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.


American Duchess. [2019 Release]




  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publication Date: February 26, 2019


Before Meghan and Harry, another American ‘princess’ captured the hand of an English aristocrat. Now, Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find the meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any price.


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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Harper is a former university (Ohio State) and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. A rabid Anglophile, she likes nothing more than to research her novels on site in the British Isles. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the Best Books of 2014 by Suspense Magazine. The author and her husband live in Ohio.

Spotlight: The Dream Peddler.

Penguin Books
Publish Date:
Apr 09, 2019 
Page Count: 336 Pages
A page-turning novel about a traveling salesman who arrives to sell dreams to a town rocked by a child’s disappearance, both a thoughtful meditation on grief and a magical exploration of our innermost desires

The dream peddler came to town at the white end of winter, before the thaw

Traveling salesmen like Robert Owens have passed through Evie Dawson’s town before, but none of them offered anything like what he has to sell: dreams, made to order, with satisfaction guaranteed.

Soon after he arrives, the community is shocked by the disappearance of Evie’s young son. The townspeople, shaken by the Dawson family’s tragedy and captivated by Robert’s subversive magic, begin to experiment with his dreams. And Evie, devastated by grief, turns to Robert for a comfort only he can sell her. But the dream peddler’s wares awaken in his customers their most carefully buried desires, and despite all his good intentions, some of them will lead to disaster.

Gorgeously told through the eyes of Evie, Robert, and a broad cast of fully-realized characters (the flirty teenager who works the general store counter, a little boy seeking respite from his bully big brother, the lonely old gossip who collects all the town’s secrets), The Dream Peddler is an imaginative, empathetic novel of overcoming loss and reckoning with the longings we bury.

Indiebound, Penguin Random HouseBarnes & Noble, and Amazon

My short stories have been published in literary magazines such as Beloit Fiction Journal, Roanoke Review, Scrivener Creative Review, and Sixfold. I am represented by Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, and my debut novel THE DREAM PEDDLER is scheduled to be released in April 2019 by Penguin Classics.

I’m originally from Montreal, Canada, but have been living in the United States since 2003. After completing a BFA in painting and drawing at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, I went back to Montreal to pursue an MA in art history at Concordia University. I spent a year in Chicago completing my thesis as a Fulbright scholar and eventually moved to Michigan, where I currently live with my husband and two children.


Happy Release Day to Susan MacNeal!

Wishing a very happy release day to Susan Elia MacNeal who is the creator of the Maggie Hope mystery series! This is number eight in the series, of which I am a huge fan. I hope you guys will give this a chance if you love history and mysteries. Maggie is a plucky, determined heroine and it’s just a brilliantly done series. Both well researched and vivid. If like me, you’re a fan of the show Agent Carter, which starred Hayley Atwell, you’ll likely adore this series. I can totally see Peggy and Maggie teaming up to work together.

Happy Release Day, Susan! ❤

books_tpitcA series of baffling murders among a group of imprisoned agents threatens the outcome of World War II in this chilling mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.

World War II is raging, and former spy Maggie Hope knows too much.

She knows what the British government is willing to do to keep its secrets.

She knows the real location of the planned invasion of France.

She knows who’s lying. She knows who the double-crossers are. She knows exactly who is sending agents to their deaths.

These are the reasons Maggie is isolated on a remote Scottish island, in a prison known as Killoch Castle, out of contact with friends and family.

Then one of her fellow inmates drops dead in the middle of his after-dinner drink—and he’s only the first. As victims fall one by one, Maggie will have to call upon all her wits and skills to escape—not just certain death . . . but certain murder.

For what’s the most important thing Maggie Hope knows?

She must survive.

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

Advance praise for The Prisoner in the Castle

“The colonel sums it up best on page ten: ‘If you take a pretty girl and teach her how to kill, it can cause problems.’ Not just problems—electrifying action and nonstop surprises. I loved this book!”—R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series

“Perfectly paced and brimming with intrigue and rich historical detail, The Prisoner in the Castle is an extraordinarily satisfying novel. Susan Elia MacNeal proves once again that she is a master, both at crafting characters and creating suspense.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily mystery series

The Prisoner in the Castle had me at ‘a new Maggie Hope mystery,’ but once you add And Then There Were None and a Scottish castle, how could any mystery reader resist? Darkly atmospheric, enchantingly macabre, and as beautifully woven as a clan tartan.”—Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The English Wife

The Prisoner in the Castle is a double agent of a novel! At the outset, it appears like a clever riff on Agatha Christie, but a few quick turns prove it to be an utterly modern, gripping thriller. Maggie Hope is smarter than ever, and Susan Elia MacNeal is truly at the height of her powers.”—Sujata Massey, author of The Widows of Malabar Hill

The Maggie Hope Mysteries


Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of The New York Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today-bestselling Maggie Hope mystery series, starting with the Edgar Award-nominated and Barry Award-winning Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, which is now in its 22nd printing. She is currently at work on The Prisoner in the Castle, the eighth novel in the series.

Her books include Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, The Queen’s Accompliceand The Paris Spy. The Maggie Hope novels have been nominated for the Edgar, the Macavity, the ITW Thriller, the Barry, the Dilys, the Sue Federer Historical Fiction, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Fiction awards. The Maggie Hope series is sold worldwide in English and has been translated into Czech, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Turkish. It is also available in large print and audio. Actress Daisy Ridley (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) has bought the film and television rights to the series.

Susan graduated from Nardin Academy in Buffalo New York, and also cum laude and with honors in English from Wellesley College. She cross-registered for courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University. Her first job was as the assistant to novelist John Irving in Vermont. She then worked as an editorial assistant at Random House, assistant editor at Viking Penguin, and associate editor and staff writer at Dance Magazine in New York City. As a freelance writer, she wrote two non-fiction books and for the publications of New York City Ballet.

Susan is married and lives with her husband, Noel MacNeal, a television performer, writer, and director, and their son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Boardwalk Summer: A Spotlight!


Boardwalk Summer: by Meredith Jaeger
Publish Date: 06/19/2018
Page Count: 384
Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

In this new novel from the author of The Dressmaker’s Dowry, two young women two generations apart discover the joy and heartbreak of following their dreams. Aspiring Hollywood actress Violet makes a shocking choice in 1940, and seventy years later, Mari sets out to discover what happened on that long ago summer.

Santa Cruz, Summer 1940: When auburn-haired Violet Harcourt is crowned Miss California on the boardwalk of her hometown, she knows she is one step closer to her cherished dream: a Hollywood screen test. But Violet’s victory comes with a price—discord in her seemingly perfect marriage—and she grapples with how much more she is willing to pay.

Summer 2007: Single mother Marisol Cruz lives with her parents in the charming beach cottage that belonged to her grandfather, Ricardo, once a famed performer on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Drawn to the town’s local history and the quaint gazebo where her grandparents danced beneath the stars, Mari sells raffle tickets at the Beach Boardwalk Centennial Celebration, and meets Jason, a California transplant from Chicago.

When Mari discovers the obituary of Violet Harcourt, a beauty queen who died too young, she and Jason are sent on a journey together that will uncover her grandfather’s lifelong secret—his connection to Violet—a story of tragedy and courage that will forever transform them.

Amazon || Harper Collins || Indie Bound
|| Books-a-Million || Barnes & Noble



USA Today bestselling author Meredith Jaeger was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of a Swiss father and an American mother. While working for a San Francisco start-up, Meredith fulfilled her dream of writing a novel, the result of which was The Dressmaker,s Dowry. Meredith lives in Alameda with her husband, their infant daughter, and their bulldog.


My Dear Hamilton: A Review

MDH Tour Banner

And Peggy!
The Schuyler Sisters!

If you’re looking for a mind at werk, werk, you are in luck because Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s minds have been doing just that for the last few years. They crafted America’s First Daughter, which told the story of Patsy Jefferson, Thomas’s daughter and here they are for round two, giving us a tome from the point of view about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton. (Hence my terrible Hamilton puns and lyric quoting.) At over 600 pages, you might feel intimidated. But don’t. Seriously, put the number out of your mind because the pages simply fly by. This is definitely a book that pulls its reader in. It’s with reluctance that you’ll put it down.

I’ve been sitting on this review for a few months now because I was lucky enough to win a copy in a Facebook contest back in December. I’m terrible at keeping secrets, okay? Jenoff Quote CardAnd I didn’t want to spoil everyone’s delight by blabbing about a book they couldn’t get yet. Now is your time.

Madames Dray and Kamoie are a powerhouse team in writing about our often forgotten about Founding Mothers, of which Eliza is very much one. They have given Eliza a new voice just as Lin-Manuel Miranda did for Alexander. She’s a woman who was born at a perfect time, right when the United States is born. What I love is that we get to meet figures that history has introduced us to and those who history mentions as if they’re an afterthought. What we get to see is the United States be born and we get to see it from Eliza’s point of view. I loved reading about her and it was easy to forget that two modern authors were telling the story. Eliza is alive and well in these pages.

515px-mrs-_elizabeth_schuyler_hamilton-429x500History is often painted as though women were simply decorations. Not Eliza. Because as much as others leaned on Alexander, he leaned on her. The Hamilton marriage was a partnership and a successful one at that. Sadly, it was one that ended far sooner than it should have. (Totally eyeballing you, Aaron Burr, sir.) But his death did not make Eliza idle and miserable. Did she miss him? Of course. Yet, a lot of what we know about him, it’s due to Eliza’s work to preserve his legacy. Following that, she then helped to run The New York Orphan Asylum Society, which still operates today.

This is a researched to the nth degree novel, but is never boring and never reads like a

Eliza at age 94.

dull textbook. It is lively, sumptuous, emotional and simply put, stunning. If they gave out Academy Awards for books, I’d give them the literary equivalent of ‘Best Picture.’ it’s like having the woman herself tell you about life. And considering Eliza lived for 97 years, I’d say she has a lot of life to tell. From the Revolution almost to the Civil War. She was also monumental, no pun intended, on helping Dolley Madison raise the funds for the Washington Monument. She also had no problem sassing the ever living hell out of anyone who ever badmouthed her husband or tried to discredit him in life.

Eliza is someone we can all look up to for her tenacity, her strength, and poise. They are all expressed in a stunningly real manner.

You guys have to get your hands on this. It is definitely going to be one of the best books of the year, I’m calling it now.


Additional Notes:

  • I’d give it ★★★★★ stars.
  • I won my copy from a Facebook contest. 😀
  • would recommend this to a friend!