My Top Ten Traditionally Published Books of 2022 #TopTenof2022 #2022 #HappyNewYear #BooksoftheYear

Below, in no particular order, are my top ten traditionally published books of 2022. I’ll do another post tomorrow with my Top Ten Indie Books of 2022. You can click on the cover to learn more about each book.

The Belle of Belgrave Square

Lessons in Chemistry

A Catalogue of Catastrophe

The Ingenue

The Blackout Book Club

In The Middle of Hickory Lane

Long Way Home

The Murder of Mr. Wickham

The Pilot’s Girl

A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Comment below and let me know your favorite books of 2022.

Indie Spotlight: Progress Report by Roman Lando #sciencefiction #scifi #writingcommunity #booktwitter #readingcommunity

*not a book review.

Indie Spotlight is my effort to help share Indie/Self-published books to a wider audience. Below is a description, buy links, and author information for Progress Report, a sci-fi novel by Roman Lando. Please check it out and share it with all your sci-fi-loving friends.



Art is a computer geek and retro electronics aficionado who just wants to be left alone. When he stumbles upon an alien artifact, he can’t help but try and find out its purpose. Instead, he finds himself in over his head, in the midst of what might just turn out to be the end of the world, and nobody except him knows the truth. A truth that certain factions don’t want to get out – at any cost.

It’s not paranoia when self-driving cars are out to get you. Can Art survive the hunt, and maybe save the world in the process?

Progress Report is a near-future technothriller for fans of Ready Player One, Daemon, and Bobiverse. It’s packed with action, humor, and a sense of the profound that will linger long after you’ve turned the last page.


Roman, the author of Progress Report, is a composer, musician, web and new media designer, and positively has too many passions, interests, and hobbies in his life.

When he’s not writing books or music, he can be found sailing, playing keys in a prog rock band, flying his drones, building crazy flight simulation rigs, and LARPing. His lifelong love and passion for hard Sci-Fi takes a special place in his heart. Reading was never enough. The only way to satisfy this obsession was to write his debut novel. He hopes to share his love for true Science Fiction, along with his interest in history, science, philosophy, and technology, with his readers.

After living in three countries on three continents and speaking three languages, Roman has finally settled in Toronto where he lives with his wife and two daughters. No dogs or cats are involved – his drones are his pets. He is now working on his second novel.

You can get in touch with Roman and subscribe to his mailing list at the Progress Report Website:



*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Book Blogger Hop: How many books did you read in 2022? #Bookbloggerhop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book-related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

I just met my Goodreads Challenge of 200 books for the year. Not all of those books were from Netgalley. I’m at 120 on Netgalley for the year. That takes me to 467 Netgalley books reviewed since I started on Netgalley in late 2019. I’m only 33 books away from my 500 reviews badge, so that’s exciting! I should get that in early 2023.

The Goodreads counts are not as difficult as they sound. They include re-reads and shorter books.

How about you? How many books did you read in 2022?

#BookReview: The American Adventuress #WinstonChurchill #JennieJerome #HistoricalFiction

One of the first American women to marry into the British aristocracy, Jennie Jerome was the daughter of a wealthy American businessman. She married Lord Randolph Churchill, son of the Duke of Marlborough, while she was still a teenager. She lived a life of means but often ran up more bills than she could pay. Her marriage became a love match, but they also had an agreement regarding sex outside the marriage. Her liaisons with many famous men, including the Prince of Wales at the time, were legendary. Often an absent mother in Winston’s childhood, her relationship with him as he began his political career is intriguing.

This novel can be shocking at times but takes us inside the lives of the privileged few, whose comings and goings were often decadent and scandalous, especially for those times. It introduces us to all the people in Jennie’s life in an intimate way. Jennie’s sexual escapades are described in detail on a few occasions, so those readers who avoid that should be aware.

This is a superbly written novel that introduced me to Jennie in a fascinating way. I had no idea that Winston Churchill’s mother was an American, especially one with such a storied past. Jennie’s scandals and charitable work are interspersed throughout with concurrent events in history. It is a fascinating read that held me spellbound. C.W. Gortner has written an honest and fascinating fictionalized biography of a woman about whom many may never have known. You will meet her in these pages.

My rating is 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites without a half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from William Morrow via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven-year career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced the galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and have been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular, companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

BUY LINKS | Barnes & Noble | Harper Collins

Indie Weekend: Unjoy by Len Lantz #Christianpsychiatry

I’ve extended Indie Weekend into Monday since it’s a day off for many of us this week. Indie Weekend is my effort to highlight Indie and Self-Published books and help the authors with the daunting task of marketing. Below is my review of Unjoy by Len Lantz. Unjoy is a book for Christians dealing with depression and the stigma sometimes surrounding it. Check it out below.


You can become fully free from depression.

Depression is real. It’s not your fault if you have it, but it is your responsibility to do something effective about it. Although depression is often stigmatized or ignored, Christians commonly experience it.

While it can sometimes feel like there are no solutions and that you can never escape depression, that isn’t true. In this easy-to-read book, Dr. Len Lantz addresses aspects of faith and mood while providing real answers about what works for depression and why.

In unJoy, Dr. Lantz shares engaging stories, common-sense reasoning, research-proven treatments, entertaining cartoons, and biblical encouragement for Christians struggling with “unJoy” and for their loved ones. There is hope and help for depression!


There are seven million Christians with Depression, and that’s just in America. In this book, Len Lantz, a psychiatrist and Christian, provides resources for Christians to break the stigma of seeking out help for mental health issues.

This is a helpful, well-thought-out resource that not only explains to Christians why medication and counseling are sometimes necessary, but also provides tools for anyone to deal with depression. There is also a section for family members and friends who have loved ones who are suffering from mental illness.

Lantz provides both medical and spiritual advice in this book, which intersperses scripture with medical facts. He reminds us that God sends help in a lot of ways, including doctors and medication.

The author warns us upfront that the illustrations are bad, and they are so bad that they are actually endearing and effective.

I received a free copy of this book. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Dr. Len Lantz is a partner at Big Sky Psychiatry in Helena, Montana and has over 20 years of experience in psychiatric medicine, with specializations and board certifications in adult and pediatric psychiatry. He is an expert in the treatment of severe, treatment-resistant depression. He also is credentialed as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE), demonstrating capability in both medical leadership and management.

Dr. Lantz completed his undergraduate degree in cell biology and genetics from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. After earning his medical doctorate from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, Dr. Lantz completed his psychiatry residency and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.


In 2005, Dr. Lantz moved to Montana to provide care to patients for AWARE, where he also served as medical director from 2008-2015. Since 2015 Dr. Lantz has helped patients in Helena, Montana through his private practice, Big Sky Psychiatry, which he runs with his wife, psychiatrist Dr. Krista David. He is skilled in psychiatric diagnostic evaluation, evidence-based psychotherapy, prescription medication management, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, and delivery of care via telemedicine and Collaborative Care (Integrated Behavioral Health).

Dr. Len Lantz is a Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s WWAMI program. He developed the psychiatry clinical training clerkship in Helena for third-year medical students in 2013 and he continues to mentor and teach several medical students each year.

Dr. Lantz is passionate about suicide prevention. He founded the annual Montana Conference on Suicide Prevention, which he hosted for its first seven years. For three years Dr. Lantz chaired the Montana Suicide Mortality Review Team, and he founded and hosts the annual Montana Psychiatry Conference.

Learn more about Dr. Lantz on his Website.



Sunday Post: Merry Christmas! #SundayPost

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post

What a cold week it’s been for everyone! Friday our power was out twice, for a total of five hours, and we huddled in the living room around the fireplace. I know a lot of others went through the same thing. Doug and I are coughing again. We got over the flu and then the grandkids visited last weekend and left us with whatever they picked up in daycare/school. We had a wonderful early Christmas with them though and it was great to see them playing with their presents.

With work and all the illness, the blog has been pretty quiet, but we’re getting back to normal. I am going to be able to spend the next few days reading and catching up on my reading/comments on other blogs. I need to also catch up on my Goodreads and Instagram, which are way behind. Also I will be making some Indie Weekend posts today and get that back on schedule again.


The Girl in the Photo is the third book in the Hanni Winter series. It’s one of two books I’ve just received from the Historical Novel Society for the May issue of Historical Novels Review. Hanni, a photographer, is trying to start over after World War II, but her father, a Nazi concentration camp commander who is still at large, is haunting her every step. I absolutely loved the first two books.

The Tapestry of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the second book I’ve received from Historical Novel Society. “When a group of Kansas women start a Frauenverein, a benevolent society devoted to aiding widows and orphans, life changes for more than just the hurting people they seek to help in this heartwarming romance inspired by historical events.” I love all of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s best-selling Christian novels.

The Everlasting Meal Cookbook by Tamar Adler is a fascinating cookbook that not only shows you great ways to use leftovers, but ways to use scraps you might have otherwise thrown away, and even greens from your yard. I am excited to read it.

The Marriage Season by Jane Dunn is a Regency Romance. Sybella Lovatt, a widow, heads to London with her sister Lucie in order to find Lucie a suitable husband.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Book Blogger Hop: Is Santa bringing you any books for Christmas?

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book-related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

I’m not expecting any books under the tree. I get so many books all year as a blogger that I don’t usually ask for books. There are a few on my radar that I will buy myself eventually, but I don’t usually put books on the Christmas list. My favorite author, Jodi Taylor, always releases a short story on Christmas Day, and I have that preordered, so I’m very much looking forward to reading that. That has become part of my Christmas Day tradition for several years now.

What about you? Are you expecting or hoping for any books under the tree?

Blog Tour and Spotlight: Under A Veiled Moon #ThePrincessAlice #Historical Fiction @austenprose

  • Book Review to come later.


September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule. 
For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.
As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.


  • “[An] exceptional sequel . . . Fans of Lyndsay Faye’s Gods of Gotham trilogy will be enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • “Victorian skulduggery with a heaping side of Irish troubles.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Charismatic police superintendent Michael Corravan is back in a gripping sequel about the mysterious sinking of the Princess Alice. Odden deftly weaves together English and Irish history, along with her detective’s own story, in a way that will keep readers flipping pages long into the night.” —Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of Mother Daughter Traitor Spy and the Maggie Hope series.


Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in the Barnes & Noble classics series and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP). Her previous novels, also set in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the recipient of a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Karen lives in Arizona with her family and her rescue beagle Rosy.





Blog Tour and Book Review: All The Lost Places #Venice #HistoricalFiction


When all of Venice is unmasked, one man’s identity remains a mystery . . .

When a baby is discovered floating in a basket along the quiet canals of Venice, a guild of artisans takes him in and raises him as a son, skilled in each of their trades. Although the boy, Sebastien Trovato, has wrestled with questions of his origins, it isn’t until a woman washes ashore on his lagoon island that answers begin to emerge. In hunting down his story, Sebastien must make a choice that could alter not just his own future, but also that of the beloved floating city.

Daniel Goodman is given a fresh start in life as the century turns. Hoping to redeem a past laden with regrets, he is sent on an assignment from California to Venice to procure and translate a rare book. There, he discovers a city of colliding hope and decay, much like his own life, and a mystery wrapped in the pages of that filigree-covered volume. With the help of Vittoria, a bookshop keeper, Daniel finds himself in a web of shadows, secrets, and discoveries carefully kept within the stones and canals of the ancient city . . . and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien Trovato.



  • “This lyrical dual-narrative historical from Dykes (Set the Stars Alight) dives into the histories of Venice, Italy, and Venice Beach, California.”— Publisher’s Weekly
  • “Introspective, surprising, and achingly beautiful.”— Booklist starred review
  • “Dykes’s pen is fused with magic and poetry. Every word’s a gentle wave building into the splendor that is All the Lost Places, where struggles for identity and a place to belong find hope between the pages of a timeless story.”— J’Nell Ciesielski, bestselling author of The Socialite
  • “Luscious writing, authentic characters, and an ending that satisfies to the core of the spirit, this novel is another winner from Amanda Dykes.”— Heidi Chiavaroli, Carol Award-winning author of Freedom’s Ring and Hope Beyond the Waves




Amanda Dykes’s debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY Award. She’s also the author of Yours Is the Night and Set the Stars Alight, a 2021 Christy Award finalist.



Amanda Dykes has a unique ability to transport readers to any time or place, and she does it again in this dual-timeline novel. Venice of the early 1800s and early 1900s comes alive through her writing. The characters are compelling and the reader is drawn into the book right away. What a mesmerizing tale of a son who is trying to redeem himself and another man, found floating in the river as a baby, trying to find out who he really is.

In 1807, Sebastien is trying to find the family that abandoned or lost him, thus revealing his true story. In 1904, Daniel is an artist who, after an injury, lost the ability to visualize, or see anything in his mind’s eye, a condition we now know as aphantasia. He feels he has also lost the respect of his mother and is filled with regret. The powerful inner feelings of both men are so well conveyed by the author. The gorgeous writing draws the reader in, and the descriptions of the setting are just breathtaking. This is a wonderfully crafted look at the beauty and culture of Venice, told through two complex characters. It is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Amanda Dykes continues to create characters and settings that we won’t soon forget.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Austenprose book tours. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Christmas Holiday #thrillers


The perfect vacation or the perfect murder…

It’s Christmastime and thirty-two-year-old Alicia Silver is spending her first Christmas holiday with her handsome new husband Jack and his family in their remote lodge in the Irish mountains.

The Silver family are wealthy and beautiful, they seem to live a charmed existence and Alicia only hopes she can live up to their high expectations for her marriage.

The festivities are in full swing but Alicia quickly discovers that, behind their perfect image, the Silver family is hiding plenty of secrets…

The gorgeous husband
The jealous sister-in-law
The glamorous step-mother
The wealthy father-in-law

Before the vacation is over one of them will be dead.

But who would kill to protect their secret? And who will survive this Christmas holiday?


This is a wonderfully suspenseful murder mystery/thriller that puts a whole new face on holiday fiction. The twists and turns do not stop, and everyone seems to be harboring a secret. The Silver family seems too good to be true, and they are! This book takes the phrase “things are not what they seem” to a whole new level. Talk about an unhappy holiday! If you want to read some unique holiday fiction, give this one a try.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and the opinions are my own.


I’ll let you into a little secret… Mikayla Davids isn’t my real name, it’s just the pen name I write under. I could be the person sitting opposite you on the train, furiously tapping away at a laptop, or the woman scribbling in a notebook on the table beside you in Starbucks. Everyone has their secrets. And this is mine.

But I will tell you I’ve lived and breathed fictional worlds all my life. I’ve been the child who spent hours in the library, the teenager who stayed up turning pages way into the night, the editor who poured every working hour into helping authors achieve their dreams of being published. Now I’m the secret writer.

I write psychological thrillers about family dramas, complicated relationships and ordinary moments that can suddenly turn into nightmares.

Mikayla’s Social Media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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