Spotlighting: Las Musas!

Have you heard of Las Musas?

Directly quoting their page, it’s ‘a group of women and non-binary Latinx MG and YA authors to come together in an effort to support and amplify each other’s debut or sophomore novels in US children’s literature.

Our collective includes Hilda Burgos, Jennifer (J.C.) Cervantes, Mary Louise Sanchez, Tami Charles, Ann Davila Cardinal, Natasha Davis, Mia García, Isabel Ibañez, Sara Faring, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulite, Claribel Ortega, Emma Otheguy, Kristina (K.K.) Perez, Laura Pohl, Nonieqa Ramos, Michelle Ruiz Keil, Yamile Saied Méndez, Aida Salazar, and Alexandra Villasante. Our MG or YA books will be released between 2018 – 2020.’

I came upon them when I won two pre-orders on Twitter of Las Musas authors, one from Natasha Díaz, who ran the contest, and the other from Tehlor Kay Mejia. I decided to spotlight them both in this post and also to point out Las Musas, should you be interested in picking up more Diverse Reads and supporting Latinx authors. ❤

Also, I just want to note, ‘YA’ is just a title. A good book is a good book. Don’t limit yourself if you’re not the ‘targeted’ audience. I’m 32. I don’t think I count as a young adult anymore, but the caliber of these books are outstanding. Don’t sell yourself short.

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Color Me In

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?

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Natasha Díaz is a born and raised New Yorker, currently residing in Oakland, Ca with her tall husband. She spends most of her days writing with no pants on and alternating between E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy binges. Formerly a reality TV producer, Natasha is both an author and screenwriter. Her scripts have placed as a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her essays can be found in The Establishment and Huffington Post. Raised by a first generation half-Liberian/half-Brazilian mother and a Jewish-American father, Natasha writes stories about people who don’t fit into the boxes society imposes, and instead, create their own as they search for their places in the world. Her first novel, Color Me In, will be published by Delacorte Press/Random House August 2019.

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WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE…

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run her husband’s household or raise his children, but both wives are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far removed from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold, but nothing prepares her for the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at forbidden love?

The first in a sizzling fantasy duology from debut author Tehlor Kay Mejia, We Set the Dark on Fire is a boldly feminist look at freedom, family, and fighting the power.

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Tehlor Kay Mejia is an author and Oregon native in love with the alpine meadows and evergreen forests of her home state, where she lives with her daughter. When she’s not writing, you can find her plucking at her guitar, stealing rosemary sprigs from overgrown gardens, or trying to make the perfect vegan tamale. She is active in the Latinx lit community, and passionate about representation for marginalized teens in media.

Her short fiction appears in the All Out and Toil & Trouble anthologies from Inkyard Press, and her debut YA fantasy novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, is out February 26, 2019, from Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins with a sequel to follow in 2020. Her middle-grade fantasy debut, Paola Santiago and the Drowned Palace, is forthcoming from Rick Riordan Presents/Disney Hyperion.

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @tehlorkay.

Calendar Girls: Black History Month!

This month’s theme is for Black History Month! We each get to choose a book by a black author. I’ve included some honourable mentions too.
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Hosted by Katie @ Never Not Reading and Darque Reader Reads, “Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile, and will now be hosted by me, Katie. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!” — Katie

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This is one of my favorite books of all time. Alice Walker is a tour de force and this is definitely a classic. I recommend it to everyone. This is one of those books that is raw, honest, cruel, uplifting…there’s a whole gauntlet of emotions that you’ll experience. I highly recommend this. And if you’re not into the book, then you should check out the movie, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, and just an amazing cast. 

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon.

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.

In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all.

The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award-nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.

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The Tubman Command: A Spotlight

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade
  • Publish Date: May 7, 2019

By the bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair, the Tubman Command is an impeccably researched historical novel that brings to light the bravery and brilliance of American icon Harriet Tubman.

It’s May 1863. Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines.

In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code-named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people.

The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, “Moses” must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn–though one reminds her that love shouldn’t have to be the price of freedom.

 

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An award-winning novelist, historian, and documentary filmmaker, Elizabeth Cobbs is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling novel, The Hamilton Affair, and The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers, which has been made into a musical. Elizabeth earned her Ph.D. in American history at Stanford University. She holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair at Texas A&M University and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. She lives in La Mesa, California.

Can’t Wait Wednesday!

I have never taken part of this before and I thought I would give it a try! Since this is my inaugural Wednesday post, I thought I’d go with a favorite of mine, the incomparable Kate Quinn. This is a Kate Quinn-stan blog, ya’ll. She is quite loved here. 🙂
1926361t70bnztsmwCan’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My pick this week is…

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publish Date: February 26, 2019 (Not too long, yet so far away! haha!)


From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.

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Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network” and “The Huntress.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two rescue dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

The Only Woman in the Room: A Review.

She was beautiful. She was a genius. Could the world handle both? A powerful, illuminating novel about Hedy Lamarr.

Hedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, allowing her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. But Hedy is also intelligent. At lavish Vienna dinner parties, she overhears the Third Reich’s plans. One night in 1937, desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis, she disguises herself and flees her husband’s castle.

She lands in Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage: she is a scientist. She has an idea that might help the country and that might ease her guilt for escaping alone — if anyone will listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

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Hedy Lamarr.

It’s a name that most have heard of at some point or another. Yet, one that is not fully appreciated. Some know her for her films and fewer seem to realize her contribution to the world. If you’d like to see the patent for her creation, do so here. It’s more than ironic–without Hedy, we wouldn’t have wireless, GPS or anything like that. It was the foundation of today’s Bluetooth, GPS, and secure wi-fi. The Navy acknowledged it and then shelved it until the ’60s.

I usually enjoy Ms. Benedict’s work and whilst I did kind of enjoy this one, my first opinion is that it is far too short. My second is that the transition from part one to two left a lot to be desired. It felt like an editor cut out a huge section. The style was a bit choppy, admittedly. But when your book is under 300 pages, I suppose something is going to suffer.

In part one, we get a good look at Hedy’s first marriage–trainwreck, y’all– and some of her acting, but then in the second half, I felt like the creation of her device was sort of glossed over. It seriously fell so flat. I liked the descriptions of the fashion, but that was the only thing that she really went in depth with. I would have liked Hedy to be more fleshed out, as well as Old Hollywood.  And the theme that her beauty was a curse played out more than I would have liked. I understand that it didn’t help her, but it didn’t hurt. If she had been ugly, she wouldn’t have been on screen more than likely. Hedy’s life deserves so much more than she got. I understand the importance of making people understand her struggle with who she had been married to and that she may have possibly assisted with getting more people killed. But as strange as this may sound, it was touched on, yet, I didn’t quite empathize. Maybe that was me, but I didn’t feel that tightness in my chest, the painful realization that her actions had huge repercussions.

My feeling is that if you take such a figure, you should dedicate the pages to them. If this had been longer; even by 100 pages, I think I’d have been far happier with the results. I loved her last two books, but this one was a bit of a miss for me, which is very disappointing. I’ve been dying for a good piece about her, be it fiction or not. Sadly, this was not it. This is one I will probably donate to the library because this will be one I never make my way back to again.

If you really want to get to know Hedy and her contributions to the world–as well as learn about her life, there’s a documentary titled Bombshell.

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Just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t. Go grab a copy!
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Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. The following novel in this series is CARNEGIE’S MAID — which released in January of 2018 — and the next book will be THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, which will be published in January of 2019. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.

That Churchill Woman: Happy Release Day!


Hardcover:
 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: January 29, 2019

The Paris Wife meets PBS’s Victoria in this enthralling novel of the life and loves of one of history’s most remarkable women: Winston Churchill’s scandalous American mother, Jennie Jerome.

Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie—reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire—lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph.

When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she’s instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others.

Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband’s rise in Parliament and her young son’s difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family’s influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky—diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill’s sanity frays, and Jennie—a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged—must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything—even her son—and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Breathing new life into Jennie’s legacy and the glittering world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult—and sometimes impossible—balance among love, freedom, and obligation while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history.

Advance praise for That Churchill Woman

“The perfect confection of a novel . . . We’re introduced to Jennie in all of her passion and keen intelligence and beauty. While she is surrounded by a cast of late-Victorian celebrities, including Bertie, Prince of Wales, it’s always Jennie who shines and takes the center stage she was born to.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue
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Francine Stephanie Barron Mathews was born in Binghamton, NY in 1963, the last of six girls. The family spent their summers on Cape Cod; Francine’s passion for Nantucket and the New England shoreline dates from her earliest memories. She grew up in Washington, D.C., where she attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School.

In 1981, she started college at Princeton, where she walked on to the women’s fencing team and joined the staff of The Daily Princetonian. Journalism eventually led to reporting stints on The Miami Herald and The San Jose Mercury News. Francine majored in European History at Princeton, studying Napoleonic France, and won an Arthur W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities in her senior year. But the course she remembers most vividly is “The Literature of Fact,” taught by John McPhee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and staff writer for The New Yorker. John’s work and enduring lessons in craft remain touchstones for her writing life.

Francine spent three years at Stanford pursuing a doctorate in history; she failed to write her dissertation (on the Brazilian Bar Association under authoritarianism; can you blame her?) and left with a Masters. She applied to the CIA, spent a year temping in Northern Virginia while the FBI asked inconvenient questions of everyone she had ever known, passed a polygraph test on her twenty-sixth birthday, and was immediately thrown into the Career Trainee program: Boot Camp for the Agency’s Best and Brightest. Four years as an intelligence analyst at the CIA were profoundly fulfilling, the highlights being Francine’s work on the Counterterrorism Center’s investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, and sleeping on a horsehair mattress in a Spectre-era casino in the middle of Bratislava. Another peak moment was her chance to debrief ex-President George Bush in Houston in 1993. But what she remembers most about the place are the extraordinary intelligence and dedication of most of the staff—many of them women—many of whom cannot be named.

Francine’s first novel was published in 1993, the year she left the CIA and moved with her husband to Colorado. When she’s not writing, she likes to ski, garden, needlepoint, cook, and travel. She has two sons and a number of dogs, all of them terriers.

Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s theme is The “Last Ten Books I Added To My TBR”. For this, I referred to my Goodreads list. If you’re not my friend on there, please feel free to click and you’ll be brought there. I don’t deny anyone. 🙂 I welcome your friendship and I love reading what you guys are reading.

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“Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Release: April 2nd, 2019.

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Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal for readers of Sabaa Tahir and Alwyn Hamilton.

All hail the Girl King. 

Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…

Alone in the volatile court, Min’s hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.

Publish Date: January 8th, 2019.
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Inspired by author Tori Telfer’s Jezebel column “Lady Killers,” this thrilling and entertaining compendium investigates female serial killers and their crimes through the ages.

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are ones like Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, Kate Bender? The narrative we’re comfortable with is the one where women are the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally, overwhelmingly male that in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared in a homicide conference, “There are no female serial killers.”

Lady Killers, based on the popular online series that appeared on Jezebel and The Hairpin, disputes that claim and offers fourteen gruesome examples as evidence. Though largely forgotten by history, female serial killers such as Erzsébet Báthory, Nannie Doss, Mary Ann Cotton, and Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite for destruction.

Each chapter explores the crimes and history of a different subject, and then proceeds to unpack her legacy and her portrayal in the media, as well as the stereotypes and sexist clichés that inevitably surround her. The first book to examine female serial killers through a feminist lens with a witty and dryly humorous tone, Lady Killers dismisses easy explanations (she was hormonal, she did it for love, a man made her do it) and tired tropes (she was a femme fatale, a black widow, a witch), delving into the complex reality of female aggression and predation. Featuring 14 illustrations from Dame Darcy, Lady Killers is a bloodcurdling, insightful, and irresistible journey into the heart of darkness.

Publish Date: October 10th 2017.

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You, After You, and Still Me, the story of a young woman who finds safe harbor after opening an eclectic shop as she reckons with the troubling mystery of her past

In the sixties, Athene Forster was the most glamorous girl of her generation. Nicknamed the Last Deb, she was also beautiful, spoiled, and out of control. When she agreed to marry the gorgeous young heir Douglas Fairley-Hulme, her parents breathed a sigh of relief. But within two years, rumors had begun to circulate about Athene’s affair with a young salesman.

Thirty-five years later, Suzanna Peacock is struggling with her notorious mother’s legacy. The only place she finds comfort is in the shop, The Peacock Emporium, a coffee-shop-cum-gift-store she opened, which provides a haven for other misfits in the town. There she makes perhaps the first real friends of her life, including Alejandro, a male midwife, escaping his own ghosts in Argentina.

But the specter of her mother still haunts Suzanna, setting off a chain of tragic events. Only by confronting both her family and the feelings she has disguised for so long will she be able to come to terms with the past. As she finds her footing, Suzanna discovers that the key to her history, and her happiness, may have been in front of her all along.

Publish Date: April 9th 2019.
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A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.

Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Publish Date: April 9th 2019.
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Devoted maid Mary Ballard’s world is built on secrets, and it’s about to be ripped apart at the seams, in this lush and evocative debut set in 19th century New York, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith and Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin.

By day, Mary Ballard is lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, wealthy and accomplished belle of New York City high society. Mary loves Charlotte with an obsessive passion that goes beyond a servant’s devotion, but Charlotte would never trust Mary again if she knew the truth about her devoted servant’s past. Because Mary’s fate is linked to that of her mistress, one of the most sought-after debutantes in New York, Mary’s future seems secure—if she can keep her own secrets…

But on her nights off, Mary sheds her persona as prim and proper lady’s maid to reveal her true self—Irish exile Maire O’Farren—and finds release from her frustration in New York’s gritty underworld—in the arms of a prostitute and as drinking companion to a decidedly motley crew consisting of a barkeeper and members of a dangerous secret society.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has a secret of her own—she’s having an affair with a stable groom, unaware that her lover is actually Mary’s own brother. When the truth of both women’s double lives begins to unravel, Mary is left to face the consequences. Forced to choose between loyalty to her brother and loyalty to Charlotte, between society’s respect and true freedom, Mary finally learns that her fate lies in her hands alone.

A captivating historical fiction of 19th century upstairs/downstairs New York City, The Parting Glass examines sexuality, race, and social class in ways that feel startlingly familiar and timely. A perfectly paced, romantically charged story of overlapping love triangles that builds to a white-knuckle climax, this is an irresistible debut that’s impossible to put down.

Publish Date: March 5th 2019.

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives and A Certain Age creates a dazzling epic of World War II-era Nassau—a hotbed of spies, traitors, and the most infamous couple of the age, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?

Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.

Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.

The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime…and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.

Publish Date: July 9th 2019.

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A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors, where they’re welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamor and glitz to take their mind off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone—the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Publish Date: May 21st 2019.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American—Mildred Fish Harnack—and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work—but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weiss, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

Publish Date: May 28th 2019.

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Petrograd, 1914. A country on a knife edge. The story of two people caught in the middle – with everything to lose…

A stunning debut from a talented new Australian voice in historical fiction.

Valentina Yershova’s position in the Romanov’s Imperial Russian Ballet is the only thing that keeps her from the clutches of poverty. With implacable determination, she has clawed her way through the ranks to soloist, utilising not only her talent, but her alliances with influential rich men that grants them her body, but never her heart. When Luka Zhirkov – the gifted son of a factory worker – joins the company, her passion for ballet and love is rekindled, putting at risk everything that she has built.

For Luka, being accepted into the company fulfils a lifelong dream. But in the eyes of his proletariat father, it makes him a traitor. As war tightens its grip and the country starves, Luka is increasingly burdened with guilt about their lavish lifestyles.
While Luka and Valentina’s secret connection grows, the country rockets toward a revolution that will decide the fate of every dancer.

For the Imperial Russian Ballet has become the ultimate symbol of Romanov indulgence, and soon the lovers are forced to choose: their country, their art or each other…

A powerful novel of class turmoil, passion and just how much two people will sacrifice…

41 Reasons I’m Staying In: Happy Release Day!

When I heard about this one, I couldn’t resist wanting to share about it. I’m an introvert and I’m curious to see what suggestions/ideas this book gives me! I love the cover!
Totally Relatable!

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Morrow Gift; 1st Edition edition
  • Publish Date: January 29, 2019

In a world of seemingly unending social obligations, we could all use a night off.

In 41 Reasons I’m Staying In, illustrator and self-proclaimed introvert Hallie Heald imaginatively portray engaging and sometimes outlandish excuses to avoid leaving home.

With each page comes a new room and character, pursuing their obsessions, hobbies, interests, and sudden whims with gusto:

plotting world takeover, learning magic, mooning over a crush, evading taxes, and beyond.

This dark and humorous celebration of introverts offers a unique look into their private worlds and reminds us of the deep fulfillment and joy we can find in spending time alone.

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Hallie Heald is a freelance book illustrator and portrait painter in New York. 41 Reasons I’m Staying In, is her first book to write and second to illustrate. Heald was born a lone introvert in a family of nine kids, and spent her days painting and listening to audiobooks, years later she’s doing the same thing in a different room. The idea for the book was inspired by season 1 episode 4 of Seinfeld, entitled: “Male Unbonding,” when Jerry and Elaine invent excuses to avoid an unwanted lunch date: jury duty, choir practice, etc. Her work can also be found in The Women Who Made New York and has been featured in The New York Times, NY Mag, The Cut, The Voice, Elle, and Brain Pickings.

Mailbox Monday!

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I seldom seem to do a Mailbox Post anymore; mainly because contrary to belief, my mailbox does not possess a book in it every day. Thus; I figure I’ll do them when I have a good amount to share. I’m quite delighted to share this with you guys; not pictured is a book I’m getting on Wednesday, obviously, but I will be posting about it once I get it. (I hate not knowing! lol) I also got the stunning Bloodleaf and a memoir by Ruth Reichl. If you are a foodie, you may remember her name. You may also recognize her from Top Chef Masters, where she was a judge. (Love Top Chef!) If you’re not, Ms. Ruth used to run Gourmet, which is a magazine put out by Conde Nast. I always enjoy hearing about women running the show, so I’m looking forward to reading this.

The Comet Seekers isn’t a book for review; it’s actually just a book I won on Twitter, much to my own surprise. I plan to review, however, when I finish it. I’m looking forward to it as the premise seems quite fascinating. Another one that I can’t wait to dive into is American Pop! It tells the story of a family who builds a dynasty and makes a name for themselves on soda pop. I may start that later on. Enchantee is one you guys know I have been positively dying to read. I am loving it thus far and look forward to sharing my review with you.

Each of these books is brilliant–you can tell even from reading the blurbs on the back. Tomorrow you’ll see a spotlight for ‘That Churchill Woman‘, followed by a review this week. I’m not done reading it yet. I hope to have Learning to See done too. Good Riddance will come sometime next month.

Have you guys gotten any new books? Let me know! ❤

The Military Wife: A Spotlight.

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An award-winning author, Laura Trentham’s emotional, heartbreaking and heart-mending new novel THE MILITARY WIFE (St. Martin’s Griffin, February 5th2019, $16.99), a young widow embraces a second chance at life by helping those who understand the sacrifices made by American soldiers and their families. Written with Brandon Webb, a former Navy Seal, Trentham provides an authentic look into post-military life.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband Noah Wilcox’s death nearly five years ago, while serving as a Navy SEAL. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL who served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children underfoot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives, who are eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend, and SEAL brother. As her business grows, so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?

Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

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