The Paris Secret by Lily Graham

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham is a heartbreakingly beautiful love story which begins in the present and moves backwards to the 1960’s and to World War II France.

A young girl named Valerie at the age of 21 finds out her grandfather, Vincent Dupont, the owner of a bookstore in France gave her up at the age of 3 to live with her aunt in England. Although warned by her Aunt to not pursue the reasons why, Valerie goes to France under an assumed name to find out who her parents are and what happened to them during the Nazi Occupation of France. But more importantly why did her grandfather not want her.

The main character, if you will, is the bookstore which Vincent’s family has owned for generations and which was witness to many encounters, both good and bad. It is where Valerie will find not only all of her answers, but will also find love. It is the heart of the story.

This is an epic love story which will make you sad but also make you feel full of love and hope. I recommend all romantics and people who enjoy historical fiction to pick up a copy.

The book goes on sale October 4. Thank you Bookouture and NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry

Eleanor (Ellie) Wilde has an interesting profession. She rids houses of ghosts. She is a ghost hunter. Some call her a medium others like her brother Liam call her a fake. Ellie Wilde is a fake ghost hunter, Thus begins the book Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry. Ellie, who is the breadwinner of their small family…only because her brother Liam decided to go into a real profession as a teacher… financially supports their other sister Winnie, (they are triplets), who has been in a catatonic state since a terrible accident years ago.

After her last exhausting exorcism Ellie is on her way to Mexico for some relaxation when she is hired by Nicholas Hartford a wealthy Englishman who flies her out to his ancestral estate in England to help his mother who believes there is a ghost (Xavier) whispering in her ear and wreaking havoc on the family,

Estate life is not all that it is cut out to be as we see at the Hartford Estate. The place is cold, dark and falling apart. The family pinch pennies and food is a necessity not a luxury. But the sherry does flow freely! And needless to say there are a cast of characters; Vivian, the aged mother who hears but does not see Xavier the ghost, Rachel the niece a teenager who is virtually a shut in, Fern the sister of Nicholas whose beauty is truly superficial, Cal, Fern’s wealthy boyfriend and of course, Thomas the butler/handyman.

Things immediately begin to go bump in the night and mayhem ensues. All but Nicholas thinks she is a real ghost hunter. Ellie must use her “powers” to figure out just who is ghosting who and how. And just how many ghost could there possibly be?

Anyone who enjoyed the Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell will enjoy this heartfelt, very funny quirky story with some romance and craziness thrown in.

I hope this is the first in a series of Ellie Wilde books. The book will be out October 30.

Coming Home to Maple Cottage by Holly Martin

Coming Home to Maple Cottage by Holly Martin is a romantic feel-good novel in the genre of Debbie Macomber. It is a series but each book tells the story of a particular character therefore you don’t have to read them in order.

Isla Rosewood’s life is upturned when her brother passes away suddenly and she becomes guardian along with her brother’s best friend Lou Jackson to his young son Elliot. Isla leaves London, her work and her boyfriend to head back to Sandcastle Bay to become an instant mother. Lou, who although has a history of being a womanizer, and a troubled past, must try to rise to the occasion and be the father he knows his best friend would have wanted him to be.

With a bit of history behind them, Isla and Lou begin to co-parent Elliot as “best friends” and both fall madly in love with their young charge. Just as they begin to feel like a true family, Elliot’s real mother Sadie, who left Sandcastle Bay when Elliot was a baby returns with demands which tests their relationship both as a couple, and as a family.

A sweet story about trust, love and family I recommend Coming Home to Maple Cottage.

The book comes out September 28. Thank you Bookouture and Netgalley for the advanced copy.

This is Me by Chrissy Metz

This is Me is a warm hearted look at the life of Chrissy Metz who plays Kate Pearson on the NBC hit show This is Us. The book chronicles her rise to stardom from her childhood of being verbally and physically abused, through many life lessons in which she persevered only to come out with a positive spirit and attitude. The book is full of many words of wisdom which she now lives by.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Metz’s father left her family when she was 8. Her mother became a single parent to three young children trying to make ends meet with many jobs. It was only later in life Metz realized the reason her mother would just sit with them at dinner and not eat was because there was not enough food.

When her mother married Metz’s stepfather Chrissy thought she had found the dad she had never had. But sadly he proceeded to abuse her both verbally and physically. Metz, who has been plus size her who life, began at the whim of her stepfather having to get the scale out and weigh herself only to have him belittle and hit her because of her size.

While in High School she gravitated towards the drama and chorus clubs and at the age of 17 moved to Los Angeles to try her luck in Hollywood. She became a talent agent and married, but as her marriage was breaking up she began a soul-searching journey on how to get what she really wanted and be what she chose to be on her own terms.

There is a chapter in the book called Hurt People Hurt People which sums up so much of her life and to me was a significant aha moment.

There are many lessons to take away from this autobiography/memoir/how to book by a survivor of abuse who fought hard to rise above–something some people can never do. These are her life lessons.

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Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Lovers of the Hannah Swenson murder/recipe series will certainly be in for a real treat with Joanne Fluke’s lasted release in the series, Christmas Cake Murder.

This book veers from Fluke’s usual mystery as it opens with our heroine Hannah Swenson still in college, her sister Michelle and her friend Lisa in High School, her sister Andrea pregnant with her first child and sadly with Hanna’s dad’s recent passing. During the story we learn how Hannah moved from a college student to a bakery owner. A great backstory idea I might add!

Intertwined is a story about a Lake Eden elderly resident, Essie Granger. She has fallen on hard times and the whole community comes together to create a fundraiser called the Christmas Ball which is a party she had attended years ago. They also try to duplicate a Christmas Cake Parade in which there are multiple cakes with candles walked around the room….see all the yummy recipes which are gathered in the book for holiday baking ideas.

Essie had dabbled in writing years ago and Hannah finds her notebooks and begins to read them and hence begins the Christmas Cake Murder.

As with all of Fluke’s books recipes are attached to many of the chapters, a few I will be trying for sure. Oh, and reader beware! DO NOT READ THIS WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY!

The Christmas Cake Murder is a fast-paced enjoyable cozy mystery waiting to be read with a cup of hot chocolate and some yummy cookies. The book will be out September 25, 2018.

Dark Sky Island by Laura Dearman

Dark Sky Island by Laura Dearman is the sequel to her first Jennifer Dorey mystery. Although second in the series, I can assure you it can, and should be read, as a stand alone book.

Sark is an isolated small cozy island with 400 residence. The only way to travel to and from is by boat or ferry service, and bikes and tractors are there only mode of transportation due to the rocky terrain. Nothing much ever happens there until human bones are discovered in a cave.

Reporter Jenny Dorey and DCI Investigator Michael Gilbert are sent to the island to investigate, but for some reason no one in this tight community will talk about anything, except they love to gossip about everything. Then a gruesome murder occurs within hours of finding the bones. Could they be related? But how?

Intertwined in the main story is the continuing arc of Jenny’s dad’s questionable death. Charlie Dorey was a fisherman and mysteriously died when he fell off his boat months prior.

On an island in which no crimes occur other than a little vandalism, who could be involved in a killing and why are the locals so silent and who do the bones belong to? This book is full of mystery and surprise. With descriptions of the hauntingly beautiful scenery one can get swept up in the folk lore of the island.

Dark Sky Island is a terrific read which I highly recommend. It’s release date is September 11. 2018. Thank you NetGalley for the e-book.  #NetGalley #Dark Sky Island.