Friday, March 31, 2023

Spotlight of Her Lost Words by Stephanie Marie Thornton



HER LOST WORDS is a riveting novel about two literary legends discovering each other and finding themselves along the way. 


Thornton shines a new light on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley and transforms the unreachable literary legends into living, breathing people—a mother and daughter who never got the chance to know one another in person, but whose bond transcended time.


Berkley Trade Paperback
March 28, 2023


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Women's Fiction


“A stunning homage to two legendary women writers—Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley—Her Lost Words is a poignant and page-turning work of historical fiction. Stephanie Marie Thornton’s ability to bring historical women to life for the reader is unparalleled as she chronicles their passions, struggles, and legacy with impeccable research and emotional resonance. An extraordinary read!"—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Our Last Days in Barcelona

"A  beautifully crafted, spellbinding, heartbreaking tale of a mother and daughter whose paths tragically cross for only a handful of days—but who share the same passion, creativity, and thirst for understanding the depths of the human heart. This novel is a masterpiece I won’t forget, an ode to motherhood, to love, and to two brilliant women who changed the world with their words. One of the best historical fiction books of the year, and one that I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come."—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

"Stephanie Thornton delivers a stunning historical fiction with lyrical prose and vivid description that reveals the lives of Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft - both women of talent and intellect who seek equal rights in a world dominated by men. Set amid a cast of literary names we all recognize and love, Her Lost Words, is sure to be a reader favorite."—Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Librarian Spy

"I could not turn these pages fast enough! The dual tales of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley are brilliantly interwoven by Thornton, whose prose sparkles with wit and wisdom about literature, romance, and family. The Marys are heroines for their time and ours, remarkable women with independent hearts and minds, true inspirations to anyone who dreams of making the world a better place."
Kerri Maher, national bestselling author of The Paris Bookseller

“As passionate and fiercely intelligent as its protagonists, Her Lost Words is a fitting tribute to two women whose literary achievements reshaped the world….Brilliant.”Shelf Awareness

“Thornton deftly maneuvers through her subjects’ lives in alternating chapters, highlighting the ways both women defy expectations regarding marriage, motherhood, and women’s roles in society. Readers who enjoy sweeping, emotional biographical fiction about iconoclastic women will be hooked.”Booklist

"Stephanie Thornton once again delivers a compelling story of two women ahead of their time, bound by their words and their blood. Though Mary Shelley lost her mother Mary Wollstonecraft at birth, she had her feminist writings to sustain and shape her. One would be hard pressed to find two stronger or more significant female writers and both are brought back to life with elegant prose and wisdom under Thornton’s skillful hand, making her one of my favorite historical novelists.”
—RenĂ©e Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces

“Immersive, elegant, engaging--readers will savor the details of this fascinating account of the making of two brave, brilliant women--mother and daughter--who defy the odds as authors and early feminists."Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling author of Strangers in the Night

"What a vibrant, immersive portrait of two brilliant women! Both highlights as well as humanizes the Marys' extraordinary achievements. A timely inspiration."—Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author ofPortrait of a Scotsman

“A novel that explores the relationship between mothers and daughters and the human condition, Thornton grips our hearts with prose on love and loss, grief and survival, and the power of art and expression to heal our very souls. An extremely moving and enlightening novel that is an absolute must read!”—Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop

“Thornton brings a sense of urgency to the women’s inner lives, as well as a fair amount of insight into their work. Much has been written about the authors, but Thornton does justice to their singular lives.”Publishers Weekly

“Thornton writes lyrically about the two Marys, and readers will sympathize, deeply, with their struggles to find their own paths.”Library Journal

"An extraordinary work of historical fiction, weaving together the journeys of two brilliant thinkers and writers who lived and wrote with a daring that was centuries ahead of their time.... Thornton never disappoints, with that perfect blend of fine scholarship and creative flair that brings her characters, their work, their loves, and their losses vividly to life."
—Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

“A powerful and sympathetic account of two extraordinary women who fought to influence how 18th century politics and society regarded the roles of women. Stephanie Thornton doesn’t merely breathe life into Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, she brings them blazing onto the page with all their ideals, flaws, and passions. No matter where the chapters are set – in England, Italy, or the terrors of the French Revolution -- this masterful narrative is hard to put down.”—Janie Chang, bestselling author of Dragon Springs Road and The Library of Legends

"A stunning novel about two towering real-life heroines, mother and daughter. Thornton brings Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley to vibrant life as women of searing intelligence and creative power, who make mistakes, take terrible risks, defy society and love immoderately. I feared for them, cried for them, admired them, and will be haunted by them. Thornton's research is meticulous, and her writing is a delight. I loved it and recommend it most highly."—Maggie Brookes, author of Acts of Love and War





The story: From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, a tale of two literary legends—a mother and daughter—discovering each other and finding themselves along the way, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton.

1792. As a child, Mary Wollstonecraft longed to disappear during her father’s violent rages. Instead, she transforms herself into the radical author of the landmark volume A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she dares to propose that women are equal to men. From conservative England to the blood-drenched streets of revolutionary France, Mary refuses to bow to society’s conventions and instead supports herself with her pen until an illicit love affair challenges her every belief about romance and marriage. When she gives birth to a daughter and is stricken with childbed fever, Mary fears it will be her many critics who recount her life’s extraordinary odyssey…


1815. The daughter of infamous political philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, passionate Mary Shelley learned to read by tracing the letters of her mother’s tombstone. As a young woman, she desperately misses her mother’s guidance, especially following her scandalous elopement with dashing poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary struggles to balance an ever-complicated marriage with motherhood while nursing twin hopes that she might write something of her own one day and also discover the truth of her mother’s unconventional life. Mary’s journey will unlock her mother’s secrets, all while leading to her own destiny as the groundbreaking author of Frankenstein.


A riveting and inspiring novel about a firebrand feminist, her visionary daughter, and the many ways their words transformed our world.






Many people are unaware that the author of Frankenstein is the daughter of the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and any reader with a love of literature or feminist history will become immediately intrigued by the connection. 
Stephanie Marie Thornton is a librarian, high school history teacher, and writer whose novels focus on telling the stories of forgotten women throughout history.


Book Blogger Hop - 3/31 - 4/6

Question of the Week:
What apps/websites do you use to make your social media posts? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
My Answer:
I use:

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Spotlight of Houdini's Fabulous Magic by Walter B. Gibson and Morris N. Young





Houdini's Fabulous Magic

 Vine Leaves Press


Teller of Penn & Teller says: "I've loved this books for sixty years. My first copy was borrowed from the Philadelphia Public Library when I was fourteen, and I kept renewing the loan till I could afford to own my own copy.  Houdini's Fabulous Magic has just the right blend of history, technical secrets, and romance to fire the passion of a young magician.  Four pieces of the Penn & Teller repertoire were directly inspired by Houdini's Fabulous Magic--four times more than any other book in my library".

John Cox in his "Wild About Harry" website (​ and blog said of the earlier editionsHoudini's Fabulous Magic by Walter B. Gibson and Morris N. Young is the best forgotten Houdini book. I say that because when one thinks of books on Houdini's methods, one tends to turn to Houdini The Key by Patrick Culliton, The Secrets of Houdini by J.C. Cannel, or even Gibson's earlier work, Houdini's Escapes and Magic. Maybe because Fabulous Magic contains some reprinted material from the earlier Gibson book it tends to be thought of as a somewhat recycled work. But it's actually one of the very best books on Houdini's major feats and methods and maybe the best book for the layperson. It also contains historical tidbits that aren't found elsewhere. So let's remember it today!"



Incredible escapes, fantastic sleight-of-hand-Houdini's most challenging performances are dramatically portrayed in Houdini's Fabulous Magic. Walter Gibson, co-author, was in close touch with Harry Houdini for a number of years before his death and worked with the master magician in preparing material for the book. It is with the aid of Houdini's own scrapbooks and notes that this book was written.

The spectacular highlights of Houdini's career are described-and explained-here. Included are the famous escapes: escapes from a padlocked milk can filled with water; from locked jail cells; from a water-filled Chinese torture cell while suspended upside down; from packing cases weighted under water. Again, in this book, Houdini walks through a brick wall, vanishes a 10,000-pound elephant and is buried alive. Once more, Houdini and his wife Bessie mysteriously exchange places in a locked trunk-in three seconds!

And Houdini the man is not ignored. His impact on the world in the early years of the twentieth century was enormous. He was a public hero who, in his own way, helped sweep out the cobwebs of nineteenth-century thinking. While doing so, he distinguished himself as a patriot, writer, collector of magic, aviator, movie idol, philanthropist, and crusader against fraudulent spiritualistic practices.

This is a technical manual for magicians, complete with illustrations and diagrams, but it is also an astute analysis of the best of Houdini's magic and a readable biography of a man who turned himself into a legend. It is a book for would-be conjurers, for professional necromancers, for those curious about the methods and means of one of the most enchanting men of the previous century.



Walter B. Gibson (1897-1985)


Walter, a graduate of Colgate University, was a prolific writer including The Shadow novels under his pen name Maxwell Grant. 


For a time he was Houdini's personal secretary. Following Houdini's death, the attorney for the estate permitted Walter to examine many of Houdini's private scrapbooks and notes from which Gibson wrote Houdini's Magic and Houdini's Escapes


Houdini's scrapbooks, papers and other documents form the background for Houdini's Fabulous Magic. 


Also a magician, Walter toured with and wrote for magicians such as Blackstone (Sr.), Thurston and Raymond. 


He was a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Society for Psychical Research, the Magician's Guild of America and the Magician's Club of London.

Morris N. Young, M.D. (1909-2002)


Morris, a graduate of M.I.T., Harvard and Columbia University was Director of Ophthalmology at Beekman Downtown Hospital in New York City. Aside from his numerous professional memberships, he was a member of the Society of American Magicians (to which Houdini had helped him join as a young man), the International Brotherhood of Magicians and a member of the Inner Circle of the Magic Circle (London). 


He was a founder of the Magic Collectors Association including their publication MAGICOL


Along with his wife Chesley, he established the largest private holdings on memory and mnemonics which now resides at the University of San Marino. 


Along with his friend John McManus, in 1955 they established the McManus-Young Collections at the Library of Congress, The University of Texas, Austin and the University of California in Berkeley.  


Morris' other book publications include Hobby Magic, Houdini on Magic (with Walter Gibson), Presto Prestige, Bibliography of Memory, How To Develop An Exceptional Memory (with Walter Gibson), The Complete Guide to Science Fair Competition (with John Stolzfus) and Radio Music Live (with John Stolzfus).

You can visit the website created by Morris N. Young's children, Charles C. Young and Cheryl L. Young:


Purchase a copy of Houdini's Fabulous Magic on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or


You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis

Finding books that have no author had Ashlyn on a mission to find out who had written these treasures about a love story gone wrong.

Ashlyn owns a bookstore called THE UNLIKELY STORY filled with rare books.

She also has a rare but special feeling about books.  When she touches certain books, she can feel what the person who last held the book was feeling.  She wasn’t sure if it was a detriment or a blessing.

We follow Ashlyn as she reads these book and tries to find out who these people are/were. 

At first I was very confused as to what was going on, but when I figured it out, I couldn't put the book down.

I enjoyed the present-day chapters as Ashlyn was unraveling the mystery and enjoyed the past stories as we learn how the books told actual stories of real people's lives.
THE ECHO OF OLD BOOKS has the imaginative, descriptive, pull-you-in writing style Ms. Davis excels at.

You will be in for a treat...don't miss it.

It is marvelous as always. 

And look at that GORGEOUS cover!!  5/5

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hang The Moon by Jeannette Walls

Duke Kincaid was someone you didn't want to cross.  He always had to have his way.

Well...his second wife had him not getting his way and having him send away his daughter, Sallie, because his wife said she caused her son to have a terrible accident.

Sallie went to live with her Aunt for nine years…yes, nine years...he never allowed her to come back until his wife died because he needed her to take care of the child who had no mother.

It was an ok return, but not until Sallie asked to be part of the business did her father think she was good for something other than being a man's wife.

Then Eddie died, and things changed.

HANG THE MOON was well written as all of Ms. Wall’s books are.

You will love Sallie for her strength and how she grew as the story unfolded.

It got a bit slow at times, but the story line still held my interest with all its drama.  

This book will be enjoyed by those who like books about prohibition, family, and Ms. Wall’s books. 4/5

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

Spotlight of Curds of Prey by Korina Moss




Korina Moss's third book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series, CURDS OF PREY


St. Martin’s Paperbacks
March 28, 202


“A series that readers will be eager to revisit.” First Clue

“Readers will love the cheese shop employees, Mrs. Schultz and Archie, as well as Willa’s neighbor, Baz.”    Kings River Life

“A highly likable character and a good sleuth.”  Fresh Fiction

“Riveting.”  Military Press

“Aside from the insane amount of cheese, the characters in this series are the main reason why it’s fast becoming a favorite.” Book Frolic

“Willa is just a realistic character, one you can see as your friend, but also one with relationship and business concerns. I highly recommend this series to fans of culinary mysteries.” Novels Alive

“Prepare to be charmed.”  Carolyn Haines

“Deliciously addictive." —Bree Baker

“A fabulous heroine." —Cate Conte

“Winning.”  Maddie Day

“Willa charmed me to the core.” —Linda Reilly



In Korina Moss's Curds of Prey, murder again comes to Yarrow Glen, and cheesemonger Willa Bauer must be the predator… before she becomes the prey.

Yarrow Glen's favorite cheese shop, Curds & Whey, gets to be a part of the social event of the season: Summer Harrington’s wedding. Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is going all out for the wedding shower’s cheese bar. 

But the eagle-eyed Harrington family is proving to be a pain in her asiago

A last-minute tasting ends in disaster when one of Willa’s potential beaux, Roman, gets in a fight with the groom. 

Then the shower arrives, and while there’s anything but love in the air, there is plenty of cheese. Oh, and Roman... again. 

The day officially ends in disaster when Willa finds the groom—who also happens to be the mayor’s nephew—in the stable, dead as a dodo. 

At the mayor’s request, Willa must follow the trail of cheese curds to find a killer while continuing to walk a tightrope between two of Sonoma Valley’s most powerful families.



Photo Credit: Harrison Moss

KORINA MOSS is the author of the Agatha Award nominated Cheese Shop cozy mystery series (St. Martin’s Paperbacks) set in the Sonoma Valley, beginning with Cheddar Off Dead
Korina is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and blogs on Writers Who Kill. 
Visit her website to learn more and sign up for her free newsletter.