Monday, May 20, 2019

Happy Release: Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter by Juli D. Revezzo

Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter
by Juli D. Revezzo
-Historical, Romance | Goodreads
Release date: April 15, 2019

After Honorine Camden is jilted, leaving her stunned and sparking a scandal in her tiny London borough of Wallflower, she's devastated. But when she overhears her father, the stationmaster, talking about arranging a party for their newly-minted underground railway station, she volunteers to help. Although she's intrigued with the handsome assistant stationmaster, Shane MacIntyre, she never expects to fall head-over-heels in love with him. Unfortunately, one tragic accident might derail everything.

About the author:
Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, Courting the Stationmaster's Daughter, Vesta's Clockwork Companions, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker's Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Find out more about this author and the Magic Appreciation Tour:
Goodreads | Amazon
Website | Blog | Newsletter
Facebook | Pinterest


From Chapter One:

HONORINE CAMDEN WASN’T inclined to public outbursts of exuberance. Her younger sister Isabelle decided she needed to make a change as her mother passed through the door leading out from the platforms of Wallflower Subway Station. “Race you to Father’s office?”

“What did you say, my dear?” Mother asked.

When Isabelle slipped through the entrance, Honorine hiked her skirts up, and sprinted after her.

Restlessness had stirred in Honorine all morning. Her day had gone from fine to worse since breakfast. Her visit to Lady Bascomb’s home to ask assistance with her application to Bedford College—the premier women’s college in nearby London—had only met with failure.

Glad she had left the bustle out of her ensemble, Honorine ran, ignoring her mother’s scolding cry, “Isabelle, Honorine, come back this instant!”

The exasperation in her mother’s voice said Isabelle’s sixteen years was too old for such play. Honorine knew she should agree, yet her edginess welcomed the outlet. Her skirts slowing her down and turning her run into more of a fast stroll, she weaved through the crowded subway terminal, ignoring annoyed responses from everyone she passed. Isabelle had the advantage of thinner underskirts and shorter heels. Honorine was determined to catch up.


Did she hear someone speak her father’s name?

“Look out!”

Watching her feet, and a small radius ahead, a blur of black and a flash of red hair registered at the last second before Honorine slammed into a man’s hard body. Strong hands steadied her and she blinked at her living obstacle.“

Miss Camden, are you hurt?”

The tall man, somewhat portly, but with a handsome face, and a perfectly combed mop of red hair she’d collided with was her father’s second in command. “Oh. Shane. Uh, Mr. MacIntyre.” She glanced to the other men with him, her father and ... the third fellow’s name was Johnson—maybe? Flustered, she recognized him only as a railway man or other. Oh, her father was going to kill her, she was sure! How should she cover her gaffe? “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”


Mr. Jefferson had arrived at Wallflower Station at three-thirty and set to inspecting the facility. Shane stood by watching the overseer, trying desperately to hold back his
annoyance at Jefferson’s reaction to the station’s atmosphere, one he’d long since grown used to. Dressed in a fine pearl gray jacket with a matching hat atop his gray hair, Mr. Jefferson cursed as he brushed soot from his sleeve. His thick nose scrunched as he snorted to clear it. “Damnable nuisance!”

Shane sighed to himself. Now you know why we wear black all the time. Mr. Jefferson’s work took place around London’s train and subway yards, he should know better. Even if he spent most of his time in the upper offices, Shane knew it was hard to escape the black soot the trains belched out.

Where the London, Brighton, & South Coast Railways sent this buffoon in from, he hadn’t a clue. If anyone asked his opinion, Shane thought Jefferson looked a bit like a turkey, round at his stomach, with a flap of skin hanging from his chin. He had trouble not breathing open-mouthed, too. He’d probably never done manual labor a day in his life. Shane did, now and again. Everett too, though Everett was called on less these days to hook up train cars, and switch tracks, than in the early days when Wallflower was an even smaller station in their little burg on the quiet outskirts of southern London.

“I apologize, Mr. Jefferson,” Everett said. “There’s little to be done about the soot, at the present time.”

“There’s something you might want to work on.”

Everett dipped his head. “Yes sir. I hear some gents in America are working on equipping the trains to run on electricity.”

The mention of America’s subway system was just the prompt Shane hoped for. “It would be a shame for Her Majesty’s subway system to fall behind. I do believe we can outfit—”

“And how do you propose we do it, Mr. MacIntyre? With what?” Jefferson frowned. “Electricity is too expensive to succeed. Coal is the better power source. Top of the line, wouldn’t you say, Camden?”

Everett conceded his point with a shrug. “You’re right, of course, sir. My assistant has read too much penny fiction.”

Shane bristled at the overseer’s treatment of his mentor. He hated to see Everett so browbeaten. Rather than taking vocal issue, he steered the conversation in another direction. “When you first arrived, sir, you said you’d had another reason for your visit.”

“Ah, yes. Thank you for reminding me. Gentlemen, I’ve an idea in mind. Your personnel have done a fine job getting Wallflower Station up to scratch—and on a speedy schedule into the bargain. With their help, we’ve built the finest station in London. I believe they deserve something to reward their efforts. I think a celebration, of some sort, might be in order.”

Shane listened politely, as he explained, but a celebration? He didn’t agree, “I think they would appreciate a raise more, sir.”

“A raise? You’ve no sense of fun at all, MacIntyre. They need to forget their troubles for a while. Relax.” Jefferson hooked his thumbs into his lapels. “Camden, what do you think of my plan?”

“For a celebration? I must say it’s kind of you, sir, to think of our men...”

As they made their way toward the main doors, Shane had no suggestions to give, sure their employees wouldn’t appreciate Jefferson’s idea. Unless he proposed picking up the tab for a round at the pub. He doubted Jefferson had that in mind. Knowing he’d only cause trouble if he protested, Shane held his silence.

The platform entrance door opened. Three women entered. Everett’s daughters Isabelle, and most importantly, Honorine, ran toward them. Mrs. Camden called them back, clearly perturbed. He wondered why they ran, but Honorine’s laugh told him all he needed to know.

As soon as Shane saw her, he lost all sense of the thread of what her father was saying.

Shane cleared his throat. “Everett?” He nodded toward the women, even as Honorine slammed into him. “Whoa!”

“Oh!” Honorine Camden paused.

“I say!”

The three men parted like a breaking wave. Mr. Jefferson peered at her, and grumbled under his breath.

The young woman who caused all the trouble stared at him, her violet eyes rounded in surprise. “M… Mr. MacIntyre, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“Honorine, be careful!” Mrs. Camden snapped. “Really, girls. Forgive them, Mr. MacIntyre. My daughters sometimes forget they’re not children anymore.” She glared at her daughters. “And that young ladies don’t run wild!”


* excerpt courtesy of author

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Man Booker International Prize Reading Challenge 2019

Man Booker International Prize
Reading Challenge

official site


The short list was announced on April 9 and it got me wanting to give the batch a go. This self-challenge is also a wonderful way to do some arm-chair traveling.

The winner will be announced on May 21.


Books on the short list:

Celestial Bodies
by Jokha Alharthi
-Literary, Coming of Age, Oman | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
by Olga Tokarczuk
-Literary, Mystery, Poland | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Pine Islands
by Marion Poschmann
-Literary, Germany | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Remainder
by Alia Trabucco Zerán
-Literary, Chile | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Shape of the Ruins
by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
-Literary, Historical, Columbia | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Years
by Annie Ernaux
-Memoir, France | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Camp ToB 2019

Camp ToB 2019
summer reading program (details)
from the Tournament of Books

I am really digging the selections from the Tournament of Books. I am creating another self-challenge and reading through this list.

Reading list:

American Spy
by Lauren Wilkinson
-Historical, Mystery, Africa | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Black Leopard, Red Wolf
by Marlon James
-Fantasy, Africa | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

by Elizabeth McCracken
-Historical | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
-Historical | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Lost Children Archive
by Valeria Luiselli
-Literary | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Trust Exercise
by Susan Choi
-Literary | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Camp ToB 2019 Reading Schedule:

June 5: Bowlaway, first half
June 12: Bowlaway, second half
June 19: Daisy Jones & the Six, first half
June 26: Daisy Jones & the Six, second half
July 10: Lost Children Archive, first half
July 17: Lost Children Archive, second half
July 24: Trust Exercise, first half
July 31: Trust Exercise, second half
Aug. 7: American Spy, first half
Aug. 14: American Spy, second half
Aug. 21: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, first half
Aug. 28: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, second half
Sept. 4: Summer champion announced

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Happy Release: The Things She's Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

The Things She's Seen
by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
-Mystery, YA, Australia | Goodreads
Release date: May 14, 2019

Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another...

Monday, May 13, 2019

West by Carys Davies

by Carys Davies

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Literary, Western
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
From what she could see he had two guns, a hatchet, a knife, his rolled blanket, the big tin chest, various gabs and bundles, one of which, she supposed, contained her mother's things.

When widowed mule breeder Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper that colossal ancient bones have been discovered in the salty Kentucky mud, he sets out from his small Pennsylvania farm to see for himself if the rumors are true: that the giant monsters are still alive and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. Promising to write and to return in two years, he leaves behind his only daughter, Bess, to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister and heads west.

With only a barnyard full of miserable animals and her dead mother’s gold ring to call her own, Bess, unprotected and approaching womanhood, fills lonely days tracing her father’s route on maps at the subscription library and waiting for his letters to arrive. Bellman, meanwhile, wanders farther and farther from home, across harsh and alien landscapes, in reckless pursuit of the unknown.

My two-bits:

Just right for a quick western fix. Not a shoot 'em up kind of story. What I liked was the sense of adventure and quest for mythical (maybe) creature.


* Listened to audiobook version.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Release: Shred Girls by Molly Hurford

Shred Girls:
Lindsay's Joyride
by Molly Hurford
illustrated by Violet Lemay
-Sports, Middle Grade | Goodreads
Release date: May 7, 2019

An empowering new series from the cyclist who runs is guaranteed to give readers an adrenaline rush--and the confidence girls gain from participating in sports!

It's time to ride and save the day!

Lindsay can't wait to spend her summer break reading comics and watching superhero movies--until she finds out she'll be moving in with her weird older cousin Phoebe instead. And Phoebe has big plans for Lindsay: a BMX class at her bike park with cool-girl Jen and perfectionist Ali.

Lindsay's summer of learning awesome BMX tricks with new friends and a new bike turns out to be more epic than any comic book--and it's all leading up to a jumping competition.

But some of the biker boys don't think girls should be allowed to compete in BMX. Now it's up to Lindsay, Jen, and Ali to win the competition and prove that anyone can be great at BMX.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Lovely Books and Things - 5.11.19

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. The start of CAAM 2019 Film, Music and Food Festival (Center for Asian American Media) in which I am volunteering some time with usher duties, etc. (here)

2. Got caught up with The Game of Thrones :-)
Two more episodes left to see who finally perches upon that throne of swords!

3. Post ArtSeed Art-a-thon photos - sketching, mail art and string art



Martha Stewart Living
May 2019 issue

INSPIRED to get this for my Bloom post (here)


The Muralist
by B.A. Shapiro
-Historical, WWII, Art | Goodreads

CATCHING upon with an online ibc book club pick (here).

by Carys Davies
-Historical, Western | Goodreads

DRAWN to the cover and the western theme.

AND watched: in theatre

SFFilm and SFJazz hosted a screening and Q&A with Robert Mailer Anderson for Windows on the World. I always love listening to the origin stories and inspiration for films

Windows on the World (2019)
Director: Michael D. Olmos
Writers: Robert Mailer Anderson, Zack Anderson
Stars: Ryan Guzman, Edward James Olmos
-Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

After watching the news on 9/11 with his family, Fernando travels from Mexico to New York City to find his father, an undocumented worker at the World Trade Center's famous Windows on the World restaurant.

INTERESTING perspective of 9/11 and its effect on an undocumented citizen.

AND watched: in theatre for CAAM 2019 Festival - Center for Asian American Media festival (here)

Eating Up Easter (2018)
Director: Sergio Mata'u Rapu
-Documentary, Chile | imdb | my rating: 4

On Easter Island, the most isolated community in the Pacific uses lessons learned from their past to solve environmental and social challenges brought on by booming tourism and rapid development.

A look at the sad effects of tourism on Rapa Nui and how the island is handling them.

Demolition Girl (2019)
JK erejî (original title)
Director/Screenplay: Genta Matsugami
Screenplay: Yoshitaka Kasui
Stars: Yota Kawase, Aya Kitai
-Drama, Japan | imdb | my rating: 5

A high-school girl who lives in a rural town in Japan struggles to define her own way in life. To help her impoverished family she works as a video fetish performer which leads to problems for her and her family with a criminal underworld.

Loved this strong kick-ass female character. Interesting to see some of the roles young Japanese women and men have to conform into.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

by Kevin Panetta
illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2019
Publisher: First Second
Genre: Graphic Novel, LGBTQ, YA, Romance
Hardback: 368
Rating: 5

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.


My two-bits:

Done in a blue tinge, this is a lovely mashup of first love and baking.


* part of the Blog All About It Challenge: Bloom (here)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Blog All About It: Bloom

I found this bloom at the SFMOMA cafe. It was an adorable little thing to enjoy on the table.


Martha Stewart Living
May 2019 issue

When I saw the blurb on the cover of Martha Stewart Living's May Issue, Life in Bloom the magazine begged to be taken. I love the floral arrangement with its peach colors and incorporation of strawberries.

It has been awhile since I have flipped through this magazine. I am determined to do or create something inspired by this issue.

watch this spot
for a photo of what i end up with


by Kevin Panetta
illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau
-Graphic Novel, LGBTQ, YA | Goodreads | my review


Navigating Life and Style
by Estée Lalonde
-Memoir | Goodreads


* part of the Blog All About It Challenge (here)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Happy Release: An Improbable Pairing by Gary Dickson

An Improbable Pairing
by Gary Dickson
-Historical, Romance | Goodreads
Release date: January 8, 2019

It began as a simple flirtation ...

In September of 1963, Scott Stoddard, an American graduate student, is traveling to Switzerland, when he meets the Countess de Rovere, a French divorcee; he is smitten, and she is intrigued. What begins as a little coquetry soon becomes a serious love affair, much to the consternation of the Countess’s ex-husband and mother, not to mention the Countess’s friends of European high society. A meeting of equals poses problems enough, but what about one between two people who seem to have so many differences? And when a man of traditional attitudes couples with an independent and self-confident woman, something’s got to give. It won’t be the countess. As their liaison transcends an affair that cannot be dismissed, they all agree that something must be done.

An Improbable Pairing is a historical romance that chronicles the enduring themes of a young man’s coming of age and the rebellious love of the mismatched. This pas de deux, set in the golden years of 1960s Paris, Geneva, Gstaad, and Cannes, provides an insider’s peek into the worlds of haute couture, three-star gourmet restaurants, and lavish hotel suites—the domains of rank and privilege. But society’s privileged resist when an interloper threatens to upset their cozy structure.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

Dear America:
Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
by Jose Antonio Vargas (narrator)

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Genre: Memoir, Filipino
Hardcover: 256
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I come from a family of gamblers.

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms.

“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.

After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.”

—Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America

My two-bits:

This gets into the past and present situation in regards to undocumented citizens.

Unfortunately, certain things are still unresolved. But, there are people working on solutions at Define American which is a non-profit organization Jose founded (here).


Abeyance (Draves y Robles y Vargas) (2017)
by Jerome Reyes

This piece is currently displayed at the Yerba Buena Center and the first quote references Jose's mother...

“‘Baka malamig doon’ were among the few words she said
(‘It might be cold there’).”
—Jose Antonio Vargas (b. 1981), journalist and filmmaker

From Jose Antonio Vargas, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,”
New York Times, June 22, 2011 (here)


* Listened to audiobook version.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Reese's Book Club 2019

Reese's Book Club

I am going to try to catch up with Reese's books as her picks have been looking good.


From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
Goodreads | my review: tba

Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Goodreads | my review: tba

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Goodreads | my review: tba

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
Goodreads | my review: tba

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Goodreads | my review: tba

~~~ * ~~~

And, throwing in her published book from last year as well ;-)

Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me
About Life, Love & Baking Biscuits
by Reese Witherspoon
Goodreads | my review: tba

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Lovely Books and Things - 5.4.19

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Browsing at the art fairs and festivals

2. Getting familiar with music lyrics for Bring Me A Woman and I Did It from Allison Lovejoy's The 7 Deadly Pleasures. The chorus will also perform selected pieces for the Carmina Burana and Cabaret Spring show (here).

3. Sending out my first postcard to Germany via Postcrossing project (here)
This is a postcard exchange program with randomly matched up people from anywhere in the world per postcard (or you could opt for just your country).



A Night in With Audrey Hepburn
by Lucy Holliday
-Chick-lit | Goodreads

THE covers for this series are so cute. Thought I would give this try.

Author event:

Book Passage, Corte Madera, hosted a conversation between authors Miriam Toews and R.O. Kwan to celebrate the release of Women Talking. Learned a bit about the Mennonite world which is a focus in the book.

Woman Talking
by Miriam Toews
-Literary, Feminism | Goodreads


An Improbable Pairing
by Gary Dickson
-Historical, Romance | Goodreads

SWITZERLAND setting calls to me for this one as well as the dreamy cover.


The Priory of the Orange Tree
by Samantha Shannon
-Fantasy | Goodreads

YES, influenced by the buzz around this one. And, the massive size of it (848 pages).

AND watched: in theatre

The Roxie theatre hosted a Q&A with Savannah and Justin which included background history of the making of the film. It took them 10 years to put it together.

J.T. Leroy (2019)
Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (original title)
Director/Writer: Justin Kelly
Writers/memoir: Savannah Knoop
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Jim Sturgess
-Biography, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

A young woman named Savannah Knoop spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law.

THIS is a good companion piece to watch along with Author: The JT Leroy Story because you get Savannah's side of the story.

Based on this book:

Girl Boy Girl:
How I Became JT Leroy
by Savannah Knoop
-Memoir, LGBTQ | Goodreads

The SF Public Library hosted a Q&A with photographer/director, Luigi Toscano which included discussion on the art exhibit currently displayed at the SF Civic Center.

Lest We Forget (2018)
Director: Luigi Toscano
-Documentary | details | my rating: 5

The documentary Lest We Forget follows the German-Italian artist Luigi Toscano over years of fascinating working experience. The documentary allows the viewer an insight into his work for the exhibition. “The portrayed survivors are the faces and voices of the culture of remembrance,” says the artist in conjunction with his exhibit in San Francisco. “Lest We Forget is much more than just looking back at our dark past: It urges everyone to confront the past in order to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust ever happens again.”

DEFINITELY something to behold if this exhibit or film hits your town.

AND watched: on DVD

Kusama: Infinity (2018)
Director/Writers: Heather Lenz
Co-writer: Keita Ideno
Star: Yayoi Kusama
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

Artist Yayoi Kusama and experts discuss her life and work, from her modest beginnings in Japan to becoming an internationally renowned artist.

AMAZING artist. I did not know she was such an innovative and influential artist. It is wonderful to see her get acknowledged!


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)
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