Bookouture Blog Tour for: The Museum Murder by Katie Gayle

I love this series of cozy mysteries featuring the intrepid and often comical Epiphany Bloom, and I was thrilled to take part in the blog tour for Katie Gayle’s latest installment: The Museum Murder.

Here’s the overview:

Dastardly deeds, daring deceptions and a dress to die for… Epiphany Bloom is back on the case!

Epiphany ‘Pip’ Bloom, would-be detective and London’s unluckiest woman, finds herself in a real costume drama when she unearths a theft at a fashion museum.

The missing dress is a proper piece of Hollywood history, worth a fortune. And as Pip investigates, she finds the museum staff all had reasons to want the garment gone. From fancy boutiques to sketchy back alleys, Pip discovers the fashion world is not all glitz and glamour as she hunts down her prize.

As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Pip also has her growing feelings for her housemate Tim to contend with, a family of cats to feed and her mother keeps phoning about a shipment of llamas arriving any day now from South America.

But there’s no time for distractions because Pip’s not the only one after the dress. And for the most dedicated collectors, a piece like this is worth any price – even murder…

A laugh-out-loud, light-hearted cozy mystery for fans of M.C. Beaton, T.E. Kinsey and Joanne Fluke, that will have you reading late into the night.

Author Bio:

Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.

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I enjoyed this mystery very much and recommend it to those who like Rhys Bowen’s books!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my electronic galley!

Bookouture Blog Tour for: NOT WITHOUT MY SISTER by Marion Kummerow

Today I’m part of the Bookouture blog tour for Marion Kummerow’s WWII historical novel of two sisters separated at Bergen-Belsen who defy the odds in finding each other and surviving the war.

Here’s the overview:

1944, Germany. Two sisters seek to overcome impossible odds to be reunited, in this utterly devastating and unforgettable novel about sisterhood, courage and survival.

All they had left was each other. Until the Nazis tore them apart.

After years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel Epstein and her little sister Mindel are captured by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. The only ray of light for either girl is that they are together.

But on arrival they are separated. As she’s seventeen and deemed an adult, Rachel is sent to work in a brutal factory whilst four-year-old Mindel is sent into the so-called “star” camp for Jewish prisoners. All on her own, Rachel knows her sister will have no chance of survival—unless she can find someone to take care of her.

Working in the windowless, airless factory—filling munitions casings with chemicals that burn her fingers and make her eyes sting—the only thing that keeps Rachel going is the thought of her little sister. Because if there’s even a chance Mindel is alive, Rachel knows she must try to save her.

But, separated by barbed wire, and treated brutally by SS guards who do not even see them as human beings, can either of the orphaned sisters ever dare to hope that they’ll find their way back to each other? And to freedom?

A completely heartbreaking, utterly gripping tale of courage, loss and overcoming impossible odds, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Ragged Edge of Night and The Orphan’s Tale.

I enjoyed this story. I’m always struck by the resiliency of young people surviving war, be it in the past or in present day. The ONLY thing that I would have changed in this book is that Mindel seemed older to me – more like seven than four. It kept jumping out at me that she seemed (developmentally) older than four. I had the good fortune to connect with Ms. Kummerow on this very point and she shared that she used her own daughter and things she was saying at the same age as her model. So there you go!

Overall I enjoyed this story and I always appreciate an ending with a good resolution! I loved the characters, especially Mindel’s special friend, Laszlo. This is the first novel my Ms. Kummerow that I’ve read. I’ll need to look for her others as she often writes about WWII.

Thank you for my review copy and making me part of the tour!

Author Bio:

Marion Kummerow was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to “discover the world” and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she’s now living with her family.

Inspired by the true story about her grandparents, who belonged to the German resistance and fought against the Nazi regime, she started writing historical fiction, set during World War II. Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and resilience. She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, take difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round.

USA Today Bestselling author Marion Kummerow invites you on an emotional journey through WWII

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Anxious People by Frederik Backman

I love Frederik Backman’s writing, so I was excited to get this one from Net Galley. I will admit, I had some challenges sticking with it, so I also used an Audible credit for it. I’m so glad I did. I loved this book! Listening to it was the perfect way to get into it and enjoy the story. Marin Ireland was amazing as the narrator.

I have read a variety of responses to this novel in the blogosphere, with many people finding the beginning confusing and others saying to stick with it. I agree. And listening to it was the perfect way to connect with this story and these unforgettable characters.

Backman has an incredible gift of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. His characters are flawed but lovable. He believes in happy endings (or at least hopeful). And I loved how everyone in this story ended up connected.

Highly recommended!

Here’s the overview:

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. 

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them — the bank robber included — desperately crave some sort of rescue. 

As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope — the things that save us, even in the most anxious times. 

Spotlight on THE PORTRAIT by Ilaria Bernardini

I’m shouting it out today for this interesting sounding book. I was offered it to review but because my TBR pile is huge (!) I am throwing the spotlight on it instead today.

Here’s the overview and info (via the publisher):


A Novel

Ilaria Bernardini

“Electric. A wildly astute plunge into the depths of love, rivalry, betrayal and the power of women.”—Bill Clegg

An internationally renowned writer, Valeria Costas has dedicated her life to her work and to her secret lover, Martìn Acla, a prominent businessman. When his sudden stroke makes headlines, her world implodes; the idea of losing him is terrifying. Desperate to find a way to be present during her lover’s final days, Valeria commissions his artist wife, Isla, to paint her portrait—insinuating herself into Martìn’s family home and life.

In the grand, chaotic London mansion where the man they share—husband, father, lover—lies in a coma, Valeria and Isla remain poised on the brink, transfixed by one another. Day after day, the two women talk to each other during the sittings, revealing truths, fragilities and strengths. But does Isla know of the writer’s long involvement with Martìn? Does Valeria grasp the secrets that Isla harbors? Amidst their own private turmoil, the stories of their lives are exchanged, and as the portrait takes shape, we watch these complex and extraordinary women struggle while the love of their lives departs, in an unforgettable, breathless tale of deception and mystery that captivates until the very end.

Ilaria Bernardini is a prolific talent in Italy, where she has published eight novels, including Faremo Foresta (“We Will Grow a Forest”) which was longlisted for Italy’s presitigious Strega Prize. The Portrait too has been longlisted for the Strega Prize: it was nominated by Academy Award winning director Paolo Sorrentino ( “The great beauty”) She is a Vogue Italia columnist and regular contributor for Rolling Stone . Ilaria also co-wrote the late renowned director Bernardo Bertolucci’s last film, The Echo Chamber. She splits her time between London and Milan.

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Buy it now in print: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

Buy it now in ebook: Amazon Barnes & Noble

Spotlight on MUSKRAT RAMBLE by Mim Eichmann

Some of you might remember me enjoying Mim Eichmann’s earlier historical fiction novel, A Sparrow Alone, last April. Well, it’s Pub Week for her sequel: Muskrat Ramble. This continues the story of Hannah.

Here’s the overview:

Seamlessly threaded into the emerging hot jazz music scene that captured the hearts of music lovers in 1913 New Orleans, are the themes of the tightening Jim Crow era, World War I and its aftermath of economic ills, political upheavals and epidemics, and the changes, choices, heartbreaks and ultimate decisions of women of all races … at its heart, however, “Muskrat Ramble” is the saga of a young woman’s unwavering devotion to the child she was forced to abandon at birth.

MUSKRAT RAMBLE will be available in print and electronic formats. Ms. Eichmann is aslo running a Goodreads Giveaway.


Here’s a bit about Ms. Eichmann: A graduate from the Jordan College of Music at Butler University, in Indianapolis, IN, Chicago-based author Mim Eichmann has found that her creative journey has taken her down many exciting, interwoven pathways as an award-winning published lyricist and songwriter, professional folk musician, ballet choreographer and now, historical fiction author. Her debut historical fiction novel, “A Sparrow Alone”, published by Living Springs Publishers on April 15, 2020, has met with extremely enthusiastic reviews and was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Illinois Library Association’s Soon-to-be-Famous Project Competition. “Muskrat Ramble” which will be published on March 23, 2021, is its much-anticipated sequel. 

Harper-Collins Blog Tour for: HER DARK LIES by J.T. Ellison

Today I’m glad to be taking part in the blog tour for this new suspense/thriller HER DARK LIES by J.T. Ellison. This one kept me up late reading and guessing until the end. It’s a bit of a feel like Gone Girl – different narrators, people in peril, trying to figure out what’s happening and why. I liked it a lot!

If you like suspenseful reads, don’t miss this one! Thank you for my mobi copy and for making me part of the tour!

Here’s the overview:

About the Book:

Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget—and some won’t survive.
Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.
From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.
Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…

About the Author:

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY® award winning co-host of the literary TV show A WORD ON WORDS. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 28 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

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337 by M. Jonathan Lee

A while back, I received a copy of 337 by M. Jonathan Lee. I received the hardcover, UK version which is pretty amazing because you read the book and then flip it and then continue. This book is fairly unique – it’s a story where nothing is as it seems. However, at its heart, it’s a story of a young man dealing with the loss of his mother. It is at times heart-breaking, at times surprising.

Lee has several other novels out, that I haven’t read, and he is an excellent writer. I’d be interested in reading more of his work.

Thank you for my copy! It’s definitely a book you keep thinking about after it’s over.

Here’s the overview. (You can find this book on Amazon, though I recommend holding out for the UK hardcover so that you can read it and flip it.)

337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.

While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.

Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth.

Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.

Spotlight on AFTER EVERYTHING by Andrea Nourse

Today I’m throwing the spotlight on AFTER EVERYTHING by Andrea Nourse. This looks like a fun read – perfect for summer!

Here’s the overview:

All Abby Rhodes wants is a chance to pursue her songwriting dreams. When she leaves her husband on Christmas Eve and puts their Missouri hometown in her rearview mirror, she heads straight to Nashville and onto the doorstep of her estranged father. But in typical Abby fashion, nothing goes as planned. Unemployed and alone, Abby lands a job waiting tables at her neighborhood dive bar. There she meets a local singer-songwriter with steel-grey eyes and a reputation that threatens to unlock Abby’s small-town innocence. Just as Nashville starts to feel like home, her past comes crashing back in the form of her soon-to-be ex-husband, forcing her to confront the truth behind her midnight escape. If Abby can’t reconcile her history with her future, she might lose out on her dreams and her second chance at finding love.

You can find it online or a bookstore near you. I see it’s only $1.99 on kindle today!

IF SHE DIES by Erik Therme

Erik Therme reached out to me and offered me a galley of his new novel: If She Dies. I’ve enjoyed Erik’s previous books, and he seems like a terribly nice person, so I was happy to read this one.

Here’s the overview:

How far would you go to right a wrong?

Nine months ago, Tess’s five-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. The driver, Brady Becker, was sentenced to two years in prison. It didn’t make Tess’s pain go away.

Brady also has a daughter: A twelve-year-old named Eve who walks to Chandler Middle School every day. Tess knows this because she’s been watching Eve for the last three weeks. It isn’t fair that Brady’s daughter gets to live, while Tess’s daughter does not.

When Eve goes missing, all eyes turn to Tess, who doesn’t have an alibi. But Tess isn’t guilty.

Or so she believes.

This was a great read – suspenseful and fast-paced. However, I don’t think the jacket did it justice. At its essence, this book is about a women who is dealing with the loss of her child. Her grief is so tangible. At times this story was heart-breaking. At other times it was thrilling. I didn’t figure it all out in advance either – which is rare.

Erik has a way of capturing the human experience and the emotions that drive our actions, and he wraps this into his writing, creating believable and multi-dimensional characters.

Thank you for the opportunity to read your novel!