The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

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Overview

Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

Review

Olivia is in competition to win an add campaign for NYC Transit Authority. She comes across an old add campaign called The Subway Girls. This leads her to find more than just history.  It could lead her to find love!

This story rotates between the present and the past, between Charlotte and Olivia.  Charlotte was an original subway girl. She has her own tale to weave. And it intersects with Olivia, very conveniently, I might add. I do not want to give anything away…just read the book!

Olivia is not one of my favorite characters.  She makes some really stupid decisions and she does not fight for herself like I expect her to. She is in advertising. A very competitive profession. She does not seem to have the edge needed to be where she is.

I enjoy the flow of this book. The rotation between time periods is superbly done.  There is almost a cliff hanger after every chapter and this kept me reading faster and faster. I also love the history in this tale.  I actually researched more about the subways girls original add campaign. I love a book that’s has me researching!

Don’t miss this one!

 

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Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

 

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A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in an extraordinary time.

 

Review

Emmy responds to an add for a job at a newspaper. She wants to be a war correspondent.  Little does she know, the job is as far a way from the war as can be.  She is an assistant to Mrs. Bird.  Mrs. Bird is an advice columnist.  Mrs. Bird is very strict and meticulous.  She only answers certain letters.  The rest she refuses to even consider. And she has a LONG list of taboo topics. Well! Emmy takes it on herself to answer some of these letters. You can guesss where this leads.

I love Emmy’s rebellious nature. She has plans to be good but then she just can’t. She tickles me to death.  I love when she gives herself “a stern talking to!”  She is a character after my own heart.  She is not perfect.  She is perfectly flawed!

This read is humorous but it has its shares of tragedy as well.  Bunty and her fiancé are caught in a bombing and this will rip your heart out.  Would I put this in the same class as The Lilac Girls? No. But, it is a very good read. Actually it is a great mix of humor and tragedy.  You will be laughing one minute and crying the next.  So LOOK OUT!

I received this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for a honest review.

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The Summer Wives By Beatriz Williams

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season—a spellbinding novel of romance, murder, class, power, and dark secrets set in the 1950s and ’60s among the rarified world of a resort island in the Long Island Sound . . .

In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound as a naive eighteen year old, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. Although a graduate of the exclusive Foxcroft Academy in Virginia, Miranda has always lived on the margins of high society. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

But beneath the Island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans–the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph has enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and has a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same–determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naive teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice to the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island

Review

Miranda returns to Winthrop Island after a terrible accident. She may have returned under tragic circumstances but she had also left years earlier in a cloud of suspicion.

There are a good many characters in this story so, as a reader, you have to pay attention or it can get confusing. I enjoyed Miranda. She is tough, tougher than she looks. Plus, she has a big heart. There is Isobel. She is sort of a wild child. There is Hugh. He is Miranda’s brother, who is named after her step father, Hugh Fisher. Hugh Fisher allegedly (key word here) gets murdered by Joseph Vargas. These are just a few characters needed to tell this story.

I enjoyed the mystery of this read.  What happened to Hugh? Who did it? Did Joseph really do it? If not then who did?  The mystery is really what keeps this tale alive and kicking.  And Isobel…she is the best character out of the whole book she beats to her own drum with some heartbreaks along the way.

This story is typical Beatriz Williams. Different narrators, different stories, different time periods all melding into a great tale. No one weaves a story through different generations quite like this author. I have read and loved all of her books. But, I did feel this story dragged a good bit. I wanted a little more action. It is a wonderful tale just a bit slow in places.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

 

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Eagle and Crane by Suzanne Rindell

Overview

Two young daredevil flyers confront ugly truths and family secrets during the U.S. internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, from the author of The Other Typist and Three-Martini Lunch.

Louis Thorn and Haruto “Harry” Yamada — Eagle and Crane — are the star attractions of Earl Shaw’s Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family’s belief that the Yamadas — Japanese immigrants — stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family.

When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they’re both drawn to Shaw’s smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw’s planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don’t add up.

Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth. By turns an absorbing mystery and a fascinating exploration of race, family and loyalty, Eagle and Crane is that rare novel that tells a gripping story as it explores a terrible era of American history.

Review

Louis and Harry are friends but yet enemies. To say their relationship is complicated is an understatement. Harry and Louis attend a flying circus. Harry decides he wants to WALK THE WING of the plane. Well! Louis is not to be outdone. They both do it and do it splendidly! They decide to join this flying circus and be stuntmen. This is just the beginning of their tale.

Harry is Japanese at a time in our country’s history when it is not too popular to be Japanese. His family is ridiculed and eventually placed in an internment camp due to Executive Order 9066. He and his father escape and this puts the FBI on their trail. Then they are both killed in a plane crash…so what happened?

This is just one of the great storylines in this read. The camps, the flying circus, the mystery of the plane crash kept me glued to this book. I read it in two days!

The author did a fabulous job with the historical research. And there is a lot of history in this read and it ties the whole story together. How the flying circus survived, how awful the camps were, how terrible it was to be Japanese are just a few fascinating facts floating throughout this tale.

The story is a little long and has a large amount of description. But, it is unique in many ways. With the flying circus, WWII, Japanese Camps and the mystery, I was hooked.

 

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Home is Where the Bark Is by Stella St. Claire – Book Spotlight

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Home Is Where the Bark Is

By Stella St. Claire

Genre: Cozy Mystery

 

Willow Wells is officially an entrepreneur. With the first phase of her dog gym’s renovation complete, and a success, Willow is ready for more. A doggie spa to be exact. The plan is to win an upcoming dog show, not only giving her the funds for the expansion but a national advertising campaign with the winning dog, Lady Valkyrie. Everything is going according to plan—and Willow can see the future in all its gold medal and dog grooming glory—until Terry Gib, Lady Valkyrie’s owner, is accused of murder.

Willow thought that Terry had come to Pineview just for training, but it turns out Terry has ties to the town; a painful past that links her to a local bed and breakfast owner. And now that owner is dead. As Willow races to clear Terry and save their chance at victory with Lady Valkyrie, the rest of her life begins to fall apart too. Wednesday is distracted, her father is anxious, and Griffin, the man she’s coming to depend on, is threatening to leave her—so he can woo her.

Now Willow is forced to make some big decisions: about who she trusts, who she should believe, and who she should date, before she loses it all forever.

 

About the Author

Stella lives and breathes cozy mysteries! With her head always buried inside these books, it’s no wonder that she would put pen to paper to bring her own cozy mysteries to life. The words flew onto the page, and she’s already teeming with ideas for the next cozy mystery series.

With her trusted canine by her side, it seemed only natural to be inspired by her beautiful beagle Doogle and the many hours they spent walking through scenic New England villages. When Stella’s not reading books, she’s off on road trips, exploring every nook and cranny in neighboring towns, seeking inspiration for her next book. She’s keen to see what her fellow cozy critics think of “Happy Tails Dog  Walking Mysteries,” so please leave a review and share your thoughts on Stella’s Website, Facebook, Bookbub or Goodreads!

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/stellastclaire/

www.stellastclaire.com

On Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Stella_StClaire

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stella-st-claire

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Stamplistic cards #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stamplistic #spectrumnoir

Same stamp two looks.

The stamp is Stamplistic. I colored with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.

Thanks for stopping by!

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The Palm Reader by Christopher Bowron

Overview

Jackson Walker once again faces his demons in this haunting sequel to Devil in the Grass.

Now working as an investigative lawyer for Peter Robertson, Jack teams with Janie Callaghan to solve the disappearance of a sleazy client specializing in taboo pornography. Meanwhile the evil head of the Church of Satan weaves an intricate web to lure Walker as the sacrificial lamb in an Everglades Black Mass ritual.

Review

Jackson is on the trail of a Russian ring of pornographers, thanks to a client. This client is just plain trash. He was arrested because of child pornography. This leads Jackson to the Russians. The whole time….strange things are happening. Jackson is blaming the Russians, but is it really? Could it have something to do with the Church of Satan?

I have not read the first book in this series, The Devil in the Grass. I will go back and pick it up. If it is half as good as this one…I gotta have it.

I loved the strange characters in this book. I think Lolita and Jackson’s grandad, Nathan, are my favorite. Nathan is an Indian shaman and Lolita is a palm/ tarot card reader. Plus, there is Jackson. He is one tough lawyer. He doesn’t always play by the rules. That is what I like about him!

There are places in this story that are disjointed, especially at the beginning. I think it is the way the author introduces all the players. It takes a few chapters to actually figure out what is going on. But when you do…WOW!

Sometimes you just need a little change of pace. Well! This one is definitely a change of pace! Let me tell you, this book is evil, hypnotic and downright scary! This is not a read for every one. But, if you need a fast paced thriller…GET THIS ONE!

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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