Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wilde Lake

I think it is well established that I adore series.  I started the Tess Monaghan series when I was pregnant and basically caught up on the series within the first few months of my daughters life.  It started my love of Laura Lippman.  I've read a few of her stand alone novels, but the Tess series has been my favorite work by her.  Wilde Lake will now be my second favorite.

About Wilde Lake
• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 14, 2017)
An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl.  A vengeful father.  A courageous attorney.  A worshipful daughter.  Think you know this story?  Think again. 

Laura Lippman, the “extravagantly gifted” (Chicago Tribune) New York Times bestselling author, delivers “one of her best novels ” (Washington Post)—a modern twist on To Kill a Mockingbird. Scott Turow writes in the New York Times, “Wilde Lake is a real success.”

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She’s going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime—the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn’t she know?

As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn’t want to know the whole truth?

Another thing this book has is flashbacks.  Lu is our narrator and she goes from 2015 and her first days on the job as a state attorney and her childhood.  Each trip back to childhood gives the reader more insight into this calm collected private grown woman.  Per my usual, I adore the parts where she goes back slightly more than present day.

One of my favorite parts of reading a Lippman book is the bonus Maryland history lesson you get as you read it.  As someone who has never been to Maryland, I feel like throughout my years of reading her book I've learned bits and pieces of its history and it sure has made me more interested in Baltimore than I ever was pre-Tess Monaghan series reading!

This is a book that sucks you in as you learn more about the family dynamic of the eccentric Brant family and the legal cases that ensnare the lawyers of the family. 

If you haven't picked up a Lippman novel before or you are a fan of the Tess Monaghan series, definitely try this one! Like I said, it's probably my favorite standalone by her that I've read yet.  She is a masterful crime/mystery writer.

Have you read any books by Laura Lippman? Have you been to Maryland? Do you work in the same field as a parent?

If you would like to check out the book you can purchase it from HarperCollins!

Thanks to TLC book tours for sending me this book for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Friday, February 17, 2017


I have been looking forward to the weekend since last Sunday, A nice long weekend will be nice and refreshing.

The high of my week was being able to attend the Q&U wedding my daughter's class had on Valentine's Day! It was so cute and she was so excited that both of her parents could attend!

The low of my week was feeling like crap a lot this week.  Lots of headaches.

A book I am reading is The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diament.  I took a break to read a new Gretchen Archer book but I need to finish it up!

The best money I spent was hopefully on a new tanking from a Zulily sale.  Here's to hoping it fits/looks good when it arrives!

My plans this weekend include dinner out with daughter and husband tonight, possibly stopping by to see cousins that are in town for the weekend.  Tomorrow possibly a cider tasting and maybe out to dinner with said cousins.  Sunday we had talked about using the most current Book IT coupon the child has accumulated.  Monday I am the only one off so that will be nice and relaxing! Probably will get Starbucks, do some shopping, and reading!

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Rambles

Ever wake up and your coffee makes you feel on top of the world? Welcome to this Saturday morning.  My coffee hit the spot for the first time this week (may also have coincided with a good long sleep last night) and I feel ready for anything.  I'm focused and wanting to make plans.  Just not ready enough to shower and get dressed ha.

I have some plans for the weekend but nothing concrete.  I got a new book in the mail, Double Up, by Gretchen Archer and I really just want to bury myself under the covers in my bedroom and read and laugh hysterically all day.  However, I think I have to parent.

We need to find evidence of art in the community so since it is going to be a whopping 40 degrees today I think we are going to our local public gardens to find some art.  I also need to fold some laundry and I feel inspired to do a workout, but I feel like this is rushing things just a tad.  May be a little to ambitious for my usual weekend plans.

However, this ready to go feeling may come from it being the first Saturday in weeks that I feel 100 percent.  And I'm not actually 100 percent because I still can't fully breathe through my nose, however I did not wake up with a sinus headache and it's a major win here.

I'm trying to do a little meal planning today as well because we need quick and easy during the week.  I'm trying to add more and more healthier options into our eating without alienating the natives.  I sautéed kale this week and it was actually a win so I want to recreate that again.  Our problem is my least healthiest eater is the cook.  So that is a problem ha.  I get home from work 30 to 40 minutes after them so it just makes sense for them to start dinner.  So it has to be chef approved to even attempt.  I did make a huge batch of chili last weekend and we froze some and the chef made some pulled pork that we froze so those are options.  We finished all of the creamy tomato soup that we made with our garden tomatoes last summer, so that's sad.

Basically, I need to find something that doesn't sound healthy and doesn't contain 'weird' items.  Weird items would include quinoa and anything whole wheat hahaha.

Have I mentioned how much I love coffee? I am mid-way through my second cup and it's just amazing today.  I had one cup with creamer and this is just black and let me just tell you it is love.  Coffee is love.  And so is no sinus pressure.  That is for the birds.

Switching topics I have a book problem.  I am partway through The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diament and I need to start Wilde Lake for a review and then Double Up is staring at me just wanting to be read.  SO MNNY BOOKS.  So very little time.  I just probably stop rambling to read, however I just felt that I've neglected this place so much that when I had a brain dump in my head I should utilize the motivation to place it here.

You're welcome.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Dressmaker's Dowry

This was the perfect book to read during the Super Bowl! (shhh) Okay, so I am a huge football fan but I was not interested in this years match up so I read the majority of this book during the game with breaks for the commercials.  Probably the first time in my adult life I did this.

About The Dressmaker's Dowry
• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 7, 2017)
For readers of Lucinda Riley, Sarah Jio, or Susan Meissner, this gripping historical debut novel tells the story of two women: one, an immigrant seamstress who disappears from San Francisco’s gritty streets in 1876, and the other, a young woman in present day who must delve into the secrets of her husband’s wealthy family only to discover that she and the missing dressmaker might be connected in unexpected ways.
An exquisite ring, passed down through generations, connects two women who learn that love is a choice, and forgiveness is the key to freedom...
San Francisco: 1876
Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O'Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city's most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna's future is altered forever. With Margaret's encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret’s fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision...one that will echo through the generations.
San Francisco: Present Day
In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer’s block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret—one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer?

My thoughts:
This book hooked you in with the historical San Francisco storyline.   It was fast paced and the mystery was definitely one that kept the pages turning.  The past storyline was probably my favorite.  I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Hanna next. 

The present day storyline had me roll my eyes a few times.  Like how Sarah could marry her husband and not share a pretty major part of her past with him.  It was far more predictable than the past.  I felt it was necessary but could have been given a better intrigue in her story.  The throw in of her old magazines new editor was just a bit much.

I think this book is quite timely in reminding us that immigrants have always been judged harshly in America.  It's never been easy, but it's always been worth it.  Our ancestors bled and died for us to have the lives in the United States that we have today.  We should look back on their mistakes and know that you shouldn't be scared of new immigrants just because they are different than you.  Also, to think that back then there was no real immigration policy and people could randomly be turned back and sent back home or who knows who could just come!  Families got ripped apart then like they are ripped apart now.  But for always, America is a dream for many and the dream is simple.  Be free, work hard, and do better for your family without fear of persecution because of your religion, skin color, or sex.  Let's get it together America.

One last thing.  The name of the book.  It should be different in my opinion.  Dowry? Doesn't seem to fit the book.  I just had to get that out.  Maybe I'm missing something.

In conclusion, if you like historical novels, are interested in 1876 San Francisco (fascinating!), or just looking for a quick read that will make you think a bit, pick up The Dressmaker's Dowry by Meredith Jaeger.

You can purchase through HarperCollins

What are some historical fiction books you have enjoyed reading? What books set in California have you enjoyed?

I received this book from the TLC book tours all thoughts and opinions are my own!