The Versatile Blogger Award #1

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Thank you so much to Lisa @ Nefarious Reader for the nomination! This is another case of me being clueless, or just busy, and not realizing that I’d been nominated!

But I am making up for it now. Here is my post accepting The Versatile Blogger Award! For anyone who is unfamiliar, here are the rules.

The Rules

Show the award on your blog!
Thank the person that has nominated you! – Thanks you Lisa!
Share 7 different facts about yourself!
Nominate 15 blogs of your choice!
Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination!

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Yankee Candle Fundraiser for Avon 39

IMG_7349So this is highly unusual. It’s my second non-bookish post in row! I promise I will get back to book-related posts shortly.

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to sign up for the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer in New York this year. Part of that commitment require me to raise $1,800. So far I have raised 26% of that thanks to donations from family and friends.

In an effort to raise more, I have decided to host my first fundraiser. I’ve partnered with Yankee Candle Fundraising from now until April 22nd.

Yankee Candle will donate 40% of each purchase to my Avon 39 goal! So if you are looking for a birthday gift, Mother’s Day Present or generally just need to replenish your candle supplies, consider purchasing through this link so that a portion of your purchase goes towards a good cause.

I’ve been shopping at Yankee Candle and familiar with their brand for most of my life. Here are some of my favorite spring and summer scents: Lemon Lavender, Pink Sands, and Catching Rays.

There are also online exclusives you won’t find in stores such as this flip flop votive holder and the French Countryside gift set:

 

Want to start shopping?

To make a purchase, please go to this link: https://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com

And where it says: “Start Shopping” enter group code: 999967885

You do not need to enter a Seller ID since it’s just me.  That will take you to the portal and then you just shop online like you usually would.  And any online ordered placed will ship directly to you. 

 

Thank you so much for your continued support and I hope you find something that you love!

Where The Heck Have I Been? + Happy International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay-landscapeHello Readers,

Happy International Women’s Day for all you amazing gals and bloggers out there!

You may have noticed that my blog has been very silent for the last couple months or so and there is a very solid explanation for that.

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Where I’ve Been

The long and the short of it is that life got in the way and I couldn’t carve out as much time for writing my posts here as I’d have liked.

Among the things that I was doing: vacationing in Hawaii, sorting through paperwork, baking, holiday shopping, and all the fun things that come up during the holiday season. Then a few months of “Oh my god where did the time go?”

What Does The Mean for Comma Hangover?

You’ll still see bookish content! I have draft after draft after draft of posts that I need to edit, schedule, and post, and I have tags I’ve been mulling over for the last several months.

The other thing about this space, is that I am finding that I want to write about more than just books. While I love books I am also finding amazing products online, gorgeous knitting patterns, and cool DIY products.

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Chief amongst those is my new commitment to the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. I will be doing the New York City walk in October and I will be posting a few pieces here and there about my training for it and my efforts to fundraise.

My reasons for walking are a whole other post that will come in the next several days, but one of the reasons I decided to walk is because of Avon and its history.

It’s a little serendipitous that I decided to register for the event last night as today is International Women’s Day. Avon is a company that has been empowering women for over 130 years.

The company was founded by David H. McConnell who was a traveling book salesman. (See how well this aligns with the origins of this blog? Huh?)

He mixed his own perfume fragrances and offered them as an additional perk to his female customers. He noticed that many women were more interested in the perfume than the books he was selling and since they had a passion for his products recruited them as Sales Representatives and hence gave women the chance at an independent income and giving them some financial independence. 

This all came:

95 Years before the first woman was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court
77 Years before the first woman traveled into space …
76 Years before the first woman took the reins of a Fortune 500 company
34 Years before women in the U.S. had the right to vote
17 Years before the first woman won the Nobel Prize

The Avon Crusade to End Breast Cancer came in 1992, the non-profit this walk benefits, and supports awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to care, support services and scientific research.

So, for this International Women’s Day, please consider making a donation, even something as little as $5 helps, to help crush breast cancer and give women the tools we need. 

The impact helps women get critical things like childcare and transportation to help patients get to their appointments, and grants to help discover new and innovated ways to treat and fight the disease.

So if you have a few minutes and want to support women, please consider donating today. It only takes a minute and every little bit helps.

Waiting on Wednesday #20 // The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


cover98381-mediumThis week I am waiting on The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

Release Date: February 16, 2017

My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.

I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.

From this blurb, I have no idea what this book is about, but I really like it. It sounds spooky and like something that I would really enjoy. I do have The Girl in the Red Coat on my shelf right now, so I will probably have plenty of time to read that first.

Especially since, I have no idea if this is a UK or an international release date. Either way, I am excited for this. I am going to keep an eye out for information.

That wraps up this edition of Waiting on Wednesday. What book are you waiting on this week? 

Waiting on Wednesday #19 // The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


x500This week, I am waiting on The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

Release Date: January 17, 2017

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brotherswith the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

If my other Waiting on Wednesday posts tell you anything about my taste in literature, it’s that World War II is my kryptonite. The war and the post-war aftermath fascinate me with the many lenses we can look at life though.

Something about this novel seems dynamic and I like that it really has to do with the relationship between two women.

I think that it is an American Code Name Verity, in a sense. Either way it sound extremely dynamic.


What are you waiting on this week? Is there a book that would prefer to read amongst all other upcoming releases? 

Waiting on Wednesday #18 // Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


glitter-cvrThis week, I am waiting on Glitter by Aprilynne Pike.

Release Date: October 25, 2016

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. 

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

I discovered this book last week. The idea of this book sounds so odd but still so interesting. Told right, I am sure it will be riveting. I can’t wait to give it a read.

The anachronistic setting particularly catches my interest and I am curious as to how this character will be making this drug within the walls of a “prison,” of sorts.


What upcoming release are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below! 

Waiting on Wednesday #17 // The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


9781681773322_387f0This week I am waiting on The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh.

Release Date: March 14, 2017

A page-turning tale of murder, subversion and vice in which a female medical student in Victorian Edinburgh is drawn into a murder investigation when she recognizes one of the corpses in her anatomy lecture.

Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh’s medical school in 1882, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself: professors who refuse to teach their new pupils, male students determined to force out their female counterparts, and―perhaps worst of all―her female peers who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman.

Desperate for a proper education, Sarah turns to one of the city’s ramshackle charitable hospitals for additional training. The St Giles’ Infirmary for Women ministers to the downtrodden and drunk, the thieves and whores with nowhere else to go. In this environment, alongside a group of smart and tough teachers, Sarah gets quite an education. But when Lucy, one of Sarah’s patients, turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into a murky underworld of bribery, brothels, and body snatchers.

Painfully aware of just how little separates her own life from that of her former patient’s, Sarah is determined to find out what happened to Lucy and bring those responsible for her death to justice. But as she searches for answers in Edinburgh’s dank alleyways, bawdy houses and fight clubs, Sarah comes closer and closer to uncovering one of Edinburgh’s most lucrative trades, and, in doing so, puts her own life at risk…

An irresistible read with a fantastic heroine, beautifully drawn setting, fascinating insights into what it was like to study medicine as a woman at that time, The Wages of Sin is a stunning debut that heralds a striking new voice in historical fiction.

So I will be honest and say that I had the pleasure of getting to know Kaite years ago. Knowing her writing I have to say that I can’t be more excited to read her book.

This sounds like such an exciting premise and I am sure it will be just as rich and eloquent as the writing I read years ago, or better.

Plus, talk about a feminist historical fiction plot! I cannot be more excited for this!


That’s a wrap for this week’s Waiting on Wednesday! What upcoming release book are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday #16 // Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


stolen-beauty-9781501131981_hrThis week I am waiting on Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese.

Release Date: February 7, 2016

From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt’s most remarkable paintings.

In the dazzling glitter of 1903 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer—young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish—meets painter Gustav Klimt. Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Though they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the façade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of Adele’s coffee house afternoons and cultural salons.

Nearly forty years later, Adele’s niece Maria Altmann is a newlywed when the Nazis invade Austria—and overnight, her beloved Vienna becomes a war zone. When her husband is arrested and her family is forced out of their home, Maria must summon the courage and resilience that is her aunt’s legacy if she is to survive and keep her family—and their history—alive.

Will Maria and her family escape the grip of Nazis’ grip? And what will become of the paintings that her aunt nearly sacrificed everything for?

Let’s just be honest, this book may as well scream “Hello! I am Lauren’s kryptonite! Hand me to her and you will not see her for as long as it takes her to read this 320 page beauty!”

This is a World War II story and it is a story about an artist. I seem to be really interested in fictionalized accounts of famous artist’s lives. This year I read the beautiful book Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and I loved the atmosphere that Horan created with a twenty year relationship.

It sounds like Albanese will do something similar here, but it is also a generational story. Plus Gustav Klimt is an artist that I don’t know a lot about personally. I know of his art though, and this book might be a cool door into his life.


What books are you looking forward to? Is there anything you wish you could have right now?

The Sunshine Blogger Award #1

sunshine-blogger-awardSo a funny thing happens to you when your browser locks up on you and you miss the post awards post with questions for you to answer. You suddenly discover three others that you have missed over the last several month.

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I just saw that I was nominated by RemiVFoliage for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so much for the nomination Remi and I am so sorry it has taken me two months to answer your questions.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Sunshine Blogger Award here are the rules:

The Rules

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you
  • Answer the questions that were given to you
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award and give them your own questions to answer
  • Notify those others bloggers of their nomination

Here we go!

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Book Traveling Thursdays // A Soon-To-Be Classic

 

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly feature created by Danielle’s Book Blog and The Girl Who Read Too Much that highlights book covers from around the world.

This week, the theme is our favorite cozy reads for the start of fall.

This week I chose Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. This book is a scary dystopian story that starts off a trilogy.

While Atwood is probably going to go down in the speculative fiction canon for works like The Handmaid’s Tale, I feel like Oryx and Crake will be a significant piece in how humans consume technology, and should be part of the classic canon.

Now, onto the covers!

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