Sunday, November 28, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 11.28.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Shopping and browsing for holiday treats
2. Holiday stickers and washi tape for December book journal decorating
3. Holiday lights... Embarcadero buildings and the Ferry building (bottom of post)


Library: audiobook
The Forest of Stolen Girls
by June Hur
Mystery, Historical, Korea | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Crimson Snow
Winter Mysteries
edited by Martin Edwards
Short Stories, Mystery, Holiday | Published: 2017 (first 2016) | Goodreads

Freebies: from Little Free Library - thanks to the folks who share their books
The Careful Use of Compliments
by Alexander McCall Smith
Mystery, Scotland | Published: 2008 (first 2007) | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by bookreporter
See archive of this (here)
The Attic on Queen Street
by Karen White
Mystery, Paranormal, Southern | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre - thanks to P for free ticket :-)
House of Gucci (2021)
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna
Based on book: Sara Gay Forden
Stars: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver
Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5
stellar cast and performances, wow!

When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately...murder.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Thankful For Books Giveaway Hop

Thankful For Books Giveaway Hop
co-hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer and Reading Reality
November 24-30, 2021 | details
#BlackFridayHop #ThanksgivingHop
WINNER is (here).


Welcome to the Eleventh Annual Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop Event. Formerly known as Black Friday Book Bonanza. It is a time for bloggers and authors to celebrate the love of books!


The Lost Apothecary
by Sarah Penner
Historical, Mystery | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

--~ Giveaway ~--

WIN The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Open to US only.

Offer ends: November 30, 2021


TELL me the following:
1. comment on this post with your contact email
2. comment on another post on this site

THEN hop-along for more goodies below or (here)


* image source: vintage thanksgiving

On The Nightstand: November

On the Nightstand
books for November


Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter
by Juli D. Revezzo
Historical, Romance, England | Goodreads

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.

We Are Not Like Them
by Christine Pride, Jo Piazza
Contemporary | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.

Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.

But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.

All Together: Recipes to Love
by Chrissy Teigen, Adeena Sussman
Cookbook | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Chrissy Teigen has always found a big sense of fun in the kitchen, but more than ever, she turns to the stove for comfort and warmth. Now Chrissy shares the recipes that have sustained her and her family, the ones that made her feel like everything is going to be okay. Recipes for Cozy Classic Red Lentil Soup, ingenious Chrissy signatures like Stuffed PB&J French Toast and puff pastry–wrapped Meatloaf Wellington, and family favorites like her mom Pepper’s Thai-style Sloppy Joes and John’s Saturday-morning Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes will have you feeling like you’re pulling up a chair to her table.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 11.21.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Making Healthy Italian Wedding Soup (here)
2. Encountering a hot chocolate bomb - Hammond's Hot Chocolate Snowballs (here) yummy!
3. Spotting a nostalgic image from the past - Bob's Big Boy statue - this is mini Bob. I grew up with a view of the humongous godzilla-size version (at least to my young eyes).


Sitting Down With The Stars
Interviews with 100 Hollywood Legends
by Ruthe Stein
Non-fiction, Short Stories | Published: 2021 | details

The Ghost of Christmas Past
by Rhys Bowen
Mystery, Historical, Christmas | Published: 2017 | Goodreads

Teatime at Grosvenor Square
An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Bridgerton—75 Sinfully Delectable Recipes
by Dahlia Clearwater
Cookbook | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Gift: from friend -Thanks!
The Last Duel
A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat
by Eric Jager
History, France | Published: 2021 (first 2004) | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Murder By The Book
See archive of this (here)
An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire
by Manda Collins
Romance, Historical, Mystery | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

The Ex Hex
by Erin Sterling
Romance, Paranormal, Witches | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre
Spencer (2021)
Director: Pablo Larraín
Screenplay: Steven Knight
Stars: Kristen Stewart
Biography, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana Spencer, struggling with mental health problems, decides to end her decade-long marriage to Prince Charles.

AND watched: CNN
Diana (2021)
Documentary | CNN | my rating: 5

The six-part documentary event DIANA reveals the person behind the princess, with rarely seen footage and new interviews that reframe the conventional story of her life and legacy. DIANA explores her strength and flaws, revealing a compelling and complicated woman who was an aristocratic rebel, fashion icon, humanitarian hero, hopeless romantic, and dedicated mother.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon 2021

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon 2021
hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer
November 18-30, 2021 | details
read or listen to as many holiday or winter themed books


The possibilities...

The Christmas Boutique
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Christmas, Quilts | Goodreads

Murder for Christmas
by Francis Duncan
Mystery, Cozy, Historical, Christmas | Published: 2015 (first 1949) | Goodreads

Christmas: A Biography
by Judith Flanders
Biography, History, Christmas | Published: 2017 | Goodreads

Simple Essentials: Christmas
by Donna Hay
Cookbook, Christmas | Published: 2016 (first 2005) | Goodreads

Monday, November 15, 2021

Happy release: The Lady And Her Quill by Ruth A. Casie

The Lady and Her Quill is the first novel in best-selling author Ruth A. Casie's new regency romance series, The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea. Published by Dragonblade, this title is available in Kindle Unlimited and sold for 99 cents. Grab a cuppa and enjoy an excerpt and be sure to enter the giveaway before grabbing your copy!

The Lady And Her Quill
The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea #1
by Ruth A. Casie
Romance, Historical | Publication date: November 16, 2021 | Goodreads | Amazon

The Lady And Her Quill series:
The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea #1
The Lady and the Spy #2 (February 2, 2022)
The Lady and Her Duke #3 (May 27, 2022)

Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go.

Welcome to book 1 in the fabulous new series, The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea from USA Today Bestselling author Ruth A. Casie!

Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare?

He didn’t see the turbulent ocean. He was too busy dealing with a different tempest.

The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is, until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia.

The two authors take on a writing challenge based on a story of stolen gold taken from the newspaper headlines all to determine the better writer. While researching the story, Lady Alicia is captured by the thieves’ ringleader. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his real-life heroine?

Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?

“How did the tower prevent you from acquiring a fine Scottish brogue?”

“It was during a nine-week siege by Scottish invaders in 1644. They made all sorts of demands. But the people wouldn’t agree to any of them. There were skirmishes and fights. Your ancestors, forgive me Captain, but they were not a nice lot, stole the grain and scared the wild stock so there was no milk from the cows or eggs from the chickens. The villagers fought back valiantly and took prisoners.”

“It’s an unfortunate part of war,” he said softly.

“The invaders took whatever they wanted and when there was nothing left to take, they demanded more. They wanted gold. But the mayor stood firm. The only item of value in the cathedral was the treasured chalice. He wouldn’t surrender the relic.”

“So how did the tower save the good people of Sommer-by-the-Sea?” he asked.

“Patience, I’m coming to that.” She placed her hand on his arm.

Her brief touch made him more aware of her standing at his side than he wanted to admit. Her playful banter charmed him. He enjoyed her tale, and her telling even more.

She leaned in as if she told him the greatest secret. Her large hazel eyes grew bigger when she spoke, and her smile sparkled. He found himself hanging on her every word.

“The Scottish men who came here, not your direct forbearers I’m sure, threatened if the mayor didn’t give them the gold chalice, they would bombard the tower. Gold? There was no gold chalice, especially in the 1600s. The relic’s value was in what it symbolized in the religious ritual, not the substance of which it was made. But I digress. The attackers made their threat, and our mayor Sir John Whitaker developed a plan.” She lowered her voice intriguing him even more.

“Your forbearers suffered their losses. I’m sorry to tell you some lost their lives and others well they became guests of the mayor. He provided quarters for them at Sommer Castle, in the dungeon, deep underground.

“The deeper they went into the ground, the greater the stink of wet, pungent mildew. Black mold grew across the walls and parts of the floor. Despite the smell, they were forced to go on. At the bottom, they came to a door. The door opened onto what appeared to be a stone forest, a broad, pillared hall with stone columns as large as tree trunks.”

“It sounds frightening.” Her eyes twinkled as she artfully painted the picture with words. The story enchanted him, but not as much as the enchantress.

“The dungeon was horrifying. Thick cobwebs filled the corners of the room. Wisps of webbing hung from the ceiling and waved in the stale air. The room held a curious array of tools. Winches and levers projected from every wall, and chains with handles dangle from the ceiling. Manacles were set into the walls. One set of manacles was broken open. This is where the men were held.”

Alicia’s voice had taken on a lost, distant sound reminding him of men who relived their battlefield experiences. His concern grew to alarm. Strong men had crumbled under less.

“When were you there last?” he asked as he gently took her hand.

“I haven’t been there in many years.”

He lifted her chin with the crook of his finger. The urge to kiss her was all consuming. He wanted to kiss away the pained expression in her eyes and bring back the warm smile to her now pale face.

Instead, they spoke not a word and let their eyes convey what they couldn’t.

About the author:
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now-writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter

One winner will receive a $25.00 US Amazon gift card. Ends 11/23/21

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* part of blog tour hosted by Caffeinated PR (here)

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 11.7.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Creating a list of holiday themed things to do from now to the end of the year (see xmas lights, watch holiday films, holiday tea service...)
2. Completing a jigsaw puzzle and preparing to start the next one
3. Day of the Dead sights and sounds on 24th Street in the Mission district

Gothic Tales
by Elizabeth Gaskell
Short Stories, Gothic, Horror, Victorian | Published: 2000 | Goodreads

Library: audiobook
by Nella Larsen
Classics, Historical, African American | Published: 2021 (first 1929) | Goodreads

Thursday Murder Club
by Richard Osman
Mystery | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Happy Endings
by Thien-Kim Lam
Romance, Contemporary, Vietnamese | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Borrowed: from friend
Ming Tea Murder
by Laura Childs
Mystery, Cozy, Tea | Published: 2015 | Goodreads

Freebies: from Little Free Library
by Dee Wells
1970s, Women's Fiction | Published: 1978 (first 1973) | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by SFPL
See archive of this (here)
The Holiday Switch
by Tif Marcelo
Romance, YA, Filipino, Christmas | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre
Dune (2021)
Director/Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay: Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth
Based on book: Frank Herbert
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson
Action, Adventure, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5
Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

The French Dispatch (2021)
Director/Screenplay: Wes Anderson
Story: Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, Jason Schwartzman
Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5
A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in "The French Dispatch Magazine".

Artificial Gamer (2021)
Director: Chad Herschberger
Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5
At the 2017 annual eSports world championship, "The International", an Artificial Intelligence agent was unveiled that could play against some of the world's best players at DOTA 2, a popular online game considered one of the most complex video games ever. While this demonstration was based on a 1 vs 1 version of what is normally a 5 vs 5 game, and play was limited to a reduced section of the map, it was a major coup. After the demonstration, and to the surprise of both the gaming and artificial intelligence communities; the developers fueled by the excitement of the win announced to the crowd that they will be back the following year with a new AI that can play the full 5 vs 5 game. ARTIFICIAL GAMER follows the journey of the scientists and engineers at OpenAI, as they develop their artificial agent. During their quest, they face the unique challenges of building one of the largest and most complex AI systems in history, in only one year.

AND watched: theatre for SFFilm Documentary Film Festival (details)
Julia (2021)
Director: Julie Cohen, Betsy West
Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5
Julia tells the story of the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Books and Laundry: Hamnet

by Maggie O'Farrell
Historical, England, Shakespeare | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

First sentence(s):
A boy is coming down a flight of stairs.
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu