Weekend Shenanigans & Manic Monday

me-iiAs we all know Mondays can be pretty manic and generally I look forward to Monday’s nonetheless. This weekend was mighty interesting…not just because it was a start of a new year but because of seeing some people’s thoughts on 2016 and seeing authors speaking out against a person and how they feel his book should be censored or what they consider his speech “hate”. I have very strong feelings about censoring books and what people call “hate speech” because they don’t agree with you. That word is misused and abused often.

Anyhow, I’ve got some interesting and thought-provoking articles I’ve written coming to Layered Pages soon. The premise pertains to American History and what many call, The American Civil War. I’ve also come up with some new ideas about other posts. They involve our constitutional rights and freedoms-such as reading and writing what one strongly believes in and whether it should be censored or not by government or anyone for that matter. This is something I feel very passionate about because my love of books and the freedoms we have today can easily be taken from us and we know it happens. It is a reality in many countries.

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By limiting or denying freedom of speech and expression, we take away a lot of potential. We take away thoughts and ideas before they even have the opportunity to hatch. We build a world around negatives – you can’t say, think, or do this or that. -Jill McCorkle

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Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let’s talk books!

I sort-of lost my reading mojo this weekend by reading two books back to back that were not good in my opinion. I am really hoping to get back into the swing of things this week. Meanwhile, I want to share with you a few books I recently acquired on NetGalley to review: Here is hoping to better reads!

the-night-markThe Night Mark

From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and The Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away by the tides who awakens to find herself in 1921, reunited with the husband she’s been mourning for four years. Fans of Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon will fall in love with the mystery, romance and beauty of an isolated South Carolina lighthouse, where a power greater than love works its magic.

hunter-of-sherwood-hoodHunter of Sherwood: Hood

It’s Guy of Gisburne’s final stand against a killer and fraud: Robin Hood.

The vendetta with Robin Hood has cost too much: blood shed, lives lost, friendships severed. Guy of Gisburne, knight and agent of the crown, has had enough, and wishes to enjoy a little quiet on his own land. But Hood grows ever more troublesome, and if the barons of the North will not convince Guy to resume the hunt – nor even the rightful King Richard, returned from long imprisonment – then perhaps the simple plea of a missing daughter’s father, and a promise to restore a good man’s name, will.

Hood has gathered an army: the insidious Friar Took, the giant John Lyttel, the cutthroat Scarlet Will, the brilliant and unhinged Alan O’Doyle, among others. Guy will need an army of his own: the redoubtable de Rosseley, the deadly Lady Mélisande, the resourceful Asif ibn Salah, even Guy’s former enemy, the ferocious Tancred… and his old friend and squire, Galfrid.

The stage is set: Sherwood, long a home to both men. The final confrontation begins…

the-girls-next-doorThe Girls Next Door

One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.
Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?

Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.

With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?

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If you are looking for great books that have been vetted, check out indieBRAG. It is their mission is to discover talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Their primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, they selectively consider non-fiction books as well.
https://www.bragmedallion.com/

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Be sure to check out and follow these amazing book bloggers! They do a tremendous job in supporting authors and books.

Flashlight Commentary

The Maiden’s Court

A Bookaholic Swede

A Literary Vacation

Let Them Read Books

2 Kids and Tired Books

Celticlady’s Reviews

Reading the Past

A Bookish Affair

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today and please be sure to come back tomorrow!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Manic Monday & Bookish Happenings

me-iiAs we all know Mondays can be pretty manic but nonetheless I was looking forward to it. Why? Because I want to share all my bookish happening for last week and over the weekend! What can be more exciting for a book blogger? Well, besides reading books and discovering new books to read. Every single day!

Today I am combining two post. Last week- due to the Holidays- I did not post Bookish Happenings. However, last week was a great Thanksgiving at indieBRAG with lots of wonderful guest post from our award winning authors. Be sure to check them out here.

In the last week and over the weekend I received several ARC’s from NetGalley and I am so excited about them. Here is the list:

  1. Bardwell’s Folly: A Love Story by Sandra Hutchinson
  2. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
  3. The kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd
  4. Out of Reach by Elizabeth McGregor
  5. His Kidnapper’s Shoes by Maggie James.

For my reading pleasure this week I am hoping to get to, A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain. Julie is one of my favorite new authors and I have had the pleasure chatting with her about her first book last year.

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Here is a few of my fellow book blogger’s book highlights from last week! Be sure to check them out. These bloggers are dedicated to their craft of sharing stories and a big support to the book world. I highly recommend you follow their blogs. #supportbookbloggers

return-to-taylors-crossing-iiHeather’s interview with award winning author Janie Dempsey Watts at Maiden’s Court, here.

Colleen’s book review of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins at A Literary Vacation, here.

Magdalena’s book review of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin at A Bookacholic Swede, here.

Erin’s book review of The battle of Seattle by Douglas Bond at Flashlight Commentary, here.

all-i-want-for-christmasHolly’s All I Want for Christmas…Review at 2 Kids and Tired Books, here.

And my feature Layered Pages post from last week, Wish-List 5: A little of This & A little of That, here.

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Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today. It is always a treat to be able to talk about books with you all. Be sure to stay tuned all week long for more great posts. Happy reading and God Bless.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Manic Monday: Books & More Books

me-iiAs we all know Mondays can be pretty manic but nonetheless I was looking forward to it. Why? Because I want to share all my bookish happening for the weekend! What can be more exciting for a book blogger? Well, besides reading books and discovering new books to read. Every single day!

This week is the Thanksgiving Holiday and I have so much to share with you all throughout the week. This past weekend, I was a guest at the indieBRAG Blog, sharing my Thanksgiving tradition. I want to encourage you all to read that post.On Saturday I received a new book in the mail from a book giveaway. Yay! The book is, Roma Amor by Sherry Christie. I have not read any books by her before. So I am curious about her stories.

roma-amor

For my reading pleasure- this past weekend- I read, Dead Silence (Stillwater #1) by Brenda Novak in one day! I devoured it! Great read! I am really looking forward to the next book in this Trilogy. Another book I was reading from and still am is, Ruler of the Night by Davis Morrell. Fantastic read! I am enjoying it very much and I knew I would. Morrell’s Opium-Eater (Thomas De Quincey trilogy) a Victorian mystery trilogy, is truly brilliant.

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today. It is always a treat to be able to talk about books with you all. Be sure to stay tuned all week long for more great posts. Happy reading and God Bless.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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dead-silence

Grace Montgomery knows who it is, and she knows why it happened. She was only thirteen the night it all went wrong. And now, like then, she has no choice but to keep her mouth shut.

Grace left the town of Stillwater thirteen years ago, trying to forget, trying to make good. As an assistant D.A. in Jackson, she’s finally achieved the success that was supposed to change her life. But it hasn’t so she’s come back to confront her own history. Which means returning to the farmhouse now owned by her brother and facing the people of Stillwater, a number of whom suspect the truth.

Widower Kennedy Archer is one of those people. He’s running for mayor and needs to stay as far away from Grace as possible. And yet she’s an enigma he can’t resist. Even though her enemies are close to finding out what really happened and that could ruin them both.

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Manic Monday & Bookish Delights

me-iiThis weekend was fantastic. It’s not often I can just totally chill and do what I want and I can’t say that I felt foreboding that Monday was drawing near. Though the first day of the week tends to be manic, I was quite looking forward to it. Why? This weekend I was able to get lots of reading time in, drank lots of tea, watched a few shows on Netflix, and set up a couple of blog posts. Now I know that we have to get back to the work week, which leaves us very little time for reading. But, at least we can talk about the books we’ve been enjoying! There is that. *smiles*

This past Saturday, I was checking my emails and saw that I got approved for a review copy of, Ruler of the Night by David Morrell (book description below). “David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.” (bio from goodreads).

His Opium-Eater (Thomas De Quincey trilogy) a Victorian mystery trilogy, is truly brilliant. Every historical detail is impeccable; you hang on to every word. His characters are unforgettable and he transports to you the Victorian London streets with vivid imagery, as if you were really there. Murder mysteries at its finest!

The first book is, Murder as a Fine Art. The second, Inspector of the Dead. You can find these books on Amazon and goodreads. When the third, Ruler of the Night was announced, I was so very excited and wanted to get my hands on a review copy. Badly. Grateful I was able too! I am hoping to get to it this week. I highly recommend them.

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today. It is always a treat to talk about bookish things with you all. Be sure to check out my interview with award winning author Lee Davis at indieBRAG. Today, I talk with him about his graphic designing and his process. I highly recommend you read the interview. It’s brilliant and insightful. You might learn something.

Oh, I almost forgot! A few of my fellow book bloggers and I are buddy reading, Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister-about the first female Pinkerton detective-and I discovered a show called The Pinkertons on Netflix! How cool is that?!

This week is going to be another great discussion in all things books and writers from my fellow bloggers and myself. On Friday, I will be sharing much about that. So stay tuned!

Cheers!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

ruler-of-the-night

The notorious Opium-Eater returns in the sensational climax to David Morrell’s acclaimed Victorian mystery trilogy.

1855. The railway has irrevocably altered English society, effectively changing geography and fueling the industrial revolution by shortening distances between cities: a whole day’s journey can now be covered in a matter of hours. People marvel at their new freedom.

But train travel brings new dangers as well, with England’s first death by train recorded on the very first day of railway operations in 1830. Twenty-five years later, England’s first train murder occurs, paralyzing London with the unthinkable when a gentleman is stabbed to death in a safely locked first-class passenger compartment.

In the next compartment, the brilliant opium-eater Thomas De Quincey and his quick-witted daughter, Emily, discover the homicide in a most gruesome manner. Key witnesses and also resourceful sleuths, they join forces with their allies in Scotland Yard, Detective Ryan and his partner-in-training, Becker, to pursue the killer back into the fogbound streets of London, where other baffling murders occur. Ultimately, De Quincey must confront two ruthless adversaries: this terrifying enemy, and his own opium addiction which endangers his life and his tormented soul.

“Ruler of the Night is a riveting blend of fact and fiction which, like master storyteller David Morrell’s previous De Quincey novels, “evokes Victorian London with such finesse that you’ll hear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill calls of vendors” (Entertainment Weekly).

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**Bookish Happenings**

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me-iiIt’s that time again for bookish happenings! Today, I am sharing a few things that have been going on in the world of blogging and at indieBRAG. 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.

As we all know, this week as been a challenging week for many due to the elections in America. I’ve noticed my page views here at Layered Pages have been down this week. Whatever challenges I face in life I look to God and his word to help me get through the hard times and life’s challenges Another is books-of course-and surrounding myself with positive people. Many have shown great kindness this week and many not so much. My prayer is that we call can come together in peace and understanding. To show kindness towards one another and encouragement. The world will be a better place for it.

This week at Layered Pages, I have created several posts but would like to take this time to highlight my review, I See You by Clare Mackintosh. This book was a highly interesting read for me. I love to explore the human mind and how we face things in life due to affliction. I’m also a sucker for a good mystery! When a writer leaves me guessing until the end…then you know you have stumbled across a great story.

Currently I am reading several books! What else is new! *laughing* I really can’t help myself. My enthusiasm and love for reading knows no bounds. Ha! I’m hoping to finish up a buddy read today that and read a few pages from Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister and hoping to start, The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander. Then there are the research books I am constantly buried in for my story of the Reconstruction of the South. An American Civil War story I am working on.

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girl-in-disguiseGirl in Disguise by Greer Macallister:

For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman who’s forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.

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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.

Erin’s cover crush this week over at Flashlight Commentary really stood out to me. Click here to check it out! The fact that the woman in the cover is holding a cup of tea and birds flying from it is just stunning and so dramatic!

Heather at The Maiden’s Court has a fantastic review of The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman here. I have this book on my shelf and would really like to find some time to read it!

Magdalena over at A Bookaholic Swede and I have like minds about our thrillers. Check out her review of Very Important Corpses by Simon R. Green here. I have this on my review shelf and hoping to get to it next!

Holly over at 2 Kids and Tired Books shares with us a review of Snow Angles, Secrets and Christmas Cake here. I don’t know about you all but I love it when bloggers do a wonderful job in getting you in the spirit of the holidays and Holly’s blog fits the bill.

Colleen over at A Literary Vacation shares with is an Audiobook review of The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry here. This story looks really appealing and a great gothic mystery which I would love to dive into!

Jenny at Let Them Read Books shares with us a Blog Tour Q&A & Giveaway here of A Song of War by the talented H Team! I am dying to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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indieBRAG has two exciting holiday guest blogs coming up for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Be sure to stay tuned into their blog and meanwhile check out the home pages for great reads and other guest posts from their Honorees! Click here for the website.

Thank you for visit Layered Pages and have a marvelous weekend! Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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**Bookish Happenings**

book-open

Today, I’m sharing a few 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.

This week at Layered Pages, I have created several posts but I would like to highlight my Wish-List 5: Dublin Murder Squad. Take a look at the post here and be sure to check out my other post this week! Lots of great books mentioned.

Right now I am reading several books. One of them is a buddy read and I wonder if we are ever going to be able to finish it! The book is, To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. We recently finished buddy reading, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (I have LOTs to say about this book!). I am still reading 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), Yesternight by Cat Winters (almost done) and recently started, The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer. This latest book I started is for review and I will be through with it this week. 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.

the-good-sisters

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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.

A Bookaholic Swede’s Post highlight this week: Wish-List October: Most Wanted Mystery Books of 20017

Flashlight Commentary’s Post Highlight this week:  Cover Cliché: Old Hollywood Glamour

A Literary Vacation’s Post Highlight this week: Spotlight on Fill the Sky by Katherine A. Sherbrooke + Giveaway!!

The maiden’s Court’s Post Highlight this week: Wish List 5: Microhistories

2 Kids and Tired Book’s Post Highlight this week: Duty to the Crown…Review

there-is-still-time-indiebrag-event

indieBRAG is holding a month long Halloween event here! The event ends Monday the 31st. 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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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!

Hello New Books!

I acquired these through NetGalley. I am looking forward to reading/reviewing these in the near future! -Stephanie M. Hopkins

Ghost Hampton

Ghost Hampton by Ken McGorry

Pub Date 26 Mar 2016

Lyle Hall, the most resented man in town, was also Bridgehampton’s most successful real estate lawyer. But his catastrophic car accident last year changed all that and forced his retirement. And it allowed him to see and hear things no one else could. That’s how Lyle met Jewel, the beautiful Victorian girl who appeared to him outside the long-ago brothel the Town of Southampton is about to tear down. The Victorian girl who’s been dead 100 years. And who told Lyle exactly when his own daughter, a local police detective, will die. She’s shown him Georgie’s headstone. Georgie has four days to live. Unless this is some kind of hoax. But the hordes of paranormal enthusiasts descending on Bridgehampton believe Lyle. And so does his new nemesis — a scheming TV reporter in high heels.

So close to home

So Close to Home by Michael J. Tougias, Alison O’Leary

Pub Date 02 May 2016 

A true story of men and women pitted against the sea during World War II—and an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit.

On May 19, 1942 a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey fifty miles away from New Orleans. Captained by 29-year-old Iron Cross and King’s Cross recipient Erich Wurdemann, the submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia with fifty-nine souls on board. Most of the crew were merchant seamen, but there were also a handful of civilians, including the Downs family, consisting of the parents, Ray Sr. and Ina, along with their two children, eight-year-old Ray Jr., nick-named “Sonny,” and eleven-year-old Lucille. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no notice that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, Ina and Lucille became separated from Ray Sr. and Sonny.

An inspiring historical narrative, So Close to Home tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.

Michael Tougias is the author and co-author of twenty-three non-fiction books, including several true survival-at-sea adventures, such as Rescue of the Bounty, Fatal Forecast, Overboard!, A Storm Too Soon, and The Finest Hours (soon to be a major motion picture by Disney). Ten Hours Until Dawnwas selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Best Books of the Year.”

Alison O’Leary is a former reporter for the Boston Globe, a magazine editor, and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country.

The Memory of us

The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio

Pub Date 31 May 2016

Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.

While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.

But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?