Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

The beloved library can't be shut down.

What will the people of Chalcot Library do without this meeting place and the books?

June worked as a library assistant and was a very shy, sheltered person.

Learning that the city was going to shut down the library was devastating to her. June knew nothing else.

Her library wasn't just about books, it was also about the people in the town having some place to go to socialize.

When some of the older patrons decided to fight about keeping the library, June joined in too.

THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY is a sweet, feel-good read and has great characters.

Some are funny, some are feisty, and some are just loyal library patrons.

Fighting to keep libraries open is a great theme, and one that is echoing all around.

If you need a read that will make you smile, add this book to your reading queue.

It is a tribute to libraries, the comfort they provide for its patrons, and for everyone who uses the library for books and friendship.

I KNEW I was going to like this book, but I LOVED it!!  5/5

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

Monday, August 30, 2021

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman

We meet Joan who has just had an article published that was three years in the making and that exposed Caspar Osgood.

The joy of being published was marred by her being attacked when she arrived home. 

Joan was suffering from a concussion from the attack and a concussion that she wouldn't get taken care of.

She also was offered a seven-figure book deal the next day that she accepted and wasn’t sure she could even write because she had blurry vision.

She also moved into a secure building that used to be the Magdalene Laundry building that housed wayward girls.

Will she get the book done?

We also meet Lillian - a 96-year-old neighbor across the hall from Joan who lived in the Magdalene Laundry building and who gave Joan the history of herself and the building.

Then we meet the widow of Caspar Osgood who must now find a job because her husband committed suicide which voided the life insurance policy and she had also found out there was no money left in any bank account.

All three women share chapters as we find out what is going on with each of them. 

They all have secrets, and they all seem to be connected in some way. The building even has secrets.

I enjoyed learning about the Magdalene Laundry and the building. 

The book is slow at first, but once you learn of what these three women are doing and what is in their past, the book picks up.

Could the stranger behind you really be a stranger or someone you know and trust?

THE STRANGER BEHIND YOU was different from Ms. Goodman's other books, but well written as always. 

It has a great wrap-up ending so don’t give up too soon as I almost did. 4/5

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

Friday, August 27, 2021

The Riviera House by Natasha Lester

A building, the Jeu de Paume, filled with stolen paintings during the occupation of France during WWII and a mansion on the Riviera in present day is where we meet Eliane and Remy. 

WWII…Eliane was summoned to help sort out the stolen paintings and get them prepared to be sent to Hitler and Goring’s private collections. 

Eliane didn’t want to do this, but she had no choice.  She did have the choice to not let the Germans know she spoke their language so she could spy on them and carry on Resistance work.

PRESENT DAY…Remy is in her mansion, Cap-Ferrat, in France, meets new neighbors, tries to continue to overcome her grief, and finds a painting in a catalog that lists the paintings Goring had taken for his own.

She is shocked to see a painting that she has in her home in Sydney. 

How can that be?  That was 70 years ago.

We move back and forth in time and find out the connection between the two time periods and the two women as well as the men they love and the house one had visited and one was living in now.

When names from the past started to surface in the present-day story and the connection to the house became apparent, the intrigue ramped up.

THE RIVIERA HOUSE pulled me in and didn’t let go.  This book is very well written and flows nicely.

Ms. Lester’s research is impeccable.

THE RIVIERA HOUSE is a beautiful read with authentic, mostly likable characters.

And, of course, you can’t have a book set in France without some romance.  :)

Historical fiction fans, photography fans, vintage clothing fans, and art fans will not want to miss this book.

Another book that MUST be added to your summer reading list. 5/5

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


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Where I Left Her by Amber Garza


A moody teenager who had changed the past few months and an overnight with a friend didn't turn out well.

The nightmare began when Amelia didn't show up the next day and her phone was turned off. 

Amelia wasn't where her mother left her off when she went to pick her up in the morning, and the house where she thought she left daughter had an older couple living there and said no girls lived there.

The police were called, but Whitney, Amelia's mother, didn't have much to give them other than that her daughter hadn't been herself lately, her daughter had a boyfriend she didn't know about, and she was talking to an older man.

The days dragged, and Amelia still wasn’t found. Where could she be?  What could have happened to her?

WHERE I LEFT HER goes back and forth from the childhood of Amelia to present day as well as back and forth with Whitney’s life.

I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I was with WHEN I WAS YOU.

There was a lot of back story that could have been left out, but there are some very tense moments in the back stories and present-day stories.

It truly was slow and didn’t hold my interest until three quarters of the way through when the secrets and truths were revealed.

WHERE I LEFT HER isn’t a bad read, but could have gotten there more quickly.

The ending was worth the wait, though, and took my rating up a notch.

Excellent ending so don’t give up.  4/5

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Starts With "K"


Which of these books whose titleS begin with a "K" have YOU read?

All the men are gone and no one is left except women to tend to the Kew Gardens in London during WWI.

Can women really do this job?  Of course!! 


Connor finally had a book published.  He needed this publication to save his tenure at the university.

The only problem is that the book is one written by a former student who has gone missing and was never found.

Well....she was never found until now. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

When The Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos

A life of leisure and wealth was all Eva knew and what she would always know because she was going to marry a doctor.

Well…she was going to marry a doctor until she met Aleandro.  She was drawn to the gypsy fiddler and couldn’t stop thinking of him. He was the love of her life and she of his.

As the war raged, her fiancé wrote every day, but Eva and Aleandro continued to meet and fell deeply in love.  When her father found out she had been meeting Aleandro, he locked her in her room.  Eva escaped, went to Aleandro, and ruined any chance of marrying Eduard.

WHEN THE SUMMER WAS OURS follows Eva and Aleandro throughout the war as Eva gives birth to their daughter and tries to live as best she can.  The birth of their daughter is unknown to Aleandro and Aleandro's being in a concentration camp is unknown to Eva.

We also follow their lives after the war and share in their successes as well as heartbreaks.  They never were out of each other’s thoughts.

As they live their lives with each other always in their thoughts, you will need some tissues.

You will love the characters…especially Aleandro for his pure heart and generosity.

Historical fiction fans will be taken to a different setting than the usual WWII places…this book takes place in Hungary along with the horrors of the war.

A heartbreaking but heartwarming read.  5/5

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

Monday, August 23, 2021


Aunt Ivy’s cottage wasn’t really a cottage but a rambling old house that sounded amazing.

AUNT IVY’S COTTAGE is a sweet read that will warm your heart because of the lovable characters and how they put family first.

If you need an uplifting read, this book will be perfect.

And look at that adorable cover.  5/5


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Featuring The Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

From France during WWII and back to the United States...the Duchant family will steal your heart.

CHATEAU OF SECRETS will have you turning the pages and staying up late in​to​ the night.  

Ms. Dobson’s writing style and the book’s storyline are wonderful. 5/5


Friday, August 20, 2021

Spotlight of The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne



New Edition of the Acclaimed Novel
By the Author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies and
A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom
Other Press is excited to publish a new edition of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE by John Boyne, the bestselling author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Originally published to great acclaim in 2013, THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE received a starred review from Kirkus.

THE House of special purpose: A Novel
 By John Boyne
Other Press Paperback Reprint • ISBN: 
On-Sale Date: August 10, 2021 • Price: $18.99

“Narrator Georgy Daniilovich Jachmenev reviews his long life, from being a servant in the household of Tsar Nicholas II to his post-retirement years in London. . .Boyne recreates both Georgy’s personal life and the life of prerevolutionary Russia with astonishing density and power.”Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Suspenseful and touching…ingeniously constructed and gripping…[Boyne] skillfully evokes the wrenching pain of loss and exile while presenting a tribute to enduring love.”Booklist

“John Boyne’s haunting novel travels to the heart of the Russian empire.”BBC

“An exciting, fast-paced story… deft plotting and strong dialogue. Absorbing and richly satisfying.”The Times (UK)

“Boyne exercises total control over pace and revelation. A work that chimes perfectly with our times.”IRISH TIMES

“A thrilling historical novel rooted in the Russian revolution and the end of Romanov czars…a gripping story.” MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE



In THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, Boyne applies the same meticulous historical research and flawless storytelling of his past books to the Russian Revolution and the fate of the Romanovs, creating a thrilling novel that is part love story, part historical epic, and part tragedy.

THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE illuminates the final days of czarist Russia. Eighty-two-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past—a past of death, suffering, and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife, Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him. As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg in the early twentieth century, to the Winter Palace of the czar, threatened by bloody revolution. Georgy’s memories reveal shocking secrets, stripping away decades of deceit until we learn the story of the house of special purpose.



PHOTO CREDIT:  Richard Gilligan

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of twelve novels for adults, most recently the New York Times bestseller The Heart’s Invisible Furies, A Ladder to the Sky, and A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom as well as six novels for teens and young adults including the #1 New York Times bestselling The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Spotlight and $15 Amazon Giveaway - The Murderess Must Die by Marlie Parker Wasserman

The Murderess Must Die by Marlie Wasserman Banner

The Murderess Must Die

by Marlie Parker Wasserman

August 16 - September 10, 2021 Tour



The Murderess Must Die by Marlie Wasserman

On a winter day in 1898, hundreds of spectators gather at a Brooklyn courthouse, scrambling for a view of the woman they label a murderess. Martha Place has been charged with throwing acid in her stepdaughter’s face, hitting her with an axe, suffocating her with a pillow, then trying to kill her husband with the same axe. The crowd will not know for another year that the alleged murderess becomes the first woman in the world to be executed in the electric chair. None of her eight lawyers can save her from a guilty verdict and the governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, refuses to grant her clemency.

Was Martha Place a wicked stepmother, an abused wife, or an insane killer? Was her stepdaughter a tragic victim? Why would a well-dressed woman, living with an upstanding husband, in a respectable neighborhood, turn violent? Since the crime made the headlines, we have heard only from those who abused and condemned Martha Place.

Speaking from the grave she tells her own story, in her own words. Her memory of the crime is incomplete, but one of her lawyers fills in the gaps. At the juncture of true crime and fiction, The Murderess Must Die is based on an actual crime. What was reported, though, was only half the story.

Praise for The Murderess Must Die:

A true crime story. But in this case, the crime resides in the punishment. Martha Place was the first woman to die in the electric chair: Sing Sing, March 20, 1899. In this gorgeously written narrative, told in the first-person by Martha and by those who played a part in her life, Marlie Parker Wasserman shows us the (appalling) facts of fin-de-siècle justice. More, she lets us into the mind of Martha Place, and finally, into the heart. Beautifully observed period detail and astute psychological acuity combine to tell us Martha's story, at once dark and illuminating. The Murderess Must Die accomplishes that rare feat: it entertains, even as it haunts - Howard A. Rodman, author of The Great Eastern

The first woman to be executed by electric chair in 1899, Martha Place, speaks to us in Wasserman's poignant debut novel. The narrative travels the course of Place's life describing her desperation in a time when there were few opportunities for women to make a living. Tracing events before and after the murder of her step-daughter Ida, in lean, straightforward prose, it delivers a compelling feminist message: could an entirely male justice system possibly realize the frightful trauma of this woman's life? This true-crime novel does more--it transcends the painful retelling of Place's life to expand our conception of the death penalty. Although convicted of a heinous crime, Place's personal tragedies and pitiful end are inextricably intertwined - Nev March, author of Edgar-nominated Murder in Old Bombay

The Murderess Must Die would be a fascinating read even without its central elements of crime and punishment. Marlie Parker Wasserman gets inside the heads of a wide cast of late nineteenth century Americans and lets them tell their stories in their own words. It’s another world, both alien and similar to ours. You can almost hear the bells of the streetcars - Edward Zuckerman, author of Small Fortunes and The Day After World War Three, Emmy-winning writer-producer of Law & Order

This is by far the best book I have read in 2021! Based on a true story, I had never heard of Mattie Place prior to reading this book. I loved all of the varying voices telling in the exact same story. It was unique and fresh and so wonderfully deep. I had a very hard time putting the book down until I was finished!

It isn't often that an author makes me feel for the murderess but I did. I connected deeply with all of the people in this book, and I do believe it will stay with me for a very long time.

This is a fictionalized version of the murder of Ida Place but it read as if the author Marlie Parker Wasserman was a bystander to the actual events. I very highly recommend this book - Jill, InkyReviews

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Crime Fiction
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 978-1953789877
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


Martha Garretson, that’s the name I was born with, but the district attorney called me Martha Place in the murder charge. I was foolish enough to marry Mr. William Place. And before that I was dumb enough to marry another man, Wesley Savacool. So, my name is Martha Garretson Savacool Place. Friends call me Mattie. No, I guess that’s not right. I don’t have many friends, but my family, the ones I have left, they call me Mattie. I’ll tell you more before we go on. The charge was not just murder. That D.A. charged me with murder in the first degree, and he threw in assault, and a third crime, a ridiculous one, attempted suicide. In the end he decided to aim at just murder in the first. That was enough for him.

I had no plans to tell you my story. I wasn’t one of those story tellers. That changed in February 1898, soon after my alleged crimes, when I met Miss Emilie Meury. The guards called her the prison angel. She’s a missionary from the Brooklyn Auxiliary Mission Society. Spends her days at the jail where the police locked me up for five months before Sing Sing. I never thought I’d talk to a missionary lady. I didn’t take kindly to religion. But Miss Meury, she turned into a good friend and a good listener. She never snickered at me. Just nodded or asked a question or two, not like those doctors I talked to later. They asked a hundred questions. No, Miss Meury just let me go wherever I wanted, with my recollections. Because of Miss Meury, now I know how to tell my story. I talked to her for thirteen months, until the day the state of New York set to electrocute me.

We talked about the farm, that damn farm. Don’t fret, I knew enough not to say damn to Emilie Meury. She never saw a farm. She didn’t know much about New Jersey, and nothing about my village, East Millstone. I told her how Pa ruined the farm. Sixty acres, only thirty in crop, one ramshackle house with two rooms down and two rooms up. And a smokehouse, a springhouse, a root cellar, a chicken coop, and a corn crib, all run down, falling down. The barn was the best of the lot, but it leaned over to the west.

They tell me I had three baby brothers who died before I was born, two on the same day. Ma and Pa hardly talked about that, but the neighbors remembered, and they talked. For years that left just my brother Garret, well, that left Garret for a while anyway, and my sister Ellen. Then I was born, then Matilda—family called her Tillie—then Peter, then Eliza, then Garret died in the

war, then Eliza died. By the time I moved to Brooklyn, only my brother Peter and my sister Ellen were alive. Peter is the only one the police talk to these days.

The farmers nearby and some of our kin reckoned that my Ma and Pa, Isaac and Penelope Garretson were their names, they bore the blame for my three little brothers dying in just two years. Isaac and Penelope were so mean, that’s what they deserved. I don’t reckon their meanness caused the little ones to die. I was a middle child with five before me and three after, and I saw meanness all around, every day. I never blamed anything on meanness. Not even what happened to me.

On the farm there was always work to be done, a lot of it by me. Maybe Ma and Pa spread out the work even, but I never thought so. By the time I was nine, that was in 1858, I knew what I had to do. In the spring I hiked up my skirt to plow. In the fall I sharpened the knives for butchering. In the winter I chopped firewood after Pa or Garret, he was the oldest, sawed the heaviest logs. Every morning I milked and hauled water from the well. On Thursdays I churned. On Mondays I scrubbed. Pa, and Ma too, they were busy with work, but they always had time to yell when I messed up. I was two years younger than Ellen, she’s my sister, still alive, I think. I was taller and stronger. Ellen had a bent for sewing and darning, so lots of time she sat in the parlor with handiwork. I didn’t think the parlor looked shabby. Now that I’ve seen fancy houses, I remember the scratched and frayed chairs in the farmhouse and the rough plank floor, no carpets. While Ellen sewed in the parlor, I plowed the fields, sweating behind the horses. I sewed too, but everyone knew Ellen was better. I took care with all my chores. Had to sew a straight seam. Had to plow a straight line. If I messed up, Pa’s wrath came down on me, or sometimes Ma’s. Fists or worse.

When I told that story for the first time to Miss Emilie Meury, she lowered her head, looked at the Bible she always held. And when I told it to others, they looked away too.

On the farm Ma needed me and Ellen to watch over our sisters, Tillie and Eliza, and over our brother Peter. They were born after me. Just another chore, that’s what Ellen thought about watching the young ones. For me, I liked watching them, and not just because I needed a rest from farm work. I loved Peter. He was four years younger. He’s not that sharp but he’s a good-natured, kind. I loved the girls too. Tillie, the level-headed and sweet one, and Eliza, the restless one, maybe wild even. The four of us played house. I was the ma and Peter, he stretched his

back and neck to be pa. I laughed at him, in a kindly way. He and me, we ordered Tillie and Eliza around. We played school and I pranced around as schoolmarm.

But Ma and Pa judged, they judged every move. They left the younger ones alone and paid no heed to Ellen. She looked so sour. We called her sourpuss. Garret and me, we made enough mistakes to keep Ma and Pa busy all year. I remember what I said once to Ma, when she saw the messy kitchen and started in on me.

“Why don’t you whup Ellen? She didn’t wash up either.”

“Don’t need to give a reason.”

“Why don’t you whup Garret. He made the mess.”

“You heard me. Don’t need to give a reason.”

Then she threw a dish. Hit my head. I had a bump, and more to clean.

With Pa the hurt lasted longer. Here’s what I remember. “Over there.” That’s what he said, pointing. He saw the uneven lines my plow made. When I told this story to Miss Meury, I pointed, with a mean finger, to give her the idea.

I spent that night locked in the smelly chicken coop.

When I tell about the coop, I usually tell about the cemetery next, because that’s a different kind of hurt. Every December, from the time I was little to the time I left the farm, us Garretsons took the wagon or the sleigh for our yearly visit to the cemetery, first to visit Stephen, Cornelius, and Abraham. They died long before. They were ghosts to me. I remembered the gloom of the cemetery, and the silence. The whole family stood around those graves, but I never heard a cry. Even Ma stayed quiet. I told the story, just like this, to Miss Meury. But I told it again, later, to those men who came to the prison to check my sanity.

Penelope Wykoff Garretson

I was born a Wyckoff, Penelope Wyckoff, and I felt that in my bones, even when the other farm folks called me Ma Garretson. As a Wyckoff, one of the prettiest of the Wyckoffs I’m not shy to say, I lived better than lots of the villagers in central New Jersey, certainly better than the Garretsons. I had five years of schooling and new dresses for the dances each year. I can’t remember what I saw in Isaac Garretson when we married on February 5, 1841. We slept together that night. I birthed Stephen nine months later. Then comes the sing-song litany. When I was still nursing Stephen, Garret was born. And while I was still nursing Garret, the twins were born. Then the twins died and I had only Stephen and Garret. Then Stephen died and I had no one but Garret until Ellen was born. Then Martha. Some call her Mattie. Then Peter. Then Matilda. Some call her Tillie. Then Eliza. Then Garret died. Then Eliza died. Were there more births than deaths or deaths than births?

During the worst of the birthing and the burying, Isaac got real bad. He always had a temper, I knew that, but it got worse. Maybe because the farm was failing, or almost failing. The banks in New Brunswick—that was the nearby town—wouldn’t lend him money. Those bankers knew him, knew he was a risk. Then the gambling started. Horse racing. It’s a miracle he didn’t lose the farm at the track. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my sisters, about the gambling, and I certainly didn’t tell them that the bed didn’t help any. No time for shagging. Isaac pulled me to him at the end of a day. The bed was always cold because he never cut enough firewood. I rolled away most days, not all. Knew it couldn’t be all. So tired. There were no strapping boys to

help with the farm, no girls either for a while.

As Garret grew tall and Ellen and Mattie grew some, I sent the children to the schoolhouse. It wasn’t much of a school, just a one-room unpainted cottage shared with the post office, with that awful Mr. Washburn in charge. It was what we had. Isaac thought school was no use and kept Garret and the girls back as much as he could, especially in the spring. He needed them for the farm and the truth was I could use them for housework and milking and such too. Garret didn’t mind skipping school. He was fine with farm work, but Ellen and Mattie fussed and attended more days than Garret did. I worried that Garret struggled to read and write, while the girls managed pretty well. Ellen and Mattie read when there was a need and Mattie was good with her numbers. At age nine she was already helping Isaac with his messy ledgers.

I was no fool—I knew what went on in that school. The few times I went to pull out Garret midday for plowing, that teacher, that Mr. Washburn, looked uneasy when I entered the room. He stood straight as a ramrod, looking at me, grimacing. His fingernails were clean and his collar was starched. I reckon he saw that my fingernails were filthy and my muslin dress was soiled. Washburn didn’t remember that my children, the Garretson children, were Wyckoffs just as much as they were Garretsons. He saw their threadbare clothes and treated them like dirt. Had Garret chop wood and the girls haul water, while those stuck-up Neilson girls, always with those silly smiles on their faces, sat around in their pretty dresses, snickering at the others. First, I didn’t think the snickering bothered anyone except me. Then I saw Ellen and Mattie fussing with their clothes before school, pulling the fabric around their frayed elbows to the inside, and I knew they felt bad.

I wanted to raise my children, at least my daughters, like Wyckoffs. With Isaac thinking he was in charge, that wasn’t going to happen. At least the girls knew the difference, knew there was something better than this miserable farm. But me, Ma Garretson they called me, I was stuck.


Excerpt from The Murderess Must Die by Marlie Wasserman. Copyright 2021 by Marlie Wasserman. Reproduced with permission from Marlie Wasserman. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Marlie Wasserman

Marlie Parker Wasserman writes historical crime fiction, after a career on the other side of the desk in publishing. The Murderess Must Die is her debut novel. She reviews regularly for The Historical Novel Review and is at work on a new novel about a mysterious and deadly 1899 fire in a luxury hotel in Manhattan.

Catch Up With Marlie Wasserman:
Instagram - @marliepwasserman
Twitter - @MarlieWasserman
Facebook - @marlie.wasserman

Tour Participants:

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

How could Lissa have drowned?

She was a champion swimmer and knew not to swim in Kanu Cove in the dark, but she is gone.

We meet Georgie and Bronwyn at Lissa’s memorial service, but something is wrong.

Bronwyn received a note on the mirror in her villa that said she was at fault for Lissa’s death, and Georgie received a heavy packet of papers with only the words FOLLOW THE MONEY on every page.

Bronwyn was nervous, and Georgie had no clue what her message meant.

As we spend the days on the resort island, things seem to get more dangerous for everyone, and everyone seems to be acting a little strangely.

Who can anyone trust? Who can we the reader trust as we try to figure out what’s going on?

As you read, your head will be going back and forth between what’s going on, what really happened, and what is up with the characters.

And…to add to the confusion, there is an unidentified person talking about ways to kill someone.

I actually didn’t like the characters so they all were suspects in my mind.

The story line was a little mixed up and slow, but it worked out in the end because of Ms. Elliott’s writing style and creativity.  3/5

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


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Family Plot by Megan Collins



Oh to be famous, but not famous in the way everyone wants to be.
The Lighthouse family lived on Blackburn Island and was the most eccentric family anyone knew.

The children were home schooled by their mother, and she had them write essays about murders. They even had a room in the house that had a library of newspaper articles about murders committed around the world.
The oddest thing is that their mother named them after a person that was murdered or someone that committed murder.

We learn that Dahlia is named after Black Dahlia an actress who was murdered.

Charlie was named after the Lindbergh baby.

Tate was named after a movie star who then turned into a bloody body.

Andy was named for Lizzie Borden's father.

We meet all the children as they returned home when their father died.

The only one missing was Andy, Dahlia's twin.  He had been gone for ten years.  We did get to meet him, but not in person.

THE FAMILY PLOT continues as we get a glimpse of how their life was growing up and how they are interacting at the present time.

We also see that Dahlia finds things out she never knew about her family and secrets that were kept.

THE FAMILY PLOT can definitely be classified as Gothic and odd, but it will keep your interest because you will want to see what really was going on in this household for all those years.

Very well written and keeps your interest, and the most unique story line I have ever read.

If you like surprise endings and odd characters, you won't want to miss THE FAMILY PLOT. 4/5

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

Monday, August 16, 2021

Spotlight of The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable




The Bookseller's Secret : A Novel of Nancy Mitford and WWII 

Michelle Gable

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021

400 pages



From New York Times bestselling author Michelle Gable comes a dual-narrative set at the famed Heywood Hill Bookshop in London about a struggling American writer on the hunt for a rumored lost manuscript written by the iconic Nancy Mitford—bookseller, spy, author, and aristocrat—during World War II.

In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…



PHOTO CREDIT:  Joanna DeGeneres

MICHELLE GABLE is the New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, I'll See You in Paris, The Book of Summer, and The Summer I Met Jack. She attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting, and spent twenty years working in finance before becoming a full-time writer. 


She grew up in San Diego and lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband and two daughters. 


Find her at michellegable.com or on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, @MGableWriter.


Author website: https://michellegable.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellegable 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MGableWriter 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mgablewriter/ 


Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/the-bookseller-s-secret-a-novel-of-nancy-mitford-and-wwii-9781525811555/9781525811555 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-booksellers-secret-michelle-gable/1138272507 

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Bookseller_s_Secret.html?id=eyX3DwAAQBAJ

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Booksellers-Secret-Novel-Nancy-Mitford/dp/1525806467

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-bookseller-s-secret-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-booksellers-secret/id1527558782