Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Resolutions/Goals

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Before I get into my Top Ten list for this week, I want to give a shout out to Jana and thank her for taking over Top Ten Tuesday. She's already got a ton of great topics listed and I'm excited.

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions/Goals

This topic is easy for me since a) I've already thought of some goals, and b) I'm a goals kind of gal. 

  1. Top priority - whittle down the TBR pile. There are so many new books I don't order or download simply because I have a ton of unread books here. 
  2. Complete my reading challenges. I kept it simple this year: I committed to 12 books. How can I not cross that mere dozen off my list? 
  3. Get back to the First Chapter Review. I really loved this when I came up with it a few years ago. Read the first chapter, share the blurb and then my thoughts on the cover art, what the first chapter is about, and if I would keep reading. 
  4. Read at least one business book a quarter. I'm so bad about this, but I really need to motivate myself forward to meet my real estate goals this year. 
  5. Read at least one writing craft or writing business book a quarter. I've never been great about this. I have several good ones here and I need to read them. My fourth children's book is coming out and I want to finish the middle grade historical I started eons ago. 
  6. Go through all my books to see if there are any I want to donate or use as giveaways. I often receive books unsolicited. I don't get rid of them right away in case I end up wanting to read them. At this point, I really need to focus on what I can't live without. 
  7. Create a regular feature to promote the free books I've downloaded. I've got hundreds of them and it's not right to hide them on my device without sharing something about them.
  8. Discover two new to me authors this year. I tend to reach for authors I know I'll enjoy, but I would like to discover some new writers this year. Even better would be authors in genres I don't usually read.
  9. Read one book in a genre I don't read often: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, satire, graphic novel....
  10. Read more books than I read in 2017. While gone are the days when I could read hundreds of books, I definitely want to shoot for more than the 31 I read last year. If I could double it, I would be happy. 
What are some of your bookish resolutions/goals? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Musing Monday - Jan 15

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever stolen insults from books and used them in real life situations?

We are back to Monday again. I hope you had a great week. My Christmas decorations are finally down and the winter decorations have taken their place. I'm in the middle of deciding what colors to paint the rooms in this house. Some are the original off-white and I'm done with that. I'm thinking maybe a silver gray.

In case you missed it, the blog last week had a review of The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page, the last Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish (will continue at a different blog), and The Friday 56 that shared a part of The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

At An Imperfect Christian Mom I posted a review of Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz and shared some apps I find helpful for Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts. At Books Can Be Deadly I featured an interview with author Heather Weidner. Finally, at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection I posted a couple reviews, my STORYSTORM update, and an announcement about Janet Halfmann's upcoming book that ties into Black History Month.

Today, I'll begin reading my First Book of the Year in earnest. Did you post a First Book of the Year? What is it?

As for today's question, I can't believe I've never thought of stealing an insult from a book and using it. Maybe because my evil side is snarky and sarcastic enough not to need any help. (Blushes) How about you? Heard any good insults in a book lately? Would you ever use them?

Here's hoping you have a spectacular week.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Friday 56 - Jan 12

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.

Contemporary culture focuses so much on the need to have a great sex life. They say sex sells, and it certainly is used to sell everything from hamburgers and cars to vacations and electronics. Yet when it comes to the way media represents sex--from TV to Oscar-winning films to porn--the pleasure of women is presented as secondary, if presented at all.

You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog to find more books to check out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review & Giveaway: The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

A tasty, turn-twisting mystery comes to you from the pen of Katherine Hall Page.

The newest book in Page's Faith Fairchild mystery series reunites legendary Broadway producer Max Dane with the cast and crew of his only failed production, Heaven or Hell, while Faith serves up a delicious menu for his guests in the hopes of preventing this birthday bash from becoming Dane's final curtain.

The Body in the Casket has a lot to offer: an engaging mystery to solve, yummy food with recipes included, the glory and excitement of the theater, and more than a few surprises along the way. Dane's Rowan House was the perfect setting for this mystery and the subplots were nearly as delightful as the main one.

I'll admit I had the perpetrator figured out before the end, but not the reasons why. While I like cozies where there is more actual sleuthing time and more explanation why the villain decided on a particular course of action, The Body in the Casket still delivers many reasons to pick up previous and future installments of the series. I'm definitely curious what Faith has been up to and what she'll stumble upon in books to come.


Chapter One

“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.

“Mrs. Fairchild?”

“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”

“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.

She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”

Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.

“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”

A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.

“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “ my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”

Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)

Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more

time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.

“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then. I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”

“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”

Series: Faith Fairchild Mysteries (Book 24)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (December 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062439561
ISBN-13: 978-0062439567

I received a free copy of this book from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story "The Would-Be Widower." The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Because I totally messed up last week and posted this Top Ten instead of the Top Ten New-to-Me Authors in 2017 list, I am simply reprinting this one. Don't forget, Top Ten Tuesday will be moving to The Artsty Reader Girl starting next week.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish (moving to That Artsy Reader Girl on January 16) . Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Came from Amazon Vine. Don't know why they even let me grab these. It always takes me forever to read them.

I used to jump at books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, but haven't even cracked this one open.

That also applies to this one. The new year better see me making time for my Little House/LIW fix. 

At least I started this one before needing to break off to catch up on book reviews. It's hiding in my office somewhere waiting for me to find it and finish it off.

Was supposed to review this for Tyndale months ago. Whoops!

I reviewed the fifth book in the Caitlin Strong series and the publisher has been kind enough to send these others along. Really need to read them. Feel like a jerk because I haven't. 

Bought this from the author at a writers conference at least two years ago--I really think three--and promised to review it. Need to get it done. 

What is a book that you wanted meant to read last year, but it didn't happen? My list is endless, so I'll only share these ten. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Musing Monday - January 8

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:  Have you ever read a book where a character reminds you of yourself? How did that make you feel?

It's Monday again. How did that happen? Everyone is into their first full week after vacation. A bit of snow today, but warmer than it has been in days.

I finished The Body in the Casket and my review will appear on Wednesday. Right now I am reading The Song of Solomon Revealed. This is a Bible study book. I'm not too far into it, so I'll reserve my comments until review time next week.

As for this week's question, I can see pieces of myself in characters, but have never really been able to say, "Hey, she's just like me." That's probably good. I don't know how much I would like myself. :)

Hope you'll share what you're reading.

Favorites from 2017

Back when I had more time for blogging, I used to compile a list of 10 favorite books and give out award badges. These days, I'm only reading about 30 books a year. I'm hoping 2018 will break that cycle. Here are a few of my favorite reads from 2017:

What were some of your favorites from 2017?