Books

Book Review- Under a Gilded Moon by Joy Jordan-Lake

On the blog today I have a review for Under a Gilded Moon by Joy Jordan-Lake for Suzy Approved Book Tours!

About The Book: 

Release Date: December 1, 2020 Lake Union Publishing

Crawdads meets the Crawleys…Threaded through with a meticulously researched, well-crafted mystery, this is historical fiction at its best.” —Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

From the bestselling author of A Tangled Mercy comes an enthralling novel of secrets, a tumultuous war of ideas, and murder as classes collide in the shadow of Biltmore House.

Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty,” is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolizes the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow.

Kerry MacGregor’s future is derailed when, after two years in college in New York City, family obligations call her home to the beautiful Appalachians. She is determined to distance herself from the opulence she sees rising in the Blue Ridge Mountains, however close its reach. Her family’s land is among the last pieces required to complete the Biltmore Estate. But something more powerful than an ambitious Vanderbilt heir could change Kerry’s fate as, one by one, more outsiders descend on the changing landscape—a fugitive from Sicily, a reporter chasing a groundbreaking story, a debutante tainted by scandal, and a conservationist prepared to put anyone at risk to stoke the resentment of the locals.

As Kerry finds herself caught in a war between wealth and poverty, innocence and corruption, she must navigate not only her own pride and desperation to survive but also the temptations of fortune and the men who control it.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Under a Gilded Moon is a wonderfully crafted novel that is part historical fiction, party mystery, and ALL magnificence.

The author does an amazing job with her descriptive writing, especially of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At times I felt like I was in the mountains enjoying the beautiful views.

This book has everything, including romance.

The stark contrast between the haves and the have nots is evident and the research that the author did on this time period and the Biltmore House was obvious to this reader.

The characters are well crafted and fleshed out with a rich, well written story.

I very much enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

About the Author:


Joy Jordan-Lake is the author of eight books, including A Tangled Mercy, a #1 Amazon bestseller and also an Editors’ Choice recipient from the Historical Novel Society; Blue Hole Back Home, which won the Christy Award for First Novel; and the children’s book A Crazy-Much Love. Raised in the foothills of the Appalachians, she spent several summers in and around Asheville, North Carolina, where the Biltmore Estate is located. She continues to love the Blue Ridge Mountains and drags friends and family there with her whenever possible. Jordan-Lake holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in English and has taught literature and writing at several universities. Now living outside Nashville, she and her husband have two daughters, a son, and a ferocious ten-pound rescue pup. To learn more about the author and her work, visit www.joyjordanlake.com .

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review-Judge’s Girls by Sharina Harris

On the blog today I have a review of Judge’s Girls by Sharina Harris on book blogger tour for Suzy Approved Book Tours!

Release Date: October 27, 2020

Kensington Publishing Corporation

About The Book: 

”Written with powerful emotional honesty, warmth and humor, JUDGE’S GIRLS is a must-read.”

—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

Three very different women. Only one thing in common. But when their family patriarch dies and they must share his estate, the truths they discover will test them—and everything they think they know about each other.

Beloved Georgia judge Joseph Donaldson was known for his unshakable fairness, his hard-won fortune—and a scandalous second marriage to his much-younger white secretary. Now he’s left a will with a stunning provision. In order to collect their inheritance, his lawyer daughter Maya, her stepmother Jeanie, and Jeanie’s teen daughter, Ryder, must live together at the family lake house. Maya and Jeanie don’t exactly get along, but they reluctantly agree to try an uneasy peace for as long as it takes . . .

But fragile ex-beauty queen Jeanie doesn’t know who she is beyond being a judge’s wife—and drinking away her insecurities has her in a dangerous downward spiral. Fed up with her mother’s humiliating behavior, Ryder tries to become popular at school in all the wrong ways. And when Maya attempts to help, she puts her successful career and her shaky love life at risk. Now with trouble they didn’t see coming—and secrets they can no longer hide—these women must somehow find the courage to admit their mistakes, see each other for who they really are—and slowly, perhaps even joyfully, discover everything they could be.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Judge’s Girls by Sharina Harris tells the story of what happens when a center of a family passes away.

In Judge’s Girls, the judge was Judge Joseph Donaldson who was a fair Judge and respected by everyone in the community. The judge was a father to Maya and a husband to Jeannie and a stepfather to Ryder.

After he passes, its discovered that there is a caveat in the will that says that the three “girls” must live together for an entire year before they can inherit. The time frame for this book is that year.

The setting for the story is in the south, in Georgia. The story is told in multiple POV of each of the girls.

There are strong racial themes in this story. The Judge and his daughter Maya are black and Jeannie and Ryder are white. There are also themes of alcoholism, grief and family dynamics.

I absolutely LOVED this book. I mean LOVED. The author crafted complex, complicated yet well developed characters.

The dynamics of the family were well written. Amongst the serious tone, there were laugh out loud moments, I especially enjoyed the funeral scene.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves women’s fiction and stories that are diverse and real . This is a #ownvoices story not to be missed!

About the Author:

Sharina Harris, who also writes under the name Rina Gray, is the author of women’s fiction and contemporary romances. After earning her degree from Georgia State University, she first pursued a career in digital marketing and public relations before turning to writing. She is a Romance Slam Jam Debut Novelist of the Year nominee and her romances under the name Rina Gray were named Book Riot Must Read Romantic Comedies. An active member of RWA, she is the Director of Communications for the Georgia chapter of Romance Writers of America. When Sharina’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, yelling for her favorite NBA teams, and spending time with friends and family. Sharina resides in Atlanta with her husband and son. Visit her at www.SharinaHarris.com

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review-A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields

I am so thrilled to bring you my review for A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields on tour with Suzy Approved Book Tours!

About The Book:

Release Date: November 3, 2020

Lake Union Publishing

From the author of A Lily in the Light comes a poignant story of innocence lost and what it means to grow up too fast.

It’s 1965, and thirteen-year-old Gia, along with her older brother and cousins, are desperate to escape their sleepy, tree-lined neighborhood where nothing ever happens. The only thing Gia would miss is the surrounding marsh, where she feels at home among sea birds and salt water.

But when one of Gia’s cousins brings drugs into their neighborhood, it sets off a chain of events that quickly turn dangerous. Everyone will be caught in the ripples, and some may be swept away entirely. Gia is determined to keep herself and her family afloat while the world is turned upside down around her. Can she find a way to hold on to the life she was so eager to leave behind, or will she have to watch it all disappear beneath the marsh forever?

At turns heart-wrenching and hopeful, A Frenzy of Sparks explores a world where survival is the attempt to move forward while leaving pieces of your heart behind.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields is a wonderfully written coming of age story set in 1965.

The story follows Gia who is 13 years old . Her cousin gets caught up in selling drugs with some dangerous connections. Gia’s brother’s path brings changes to her family as a whole.

At its core, this is a story of addiction, which can be a hard topic to read. The author does a magnificent job of telling the story set in the 60’s. But really with addiction, when it comes to family dynamics and supporting someone with an addiction, not much has changed and the story is just as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.

This was an emotional read. The characters are well crafted and written with such heart that though the topic was difficult I loved reading it.

A story not to be missed!!!

About The Author: 

Kristin Fields grew up in Queens, which she likes to think of as a small town next to a big city. Fields studied writing at Hofstra University, where she received the Eugene Schneider Fiction Award. After college, Fields found herself working on a historic farm, teaching high school English, and designing museum education programs. She is currently leading an initiative to bring gardens to New York City public schools, where she lives with her husband. www.kristinfields.com

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review- Broadcast 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

I am thrilled to bring you my review for Broadcast 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

Release Date: 10/27/20 Kensington Publishing Company

About the Book:

In J.C. Eaton’s seventh Sophie Kimball Mystery, Sophie’s kooky mother, Harriet, is gearing up to become Arizona’s newest radio star as the host of the Booked 4 Murder Mystery Hour. But when she ends up broadcasting herself discovering a dead body live on air, it’s up to the reluctant sleuth Sophie to find the killer…

Phee’s mother Harriet is going to be a star! At least, that’s how the Sun City West retiree describes her chance to host a live radio program of her book club’s Booked 4 Murder Mystery Hour on Arizona’s KSCW. But instead of chatting about charming cozies, Harriet ends up screaming bloody murder over the airwaves after discovering the body of Howard Buell, the station’s programming director, in a closet–with a pair of sewing shears shoved into his chest.

The number one suspect is Howard’s ex-girlfriend Sylvia Strattlemeyer who believed she was going to host a sewing talk show before Harriet was offered the spot. But not only do the fingerprints found on the scissors not match Sylvia’s, they belong to a woman who passed away twenty years ago at the age of ninety-seven. Now, with the whole town on pins and needles, it’s up to Phee to stitch together enough clues from the past to uncover the identity of a killer in the present..

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Broadcast 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton is Book number Seven in the Sophie Kimball Mystery series.
This is such a fantastic series!

Sophie is employed by a private investigative agency as the accountant. Her romantic interest, Marshall is one of the investigators. The relationship between these two has evolved over the course of the series and I really like it.

Sophie’s mom Harriet is going to be on a radio station and she is excited to tell her daughter.


Once recording has begun, the program director is found dead. A second body shows up and Harriet is moving to the top of the suspect list and Phee (Sophie) is investigating to save her mom from jail.

There were two very well written mysteries in this book. A few twists and red herrings that were perfectly paced and plotted.

The characters are well developed, quirky and fun.

A little romance and humor and this is the perfect recipe for a fantastic cozy mystery.

HIGHLY recommend!

Learn more about the author at :

https://www.jceatonmysteries.com/

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Spotlight- Katherine Mansfield by Joanna Fitzpatrick

Click Image to Purchase Book on Amazon

Release Date: October 14, 2020

About the Book:

Like Colm Tóibín in THE MASTER, Joanna FitzPatrick captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. A woman who leaves her country, New Zealand, in the early 20th century to live in London alongside the Bloomsbury Group, driven to make her own mark amongst these literary giants.

She was succeeding with her ambitious plan, until on October 14th, her thirtieth birthday, when her doctors advised her to move to an open-air sanatorium, and quietly die in six months from tuberculosis; a degenerating disease that eventually blocked her writing, derailed her marriage, and fostered a growing dependency on her devoted caregiver, LM.

Beautiful and profoundly moving, KATHERINE MANSFIELD takes us on an inspirational, literary journey that explores the fear, loneliness and hope of a master storyteller compelled to risk anything in her urgent pursuit to write daringly innovative stories; cure her tuberculosis; and heal her withered soul. The emotional intensity of this journey is riveting.

About the Author:

JOANNA FITZPATRICK was raised in Hollywood, but now, when  not living in a 16th Century hameau in southern France, she and her husband, musician Jim Payne, and their son perch in the St. Lucia mountains above Carmel Valley, California.  FitzPatrick went from being a screenwriter, to an artist manager, to a record company CEO. She then took the proverbial road less traveled and returned to school to become an author: BA at Suny Purchase; MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. The 10th Anniversary Edition of her novel, KATHERINE MANSFIELD, based on the famous short story writer, is coming out on October 14.  JF is currently at work on her next novel, THE SKETCH BOX (She Writes Press). https://joannafitzpatrick.com/

 Book Blurbs:

“This book will delight all KM devotees, who will relish another chance to live through the extraordinary life of KM—a life which never ceases to fascinate and move . . .”—Dr. Gerri Kimber, Katherine Mansfield Society

“ . . . Particularly captivating are the conversations with the Bloomsbury crowd, especially the intimate discussions between Virginia Woolf and Mansfield.”  

—Francesca Baker, For Books’ Sake

“Thoroughly researched, FitzPatrick has recreated the life of Katherine Mansfield with all her troubles, failures, successes, and wildness.”—Mirella Patzer, History and Women

“A brilliant, beautifully written novel . . .” —Mel Ulm, The Reading Life

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review- The Anxiety Diaries by Dana Muwwakkil

On the blog today I am reviewing The Anxiety Diaries by Dana Muwwakkil for Suzy Approved Book Tours!

About the Book:

What will everybody think?

When I started this experiment at the beginning of 2019, to write every day, I simply thought I would be recording the mundane life of a mother, wife and struggling writer.

And yes, I considered the fact my family and friends and anybody else that reads this diary -my diary- would have access to my most intimate fears, hopes, thoughts, maybe even an embarrassing moment or two.

But who could have predicted that I would be providing a detailed account into my struggle with my mental health?

I had no idea that the anxiety that only ever played a minor role in my life would make its debut as the starring antagonist. Or that the obsessive thoughts and irrational fears that were always real to me would be given new life on the pages of my diary.

2019  turned out to be the worst year of my life and I can’t believe that I’m sharing this devastating journey with the world.

I came close to giving up, I made a near-fatal mistake and I spent too many moments terrified of my own thoughts.

But as nightmarish as that ordeal was, allowing readers to have a piece of my soul is even more frightening.

Publishing this book may be the bravest thing I’ve ever done.

This is my story.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Anxiety Diaries by Dana Muwwakkil is a compelling memoir. The book consists of diary entries for every single day of the year of 2019. The epistolary style of writing works really well in this memoir that focuses on the mental health and anxiety in particular of the author. The daily entries work very well because anyone that has anxiety knows that every day can be different.

On a personal note, I have struggled with anxiety my entire life and I really appreciate the author speaking her truth and as she states “with no regrets”. Her choice to take medication and go to therapy is a personal one . No one can make this decision for you.

I enjoyed reading this memoir. The writing is brave and authentic.

Highly recommend!

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review- Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

I am thrilled to bring you my review for Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger!

Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Park Row Books

From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies and deceit.

Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a TrainConfessions on the 7:45 is a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger is honestly one of the best books I have ever read.
This is a TWISTY read that I could not put down. The plot is precise and intricate with multiple characters. The story is told alternating between the past and the present.

Two women meet on a train and share secrets. The story alternates between the perspective of Selena and Martha.

This thriller has a story within a story! Not everything is as it seems and twist after twist is thrown at you. The characters are complex, complicated and so well fleshed out that they will leave you speechless.

The story is EVERYTHING you want in a thriller. You will be thrown off your reading chair in disbelief after reading this one!

Go out and get this book now!!!!

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review-Once Again by Catherine Wallace Hope

I am pleased to bring you my review for “Once Again” by Catherine Wallace Hope on tour for Suzy Approved Book Tours!

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Alcove Press

About The Book: 

An imaginative, emotional debut novel for fans of Ann Patchett about one woman’s fight to save her daughter from repeating a deadly fate.

What if you had one chance to save someone you lost? 

Isolated in the aftermath of tragedy, Erin Fullarton has felt barely alive since the loss of her young daughter, Korrie. She tries to mark the milestones her therapist suggests–like today, the 500th day without Korrie–but moving through grief is like swimming against a dark current. 

Her estranged husband, Zac, a brilliant astrophysicist, seems to be coping better. Lost in his work, he’s perfecting his model of a stunning cosmological phenomenon, one he predicts will occur today–an event so rare, it keeps him from being able to acknowledge Erin’s coinciding milestone. 

But when Erin receives a phone call from her daughter’s school, the same call she received five hundred days earlier when Korrie was still alive, Erin realizes something is happening. Or happening again. Struggling to understand the sudden shifts in time, she pieces together that the phenomenon Zac is tracking may have presented her with the gift of a lifetime: the chance to save her daughter. 

Unable to reach Zac or convince the authorities of what is happening, Erin is forced to find the answer on her own, Erin must battle to keep the past from repeating–or risk losing her daughter for good.

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Again is a captivating debut novel from Catherine Wallace Hope that I really enjoyed. What if you could go back in time to correct a devastating life altering event? Erin lost her 6 year old daughter Korrie 500 days ago. It’s been 18 months and she is understandably still grieving. That’s the thing about grief, it is fluid, not static. The story alternates between two timelines starting June 20, 2021 and ending with June 20, 2020. A reverse storytelling if you will and that alternating timeline was brilliant. Erin’s husband Zac is a astrophysicist that has been working on a special project which sets the course of events that gave Erin another chance to go back in time. This story has components of time travel, magical realism, sci-fi and so much more. I couldn’t put this book down, it was that good! I really was guessing until the very end. It was like a movie that played out in my head as the time was ticking down on the timeline.

About The Author:

Award-winner Catherine Wallace Hope grew up in Colorado, the setting for her thriller Once Again. She earned her degree in creative writing at the University of Colorado. She also delved into dance in New York and art and psychology in California. When she returned to Colorado, she became an instructor at the renowned Lighthouse Writers Workshop, offering creativity workshops for writers. Currently, she and her family are living on an island in the Pacific Northwest where they serve at the pleasure of two astonishingly spoiled dogs.

https://catherinewallacehope.com/

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review- The Silent Conspiracy by L.C. Shaw

Today on the blog I am bringing you my review of The Silent Conspiracy by L.C. Shaw for Suzy Approved Book Tours.

About The Book: 

Release Date: September 15, 2020

It’s been almost two years since investigative reporter Jack Logan and television producer Taylor Parks brought down the Institute—the secret facility responsible for indoctrinating a generation of America’s political and media power players. Their lives are just getting back to normal, and Jack and Taylor have settled into married life with their young son, Evan.

But soon a series of bizarre, seemingly random murder/suicides captures Jack’s attention as a disturbing pattern emerges. Could someone be intentionally causing people to become homicidal? At the same time, Taylor is producing a story about a class action suit against a national insurance company that has reached the Supreme Court.

As Jack and Taylor start to suspect that their stories are connected, they realize there is something far more insidious at play that could not only directly threaten them—but the very future of the country…

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

WOW! What a ride! The Silent Conspiracy by L.C. Shaw is the second book in the Jack Logan Series.


I very much enjoyed The Network and this book picks up where that left off. Jack and Taylor are a family unit with Evan. That peace does not last a hot second though.

There are a series of murder suicides that Jack is investigating as there is something quite off with them. At the same time Taylor is checking out an insurance company and some nefarious activities going on .

This is an EXCELLENT Thriller that pulled me right in. The characters are dynamic and well written. The mystery has multiple plot points that kept me flipping pages furiously.

Another winner from L.C. Shaw!

About The Author:

L. C. Shaw is the pen name of internationally bestselling author Lynne Constantine who also writes psychological thrillers with her sister as Liv Constantine. Her husband wonders if she is actually a spy, and never knows which name to call her. She loves to procrastinate by spending time on social media and, when stuck on a plot twist, has been known to run ideas by her silver Labrador and golden retriever who wish she would stop typing and play ball with them. Lynne has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her work has been translated into twenty-seven foreign languages.

Until the next Chapter,

Wilfrieda

Book Review-A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King

Today I am thrilled to bring you my review of A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King on tour for Suzy Approved Book Tours!

About the Book:

Release Date : September 22, 2020

From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes an emotional and sharply witty novel about how life’s unexpected detours can ultimately bring you home.

For twenty-six years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs. Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?

Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater. Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading man.

Just when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock. She’s pregnant at forty-nine. Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one more time?

Miss W’s Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King is an incredible story of women’s fiction.

Liz has been the wife of a pastor for over 26 years. When her husband suddenly passes away, Liz is grieving but there is also a sense of relief. No more duties in the church, all the committees and functions. She has a daughter Abigail who is a large part of this story and I love the mother daughter relationship and how the author portrays that.

On a whim , LIz starts with community theatre and while there she meets a man that she gets into a relationship with and ends up pregnant at 49 years old. This is such a poignant well written story that I devoured every word.

The author has an incredible way of writing family stories. I highly recommend this book.

About the Author:

Kerry Anne King is the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of Closer Home, I Wish You Happy, Whisper Me This, and Everything You Are. Licensed as both an RN and a mental-health counselor, she draws on her experience working in the medical and mental-health fields to explore themes of loss, grief, and transformation—but always with a dose of hope and humor. Kerry lives in a little house in the big woods of the Inland Northwest with her Viking, three cats, a dog, and a yard full of wild turkeys and deer. She also writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry Schafer. Visit Kerry at www.kerryanneking.com.

Until the next chapter,

Wilfrieda