Uncategorized

Happy Release Day to Sarah J. Maas!

The day is here!

I’ve been quite excited for the release of A Court of Silver Flames. I even did the pre-order, so they’ll eventually ship a pin to me, for which I’m quite excited too! It was author Stephanie Thornton who got me into the ACOTAR books, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t give her a shoutout and a thank you, haha. I’m a little behind still and need to catch up, but I plan to do that this week, so by the time this arrives, I’ll be ready to jump in. After that is a reread of the Grishaverse stories in anticipation of Rule of Wolves–and also the Netflix series. (Hello Ben Barnes as the Darkling!!) But anyway…the cover is here.

I’m including the usual info below too! If you’ve read it already, let me know your thoughts below!

Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indie Bound | Amazon UK | Waterstones | Book Depository | Target

Sarah

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Crescent City,Throne of Glass, and Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a #1 USA Today and international bestselling author. Her books have sold millions of copies,  and are published in thirty-seven languages . A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and dog.

Promoted Post

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Uncategorized

The Empress (A Review)

From a bestselling author in Mexico comes her English-language debut–an enthralling historical novel about the tragic reign of Empress Carlota of Mexico.

It’s 1863. Napoleon III has installed a foreign monarch in Mexico to squash the current regime. Maximilian von Habsburg of Austria accepts the emperor’s crown. But it is his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Princess Charlotte, who throws herself passionately into the role. Known to the people as Empress Carlota, she rules deftly from behind the scenes while her husband contents himself with philandering and decorating the palace.

But Carlota bears a guilty secret. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she’s thrown herself into a reckless affair. Desire has blinded Carlota to its consequences, for it has left her vulnerable to her sole trusted confidante. Carlota’s devious lady-in-waiting has political beliefs of her own–and they are strong enough to cause her to betray the empress and join a plot to depose her from the throne. As Carlota grows increasingly, maddeningly defenseless, both her own fate and that of the empire are at stake.

A sweeping historical novel of forbidden love, dangerous secrets, courtly intrigue, and treachery, The Empress passionately reimagines the tragic romance and ill-fated reign of the most unforgettable royal couple of nineteenth-century Europe during the last throes of the Second Empire.

This is the first review I’m writing in ages and I admit, I feel like a novice. But I shall endeavor to do my best as I tell you why I did not enjoy this and why I eventually gave up. It caught my interest because I admit, the cover is intriguing. But this was proof that one should never judge a book by its cover. If you have Amazon Prime, they allow you to pick a new release every month through a program called First Reads. You get said book about a month ahead of release. It’s a fantastic program. I don’t always pick something, but if they have something eye-catching, I go for it.

I had never heard of Empress Carlotta, which was a delight for me. I love discovering new figures to read about and I love reading about things I’m unfamiliar with. As we begin in 1863, I thought it would be interesting to see other world events since we were in the midst of our own Civil War. (We tend to forget that the world has other goings on.)

Let’s just say the first scene was…peculiar. I’m not opposed to sex in books. I’m really not. If it’s tasteful and appropriate, I am entirely fine with it being there. But when it’s the first thing and the lady bits are compared to a ripe, juicy mango…(I kid you not.) We are not off to a good start. (I don’t know about you, but that was a touch strange and offputting to me. But I kept calm and carried on. Haha.)

After that, ah, eye-opening intro, we get introduced to Charlotte, who is known in Mexico as Carlotta. The daughter of Emperor Leopold I of Belgium. She was an idealistic young bride…who surprise, surprise, ends up in a marriage that isn’t very happy. Her husband…is forgettable, as are every other character mentioned. I do recall that her sister in law, the famed Sissi, and she did not get along.

I’m not one to give up on books. But I had to in this case. Every single character is a cliche and they’re each so stuff and one dimensional that cardboard seems to be more lively. I was hoping to get pulled in, but I never did, which was extremely disappointing to me. I know little about Mexico’s rich history and I still know little.

Also…the choppiness was atrocious. This book hopped around more than a jackrabbit that a hunter keeps shooting at. It wasn’t linear, which, if it was interesting wouldn’t have been so bad, but this just added to the confusion. Whilst I realize that this was a translation, and perhaps it would have been better in its original language (Spanish), I was disappointed. It’s definitely good that this was free, else I would request a refund.

If you’re interested in learning more, I daresay that Wikipedia might provide more beneficial information to you.

It was a 1 of 5 for me…and the one is because the cover was pretty.

Uncategorized

I’m back-ish!

It’s been…a very long time since I have sat here and wrote a post. In fact, it’s been so long, WordPress has changed how we update and I’m sitting here, feeling like I’m about 100 years old, because I’ve not got the foggiest clue on how to work it. So as I go through some ‘growing pains’ as it were, I hope you’ll forgive any strange formatting errors. I hope you’ve been keeping well, in these strange times. I’ve been keeping close to home and I haven’t been reading as much…which I aim to remedy. I’m tired of not reading. It provides an escape; an escape that I very much need, as my depression and anxiety spike. I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, so leave me some suggestions below!

I’d also love to hear how you’re coping with the pandemic. because I’m kinda…miserable? I’m thankful that my family and I haven’t gotten it, and that my small town complies with masks for the most part, but still…I miss going out and doing things.

So…here are some titles I’m looking forward to! Some have come out already, others, not yet.

See the source image
the heiress molly greeley

In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge–leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.

See the source image
a tip for the hangman allison epstein historical fiction spring 2021

England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe’s last year at Cambridge, he receives an unexpected visitor: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, who has come with an unorthodox career opportunity. Her Majesty’s spies are in need of new recruits, and Kit’s flexible moral compass has drawn their attention. Kit, a scholarship student without money or prospects, accepts the offer, and after his training the game is on. Kit is dispatched to the chilly manor where Mary, Queen of Scots is under house arrest, to act as a servant in her household and keep his ear to the ground for a Catholic plot to put Mary on the throne.

While observing Mary, Kit learns more than he bargained for. The ripple effects of his service to the Crown are far-reaching and leave Kit a changed man. But there are benefits as well. The salary he earns through his spywork allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years, he becomes the toast of London’s raucous theatre scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the uncertain world of espionage, conspiracy, and high treason, he realizes everything he’s worked so hard to attain—including the trust of the man he loves—could vanish before his very eyes.

See the source image
yellow wife historical fiction sadeqa johnson spring 2021
How about that cover though? Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Called wholly engrossing by New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Grissom, this harrowing story follows an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia.

Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a relatively sheltered life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the estate’s medicine woman and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world.She’d been promised freedom on her eighteenth birthday, but instead of the idyllic life she imagined with her true love, Essex Henry, Pheby is forced to leave the only home she has ever known. She unexpectedly finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half Acre, a jail in Richmond, Virginia, where the enslaved are broken, tortured, and sold every day. There, Pheby is exposed not just to her Jailer’s cruelty but also to his contradictions. To survive, Pheby will have to outwit him, and she soon faces the ultimate sacrifice.

See the source image
lana's war anita abriel

Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband.

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.

See the source image
wild women and the blues denny s bryce historical fiction spring 2021
Again…cover envy here. So beautiful!

1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose.

2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right–if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting.

See the source image


As you guys know, I’m a huge Kate Quinn fan, so this one really excites me...

the rose code kate quinn

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spre0ads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger—and their true enemy–closer.

See the source image
half life jillian cantor historical fiction spring 2021

In Poland in 1891, Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted she was too poor and not good enough, he broke off the engagement. A heartbroken Marya left Poland for Paris, where she would attend the Sorbonne to study chemistry and physics. Eventually Marie Curie would go on to change the course of science forever and be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

What if she had stayed in Poland, married Kazimierz at the age of twenty-four, and never attended the Sorbonne or discovered radium? What if she had chosen a life of domesticity with a constant hunger for knowledge in Russian Poland where education for women was restricted, instead of studying science in Paris and meeting Pierre Curie?

See the source image
cunning women elizabeth lee

Spring of 1620 in a Lancashire fishing community and the memory of the slaughter at Pendle is tight around the neck of Sarah Haworth. A birthmark reveals that Sarah, like her mother, is a witch. Torn between yearning for an ordinary life and desire to discover what dark power she might possess, Sarah’s one hope is that her young sister Annie will be spared this fate.

The Haworth family eke out a meagre existence in the old plague village adjoining a God-fearing community presided over by a seedy magistrate. A society built upon looking the other way, the villagers’ godliness is merely a veneer. But the Haworth women, with their salves and poultices, are judged the real threat to morality.

When Sarah meets lonely farmer’s son Daniel, she begins to dream of a better future. Daniel is in thrall to the wild girl with storms in her eyes, but their bond is tested when a zealous new magistrate vows to root out sins and sinners. In a frenzy of fear and fury, the community begins to turn on one another, and it’s not long before they direct their gaze towards the old plague village … and does Daniel trust that the power Sarah wields over him is truly love, or could it be mere sorcery?

See the source image

And did you reallllly think I wasn’t going to include Stephanie Dray?!

WomenofChateauLafayette_final cover

An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity’s darkest hours.

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women…

A founding mother…

1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…

1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…

1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

See the source image

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

See the source image

The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times–bestselling King of Scars Duology.

The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm―and even the monster within―to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.

The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

Uncategorized

Cover Reveal….

WomenofChateauLafayette_final cover It is with great pride, on this Bastille Day no less!, that I introduce to you the cover and synopsis for Stephanie Dray’s new, upcoming release The Women of Chateau Lafayette (Follow the link to pre-order!) You all know that I am a big fan of Stephanie and thus, cue my excitement. You, of course, want details. I’ve got you! But before you do, please add this to your Goodreads!

00

An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity’s darkest hours.

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women…

A founding mother…

1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…

1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…

1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

00

Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY

What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did?

Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman”–and there’s good reason for that. He’s easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I’ve ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his.

How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women?

I was always interested in Lafayette–an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America’s First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette’s castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That’s when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever.

The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why?

Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I’d have to start with the Lafayettes–though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I’d choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can’t wait for readers to meet her!

If you want updates or just to keep up, Stephanie has newsletter that you can subscribe to. (I promise she doesn’t spam you!)

Uncategorized

Happy Release Day to Chanel Cleeton!!

 

1

One of Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020

“The perfect riveting summer read!”—BookBub

“Cleeton’s beach reads are often lit by the sun of places like Florida and Cuba, and her latest doesn’t disappoint.”—OprahMag.com

In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.
 
For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in HavanaMirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship but her life.

Elizabeth Preston’s trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

4

Amazon

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Kobo

Penguin

2

Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of When We Left Cuba and the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, she grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Richmond, the American International University in London, and a master’s degree in global politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

5

THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST is a perfect storm of great storytelling, fast-moving plot, and rich historical detail. Lush, tropical, thirties-era Florida provides a hypnotizing backdrop as a battered wife, a runaway debutante, and a gangster’s bride find their lives intersecting in the face of a terrifying hurricane. Tense, tight, and atmospheric, this may be Chanel Cleeton’s best yet!

Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress

In her latest tantalizing novel, Chanel Cleeton explores the intersecting lives of three women seeking their place, and true selves, in a country upended by the First World War. With a treacherous hurricane looming, The Last Train to Key West takes the reader on a tumultuous ride bursting with romance, secrets, and unrelenting hope. A wonderfully transportive summer read!

Kristina McMorrisNew York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday and The Edge of Lost

As one of the largest storms in Florida’s history approaches the Keys, three young women, each with a secret, are entangled in new relationships and old debts amid the rising waters. Pregnant Helen is thinking of leaving her abusive husband, while newlywed Mirta has a contract marriage with a mobster. Elizabeth is searching for a mystery man in one of the WWI veterans’ work camps in Florida. All of them are achingly vulnerable against the backdrop of the coming storm. Brimming with secrets, hope, and love, this is a book that you’ll devour in one sitting (like I did!).

— Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger

Chanel Cleeton’s beach reads are often lit by the sun of places like Florida and Cuba, and her latest doesn’t disappoint.

OprahMag.com

Chanel Cleeton simply never disappoints! Cleverly constructed and expertly delivered, THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST is a feast for readers across multiple genres. This book has it all – great characters, a compelling historical backdrop, quests for love and purpose and refuge, and a fully satisfying conclusion that will have you cheering.

 — Susan Meissner, bestselling author of THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR

The Last Train to Key West takes you on an incredible and emotion-charged journey through the lives of three women facing a catastrophic hurricane that changes them forever – and shows them how courageous they really are. This book has everything a reader could want: not one but three incredible love stories, page-turning drama and rich historical detail. I finished the last chapter with a sigh of satisfaction that only a great book can bring about.

Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphan

Cleeton finds the right balance of historical detail and suspense, making this a riveting curl-up-on-the-couch affair.

Publishers Weekly

Cleeton’s depiction of the catastrophic hurricane is both gripping and terrifying, and she skillfully balances each woman’s internal growth with the various romantic subplots. Fans of Cleeton’s previous books, as well as readers who enjoy Beatriz Williams’ historical fiction, will devour this exciting, romantic tale.

— Booklist

…the historical events are riveting. Cleeton’s strength is in exploring the lives of women longing to push back against restrictive social expectations, but portions of the story dealing with the U.S. government’s treatment of World War I veterans are also extremely moving. … Cleeton should add to her growing fan base with this title, which is well suited for book clubs and for historical fiction fans of authors such as Renée Rosen and Susan Meissner.”

Library Journal

THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST by Chanel Cleeton is a gorgeously written, absorbing novel set against the backdrop of a real, devastating hurricane in the Florida Keys in 1935. Cleeton masterfully weaves the stories of three very different and beautifully drawn women, all struggling to survive in their own ways with love, heartbreak, and ultimately resilience. An addictively good page-turner!”

Jillian CantorUSA Today bestselling author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time

Once again Chanel Cleeton has delivered a masterful story, filled with twists and turns as the lives of three courageous women intersect on a hurricane’s destructive path.  In their quest for survival, each one comes face to face with the force of nature and the force of love. THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST is a remarkable work of historical fiction that grabs hold of your heart and is guaranteed to keep you turning pages!

Renee Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer

As turbulent as the Labor Day hurricane itself, The Last Train to Key West weaves a gripping tale of survival and strength when three women are forced to ride out one of the most powerful storms in history. Lush, atmospheric, and suspenseful, Chanel Cleeton’s latest is not to be missed!

Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of American Princess

Chanel Cleeton is known for her stories of strong women in exotic, historical settings forging their way into futures of promise. THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST is no exception, and all its romance, intrigue, and suspense make it impossible to put down. Gripping!

Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

The Last Train to Key West is another exceptional story by Cleeton, who has quickly become a favorite among historical fiction fans. When the lives of three women from vastly different circumstances intersect even as the winds from the ocean threaten devastation, secrets are exposed, love is questioned and new life emerges even as others are in danger. Cleeton has fashioned a story that is gripping, romantic, and packed with drama. Readers will be up late eager to find out what happens!

Camille Di Maio, author of The Beautiful Strangers

 

Next Year in Havana  ||  When We Left Cuba

Uncategorized

My Quarantine Reads.

This Quarantine life, am I right? I find reading about other time periods is somewhat of a balm to me, making me forget the stressful time we’re living in here. History always repeats itself, so if one looks in the past, there are moments we can learn from. Thus, historical fiction will always remain at the top of my list. I also just love reading them. Some of these have been released already, some are forthcoming–all are titles I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on, lol!

03990-JLP2013-POSTDIVIDER

Spanning nearly a century, from 1930s Siberia to contemporary Brighton Beach, a page-turning, epic family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family―each striving to break free of fate and history, each yearning for love and personal fulfillment―and how the consequences of their choices ripple through time.

Odessa, 1931. Marrying the handsome, wealthy Edward Gordon, Daria―born Dvora Kaganovitch―has fulfilled her mother’s dreams. But a woman’s plans are no match for the crushing power of Stalin’s repressive Soviet state. To survive, Daria is forced to rely on the kindness of a man who takes pride in his own coarseness.

Odessa, 1970. Brilliant young Natasha Crystal is determined to study mathematics. But the Soviets do not allow Jewish students―even those as brilliant as Natasha―to attend an institute as prestigious as Odessa University. With her hopes for the future dashed, Natasha must find a new purpose―one that leads her into the path of a dangerous young man.

Brighton Beach, 2019. Zoe Venakovsky, known to her family as Zoya, has worked hard to leave the suffocating streets and small minds of Brighton Beach behind her―only to find that what she’s tried to outrun might just hold her true happiness.

Moving from a Siberian gulag to the underground world of Soviet refuseniks to oceanside Brooklyn, The Nesting Dolls is a heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive story of circumstance, choice, and consequence―and three dynamic unforgettable women, all who will face hardships that force them to compromise their dreams as they fight to fulfill their destinies.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

1926361t70bnztsmw

A striking historical novel about an ordinary young British woman sent to uncover a network of spies and war criminals in post-war Germany that will appeal to fans of The Huntress and Transcription.

World War II has just ended, and Britain has established the Control Commission for Germany, which oversees their zone of occupation. The Control Commission hires British civilians to work in Germany, rebuild the shattered nation, and prosecute war crimes. Somewhat aimless, bored with her job as a provincial schoolteacher, and unwilling to live with her overbearing mother any longer, thirtysomething Edith Graham applies for a job with the Commission—but she is also recruited by her cousin, Leo, who is in the Secret Service. To them, Edith is perfect spy material…single, ordinary-looking, with a college degree in German. Cousin Leo went to Oxford with one of their most hunted war criminals, Count Kurt von Stavenow, who Edith remembers all too well from before the war. He wants her to find him.

Intrigued by the challenge, Edith heads to Germany armed with a convincing cover story: she’s an unassuming Education Officer sent to help resurrect German schools. To send information back to her Secret Service handlers in London, Edith has crafted the perfect alter ego, cookbook author Stella Snelling, who writes a popular magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence within the recipes she collects. But occupied Germany is awash with other spies, collaborators, and opportunists, and as she’s pulled into their world, Edith soon discovers that no one is what they seem to be. The closer she gets to uncovering von Stavenow’s whereabouts–and the network of German civilians who still support him–the greater the danger.

With a unique, compelling premise, Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook is a beautifully crafted and gripping novel about daring, betrayal, and female friendship.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Is he a hero or a traitor? Based on astonishing true events set in the darkest days of World War II in Budapest, this is an enthralling story of heroism, vengeance, passion, and betrayal. It is also the story of three women linked by a secret that threatens to destroy their lives. For readers of The Tattooist of AuschwitzAll That I Am and Schindler’s Ark (List).

An act of heroism, the taint of collaboration, a doomed love affair, and an Australian woman who travels across the world to discover the truth…

It is 1944 in Budapest and the Germans have invaded. Jewish journalist Miklos Nagy risks his life and confronts the dreaded Adolf Eichmann in an attempt to save thousands of Hungarian Jews from the death camps. But no one could have foreseen the consequences…

It is 2005 in Sydney, and Annika Barnett sets out on a journey that takes her to Budapest and Tel Aviv to discover the truth about the mysterious man who rescued her grandmother in 1944.

By the time her odyssey is over, history has been turned on its head, past and present collide, and the secret that has poisoned the lives of three generations is finally revealed in a shocking climax that holds the key to their redemption.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real-life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany. Perfect for readers who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris.

In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything.

Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.

From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life.

These three athletes will join with others to defy society’s expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

1926361t70bnztsmw

The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns to her most famous heroine, Mary Todd Lincoln, in this compelling story of love, loss, and sisterhood rich with history and suspense.

In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary, former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide.

Mary’s shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary’s tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be committed to an asylum? And—if her sisters can put past grievances aside—is their love powerful enough to save her?

Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their family. The Todd sisters’ fates were bound to their husbands’ choices as some joined the Lincoln administration, others the Confederate Army.

Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour.

1926361t70bnztsmw

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of an impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction…

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage, and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.

1926361t70bnztsmw

For readers of The Alice Network and The Lost Girls of Paris, an immersive, heart-pounding debut about a German heiress on the run in post-World War II Germany.

Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.

Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other—if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.

Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing page-turner that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.

1926361t70bnztsmw

If you love Jennifer Robson or The Crown you will love New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper’s novel about Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

1939. As the wife of King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

NetGalley, Uncategorized

Thoughts on JK Rowling.

It seems like forever since I’ve sat down and written a post here. Probably because it has. I have meant to post sooner, but my depression has not been kind to me, and given the state of things, I wasn’t sure that it was the time. However, I find I needed a release from all the bad news and so…here I am. My first post and I am going to touch on JK Rowling. It’s not a secret that I absolutely love Harry Potter. Nor will it ever change. Now, before you get to thinking that I’m about to defend Jo’s comments, I assure you that I am not.

I am an open person. I accept people for who they are. Black, white, blue, green with yellow spots, LGBTQ+, able-bodied, disabled, et cetera. I believe people need to live their truth. Thus, I stand with Transgender people. It isn’t cliche, it isn’t a person just changing themselves because they can. They suffer greatly and I don’t imagine anyone would choose a life where they’d have all the vitriol thrown at them. As Daniel Radcliffe said in his piece of the The Trevor Project, there are many more educated people on the topic and I highly recommend you looking them up. It’s not just a phase.

According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.

To you, Jo Rowling, you are someone I used to admire. Your imagination is a thing of legend and I do thank you for sharing it with the world. I am forever appreciative of that. However, that is where my admiration ends. Because you have a cruel streak in you that would make Voldemort proud.  

I am disappointed. That word seems so useless in my trying to properly articulate how I feel, what I think. I don’t understand how you can be so willfully ignorant to all the information that is available for you to read. We live in a digital age. Research! That you keep your mind so closed and one tracked is (again, this word) disappointing, to put it mildly. It’s also disgusting that you are being ignorant to the pain that your words are causing. Millions of us took you at your word that Hogwarts would always be there to welcome us home…yet the more you show your ignorance and cruelty, Hogwarts no longer feels welcome to many. 

I take back the Voldemort remark. You’re more Umbridge. Thinking you’re right, not hearing the voices of your fans. You believe your way to be the truth and you won’t hear reason.  You’re an intelligent woman.  Get your head out of the days of pearl clutching. We’re all trying to survive but for persecuted people,  its 24/7. There’s no break. 

I’m not transgender and I personally find it devastating that you’re saying such dreadful things.  Your saying that you have trans friends is the equivalent to a racist saying, “but I have black friends.”  It’s never a good look.

Whilst Jo did write and create the Wizarding World, what it has become is because of the love and passion we have for it. She may be a bigot, but the experience we have had is ours. She can’t take that away.  Daniel, again, said it best. 

To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.

While-we-may-come-from-different-places-speak-different

Perhaps she ought to read her own books. Learn empathy and also to remember that people are different.  Our hearts do beat as one. But we all live differently. Our experiences make us unique, and that should be celebrated. I love everything that makes us different. I am forever in awe. Please keep being YOU. Don’t allow ignorant people to ruin things for you.

To my trans, LGBTQ followers, I am sorry you suffer as you do. But I am an ALLY. I am here for you. You are not alone. 

 

What are your thoughts? Let me know! Stay safe and I missed you! 💋

 

Uncategorized

The Holocaust Story Series Book Blast

The Smallest Crack
by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: July 1, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 321 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

1933 Berlin, Germany

The son of a rebbe, Eli Kaetzel, and his beautiful but timid wife, Rebecca, find themselves in danger as Hitler rises to power. Eli knows that their only chance for survival may lie in the hands of Gretchen, a spirited Aryan girl. However, the forbidden and dangerous friendship between Eli and Gretchen has been a secret until now. Because, for Eli, if it is discovered that he has been keeping company with a woman other than his wife it will bring shame to him and his family. For Gretchen her friendship with a Jew is forbidden by law and could cost her, her life.

Available on Amazon

 

The Darkest Canyon
by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: October 5, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 341 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Nazi Germany.

Gretchen Schmidt has a secret life. She is in love with a married Jewish man. She is hiding him while his wife is posing as an Aryan woman.

Her best friend Hilde, who unbeknownst to Gretchen is a sociopath, is working as a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp.

If Hilde discovers Gretchen’s secret will their friendship be strong enough to keep Gretchen safe? Or will Hilde fall under the spell of the Nazi’s and turn her in her best friend to the Gestapo?

The Darkest Canyon is terrifying ride along the edge of a canyon in the dark of night.

Available on Amazon

 

Millions of Pebbles
by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: December 27, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 320 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Benjamin Rabinowitz’s life is shattered as he watches his wife, Lila, and his son, Moishe, leave to escape the Lodz ghetto. He is conflicted because he knows this is their best chance of survival, but he asks himself, will he ever see them again?

Ilsa Guhr has a troubled childhood, but as she comes of age, she learns that her beauty and sexuality give her the power to get what she wants. But she craves an even greater power. As the Nazis take control of Germany, she sees an opportunity to gain everything she’s ever desired.

Fate will weave a web that will bring these two unlikely people into each other’s lives.

Available on Amazon

 

About the Author

I am a USA Today Best Selling Author of Historical Jewish Fiction mainly set during World War 2. My father was Romany and my mother was Jewish, When I was very young I learned about the Holocaust. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen. So, I began to research and learn more. I met with survivors. I even met with children and grandchildren of SS officers. But I still had no answers. I cannot say that I have all of the answers to all of my questions even now. But what I do know is that soon all of the survivors will be gone. Their message must be remembered, the sacrifices that they made must not be forgotten. And so I humbly and with the utmost humility, I try to tell their stories. It is painful, but I must convey the darkness and horror of the time, however, I also want the world to know and celebrate the unsung heroes. Because there were many ordinary people who acted in heroic ways. I realize that writing these books is a great responsibility. I pray every day that I am able to do this correctly. I am trying to reach out and touch many people, not with the message of the horrors but with the promise of hope. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my work. It is an honor that I never take lightly.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, February 17
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 18
Words and Peace

Wednesday, February 19
Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, February 20
Broken Teepee
Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 21
Reading is My Remedy

Saturday, February 22
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, February 24
YA, It’s Lit

Tuesday, February 25
CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 26
Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, February 27
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 10 ebooks of The Smallest Crack! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Holocaust Story Series

Uncategorized

The Lost History of Dreams

The Lost History of Dreams
by Kris Waldherr

Paperback Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages

Genre: Historical/Gothic/Mystery

 

 

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr is now out in paperback! In it, a post-mortem photographer unearths the dark secrets of a famed poet’s marriage in this “sensual, twisting gothic tale…in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights” (BookPage). Blurring the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death, The Lost History of Dreams is “a surrealist, haunting tale of suspense where every prediction turns out to be merely a step toward a bigger reveal” (Booklist).

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is found dead in his bath one morning in 1850, final arrangements are left to his estranged cousin, historian turned postmortem photographer Robert Highstead. De Bonne’s will instructs that he should be buried in a stained glass chapel set on the Shropshire moors, built to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. It has since been locked to all outsiders—especially the cultlike fans of de Bonne’s final book, The Lost History of Dreams. Only Ada’s grief-stricken niece, Isabelle, holds the key, but she refuses to open the chapel unless Robert agrees to her bargain: Before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record the real story behind her aunt’s ill-fated marriage to the poet over the course of five nights—a story that is both love story and ghost story.

Learn more here.

Giveaway

In addition, Kris is offering two giveaways, one for book clubs and a second for readers:

1. The Midwinter’s Night Read Sweepstakes includes six paperbacks and a $75 Trader Joe’s gift card for your book club ($177 value). Enter here.

2. The Uncover Your Lost History giveaway includes an autographed paperback of The Lost History of Dreams and a three card email tarot reading from Kris herself ($57 value); Kris is also the creator of the bestselling Goddess Tarot. Enter here.

Giveaways end 11:50pm EST on February 20th. US only. Good luck to all who enter!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

 

Praise for The Lost History of Dreams

“Scheherazade-like … haunting… Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An unexpected delight that grows steadily more compelling as its pages fly by.” —Booklist

“A sensual, twisting gothic tale that embraces Victorian superstition much in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.”—BookPage

“Eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written, The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic fairy-tale to savor.” – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS

“The Lost History of Dreams is a dark, shimmering gem of a novel, glittering with love lost, secrets kept, and long-buried truths revealed. Wonder, memory, death and passion haunt every page of Kris Waldherr’s powerhouse Gothic debut.” – Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and WOMAN 99

“Brooding, romantic, and thoughtful, The Lost History of Dreams is a rare bird in that it shines throughout with wit. I loved every page of it.” – Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION and LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS

“With luminous prose, stunning poetry and a fascinating cast of characters, Waldherr weaves a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Not to be missed!” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER

“A riveting, addictive read. Sarah Waters fans will be entranced. – Mary Sharratt, author of ECSTASY and DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL

“A novel of haunting mystery and passion reminiscent of Wuthering Heights and Byatt’s Possession.” – Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW and THE CHEF’S SECRET

“An atmospheric tale of lost love, family secrets, and an inquiry into how our own histories define us, I relished every poetic page.” – Heather Webb, international bestselling author of LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and THE PHANTOM’S APPRENTICE

“With beautiful prose and poetry, Waldherr weaves a darkly seductive Gothic tale of love, art, death, and obsession. You’ll want to keep reading this one late into the night.” – Alyssa Palombo, author of THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL

“A sumptuous feast for all the senses.” – Clarissa Harwood, author of IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS and BEAR NO MALICE

About the Author

Kris Waldherr’s books for adults and children include The Lost History of Dreams, Bad Princess, Doomed Queens, and The Book of Goddesses. The Lost History of Dreams received a Kirkus starred review and was called “an unexpected delight” by Booklist. The New Yorker praised Doomed Queens as “utterly satisfying” and “deliciously perverse.” The Book of Goddesses was a One Spirit/Book-of-the-Month Club’s Top Ten Most Popular Book. Her picture book Persephone and the Pomegranate was lauded by the New York Times Book Review for its “quality of myth and magic.” Her fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers.

As a visual artist, Waldherr is the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has a quarter of a million copies in print. She has had illustrations published as greeting cards, book covers, and in calendars and magazines. Her art has been exhibited in many galleries and museums including the Ruskin Library, the Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, their young daughter, and a very vocal Bengal cat.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

 

Release Date Blast Hosts

100 Pages a Day
Books In Their Natural Habitat
CelticLady’s Reviews
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Clarissa Reads it All
Donna’s Book Blog
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Nurse Bookie
Passages to the Past
The Book Junkie Reads
The Lit Bitch
To Read, Or Not to Read

Uncategorized

Metropolis: Review

Metropolis
by Ellie Midwood

Publication Date: January 31, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 238 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

transparentdivider

I think Ellie Midwood is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. It takes someone special to base stories in a dark period of history, yet manage to write stories that feature hope and optimism, even when everything around the characters is going to hell. Hope, love, perseverance are themes that are seen in her books, and she has a unique voice and style that makes you really and truly love it and root for it. When you’re reading something based in pre-WWII (or during and even post WWII), you’re expecting to read about the ups and downs, the darkness, the worsening news.  Stories like Metropolis are a change of pace–a most refreshing pace. The synopsis seems a touch contrary to what I’m saying, I know, but trust me on this.

The intro features someone wanting to jump from a bridge (!) but instead, they end up at a coffee shop, and from there…our tale begins. It’s not a long read, just under 300 pages, but I suggest taking your time because it’s a really good read and you’ll want to savor it–much like a good coffee.

I’m kind of known for remarking upon an author who knows their history–and Ms. Midwood surely does! The world comes along in stunning realism, not shying away from anything. I love that.

I am intrigued by this time period and by all the history there..I can’t wait to see what Ms. Midwood comes out with next!

transparentdivider

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, January 31
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, February 4
Feature at Comet Readings

Wednesday, February 5
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, February 8
Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Wednesday, February 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, February 13
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon

Friday, February 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Feature at I’m All About Books

Sunday, February 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 17
Review at Nurse Bookie

Wednesday, February 19
Review at Historical Graffiti

Thursday, February 20
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, February 21
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Metropolis! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Metropolis