book review, history

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Since beginning social distancing, I’ve been diving into my massive TBR list containing books that I’ve had waiting for months upon months. First up, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It’s the memoir of Ludwig “Lali” Sokolov nee Eisenberg, called Lale in the book, and he was once the tattooer of Auschwitz.

  • Genre: Memoir
  • Overall Rating 5/6 Glass Slippers

In April of 1942, Lale arrived in Auschwitz-Berkinau. Due to his wit and talent for languages, he was soon made the tattooist’s apprentice, then the tattooist himself. He was put in the dangerous and prestigious position of tattooing the numbers on the arm of everyone who entered the camp. He had to be a cog in the Nazi machine, but was also able to help save a few lives.

His tattooing bag is a free pass through the camp, a sign of his status as an essential worker. He’s able to speak with guards, meet the workers from the nearby village who are building the crematoriums, and barter for food with goods slipped from the warehouse used to store and sort the stolen possessions of the prisoners. But Lale uses the most of his influence to keep someone special alive.

He first notices Gita’s dark eyes, and soon he’s smitten with the young woman in a way he can’t explain. He begs and steals, cutting deals to get her a job in the administration office where at least she’ll be warm in the long winter months. He trades hidden gems for chocolate with the village workers for her, and does everything in his power to make sure that when they’re free, they’ll have a future together. But first, they have to survive.

In college, I studied the Holocaust in depth, reading memoirs, taking classes, and taking advantage of my school’s Holocaust Resource Center where survivors would often come to speak. Overall, I found the memoir to be both heart wrenching, and a good lesson in humanizing what happened and how it changed the world. It’s easy to look at numbers in a text book and skim over the labels of Jew and Gypsy without really internalizing what those numbers truly mean. Lali wasn’t a number, nor were any of the other victims.

I wrote many papers on that part of history in my genocidal studies program, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dr. Mengele in particular. I found some inconsistencies in how Morris portrayed Mengele and his experiments, fabricating some parts perhaps for shock value, although what he did was so terrible without the additional attractions, I didn’t see the reason for them. There were other inconsistencies highlighted by the Auschwitz Memorial Research Center, but I won’t go into because after all is said and done, this isn’t a history book, it’s a memoir based on the extraordinary life of one man.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and the story it told, even with the inaccuracies and simple phrasings. Memories, like memoirs, are tricky things, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the story of Lali Sokolov.

New Book

Circle of Hurt

It’s release day for Lauren Campbell with her newest book, Circle of Hurt. A story of marriage, betrayal, and pain that reviewers are calling “completely engaging and just beautiful to read.”

For years, infertility followed me like a cloud.

But finally, the sun has risen.

Finally, I am pregnant.

Except now a new storm rages in the distance–one I have no choice but to pass through.

I have no idea if the child I’m carrying belongs to my husband … or to the man I’ve betrayed him with–a man I’ve come to love but whose name I don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m a cheat. A liar. Undeserving of this baby inside me.

I don’t know how this will end. But I do know it won’t be without casualties, because this is a story in which a true happy ending cannot exist.

A story of how my love for one grew into three but must end with only two.

Order your copy now wherever ebook are sold HERE

book review, New Book

Temporary Wife Temptation

I’ve been so busy with work and my family, my poor TBR pile has been sadly neglected. But new author Jayci Lee drew me in with her first novel Temporary Wife Temptation, book one of Heirs of Hansol series. I settled onto my couch one quiet morning after school drop off with a cup of coffee and my dog. Before I knew it, I had finished the book and already craving book two.

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Tropes: Billionaire Romance/Fake Relationship
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Garrett Song is rich, handsome, and poised to take over his family’s fashion empire, Hansol. He can walk on the wild side, but knows his duty as the heir to the proverbial throne. When his grandmother wants to play matchmaker to join the Song family forces with another influential family, comes up with a plan. He hates the idea of marriage and plans on being a lifelong bachelor. But then he decides to handpick his own wife, one he knows would benefit from their marriage just as much as he would. If only he can get her to accept.

Natalie Sobol is having a rough time. She’s been working for Hansol for a while, and has her eye on a position that could validate her career choices and set her up for life. But the death of her sister and brother-in-law leave her the guardian of a little girl, her life goes into a tailspin. She needs a promotion and money for her niece’s medical issues and schooling. She hadn’t planned on being a parent just yet, but when Garret offers her a way to get everything she wants, it’s hard to say no…only there’s a catch, one that makes her question everything.

In the beginning, the deal is clear. They marry so Garret gets the CEO position and Natalie is promoted to the VP of Human Resources and is able to fully adopt her niece. They’ll attend parties, go out to dinner, and appear on the outside as a perfectly devoted pair. After enough time passes, they’ll simply annul their marriage. After all, they don’t plan on actually ever consummating it…right?

Temporary Wife Temptation is basically what happens when The Proposal, The Wedding Date, and Crazy Rich Asians combine forces. Sexy, funny, and interesting, the story sets off at a run from page one, not leaving any room for unnecessary filler or fluff. You dive right in to Garret and Natalie’s story, getting both points of view from the beginning.

I really enjoy fake relationship romances and anything with fabulously wealthy people. The world Lee created is the perfect blend of luxury living and real life issues. There’s enough reality to keep you grounded as you follow the romance, but more than enough champagne living to sweeten the deal. It also wasn’t terribly predictable. There were enough twists and turns between the romance to make you wonder if Garret and Natalie would make a real go of their relationship or just start counting down the days until they could split for good.


Interview, New Book

Meet Daniel Williamson

Meeting new authors is always top on my list of fun things to do. And as a parent, it’s rare I meet children’s authors. Today, I’d like to introduce Daniel Williamson, who has created a line of educational picture books to teach kids new languages in a fun and new way.

Daniel Williamson was born in London and earned a scholarship to attend Bembridge Private School on the Isle of Wight, largely due to his advanced English writing skills. During his teenage years, he articulated in theater, band, and choir. After attending Nottingham Trent University, he began traveling the globe to such locations as The Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China, and Christ the Redeemer.

After the birth of his daughter Carmela, his passion for writing was re-ignited, and after a brief spell script writing he turned his attention to children’s stories due to the inspiration he gained from his mother Jacqueline’s Montessori nursery and his own volunteer work at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

His current titles include the Look at me I’m learning series, which focuses on teaching young children the basics of a new language through colourful picture books. Currently languages include French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish and Brazilian Portuguese with many more language books and rhyming picture books already under development for 2020 and beyond.

  • What inspired you to write children’s language books?

I had already written a few rhyming picture books when a friend pointed out to me that she couldn’t find one decent picture book to help her cousin teach their son Italian. At this point I had a light bulb moment. I did some research and found this was true for all languages pretty much. There were bilingual books out there but they mostly looked like boring text books and not endearing to young children. I decided if I could make a series that started with the basics of language in a colourful and playful way this would be a great gateway for any parent wishing to introduce their child to a new language.

  • Are you fluent in any languages?

Languages were always my favourite subjects at school where I studied French, German and Spanish for a combination of 15 years. I’ve been learning Brazilian Portuguese for the last 2 years. Would say I’m more conversational than fluent in all 4 which is why I used professional translators for my books.

  • Do you have any other languages you’d like to cover?

The series currently has 6 languages covered with 4 more arriving within the next 6 weeks. What I love about this series is that the possibilities are endless and if there is demand for new languages I aim to fulfil it. I have a great model in that the story and artwork template are complete donee languages just need to be translated professionally and then it’s effectively cut and paste. I also believe 100% that there is potential for the whole series to be back-translated and go global and so I am looking for the right literary agent or publisher to help me achieve that.

  • What age group are your books best suited for?

The subtitle reads ‘A story for ages 2-8’ but I’ve heard of children as young as 1 and as old as 10 enjoying the books. Even some adults have bought them in order to teach themselves the basics!

  • What were your favorite children’s books growing up?

I think everybody has that one picture book as their go to growing up. Mine was Not now Bernard by David McKee. An absolute classic which is still held in high regard today. After that it was Roald Dahl all the way, I couldn’t get enough of his creative characters, funny words and simply beautiful stories. Even 30 years later I think he is still influencing me in my writing as whenever I have a quirky moment I smirk and think about him.

  • What are your dreams for your book series?

I want this book series to help as many parents as possible to enjoy introducing their mother (or father) tongue to their children. Learning a language should be fun and so I’m hoping to bridge the gap with the colourful artwork. As mentioned I want this series to grow and grow and reach every corner of the globe. To have the series back translated and receive messages from people in every continent telling me how much the children enjoy them. Growing this global ‘family’ of readers will also give me the opportunity to share my other stories with the world and hopefully spread a lot of happiness along the way.

  • Will you always stay within the children’s books or do you have plans for any YA or adult novels?

I believe I will stay within picture books and YA. First I wish to expand my language series, then I have 3 more picture books written that just need the artwork finished. I’m also currently in the planning phases of a YA fantasy series with a talented artist with some fantastic and original ideas so looking forward to pushing my boundaries.

To order any of Daniel Williamson’s langue books for kids, you can shop now HERE.

To keep up to date on all of Daniel Williamson’s work and be alerted when he releases new work, visit him on any of his platforms.

  • Visit his website HERE
  • Visit his Facebook HERE
  • Visit his Twitter HERE
  • Visit his Instagram HERE
New Book

100 Things That I Wish I Said

Debut author time! Demi Pepper, a UK based author has just published her first book, a novel that touches on bullying, mental health, and the power of words. Introducing 100 Things That I Wish I Said.

Every thought we ever have will never be spoken out loud. You’ll regret it if you don’t say something and maybe it’ll change a life. But once someone is gone, they’re gone for good.

About Demi Pepper

Being a quiet individual most of your life leaves you with a gap to fill. Demi’s gap was filled with creativity and worlds she invented through art, poetry and novels. Her worlds dive into the supernatural, the fantastical and romantic as well as sometimes exploring a more realistic and hard hitting side, yet still beautiful – all of which are inspired by her love for movies, art and history.

Demi studies Fine Art in University, which only allows her creativity to flow further and allow her to reach for the stars in all aspects of her work. Being an artist allows her to paint pictures within her writing and always aim for her readers to be compelled within her small universes.

Follow Demi Pepper on Twitter HERE and on Instagram HERE

New Book

Lust in the Stacks

A new book by a debut author is now available. Introducing Lust in the Stacks by Natalie Falkenwrath!

In this library, the books aren’t the only thing worth checking out…

Alex has a job she likes, doing tech support at Cowling University, and a beautiful – if difficult – girlfriend, Jasmine. Life is good. That is until Alex’s boss reassigns her to work in the university’s saddest little library. Alex feels like she’s been banished to a stuffy, quiet hell. 

Then Alex meets Cait, a living definition of ‘sexy librarian.’ She’s hot, smart, and her accent is to die for. But Alex has a girlfriend she loves and a job to get done. 

When the library pushes back on the system updates Alex was sent to implement, Alex must work closely with Cait to find a solution. Can Alex stay professional and maintain her relationship with Jasmine while working side-by-side with the alluring librarian?

Lust in the Stacks is available for the kindle HERE and in paperback HERE.

Happy Reading!

New Book

The Power of Witches

Noa Rembrandt was found in a dumpster. 

Since then, she’s been wanting only one thing in life: to find a loving family to take her in or successfully age out of the foster system. She thought she’d found her family, until after her eighth birthday, her younger foster brother died under suspicious circumstances—circumstances Noa might have had a part in.

Now at sixteen and with no where else to go, Noa Rembrandt is sent to Gardenside County Home for Troubled Youth. With a countdown to her eighteenth birthday, Noa is determined to keep her head down and not cause any trouble.

Trouble instead finds her, in the form of her eccentric roommate and cute boy across the hall who both seem to know more about Noa’s background than she does.

Preorder The Power of Witches now HERE!


Shay Bencosme is a 22 Navy servicemember who writes and photographs in her spare time. She currently lives in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Josh, and their kitten, Lucy.

Shay has always had aspirations of being a writer and just decided to go for it one day, finishing her debut novel is less than 3 months. Since choosing self-publishing, she’s loved every step of her journey through the indie world.