Posted in June 2019

Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg

Synopsis:

One look at Baby Doe and you know she was meant to be a legend! She was just twenty years old when she came to Colorado to work a gold mine with her new husband. Little did she expect that she’d be abandoned and pregnant and left to manage the gold mine alone. But that didn’t stop her!

She moved to Leadville and fell in love with a married prospector, twice her age. Horace Tabor struck the biggest silver vein in history, divorced his wife and married Baby Doe. Though his new wife was known for her beauty, her fashion, and even her philanthropy, she was never welcomed in polite society.

Discover how the Tabors navigated the worlds of wealth, power, politics, and scandal in the wild days of western mining.

“Rosenberg’s rollicking Western adventure strikes gold with a gutsy, good-hearted spitfire of a heroine and action aplenty.”
—THELMA ADAMS, bestselling author of The Last Woman Standing

Gold Digger tells the true story of Lizzie “Baby Doe” Tabor, a beautiful young woman who in 1878 marries the son of a wealthy miner in order to save her family from penury. Shrewd and stubborn, Lizzie fights back-biting Victorian society, wins and loses vast fortunes, and bests conniving politicians in her larger-than-life story. A twisting tale worthy of Mark Twain, with a big-hearted heroine at the center. 
—MARTHA CONWAY, author of The Underground River 

My review:

Rebecca Rosenberg tells the intriguing story of Baby Doe Tabor in this page-turner, Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor. Baby Doe was a beautiful and strong woman determined to make it on her own in the Wild West after being abandoned by her husband. A historical, rollicking western with an inspiring love story! I can’t wait to read the next chapter in Baby Doe’s life!

About the author:

Rebecca grew up in Colorado exploring old mines, ghost towns and honky-tonks with her family, sparking her life-long love of the Rocky Mountains and obsession with the Tabors. She learned about Baby Doe when she was five years old, and read every dime-store brochure about her: the love triangle, her daughters, Silver Dollar and Lily, and the Matchless Mine. She began writing Gold Digger: the Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor fifteen years ago and has been rewriting it ever since, amidst writing other books. Rebecca is a devotee of spirited women who lived in the past. Her 2018 book, The Secret Life of Mrs. London (Lake Union Publishing) was an award-winning, Amazon bestselling book and a Wiki Marvelous Novel of the 20th Century. Her other books include Lavender Fields of America (2012) and Champagne Widows (2020). Rebecca is an alumni of the University of Colorado and holds a Stanford University Novel Writing Certificate. She now lives and writes on her lavender farm in Sonoma, California, where the she and her husband, Gary, founded the largest lavender product company in America. Their King Charles Spaniel, Maxcy, named after Maxcy Tabor, likes to roam the fields with his owners. The Rosenbergs support many causes in the Sonoma Community through volunteering, financial donations and board positions.

Posted in June 2019

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Synopsis:

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

The first mistake could be her last.

My review:

Husband, wife, best friend and money…what could possibly go wrong?! The First Mistake is Sandie Jones’s follow up to The Other Woman and she doesn’t disappoint! I was quickly pulled into the story and read it in one sitting. I don’t want to say too much so I don’t give any spoilers…if you love thrillers/psychological fiction, grab a copy now!

About the author:

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday TimesWoman’s Weekly and theDaily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. She has written two novels, The Other Woman and The First Mistake.

Posted in June 2019

Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum

Synopsis:

Rouge is a sexy, glamorous journey into the rivalry of the pioneers of powder, mascara and rouge.

This fast-paced novel examines the lives, loves, and sacrifices of the visionaries who invented the modern cosmetics industry: Josiah Herzenstein, born in a Polish Jewish Shtlel, the entrepreneur who transforms herself into a global style icon and the richest woman in the world, Josephine Herz; Constance Gardiner, her rival, the ultimate society woman who invents the door-to-door business and its female workforce but whose deepest secret threatens everything; CeeCee Lopez, the bi-racial beauty and founder of the first African American woman’s hair relaxer business, who overcomes prejudice and heartbreak to become her community’s first female millionaire. The cast of characters is rounded out by Mickey Heron, a dashing, sexy ladies’ man whose cosmetics business is founded in a Hollywood brothel. All are bound in a struggle to be number one, doing anything to get there…including murder.

My review:

Rouge is the intriguing and often catty story of Josephine and Constance and their rise in the beauty industry. Mirroring the real life feud of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein, Rouge has a bit of glamour, behind the scenes gossip, power struggles and sex! Loved it!

About the author:

RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM is CEO of NSG/SWAT, a high-profile boutique branding agency. He has lectured at Harvard Business School, appeared on 20/20, was named to Crain’s New York Business’s “40 under 40” list, and has been inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. He is the author of Under the Radar, Closing the Deal, Madboy, and Isn’t That Rich? and the New York Observer’s “Isn’t That Rich?” column. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Posted in June 2019, Uncategorized

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . .

Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.

My Review:


I read a lot of historical fiction and noticed the genre seems to be WW2 heavy. I just finished The Summer Country and absolutely loved it. Yes, it’s historical fiction but a subject not widely known. Lauren Willig’s research shines through as she expertly blends fact with fiction. One of my favorite books is The Thorn Birds and The Summer Country has that same pull for me…sweeping family saga that I don’t want to put down and characters that stick with me long after I finish. The Summer Country is my favorite book of 2019!

About the author:

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand alone works of historical fiction, including The Ashford AffairThat SummerThe Other DaughterThe English Wife, and the collaborative novels, The Forgotten Room and The Glass Ocean. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her “Pink Carnation” series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

Posted in June 2019

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home–until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home. 

My review:

My father in law had Alzheimer’s so when I read the description of The Favorite Daughter, I knew I had to read it. After a horrible shock on her wedding day, Lena leaves her hometown and family. 10 years later, she returns to help her siblings deal with their Alzheimer’s stricken father. While planning a memory book and timeline for their father, they discover a discrepancy in the dates of their parents’ marriage and Lena’s birth. While the siblings dig a little deeper into their father’s past, he is quickly succumbing to the memory loss. I loved this story! I loved being able to learn about the characters layer by layer. The Favorite Daughter is my first book written by Patti Callahan Henry but not my last!

About the author:

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels, including the historical fiction, BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis and her upcoming contemporary Southern fiction novel—THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, coming June 4, 2019. 

Patti’s books include Losing the Moon, Between the Tides; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming Up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love, The Bookshop at Water’s End, Becoming Mrs. Lewis and The Favorite Daughter.

A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is published in numerous languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer’s Digest, Portico Magazine, Birmingham Magazine and more.

Her essays can also be found in anthologies and collections such as Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy; Southern Writers Writing, and State of the Heart. Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups.

Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.

Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

Posted in May 2019

I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

Synopsis:

What happened to Amanda Holmes?

Twenty years ago, she washed up on shore in a rowboat with a gash to the head after an overnight at Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with a crime.

Now, the MacAllister children are all grown up. After their parents die suddenly, they return to Camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate it’s sitting on. Ryan, the oldest, wants to sell. Margo, the family’s center, hasn’t made up her mind. Mary has her own horse farm to run, and believes in leaving well-enough alone. Kate and Liddie—the twins—have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the family groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when all is said and done. 

But then the will is read and they learn that it’s much more complicated than a simple vote. Until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can’t move forward. Any one of them could have done it, and all of them are hiding key pieces of the puzzle. Will they work together to solve the mystery, or will their suspicions and secrets finally tear the family apart?

My review:

I’ve long been a fan of Catherine McKenzie. She has a way of adding twists and turns that keep me guessing until the end! I’ll Never Tell is a fast paced whodunit!

About the author:

Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal. An avid runner and skier, she’s the author of numerous bestsellers including HIDDEN, FRACTURED and THE GOOD LIAR. Her works have been translated into multiple languages.

HIDDEN was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller for five weeks. SMOKE was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and was named as a Best Book of October (Goodreads) and one of the Top 100 Books of 2015 (Amazon). FRACTURED was a Best Book of October 2016 (Goodreads). She is also the author of THE MURDER GAME under her pseudonym, Julie Apple (the protagonist of Fractured). In 2018, THE GOOD LIAR, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller.

I’LL NEVER TELL, will be published on June 1, 2019 (US/UK) and June 4, 2019 (Canada) and has been named one of the Most Anticipated Mysteries of 2019 by Goodreads.

Posted in May 2019

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Synopsis:

In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people–a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman’s chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Pack horse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

My review:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a beautifully written story of Appalachia history and the love of books. In the midst of the Depression, Cussy Mary is the last living female of the Blue people and has been shunned because of the color of her skin. She takes a job as a librarian with the Pack Horse Library Project and attempts to spread her love of reading to the poverty stricken people of Appalachia. I had no idea that there were actually Book Women or Blue people. I loved this story! A must read for historical fiction fans!

About the author:

Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Her novels include, Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. Her fourth novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek about the fierce and brave Kentucky Packhorse librarians, is available now. 

Posted in May 2019

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Synopsis:

With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.

When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.

With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power” (Booklist).

My review:

I read the first two books in The Peachtree Bluff series back to back and then I had to wait for the final book. It seemed like a long wait but oh so worth it! Reading The Southern Side of Paradise was like catching up with old friends and picking up where you last left off. Kristy Woodson Harvey is my number one for southern fiction! This is listed as the final book in the series but I’m hoping for more of Ansley, Caroline, Sloane and Emerson’s story!

About the author:

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the internationally bestselling author of DEAR CAROLINALIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE, THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM and the forthcoming THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE. Kristy was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize, her work has been optioned for film and her books have received numerous accolades.

Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a master’s in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern LivingTraditional HomeParadeUSA TodayDominoOur State and O. Henry. She has been seen in Today.com, Women’s Health,The Washington PostUS News and World ReportThe Huffington Post, Marie Claire’s The FixWoman’s World, Readers’ Digest, Bustle, New York Live and North Carolina Bookwatch, among others.

She is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers, serves on the board of Beaufort Historical Association, and is a member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Leadership Council. She is a frequent speaker at fundraisers, book conferences and private events. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and seven-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.

Posted in Author spotlight, May 2019

Author Spotlight: Andrew Lam

About the author:

Andrew Lam, M.D., is the award-winning author of three books. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Philadelphia and raised in central Illinois, he graduated summa cum laude in history from Yale University, where he studied military history and U.S.-East Asian relations. He then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by specialty training in ophthalmology and retina surgery at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, where he also served as chief resident.

Dr. Lam has authored numerous scientific articles and is a co-investigator for several national clinical trials. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, a partner at New England Retina Consultants, and an attending surgeon at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

He resides in Longmeadow, Massachusetts with his wife and four children.

Repentance–On sale now!

A captivating new novel about one family’s darkest secrets and the lengths to which a man will go to set things right.

France, October 1944: A Japanese American war hero has a secret. A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone—one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.

Fifty-five years later, his son, Daniel Tokunaga, is a world-famous cardiac surgeon with a beautiful wife and successful kids. But Daniel’s outwardly perfect life is a façade. He despises his father who prized toughness and achievement above warmth or affection. And for other reasons…troubles from the past that he has never revealed to another soul.

As Daniel’s marriage threatens to crumble from his own indifference, and a medical crisis compels him to return to his parents’ home, he stumbles upon the darkest secret of all—his father’s.

Soon the quest for the truth between father and son opens wide the gulf between them but also Daniel’s deepest questions of life…what is honor? Redemption? And most important of all, what is love?

Drawn from the heroic true story of a Japanese American regiment that fought in World War II and became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history, this poignant drama also shows the sorrows of the internment camps where American citizens of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned solely because of their race.

Repentance is a swift, sweeping novel in which one family’s catastrophic past unfurls just as the foundation of their present lives begins to crack. What they learn is that the briefest of moments—a split-second of indecision—can echo across generations.

Some secrets are too painful to be shared.

Some secrets you wish you never knew.

Posted in March 2019

Until The Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

Synopsis:

If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button…

Shorie is not only worried about her mother’s mental state but also for the future of her parents’ company. Especially when she begins to suspect that not all of Erin’s colleagues can be trusted. It seems someone is spinning an intricate web of deception—the foundation for a conspiracy that is putting everything, and everyone she loves, at risk. And she may be the only one who can stop it.

Now, thousands of miles away in a remote, and oftentimes menacing, tropical jungle, Erin is beginning to have similar fears. Things at the resort aren’t exactly how the brochure described, and unless she’s losing her mind, Erin’s pretty sure she wasn’t sent there to recover—she was sent to disappear.

My review:

I loved everything about Until the Day I Die from the gorgeous cover to the twisted page turning story inside! I thought I had the ending all figured out but I didn’t see it coming!

About the author:

Emily Carpenter is the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of suspense novels, Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, The Weight of Lies, and Every Single Secret. After graduating from Auburn with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, she moved to New York City. She’s worked as an actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant for the CBS shows, As the World Turns and Guiding Light. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. You can visit Emily at emilycarpenterauthor.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Book details:

  • Published March 12, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
  • 348 pages