Saturday Snapshot: Day Out in Boston!

My husband and I love to do a trip when the kids are away at sleepaway camp. This year we did a mini staycation and went to Boston (we live only 45 minutes away).

I think when you live near a great city (like Boston), you can take it for granted. It’s always just “there”. We go to the museums a few times a year, we go in to see shows, we go to Faneuil Hall and the Aquarium with the kids. Occasionally, we head into the North End (the Italian section for those who don’t live here) and go to the restaurant where we had our first date (Antiquo Forno). When I first moved here in 1989 I did all the tourist spots. So it was a special treat to just go to Boston and walk around. We walked part of the Freedom Trail, we walked to the North End, we walked around Boston Common (Boston’s Central Park), we had dinner, we got caught up in a street festival celebrating St. Aggripina, and we had an overnight in a sweet little boutique hotel that was once known as “Boston’s SkyScraper” in 1889 (the Ames – now owned by Hilton, so we used points and stayed for free).

a beautiful day at Quincy Market!
Ben Franklin in the shade
Paul Revere with North Church in twilight

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at awebofstories.com.

See her site for participation details!

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

I am currently reading Kristin Harmel’s newest book and I was reminded that I had not finished this novel from last year! This is a wonderful WWII story about a young American woman who marries a French man and stays in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Their lives are intertwined with the Jewish family next door, and Ruby must decide if she will risk all she has in order to do what she knows is right for those she cares about.

Highly recommended! Thank you for my copy to review through Net Galley!

Description

For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

Go to My Grave by Catriona McPherson

If you know me, you know I like a suspenseful read that keeps you guessing! I will say that I figured out this one pretty early on, but I enjoyed reading it and especially liked how it went back and forth in time from the past to the present day. It’s the perfect summer read for a little excitement!

Some readers may find content of sexual abuse (not graphic) disturbing.

Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!

Description

From Catriona McPherson, the Agatha-Award winning author of Quiet Neighbors, comes a clever, spine-tingling standalone Gothic thriller.

Go to My Grave is both a classic ‘country house mystery’ and a thriller. Atmospheric, with mind-bending twists, a narrator who may or may not be reliable, and an ending that will take your breath away and leave you astonished.” —Louise Penny

Donna Weaver has put everything she has into restoring The Breakers, an old bed and breakfast on a remote stretch of beach in Galloway. Now it sits waiting—freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers—for the first guests to arrive.

But Donna’s guests, a contentious group of estranged cousins, soon realize that they’ve been here before, years ago. Decades have passed, but that night still haunts them: a sixteenth birthday party that started with peach schnapps and ended with a girl walking into the sea.

Each of them had made a vow of silence: “lock it in a box, stitch my lips, and go to my grave.”

But now someone has broken the pact. Amid the home-baked scones and lavish rooms, someone is playing games, locking boxes, stitching lips. And before the weekend is over, at least one of them will go to their grave.

Summer at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

The very kind Susan Schild sent me an electronic copy of her latest Lakeside Resort novel in order for me to read and review. I just love this series! It centers on a 40-something-year-old woman (Jenny) who is making a fresh start by creating a resort with some property she has inherited. She lives in a trailer there and has two cute dogs and an adorable pet miniature horse. I totally want a mini horse since reading these books!

Here’s the overview:

Ready for more love and adventure after 40?

Forty-three year old Jenny Beckett has just renovated eight rustic guest cabins on beautiful Heron Lake, North Carolina. Brand new to the inn- keeping business, she is struggling to make The Lakeside Resort profitable. Wrangling guests like The Fighting Couple, persnickety attorneys, and the curvy gals from the Fabulous You Fitness Week keep her on her toes. Jenny’s business isn’t her only problem. Her mother and stepfather have just moved in for an extended stay. Startling developments with her possible fiancé, Luke, make Jenny question his commitment to her. An all-gal camping trip in her old Airstream lifts her spirits, but Jenny still has doubts about whether she and Luke can make their love work.

After all the heartache she’s had, can Jenny learn to trust love again and finally find her happily ever after?

This book is sometimes termed “romance” or “women’s fiction” or “clean reading” or even “Christian” – all I can tell you is that it’s a feel-good story that is very relatable if you, like me, found your love when you were older! Plus there’s that cute mini horse!! Lots of every day issues and challenges and an easy flow to the writing make it easy to read. And I always love a happy ending.

Thank you, Ms. Schild, for my copy!! I notice that that place that I no longer link to has kindle copies for only $4.99 right now!

And — You don’t have to read the first in the series to appreciate this one, but do yourself a favor and get it, too!

Some changes to the blog: an update

Each summer brings a refreshing wave of mental energy and more time to me so that I can think about how different aspects of my life are going. This summer I wanted to update my blog to give it a new look. If you know WordPress, you know how EASY this is to do! I love the new look! It’s clean and simple and works better than the old format (which is “no longer supported”). I hope to replace the header picture with a picture of Napa once I find one that is not copywrit, etc. I may have to take one myself! 🙂

The other thing you may notice is that I am no longer an Amazon Associate. This was unforeseen and rather disappointing. I’ve often included a link to see the book I’m talking about on Amazon. Or sometimes I’ve included an indiebound link. Regardless, when I first started with Amazon I made sure to include the proper text in all of my posts. I made some money the first year (about $90) – mainly because someone logged on and bought a book and then bought a laptop and printer and more. Rules apparently changed and the next time I made about $10. With the rise of kindle, I began to make something like 4 cents if someone logged on and bought a book. Rule changes decreed that I couldn’t get paid until I made $10. It really didn’t seem worth my time to post a link for EVERYTHING plus I have NEVER done this for money. I’ve blogged to share my love of books. I had hoped that maybe I’d get a book to review every now and then (I get like 200 a year which is about ten times more than I expected!) and I hoped I’d meet 1 or 2 people who also enjoyed books and didn’t think I was weird for loving to read (I’ve met countless readers, authors, and bloggers – all who love books!!). So imagine my dismay when in early June I received an email saying that Amazon was booting me from their associates program. Not enough sales. Okay, Amazon, that’s fair, I thought. But then I read that I had to take down ALL links to Amazon on my blog! I have blogged for over TEN years and have over 1000 posts!!!! I immediately became quite anxious, fearing that Amazon would somehow blacklist me, but with some constant hacking away, I’ve managed to, to my knowledge, remove ALL my Amazon links. (If you see any, tell me!). And doing this over the past 6 weeks has been like looking through an old yearbook – so many fun memories of books I’ve read and photos of things! While it was a pain in the neck, it was also kind of fun.

So – new look, no Amazon (Sing it: “I’m not worthy!”– Into the Woods reference), but still lots of great books to share and lots of great readers – like you! Thanks for coming along on the journey!!

Review: The Wilder Life- My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

Came across this post from 2011 and had to share it again since the LIW conference is coming up this month! The only thing that has changed since I wrote this is that now I have met Wendy personally and now that patient boyfriend is her husband. This is still a book that can make me laugh and cry. 🙂

Beth's Book-Nook Blog

For my birthday, my friend got me this book as she knows that when I’m not busy being obsessed with Louisa May Alcott, I’m busy being obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I promptly put this book in a “safe place” and then couldn’t find it for six months. I was so very happy that I found it a few weeks ago and got to read this wonderful and hilarious book, where author Wendy McClue goes searching for all things Laura.

But first, let me backtrack. When I say I loved the Little House books when I was a kid, I mean I reallyLOVED the Little House books when I was a kid (um – as an adult, too). I read them all mulptiple times. I actually owned and wore a sunbonnet on a regular basis. And yes – I made my family call me “Laura” (but only when I was…

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Saturday Snapshot: Cruise to Bermuda

Each summer my family likes to decompress from the stress of school and welcome summer by taking a special vacation. This year we cruised from Boston to Bermuda on the Norwegian Gem. We love to cruise and our two favorite lines are Norwegian and Disney.

Our family cabin was beautiful!


the kids room with bunk pulldown (and their own bath)

family area w/kitchen (to the right)

Master Bath
our area

We cruised in comfort!

Bermuda itself was amazingly beautiful and warm and relaxing!

The Naval Dockyard
Cruising
Me and the hubs looking relaxed!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories (http://www.awebofstories.com). See her site for full participation details!