Release Day Spotlight/Review: An Impossible Impostor

Content provided by the publisher

Description

While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.

But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions—a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.

Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.


My take:  Let me just say An Impossible Impostor could be my favorite of the Veronica Speedwell series. That’s notable because it’s the 7th book! I’m not going to say more about the book than what’s revealed in the synopsis except that readers will learn a huge secret at 30% in. I loved that.

I also love the relationship of Veronica and Stoker. They are unique in their own ways yet seem cut from the same cloth where intellect and sensibilities are concerned. They are admirable  individuals and a perfect couple. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.


About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, three du Mauriers, and most recently the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She launched a new Victorian mystery series with the 2015 release of A CURIOUS BEGINNING, featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica returned in 2017’s A Perilous Undertaking, and A Treacherous Curse, 2018. A Dangerous Collaboration was released in 2019, and book five, A Murderous Relation, was a March 2020 release. An Unexpected Peril, Veronica’s sixth adventure, published in March 2021. In addition to further Veronica books, Deanna is writing a contemporary novel about four female assassins on the cusp of retirement.

Photo credit: Sigmon Taylor Photography


 

Spotlight: CRISPR’d by Judy Foreman

Congratulations to author Judy Foreman. Her debut novel will publish tomorrow, Feb. 15, 2022. 

In her debut novel, CRISPR’d: A Medial Thriller (February 15, 2022; Skyhorse Publishing hardcover; ISBN 978-1-51076-993-9; $26.99; 264 pages), Judy Foreman uses her decades of writing medical columns and science stories for The Boston Globe to take readers on a wild, all-too-plausible-ride into the future.

Dr. Saul Kramer is on the cutting edge of genetic disease research. Revered among clients at his IVF clinic, he harbors a dark secret. In addition to helping infertile couples conceive healthy babies, Dr. Kramer is obsessed, for his own dark reasons, with an alternate mission as well. In certain patients, he uses the gene editing technology CRISPR to tamper with embryos, not to improve the health of the embryos, but to replace a healthy gene with a deadly mutation.

Star reporter Samantha Fuller at one of Boston’s biggest papers begins to suspect what he has done when three infants conceived at his clinic die mysteriously, all at about one year old. She and her molecular biologist husband work secretly in his MIT lab to look for genetic defects in the deceased children. Together, they make a chilling discovery. Thanks to Sammie’s blockbuster stories, which go viral, Dr. Kramer is charged with murder and winds up in court.

In the subsequent dramatic court scenes, his feisty defense lawyer stuns the world with her defense. Set in this uneasy time of genetic engineering with CRISPR technology, Foreman, spins a compelling tale of love, revenge, and murder.

Foreman author photo CREDIT Andy Dolph

Photo credit: Andy Dolph

JUDY FOREMAN is a former Boston Globe health columnist and the author of three works of nonfiction (A Nation in Pain, The Global Pain Crisis, and Exercise Is Medicine). She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College. She spent three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil and has a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow in Medical Ethics, also at Harvard Medical School, and a Knight Science Fellow at MIT. She was a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She has won more than 50 journalism awards including a George Foster Peabody Award and a Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers. She swims competitively with U.S. Masters and sings with Boston’s Back Bay Chorale. CRISPR’d is her first novel.


Advance praise:

“Judy Foreman’s debut novel, CRISPR’d, is a must-read. A former science writer and health columnist for The Boston Globe, Foreman has written a page-turner—a medical thriller cum cautionary tale—that will not just have you on the edge of your seat but will enlighten you about the power, and potential dangers, of the new gene-editing technology, CRISPR. Foreman has a unique, concise style, like a scalpel. Her novel builds to an exciting, and unexpected, finale that will leave you breathless, and thoughtful.”
— International bestselling author, Robin Cook

“Perhaps you haven’t been ‘CRISPR’d’ yet, but regardless, you should read Judy Foreman’s novel (which is also ‘novel’ as in ‘cutting-edge’ and thought-provoking). Her mastery of non-fiction in previous books shines through and combines with a well-paced cautionary tale. It joins other exciting narratives like ‘Jurassic Park’ 1990 and ‘Regenesis’ 2012 in having a full page of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. An intriguing and very welcome view point.”
—George M. Church, Professor at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and
author of Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

“CRISPR [technology] holds the key to discovering the horrors unleashed by a vengeful IVF physician. A satisfying and well-paced genetics detective story.”
—George Annas, Professor of Health Law, Boston University, and author of Worst Case Bioethics.

“Want to take an incredibly exciting journey to the cutting edge of genetic engineering, the law and crime? This is the book for you. In the expert hands of Judy Foreman, a cast of credible characters in an engaging tale shows how today’s emerging techniques for altering humans might become the stuff of courtroom drama and ethical contention in the very near future.”
—Arthur Caplan, Mitty Professor of Bioethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

“Fans of Jodi Picoult will love this first novel from former Boston Globe science and medicine reporter Judy Foreman. With the care that she brought to her news reporting and scientific books and with an incredible ability to make science understandable for all of us, Foreman weaves a powerful story around new genetic technologies and ancient social and ethical issues: When is killing murder and when is it not? Is vengeance ever justified? I could hardly put down this book and resented every interruption in my reading! For anyone who cares about bioethics, this is a ‘must-read’: deftly crafted, balancing humor and pathos, and combining courtroom drama with the needed twists and turns of a mystery story. May this be the first of many novels from this skilled author.”
—Karen Lebacqz, former member of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and Bioethicist in Residence at Yale University, chair of the Advisory Council of the Center for Christian Bioethics at Loma Linda University, co-author of Sacred Cells: Why Christians Should Support Stem Cell Research, and co-editor of
The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate


Release Day Spotlight: Observations by Gaslight

Published:  Dec. 7, 2021 – Mysterious Press

Description:

A new collection of Sherlockian tales that shows the Great Detective and his partner, Watson, as their acquaintances saw them

Lyndsay Faye—international bestseller, translated into fifteen languages, and a two-time Edgar Award nominee—first appeared on the literary scene with Dust and Shadow, her now-classic novel pitting Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper, and later produced The Whole Art of Detection, her widely acclaimed collection of traditional Watsonian tales. Now Faye is back with Observations by Gaslight, a thrilling volume of both new and previously published short stories and novellas narrated by those who knew the Great Detective.

Beloved adventuress Irene Adler teams up with her former adversary in a near-deadly inquiry into a room full of eerily stopped grandfather clocks. Learn of the case that cemented the lasting friendship between Holmes and Inspector Lestrade, and of the tragic crime which haunted the Yarder into joining the police force. And witness Stanley Hopkins’ first meeting with the remote logician he idolizes, who will one day become his devoted mentor.

From familiar faces like landlady Mrs. Hudson to minor characters like Lomax the sub-librarian, Observations by Gaslight—entirely epistolary, told through diaries, telegrams, and even grocery lists—paints a masterful portrait of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as you have never seen them before. (publisher)

About the Author: 

Lyndsay Faye is the author of six critically acclaimed books: The Paragon Hotel; Jane Steele, which was nominated for an Edgar for Best Novel; Dust and Shadow, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche; The Gods of Gotham, also Edgar-nominated; Seven for a Secret; and The Fatal Flame. She has also published numerous short stories featuring the Holmes character, several of which were collected in 2017’s The Whole Art of Detection.

Advance Praise

“One of the best examples of [Sherlock Holmes pastiche] that this die-hard Sherlockian has encountered . . . Faye perfectly captures the tone and spirit of the Conan Doyle originals.” – Seattle Times (on The Whole Art of Detection)


 

Spotlight: Forever Home

Forever Home by Elysia Whisler

Expected publication:  November 30, 2021 – MIRA

Content courtesy of the publisher

Description:

If home is where the heart is, Dogwood County may have just what Delaney Monroe needs

Newly retired from the Marine Corps, Delaney is looking for somewhere to start over. It’s not going to be easy, but when she finds the perfect place to open her dream motorcycle shop, she goes for it. What she doesn’t expect is an abandoned pit bull to come with the building. The shy pup is slow to trust, but Delaney is determined to win it over.

Detective Sean Callahan is smitten from the moment he sees Delaney, but her cool demeanor throws him off his game. When her late father’s vintage motorcycle is stolen from Delaney’s shop, Sean gets to turn up in his element: chasing the bad guy and showing his best self to a woman who’s gotten under his skin in a bad way.

Delaney isn’t used to lasting relationships, but letting love in—both human and canine—helps her see that she may have found a place she belongs, forever.

“Complex, quietly compelling characters… A poignant reminder that ‘home’ is often more than a place.” —Maggie Wells, author of Love Game

Buy Links: 

About the author:

Elysia Whisler was raised in Texas, Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawai’i and Virginia, in true military fashion. If she’s not writing she’s probably working out, coaching, or massaging at her CrossFit gym. She lives in Virginia with her family, including her large brood of cat and dog rescues, who vastly outnumber the humans.

Social Links:

 


 

Release Day Spotlight: The Way We Weren’t

The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox

Published:  November 9, 2021 – Berkley Trade

Content courtesy of the publisher

Description:

An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds.

“You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?”

Marcie Malone didn’t think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger’s home, she doesn’t seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go.

Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it—he’s learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she’s on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way.

As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damage life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they’ve each been running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.

About the author:

Phoebe Fox is the author of the Breakup Doctor series (The Breakup Doctor, Bedside Manners, Heart Conditions, Out of Practice) and has been a contributor or regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications, including the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and SheKnows. A former actor on stage and screen, Phoebe has been dangled from wires as a mall fairy; was accidentally concussed by a blank gun; and hosted a short-lived game show. She has been a relationship columnist; a movie, theater, and book reviewer; and a radio personality, and currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.

Photo credit: Korey Howell


 

Spotlight: Miss Moriarty, I Presume?

Happy release day to author Sherry Thomas. Her new book in the Lady Sherlock series is here! I can’t wait to read it but today I’m shining the spotlight on it. Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?

Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas

Published:  Nov. 2, 2021 – Berkley Trade

All content courtesy of the publisher

 

Description:

Charlotte Holmes comes face to face with her enemy when Moriarty turns to her in his hour of need, in the USA Today bestselling series set in Victorian England.

A most unexpected client shows up at Charlotte Holmes’s doorstep: Moriarty himself. Moriarty fears that tragedy has befallen his daughter and wants Charlotte to find out the truth. 

Charlotte and Mrs. Watson travel to a remote community of occult practitioners where Moriarty’s daughter was last seen, a place full of lies and liars. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s sister Livia tries to make sense of a mysterious message from her beau Mr. Marbleton. And Charlotte’s longtime friend and ally Lord Ingram at last turns his seductive prowess on Charlotte—or is it the other way around?

But the more secrets Charlotte unravels about Miss Moriarty’s disappearance, the more she wonders why Moriarty has entrusted this delicate matter to her of all people. Is it merely to test Charlotte’s skills as an investigator, or has the man of shadows trapped her in a nest of vipers? (publisher)

About the author:

Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed historical romance authors writing today. Readers of Deanna Raybourn and C. S. Harris, and fans of Netflix’s Enola Holmes will be delighted by Thomas’s next Victorian-set mystery, complete with murder, intrigue, and plenty of romantic chemistry between a brilliant sleuth and the gentleman who helps her solve crime.


 

Spotlight on: Celebration at Christmas Cove

Celebration at Christmas Cove by Carrie Jansen

Published:  Oct. 26, 2021 – Berkley Trade Paperback Original

Content courtesy of the publisher

Description:

Travel magazine writer Celeste Bell is in a terrible mood. Not only was her flight to the Caribbean diverted to a Massachusetts island, now it looks like she’ll have to spend Christmas there. Single and still mourning the loss of her mother a year earlier, Celeste is desperate to avoid any emotional entanglements and all holiday festivities. She just doesn’t feel like celebrating.
 
But that’s exactly what community center director Nathan White and his young daughter Abigail want to do. Nathan is entirely focused on making sure that his daughter has a happy Christmas, especially with the knowledge that if he can’t raise money for the community center soon, it will close and they’ll have to leave the island. When he meets Celeste, Nathan begins to feel a connection and wonders if he’s brave enough to risk his heart once more.

Thawing their frozen hearts, and saving the community center will require a Christmas miracle. But tis’ the season… (publisher)

About the author:

Carrie Jansen earned an MFA in creative writing and published many poems and short stories before becoming a novelist. An avid bodyboarder and beach walker, she spends as much of the year as she can on Cape Cod, where she draws inspiration for her contemporary romances. She also writes Amish romance novels under her pseudonym, Carrie Lighte. Learn more online at carriejansen.com.


 

Spotlight: The Secret of Snow

The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 – Graydon House

Content courtesy of Tandem Literary

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Reading Viola Shipman’s novels is like talking to your best friend, and wanting never to hang up the phone.”—Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author

 

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage 

 

The forecast is calling for a reluctant homecoming and regrettable decisions with a strong chance of romance… 

Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist who knows only sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is being replaced by an AI meteorologist, which the youthful station manager reasons “will never age, gain weight, or renegotiate its contract.” The only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is one in a famously non-tropical place—her northern Michigan hometown. 

Unearthing her carefully laid California roots, Sonny returns home and reacclimates to the painfully long, dark winters dominated by a Michigan phenomenon known as lake-effect snow. But beyond the complete physical shock to her system, she’s also forced to confront her past: her new boss, a former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy; more keenly, the death of a younger sister who loved the snow; and the mother who caused Sonny to leave. 

To distract herself from the unwelcome memories, Sonny decides to throw herself headfirst into all things winter to woo viewers and reclaim her success. From sledding and ice fishing to skiing and winter festivals, the merrymaking culminates with the town’s famed Winter Ice Sculpture Contest. Running the events is a widowed father and Chamber of Commerce director, whose genuine love of Michigan, winter, and Sonny just might thaw her heart and restart her life in a way she never could have predicted. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wade Rouse is a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of twelve books, which have been translated into twenty languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks, and Michigan Notable Books. Rouse writes fiction under his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his writing. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts “Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour,” every Thursday live on the Viola Shipman Facebook page.


 

Spotlight: Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

Published:  Oct. 26, 2021 – MIRA

All content courtesy of the publisher

Book Summary:

 

Two sisters. The Great War looming. A chance to shape their future.

 

Sisters Ruth and Elise Duncan could never have anticipated volunteering for the war effort. But in 1914, the two women decide to make the harrowing journey from Baltimore to Ypres, Belgium in order to escape the suffocating restrictions placed on them by their father and carve a path for their own future.

 

Smart and practical Ruth is training as a nurse but dreams of becoming a doctor. In a time when women are restricted to assisting men in the field, she knows it will take great determination to prove herself, and sets out to find the one person who always believed in her: a handsome army doctor from England. For quiet Elise, joining the all female Ambulance Corps means a chance to explore her identity, and come to terms with the growing attraction she feels towards women. Especially the charming young ambulance driver who has captured her heart.

 

In the twilight of the Old World and the dawn of the new, both young women come of age in the face bombs, bullets and the deadly futility of trench warfare. Together they must challenge the rules society has placed on them in order to save lives: both the soldiers and the people they love.


Author Bio: 

Suzanne Feldman, a recipient of the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize and a finalist for the Bakeless Prize in fiction, holds an MA in fiction from Johns Hopkins University and a BFA in art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her short fiction has appeared in Narrative, The Missouri Review, Gargoyle, and other literary journals. She lives in Frederick, Maryland.


 

 

 

 

SISTERS OF THE GREAT WAR

Author: Suzanne Feldman

ISBN: 9780778311225

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Publisher: MIRA Books

 

Buy Links: 

 

Social Links:


 

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

Description:
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

Description:

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.


 

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

About:

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.


 

Spotlight: The Last Chance Library

Happy Release Day to Freya Sampson!

The Last Chance Library

Freya Sampson taps into the collective love we have for libraries in her quirky, warm, and fun-filled debut novel, THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY (Berkley Hardcover; On sale August 31, 2021). In this special novel, a young, quiet librarian finds her voice when her beloved library is threatened with closure.

Description: Content from the publisher

June Jones is a 30-year-old library worker who has never left Chalcot, the sleepy English village where she was raised by her beloved, now-deceased mother. Shy and reclusive, June would rather spend her time at the library, or curled up at home with her cat, buried in books, than do…well, pretty much anything else. 

June’s entire world is thrown in to chaos when she learns that the Chalcot Library is in danger of closing permanently. The library is underfunded and underperforming, according to a board of executives in charge of such things. But the people of Chalcot who use the library each day strongly disagree, and decide to push back against the decision.

To keep from saying goodbye to her beloved library, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the place that holds her happiest memories and the heart of her community.

A book for book lovers, THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Sampson’s debut novel offers a feel-good read that will make you want to give all your love to your local library!

About the author:

Freya Sampson works in TV and was the creator and executive producer of Channel 4’s Four in a Bed and Gogglesprogs. She studied History at Cambridge University and is a graduate of the Faber Academy. She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat. The Last Chance Library is her debut novel.

Release Day Spotlight: How to Kill Your Best Friend

How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

Description: (content provided by the publisher)

Sweet Bronwyn, fun-loving Georgie, and bold-and-beautiful Lissa were inseparable at university. The trio added Adam and Duncan to their crowd after joining the swim team, and even years later, their pastime unites them across time and long distance. But now, nearing 40 years old, the old pals find themselves gathering in tropical paradise for a more tragic circumstance: Lissa’s memorial service.

Nobody knows exactly what happened on the fateful night that Lissa went out for a swim at Kanu Cove and never returned. Lissa knew the spot well―after all, she and her husband, Jem, had been living on the lush tropical resort they newly owned together. And everyone on the island knows that something dangerous is rumored to lurk beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Cove.

So why would Lissa go for a swim at Kanu Cove, alone, at night? Is it likely that a champion swimmer really drowned―or was something more sinister at play?

The peaceful weekend in memory of a lost friend turns chilling as trouble starts brewing in paradise, and violent events begin happening at the hotel. Bronwyn and Georgie are quick to suspect that a member of the friend group may be up to something deadly. Lissa’s death was only the beginning….

About the author:

Lexie Elliott graduated from Oxford University, where she obtained a doctorate in theoretical physics. A keen sportswoman, she swam and played waterpolo at university, and later swam the English Channel solo. She works in fund management in London, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

Spotlight: Wait For It

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

Description:

A woman looking for a new lease on life moves to Arizona where she rents a guest house on a gorgeous property with a mysterious owner—a man who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.
 

Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.
 
When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.
 
Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.

My take:

I loved the charming heroine and brooding hero of this contemporary romance. She’s always been a fixer in past relationships and he’s coming off of a major health event that has left him with anxiety and depression. Knowing that, their back and forth and give and take were understandable as well as entertaining.

Written with a lot of heart and humor Wait For It was just the book I needed and left me smiling as I turned the last page.

About the author:

Jenn McKinlay is the award-winning, New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. Her work has been translated into multiple languages in countries all over the world. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.

Photo credit:  Jacqueline Hanna Photography


 

Spotlight/US Giveaway: Shallow Waters by Anita Kopacz

Description:

In this stirring and lyrical debut novel—perfect for fans of The Water Dancer and the Legacy of Orïsha series—the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, love, and feminine strength in antebellum America.

Shallow Waters imagines Yemaya, an Orïsha—a deity in the religion of Africa’s Yoruba people—cast into mid-1800s America. We meet Yemaya as a young woman, still in the care of her mother and not yet fully aware of the spectacular power she possesses to protect herself and those she holds dear.

The journey laid out in Shallow Waters sees Yemaya confront the greatest evils of this era; transcend time and place in search of Obatala, a man who sacrifices his own freedom for the chance at hers; and grow into the powerful woman she was destined to become. We travel alongside Yemaya from her native Africa and on to the “New World,” with vivid pictures of life for those left on the outskirts of power in the nascent Americas.

Yemaya realizes the fighter within, travels the Underground Railroad in search of the mysterious stranger Obatala, and crosses paths with icons of our history on the road to freedom. Shallow Waters is a nourishing work of ritual storytelling from promising debut author Anita Kopacz. (publisher)

Praise for Shallow Waters

“Spellbinding…A captivating debut.”Harper’s Bazaar


“Part history, part fantasy, this novel crosses genre as easily as it does time.”BuzzFeed

US Giveaway

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Please click here and fill out the form


Audiobook Release Day Spotlight: You Spin Me

Happy release day to Karen Grey! Her newest book in the Boston Classics series is available in audio today!

You Spin Me by Karen Grey

YOU SPIN ME

a nostalgic romantic comedy

BOSTON CLASSICS #3

Narrated by Vanessa Edwin and Eric Michael Summerer

Description:

Some scars go further than skin deep…

1988 doesn’t end well for Jessica Abraham. In just one week she turns thirty, loses her day job, and loses the role of Ophelia to a younger actress. Rallying, she goes after a part at a theater outside of the city, but the director’s plan to hide her beauty behind hair, makeup and wardrobe from Cosmo’s “Don’t” column shakes her confidence to the core.

For the first time in her acting career, she won’t be able to rely on her carefully managed physical charms. Only her craft will count. 

On a snowy night early  in January 1989, a woman calls into DJ Callihan Alonso’s alt-rock radio show at the end of her commute. He asks her to call back the next night, and the next, just so he’ll know she’s home safe. There’s something about her voice that has him wanting more, but the longer they talk, the closer she gets. Compromising each and every wall he’s built around his heart. 

If two lonely people fall in love over late-night phone calls, will meeting face-to-face make them, or break them?

In this heart-rending but happy-ending retro romcom, it may be the end of a decade, but it’s the beginning of a love story.

Buy Links:

https://books2read.com/YSMKGrey

Audible

Put it on your Goodreads or Bookbub Want to Read list (and review it there, too!)

https://bit.ly/YouSpinMeGR

http://bit.ly/YouSpinMeBookbub

 Listen to the playlist on Spotify: https://bit.ly/YouSpinMeplaylist

Content guidance can be found at http://bit.ly/ContentGuidanceKarenGrey undefined

TAG Karen Grey on 

Facebook @KarenGreywriter

Instagram @KarenGreywrites

Twitter @KarenWhitereads

Narrators:

Vanessa Edwin is a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award and SOVAS Award winning audiobook narrator. She is also a classically trained actress and world traveler. There’s nothing she loves more than long rainy days which are optimal for nurturing her love of reading, drinking hot cups of tea, and dreaming of her next getaway.

Facebook Twitter

Eric Michael Summerer is a voice actor and producer who has narrated numerous audiobooks as well as countless instructional recordings and video games. He earned an Audie Award nomination for Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke and won AudioFile Earphones Awards for Burning Chrome by William Gibson and Master Assassins by Robert V.S. Redick. Eric also co-hosts the popular board-game podcast The Dice Tower.

Christmas in July – Spotlight

I’ve accepted a few Christmas review galleys that will publish in September and October so I thought I’d shine a spotlight on them today. I’ll hold off on reading for a while but have to say I’m looking forward to each book!

Description

From May Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it. 

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

Description

The reigning legendary queens of Regency Romance, bestselling authors Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, and Mary Jo Putney, deck the halls with this delightful Christmas collection of three sparkling holiday interconnected romances, as stranded travelers find merriment, mistletoe, and holiday romance awaiting at a quaint country inn…
 

THE UNEXPECTED GIFT by Madeline Hunter
Jenna Waverly has closed her inn, anticipating a blissfully quiet Christmas, until a snowstorm brings the first of several strangers to her property. Lucas Avonwood, as charming as he is secretive, is on a mission to track down a scoundrel, but the inn’s lovely owner is giving him a more compelling reason to stay…

WHEN WE FINALLY KISS GOOD NIGHT
 by Sabrina Jeffries
When Flora Younger first met Konrad Juncker, she thought she’d found her match, only to have her hopes dashed. Konrad is now a famous playwright whose plays Flora has secretly panned in reviews. But a chance meeting in a secluded inn may help them rewrite this star-crossed romance…

WHEN STRANGERS MEET by Mary Jo Putney
Kate Mcleod is shocked to find that her fellow guest in the snowbound inn is the dashing soldier who may or may not be her husband. Daniel Faringdon barely remembers that long-ago night when he rescued her from disaster, but the desire they discover now will be impossible to forget, or to ignore . . .

Description

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.

Description

“[Thayne’s] books are wonderfully romantic, feel-good reads that end with me sighing over the last pages.”—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Celebrate the season with this sparkling holiday romance, perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Dorthea Benton Frank, and Nancy Thayer!

Ranch manager Annie McCade thought her twin niece and nephew could join her at the Angel View Ranch for Christmas with her absent employer being none the wiser. But when the ranch’s owner, Tate Sheridan, shows up out of the blue, Annie’s plans are upended. Soon she finds herself helping Tate make a Christmas to remember for his grieving and fractured extended family.

Sleigh Bells Ring is the latest heartwarming, festive Christmas story by New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne.

Description:

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.

Spotlight: When We Meet Again

Happy Release day to Caroline Beecham – I look forward to reading When We Meet Again!

All content provided by the publisher

WHEN WE MEET AGAIN • By Caroline Beecham • G. P. Putnam’s Sons • Trade Paperback Original • On Sale: July 20, 2021 • ISBN: 9780593331156 • Price: $17.00 • Also available in e-Book & audio

Description:

In London 1943, as war and dwindling resources have taken their toll on the book publishing industry, young book editor Alice Cotton has only just seen her star begin to rise when she unexpectedly falls pregnant. Facing the stigma of being an unwed mother, Alice leaves her beloved job at Partridge Press and flees to a small town to give birth to her child, Eadie, whom her family has promised to help raise. Instead, her mother sells the newborn to “baby farmers,” who plan to give Eadie up for a private adoption. Alice begins her desperate hunt to find the daughter she never planned for but suddenly deeply loves. Alice’s story intertwines with that of Theo Bloom, an American editor tasked with helping Partridge Press overcome the publishing obstacles of the war. Theo and Alice are quickly drawn to each other during their darkest hours, bound by hope, love, secrets, and the belief that books have the power to change lives. By turns heartbreaking and hopeful,WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is an aching and unforgettable exploration of the bonds that buoy us during our darkest hours. 

About the author:

Caroline Beecham is the author of four historical novels. She studied the craft of novel writing at the Faber Academy in Sydney, with Curtis Brown Creative in London, and has an MA in film and television and an MA in creative writing. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two teenage sons. When We Meet Again is the first of her novels to be published in the United States.

Behind the book:

Beecham has long been fascinated by the efforts of the publishing industry during the Second World War, which saw publishers struggling to satisfy readers on the war and home fronts in the face of increasing paper rations and meager resources. One of the most infamous initiatives was the Council on Books in Wartime, a coalition of booksellers, publishers, librarians, and authors that sought to use books to boost morale, share information, and remind people what they were fighting for. But the engine of the story truly came to Beecham when she uncovered a long-held family secret: that a relative’s baby was sold to a childless couple in a nearby town. Shocked as she was to learn this, she was even more surprised to find that this practice of “baby farming” was quite common for the time, especially amongst unmarried mothers who were desperate to find a way of taking care of their illegitimate children. A law to protect children from unlawful adoptions was even shelved due to the outbreak of World War II, during which the practice ran rife as a result. Taken together, these historical threads form the carefully woven fabric of WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, which is centrally about the transformative and ultimately inspiring role that books can play in our lives.

Praise for WHEN WE MEET AGAIN:

“A compelling story of a determined young woman and her quest for justice set against the fascinating world of publishing—and even a zoo—during World War II.” —Rhys Bowen, bestselling author of The Tuscan Child

When We Meet Again is a poignant and absorbing novel about a young woman editor personally devastated by the historically true practice of “baby farming” during World War II-era London. Caroline Beecham’s emotional and beautifully written story is a testament to the enduring power of a mother’s love and to the power of books and stories themselves, in even our darkest times.” —Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of In Another Time and Half Life

“By turns heart-pounding and heart-tugging, When We Meet Again is a dramatic story of baby farming in WWII-era London. Following a mother searching for her stolen daughter, Caroline Beecham’s writing, rich with historical detail and filled to the brim with emotion, will pull readers in from the very first page.” —Molly Greeley, author of The Clergyman’s Wife and The Heiress

“An evocative and heart-warming story that reminds us of everything that is important.” —Belinda Alexandra, author of The Invitation and The Mysterious Woman

Spotlight: The Personal Librarian

Description:

The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

About the authors:

Marie Benedict is beloved for writing the untold stories of women throughout history, and Victoria Christopher Murray is heralded for her strong African American heroines. During the pandemic and as the Black Lives Matter movement evolved, the pair become close friends, a black and a white woman speaking daily on Zoom about the world around them and forging a friendship that both women describe as transformative.