How the Wicked Run (The Boston Clairvoyants Book 3) by Annabelle Lewis – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Destined for Love and Danger 

Book Blurb:

Sidrah Keeling, well-intentioned Boston clairvoyant and stalwart protector of her newfound family of psychics, purchases a country respite hours away from her grand Boston home. Lazy Pond Farm, just outside the town of Macoun, Massachusetts is an enormous fixer-upper, but it perfectly serves her agenda of fostering romance and promoting healing. In that order.

How the Wicked Run by Annabelle LewisBut instead, the group encounters trouble. Fate, as usual, has her own plans.

Macoun—named after the apple—is infested with racists led by a man who harbors terrifying secrets. Will Jenny, Max, Sidrah, Leon, and Bones (the fabulous five) have the power to change Macoun? Will they be able to rescue those who need saving?

And what about love?

As the fates do battle, so will the lives between the wicked and the good. A twisted thread. Who will break?
In How the Wicked Run, romance, mystery, and adventure collide once more for this enchanting family of audacious clairvoyants.

My Review:

I do enjoy a fun little romp into the possible world of the clairvoyants—who’s to say they don’t exist or in what degree? In this series, Sidrah Keeling has gathered like gifted persons, male, female, and Bones—that fabulous golden with a goal of “fostering romance and promoting healing.” Sweet.

How the Wicked Run by Annabelle LewisI loved the idea of Lazy Pond Farm, a major fixer-upper just outside of Macoun, Massachusetts, a property I’d have jumped on the chance to work myself back in the day. It’s to be a respite, a safe haven for those in the “family” to rest, relax, and recoup.  Descriptions have it sounding fabulous and the end proposed result is easy to visualize.

When two ladies go missing, however, they realize they might have gotten the property for more than their own mission. There are support characters in the periphery and an antagonist who is a brutal racist as well as a budding relationship between Jenny and a new member of the family. The dog has some amazing abilities and is incorporated with the human members as they each perform their individual talents in the quest for the missing women. If the women are still alive, can they find them before they are not?

Back in January 2021, I read Dead Cat, Run, the first in the series, and loved it. I could see it set up an amazing thought-provoking, head-scratching theme, some of which you might identify with, coupled with a well-plotted and paced narrative. The hook was there and didn’t let go.

Unfortunately, I missed the second in the series which must have explained the origin of the wealth behind protagonist Sidrah. While this is a good addition to the series, lacking this information might not make for a good standalone as I was constantly wondering where all the money came from. Otherwise, you might very well find this an interesting dip into the psychic world. It is engaging and entertaining.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author  that in no way influenced this review. (Actually, I begged her for a copy.) These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Thrillers, Psychic Suspense, Psychic Mysteries
Publisher: PePe Press
ASIN: B0BF7D156X
Print Length: 283 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2022  Just Released!
Source: Complimentary Author Copy
Title Link: How the Wicked Run [Amazon]

 

Annabelle Lewis - authorThe Author: Annabelle Lewis—a pseudonym for the author—lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regrettably? Perhaps. She still believes she’s a Texan even though the math no longer supports that. Nor her birthplace. Nor her residence. No offense, Minnesota. You’ve got your good points too, but only about six months of the year.

In her youth, Annabelle was a complete failure. Ask anyone who knew her. Any of her teachers and family would tell you this. High school graduation was a sad day for all when Annabelle walked proudly off the high school stage, her thoughts consumed with boys, beer, and after-parties, and later into the arms of her parents. Her father’s laughter and singular remark? “I didn’t think you’d make it. Get a job at the post office, they have a good retirement plan.”

A high bar and words to live by, but Annabelle wanted more. She needed to flunk out of college too. But damn, she sure did have a good time. Trivial arrest records not-withstanding, it was a growth period for our girl. And if you look closely, you’ll see a bit of what was to come when she majored in criminal justice. Her lifelong aspiration was to become a judge. Hmm.

For better or worse, Annabelle didn’t graduate from college but did find gainful employment and a fulfilling career. This path ended when she became a mom. Married to her wonderful George, who to this day can hardly remember an actual proposal, Annabelle finally became a mother. She didn’t have a clue how hard she would need to work to keep those self-imposed requirements of Downey-fresh, iron-pressed sheets, home-baked meals, and mom-of-the-year awards arriving. She composed a small self-affirmation song and made her children sing it to her for money. She was a very good mom.

After clearing the largest hurdles of motherhood and regrettably, begrudgingly, and not-without-tears, launching her children onto the world, she looked around and realized she had a lot to say. Picking up a laptop, she got to work.

Annabelle spends her days continuing to tackle the challenges of motherhood, for both her humans and canines. She also writes. And reads. And cleans. And cooks. And bakes. And cleans again. She also supports her husband, George, in an administrative capacity for their small business. She’s in charge of payroll and cuts George’s checks. This leads to no marital acrimony.

In the beginning, with the blank page staring at her and possibly in a hostile mood after being literally mauled by a dog and by the world in general, she had an idea. What if she could wield a force of good upon unsuspecting evil-doers? What if she had the resources to get the job done without dealing with committee and anyone else’s whiney-ass opinions?

It was gold. It took off. Annabelle sat down and began to write and couldn’t stop. To date, having written over a million words in the Carrows Family Chronicles and her second series on the Boston Clairvoyants, several items have become quite clear. Annabelle had a lot to say. Annabelle really enjoys writing. And although she hates all things technology, she begrudgingly pounds her head on her desk daily as obstacles are thrown in her path. Almost a hero.

Since entering her world of make-believe, she has rebelled against all intrusion of real-world responsibilities. Her house is a mess, but she tries. Her family is fed, but more often than not, on takeout. She vows to shower every day, but no, it’s a vow she’ll never keep. Her friends are neglected, but not in her heart.

Read her mordacious blog! Read her books! Follow her on social platforms! Sign up for her newsletter! These are all good things. What are you waiting for? Jump into bed with Annabelle. She’s having a swell time. You should join her.

Read more at https://theannabellelewis.com/

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

Many Are Invited by Dennis Cuesta – #BookReview – #psychologicalliteraryfiction

Book  Blurb:

Many Are Invited by Dennis CuestaA housewarming party ends in tragedy. . . Steve Galanos, a native Midwesterner, reflects on his time in Northern California during the 1990s, a time when the two-digit year emerged as the Y2K problem, the burgeoning Internet fueled the expansion of the New Economy, the dot-com bubble created unseen prosperity and real estate frenzies. Yet it’s a housewarming party, held in late 1999, that affects him the most.

At the request of John Goertz, a group of technology managers and executives gather in a conference room. Listening to the presentation is Steve Galanos, who is suspicious of Goertz’s approach and the dramatic way he describes the problem. Goertz tries to convince his audience that a disaster awaits them unless they immediately address the two-digit year in the company’s distributed systems and compiled code. It’s 1994, well before anyone has heard of the term, Y2K.

A promotion to run the newly-created year 2000 compliance program earns John more skepticism and envy from Steve, yet the two have much in common and soon become good friends. A few years later, John leaves for a startup and their lives trend in different directions.

By the time John cashes out from a successful IPO, gets married, and buys a house in Los Gatos, his friendship with Steve has waned. It’s at John’s housewarming party where latent animosity and lingering distrust finally come to a head.

His Review:

In the late 1990’s the whole world was wrestling with “the Y2K” problem. Seems the computers automatically were setting dates but provision had not been made for the upcoming change from 19.. to 20..! Staff were thrown together in groups whose sole purpose was to wrestle with the change and the problem that computers were not set up or programmed for the change.

Many Are Invited by Dennis CuestaLauren and Mary are two very attractive ladies who work in the computer industry. Lauren is over six feet and seen as a goddess who is untouchable! All of the guys silently wish to possess her. Meanwhile, corporate powers that be are designating teams of programmers whose sole purpose is to design programs and prepare for the upcoming date changes.

John and the main support character have set up a system of ranking very attractive ladies as Swedes. Lauren is titled Swede 8 and is considered unapproachable. Of course, as men are known to do; they plot the means necessary to breach the barrier and become emotionally involved with Lauren. Her friend Mary is pretty but does not have a “Swede Rating” and appears on the outside of the attraction scramble.

The problem with these types of competitions is the fact that the women do not realize their position in the scheme of things. Our hero secretly would like to be attached to Lauren but decides to settle for Mary. Mary is the much smarter of the two and has plans of her own. John has decided that Mary is the one for him and throws the whole system into an uproar. The entire affair turns deadly.

CE WilliamsThis novel might be more appropriate for the late teen/early college years than adult. The struggle between the “rich and entitled” and the “poor and struggling” was a page directly out of my high school years! I identified with the struggling hero of the story while secretly thinking he was being such a putz! Only my opinion, however, and you might very well see it differently.  3.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Literary Fiction
Publisher: Celestial Eyes Press
ASIN: B0BB9Q7PQQ
Print Length: 254 pages
Publication Date: October 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Many Are Invited [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Dennis Cuesta - author A native of California, Dennis Cuesta attended the University of Michigan and remained in the Upper Midwest during his early career. Stuck in Manistique is his first novel. Dennis and his wife did get stuck in Manistique once, long ago. The interrupted trip served as inspiration for the novel.

 

 

2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great Sunday!

The Keepsake by Julie Brooks – #BookReview – #mysteryromance

“A thrilling dual-time novel of long-buried family secrets.”

Book Blurb:

Saturday: Pot-au-feu for luncheon. Father willed away inheritance. Betrayed by Edward.

The Keepsake by Julie Brooks1832. The morning after her father’s funeral, Prudence Merryfield wakes to the liberating thought that this is the first day of her new life. At thirty-five and unmarried, she is now mistress of her own fate. But a cruel revelation at the reading of her father’s will forces Prudence to realise that taking only the most drastic action will set her free.

Present day. Eliza is gifted a family heirloom by her aunt – a Georgian pocketbook, belonging to her ancestor, Prudence Merryfield, whose existence reverberates through the lives of generations of Eliza’s family, the Ambroses. Intrigued by what she reads inside, Eliza is drawn more and more into the infamous ‘Merryfield Mystery’. What happened to Prudence who so bravely dared to defy convention two hundred years ago – then disappeared?

His Review:

In the early part of the 1830s, Prudence Merryfield was blessed with a wealthy childhood but alas her mother died when she was young. She stayed with her father into her early thirties to provide comfort and family to him in his twilight years. When he died, Prudence expected to be the pilot of her own ship and able to do as she pleased.

Society in the 1800s, however, did not provide for much self-determination for young women. Her father entrusted a group of trustees to administer her substantial estate. The primary trustee is Edward Ambrose who decided that she should receive a substantial allowance each year from the trust. He guarded the trust and the property with an iron fist. Wherever Prudence went, Edward was sure to magically appear to monitor her travels.

The Keepsake by Julie BrooksA young orphaned waif named Bessie is found hiding in one of the hedgerows of the property’s lanes and is taken in by Prudence. She becomes the handmaid and personal servant for Prudence and is never far from Prudence’s side. Prudence decides she is too constricted by the ever-present Edward and decides to escape aboard a ship to the south Pacific for adventure and freedom. This is a mistake as the ship she and Bessie are on meets with an accident and sinks near a small South Pacific island. The marooned ladies are on separate islands and must integrate with the islanders or perish.

CE WilliamsThe author developed a very imaginative and engrossing narrative using the discovery of an heirloom to envelope the MC into a dual-time novel. The characters are believable and sympathetic. Edward Ambrose is an opportunist who places himself in control of Prudence’s fortune and properties and does his best to corral this young lady. The book enlightens the reader about the plight of the women of the 1800s and early 1900s. Treachery was rampant as men thirsted for the riches they could not obtain lawfully. Enjoy the adventure! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: 1714-1837 History of UK, Marriage & Divorce Fiction, Mystery Romance
ASIN: B09MQB7W7Y
Print Length: 386 pages
Publication Date: September 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Keepsake [Amazon]
Kobo

 

Julie Brooks - author
Julie Brooks – author

The Author: I’m so excited to be launching The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay with Headline Review. I love reading historical fiction and I love a mystery so I’m doubly pleased to bring you both in this new story. The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay is inspired by my love of the stunning coastline of south-west Victoria, Australia, and the similarly wild coastline of North Devon, UK. Set largely in these two regions in the early twentieth century and one hundred years later, it’s a story of betrayal, redemption and family secrets. I hope you like it.

I was born in Brisbane, Australia, but have lived most of my life in Melbourne. I taught English and Drama in secondary schools before working as an editor of children’s magazines. Like many writers, I have been scribbling stories from an early age and feel confident to call myself an author.

I am represented by the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency in London, UK. To find out more, visit juliebrooksauthor.com and follow her on Instagram @juliebrooks_books.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade – #Audiobook Review – #feelgoodfiction

Dog Friendly by Victoria Shade

Book Blurb:

A burned-out veterinarian takes a much-needed beach vacation, where a charming surfer makes waves in her love life, and a unique foster pup renews her passion for her work.

Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group’s glittery annual fundraiser.

Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.

My Review:

How can you NOT love that cover? And really, the implied promise is delivered.

Not the first time this year you’ve caught me reading/listening to a romance. I know, I know, but in my defense, I just saw the dogs and read enough to know the storyline included dogs and I’ve been needing a feel-good doggy story.

I’ll bet you didn’t know “Feel-Good Fiction” was a real genre—I certainly didn’t. It’s summer and this is termed a “beach read.” Most definitely as it is located on Nantucket, descriptions of which almost had me packing for a beach read destination of my own.

This novel drips with sweetness–don’t get me wrong—it’s something we all need right now.  

Dog Friendly by VIctoria SchadeThe main character is a burned-out vet and although I’d had no clue being a veterinarian could be so stressful as to actually cause stress-related suicide, I could almost understand the problem of being a corporate vet as a major stress-inducer. Sounds like the same constraints placed on most corporate doctors these days—profit over practice.

But here is Morgan Pearce. She loves the animals. She loves most of the humans who bring their animals in for the expectation of care for their pets. She has seen it all; reactive dogs, lack of training, decent food, inappropriate discipline. It’s no wonder she jumps at the chance to get away and take care of one of her regulars with special needs for the summer. His humans are going on an extended trip and he’ll need the one-on-one care while they’re gone. They have a beautiful place on Nantucket Island, who wouldn’t go? Nope, she won’t go as a vet—she’ll go as a dog sitter/walker.

Okay, here comes the tension: she meets a gorgeous guy selling a proprietary homemade health juice from a push cart. Oh, and he’s a surfer. Did I mention Nathan is gorgeous? And dang—he has a dog! They’ll do dog walks!

And Tension #2: she can’t find a way to say no to a pooch who has been badly misunderstood by his human. He seriously needs to be retrained into being a real proper dog. (She’s now suspected of being one extremely savvy dog walker.) The fun here is the interaction with the dogs, dog personalities, introducing dogs to each other, insights into behavior, and body language.

Morgan’s family background is tenuous and ergo Tension #3 may be the catalyst for the Morgan and Nathan breakup. I’m not one for violins and roses, but this romance is handled pretty well. As a realist, however, I’d have some serious questions about the viability of the relationship.

The conclusion is handled sensitively and probably, for most readers, as expected, but still—it’s nice and I must say a sweet, fast, and engaging read.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts and I honestly think I’ll look for other titles by this author.

Book Details:

Genre: Feel-Good Fiction, Animal Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 059343739X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0593437391

ASIN: B09HH3B81R
Listening Length: 8 hrs 29 mins
Narrator: Patti Murin
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dog Friendly [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Victoria Schade - authorThe Author: Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer and writer for over twenty years. During that time her dog duties have included working behind the scenes on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl as the lead animal wrangler, appearing on two seasons of the Animal Planet show Faithful Friends, and creating dog training content and appearing in educational videos for a variety of pet-centric web sites. Victoria’s favorite way to share her dog knowledge is though her books, whether in a how-to manual like “Bonding With Your Dog” or woven into her novels like “Who Rescued Who” and “Lost Found & Forever.”

Victoria shares her 1850’s always-in- need-of- renovations home with Millie the Smooth Brussels Griffon (who wants you to know that she is not a skinny pug), Olive the mixed breed dog, the occasional foster pup, and her incredibly tolerant husband, Tom.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

The Quarryman’s Girl by Melanie Forde – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

“Gossip was a major form of entertainment in the eighteen-nineties…”

Book Blurb:

The Quarryman's Girl by Melanie FordeLife seemed to be winding down for French–Canadian immigrant Rose Dowd. She had not been fighting the inevitable until Fate forced her to gear up for yet another chapter. Much like her adopted country, as America begins staking out a new international role in World War II, Rose must reinvent herself. Quickly. Before she can move forward, however, she needs to absorb the lessons from her past. Integral to that journey are Rose’s sharp-tongued sister Izzy; her perpetually worried son Vince, a resourceful shipyard worker; her long-dead Métis mentor Mère Agathe; her bright and bubbly but sickly granddaughter Netty; and Nate, the “Ragman’s Grandson,” a club-footed, pre-law student dreading his future and inching instead toward a career as a writer. The Quarryman’s Girl follows these vivid characters from the 1880s to the 1940s, from the hard-scrabble pig farms of Quebec to the granite quarries of Quincy, from the frozen St. Lawrence to the deep-channel Fore River. A compelling story from beginning to end, once again Melanie Forde has shown why she is a consummate storyteller and one of contemporary America’s finest writers.

My Review:

The wait is often worth it.

Such is the case with this beautifully penned literary novel deeply entwined with characters so well developed you want a hug them. They’re family.

I was introduced to this author back in 2019 with the request for participation in a book tour; one I was glad to accept for Reinventing Hillwilla (final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy) followed a few months later by Decanted Truths. I loved them both, each read as a standalone and each entirely unique.

“In the Irish culture, the gift of gab was equally distributed between the sexes.”

In this novel, Rose Dowd is staring down senior hood and doesn’t like what she sees. Thank heaven she has Vince, her youngest son, to help her meet day-to-day challenges she was formerly capable of handling on her own after her husband passed on. She also has others in her life well established near the granite quarries of Quincy (KWIN-zee—not KWIN-see) where she and estranged sister Izzy were abandoned after her large Irish family left Quebec and Quincy for Manitoba. The girls, barely teens, survived and thrived.

“You’ve heard of spring fever. You know what it really means? Scurvy!”

There are a number of threads interweaving through the well-plotted narrative and we get to know each of the characters, identify easily with people we know, care about, invest in. Descriptions of scenes are so well drawn that the reader is plunked into the middle of them. Loved the inclusion of the French phrases in the storyline as well as the Native American’s contribution to the shipyard efforts—the dialogue between Vince and Walter, a Mohawk, is priceless male banter.

The Quarryman's Girl by Melanie FordeTension builds as the characters are developed and Nate, the “Ragman’s Son” is sent to perform handyman jobs at Rose’s home and to report to Vince her slips of memory. Vince is frustrated with Rose’s senior moments as he tries in vain to glean grist for a thesis, unhappily facing law school.

And then there is Izzy, her sharp tongue alienating more than immediate family, who has a crisis of her own that may force Rose to deal with the upheaval that caused their rift so many years ago.

Oh, so bittersweet, examining the hurts, the love, the physical as well as the mental constraints that bind family and friends as easily as isolate. A unique story that scrutinizes senior cognitive decline, betrayal, aspirations, and, hopefully, reconciliation.

The story is full of emotion, raw, alternately filled with wry bursts of humor. It’s written in an intelligent, sensitive, and articulate style that pulls in the reader and doesn’t let go. The conclusion is both heartbreaking and tearfully satisfying and is heartily recommended. Not just family drama. Truly literary magic.

“Intense relationships never really died.”

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Literary Fiction
Publisher: Mountain Lake Press

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1959307002
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1959307006

ASIN: B0B7BM9KLX
Print Length: 325 pages
Publication Date: August 27, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK  |  Barnes & Noble

 

Melanie Forde - authorThe Author: For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, 2018. Melanie Forde - authorTwenty years in the making, her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths, was also released in 2018. In 2022, Forde mined the stories about her French Canadian ancestors, to publish another period novel and family saga, The Quarryman’s Girl.

Find more info about Melanie Forde here.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorris – #BookReview – #historicalfiction – @SourcebooksLandmark

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sold On A Monday—over a million copies sold!—comes a sweeping World War II tale of an illusionist whose recruitment by British intelligence sets her on a perilous, heartrending path.

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorrisAs a little girl raised amid the hardships of Michigan’s Copper Country, Fenna Vos learned to focus on her own survival. That ability sustains her even now as the Second World War rages in faraway countries. Though she performs onstage as the assistant to an unruly escape artist, behind the curtain she’s the mastermind of their act. Ultimately, controlling her surroundings and eluding traps of every kind helps her keep a lingering trauma at bay.

Yet for all her planning, Fenna doesn’t foresee being called upon by British military intelligence. Tasked with designing escape aids to thwart the Germans, MI9 seeks those with specialized skills for a war nearing its breaking point. Fenna reluctantly joins the unconventional team as an inventor. But when a test of her loyalty draws her deep into the fray, she discovers no mission is more treacherous than escaping one’s past. 

Inspired by stunning true accounts, The Ways We Hide is a gripping story of love and loss, the wars we fight—on the battlefields and within ourselves—and the courage found in unexpected places.

His Review:

Fenna Vos bore a striking resemblance to Hedy Lamarr. Both women were in entertainment. Fenna is an associate of a stage magician. She works to develop escape acts and other performance mysteries. Misdirection is the standard fare for these well-trained escape artists, people able to get out of impossible situations. Fenna is one of the best.

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorrisWorld War II finds Fenna working in a clandestine group called MI9. Their objective is to provide ways to help allied prisoners escape Nazi prisoner of war camps. Small hacksaw blades and cutting chains are inserted into such everyday games as Monopoly. The trick is to make the games transparent. The enemy allows such games to come into prison camps to help the detainees pass the time.

Fenna has a second asset to offer. In addition to her escape artist’s abilities; she can speak Dutch, as this was her mother’s native tongue.  She is working on a number of top-secret projects to enable prisoners of war to escape captivity. One very vital tool is the maps to help downed airmen find their way back to friendly territory.

She is inserted into Nazi-controlled Holland to assist the underground. She meets an old flame and finds the family of a very good friend. The friend has a child and the underground works to find a way to get mother and daughter back to allied territory. Regretfully the mother is killed in a Gestapo raid and her child is adopted by a childless German family. This situation is untenable to Fenna and the group in Holland. They work to help extract the young girl and spirit her to England.

This book is based upon some facts recently made public after World War II. Ms. McMorris has pulled together information regarding the female operatives during World War II in a most engaging novel. The success of this lady in a male-dominated world is nothing less than spectacular. The resultant book is a great tribute to the millions of women who worked unheralded and unrecognized during the second world war. 5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

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Book Details:

Genre: British & Irish Literary Fiction, Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ASIN: B09NCNP1KG
Print Length: 573 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Ways We Hide [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Kristina McMorris - authorThe Author: KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of two novellas and six historical novels, including the million-copy bestseller SOLD ON A MONDAY. The recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, she previously hosted weekly TV shows for Warner Bros. and an ABC affiliate, beginning at age nine with an Emmy Award-winning program, and owned a wedding-and-event-planning company until she had far surpassed her limit of “Y.M.C.A.” and chicken dances. Kristina lives near Portland, Oregon, where she somehow manages to be fully deficient of a green thumb and not own a single umbrella. For more, visit KristinaMcMorris.com.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday

The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett Pennell – #BookReview – #historicalfiction

A Young Heiress’s Quest for Independence in Gilded Age America and George V’s Coronation Year England

Book Blurb:

The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett PennellIt must be said. Scandal follows her family like an ever-faithful hound. No matter how hard they kick it away, it comes slinking around time-after-time. Although her relatives are obsessed with social position and the opinions of others, heiress India Elisabeth Petra De Vries Ledbetter is determined to live life by her own terms, family expectations and society’s demands be damned.

Reared away from the social whirl of Gilded Age New York, India would prefer a life of philanthropy in her native Appalachia, but Mother and Grandmama have far grander plans. They believe Mrs. Astor’s old 400 are ready to overlook the past and that an advantageous marriage will cement their place in society once more. In fact, they have already selected the prospective bridegroom. The only problem? No one consulted India.

With captivating insights into the human spirit and heart, The Last Dollar Princess leads us on a riveting quest for self-determination through the most elegant and glamorous settings of the early 20th century. Perfect for fans of Marie Benedict, Daisy Goodwin, and Julian Fellows, this sweeping work of historical fiction will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. 

His Review:

The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett PennellControlled with an iron fist by her stepmother and grandmother, India grows up in North Carolina where her stepmother wants her to be titled. Her father moved to North Carolina to get away from the oppressive status seekers. Meanwhile, the stepmother takes her to every society ball she can muster to expose India to the elite of both American and English society. Her substantial dowry is the bait.

Charles Kelnsey is looking for a bailout for his ancestral estate. His title attracts her stepmother and so the tale expands. Charlie, as he prefers to be called, is attracted to India, particularly because of her large inheritance. The courtship lags as India realizes that she is a bargaining chip for her stepmother. At nineteen years old she is beginning to rebel against the intrigues that hobble her life. Charlie seems smitten but has not declared his love.

CE WilliamsA trip to Kelnsey manor discloses an 18th century castle without running water, proper electricity or indoor toilet facilities. Additionally, Charlie is still carrying a torch for a woman he met before India. The story is well developed with a satisfactory ending and marvelous character development. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: US Historical Fiction, Women’s Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B0B2X9ZG4Q
Print Length:335 pages
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Last Dollar Princess [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble

 

Linda Bennett Pennell - author
Linda Bennett Pennell – author

The Author: I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I currently reside in the Houston area with my sweet husband and a German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl.

Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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