Friday, March 5, 2021

Spotlight of The Measure of Gold by Sarah C. Patten





 Uncover the hidden world of alchemy in WWII-era novel


An epic story of betrayal and courage–and the first in a planned trilogy–“The Measure of Gold,” combines elements of a historical war novel, thriller and romance. Starring an introspective, relatable female lead, this tale will satisfy a wide swath of genre readers’ tastes.


Female spy infiltrates a French brothel in epic story of war, alchemy, and love


Sarah C. Patten | March 2, 2021 | Ashland Press | Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction 


“compelling... a powerful tribute to the brave women of the French Resistance” 

BlueInk Review

“poetic... a touching World War II novel that features both fantasies and cruel sacrifices” 

– Foreword Clarion Reviews


ASHEVILLE, North Carolina –No magic is more powerful than the spell of love. And no enchantment can be more dangerous. 

In Sarah C. Patten’s WWII-era novel, “The Measure of Gold” (Ashland Press, March 2, 2021), it is the fall of 1940 and Germany has just invaded France. Across the ocean, in Sweetwater, Tennessee, Penelope receives an urgent letter from her childhood friend, Naomie, urging her to Paris. Bereft from the loss of her widowed father, Penelope leaves her life and reunites with her lost friend. There, she meets Naomie’s brother, the brilliant, mad alchemist Fulcanelli and his mysterious apprentice Lucien. 

As Penelope falls headlong into the esoteric world of alchemy and espionage, she is assigned to spy on the clients of a powerful French brothel. She listens, learns, and dances to seduce one of the most infamous murderers of World War II in a desperate calculation to save Lucien. Through the devastating magic of life, Penelope learns that alchemy has far more to do with the person than the element. 

An epic story of betrayal and courage, “The Measure of Gold” showcases the heroine’s journey during wartime, and serves as a powerful reminder of what’s needed for us to transform from stone to pure gold.



SARAH C. PATTEN: Sarah was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended Cornell University where she earned her BA in English. She completed her MALS in Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. 

To learn more about Sarah’s life and work, please visit  


Book Blogger Hop - 3/5 - 3/11

Question of the Week:

How have books changed you the most? (submitted by Julie @ JadeSky)

My Answer:
A very thoughtful question. 
Books have made me more aware of history and have also made me a better conversationalist.

Friendly Fill-Ins - 3/5/2021



1. Nothing is better than ____________.

2. I _______my _________in __________.

3. _______ makes me feel energized.

4. I would advise others to ______.

1.  Nothing is better than a visit from your kids.

2.  I dip my bread in my tomato salad.  YUM!!

3.  An afternoon walk makes me feel energized.

4.  I would advise others to read a book if you haven't done so in a while.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Being famous is a dream we all wish for, but the Pine family was famous because of unpleasant things. Not what anyone would like to be famous for.

One of things they were famous for was a TV series that depicted the murder of a young girl that their son accused of.

The other unpleasant thing was the death of the entire Pine family except for Matt and Danny. 

Matt hadn't gone on vacation with the family, and Danny was in jail. 

Was the family’s death really an accidental death?  FBI agent Sarah Keller had her doubts.

What could happen next?  Plenty can and does happen.

The characters were well thought out with great descriptions for all of them.  Agent Sarah Keller was a favorite.

The writing flowed easily and excellently for a debut, and I was immediately pulled into the story.  

Tense, tense, tense, and twisty is the perfect description of EVERY LAST FEAR. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Who wouldn't like to solve a hundred-year-old mystery and especially one that had to do with poisons that were used to kill unfaithful husbands or boyfriends.​

Caroline came to London for a tenth anniversary celebration, but found out her husband had been having an affair so she came alone.​​

She didn’t want to follow through with her itinerary she was to have had with her husband and happened upon a man who suggested she go mudlarking with a group.  

Mudlarking was done in the 1800’s as a means of survival by finding things washed up on the shore, but this group did it for fun.​​

Caroline finds a vial with a bear on it.  Her curiosity as a historian had her searching for what the vial may have been used for and the place where a shop probably existed in 1791 that could have created remedies.

​​While Caroline is looking for clues, we flash back to 1791 and meet Nella who made remedies, actually poisons, for women who needed to be rid of their husbands.  A young girl, Eliza, who came to the shop to have Nella make a potion for her mistress, took an interest in the shop.  ​​

Nella, Eliza, and Caroline collide virtually in present day through research and poisons.

​​THE LOST APOTHECARY is very clever, enjoyable, different, unique, and very well researched.  ​​

I loved the information about the maps of London and finding clues to how others lived and worked in past times. ​​

History buffs, those who love solving years-old mysteries, and those who love Old London won’t want to miss this book.​​

ENJOY!!  An amazing debut!! 5/5​​

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author:

PHOTO CREDIT:  Laura Foote

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit

Social Links:

Author website:

Facebook: @SarahPennerAuthor

Instagram: @sarah_penner_author

Twitter: @sl_penner

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering

Burke was definitely deceitful.  Heather wasn’t bad at it either.

He knew how to keep secrets, and they were big ones.

We also meet Skye who has her own problem of having an addictive compulsion to count and can't find a boyfriend because of it. Burke solved this problem for her.

Then we meet Libby who became friends with Heather and showed Heather what a good life could be when you had money.

Did the obsession with money have Heather making wrong choices in her life like marrying Burke?

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE was difficult to keep the characters and even the story line straight at the beginning.  

We meet all the characters in detail in each chapter.

I couldn't tell who was the worst offender when it came to being loyal or being naive.

Burke's chapters had his diary entries, and they showed what a bad person he really was.

Skye's chapters showed how gullible and trustworthy she was and how anxious she was to find a boyfriend even with her gobs of money from a trust fund.

Heather's chapters showed how her sordid life growing up made her want more.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE was slow for the first quarter of the book, but I kept reading because I wanted to see how Burke's devious plan would work out.  

Continuing to read was a VERY good decision.

Once the story line got going despite the wordy sections, it kept me glued to the pages with the twists and surprises.

Readers who enjoy domestic suspense will enjoy this book.

The uniqueness and the deviousness of the characters makes it one you don't want to miss.  4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Paris Apartments


Forgotten apartments filled with history, treasures, and secrets that will keep you glued to the book's pages.

Have you read any of these wonderful books?

The top book has definitely been shared MANY times as you can see.