It has been a hot minute since we talked about some tea! And I received more than my share for the holidays!
Let’s talk about the Refresh. Why is it great? It contains Dandelion, thought to promote healthy harmony. Nettle, a unique plant traditionally regarded to help support a healthy lifestyle. Turmeric, brilliant yellow root commonly thought to help keep the body on track. Turmeric is something we have every day in food and teas. It has a ton of good uses. I even brush my teeth with it. Chili/Black Pepper supports your well being. Matcha, traditional green tea known to energize the body. It’s my own opinion that they each have a lot to offer health-wise. Plus it’s really good!
My friend Casey and I have a huge love of anything tea and this weekend we shared our stashes in pictures. Now she wants my tea cart. You can pick one up at a restaurant supply company for a song. Each of the rows has space for 6 boxes of tea. So in every row you see, there are 5 or more teas behind the lead tea. And that isn’t including the Harney and Sons Royal Palace Collections. The box underneath is an antique French hot chocolate set with matching cups, plates and spoons.
The only bad weather we had was rain and we really needed that. Our daffodils are about 6 inches out of the ground and the sun is saying “It’s Spring!”But the wind is saying, “Wanna bet?”
Jerome the gnome is overseeing this rich, smoky Lapsang Souchong from Harney and Sons Teas and I loved this ARC so much I read it twice. And cried. The smokiness of the tea smells like a campfire and was perfect with this tale!
Happy Monday Y’all!
It’s 1910 in New York and wealthy socialite, Vera Garland is determined to make it as a reporter. Not the society page, but real, honest and investigative reporting.
Going undercover as Vee Swan, she uncovers the abysmal conditions in the tenements on the Lower East Side. And almost loses her life in the process. Recovering from her injuries and dealing with her father’s sudden death so soon after her Uncle Percy, she is taking a break from both of her identities.
While working on the mystery of her father’s death as well as marching for equal rights and pay for women, she hears that the Hope Diamond is in New York at Cartier’s! The rumors surrounding the stone are legendary. But how much is just hype to entice a better price?
Vera is intent on proving the bad luck theory or disproving it. It doesn’t hurt that it has brought her to an obnoxious magazine publisher who is also a blackmailer and could be responsible for her fathers’ death.
For her plans to all come together she will need help. When she goes to Cartier’s to visit Pierre’s Russian jeweler for assistance, she finds out there is even more intrigue to come and she may not come out of this with the story she wants nor the man.
First, let’s talk about this cover! Absolutely stunning. The story was so real, with all of the ugliness of the women’s rights movements and the men who were violent and did their best to keep the women where they belonged. Allegedly. This is a historical fiction book that speaks to many of the same issues today. Still no equality across the board. But there will always be a Vera out there pulling us along and shouting until our voices are heard.
I loved all of the historical bits about Cartier and the Hope Diamond. It has a long and well-documented history.
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by Atria Books
A Gaslight Mystery #2
Dickens and Wilkie are back in the second installment of the Gaslight Series. Along with some of our favorite characters from the first book.
It’s the year 1853, in November and Dickens and Wilkie have been summoned by Inspector Fields to the scene of a murder. The murder of a well-known artist whom they recognize immediately. Wilkie’s brother Charles has worked with the artist who now lies dead along with a painting that has also been slashed beyond recognition. The only thing they know is the title of Winter of Despair.
But they also find several other paintings of people indulging in rather sinful behavior. What makes it difficult is there are no faces. Just hints of hair color or style, clothing style are there. Hoping to flush out the killer Mrs. Collins hosts a dinner with all of the artist’s subjects and there are certainly enough poorly behaved people to go around. But which one is the killer?
Sesina is still working for the Collins family and Charley is her favorite. He’s fragile and is acting awfully suspicious. Sesina is going to make it her business to make sure he is not accused of killing the said artist.
Full of intrigue, history and amateur sleuths, this new series is turning out quite well!
What I love most about this series is these are real people and real events. The story is a wonderful mix of facts and speculation that makes a good read.
NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by Severn House Publishers
The Girls with No Names pulls readers into the gilded age of New York City in the 1910s when suffragettes marched in the street, unions fought for better work conditions—and girls were confined to the House of Mercy for daring to break the rules.
Life in the early 1900s was very confining for women and girls. Even the wealthy families who live in their mansions just down the road from the mysterious House of Mercy.
Luella and Effie belong to one of those families. Their father is charming but away a lot and their mother comes off as cold and a bit distant. Effie was born with a heart defect that will eventually kill her. Her older sister Luella has always looked after her. They are good girls with very little to do.
One day playing by the forest they hear beautiful music playing and their curiosity gets the better of them. What they find is a gypsy camp. Luella, a dancer is amazed and never wants to leave, but Effie needs her. All summer they hang out with the gypsy camp and it is here Luella runs after she and Effie find out a secret their father is keeping.
Feeling betrayed and angry Luella has no intention of obeying her father or ending up like one of the girls at school being sent to the Mercy House. She just needs a plan.
And just like that, she disappears. Effie is devastated and believes her father has finally had enough of his rebellious daughter and parked her in the Mercy House.
Effie is determined to find her sister and the way she gets into the house is brazen and fearless. But once behind that door, the house is anything but merciful. This is just another workhouse for girls who won’t knuckle under to society’s rules. How will she get out of this place where no one and nothing is what it seems. Not even their names.
Effie meets a girl named Mabel and we hear her story as well. With all the lies everyone is telling it will take a miracle for her to find her way home. If she doesn’t die in the process.
Historical Fiction with a lot of facts. These places existed everywhere. Magdalene Laundries, all more of the same. If a girl has an opinion she could easily never see the light of day again. Everyone in this book was suffering in some way. Secrets and lies told to protect reputations and instead simply end up making things so much worse.
NetGalley/January 7th, 2020 by Park Row
Great Book Releases on the last day of the year!
The Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart debuts today!
Sealed Off by Barbara Ross debuts today!
The Beautiful Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn debuts today!
Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower debuts today!
And do not forget Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison which came out yesterday!
Our last day of the year for reviews. But don’t worry because January starts out with a Bang!
Set in London and covering a decade in the life of Selina Lennox, one of the bright young people whose life is one party after another without thought to consequences or propriety, and whose life is turned upside down by a chance meeting with Lawrence Weston. A painter who aspires to be a famous photographer.
Selina has a wild affair with the man but she understands that she must marry for money and not love. And she does. But she has a special gift from Lawrence that will forever change all of their lives.
There was a lot of truth in this beautiful and moving story of love, loss, and redemption. I am not ashamed to admit I cried more than a little. The characters were flawed and real, with a backdrop of one war over and another about to begin.
A truly beautiful story from a talented author!
NetGalley/ December 10th, 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books
Quite a few really good books coming out today! The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is one of those.
Remember Bloody Mary? Yep, it’s like that, but more!
Another dark and scary read, Shatter the Night by Emily Littlejohn
The beautifully written The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
Check out Goodreads Winners for this year. Once again, I am rather disappointed.
Yesterday the postman brought this:
I had already finished the Kindle ARC from Kensington and was pleased to have a hard copy.
Books and Tea make a wonderful gift for anyone. Even my nephew loves tea and reading. I love that boy!
Enjoy your day and stay warm!