Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Vintage Mechanical Valentine, Girl With Muff

"Guess I muffed it Valentine but my FAINT heart's STRONG for thine."

Found at Birdhouse Books - mechanical Valentines

Book Review - Summer's List by Anita Higman

Summer’s List (River North, June 2015) 

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life. 

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

My Review

Summer's List is a charming book about a woman in her early 30's in Texas.  When we first meet Summer she is working at her grandmother's bookstore, which specializes in children's books.  She is engaged to a politician.  Somehow, though, she wants something more.

Summer's grandmother gives her a special list of things to do - little adventures to try.  The list begins with looking up her best friend from childhood, Martin Langtree.

The book is really about both Summer and Martin, as they seek to find themselves and their paths in life ... and to sort out what is between them.

This is a gentle, quiet book.  The characters are warm and likeable.  The pace is leisurely.   This novel would make a wonderful Hallmark Hall of Fame movie;  it has just the right heartwarming tone.

Readers who put Summer's List on their summer reading list are in for an enjoyable, uplifting experience.  Recommended!

About the Author

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. 

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Author Interview and Giveaway: Caught Read Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

Caught Read-Handed
Series: Read Em and Eat Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 7, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425270295

From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.

The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked. 

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!
Birdhouse Books Interviews Terrie Farley Moran 
Birdhouse: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Terrie: When I was a kid I always fiddled with writing stories, generally mysteries with titles like The Case of the Missing Jump Rope. As I grew older I moved on to poetry but finally work, family and other obligations took over and writing was always a “someday” plan. Decades flew by. The lesson I learned from 9/11 was, if you want to do it, do it today, not someday. So I rearranged my life and writing became a priority. Over time it became a huge priority, crowding lots of other things right off the list.  

Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?
Terrie: Oh there are so many beloved books tucked in my memory. Heidi, Daddy Long Legs, The Diary of Anne Frank, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I devoured any biography written for children especially biographies of the Presidents of the United States. Bios of Davy Crockett, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart and dozens of others come to mind. Not to mention all the series specifically written for children: Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Judy Bolton, Cherry Ames Trixie Belden. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout-out to comic books like Nancy and Sluggo, Beetle Bailey, Archie, oh just dozens of comics. It was through comic books that I first learned the entertainment value of reading.
Birdhouse: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Terrie: I write every day—seven days a week. I start first thing in the morning and I mix in a couple of exercise breaks. Writing quirks? Me? Nah. Well, yeah. I am an extremely slow writer and I have the attention span of a two year old. Dangerous combination. I will find any excuse to interrupt whatever I am doing by doing something else. For example, while writing this blog post, I have interrupted myself in mid-sentence to write down my driver’s license number on my voter absentee ballot request form (which is not due until September); to put my beige sandals in the closet and take out my black ones; to dig out my camera and put it by my pocketbook because I need it four days from now. That’s the short list. And the post isn’t done yet so I’ll probably interrupt myself a few more times. 
Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?
Terrie: Let’s just say I now know more about very large snakes living in the Florida Everglades than I ever thought possible. I know how they got there. I know what they do there, I know how they wander around the state (and as far north as Georgia) and I know how they get captured.
Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?
Terrie: Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton (and I love the Father Brown series on PBS.) I never tire of re-reading books written by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, Mary Roberts Rhinehardt, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout and a few others that haven’t popped into my mind but are on my book shelves.
Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?
Terrie: Right now I am writing the third book in the Read ’Em and Eat series. Thomas Edison wintered in Fort Myers from the mid-1880s until his death in 1931. One of the Read ’Em and Eat book clubs reads The Florida Life of Thomas Edison by Michele Wehrwein Albion and they decide to take a trip to the Edison Estate on the mainland. It’s a nice day out and then—oops there’s a murder.
I have been writing and publishing short mystery fiction for many years. I would like to find the time to write one or two short stories before the end of the year. Unlike my novels which are decidedly cozy, my short stories are all over the mystery map: noir, paranormal, historical, puzzles. I like the feel of writing differently from time to time.
I also look forward to the October 2015 release of Parchment and Old Lace the thirteenth novel in Laura Child’s scrapbooking series featuring Carmela Bertrand. I am delighted that Laura asked me to co-write the book with her. It was great fun to write and I am sure readers will find it great fun to read.
About This Author

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

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