Advance Readers Copy Approved!

I’m seeing quite a few of particular hues in book covers this year. I love it and St. Martin Press and NetGalley approved me for an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of The Jane Austen Society!! I am thrilled to no need! I will be starting with this one right after I finish Finding Dora Maar.

I’ve also acquired an ARC of The Indigo Ghosts by Alys Clare by NetGalley and Severn House Publishers. The premise sounds fantastic! Check it out below and let me know what you think. I adore both covers!

I have been in a reading/reviewing slump for a while and these new ARC’s will really help, I think. I am so thankful for the publishers’ for not giving up on me! I hope you all are having a wonderful week and happy reading! -Stephanie

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The Jane Austen SocietyThe Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner
St. Martin’s Press
General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 May 2020
Description

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

The Indigo GhostsThe Indigo Ghosts

by Alys Clare

Severn House Publishers

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 02 Jun 2020

Description

In this gripping forensic mystery set in Stuart England, Gabriel Taverner uncovers a series of shocking secrets when he’s summoned by his former naval captain to investigate strange goings-on aboard his ship.

October, 1604. Former ship’s surgeon turned country physician Gabriel Taverner is surprised to receive an urgent summons from his old naval captain. Now docked in Plymouth harbour, having recently returned from the Caribbean, Captain Colt believes his ship is haunted by an evil spirit, and has asked Gabriel to investigate.

Dismissive of the crew’s wild talk of mysterious blue-skinned ghosts, Gabriel is convinced there must be a rational explanation behind the mass hallucinations. But matters take a disturbing turn when he and the captain discover a body hidden behind one of the bulkheads. Calling on the help of his old friend, Coroner Theophilus Davey, piece by piece Gabriel uncovers a terrifying tale of treachery, dark magic, unimaginable cruelty – and cold-blooded murder.

 

If I Were You: A Novel by Lynn Austin

IF I were youIf I Were You: A Novel

by Lynn Austin

Tyndale House Publishers

Tyndale Fiction

Christian,Historical Fiction

Pub Date 02 Jun 2020

#IfIWereYouANovel #NetGalley #layeredpages #novel #historicalfiction

 

I am totally adding this book to my wish-list! I’m in love with the premise and the cover! -Stephanie

Description

From bestselling and eight-time Christy Award–winning author Lynn Austin comes a remarkable novel of sisterhood and self-discovery set against the backdrop of WWII.

1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve’s secrets—and the complicated history of their friendship—to the surface.

1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve’s mother served as a lady’s maid for Audrey’s mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat—Nazi invasion—reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey’s brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.

This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.

 

Cover Crush: Last Call on Decatur Street by Iris Martin Cohen

My thoughts on the cover:

I really like the use of colors in the back ground of this layout. I’m not find of the white font for the lettering but since the background is dark, I guess that had to be chosen. The cover to me speaks of mystery and city life. -Stephanie

Last Call on Decatur StreetAbout the book:

Last Call on Decatur Street

by Iris Martin Cohen

HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada)

Park Row

General Fiction (Adult), Literary Fiction

Pub Date 11 Aug 2020

Description

Set in Pre-Katrina New Orleans, LAST CALL ON DECATUR STREET is an electrifying tale of friendship and betrayal, an exploration of racism and white privilege, and one woman’s journey to find herself in the seedy, glamorous world of burlesque.

Despite vowing to never return to New Orleans when she left for college, Rosemary quickly finds herself back in her hometown—kicked out of school, at odds with her best friend, and desperate to lose herself in a bright, kaleidoscopic nightlife of dive bars and burlesque dancing.

This night, though, is different. An unlikely companion, a secret sorrow, and an unexpected visitor force Rosemary to break free. From the burlesque stage in the French Quarter, strip clubs to strangers’ beds, a secret garden in Jackson Square, and ending at a raucous masquerade party, this night becomes a journey for Rosemary to come to grips with her past, grieve for those she has lost, and maybe, finally, acknowledge that she too deserves redemption.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Cohen captures the uncertainty and messy edges of early adulthood. A love letter to New Orleans, Last Call on Decatur Street is a story of family and home and the complicated things we inherit from the people and places we love.

Last weeks Cover Crush.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(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.)

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Cover Crush: Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow by Rashi Rohatgi 

Where the Sun Will Rise TomorrowIt’s 1905, and the Japanese victory over the Russians has shocked the British and their imperial subjects. Sixteen-year-old Leela and her younger sister, Maya, are spurred on to wear homespun to show the British that the Indians won’t be oppressed for much longer, either, but when Leela’s betrothed, Nash, asks her to circulate a petition amongst her classmates to desegregate the girls’ school in Chadrapur, she’s wary. She needs to remind Maya that the old ways are not all bad, for soon Maya will have to join her own betrothed and his family in their quiet village. When she discovers that Maya has embarked on a forbidden romance, Leela’s response shocks her family, her town, and her country firmly into the new century.

 

My Thoughts On The Cover:

The layout design really stands out and that is what captured my attention to find out more about the story. Added this book to my watch-list! -Stephanie

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Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

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

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Layered Pages Book Art And Current Read

dreamland book artI’m having such a fabulous time reading Bilyeau’s latest stories. Not only that but creating art based off her book covers. There is definitely a blue theme going on with her last three books!

I took photos of my own art and created layers for the background to give it a dream like quality for the creation of the DREAMLAND Banner. My next art project for the cover layout will having slow stitching involved.

I’m currently reading DREAMLAND and loving the story! I’m hooked on a story whenever there is a circus and bookstore involved. Y’all, Bilyeau is one of my favorite writers and she is so engaging online. I highly recommend her stories and following her on social media.

By the way…her e-book, “Ghost of Madison Avenue” is currently 99 cents on Amazon! That is a steal!

-Stephanie Hopkins

Dreamland by Nancy BilyeauDREAMLAND by Nancy Bilyeau

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

Relevant Links: 

Read about The Secrets of J.P. Morgan’s Private Library

The Morgan Library & Museum 

Nancy Bilyeau’s Amazon Page 

Saturday Sunday Book Review

Cover Crush: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

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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.

Still LivesAbout the Book:

Hardcover, 288 pages

Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Counterpoint Press

A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum finds herself pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition

Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

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

My thoughts:

I love abstract art and often times they make great book covers. If you read the book description, you will see how they pulled themes from the story to create this cover.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great cover crushes from my fellow book bloggers: 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum

 

Interview with Author Florence Osmund

Florence Osmund

 

Stephanie: Florence Osmund grew up in an old Victorian home in Illinois, complete with a coach house, the same house she used as inspiration for her first two books. She earned her master’s degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and has obtained more than three decades of experience in corporate America. Her notable website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before starting her first novel. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel.

Florence, thank you for chatting with me again and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your story, Daughters. Please tell me about your book.

Florence: The year is 1949, and twenty-four-year-old Marie Marchetti has just discovered the identity of her father, Jonathan Brooks, the father she never knew. She hopes the invitation from him to spend two weeks with her newfound family over Thanksgiving will help uncover vital truths about herself. Discovering who her father is also means discovering her own ethnicity, and her strong need to understand who she really is and where she belongs drives her to seek peace and truth in her life. A lot happens as a result of Marieʾs Thanksgiving visit. But the most life-altering consequence of it unexpectedly grows out of an encounter with a twelve-year-old girl named Rachael.

Why did you chose 1949 to write your story, and what interests you about writing period pieces?

Florence: The reason I may be drawn to that era is because I like developing a story without regard to modern technology. Cell phones, the Internet, iPads, iPods, and the like add a dimension in life’s situations I don’t care to consider. I would rather develop characters who use their raw talents to approach what life throws at them, without the advantage (or encumbrance, depending on the situation) of technology. But I also like the romanticism of that era— the music, the movies, the way people dressed up for the theater, and the way men courted women.

 

Daughters

 

How long did it take you to write your story, and were there any challenges?

Florence: Oh, there were challenges, alright. The first book I wrote (which was later cut in two, resulting in “The Coach House” and “Daughters”) was written without any training whatsoever. I made just about every mistake an author can make. After taking a few classes, reading every article and book I could find on how to write a novel, and scrutinizing other authors’ works, I spent so much time fixing the mistakes, I think it may have been easier to start over. As a result, it took three and a half years to publish my first two books.

Please tell me a little about Marie Marchetti. What are some of her strengths and weaknesses?

 

Florence: I created Marie to be a woman before her time. Marie worked her way up to manager of Marshall Fields’ flagship store in downtown Chicago, when back then, only men held the higher level management positions. I created her to be strong, intelligent, and perseverant, yet vulnerable and sensitive.

What inspired you to write this story?

Florence: Long before I started writing, I had a myriad of thoughts about what could make a good novel. My inspirations came from everyday life —in business meetings, observing strangers out and about doing their business, listening to friends talk about their lives, etc. Every time I had an idea, I wrote it down. Then when I retired and was ready to start writing my first book, I gathered all these scraps of paper I had accumulated, sorted them into piles, and before long Marie Marchetti’s story emerged.

What genre does it fall under, and who designed your book cover?

Florence: I have been categorizing this book under literary fiction. I believe it could also be classified as mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, and in some cases, historical fiction. The cover was designed by Rachael Mahaffey. http://www.jacketflap.com/work.asp?member=RMahaffey

Where can readers buy your book?

Florence: There are four ways to purchase this book.

 

 

What is your next book project?

 

Florence: I am currently writing a novel titled “Red Clover.” Lee Oliver Winekoop is born into exceptional wealth, but despite having been given extraordinary opportunities, he struggles with even the smallest undertakings. The increasing feeling of inadequacy he endures as a result eventually affects everything in his life. What Lee does on his journey into manhood is surprising; the variety of roadblocks he confronts is unnerving; and the implausible cast of characters he befriends along the way is amusing. This book is about Lee’s life journey to success—as he has exclusively and creatively defined it.

How often do you write, and where in your home is your favorite spot to do so?

Florence: I write just about every day at my desk that’s nestled into a bay window of my bedroom overlooking Lake Michigan. I find the water and the activity on the lake both thought-provoking and calming.

What do you like most about writing?

Florence: In addition to stimulating the creative side of my brain, writing gives me the opportunity to make sense of things that trouble me and then share my views with others—vicariously through my characters.

Thank you, Florence!

Website:  http://www.florenceosmund.com

Facebook author page:  http://www.facebook.com/florenceosmundbooks

E-mail:  info@florenceosmund.com

Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Florence-Osmund/e/B007ZQJC6U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

A message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Florence Osmund, who is the author of, Daughters, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Daughter merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.