**Bookish Happenings**

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.

This week has been a really busy week with blogging posts, setting up author interviews, catching up on emails, social media promoting and reading of course! Though I have to admit, I am in a bit of a reading slump still. But I think I am getting out of it. One of the things to help me do that is buying more books! Ha! One of the books I ordered on Amazon this week was The Inn Keeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen. Which is perfect because I have been watching a series-Cranford on amazon Prime and I hear that this book fits in line with village life in England. How lovely! I should be getting my copy in the mail tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it.

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the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hillThe Innkeeper of Ivy Hill!

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood–along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.

Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family’s inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell’s owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.

Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband’s legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband’s brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?

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I have several posts to highlight. Normally I highlight mine and my fellow book bloggers posts. Which you will see but I am also adding two posts from authors that have really stood out to me this week.

Be sure to check them out. These bloggers and authors are dedicated to their craft of sharing stories and a big support to the book world. I highly recommend you follow their blogs and stories.

This is brilliant! Neil Gaiman on Writing: “Your first draft doesn’t count.” by Neil Gailman

Who would have thought a post about the postal service would be fascinating?! Well, it is!  A brief note about the post by Anna Castle  

Today I am highlighting two posts this week from both Layered Pages & Layered Pages II: Top 12: Historical Fiction Authors Who Write English Historical Fiction Novels  & Cover Crush: The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman

throne-of-grace Guest Post by Cecily Wolfe, Author of Throne of Grace over at A Literary Vacation

 Cover Crush: A Long Time Gone by Karen White over at A Bookaholic Swede

 Books I Have Forgotten over at 2 Kids and tired Books

 secrets-in-the-mistReview: Secrets in the Mist by Anna Lee Huber over at Let Them Read Books

 Audiobook Discussions: How Do You Listen? Over at The Maiden’s Court

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Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today and enjoy your weekend! Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Bookish Happenings & Social Media Mishaps

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.

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This week I was not able to post this post, yesterday. The reason is, I had a marvelous interview with author C.S. Harris on Thursday and so my Cover Crush was posted on Friday. Alas, no time like the present to publish bookish happenings! I few bookish things have been going on this week. I’ve added a few new books to my reading pile and have taken on a few more books to review. Which I need to slow down on that so I can catch up!

 Also, I have been interacting in a few conversations about content on social media. It has been enlightening to say the least. Ha!

For example:

Author Clare Mackintosh asked her followers on Facebook what we like to see authors post about/talk about on social media. My answer. “I am a book blogger and I work in the book industry. I follow and work with a lot of authors. I love it when an author draws themes from their story and post about that. I love the writing quotes and when they support book bloggers. Also, I love the interaction between the author and reader. What I don’t like is when authors post none stop about politics. I’ve seen it get ugly time and time again. One must be careful of that when promoting one’s brand. You can lose a lot of readers that way…”

Now, before you get in a tizzy about authors being citizens and all. I totally get that authors are citizens and have a voice and have the right to express themselves like everyone else. That is great and all, but just know you seriously run the risk of demolishing your “brand” by alienating potential readers and fans-if you’re insulting people for believing differently than you or posting none stop political posts. I don’t recommend doing that. Having said that, I do actually like some political posts-when they are intelligent, insightful and respectful.

Matter of fact, a couple of authors and I on Facebook were discussing talking about the parallels of historical and modern day politics from stories written. Now that was interesting!

I’d like to further add that talking about negative reviews on social media platforms is a bad idea. I don’t recommend it. Here’s why: While some-authors- mention about negative reviews are totally legit. (Meaning, some of the things people say in reviews that have no standing on the story is ridiculous and embarrassing!  I understand why the author would want to vent about it on Facebook to their “friends.”) Just consider you are even then taking a risk in doing so. Now, often times, I do see authors complaining about negative reviews (reviews that make sense) on social media, and it turns into a bully fest and then it carries over into bashing book bloggers/book reviewers in general. NOT cool at all. Here is my advice: Just don’t do it. Period. It does not complement you what-so-ever. On top of that, you run the risk of losing readers or potential book bloggers support and you need us. Just like we need your stories!

Just my two cents.

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Today I want to highlight my interview with C.S. Harris. She has written a story that I feel is the most important works of historical fiction I have read this year thus far. Check out the interview HERE.

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Here is a few of my fellow book blogger’s book highlights for the 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.

in-a-dark-dark-woodColleen over at A Literary Vacation reviews, In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware HERE.

Magdalena over at, A Bookaholic Swede has a fun cover crush of, The Dastardly Miss Lizzie by Viola Carr HERE

Holly over at 2 Kids and Tired Books has a wonderful post called, Пятница Ponderings: He was an example to me HERE.

Heather over at The Maidens Court shares with us her Top 5: Non-Fiction Books Read HERE.

the-alice-networkErin over at Flashlight Commentary reviews a book I’m dying to get my hands on called, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn HERE.

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Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today and enjoy your weekend! Happy reading!

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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**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.

This week has been a busy week! The Thanksgiving holiday is drawing near and lots of bookish things have been happening. Great blogs, announcements of new books to be released in 2017, lots of book reviews being posted and so on…

This week at Layered Pages, I have created several posts but would like to take this time to highlight my review, To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. I REALLY wanted to love this story…Alas, there are so many miss opportunities with this book and that is a shame. This could have been a five-star story. To find out more, click on the link to read my review!

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 am buddy reading a couple of books right now. Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister and The Guest on South Battery by Karen White (should be finished with it today). This weekend I REALLY hope to start, Ruler of the Night by David Morrell. His Opium-Eater (Thomas De Quincey trilogy) a Victorian mystery trilogy, is truly brilliant. 

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BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!

This week I pre-ordered Kate Quinn’s upcoming novel to be released in June 2017. The title is, The Alice Network. How cool is that?! Check out the book description:

the-alice-networkIn an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

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Here is a few of my fellow book blogger’s book highlights for the 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.

Erin has a new Cover Cliché over at Flashlight Commentary this week here.

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede reviews, The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper here.

Colleen Turner with A Literary Vacation reviews the audiobook of The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb here.

Holly with 2 Kids and Tired Books shares her Childhood Favorites…Heidi here.

Heather with The Maiden’s Court shares her November book Wish-List here.

Jenny with Let Them Rad Books shares her review of, The Earl by Katherine Ashe here.

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indieBRAG has a thanksgiving event going on starting today. Check back every day through Thanksgiving of the great blog posts here from our authors and team members-including a post from me.

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today! I want to wish you all a great weekend and happy reading!

Tuesday Book Spree: I Got Books On The Mind

me-iiToday, I have a lot of work to do but I will be fitting in a LOT of reading time. I’m getting books to review faster than I can read them! That tends to happen with people who are totally obsessed with stories. We can’t get enough and we can’t say, “no”, very often! A problem most book bloggers don’t mind having even though it can’t get a bit hectic. I will prevail!

Anyhow, three more books have come in to review and I woke up with several request from publishers in my email. Still haven’t decided what to do about the later. I might have to put those on the back burner for now. Then there is my own writing. I must make time in the day for that. There will come a point where I will have to start saying, “no,” more often so I can fit more time in for my own stories. I hate to turn people down but, well-writers- you know how it goes.

Books are a wonderful way to escape, to travel to destinations you can’t in reality, to build imagery in your mind and to live a thousand lives over and over…Good stories give you such a strong sense of place and time. I want to encourage all of my visitors to pick up a book this week and lose yourself into another world. Be sure to check out the books below I have to show you. Thank you for visiting Layered Pages today and happy reading!

By the way…you might be seeing a new book review from me!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

juliets-answer-iiJuliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon

Pub Date 07 Feb 2017 

Eat, Pray, Love meets The Rosie Project in this fresh, heartwarming memoir by a man who travels to Verona and volunteers to answer letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet, all in an attempt to heal his own heartbreak.

When Glenn Dixon is spurned by love, he packs his bags for Verona, Italy. Once there, he volunteers to answer the thousands of letters that arrive addressed to Juliet—letters sent from lovelorn people all over the world to Juliet’s hometown; people who long to understand the mysteries of the human heart.

Glenn’s journey takes him deep into the charming community of Verona, where he becomes involved in unraveling the truth behind Romeo and Juliet. Did these star-crossed lovers actually exist? Why have they remained at the forefront of hearts and minds for centuries? And what can they teach us about love?

When Glenn returns home to Canada and resumes his duties as an English teacher, he undertakes a lively reading of Romeo and Juliet with his students, engaging them in passions past and present. But in an intriguing reversal of fate and fortune, his students—along with an old friend—instruct the teacher on the true meaning of love, loss, and moving on.

An enthralling tale of modern-day love steeped in the romantic traditions of eras past, this is a memoir that will warm your heart.

death-at-st-vedastDeath at St. Vedast by Mary Lawrence

Pub Date 27 Dec 2016

During the tempestuous reign of Henry VIII, London alchemist Bianca Goddard has seen up close what keeps a man alive—and what can kill him. A good thing, for she will need all her knowledge to keep a friend away from the gallows . . .

Bianca and her husband John are delighted to share in the glad fortune of their friend, Boisvert, the silversmith, who is to wed Odile, the wealthy widow of a goldsmith. But a pall is cast over the upcoming nuptials when the body of a pregnant woman is found beneath the bell tower of St. Vedast, the very church where the betrothed are to be married.

Tragedy strikes again at the couple’s reception, when Odile suddenly drops dead in the middle of the wedding feast. The constable suspects Boisvert poisoned his new bride for her money, but there’s not a trace of poison in her food or wine. Could the two deaths be connected? To prove their friend’s innocence, Bianca will need to employ her knowledge of alchemy—for if she can determine how the bride was killed, she may find the person responsible for her murder—before another victim is added to the death toll . . .

the-magdalen-girls-iiThe Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander

Pub Date 27 Dec 2016

Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city’s Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are “fallen” women—unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.

Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel, dehumanizing punishments—but always in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endure—and plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations.

 

 

**Bookish Happenings**

book-open

It’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.

This week at Layered Pages I have created several posts but would like to highlight my All in A Day of Reading. In the post I mention and share several ARC’s I have been approved for and I am really looking forward to reading soon. Be sure to check out my other posts for the week! Lots of great books mentioned.

Currently I am reading several books! As usual. Ha! I can’t help myself. I am almost finished reading; I see You by Clare Mackintosh. What a fantastic read! When I think I’ve got it all figured out, there is a new twist! I have posted the book discretion below. I am still buddy reading Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister and hope to start The Typewriter’s Tale by Michiel Heynes this weekend.

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i-see-you-iiKindle Edition, 372 pages

Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Sphere

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .
I See You is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning psychological thriller from one of the most exciting and successful British debut talents of 2015.

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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.

Let Them Read Books has a marvelous guest post with Annelisa Christensen. Author of, The Popish Midwife here

A Bookaholic Swede has a Cover Crush this week that I am absolutely wild about! I must get my hands on a copy of the book! Check out the post here.

2 Kids and Tired Books shared with us this week a post about books she has forgotten. Check out this great posts here

A Literary Vacation shares with us a spotlight on Roman Rescue by Michelle Gilliam and a book giveaway! Be sure to check that out here and enter that giveaway!

The Maiden’s Court share with us a wonderful book review of the Mail Order Brides of the West: Evie by Caroline Fyffe here.

Flashlight Commentary shares with us a Cover Cliché: The Painted Veil here. She has some really interesting things to say about this so be sure to check it out!

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Be sure to check out the indieBRAG Home Pages for the latest B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees and please visit the B.R.A.G. blog as well! Lots of great posts from award winning authors!