Book Review: Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland

Lost For WordsLoveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.

Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.

My Thoughts:

I was thrilled to discover this book and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I enjoy reading books when they involve bookstores and bookish people. Alas, I must admit in first half of the book, I was frustrated and was ready to ditch the book. However, I rallied on and certain aspects of the story became a bit stronger about almost half way in.

The story is written in Loveday’s POV and she is an interesting character. I must admit at first I wasn’t sure she was going to grow on me but as I read on she came out of her shell-if you will- somewhat and I began to sympathize with her.

Loveday works in a second hand book shop and her boss Archie is quite the character! He seemed to know everyone and has been everywhere. I wanted that to be explored more. There can be a whole other book written about him in my opinion. I felt he was the life of the story.

The story has a subject matter about unhealthy and often times abusive and deadly relationships. There are some areas of this matter where I felt it was weakly portrayed and areas where it was strong. After thinking about it for a while, my only contingent would be that maybe the overall story would have been stronger if there was more background on the people’s life experience as to why their relationships were unhealthy. Another thing that bothered me was the tragedy that Loveday experienced as a child wasn’t satisfactory for the plot.

Having said that, I enjoyed reading this story. The premise is a good one, the ending was heartfelt and I loved the poetry included as part of what helps brings two people together in this story. I will be on the lookout for more stories by this author.

I rated this book three stars.

I obtained a copy of this book from Bonnier Zaffre through NetGalley.

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A Shout Out To indieBRAG Readers!

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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?

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!