Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekend Reflections 4/30

Looking outside....it's sunny with blue skies. Currently 43, our high should be around 66. Perfect.

Listening...to silence. Sometimes silence is good.

Loving...my girlfriend took senior pictures of The Boy yesterday. We spent some time in downtown Boise. So fun and I love how the photos turned out. 

Thinking...that once this editing project is finally completed, I need to get my house back in order. It's been largely neglected.

In my kitchen...My oven is dead, died, disassembled. Yeah. Good times.

Wearing...black t-shirt and blue BSU pajama pants.

Needing...to finish my transcription tape and editing project. 


Reading...Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford.

Today...Tepanyaki! Family dinner to celebrate my sister's and nephew's birthdays.

Quoting...“The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder 

Planning...how to put together The Boy's graduation announcement.

Gratitude...for good friends. For love and laughter. Photo shoots are much more fun when you are comfortable and laughter makes for the best candid shots.

From my world... 



What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Books I Want to Read...Celebrities

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2547. Yeah. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

This month I realized I have quite a few autobiographical/biographical books written by celebrities. Which is rather funny, considering the fact that we do not have cable or satellite and we don't watch an abundance of television on Hulu or Netflix. Still, you'd have to live in a complete bubble to not know who some celebrities are and having a social media presence because of blogging ensures that my bubble isn't very large.

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Prince Harry by Penny Junor

Prince Harry, one of the most popular members of the British royal family, has had a colorful life. After losing his mother at 12 years old, he spent his teenage years making questionable choices under intense international media scrutiny, becoming known for his mischevious grin, shock of red hair, and the occassional not-so-royal indiscretion. As he's grown, he has distinguished himself through military service, flying helicopters for the RAF. He served in Afghanistan and continues to devote himself to his military career. He also follows in his mother's footsteps with charity work--he is the founder of Sentebale, a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, and works with many other charitable organziations to help young people in society and to conserve natural resources. As he reaches his thirtieth birthday, Prince Harry is proving himself a prince of the people.

With unprecedented access to the most important figures in his life, Penny Junor is able get the truth about who this mercurial and fascinating royal son really is. A modern biography of a modern prince, this book offers an insider's look at the life of the man who is fourth in line to Britain's throne.

Leonard: My Fifty Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.

Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life. As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.

My Story by Elizabeth Smart

On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

Now for the first time, in her memoir,My Story, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.

In the nine years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy's one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is "Yes Please!" then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All", Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by..

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, Flashlight Commentary, The Maiden's Court and A Literary Vacation.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

#CoverCrush: The Cake Therapist


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



I'm a sucker for food-related books and covers. I love the colors in this one. It's simple, but bright and colorful and it makes me hungry.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: Layered Pages, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic Swede.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reading Out Loud


One of my favorite things is to have my husband read out loud to me. I remember having a terrible migraine during my first pregnancy. I couldn't take anything, I couldn't do anything. I just laid in our bed and my sweet husband sat next to me, reading Winnie the Pooh. It helped distract me from the pain until I could sleep.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Conversation at Our House...Doctor Who

As some of you know, we are huge Doctor Who fans at our house. Obsessed, might be an appropriate word for it, actually.

I was going through my personal blog and found another fun conversation that I'd recorded between The Brother and his friends. Enjoy!
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We have lot of inside Doctor Who jokes and quotes that only we understand, but that other Who fans might recognize. ("Are you my Mummy?" "Children of mine...") None of our boys' friends know who the Doctor is, let alone watch the show. But, due to this Doctor obsession, the boys have created Mii's (Wii characters) in the form of the Doctor and the Master. The following conversation happened last week when The Brother and his friends were playing the Wii. We thought it was funny, and you might, if you know the Doctor too!

C: (pointing to one of the Mii characters): "Who's that?"
J: "Oh that's the Master and that's the Doctor."
A: "Doctor Who?"

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekend Reflections 4/23

Looking outside....it's raining. But, since the sprinklers have issues, our lawn needs it!

Listening...to silence. Sometimes silence is good.

Loving...my recliner and fuzzy blanket.

Thinking...that I'm absolutely exhausted, emotionally and physically. Sometimes I am surprised at how tired a person can be.

In my kitchen...I have no freaking clue, but I still need to clean it. I left much of last night's dishes in the sink... 

Wearing...black turtleneck and blue bsu pajama pants.

Needing...to pick up another ream of paper. I'm proofing and printing my annual editing project and I ran out of paper yesterday.


Reading...just picked up Me Before You from the library so I can read it before the film comes out.

Today...The Doctor and I have a date tonight. The Boy can't golf because of the rain, so that's a bummer.

Quoting...“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Planning...Lots of planning: there are deadlines for The Boy to graduate in May and there are deadlines for things that need to be done so he can go to college in September. 

Gratitude...for my husband and sons. They are my world.

From my world... 


You can't order just one pizza when you have teenage boys in your home!

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mother Trucker...Spotlight

 About the book:
Out of necessity Shelby Matthews, a beautiful, blonde mother of three grown children becomes an eighteen-wheel truck driver, finding out that leering eyes and cat-calls from the men aren’t as dangerous as the vindictive and territorial behavior of a female co-worker, Betty Burton.

On her first hauling job Shelby has an unexpected encounter, and finds herself the target of unwarranted revenge. As the threats quickly escalate into sabotage on her marriage and attempts on her life, including impending death from the cliffs of some of Utah’s highest mountains, the dangers of being a woman on the road emerge, will Shelby prove to be a true-blue, red-blooded American, Mother Trucker?

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About the author:
Robyn Mitchell left the comforts of teaching in a classroom to explore the open road in an 18-wheel sandhauler. Her experiences and time on the road birthed Mother Trucker, a series of suspenseful thrillers based on the trouble and happiness Shelby Mathews—a well-educated, gorgeous blonde, wife, and mother of three grown men—finds while trucking.

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Thanks to the author for the opportunity to spotlight her book. You can learn more about Robyn Mitchell on her website, Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase your own copy here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#CoverCrush: Happy People Read and Drink Coffee


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



This is gorgeous. So bright and colorful. I am immediately drawn back to memories of Paris and Italy. The synopsis tells me the book is set in Paris and Ireland. The synopsis also tells me that the story will be fraught with some ups and downs. The title tells me that it should ultimately end happy.

Perhaps. This looks to be an English translation of a book that was originally published in French.


The original French cover? Dark, muted colors and a sober woman sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. It invokes a completely different feeling. One that is maudlin and morose, rather than cheerful and happy. I am curious to read this book to see which cover actually might fit it the best.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic Swede.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die...Spotlight

 About the book:
Not everyone who visits the spirit world stays there. The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die, is a detailed book about the spirit world. It gives fascinating glimpses of life beyond the veil by people who visited the spirit world during the early years of the LDS Church. Filled with stories of insight and inspiration, The Magnificent Spirit World is a stirring book that combines fascinating personal experiences with scripture, perceptive commentary, and quotes from latter-day prophets and other leaders. This book will bring you peace as you come to understand what awaits us on the other side of the veil. After reading this book, you will never think of life—or death—in the same way.

About the Prequel:
Gaze Into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church History is a carefully compiled collection of more than 50 near-death experiences that occurred during the early years of the Church. These documented accounts give fascinating glimpses into the Spirit World by those who have actually been there. Most of us have wondered exactly what will happen when we die. What does the Spirit World look like? Will we see departed family members and friends? What do people do there? Do spirits there know what is happening on earth? All of these questions and many more are answered in Gaze Into Heaven.

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About the author:
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah. After attending Dixie College and Utah State University, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. I married Kelly R. Sullivan and have seven children. My hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.

Writing has always been a great love of mine. I started writing stories in elementary school and was blessed with a teacher in junior high school that encouraged me, so I kept on writing. My dream of writing was put aside for a time when I married and had children, which kept me very busy. I did manage to carve out a little time though, and wrote magazine and newspaper articles. I honed my craft over the years and have been published in quite a number of magazines and newspapers. I opened my own floral shop at my home--renovating my garage, in order to help support my family.

After nine years, a health scare convinced me to sell my shop so I could pursue my dream of writing full time--thanks to a husband who was willing to support us all. I began by writing non-fiction books. I loved doing research and digging for interesting stories. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have concentrated on writing for members of that church. I write clean, inspirational books that testify that God loves us and is always there for us.

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Thanks to the author for the opportunity to spotlight her books. You can learn more about Marlene Sullivan here. You can purchase your own copies here: The Magnificent World of Spirits and Gaze Into Heaven.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Promise You This...Review

About the book:
Suddenly single after twenty-two years of marriage, the calm of Katherine Price’s midlife has turned upside down. Seeking to find her true self, she took a chance on starting over. A year later, she is certain of this: she’s in love with Philippe and adores his idyllic French homeland, where he wants her to live with him.

But all that feels like a fantasy far removed from Toronto, where she’s helping her friend Molly, hospitalized after a life-threatening accident. Staying in her childhood home full of memories, Katherine wonders: Is she really ready to leave everything behind for an unknown life abroad? And if all her happiness lies with Philippe, will it last? Can she trust in love again?

Searching her heart, Katherine finds the pull of the familiar is stronger than she thought. An unexpected meeting with her ex, the first time since his cruel departure, and a stunning declaration of love from an old flame spur her introspection.

With sunlit backdrops and plot twists as breathtaking as the beaches of Antibes, author Patricia Sands brings her trilogy about second chances to a provocative and satisfying close that proves that a new life just might be possible—if you’re willing to let your heart lead you home.

This is the final book in the Love in Provence series. The story picks up immediately where the second one, Promises to Keep leaves off. Kat has returned to Toronto because her best friend was in an accident. While there, she begins to question her decision to move to Provence, but quickly realizes she is in love with Philippe and wishes to spend her life with him in France. The story meanders its way to that conclusion and, like the previous books, this one is filled with colorful, sharp descriptions of food and sights.

I am frustrated with this novel because unless I missed something, and it would have been difficult to miss, there is a plot point that was never adequately answered. If I knew there was another book, I could let it go, given the propensity this author has for abrupt endings, but that is not the case here.

So, even with the plot question, this is a pleasant read with a satisfying conclusion because it is the end of a series. I have always wanted to visit Provence and I have enjoyed the vividly painted pictures described in these books.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Patricia Sands here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/15

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3/5 Stars

Friday, April 15, 2016

Childhood Favorites...Rosamond duJardin

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Books: Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

This week was Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday and I adored her books when I was a teenager. I read Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl and Sister of the Bride so often I wore my copies out. I still remember them.

When it comes to books, we all have our childhood favorites. I have so many, it would take years of blog posts to cover them. Maybe I'll start a series.

There was one series that I absolutely adored as I was growing up. To share this will completely date me and give you hints as to how old I really am.

I used to check these books out of the library. So often that I probably could have claimed a frequent reader card or something.


Rosamond duJardin wrote a series about twin sisters in the mid-1950s. So the books were about 20 + years old when I discovered them. I was just entering junior high school and I remember wandering into main part of the public library, not wanting to be in the children's section anymore. I saw Double Date sitting there on the shelf and checked it out. I was instantly captivated. I wanted to be Penny and meet a boy like Mike. I wanted to go to dances wearing 50s formals. I loved watching Pam go from flirty and shallow to mature and in love with Jeff.

I loved these books. I devoured them and suddenly they disappeared from the library shelves. I think they were deemed too old or too old fashioned. I haunted used bookstores, but never found them.


Because the Internet can be awesome, I went searching one day and discovered a website called Image Cascade Books where I could purchase reprints of "old" books. And Pam and Penny were there! The Doctor insisted I get them and they arrived this week. I am giddy. Literally giddy at the thought of re-reading them.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

This post has been shared at The Pin Junkie, Beautifully Creative, Lovely Little Link Party, Pin Me Linky, Simple & Sweet Fridays, No Rules

Thursday, April 14, 2016

#CoverCrush: Beyond All Dreams


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



There hasn't been an Elizabeth Camden book or cover that I haven't loved yet. This one was gorgeous.  I love the simplicity of the colors: blue and bisque. Classic. The U.S. Capitol in the background and the period clothing shows me this is set in historical Washington DC. Reading the synopsis tells me the story is set in and around the Library of Congress. How can you resist that combination? I didn't.

You can see my review of Beyond All Dreams here.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: indieBRAG, A Bookaholic Swede, Flashlight Commentary, Layered Pages.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Happens in the Alps...Guest Post and Giveaway

About the book:
Up in the magical, snow kissed mountains…

Two years ago, Annie Brewer’s life was turned upside down when her adrenaline-junkie husband died in a tragic climbing accident. So she’s hoping that moving to the beautiful village of Santorso in the Italian Alps will finally put her life back on track…anything can happen!

She might be going into business with her oldest friend – notorious lady-charmer Matt Brown – but men are definitely out of the question for Annie! That is, until she bumps into tall, dark and delicious Alessandro Lago on the ski slopes…and spontaneously says ‘Yes’ to a date! It must be the crisp mountain air but suddenly, anything seems possible. The only trouble is, chivalrous Matt is looking more gorgeous than ever…

A sparkling romantic comedy guaranteed to beat the winter blues, What Happens in the Alps…is one story you don’t want miss in 2016!

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Firstly, my name isn't T.A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T.A. Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, Dirty Minds one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...hope she's right.

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.

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Guest Post by T.A. Williams

What is it with me and Labradors?

My latest book, What Happens in the Alps, has just come out and, among the other characters, there’s a big black dog in it. If you have read any of my other books, you will know that there is always a Labrador in there. Why, you may ask, does this man always insist upon adding a canine character to a book about humans?

Well, first and foremost, it’s a homage to my beloved old Labrador, Merlin, who died a few years ago. Although I would dearly love to get another Lab, my wife was so terribly upset when he died, that she refuses point blank to go through that again. So, I get my vicarious canine fix by sticking a Merlin look-alike into all my books. He wasn’t just a dog. He was a real part of the family. We got him from the vet as a rescue dog. He had been badly mistreated and he could so easily have turned into a vicious monster as a result, taking his revenge on the human race for the cruelty he had endured. Instead, he turned into a soft, loving friend, who was always there to offer a paw, a lick, or a wag of the tail. My wife and I love each other dearly, but she stopped wagging her tail when I come home quite a few years ago now. Merlin never did.

So, it’s a nod towards my dear old dog. But there’s another, more literary, reason. Although Labradors aren’t renowned for their conversational skills, they are really good listeners. Apart from an insatiable appetite, and an unfortunate tendency towards flatulence, particularly with guests in the house, they are the perfect companion when you really just need somebody to talk to. We had an old sofa by the front door, from where Merlin could sit and look out through the glass panels in the door at the outside world. I would often sit there alongside him and talk through my problems. Invariably a big hairy paw would stretch out and land on my thigh, as much as to say, “I know, Trev. I know.”

In my books, I have got into the habit of using this self-same Labradorean talent to help with the story. In my first book, Dirty Minds, the main character, Tom, is going through a very rough patch. He lives alone, his wife has died, he’s suffering from depression and he’s trying, unsuccessfully, to write a book. His faithful Labrador, Noah, admittedly helped by the incentive of a biscuit or two, listens to Tom’s worries and concerns and offers mute support. It’s the same in What Happens in Tuscany. Dante the Italian Labrador instinctively knows when things aren’t going well for either of the main characters, Katie or Victoria. He materialises at their side, places his big woolly head on their lap and looks up with those mournful brown eyes of his. His expression is one of comprehension and support, and it helps.

In this new book, What Happens in the Alps, the Labrador not only gets a supporting role, but a more active role. He is responsible, albeit unwittingly, for bringing the heroine, Annie, into contact with the handsome Alessandro. Annie’s life has been dire for the last couple of years since her husband was killed in a climbing accident. Now she’s finally starting to come out of it and, with the assistance of Leo the Labrador, things start to improve.

My next book, What Happens on the Beach (coming out in July this year) sees yet another incarnation of Merlin, this time as Barney the Lab who hates water but loves the main character, Natalie. Somehow, I really can’t envisage writing another book without a big black dog in it. 629 words

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Thanks to Karan Eleni for the opportunity to host T.A. Williams. You can learn more about T.A. Williams on his websiteFacebook or Twitter. You can purchase your own copy here. You can see other tours stops here.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Undaunted Hope...Review

About the book:
Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.

Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

Leaving her family's lighthouse because she has compromised her reputation, Tessa wants nothing more than to have a fresh start. Taking the job of school teacher in northern Michigan mining community, she learns that women teachers are frowned upon by the local authority who has the town beaten down and afraid of their own shadows.

Determined to be the best teacher she can, Tessa finds that she loves teaching and she loves this community. I did too. Ingrid and Gunnar were adorable. Alex and his brother Michael were fantastic and their relationship dynamic as Alex tried to help Michael move beyond his grief. And Samuel was such a sweetheart. Percival was the creep of creeps. Jody creates such terrific characters and every single one adds depth to the story.

Third in the Beacons of Hope series, the story stands alone, but does pick up after Hearts Made Whole because Tessa is Caroline's sister. It is all the richer for having read the previous books.

Thanks to Bethany House and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Jody Hedlund here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/16

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4/5 Stars

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Weekend Reflections 4/9

Looking outside....the sun is shining, the trees are in bloom, the sky is blue.

Listening...to absolute silence.

Loving...that I finally got back in for a long needed pedicure. My toes are green!

Thinking...that we still really need to do some yard work. I hate yard work.

In my kitchen...My usual cup of hot chocolate. 

Wearing...purple pajamas.

Needing...a nap and some motivation.


Reading...Absolutely nothing. It's been a super slow reading week.

Today...Date night with The Doctor. I love date night. It's been a long, trying week. We are looking forward to some time together.

Quoting..."Atticus, he was real nice." "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Planning...my sister and I were planning ahead to the Cap 3 premiere and figuring out when we can go see it. So excited!!!! #TeamCap 

Gratitude...for my best girlfriend. She and I and her older brother have been friends since I was 12. Given that I will be 50 this year, that's a long time. Our families get along well and we took a road trip to Utah at the end of Spring Break so we could spend time together. Last year, The Boy and I went on a road trip for her brother's 50th birthday. After his party, The Boy decided that I had some dang awesome friends. He's right. So grateful for enduring friendships.

From my world... 


While we were in Utah, we stopped by Salt Lake Comic Con FanX16. We didn't have tickets, but The Artist wanted his picture taken with the Hobbit trolls and Gollum!

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?