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Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, Illustrated by David Small

Published October 5, 2021Children’s Middle Grade

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

The ostrich is not your standard cuddly lovey. Betsy Bird’s Long Road to the Circus introduces young readers to twelve year-old determined but bored Suzy Bowles, aiming to find a way out of Burr Oak, Michigan, and a feisty ostrich, Gaucho. A wayward uncle and a former circus queen enter Suzy’s mundane life and readers are in for a hilarious, rollicking ride with Suzy and her new ride, Gaucho. Betsy Bird’s tale, based on a true family story, shows young readers that hard work, determination and ‘true grit” are what it takes to make dreams come true. Caldecott Medalist David Small’s illustrations add intricate details and facial expressions that spark great emotion and humor. Young readers will definitely want to give The Long Road to the Circus and Gaucho’s long, fleshy neck a big ol’ hug!

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Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown

Published August 3, 2021

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas. For the Book Club Kit with discussion questions, recipes, and short videos check out this site! https://www.grandcentralpublishing.com/titles/sandra-brown/blind-tiger/9781538751985/

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

“The Wild West ushers in the Roaring Twenties!” As Sandra Brown says, “What could go wrong?” In January 1920, Laurel, husband Derby, and newborn Pearl arrive at a shanty in Foley, Texas, in the middle of a blustery, snowy night. This austere opening is based on a true story told by author Sandra Brown’s grandmother. The novel from that point on is filled to the brim with Brown’s fictitious, industrious, and independent women struggling to become financially stable and enough “good guys and bad guys” to keep the bootleggers and law enforcement sleeping with their boots on! President Wilson’s attempt to create a more “temperate” American society with the passage of the 18th Amendment, had the opposite effect. The result was the rise of organized crime, while Prohibition and the big business of bootlegging and “speakeasies” began. This novel is filled with enough plot twists to keep readers racing to protect the stills while “the competitors” search and destroy; hoping and praying the good guys win! Buried deep in the brambles and oilfields of West Texas Brown buries nuggets of wisdom on how to handle loved one’s struggles, how secrets erode relationships, and the treatment of each other in grief and trauma. Tangled in the fiery bootlegger wars, the secretive still building, and the murder mystery, there’s a surprising renewal of trust and establishment of boundaries in friendships.

Sandra Brown’s sharpshooter cowboy, Thatcher- with a “knack for reading people,” small town Doctor Driscoll- married to the German Mila, a snooty mayor, and a harried sheriff are the ingredients for a cocktail of high-falutin’ Mystery & Moonshine not soon to be forgotten.

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The Cartographer’s Secret by Tea Cooper Publishing Nov. 16, 2021

“A map into the past. A long-lost young woman. And a thirty-year family mystery.”

 

TEA COOPER

STORYTELLER, WRITER, MUSEUM FANATIC

Tea is an award winning Australian author of  historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Naturalist’s DaughterThe Woman in the Green DressThe Girl in the Painting and The Cartographer’s Secret.

A fantastic map to follow Evie and Lettie on their journeys!

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

“A map into the past. A long-lost young woman. And a thirty-year family mystery.”

The Cartographer’s Secret is a ‘mystery, history, adventure, romance’ reader’s dream come true! Tea Cooper sets her newest historical fiction novel in the Hunter Valley of Australia,1880 and in Sydney at the turn of the century,1911. William Ludgrove’s search for lost explorer Dr. Ludwig Leichardt, the mystery of William’s daughter, Evie Ludgrove’s disappearance, and the estrangement of the Ludgrove & Maynard families for over thirty years will keep readers exploring all the possibilities. Letitia Rawlings is the headstrong, independent young woman who, in 1911 driving her brother’s “motor,” to Yellow Rock, is determined to find answers to the mystery and a new life in the process. Tea Cooper’s descriptions of the sprawling continent of Australia and her intricate details of the landscapes and figures in Evie’s map will have readers wanting to pack a sketch pad and climb Yellow Rock to search for themselves! In this dual timeline family saga themes of trust, forgiveness, loyalty, and grief are explored. This adventure is a solid trek to the very end of the trail as The Cartographer’s Secret is uncovered in a grand historical puzzle.

https://adb.anu.edu.au/entity/8843
An interactive map: Dr. Ludwig Leichardt
Evie’s Map

God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen By Rhys Bowen

Publishing October 12, 2021

A Royal Spyness Mystery Series-#15

Lady Georgiana Rannoch, amateur sleuth and professional member of the British Royal family, solves crimes in 1930s England. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/BQG/a-royal-spyness-mystery/

Rhys Bowen, a New York Times bestselling author, has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is the author of the Royal Spyness Mystery Series.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

” Georgie is back and hanging the stockings with care when a murder interrupts her Christmas cheer in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling Royal Spyness series from Rhys Bowen.

This novel was read and reviewed for the Historical Novels Review Magazine publishing November 1, 2021. A full review will be available after that date.

Setting: Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England

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The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Happy Publication Day! September 28, 2021

A novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances…”

-Publishing for Christmas reading and gifting on September 28, 2021-

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and both available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Get wrapped up in magical new beginnings, glistening snow on an old farmhouse, and friendly small-town connections in MKA’s Christmas novella, The Santa Suit. Ivy Perkin’s world has turned upside down and she’s “cashed in all her chips” to buy an old farm away from the city lights and traffic of Atlanta. As Ivy unpacks, she finds a box with a Santa suit and a special letter tucked into the pocket; “Please bring my father home safely from the war.” Ivy begins a search to find out the “rest of the story” and in the process begins to soften and trust new acquaintances, Ezra the realtor and Phoebe from the county courthouse. The charming townspeople and their outgoing, helpful ways share bits of wisdom and readers learn the value of opening your heart and home, trusting your instincts and being true to yourself. Sorting through photos of children on Santa’s lap and vintage Shiny Brite glass ornaments, Ivy’s hurt feelings, and fears get tangled in the strings of bubble lights and garland, as she prepares her “new” old farmhouse for Christmas. So many lose ends: The Langley Sweet shop survival, Phoebe’s cyber fiancé, and the Santa letter! As the whole town and surrounding communities pack the streets for the annual Christmas Stroll, readers will receive a gift from MKA wrapped in love and topped with a satisfying big red bow. Ivy’s neighbor reminds readers, “You’re never too old to have a new friend.” Accept The Santa Suit by MKA as the perfect uplifting holiday read.

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Librarians of the West: A Quartet

By: Randi S. Brown, Mark Warren, Charlotte Hinger, Candace Simar

Publishing September 22, 2021

Stories of Books and Librarians!

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

A collection of novellas perfect for bibliophiles and those that hanker for the lore of the Old West! This was read and reviewed for the Historical Novels Review Magazine publishing on November 1, 2021. A full review will be made available after that date.

A Darker Reality by Anne Perry

Publication: September 21, 2021

Book #3 in the Ella Standish Series: A personal trip turns perilous for Elena Standish after the murder of a British spy forces her to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/651819/a-darker-reality-by-anne-perry/

Book #2: On her first mission for MI6, the daring young photographer at the heart of this thrilling new mystery series by bestselling author Anne Perry travels to Mussolini’s Italy to rescue the lover who betrayed her.

Book #1: In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre–World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her dead lover’s final, world-shattering message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Book #3 in the Ella Standish Series was read for the Historical Novels Review Magazine. Upon its publication on November 1, 2021, a full review will be published here.

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Christmas with the Cornish Girls by Betty Walker

Publishing November 25, 2021

A heartwarming tale of sisterhood in wartimeIt’s 1941, and Christmas is approaching in St. Ives…

To Pre-Order: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/christmas-with-the-cornish-girls-the-cornish-girls-series-betty-walker?variant=39649409368098

Betty Walker lives in Cornwall with her large family, where she enjoys gardening and coastal walks. She loves discovering curious historical facts, and devotes much time to investigating her family tree.

She also writes under other names! She writes thrillers as Jane Holland, romance as Beth Good, and YA fantasy as Victoria Lamb. (Goodreads)

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Christmas is coming to Cornwall, England, no matter the war and air raids. Betty Walker continues The Cornish Girls Series with an attentive, warm-hearted glimpse into the lives and struggling relationships of Lily and Eva as they move from the top-secret listening post in Porthcurno up the coast to Symmonds Hall in St. Ives. Walker creates excellent backstory of the personalities and past of each character, so readers feel connected without reading Book #1, Wartime with the Cornish Girls. (Though a great read and highly recommended!)

Symmonds Hall is staffed by two doctors and several rule abiding nurses. Next door is an orphanage run by the Treverricks, whose “parenting” techniques are highly questionable. A love triangle, the orphanage, and the children in the Treverrick’s care become a personal challenge for Nurse Rose. Betty Walker’s focus deftly shifts back and forth from developing adult relationships to the orphans’ tenuous situation.

With December 1941 approaching, Lily is tasked with organizing the annual Christmas party! Lily’s and Eva’s days are filled with a wheelchair bound patient, a burn victim, a pregnant visitor, and orphan rescue missions! Meanwhile, it’s an emotional relief to be involved in Lily’s party preparations-dicey at best, with paper chains and rationing.

Christmas with the Cornish Girls reminds readers “that when things are at their darkest, love comes along to light the way.”

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A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry

PUBLISHING NOVEMBER 2, 2021

Thomas and Charlotte Pitt’s former maid takes a new job as Christmas approaches—but not everyone in the household may survive the holidays in this tension-filled novel from bestselling author Anne Perry.

A Christmas Novella Coming November 2, 2021

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/651820/a-christmas-legacy-by-anne-perry/

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of fifteen previous holiday novels, as well as the bestselling William Monk series, the bestselling Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, the new Daniel Pitt series, five World War I novels, and a work of historical fiction, The Sheen on the Silk. Anne Perry lives in Los Angeles.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Anne Perry’s annual holiday offering, A Christmas Legacy, is certainly a special gift for readers and fans of period dramas set in 1900, London. From Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Series comes now married, former maid Gracie Tellman with her own story.

Millie Foster, housemaid at the Harcourt estate, reports to her friend Gracie Tellman that cakes, pudding, and chicken are going missing; none of the staff says a word, because all are afraid someone will be ‘sacked’; and right before Christmas! Gracie, now married to an Inspector, trades places with Millie to discover what’s happening. As the mystery unfolds readers are treated to the now familiar pecking order of the “downstairs” staff due to six seasons of Downton Abbey!  Anne Perry slowly builds suspicion and casts doubt on the Harcourts and the servants; between conversations with butler, Mr. Denning and housekeeper, Mrs. Jenkins, along with love secrets shared between Mrs. Harcourt’s lady’s maid, Nora and Walter, Mr. Harcourt’s valet. Perhaps most endearing is bright, red headed Archie, the footman, that Gracie encourages to learn to read so he can “go anywhere…, anywhere real, or not real.” Readers learn along with Gracie that facing challenges and struggles brings people together. At the end of A Christmas Legacy there is great “satisfaction in realizing that kindness is noticed.”

Return to the origins of the Victorian-era sleuthing couple with the first three mysteries in the “unfailingly rewarding” New York Times–bestselling series (The New York Times Book Review).

https://www.fantasticfiction.com/p/anne-perry/charlotte-and-thomas-pitt-novels-volume-one.htm

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Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Publication Day October 26, 2021

In the newest installment of New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey’​s Peachtree Bluff series, three generations of the Murphy women must come together when a hurricane threatens to destroy their hometown—and the holiday season in the process.

https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Christmas-in-Peachtree-Bluff/Kristy-Woodson-Harvey/The-Peachtree-Bluff-Series/9781982185206

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Under the Southern SkyFeels Like Falling, and The Peachtree Bluff series. Kristy is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Meteorologists are reporting that the “storm of the century” is bearing down on the coastal Georgia town of Peachtree Bluff. Fourth in the series, Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, opens with the matriarch, a true Southern lady, Ansley Murphy, waiting for her daughters, Sloane, Emerson, Caroline, and families to arrive for Thanksgiving Day. Kristy Woodson Harvey does an excellent job of providing the details and backstory on each of the daughters and other characters from the first three books in the series.  Through memories and storytelling readers come to empathize and settle into the traditions and history of homes known as Murphy Row, all a short walk from the marina on the beach. Charming descriptions add a holiday thrill and chill to strolling and shopping the boutiques with twinkling lights and wreaths on streetlights in the square. The saga continues amidst family secrets uncovered, mystery mixed with legends, and the angst of a teenager dealing with a divorce. The safety of the entire Murphy family and the cherished holiday traditions of Peachtree Bluff are in jeopardy as Hurricane Pearl gains intensity. In the face of adversity readers are reminded of the importance of family, forgiveness, and faith.

Fans of KWH, new and old, will treasure the blend of holiday traditions, suspense, and surprise in Christmas in Peachtree Bluff.

Official hurricane season is June 1-November 30. With plenty of warning, Peachtree Bluff fans are sheltering in place and bracing for Pearl- “coming ashore” October 26!