Book Review: A New York Secret by Ella Carey

(Daughters of New York #1)

Expected publication: March 12th 2021 by Bookouture

War forces her to choose a side…

1942, New York. As war rages in Europe, Lily Rose is grateful for her perfect life: a wealthy family who love her and a dream job working uptown as a restaurant chef. Times are changing for women and Lily is determined to run her own kitchen one day. She hopes handsome Tom Morelli, son of Sicilian immigrants, will be at her side. Together they work late, dreaming up delicious meals for New Yorkers struggling with wartime rationing and the threat of sons and sweethearts being called up…

Then Tom receives a devastating telegram that changes everything: he is drafted to fight in Italy.

Suddenly alone, Lily turns to her parents for support. But when her mother finds out about Tom, she is furious. When the war ends, Lily’s duty is to marry the man picked for her, keep house and raise children. They give her a heartbreaking ultimatum: end her relationship with Tom or lose her family and inheritance forever.

In the middle of the war, Lily is left in an impossible position. Will she choose to stay with her family and live the safe life she has always known, or will she follow her heart and her dreams?

My thoughts:

Often times we only read stories about war in the midst of battles and evasions. Ella Carey gives us a story about the families back home and the affect war has on them and the sacrifices they have to make. Like any war, people on the home front are thrust into uncertainties and adjusting to a new way of life, even if temporary. Is it really temporary?

Women were called to do “mens’ work” and this fact alone opened many opportunities and gave women a sense of pride and validity. We have much to thank them for…

Rationing food, gas and clothing became part of the necessary means and people had to find creative and alternatives to these commodities. While these things were taking place, there was also fear that gripped the nation for their love ones off fighting on the front lines.

These themes are woven throughout the story in an engrossing way that captivates the reader and gives one an appreciation for sacrifices that are made for the good of community.

I was completely enthralled with Lily’s strength and following her life during this period in history. All the characters, really, have a special role that gives this story depth and purpose.

What fun it was to read about the restaurant kitchen life and its culture.

A New York Secret is most definitely a thought-provoking, emotional story that portrays courage, hard choices, family, friendships in unlikely places and adversity.

Stephanie Hopkins

I obtained a copy from the Publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

A History Glance Of The First Valentine’s

Valentines 9

In America before the mid 1800’s Valentine’s Cards were handmade including real lace, ribbons and what-not. If you do a little research, you’ll find all sorts of stunning handmade vintage cards online. Maybe you even have one passed down to you.

Then the whole mass production of card making by machines came about towards the end of the 19th century and they arrive in abundance to retail stores making Valentine’s Day- most likely- the biggest card selling day of the year.

Lets back track a little to an earlier time in history. Valentine’s Day goes way back to even the Roman times, but who knows, maybe even earlier.

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Did you know that British Library in London houses the oldest known to us humans, surviving Valentines? From what I learned it is a poem composed in French in 1415 by Charles Duke of Orleans to his wife, which he sent while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Wow, now that is some Valentine’s card! Can you imagine? Then again, it is said that Saint Valentine himself actually sent the first valentine so who really knows. The important thing to remember is that the tradition of expressing one’s special greetings and love is a really old affair.

Let’s get back to card making, shall we? This year I decided I wanted to make a few Valentine Cards with the focus of personalizing each one and blending my style with what I know each persons’ interest. What fun that was and I want to encourage people to consider making your Valentine’s to love ones and friends. They are much more appreciated and from the heart. They also carry on the traditions of the old arts and give you a sense of calmness and a moment of slowing down in this fast-paced world we live in. Happy Valentine’s Day! -Stephanie

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“No copyright on images infringement is intended” Used for blogging about history purpose only.

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

Honoring Christ My Savior

Christmas is a special time of year in honoring our Savior’s birth. My faith in Christ means hope, forgiveness, acceptance and salvation. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and many blessings to come. -Stephanie

John 1:9-14  “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him,  who believed in his name,  he gave the right  to become  children of God, who were born,  not of blood  nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of  grace and  truth.”

2019 Christmas TreeSilent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
heav’nly hosts sing: “Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born..!”

 

Daring Greatly

I discovered Dr. Brené Brown on Netflix. As much as I love to read, I was surprised I had not heard of her work or motivational speeches before. Though I must confess most of my self-help studies and inspirational living comes from the Bible but that doesn’t mean that I dismiss what others have to say about how we live, human conditions, shame, courage, understanding of oneself and the understanding of others. What I like most about Browns work is she gives us all something to connect too. I would be surprised to hear if there was anyone out there who could not relate to her message. I would like to encourage you all to read her book and watch her talk-The Call to Courage-on Netflix.

I’ve been studying Roosevelt’s life of late and was pleasantly surprised when she quoted him. Brown went up another notch in my good opinion of her.

-Stephanie M Hopkins

Daring GreatlyAbout Daring Greatly:

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.