A Shout Out To indieBRAG Readers!

indiebrag sunny banner

I’d like to give a shout out to all our hard working readers at
indieBRAG.

They come from all over the globe and are enthusiastic about their love for books. Many people have asked, “Who are your readers?” Well, we have readers with PHDs, who are book bloggers, book reviewers, editors, teachers, students, designers, business men and women, and much more. We are proud of our team and the hard work they do in discovering the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.

Coming soon to the indieBRAG Blog I will be talking about what authors should do before submitting their books to indieBRAG and what our readers expect. Stay tuned and be sure to give a shout out to our readers on twitter @IndieBrag or on the indieBRAG Facebook Page. Their voice matters and where would we be without them?

indieBRAG Facebook Page
Would you like you like to be part of our reading team at indieBRAG? To find out more about what we do and how to become a reader, click HERE to sign up!

Layered Pages Top Reads: 2016

I was a bit conflicted how I was going to compile this list. Should I just post about five star ratings or post about my top books for three to five star ratings? I read a little over ninety books in 2016. Today I thought I would share my top five star ratings and four star ratings. This does not include the non-fictions books I’ve read. That is for another post. This list is in no particular order except for Good Time Coming by C.S. Harris. Best book I read for 2016. If you would like to know my thoughts on each book, please click on the title and it will take you to my review. Last year was another great year of wonderful reads and I am looking forward to what is to come for 2017! Enjoy!

Five Star Rating:

good-time-coming-iiGood Time Coming by C.S. Harris

Arrowood by Laura McHugh

A Death Along the River Fleet by Susanna Calkins

SAWBONES by Melissa Lenhardt

The Secret Life of Winnie Cox: Slavery, Forbidden Love and Tragedy by Sharon Maas

Platinum Doll by Anne Girard -Review still to come

Four Star Rating:

in-the-shadowsIn the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation by Jennifer Ellis

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins-Review still to come

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

time-of-fog-and-fire-cook-coverTime of Fog and Fire by Rhys Bowen

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Hold My Heart by Esther M. Soto

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

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Manic Monday & Bookish Delights

me-iiAs we all know Mondays can be pretty manic and generally I look forward to Monday’s nonetheless. As many of you know, Friday I mentioned I was still in a reading slump. Well, guess what?! I’m not anymore! This past weekend I was able to finish two books and start on another one. So I am delighted about that! This week be on the lookout for the reviews for those two book here on Layered Pages. Also, Saturday I received in the mail, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen that I had ordered from Amazon. Hooray for more books!

**********

I would like to mention a few other bookish things that have happen Friday and over the weekend:

  1. On Facebook Friday, I spotted a post called, A Day In The Life and it is hilarious! Check it out HERE.
  2. I always like to hear about writer’s favorite book stores. I spotted 7Writers on Their Favorite Bookstores over at the Historical Novel Society on Facebook. You can check out the post HERE.
  3. I love to see what my fellow book bloggers are up too on their Facebook Pages. Check out A Bookaholics Mad World’s page HERE.
  4. Last but not least, I have been getting some awesome page views on my interview with best-selling author C.S. Harris. If you haven’t read my interview with her, click HERE to see what she has to say!

Thank you for visiting Layered pages today and be sure to come back tomorrow! Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Manic Monday & Bookish Things

me-iiAs we all know Mondays can be pretty manic and generally I look forward to Monday’s nonetheless. I must confess, I am in a bit of a reading slump. I’m still reading the books I read last week. Sigh. This weekend I did read from them and got quite a few pages read but still… I’m in a slump. I think it can be for a number of reasons. Do you ever get this way? However, I do have a few things to be glad about Monday. Here is what they are:

  1. The latest B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees have been announced HERE.
  2. Award winning author Glen Craney talks with indieBRAG about how he became interested in the history for Yanks Are Starving and how he came to write it and why it’s important to remember HERE. It’s a wonderful post!
  3. Over at my BlogSpot I share a post about Parallels Between Historical and Modern Politics HERE.
  4. My fellow book bloggers and I are planning a new way to promote books we love coming up in 2017 and it’s going to be fabulous! We discussed much of it this past weekend. So today I am adding to my list of posts ideas for that.

As for my reading list this week. I hope to finish up what I’ve been reading and move on to others I have mentioned on here previously. Be sure to scroll down my page to find out!

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

stay-calm-and-support-book-bloggers

**Book Hangover **

book-open

Is there a definition for a book hangover? Though book enthusiast know exactly what it is. For the fun of it I decided to google the meaning and see if there was an official one. Low and behold there is a lot on this subject. Here is a blog I discovered who posts about the subject which pretty much sums it up.

“A book hangover is condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress. It usually lasts for one to two weeks, or until a new book of higher-than-average quality enters the reader’s life.” –Epic Reads

While Epic Reads list great treatments for a book hangover, I have come up with my own. They are as follow:

  1. Though you probably have thousands of books on your shelf to read. Don’t let that stop you from heading to your local bookstore! I find browsing the shelves helps inspire fresh and new stories to read.
  2. Check out what your fellow readers or book bloggers are reading.
  3. Watch a TV series or movie in your area of interest and that might give you a light bulb moment as to what to read next! Netflix or Amazon Video is always helpful in that area.
  4. Pick five of your already owned books and read the first two chapters of each book. See what grabs you.
  5. A good rant to your bookish friends might do the trick.
  6. Eat large quantities of your favorite chocolate. How does this help, you ask? Well, it’s chocolate. It cures everything. Need I say more?

What are your remedies to cure a Book Hangover? Please share!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush: The Guineveres by Sarah Domet

Cover Crush banner

the-guineveresTo four girls who have nothing, their friendship is everything: they are each other’s confidants, teachers, and family. The girls are all named Guinevere―Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win―and it is the surprise of finding another Guinevere in their midst that first brings them together. They come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration convent by different paths, delivered by their families, each with her own complicated, heartbreaking story that she safeguards. Gwen is all Hollywood glamour and swagger; Ginny is a budding artiste with a sentiment to match; Win’s tough bravado isn’t even skin deep; and Vere is the only one who seems to be a believer, trying to hold onto her faith that her mother will one-day return for her. However, the girls are more than the sum of their parts and together they form the all-powerful and confident The Guineveres, bound by the extraordinary coincidence of their names and girded against the indignities of their plain, sequestered lives.

The nuns who raise them teach the Guineveres that faith is about waiting: waiting for the mail, for weekly wash day, for a miracle, or for the day they turn eighteen and are allowed to leave the convent. But the Guineveres grow tired of waiting. And so when four comatose soldiers from the War looming outside arrive at the convent, the girls realize that these men may hold their ticket out.

In prose shot through with beauty, Sarah Domet weaves together the Guineveres’ past, present, and future, as well as the stories of the female saints they were raised on, to capture the wonder and tumult of girlhood and the magical thinking of young women as they cross over to adulthood.

My thoughts on the cover:

I’ve said this before and I will say it again. I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of books and gladly admit I judge a book by its cover.

When I see the name, Guinevere, I think of the wife of the legendary King Arthur of Britain.Guinevere was known for her beauty and for being a Noble Queen though her life turned tragic. Anyhow, before I get carried away with her story and wanting to bring up her love affair….Let’s get back to the book cover. In pictures and movies that have portrayed Guinevere, she had beautiful long, thick braided hair. That is how this book cover first captured my attention.

Though The Guineveres by Sarah Domet does not take place during the medieval times and is not about a beautiful queen, I still find the premise fascinating and I love the cover!

**********

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

Other great book bloggers who cover crush

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court-Coming soon

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books 

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation -Coming soon

More cover crushes over at indieBRAG!

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?