As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

April 13, 2015

THE STORY KEEPER by Lisa Wingate, 2014

When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever. (Goodreads)

Review by Griperang

I am so glad that I got picked as one of the sisters in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book by Lisa. THE STORY KEEPER was every bit as good as the first book that I read by her (The Prayer Box). The fact that there was a story within a story in this book is an added bonus in my opinion. Jen is such a strong character in this book, she new she needed to leave home at a young age to get away from her past but with the drop of manuscript on her desk she finds the past is not as far away as it seemed. I enjoyed meeting some other characters along the way like sweet Hannanh - I found myself feeling sorry for her and Evan - who is not who he seems at the beginning. I did not care for Jen's dad or sister Mirah as they just did not seem nice to me but then again it is a whole different world where they live and how they choose to survive. There is a mystery in this book and some twists that kept me turning the pages long into the night. I must admit that I read a little over half of this book in one day and I don't do that often. I give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to everyone.

Market: Adult Fiction
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: Depression

April 6, 2015

A POTION TO DIE FOR by Heather Blake, 2013

As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for! (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Griperang

I loved A POTION TO DIE FOR and now have to run out and get the second one so I can see what kind of trouble Carly will find next. One of the things that drew me to this book was the witch theme. As with other cozies I have read I love the small town where this takes place even the name is cute: Hitching Post. The underlying love theme of the town was cute. I enjoy Heather's writing as she keeps me guessing all the way to the end of the book. She will give you just enough clues so you think you may know who did it then she switches up and gives you another clue to you now think of someone else. I loved all of Carly's family from her crazy mom, quiet dad, mean Aunt Marjie, bickering Aunts Eunice and Hazel to her cousin Delia. We must not forget Dylan who is Carly's ex. I really liked him as well. I hope to see Carly's relationships with Delia and Dylan grow as the series goes along. Yes there were a few characters I did not like. Johnny Braxton, Coach and John Richard Baldwin. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries or fun witch stories then be sure to pick this book up. 

Market: Adult Fiction
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Death

March 30, 2015

ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White, 2014

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Valette M.

ILLUSIONS OF FATE is as delicious and delicately woven as its cover. Like all of Kiersten White's books, it features a strong female lead: Jessamine, a young islander now living on the continent that 'civilized' her homeland. (Think the British empire and colonization.) In a land where she is a second class citizen, Jessamine has to fight for every advantage she can get. I love how confident she is: proud and tall in the darkest circumstances. And boy does she go through some doozies! From being tortured to losing those close to her, she puts up a stiff lip and presses forward. She has a particularly snappy take on life. And Finn! Where do I even begin? Jessamine is so well-rounded there are points he seems underdeveloped by contrast. But still he epitomizes the dashing, mysterious, perfect gentleman magician with card tricks, charm spells, and a deep dark back story. I enjoy his flair immensely, but I approve of his utter adoration of Jessamine even more. He gives her his shadow, guys. HIS SHADOW. And it's all so sweet and desperately romantic I haven't been able to stop smiling all day.

Along with the heart-pounding romance comes all manner of political intrigue. Jessamine is suddenly thrown into life on the upper crust and finds it far more disturbing than she imagined. From one intricate thread to the next, the reader is led along a path that delves into the darker motives for expansion and the darker uses for magic, exploring exactly what it means to have a fate. With mystery upon mystery, we get to see Finn's metal tested and Jessamine's courage tried. The story moves fluidly through revelations faster and faster until culminating with a beautiful, shattering finale. I just wish there were more chapters after the climax! It's probably for the best it ended so quickly, or I might have passed out from not breathing.

I have always appreciated Kiersten White's respect for the reader. There are no shortcuts and no dumbing down. She doesn't write just to have more words to her name. Each story piece is tastefully crafted for its own place: no bigger or smaller than it merits. Illusions of Fate is exhilarating, swoon-worthy, and elegant.

Market: Young Adult
Language: Very mild if any
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: None

March 23, 2015


When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Katie Rice - Mama

She just won the Nobel Peace Prize for her life spent in dedication to encouraging education for girls.  She was shot by the Taliban for her efforts.  She survived and her survival has made her a global beacon.  And she's a teenager.  

You may know a little about Malala, but her story will endear you to her family and her people.  Very little in her book seems to be about being shot or victimized by the Taliban.  Much of I AM MALALA seems to be about a girl full of integrity trying to live her life as happily as she can despite her world being turned upside down.  She is forced to think outside of herself at a young age and her conclusions are simple and childlike and profound,  If you want to read a story about the stars aligning for one girl's purpose to shine though this is it.

Market: Nonfiction (adult or YA)
Language: clean
Sensuality: none
Violence: present
Mature Themes: gender inequality, taliban, politics, war

March 11, 2015

Winners!!! Winners!!! Winners!!!

Drumroll, please . . . 

The Winners of our MASSIVE BOOK GIVEAWAY are . . . 

Rosalyn Eves - 1 book
Jaina R - 2 books
Natalie DePalma - 2 books
Angela Holland - 2 books
Emma McAndrew - 2 books
Emily Crook - 3 books
Julie Ropelewski - 3 books
Vallette - 4 books

That's a total of 19 books!! Woohoo!! CONGRATULATIONS to you all!! 

Please email us at with your mailing address and book choice/s so we can send off the books right away.

A big, BIG thank you for everyone who participated!! YOU are all the reason Bookshop Talk is a success!!

And just as a reminder, Bookshop Talk considers reviews from anyone, at any time. So please take a look at our guidelines here, then tell us about a book you love!

February 25, 2015


We’re having a massive book giveaway between now and MARCH 11th in which you can win up to TEN BOOKS of your choice, chosen from among the long list of books that have been reviewed on Bookshop Talk (including any books written by authors we've interviewed).

You can enter the drawing as many times as you want by doing one or all of the following:

1) Become a fan of Bookshop Talk on FacebookUnder the “Stay Connected” title on the right sidebar of this site, click on the Facebook icon and follow the page (1 entry).

2) Follow Bookshop Talk on Twitter. Under the “Stay Connected” title on the right sidebar of this site, click on the Twitter icon and follow us (1 entry).

3) Follow Bookshop Talk using Google Friend Connect. Under the “Stay Connected” title on the right sidebar of this site, click on the “Join this Site” link and follow Google’s instructions from there (1 entry).

4) Refer a friend to Bookshop Talk! Tell your friends (as many as you want) about Bookshop Talk, and if they Follow us through Facebook, Google, or Twitter, and leave a comment anywhere on our site that includes “My friend (insert name here) sent me,” we’ll not only give them an entry into the drawing, but you will get an entry, too! An easy way to do this is to click on one of the links on Bookshop Talk's right sidebar under "Tell your friends about Bookshop Talk" then be sure to tell them they need to comment after they follow us, and mention your name, so you can win some books. And they can win some, too, if they enter the giveaway (1 entry per friend).

5) Comment on any of our GAB BAG topics (after reading it, of course!) and include this phrase at the end "I want to win a book!" You can enter up to five times this way 
(1 entry).

6) Submit a review of a favorite book (no matter how long ago it was published), and you will be entered into the drawing FIVE TIMES for each approved review. So raid your Goodreads reviews, blog, whatever, and send Bookshop Talk reviews of the books that you would like to recommend to others! (5 entries)

For instructions on how to format and submit your review, visit our Contact page here. To get your review approved, it must follow these guidelines and, this time, we're accepting reviews even if the book has been reviewed on the site before. Please, please take note that the review should be the specified amount of quality paragraphs and must be published by a national publishing house (no self-published titles). As a reader, you might not be sure if it's self-published, but we can let you know if you email us. And it must be a book that you highly recommend!

But remember, no "erotica" books (sorry, Fifty Shades of TMI). 

So, how do you win up to TEN BOOKS??

To officially get your name entered into the drawing using the social media options, you need to leave a comment on THIS post, saying what social media links you are using to follow us (Facebook, Google, Twitter – any or all of them). You will then get one entry for each one of them (Please tell us your various user names if they aren’t similar to one another). If you have already been following us on any or all of these sites before today, just tell us in a comment and we’ll still count them each as a new entry into the drawing. So following us on all three sites will give you THREE entries!

BUT HERE’S THE BEST PART: If your name is entered TWENTY TIMES into the drawing (submitting four reviews is the best way to do that), then you AUTOMATICALLY WIN A BOOK! Yay!

Winners will be announced on Bookshop Talk Wednesday, March 11th! (You can enter your name into the drawing until March 10th, 11:59 pm US Eastern Time). You’ll need to come to the site on March 11th to see if your name is among the list of winners. From there, you’ll need to email us with your shipping information and the book/s you want us to send you—from among the books that have been reviewed on Bookshop Talk—and then you’ll have lots of happy reading ahead of you.

We’re giving away a MINIMUM OF TEN BOOKS, so good luck!

*Crazy pandemonium disclaimer: To prevent any chance of bankrupting this site, we are limiting the book giveaway to a possibility of 10 books per household, and up to 30 books in all for the giveaway*

*Disclaimer #2. Each book must be under the value of $20.*

*If your name is drawn and you live outside of the Continental U.S., we will send you an Amazon Gift Card for $10 US for each book you win, so you can at least download the Kindle version.*