It’s ART FAIR Week!

This week is one of the biggest, busiest weeks of the year in Ann Arbor. It’s ART FAIR week! The Ann Arbor Art Fair is actually 4 separate art fairs that all happen during the same 4 days all across the city. There are over 1200 artists within those 4 fairs, working in pretty much any medium you can think of, with booths to sell their wares. Then there’s all the food trucks, local restaurants have booths, some of the areas have entertainment with musicians and the like, nonprofits in the area have booths set up for fundraising and just informational purposes, national brands often have giveaways in their booths. It’s 4 days with 4 fairs and it usually brings in upwards of 300,000 people to the area. It’s definitely a boost to the local economy.

One thing about Art Fair that rarely fails – it’s hot and humid during those 4 days and there’s USUALLY a storm at some point. Often times it’s a severe storm with hail and even possible tornadoes. It used to run Wednesday thru Saturday but this is the 2nd year where they’ve changed it to Thursday thru Sunday, which those of us who work downtown say “THANK YOU!” to those who made the decision to switch which days it runs.

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Dealing with the crowds of Art Fair!

Now, the Downtown branch of the library is only one block away from one of the Art Fair thoroughfares and two blocks away from another. Therefore, we get a lot of out-of-town visitors who come in to cool off, use our restrooms, and in the case of storms, we become a storm shelter as well. But that’s about all who come in. Most of the “regulars” stay away because they just don’t want to have to deal with all the traffic and the crowds and the craziness that is Art Fair. Many of my colleagues even just take the days off from work because it’s difficult to get around downtown, finding parking is difficult, and there’s not usually much to do around here at work. Next year, I may join them in taking the two days off, but tonight, tonight I’m okay with working and dealing with the Art Fair chaos.

I get to be on our “Tools” desk tonight, which if you’re going to work during Art Fair, this really is the desk to be working. Our “tools” are what we call our collection of unusual items that we have available to borrow (you can check out the list of things HERE – it’s really pretty cool). It’s so fun to see their awe and excitement over all of the really awesome things we have for people to borrow. 🙂 I enjoy introducing people to our “tools” collections. I enjoy watching their faces light up at all the possibilities. You see, when libraries first started, books weren’t easy to obtain access to. Books are a lot easier to access these days, so our library is working on creating other collections of items that people may want to borrow, but might not want to own. We have all sorts of great things. Lights, amps, and guitar pedals for music (as well as more unusual instruments like thereminis, boomwhackers, etc.). We have models of the human body’s various organs and things. We have telescopes, microscopes, sewing machines, spinning wheels, all kinds of fun things! And tonight, tonight it’s my job to man the desk where I get to tell all the out-of-town people who are here all about them. I love my job. I love being a librarian.

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This doesn’t take any excitement away from the new job that I’m taking over within the library. I’m excited about being behind-the-scenes. My little introverted heart is just beating wildly with joy thinking about not having to be social all day long. Now I get to look at it from the other end. Instead of getting to tell the people all about it, I get to be the one ordering the things and preparing them for all the checkouts and glory they will have as part of our “tools” collections. 🙂

Being a librarian is awesome. 🙂 Art Fair is an acquired taste. 😉

Book Tag – The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Thank you to Birdie Bookworm for tagging me on this one! You should check out her blog. I love reading every post and was thrilled to find out that she’s from SE Michigan like me! The covers are either linked to my review of the item OR the Amazon/Goodreads page for the item depending on what it is.

 

1) The Best Book You Read in 2017

Wish by Barbara O'Connor, Author of How to Steal a Dog - tagline: With a little luck you can get what you wish for. - Sunset background, young girl with long brown hair and short-sleeved green shirt kneeling in the grass with a beagle dog - fireflies flying in the background

Wish by Barbara O’Connor is the best book I’ve read so far this year. It’s poignant, realistic, and absolutely wonderful! It’s meant for the middle grades (ages 8-12), but honestly, I think this book is wonderful enough to recommend to all ages.


2) Your Favorite Sequel in 2017

Book Cover: Once Upon a Spine: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle - background is the front window of a bookshop - in the foreground are a wrought iron table and chair with a teapot & cups/saucers on the table along with a cat. On the chair is a copy of "Alice in Wonderland"

Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle is definitely my favorite sequel so far this year. I really enjoyed this book. Now, I love the Bibliophile Mystery series anyway, but this is one of the best in the series! It actually has eclipsed Ripped from the Pages as my favorite book in the series! Make sure you check it out!


3) New Release You Really Want to Read but Haven’t Yet

BearNightingale

I have been wanting to read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden since before it came out. However, other blog tour books, other commitments and various other life happenings have gotten in the way. I’m thrilled that next week, Jay (from this-is-my-truth-now) and I are going to start this book as a buddy read. I cannot wait to actually get started on it!


4) Most anticipated release for the 2nd half of the year

DreamersSong

Lynn Kurland is one of my all-time favorite authors.  The Nine Kingdoms series is my favorite series of hers so each release is highly anticipated for me! They’re only released once a year, so I have to content myself with re-reading the other books in the series in between new releases. Check out Star of the Morning, which is the first full book in the series. There are two other short stories in the series, but that’s the first full novel.


5) Biggest disappointment of the year

Masked to Death Book Cover - green background on top and aqua background on bottom; drawn "photo" of one man standing behind one man sitting with a Mardi Gras mask

Masked to Death was definitely the biggest disappointment. From reading the description of the book, I really thought it would be fun. Unfortunately, there were only about two scenes in the whole book that I actually enjoyed. 😦


6) Biggest surprise of the year

Book Cover: A Made Marian Novel - Borrowing Blue by Lucy Lennox. Green background with photo of a grapevine at bottom and two men standing together, one shirtless and the other with a shirt on but unbuttoned.

Borrowing Blue by Lucy Lennox was my biggest surprise, only because it was the first M/M romance I’ve ever read so I wasn’t sure how if I’d like it at all, much less just how much I would really end up loving it! It’s such a sweet story and I absolutely adore it and the rest of the Marian brothers!


7) Favorite new-to-you or debut author

Book Cover - Kale to the Queen: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery by Nell Hampton - a largish kitchen with windows over looking the grounds and an island full of produce, meats and a butcher's knife.

I absolutely loved this book. To my knowledge this is the author’s first published cozy mystery, but even if it’s not, she’s definitely new-to-me. 🙂 This was a fun little mystery set in London and dealing with the royal family.


8) New fictional crush

MagesDaughter

I don’t really have a new fictional crush this year, so I’m sharing my all-time top fictional crush, Archmage and eventually King of Neroche, Mochriadhemiach (affectionately known as Miach by most). I absolutely adore Miach. I wish I could find a man like Miach. He’s certainly not perfect, but he’s incredibly sweet, humble (even tho’ he’s one of the most powerful mages of the realm), and completely besotted with Morgan. The Mage’s Daughter is the book that really shows just how much he loves her and I cry almost every time I read it!

** I have not reviewed this one yet, but doing this tag made me realize that I need to review each of the Nine Kingdoms books or at the very least do mini reviews for them! **


9) New favorite character

Book Cover: Taming Teddy: A Made Marian novel by Lucy Lennox; Blue background with a snowy woods scene at the bottom, two men without shirts on the top.
Made Marian #2

Teddy, from Taming Teddy, is my newest favorite character. I just love him. He and Jamie’s story is so heart-warming and wonderful. I love seeing them interact in the other books in the Made Marian series as well. 🙂


10) Book that made you cry

SecretGuideToParis

My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder is a great middle-grade book. There were parts that made me cry tho’ because there were times when the main character was talking about how much she missed her grandmother. It made me think of my grandparents on my mother’s side, whom I was very close to, and both of whom are gone now. I shed a few tears thinking of them.

** I have not reviewed this one yet but it is on the list to review. I’m waiting until I read the latest in the series and then review all three at once. **


11) Book that made you happy

There really isn’t one specific book that really made me happy so far this year. There are several books I enjoyed, but not a specific one that stands out above the rest for making me happy.


12) Favorite book to movie adaptation you saw this year

Beaches

I know it’s old, but I just recently watched it, so I’m counting it. Beaches is one of my favorite book to movie adaptations and one of the few where I actually enjoy the movie more than the book.  It reminds me a lot of me and my childhood best friend, Michelle. We’re always there for each other even if we’re not necessarily as close as we were as children/teens. 🙂


13) Favorite book post you’ve published this year

I think my Happy Valentine’s Day post, with my favorite book couples and my favorite fictional crushes is my favorite so far this year.

 


14) Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

SecretGarden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is my favorite book of all time. I absolutely love this book and have read it more times than I can count. The photo of this cover doesn’t do it justice at all. It’s a forest green imitation leather with the words imprinted in the cover. It’s absolutely gorgeous. 🙂 This is one of just many “special” copies of the book I own. I have one separate copy that I actually read. The rest is just for display.


15) Some books you need to read by the end of the year

brightwood   The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees by Robert Penn book cover - beige background with items made from trees such as an axe, slingshot, wooden spoon, baseball bat, boat oar, etc.   Print   theothereinstein

These are all books I’ve had from NetGalley for at least six months to a year. I really need to finish them and get my reviews up! I’m working on reading The Edge of the Empire in between other books right now. It takes a little bit of reading and then putting it down and letting it sink in a bit. It’s good tho’!

 

Thanks for hanging in there and reading it all! Thanks to Birdie again for tagging me. I’m not tagging anyone and yet I’m tagging all of you. If you haven’t done this tag, I highly recommend it. 🙂 It’s a good reflection on the first part of the year and a nice look forward to the 2nd half.

BLOG TOUR – Calamity at the Continental Club – REVIEW

Large banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan - July 15-July 28, 2017 - includes photo of author and book cover

4 out of 5 stars

Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours blog tour for Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan. I enjoyed this book quite a bit and look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Cover: Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan: A Washington Whodunit - a woman dressed in black with a fedora hat with a drink in hand standing in front of a window with cream shades

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&N

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Synopsis

The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.

Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.

Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.

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Review

This was an interesting and fascinating book. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series!

I enjoyed Kit, Doug, Trevor, Meg and all the other characters in this book. They’re rich, complex, and well-developed. Their antics and their chemistry kept me interested in the story throughout. I’m not a fan of the rich elite, so some of the side characters got on my nerves, but they were well-written. It was just my personal preferences getting in the way.

The plot line moved along at a steady pace, though it did seem a bit slow at times. I still enjoyed the story, but there were a couple of places where it just seemed to drag and I wanted it to move faster. However, I had no idea who was the villain until the end of the book, so the pace didn’t change that at all.

While still considered a cozy, I felt more like I was reading a logic puzzle than a cozy mystery. I don’t mean this in a bad way. I enjoyed the fact that it was more of a puzzle than other mysteries I’ve read. It felt a lot like Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I’m looking forward to reading the others in the series.

I highly recommend this series to cozy lovers and especially to those who love Agatha Christie’s mysteries!

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About the Author

Author photo: Colleen Shogan - middle aged white woman with long brown hair parted down the middle, wearing a sleeveless pink shirt and pretty pink stone necklace

Colleen Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked in the United States Senate and for the Congressional Research Service. She’s currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their beagle mutt, Conan.

Author Links

Webpage – www.colleenshogan.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit

Twitter –  www.twitter.com/cshogan276

GoodReads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269678.Colleen_J_Shogan

 

Thanks for joining me today on another great blog tour adventure! If you want to visit the other stops on the blog tour, please click on the banner below! It’ll take you to the main tour page!

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BLOG TOUR – Engaged in Trouble – SPOTLIGHT

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones - July 10-July 23, 2017 - includes a photo of the author and the book cover

Today, I’m happy to be hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones, the first in the Enchanted Events Mystery series!

I was supposed to be doing a review, which will come at some point down the road, probably towards the end of next week, but I had to change this post to a spotlight post due to having issues with migraines this week. Dang migraines.

Book Cover: Engaged in Trouble, an Enchanted Events mystery by Jenny B Jones - Night sky background with a cityscape a silhouette of a couple standing on a bridge

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Synopsis

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldy property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

weddingrings

Praise for Engaged in Trouble:

Funny and fast-fast paced, this is a great cozy.
~The Book’s the Thing

Engaged in Trouble was a super fun and quirky cozy mystery!
The story/plot fast paced full of twists and turns and surprises that kept this reader captivated from the very beginning.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is a combo of chick lit and cozy mystery. Humor is spread throughout the book with mystery and a touch of romance. It’s a quick read with “laugh-out-loud” fun.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Sylvie and Frannie might be two of my favorite characters ever.
~Bubby at Bubble Bath Books

Paisley was really funny, down to earth, and relate-able. Beau was a great character also. I enjoyed his sense of humor and he brought a level of mystery to the book in addition to the murder mystery.
~Bookworm Cafe

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About the Author

Author Jenny B. Jones - Young white woman with dark brown hair stopping just above her shoulders sitting on cement steps wearing a grey and white striped cardigan, grey shell, and pants

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

Author sites and social media:

Webpage: www.JennyBJones.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jennybjones/
Twitter: @jenbjones

Instagram: @JennyBJonesAuthor
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones

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Thanks for joining me on today’s stop! I’ll try to get the review up as soon as I can next week! If you wish to visit other stops on the blog tour, click on the banner below! It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!

 

 

 

 

100+ WordPress Followers!!!

Dark red-orange circle with light orange in center - Burnt Orange "+100" written across it

YAY!!!!!! I’ve reached 100+ WordPress followers!!! 🙂 🙂 Thank you to all of you who follow my blog, reading it, and many of you are commenting now. I appreciate it! When I started, it was a way to have all of my book reviews and author interviews in one place. I had no idea if anyone other than close friends and family would follow, but here we are at 100+ followers just on WordPress alone!

Thank you!!!!!