We made it to Friday!! Woo-Hoo! The sun is shining brightly and I am wearing shorts. Okay, they are gym shorts but they count.
This has been a week. I have not watched any anxiety-inducing news shows. I have started Season 6 of Schitt’s Creek. Finished The Witcher, and Dracula. I wasn’t impressed with Dracula. I like my vampires more refined.
I just finished An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham from St. Martin’s and I am so happy I was home alone because I cried like a baby! This one has all the feels and is so timely.
We are already looking toward Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras. Photoshoots are coming together for both. Since OU Boy’s birthday is February 21st, it will be a King Cake birthday!
We lost his aunt this week. She is about 59 or was. This one I didn’t know too well. All I know is she has been dying for the 17 years I’ve known the family and I still don’t know why. His sweet Uncle Kevin was in a diabetic coma for a bit but is doing some better. Turns out he found out he was a diabetic a while back and never told anyone, including his wife! I would not want to be around when she gets done with him!
There has been a lot of sadness this week, so this weekend just blast the world with love.
Enjoy and be kind.
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!
Blue Hollow Falls may be a small Blue Ridge Mountain town, but it’s big on love—and second chances . . .
We are back at Lavender Blue Farm! A place for healing, hope and as many chances as you need to find your way home.
This is number four in the series. The women who own the farm are like family to each other and they have all suffered in their lives. But here they have found safety and their own inner strength and are all following their dreams.
This is Chey’s turn. The former barrel racer has worked hard to forget the pain of her past and what she lost. She has found healing at Lavender Blue and is perfectly content. She let her shot at love go willingly and regretted it instantly. She misses her two besties from her life growing up on the rodeo circuit. Wyatt Reed left the rodeo after she put him in the friend zone. Her other BFF, Tory, did as well.
This is the story of what happens when Tory pokes her little nose into the lives of her friends. She finds Wyatt’s horse in very bad shape and who does she know that rehabs horses? Yes! Chey. Chey is happy to take Buttercup but when Tory shows up to stay, she brings Wyatt Reed right smack into Chey’s life. But not the same Wyatt. A different, calmer and gentler Wyatt.
Will, she let him walk away again? Or will they fall in love under the firefly moon?
What did I like about this one? All of it. This series is a powerful look at what women can do when they support each other. These are stories of hope and a reminder to all of us that we can get back up and change our reality.
Kauffman is the Queen of all the Feels!
NetGalley/January 28th, 2020 by Zebra
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
Sarah Smith is a small-town girl. Opening her own bookshop at 19, she lives between the pages of romance books. She has great friends, and a hot journalist boyfriend as well.
One day out of the blue, her friend Sophie from Paris, calls to suggest they swap places for six months! Running each other’s shops and taking a break from their own lives to experience what the other is lacking. It doesn’t take long for Sarah to hop on a plane for Paris and dive into Sophie’s shop, Once Upon A Time.
Upon arrival, her bag, luggage, and passport are lifted. The shop is in disarray and one girl, in particular, is out to get her. The shop is doing awful financially and Beatrice is not helping the situation at all. No one has a schedule, books are taken at will, and her hot boyfriend is on assignment and nowhere near Paris!
So far she feels out of her comfort zone and hated by the entire staff. But with help from a couple of good guys and gals, she just may pull off making a go of the shop and a go of her relationship.
Paris, the city of lights, love, and possibilities! Are there struggles? Oh, yes. But in the end, I think it may work out just fine.
A pleasure to read.
NetGalley/ January 07, 2020 Harlequin
Another year has come and gone. 2019 was an interesting year. All the tantrums, lies, name-calling, and bullying. And that was just in the White House.
A clean slate, a second chance, you’ve practiced enough. It’s Game Time! And the game is Life. You decide who and what you want to be in 2020. Make it count!
Cassie Chambers is proof that a determined woman can do anything. Raised in Owsley, Kentucky by an entire family whose lives have been rooted deep in the Appalachians.
Her grandmother had married and had seven children and she worked from sun up to sun down to put food on the table for her family. Her daughter Ruth was the best tobacco worker in the fields. Besting any man. Her other daughter, Cassie’s mother, took a different path and while she married young, her family helped raise Cassie so her parents could get an education and get out of the cycle of poverty.
They did such a good job that Cassie followed their footsteps and ended up graduating with two Ivy League degrees. And while the opportunities were endless, Cassie decides to go home. She has seen what the courts do to women in the hills and she wants to help.
Owsley County is one of the poorest counties in Kentucky and the entire country. There is no more coal, no more tobacco, and yet these Hill Women are finding new ways to keep their families fed and healthy. These women are subjected to more domestic violence, lack of healthcare and education.
This book broke my heart so many times. Even my husband was hooked on the story and ended up digging into the state and the county. I learned a lot and I felt humbled. This was a well researched and well-written book. I think everyone should read it!
NetGalley/January 7th, 2020 by Ballantine Books