Monday, July 4, 2022

by Eliza Knight
Publication: April 12, 2022
Publisher: William Morrow

About the Book:

1938: She was one of the six sparkling Mitford sisters, known for her stinging quips, stylish dress, and bright green eyes. But Nancy Mitford’s seemingly dazzling life was really one of turmoil: with a perpetually unfaithful and broke husband, two Nazi sympathizer sisters, and her hopes of motherhood dashed forever. With war imminent, Nancy finds respite by taking a job at the Heywood Hill Bookshop in Mayfair, hoping to make ends meet, and discovers a new life.

Present Day: When book curator Lucy St. Clair lands a gig working at Heywood Hill she can’t get on the plane fast enough. Not only can she start the healing process from the loss of her mother, it’s a dream come true to set foot in the legendary store. Doubly exciting: she brings with her a first edition of Nancy’s work, one with a somewhat mysterious inscription from the author. Soon, she discovers her life and Nancy’s are intertwined, and it all comes back to the little London bookshop—a place that changes the lives of two women from different eras in the most surprising ways.

USA Today bestselling author Eliza Knight brings together a brilliant dual-narrative story about Nancy Mitford—one of 1930s London’s hottest socialites, authors, and a member of the scandalous Mitford Sisters—and a modern American desperate for change, connected through time by a little London bookshop..

“An absolute must-read!”-—Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author The Last Bookshop in London


About the Author:
Photo by Andrea Grant Snider

Eliza Knight is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author. Her love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Novelists, Inc., and the creator of the popular historical blog, History Undressed. Knight lives in Maryland with her husband, three daughters, two dogs and a turtle.

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Book Spotlight | THE MAYFAIR BOOKSHOP by Eliza Knight

Friday, July 1, 2022

by Alex Kiester
Publication: June 28, 2022
Publisher:  Park Row

About the Book:

USA Today bestselling author Eliza Knight brings together a brilliant dual-narrative story about Nancy Mitford—one of 1930s London’s hottest socialites, authors, and a member of the scandalous Mitford Sisters—and a modern American desperate for change, connected through time by a little London bookshop.

A heartfelt debut that explores the complexity of a modern-day marriage when a new mother vanishes one morning and her husband must retrace events of their recent past to bring her home.

Love isn’t something that happens to you; it’s something you must choose every day.

From the moment Ben and June met in a hospital waiting room on New Year’s Eve, their love has seemed fated. Looking back at all the tiny, unlikely decisions that brought them together, it was easy to believe their relationship was special. But now, after several years of marriage, June is struggling as a new mom. At times, she wonders about the life she didn’t choose—what might have been if she hadn’t given up the lead role in a famous ballet to start a family. Feeling like a bad mom and more alone than ever, she writes to her deceased mother, hoping for a sign of what she should do next.

One morning, Ben wakes to the sound of his baby and quickly realizes that June is gone, along with her suitcase. As Ben attempts to piece together June’s disappearance, her new friends mention things he knows nothing about—a mysterious petition, June’s falling-out with another mom, her strange fixation on a Greek myth. The more Ben uncovers about June, the more he realizes how little he actually knows her. And now the only way to bring June home is to understand why she left.

Told through alternating perspectives of husband and wife, The Truth About Ben and June is a witty and wise page-turner about life’s many crossroads and a heartfelt reminder that we create our own destiny.

"This powerful novel takes an honest, unflinching look at the challenges of modern parenthood from both sides of a marriage."-Tracey Lange, New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans


About the Author:

After graduating from Rhodes College with a degree in creative writing, Alex worked as a copy editor for the Journal of the Texas House of Representatives, then as a book editor for a boutique publisher. She lives with her husband in Austin, TX, and when she’s not writing, she can be found reading in the bath, talking on the phone with her mom, taking long walks, curating pizza toppings, or getting distracted by the squirrels beyond the window at her writing desk.

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Book Spotlight | THE TRUTH ABOUT BEN AND JUNE by Alex Kiester

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Publication: March 29, 2022
Publisher: William Morrow

About the Book:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.

In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.

Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

"The Diamond Eye is sharply observed, multi-faceted and brilliantly alive—historical fiction at its best!" -Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

"A stunning, immersive tour de force by one of the best historical fiction writers working today. Meticulously researched, deftly plotted, and executed with a thrilling blend of action and heart, The Diamond Eye is a masterpiece." -Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars


About the Author:
©2018 Laura Jucha Photography

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, and The Rose Code. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

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Book Spotlight | THE DIAMOND EYE by Kate Quinn

Sunday, May 15, 2022

THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston
Publication: 7th June 2022 (US);
9th June 2022 (UK)
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

A twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin, for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Mask of Mirrors.

Never stake more than you can afford to lose.

When failed magician turned cardsharp Valen Quinol is given the chance to play in the Forbearance Game—the invitation-only tournament where players gamble with secrets—he can’t resist. Or refuse, for that matter, according to the petty gangster sponsoring his seat at the table. Valen beats the man he was sent to play, and wins the most valuable secret ever staked in the history of the tournament.

Now Valen and his motley crew are being hunted by thieves, gangsters, spies and wizards, all with their own reasons for wanting what’s in that envelope. It’s a game of nations where Valen doesn’t know all the rules or who all the players are, and can’t see all the moves. But he does know if the secret falls into the wrong hands, it could plunge the whole world into war…

Gambling is widely accepted in this book culture. With a mix of magic, sleight of hand, and cunning -the story focuses on a group of gambling hustlers caught up in a power struggle between two nations.

Hello. This is my stop for THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston Blog Tour.  hosted by  @TheWriteReads.

I think Livingstone did a good job researching about gambling and how to cheat. It’s very believable and educational for me. However, it was a challenge to put two and two together, at times, in this complicated plot. My main motivation is why and how could people put the fate of an independent nation on gambling. Gambling on secrets, to be exact. The main characters have the “Robin Hood and his Merrie Men” vibe, except they don’t give their winnings away (ha ha). The wordbuilding is intriguing, especially where people with money and influence can gain actual government power by funding public works and projects. It seems almost every major plot points here are morally flawed in the real world. In a way, it challenges the readers to withhold their ideals. Magic (not the wand-swishing kind) plays an important role in this multi-cultural world, and a seminary of magicians are highly revered. I’m sure fantasy readers who navigates towards con-artists and political affairs will enjoy this.


About the Author

Alex Livingston grew up in various quiet New England towns before moving to Buffalo, NY to study English at Canisius College. He writes SFF prose and interactive fiction. Alex is married and lives in an old house with his brilliant wife and a pile of aged videogame systems.

*Thanks to Rebellion Publishing and @TheWriteReads for the digital copy in exchange for this unbiased review.

Blog Tour | THE KNAVE OF SECRETS by Alex Livingston

Sunday, May 8, 2022

THE CARNIVAL OF ASH by Tom Beckerlegge
Publication: March 15th 2022
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Adult Literary Alternative History
Rating: ★★★★

Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter. 

 Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present. A war that threatens not only to destroy Cadenza but remove it from history altogether…

Set in an alternate reality, The Carnival of Ash tells the story of Cadenza, a city thriving with poetry, where the written word is a treasure and well-sought after commodity. Amidst the sudden death of its most fearsome governor Artifex Tommaso Cellini, grief and unrest are buzzing the streets and alleys of the City of Words.

Hello. This is my stop for the Ultimate Blog Tour of The Carnival of Ash, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

Adopting a beautiful Italian Renaissance landscape, the book is replete with evocative words and some intriguing characters. Berckerlegge employed a dozen cantos for chapters, taking in different perspectives and building the political panorama. The idea of ink maids is very new to me. This below-the-surface, sort of, life seems so repressing and liberating both at the same time. I enjoyed the winding stitches of the story plot and how this tapestry came together. And, I like how it was tightly woven, making the loss truly noted.

Dark, immersive, and delectable -surely recommended for those who love historical fiction and atypical social structure.


About the Author:

Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.

*Thanks to @TheWriteReads and Rebellion Publishing for the printed copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Blog Tour | THE CARNIVAL OF ASH by Tom Beckerlegge

Saturday, April 9, 2022

MAN DOWN by James Goodhand
Publication: 3rd March 2022
Publisher: Penguin

About the Book:

A man stands. A man fights. A man bleeds.

These are the first lessons you learn in a town where girls are objects, words are weak and fists do the talking.

Will's more at home in the classroom than the gym, and the most important woman in his life is his gran. So how can a boy who's always backed away from a fight become the hero who saves the day?

Because a disaster is coming. One that Will can prevent. But only if he learns the most important lesson of all: sometimes to step up, you have to man down.

A searingly powerful exploration of toxic masculinity, perfect for fans of Juno Dawson or They Both Die at the End.


"Wow. My mind is going 100 miles an hour now and I can’t stop thinking about it. What does it all mean?
You’ll have to read it to find out."
-I'm A Voracious Reader

"Powerful. Emotional. Compelling."-Brewtiful Fiction

About the Author:

James lives in Surrey with his wife and newborn son.

He took up writing three years ago. A mechanic by day, much of his work has been written at an oil-stained workbench whilst ignoring a queue of broken cars in need of his attention.

James is also a keen musician, regularly gigging as a rhythm & blues pianist.

James' debut YA novel, Last Lesson, tackling teen mental illness and toxic masculinity, was published in spring 2020 by Penguin Random House Children's.

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Book Spotlight | MAN DOWN by James Goodhand

Friday, March 18, 2022

QUEEN OF TILES by Hanna Alkaf
Publication: April 19th 2022
Publisher: Salaam Reads;
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.

We all know that Scrabble is incredibly fun. I can recall many great family nights playing this board game. However, I’m still surprised how this book picked me up from my overextended reading rut.

QUEEN OF TILES is filled with both excitement and mystery. The story follows Najwa while she reestablishes herself into the Scrabble world again, a year after her best friend’s shocking death. And this year, she is more than just eager to win the tournament. She is doing it for Trina. And when mysterious posts appear from Trina’s supposedly idle Instagram page, Najwa realizes that there’s more to Trina’s death than the authorities had assumed.

Wordy, nerdy, and well-thought, set in a fast-paced narrative, this book has all the elements to engage. Hanna Alkaf managed to write a crisp understanding of grief, of passion and determination, and of self-love tucked in a twisty mystery. I cannot wait for you to read this too.


About the Author:
Photograph (c) Azalia Suhaimi

Hanna Alkaf is the author of The Weight of Our Sky, The Girl and the Ghost, and Queen of the Tiles. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has spent most of her life working with words, both in fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the printed ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Book Review | QUEEN OF THE TILES by Hanna Alkaf

Monday, February 14, 2022

by Estelle Grace Tudor
Series: Through the Fairy Door
Publication: July 20th 2020
Publisher: Inlustris
Genre: Middle-Grade / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

One tiny discovery can have enormous consequences...

Almost 10-year-old Octavia Bloom is looking for adventure, but when it comes it's in the shape of a tiny fairy door.

Dragging her reluctant sister and cousins into the mystery, Octavia discovers her family are hiding not ONE but TWO life-changing secrets.

Why is her mother searching for an elusive flower? And does she have what it takes to reunite her fractured family?

Octavia's certain the answers lie behind the fairy door, if only she could just find the key...

Bravery, secrets & magic intertwine in this fantastical adventure.


I received this book to read and review as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organized by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website or twitter @bbnya_official.

The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!


If my daughter’s still a preteen, we would pore over this book and most likely gobble up the whole series in a few days too. Come to think of it, nothing is stopping us now to do exactly that.

Hi there. This is my stop for the OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY blog tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

Estelle Grace Tudor’s take on Fairy Land has all the elements of magic and heroes. She added layers and details, making this very enchanting and exciting. There are also elements of family and sibling connection, of love and bravery, of self-confidence and accepting trust. Seriously, this book is great for family reading time, and a huge source of encouragement. Tudor gave each character a unique identity and any child will instantly make an attachment. And, I don’t think there’s any child who would say no to blooming unicorns, talking animals for companions, and a fantastical adventure.

This story started with an unexpected door that magically appeared in an attic. A door that opens to endless possibilities and imagination. And I cannot wait to go back in.


About the Author:
When not searching the backs of wardrobes for Narnia, the bottom of the garden for fairies or exploring yet another Castle, Estelle can be found with her nose in a book or a pen in her hand.

Having previously worked at Cardiff Castle, she now writes full time while looking after her four children. She lives on the beautiful South Wales coast with her husband, children and crazy dog.

*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Blog Tour | OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY by Estelle Grace Tudor

Monday, October 25, 2021

THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman
Publication: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Project 613 Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…

Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.

In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.

With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death...even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.

The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.

A mute young Jewish boy, Uriel, was tasked to free the Angel Michael, face Samael’s challenges, while hiding among the Nazis. This is my stop for THE BOOK URIEL Blog Tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.

This story was told amidst the horrific events of the Shoah. While chaos and death rage throughout Poland, Elyse Hoffman, showed us a keen insight of the Jewish beliefs and practices. Through Uriel’s eyes and words, we get an exceptional view of their lives in minute details. The horrors of this time were told in a childlike, innocent manner, giving this story an intense impact.

I love the idea of stories within a story. And the blend of Angel Lore and history is so intriguing for me. Imagine a spiritual warfare causing human troubles and hostilities. Both Uriel and Uwe’s character are amiable, but I have to say that I admire how Hoffman presented the villains in this story too. In its core it shows that these are human beings who methodically and viciously harmed their fellow human beings. Oftentimes, it was painful to read, and yet, thought-provoking.

Reminiscent of The Book Thief and This Present Darkness, THE BOOK OF URIEL is a unique historical fiction about humanity and perseverance. I highly recommend it.


About the Author:

Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.

Stay up to date with: Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, and Goodreads.

*Thanks to @TheWriteReads and Project 613 Publishing for the digital copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Blog Tour | THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Welcome to my stop for THE MEETING POINT Ultimate Tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads.


Publication: September 2, 2021
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Genre: Romance
Rating: ★★★★★

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend's phone holds the directions to true love?

'Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend's phone?’

'He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I'm the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.'

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.

So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn't expecting a personalized itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more...

Maya loves giving people the happy ending they deserve. At least in her stories, that is. However, writing stories is a passion Maya has to file away while she hangs onto her relationship with David and struggle to keep her job writing for a magazine. So, when catastrophe hits work, Maya consoled herself that spending her birthday with David in San Francisco is the best thing. Only, it wasn’t…

There’s something, someone, much better.

L' amour, Ai, Liebe, Pag-ibig. I guess, LOVE in any language sounds the same –wonderful. So when people find it, everything seems beautiful. And without it, we sometimes lost our sense of wonder. It’s easy to relate to Maya – to feel her, to be her. I’m glad that Maya found her sense of wonder back at Carmel by the Sea. I’m glad she found the courage to fight off her flight instinct. I’m glad I read her story.

THE MEETING POINT is a story of taking a huge risk falling in love, with someone you have not met. Olivia Lara wrote a heartwarming story. She managed to keep the tight exciting plotlines together, while also keeping it simple and clean. Everyone and everything is absolutely charming. The characters are easy to absorb- fear, anger, and excitement -all their emotions are real to me. And by heavens, Ethan really upped the level on dating! Bearing in mind, Carmel by the Sea seems like a really enchanting place to fall in love. I also like how this story encourages self-discovery, fighting indecisiveness, and pursuing your passion.

Light and heartwarming, I absolutely recommend this book to every reader who needs an extra boost of excitement, encouragement, and wonder!


About the Author:

As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.

An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let's not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.

When she's not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.

SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.

Keep up with Olivia: twitter || instagram || facebook || blog

*Thanks to Aria Fiction for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Book Review | THE MEETING POINT by Olivia Lara