I’m thrilled to take part in Harlequin’s Fall Reads Blog Tour for all three titles; and today I’m bringing to you THE ORPHAN OF CEMETERY HILL by Hester Fox.
Here’s the scoop:
The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission. Boston, 1844.
Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.
As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.
Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”
In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction.
So – I’ve never read a book by Hester Fox, but she often writes Gothic fiction and about witches and creepy things. This story takes place in a cemetery and the little girl is a medium (not by choice!). I loved the historical context of Boston in the 1800’s. However, the style reminded me SO MUCH of Dickens! I am wondering if others found that. It had the feel of Great Expectations, with lots of interesting characters (some nefarious) and action and intrigue and romance all wrapped up in the plot that centers on a young person. It was a great read if you like this type of storyline and well-written. I would definitely read more by Ms. Fox.
Thank you for having me be part of the tour and for my electronic copy.
Here’s a bit about Hester Fox:
Hester Fox is a full-time writer and mother, with a background in museum work and historical archaeology. Most weekends you can find Hester exploring one of the many historic cemeteries in the area, browsing bookshops, or enjoying a seasonal latte while writing at a café. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son.
Today I’m highlighting a book that is coming out in October, 2020: Hinterland by L.M. Brown. I was contacted by the author and offered a copy to review but, due to back to school looming, I’m spotlighting it here instead!
Here’s the overview from Goodreads:
Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.
Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.
This summer, Ms. Lien sent me a PDF of her new ABC book, billed as a “fruity ABC board book for happy toddlers”!
Each page has an upper case and lower case letter of the alphabet and starts with “Look, Look,” (an important sight word in early reading). Then there is a fruit with a cute name that fits the given letter (such as “Baba the banana”) with a whimsical drawing.
I will say that this book had some fruits that I had never heard of before (I believe Ms. Lien is from France) so it was a bit of a learning experience for me as an adult as well!
A cute addition to the pre-school library and one that they will probably want to “read” on their own.
Thank you for sharing your work with me, Ms. Lien!
I received some information from Mr. Sudhir’s publicist about his upcoming YA novel, #2 in a series, Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle.
Here’s the scoop:
Author Krishna Sudhir, whose debut young adult novel Nujran and the Monks of Meirar was released in 2017, is back to continue Nujran’s journey. In Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle[Notion Press, August 2020], the second book in the Prince of Typgar series, Nujran returns to the University of Western Foalinaarc campus after traveling across planet Syzegis with his teacher, Amsibh.
Here are the plot details:
On campus, a body has just been discovered and college sophomore Nujran has questions: Who is this girl? Why is she dead? Could it be linked to the mysterious illness sweeping across campus and affecting most of the teaching community? Why does Amsibh come to his school, and from what is he trying to protect Nujran?
Through exciting and unexpected twists, Nujran is reunited with his old friends, the Monks of Meirar. With fugitives on the run, turbulence on the university campus, a new romance, a strange kidnapping, a prison escape, and a rescue mission that doesn’t go as planned, Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle is a fast-paced adventure with elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and magical realism.
Sudhir has cemented his place as a new and welcomed Indian-American voice who draws upon ancient Indian mythological traditions to create modern fantasy fiction featuring themes of friendship, adventure, romance, love, betrayal, and loss.
I offered to post a Q&A with the author as he seems quite gifted and interesting!
Q&A with Krishna Sudhir, MD, PhD
Author of Prince of Typgar: Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle
Question: Congratulations on your latest novel, Prince of Typgar: Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle! Tell us what the book is about.
Krishna Sudhir: This is the second in the Prince of Typgar series, a sequel to Nujran and the Monks of Meirar. The series is set in an alternate universe, an earth-like planet Syzegis in a distant galaxy. At the end of the first book, we leave Nujran as a teenager who has traveled with his teacher, Amsibh, experiencing romance, conflict, friendship, betrayal, and loss. We begin the second book on the campus of the University of Western Foalinaarc, where a body has just been discovered. Who is this girl, and why is she dead? Could it be linked to the mysterious illness sweeping across campus, affecting most of the teaching community? Why does Amsibh come to the school, and what does he need to protect Nujran from? Through what twist of fate is Nujran reunited with his old friends, the Monks of Meirar? And why does Nujran end up being a captive again?
Q: Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle picks up where your last book, Nujran and the Monks of Meirar, left off, but it can also work as a stand-alone. Why did you decide to return to Nujran’s story and what will fans of your first novel be most excited by? Sudhir: I felt there was more of Nujran’s story that needed to be told, and I wanted to have readers go along with him on all of his new adventures as he begins college. In this book, there’s drama in plenty with fugitives on the run, turbulence on the university campus, fresh intrigue, a new romance, a strange kidnapping, an escape from prison, and a rescue mission where things don’t quite go as planned. In short, this sequel is another fast-paced adventure that will hold readers spellbound!
Q: What makes your books stand out from other young adult fantasy novels? Sudhir: The most unique aspect is that this book is written from an Indian-American voice, that pulls from stories of kings, queens and princes in Indian mythology to create modern fantasy fiction. There are not many YA novels that originate from Indian thinking and tradition, so I was happy to bring that to readers. Plus, it’s set on another planet in a distant galaxy, with elements of not just sci-fi and fantasy but also magical realism, making it a captivating blend of multiple young adult genres. An alternate universe, with multi-ethnic characters, many with unusual abilities, will likely attract fans of the Marvel and DC entertainment films and comic books.Plus, I hope young readers from Indian and other immigrant backgrounds who don’t see their culture widely represented in YA novels will enjoy that aspect as well.
Q: Why did you decide to feature multi-ethnic culture and Indian mythology in your novels? Sudhir: We are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic country, but we don’t have enough minority voices in literature. As an Indian-American writer, I bring a unique perspective to storytelling, drawing from my love of Indian mythology, the Arabian Nights and other epic literature in the diversity space. I am honored to be able to bring these to young readers of all cultures, and I hope they can not only enjoy the stories, but learn something about other cultures – or even their own – along the way.
Q: You are a cardiologist and a professor – what made you want to write YA novels?
Sudhir: The ideas for the books came from multiple directions. Raising two boys (who are now almost 26 and 24), I read a lot of young adult fiction. We perused the Harry Potter novels together, a delightful shared experience. When they were younger, I learned to spin a lot of yarns, mainly as bedtime stories. And going further back in time, there was my own childhood and early adult fascination with the Indian epics—magnificent tales of princes and warriors woven into stories.
Q: With your medical and teaching career, in addition to being a parent, when do you find the time to write?
Sudhir: I love this question because it has a fun answer! Before COVID, I traveled often for my job. The entire first novel in the Prince of Typgar series was written on United Airlines airplanes. Most of Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle was as well, before quarantine kept me home for the tail end of the process. The cabin of an airplane is an unusual, but perfect place to lose yourself in a new universe through writing!
Q: What’s next for you? Will you be writing another book in the Prince of Typgar series, or something fresh?
Sudhir: The series is planned as a trilogy, so there’s one more novel after this one. That final one will be the culmination of the story. Nujran’s adventures will continue, you can be sure there will be more intrigue and conflict, and hopefully my readers will stay with me through the end of the series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krishna (Krishnankutty) Sudhir is a physician, cardiologist and educator. Born in Chennai, India, he has lived and worked in three countries, including India, Australia, and the United States. He is currently based in California’s Bay Area, where he is a senior executive in the medical device industry.
In his academic career, he has taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at major Australian and American universities. He is passionate about educating the general public on health and medicine, and has authored several TED-Ed videos in the health care field. Sudhir has traveled extensively across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, and is deeply interested in cultures, languages, and cuisines across the globe. He enjoys watching movies, listening to music, reading detective novels, and cooking Indian food. While well-published in the medical field as the author of over 180 publications, the Prince of Typgar series is his first foray into the world of fiction.
Coming out in October is Lancelot Schaubert’s BELL HAMMERS: The True Folk Tale of Little Eygpt. This is a tale full of interesting and sometimes quirky characters. It can be serious or laugh out loud funny. But throughout I was impressed with Schaubert’s style and craft of writing. He is a beautiful writer, able to create vivid depictions through his use of imagery, and is the type of writer that adds a few carefully chosen words to round out and develop a character.
I will admit that I am unable to provide a complete review of the story because at the halfway point my electronic ARC turned to nothingness on me, hence I’m providing a spotlight. But – what I did read I enjoyed!
Thank you for sending me an electronic copy of your book (publishing in October 2020).
Here’s the overview:
PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS.
AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.
Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops of off the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.
Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.
Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:
“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”
If you know me, you know I am fascinated by time travel, so I was sure I’d enjoy Chance of a Lifetime, in which the main character travels from 1800’s Ireland to present day to made up for falling in love with a young woman and changing the course of her life. His job? Make sure that she marries the right guy this time around — their offspring will change the course of history.
In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him
In 1844 Ireland, Liam O’Connor, a rogue and a thief, fell madly in love with a squire’s daughter and unwittingly altered the future. Shy and naive Cora McLeod thought Liam was the answer to her prayers. But the angels disagreed and they’ve been waiting for the right moment in time to step in.
Now Liam finds himself reunited with his beloved Cora in Providence Falls, North Carolina. The angels have given Liam a task. He must make sure Cora falls in love with another man—the one she was supposed to marry before Liam interfered. But this Cora is very different from the innocent girl who fell for Liam in the past. She’s a cop and has a confidence and independence he wasn’t expecting. She doesn’t remember Liam or their past lives, nor is she impressed with his attempts to guide her in any way.
Liam wants Cora for himself, but with his soul hanging in the balance, he must choose between a stolen moment in time or an eternity of damnation.
This was a fun read! You have to suspend disbelief a bit in order to make it all “work” – and I will admit to not loving the end as I love things all wrapped up nicely in the end – but it was the kind of story that made me chuckle at times. I really enjoyed these characters. I kept thinking that it would make a great Hallmark movie!
Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my ARC! I will look forward to the next book in the series.
Here’s a bit on the authors:
Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning, and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.
Tara Sheets is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her debut novel, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America. Tara began her career as an author in the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the rain and the misty mountains and the rivers of Starbucks coffee. She now lives in the warm, wonderful South where she can stand outside with no coat on, and she finds that pretty inspiring too. When not writing, Tara enjoys life with her book-loving family and a book-eating dog named Merlin. You can find out more about her on the web at http://www.tarasheets.com, on facebook/tarasheetsauthor, and on twitter @Tara_Sheets.
Partners in Crime Blog Tours are always fun because they feature well-written mysteries and crime novels. Today I’m blogging about Derailed by Mary Keliikoa, a Kelly Pruett Mystery.
Here’s the overview:
Synopsis: A dying wish. A secret world.Can this grieving investigator stay on the right track?PI Kelly Pruett is determined to make it on her own. And juggling clients at her late father’s detective agency, a controlling ex, and caring for a deaf daughter was never going to be easy. She takes it as a good sign when a letter left by her dad ties into an unsolved case of a young woman struck by a train.Hunting down the one person who can prove the mysterious death was not just a drunken accident, Kelly discovers this witness is in no condition to talk. And the closer she gets to the truth the longer her list of sleazy suspects with murderous motives grows. Each clue exposes another layer of the victim’s steamy double life. Can Kelly pinpoint the murderer, or is she on the fast track to disaster?
Book Details:Genre: Mystery Published by: Camel Press Publication Date: May 12th 2020 Number of Pages: 232 ISBN: 1603817069 (ISBN13: 9781603817066) Series: PI Kelly Pruett #1 Purchase Links (not affiliated with BBNB) :Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Goodreads
I enjoyed this fast-paced mystery and thought that Ms. Keliikoa did a great job with the character development. Kelly was multi-dimensional and I wanted to hear more about her and her work and personal life. I am hoping there are more books coming!
Author Bio: Mary Keliikoa spent the first 18 years of her adult life working around lawyers. Combining her love of all things legal and books, she creates a twisting mystery where justice prevails. She has had a short story published in Woman’s World and is the author of the PI Kelly Pruett Mystery Series. At home in Washington, she enjoys spending time with her family and her writing companions/fur-kids. When not at home, you can find Mary on a beach on the Big Island where she and her husband recharge. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.
I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful yet at times heart-breaking story about a mother and daughter: The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. I loved this book so much!
Here’s the overview:
THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE (on sale: September 1, 2020; Park Row Books; Hardcover; $27.99 US/ $34.99 CAN). opens whenMargot Lee’s mother, Mina, doesn’t return her calls. It’s a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous and invisible strings that held together her single mother’s life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.
Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.
I love stories that deal with family relationships and Asian culture, and some of my favorite authors are masters of portraying those familial bonds (e.g. Amy Tan, Celeste Ng, Lisa See). This was such a touching and well-written story. It made me cry! I think throughout, though, I was impressed that the character of Mina – while deceased for the entire novel – was still such a memorable and vibrant character. She was so relatable. I think that this was the strongest aspect of this remarkable debut novel: the development of the characters.
Strongly recommended! Thank you so much for including me in the tour and for my electronic ARC.
Here’s a bit about Ms. Kim and ways to get this book:
Buy Links: (provided by HC and not affiliated with BBNB)
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a graduate of UCLA and the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, The Offing, the blogs of Prairie Schooner and Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her essay, “Love (or Live Cargo),” was performed for NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts in 2017 with stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Phil Klay, and Etgar Keret. THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE is her first novel.
This was a thrilling and suspenseful read, at times heart-breaking, with a lot to talk about regarding how young women can be victims and yet blamed for crimes against them. I think it’d be a good bookclub pick if you like this genre.
To be honest, I had to suspend disbelief a few times as the “mysterious messages” kept appearing almost miraculously. I was waiting for some big twist, etc. but this was a straight forward story focused on righting the wrongs against this young teen and her family.
Here’s the overview:
In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlen Coben) The Escape Room, a true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before.
Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?
About the Author
MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. The Escape Room was her debut novel.
Thank you for my e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
I’m thrilled to take part in the Harper-Collins Summer Reads Blog Tour this week with the suspenseful mystery novel: When I Was You.
Here’s the scoop:
YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.
It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.
But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.
Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.
I really enjoyed this suspenseful read, and I pretty much had it figured out as well – even the twists. Parts of this book are heart-wrenching, and some readers may find some of the topics to be triggers. However, overall I liked this story a lot and look forward to more titles from Ms. Garza!
Thank you for my e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
Amber Garza is a new author to me!
Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.