My Favorite Reads of 2022!

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Each year I try to select my favorite novels from the year of reading. It is SO hard to do as I read a lot and there are so many good ones. However, I will attempt to choose my top ten (okay – I ended with 11!) that I blogged about this year (I read more books that I don’t blog about – there’s just not enough time since I work full-time!).

So here, in no particular order beyond being chronological on my blog are my top 11:

HAMNET by Maggie O’Farrell

THE SECRET LOVE LETTERS OF OLIVIA MORETTI by Jennifer Probst

MRS. ENGLAND by Stacey Halls

THE GERMAN WIFE by Kelly Rimmer

THE THREAD COLLECTORS by Shauna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman

STAY AWAKE by Megan Goldin

IN THE SHADOW OF A QUEEN by Heather B. Moore

MY NAME IS ONA JUDGE by Suzette D. Harrison

MOTHER, DAUGHTER, TRAITOR, SPY by Susan Elia MacNeal

THE PRISONER by B.A. Paris

ANGELS OF THE RESISTANCE by Noelle Salazar

Thanks for spending another year with Beth’s Book-Nook Blog – Year 14 for me! I wish I had more time to blog (and read) but as long as I can read, I’ll be sharing what I’m reading with you. Next year I hope to add podcasts (it’s been a goal for several years!) and be better about including my audiobooks from my commute. In the meantime, happy reading and happy 2023! May the new year bring you much health and happiness as well as many good reads! ~Beth

Blog Tour for DEATH ON A WINTER STROLL by Francine Mathews

Today I’m part of the Austenprose Blog Tour for Francine Mathews’ Death on a Winter Stroll. This was a well-written and well-plotted mystery, taking place on Nantucket at Christmas time.

Here’s the overview:

Publisher: Soho Press

Date of Publication: November 1, 2022

Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Detective Mysteries, Holiday Mysteries

BOOK DESCRIPTION

No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood stars and DC suits.

Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger is acutely conscious of the stress COVID-19 has placed on the community she loves. Although the island has proved a refuge for many during the pandemic, the cost to Nantucket has been high. Merry hopes that the Christmas Stroll, one of Nantucket’s favorite traditions, in which Main Street is transformed into a winter wonderland, will lift the island’s spirits. But the arrival of a large-scale TV production, and the Secretary of State and her family, complicates matters significantly.
 
The TV shoot is plagued with problems from within, as a shady, power-hungry producer clashes with strong-willed actors. Across Nantucket, the Secretary’s troubled stepson keeps shaking off his security detail to visit a dilapidated house near conservation land, where an intriguing recluse guards secrets of her own. With all parties overly conscious of spending too much time in the public eye and secrets swirling around both camps, it is difficult to parse what behavior is suspicious or not—until the bodies turn up.
 
Now, it’s up to Merry and Detective Howie Seitz to find a connection between two seemingly unconnected murders and catch the killer. But when everyone has a motive, and half of the suspects are politicians and actors, how can Merry and Howie tell fact from fiction?
 
This latest installment in critically acclaimed author Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger series is an immersive escape to festive Nantucket, a poignant exploration of grief as a result of parental absence, and a delicious new mystery to keep you guessing.

PRAISE FOR DEATH ON A WINTER STROLL

  • “This fast-moving mystery packs in a lot, but never too much, and will work for fans of coming-of-age stories, police procedurals, and romance.” —First Clue
  • “Fresh, well-wrought prose brings the setting of Nantucket to life. Mathews consistently entertains.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Christmas and death come to Nantucket . . . Plenty of fascinating characters and myriad motives make for an exciting read.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Mathews consistently places relationships at the forefront of her mysteries, and Merry’s unique blend of tenacity and humanity makes her a heroine to root for.”—USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden, author of the Inspector Corravan mysteries

I loved this mystery and I look forward to reading others in the series!

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

Spotlight on THE THREE LIVES OF ALIX ST. PIERRE by Natasha Lester

Here’s a new one out that looks SO good!!

Natasha Lester, author of The Paris Seamstress, The Paris Orphan and The Paris Secret, promises another novel with a strong female protagonist and an insightful look into high society through historical figures such as Chistian Dior. The story follows a spy-turned-icon, Alix St. Pierre, as she navigates the post-war effects of espionage and more frighteningly, the fashion industry. 

The novel showcases the harsh realities women faced in the 1940’s while also celebrating the ways in which they adapted to fit the ever changing landscape of war, workplace and fashion. Alix St. Pierre is an icon that will stand the test of literary time through her inspiring story as she battles mysterious figures from her past and her own traumas. With espionage, swooning romance, and cutthroat revenge, THE THREE LIVES OF ALIX ST. PIERRE has something for everyone. 

Natasha Lester:

worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal before penning the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The Paris Orphan. She is also the author of the USA Today bestseller The Paris Seamstress as well as several other historical fiction novels including The Riviera House, Her Mother’s Secret and A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald

When she’s not writing, she loves collecting vintage fashion, traveling, reading, practicing yoga and playing with her three children. Natasha lives in Perth, Western Australia. 

Connect with her on:

Instagram: @natashalesterauthor

Facebook: @NatashaLesterAuthor  

YouTube:  Natasha Lester

Website:  NatashaLester.com

Praise for THE THREE LIVES OF ALIX ST. PIERRE 

“Natasha Lester has done it again with this sumptuously written page-turner! Alix St. Pierre is everything that makes an admirable heroine – independent, plucky, and clever as the story spans from the fashionable world of Dior in Paris to the fascinating intrigue of international espionage in neutral Switzerland. The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is a captivating novel that readers will absolutely adore.”

—Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London

“Natasha Lester has expertly woven a brilliant heroine who is as brave in the fashion world as she is spying on the enemy. From page one, I was completely captivated by her daring and enamored with the glamour of Paris fashion. Unputdownable!”

—Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop

“An enthralling page turner! Luxuriant and opulent, just like Dior’s glorious gowns.”

―Tania Blanchard, author of The Girl from Munich

“Sparkling and complex, like vintage champagne. In The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre, Natasha Lester gives us a brilliant, fascinating and multi-layered heroine whose dangerous past as a spy in World War II comes to threaten her future in glamorous post-war Paris. Lester’s masterful storytelling held me enthralled from the first page!”―Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

Harper-Collins Blog Tour for ANGELS OF THE RESISTANCE by Noelle Salazar

I’m happy to be taking part in the blog tour for a new WWII read of Dutch Resistance against the Nazis- Angels of the Resistance by Noelle Salazar. This was as great read – very compelling – telling the story of two sisters who do their part to save their town, and themselves, from the Nazis. It is based on true events.

I couldn’t put this one down — don’t miss it!

Thanks for making me part of the tour and for my copy!

Here’s the scoop:

Book Summary:

The second WWII novel by Noelle Salazar, bestselling author of the THE FLIGHT GIRLS, follows two teenage sisters in the Netherlands who are recruited as part of the Dutch Resistance effort against the Nazis. Inspired by true events, this moving story about ordinary young women who become extraordinary heroes will appeal to fans of Pam Jenoff and Kate Quinn.

Netherlands, 1940. In the small town of Haarlem, fourteen-year-old Lien lives a simple life with her mother and sister in a farmhouse on the outskirts of the city. Elsewhere in Europe bombs are falling, but the pall on their house is more from the recent loss of their baby sister as a result of an accident Lien believes she could have prevented than from the oncoming war. Until the Nazis invade the Netherlands and their lives are overturned once more.

Recruited by their late father’s friend, Lien’s older sister Elif reluctantly joins the Dutch resistance movement. Spurred by the injustice of the Nazis’ treatment of Dutch citizens as well as a terrifying bombing of their small town, and forever seeking atonement for her baby sister’s death, Lien begs to join as well. The sisters’ youthful, innocent looks and ability to disappear into a crowd make them the perfect resistance soldiers. Together with a handful of like-minded youth, including the gallant Charlie with whom Lien forms an instant connection, the sisters are trained and begin to carry out missions, from distributing and collecting information to moving Jewish families from hiding places to luring and killing influential Nazis. The toll of the war and their work is evident in their collective psyches, and Lien starts to make mistakes that could cost her and her newfound friends their lives. Until one very personal mission shows her that the atonement she desperately seeks for her sister’s death cannot be found at the end of the barrel of a pistol, but must be found from within her heart.

Buy Links: NOT affiliated with BBNB

BookShop: https://bookshop.org/p/books/angels-of-the-resistance-a-wwii-novel-noelle-salazar/17845985?ean=9780778386797 

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780778386797_angels-of-the-resistance.html 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angels-of-the-resistance-noelle-salazar/1141412268?ean=9780778386797 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Angels-Resistance-Novel-Noelle-Salazar/dp/0778386791/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=angels+of+the+resistance+noelle+salazar&qid=1668110740&sprefix=angels+of+the+%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-1 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Angels-Resistance/Noelle-Salazar/9780778386797?id=8292090795540  

Author Website: https://www.noellesalazar.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noellesalazar

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noelle__salazar/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/noelle_salazar 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18424925.Noelle_Salazar 

Author Bio:

Noelle Salazar was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she’s been a Navy recruit, a medical assistant, an NFL cheerleader, and always a storyteller. When she’s not writing, she can be found dodging raindrops and daydreaming of her next book. Her first novel, The Flight Girls, was an instant bestseller, a Forbes, Woman’s World & Hypable book of the month and a BookBub Top Recommended book from readers. Angels of Haarlem is her second novel. Noelle lives in Bothell, Washington, with her husband and two children.