The Echo of Old Books

Bookbinder and rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer’s affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She has a unique gift for sensing the emotions of a book’s previous owners. She is intrigued when a man named Ethan Hillard donates a pair of books to the store. Both are bound in a similar fashion, but there is no author information or publisher data. Her gift becomes an obsession. As Ashlyn researches the mystery of these books, she uncovers a decades-old romance between two authors. Hemi and Belle’s conflicting accounts reveal a tragic love story shaped by political agendas and social dynamics. (I couldn’t help thinking how […]

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The Golden Doves

American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue join forces in the French Resistance during World War II, earning the moniker the Golden Doves for their daring espionage. However, their bravery comes at a heavy price as they are captured and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where they endure unimaginable horrors. The narrative unfolds into a post-war era, with Josie working for U.S. Army intelligence in Fort Bliss, Texas, as part of Operation Paperclip, while Arlette searches for her missing son and tries to rebuild her life in Paris. Their paths converge once more when they embark on a perilous mission to hunt down a notorious Nazi doctor in French […]

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Sold on a Monday

Sold on a Monday takes readers on a poignant journey back to 1931 Philadelphia, a time marked by widespread unemployment, bank runs, hunger, and despair. During this hardship, struggling reporter Ellis Reed stumbles upon a heart-wrenching scene—two young siblings on a farmhouse porch next to a sign that reads: 2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. Ellis captures a photo, meant for his eyes only, but his editor unexpectedly publishes it. The repercussions are devastating, pulling in the editor’s secretary, Lillian Palmer, who sees more than just a story in the image. As Ellis and Lillian become romantically involved, they embark on a journey to right the wrongs caused by the photo and […]

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State of the Union

State of the Union kicks off with a ticking time bomb situation. Picture this: Russian agents playing hide-and-seek with 19 suitcase nukes across the United States. Fast forward twenty years to President Jack Rutledge being handed an ultimatum: inform the American people that the U.S. will withdraw from world affairs, remove its troops from all foreign countries, and surrender its seat in the United Nations (among other organizations). If he does not do as he is commanded, sleeper agents will set off the hidden nuclear weapons. The president calls upon Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath who’s got just seven days to save the day. Harvath teams up […]

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The Widows of Champagne

Wow, what a book! I dove into The Widows of Champagne thinking it might be just another sad World War II tale, but boy, was I in for a treat. This novel took me on a journey with three generations of resilient women fighting to safeguard their family’s vineyard during a tumultuous time in France. Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree, a woman with a secret mission, is at the forefront. Instead of gearing up for a grand celebration of two centuries of champagne excellence, she orchestrates a covert operation to protect the vineyard’s most precious vintages from the clutches of the Nazis. The tension is palpable, and you can feel the weight […]

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Enemy at the Gates

I’ve been a fan of the Mitch Rapp series ever since the first book hit the shelves in 1999. When Vince Flynn passed on after churning out thirteen fantastic books, I thought, “That’s it, the end of an era.” But then Kyle Mills stepped up to the plate, and while his first couple didn’t quite hit the mark for me, he’s found his groove with Enemy at the Gates. After two decades of covert ops and assassinations, Mitch is contemplating hanging up his spy hat. He’s feeling the wear and tear, has settled down with a family, and is not exactly fond of the new president. And this president, Anthony […]

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Amy’s Picks and Pans, Issue 25

Stop the Press! Winter’s chill is setting in, and if you’re anything like me, now’s the perfect moment to bulk up your “want to read” list. This edition brings you a diverse array of genres, from historical fiction and feminism to Christian thriller, time travel, and contemporary fiction. Join me on a literary journey spanning Russia, California, Wyoming, Alabama, England, France, Iran, and the Philippines. I should be jet-lagged with all that traveling through my eyeballs! Among these pages, you’ll find some real gems (and, in my humble opinion, a couple of duds). Here’s hoping you discover something delightful to while away the chilly hours. Extra! Extra! Read All About […]

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Sisters in Arms

Sisters in Arms explores the history of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps’ 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, called the “Six Triple Eight.” The 6888th had 855 women, amongst whom were three Latinas. They were among the first Black women allowed to serve in the US Army during World War II. This historical follows Grace Steele and Eliza Jones, from their recruitment in New York City to their mission in Europe. As part of the 6888th, their task is to tackle a substantial backlog of mail. The novel not only addresses the challenges of wartime but also the harsh realities of segregation and prejudice. Despite its historical significance, my journey through […]

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Amy’s Picks and Pans, Issue 24

Such a month of great reading! It’s rare I have three 5-star ratings. Demon Copperhead, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, and Go as a River were so spectacular and so different. I found a couple of new authors to follow, but I was also disappointed by two of my favorite authors—William Kent Krueger and Daniel Silver. Don’t worry… I’m not counting them out! See if you can find something to add to your TBR list this month. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver “The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end with nothing, and lose so much in between.”—Barbara Kingsolver, Demon Copperhead. This is my third book by […]

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The New Girl

At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the girl who arrives each morning in a motorcade. She is believed to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. Her father is actually Khalid bin Mohammed, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Once celebrated for his daring social and religious reforms, Khalid is now reviled for his role in the murder of a dissident journalist. When his 12-year-old daughter is kidnapped, he turns to Gabriel Allon, an art restorer, and the director of Israeli intelligence for help. As always, Silva weaves a complex and multi-layered plot, filled with twists and turns. Fans of his novels will […]

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