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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Murder at the Flamingo - A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery Book One - Rachel McMillan

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book
“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts


Oh, Hamish...My Hamish...Where have you been all my life? Hamish is my kindred spirit. My best friend. The fictional character that I so desperately want to meet. 


Some (many?) of you know that I have recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This is a new realm for me, one that I fell into, kicking and screaming. I was in denial. I didn't want "treatment". Over the past couple of years (although sometimes it is a daily battle), I have come to terms with the ME I am now. I sought help, and now have a management plan in place. But none of it was easy. 

For Rachel McMillan to take something that she has personally dealt with her whole life, and give it to her HERO...It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever witness. I feel like I not only know Hamish...But I know Ms. McMillan better. She opened her heart and let the words pour onto the page. The description is REAL, the emotion is REAL, the pain and the heartache is REAL. Anxiety...is REAL! 


In addition to the anxiety factor...We have all the makings for an intense and intriguing mystery. A suave Italian nightclub owner, a bad guy on the hunt, and a high class born young lady determined to solve a crime. One of the themes that stood out to me in this story, is the sense of finding home.
"What if home wasn't something you were born into but rather something you found and ultimately chose?"
Murder at the Flamingo is a story full of life and adventure! From the North End of Boston to the nightclub scene of the 1930s...You will want to dance the night away with Reggie and Hamish in this new mystery from Rachel McMillan!

I received a complimentary copy of Murder at the Flamingo. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


Coming May 2019


About the Author

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music and theater. 





More Books by Rachel McMillan
Click the cover to learn more


Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva unless stated otherwise. 




Thursday, July 12, 2018

First Line Friday - Façade

Happy Friday!

It must be "Favorite Author Season" for me...First Jody, then Joanne...and now the wonderful Pepper Basham! Pepper recently released this novella as a part of a collection...But you can get it individually now! GET IT! It is AMAZING!!!

Today’s first line is from...

Façade
Pepper Basham



Yet another grand display of extravagance and the idiosyncrasies of the social dance.


Who is one of your favorite authors?


Head over to Hoarding Books to link up with your own FLF post! (Please keep it family 
friendly...Or note otherwise in the link up)

A Daring Venture - Empire State Book 2 - Elizabeth Camden

My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book
As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city--but only if she can get people to believe in her work. 

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nickolas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known.


My Thoughts
When I read my first Elizabeth Camden book, I had no idea what to expect. Now...Five books later...I can say that the characters and the stories you will find on these pages are like nothing you have read before. Unique characters, settings, and plot...You will want to read all day long. And with A Daring Venture...that's exactly what I did. I listened to the audiobook while cleaning my house for 2 days straight...till I finished it. And I am only sad that I didn't get to spend more time with Rosalind and Nick.

Tensions are high when this story begins. Water purification is something that even to this day people argue and fight about. I love, Love, LOVE, all the sciencey* things that are talked about. There is SO.MUCH.HISTORY. and even a few REAL people that show up on the page. Rosalind is a woman "ahead of her time" as a biochemist in the early 1900s. THIS is the kind of history that draws me in and grabs my attention. 

I adore watching the romance unfold. They have a bumpy road, but it wouldn't be realistic if it was all sunshine and roses for Rosalind and Nick. Family drama, unforgiveness, revenge, fear, scandal, secrets...Oh.yes...This is a book you must get into your hands with all urgency! 

I received a complimentary copy of A Daring Venture from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About the Author
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.





More Books by Elizabeth Camden on Bookworm Mama




Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva unless stated otherwise. 



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

From this Moment - Elizabeth Camden

My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book

Stella West's artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination, she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister's death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.
Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board.
Famous firsts in American cities: First subway At 6 a.m. on Sept. 1, 1897, in Boston, more than 100 passengers climbed aboard the first train to travel through a tunnel. In its infancy, the first subway line in the United States provided passengers a 3 1/2-minute trip and cost 5 cents. The tunnel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and is still in service today.
Famous firsts in American cities: First subway At 6 a.m. 
on Sept. 1, 1897, in Boston, more than 100 passengers 
climbed aboard the first train to travel through a tunnel. 
In its infancy, the first subway line in the United States 
provided passengers a 3 1/2-minute trip and cost 5 cents. 
The tunnel was designated a National Historic 
Landmark in 1964 and is still in service today. Pinterest
Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister's death worth the risk to his publishing empire?

My Thoughts
In 1897, Boston built America’s first subway.
Boston 1897 - Building America's
first subway. Pinterest

Historical romance with the added flare of a mysterious death. Who will be brought to justice for the wrongs committed? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. There were so many times that I sat with bated breath waiting to see what was going to happen. And when all the pieces started to come together I exclaimed out loud several times, "WHAT!?!?!?!" (Much to my husband's amusement.) 

Without giving away any spoilers...I just need to say that I may have wanted to purse whomp SEVERAL of the characters along the way. But I love how Elizabeth Camden portrays the human nature. We are flawed creatures and we must constantly grow and learn and change. Large egos, pig-headedness, battles of wills, forgiveness, and passion can all be found in the relationships between our characters. 

Plagued with the nightmares of the past, Stella is relentless to find the answers she needs. Stella's commitment to her family is admirable. However, the way she goes about getting stuff done....Is not wholly recommended.  

Filled with danger and intrigue, mysterious men and imposters, From this Moment will take you back to one of the most memorable times in our country's history. Above all we are reminded that the Lord is always with us, protecting us and guiding us. 

This review is based on the audiobook edition of From this Moment which I borrowed from my local library. I did receive a complimentary PRINT copy of From this Moment. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


An explosion at the corner of Tremont and Boylston during the construction of the Tremont Street Subway on March 4, 1897.  Photo courtesy of...
An explosion at the corner of Tremont and Boylston during the construction of the Tremont Street Subway on March 4, 1897. Pinterest



About the Author
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.





More Books by Elizabeth Camden on Bookworm Mama


Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, author pictures, etc. are not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva unless stated otherwise.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mix & Match Mrs. Meyer's Scents with Grove Collaborative



Some of you know by now that I am an influencer with Grove Collaborative. I absolutely LOVE this company. These products are amazing! This week only, Grove is offering some awesome gifts! Including the caddy pictured above! Read on for more info.


Guest Post from Grove

By now, summer is in full swing. I've fallen into a slow, easy routine since our calendar is a little emptier and we don't have to rush out the door in the morning.

But as much as I'm enjoying these slower days, I sometimes feel like my routine needs a little shake-up.

It's amazing how one small tweak, like changing up your usual household scents, can energize your entire day.

Now is a great opportunity to try a different scent (or three!) because my friends at Grove Collaborative are giving away this FREE set with your first order of $20:

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand lotion
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Grove Collaborative cleaning caddy
  • Free shipping & 60 day VIP trial

I started using Mrs. Meyer's products a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. They're made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, in scents inspired by a backyard garden.

The three Mrs. Meyer's products all come in lavender, honeysuckle (my personal favorite), lemon verbena, geranium, and basil. When you grab your free set from Grove, you can mix and match to create your own custom combination!

Why stick to just one when there are so many fun ones to try? I've tried them all, and I can confidently say that they all smell fantastic and clean beautifully.

If you came to my house right now, you'd see that I have Mrs. Meyers soap and lotion next to every sink in my house. Right now, I have the basil scent in the kitchen, lemon verbena in the guest bath, and lavender in the mudroom. Whenever I use up a bottle, I switch to a new scent. It instantly changes the atmosphere of the room and makes it feel like a fresh space!

I like to keep a few extra soaps and lotions on hand so I never run out. This gorgeous, multi-functional enamel caddy is perfect for corralling extra products until you're ready to use them. (It's also a stylish way to round up cleaning products, gardening tools, or the kids' summer art supplies!)

Another way I make sure I never run out of my favorite products is by using Grove Collaborative. Grove delivers the best natural products right to my doorstep, on my schedule. They make creating a healthy, beautiful home effortless and affordable. I've also discovered some of my favorite cleaning products through Grove. Here are some products I think you should try:
  • Mrs. Meyer's multi-surface cleaner $3.89
  • Grove Collaborative cleaning gloves $6.95
  • Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges $3.95
  • Method antibac bathroom cleaner $2.99
  • Full Circle grunge buster grout and tile brush 6.99
  • Mrs. Meyer's dish soap FREE
  • Mrs. Meyer's hand soap FREE
  • Mrs. Meyer's hand lotion FREE
  • Grove Collaborative cleaning caddy FREE
You'll get all these products for $24.77 plus free shipping when you place your first order from Grove Collaborative! And when you sign up for Grove right now, you'll also get a free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you'll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service.



Here's how to take advantage of the free offer:

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here http://influencer-tracking.grove.co/SF2i2. You will receive your free Mrs. Meyer's Summer Set gifts!

New Customer Offer:
Mrs. Meyer's hand soap
Mrs. Meyer's hand lotion
Mrs. Meyer's dish soap
Grove cleaning caddy

Existing Customer Offer:
Grove walnut scrubber sponges

2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.

3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.


I personally recommend the Honeysuckle and the Lavender scents. I love LOVE this brand and these products! So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!