Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2015 Cloak & Dagger Mystery Reading Challenge




I love to curl up with a warm blanket, a nice hot cup of tea, and a book full of grisly murders and English gentlemen.
I ran a reading challenge in 2013 on my old blog “The Crafty Book Nerd”, but took a break from it in 2014, but instead of trying to resurrect my old reading challenge I decided to just start over with a new title to go along with all the other changes like my blog name and such.

There for awhile I was really focusing on Advanced Reader Reviews and I wasn’t really enjoying reading anymore, I actually fell so far behind in those review copies that I just gave up on reading for awhile. But I missed delving into a good book and losing myself so I decided from here on out that I will only read the books that I want to read and I swore to myself to stop hitting the request button in Netgalley & Edelweiss.

So this reading challenge is not just for all of you but for me to so that I can really get back into my favorite genre!

 So here are the rules should you want to join in the fun:

1.) The challenge starts January 1, 2015 and ends  December 31, 2015.

2.) You can read any novel, short story or author just so that the genre is mystery/crime/thriller.

3.) 1 novel counts as 1 novel( 1 novel is anything over 100 pages) of course but you will have to read 5 short stories to count as 1 novel.

4.) There will be a monthly post for you to add a link or links to your post showing the progress that you have made so far. There will be two link-ups on each reading challenge post, one is a text link-up for those of you who are participating without a blog/through Goodreads/or through another way and then a thumbnail link-up for those of you that are participating from a blog.

5.) There will be a book giveaway each month and for initially signing up.

As an incentive each month’s link-up post (including this sign-up link-up post) will be followed by another link-up post that will be a giveaway of a mystery/crime/thriller from my own bookshelf, just a note that these are used books but I would never give away something not up to par so even though it is used it is still in good condition.

The post for the giveaway and reading challenges are separate you will be able to see which book I am giving away and then you get to decide whether you want to enter for the giveaway or not, you do have to sign-up to enter the sign-up giveaway and then for the monthly giveaway you will have had to link-up a read for that month.

If you read a certain number of novels you receive a rank at the end I will award a secret prize to the person who reads the most books:

5 books= Inspector Lestrade
10 books = Amelia Peabody
15 books = Flavia de Luce
20 books = Inspector Ian Rutledge
25 books = Detective Simon Ziele
30 books= Miss Marple
35 books= Hercule Poirot
40+ books= Sherlock Holmes
Hope you will join us!
Amy

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Had a Very Shiny Nose... Part Five


So I know that this was suppose to be up yesterday but I went to take a nap at around 6:30 p.m. last night and didn't get up till 7 a.m. this morning. My body must have really needed some sleep. So again I am doing double duty today like I had to on Monday.

So we are at Part Five of our 50th Anniversary tribute to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and this part shows some pretty cool Rudolph Printables, so here goes.


These adorable Rudolph Photo Props will add just the right touch to your family photos, Simple Simon and Company also have some Thanksgiving and some more Christmas ones in the same post.




Over at Capturing Joy you can find different Patterned Reindeer Printables so that you can pick and choose which one you like the best to add to a frame perhaps to help decorate for the holidays.



To keep the kids busy during the holidays there is nothing quite like printable coloring pages when you have run out of ideas of what to do. These are only Rudolph Coloring Pages at this link, but click here for some Peanuts Christmas Coloring Pages.



You'll find this next great printable over at We Lived Happily Ever After another great print to decorate with for the holidays. I think if you put it in the frame without the glass and then add a red pom pom ball as a nose it would be even cuter. 


So over at The Partiologist you can find these cute Rudolph Printable Tags to attach to red cake pops. I think this would also work with red lollipops so I made a printable for Rudolph the Red Nosed Lollipop for your own personal use only!


You can click on the printable then left click and go to "Save As" to download or you can print it directly from Google Docs by clicking here.


Thanks for stopping in,
Amy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Had a Very Shiny Nose... Part Four




We are really moving along with our Rudolph tribute posts to celebrate not only Bean's love of Rudolph but also the 50th Anniversary of this Christmas icon!

So we are at Part Four which is just me sharing some cool Rudolph things I found on Pinterest and Amazon, two of my favorite websites.

So here we go...



First up is of course Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Movie, this one is the 50th Anniversary Edition in Blu-Ray and is Prime eligible so if your a prime member you get free two-day shipping.
Bean loves this movie we watch it constantly from the beginning of November till about the middle of January and then I just hide it because I am all reindeered out by then! If you don't own a copy yet just click on the pic and it will take you to Amazon.



This is the Hardcover Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition of  the story based off the movie. The pictures in this book are extraordinarily beautiful and make this book a good edition to your family's Christmas as quite a keepsake. Looking to add this to your family's Christmas traditions just click the picture and it will take you right to it on Amazon.



The U.S. Postal Service has also gotten in the Rudolph spirit this year for the 50th Anniversary to with these cool Rudolph stamps, I was actually mailing out a bunch of stuff the day these became available and quickly picked up a set for Bean, she loves stamps and Rudolph so I got an extra big hug for these! You can order yours here.




Bean loves Funko Figures (she has all the Frozen ones) and when I found this one for these posts she squealed so loud that my ears hurt for at least an hour, there is a lesson here do not show your child anything that will make them squeal when they are close to one of your ears, Parents you have been warned. This little guy is just adorable and you can get him here.



This absolutely adorable Rudolph inspired tutu dress makes me wish my girls were little again, sad face. BlissyCouture over on Etsy is the creator of this fabulous dress. I know that this should have been in with the Rudolph inspired clothes post but I found it after I wrote that post so I had to put it up here.






The antlers have a little bell on them and the nose blinks need I say more. Bean has worn something really similar to every holiday party for like the past three years. Looking to add a festive note to your holiday parties then just click on the pic to find it on Amazon.



This is the coolest wreath but unfortunately they are sold out over on Etsy at Irish Girl's Wreaths but you could always try to come out with your own version!


Even thou the duvet cover (pictured) and the coordinating sheet set (not pictured) are way out of my budget they are still super cute and maybe they are not outside your budget and if so here is where you can buy them at Pottery Barn.

And for our last item I wanted something a little smaller then most of what is above but still has lots of Rudolph spirit to it!



From Hallmark (who in my opinion makes the cutest ornaments) is this wonderful 50th Anniversary Edition Ornament to celebrate Rudolph. Want to add this to your tree this year click on the pic to take you directly to it on Amazon.

Will see you tomorrow for some great Rudolph Printables.

Thanks for stopping by,
Amy

*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to A Bookish Girl. What this means if you click on any of the links that I have labeled as an Amazon link then I make money off of that click or if you buy something I make a percentage of that also.

Had a Very Shiny Nose... Part Three



Now that I am feeling a bit better today we can commence with our Rudolph tribute posts. We are pulling double duty today getting in Part Three which is Rudolph inspired food which should have gone up yesterday and Part Four which is Cool Rudolph Items (which will be in its own post later on)!

Okay so lets get to all the yummy Rudolph food ideas!


I love, love, love peanut butter cups so when I spotted these over at Hungry Happenings I knew they would have to go on our Rudolph inspired food list. The post includes the recipe and great how to assemble photographs.


This one is for all you Bentoholics out there who really know how to pack your kids the coolest lunches ever! Anna at Becoming a Bentoholic used a red dot pick for Rudolph's nose but I think even a red M & M or another type of red colored candy would work out really well to plus it is like a treat. Super cute idea to spread some Christmas cheer around the lunchroom table. Plus all the other kids will think you are like the coolest mom ever!





This is a really great how-to video from My Cupcake Addiction's Youtube Channel for decorating these super cute Rudolph cupcakes.


This is how Rudolph does P.B.&J! Looks totally yummy and the ladies over at Made from Pinterest lay the ingredients and the assembly process out quite nicely with lots of great photos.




I just love this idea with red tic tacs and even though this idea is actually to get you to buy the labeling I still think the idea is genius so if you really, really like the label here is a link to it but I am sure you could probably make your own and it would be just as great!



These are adorable and would make a really cute treat for the kids to hand out to their classmates at their holiday party at school.
B & B lays out the how-to with step by step assembly instructions and photographs, which is always extremely helpful. 

There are tons and tons of more Rudolph inspired food ideas I could share with you but I just wanted to get my favorites in, but if you are interested in more ideas just go to Pinterest and search for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Food and you will get tons of great pins.

Thanks for stopping in,
Amy

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Service Interruption...



I know that this should be Part Three of our Rudolph tribute but my lower back is acting up again so today was spent with heat on my back and my feet up but I am hoping to return to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow with both Part Three and Part Four going up.

Will keep you all posted if I am stuck on the couch again tomorrow.
Amy 
photo credit: Mike Souza via photopin cc

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Had a Very Shiny Nose...Part Two


So here we are at part two of our tribute to the shiny nose!

Sorry it wasn't up sooner I was running around like crazy with the girls today, phew, finally got a minute to sit down.

So part two focuses on hair-do's and accessories and trust me this one is pretty short compared to part one as I only have a few to share with you.



So first up is this super cute Rudolph inspired hair-do. This idea is all over the place Pinterest, Facebook, and even Twitter. If you follow this link it will take you to the tutorial of how to achieve this version of the Rudolph bun.



Totally adorable nails! I envy those who can paint nails my hands shake to badly for me to ever be able to create something like this but I can admire it and if you have a steadier hand then me follow this link to view the tutorial on how to create these nails it even tells you which nail polish brands and colors to use.



Another great Rudolph nail idea, if you follow this link it will show a much better picture like the one above but you get the general idea of how to do it from the image. There is also some other great holiday nail ideas at the same link.

Sunday will be part three which will feature Rudolph inspired food.

Monday will be part four which will feature cool Rudolph items.

Tuesday will be part five which will feature some great Rudolph printables.

Wednesday will be part six, our last Rudolph post, which will feature some Rudolph craft ideas.

I hope you are enjoying our Rudolph tribute series the next topic after Rudolph is all talked out is different ways to save money at Christmas and this includes D.I.Y gifts, including ones that I am making for my girls, so I hope you will stick around for all my holiday talk.

Thanks for stopping in,
Amy 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Had a Very Shiny Nose...Part One



My oldest daughter, Bean (her nickname), loves Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer so I thought I would share her love of the red nose with you in the form of some links to great stuff featuring, yep, the red nose!

Part one is some cool clothes and accessories. 


First up is this sweater she got at JcPenny's last weekend. 
Very festive wore it to school today even though she thought the other kids would probably tease her for it since it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but she still wore it proudly. I did check JcPenny's online but they don't seem to be selling them on there so you will have to check out your local JcPenny's in the juniors department.


Check out these glasses my mom found at the local hospital's gift shop where she volunteers. Super cute! The antlers have little bells hanging from them that jingle when she moves her head. She freaked when she saw them screaming her head off happy.


I found these super cute plush lounge pants over at WebUndies.com completely adorable and Bean does love her plushy lounge pants so I am hoping to get these for her for Christmas!


I found this D.I.Y Rudolph Shirt over at Sew Creative, Crystal Allen is the brains behind this really cool shirt she made with her Cricut Explore.



My mom loves to crochet so I am hoping to talk her into making a hat similar to this one for Bean. This is a free pattern that I found on Pinterest from Repeat Crafter Me.

Up tomorrow is Part Two which will feature fun nail and hair ideas inspired by the red nose! So make sure to stop back tomorrow for some more fun Rudolph stuff.

Thanks for stopping by,
Amy

Sunday, November 16, 2014

5 Things... (List #1)




1.) Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon
I added this to my to read list on GoodReads.
Found on Pinterest the story line looks really intriguing
you should check it out by clicking on the cover.





2.) One of my newest boards on Pinterest
a tribute to all us 4-Eyes out there and
how we rock the wearing of the glasses!



3.) I finally watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
I watched this last night at my sister while chowing down
on some of her famous beer-battered fried chicken! I really
liked it which surprised me I thought it would be to sci-fi-ish
with the fantasy but it wasn't and now I really want to 
read the books.
(Nope haven't read them, And I call myself a Nerd, LOL!)



4.) "Favorite Quote/Inspirational Thing" this week.
I am going to try to remember to say this out loud to
myself every day this week, some me love is needed I 
feel a bit of the blues coming on which always happens
this time of the year, it is only suppose to be 20 degrees
here on Tuesday, sucks.
Found it here: Breakfast at Yurman's (tumblr).



5.) I am now into my 12th week of pregnancy and
"Peanut" is about the size of a large plum! Oh and 
morning sickness is going bye-bye, hooray!


I am hoping to make my "5 Things..." 
an ongoing thing, no assigned date 
just 5 things out of the blue!

Thanks for stopping in,
Amy

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mini Review: Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

Lucky Us
by Amy Bloom
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: Random House
Publication date: 7/29/2014
ISBN: 9781400067244
Pages: 256
Format: Review Copy
Source: Edelweiss





Summary from Goodreads:

 Lucky Us introduces us to Eva and Iris. Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, the sidekick, journey across 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris's ambitions take them from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.

With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine through a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war. Filled with gorgeous writing, memorable characters, and surprising events, Lucky Us is a thrilling and resonant novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life. From Brooklyn's beauty parlors to London's West End, a group of unforgettable people love, lie, cheat, and survive in this story of our fragile, absurd, heroic species.
 


Mini Review:

The best part of this book was the ending, which thank god was a happy one because this book depressed me. I know it got rave reviews but I don't see why it just didn't appeal to me at all.


I Give It:



Thanks for stopping by,
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 


This book contributed to the following reading challenges: Review Pile Reading Challenge; Historic Fiction Reading Challenge; Women's Reading Challenge; Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge; Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. 

Mini Review: Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

Chateau of Secrets
by Melanie Dobson
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian
Published by: Howard Books
Publication date: 5/14/2014
ISBN: 9781476746111
Pages: 400
Format: Review Copy
Source: Edelweiss





Summary from Goodreads:

A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past. Gisèle Duchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medieval chateau in Normandy. Now, with Hitler’s army bearing down, her brother and several friends are hiding in the tunnels, resisting the German occupation of France.

But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child.

A present day story weaves through the past one as Chloe Sauver, Gisèle’s granddaughter, arrives in Normandy. After calling off her engagement with a political candidate, Chloe pays a visit to the chateau to escape publicity and work with a documentary filmmaker, Riley, who has uncovered a fascinating story about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Riley wants to research Chloe’s family history and the lives that were saved in the tunnels under their house in Normandy. Chloe is floored—her family isn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she doesn’t know anything about tunnels or the history of the house. But as she begins to explore the dark and winding passageways beneath the chateau, nothing can prepare her for the shock of what she and Riley discover…

With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past.


Mini Review:

A wonderful example of great historical fiction. Flashbacks show us the past while the rest of the story is in the present day. World War II, Nazis, the Resistance, war-torn France, a secret identity, and of course love can all be found inside the covers of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! 


I Give It:


Thanks for taking the time to stop by,
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 


This book contributed to the following reading challenges: Review Pile Reading Challenge; Historic Fiction Reading Challenge; Women's Reading Challenge; Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge; Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.