Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Little Beach Street Bakery...Review

About the book:
In the bestselling tradition of Jojo Moyes and Jennifer Weiner, Jenny Colgan's moving, funny, and unforgettable novel tells the story of a heartbroken young woman who turns a new page in her life . . . by becoming a baker in the town of Cornwall.

A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship.

To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper. Packed with laughter and emotion, Little Beach Street Bakery is the story of how one woman discovered bright new life where she least expected—a heartwarming, mouthwatering modern-day Chocolat that has already become a massive international bestseller.

Sweet. Heartwarming. Loved the quirky small town.  Cornwall is one of my favorite story settings.

I liked Polly and Huckle. Some of the others? Not so much. I enjoyed watching Polly grow and change as her life did.

Chick-lit at its core and a great escape novel. Loved the inclusion of recipes.  Mild profanity.

Neil, the puffin was the best.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Jenny Colgan here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/15

* * *
3/5 Stars

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea...Review

About the book:
In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

This is a gorgeous little devotional. I think my favorite part is in the beginning, where Rose talks of tasting. You will never discover new recipes and new foods if you don't try them. The same is true with God and his goodness. If you don't try it, you'll never discover the wonderful blessings that await you.

This would make a lovely gift. It's small and easily fits into my purse. The chapters are bite-sized with personal anecdotes and thoughts, suggested scripture reading, journaling, and prayer. All of which will help you draw closer to God and find joy in those every day moments of life.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Rose Chandler Johnson here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/15

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Heart Revealed...Review

About the book:
Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?
But when Amber’s social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she finds herself exiled to Yorkshire. Alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?

I love Regency stories. And I have loved Josi Kilpack's cozy mysteries, so I was excited to see her venture into the romance genre.

My main frustration with the novel was that Amber was a horrible, selfish girl in the first half of the story. She really had no redeeming qualities and so when a medical condition forces her into confinement and she is all but banished from society, it was hard to find compassion for her.

However, as she is forced to come to terms with her physical condition as well as her new station in life, Amber does come to learn about compassion and kindness. She forges a relationship with her maid and discovers skills she never expected to have.

After witnessing her public humiliation, Thomas inadvertently discovers Amber's whereabouts, and attempts to see her, even though she is in hiding as a widowed recluse. Thomas was infatuated with her before her exile, but she doesn't even remember who he is. So, when romance does finally occur, it feels a bit forced and hard to believe, even as it is sweet that he is so accepting and loving towards her, regardless of her condition.

This is a sweet romance and one that explores the importance of loving and accepting people for who they are, not what they look like. I enjoyed this story, I just didn't love it.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Josi Kilpack here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/15

* * *
3/5 Stars

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Woodcrafts & More

Hi Everyone! If you like to travel, especially to Italy...and especially to Florence, then you have to take a look at Laura Morelli's new Authentic Arts series. Today, I am spotlighting the second set of books in this series.

"Laura Morelli has set out to make you an expert in handmade crafts." --American Style Magazine

About the Book

Going to Florence, Italy?

Don't buy anything in Florence until you read this book!

If you're traveling to Florence, Italy, you want to go home with a special souvenir: a leather handbag, a piece of gold jewelry, hand-printed stationery, or one of the city's famous luxury fabrics. But selecting which jacket or which wallet to buy can be an intimidating experience. How do you know if you're buying something authentic, something made in Florence, something made in a traditional way? How do you determine if you've fallen prey to one of the city's many tourist traps?

Florence boasts some of the most famous artistic traditions in the world. Here's what you need to know about them.

Laura Morelli leads you beyond the souvenir shops for an immersive cultural experience that you won't find in any other guidebook. This indispensable guide includes practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on quality and value, and with a comprehensive resource guide, Laura Morelli s Authentic Arts: Florence is the perfect guide for anyone wanting to bring home the unique traditions of the capital of the Renaissance. 

Artisans of Florence is the companion to Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts: Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Woodcrafts & More. Put both books together and you'll be the most knowledgeable traveler in Florence!

About the book

Artisans of Florence is the companion to Florence: A Travel Guide, bringing you inside the workshops of several dozen of the most accomplished makers of Florentine fabrics, hand-carved frames, and other treasures. Put both books together and you'll be the most knowledgeable traveler in Florence! 

"Laura Morelli has set out to make you an expert in handmade crafts." --American Style Magazine

Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of Florence's most traditional arts. Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts series is the only travel guide series on the market that takes you beyond the museums and tourist traps to make you an educated buyer--maybe even a connoisseur--of Florentine leather, ceramics of the Amalfi Coast, Parisian hats, Venetian glass, the handmade quilts of Provence, and more treasures. 

Bring Laura Morelli's guides to Florence with you, and you'll be sure to come home with the best of Florence in your suitcase. 

Where to buy the books

Meet the Author

Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and contributes pieces about authentic travel to national magazines and newspapers. Laura has been featured on CNN Radio, Travel Today with Peter Greenberg, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, House & Garden Magazine, Traditional Home, the Denver Post, Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and other media. Recently her art history lesson, “What’s the difference between art and craft?” was produced and distributed by TED-Ed.

Laura has taught college-level art history at Trinity College in Rome, as well as at Northeastern University, Merrimack College, St. Joseph College, and the College of Coastal Georgia. Laura has lived in five countries, including four years in Italy and four years in France.

Laura Morelli is the author of the guidebook series that includesMade in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, all published by Rizzoli / Universe. The Gondola Maker, a historical coming-of-age story about the heir to a gondola boatyard in 16th-century Venice, is her first work of fiction.


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