Tuesday, February 20, 2024

THE ONLY LIGHT IN LONDON

MY THOUGHTS:

Sebastien is a Jewish journalist living in London in 1939.  As the war rages on across Germany people are rapidly losing hope.  Sebastien left his family in Germany and can’t make it through one day without thinking about the one’s he left behind.  Leaving his family was the only way he could keep them safe from the Nazis.  He sees a notice for a lodger but he is sure that knocking on the door will be just like all the others that turned him away.  But when the door opens and he is welcomed by Finley.  She rents him the room and he thinks there may be hope after all.  Sebastien knows that his time is short lived as he must join the fight in order to save not only his family but his homeland.  


The Only Light In London written by author Lily Graham is a wonderful, emotional and unputdownable novel.  Graham has proven to be an amazing author that pens well beyond her years.  I love the nuggets of history that she incorporates into her books that keep the pages flipping rapidly.  This World War 2 historical fiction is a well written and moving story.  My heart broke for Sebastien and the tough decisions he was forced to make in order for his family to survive.  This phenomenal story will have you reaching for the tissue box over and over again.  I loved everything about this fast-paced and heart-wrenching read that I highly recommend.  Definitely a favorite and unforgettable book.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
THE ONLY LIGHT IN LONDON
Author:  Lily Graham
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: February 20, 2024 
Pages: 292 
Buy on Amazon 

She took him in when no one else would. She didn’t expect to fall in love… 

London 1939. As war casts a dark shadow in his homeland Germany, journalist Sebastien wanders the grey fog-filled streets. His heart breaks as he remembers his hurried goodbye to his mother and sister. But even if everyone in London looks at him with suspicion in their eyes, he knows he made the right choice. It was the only way to keep his family safe from the Nazis hunting him…

When he sees a notice for a lodger in a pretty house on a cobbled street, he doesn’t allow hope to flare within him. He’s been rejected at every door he’s knocked on. But when 
Finley, with her warm brown eyes and sparkling smile, agrees to rent him the room, he allows himself to see a chink of light in the darkness. And as they grow closer over cups of cocoa in the cosy kitchen, love begins to develop.

Sebastien knows that he can’t stay hidden in Finley’s warmth forever though. He has to join the fight. It’s the only way to save his family and put a stop to the horrors in the country he once called home. When he leaves, they promise to keep their hope and love alive.

But Finley has something that she hasn’t been able to tell Sebastien; something that makes her life alone in the city all the more dangerous. And as the bombs rain down in London, and Sebastien risks his life in France, will she ever get the chance to share her secret with him?

ABOUT LILY GRAHAM

Lily Graham was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a journalist before turning to writing fiction full-time. She moved to the U.K. with her husband and their dog, Fudge, five years before – to be closer to her parents. Her family is of British decent.

She has written seven novels including the bestselling, The Paris Secret, The Island Villa, and recently The Child of Auschwitz, which has been translated into multiple languages. Her novels have been published worldwide and translated into multiple territories.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COVE

MY THOUGHTS:

Mary Turner longs for a “happily ever after” life in Sand Dollar Cove.  She is expecting her boyfriend to propose.  Of course her answer will be yes.  But when he returns to Sand Dollar Cove after being gone for four months, he returns married and his wife is pregnant.  Mary is devastated but decides to stay in Sand Dollar Cove and she is holding on to the hope that she will find true love one day.  Steven Clarke a new resident of the Cove, hires her to renovate the town’s historic movie theater.  Mary is excited to have something worthwhile to do.  An opportunity to make a difference in the town she loves.  While she is clearing out a storage room in the old theater she discovers an old photo album.  Flipping through the old pictures Mary sees a little girl that looks exactly like her.  But who could it be and what is the connection to Mary.  Mary must find the truth but is she willing to accept it?


Photographs from the Cove written by author Jennifer Bardsley is an amazing continuation to the Sand Dollar Cove Series.  I really enjoyed this story.  It was so great to return to the cove and feel the warmth of the sand under my feet and the sunshine on my face.  I love the characters in these books and I think Mary’s story is one that kept me guessing.  This story tugged at my heartstrings and I was cheering for Mary to find the answers she was searching for.  I loved this story and I highly recommend it.  


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COVE
Author:  Jennifer Bardsley
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: February 15, 2024
Pages: 369 
Buy on Amazon

The old cinema sits proud—but neglected—on the cove’s sun-bleached main street. Mary is determined to bring it back to its former glory, but when she discovers a crumbling photo album inside, one picture will change everything…

Mary Turner’s hopes of a happy life in beautiful Sand Dollar Cove come crashing down when her boyfriend leaves her. After her mother walked out when she was just a child, Aiden’s betrayal destroys the last shred of belief in love that Mary’s been clinging on to.

When the cove’s newest resident 
Steven Clarke hires her to renovate the town’s historic movie theater, Mary is scared of failing. But she dreams of bringing the fading theater back to its 1960s glamor. Plus, the more she works with the elusive Steven, the more she comes to like him and his striking good looks—against her better judgement…

As Mary’s confidence grows, her heart starts to reopen to the possibility of love. But then, hidden in the cinema’s storage room, Mary discovers a mysterious photo album containing pictures of a little girl who looks just like her. She can’t believe her eyes. How is Mary connected to this album and the cinema? And will the answers help to heal her broken heart?

Mary is willing to risk everything to learn the truth. But when she uncovers a secret that casts a shadow on her family, on Steven, and on Sand Dollar Cove, will the past haunt her forever?
 Or will she choose to believe in love and finally claim her happy ending?

ABOUT JENNIFER BARDSLEY

Jennifer Bardsley
 believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. A graduate of Stanford University, she lives in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband and two children. Bardsley’s column I Brake for Moms has appeared in the Everett Herald every week since 2012. She also writes young adult paranormal romance under the pen name Louise Cypress.  When Bardsley is not writing books or camping with her Girl Scout troop, you can find her walking from her house to the beach every chance she gets.

POSTCARDS FROM THE COVE

MY THOUGHTS:

Hannah Turner loves Sand Dollar Cove it has always made her feel at home, she finds comfort and solitude when she is there.  Sand Dollar Cove holds many memories of her past, with all the familiar places where she and her father would spend time together.  Her favorite place of all is the old, rundown cottage.  The cottage is going to be torn down, and all of the wonderful memories there will be demolished.  While clearing out the cottage in preparation of the cottage being torn down, she discovers a box of postcards.  She reads through the postcards she realizes that she isn’t the only one with fond memories of the cottage.  It breaks her heart to think about all the memories that will be lost forever once the cottage is demolished.


Postcards from the Cove written by author Jennifer Bardsley is a  wonderful and heart-warming novel.  Bardsley is a new author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style.  If you want to be transported to the beautiful shores of Sand Dollar Cove, this book will do just that.  The author does a great job of describing the sights, sounds and scents of the Cove, and you can feel the sand in between your toes.  This fast paced read hit all the feels and I really liked Hannah and Guy’s story.  This story tugged at my heartstrings from the first page to the last.  I am really excited about this new series and I can’t wait to dive in to Mary’s story.  I highly recommend this book.  


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

POSTCARDS FROM THE COVE
Author:  Jennifer Bardsley
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: February 15, 2024
Pages: 379 
Buy on Amazon

The little cottage sits atop the cove’s rugged cliffs, with its whitewashed walls and views of the deep blue sea. When Hannah discovers a jar of timeworn postcards hidden inside, will they lead to the fresh start she’s longing for? 

Hannah Turner has always lived in the historic and beautiful seaside resort of Sand Dollar Cove. Now grieving the loss of her father, Hannah finds comfort in the places that remind her of him, including one of the resort’s oldest cottages. Heartbroken that it’s due to be knocked down—taking her memories with it—Hannah’s heart leaps when she finds the old postcards concealed within.

Reading “I still believe in our happily ever after” on one of the cards, Hannah feels a pang for the happy ending her father never had. She can’t bear someone else’s precious memories being destroyed, so she traces the postcards’ owner to New York and sends them off—inspired by her discovery to finally seize the day.

After watching 
Guy—the resort’s handsome new trainer—charming their older guests, Hannah’s new attitude pushes her to give dating a chance for once. Hannah can’t resist gazing into Guy’s blue eyes as she shows him the delights of the cove. But just as she’s about to let him into her heart, she is stunned to find one of the postcards in Guy’s bag. Is Guy somehow connected to them? Is this why he came to town in the first place?

Hannah is devastated that Guy is hiding something, but can she keep her heart open to love? And when the postcards reveal a surprising link between Hannah and Guy’s pasts, 
will the truth bind them together or tear them apart for good?

ABOUT JENNIFER BARDSLEy

Jennifer Bardsley
 believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. A graduate of Stanford University, she lives in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband and two children. Bardsley’s column I Brake for Moms has appeared in the Everett Herald every week since 2012. She also writes young adult paranormal romance under the pen name Louise Cypress.  When Bardsley is not writing books or camping with her Girl Scout troop, you can find her walking from her house to the beach every chance she gets.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

THE GIRL ON THE BOAT

MY THOUGHTS:

The Nazi’s have taken over more areas of Germany, and so many families have been ripped apart.  Sophie Weiss is among the many that have lost everything.  Her only hope for survival is to escape and leave behind the homeland she once knew and loved.  She boards the SS St Louis destined for a bright future and a safer place to live.  While on board she meets fellow Jewish refugees and immediately befriends Rosa, Hannah and Rachel.  Then their worst fears surface when the SS St Louis is refused entry to the port.  Their fear is that if they can’t dock then they will be sent back to Germany.  Then Sophia finally receives news that a friend of her father’s will take her in, but she is the only one.  Sophia is devastated and heart broken knowing that she has to send her new friends back.  Hidden in the lining of her coat is a beautiful emerald that belonged to her late mother.  She gives each of the girls a piece of the beautiful gem with the promise to each other that they will meet in Paris as soon as the war comes to an end.


The Girl on the Boat written by author Kate Hewitt is a  phenomenal a novel.  I am a huge fan of author Kate Hewitt as she is an auto-buy author for me.  I loved the storyline and especially Sophia.  She had such a big heart and compassion for strangers that were in the same situation.  Rosa, Hannah and Rachel were equally lovable, they were so young and trusting of Sophia.  I was heartbroken and yet I was encouraged by the hope that they all had, the hope of the War ending and the hope of a better life afterwards.  Keep the tissue box close by because you will surely need it.  This unputdownable gem of a read is definitely a favorite of mine.  I loved everything about this story from cover to cover.  I was hooked from the very first page.  I was very happy to see that this the first installment of the new Emerald Sisters Series.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series.  I highly recommend this ten star read.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

THE GIRL ON THE BOAT
Author:  Kate Hewitt
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: February 8, 2024
Pages: 405 
Buy on Amazon

Germany, 1939: “Quickly, take this emerald. This was my late mother’s gem, and it will keep you safe. And I promise, we will all meet again in Paris…” 

When 
Sophie Weiss boards the SS St Louis, she has no reason to stay in Germany. The Nazis have taken everything from her, and her only hope is escape. But when she meets fellow Jewish refugees RosaHannah and Rachel on board, the friendship they form gives Sophie hope that there can be happiness in her future, after all.

But their worst fears are realized when the boat is refused entry at a port they thought would be safe. Terrified of being sent back to Europe, the women cling together and desperately wait for news. At last, word reaches the ship that a friend of Sophie’s father is willing to take her in — but there is only room for her.

Quickly, Sophie unpicks the lining of her coat, revealing her late mother’s emerald hidden in the lining. She hands a piece of the precious stone to each of her friends, and 
the women promise to meet in Paris when this nightmare is over.

Watching the 
SS St Louis grow smaller on the horizon, Sophie’s heart breaks. How can she embrace her freedom when those she loves face an unknown fate? And what can she do to help them? Gripping her emerald with a fierce determination, she fixes her eyes on the boat: I will find a way to help you, no matter what…

ABOUT KATE HEWITT

Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of many novels of women’s fiction, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea series set in the Lake District, the Willoughby Close a series set in the Cotswolds, and Tales From Goswell written as Katharine Swartz. Her novel A Mother’s Goodbye has been called ‘unputdownable’ and ‘the most emotional book I have ever read’ by readers. Her latest novel, Not My Daughter, is out now, and No Time to Say Goodbye is available for preorder.

She lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five young(ish) children, along with their two Golden Retrievers. Join her newsletter for monthly updates and giveaways on her website, or be part of her Facebook groups Kate’s Reads.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

THE PARIS SPY’S GIRL

MY THOUGHTS:

World War II rages on across Europe and has spilled over into Paris France. Christine is a member of the British Secret Service and is now in occupied Paris. Suzanne is the only agent who knows the top-secret details of D-Day.  When she is betrayed by someone deep in the spy network, she is devastated.  Christine pairs up with Charlie, and American spy, their mission is to reveal the traitor before it’s too late.


The Paris Spy’s Girl written by author Amanda Lees is a wonderful novel that is full of many plot twists and turns.  Just when you think you have the story figured out, something changes.  The details in the story were well thought out and conveyed to the reader.  This was wonderful story of courageous people that were willing to risk their own lives for their country.  A good read for all historical fiction fans.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


DESCRIPTION:


THE PARIS SPY’S GIRL
Author:  Amanda Lees 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date:  February 6, 2024
Pages: 348 
Buy on Amazon 

Paris, 1943. I stare at Charlie across the crowded room. Working deep undercover, we’re surrounded by Nazi high command. Slowly, he smiles at me and my breath catches. I have to trust him, or we’re both dead… 

As war rages across France, English exile 
Christine has become the most deadly asset the British Secret Service has in occupied Paris. But when Suzanne, her best friend and the sole agent who knows the details of the top-secret D-Day landings, is betrayed to the Nazis by someone at the heart of their spy network, she is devastated. Going undercover with Charlie – a handsome but elusive American spy with an agenda of his own – is her only chance to catch the traitor in their midst.

Pretending to be not only Nazi collaborators but lovers too, they must save Suzanne from almost certain death and prevent the D-Day landing plans from ending up in the wrong hands. But as Christine and Charlie’s pretend desire turns to true love, her past – and the real reason she had to leave England forever – puts their whole mission in terrible danger.

With the Nazis closing in and Suzanne’s life on the line, Christine is forced into one last, desperate act: heading back into deepest, darkest enemy territory, knowing her disguise could have been exposed. 
With even her trust in Charlie shaken, will Christine have to choose between her love for him, her best friend’s life, and freedom for France? And who will pay the ultimate sacrifice…?

ABOUT AMANDA LEES

She is the author of the bestselling satirical novels Selling Out and Secret Admirer (published by Pan) which have both received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages. Her major YA thriller trilogy, Kumari, Goddess of Gotham, was written as a tribute to her mum, who died a couple of months before Amanda got the idea for a series which would reflect her own exotic childhood. Kumari was nominated for the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Doncaster Book Award. It featured as Redhouse Book Of The Month and Lovereading4kids Book Of The Month. 


A broadcaster as well as an actress and novelist, Amanda appears regularly on BBC radio and LBC and was a contracted writer to the hit series Weekending on Radio 4. She researched and edited the leading directory for banks, The Banker’s Almanac, for Euromoney publications while also covering stories of shady dealings in the City for them. She has written for, or contributed to, The Evening Standard, The Times, New Woman, US Cosmopolitan, Bulgaria's Vagabond and Company Magazine as well as numerous online publications and has two non-fiction books published under a pen name. Amanda has conducted a love coaching phone-in from the sofa of Richard & Judy and wooed the viewers on Channel 5 Live. She won an award at the Hungarian Gyor Film Festival for a short film she produced, a psychological thriller called Pros and Cons. Her book, From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime, was published by Robinson/Little Brown in July 2020 to excellent reviews. It was published in the US by Ulysses Press in May 2021. She has just completed the first in a romantic thriller series set at the end of WW2. 

             Website | Twitter | Facebook Instagram Goodreads Amazon

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

TRUST THE STARS

MY THOUGHTS:

Olivia Garza is just a voice on the air waves.  She is an anonymous narrator of a docu-series that has gone viral.  With a camera in her hand, she is retracing her mother’s footsteps to discover the truth about her past.  Olivia has promised to reveal herself when she arrives at her last stop…Kenya.  When Prince Louis flees to Kenya after his heart is broken, he meets Olivia and she sounds very familiar to him.  He recognizes her voice from the document-series.    Olivia and Prince William become victims of the paparazzi when the cameras start to snap pictures of them.  She believes her dreams are crushed.  Then she is hired for yet another documentary about another royal, Princess Alessandra Appiani.  Alessandra risked her life and her family’s life to save Jewish children during World War II.  Olivia is faced with her own life changing decisions to make.  


Trust the Stars written by author Tricia Goyer is a wonderful time slip novel.  Goyer is amazing at taking the reader from where they are and transporting them to Kenya, Africa.  The awesome description of the sights and sounds makes you feel as if you are actually in Kenya.  I love the plot twist and turns of this story, especially with the time slip to Rome during World War II.  I also, thoroughly enjoyed the acts of faith demonstrated in this book.  This heart warming and inspiring story hits all the feels.  The characters are very enjoyable, and I loved each and every one of them.  This is a phenomenal story that needs to be added to your “to be read” pile.  Do not pass up this unforgettable and unputdownable read.  I highly recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of
TRUST THE STARS
Author:  Tricia Goyer 
Publisher: White Crown Publishing
Publication Date: December 12, 2023
Pages: 430
Buy on Amazon 

Olivia Garza, a woman committed to making a difference in the world, thrives in her unconventional, service-oriented life. By day, she helps troubled teens in inner-city Little Rock. By night, she creates a viral docu-series in an attempt to better understand her mother’s desperate decisions by retracing her steps with a camera. So far, Olivia has always been the anonymous narrator, but she’s promised to reveal herself in the last stop on her documentary: Kenya.

Prince Louis, heir to the throne of the small European kingdom of Alloria, is in Kenya to run away from a broken heart—and the media circus that comes with it. When he meets Olivia, he recognizes her voice right away from the docu-series that has stirred his heart. Though they share a magical day on safari, any dreams of happily ever after come crashing down with the flash of the paparazzi cameras when Olivia realizes that he represents everything she most despises in the world.

In World War II Rome, another royal, however, has her own life-changing choices to make. Princess Alessandra Appiani could have chosen quiet safety within the walls of the Vatican, but instead she risks her life—and her family—to save the Jewish children so in need of someone to show them the love of God.

When Olivia is hired to help create a documentary about Alessandra, learning about the sacrifice of a royal who goes from palace to prison forces her to face the hardest questions of all: Should she continue on the path she’s carved for herself or trust God to give her the future she never thought she wanted?

ABOUT TRICIA GOYER

Tricia Goyer, a passionate writer fueled by her love for God, family, and community, has authored over 90 books, spanning accurate historical fiction and inspiring nonfiction on family and parenting. As a USA Today Best-selling Author, she boasts accolades such as two Carol Awards, a Retailer’s Best Award, an ECPA Silver Medallion, and a Christy Award nomination.

Tricia’s writing isn’t just about telling stories. It’s also focused on imparting messages that foster faith and hope. Her vivid and heartwarming style allows readers to take away more than just engaging narratives.

In addition to her literary achievements, Tricia is a sought-after conference speaker, having graced platforms such as MomConRaising Generations, and Teach Them Diligently conferences. She’s been a guest on numerous national TV and radio programs.

Tricia hosts the Tricia Goyer Show on iTunes and other podcasting apps. She also co-hosts The Daily Bible Podcast with Michelle Hill. Through her various mediums, Tricia’s inspiring messages reach a broad audience.

Tricia leads a bustling life as a homeschooling mother of ten, a grandmother of many, and a devoted wife to John. Yet, she recognizes the importance of making every word count. Her work stands as a testament to her multifaceted talents and profound dedication.