Friday, October 19, 2018

My Friday Five...

1.  Flu.  Ugh. I have the flu and it won't leave me alone just yet. I've been ill for two weeks now and it is driving me bonkers. The only positive thing to come from being sick is that I am reading - a lot.

2.  Books.  Yep, I've been reading, reading, reading.  Here are some of the books I've read:





3.  Journals.  I've always written in a journal, but lately I seem to be obsessed with buying journals instead of actually writing in them. So, I'm trying to make myself journal every day.  I use washi tape and stickers to decorate the pages, thinking it will inspire me to write more. So far, it seems to help.

4.  TV shows.  Yep, I am still watching the Housewives.  Its OC right now and I am just loving their trip to Jamaica.  You can clearly see how divided these women are and you just know that fireworks are going to explode come next Monday.  As for TWD (The Walking Dead) - what happened?! The premiere was disappointing - nothing major really happened, Rick is boring, and everyone seems unhappy. Ugh, not a good sign for the season to come.  I am watching AHS: Apocalypse and it is MAJOR! I am loving it!! Witches v. Warlocks - how could I not love a season like this, right? Better Call Saul - what a fantastic season!! The show is a slow-burn, but it is gold. I am just loving watching Jimmy become Saul - its sad and exciting all at once.  Oh, and I am watching The Little Couple - they are back on TLC.  The family is moving to FL, so that is what this new season will focus on. So far, I've seen them look at huge houses to buy, while their kids run around screaming.  And, the other show I am now hooked on is A Million Little Things - the one with Berger (from SATC) where he commits suicide and we see how his family/friends cope.  Yeah, its definitely emotional, but its really good.  I started watching because the actor from Grimm is on it.  Anyhow, those are the shows I've been gobbling up each week.  By the by, I read that there is going to be a Grimm spin-off, which I am very excited about - woo hoo!!

5.  Music. Sufjan Stevens is on the brain this week. Love his music!

Hope you all have a great weekend!! Happy reading!!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Murder on Millionaires' Row: A Mystery by Erin Lindsey

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book: (from Goodreads)

Erin Lindsey takes readers on a chase through Gilded Age Manhattan, filled with wonderful historical details, ghosts, romance, and Pinkerton detectives in Murder on Millionaires' Row, a delightfully charming debut mystery.

Rose Gallagher might dream of bigger things, but she’s content enough with her life as a housemaid. After all, it’s not every girl from Five Points who gets to spend her days in a posh Fifth Avenue brownstone, even if only to sweep its floors. But all that changes on the day her boss, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, disappears. Rose is certain Mr. Wiltshire is in trouble, but the police treat his disappearance as nothing more than the whims of a rich young man behaving badly. Meanwhile, the friend who reported him missing is suspiciously unhelpful. With nowhere left to turn, Rose takes it upon herself to find her handsome young employer.

The investigation takes her from the marble palaces of Fifth Avenue to the sordid streets of Five Points. When a ghostly apparition accosts her on the street, Rose begins to realize that the world around her isn’t at all as it seems―and her place in it is about to change forever.

my thoughts:

Wow! Murder on Millionaires' Row is an entertaining, compelling, and unputdownable mystery.  I just loved befriending Rose and following along her journey to find her missing employer, Mr. Wiltshire (aka the man of her dreams).  Yep, Rose is in LOVE with her boss.  So much so, that when no one seems bothered enough to search for him, Rose takes it upon herself to find out what happened to him.  As she begins unraveling the mystery of his disappearance, she starts uncovering new truths about him - to the point that she realizes she doesn't know him at all.  Along the way, Rose also finds out that world is filled with apparitions, witches, mediums and magic.  It seems that the paranormal is real and not imagined.  Talk about food for thought, eh? Rose now finds herself living in a world she didn't realize existed.  And that is all I will write about this terrific tale - you have to experience it for yourself.

Erin Lindsey has written a superb mystery set during the Gilded Age of Manhattan and let me just say -Wow! Her vivid descriptions bring NY to life and you can't help but picture the clothing, the buildings, and the people.  I just loved getting caught up in the city life and its inhabitants making their way.  The characters are interesting and unforgettable.  And, the paranormal mystery is such a fun way to see the city and the characters - I absolutely enjoyed it to bits.  This book was truly a treat to read.

I would happily recommend Murder on Millionaires' Row to fans of Erin Lindsey and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Currently reading...

I've been sick with the flu these past few weeks, so reading has been my medicine.  Luckily, the new Murakami came out recently, so I've been reading that.  And let me just say, this story is AMAZING.  Its typical Murakami and I am loving the familiarity of that fact.  The way he blends the real and unreal is sublime.  I am taking my sweet time with this story and loving every minute I spend with it.

What about you? What are you reading? Let me know, I'm compiling a list of books to read.

Well, I'm off to pick up where I last left the Commendatore.  Happy reading!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Christmas Camp: A Novel by Karen Schaler

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From the screenwriter of the Netflix Original viral hit, A Christmas Prince, comes another heartwarming holiday story about a beautiful Grinch who’s determined to get her dream job even if it means spending a week at a Christmas Camp where she discovers an unexpected love.

Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment, and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit. Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together.

my thoughts:

Christmas stories are my jam. Its my favorite holiday and I love to read, so what's not to love, right? Talk about the perfect combination - holiday spirit with a bit of romance! How could I not want to read Christmas Camp? Especially, since its by the screenwriter who wrote A Christmas Prince - that movie that was on Netflix last year that everyone was addicted to watching (me included!).  I just knew I would be in for quite the Christmas treat with this story and let me just say - I was right! I absolutely LOVED Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler - it was the perfect book to kick off my holiday reading.

Haley and Christmas do not go hand in hand. She is a grinch and would rather be working than celebrating all the tinsel and tree trimming.  Her boss, however, thinks she is in dire need of some Christmas spirit, so he sends her to Christmas Camp.  Haley is not a happy camper, but she knows if she can get through this holiday themed camp, then she just may get the huge promotion she has been working towards.  So, off she goes.  Once there, she finds herself attracted to Jeff - the owner's son of the inn she will be holidaying at.  Of course, Holly decides she can't be distracted from the task at hand and decides to throw herself into all of the camp activities instead.  After all, she is there to get Christmas-ed up and then head back to work ASAP.  Then again, sometimes plans get derailed when love begins to blossom.  And that is all I will write about this fantastic story.

Christmas Camp is a fun and engaging story chock full of Christmas spirit that will have you laughing and smiling as you read it.  This book is a must-read for fans of Christmas themed novels - you won't want to miss out!  I absolutely LOVED getting to know Haley and Jeff - watching their relationship blossom was such a treat.  I would happily recommend this book to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Christmas Camp
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Lady Of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry–the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust–who in her life is false or true, brass or gold–and what is meant to be treasured.

my thoughts:

Lady Of A Thousand Treasures is the first book in a new series by Sandra Byrd called, The Victorian Ladies and let me just say - Wow!! What a fantastic book!!! I absolutely LOVED Lady Of A Thousand Treasures!!  Byrd has written a terrific faith-filled story chock full of romance, mystery, and suspense.  This is Christian fiction at its very best!!

Eleanor is a strong and smart woman who knows her antiquities.  Her father and uncle have a business that sources antiquities for the noble class - Sheffield Brothers.  However, after her father passes away and she learns of her uncle's early onset dementia, Eleanor is tasked with taking over the reigns of the family business.  Except, its the Victorian era and that means women can't run a business on their own (specifically, unmarried women).  Yikes! What's Eleanor to do? Especially, when she learns that she is at risk of losing her family home - bills haven't been paid and time is up! Talk about major problems to deal with, eh? Well, throw in a new client who has requested that Eleanor handle the remains of his estate - meaning, donate the items to a museum or pass them to the man who broke her heart?! Whoa, Nelly!?  Eleanor is is major need of some breathing room.  So many huge decisions to make and so little time to handle it all.  What's a gal to do?

Byrd has created a wonderful tale about a woman on the verge of discovering what she is truly made of, all the while dealing with a society that doesn't want her to be anything but subservient.  The writing is top notch and filled with amazingly vivid and authentic details about the Victorian era - the people, the culture, the customs, etc..  The characters are fascinating to read about and finding out how their stories will unfold is icing on the cake - you can't help but root for Eleanor.  And the story itself is unputdownable.  You won't want to miss one word of it!

I would happily recommend Lady Of A Thousand Treasures to fans of Sandra Byrd and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Lady of a Thousand Treasures
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!