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.

The #SundayPost: Running backs, catching up, and giving back

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

Last Sunday I was sitting at the Bengals game in Cincinnati watching Joe Mixon score FIVE touchdowns, so I didn’t have time to write my Sunday Post. The past week was spent catching up on work, and this weekend I’m relaxing in Bryson City with Doug, Hermann, Holly, and Harold. Tomorrow it’s back to work.

Yesterday I took some of the MANY free books I’ve gotten from being a blogger and I donated them to the Friends of the Marianna Black Library bookstore in Bryson City. This bookstore is nonprofit and helps fund the library. I have accumulated way more books than I can possibly keep, so I figured I’d give them to a good cause. There are also at least two free library boxes in Bryson City, one at the Swain County Heritage Museum and one at Buttermilk Farms Antiques, so I put some books in those boxes as well. Anyone who wants to can take a book and leave a book. I would like to encourage other bloggers to do the same in your area if you get a lot of free print copies and no place to put them.

Since I was downtown, I did the tourist thing and went to all the shops near the Smoky Mountain Railroad. I also went inside the Swain County Heritage Museum, which is all decorated for Christmas. The museum is free and they have a gift shop to raise funds. The museum is a look back at how residents of Bryson City lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and before.

Friends of the Marianna Black Library Used Bookstore

Here’s a Bryson City sunrise pic from yesterday.

Here’s a frosty sunrise picture from this morning:

If you zoom in you can see the frost on the mountaintops.


Work and travel kept me pretty busy, so it was a quiet week on the blog early in the week.

On Wednesday I posted a review of Daisy and the Dazzling Dachshunds as part of a book tour for Zooloos Book Tours.

On Thursday I posted a review of Light to the Hills by Bonnie Blaylock

On Friday I participated in Book Blogger Hop.

On Saturday, for Indie Weekend, I reviewed Two of a Kind, a Christmas novella by Gail Meath. It is a prequel to the Jax Diamond Mystery series.


This schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday I will participate in Top Ten Tuesday

Wednesday I will review more books that I read back in August/September for the Historical Novel Society’s magazine, Historical Novels Review.

Friday I will participate in Book Blogger Hop.

From Friday to Sunday I will review Indie books for Indie Weekend.


Just two audiobooks this week:

The Ingenue and Entropy

Have a Blessed Week!

Book Blogger Hop: Lost Without Books #Bookbloggerhop #blogger

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.

Answer: I definitely would look for a book to read if I didn’t have one. Since I joined Netgalley and then later became a blogger in October 2020, there has never been a time when I don’t have plenty of books to read. In fact, like other bloggers, I have to turn books down.

What about you? Are you lost without books?

Launch Day for Distant Flickers!

Reblog of Liz Gauffreau’s post. It is launch day for Distant Flickers, a collection of short stories by 8 authors, including Liz.

Elizabeth Gauffreau

Launch day for Distant Flickers has arrived! I’ve shared the two videos below to represent the two short stories of mine that are included in the anthology. (“Let the Rest of the World Go by” was originally recorded in 1919, which is within the timeframe of my story, but the sound quality of the contemporaneous recordings I found was so poor, they were painful to listen to.)

“Norfolk, Virginia, 1975:
East Ocean View”

“Diary Omissions:
The House on Edgewood Road”

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Book Blogger Hop: Have you ever re-read a book? #Bookbloggerhop #readinghabits

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.

This week’s question was submitted by Billy @Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer:

Yes! All my life, and for many reasons. First of course, there is the Bible, but below I will list fictional books that I re-read.

The characters in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor are like old friends I want to visit again and again.

The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter series have fabulous worlds that I want to get lost in for a while, and a touch of magic too.

I always read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book The Long Winter whenever we have a big snowstorm or snow day. This is about a horrible winter the family suffered through, and it talks about how they survived through ingenuity and heroism.

At Christmas, I always read Grace Livingston Hill’s The Substitute Guest, which describes the perfect old-fashioned family Christmas and was written by Hill in 1936. She was a popular Christian romance author who died in 1947.

The Door Into Summer is my favorite fictional book. I have it in every format imaginable and have read it many times. What I like about it is that the main character was determined to change their circumstances and did so, in an unusual way.

What About you? Are there books you like to read over and over?

Self-Published Saturday: #freebook #indiebooks #cozymysteries

Book Description:


The ebook of Songbird, Book 1 of the Jax Diamond Mystery Series, is free all day today (Sunday, September 11, 2022). Book 2, Framed, is 99 cents. Here are my reviews of both:

Songbird | Framed

This series about Private Detective Jax Diamond, his German Shepherd sidekick, Ace, and Broadway singer Laura Graystone is fantastic! It is set in 1920’s New York City. Check it out.

Click on the covers above to get your copy.


The Friday 56 is sponsored by Freda’s Voice.

* Grab a book, any book.

*Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your e-reader.
If you have to improvise, that is okay.

*Find a snippet, short and sweet, and post it.

The rules are here: Friday56 Rules.

This is the first book of my favorite time travel series about a group of madcap, time-traveling historians. Madeline Maxwell is a trainee in book one and on Page 56 has just completed her first time jump, which is actually a test to see what she does when the system shuts down and she appears to be stranded.

“This is fantastic tea.”

“How long ago did you run out?”

‘Two long days ago.”

“We were spot on then. We have to try and gauge it so you’re close to running out of supplies but haven’t yet struck out across country to search for help. When were you planning to go?”

“I wasn’t. I knew you wouldn’t let me starve.”

“No one likes a smart arse.”

“Does this mean I’ve failed?”

“No, Miss Maxwell, it means you’re top of the class.”

Yes! My future stretched happily in front of me; back to the past.”

If you click on the cover above, you can learn more about the book.