An Oldie but Goodie

me-iiTwo weeks ago, I started an Oldie but Goodie Series of older reviews that I had written. The series has really kicked off and today I am delighted to share another one! It is so amusing to look back at older reviews. My reactions have been, “What was I thinking? Oh, I quite like what I wrote or I should have expanded on some things further.” Having said that, I won’t be rewriting the reviews. One must learn from one’s own writing! I reviewed Bianca’s Vineyard back in my early days of reviewing. Becoming a book reviewer was by chance really. I was writing up some brief thoughts of the books I read, due to a book club I had Co-started with and that is how it all began. Authors started to approach me, then publishers, an editor from the Historical Novel Society and book tour coordinators. It really took off from there.

teresa-neumannI met Teresa Neumann on-line and she approached me about reviewing her book. I have gotten to know her a little bit and she is such a lovely lady and a talented writer. I haven’t spoken to her in a while and I hope to soon. Maybe she will see this post and we will get in contact! I wonder what she is up to today and what her writing projects are? Oh, I see another guest post happening in the near future!

Stephanie M. Hopkins



biancas-vineyardPaperback, 412 pages

Published November 12th 2010 by All’s Well House 

Teresa Neumann brings you a captivating story based on real events leading up to and that takes place during World War II. This story is about a family’s strength and bond to each other and their struggles to survive a turbulent time in our History.  Egisto Bertozzi, a sculptor must marry and travel to America to support his family in Italy. He marries a women named Armida Sigali who becomes troubled and abandons her family and moves back to Italy and all is not well for her…Egisto loves his children and works hard to provide for them and his family, never giving up that Armida will come back to them. However, Armida becomes a nanny for a family who supports Mussolini. Not everything is what it seems and she soon discovers they are very dangerous. Her fate becomes sealed.

Bianca’s Vineyard is beautifully written and is rich in culture and complex characters. Neumann gives you a realistic picture of what people went through during the war and how they survived a terrible force bent on destroying everything they have worked hard for and loved. I highly recommend this story! You will fall in love with it the moment you start the first page.

Rated Five Stars!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush: The Girl From The Tea Garden by Janet MacLeod Trotter

the-girl-from-the-tea-gardenThe India Tea Series, Book 3

Pub Date 06 Dec 2016

In the dying days of the Raj, Anglo-Indian schoolgirl Adela Robson dreams of a glamorous career on the stage. When she sneaks away from school in the back of handsome Sam Jackman’s car, she knows a new life awaits—but it is not the one she imagined.

In Simla, the summer seat of the Raj government, Adela throws herself into all the dazzling entertainments 1930s Indian society can offer a beautiful debutante. But just as her ambitions seem on the cusp of becoming reality, she meets a charming but spoilt prince, setting in motion a devastating chain of events.

The outbreak of the Second World War finds Adela back in England—a country she cannot remember—without hope or love, and hiding a shameful secret. Only exceptional courage and endurance can pull her through these dark times and carry her back to the homeland of her heart.

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My Thought’s on the Title, Cover and premise:

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 I must admit I first judge a book by its cover.

I am auto-approved to review this title so I decided to give it a go. I like the title of course but the cover is what first caught my attention.  The thought of a tea garden is so delightful to me. I love tea and I love gardens!

Now is it just me or does the girl in the cover look a little too old to be a schoolgirl? Or maybe she is in finishing school or whatever you want to call it. But who cares, it’s still a great cover.

The girl’s surrounding in the cover is beautiful. Do you notice the two airplanes in the right hand corner? A nice touch. Goes well with the premise.

I am really looking forward to seeing if this story lives up to the cover and premise!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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!


Cover Crush: A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon

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Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and a few of us book bloggers loved it so much that we decided that every Thursday we would post a cover that we really love. Now I must say I haven’t been consistent in my posting cover crush and on the appointed day. Will get there eventually. Posts for my website has been scheduled pretty far out in advance.

Today I am sharing with you a book cover that really stands out to me and I feel gives the right attention to what the book is about. I love how It’s in black and white too! 

A Scream in SohoDescription

A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon

German bombers are overhead and there is danger the streets of London.

A tall foreigner with strange ‘blind’ looking eyes triggers one of Detective Inspector McCarthy’s infamous ‘hunches’.

Later that night, during the pitch blackness of the wartime blackout, a piercing scream rends the air and Detective Inspector McCarthy is first on the scene to find a bloodied murder weapon, a woman’s lace handkerchief, but no victim to be seen.

As McCarthy attempts to unravel the mystery, the bodies start to pile up, and the whodunit becomes a more complex and colourful story of secret government plans, cross dressing German spies, and murderous dwarves.

McCarthy must move through the dark, seedy Soho underworld – peopled by Italian Gangsters and glamorous Austrian aristocrats alike – not only to find his murderer, but to save Britain’s defences against the Nazi threat.

Set in London during the early days of the Second World War, A Scream in Soho is an evocative and suspenseful London novel from the golden age of British detective fiction.

Check out this week’s cover crush over at 
Flashlight Commentary
2 Kids and Tired Books
A Bookaholic Swede
The Maidens Court