling true story of her astonishing journey. In jungles, swamps, cities, and deserts, Olive and her two companions, the Talbots, come face-to-face with cobras and crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs that she adopts as her own. Making her way in a pair of ill-fitting boots, Olive awakens to the many forces around her, from shadowy colonial powers to an invisible Islamic warlord who may hold the key to Boyd’s disappearance. As these secrets begin to unravel, all of Olive’s assumptions prove wrong and she is forced to confront the darkest, most shocking secret of all: why she really came to Africa in the first place.

Drawing on Olive’s own letters and secret diaries, Olive the Lionheart is a love story that defies all boundaries, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, unconquerable Africa.

This book is avaible for request at NetGalley.

Last week’s Cover Crush

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

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

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