Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Double Mint

Last summer I was introduced to the Davis Way Crime Caper Series and read the first books as quick as I could.  I was contacted again this summer because the 4th book, Double Mint, came out this summer.  I was glad to cozy up in my chair and read about Davis's hilarious misadventures.

Description: It’s convention season at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino and Davis Way Cole barely notices. It’s hard to pay attention when you live in a Jambalaya Junkyard. But when Special Events Coordinator Holder Darby walks off the job just as five hundred Alabama bankers pour in the front door, Davis steps up.

Or would that be in? Definitely in. Davis steps in.

It.

Not only has the convention director vanished, but a certain Bellissimo guest is missing. One who forgot to pack the million dollars he left in the bathtub. It looks like our redhead newlywed Super Secret Spy’s lazy summer is over when the Bellissimo vault is robbed. Can Davis connect the dots before it’s too late? Can she get her Taser gun back from Bianca Sanders? Will she be stuck with Eddie Crawford’s 1962 Cadillac forever? What Davis needs is a little faith. And a lot of luck.

DOUBLE MINT.

New money. Old sins. Back to jail. And a cat.

(A cat?)

Break the Bank


Like the other books, there is something special going on in the casino and of course there is an issue with it.  Of course no one will listen to Davis (I mean she does tend to ramble and ridiculous things seem to follow her but...) and she plunges head into finding out the whodunnit, why and when.  Of course there is a motive for her (get rid of Magnolia from her apartment) but it is after all her job to protect the casino's interests! 

The book is funny, this series is hilarious.  I would highly recommend it as a humor book!

However, I'd recommend starting at the beginning! It's hard to jump in to the characters without the background.  But have no fear, it will only take you 3 days to get to book number 4 because they are that funny and that quick to read!
 
What humor books/authors have you read? What cozy mystery books have you read? What has made you laugh out loud recently?

I received this book to read for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stitch Fix #8!

I was super excited to get my latest Stitch Fix box.  I had asked for some sleeveless shirts under $50 for my new job and shirts to possibly go with my new navy pants. 


I was excited about all of these things.  Especially the Filbert Henley shirt and the Pixley dress.  I had pinned the Pixley dress awhile ago and had gotten another pretty navy dress in place of it but I was stoked to get this one and try it!

Papermoon
Norris Abstract Houndstooth Sleevelesss Blouse




I really wanted to like this shirt.  It was soft.  It was flattering and it fit.  Plus goes with my navy pants.  However, even though this is a Petite size the back is long and it just does not flatter my behind.  After a lot of thought I'm almost 100 percent certain I'm sending it back.

41Hawthorn
Quilted Detailed Blouse


Once again I really wanted to like this shirt.  I love the color, it fits fabulously but it feels awful.  And there is something weird with the arms.  My husband walked in while I was trying it on and asked if it was my pirate shirt ha.  So, if this was a different material and the arms weren't weird I'd buy this in a heart beat.  Love how it looked on me!




Papermoon
Mesli Crochet Detail Blouse
 
 
There was nothing wrong with this shirt.  It fit.  But I didn't like the color on me and it also felt weird.  It had a metal button ish thing in the back that was interesting but made me feel like I needed to rip it off and eh...
 
Pixley
Florence Colorblocked Dress

 

 
LOOOOVE THIS.However, this is a size smaller than I wear so it didn't fit.  It was too tight.  If I was 100 percent certain the size up would work I would ask to exchange.  Super bummed.
 
41hawthorn
Filbert Abstract Henley Blouse
 
 
I'm thinking of keeping this one.  I'm almost sure I'm going too, mainly because I don't want to lose my styling fee.  It fits, it looks nice, it's flattering, I'm not innnnnn love with it but I do like it and I think it would be a good addition to my wardrobe.  It's soft.
 
 
 
Overall I was more disappointed in the feel of the shirts than anything.  Fit wise, minus the dress it all fit.  All things I'd love to wear except the coral/orange shirt.  Just stinks because I was hoping for more wows this time since I am in desperate need for some work shirts.
 
What do you think? What should I keep? Send back?
 
If you are wondering, what is Stitch Fix? I can help.  Stitch Fix is a styling service where you fill out an online profile, link a pinterest board if you want and like magic, a box of clothes appears at your house.  You get five items and you can try them on at your house, alone and with your whole closet to help you.  If you keep all five items you get a 25 percent discount.  If you want to keep one, you can!  Here is my referral link.  If you sign up using it, I get a $25 credit towards more clothes!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Lost Ones

Okay, I have no idea why but every time I go to write the title of this book I want to call it The Lone Ranger.  Whoops.  The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins is the second in a series of books set in small town Mississippi about former military man Quinn Colson.

We read the first book, The Ranger, as a books and bars pick last year so I figured I'd eventually get around to reading the rest when I saw them at the library.  I was digging through the mystery section earlier this month when I came across it and remembered that I wanted to check it out.

Even though this is the second book, I would not say you REALLLY need to read the first.  Yeah there is back story and some of the same characters but I literally could not remember what happened in the first book and it was okay ha.

Description: Fresh from ten years as a U.S. Army Ranger, Quinn Colson finds his hands full as the newly elected sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi.  An old buddy running a local gun shop may be in over his head when stolen army rifles start showing up in the hands of a Mexican drug gang.

At the same time, an abused-child case leads Quinn and his tough-as-nails deputy, Lillie Virgil, deep into the heart of a bootleg baby racket and a trail of darkness and death. And when the two cases collide, Quinn and his allies are forced to realize that, though they may be home from the war, they are now in the fight of their lives.


This is a very fast paced book.  I read it in one day.  I started during nap time and stayed up and finished it the same day.  So a great book for the beach, vacation or just when you need a quick zip away from reality. 

I feel like his books would be great for a guy who might not be too into reading but like it a little.  I've told my husband if he read books he'd read this one.  And if it was a tv show, he'd be all over it. ;)

Do you ever go years between reading books in a series? What book have you read recently that you thought would be a good tv show or movie?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dollbaby

I had heard people recommend Dollbaby earlier this year but I hadn't really looked into it until I was at the library and found it in the New section.  I read the jacket cover and thought, hey, this is my jam, why haven't I read this yet?  So I picked it up and had to renew it twice because I kept reading other things and then I sat down and started and then I blinked and hours had passed and I kicked myself for not reading it a month earlier!

Description: A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been — and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum — is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secret.

For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.


I loved the characters in this book!  Well, minus Ibby's mother because, seriously WHO DOES THAT?  Anyway, it's a great story.  Ibby comes to live with her grandma and meets a whole new world that takes her in like family and she learns things she never knew existed.  I love the back history of Fannie, Dollbaby and Queenie. 

The different viewpoints of the civil rights between Dollbaby and Queenie was interesting.  Dollbaby wanted to be an active part in change and Queenie wanted things to stay the same.  Dollbaby's daughter inspired her to take part and yet at the same time Queenie wanted to use her as the reason for Dollbaby to not take part. If this was generational differences or just individual differences would be a good discussion.

I love books set in the 60s in the south and Dollbaby does not disappoint.  I like the glimpse into New Orleans because besides Lavina I'm not sure I've read any other books set in Louisiana off the top of my head. 

It's hard to really write about this without giving away the secrets that the book lets out but I did enjoy it and I'd recommend it!

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Do you have a group of people you consider family even if they are not related? Do you tend to take an active part in making a difference or do you shy away?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Currently...


Reading: I just finished The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen.  I think I'm going to read The Lost Ones next or The Detroit Electric Scheme..

Loving: The beautiful green around me.  The view of my yard from the fire pit.  Friday night family fires that include a bottle of wine after the kiddo goes to bed.

Thinking: A lot of about the changes that are coming our way and how scary change is but how ready I am for a change!

Frustrated: About people's reaction to information I've shared with them about the change happening.  If you are not me, you will not truly get the horror of the last year people, so no, I don't really care about what you think is better for me. 
 
Feeling: Nervous.  Excited.
 
Anticipating: Our last three camping trips that are going to be a tad shorter than we had planned but still so much fun. I love Michigan lakes in summer!

Watching: Odd Mom Out on Bravo.  OH MY GOSH.  HYSTERICAL!

Sad: I've really been missing my grandpa.  And it's stirred up missing my grandma and how I wish I could share the awesome they were with Isla and that every kid had such an amazing pair of grandparents as that.  12 grand kids but each of us had a unique relationship with them and a unique memory to share.  Incredible.

Grateful: For change!

Listening: The Highway, Y2K Country or Margaritaville on XM.  I am going to be so sad when my trial runs out!

Wishing: to know the future

What are you currently reading, watching or anticipating? 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Newport

The first book I read on my 8 day camping trip was Newport by Jill Morrow.  I love books written between the 20s-40s with period specific story lines.  Newport did not disappoint! 

About Newport

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 7, 2015)
In a glamorous Newport mansion filled with secrets, a debonair lawyer must separate truth from deception. . . .Spring 1921. The Great War is over, Prohibition is in full swing, the Great Depression is still years away. Wealthy families flock to the glittering "summer cottages" they built in Newport, Rhode Island. Having sheltered in Newport during his misspent youth, attorney Adrian de la Noye is no stranger to the city. Though he'd prefer to forget the place, he returns to revise the will of a well-heeled client. Bennett Chapman's offspring have the usual concerns about their father's much-younger fiancée. But when they learn of the old widower's firm belief that his late first wife, who "communicates" via séance, has chosen the stunning Catharine Walsh for him, they're shocked. And for Adrian, encountering Catharine in the last place he saw her decades ago proves to be a far greater surprise.Adrian is here to handle a will, and he intends to do so—just as soon as he unearths every last secret about the Chapmans, Catharine Walsh . . . and his own very fraught history.
Vividly bringing to life the glitzy era of the 1920s, Newport is a skillful alchemy of social satire, dark humor, and finely drawn characters.
Adrian has a past that is slowly given to the reader as you progress in the novel.  I will admit at first the seance and the thought that the first Mrs. Chapman was orchestrating this new marriage had me thinking of a great scam, as the story went on it was quite entertaining to learn what secret the late Mrs. Chapman may let out at the next chance. 

I'm not even someone who is sure I believe that people can speak for the departed but this was not overdone in fantasy land.  If that is giving you pause, I'd say still give the book a chance. 

I found myself engulfed in the what happened between whom and what else will be revealed and how will it end.  If you do like something a little more complicated to figure out, this isn't for you.  It's pretty easy to figure out some parts of the story but others are still hidden in a bit of mystery. 

Great book to throw in your beach bag this summer!

What books set in Prohibition have you read? Ever read Ragtime? Which historical fiction are you currently recommending?


I received this book through TLC Book Tours, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Potter Park Zoo

My parents and I wanted to visit a bigger zoo than what we have 45 minutes from us and with a time crunch on when it could happen we decided on the Potter Park Zoo.  Isla and I had been before for their boo at the zoo and it was bigger and a nice facility so it seemed like a great idea.  Of course the weather showed some signs of rain showers but besides a few tiny drips as we were finished, NOTHING.  The temperature was perfect.  However, the mosquitoes were insane.  I'd highly recommend bug spray if you are planning on going.  OUT OF CONTROL.   I had just spent 8 days in the woods and left the zoo with more mosquito bites!

The first thing we saw when we got there were the sea otters.  They were highly entertaining! They kept swimming by the window and flipping and doing tricks.  It was amusing for the 10 or so kids around at the time.  I've never seen sea otters that active before.  It was awesome!

 
These bald eagles were right next to the sea otters and they kept 'talking' to us.  Isla then made noises at them and they made noises back.  It was really cute and then she kept asking the rest of the time if the other animals could talk!
 
 
The big Papa Kangaroo and the little baby Isla kangaroo.
 
 
This peacock was gorgeous! I've never seen once so big before! All the peacocks at the zoo were gorgeous and so big!
 
 
As soon as Isla saw the train she HAD to go on it.  Screw the lions! (3 that were awesome!) She made her Gaga head straight over and the two enjoyed a ride together.  It is a little disappointing as an adult that this is the train ride, but to my 4 year old, it did not matter. ;)

 
After the train ride she was of course staaaarving so we sat at a bench and she ate an apple for awhile until the mosquitoes were killing us and a bird wandered over and scared my fraidy cat.
 
 
 
 
Then we checked out the rhino and the meerkat.  Meerkats are creepy.  I felt they were plotting to jump on our necks and kill us.  Okay, maybe not really but I'm not a big animal person.. mmmkay.
 
 
 
 
Overall it was a terrific trip, minus the mosquitoes!! Isla's favorite was the American Toad mainly because of the waterfall feature.  She also liked the sea otters, the red panda and the wolf.  My dad's favorite was the rhino.  My mom's favorites were the red panda, lions and sea otters.  My favorites were the lions, red panda and peacocks.  It took us about 2 hours and we could have probably spent a bit more time but mosquitoes and a starrrrving 4 year old.  We left and had a lovely lunch at La Senoritas before heading home.  Perfect summer outing!
 
Do you like going to zoos? What are your favorite animals to see? What zoo has been your favorite to visit? Do you have memories of going on trips with your grandparents?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lucia, Lucia

I headed out into the woods for 8 days camping with 5 books.  A little optimistic but I like to have choices, plus sometimes I've been a known to read 3 or 4 books it just depends on nap times.

I was able to read 2 full books and start a third and I could have read more but some people apparently wanted to hang out and talk during nap time.  What?? My only alone time of the week and I had to give up a few days to talk.  I am not a people person.  I like to be alone.  A lot.  That's why I read.  Alone. ;)

“When people are filled to the brim with love, they are their most beautiful.”

Anyway, the second book I read of the week was Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani.  I picked up two of Trigiani's books from the used book fair last summer and wanted finally give them a whirl. I'm glad I picked Lucia, Lucia because of how quickly I was sucked into the world of Lucia Sartori.

Lucia is a career girl.  She is 25 and lives at home with her parents and brothers.  Every day she heads off to work doing what she loves and every weekend she irons and cleans her brothers clothes.  She's engaged to Dante and seems to have it all. 

Description: It is 1950 in glittering, vibrant New York City. Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman's department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris' honor is tested.

So many times I felt so bad for Lucia.  There were times when if she had been 25 in say 2000 her choices and her life would have been steered in a different path. 

"The good things that happen to us were meant to happen, and the bad things that happen are lessons meant to teach us to be better.”

Lucia seemed to have a peace with the way her life ended up, but it doesn't mean there wasn't hurt and disappointment that came with the changing of her paths. 

The only disappointing part was when it changed back to present day with Kit.  Lucia's voice was strong but  Kit's parts read a bit awkward.  Such a small part of the book, so I'd highly recommend it for a quick summer read!

Have you read any books by Adriana Trigani? I just started Big Stone Gap and I wasn't sucked in as quickly as Lucia, Lucia.  Have you read any other books set in the 1950s you'd recommend?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fun Saturday in the D

My first week off from work was quite hectic.  On my very last day of school my amazing, caring, selfless adorable grandpa passed away.  I am so very lucky to have had some amazing grandparents on my mom's side.  As I looked through many photos I was reminded that they were at every important moment in my life and the small ones.  I'm so glad I have memories to pass on to my little love who is named for her wonderful great-grandma whom she never got to meet.  I didn't mean to start this post out this way but it needs to be acknowledged and I'm not fully able to discuss how sad and how much I will miss them for the rest of  my life. 

Needless to say my first week off was stressful.  My in laws also had some issues (sprained ankle, fractured bone in hand and a burst appendix) soo yeah, stress.  I had major issues finding someone to watch my kiddo while I went to the visitation and funeral but thank god for friends. 

I also had a second interview and so by the weekend I was spent. 

We took a party bus to the Tiger's game and I'm so glad we did.  I needed it.  It was great to unwind and just have fun.  Probably the best way to end that hellish week!

  Our seats were high.  Way high.  When we got there we went straight for a foot long coney dog cuz we were hungry.  Then we walked up and up and up and sat down.  These weren't even technically our seats because there were open seats when we got up there and we didn't want to crawl across people.  I think we may have watched a half-inning of the game from here.  The sun came out and it was hot and we knew our cousin was at the game too so we started wandering to find him.
 
 And oh yeah, that tiny spec on the mound? Justin Verlander making his first start of the season!!


We ran into this guy.  The guys decided that they needed to find chocolate bacon on a stick.  (ew why ? ) so we went wandering.  We found some kind of bacon that they tried but not chocolate bacon.  No one seemed to know where it was located.  Though we did end up with some Java Vanilla Ported that was delicious.


My aunt, uncle and cousin were also at the game and we found her wandering out of a bathroom after we stalked her seats and could not find her. Then we walked back to where our cousin was sitting and then the guys decided they needed to find brisket nachos.  So we were watching the game from right beside this stand when a group of people got up to leave and asked us if we wanted their seats.  Uhh yes.  They had awesome big comfy seats!


Our view upgraded considerably! It was a very exciting last two innings which sadly ended with the Tigers losing to the Indians.  Boo.



We still managed to have a good time. ;)  When we got back to town we ended up going to our favorite local bar and then came home.  It was fun to pretend we were 21 again. ;)

We won't mention that I spent all day yesterday on the couch watching McBride movies.  Or whoops I just did.

This week is a bit more relaxed but I have a lot to get ready for our annual camping trip!

Did you have a good weekend? Do you like going to baseball games? Does chocolate bacon sound good to you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Daughter

The Daughter by Jane Shemilt intrigued me when I read the description. It sounds like a perfect family is destroyed by the disappearance of a girl.  Then the details start emerging.  The perfect family has some issues.  The narrator may not be reliable.  And what happened to Naomi?

Description: Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.


I don't want to say too much about the book because it's hard to not give away the tiny details that are slowly given to you as read.  The book alternates between the time period of Naomi's disappearance and a year later. 

You really are wondering what has happened to this girl until the very last page.  There are small hints at what might have happened, who might be responsible and what not littered throughout but no until the very last is there somewhat of a conclusion.  And even then it still leaves a few lingering questions.  It's definitely not neatly wrapped up ending.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.  But, if you read it and want to discuss it, I'd be glad too. ;)

I thought it was interesting the more the other characters interact with the narrator, you start to begin to wonder if she is a good parent or if her children are that horrid of people or if she may or may not be giving all the details about herself honestly.

I'd really recommend this if you like books that aren't exactly what they appear.

Do you like reading happy books or books that are emotionally heavy? Do you find that characters are attracted to other characters that help them frequently in books? Does this happen in real life? What is a recent book that you'd recommend?

I received this book from TLC Book Tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own.