Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

#BookReview The Last Twelve Miles by Erika Robuck @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastTwelveMiles #ErikaRobuck #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Last Twelve Miles by Erika Robuck @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastTwelveMiles #ErikaRobuck #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Last Twelve Miles

Author: Erika Robuck

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jun. 4, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two real, brilliant women on opposite sides of the law, in a deadly game of cat and mouse…

1926. Washington, D.C.

The Coast Guard is losing the Prohibition Rum War, but they have a new, secret weapon to crack smuggler codes, intercept traffic, and destroy the rum trade one skiff at a time. That secret weapon is a 5’2″ mastermind in heels, who also happens to be a wife and mother: Mrs. Elizebeth Smith Friedman, one half of the husband-and-wife pair who invented cryptanalysis.

Bahamas

Cleo Lythogoe, The Bahama Queen, announces her retirement while regaling the thugs at the bar with tales of murder and mayhem on the high seas. Marie Waite, listening in, knows an opportunity when she hears it, and she wants the crown for herself so badly she can taste it. So begins Marie’s plan to rise as rumrunner royalty long enough to get her family in the black. But the more sophisticated her operation grows, the more she appears on the radar of the feds.

Meanwhile, Elizebeth is the only codebreaker battling scores of smugglers. Despite the strain of solving thousands of intercepted messages, traveling the country, and testifying in court, Elizabeth’s work becomes personal—especially when she discovers the identity of her premier adversary is the notorious Marie Waite.

From the glamorous world of D.C. Intelligence to the sultry shores of the Straits of Florida, The Last Twelve Miles is based on the true story of two women masterminds trying to outwit each other in a dangerous and fascinating high stakes game.


Review:

Fascinating, compelling, and fresh!

The Last Twelve Miles is an evocative, intriguing tale that sweeps you between Washington D.C. and the Bahamas during 1926 and into the lives of two women; Elizabeth Friedman, a talented codebreaker tasked with intercepting and deciphering messages to take down the most enterprising of smugglers, and Marie Waits, a mother of two who decides to take over the rum-running business from her husband and build it into something bigger and better than ever before.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are complex, intelligent, and driven. And the plot is a well-paced, entertaining mix of life, loss, love, justice, power, family, sacrifice, danger, corruption, politics, and ruthless ambition.

Overall, The Last Twelve Miles is an intricate, vivid, satisfying tale by Robuck inspired by real-life events that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an engaging tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Erika Robuck

Erika Robuck is the national bestselling author of historical fiction including SISTERS OF NIGHT AND FOG, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, and HEMINGWAY’S GIRL. Her articles have appeared in Writer Unboxed, Crime Reads, and Writer's Digest, and she has been named the Maryland Writer’s Association’s Notable Writer of April 2024.

A boating enthusiast, amateur historian, and teacher, she resides in Annapolis with her husband and three sons.

Photo by Nick Woodall.

#BookReview The Woman with No Name by Audrey Blake @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanWithNoName #AudreyBlake #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Woman with No Name by Audrey Blake @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanWithNoName #AudreyBlake #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Woman with No Name

Author: Audrey Blake

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Mar. 12, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

She’ll light the fire of resistance―but she may get burned…

1942. Though she survived the bomb that destroyed her home, Yvonne Rudellat’s life is over. She’s estranged from her husband, her daughter is busy with war work, and Yvonne―older, diminutive, overlooked―has lost all purpose. Until she’s offered a chance to remake herself entirely…

The war has taken a turn for the worse, and the men in charge are desperate. So, when Yvonne is recruited as Britain’s first female sabotage agent, expectations are low. But her tenacity, ability to go unnoticed, and aptitude for explosives set her apart. Soon enough she arrives in occupied France with a new identity, ready to set the Nazi regime ablaze.

But there are adversaries on all sides. As Yvonne becomes infamous as the nameless, unstoppable woman who burns the enemy at every turn, she realizes she may lose herself to the urgent needs of the cause…

Based on a true story, The Woman With No Name is a gripping story of secrets, spies, and the women behind the Resistance, from USA Today bestselling author Audrey Blake.


Review:

Inspiring, fascinating, and compelling!

The Woman With No Name is an intriguing, adventurous tale that takes you into the life of Yvonne Rudellat, a French mother living in London, who signs on as the first woman to endure the British SOE agent training so she can be sent to France to help the French resistance in any way she can with her extensive knowledge and expertise in explosives.

The prose is vivid and tense. The characters are vulnerable, resourceful, and courageous. And the plot, set in France during the early 1940s, is a moving tale about life, love, bravery, strength, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, loyalty, espionage, grit, determination, and survival.

Overall, The Woman With No Name is a wonderful blend of harrowing facts and engrossing fiction. It is a fast-paced, memorable, thrilling tale that does a lovely job of highlighting humanity’s ability to be selflessly heroic under even the direst, most horrific of circumstances.

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Audrey Blake

Audrey Blake has a split personality-because she is the creative alter ego of Regina Sirois and Jaima Fixsen, two authors who met online in a survivor style writing contest. They live 1500 miles apart, but both are prairie girls: Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada, and Regina from the wheat fields of Kansas. Both are addicted to history, words, and stories of redoubtable women, and agree that their friendship, better and longer lasting than any other prize, is proof that good things happen in this random, crazy universe.

#BookReview The Girls We Sent Away by Meagan Church @mchurchwriter @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlsWeSentAway #MeaganChurch #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Girls We Sent Away by Meagan Church @mchurchwriter @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlsWeSentAway #MeaganChurch #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Girls We Sent Away

Author: Meagan Church

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

A searing book club read for fans of Ellen Marie Wiseman and The Girls with No Names set in the Baby Scoop Era of 1960s and the women of a certain condition swept up in a dark history.

It’s the 1960s and Lorraine Delford has it all – an upstanding family, a perfect boyfriend, and a white picket fence home in North Carolina. Yet every time she looks through her father’s telescope, she dreams of the stars. It’s ambitious, but Lorraine has always been exceptional. 

But when this darling girl-next-door gets pregnant, she’s forced to learn firsthand the realities that keep women grounded.  To hide their daughter’s secret shame, the Delfords send Lorraine to a maternity home for wayward girls. But this is no safe haven – it’s a house with dark secrets and suffocating rules. And as Lorraine begins to piece together a new vision for her life, she must decide if she can fight against the powers that aim to take her child or submit to the rules of a society she once admired.

Powerful and affecting, The Girls We Sent Away is a timely novel that explores autonomy, belonging, and a quest for agency when the illusions of life-as-you-know-it fall away.


Review:

Touching, emotional, and compelling!

The Girls We Sent Away is an absorbing, moving tale set in North Carolina during the 1960s that takes you into the life of high school senior Lorraine Delford who, after falling for the charms of the boy she is confident she will marry, finds herself pregnant, alone, and sent by her parents to a home for wayward girls until she has delivered her child and had it adopted out regardless of any wishes of her own she may have.

The prose is sentimental and rich. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and brave. And the plot is a tender, captivating blend of life, loss, secrets, dreams, surprises, grief, heartbreak, family, friendship, and motherhood.

Overall, The Girls We Sent Away is a compassionate, enlightening, hopeful tale by Church inspired by real-life events that is a haunting reminder of all those women who were shamed, coerced, and unimaginably suffered in these types of institutions for way too many years.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Meagan Church

Meagan Church is the author of The Last Carolina Girl and The Girls We Sent Away. She writes to tell grounded stories that explore the complexity of human nature. Her historical fiction chronicles the plight and fight of unheard voices of the past. After receiving a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Meagan built a career as a storyteller and freelance writer for brands, blogs and organizations. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets.

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Queens of London

Author: Heather Webb

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 6, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Maybe women can have it all, as long as they’re willing to steal it.

1925. London. When Alice Diamond, AKA “Diamond Annie,” is elected the Queen of the Forty Elephants, she’s determined to take the all-girl gang to new heights. She’s ambitious, tough as nails, and a brilliant mastermind, with a plan to create a dynasty the likes of which no one has ever seen. Alice demands absolute loyalty from her “family”—it’s how she’s always kept the cops in line. Too bad she’s now the target for one of Britain’s first female policewomen.

Officer Lilian Wyles isn’t merely one of the first female detectives at Scotland Yard, she’s one of the best detectives on the force. Even so, she’ll have to win a big score to prove herself, to break free from the “women’s work” she’s been assigned. When she hears about the large-scale heist in the works to fund Alice’s new dynasty, she realizes she has the chance she’s been looking for—and the added bonus of putting Diamond Annie out of business permanently.

A tale of dark glamour and sisterhood, Queens of London is a look at Britain’s first female crime syndicate, the ever-shifting meaning of justice, and the way women claim their power by any means necessary, from USA Today bestselling author Heather Webb.


Review:

Immersive, charged, and gritty!

Queens of London is an engaging, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to London during 1925 and into the lives of a handful of women, including the notorious Diamond Annie, leader of the all-female crime gang, the Forty Elephants; Lilian Wyles, the first female CID officer at Scotland Yard; Hira, a young orphan determined to do whatever it takes to make it on the streets alone; and Dorothy, a somewhat naive young shop assistant who is almost too kind for her own good.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, driven, and engaging. And the plot is an intriguing, action-packed tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, secrets, manipulation, female friendships, determination, family, betrayal, moral dilemmas, well-planned heists, street crime, and the ins and outs of policing in the early twentieth century.

Overall, Queens of London is a wonderful blend of historical facts and compelling fiction that’s gripping, atmospheric, and perfect for anyone who loves to learn a little bit more about some of the most trailblazing women in history.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heather Webb

Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of seven historical novels. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to sixteen languages. She lives in New England with her family, a mischievous kitten, and one feisty rabbit.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Lost Van Gogh by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLostVanGogh #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Lost Van Gogh by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLostVanGogh #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Lost Van Gogh

Author: Jonathan Santlofer

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jan. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of the much-praised The Last Mona Lisa comes another thrilling story of masterpieces, masterminds, and mystery.

For years, there have been whispers that, before his death, Van Gogh completed a final self-portrait. Curators and art historians have savored this rumor, hoping it could illuminate some of the troubled artist’s many secrets, but even they have to concede that the missing painting is likely lost forever.

But when Luke Perrone, artist and great-grandson of the man who stole the Mona Lisa, and Alexis Verde, daughter of a notorious art thief, discover what may be the missing portrait, they are drawn into a most epic art puzzles. When only days later the painting disappears again, they are reunited with INTERPOL agent John Washington Smith in a dangerous and deadly search that will not only expose secrets of the artist’s last days but draws them into one of history’s darkest eras.

Beneath the paint and canvas, beneath the beauty and the legend, the artwork has become linked with something evil, something that continues to flourish on the dark web and on the shadiest corridors of the underground art world.


Review:

Intriguing, mysterious, and fast-paced!

The Lost Van Gogh is a rich, ominous tale that takes us into the life of Alex Verde and her boyfriend Luke Perrone who, after purchasing a seemingly unknown painting at a nearby market, find their lives turned upside down when it’s quickly discovered that it may actually be a lost Van Gogh that more than one person is willing to do whatever it takes, even kill, to get their hands on it.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are relentless, driven, and clever. And the plot, told in alternating POVs, is a menacing tale full of life, loss, secrets, deception, lies, greed, peril, intrigue, and the complex world of art.

Overall, The Lost Van Gogh is an absorbing, pacey, dramatic tale by Santlofer with just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it another satisfying, highly entertaining read for lovers of both art and this genre.

 

This book is available now. 

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Jonathan Santlofer

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, THE DEATH ARTIST, was an international bestseller translated into 17 languages, a People Magazine "Page-Turner of the Week" and is currently in development at Fox, along with his second and third novels. His fourth novel, ANATOMY OF FEAR, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy as The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has been making replications of famous paintings for wealthy clients for more than 20 years.

Photo by Clarke Tolton.

#BookReview Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #LastNightattheHollywoodCanteen #SarahJames #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #LastNightattheHollywoodCanteen #SarahJames #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen

Author: Sarah James

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

Perhaps the best place in 1943 Hollywood to see the stars is the Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen staffed exclusively by those in show business. Murder mystery playwright Annie Laurence, new in town after a devastating breakup, definitely hopes to rub elbows with the right stars. Maybe then she can get her movie made.

But Hollywood proves to be more than tinsel and glamour. When despised film critic Fiona Farris is found dead in the Canteen kitchen, Annie realizes any one of the Canteen’s luminous volunteers could be guilty of the crime. To catch the killer, Annie falls in with Fiona’s friends, a bitter and cynical group―each as uniquely unhappy in their life and career as Annie is in hers―that call themselves the Ambassador’s Club.

Solving a murder in real life, it turns out, is a lot harder than writing one for the stage. And by involving herself in the secrets and lies of the Ambassador’s Club, Annie just might have put a target on her own back.


Review:

Tense, suspenseful, and fun!

Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen is a scheming, twisty whodunit that sweeps you away to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age and into the life of Annie Laurence, a New York playwright who, after a devastating breakup and the end of her show, heads to LA to start a new life writing for the movies only to find herself quickly in a world of trouble when one of her new friends, a famous critic who seems to have had a little bit of dirt on everyone is found murdered and everybody seems to have had at least one reason to want her dead.

The writing is witty and tight. The characters are ambitious, self-obsessed, and vulnerable. And the plot is an enticing mix of lies, secrets, drama, duplicity, manipulation, mayhem, substance abuse, movie-making, amateur sleuthing, and murder.

Overall, Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen is a menacing, nostalgic, highly entertaining tale by James that is the perfect choice for fans of 1940s Tinseltown mysteries that have an abundance of quirky characters, Hollywood legends, and straight-up detective work.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah James

Sarah James is the author of twisty homefront historical mysteries. Her debut novel THE WOMAN WITH TWO SHADOWS was an international best-seller. Her second novel, LAST NIGHT AT THE HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks.

In addition to writing historical fiction, Sarah is a humor writer and editor of Slackjaw, Medium's largest humor publication. She has also contributed to Baseball Prospectus, Reductress, Pittsburgh City Paper, CrimeReads, and more.

Sarah is a graduate of the USC MFA Writing for Screen and Television program, and received a BA in American Studies from Fordham University. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Lucille.

Photo: Matt Mahaffey

#BookReview The Woman with a Purple Heart by Diane Hanks @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanwithaPurpleHeart #DianeHanks #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Woman with a Purple Heart by Diane Hanks @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanwithaPurpleHeart #DianeHanks #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Woman with a Purple Heart

Author: Diane Hanks

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Based on the real life of Lieutenant Annie Fox, Chief Nurse of Hickam Hospital, The Woman with a Purple Heart is an inspiring WWII novel of heroic leadership, courage, and friendship that also exposes a shocking and shameful side of history.

Annie Fox will stop at nothing to serve her country. But what happens when her country fails her? In November 1941, Annie Fox, an Army nurse, is transferred to Hickam Field, an air force base in Honolulu. The others on her transport plane are thrilled to work in paradise, but Annie sees her new duty station as the Army’s way of holding the door open to her retirement. But serving her country is her calling and she will go wherever she is told. On December 7, Annie’s on her way to work when the first Japanese Zero fighter plane flies low over Hickam’s Parade Ground.

The death and destruction that follow leave her no time to process what’s happening. She rallies her nurses, and they work to save as many lives as they can. But soon their small hospital is overwhelmed. Annie drives into Honolulu to gather supplies, nurses, and several women who will donate blood. However, the nurses are Japanese Americans, and the blood donors are prostitutes.

Under Annie’s leadership and working together in unexpected ways, they make it through that horrific day, when one of the Japanese American nurses and Annie’s friend, Kay, is arrested as a suspected subversive. As Hickam tries to recover, Annie works to find her friend and return Kay to her family. But Annie’s love for her country is put to the test. How can she reconcile the American bravery and resilience she saw on December 7 with the prejudice and injustice she witnesses just a few months later?


Review:

Poignant, informative, and incredibly absorbing!

The Woman with a Purple Heart is an intriguing tale that sweeps you away to the shores of Oahu and immerses you into the life of seasoned U.S. Army Nurse Corps Lieutenant Annie Fox as her knowledge, heart, strength, compassion and skills are all tested to the max when the Japanese unexpectedly rage war on Hickam Field and Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are complex, resilient, genuine, and endearing. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a captivating tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, secrets, betrayal, friendship, courage, determination, self-discovery, forced incarceration, racial prejudice, and the devastating consequences of war.

Overall, The Woman with a Purple Heart is an atmospheric, evocative, beautifully written novel by Hanks about a remarkable woman that grabs you from the very first page and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts with fiction that’s both moving and wonderfully captivating.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Diane Hanks

Diane Hanks has a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and an MA in Professional Writing & Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. A medical writer by day, she has written numerous screenplays and recently returned to her first love—writing novels. Diane also is a mentor for the Writers Guild Initiative, which makes the art of storytelling accessible to underserved populations. When not writing, she enjoys walking by the river near her home.

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Hold My Girl

Author: Charlene Carr

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two women. Two eggs. One life-changing switch.

Katherine finally has it all. She’s spent her entire life striving for perfection―obsessing over her spotless home, maintaining her pristine reputation, building her perfect family―and her hard work has finally paid off. After seven difficult years of trying (and failing) to conceive, Katherine gives birth to Rose, her IVF miracle child, and at last has the one thing she’s wanted most of all. But one thing isn’t quite perfect. Rose’s pale skin doesn’t match Katherine’s complexion, and an irritating doubt begins to grow in Katherine’s mind.

Tess never got the happy ending she wanted. She underwent IVF at the same clinic as Katherine, but after finally conceiving, Tess’s daughter was stillborn. Now, nearly two years later, she’s approaching rock bottom. Consumed by her grief and without hope for the future, Tess is divorced, broke, and stuck in a dead-end job beneath her skillset. But shortly before Rose’s first birthday, Katherine and Tess get a call from the fertility clinic. Their eggs were switched.

As Katherine’s carefully planned life begins to crumble around her, Tess finally sees the glimmer of hope she needed to get her life back on track. Motherhood has always been their dream, and neither woman is prepared to share that claim over Rose. It will take a tense custody battle to decide who deserves to be Rose’s mother, but it will also push them to the brink.

With themes of racial identity, loss, and betrayal, Hold My Girl is an emotional novel that will leave you What makes a mother?


Review:

Insightful, thought-provoking, and sensitive!

Hold My Girl is a compassionate, moving novel that introduces us to two young women, Katherine and Tess, as they navigate the torment and fallout of their eggs being secretly switched at an IVF clinic, resulting in one mother being ecstatic to finally be the mother she’s always wanted to be and another mother grieving the loss of her baby girl until the truth comes out and each woman has to navigate the emotional, psychological, and legal upheaval of being the birth mother versus the biological one.

The prose is sincere and rich. The characters are vulnerable, multilayered, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, grief, motherhood, interracial families, and infertility.

Overall, Hold My Girl is a fresh, pensive, emotional tale by Carr bursting with heart, hope, and healing that immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully invested.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Charlene Carr

CHARLENE CARR spent much of her childhood creating elaborate, multi-faceted storylines for her dolls and reading under the blankets with a flashlight when she was supposed to be asleep. A bit of a nomad, she’s lived in four countries and seven Canadian provinces. After working an array of mostly writing related jobs, she decided the time had come to focus exclusively on her true love—novel writing. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter. Hold My Girl is her tenth novel, and she recently received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to revise her next novel.

#BookReview The Woman at the Wheel by Penny Haw @PennyHaw @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanattheWheel #PennyHaw #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Woman at the Wheel by Penny Haw @PennyHaw @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWomanattheWheel #PennyHaw #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Woman at the Wheel

Author: Penny Haw

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspiring historical fiction based on the real life of Bertha Benz, whose husband built the first prototype automobile, which eventually evolved into the Mercedes-Benz marque.

“Unfortunately, only a girl again.”

From a young age, Cäcilie Bertha Ringer is fascinated by her father’s work as a master builder in Pforzheim, Germany. But those five words, which he wrote next to her name in the family Bible, haunt Bertha.

Years later, Bertha meets Carl Benz and falls in love—with him and his extraordinary dream of building a horseless carriage. Bertha has such faith in him that she invests her dowry in his plans, a dicey move since they alone believe in the machine. When Carl’s partners threaten to withdraw their support, he’s ready to cut ties. Bertha knows the decision would ruin everything. Ignoring the cynics, she takes matters into her own hands, secretly planning a scheme that will either hasten the family’s passage to absolute derision or prove their genius. What Bertha doesn’t know is that Carl is on the cusp of making a deal with their nemesis. She’s not only risking her marriage and their life’s work, but is also up against the patriarchy, Carl’s own self-doubt, and the clock.

Like so many other women, Bertha lived largely in her husband’s shadow, but her contributions are now celebrated in this inspiring story of perseverance, resilience, and love.


Review:

Fascinating, compelling, and descriptive!

The Woman at the Wheel is an insightful, immersive tale that sweeps you away to Germany in the late 1800s and into the life of Cäcilie Bertha Ringer, a young woman ahead of her time who not only supported and encouraged her engineer husband, Carl Benz, who was determined to create the first horseless carriage but was also the first person to ever drive a vehicle powered by a gas engine long distance when she travelled with two of her sons to her hometown over hundred kilometres away.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are driven, supportive, and engaging. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, hope, scepticism, innovation, family, sacrifices, struggles, and successes, as well as the intricacies involved in building an internal-combustion-engine vehicle in the late 19th century.

Overall, The Woman at the Wheel is an alluring, inspirational, well-written tale by Haw that does a beautiful job of highlighting her considerable research and knowledge into this impressive woman I previously knew little to nothing about and her role in developing such an engineering feat that it is still the most commonly used method of transportation today.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Penny Haw

Penny Haw worked as a journalist and columnist for more than three decades, writing for many leading South African newspapers and magazines before yielding to a lifelong yearning to create fiction. Her stories feature remarkable women, illustrate her love for nature, and explore the interconnectedness of all living things. The Invincible Miss Cust is Penny’s debut historical fiction. She lives near Cape Town with her husband and three dogs, all of whom are well-walked.

#BookReview One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley @EmilyMCritchley @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #OnePuzzlingAfternoon #EmilyCritchley #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley @EmilyMCritchley @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #OnePuzzlingAfternoon #EmilyCritchley #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: One Puzzling Afternoon

Author: Emily Critchley

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 350

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 10/10

A mystery she can’t remember. A friend she can’t forget.

I kept your secret Lucy. I’ve kept it for more than sixty years . . .

It is 1951, and at number six Sycamore Street fifteen-year-old Edie Green is lonely. Living alone with her eccentric mother – who conducts seances for the local Ludthorpe community – she is desperate for something to shake her from her dull, isolated life.

When the popular, pretty Lucy Theddle befriends Edie, she thinks all her troubles are over. But Lucy has a secret, one Edie is not certain she should keep . . .

Then Lucy goes missing.

2018. Edie is eighty-four and still living in Ludthorpe. When one day she glimpses Lucy Theddle, still looking the same as she did at fifteen, her family write it off as one of her many mix ups. There’s a lot Edie gets confused about these days. A lot she finds difficult to remember. But what she does know is this: she must find out what happened to Lucy, all those years ago . . .


Review:

Absorbing, mysterious, and heartfelt!

One Puzzling Afternoon is a heartwarming, captivating tale that takes you into the life of Edie Green, an eighty-two-year-old woman who, although struggling with a mind that is quickly losing the present while scattering the past, is determined to do whatever she can to piece those memories together before they’re gone for good to find her beloved friend whom she glimpsed only the other day but who actually hasn’t been seen since she disappeared almost seventy years ago.

The prose is evocative and warm. The characters are troubled, genuine, and endearing. And the plot, told in a past/present style, is a delightfully affecting tale about life, love, loss, family, friendship, deception, tragedy, community, dementia, and secrets.

Overall, One Puzzling Afternoon is a compelling, tender, lovely tale by Critchley that I absolutely adored and which did a beautiful job of reminding us that sharing, capturing, and remembering all those special moments in time, good or bad, is truly what life is all about.

 

This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emily Critchley

Emily Critchley grew up in Essex and has lived in Brighton and London, where she worked in one of London’s biggest bookshops. She has an MA with in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. She lives in Hertfordshire.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.