Monday, August 30, 2021
Battle of the Book Covers #6
Friday, August 27, 2021
Review: The Queen
Monarchy in Britain is a mindset – sociological and emotional – seldom scrutinised save by diehard supporters or detractors.
Matthew Dennison's new biography of Elizabeth II offers to evaluate a magisterial reign now spanning seven decades and the Queen’s record as practitioner of monarchy. The person of the monarch is the closest an ethnically and culturally diverse society comes to a visible representative of past, present and future, although population changes since 1945 have made it impossible for Elizabeth II convincingly to embody the wide-ranging outlooks and aspirations of a muddled demographic. Instead she is understood as the champion of a handful of ‘British’ values endorsed – if no longer practised – by the bulk of the nation: service, duty, steadfastness, charity, stoicism: a visible definition of an aspect of ‘Britishness’. - from Goodreads
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Wicked Widow
Gin Kelly, the wicked redhead, is back! Readers will delight in next installment of the Wicked City series by New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams.
June 1925. Audacious Appalachian flapper Geneva "Gin" Kelly prepares to trade her high-flying ways for respectable marriage to Oliver Anson Marshall, a steadfast Prohibition agent who happens to hail from one of New York's most distinguished families. But just as wedding bells chime, the head of the notorious East Coast rum-running racket--and Anson's mortal enemy--turns up murdered at a society funeral, and their short-lived honeymoon bliss goes up in a spectacular blaze that sends Anson back undercover...and into the jaws of a trap from which not even Gin can rescue him. As violence explodes around her, Gin must summon all her considerable moxie to trace the tentacles of this sinister organization back to their shocking source, and face down a legendary American family at a rigged game it has no intention of losing.
June 1998. When Ella Dommerich's ninetysomething society queen aunt Julie ropes her into digging up dirt on Senator (and Presidential candidate) Franklin Hardcastle in order to settle old family scores, she couldn't be less enthusiastic. Pregnant Ella's recently ditched her unfaithful husband and settled into cozy--if complicated--domesticity with her almost-too-good-to-be-true musician boyfriend, Hector. But then the Hardcastle secrets lead to a web of shady dealings Ella's uncovered in her job as a financial analyst, and the bodies start to tumble out of the venerable woodwork. With the help of her ex-husband and her mysterious connection to a certain redheaded flapper, Ella digs up more than mere dirt...only to discover herself standing alone between a legendarily ruthless family and the prize it's sought for generations.
What ugly secrets lurk in the opulent enclaves--and bank accounts--of America's richest families? And can two determined women from two different generations thwart the murderous legacy of the demon liquor? - from Goodreads
Two books from Beatriz Williams in one year? She is too good to us. I don't even need to read blurbs for her books anymore - she always delivers!
Monday, August 23, 2021
Cape May Point State Park
The beach is just on the other side of the dunes and there is a connector trail.
There are great views of the lighthouse from everywhere along the trail!
Once we moved away from the dunes/beach, the trail turns into a combination of boardwalk and dirt path, and the feel of the park sometimes even feels like forest.
The Red Trail is a short offshoot from the Blue Trail and is quite shady until you reach a bird blind/viewing area. There are a couple other bird blinds/viewing areas along the Blue Trail.
Friday, August 20, 2021
The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant (2020)
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Death of Jane Lawrence
Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.
By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished. - from Goodreads
How perfect does this sound for fall?
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Places to Read
- My living room couch is probably the place I do most of my reading, sometimes while my husband is playing video games, sometimes late at night with the tv on as background noise.
- The comfy reading chair in my office/library. It's right in front of the window, so it gets great light.
- On our back patio. We have a cute little setup with Adirondack chairs and a small table, so when the weather is nice and the chairs are in the shade, it's a great place to read with a nice view of the backyard.
- In bed. I've embraced using my Kindle so I can comfortably read in bed and not bother my sleeping hubby.
- When I was in college, I spent many Friday nights reading and lounging on the couches in the student center. Yep, I was THAT kid.
- I also loved reading in the campus library. It was so quiet, and there were tons of little nooks and crannies to hide and read in.
- On vacation. It really doesn't matter where we go, there's just something so satisfying about being able to read and knowing you don't have any other responsibilities to get in the way.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Romance Quick Reviews
Manor For Sale, Baron Included by Esther Hatch (2021)
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Collector's Daughter
Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, the woman who took the very first step into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and who lived in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the long after-effects of the Curse of Pharaohs.
Lady Evelyn Herbert was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up in stunning Highclere Castle. Popular and pretty, she seemed destined for a prestigious marriage, but she had other ideas. Instead, she left behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she hoped to become a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb.
In November 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and unimaginable riches, and she was the first person to crawl inside for three thousand years. She called it the “greatest moment” of her life—but soon afterwards everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place.
Newspapers claimed it was “the curse of Tutankhamun,” but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet fifty years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found. - from Goodreads
I love historical fiction, and this sounds like it's going to be an incredible read!
Monday, August 9, 2021
Guest Blogger: Release Day Musings
Have you attended any author events via Zoom, Facebook or Instagram? If you could ask a question to your favorite author during an event like that, what would it be?