Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore

Do you love your local bookstore? Then you’ll definitely want to nominate your bookstore to win a grant in the “Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore” campaign by independent publisher Sourcebooks. The “Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore Campaign” is inspired by the phenomenal support booksellers have given The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, which was selected as the #1 Indie Next Great Read for January 2016. 

“Bookstores are the heart and soul of their community and have enormous impact on readers’ lives,” said Dominique Raccah, founder and CEO of Sourcebooks. “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend inspired us to create a campaign that will not only give back to a few deserving bookstores, but hopefully highlight all the many wonderful bookstores that service communities across the country.”

Anyone can nominate their favorite bookstore at Sourcebooks will award the winning bookstore with a $3,000 prize; two additional bookstores will each receive a $637 prize (the population of Bivald’s fictional Broken Wheel, Iowa). In addition to bookstores receiving prizes, weekly giveaways for those who nominate will be held throughout the campaign. Voting began January 4 and runs until February 19 when the winning bookstores will be announced.

Sourcebooks is also giving away copies of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. Enter below for your chance to win!

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Q&A with Hilary Scharper, author of PERDITA

The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to host a visit by Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita. Ms. Scharper will be answering a few questions about the novel Perdita.

Author Hilary Scharper at Georgian Bay.
What is the role of mythology in the novel “Perdita”?
For many in North America—especially those trying to connect with nature—we often think that we have to look outside of our “western” traditions for inspiration. What I decided was to do was to look inside and found not only the gothic tradition, but also ancient Greek mythology as a deeply fascinating wellspring for thinking about nature in new ways.

That’s why I creatively developed Perdita as a mythological figure. Perdita means the lost one; and as a character in my story, not only is Perdita the lost child, but her story is also lost. Somehow Perdita’s role in Greek mythology has dropped out of the western canon.

As Perdita’s story is rediscovered and reclaimed, there is a recalling of a deep love of nature (biophilia), a love that has always been there deep in us (westerners) but has been forgotten in our mainstream traditions. Therefore Perdita’s story—as a recovered story—still has something to say to contemporary readers.

For more on mythology and “Perdita,” visit

The setting for the novel comes from your time as an assistant lighthouse-keeper on Georgian Bay. How did you find living in such a remote location?
I loved it!


When we first arrived at the lighthouse there was no internet (in other words, cell phones were useless). In addition, the phone (a landline) frequently took “naps.” We occasionally lost power and we often had nightly visits from various critters.  Also there was no TV and the only visual entertainment was the stars, the Bay and the sky—and their shifting colors and moods.


It was particularly refreshing not to be surrounded by advertisements: billboards, computer ads, jingles, etc.


We found that we had a different mindscape as a result—and dreamed different dreams while there….

:Blog Tours Sourcebooks:Extra Photos etc:Moon 1 .JPG 

A full moon at Cabot Head lighthouse. (Photo taken by author)

What is your writing routine like? How did you get the idea for your characters?

Walking and listening.
 I would take long walks along the rocky shores of Georgian Bay, listening to the waves and the wind and sounds of the birds in this wilderness area. Sometimes I would sit in at a special spot and just gaze out at the Bay, letting the story take shape in my mind. Bits and pieces of it came at different times. One time, I was in the water taking swim, reflecting on a particular scene in the novel and I felt the story begin to move through me, as the waves were shaping the novel. It was a physical feeling—as if the writing wasn’t all going on in my head but in conversation with Georgian Bay.

Meet the author:
Hilary Scharper, who lives in Toronto, spent a decade as a lighthouse keeper on the Bruce Peninsula with her husband. She also is the author of a story collection, Dream Dresses, and God and Caesar at the Rio Grande (University of Minnesota Press) which won the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award. She received her Ph.D. from Yale and is currently Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto.

About the book

Perdita by Hilary Scharper
ISBN: 9781492602446 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781492602453 (ebook)
ASIN: B00M1UM7N0 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Marged Brice is 134 years old.

She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .

The Georgian Bay lighthouse’s single eye keeps watch over storm and calm, and Marged grew up in its shadow, learning the language of the wind and the trees. There’s blustery beauty there, where sea and sky incite each other to mischief… or worse…

Garth Hellyer of the Longevity Project doesn’t believe Marged was a girl coming of age in the 1890s, but reading her diaries in the same wild and unpredictable location where she wrote them might be enough to cast doubt on his common sense.

Everyone knows about death.

It’s life that’s much more mysterious…

Read an Excerpt:
Cape Prius—1897
July 3
Seven hours passed, and the waves were—Mr. Thompson said they were fifteen feet or more in front of the Lodge. The rain had not ceased, but the sky had turned an evil gray, and we heard thunder far off in the distance….
“The storm is moving fast,” said Mr. Thompson, and he shook his head glumly.
I began to pray fervently. It was but three o’clock in the afternoon, but the entire sky had turned a livid gray, and it seemed as if night had dropped upon us like a curtain falling. Now we could see lightning blaze across the horizon….
The rain came down in sheets, and the waves took on an even more ominous and angry aspect. My heart sank as I thought of the boats in that water.
Then—“There,” shouted Mr. Thompson, gesturing toward the eastern skyline.
And appearing suddenly from around the Point, we could see the outline of a large boat. Its foremast was rolling horribly—up and down, back and forth—and we could see, as it neared, that the first jib sheet was ripped to pieces. The mainsail was shredding rapidly in the wind, and the waves were pushing it toward the shore, where it would surely be smashed into pieces against the rocks. We saw the men lowering the lifeboats and then push off, desperately making for shore.
“Allan,” I cried. He had run out into the storm without warning toward the boats, and I leaped out after him.

The publisher is giving away three signed copies of Perdita. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends February 7, 2015.
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Available from:          BookDepository     |     Alibris

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The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley
ISBN:  9781402258619 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781402258626 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00F8HUAFA (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 1, 2014 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary own of Chinon, and promptly disappears—well, that’s Harry for you.

As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a thirteenth-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a “treasure of great price.” And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.

As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.

The town of Chinon, France is mired in legend and mystery. The mystery surrounds the disappearance of a treasure hidden by Queen Isabelle in 1205. There’s also a local legend centering on another Isabelle from World War II. Emily Braden isn’t really hung up on legend or mystery, but she looks forward to the opportunity to spend some time in Chinon with her cousin Henry—her unreliable, but completely lovable cousin. Heedless to any nay-sayers, Emily sets off for a well-deserved break from her tedious and boring life. Of course, Henry is nowhere to be found upon Emily’s arrival in France, and thus begins Emily’s step into intrigue that goes back more than seven centuries.

The Splendour Falls is actually a reprint and was originally published in the mid-1990s. Unlike some of Ms. Kearsley’s later this books, The Splendour Falls is a more straightforward contemporary romantic suspense story with bits of history interspersed throughout the story. Emily comes across as rather staid in the first part of the story, but she quickly becomes less-restrained as she interacts with characters in Chinon, including other guests at the hotel, hotel employees, and town residents. The interactions between Emily, the flirtatious and outgoing Lazarus brothers, the mysterious and reserved violinist Neil Grantham, and the fun-loving Lucie and her father, Monsieur Armand Valcourt adds interesting layers to the story. As Emily becomes more settled in Chinon and with her new acquaintances, she also becomes more mired in the current intrigues happening in the shadows. Can Emily unravel the mysteries of Chinon and find her cousin before it’s too late?

I actually read The Splendour Falls in late December 2013. It was one of the last books I read during that year. I found The Splendour Falls to be a fast-paced read that had moments of humor, as well as intrigue mixed in with the history, suspense, and romance. I enjoyed the characters, historical aspects of the story, and the action. If you enjoy romantic suspense that blends history with contemporary action and a hit of the gothic, then you’ll definitely want to put The Splendour Falls on your reading list. Have you already read it? Please let us know what you thought about it.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book 107: WHAT A MOTHER KNOWS Review

What A Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr
ISBN:  9781402279560 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781402279577 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00B2AO76U (Kindle edition)
Publication date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks

How far will a mother go to protect her daughter?

An unsettling, emotional and suspenseful novel of the unshakable bonds of motherhood, in which Michelle Mason not only loses her memory after a deadly car crash, but can’t find her 16-year-old daughter, the one person who may know what happened that day. But the deeper Michelle digs, the more she questions the innocence of everyone, even herself.

A dramatic portrayal of the fragile skin of memory, What a Mother Knows is about finding the truth that can set love free.

Read an excerpt here:

Michelle Mason used to have it all, a great job, a loving husband and two wonderful children. Everything changed after she has a horrific car crash that seriously injures her and kills her passenger. Michelle is finally able to return home after dealing with major surgeries, a medically induced coma that lasted months, and one year in rehabilitation. The home she returns to isn’t the home she remembers. Her husband is now residing in New York, her son is in a boarding school, and her daughter has disappeared. The first brick in Michelle’s carefully constructed “memories” is destroyed when she’s told her daughter isn’t studying internationally but has run away from home and it might be related to the car accident. Michelle’s husband, Drew, tells her that a police report has been filed, a detective hired, and people are searching for Nikki. Michelle seems to instinctively know that there is more to the story than she is being told, so she launches her own investigation. As she uncovers details over the course of months, she is made to feel as if she’s unreliable due to her tragic injuries. Can she trust the people that have repeatedly lied to her, or does she trust her instincts?

What A Mother Knows is an intriguing story that pulled me in from the very beginning. Michelle seems to be on a roller coaster ride in her attempts to search for her daughter. Just when she thinks she’s found out something useful, there’s an unexpected dip or turn that reveals more and more lies from those closest to her. Michelle is forced to face her overbearing but loving mother, Elyse Deveraux, as well as her strained marriage with her husband Drew, and her son Tyler. She doesn’t seem to have anyone to support her in her quest for the truth, but she is fervent in her belief that a mother simply knows. This is more than a contemporary story about family, it is also about self-discovery as Michelle learns to adjust to her new lifestyle and limitations, and ultimately a mystery as she searches for her missing daughter. Ms. Lehr has provided a story filled with people that aren’t wholly good or bad, but rather residents of the grey areas. Michelle is likeable and a realistic portrayal of just how far a mother is willing to go for the sake of her children. If you enjoy reading family dramas or mystery-suspense, then you definitely want to add What A Mother Knows to your reading list.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher, Sourcebooks, via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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