September Rewind

 

 

It’s that time of the month again where I watch Netflix as I struggle to list out the books I read. BUT this also means that tomorrow is October!!! Remember to click on the pics to be taken to either my review or the GoodReads page.

 

So this is new but, Currently Unrated:

[I have no idea what to do with this one, so, it’s remaining unrated for now.]

 

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[Rounded to Three cups for the blog tour, it’s more of a case of me just not being capable of enjoying ‘sappy’ romances]

 

[I’ve rounded this up to 3 on GoodReads, it’s got a really interesting plot but I felt like things needed to be fleshed out more, and sometimes the style seemed a bit immature, but, I think it shows a lot of promise as well and I liked the ending! I’ll be writing up a full review later. The author was nice enough to send me a copy, so thank you for that!]

 

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Total Count: 27

 

Still Currently Reading:

[I would have finished it if it were not for all the damn tours I signed up for, but I adore this book so far]

 

 

Favorite Posts from around the book blogger-verse

 

Kal @ Reader Voracious: 6 Books to Haunt You this Spooky Season

Clo @ Cuppa Clo: How We Manage School And Blogging (ft Jayati @ Its A Coffee Addicted Bibliophile)

Clo @ Cuppa Clo: Reality of Being a Book Blogger

Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall: A BOOKWORM’S GUIDE TO REMOVING STUBBORN STICKERS

Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites: My Long-Term Relationship with Fanfiction

Lauren @ Northern Plunder: The Importance of an Author’s Online Presence | Guest Post by Bronwyn Eley

Sam @ Fictionally Sam: Ultimate Guide To Stories That Have Bisexual Representation

Sam @ Fictionally Sam: BE Autumn Announcement

 

Patreon Shoutout Section

Thank you to Sam @ Fictionally Sam for being my first patreon!!! If you haven’t seen her blog yet, you should definitely check her out, she’s got great content and an amazing blog look.

 

What I’ve Posted

Charity Shop Finds!

The ‘Strong’ Female Character Archetype

I’m on Patreon!

Bookending Autumn Approaches!!

Cover Reveal: Windborn by Mary Fan

Favorite Thriller/Mystery Books: The First Half Of 2019

Tag Time: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Thriller Thursday

Spooky Reads and Recs

 

This month was pretty much a blur of Blog Tours, and as much as I absolutely adore books, I will from now on limit myself to no more than 10 blog tours a month starting in November. [There is 11 for October as I forgot about one I’d already signed up for yonks ago lol]

I didn’t get to go to the Jay Kristoff event in the end but I was so happy that I was able to give my ticket to someone who really wanted it. BUT I am going to see Leigh Bardugo four days before my birthday, YAY. AND the husband is coming with me!

Expect my first Illumicrate Unboxing probably tomorrow, so, be warned, spoilers will be there. Also, we may FINALLY be moving in October, it looks promising! This means I may be a bit absent in the community but I promise that I will be around as much as I can. Especially with BE Autumn! I can’t wait to do my hosted posts and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s posts.

 

 

 

 

 

The Secrets We Kept – Blog Tour

 

The Secrets We Kept Cover

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BLURB:
TWO FEMALE SPIES. A BANNED MASTERPIECE. A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY.

1956. A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it.

But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation. 

In Washington DC, the CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour.

Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.

It will not be easy. There are people prepared to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.

Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott’s dazzling first novel is a sweeping page turner and the most hotly anticipated debut of the year.

Book Information:
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Hutchinson (5 Sept. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786331667
ISBN-13: 978-1786331663

Book Links

Amazon UK | Goldsboro Books Exclusive Edition

 

My Review

 

I was immediately engrossed in this book, and I am not over-exaggerating about barely putting this book down the day I picked it up. I was up until at least 2 AM to finish it in the end.

First of all the synopsis had me hooked with the mention of Dr. Zhivago, it has such an interesting history to it and though I’ve yet to read the book, I have seen the beloved 1965 movie and do own the book and plan on reading it…you know, just as I plan on reading the rest of my mountainous tbr pile.

And I mean, spies, guys, SPIES. ESPIONAGE IN THE COLD WAR ERA!!! AMAZING ALREADY WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO CRACK IT OPEN.

This is also a book that sheds light onto the difficulties faced by women in the work force. They had so much power in the workforce in WWII and many of them were left at a loss, the independence they had gained was stripped away and they were reverted to secretaries, typists, typical ‘female’ roles. [Of course some enjoyed those roles, this is not a judgement on those jobs then or now!]

But, a female spy can still get the work done that is necessary of them, the question is, how much is their worth to the people that employ them?

They brave the same hardships as men, and they were vital to certain operations, and in this story, they were vital to spreading Dr. Zhivago to its people.

Who were its people? The Russians. The Russian author has been under the thumb of the government, they view this novel as a threat, and of course that makes it a greater asset to those who want to go against Russia covertly.

Russia may have Sputnik, but these women are giving its people, Dr. Zhivago.

There’s the point of view of two women working as/with the spies primarily, but also the author of Dr. Zhivago, Pasternak’s, mistress, the typists and good ol’ Ted.

Prescott is amazing at setting up the book for its time period, in fact, I had such a huge urge to go watch the first few seasons of Mad Men after reading this.

The love story in this book isn’t what you might think when hear it involves Dr. Zhivago but it is the best part of this book. I absolutely adored the relationship and thought it was so well written while keeping historical fiction in balance with love and all the emotions it can cause.

Not to mention the ending was perfection, much as the rest of the novel was.

I gave this 4.5 instead of 5 because I really wanted to know more about the affect of the book on the Russian people, but I do understand why this wasn’t the focus.

A brilliant and thought provoking story that really tugs on the heart strings. If you love espionage, Cold War, or just great historical fiction, this book is highly recommended!

Thank you to Anne Cater, the publisher and the author for a copy of this book to honestly review as part of the hour.

 

About the Author

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Lara Prescott was named after the heroine of Doctor Zhivago and first discovered the true story behind the novel after the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to its role in the book’s publication and covert dissemination.

She travelled the world – from Moscow and Washington, to London and Paris – in the course of her research, becoming particularly interested in political repression in both the Soviet Union and United States and how, during the Cold War, both countries used literature as a weapon.

Lara earned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.

Author Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Last Word – Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.

Where one story ends, another begins.

1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.

Book Information:
Title:The
Last Word
By: Samantha Hastings
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 9th 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Where to Buy

Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo

 

My Review

 

Do you like adorable love stories, mathematically gifted Victorian girls, or swoon-worthy cinnamon roll young men? Great.

Now, go buy The Last Word. I suppose if you want more details I’ll go ahead and tell more reasons why I completely love this book!

In this day and age, I really think it’s important to highlight girls in STEM for YA (and anyone between the ages of like 0-100) and Samantha Hastings gives us a ‘feminine’ girl who is talented in numbers and it makes my heart so happy. Not only that but our MC is a girl who likes to have answers, whether to a numbers ledger or to an unfinished story and I can truly relate to that.

Another thing I truly value is historical accuracy, Hastings has done her research and it’s obvious. Yes, of course, there should always be leeway for the imagination in works of fiction but Lucinda is a woman in Victorian times and as such she is faced with boundaries put in place because of her gender and her class. The fact that Lucinda still manages to weave her way around all of that and in a realistic manner is superb. Not only that but she gives us and Lucinda the ending that is deserved, and manages to make it perfect and within the suspense of disbelief.

This is also not a story without sadness, though it’s full of adventure, fun, and a quest for answers on an unfinished story it also contains loss, heartbreak [and not of the romantic kind], and the will of a young woman who wants to prove her worth, to be just as she is. In Victorian times women rarely got that chance and even now it’s still hard for many.

I continually love the banter between Lucinda and David, I ship them, I will die on their hill. There’s obvious chemistry there without being too mushy for my old cold heart.

Not to mention the deeper we get with Lucinda, the reasoning behind her wanting to find out the end is even more important than simply wanting to know the last word(s). This is a quest for Lucinda, and I’m so glad she goes on this adventure for it.

Honestly, this book was perfection and the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 is because I didn’t want it to end. But the pacing is great, the storyline fulfilled, and I was completely satisfied with it. Hastings has given us a true delight in this book and I look forward to reading anything else she ever writes after this.

**Thanks to Xpresso Tours, NetGalley, Swoon Reads, and Samantha Hastings for a chance to read and give an honest review of this.**

 

[PS: LUCINDA AND DAVID FOREVER!!!!]

 

About the Author

 

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Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.

Author Links

Website GoodReads Facebook Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY

To win a print copy of The Last Word [US/CAN only] please click the link below.

THE LAST WORD RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK

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Down The TBR Hole #2

It’s a meme kinda day for me, I’m reading a couple of books simultaneously to try and play catch up, we’ll see if it works or if I break down in tears lol.

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • Go to your GoodReads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m doing 10-15 today!

GoodReads: 

In this dark, thrilling fairy tale, it is the wolf who saves the girl. Fell, the dark-furred twin brother of Larka, the heroine of The Sight, must face life without his sister or the rest of his loving pack. He’s a lone wolf now, a “kerl,” an outcast from his kind who shares his sister’s fatal gift for seeing the future and the thoughts of others. This gift leads him to befriend a young girl, also an outcast from her people. They have a shared destiny: to free the land from a tyrannical ruler who would enslave man and animal alike.

I loved The Sight and I own this one, so, it stays.

 

GoodReads:
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. 

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Another that I own and loved the first one, so this one stays as well!

 

GoodReads:
The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

~from the jacket

Another that stays, but, I’m labelling this as maybe. If I start to lose interest in the second one then I might just donate these and say I tried!

 

GoodReads:
Complete text of Legacy and Spellbound in a single volume.

Holly Cathers is not the same person she was almost a year and a half ago. After discovering her connection to an ancient legacy of witches, Holly has accepted her destiny as a descendant of the House of Cahors. She is determined to end an intergenerational feud that has plagued her family for centuries.

Holly will have to overcome unworldly obstacles as she battles to protect her loved ones — including Jer, a member of the rival House of Deveraux and her one true love. A war of magical proportions is being waged, and Holly is at the center of it all.

Lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made…

Okay…Another that I already own, already read the first, are you seeing the pattern here? It stays. Man. I suck at this.

 

GoodReads:
WHAT IS LOST…
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling – a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object – artfully encoded with five symbols – is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation…one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon – a prominent Mason and philanthropist – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations – all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for…his most thrilling novel yet.

So I’ve read the first two but I’m not really in a hurry to read this, for now, I’m going to say it goes, if I get around to reading it, fine, if not, not bothered lol.

 

GoodReads: 
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno. 

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

Goes. Same reason as #3 in the Langdon series!

Final Score:

3/6 Stay, 2/6 Go, 1/6 Maybe

At least it was better than my first round lol. Anyone else whittling away their TBR?

TBR Alphabet Tag

Doing a tag today, this looks like so much fun, thank you Angelica @ The Book Cover Girl for tagging me!

Rules:

  • Name a book title from your TBR for every letter of the alphabet (can exclude words like ‘the’ if need be) these must be books that you have physical/e-book copies of and not ones you intend on getting but haven’t yet.
  • Try and include different authors for every single one
  • At the bottom of your list put how many you could fill in (out of 26)
  • Tag other people to join in and link back to the person who tagged you!

 

A

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

B

Brothers by Da Chen

C

(The) Children of Men by PD James

D

(A) Death in Harlem by Karla FC Holloway

E

Echantee by Gita Trelease

F

Fixed Odds by William McIntyre

G

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

H

The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart

I

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

J

Jade City by Fonda Lee

K

Kennig & Gold by Christopher M. Struck

L

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

M

(The) Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin

N

The never game by Jeffrey Deaver

 

 

O

One? by Jennifer L. Cahill

P

(The) Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin

Q

Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

 

R

(The) Red Labyrinth by Meredith Tate

S

(The) Spec Set by Taya Okerlund

T

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

U

Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams

V

Viper by Bex Hogan

 

W

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

X

I got nothing.

Y

Still nothing…

Z

Aaaand now I give up

Oh look, it’s finished!

So that brought me up to 23/26, not too shabby!

Tagging:

Isabelle

Michelle

Sophia

Whoever else wants to do it.

Happy Friday you all! AVENGERS TOMORROW, YAAAAAAS!

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Captain Black Shadow

Bringing you another cover reveal today!

This one is for Captain Black Shadow, the first instalment of Janina S. Franck’s fantasy adventure series, Chronicles of the Bat.

So here we gooooooooooo

The Cover, designed by Eerilyfairdesign:

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The life of a shipwright’s son is a quiet one, always staying in one place while sailors of all sorts pass through, telling tales of their daring escapades to any who will listen. For the young Griffin, stories of adventure aren’t enough; he longs to see the world for himself, to have adventures out on the ocean, and to captain his own ship. Even if that means abandoning his old life and running away. But the seas of Jianlah are a dangerous place, filled with strange creatures, treacherous waters, and most dangerous of all: pirates. So when Griffin finds himself aboard the Bat, the most notorious pirate ship of all, his adventures are only beginning.

Title: Captain Black Shadow (Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Bat Series)
Author: Janina S. Franck
Release Date: 4th July
Publisher:Snowy Wings Publishing
Cover Designer: Eerilyfairdesign
Add it on GoodReads

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Our lovely author, Janina S. Franck!
So if you’re interested, please add it to your GoodReads/TBR/Give it a preorder!

You can expect a review of it from me, in June!

Book Cover Reveal

Justice watches from the shadows… Throughout history, the world has witnessed cruel, gruesome, and twisted murders at the hands of the most notorious serial killers. For those who were never caught—Jack the Ripper, the Atlanta Ripper, and the Cleveland Torso Murderer—their crimes will live on in infamy as their identities are forever chased, but never revealed. It’s 1947 in Washington, D.C. and a dangerous murderer has boldly discarded two headless bodies nearby the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. With no leads, Detective Clive O’Reilly is feeling desperate. When a stranger convinces O’Reilly to join him at a local pub, he is treated to a wild tale about Prudence Blackwood, an immortal who seeks vengeance for those murdered by history’s most notorious serial killers. Initially in disbelief over her existence, O’Reilly is surprised to discover that she’s very real and she’ll be assisting in the investigation. But Prudence has unorthodox methods. With the body count rising, O’Riley will have to find a way to work with her to stop the most brutal killer in D.C.’s history before more victims are added to the list.

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DIGITAL ARCS OF THE IMMORTAL PRUDENCE BLACKWOOD:

Book reviewers and bloggers interested in reviewing the book may request a digital ARC of The Immortal Prudence Blackwood. ARCs are available through NetGalley and at the publisher’s website.

Title: The Immortal Prudence Blackwood
Author: Stephanie Grey
Genre: Suspense
Publication date: September 12, 2019
Publisher: BHC Press
Available Formats: Hardcover: 978-1-64397-032-5, $26.95 Softcover: 978-1-947727-83-0, $15.95 Ebook: 978-1-948540-33-9, $7.99 LCCN: 2018948482

 

The Immortal Prudence Blackwood releases on September 12, 2019 in hardcover, trade softcover, and ebook. Preorder is currently available from select retailers.

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The Inspiration Behind The Immortal Prudence Blackwood With Author Stephanie Grey

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I wish I could say it was a misty and stormy night when the idea for an immortal woman who eliminates the world’s most notorious, unidentified serial killers struck me, and that I had an amazing tale. But the truth isn’t quite so mysterious and exotic. That’s how it normally goes, right?

It was quite hot outside, which was normal for a March day in Hawaii. It’s difficult to get into a dark frame of mind when the sun is constantly shining and there’s a beautiful, blue ocean view from your window.

On that particular morning, I was reading the news and stumbled across an article titled, “Rabbit hole leads to incredible 700-year-old Knights Templar cave complex.”

This cave, found underneath a farmer’s field in Shropshire, UK, was concealed by a rabbit hole. The article explained the caves were linked to the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order that was founded in 1119. Over time, the Templars’ military influence faded and, by 1307, the French King Philip IV plotted to bring down the Knights Templar. Most were arrested on charges including heresy and dozens were later burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded them in 1312.

The owners of the property sealed the entrance to the caves in 2012 after black magic ceremonies were conducted there.

Reading this amazing story and seeing the incredible photographs immediately made me think about a woman living in the 1700s discovering an ancient cave covered in glyphs. But…you can’t just have a story about a woman finding a really old cave. Where would she go from there?

For the next few days, I mulled over ideas about this woman’s destiny. I caught a TV show about a man who had a scarf with blood on it and was trying to prove that his ancestor was the real Jack the Ripper. The man’s lead was a bust, but that’s when I knew what the woman would do: she would murder the serial killers whose identities were never discovered, thus evading capture. She would be the reason why the gruesome crimes stopped.

It didn’t take long for me to narrow down the woman’s name to Prudence Blackwood and write her history. However, it did take a month to research the murderers I wanted to include, as well as the history of each time period featured in the book. The “modern day” portion of the story takes place in 1947, and I am so very grateful for my grandmother, Barbara Thomas, for her immense help and knowledge of that time period.

I love Prudence’s story and I sincerely hope that readers will love it, too. If you’re interested in seeing the photographs that inspired me, please visit this website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephanie Grey is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been present in Stephanie’s life. From a young age, she has been writing short stories for her family to enjoy. When she entered high school, she decided that she would one day write a full-length novel. She finally achieved her goal and is the proud author of three novels, including The Immortal Prudence Blackwood. She continues to write and hopes to be able to share her stories with the world for many years to come.


EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL CONTENT!

Be sure to visit The Immortal Prudence Blackwood’s publicity page to download free exclusive digital content!