The Color Blue & New Projects

Blue Books

Lately I have been on the color blue. Not sure why but I like it and there are really great shades of blue to use in art or in other mediums. Art along with books and photography are passions of mine and over the last three years I have been wanting to focus in expanding these mediums.

As many of you know, I am busy working on starting up two new businesses and one will be starting soon and the other-Novel Expressions-will be starting in January 2018. Flashlight Commentary and I will be co-owners of Novel Expressions and we have come up with a new concept of blog tours for Historical Fiction. As a Historical Fiction lover, I am thrilled to be coming up with a new concept for this endeavor. We are in the process of building the site and more updates of the project will come soon.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and thank you for visiting Layered Pages!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

 

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Art & Bookish Things

Me outside October 2017

Good morning or what’s left of it! I hope everyone had a great Monday. I was able to get a few things done yesterday and over the weekend I got some reading time in and an art project almost completed. I’m already outlining or planning-if you will- the next art project I’ve had in my mind for a while. I’ve always been fascinated with trees and drawing them. There is a tree on a farm that my daughter and I pass quite often right outside our neighborhood that has always drawn me in. The tree is a pine and the branches are uniquely curved and it gives a haunting look to the observer. I am going to do my best to capture its essence in the new art project. As for the other art projects I have been working on, you shall see those soon.

On September 17 I posted an excerpt review of Origin by Dan Brown. That was my first time writing that kind-of review for a book. Now I am currently listening to the whole novel on Audible. I can’t wait to share my final thoughts of the story to you all soon. Be on the lookout for it!

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

OriginOrigin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Published October 3rd 2017 by Doubleday Books

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

 

A Weekend of Reading & Art

Fall reading display 2017

I am having a lot of fun with my Fall time displays this year. This is the first year I have really been proactive in sharing them with you all. I am hoping to do this on an ongoing basis as part as my blogging journey. One must explore their creativity and recording these mediums will heighten the cherish memories even more. This weekend I will be finishing a couple of art projects and I want to get some reading time in. Please feel free to share what you will be doing this weekend!

I hope you all have a lovely, creative weekend! See you on Monday!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush: Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

Saving Fish from DrowningSaving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan

Paperback, Ballantine Reader’s Circle, 472 pages

Published September 26th 2006 by Ballantine Books

San Francisco art patron Bibi Chen has planned a journey of the senses along the famed Burma Road for eleven lucky friends. But after her mysterious death, Bibi watches aghast from her ghostly perch as the travelers veer off her itinerary and embark on a trail paved with cultural gaffes and tribal curses, Buddhist illusions and romantic desires. On Christmas morning, the tourists cruise across a misty lake and disappear.

With picaresque characters and mesmerizing imagery, Saving Fish from Drowning gives us a voice as idiosyncratic, sharp, and affectionate as the mothers of The Joy Luck Club. Bibi is the observant eye of human nature–the witness of good intentions and bad outcomes, of desperate souls and those who wish to save them. In the end, Tan takes her readers to that place in their own heart where hope is found.

My thoughts:

This week’s cover crush is dedicated to my daughter Savannah. She is a big fan of Amy Tan’s stories and she loves this cover! I would have to agree with her that it’s a great cover. The overall design and colors are stunning! The premise looks interesting!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great book bloggers who cover crush:

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

Novel Expressions: Book Bloggers Wanted

Novel ExpressionsPromotions & Book Tours (1)

Flashlight Commentary and Layered Pages have come together to develop a new and creative platform for Historical Fiction on-line book tours and we are looking for Historical Fiction Book Bloggers to join our team! Novel Expressions will open its promotions and tours in January 2018. As Book Bloggers ourselves we have closely watched -for a few years now- the trends in historical fiction, what readers really want and what book promotions appeal to us. This has helped us tremendously come up with fresh and exciting new ways to spotlight the genre.

We will promote your blog on various social media sites, provide free printed books, ebooks, and have occasional gifts for our team. If you don’t receive the book in time for a review or can’t review the book for a particular reason? No problem, we’ve got you covered. We will provide a tailored blog post option for you.

For more information about Novel Expressions and how to join our team please contact us at novelexpressions1@yahoo.com

Facebook Page

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks!

Erin & Stephanie

 

Wish-List 5: Spooky Reads

Me outside October 2017

This month’s wish-list is a theme for spooky reads in 2018. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of books I want to read for next October that hasn’t been published yet. Below in the descriptions, I have added the pub dates. I am really looking forward to these coming out. I have thought about requesting all of them to review but I am a bit back logged at the moment to say the least. Story of my life many people would say and they would be right!

What do I plan to read for Halloween this year? Well, it is a toss up between Bone Box by Faye Kellerman and The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I’m really leaning towards The Night Sisters.

I hope you enjoy the list below! Happy reading and thank you for visiting with me today.

The Case of the Deadly DoppelgangerThe Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks

Amberjack Publishing

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

Description

Only a few months have passed since the day Kester Lanner forced an angry ghost through the spirit door, but business prospects for Dr. Ribero’s supernatural agency haven’t improved. Things are looking grim when the agency lands a contract which they must share with a rival agency headed by Dr. Ribero’s sworn enemy, Larry Higgins. Desperate for the job, the team accepts and begins to investigate the seaside town of Lyme Regis, where elderly victims are dying.

The same mysterious clue links the horrendous deaths: the victims all see a double of themselves before dying. The teams wonder if they are dealing with a rogue doppelgänger, one that isn’t content just predicting deaths, but carrying them out as well. The victims’ connection to an ancient grave site leads to speculation that they may have disturbed a spirit more powerful than the two agencies can handle.

One thing is certain, the won’t stop unless Kester and the others can overcome their rivalry and stop this deadly spirit.

Paper GhostsPaper Ghosts (A Novel of Suspense) by Julia Heaberlin

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Ballantine Books

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 15 May 2018

#PaperGhosts #NetGalley

Description

A gripping thriller about a man who may or may not have dementia—and who may or may not be a serial killer—from a master of twists and turns, in the tradition of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life—since she was twelve years old—for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.

Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.

Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.

Is he a liar or a broken old man? Is he a pathological con artist? Or is she? Julia Heaberlin once again swerves the serial killer genre in a new direction. With taut, captivating prose, Heaberlin deftly explores the ghosts that live in our minds—and the ones that stare back from photographs. You won’t see the final, terrifying twist spinning your way until the very last mile.

Watch MeWatch Me (A Gripping Psychological Thriller) by Jody Gehrman

St. Martin’s Press

St. Martin’s Griffin

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 23 Jan 2018

Description

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers comes a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten year younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

The Ghost NotebooksThe Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Pantheon

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 13 Feb 2018

Description

A supernatural story of love, ghosts, and madness as a young couple, newly engaged, become live-in caretakers of a historic museum.

When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, New York, they aren’t running away, exactly, but they need a change. Their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. Hannah takes a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth century philosopher, and she and Nick move into their new home–the town’s remoteness, the speed with which she is offered the job, and the lack of museum visitors barely a blip in their considerations. At first life in this old, creaky house feels cozy–they speak in Masterpiece Theater accents, they take bottles of wine to the swimming hole. But as summer turns to fall Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping and she hears whispers in the night. One morning Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. Now, in his frantic search for her he will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home.

Into the Drowning DeepInto the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Orbit Books

Sci Fi & Fantasy

Pub Date 14 Nov 2017

Description

New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.