THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS by CAMILLE DI MAIO

A legendary hotel on the Pacific becomes a haven where dreams, love, and a beguiling mystery come alive.

It is 1958 and Kate Morgan wants more than serving fish in the family restaurant in San Francisco. She has dreams of Southern California and the movie business. Her grandfather, whose memory is shaky at best is adamant she must go to the famous Hotel Del Coronado and find the beautiful stranger.

Kate grabs her chance to get even a temporary job at the resort. And immediately finds out that she isn’t the only Kate Morgan there. 

Told from the points of view of the ghostly Kate Morgan and the current day Kate Morgan, the former having never left, tethered to the place of her death.

Kate loves everything about the hotel including the stars filming Some Like It Hot. Kate has to pinch herself when she is asked to bring Miss Monroe her breakfast every day and get her to the set on time. And when she isn’t coaxing Miss Monroe to eat or get to work, she’s trying to find the beautiful stranger for her grandfather. Only then can she go home.

Ms. Di Maio has done a masterful job of seamlessly weaving the past with the present as well as the fiction with the truth. Yes Kate Morgan was a real woman who died a tragic death at the hotel. Guests claim to have seen her and she sees everything and everyone grow up and grow old as she remains as she was in life. But Kate has a secret too and the author has gathered all of the threads of this story and turned them into a compulsively readable tale.

Very Well Done!

Netgalley/March 5th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 21 years, she home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries), and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel, her second book “Before the Rain Falls” released in 2017, and her third, “The Way of Beauty”, came out in 2018. Her next book, “The Beautiful Strangers” will be available spring 2019.

 

 

THE AGE OF LIGHT by WHITNEY SCHARER

The Age of Light

A captivating debut about Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her passionate affair with the artist Man Ray in 1930s Paris.

When Lee Miller comes to Paris in 1929 she wants nothing more than to create a new life. She is tired of being the one in front of the camera and wants to be the one taking photographs.

Lee had a rather abusive childhood which is alluded to but I would have liked to have heard more about it. It led her to make some bad life choices. When she is introduced to the famous Man Ray, they immediately have a connection. At first,he wants her to model for him but they get into an intense and not that healthy relationship.

The story is told between timelines and is rich in detail and full of all the horrors of war and the debauchery of Paris at that time. Opium dens, erotic vaudeville, multiple lovers.

After betrayals on both side you have a feeling this isn’t going to work out. He is egotistical and condescending and she is emotionally messed up.

I enjoyed reading about these two.

February 5th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company/Netgalley

Coming Out on Tuesday!

What a great week for these new releases on Tuesday!

An Anonymous Girl  Loved it!

The Lost Traveller (County Cork, #7) Love the series!

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2) Loved it!

Her One Mistake And that one mistake was a doozy!

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)  I own all of these. Love!

The Water Cure  A bit odd, but check it out.

So many good books releasing this month! I am so happy that the word Girl isn’t in as many this year! I have had quite enough of the same old thing. I hope you give these a read and share your thoughts!

xxp

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold Book 2) by Kim Wilkins

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

I am pretty sure this is the only Historical Fantasy series that I read. All five of the Princess Sisters are back, but alas, not together.

Each has her own path to follow and gifts to learn to control before they meet again in a fight that will pit sister against sister.

Bluebell is watching over Rowan and fighting the good fight for her father, but when she finds out there is a sword out there forged for the sole purpose of killing her, she sets out to find it. Along the way she will meet her sister Ash, searching for a dragon, Ivy, being Ivy, Rose, who is living so many lies sometimes I can’t keep up, and Willow.

Willow who has embraced the Trimartyr faith, believing the voices in her head are the mighty Maava. She has hooked up with Hakon now and is causing all kinds of trouble!

It took me a bit to get into the first book, but when this one came to me I was hooked from the beginning. Luckily this is a fast paced read and even the evil characters are interesting.

This is one of the most solid, well written Adult Historical Fantasy books out  there and I can’t wait for the next one. There will be another one, right Kim?

Well Done!

Netgalley/ February 5th, 2019 by Del Rey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Katherine Arden, Thank You

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1) The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2) The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)

I have been trying to get my husband to read the first one of this series for a long time! He was always too busy until now. As most of the world knows now, the doctors have discovered a large mass on his pelvis. As we wait for surgery he has time.

Yesterday I walked in the den and he was half-way in to the first book. I quietly backed out of the room.  When he was almost to the end last night he looked over at me and said, ” This is great! Do we have the next one?”  Why yes we do! “And what about the third one?” Well, honey I have it in an ARC on my tablet but it’s from Netgalley and I don’t think I am supposed to share it. ” But, what am I supposed to do?” You wait dear, just like the rest of the world we wait and hope that there is more!

After a few of long and frightening weeks we went an entire day without tears or anxiety. So Ms. Arden, thank you from this frazzled reviewer and wife.

 

xx P

 

THE HANGING PSALM by CHRIS NICKSON

The Hanging Psalm: A Regency Mystery Set in Leeds

Introducing thief-taker Simon Westow in the first in a new historical mystery series set in Regency Leeds. 

This story begins with our main character Simon Westow giving testimony in the investigation into child labor and poor houses. It’s 1820 in Leeds. A dark and dangerous time. Simon may have started life in brutal conditions of a poor house, but he is a self-made man now with a wife and children and a home of his own.

He is also a thief-taker. I had to look that one up. What Simon does is returns stolen items to their rightful owner for a fee. 

When one of Leeds businessman comes to him for help in returning his daughter Simon isn’t quite sure, but the money is good. Soon he and his helper Jane are trying to find the girl and wondering if this is all tied in with something else. Something more sinister.

Someone is watching them. Someone who shouldn’t even be here. And as the bodies pile up the danger for Simon, his family and the intriguing Jane increases. This is personal. Someone wants revenge. Someone wants Simon dead.

Nothing I like better than a good historical mystery! Especially in the Regency period. I’m happy to have gotten in on the first book because the ending left me wanting more.

Netgalley/ January 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers

 

 

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Book 3 of THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY)

This is the third book of the Winternight Trilogy that began with The Bear and the Nightingale followed by The Girl in the Tower and this one carries on the beautiful and tragic tale of Vasya and the Winter King, Morozko.

We have been through many trials with our brave heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl. Yes, that’s correct she is still a girl, which only makes the heroic and terrifying deeds she does more incredible.

Things are not good in Russia. After what happened in Moscow the people are ready to throw her to the wolves. She must be a witch and she must die. Vasya is alone. Even her cousin, the Grand Prince doesn’t know what to do with her.

The Winter King has traded his freedom for hers and now his demon twin is reeking havoc on the world. Feeding on chaos and death, manipulating the weak religious priest and intent on ridding the world of humans. Even the unseen, magical creatures are afraid.

Vasya doesn’t know who to trust or to believe. But if she is to save her family and her country as well as the Winter King, she must be braver than ever and listen and learn as the country prepares to go to war with the Tatars.

So much weight on the shoulders of one girl.

I have loved these books so much. First, Arden is a genius with covers. They pull you in to a world of fairy tales and magic in the most beautiful of languages. Arden is pure genius at storytelling.

Very Well Done! *****

Netgalley/DelRay January 09,2019