Wish-List 5: Spooky Reads

Me outside October 2017

This month’s wish-list is a theme for spooky reads in 2018. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of books I want to read for next October that hasn’t been published yet. Below in the descriptions, I have added the pub dates. I am really looking forward to these coming out. I have thought about requesting all of them to review but I am a bit back logged at the moment to say the least. Story of my life many people would say and they would be right!

What do I plan to read for Halloween this year? Well, it is a toss up between Bone Box by Faye Kellerman and The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I’m really leaning towards The Night Sisters.

I hope you enjoy the list below! Happy reading and thank you for visiting with me today.

The Case of the Deadly DoppelgangerThe Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks

Amberjack Publishing

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

Description

Only a few months have passed since the day Kester Lanner forced an angry ghost through the spirit door, but business prospects for Dr. Ribero’s supernatural agency haven’t improved. Things are looking grim when the agency lands a contract which they must share with a rival agency headed by Dr. Ribero’s sworn enemy, Larry Higgins. Desperate for the job, the team accepts and begins to investigate the seaside town of Lyme Regis, where elderly victims are dying.

The same mysterious clue links the horrendous deaths: the victims all see a double of themselves before dying. The teams wonder if they are dealing with a rogue doppelgänger, one that isn’t content just predicting deaths, but carrying them out as well. The victims’ connection to an ancient grave site leads to speculation that they may have disturbed a spirit more powerful than the two agencies can handle.

One thing is certain, the won’t stop unless Kester and the others can overcome their rivalry and stop this deadly spirit.

Paper GhostsPaper Ghosts (A Novel of Suspense) by Julia Heaberlin

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Ballantine Books

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 15 May 2018

#PaperGhosts #NetGalley

Description

A gripping thriller about a man who may or may not have dementia—and who may or may not be a serial killer—from a master of twists and turns, in the tradition of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life—since she was twelve years old—for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.

Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.

Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.

Is he a liar or a broken old man? Is he a pathological con artist? Or is she? Julia Heaberlin once again swerves the serial killer genre in a new direction. With taut, captivating prose, Heaberlin deftly explores the ghosts that live in our minds—and the ones that stare back from photographs. You won’t see the final, terrifying twist spinning your way until the very last mile.

Watch MeWatch Me (A Gripping Psychological Thriller) by Jody Gehrman

St. Martin’s Press

St. Martin’s Griffin

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 23 Jan 2018

Description

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers comes a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten year younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

The Ghost NotebooksThe Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Pantheon

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 13 Feb 2018

Description

A supernatural story of love, ghosts, and madness as a young couple, newly engaged, become live-in caretakers of a historic museum.

When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, New York, they aren’t running away, exactly, but they need a change. Their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. Hannah takes a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth century philosopher, and she and Nick move into their new home–the town’s remoteness, the speed with which she is offered the job, and the lack of museum visitors barely a blip in their considerations. At first life in this old, creaky house feels cozy–they speak in Masterpiece Theater accents, they take bottles of wine to the swimming hole. But as summer turns to fall Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping and she hears whispers in the night. One morning Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. Now, in his frantic search for her he will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home.

Into the Drowning DeepInto the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Orbit Books

Sci Fi & Fantasy

Pub Date 14 Nov 2017

Description

New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

 

 

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Author Ridley Pearson at the Fox Den

Ridley & Me 2017

On October 11, I went to a book event at the FoxTale Book Shoppe featuring Author Ridley Pearson. He is the New York bestselling author of the Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series. It was such a wonderful experience to meet him and talk about his stories and the projects he is working on. His enthusiasms and energy in writing and talking about his books is amazing and awe inspiring. I was so pleased with how he interacted with his young audience and how he answered their questions. I could have listen to him speak all day. What a nice gentleman and I really admire the stories he brings to children. We need more authors like him.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Here are the two books I had signed by Ridley:

Ridley Books Signed

The Initiation (Lock and Key #1) by Ridley Pearson

Bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson reimagines the origins of the epic rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. Set in modern times and focusing on Moriarty’s bone-chilling beginnings, this middle grade mystery-adventure series will upend everything you thought you ever knew about Sherlock Holmes—and the true nature of evil.

In the pantheon of literature’s more impressive villains, Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, James Moriarty, stands alone. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes him in the classic tale “The Final Solution,” Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher, and a spider in the center of his web. He is the Napolean of crime—and now, for the first-time ever, New York Times bestselling novelist Ridley Pearson explores the origins of his evil ways.

Our story begins when James and his younger sister, Moria, are unceremoniously sent off to boarding school at Baskerville Academy. It is not a fate either want or welcome—but generations of Moriarty men have graduated from Baskerville’s hallowed halls. And now so too must James. It’s at Baskerville where James is first paired with a rather unexpected roommate—Sherlock Holmes. The two don’t get along almost instantly, but when the school’s heirloom Bible goes missing and cryptic notes with disconcerting clues start finding their way into James’s hands, the two boys decide that they must work together to solve a mystery so fraught with peril, it will change both their lives forever!

It’s another seat-of-your-pants mystery from the bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and The Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson.

The Downward Spiral (Lock and Key #2) by Ridley Pearson

James Moriarty hasn’t been the same since he enrolled at Baskerville Academy. During his first year, he was forced to room with the insufferable Sherlock Holmes, he grew distant from his younger sister, Moria, and then, horribly, his father died under mysterious circumstances.

Now with school back in session, James has become more isolated than ever. And for the first time in her life, Moria isn’t sure if her brother is on her side. The only person she can trust is Sherlock. Sherlock listens to Moria’s problems and tries to break through James’s wall. He is obsessed, maybe to an extreme, with finding the truth about their father’s death. But at least Sherlock cares, and that’s why Moria joins him on a quest that leads to a secret sect, a rare jewel, and a murder that may change everything. The search for the truth is darker than even they could have anticipated. Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, said, “Only a mastermind like Ridley Pearson could put such a fresh spin on Sherlock Holmes.” It’s another edge-of-your-seat mystery-adventure from New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson.

More about author:

Ridley Perason

Ridley Pearson is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestseller KILLER WEEKEND; the Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers, including the award-winning children’s novels PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, PETER AND THE SHADOW THIEVES, and PETER AND THE SECRET OF RUNDOON, which he cowrote with Dave Barry. Pearson lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing their time between Missouri and Idaho.

Author website

FoxTale Book Shoppe

FoxTale Book Shoppe Facebook Page

FoxTale Website

FoxTale is located at:

105 E Main St Ste 138

Woodstock, Georgia 30188

 

Wish-List 5: Agatha Christie

Steph Pic retakeYesterday I intended to have second post to post that day and time got away from me and my daughter and I went to a late movie. The film we went to see was Birth of a Dragon and it was suburb! My daughter asked me why they don’t make more film like this. I told her Hollywood used to make in the day. We both agreed that we want to see more films with this quality. Anyhow, I am getting off track here. When we got home I was exhausted and decided to post my wish-list in the morning. It’s a good way to start off the weekend, don’t you think?

August 18th, I posted my review for The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford and it got me thinking I want to learn more about Agatha Christie. She was an extraordinary writer and woman as many know. Her works today this day still influence many writers and readers. Her mystery stories will never fade and she will continue to inspire many new writers. So, began my search on Amazon for books about her life and her journey of writing mystery. I hope you enjoy this list and please be sure to review my review of The Woman on the Orient Express.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Agatha Christie An AutobiographyAgatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

Hardcover, 532 pages

When Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976, she was known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime, unrivalled as the best-selling novelist of all time with two billion books sold in more than 100 languages. Though she kept her private life a mystery, for some years Agatha had secretly written her autobiography, and when it was published after her death, millions of her fans agreed – this was her best story!

From early childhood at the end of the 19th century, through two marriages and two World Wars, and her experiences both as a writer and on archaeological expeditions with her second husband, Max Mallowan, this book reveals the true genius of her legendary success with real passion and openness.

The Grand TourThe Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery by Agatha Christie

Paperback: 384 pages

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Now, in this fascinating travelogue of the prolific author’s yearlong trip around the British Empire in 1922, Christie provides the clues to the origins of the plots and locales of some of her bestselling mystery novels. Containing never-before-published letters and photos from her travels, and filled with intriguing details about the exotic locations she visited, The Grand Tour is an important book for Agatha Christie fans, revealing an unexpected side to the world’s most renowned mystery writer.

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John CurranAgatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran

Paperback: 496 pages

Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is the fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie’s long hidden notebooks, including illustrations, analyses, and two previously unpublished Hercule Poirot short stories. Not only will Christie’s legions of ardent fans find a treasure chest of new material from the author of such classics as And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, but Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks is also a must-read tutorial for writers who want to learn the intricacies of constructing crime novels.

Come, Tell Me How You Live An Archaeological Memoir by Agatha Christie MallowanCome, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir by Agatha Christie Mallowan

Paperback: 205 pages

Over the course of her long, prolific career, Agatha Christie gave the world a wealth of ingenious whodunits and page-turning locked-room mysteries featuring Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and a host of other unforgettable characters. She also gave us Come, Tell Me How You Live, a charming, fascinating, and wonderfully witty nonfiction account of her days on an archaeological dig in Syria with her husband, renowned archeologist Max Mallowan. Something completely different from arguably the best-selling author of all time, Come, Tell Me How You Live is an evocative journey to the fascinating Middle East of the 1930s that is sure to delight Dame Agatha’s millions of fans, as well as aficionados of Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody mysteries and eager armchair travelers everywhere.

Agatha Christie at Home by Hilary MacaskillAgatha Christie at Home by Hilary Macaskill

Paperback: 144 pages

Agatha Christie was the author of over eighty novels and over a dozen plays, including The Mousetrap, the longest continuously running play in theatrical history. Her books have been translated into more languages than the works of Shakespeare.

Agatha Christie’s first home was at Ashfield in Torquay, a house that she retained for nearly half a century, until she sold it in 1938 in order to buy Greenway, her `dream house’ on the River Dart. She spent all her summers there till she died in 1976. It was, she wrote: `the loveliest house in the world.’ Now owned by the National Trust, Greenway was opened to the public in 2009.

Both Devon homes, which featured in several of her novels and stories, were central to Agatha’s life, but she also loved the process of acquiring and planning houses in other places – from Sunningdale to Baghdad: at one time, before the Second World War, she owned eight properties in London. Her enthusiasm for buying, restoring and decorating houses is one of the lesser-known aspects of her life, but one that was very important to her. Agatha Christie at Home – illustrated with photos of her life, her homes and of the Devon she loved – recounts this side of her life, and its author, Hilary Macaskill, writes about some of the houses Agatha Christie lived in, her relationship with the staff who ran them, and her love of domesticity.

Illustrated with rarely-seen archive images and evocative photographs of Greenway and the surrounding countryside, Agatha Christie at Home provides an insight into the life and work of a much-loved author.

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Brief Bio of Agatha from Amazon:

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

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Be sure to check out my wish-list from last month HERE -Alexander Pushkin to the Romanovs

Here are the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation-Coming soon!

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired

Book Review: The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

The Woman on the Orient Express IIThe Woman on the Orient Express

by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

Published September 20th 2016 by Lake Union Publishing

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.

My thoughts:

Agatha Christie is an iconic author of writing mystery and her works still influence many writers and readers today. She is famous for her characters, Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. The story she wrote that has left an impression on me is, Murder on the Orient Express. When I came across The Woman on the Orient Express, I was immediately intrigued and knew that I must read this story soon. Alas, the book has been sitting on my shelf for some time calling out my name in dire neglect!

Here is a book blurb of Murder on the Orient Express:

“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…”

Lindsay Jayne Ashford story has Agatha Christie boarding the Orient Express making her way to the middle east. I had no idea that Christie in real life traveled to those places and that really captured my attention even more. I wanted to read what it was like before terrorism exploded in the middle east (Baghdad and Mesopotamia) and being seen through an Engish woman was a nice touch. Christie was an extraordinary woman to say the least and The Woman on the Orient Express shows this.

Her relationships with Katherine Keeling and Nancy Nelson was inspiring to read about. All three of them were unique woman who had secrets about their lives they were afraid to reveal. As they were brought together by the train, they found themselves needing each other more than they would have thought. Another aspect of the story that stuck out to me was the authors description of the middle east and the people that lives there.

This story was beautiful told and the pace of the story was perfect for the era the story takes place in. The author even weaves fiction with fact perfectly and her character development was strong.

I have rated this book four stars and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

 

Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors by Casey Daniels

Smoke and Mirrors IIAbout the book:

Expected publication: November 1st 2017 by Severn House Publishers

Evie Barnum is in charge of her brother’s museum, a place teeming with scientific specimens and “human prodigies” including a bearded woman and the lizard man. In this weird and whacky workplace, Evie hopes she can bury her secrets.

But when an old friend shows up and begs for her help, she does all she can to stay away. The next time she sees him, he is dead in front of the exhibit of the Feejee Mermaid. Suspicion for the murder falls on Jeffrey, known as the Lizard Man, but Evie knows it isn’t possible.

When Jeffrey also goes missing, Evie becomes determined to solve the mystery of her friend’s murder, even if it brings her face to face with her past…

My thoughts:

A few years ago, my daughter and I were visiting relatives in Florida and we went to a museum of Oddities. Certain aspects of it held my fascination and some I found to be downright creepy. In Smoke and Mirrors, Evie’s brother Phin features human prodigies. This story-line captured my attention immediately and I knew I had to read this book! Of course, it did help that this story is a murder mystery in 19th Century New York. What’s not to love?

Evie and Phin are interesting characters and their intellect and intriguing fascination for what many consider “strange and unusual”-if you will, gives depth and meaning to the story. Not in a negative way, mind you- but in a positive light. I am hoping we will see more of this subject in future stories from the author.

The mystery surrounding Evie’s friend being murdered and how Daniels weaves the tale of Evie’s determination to uncover the horrendous crime is intriguing and had me reading long into the evening and kept me guessing who it was, though I had my suspicions’. Did I guess who? I’m not telling.

Time and place is important when writing a period piece and I did not feel pulled into the era quite so fully. Another thing that sort of bothered me was there are a few loose ends about a few of the character’s and that had me thinking there was a book before this one about their back stories and relationships. After I finished reading the book, I went on-line to check and was quite surprised I was wrong and that this book is the first in the Miss Evie Barnum Mysteries Series. Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will be on the lookout for more of Evie’s mysteries and hope to see more back story revealed!

I obtained an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) from NetGalley and Severn House for my honest opinion.

I rated this book three and a half stars.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush: Murderous Mistral by Cay Rademacher

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

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Murderous MistralMurderous Mistral (A Provence Mystery) by Cay Rademacher

St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books/Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 19 Sep 2017

Description:

International Dagger Award shortlisted author of The Murderer in Ruins, Cay Rademacher, delivers a beautifully atmospheric new story with a captivating main character in Murderous Mistral: A Provence Mystery.

Capitaine Roger Blanc, an investigator with the anti-corruption-unit of the French Gendarmerie, was a bit too succesfull in his investigations. He finds himself removed from Paris to the south of France, far away from political power. Or so it would seem.

The stress is too much for his marriage, and he attempts to manage the break up while trying to settle into his new life in Provence in a 200-year-old, half-ruined house. At the same time, Blanc is tasked with his first murder case: A man with no friends and a lot of enemies, an outsider, was found shot and burned. When a second man dies under suspicious circumstances in the quaint French countryside, the Capitaine from Paris has to dig deep into the hidden, dark undersides of the Provence he never expected to see.

My thoughts:

I love the colors and the overall layout of this cover. I have not read any stories by this author and look forward to reading this one. I enjoy a murder mystery!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. Erin’s latest cover crush HERE.

Other great book bloggers who cover crush: -Coming Soon!

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

Cover Crush: The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch

Cover Crush banner

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

The Woman in the WaterLondon, 1850: A young Charles Lenox struggles to make a name for himself as a detective…without a single case. Scotland Yard refuses to take him seriously and his friends deride him for attempting a profession at all. But when an anonymous writer sends a letter to the paper claiming to have committed the perfect crime―and promising to kill again―Lenox is convinced that this is his chance to prove himself.

The writer’s first victim is a young woman whose body is found in a naval trunk, caught up in the rushes of a small islets in the middle of the Thames. With few clues to go on, Lenox endeavors to solve the crime before another innocent life is lost. When the killer’s sights are turned toward those whom Lenox holds most dear, the stakes are raised and Lenox is trapped in a desperate game of cat and mouse.

In the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, this newest mystery in the Charles Lenox series pits the young detective against a maniacal murderer who would give Professor Moriarty a run for his money.

Charles Finch Facebook Page

My Thoughts:

I do have a couple of Charles Finch’s novels on my bookshelf but have yet to read them. I came across The Woman in the Water on Facebook and I was drawn to the cover and the cover and premise has tempted me to start reading his novels.  I do love a good detective story and one that takes place in the mid-19th century at that. Detective stories such as Sherlock Holmes and Charles Todd are what I love the most and I believe Finch’s Charles Lenox Mysteries will fit nicely among my favorites.

The cover is atmospheric and true to its setting and period. One can only imagine how frigid the water is and the woman whose body is found there must have experienced such a horrific death.  

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. Erin’s latest cover crush HERE

Other great book bloggers who cover crush:

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

More cover crushes over at indieBRAG!