Release Day Spotlight: The Woman At The Front by Lecia Cornwall

A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times.

When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor’s parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians—that work is too dangerous and frightening.

Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is—the chance to finally prove herself.

But there’s a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she’s brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career—and the love—she’s always wanted. (publisher)

About the author:

Lecia Cornwall writes historical romance and historical fiction. She lives and writes in Alberta, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two adult children, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.


Spotlight: The Duchess by Wendy Holden

Congratulations to author Wendy Holden on the publication of her new novel The Duchess. Tuesday, September 28 is the big day. Fans of novels about British Royalty will want to look for The Duchess.

The Duchess by Wendy Holden

Expected pub. date:  Sept. 28, 2021

Berkley Trade Paperback Original

All content courtesy of the publisher


It was a love so strong, a king renounced his kingdom—all for that woman. Or was she just an escape route for a monarch who never wanted to rule? Bestselling author Wendy Holden takes an intimate look at one of the most notorious scandals of the 20th century.

1928. A middle-aged foreigner comes to London with average looks, no money and no connections. Wallis’s first months in the city are lonely, dull and depressing. With no friends of her own she follows the glamorous set in magazines and goes to watch society weddings. Her stuffy husband Ernest’s idea of fun, meanwhile, is touring historic monuments.
When an unexpected encounter leads to a house party with the Prince of Wales, Wallis’s star begins to rise. Her secret weapon is her American pep and honesty. For the prince she is a breath of fresh air. As her friendship with him grows, their relationship deepens into love. Wallis is plunged into a world of unimaginable luxury and privilege, enjoying weekends together at his private palace on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Wallis knows the fun and excitement can’t last. The prince will have to marry and she will return to Ernest. The sudden death of George V seems to make this inevitable; the Prince of Wales is now King Edward VIII. When, to her shock and amazement, he refuses to give her up–or recognize that they are facing impossible odds–herr fairy tale becomes a nightmare. The royal family close ranks to shut her out and Ernest gives an ultimatum.

Wallis finds herself trapped when Edward insists on abdicating his throne. She can’t escape the overwhelming public outrage and villainized, she becomes the woman everyone blames—the face of the most dramatic royal scandal of the twentieth century.


Sunday Post

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep blogging last week. Your words meant a lot. I was so frustrated! I’ve blogged since 2008 and truly don’t want to stop. Thanks for your kind words. I have several review commitments that will take me through the end of the year and I’m hoping to keep things going into 2022. I love the book blogging world. So many great people out there  brought together through our love of reading – and I’m happy to have met you. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet in real life! If I run into problems again I will definitely reach out to those of you who offered help. Thank you!

Book arrivals:

I’m on a three-week roll of no new books. The upside is I’m getting my NG books read – only 5 to go! 

Last week on Bookfan:

Review:  When Christmas Comes

Reading plan for this week:

When Christmas Comes

When Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan

Expected Pub. date:  November 2, 2021

Review copy courtesy of Mysterious Press


After a confession of murder, a sleuthing English teacher will need a Christmas miracle to prove a condemned man innocent

Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan—how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed?

As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well.

The thirty-sixth novel by two-time Edgar Award winner Andrew Klavan, When Christmas Comes is a seasonal tale of tradition, family, and murder; its chilling twists are best experienced curled up beside a burning Yule log. (publisher)

My take:  When a former love interest of our college professor requests his help in an investigation of her client he can’t resist saying yes. Known to have an innate ability to see details others miss, Cameron Winter is someone to have on the case. He’s not without his own demons which I felt gave him compassion despite the melancholy that seems to envelop him. But melancholy does seem to insert itself into the holidays for many people, doesn’t it? At any rate, Cameron has good reason to feel that way. It wasn’t all melancholy. There were a couple of times when I appropriately laughed out loud. Depending on how you read short mysteries this one could probably be read in an afternoon but I took my time and read a chapter or two a day. It’s quite descriptive and the setting is cinematic – I think that Klavan should write the screenplay and maybe direct it. That’s how detailed it read for me. I enjoy a Hallmark-esque novel at this time of year but When Christmas Comes was an entertaining departure. Thanks to Mysterious Press for sending the ARC. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this author.

About the author:

Andrew Klavan (b. 1954) is a highly successful author of thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries. Born in New York City, Klavan was raised on Long Island and attended college at the University of California at Berkeley. He published his first novel, Face of the Earth, in 1977, and continued writing mysteries throughout the eighties, finding critical recognition when The Rain (1988) won an Edgar Award for best new paperback.

Besides his crime fiction, Klavan has distinguished himself as an author of supernatural thrillers, most notably Don’t Say a Word (1991), which was made into a film starring Michael Douglas. Besides his fiction, Klavan writes regular opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.


Sunday Post

Book arrivals:

Empty mailbox (again)

Last week on Bookfan:

Review: Keep Me Warm at Christmas

Reading plan for this week:

.I’m still reading this one

WordPress continues to challenge my blogging – for as simple as this post looks it took me FOREVER to put together. It’s making me think about letting the blog go and simply read. So that’s what I’m considering in the final quarter of 2021. I’ll end this post with a lovely view I enjoyed on a getaway last week.

Door County, Wisconsin

Keep Me Warm at Christmas

Keep Me Warm at Christmas by Brenda Novak

Expected pub. date:  September 28, 2021 – MIRA

Digital galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley


Maybe this Christmas can thaw his frozen heart—and heal hers.

Hollywood starlet Tia Beckett knows one moment can change your life. Her career had been on the fast track before a near-fatal accident left her with a debilitating facial scar. Certain her A-lister dreams are over, she agrees to house-sit at her producer’s secluded estate in Silver Springs. It’s the escape from the limelight Tia’s been craving, until she discovers she’s not the only houseguest for the holidays. And her handsome new roomie is impossible to ignore.

Artist Seth Turner has good reason to keep his distance. Losing his wife after only a few years of marriage has left a deep scar, even if he is still happy to spend a semester teaching art classes at the New Horizons Boys Ranch for troubled teens. Despite nursing her own wounds, Tia finds her curiosity piqued by enigmatic Seth, whom she recognizes as something of a kindred soul. Maybe spending Christmas together could be another game changer for both of them—this time, for good. (publisher)

My take:

It’s Christmastime in Silver Springs. Seth Taylor, a talented artist and one of Aiyana’s adopted sons, is staying at the home of his biggest benefactor – a Hollywood producer. It’s a tough time of year for him because his wife and love of his life died just three years earlier. Now her parents need another financial bailout and he feels their emotional blackmail.

Also staying on the grounds (in the guesthouse) is a young actress and friend of the homeowner. She has one hit movie and then an accident ended her dream of more roles. Her face was disfigured and now the paparazzi are after the first pic of her post-accident.

With challenges like those Seth and Tia try to get through each day while everyone else is caught up in the season. Can these two find the courage to reimagine their future? It’s definitely not a Hallmarkesque Christmas story and I’m okay with that. There’s a grittier feel to the Silver Springs series and yet Brenda Novak always makes me care about her characters. Keep Me Warm at Christmas is another good book in the series. It can stand alone but I’m glad I got in with book 1.


Calling all C.S. Lewis Fans!

BIG NEWS for anyone who is a fan of C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia! New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Surviving Savannah), together with Harper Muse, is hosting an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime, live, online book club discussion about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is your chance to join a conversation with the world’s foremost Narnia experts and to ask all the questions you’ve ever wanted answered about our beloved Narnia and its creator, C.S. Lewis.
On Sunday September 19, 2021 at 2pm EasternNew York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan—whose Once Upon a Wardrobe is coming Oct 19th from Harper Muse!—will host this event and welcome two very distinguished guests to join her in talking all about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Joining Patti will be Dr. David C. Downing, the author of Into the Wardrobe and the director of the Marion Wade Center at Wheaton College, as well as Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C. S. Lewis and the only living person to have lived with the esteemed author.
Participants in this virtual book club discussion will be entered for the chance to win fabulous prizes like the complete 7-book Chronicles of Narnia box set and other gifts including a giclee print of original artwork by Caryn Crawford, care of Patti Callahan and Harper Collins.
This event will be an exclusive, one-time, online discussion hosted by Harper Muse, available only to those who have pre-ordered Patti Callahan’s Once Upon a Wardrobe. The link to join the discussion will be emailed to all verified registrants.
Here are the easy steps to follow in order to participate:
  1. Pre-order Once Upon a Wardrobe
  2. Register for the book club via this sign-up form
  3. Wait for the event link in your email a couple days prior to the event.
  4. Click to join the discussion and be entered to win prizes.
Walk through the wardrobe with us!




Spotlight: Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes

Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin

Berkley Trade Paperback Original; September 7, 2021;

Diverse Women’s Fiction


Jude Andrews is famous. Well, at least on Instagram. Her brand is clean eating, good vibes, Pilates, and casually looking like a sun-kissed goddess. In real life, however, she’s a total disaster. She has a strained relationship with her fame-hungry mom and her latest bad decision emptied out her entire savings account.

Lauren Turner had a plan: graduate medical school and become the top surgeon in the country. But when she became unexpectedly pregnant, those plans changed. And when her fiancé left her, they changed again. Now navigating the new world of coparenting, mom groups, and dating,  she decides to launch a mommy podcast with all the advice she wishes someone had given her.

Jude and Lauren don’t have much in common, but maybe that’s why they’ve been best friends since the third grade. Through ups and downs, they’ve been by each other’s sides. But now? They’re broke, single, and do the only thing that makes sense—move in together, just like they talked about when they were teenagers. Except when they were younger, the plan didn’t include a five-year-old daughter and more baggage than their new townhouse can hold. (publisher)

Advance praise for Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes:

“Alexa Martin is an auto-buy author for me. Her first women’s fiction novel brings the same warmth, humor, and sincerity of her romances. Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes is a celebration of the strength, joy, and complications of female friendships that span our lifetimes. I will read anything Alexa Martin writes!”—Lyssa Kay Adams, author of Isn’t It Bromantic?

Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes is a sparkling novel about female friendship in all its messy glory. The love the characters have for one another practically bursts off the page. If their podcast was real, I’d be hitting ‘subscribe’ immediately.”—Laura Hankin, author of Happy & You Know It

Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes is Alexa Martin’s relatable story of the perfectly flawed connections between mothers, daughters, and sister-friends that make life crazy and complete. If you enjoy page turning drama, second chance heroines, or relationships that remind you of the ones that got you through life, you will want to pick up this book and then you won’t want to put it down.”—Alli Frank & Asha Youmans, authors of Tiny Imperfections

“I devoured Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes. In this perfectly of-the-moment story, two strong female characters sprung off the page and into my heart. Jude and Lauren, though very different from each other, are both highly relatable women for whom I found myself cheering the entire time. Mom jeans are definitely a mistake… recommending this book is definitely not!”—Elyssa Friedland, author of Last Summer at the Golden Hotel 

A story of motherhood, friendship, sacrifice, and self-actualization, Alexa Martin’s Mom Jeans & Other Mistakes is an entertaining and empowering novel that honors family in all its iterations.”—Kathleen West, author of Are We There Yet?

About the author:

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she’s not telling her kids to put their shoes on…again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she’ll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.


Blog Tour Spotlight/Review: All Pets Allowed: Blackberry Farm 2


New dog, no tricks!

Becket Branch has one birthday wish—a dog! Dogs are outgoing and friendly, and they live life loud, just like Becket. Becket’s twin, Nicholas, wants a pet more like him—a peaceful, quiet indoor cat. When their parents take them to the shelter to choose a dog and a cat, it should be Becket’s biggest BEAUTIFUL ALERT ever. But Becket’s dream dog, Dibs, turns out to be a super-shy scaredy-pooch. Meanwhile, Nicholas’s kitty, Given, loves being the center of attention and greeting visitors to Blackberry Farm.

Can Becket and Nicholas learn how to love Dibs and Given as they are—even if they aren’t exactly the pets the twins dreamed of?
With black-and-white drawings throughout by award-winning illustrator LeUyen Pham (Real Friends), this second volume of the Blackberry Farm series offers a gentle message about embracing new friends who may not match preconceived expectations.  (publisher)

My take:

All Pets Allowed by Adele Griffin is a cute story with fun illustrations (from LeUyen Pham)  sprinkled throughout. I think many middle grade readers will find some relatable feelings, emotions and challenges experienced by twins Beckett and Nicholas. I have to say I really felt for Nicholas. His feelings were palpable and made me want to hug him. Beckett earned my affection too because she’s a polar opposite of her twin but also a wonderful spirit. I laughed as she exclaimed about almost everything. When the twins receive their twin birthday gifts from mom and dad they can’t believe their luck! I’m going to stop there to avoid spoilers. I’ll just say lessons abound.

I have three middle grade granddaughters who would love this book. Recommended for the age level and fans of chapter books.

About the author:

Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of Tell Me No Lies and Be True to Me, as well as Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both finalists for the National Book Award as well as the middle grade series The Oodlethunks and Blackberry Farm. She lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her online at or on Twitter: @adelegriffin.


“A sparkling story of weathering change.”

Booklist, starred review


“Becket is an outgoing, refreshingly self-confident protagonist…Readers will appreciate her ability to bounce back from whatever life hands her. Pham’s sketch drawings scattered throughout enhance the energy and humor of the story. Give this to kids who enjoy stories with plucky female protagonists.”

School Library Journal


“Warm and amusing as Becket and her two siblings navigate their new life on a farm.”

Kirkus Reviews


“An enjoyable novel for young readers beginning to explore the world on their own terms.”
Horn Book Magazine


“Becket’s narration vibrates with energy and cheer…Pham’s black and white illustrations…have just the right amount of comic flair to match the vibrant humor of Becket’s story.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


“Perfect…This fun and colorful novel will surely make you happy and brighten up your day.”