An Avalanche of Awesome Novels for February! What To Read This Month



I am reminded again and again how much I love historical fiction after reading The Next Ship Home by Heather Webb. I have clear memories of being a little girl and going to the library, looking for books about immigrants coming through Ellis Island. Any book that is based on Ellis Island and the early days of New York City is one I’m going to want to read. So when I saw The Next Ship Home, I knew I needed to read it.

I was swept up in the worlds of both Francesca and Alma.


Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: “Give me your tired, your poor … your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn’t a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures to ensure she will make it off the island, Alma fights for her dreams of becoming a translator, even as women are denied the chance.

As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship—and share a terrible secret—altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.

This is a fantastic story!

Coming out on 2/8


The Wedding Murders by Sarah Linley is a quick and fun read! You’re going to enjoy this book especially if you enjoy closed settings with a cast of possible suspects, one of my very favorite trips in literature!

Go into this one not knowing how its going to unfold. Here is all you need to know:

A celebrity wedding in a grand manor house in the beautiful English countryside.

But then one guest goes missing.

And another almost dies.

Someone at this wedding will do anything to stop their dark secrets from being exposed.

You might not live to tell the tale…

You can read this book in a day or a weekend, depending on your reading speed! A solid suspense and a duel timeline with enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.

Out on 2/11



I heard of the woman in the story but didn’t know anything about her or this case. I was pretty much glued to the pages of Bone Deep by Charles Bosworth Jr. and Joel J. Schwartz. What a story this is and how tragic!

As with so many true-crime stories, you just cannot believe this is real life and that people can be so cruel.

I’m picky with true crime books, I don’t like it when they are too dense or dry, but I found this one to be just the right amount of facts and details told in a way that keeps the readers interest.

Two days after Christmas, 2011, Russel Faria returned to his Troy, Missouri home to find his wife, Betsy, dead, a knife still lodged in her neck. She had been stabbed fifty-five times in a brutal murder that would set off a chain of events leading to one man’s wrongful conviction and imprisonment, another man’s death, the revelation of a diabolical scheme, and an astounding miscarriage of justice left unresolved for another ten years.

First responders concluded that Betsy was dead for hours when Russ discovered her. No blood was found implicating Russ, and surveillance video, receipts, and friends’ testimony all supported his alibi. Yet incredibly, police and the prosecuting attorney ignored the evidence. In their minds, Russ was guilty. But prominent defense attorney Joel J. Schwartz quickly recognized the real killer.

The motive was clear. Days before her murder, the terminally ill Betsy replaced her husband with her friend, Pamela Hupp, as her life insurance beneficiary. Still, despite the prosecution’s flimsy case and Hupp’s transparent lies, Russ was convicted—leaving Hupp free to kill again.

Bone Deep takes readers through the perfect storm of miscalculations and missteps that led to an innocent man’s conviction—and recounts Schwartz’s successful battle to have that conviction overturned. Written with Russ Faria’s cooperation, and filled with chilling new revelations and previously undisclosed evidence, this is the story of what can happen when police, prosecutor, judge, and jury all fail in their duty to protect the innocent—and let a killer get away with murder.

Are you aware of this story? This book will be out on 2/22



I just finished reading With Love from London by Sarah Jio and it was completely enjoyable from page 1 until the last page!

Valentina was just a child when her mother left her and she has carried around the pain of that loss into adulthood. So when she receives word that she’s inherited her mother’s bookshop in London, she has very little interest in it. She plans to fly to England, wrap up the sale of the shop, and come home.

But when she gets there, she meets a cast of characters who paint a different picture of the mother who abandoned her daughter. Valentina learns there was more to the story of her mother and maybe this shop can be the start of a new beginning for Valentina who is recovering from a recent divorce.

The chapters switch between current day Valentina, and her mother Eloise in the years leading up to leaving her daughter in California.

Reading this book made me want to move to England and run a bookshop!


When Valentina Baker was only eleven years old, her mother, Eloise, unexpectedly fled to her native London, leaving Val and her father on their own in California. Now a librarian in her thirties, fresh out of a failed marriage and still at odds with her mother’s abandonment, Val feels disenchanted with her life.

In a bittersweet twist of fate, she receives word that Eloise has died, leaving Val the deed to her mother’s Primrose Hill apartment and the Book Garden, the storied bookshop she opened almost two decades prior. Though the news is devastating, Val jumps at the chance for a new beginning and jets across the Atlantic, hoping to learn who her mother truly was while mourning the relationship they never had.

Coming out on 2/8


The Fashion Orphans by Randy Susan Meyers and M.J. Rose is about two sisters who receive an inheritance of sorts from their mother… a closet full of clothes! Now for a fashion lover, this might be a dream come true but for these sisters, they are less than thrilled.

I loved the rich details of the clothes and imagined myself with a closet filled with designer clothes to sift through, a dream come true!  I appreciated the struggles of both sisters and their relationship.

This was a wonderful story and I can’t wait to see what the authors write next!


Half-sisters Gabrielle (55) and Lulu (48) have only two things in common: mounds of debt and coils of unresolved enmity toward, their controlling recently deceased mother.

The sisters arrive for the reading of their mother’s will and instead of a sizable inheritance discover all they have been left is their mother’s secret closet jammed with high-end designer clothes and accessories—most from Chanel.

Contemplating their mother’s self-indulgence, the sisters can’t help but wonder if Lauren Weisberger had it wrong: because it seems, in fact, that the devil wore Chanel. But as they explore the collection, meet and fall in love with her warm, wonderful friends, and magically find inspiring messages tucked away in her treasures—it seems their mother is advising Lulu and Gabrielle from the beyond—helping them rediscover themselves and restore their relationship with each other.

Coming to you on 2/1


You know when you read a book by a debut author and it’s amazing, then they write another book and it’s not great? Fear not, that hasn’t happened with This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel. In the follow-up to Darling Rose Gold, Stephanie has created another suspense novel that will keep you guessing as you turn the pages.

I’m almost always interested in stories about cults and this takes us into what seems to be a pleasant break from the struggles of real-life… but is much more sinister.


Welcome to Wisewood. We’ll keep your secrets if you keep ours.

Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year.

The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there.

And then she found Wisewood.

On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world—no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.

Six months later Natalie receives a menacing e-mail from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.

Highly recommended! Look for it on 2/22



Another book in the Finlay Donovan series by Elle Cosimano! Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is a funny, entertaining novel about this single mother who tries to solve a mystery, this time involving her ex-husband.

When you are looking for a light book that will keep you intrigued, this is exactly what you should grab!

Finlay Donovan is—once again—struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.

On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.

Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes… and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.

With her next book’s deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn’t a noose at the end of it…

Out on 2/1



What an interesting book this is! A Taste for Poison by Neil Bradbury is for anyone who likes true crime and has an interest in science. This wasn’t my usual kind of read but I liked it a lot and can always appreciate learning something new. It held my attention and I found the content to be truly fascinating! A must-read for my fellow murderinos.

As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring—and popular—weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict?

In a fascinating blend of popular science, medical history, and true crime, Dr. Neil Bradbury explores this most morbidly captivating method of murder from a cellular level. Alongside real-life accounts of murderers and their crimes—some notorious, some forgotten, some still unsolved—are the equally compelling stories of the poisons involved: eleven molecules of death that work their way through the human body and, paradoxically, illuminate the way in which our bodies function.

Out on 2/1



I don’t know a lot about the dust bowl or anything much during this time in history so I am always eager to crack open a book and be swept up into a story that transports me and teaches me. The Dust Bowl Orphans by Suzette D. Harrison puts the reader in Oklahoma in 1935 and breaks your heart with the story of Faith and her sister Hope, making their way through the dust storm. We are also transported to present-day California and into the life of Zoe Edwards, a woman who is dealing with the loss of a child and a divorce.

The dust cloud rolls in from nowhere, stinging our eyes and muddling our senses. I reach for my baby sister and pull her small body close to me. When the sky clears, we are alone on an empty road with no clue which way to go…

Oklahoma, 1935. Fifteen-year-old Faith Wilson takes her little sister Hope’s hand. In worn-down shoes, they walk through the choking heat of the Dust Bowl towards a new life in California. But when a storm blows in, the girls are separated from their parents. How will they survive in a place where just the color of their skin puts them in terrible danger?

Starving and forced to sleep on the streets, Faith thinks a room in a small boarding house will keep her sister safe. But the glare in the landlady’s eye as Faith leaves in search of their parents has her wondering if she’s made a dangerous mistake. Who is this woman, and what does she want with sweet little Hope? Trapped, will the sisters ever find their way back to their family?

California, present day. Reeling from her divorce and grieving the child she lost, Zoe Edwards feels completely alone in the world. Throwing herself into work cataloguing old photos for an exhibition, she sees an image of a teenage girl who looks exactly like her, and a shiver grips her. Could this girl be a long-lost relation, someone to finally explain the holes in Zoe’s family history? Diving into the secrets in her past, Zoe unravels this young girl’s heartbreaking story of bravery and sacrifice. But will anything prepare her for the truth about who she is…?

I really enjoyed this book and especially felt emotional with the story of Faith! If you are looking for a gripping historical fiction book, grab this one on 2/7



If you can read or feel emotions, get strongly affected by the energy and moods of others, you might be an empath and if so, life can be very overwhelming and difficult. The book, Embrace Your Empathy by Kristy Robinett shows us the different kinds of empathy and shares tools (such as oils and crystals) that have helped her. I’m always interested in learning how to deal with these emotions and moods that seem to drain me!

If you too consider yourself an empathy or are a Highly Sensitive Person, this is a helpful book to read.

When you feel alone in a crowded world and the weight of negativity is overwhelming, this book lifts you up and shares the secrets to both surviving and thriving as an empath. Down to earth and easy to use, Embrace Your Empathy reveals the many gifts of being empathic and how using them can heal both yourself and those around you.

Kristy Robinett assures that nothing is wrong with you if you’re struggling to embrace your own empathy. You’re not too sensitive or weak, you just need the right tools to manage your abilities. She introduces you to various types of empaths—physical, emotional, intuitive, and earth—and helps you determine which type you might be. There are also chapters on raising a child empath and how being an empath affects relationships. Exercises and meditations are provided as well as inspiring client stories and recommended crystals and essential oils. This book nourishes your soul and transforms you into an empathic warrior.

Out on 2/8



A must-read for those who enjoy memoirs, Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski was such a good book! I really liked reading Laurie’s story of growing up dirt poor and sharing how her mother, even without much money, managed to create a farm, a place for all kinds of animals. It wasn’t unusual for Laurie to walk around the house and find a raccoon living there- on purpose. Though she had this cool rescue place to call home, there was a terrible struggle between her abusive father and her kind-hearted mother.

In between her childhood recollections, Laurie shares some details about the animals on the farm she runs today, called Funny Farm. I loved reading about these animals and their distinct personalities.

Laurie Zaleski never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie’s dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues—horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs—when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother’s dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie’s mission to save abused and neglected animals.

Don’t miss this book, out on 2/22


I LOVED THIS BOOK! A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huf was fantastic! It’s hard to find outstanding historical fiction set in the deep south, on a plantation, but this is one you don’t want to miss. I was actually sad when the book was over. From the first page, I was totally hooked and when the book was over, I immediately went to find other novels by this author and sadly this is her first and only novel (so far!).

This book is actually inspired by true events which made it all the more meaningful. I’m not the only person who devoured this book then raved about it to everyone; the reviews on Goodreads are all four and five stars!

Henry O’Toole sails to America in 1848 to escape poverty and famine in Ireland, only to find prejudice awaiting him. Determined never to starve again, he changes his surname to Taylor and heads south to Virginia, seeking work as a traveling blacksmith on the prosperous plantations.

Maple is enslaved on Jubilee Plantation. Given to her half-sister as a wedding present by their father, she longs to return to her daughter and husband. She sees the arrival of another enslaved woman, Sarah, as her one chance to be reunited with her family.

Sarah, torn from her own family, has to learn to navigate the hierarchy of her fellow enslaved people, as well as the power system of her new white masters, and now the mysterious blacksmith who is promising her the world—and her freedom too.

This is out now so get it and read it immediately!


Have you followed this story? Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have been the focus of a few Dateline episodes and they’ve been all over the news.

In The Doomsday Mother, author John Glatt takes us deep within this tragic and upsetting story. I like true crime and always seek out good books about crimes but when the crime involved children, it’s hard to read. And this story is very hard to wrap my head around. I will never understand a parent who harms their child in any way.

As with all of the authors books, the research is excellent and the book is filled with details. This one is not to be missed!

At first, the residents of Kauai Beach Resort took little notice of their new neighbors. The glamorous blonde and her tall husband fit the image of the ritzy gated community. The couple seemed to keep to themselves—until the police knocked on their door with a search warrant. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had fled to Hawaii in the midst of being investigated for the disappearance of Lori’s children back in Idaho—Tylee and JJ—who hadn’t been seen alive in five months.

For years, Lori Vallow had been devoted to her children and her Mormon faith. But when her path crossed with Chad Daybell, a religious zealot who taught his followers how to prepare for the end-times, the tumultuous relationship transformed her into someone unrecognizable. As authorities searched for Lori’s children, they uncovered more suspicious deaths with links to both Lori and Chad, including the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, the gruesome remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered on Chad’s property, and the newlyweds were arrested and charged with murder. And in a shocking development, horrifying statements revealed that the couple’s fanatical beliefs had convinced them the children had become zombies–a belief that may have led to their deaths.

Out now!