Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Christmas Spirit by Debbie Macomber


What is your favorite Christmas or holiday cookie or treat?

It’s not Christmas without a Debbie Macomber book.  This book was my December read for the Brenda Novak Book Group.  I still need to watch the meeting!  They are posted each month on Brenda Novak’s Facebook page and are delightful.

Peter Armstrong and Hank Colfax are best friends in the 1970’s.  Both lead very different lives.  Peter is the pastor at a local church, while Hank runs a local tavern.  Both believe the other has an easier time at their job so they decide to switch jobs for a week before Christmas.  Both discover that the other has a much harder job than they thought.  They also find that they can make a difference at their new jobs and perhaps find love along the way.

I loved this story.  I thought it was very heartwarming and really looked at the true meaning of Christmas.  I find it interesting that many books labeled “Christian” really are just stories that are a clean read, but have nothing about faith.  This book is not labeled as a Christian read, but it was a great one.  It had many thoughtful points such as are the church ladies judging rather than helping people in town?  Who should they be helping?  Do you know what anyone is going through if you haven’t walked in their shoes.   Everyone kept being surprised that Hank the bartender knew scripture and applied it in his life.  There are strippers and a biker gang in this book, which are not traditionally in a Christmas story.

The story is framed with a grandmother telling this story to her grandkids.  I kept wondering who she was going to end of being and it had a satisfying conclusion. 

Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie


What is the best mystery that you read this year?

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas was the pick for my Back to the Classics Book Club this month at the Kewaunee Public Library as well as the December selection for #ReadChristie22.  The prompt for this month is “A story containing precious jewels.”

Mr. Simeon Lee is a very old rich man that has collected his family together for Christmas.  He is a cruel man who insults his late wife and their children at dinner before going to his office.  The next thing the family knows, there are loud crashes from his office and a horrifying scream.  The office door is locked, but they break it down.  Inside, they find Simeon Lee dead and his uncut diamonds missing.  With so many people who wanted him dead, who killed him and why?

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas was a traditional locked room mystery.  There were many red herrings and I didn’t guess the ending.  It did make sense once it was all revealed.  I like how Poirot put the pieces together.  I also enjoyed the small bits of humor such as how Poirot is impressed by the policeman’s mustache.  We had a good discussion about this book last night at book club.  While this was set at a Christmas gathering, it didn’t have too much to do with Christmas.

Overall, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is a good mystery for anyone looking for a different type of read for the season.

Book Source:  Purchased from

The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories: From Hans Christian Andersen to Angela Carter edited by Jessica Harrison


What is your favorite holiday short story?  I love holiday short stories.  One of my favorites is “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry.  That story is not included in this collection, but another O. Henry story is “A Chaparral Christmas Gift.” 

This is a collection of classic Christmas stories that is perfect for the lover of classic literature.  If you are looking for Hallmark type Christmas stories, this is not the book for you.  The stories take place at Christmas time, but many are poignant.  Many are translated from another language, like one of my favorites, “The Fir Tree” by Hans Christian Anderson.  Another favorite story was included, “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote.  Many other classic authors are represented at well including, but not limited to:  Langston Hughes, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, and Anton Chekhov.   It was an interesting collection, with many stories I haven’t read before.  I am going to get this as a hard cover for my collection next Christmas.

Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Once Upon a December by Amy Reichert


Do you like to read books that are set locally?

I was delighted to discover that Once Upon a Christmas is set in Milwaukee.   Astra Noel Snow is a librarian at a branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.  She loves her yearly tradition of joining her best friends at the Milwaukee Christmas Market.  Julemarked is a special street with many wonderful Christmas shops including a bakery that specializes in Kringles.  The Clausen brothers run the shop.  Jack Clausen loves watching Astra come to visit the shop every year.  Jack wants to ask Astra out, but he has a problem.  Julemarked is a magical place that moves around the world through the year, never guaranteed to be back in the same spot.  Every four weeks it’s a new December somewhere else in the world and Julemarked is there.  Once it leaves a location, the people there magically forget about it until it returns.  Will Jack and Astra be able to find a happily ever after?

I liked that Once Upon a December had a very unique premise.  Julemarked was a magical alley.  It all seems wonderful, especially that you are basically immortal, until you realize that to have someone from the outside join that life, you would have to give up everything that you love about your normal life.  Or if you leave Julemarked, you are also leaving the world that you love and immortality.  This makes it an interesting conundrum for dating.

I loved that Astra was a librarian and thought it was interesting learning about her job.  I also, loved all of the Wisconsin and Milwaukee references.  I have lived in Milwaukee in the past and currently live in Northeast Wisconsin.  It was fun to visualize where they were talking about in Milwaukee.  It was also fun that they bake different flavored kringles, which are a Wisconsin traditional pastry.  Does anyone outside of Wisconsin know what they are?

The only part of the book that annoyed me was how much of a door mat Astra was for her ex-husband Trent.  She was still doing his mending and basically allowing him to barge into her home at any time.  I don’t understand why she didn’t change her locks.  I was glad when she finally stood up for herself.

Overall, Once Upon a December was a fun, unique, and delightful Christmas romance. 

Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Christmas Past: The Fascinating Stories Behind Our Favorite Holiday Traditions by Brian Earl


Title:  Christmas Past: The Fascinating Stories Behind Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Author:  Brian Earl

Narrated by:  Brian Earl

Publisher: Recorded Books

Length: Approximately 4 hours and 21 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you!


Do you like learning about the history of holiday traditions?  I love it!  I’ve been reading books about holiday traditions since I was in elementary school.

I was very excited to discover this audiobook this year, Christmas Past:  The Fascinating Stories Behind Our Favorite Holiday Traditions.  I was even more excited to learn as I listened that Brian Earl has a podcast called Christmas Past and I have also been enjoying listening to it this Christmas season.  Christmas Past is a short fun book that has four main sections:  food, entertainment, sights and sounds, and society.  Each section has several chapters with a variety of subjects.  I loved learning about fruit cake, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, Christmas songs, Christmas movies, and why do we say Merry Christmas rather than Happy Christmas?  There were many other interesting topics as well.

Brian Earl the author narrated this and also does his podcast.  He was a great narrator and very interesting to listen to.  After I finished up this book, I immediately started listening to his podcast.

I highly recommend this book and podcast to anyone who is interested in learning more about Christmas traditions.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun



Title:  Kiss Her Once for Me

Author:  Alison Cochrun

Narrated by:  Natalie Naudus

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 38 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster.  Thank you @BookClubFavorites #BookClubFavorites for the free books.

What is the best new holiday book you read this year or best new holiday movie?

Ellie Oliver moved to Portland a year ago with her dream job at an animation company.  She is disappointed her mother didn’t visit for Christmas, but she meets an interesting new woman, Jack.  They fall in love over the course of an evening, but after a grave misunderstanding the next morning, they go their separate ways. 

One year later, Ellie has lost her job and is working unhappily in a coffee shop.  The shop landlord, Andrew, and Ellie discover they get along quite well. Andrew pops a question, would she like to be in a marriage of convenience?  It will allow him to access his inheritance and he will give her $200,000 which could be life changing for her.  Ellie agrees and joins Andrew for Christmas weekend with his family. There she discovers his sister is Jack.  Hijinks ensue.  Will Ellie be able to figure out what she really wants in life?

I enjoyed Ellie’s journey.  I related to a lot of it.  She was always able to work hard and get what she wanted out of life.  When she loses her job, she is cast to the wind.  She is not sure what to do with life with her plans not working out.  She has to learn through the course of the novel that she should continue with the art she loves, while also setting healthy boundaries with her family.  She also has to learn how to go for who she loves. She learns to trust someone else besides herself. Jack and Ellie had great chemistry and I liked their story.

I enjoy the marriage of convenience trope and fake romance.  This particular story is like My Best Friend’s Wedding and While You Were Sleeping.  While I enjoy both of those movies, I also get annoyed by both of them for similar reason.  I start to feel bad because of all of the lies.  I was having a hard time in the middle of this book for the same reason, but luckily the story picked up again and it had a great ending.

The book references the song Last Christmas more than once, and it made me wonder why the book wasn’t named, Last Christmas. Luckily, “Kiss Her Once for Me” from Holly Jolly Christmas makes a later appearance.

Natalie Naudus was a great narrator and I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Light Before Christmas by Marty Machowski


Do you have an advent wreath or calendar?  We have an advent wreath and use an old devotional with it that my husband used growing up that is for kids.  My kids still like lighting the candles at dinner even though they are teenagers.

About this Book from the Publisher: This four-week Advent family devotional by best-selling author Marty Machowski combines devotions on the theme of light and darkness with the story of eleven-year-old Mia and her grandmother as they prepare for Christmas. Grandma loves to share her faith, especially at Christmas time, and although she is blind, she can see the light of Jesus shining bright and helps Mia—and children of all ages—to do the same.

Every year, Mia loves to spend the month of December with Grandma getting ready for Christmas. This year, they read a special devotional, The Light Before Christmas, together. Machowski brings families into their devotional time, sharing the story of Christmas. Through a Bible study of light and darkness, readers will discover how the theme of light weaves its way through the Christmas story and God’s plan of salvation.

The Light Before Christmas contains thirteen devotionals—three for each of the four weeks of Advent and one more for Christmas. Each devotional includes a Scripture for the day, an object lesson, a question to discuss as a family, a song to sing together, and a prayer.

Review:   I thought it was fun to read through a new Advent devotional.  This is a good devotional for a busy family with three devotionals for each week rather than one daily.  I love that it starts with a craft – making your own Advent wreath.  If you have never done an Advent devotional before, this is a great way to set the scene and get started. 

Each week of Advent starts with a story of Mia and her Grandmother.  I love that the story uses the Grandmother’s blindness to focus on how she can still feel the faith and see the light of Jesus, even thought she is blind.  It is an engaging story that teaches an important lesson.

I thought the devotionals themselves were also great ones to use as a family.  I like how they have on object, such as a lamp with a clear bulb where you can see a filament, to use as a focal point to start the introspection and the discussion.  I liked the questions too and they prompt good discussion.  My daughter loves to sing Christmas songs and I enjoyed that classics such as O Come O Come Emmanuel were included as well as a brief history of the origins of the song.  This devotional would work best with preschool and grade school kids, but it can also work through teenage years as well.

There is also a great curriculum that you can use for your church Sunday school that goes along with this devotional.This two-level (preschool and elementary) curriculum consists of  lessons  that  include  Scripture  readings,  dramas,  object  lessons, discussion questions, activity pages, crafts, and songs.”  I like that there is a script as well as printables to use for your Sunday School class.  Until recently, I led a Children’s Liturgy as my church and this would have been great to use.

Review Copy from New Growth Press.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, December 19, 2022

A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril


What is your favorite type of Christmas candy?  I love so many different types, but fudge is my favorite.

Alex and Hannah are identical twin sisters who own a book and candy store, Murder and Mayhem, in a small town in Montana.  Originally from Frankenmuth, Michigan, the ladies have used their family chocolate making tradition to create a line of murder-themed chocolates, perfect to pair with your favorite mystery.  When Alex finds a neighbor, friend, and Sleuth Book Club member, Jane, dead in her own home, she decides she is going to track down her killer.  Jane had wanted to show Alex a true crime show as she thought the picture of a killer on the show matched someone in their small town.  Was Jane onto something or is there another reason that she was murdered?

I enjoyed the mystery in this one and did not figure out the killer until the pieces all fit together at the end.  This was the first book in a new planned cozy mystery series, and I can’t wait to read more.  I enjoyed Alex and Hannah and meeting their friends and acquaintances in their small town.  I also love that they own a combination candy and bookstore.  I think that is a spectacular combination!  I also loved that it was at Christmas time and enjoyed that as well.  There was humor in the story and the book overall had good pacing.

Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Santa’s Little Yelpers by David Rosenfelt


Title:  Santa’s Little Yelpers:  An Andy Carpenter Mystery

Author:  David Rosenfelt

Narrated by:  Grover Gardner

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Length: Approximately 6 hours and 41 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you!

 Do you judge a book by its cover?  I totally judge a book by its cover.  I judged this book as being full of puppy love at Christmas and didn’t investigate what the story was about.  This book actually doesn’t have much to do with puppies or Christmas, but it was a good story.

 The story does start out with Andy Carpenter’s dog rescue, Tara’s Foundation, named after his golden retriever, Tara.  The rescue has eight new puppies and Chris Myers works at the foundation helping with the puppies.  Chris was once a lawyer but has been debarred after serving time for killing a man in a bar.  Chris was drunk and doesn’t remember killing the man.  Once he finds out the star witness has lied, he has hope that he will be able to overturn his conviction.  But when the star witness is killed in a drive by shooting, Chris is arrested for his murder, and it is up to Andy to help Chris out.  Will he be able to prove his innocence?

 I thought the mystery was interesting and fun.  Andy was a character.  I loved his humor and his tenacity at solving the crime.  The mystery had a lot of twists and turns, and I did not figure it out!

 Santa’s Little Yelpers is number twenty-six of the Andy Carpenter series.  I had not read any other books in this series, but I did enjoy this audiobook as a standalone.

 I loved Grover Gardner’s narration.  He has a nice deep voice that sounds like a detective on the scene of a crime.  It fits perfectly with this book.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park


Title:  The Christmas Clash

Author:  Suzanne Park

Narrated by:   Jay Lai and Jennifer Sun Bell

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC

Length: Approximately 8 hours and 17 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you!

Do you have a favorite mall?  Do you still have a mall around you?  Did you like hanging out in one as a teenager?  My Mom worked at Pearlevision / NuVision in the mall when I was a teenager.  It was great fun to go to work with her and my sister or a friend and then roam the mall all day long.  The mall of my youth is a bit sad and empty now when I go back home.  I enjoy our mall in Green Bay and my daughter thinks it is very exciting.

The Christmas Clash involves two teenager who work at a mall, Chloe Kwon and Peter Li.  Peter Li drives Chloe Kwon up a wall.  While Chloe works taking pictures of kids with Santa, Peter works at a North Pole Virtual Reality center right across the atrium from her.  As they fight over business, they are carrying on the fight between their parents.  Their parents each own a restaurant in the food court, the Lis sell Chinese food and the Kwons sell Korean food.  They have a bitter rivalry that their children don’t understand.  When Chloe and Peter discover that the malls new owner plans to evict everyone and tear the mall down, they ban together to save the mall.  Will they be able to save the mall and will their feelings for each other change?

This book was so delightful.  Chloe and Peter were great characters with great teenage angst . . . and chemistry.  I also enjoyed a friends to lovers’ trope as was the case in this story. . . although it is a teen story so it was more friends to boyfriend/girlfriend.  I like that it was like Romeo and Juliet, but the rivalry was between two food court restaurant owners.  I especially liked when Chloe started to question why exactly there was a rivalry and decide not to continue carrying it on to the next generation.  Both characters face racism as Asian Americans and I thought it was an interesting look into a realistic aspect of their lives.

I loved Chloe’s zest for fighting for saving the mall and her parents business.  The story of being in the mall brought back so many happy memories of my youth and local mall. I also liked that she had goals in life as a photographer and she pursued her goals.  Both her and Peter face challenges as the second child compared to their “perfect” older siblings and it was a great thing for them to bond over.  It was a great coming of age story for them both.

The story was a dual narrative told in chapters from Chloe or Peter’s perspective. Jay Lai and Jennifer Sun Bell were perfect narrators and were the voices of the characters to me.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


What is the last book you read that kept you up too late?  Death on a Winter Stroll is a gripping story that definitely kept me up too late on a work night.  I was so immersed in the story; I couldn’t put it down until I finished.

Do you go on any holiday strolls?  My community has a Christmas stroll even that occurs the weekend before Thanksgiving and this year included Thanksgiving weekend.  I would love to go, but unfortunately have not had the time to attend yet.  Maybe next year!

Nantucket has a beloved traditional Christmas Stroll.  Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger has her hands full with the community coming back for the stroll after the COVID-19 pandemic and also the Secretary of State visiting during this time.  There is also a new show being filmed at a Nantucket estate as well.  When first one and then two murder victims appear that were killed with the same type of weapon, Chief Folger and new Detective Howie Seitz are on the case.  How are the two cases related and who has the motive to want two very different people dead?

The start of this novel had a great build-up.  All of the characters were introduced and their various reasons for being on Nantucket. Nantucket itself was vividly described and may now be on my list of places I would love to visit at Christmas.  The two characters I found myself intrigued with were Ansel McKay and Winter Candler.  Ansel’s stepmother is the Secretary of State.  He is a troubled young man that has just gone through rehab and is trying to find his path forward in life.  He is able to slip off on his own to finally meet his biological mother.  He also meets Winter Candler.  Her father is a famous star filming his come back on the island.  Winter is struggling with her mother’s suicide and her own eating disorder.  She is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life.  The two young people bond and have a great relationship.  I liked that two lonely people were able to make a great connection.

I enjoyed the mystery, and I wasn’t sure myself who the murderer was until the very end.  I kept thinking I knew the answer, but I was wrong.  I love when I can’t figure out the killer, but that it all does make sense once you know who it is.

Death on a Winter Stroll is the 7th book of the Merry Folger Nantucket Mystery series.  This is the first one I have read in the series.  It worked as a standalone novel, but I do wonder about the history of Merry Folger and want to read more in the series.  I love the Being a Jane Austen mysteries series written by Francine Matthews under the pen name Stephanie Barron.

Review Copy from Soho Crime as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: Death on a Winter Stroll: A Merry Folger Christmas Mystery

·       Series: A Merry Folger Nantucket Mystery (Book 7)

·       Author: Francine Mathews

·       Genre: Traditional Detective Mystery, Holiday Reading

·       Publisher: ‎Soho Crime (November 1, 2022)

·       Length: (288) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1641292740

·       Tour Dates: November 14 – December 19, 2022



No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood stars and DC suits.

Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger is acutely conscious of the stress COVID-19 has placed on the community she loves. Although the island has proved a refuge for many during the pandemic, the cost to Nantucket has been high. Merry hopes that the Christmas Stroll, one of Nantucket’s favorite traditions, in which Main Street is transformed into a winter wonderland, will lift the island’s spirits. But the arrival of a large-scale TV production, and the Secretary of State and her family, complicates matters significantly.
The TV shoot is plagued with problems from within, as a shady, power-hungry producer clashes with strong-willed actors. Across Nantucket, the Secretary’s troubled stepson keeps shaking off his security detail to visit a dilapidated house near conservation land, where an intriguing recluse guards secrets of her own. With all parties overly conscious of spending too much time in the public eye and secrets swirling around both camps, it is difficult to parse what behavior is suspicious or not—until the bodies turn up.
Now, it’s up to Merry and Detective Howie Seitz to find a connection between two seemingly unconnected murders and catch the killer. But when everyone has a motive, and half of the suspects are politicians and actors, how can Merry and Howie tell fact from fiction?
This latest installment in critically acclaimed author Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger series is an immersive escape to festive Nantucket, a poignant exploration of grief as a result of parental absence, and a delicious new mystery to keep you guessing.



  • “This fast-moving mystery packs in a lot, but never too much, and will work for fans of coming-of-age stories, police procedurals, and romance.” —First Clue
  • “Fresh, well-wrought prose brings the setting of Nantucket to life. Mathews consistently entertains.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Christmas and death come to Nantucket . . . Plenty of fascinating characters and myriad motives make for an exciting read.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Mathews consistently places relationships at the forefront of her mysteries, and Merry's unique blend of tenacity and humanity makes her a heroine to root for.”—USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden, author of the Inspector Corravan mysteries






Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written thirty books, including six previous novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-Season, Death in Rough Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, Death on Nantucket, and Death on Tuckernuck) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the pen name Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.



Thursday, December 15, 2022

All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Do you enjoy reading books where a character has a journey or second chance?  I know I do, and this was a good book for me.

All the Lost Places is a historical fiction novel with a dual narrative.  One narrative is set the 1800’s and is the story of a lost baby boy, Sabastian Trovato, who is found in Venice and is raised by a guild of five artisans.  The other narrative is set in the 1900’s and involves a man named Daniel.  Daniel has led a troubled life but is trying to start over by going on a journey to Venice to procure a rare book for a wealthy man.  While there, he discovers who Sebastian Trovato is and why his story was unfinished.

All of the Lost Places was a beautifully written book with an interesting story.  I’ll admit that it did take me awhile to get into the story.   It’s the kind of story that you need time to read and immerse yourself in.  Once you get into the story, it is hard to put down. I have always wanted to visit Venice and this story was a love letter to the City.  It made me want to visit even more.  I loved the stories of both Daniel and Sebastian.  I like mysteries and I loved learning more about The Book of Waters as Daniel made his discoveries.

Review Copy from Bethany House Books as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: All the Lost Places: A Novel

·       Author: Amanda Dykes

·       Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: ‎Bethany House Publishers (December 13, 2022)

·       Length: (400) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, Trade paperback, & eBook 

·       ISBN: 978-0764239502

·       Tour Dates: December 5 – December 19, 2022



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.