Friday, February 19, 2016

Trusting the Currents by Lynnda Pollio

I interviewed B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Lynnda Pollio about her story, Trusting the Currents. Her story is multi-layered. The first is the story itself, of a teenage black girl in the late 30’s/early 40s rural South, the second are inspirational life messages woven through her story. And the third is an energetic frequency that helps to bring the reader deep into their own heart and story while they read about Addie Mae. I asked Lynnda to give a little background of what life was like for Addie Mae in the 1930’s rural south and why she wrote this story. As a Southerner myself, I am really interested in this period in southern history and the journey of self-discovery the characters take. Really fascinating interview.

Read the interview here

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I've Got My Eye On You!

I came across this authors work through via social media when someone posted about this website: Historical Festival on Facebook. I cannot remember who. Anyhow, interesting website and a list of lots of authors to check out. This book really stood out to me and I will be keeping my eye on it! Who knows, I might even read it in the foreseeable future.

Police-procedural murder mystery that enters the lists of historical crime with shock and suspense. 
Eight days in spring, 1735: a race against crime. 

When a handsome young man is shot dead on an estate in the picturesque Champagne region of France, Victor Constant, military policeman, determines to find out why. But no one else, including the local magistrate, seems willing to penetrate the mystery of this brutal death. Alone and against orders, Victor confronts the notorious free-thinker, Voltaire, who found the body. Victor fights to protect the innocent and bring the real killer to justice. A second murder occurs and Victor's task becomes doubly dangerous: unless he can strip bare the conspiracy behind this intricate series of crimes, he stands to lose his military career--and his life. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

How cool is this?! I've received a galley copy of, The Madwoman Upstairs from NetGalley and I totally forgot Simon & Schuster was sending me a hard copy! It just came in the mail! So excited! *Doing the happy dance! * Looking forward to reading it! 

In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family's long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she's rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë's literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that's never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn't exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father's handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world's greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë's own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

Confessions of a Book Blogger

Today over at my wordpress I talked about how book bloggers should support authors. Click here to read the post! I believe you will find it interesting and useful. 

Thank you for your support!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Recap of Great Reading!

This past week I was out of town and didn’t get much blogging in, so I have a lot to make up for! However, I did manage to publish three post on my wordpress. I highly recommend you check them out!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Layered Pages News

This week on my main website, I talked about how authors need to support book bloggers and I think you will find it mighty interesting. Please stop by and take a look and if you like what I have to say, please show your support in sharing the post.

There are several other great posts on there as well this week. Next week I won’t be doing a lot of blogging so be sure to stay tuned for further posts in the near future.

Other places you will find me: @Layeredpages on Twitter and Facebook.

Many Thanks,

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation by Jennifer Ellis

In a world torn apart by economic collapse, Natalie and her husband Richard establish an island of relative safety on a communal farm. Death—by starvation, raiders, and sickness—stalks them daily, and their survival hinges on working together for the common good. But in a lawless land with no shortage of suffering, good is a malleable concept.

As the constant grind of survival and the frictions of farm politics expose the rifts in Natalie and Richard’s marriage, Natalie finds herself seeking refuge in the company of Richard’s twin, Daniel, a solitary man with little interest in politics.

In the face of ongoing external threats and simmering internal divisions, Natalie, Richard, and Daniel must each map the boundaries of their own loyalties and morality. In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation is a story of adventure, politics, and love in a brave new world where the rules have both changed, and stayed the same.

My thoughts:

I generally do not read apocalyptic stories. In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation captured my attention immediately. I’m pretty sure it was the cover art and then as I read the book description, I was fascinated with the concept of establishing life on a communal farm.

What makes this book believable is the economic collapse that happens in this story. It is all to real that food, gas and water could be sparse and lawlessness of nations could take place.

The story starts a bit slow but you could feel the tension growing. The shifting conflicts between the scenes was overwhelming at times but gave a clear picture of the hardships the people endured and their struggle for survival. Their inner strengths and even the smallest choices they made could have the biggest impact on their lives and everyone around them.

Natalie and Richard’s relationship was interesting to read about. They are married and opened their farm to establish a safe haven-if you will.

Richard is a politician, a typical one at that. Before the doom he would scoff at Natalie’s predictions and felt she worries too much. Well, when her predictions become reality, he takes the opportunity to take advantage of the situation and for the most part, for his own power and gain. He drips in total narcissism.

Natalie is pragmatic and has an admirable inner strength and Richard knows this and needs these qualities for a partner. I really liked the characterization of these two the most. Though at times I wanted to throttle both of them. For different reasons-of course.  I think you will be interested in how their relationship turns out.

The author did a splendid job on in the exploration of humanity under these dire and abnormal conflicts. She shows us consequences and reactions the characters make in an extreme environment. Nicely done and I look forward to more stories by this author.

I have rated this book four stars.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You may also find this review at my WordPress, my main website.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

It's All In A Day Of Reading

Check out my new galley reads because, you know, it's not like I have enough to read already! But I can't help myself

Pub Date: March 17, 2016

It's 1956 and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the boarding house run by her erratic mother. But when the London press pack descends to report on a series of gruesome murders of young women, Betty's world changes. In particular, she is transfixed by mysterious and aloof reporter, Mr. Gallagher.

As the death toll rises, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Gallagher. But as their bond deepens, they find themselves entangled with the murders and each is forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives - and the life of an innocent man - forever.

What if everything you knew was a lie… This house has a past that won’t stay hidden, and it is time for the dead to speak.

Pub Date: Feb 18, 2016

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square, Edie is shocked to find the place she remembers from childhood reeks of mould and decay. After her aunt Dolly’s death Edie must clear out the home on a street known for five vicious murders many years ago, but under the dirt and grime of years of neglect lurk dangerous truths.

For in this dark house there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden. The truth must come out.

Finding herself dragged back into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what really happened all those years ago. But as Edie uncovers the history of the family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if sometimes it isn’t best to leave them buried.

From the bestselling author of The Lost Child don’t miss The Silent Girls

An unforgettable and addictive story, perfect for fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Tracy Buchanan.

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

In the spring of 1939, the drums of war beat throughout Europe, but nowhere more ferociously than in Berlin. The film studio where Clara Vine works is churning out movies, but each day that she stays in Germany is more dangerous than the last. Spying on the private life of the Third Reich, passing secrets to contacts in British intelligence, falling into a passionate affair—any of these risky moves could get Clara shot. So she is wholly shaken when someone close to her is murdered instead. The victim is Lottie Franke, an aspiring costume designer and student at the prestigious Faith and Beauty finishing school that trains young women to become the wives of the Nazi elite. While the press considers Lottie's death in the Grunewald forest the act of a lone madman, Clara uncovers deeper threads, tangled lines that seem to reach into the darkest depths of the Reich—and to a precious discovery that Hitler and his ruthless cohorts would kill for.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wulfsuna by E.S. Moxon

E.S Moxon, kindly sent me her book, Wolfsuna, along with a beautifully written letter. Which I will cherish always. She is such a lovely and caring lady. I look forward to reading her book and going back to AD433! One can do that when one reads!


Torn apart when Rome abandoned Bryton, the Wulfsuna are a disparate tribe. Twenty years on, two long ships sail for the east fens to honour their Warrior-Lord's dream and reunite with lost kin. Soon after landing however, a murderous betrayal divides loyalties, some craving revenge and others indignant on pursuing their Lord's dream. Blood and brotherhood are tested to their deadly limits.

The discovery of a young Seer adds to the turmoil. Expelled from her village after foretelling of an attack by blue painted savages, the Wulfsuna are equally wary of the one they call 'Nix'. None fear her more than Lord Wulfgar, who refuses to believe an ancient saga bearing his name, is weaving the Seer's destiny into his own. But a treacherous rival threatens their fate and Wulfgar must accept the Seer's magic may be all that can save them.