Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel Giveaway Winner!


Earlier this week I posted by book spotlight for The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel and along with TLC Book Tours offered a giveaway for the book.

So without further ado the winner is....

Marjorie! 

Congratulations Marjorie. Please check your email, as I will be sending you a message regarding shipment, shortly. I hope you enjoy The Whiskey Sea! 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt


Tuck Everlasting

By: Natalie Babbitt 


Published: 1975


Published By: Farrar, Straus Giroux


Format Read: Paperback


Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle Grade, Classics, Fantasy


Date Read: August 26, 2016 



Rating: 4/5




An uninviting cottage sits aside the road leading to the village of Treegap and nearby stands a small wood that hold a magical secret. In its centre stands a large ash tree and at its roots is a tiny hidden spring. Ten year old Winnie Foster curiously wanders into the woods one day, only to come across a young man drinking from the spring. Parched from the August heat, Winnie insists on a drink, but the young man; Jesse Tuck won’t let her, claiming that it isn’t safe. This encounter would result in an adventure of a lifetime for her as she meets the rest of the mysterious Tuck family and learns of the magic the spring in the woods holds.




Tuck Everlasting is another classic children’s book that I missed out on during my childhood. In fact I didn’t even know this story existed until after I saw the movie starring Alexis Bledel. Although this book is quite different from the movie, I am glad I finally took the opportunity to read it.

Natalie Babbitt did a wonderful job describing the settings of her story. From the Foster’s uninviting cottage, to the landscape of the wood and of course the humble Tuck family home. It was easy to imagine a vivid and colourful picture in my mind.

The characters were interesting and endearing. Even our antagonist; the man in the yellow suit, held charm.

I really enjoyed this magical tale, but I admit that I wanted more. More story, more time with the characters and a longer time-span covered. It was far shorter than I expected and didn’t cover as much time as I expected. However I realize that my expectations were mostly based on the movie plot.

Still, Tuck Everlasting is a wonderfully magical story that I hope will continue to be passed down for generations to come. I would highly recommend this book.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

TLC Book Tour: Book Spotlight: The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel + Giveaway!

The Whiskey Sea
By: Ann Howard Creel


Published: August 2016
Published By: Lake Union Publishing
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble



Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope grows up during Prohibition determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home whenever she is on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks, thinking Sam would be a fine husband for Frieda, she’s outraged. But Frieda manages to talk Sam into teaching her to repair boat engines instead, so she has a trade of her own and won’t have to marry.

Frieda quickly discovers that a mechanic’s wages won’t support Bea and Silver, so she joins a team of rumrunners, speeding into dangerous waters to transport illegal liquor. Frieda becomes swept up in the lucrative, risky work—and swept off her feet by a handsome Ivy Leaguer who’s in it just for fun.

As danger mounts and her own feelings threaten to drown her, can Frieda find her way back to solid ground—and to a love that will sustain her?

Giveaway!

(Open to Canadian and US residents)

Ann Howard Creel’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, August 22nd: Musings of  a Bookish Kitty
Tuesday, August 23rd: You Can Read Me Anything
Wednesday, August 24th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, August 25th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Friday, August 26th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, August 29th: BookNAround
Tuesday, August 30th: Black ‘n Gold Girls Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 31st: Caryn, The Book Whisperer
Thursday, September 1st: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Friday, September 2nd: The Warlock’s Gray Book
Monday, September 5th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, September 6th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, September 7th: Reading is My Superpower
Thursday, September 8th: Write Read Life
Monday, September 12th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, September 13th: Melissa Lee’s Many Reads
Thursday, September 15th: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, September 16th: FictionZeal
Monday, September 19th: Reading the Past

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) by Carolyn Keene


The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2)
By: Carolyn Keene
Published: 1959
Published By: Grosset and Dunlap
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle-Grade, Mystery, Classics
Date Read: August 23, 2016
                                                               Rating: 3/5







Strange occurrences have been reported at the Twin Elms mansion and Nancy Drew is called in to solve the mystery. Meanwhile a new railway line is set to be constructed and her father is the representing lawyer. But when the landowners begin to demand more money from the railroad, Mr. Drew is caught in the middle, which puts his safety in jeopardy. The Hidden Staircase is the second book in the classic Nancy Drew mystery series.


After listening to the first book in this series in audio format, I decided to borrow a physical copy of this second book from my local library.

The Hidden Staircase was an interesting story that held my attention. As this book was first published in 1930, readers of today’s middle-grade generation may find the story dated. However I really enjoy this aspect of these books and would hate to see them updated for a more modern day audience. There is a certain level of respect that the books of today lack. Although the stories in this series may be overly predictable there is a wholesomeness to them that is comforting.

I would recommend The Hidden Staircase and the other Nancy Drew mysteries to those who enjoy classic children’s literature. 


  1. The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) by Carolyn Keene

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monthly Wrap-up: August 2016



Goodbye sticky, humid, unbearable August. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. I definitely live in the wrong province. The weather of my second home in Newfoundland is much more suitable for my likes, that is for sure.

I am so ready for fall to begin. No, not because pumpkin spice everything (yuck), but because of the cooler weather and the beautiful changes in colour. Crunching leaves, apple picking, the smokey smell in the air. Ah I can't wait.

Things are slowly looking up on my end and I am optimistic that it will continue that way. (Fingers crossed!).

Now onto the books..

My Reading Progress:

I did much better with my reading progress during the month of August. Although this past week I'm afraid I've fallen into a slump..

Books Read By Month:
January: 8
February: 5
March: 6
April: 4
May: 8
June: 5
July: 4
*August: 6*


The Stats:

Favourite Book of the Month:

Favourite Cover of the Month:

Favourite Setting: The Tuck family home in Tuck Everlasting
Favourite Character: Tuck (Tuck Everlasting)

Total Books Read: 6
Total Number of Fiction: 6
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 2
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 2
E-Books: 4





What did you read during the month of August? Please leave me your links so I can visit your monthly wrap-ups. Hope you all had a wonderful summer and wishing you a great September.

Hosted by: Book Date

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Obituary Society (The Obituary Society, #1) by Jessica L. Randall


The Obituary Society
By: Jessica L. Randall 

Published: 2014
Published By: Kindle Edition
Format Read: Kindle for PC
Genre: Mystery, Chick-Lit, Contemporary
Date Read: August 16, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5




At twenty-four years old Lila Moore is left to plan her beloved Grandfather’s funeral, which brings her to his hometown of Auburn Nebraska. The very same hometown in which he abruptly left many years prior. Although a charming place where everybody knows each other, Auburn holds some dark secrets that shroud Lila’s family and their home the she inherits. While she begins to renovate the Depression era house she begins to get to know the townsfolk, including a group of her Great-Aunt Ada’s friends who call themselves the Obituary Society. She also befriends a local handsome lawyer and an awkward single father. When strange occurrences begin happening to Lila at the old house, she learns that not all her new friends have the best of intentions.



I was initially attracted to this novel by its title; The Obituary Society and the eye catching cover image of a woman holding a delicious-looking dessert.

Jessica L. Randall’s humorous writing style and the descriptions of Auburn immediately drew me in. I loved the cozy tight-knit community and its colourful case of characters. Great-Aunt Ada’s friends in the Obituary Society were among my favourite characters and they sure proved the devotion to their friendship. I only wish they would have had a bigger part in the story.

Although I found the mystery interesting, I didn’t particularly like the supernatural occurrences and felt it took away from my enjoyment in this novel. There were also a couple of instances involving bird attacks that made me feel very uncomfortable.

Setting those specific points aside, I found The Obituary Society to be a quick and engaging novel that I would recommend to fans of chick-lit. 


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: August 28, 2016


Offline Ramblings:
Hello everyone, 

I hope you are enjoying the last weekend of August. Where has the summer gone? I am really looking forward to the fall and cooler weather though.

I had so much to say in my last Sunday Wrap-up that I forgot to talk about the garden. We harvested all the beats and did we ever get a lot! The picture below shows only half of what was picked.



A photo posted by Melissa Lee (@melissaleesmanyreads) on

It was enough to can 29 bottles. By the time we go through that lot we won’t want to see another beet again, haha. Next up is to bottle some carrots and then finally the pears, once they are ready. I’ve discovered that I enjoy working in the garden, watching it grow and harvesting all the vegetables. Unfortunately the raspberries didn’t turn out for some reason. I wonder if it was due in part to the very dry summer we’ve had. Ah well there is always next year.


My Reading Progress

This week I have been participating in the Bout of Book Read-a-thon and failing miserably. I was so excited to be participating at first. I made good progress for the first day or so, then it was like I just didn’t feel like reading. What a terrible time to fall into a reading slump, eh?

My Reading Progress

I did manage to finish 2 short books though. One of which has been on my TBR since before I began blogging, so I am happy to have finally gotten to it.


This book was enjoyable, but not amazing. I decided on a 3/5 rating.



Such a wonderful story, but far shorter than I expected. I gave it a 4/5 rating. 

Currently Reading

I’m still working on the same books I was reading in my last Sunday Wrap-up.



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Tuesday: Book Review: The Obituary Society (The Obituary Society, #1) by Jessica L. Randall RATING: 3.5/5
Thursday: Monthly Wrap-up: August, 2016

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