Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

#BookReview After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #AfterAliceFell #KimTaylorBlakemore

#BookReview After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #AfterAliceFell #KimTaylorBlakemore Title: After Alice Fell

Author: Kim Taylor Blakemore

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

Until she discovers the truth of her sister’s death, no one will rest in peace.

New Hampshire, 1865. Marion Abbott is summoned to Brawders House asylum to collect the body of her sister, Alice. She’d been found dead after falling four stories from a steep-pitched roof. Officially: an accident. Confidentially: suicide. But Marion believes a third option: murder.

Returning to her family home to stay with her brother and his second wife, the recently widowed Marion is expected to quiet her feelings of guilt and grief—to let go of the dead and embrace the living. But that’s not easy in this house full of haunting memories.

Just when the search for the truth seems hopeless, a stranger approaches Marion with chilling words: I saw her fall.

Now Marion is more determined than ever to find out what happened that night at Brawders, and why. With no one she can trust, Marion may risk her own life to uncover the secrets buried with Alice in the family plot.


Review:

Gritty, immersive, and haunting!

After Alice Fell is a sinister, historical thriller set in New Hampshire during 1865 that takes you into the life of Marion Abbott, a young woman determined to discover what really happened to her sister Alice at Brawders House, the local asylum, and prove once and for all that her sister didn’t commit suicide but was actually murdered.

The writing is atmospheric and eerie. The characters are tormented, insistent, and resourceful. And the plot is a taut, twisty, evocative tale rife with desperation, manipulation, abuse, familial dynamics, deviance, greed, jealousy, and murder.

Overall, After Alice Fell is a dark, engrossing, well-written tale by Kim Taylor Blakemore that does a wonderful job of highlighting the struggles and hardships of life at the end of the civil war, and reminds us of some of the unimaginable, horrific practices deemed appropriate treatments at that time for those considered to be mentally defective.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

About Kim Taylor Blakemore

Kim Taylor Blakemore is the author of the historical mysteries THE COMPANION and AFTER ALICE FELL (March 2021). Publishers Weekly calls The Companion a "captivating tale of psychological suspense."

Other novels include BOWERY GIRL a NYPL Best Reads for Teens; and CISSY FUNK, a Willa Literary Award winner for Best YA Novel.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Historical Novel Society. She and her family reside in the Pacific Northwest, and she loves the rain. Truly.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

  

#BookReview Hadley & Grace by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #Hadley&Grace #SuzanneRedfearn

#BookReview Hadley & Grace by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #Hadley&Grace #SuzanneRedfearn Title: Hadley & Grace

Author: Suzanne Redfearn

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Feb. 1, 2021

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 347

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The author of In an Instant delivers a heart-pounding and emotional roller-coaster ride of self-discovery in the tradition of Thelma and Louise.

Needing to escape her abusive marriage, Hadley flees with her two kids, knowing it might be her only chance. A woman who can’t even kill a spider, Hadley soon finds herself pushed to the limits as she fights to protect her family.

Grace, new mother of baby Miles, desperately wants to put her rough past behind her for good, but she finds it impossible when her path crosses with Hadley’s, and her quest for a new start quickly spirals out of control and turns into a terrifying flight for survival.

Stronger together than apart, the two find their fates inextricably entwined, and as the danger closes in, each must decide how much she is willing to risk for the other.

A powerful story of self-discovery, Hadley and Grace is the heart-racing tale of two women facing insurmountable odds, racing to stay one step ahead of the trouble that is chasing them, and discovering new kinds of love and family along the way.


Review:

Dramatic, impactful, and thought-provoking!

Hadley & Grace is a fast-paced, heart-pounding, thrilling novel that takes you into the life of an abused housewife and a disgruntled employee as coincidence and an unfortunate accident causes them to embark together on a wild ride of misfortune, chaos, and danger to escape their everyday lives.

The prose is eloquent and intense. The characters are multilayered, distressed, and impulsive. And the plot, reminiscent of the famous Ridley Scott film, Thelma and Louse, is an enthralling tale of life, love, loss, motherhood, family, guilt, acceptance, mayhem, abuse, persuasion, and survival.

Overall, Hadley & Grace is an alluring, empowering, entertaining romp by Redfearn full of heart, hope, and humour that does a wonderful job of delving into all the complex dynamics of relationships while highlighting the incredible power of friendship.

 

This book is available now. 

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance @MeganSChance @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #ASplendidRuin #MeganChance #LakeUnion

#BookReview A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance @MeganSChance @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #ASplendidRuin #MeganChance #LakeUnion Title: A Splendid Ruin

Author: Megan Chance

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Jan. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 348

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A spellbinding novel of dark family secrets and a young woman’s rise and revenge set against the backdrop of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The eve of destruction. After her mother’s death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn’t know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she’s welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle.

Initially overwhelmed by the opulence of her new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the shadows of the Sullivan mansion. Her glamorous cousin often disappears in the night. Her aunt wanders about in a laudanum fog. And a maid keeps hinting that May is in danger. Trapped by betrayal, madness, and murder, May stands to lose everything, including her freedom, at the hands of those she trusts most.

Then, on an early April morning, San Francisco comes tumbling down. Out of the smoldering ruins, May embarks on a harrowing road to reclaim what is hers. This tragic twist of fate, along with the help of an intrepid and charismatic journalist, puts vengeance within May’s reach. But will she take it?


Review:

Moving, mysterious, and rich!

A Splendid Ruin is the enigmatic, compelling tale set during the early 1900s that takes you into the life of May Kimble, a young woman who after losing her mother travels from Brooklyn to San Francisco to live with family she never knew existed, gets consumed by a life filled with opulence and indulgence, is the victim of malicious intent, and endeavours to seek revenge while the city and its citizens struggle to survive all the destruction and fire that rages around them.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, deception, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, friendship, survival, a touch of romance, and the great San Francisco earthquake.

Overall, A Splendid Ruin is an intriguing, absorbing, beautifully written tale by Chance that immerses you in another time and place and does a wonderful job of highlighting the lengths that one will go to for perceived power, societal acceptance, retribution, and survival.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Megan Chance

Megan Chance is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of several novels. Her novel Bone River was an Amazon Book of the Month, A Drop of Ink was an Editors' Choice of the Historical Novel Society, and An Inconvenient Wife was an IndieNext pick.

In addition to her historical fiction novels, Chance is the author of the young adult Fianna Trilogy, short stories, and eight historical romance novels. Her novels have been translated into several different languages.

She is also a popular workshop speaker whose speaking credits include the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Romance Writers of America National Conference, Edmonds Write on the Sound Conference, the Seattle Assistance League, Timberland Regional Libraries, and many others.

Chance was born in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Washington State as a girl. She graduated from Western Washington University. Megan lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview #BlogTour The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources Title: The Beauty of Broken Things

Author: Victoria Connelly

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Jun. 9, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 314

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?


Review:

Heartbreaking, hopeful, and absorbing!

The Beauty of Broken Things is a moving, sensitive tale set in the idyllic Suffolk countryside that takes us into the lives of Orla Kendrick and Luke Hansard, two strangers whose budding friendship helps them learn how to support, heal, grow, take chances, start anew, and grieve the tragedies they’ve each endured.

The prose is emotive and smooth. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and compassionate. And the plot is a captivating tale full of love, loss, family, tragedy, courage, community, contentment, anxiety, and unconditional friendship.

Overall, The Beauty of Broken Things is a pensive, tender, evocative tale by Connelly that reminds us that life can be unpredictable and full of curveballs, but it’s how we approach, handle and survive all these messy, complicated, highs-and-lows that truly make all the difference.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to Victoria Connelly and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.
She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

 

#BookReview Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde @cryanhyde @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #BraveGirlQuietGirl

#BookReview Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde @cryanhyde @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #BraveGirlQuietGirl Title: Brave Girl, Quiet Girl

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on May 19, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: Hardcover

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a gripping and emotional novel about friendship, motherhood, and the journey toward finding a place to call home.

Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.


Review:

Emotive, raw, and heartwarming!

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl is a pensive, heart-tugging novel about a divorced mother of a two-year-old, Brooke and a homeless, sixteen-year-old, molly as their worlds inadvertently collide when a carjacking leaves an infant stranded, alone, and in desperate need of protection.

The prose is clear and direct. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the plot told from alternating POVs is a gripping tale of family drama, unlikely friendships, poverty, homelessness, motherhood, compassion, honesty, survival, mental illness, and the often harsh realities of life.

Overall, Brave Girl, Quiet Girl is an astute, touching, compelling tale by Hyde that does a beautiful job of reminding us that family is not always those related by blood, but rather those that love, care, support, and accept us.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Catherine Ryan Hyde

I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveller, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg @SonjaYoerg @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #StoriesWeNeverTold

#BookReview Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg @SonjaYoerg @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #StoriesWeNeverTold Title: Stories We Never Told

Author: Sonja Yoerg

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on May 1, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 328

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Psychology professor Jackie Strelitz thought she was over her ex-lover and colleague, Harlan Crispin. Why should she care if Harlan springs a new “friend” on her? After all, Jackie has everything she ever wanted: a loving husband and a thriving career. Still, she can’t help but be curious about Harlan’s latest.

Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and young. Worse, she’s the new member of Jackie’s research team. For five years, Harlan enforced rules limiting his relationship with Jackie. With Nasira he’s breaking every single one. Why her?

Fixated by the couple, Jackie’s curiosity becomes an obsession. But she soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems, and that to her surprise—and peril—she may not be the only one who can’t let go.


Review:

Multilayered, tense, and guileful!

Stories We Never Told is a meticulous, chilling, domestic thriller that takes us into the life of Jackie Strelitz, an accomplished, intelligent woman who finds her life turned upside down when her ex-lover returns from a sabbatical with a new, younger girlfriend, her husband becomes more distant and her desire for a baby appears entirely one-sided, and someone suddenly seems extremely intent and determined to undermine and interfere with her research project at work.

The prose is intricate and raw. The characters are secretive, consumed, and vulnerable. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a compelling tale of life, loss, family, manipulation, obsession, deception, jealousy, mind games, violence, and murder.

Overall, Stories We Never Told is a clever, taut, menacing tale by Yoerg that highlights just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally exploited, and reminds us that even those closest to us often have deep, dark secrets they choose to hide.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Sonja Yoerg

I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, the daughter of a ski instructor. In my first incarnation, I was an animal behaviorist who studied learning in blue jays, hyenas and kangaroo rats. I wrote a book about that. Now I make stuff up.

I've published four novels; the most recent is TRUE PLACES, a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. Yeah, typing that makes me smile because reaching readers is the point, right? My next novel, STORIES WE NEVER TOLD, releases May 1, 2020.

When I'm not writing or pretending to be writing, I run, garden, cook, eat, drink wine, then run some more. My husband and I live in central Virginia with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's quiet and pretty, like Vermont.

Photo by Tamara Hattersly Photography.

#BookReview Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon @aharmon_author @AmazonPub #WheretheLostWander

#BookReview Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon @aharmon_author @AmazonPub #WheretheLostWander Title: Where the Lost Wander

Author: Amy Harmon

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 28, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 348

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

In this epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail, a family and their unlikely protector find their way through peril, uncertainty, and loss.

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.

But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.

When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually… make peace with who they are.


Review:

Enthralling, moving, and authentic!

Where the Lost Wander is an absorbing story that sweeps you away to 1853 and into the life of Naomi May, a young widow who along with her family embarks on a wagon train journey from St. Joseph, Missouri to California in the hopes of forming a new life. But the prairies are not easily passable, and between the landscape, the elements, disease, and Sioux warriors this adventure is fraught with danger and death from the outset and if not for the help and love of John “Two Feet” Lowry, a mule drive with a foot in both the white man and Pawnee world they would have had little hope for survival.

The writing is eloquent and vivid. The characters are resilient, devoted, and strong. And the plot is a harrowing tale about life, loss, hope, family, grief, culture, hardship, trust, violence, murder, and love.

Overall, Where the Lost Wander is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, personalities, and lives of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is indisputably one of my favourite novels of the year that reminds us of the rugged beauty of this land we call home and a lifestyle that was savage yet harmonic and respectful.

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written fourteen novels including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her fantasy novel, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Book of the Year finalist. Her newest release, What the Wind Knows, is an Amazon charts bestseller.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Dovetail by Karen McQuestion @KarenMcQuestion @AmazonPub @LUAuthors @ThomasAllenLTD #Dovetail

#BookReview Dovetail by Karen McQuestion @KarenMcQuestion @AmazonPub @LUAuthors @ThomasAllenLTD #Dovetail Title: Dovetail

Author: Karen McQuestion

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 10, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling author of Hello Love comes a spellbinding new novel of enduring love, family secrets, and mysterious death.

Joe Arneson’s ordinary life is upended by troubling dreams of himself as a different man in another place and time. It isn’t until he visits his estranged grandmother, Pearl, in her Wisconsin hometown that a startling connection emerges.

Drawn into his family’s past, Joe discovers secrets weighing on the old woman’s soul: the tragic death of her sister Alice a half century ago and its ripple effect on all who loved her. Digging into the events of that summer in 1916, Joe is convinced that his recurrent visions relate to Alice’s untimely passing and to the beloved man she meant to marry. With the help of Kathleen, a local woman Joe’s fallen for, the puzzles of the past start falling into place.

As uncovered truths bring Joe and Kathleen closer together, they also reveal a new danger. For Joe’s dreams may be a warning—from one star-crossed couple to another.


Review:

Pensive, heartwarming, and mysterious!

Dovetail is a captivating, moving tale that takes us into the life of Joe Arneson, a young man who after years of struggling with tormented dreams finally gets some closure and relief after moving to a new town, forging a relationship with a grandmother he never knew existed, embarking on a blossoming new relationship, and uncovering tragic memories and long-buried family secrets from the past.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are troubled, complex, and genuine. And the plot, alternating between timelines and told from multiple perspectives is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, family, guilt, grief, friendship, forgiveness, jealousy, obsession, and romance all interwoven with a thread of magical realism.

Overall, Dovetail is a compelling, thought-provoking, emotional novel by McQuestion that reminds us that often even the little choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and sometimes, perhaps, things are truly just fated to happen. 

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen McQuestion

Karen McQuestion is a bestselling author who writes for adults, teens, and kids. Some of her titles include Hello Love, Life on Hold, The Long Way Home, and the Edgewood series.

Her books have been translated into German, Spanish, Polish, Korean, Turkish, and Czech and are available internationally in English.

All told, her books have sold over a million copies.

Her publishing story has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and on NPR. She has also appeared on ABC’s World News Now and America This Morning. McQuestion lives with her family in Hartland, Wisconsin.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty Title: The Last Bathing Beauty

Author: Amy Sue Nathan

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.


Review:

Tender, nostalgic, and sentimental!

The Last Bathing Beauty is an absorbing, heartwarming tale that takes us to the shores of South Haven, Michigan during 1951 when Jewish summer camps in the Catskills of the Midwest were the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Betty Stern and her family would never be the same.

The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are authentic, vivacious, and sympathetic. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a delightful mix of summer fun, friendship, family, coming-of-age, secrets, heartbreak, forbidden love, familial expectations, and second chances.

Overall, The Last Bathing Beauty is a heartfelt, beguiling, charming tale by Nathan that not only reminds us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it but that love is truly ageless.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Amy Sue Nathan

Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty Title: This Terrible Beauty

Author: Katrin Schumann

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.


Review:

Captivating, pensive, and absorbing!

This Terrible Beauty is an intriguing, compelling tale that sweeps you away to East Germany following WWII when the country is still reeling with the aftermaths of war, and the new Soviet rule is causing repression, economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedom.

The prose is evocative and vivid. The characters are lonely, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a moving tale about war, loss, familial relationships, heartbreak, guilt, desperation, betrayal, resilience, courage, hope, forbidden love, and the importance of creative expression.

Overall, This Terrible Beauty is a beautifully written, poignant, nostalgic tale that is a lovely blend of historical facts, thought-provoking fiction, and intense emotion that reminds us of the enduring power of love and the self-sacrificing, unbreakable bonds between a mother and her child.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Katrin Schumann

Katrin is the Washington Post and Amazon Charts Bestselling author of "The Forgotten Hours." Her new novel, "This Terrible Beauty" is forthcoming on March 1, 2020. She studied languages at Oxford and journalism at Stanford, and is also the author of several nonfiction books. Katrin has been awarded fiction residencies from the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Currently the Program Coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar, she teaches writing at GrubStreet and was an instructor in PEN's Prison Writing program. She lives in Boston and Key West.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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