Format: ARC

#BookReview Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander @talexander @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SecretsoftheNile #TashaAlexander #LadyEmilyAshtonMysteries #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander @talexander @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SecretsoftheNile #TashaAlexander #LadyEmilyAshtonMysteries #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: Secrets of the Nile

Author: Tasha Alexander

Series: Lady Emily Ashton Mysteries #16

Published by: Minotaur Books on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In a brilliant homage to Agatha Christie, critically acclaimed author Tasha Alexander sends Lady Emily to Egypt during British colonial rule to investigate a crime that leads back to the era of the Pharaohs.

Lord Bertram Deeley, a renowned amateur British collector of antiquities is entertaining his closest friends at a lavish cruise up the Nile to his home at Luxor when he suddenly collapses after offering a welcome toast, a victim of the lethal poison cyanide. Who amongst this group of his nearest and dearest would want to kill their generous host: an archeologist whose dig Deeley was funding until he suddenly withdrew support? A powerful politician whose career Deeley had secretly destroyed? A dyspeptic aristocratic English spinster whose hired travelling companion seems determined to protect her employer? Or even the formidable Mrs. Hargreaves, Lady Emily’s mother-in-law, who may have spurned the advances of Lord Deeley when they were both younger? A key clue may lie with several ancient ushabtis, exquisite three-thousand-year-old sculptures that played a role in yet another murder in Ancient Egypt, a crime with a very real link to Lord Deeley’s death. Lady Emily and Colin gather their suspects together to reveal the identity of a killer whose motive is as shocking as it is brilliant.


Review:

Mysterious, atmospheric, and entertaining

In this latest novel by Alexander, Secrets of the Nile, we head to 1904, where at the invitation of antiquities collector Lord Deeley, Lady Emily, her husband, her mother-in-law, and her stepdaughter travel to Egypt to enjoy some culture and history only to find themselves immediately embroiled in a clue-like murder mystery when at the dinner on the first evening their host winds up dead, and all the friends and acquaintances surrounding him seem to have had more than one motive for murder.

The writing style is vivid and light. The characters, including the intelligent, independent heroine, are well-developed, complex, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, engaging whodunit full of twists, turns, amateur sleuthing, red herrings, suspects, customs, tradition, deduction, and danger.

Overall, Secrets of the Nile is a cosy, enjoyable, satisfying tale by Alexander that I thoroughly enjoyed, and which is without a doubt another wonderful addition to the Lady Emily Ashton Mysteries.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tasha Alexander

TASHA ALEXANDER is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lady Emily mystery series. The daughter of two philosophy professors, she studied English literature and medieval history at the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, live on a ranch in southeastern Wyoming.

Photo Credit: Charles Osgood

#BookReview The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell @Gina_L_Maxwell @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheDarkKing #GinaLMaxwell #DeviantKingsSeries

#BookReview The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell @Gina_L_Maxwell @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheDarkKing #GinaLMaxwell #DeviantKingsSeries Title: The Dark King

Author: Gina L. Maxwell

Series: Deviant Kings #1

Published by: Entangled Publishing on Sep. 27, 2022

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Angela Melamud, Entangled Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.


Review:

Dark, edgy, and sinful!

The Dark King is a seductive, consuming, highly entertaining paranormal romance that takes you on a journey into the life of Bryn Meara, an intelligent young woman who, after losing her job and accepting a free trip to Vegas, inadvertently finds herself swept off her feet by the handsome, successful Caiden Verran who is not only the king of sin city with a proclivity for BDSM but also, unknown to most, the true fae king of the Night Court.

The writing is sensual and fluid. The characters are consumed, impulsive, and intense. And the plot is a fast-paced, delightfully salacious tale of desire, temptation, mystique, attraction, chemistry, danger, deception, sizzling romance, and the supernatural.

Overall, The Dark King is an intriguing, alluring, sultry tale by Maxwell that has just the right amount of mystery, sex, unique characters, and bad boy vibes to keep you engaged from start to finish. As most of you know, I never used to read a lot of paranormal romance, but recently I seem to be reading more and more and loving it, and The Dark King is no exception. It’s the perfect standalone to kick off this Deviant Kings series, and I can’t wait to read what this extraordinary team of otherworldly beings manage to get up to next in The Rebel King, publishing next summer.

 

This novel is available now!

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

 

       

 

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Angela Melamud for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gina L. Maxwell

Gina L. Maxwell is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 International bestselling author living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. As a lifelong romance novel addict, she began writing as another way of enjoying the Happily Ever After stories she's always loved. Her debut novel in 2012, SEDUCING CINDERELLA, hit the bestseller lists within the first month of its release and continues to be a favorite with readers a full decade later. When she’s not reading, writing, or spending way too much money on planners and office supplies, she enjoys hanging out with her son and daughter who’ve left the nest, snuggling with her fur babies, and dreaming of her someday-move to someplace tropical.

Photo courtesy of Entangled Publishing Website.

#BookReview The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDenTrilogy #TheHousewiththeGoldenDoor #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo

#BookReview The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDenTrilogy #TheHousewiththeGoldenDoor #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo Title: The House with the Golden Door

Author: Elodie Harper

Series: Wolf Den Trilogy #2

Published by: Union Square & Co. on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 472

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Union Square & Co.

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glittering, yet precarious…
Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the town’s most notorious brothel, but now her existence depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought.

At night she dreams of the wolf den, still haunted by her past. Amara longs for the women she was forced to leave behind and worse, finds herself pursued by the man who once owned her. In order to be free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.

Amara knows her existence in Pompeii is subject to Venus, the goddess of love. Yet finding love may prove to be the most dangerous act of all.

We return to Pompeii for the second instalment in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den Trilogy, set in the town’s lupanar and reimagining the lives of women long overlooked.


Review:

Absorbing, enthralling, and atmospheric!

The House with the Golden Door is a dramatic, multilayered tale that picks up right where The Wolf Den left off, taking us back into the life of Amara, who now as a freedwoman and living in the house provided to her by her patron Rufus, must learn how to contain her grief at the loss of her best friend, continue to secretly construct business deals to try and secure an independent future for herself and those she loves, and ultimately confront the heartbreak she faces due to forbidden love, unimaginable betrayals, societal expectations, and weighty ambitions.

The prose is eloquent and descriptive. The characters are brave, scarred, and resourceful. And the plot is a gripping tale of life, loss, duty, deception, secrets, lies, manipulation, greed, betrayal, corruption, mayhem, savagery, survival, and love.

Overall, The House with the Golden Door is an immersive, intense, gritty sequel by Harper that has left me counting down the days until the third and final novel in this trilogy becomes available so I can finally discover how this thrilling, historical saga will finally conclude.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Union Square & Co. for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elodie Harper

Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning short story writer. Her story 'Wild Swimming' won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, which was judged by Stephen King.

She is currently a reporter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. Her job as a journalist has seen her join one of the most secretive wings of the Church of Scientology and cover the far right hip hop scene in Berlin, as well as crime reporting in Norfolk where her first two novels were set – The Binding Song and The Death Knock.

Elodie studied Latin poetry both in the original and in translation as part of her English Literature degree at Oxford, instilling a lifelong interest in the ancient world. The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Red Widow by Sarah Horowitz @sarahehorowitz @Sourcebooks #SarahHorowitz #Sourcebooks #TheRedWidow

#BookReview The Red Widow by Sarah Horowitz @sarahehorowitz @Sourcebooks #SarahHorowitz #Sourcebooks #TheRedWidow Title: The Red Widow

Author: Sarah Horowitz

Published by: Sourcebooks on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Sex, corruption, and power: the rise and fall of the Red Widow of Paris

Paris, 1889: Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited.

Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful. Her ambitions, though, go far beyond becoming the most desirable woman in Paris; at her core, she is a woman determined to conquer French high society. But the game she plays is a perilous one: navigating misogynistic double-standards, public scrutiny, and political intrigue, she is soon vaulted into infamy in the most dangerous way possible.

A real-life femme fatale, Meg influences government positions and resorts to blackmail-and maybe even poisoning-to get her way. Leaving a trail of death and disaster in her wake, she earns the name the “Red Widow” for mysteriously surviving a home invasion that leaves both her husband and mother dead. With the police baffled and the public enraged, Meg breaks every rule in the bourgeois handbook and becomes the most notorious woman in Paris.

An unforgettable true account of sex, scandal, and murder, The Red Widow is the story of a woman determined to rise-at any cost.


Review:

Interesting, informative, and memorable!

The Red Widow is the compelling story detailing the life, actions, and scandals of Margeurite Steinheil, a woman whose desire, determination, and sexual prowess had her carousing with and engaging in some intimate relationships with some of the most influential people in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century but whose ultimate inability to tell the truth also led to her becoming the prime suspect in the unsolved double murder of her husband and mother.

The writing is crisp and precise. And the novel is a fascinating, well-researched tale of a crime with no quick, straightforward conclusion and a woman whose incredible ability to effortlessly lie and manipulate men, the system, and society may have even allowed her to get away with murder.

Overall, The Red Widow is a true crime novel that includes valuable, insightful data into a time and place plagued by elitist mentalities, inequality, prejudices, overindulgence, and a murder investigation riddled with inconsistent behaviours, retracted statements, and little to no concrete evidence.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Horowitz

Sarah Horowitz is Professor of History at W&L University in Virginia, where she is also head of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. She has a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley and has published in scholarly journals as well as the Washington Post. This is her second book.

Photo by Jen Fox.

#BookReview The Getaway by Emily March @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #EmilyMarch #TheGetaway #LakeintheClouds

#BookReview The Getaway by Emily March @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #EmilyMarch #TheGetaway #LakeintheClouds Title: The Getaway

Author: Emily March

Series: Lake in the Clouds #1

Published by: Forever on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Widowed young, Genevieve Prentice dedicated her life to raising her four children. Now, though, they’re all grown and scattered to the wind, and Genevieve is ready for a change. In a flash of inspiration, she puts her home on the market and heads to Lake in the Clouds, Colorado, to renovate a rustic waterfront lodge with her sister. But just as they begin, Genevieve gets the shock of a lifetime: the arrival of her son.

Jake Prentice built a career out of being dependable, one that left him perennially stressed and overworked. Finally heeding his mother’s words of wisdom, he’s quit his job and is ready to find out what truly makes him happy. And now, as he stands surrounded by open sky and fresh, pine-scented air, he’s got no regrets . . . until former colleague Tess Crenshaw appears at the lake, forcing him to reassess what—and who—he really wants.

As they work together to renovate the lodge, Genevieve and Jake embark on a heartfelt and inspiring journey to learn about themselves, each other, and the true meaning of family.


Review:

Absorbing, heartfelt, and sweet!

The Getaway is a heartwarming, compelling tale that takes you on a journey to Lake in the Clouds, Colorado, and into the lives of the middle-aged widow and mother of four, Genevieve and her oldest, overworked, most serious son Jake, as they discover together the importance of taking chances, accepting change, embracing the future and finding contentment.

The prose is light and amusing. The characters are complex, authentic, and supportive. And the plot is a beguiling tale about life, loss, family, determination, kindness, forgiveness, parenthood, tough love, self-discovery, happiness, romance, and the importance of moving on.

Overall, The Getaway is a tender, uplifting, nostalgic tale by March, complete with strong, endearing characters, a touching storyline, and an insightful look into the complex, unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emily March

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

#BookReview The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen @MeganBannen @orbitbooks #TheUndertakingofHartandMercy #MeganBannen #OrbitBooks

#BookReview The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen @MeganBannen @orbitbooks #TheUndertakingofHartandMercy #MeganBannen #OrbitBooks Title: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

Author: Megan Bannen

Published by: Orbit Books on Aug. 23, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Pages: 448

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Orbit Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other?


Review:

Heartwarming, humorous, and unique!

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a sweet, action-packed, enemies-to-lovers romance that takes you into the lives of Mercy Birdsall, a kindhearted undertaker who finds herself inadvertently attracted to an infuriatingly rude marshal while also falling for her anonymous pen pal, and Hart Ralston, the lonely, hardworking drudge slayer who longs for something more than just his job working day and night to protect the outside world from the magical creatures and devious souls of Tanria.

The writing is playful and tender. The characters are quirky, hesitant, and endearing. And the plot is an adventure-filled tale of life, loss, heartache, expectations, familial drama, mystique, chemistry, attraction, witty banter, humorous mishaps, supernatural characters, and love.

Overall, The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a creative, charming, uplifting tale by Bannen that I absolutely adored and was a true delight to read with its highly entertaining storyline and abundance of precious characters I couldn’t help but root for.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

Thank you to Orbit Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Megan Bannen

Megan Bannen is a former public librarian whose YA debut The Bird and the Blade was an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2018 pick, a Summer 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick, and a Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction of 2018 pick. While most of her professional career has been spent behind the reference desk, she has also sold luggage, written grants, collected a few graduate degrees from various Kansas universities, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and their two sons.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDen #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo

#BookReview The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDen #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo Title: The Wolf Den

Author: Elodie Harper

Series: Wolf Den Trilogy #1

Published by: Union Square & Co. on Mar. 29, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 488

Format: ARC, Paperback

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Sold by her impoverished mother. Enslaved in an infamous brothel in Pompeii. Determined to fight for her freedom at all costs. . . . Enter into the Wolf Den.

Amara was once the beloved daughter of a doctor in Greece, until her father’s sudden death plunged her mother into destitution. Now Amara is a slave and prostitute in Pompeii’s notorious Wolf Den brothel or lupanar, owned by a cruel and ruthless man. Intelligent and resourceful, she is forced to hide her true self. But her spirit is far from broken. Buoyed by the sisterhood she forges with the brothel’s other women, Amara finds solace in the laughter and hopes they all share. For the streets of the city are alive with opportunity—here, even the lowest-born slave can dream of a new beginning. But everything in Pompeii has a price. How much will Amara’s freedom cost her? The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.


Review:

Fascinating, raw, and alluring!

The Wolf Den is a captivating, immersive, tragic tale that takes you back to Southern Italy during A.D. 74 and to the life of Amara, the educated daughter of a doctor from Greece who, after being sold by her mother and ending up the slave of a barbaric pimp in Pompeii, is determined to do whatever it takes to regain her freedom, body and soul, once and for all.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are bold, ambitious, vulnerable, and shrewd. And the plot is an absorbing saga of all the hopes, fears, sacrifices, struggles, treachery and entangled relationships faced by one group of enslaved women.

The Wolf Den is, ultimately, a story about life, loss, love, politics, power, corruption, greed, riches, desires, sacrifice, friendship, savagery, abuse, violence, and early prostitution. It’s an atmospheric, compelling, insightful tale by Harper that does a beautiful job of highlighting her impressive research and considerable knowledge of the Roman city of Pompeii and the lifestyles, hardships, and treatment women most likely endured during that time.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Union Square & Co. for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elodie Harper

Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning short story writer. Her story 'Wild Swimming' won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, which was judged by Stephen King.

She is currently a reporter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. Her job as a journalist has seen her join one of the most secretive wings of the Church of Scientology and cover the far right hip hop scene in Berlin, as well as crime reporting in Norfolk where her first two novels were set – The Binding Song and The Death Knock.

Elodie studied Latin poetry both in the original and in translation as part of her English Literature degree at Oxford, instilling a lifelong interest in the ancient world. The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford @JamieFord @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JamieFord #TheManyDaughtersofAfongMoy

#BookReview The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford @JamieFord @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JamieFord #TheManyDaughtersofAfongMoy Title: The Many Daughters of Afong Moy

Author: Jamie Ford

Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 2, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The New York Times bestselling author of the “mesmerizing and evocative” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet returns with a powerful exploration of the love that binds one family across the generations.

Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.

As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.

Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.

As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.


Review:

Sentimental, thought-provoking, and memorable!

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an intriguing novel that takes you into the lives of seven generations of Moy women over a two hundred and fifty-year span, from Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to live on American soil, to Dorothy, a young woman determined to do whatever it takes, even experimental research, to discover the source of her distress and hallucinations in order to protect her daughter from suffering a similar fate.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are conflicted, fragile, and raw. And the plot told in a back-and-forth, past/future style is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, tragedy, mental illness, discrimination, self-discovery, desperation, heartbreak, self-preservation, anamnesis, and epigenetics.

Overall, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy made me think, made me feel, and resonated long after the final page. It’s a unique, emotional, absorbing tale by Ford that raises some interesting questions about what emotional trauma on top of our physical traits we may actually be inheriting as well as passing down.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Hoiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name Ford, thus confusing countless generations. His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and a one-eyed pug.

Photo by Eric Heidle.

#BookReview The Last Karankawas by Kimberly Garza @HenryHolt #TheLastKarankawas #KimberlyGarza #HenryHoltBooks

#BookReview The Last Karankawas by Kimberly Garza @HenryHolt #TheLastKarankawas #KimberlyGarza #HenryHoltBooks Title: The Last Karankawas

Author: Kimberly Garza

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Rating: 8/10

Welcome to Galveston, Texas. Population 50,241.

Carly Castillo has only ever known Albacore Avenue. Abandoned as a child by her Filipina mother and Mexican-American father, Carly returns each morning from her nursing shift to the house she shares with her grandmother, Magdalena. But when Magdalena slips into dementia, Carly begins to imagine a life elsewhere. Jess Rivera, her boyfriend and all-star shortstop turned seaman, treasures the salty, familiar island air. Years ago, he had a chance to leave Galveston for a bigger city with more possibilities. But he didn’t then, and he sure as hell won’t now. Deftly moving through these characters’ lives and those of the individuals who circle them—Mercedes, Jess’s undocumented cousin; Kristin, Magdalena’s daytime nurse; Luz, the wife of Carly’s best friend; Schafer, Jess’s coworker out on the gulf—Garza presents a mosaic depiction of everyday survival in Southern Texas. As word spreads of a storm gathering strength offshore, building into Hurricane Ike, they each must make a difficult decision: board up the windows and hunker down, or flee inland and abandon their hard-won home.

Unflinching, lyrical, and singular, The Last Karankawas is a portrait of America scarcely witnessed, where browning palm trees and oily waters mark the forefront of ecological change. It is a deeply imagined exploration of familial inheritance, human perseverance, and the histories we assign to ourselves, establishing Kimberly Garza as a brilliant new literary voice.


Review:

Compelling, absorbing, and complex!

The Last Karankawas is an intriguing, tender tale that sweeps you away to Galveston, Texas during 2008 as the city braces for Hurricane Ike and immerses you into the joy, heartbreak, struggles, and lives of multiple generations of people from the Filipino and Mexican communities, especially one young girl, Carly Castillo, who yearns to live anywhere else, even though her grandmother who raised her believes they are descendants of the Karankawa Indigenous tribe and thus naturally have strong ties to the land they inhabit.

The prose is expressive and smooth. The characters are multilayered, conflicted, and kind. And the plot told from multiple POVs is an affecting tale about life, loss, love, community, regrets, acceptance, forgiveness, familial drama, and friendship.

Overall, The Last Karankawas is a touching, astute, lovely debut by Garza that does a wonderful job of delving into all the messy emotional and psychological entanglements that exist between family members, friends, our histories and the places we call home.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Henry Holt and Company for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kimberly Garza

Kimberly Garza is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas, where she earned a PhD in 2019. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Creative Nonfiction, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. A native Texan—born in Galveston, raised in Uvalde—she is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Last Karankawas is her first novel.

#BookReview All the Lies They Did Not Tell by Pablo Trincia (translated by Elettra Pauletto) @pablotrincia @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #AlltheLiesTheyDidNotTell #PabloTrincia #AmazonCrossing #OTRPR

#BookReview All the Lies They Did Not Tell by Pablo Trincia (translated by Elettra Pauletto) @pablotrincia @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #AlltheLiesTheyDidNotTell #PabloTrincia #AmazonCrossing #OTRPR Title: All the Lies They Did Not Tell

Author: Pablo Trincia, Elettra Pauletto

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Aug. 1, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Nonfiction

Pages: 236

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 8/10

In 1997 a six-year-old boy questioned by authorities relayed disturbing stories of abuse. The more he talked, the more people were implicated in his shocking revelations. And he was only the first child to come forward. 

Within a year, in two towns of the Bassa region of Italy, fifteen more children with similar tales were taken from their families and transferred to protected locations. Their parents were accused of belonging to a sect of satanic pedophiles who performed nighttime rituals in cemeteries under the guidance of a well-known local priest, Don Giorgio Govoni. With each child’s confession, the network of monsters they described grew and involved fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles, and acquaintances.  

Except there were no adult witnesses and only circumstantial evidence. No one ever saw or heard anything. What was really happening in the Bassa Modenese? Italian investigative journalist Pablo Trincia returned to the scene of the crimes to find the answer. Together with his colleague Alessia Rafanelli, Trincia spent three years examining court records, interviewing experts and people involved, and visiting the places where the events took place. And the truth he uncovered is as terrifying as the lies. 

“I quickly realized that this was not a story about pedophilia or Satanism,” Trincia explains. “It was much bigger than that. It had to do with mass hysteria, false memories, the justice system, the foster care system and much more.”


Review:

Complex, disturbing, and dark!

All the Lies They Did Not Tell is the inconceivable, eye-opening investigation of one of the most horrifying miscarriages of justice to ever rock the country of Italy that started with the poorly substantiated testimony of torture, sexual abuse, and satanic violence from one young boy, Dario, and which quickly escalated into the removal of a multitude children from their homes, shattered families, imprisonments, suicides, acquittals, and a community forever shattered by fear and scandal.

The writing is detailed and precise. And the novel is an absorbing, compelling tale of one man’s dogged determination to uncover and expose the true story of the satanic panic of the late 1990s, known as “the Devils of the Bassa Modenese.”

Overall, All the Lies They Did Not Tell is a tragic, frightening, exceptionally well-researched novel by Trincia that is a scary reminder that things are not always as they seem and those in authority often coerce, act unprofessionally, make mistakes, see what they want to see, and intentionally or unintentionally, especially when it comes to children, fall prey to confirmation bias.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

      

 

 

Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elettra Pauletto

Elettra Pauletto translates from Italian and French into English. Her writing and translations have appeared in Harper’s, Guernica, and Quartz, while her book translations have spanned a range of subjects, including music, art, and narrative nonfiction. She earned her MFA in creative writing and translation from Columbia University and now divides her time between Italy and western Massachusetts.

About Pablo Trincia

Pablo Trincia has worked as an award-winning correspondent and writer for print media, TV, and the web. In 2017, he and his colleague Alessia Rafanelli wrote the podcast Veleno, a highly acclaimed investigative audio series released in eight episodes on repubblica.it. The investigation reopened the case of the Devils of the Bassa Modenese, one of the darkest and most controversial cases the Italian legal system has tackled in recent years.

 

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