BRINGING DISNEY IMAGES BACK TO MY BLOGS…

The images in the above blog header elicit delightful memories from the past.  The picture frame on the left of the new header is definitely a part of my present, however.  I had it on my desk in my current apartment, and then I set it up on my entry way table.  The photo below was of my desk and the photo frame before I rearranged the room.

Here is the photo frame on the entry way table.

Even though I rearrange my rooms a lot and also change blog headers frequently, I cling to my moments from the past, too.  My memories are of objects that I may have had for many years.

I have had that photo frame since the children in the photos were babies and toddlers.

I wish I still had all of my Disney knickknacks/collectibles, but since I do not, I am very glad that I photographed them often in their various settings.

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Do you enjoy spotlighting your memorabilia?  Do the things that have sentimental value to you travel with you?

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REVIEW: HEAVEN ADJACENT, BY CATHERINE RYAN HYDE

Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.

In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.

Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.

I found Heaven Adjacent tucked away on my Kindle, begging to be read, and I was happy to have discovered it at just the right time in my life. I needed something heartwarming that would pull me out of my own problems. The perfect kind of escape.

I really enjoyed Roseanna and her entourage of squatters on that little hideout she had created for herself. Who wouldn’t find her new life a perfect respite from New York City and its pressures?

The author paints a beautiful picture of Roseanna’s new life and the characters that soon fill it up for her. Dealing with loss and creating a new kind of world sounds perfect to me. I couldn’t stop turning the pages and gave a blissful sigh at the conclusion. An unexpected five star read.

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HUMP DAY READING: WWW POST

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:  And They Called It Camelot, by Stephanie Marie Thornton, a book I am savoring.

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST POST ON MARCH 10:

Coconut Layer Cake Murder, by Joanne Fluke

Pretty As a Picture, by Elizabeth Little

The Other Mrs., by Mary Kubica

Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson

The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: 

I have The Operator, by Gretchen Berg, on my nightstand and I’m excited to start reading it.

Synopsis:  A clever, surprising, and ultimately moving debut novel, set in a small Midwestern town in the early 1950s, about a nosy switchboard operator who overhears gossip involving her own family, and the unraveling that discovery sets into motion.

In a small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business . . .

Nobody knows the people of Wooster, Ohio, better than switchboard operator Vivian Dalton, and she’d be the first to tell you that. She calls it intuition. Her teenage daughter, Charlotte, calls it eavesdropping.

Vivian and the other women who work at Bell on East Liberty Street connect lines and lives. They aren’t supposed to listen in on conversations, but they do, and they all have opinions on what they hear—especially Vivian. She knows that Mrs. Butler’s ungrateful daughter, Maxine, still hasn’t thanked her mother for the quilt she made, and that Ginny Frazier turned down yet another invitation to go to the A&W with Clyde Walsh.

Then, one cold December night, Vivian listens in on a call between that snob Betty Miller and someone whose voice she can’t quite place and hears something shocking. Betty Miller’s mystery friend has news that, if true, will shatter Vivian’s tidy life in Wooster, humiliating her and making her the laughingstock of the town.

Vivian may be mortified, but she isn’t going to take this lying down. She’s going to get to the bottom of that rumor—get into it, get under it, poke around in the corners. Find every last bit. Vivian wants the truth, no matter how painful it may be.

But as Vivian is about to be reminded, in a small town like Wooster, one secret usually leads to another. . . .

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These were my books read in the past two weeks. What did your reading look like?

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REVIEW: THE MISSING SISTER, BY ELLE MARR

In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…

Alive. Trust no one.

Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.

As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…

Shayna is the first person narrator of The Missing Sister, and when she arrives in Paris to search for her twin, she is unsure if her sister is missing or dead.

She follows clues she finds in Angela’s apartment, and accepts help from a man she believes to be her sister’s boyfriend. There was something off about him, but also the man who claimed to work for the embassy set off red flags, too.

Would Shayna figure out what happened to Angela? Would she escape those who seem to be following her? Who is the serial killer that seems to be one step ahead of her while she searches?

An engaging story that kept me turning the pages, I was happy when the answers were finally revealed. 4.5 stars.

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REVIEW: COCONUT LAYER CAKE MURDER, BY JOANNE FLUKE

 

When Hannah learns that her sister Michelle’s boyfriend, Detective Lonnie Murphy, is the prime suspect in a murder case, she goes straight from a movie studio sound stage to the Los Angeles airport.

Back in frigid Minnesota, she discovers that proving Lonnie’s innocence will be harder than figuring out what went wrong with a recipe. Lonnie remembers only parts of the night he went out to a local bar and ended up driving a very impaired woman home. He knows he helped her to her bedroom, but he doesn’t recall anything else until he woke up on her couch the following morning. When he went to the bedroom to check on her, he was shocked to discover she was dead.

Hannah doesn’t know what to believe—only that exonerating a suspect who can’t remember is almost impossible, especially since Lonnie’s brother, Detective Rick Murphy, and Lonnie’s partner, Chief Detective Mike Kingston, have been taken off the case. Before everything comes crashing down on Lonnie like a heaping slice of coconut layer cake, it’ll be up to Hannah to rack up enough clues to toast a flaky killer . . .

The main thing we know for sure at the beginning of Hannah’s investigation into the Coconut Layer Cake Murder is that her friend Lonnie is innocent. She would bet her life on it. Well, almost. As Hannah goes through the process of eliminating the various other suspects, she is baking cakes and cookies regularly, her way of thinking when she is trying to solve something.

I liked Hannah’s sense of humor, her thought processes, and how she was also trying to sort through her feelings for both Norman and Mike, potential love interests in her life.

As we follow Hannah and her investigation, we are also treated to various recipes stashed between the chapters. Yum! It’s a good thing that I couldn’t actually see her baking the goodies, like we do when viewing her actions on the Hallmark Channel. I wouldn’t be able to turn away from the temptations.

In the end, Hannah figures it out, with the help of her friends, and even starts to decide who is the most suitable partner for her in life. 4 stars.

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A BOOKISH HUMP DAY…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:  Coconut Layer Cake Murder, by Joanne Fluke

I am enjoying this one; I have been a fan of the Hallmark Murders & Mysteries series starring Alison Sweeney as Hannah Swensen.

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST WWW POST ON 2/25/20:

Dead To Her, by Sarah Pinborough

 

When You See Me, by Lisa Gardner

The Red Lotus, by Chris Bohjalian – (NetGalley – 3/17/20)

The Housekeeper, by Natalie Barelli

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

Today I received a print version of a newly released book that I have been eyeing:  My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell…

Synopsis:  Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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These were the books I read and enjoyed in the past two weeks.  What did you savor?

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REVIEW: WHEN YOU SEE ME, BY LISA GARDNER

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren have built a task force to follow the digital breadcrumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. When a disturbing piece of evidence is discovered in the hills of Georgia, they bring Flora Dane and true-crime savant Keith Edgar to a small town where something seems to be deeply wrong. What at first looks like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister…and they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed. Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers—and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others.

Multiple narrators tell the story in When You See Me: D. D. Warren, Kimberly Quincy, and Flora Dane take us into the deep and dark tale set in a small town in Georgia. A town surrounded by forests that feels familiar to Flora from her captivity with Jacob Ness.

I loved how the characters interacted with one another, one of my favorite aspects of this series. D. D. and Flora have a special connection because of Flora’s experiences with Jacob Ness. Flora also brings out the nurturing qualities in D. D.

A young girl unable to communicate is a victim in the mayor’s house, and as D. D. tries to help her, the girl opens up in small ways until there is finally a breakthrough for her. Plus, she helps by revealing information through her drawings.

Another brilliant and engaging book that earned five stars from me.

REVIEW: DEAD TO HER, BY SARAH PINBOROUGH

Marriage can be murder…

SOMETHING OLD

Marcie’s affair with Jason Maddox catapulted her into the world of the elite.
Old money, old ties, old secrets. Marcie may have married into this world—
but she’ll never be part of it.

SOMETHING NEW

Then Jason’s boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London.
Young, attractive, reckless—nobody can take their eyes off Keisha.
Including Marcie’s husband.

SOMETHING YOU CAN NEVER, EVER UNDO…

Some people would kill for the life Marcie has—what will she do to keep it?

 

Marcie is trying to fit into her new life in Savannah without letting the past keep her captive.

Keisha wants the money she would have if her wealthy and brutish husband dies.

Jason longs to take over the company from his boss.

All of these people have secrets, and the darkness that keeps them from being truly good will surely dictate what happens next in their lives.

Dead to Her unfolds from the perspectives of them all, and we are left trying to guess who has suddenly turned a corner into true darkness. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the author surprised me in the end.

An enjoyable read, but it seemed to take forever to read it as I sank further into the darkness with the characters. 4.5 stars.

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HUMP DAY READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

CURRENTLY READING:  Dead to Her, by Sarah Pinborough

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BOOKS READ SINCE LAST WEEK:

Perfect Little Children, by Sophie Hannah

The Wives, by Tarryn Fisher

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: I stumbled upon this book, and I’ve added it to my list:  Pretty as a Picture, by Elizabeth Little

Synopsis:  An egomaniacal movie director, an isolated island, and a decades-old murder–the addictive new novel from the bestselling author of Dear Daughter.

Marissa Dahl, a shy but successful film editor, travels to a small island off the coast of Delaware to work with the legendary–and legendarily demanding–director Tony Rees on a feature film with a familiar logline.

Some girl dies.

It’s not much to go on, but the specifics don’t concern Marissa. Whatever the script is, her job is the same. She’ll spend her days in the editing room, doing what she does best: turning pictures into stories.

But she soon discovers that on this set, nothing is as it’s supposed to be–or as it seems. There are rumors of accidents and indiscretions, of burgeoning scandals and perilous schemes. Half the crew has been fired. The other half wants to quit. Even the actors have figured out something is wrong. And no one seems to know what happened to the editor she was hired to replace.

Then she meets the intrepid and incorrigible teenage girls who are determined to solve the real-life murder that is the movie’s central subject, and before long, Marissa is drawn into the investigation herself.

The only problem is, the killer may still be on the loose. And he might not be finished.

A wickedly funny exploration of our cultural addiction to tales of murder and mayhem and a thrilling, behind-the-scenes whodunit, Pretty as a Picture is a captivating page-turner from one of the most distinctive voices in crime fiction.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?

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MY WWW POST…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

CURRENTLY READING:  I am thoroughly enjoying Perfect Little Children, by Sophie Hannah.

The New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders and Woman with a Secret returns with a sharp, captivating, and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense.

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BOOKS READ SINCE LAST WEEK:

American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks/Sarah Pekkanen

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:  I have several ARCs that are waiting for me…it will be hard to pick the one I am most excited about…but here goes:  The Dilemma, by B. A. Paris.

Synopsis:  It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad.

But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be there. Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for his wife: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the family celebration. But during the day, he hears some terrible news and he too is faced with a dilemma.

How far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

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I love the sound of this one.  I plan to enjoy it, as well as all the other upcoming reads.  What was your week like?

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