My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was an amazing week! Wyatt took his first steps independent of Billy and I – usually we have a hand on him somewhere or another, but this time it was all on his own steam, with the aid of his new walker! Billy and I cried happy tears, while Wyatt told us proudly that he was “big!”.

We kept this weekend low-key. We took Wyatt out to use his walker more, and then this morning we went for a family hike, this time with Wyatt riding high in our new (to us) Kelty hiking backpack carrier. What a world changer for all of us – all of this! So much more mobility and exploration ahead for us all!

Read Last Week:

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I read and reviewed The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne (thanks Little Bird publicity!) and ducked back into read Little Dribbling. I am really enjoying this read so much that I have slowed down on it, not wanting it to end. I read so much more non-fiction these days than I ever did!

Reading This Week:

girl most likely

Girl Most Likely: I am working on review books, trying to catch up lately, and I am really looking forward to this one. I am in a thriller kind of mood these days – I blame all the Criminal Minds we are watching!

Posted Last Week:

I was scattered with many things going on last week so just one

Book review: The Cliff House

Watching:

Criminal Minds (Netflix – we have never watched this old show before!), Shakespeare and Hathaway, and The Order – which I am loving!! It totally reminds me of Buffy or Angel.

 

What about you all? What is going on in your world?

Book Review: The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne

cliff house

Goodreads Summary:

After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever.

Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down.

Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.

In this heartwarming story, Stella, Bea and Daisy will discover that the path to true happiness is filled with twists and turns, but love always leads them back home.

My Thoughts:

This book had a different feel from the other books I have read by Thayne. Her books have a certain essence about them, quirky, feel good, small town. The Cliff House felt more serious, although still had that small town goodness I love. While this book was a little different, I still very much enjoyed it – actually, I really came to like the change!

Stella, Bea, and Daisy are three women who deal with some real world big issues.  Stella raised her two nieces, Bea and Daisy, after their mother passed away – but as her sister was a bit wild and a bit lost, she didn’t know that her sister had died until Daisy and Bea had spent a year in foster care, in separate houses. When Stella found out, she dropped all her life plans and took her nieces in, raising them although she was just a young woman really herself.

Daisy is a tightly controlled woman, a widow at a young age, after marrying a man older than her who had had a terminal disease. She keeps her emotions in check, and views herself as the sensible one, while her sister Bea is artistic and creative and follows her heart and emotions. Well, with one exception that she means to change until her ex-husband Cruz steps back into the picture.

There is so much rich backstory in this novel, and I don’t want to give too much away. So many layers to uncover as you read, and I would hate to take away from those revelations as they occur. However, I will say that all three of these women are at a crossroads – and have some secrets that they need to share.

My favorite story line was Stella’s. Stella is forty, and we find out right away that she is pregnant, something she had wanted for a long time. Stella is a teacher and foster parent, besides raising her nieces, and is such a nurturing, caring soul. I really could relate to her character, as I was considered a “geriatric pregnancy” since I was over 38 when I was pregnant with my son. Lol. I understand her fears and concerns and also her hopes and dreams. I found Stella to be beautifully written, and I feel that Thayne really understood this character very well to write her as she did, so perfectly. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy Daisy and Bea’s journey’s as well, but Stella’s spoke to my own heart.

I found this book to be a wonderful read – it had real emotion and soul, and I found these character’s stories moving, particularly Daisy’s and Stella’s. I honestly wasn’t super interested in Bea’s character or story all that much, but it did provide a less intense story line. Overall, I would definitely recommend this one! It is a moody read, not as lighthearted throughout, but has great heartwarming moments and a sense of family and love. I think this is a great read for anytime, but would be especially good on a rainy day with a cup of tea, a perfect book to sink into on a cozy day.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity and Harlequin!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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This week I bummed around, trying to get different projects completed around the house. Friday Wyatt and I went visiting and had playdates, and then this weekend Billy and I had a date night, which was wonderful! It was a bit of a slower paced week and weekend for us, but it was nice to do some “at home” things too. Tonight my brother and family are coming over and we are making vegetarian colcannon and hanging out. It will be a nice end to our weekend.

Read Last Week:

I couldn’t decide what to read last week. I have too many choices right now and that makes it so hard for me! Lol. I ended up starting this Bill Bryson book, because I love his work and he makes me laugh. Then I reread The Little Beach Street Bakery because March is my book club hosting month, and I chose this for us to read. 🙂 I thought it would be a fun read for springtime – plus I can serve lots of yummy bakery bread at book club! I didn’t finish Little Dribbling yet, but I love it. I will keep working on it this week too.

Reading This Week:

cliff house

In addition to Little Dribbling, I will be finishing up this review book. I love RaeAnne Thayne and I am looking forward to this one! My review will be up Wednesday.

Watching:

Shakespeare and Hathaway, Top Chef, Criminal Minds (I never watched it before and we are addicted lol), and we are getting ready to watch The Order.

 

So, how about you all? What’s going on in your neighborhood?

A bit of green, a bit of grey

On the weekend, we usually head for the wild. Or as wild as we can get near Detroit. Lol. The woods call our name and we go. This past weekend however we took a detour and it was a lovely one.

Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day, spring was in the air and all was merry and cheerful. Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery was having a Celtic Celebration, and I couldn’t wait to go. I love the work that comes out of Pewabic, and my family ancestry is very Irish. They had advertised dancing, things for the kids to do, and best of all, live music. I grew up spinning around the living room in my mom’s arms to the songs of the Irish Rovers and I play them now for my son. So I was super excited for him to hear some Irish music live. I knew he would really love it, that and the dancing, all that lively jumping up and down.

We got there at the start of the event since Pewabic is not a large building really, and full of breakables and we had the boyo with us. I wanted to ensure that we were not swallowed by a crowd, plus I didn’t want to chance breaking anything by accident. It was nice as we were among the first to arrive, and we were able to listen to the music and do some coloring without much crowding. Although, Wyatt was more interested in his pretzel than coloring, so Billy colored instead. Lol. Wyatt did love the music as predicted, and loved The Rattling Bog the very best, just like I do.

Oh that fireplace! If only…maybe one day? So many beautiful items were on display, so much fantastic artistry. I ended up buying the bunny pictured alone, although I am going back for more very soon. I love rabbits. The tile I bought was by a Canadian artist named Mary Philpott, and is in the style of the British Arts and Crafts movement. I am in love with it! You can check out more of her work here.

Sunday was about Billy. Kind of. He wanted to go to an RV and Camper show, which I wasn’t super excited to do. But you know how you do, you do things your spouse wants and vice versa, right? Plus, he threw in that it was in the same city as a coffeehouse that I have wanted to go to for twenty whole years! So, off we went. I didn’t hate the RV thing – but I did think once you saw a few of them, why look at them all? We are considering getting one so we can start doing longer trips with the kiddo on vacation. As a kid with cerebral palsy, he has a lot of equipment that goes with us on trips, and a small RV might just be the ticket. Plus…I have turned into a weird germophobe along the way. I love staying in hotels but I am always a bit skeptical about their cleanliness, which I am sure is warranted in some cases, but not all! I guess I just need to bring my own bed with me places now. LOL.

So this coffeehouse – Billy went to it twenty years ago when he was doing travel computer training, when we were first married. Only an hour away, and we never made it back there – until last weekend! This magic place is called The Raven Cafe, in Port Huron, and is so very Edgar Allen Poe. I loved it! It was worth the wait. The coffee was hot and black and delicious, and our food was pretty darn good too! Wyatt wasn’t as impressed, and began to finger paint on the mirror next to us with his cheese sauce. (we of course cleaned it up and stopped him! we are not those parents..lol) If you ever are in the area and get the chance to stop in, I recommend it. The service was friendly, the coffee perfect, and the tables named for poets! It was the perfect day for it as well, cloudy, rainy, a bit gloomy, and the cafe was all warm woods the color of honey and just warmth and coziness. The website describes itself as “Part Hogwarts and part Cheers, the Raven is a unique place. When you step through the doors, you’ll get the distinct feeling you’re walking into a story.” And this is a very apt description, and I agree. I can’t wait to go back again.

 

So our weekend had a bit of glee with a side of gloom, and I loved them both!

 

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This weekend we detoured from our norm and headed into Detroit rather than the woods. Pewabic Pottery, which has been operating since the early 1900s, had a Celtic Celebration, with live music. It was a daytime deal, and I knew Wyatt would love hearing the music, so we went. It was pretty cool! They had Irish dancers, and live Irish folk music, and I was right – Wyatt dug it. I ended up purchasing a tile for myself – it was hard to decide, there were so many that I loved, but this March (Medieval) Hare by artist Mary Philpott stole my heart. I wanted to purchase the entire line, but alas my wallet is not that expansive right now.

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Read Last Week:

wicked king

I absolutely loved this book!! The only thing bothers me is that now I have to wait again for the next one!!!

Reading This Week:

I had a time frame where a bunch of books I wanted to read all came out at once. Now is that weird lull that happens after you read a bunch of good books you had been waiting and waiting for. I have a few books I flipping through, waiting to see which one grabs me the most and demands to be read. And there is no rhyme or reason to this randomness. Lol. Any here that you have read and recommend?

Posted Last Week:

A Wild and Woodsy Birthday Weekend

Sunset Beach

A Belated Hello to March

Watching:

We signed up for Britbox and have been watching Shakespeare and Hathaway – it’s pretty funny! We are also watching Top Chef and Hometown. I started the Netflix original called Abducted in Plain Sight, and it really freaked me out! I haven’t finished it yet.

A Belated Hello to March!

Hello March

I never really used to like March. I wasn’t much a springtime gal – I equated it with being overdressed for the weather, somehow. Like it is not warm enough to not wear a coat, but too warm to wear your coat in a car. LOL. I know so crazy right? And I am a fall-winter lover. But now..I look forward to the spring!

March is the month of the full worm moon, which sounds bizarre, until you know why it is called that. In March, the month where we welcome springtime back to us, everything starts to awaken, become re-energized, even the little worms down there in the dirt. They start wriggling toward the surface as the earth softens, ready to start our new growing cycle. The gentle ease of winter is over, when we enjoy our long nights and cozy rooms, and in rushes spring, with all the energy of those bunnies that hop around our yards. I can feel that life returning, can you?

March is also the month my Wyatt was born. And he is such a joy – everyone who meets him talks about how it is impossible to be in a bad mood around him. He is truly my sunshine boy, with his giggles and huge smiles and hugs. He is spring, liveliness and happiness, with just a bit of a temper, much like a spring shower.

Spring is coming, with the spring equinox right around the corner. I have different foods on our menu, as we turn away from comfort foods like thick and creamy soups and pasta, and crave the freshness of the food that will be growing before we know it. I bought seeds to start, and bird houses for birds to nest in, hopefully. I bought one of those hanging nesting boxes that attaches to your window – I would love to see a family move in. We will be clearing out our garden beds, preparing for our seedlings that we will plant next month. I have peas and flowers and peanuts and cucumbers, all of our favorites, and then the seeds that go directly into the earth, like our carrots and Indian Paintbrush. I am looking forward to walks with more sun and warmth, less biting winds and stomping through snow, although we like that too. And we are planning on going to a maple sugaring event next weekend, since the sap is rising in the trees, as they sense the coming of spring as well. I am also going to give my house a good spring cleaning, and pack away our heavier blankets and signs of winter.

I am looking forward to this spring, and all the new things that it will bring.

How about you? Any new plans or ideas in the works?

 

Book Review: Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

sunset beach

Goodreads Summary: 

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

My Thoughts:

I love to read Mary Kay Andrews. Always a great warm weather location, interesting premise, and madcap, zany characters. I first started reading her when I found the Savannah Blues series, and haven’t stopped. When I received a free review copy from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley, I was so excited! I was feeling a bit down and out over this everlasting, non-stop winter we seem to be experiencing in Michigan, and I needed a bit of a Vitamin D boost, even if it was vicariously through fiction.

At first, it was not quite what I was expecting. Not quite as madcap and zany, there was a different tone right from the start. Poor Drue was going through one of the lowest moments of her life, losing almost everything in her life all at once. Her estranged father shows up to her mom’s funeral with an offer she thought she could refuse – until the rest of her world came crashing down, like the kite board that rendered her injured on top of everything else.

Drue reluctantly accepts the offer, which was sweetened by the prospect of living her in Noni and Popi’s cottage on the beach, where she had spent many a happy summer. The cottage needs some work, but in the beginning, so does Drue. I have to be honest – Drue kind of bugged me at first. She was a bit whiny, had a bit of a chip on her shoulder, and while I guess in part it was a well-earned one, she didn’t seem to be swayed by her father’s attempts to reconcile their relationship, and it just seemed sort of…bratty. And this character was over the age where that is acceptable. However, Drue’s wall starts to come down, and as it did, she was a much more likable character. Perhaps this was intentional by the author, for us to meet her in such a bad place, at less than her best, then see how she blooms as she heals.

Judging by just the cover, I expected a lot more beach time romance, and while there was a bit of romance, there was a lot more depth to this story as well. While working for her father’s law firm, Drue is drawn into two unsolved murders – one from more recent times, and another from 1976. The more I read, the more fascinated I was. There were a lot of layers to unwrap in both of these mysteries, and I loved when a new clue was dug up by Drue, who went to any length to find out the truth.

All in all, a bit of a slow start for me, but really picked up in the end. I didn’t want to put it down. I hope that Andrews writes more books involving these characters, as I feel that Drue has more adventures ahead of her!