What I’ve Been Reading and More New Books Coming Soon


The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue was an excellent story and incredibly well researched. The book only spans three days but is jam-packed with brilliant observations about medicine in 1918. For one second, let’s talk about this amazing cover! Julia, the primary character, has a watch where she carves moons, half-moons etc. based on the health/death of her patients.

The first half of the book takes us moment by moment into the hospital where Julia is a nurse in a maternity ward during a flu pandemic. Not only are the women she cares for about to give birth, but they are sick with a potentially deadly flu. Though the story centers on the patients and Julia, it’s riveting writing that is tense and detailed. As she cares for each patient, they have their own set of circumstances and challenges.

Young Birdie is sent to help, she is neither a nurse nor doctor but is a runner, pitching in where necessary. Julia notices that she is intuitive and gifted when dealing with the patients. Then there is Dr. Kathleen Lynn who is a member of a group wanted by the police for their rebellious political stance.

The pandemic echos what is going on right now with Covid. Although the big difference is how the sickness is treated, Nurse Julia gives her patients hot whiskey and for the women in labor, chloroform!

Check it out:

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders—Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

As the first part of the book moves into the second, Julia and Bridie develop a special friendship. The police are looking for Dr. Lynn and want to arrest her. Julia is left alone a lot to take care of the pregnant women and she does her best on very little sleep to care for them.

Though the book is primarily set in one small area of a hospital, its atmospheric; dark and dreary. You can easily imagine yourself there with Julia as she struggles to keep the women alive with limited medical knowledge.  The author’s writing is amazing, she is seriously gifted to write a book like this.



In Self Care by Leigh Stein, we are taken into a world that I imagine being like GOOP.

Richual is “the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves.”

Maren and Devin are friends who have created this wellness startup. Maren is more behind the scenes, but Devin is the face and body of the brand. Khadijah helps run everything and is pregnant, but nervous to tell her bosses. There is no maternity leave, which is ironic for being a company centered on female wellness, and this serves as a subplot.

The story is kicked off with a scandal; Maren tweeted out something bad about the president’s daughter, and this has stirred up controversy and negative publicity. As she deals with it, she takes leave from Richual.

Adding to this is another scandal with a major investor of the group who is accused of sexual misconduct.

Here is the official synopsis:

The female cofounders of a wellness start-up struggle to find balance between being good people and doing good business, while trying to stay BFFs.

Maren Gelb is on a company-imposed digital detox. She tweeted something terrible about the President’s daughter, and as the COO of Richual, “the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves,” it’s a PR nightmare. Not only is CEO Devin Avery counting on Maren to be fully present for their next round of funding, but indispensable employee Khadijah Walker has been keeping a secret that will reveal just how feminist Richual’s values actually are, and former Bachelorette contestant and Richual board member Evan Wiley is about to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal that destroy the company forever.

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves—from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.

There are some fantastic sentences and hilarious lines in Self Care and I love how the author pokes gentle fun at some of the more ridiculous things we see in the wellness industry. Clever writing and a timely satirical look at an industry that (sometimes) belittles the women it aims to empower.



I just finished Nicole Rayner’s new book, You And Me.  It was not what I expected and I mean that in the best way.

From the beginning, we know something strange is going on with Fran. She works at a bookshop and has a crush on someone she went to boarding school with. Oh, she’s 38 years old. Yes, she is still in love with someone from when she was much,  much younger. They are somewhat in contact, through mutual friends.

One of these friends, a kid who bullied Fran, dies in a tragic accident. Fran doesn’t want to let anyone know she witnessed what happened, though. She was following Charles, the object of her affection that night. She wants to be with Charles in the worst way and spies on him frequently. It doesn’t matter that he has a wife and children.

Fran is also writing letters to her sister Ellie who has disappeared with her child after she and Fran have a fight. Fran wants to see the baby, Rose, and wants to see her sister again.

This complete novel is super creepy and leaves the reader feeling unsettled and anxious.

Take a look:

Watching sunrises together should have been romantic.

But you were always inside with your wife, and I sat in your garden, in the shadows.

I thought you’d never know how I felt about you.

Until one night, I witnessed a terrible crime.

I wanted it to bring us closer together.

But now the secrets are tumbling out.

And they could tear everything apart…

If you like your books creepy and dark, this is for you! I thought it was well done and enjoyed the unexpected twists!

This book comes out on October 1, you can pre-order it here!



The Push by Claire McGowan was a suspenseful novel about the mysterious death of a new mother. Is THE PUSH about pushing out a baby, or is THE PUSH what happened to the person who fell from the balcony of the mansion?

In this group of new moms and dads, it seems like everyone has something to hide. The investigator on the case is Alison, who wants to have a baby, so the case really strikes a chord.

Six couples, new babies, and a gorgeous house. What could go wrong?

Take a look:

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …

DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest.

Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor—or so Hazel thinks. Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months—almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?

It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it looks impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

The book is told through multiple points of view. The reader knows something happened and someone died, but we don’t know who until about midway, and we don’t learn the details until close to the end. That was enough to keep me hooked. I didn’t figure it all out until the author revealed certain parts, so I liked that. I want to be kept guessing!

There are many characters to keep track of but don’t let that deter you from this entertaining novel. I liked it!

Pre-Order The Push here, it comes out on November 12!



The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth was another great book! I enjoyed Sally’s other novels, so I was super excited to read this and had high expectations.

Every night I clear my busy schedule (hahaha!) and plan on reading for a few hours. There are books like this one that forces me to stay up way past my bed time. If I can’t finish before bed, I pick up the book the next day and keep reading.

Poor Fern. She’s the frumpy sister of a beautiful, successful woman named Rose. The two are close and have dinner together a few nights a week. They share a tragic event from their childhood when their little brother dies. It was Fern’s fault, but Rose promises to never tell anyway and covers for her sister. From the entries of Rose’s diary, we learn that she was severely mistreated by their psychopathic mother.

When Fern discovers how badly Rose wants a baby, but can’t get pregnant, she puts a plan in place to help her. After all, Rose has done so much for her!

She meet a young man who would be perfect to get her pregnant, he looks kind of like the Where’s Waldo character and lives out of a van, but he’s nice and Fern likes him enough.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be … dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot fall pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of unexpected love.

I really liked the character of Fern who might be on the spectrum of having Asperger’s syndrome and is misunderstood by her co-workers. She hates bright lights and sounds and lots of people, I could relate to that. She is such a kind soul and I found myself connecting to her and wanting everything to work out for her.

The Good Sister is another book fo you to add to your To Be Read list or pre-order now.

It will be published in April of 2021, don’t despair! Sally Hepworth’s other books are very good too. I loved The Mother In Law and The Secrets of Midwives.




WOW this book did NOT disappoint!

I enjoyed Loreth Anne White’s novel, In the Dark so I knew I’d like In The Deep. And I was instantly hooked from Chapter 1!  This five star read goes from the courtroom to the crime scene of the warm, humid coast of Australia and left me hanging on every page.  

Take a look at the plot:

Real-estate mogul Martin Cresswell-Smith is the best thing that has ever happened to Ellie. After her daughter’s devastating death, a divorce, and an emotional breakdown, he’s helped her move as far as possible from the grief, the rage, and the monsters of her past. Ellie imagines her new home with Martin in an Australian coastal town will be like living a fairy tale. But behind closed doors is another story—one that ends in Martin’s brutal murder. And Ellie seems almost relieved…

Naturally, everyone thinks Mrs. Cresswell-Smith is guilty.

Senior Constable Lozza Bianchi has reasonable doubt. She sees evidence of a twisted psychological battle and a couple who seemed to bring out the worst in each other—adultery, abuse, betrayal, and revenge. If anything Ellie says can be believed, that is. As the case takes twist after spiraling twist, Lozza can’t shake the gut instinct that she’s being manipulated. That Ellie is hiding something. That there are secrets yet to surface. Lozza has no idea.

This is a flawless novel with twists and turns, written so beautifully that you won’t want to put it down. After finishing, I was left eager to read something else from Loreth Anne White! Luckily there are several of her novels on Amazon, free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Don’t miss this fantastic suspense!

It comes out on October 27, 2020 and you can pre-order here. 



Another great novel!

You have to read this if you are a fan of well-written suspense that leaves you breathlessly turning the pages. Dead Woman Crossing by J.R. Adler exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait for what this author writes next. Maybe I should back up and tell you a little about this story first.

When you have a town called Dead Woman Crossing, plus a dead body that looks like a copycat murder from something that happened twenty years ago, you know the book will be good.  Detective Kimberley King moves to the small town of Dead Woman Crossing with her infant daughter. She wants her little girl to grow up near her mother and get away from the harsh lifestyle of a police officer on the NYPD. She hopes this town will be sleepy and boring enough to raise her child in peace.

What she doesn’t expect is a town of secrets and questions surrounding the death of a young mother named Hannah.

Check it out:

Haunted by the serial killer she never caught, Detective Kimberley King leaves her job in New York and relocates to the sleepy town of Dead Woman Crossing, Oklahoma. Kimberley hopes to bring her daughter Jessica up close to her family, far from the bad memories the city holds. But her quiet new home is not the peaceful place she dreamed of. Within days of her arrival, Kimberley is called to the scene of a terrible crime: her friend Hannah, a single mother, has been brutally murdered, her one-year-old daughter the only witness.

Kimberley can’t ignore the similarity of Hannah’s death to that of Katie James, a young woman who was murdered in 1905 on the banks of the same twisting creek. Dead Woman Crossing is named after her, and it seems someone is drawing inspiration from the crime. Could this killer be a copycat?

Teaming up with Sheriff Sam Walker, Kimberley struggles to make headway with Hannah’s murder. In a small town, people don’t talk to outsiders and Kimberley has a hard time gaining trust, even within her own family. Kimberley isn’t afraid to ask questions, but when she receives a threatening note, she realises that, as a single mother to a young daughter, she might be putting herself dangerously in the killer’s sights…

The setting, the characters, the writing, I loved it all. This was such a brilliant book, the town was written with so much detail, I almost wanted to go find a little town like it and move. The mystery of Hannah kept me reading well into the night and the next morning until I was done. Now I want to read more from the author!

This will be published on September 23, pre-order here, 

It’s only ninety-nine cents for the Kindle version, which is too good of a deal to pass up!



Just a reminder to get this fantastic novel, Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon. It’s a fictional account of the real-life Nazi fighter, Nancy Wake.  I listened to a podcast featuring fearless women during World War II and Nancy Wake was one of them. I was instantly intrigued and wanted to learn more about her. How is she not more well known?

I was thrilled to see this book written about her life story.

Take a look:

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.

It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.
As LUCIENNE CARLIER Nancy smuggles people and documents across the border. Her success and her remarkable ability to evade capture  earns her the nickname THE WHITE MOUSE from the Gestapo. With a five million franc bounty on her head, Nancy is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. When she enters training with the Special Operations Executives in Britain, her new comrades are instructed to call her HÉLÈNE. And finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉE, where she claims her place as one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, armed with a ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and the ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces.

But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she–and the people she loves–become.

What a fascinating, fearless woman, and a very well done book for those who love historical fiction and World War 2! Ideal book for book club and would make an excellent movie.

Get it here now.




My book, Run Delia Run, is available right now as either a Kindle or softcover!

Here is the synopsis:

All that glitters is not gold…

The moment Delia Keaton turned eighteen, she bought a one-way ticket out of her abusive aunt’s home and left for sunny California in pursuit of her dreams of becoming a Hollywood actress. Unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself and Delia  once again finds herself in an abusive relationship surrounded by fame and fortune.

What goes on when the camera goes off eventually becomes more than this young mother can take, and in one final move, she flees with her son to reclaim her life.

But will Leo allow  Delia  to create the new life she longs for? Or will he come back and stake claim to her and his son once and for all?

Author Gemma Rogers (check out her incredible novel on Amazon!) says:

I absolutely loved this debut by Cindy Bokma, it made my spine tingle with all the interactions between Delia and her wicked husband Leon whom I loved to hate. The memories of her family and struggling with her bereavements felt so raw, left a lump in my throat. I read this in a week, which for me is fast. So glad I got a copy! Go out and buy, you won’t regret it. Cindy knows how to keep those pages turning as you delve deeper into Delia’s life and are unable to tear yourself away.

Get it here!