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Month in Review | March 2016



 
Hello, blogger friends! I do hope your March has been a wonderful one. It’s been a strange month here. One day temperatures reach the high 50s and the following day, we get a dusting of snow that, though it doesn’t stick around, does cover the ground. Then, the next week, we’re back into the 60s with a bright sunshine and later, rain that, yes, smells like spring. But then, that’s the Midwest in the “transition season.”  

Another month’s close means another “month in review” here on Finding Wonderland. 

…..Favorites from Month 2016…..
 
 
1. B&N | After months away, I finally got to B&N again this past month. What was most fun about this trip though was spotting Rachel McMillan’s novel on the shelves! Who’d have thought I’d someday find a book blogging buddies novel on one of my bookstore treasure hunts. Let me tell you, it was quite fun!
 
Plus, it always didn’t hurt that I got squeezed in a trip to Starbucks too.

2. Brooklyn | Finally saw this 50s era period film... and cannot wait to write about it!
 
3. Dancing with the Stars | My one reality show addiction is back and I’m loving every glittering sequin happy and overdramatized moment. Who are you rooting for? 
 
4. Downton Abbey | The brilliant series that is Downton Abbey came to an end this past month. Naturally I gushed about it with a final recap, and loved every second.

5. INSPYs | Not only have I and my amazing fellow board members been busy bees reading, today is the final day to apply for a spot on a judging panel. If you’re a book blogger and would like to apply to be a judge (it’s a simple yet really fun judging task), go ahead and apply! If you’re chosen to judge, you’ll be choosing the winning book (out of five novels) in one of seven categories.  
 

…..Favorite Blog Posts…..
(Blog posts that, while not necessarily the most popular, were fun to write) 
 

1. Ant-Man (2015) | possibly the best Marvel film to date.
 
2. Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan | brilliantly fun sleuthing story about amazing characters set in 1900s Toronto.  

3. The Catch: Pilot (2016) | really enjoyed this pilot episode and had fun writing about it.
 
4. The First Dance | 12 Memorable Romantic Dance Scenes in Film and Television | pure happiness to write about all of these memorable moments.

5. I'll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones | a darling "must read" is Jenny's latest.

 
…..Monthly Popular Posts (March 2016)….. 





 

…..Popular Posts the Week of March 24th-31st …..
 

3. War and Peace (2016)
4. Dickensian (2016)
5. The Catch: Pilot (2016)


.......Books Read.......
March 2016
(as usual, it was a very sad reading month meaning my number was low, but I'll give myself a break since the latter part of my month is involving INSPY reading)
 
 
 
  

 …..Around the Interwebs…..

Silver Petticoat:  Following in the footsteps of the norm, I had a fabulous month over on Silver Petticoat. Mainly this might have been because I had opportunity to review two box office films, both of which I loved.

My contributions for the month included film reviews of the following films The Divergent Series:Allegiant (the third of four YA adaptations, this one based on Veronica Roth’s novel of the same name); Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge, Part 2; The Majestic (an oldie but goodie, this one's about a scriptwriter in the 50s who loses his memory); My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (yes, 14 years later, a sequel was released); The Prestige (a terrifying Hugh Jackman period drama).
 
TV Reviews | And Then There Were None (the latest British adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel); The Catch (ABC's new Thursday night drama); Dickensian (a unique BBC period drama that crisscrosses the lives of famous Dickens characters).
 
Articles | I previewed (today) the upcoming box office releases; wrote a list of 12 Memorable First Dances in Film and TV; took a behind the scenes look at the art of cover design by chatting with Anna and the French Kiss (redesign) cover designer Lindsey Andrews.
 
Recaps | My latest series of TV recaps featuring When Calls the Heart. So swing by every Monday if you want to chat about Sunday night's episode.
 
If you're curious to see what else I've reviewed or written about over on Silver Petticoat, you can see my archived articles on the Silver Petticoat page of this blog.
 
-------
 
That is #FindingWonderland Blog's Month in Review.
 
What new discoveries or favorite finds did you discover?
 Share any of your fun finds or thoughts down below. Always thrilled to chat with you, friends.
 

HAPPY APRIL!
 
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) - A RomCom Sequel Done Right


Paris My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

This past Saturday I took another trip to the theater (two in one week is sort of unheard of) and say My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. As much as I enjoyed the first film, it's not one I've watched over and over again. In fact, up until two weeks ago (when I watched it again in anticipation of this sequel), I'd only ever seen it once before. But then I'll leave my comments of the original film there and let you read the review (published today) if you should like.

FILM REVIEW | My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Today, this post is meant to spotlight and discuss the sequel, which my family agreed is every bit as good as the original. There's plenty of laughs, sweet romance (in many different stages - from love that lasts a lifetime to the blossoming of a possible new love) and of course, a crazy family that doesn't know when enough is ENOUGH! But of course, this is all part of the reason why this film is so relatable: because, it's family. We've all been there (minus some of the creative exaggeration) and despite it all, at the end of the day, we love our families.

I reviewed the sequel over on Silver Petticoat if anyone is curious about my thoughts. Find the review over there. (Review snippet and links posted below.)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Toula and Ian

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – A RomCom Sequel Done Right

With fourteen years stretching between films, a great deal of time and distance has been placed between the film that became a surprising success, and this (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2), its sequel. Unfortunately, for many film fans, that’s a long time for a story to sit dormant. Nevertheless, that is exactly what My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 chose to do and perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. With nearly its entire original cast returning, the filmmakers (led by screenwriter and star, Nia Vardalos) behind the one-time smash hit returned to tell a new story about the Portokalos family. Continue Reading ➔

Have you seen this sequel or the original film? What are your thoughts of these cute romantic-comedies? Share your opinions on Silver Petticoat or below. I'm all ears.

Content: There are several sexual jokes, and a scene (played for laughs) showing a married couple making out and undressing in the car. There are a few "funny" jokes about wedding nights and the like. The film is rated PG13.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)



Once upon a time a little Indie film that wasn’t anticipated to live up to its name did that and then some. Its preemptive arrival was of a quiet sort only if you look inside, and you found a big and very entertaining story about vibrant and fun characters. Fourteen years later, everyone is remembering this 2002 film that told a story of family, food and finding love.  

Being 30 for Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) means to her father's old-fashioned thinking, she’s now “old” and past a marriageable age. As a child in a large Greek family, Toula endured her classmates thinking her strange without ever making any real friends. As adults, her sister is now married with two children and is, by her father’s standards, a success. Her brother, Nick (Louis Mandylor), is also unmarried, looking from some leeway and approval from their father but without the added pressure Toula bares. Instead, every day she engages in the same routine living under her parent’s roof, and working in their family restaurant. And then something changes.  

FILM REVIEW | My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

 
Eventually Toula begins to enjoy a sense of freedom when she talks her father into letting her take night classes at the local college. This then leads to her being allowed to work at her aunt’s travel agency, and then she meets Ian (John Corbett). A schoolteacher, Ian is funny, kind and everything Toula could wish for. There’s only one (very big) flaw in her otherwise perfect life: Ian is not Greek. 

Who else remembers this quirky romantic-comedy? I missed seeing this one when it was “cool” but then what else is new!? (She asks sarcastically.) It would be many years later before I’d finally find a copy in one of those “bargain buy” displays and would actually pick up a copy. Since that inaugural viewing, I do believe I’ve only seen this once more when, a couple of weeks ago, my mother and I decided a re-watch was in order. That came about as a result of planning to go see its sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theaters this past week. 

As I said above, to this day, this is still one of the greatest (romcom) box office and Indie hits of the modern era. It took a simple idea and, with the producing talents and help of Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, turned it into something memorable, a staying power unusual to romantic-comedies that has lasted these past fourteen years. The one bit of magic that My Big Fat Greek Wedding captures is the sense of family the script expresses. There’s a relatable, charming value in the story because it shows family in all of its messy and beautiful forms. 

Likely another reason this has stood apart is the cast who, while talented, aren’t the norm the ordinary romantic-comedy headlines. Nia and John have a great chemistry as they take steps to deepen their courtship. The supporting cast of characters too is memorable and fun to hang out with for 90-some minutes as they busily and noisily butt into Toula’s life. Often their shenanigans are as humorous as they are realistic in their depiction (albeit clearly exaggerated and silly to keep within its bubble of romcom bliss).


If you’re a fan of lighthearted romances, and you’ve yet to experience this one, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a must see.  Between the cute premise and genuine emotions the film impresses upon us, it's a classic despite the dated and campy sense of humor. The familial relationships are great fun, and of course then there's the swoon-y romance. That, for all of us romantics, will be enough said.

Content: There is some mild innuendoes about sex lives, mainly coming from Toula’s aunt who attempts to give Toula advice on intimacy; there’s one other scene that shows a couple in bed, sheets scattered about. The film is rated PG.
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Top Ten Tuesday | Recent 5-Star Stellar Reads



As a book blogger, I think I tend to be freer with five-star ratings. In my circles, I don’t seem to notice fellow book bloggers handing out five-star ratings with as great of frequency. This has often made me pause and wonder, Am I being honest in my ratings 

The answer 99% of the time is yes. 

I think I weigh the pros and cons fairly, consider if I liked the book well enough to give it that “perfect” rating and with exception to a few times (mainly referencing books I reviewed when I first began blogging), I feel good about the ratings. As with everything, rating books (which I do in an honest way), is something “personal” a book blogger is tasked with. What I mean by this is, while something may have bothered another blogger, causing them to dock a rating by a star or ½ a star, it may not have been enough for me to feel it warranted a downgrade. And that is perfectly okay.  

This is what book blogging is all about. Our varying opinions and preferences is one of the reasons this community is such fun. And in the end, there’s nothing wrong with this. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday meme invites us to look back at our recent 5 star reads.

Broke and Bookish March 29th

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads
(Or Ten Of The Best Books I've Read Recently if you don't 5 star stuff...or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads)  

With the official topic posted above, let’s have a look at that list. (Book review links embedded in the book titles.) 

1. Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander | Charming small-town romance. Amazon | Goodreads
2. Curio by Evangeline Denmark | Inventive and unique. Amazon | Goodreads

3. Always Watching by Lynette Eason | Lynette’s best yet. ‘Nuff said. Amazon | Goodreads

 
4. Told You So by Kristin Heitzmann | An elegant,  classy and “mature” contemporary romance that is as humorous as it is emotionally heartbreaking (in a good way). Amazon | Goodreads  

5. I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones | Though her signature humor is intact, this is surprisingly, one of Jenny’s most poignant stories! It balances the comedy with the deeper emotional scars of its heroine, Harper so beautifully I wanted to read it again immediately upon the final swipe of the last page. Amazon | Goodreads


6. The End of the World by Amy Matayo | Another Indie novel on this list (Kristin and Jenny’s are as well), this book will rip your heart to shreds and slowly piece it back together with its joyous, healing ending. Don’t miss it! It’s a five-star, classy novel. Amazon | Goodreads

7. Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan | Sassy, smart and snappy. Rachel’s debut novel is about two female detectives in 1900s Toronto. Think Sherlock Holmes meets Murdoch Mysteries with a dash of Downton Abbey tossed in (thinking of a visualization and elegance of the time period, not story). Basically, this novel is historical perfection. Amazon| Goodreads 

GIVEAWAY | Rachel McMillan's Bachelor Girls
8. Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey | No one does contemporary romantic suspense as Dani does. Amazon | Goodreads 
9. You’re the One That I Want by Susan May Warren | Quite possibly my most favorite – much to my surprise, Christiansen novel of the bunch. Susan’s series ender is a gem. Amazon | Goodreads

10. Siren’s Song by Mary Weber | Epic and amazing. ‘Nuff said. Amazon | Goodreads

 

What novels have recently earned 5-star ratings on your virtual bookshelves? Comment down below with your bookish thoughts!  

As always, thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.
 

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The Catch: Pilot (2016) - First Impressions of ABC's Sassy Romantic Caper


ABC's The Catch

Happy day, friends! This past week (Thursday), I tuned into ABC to engage in my "one weakness." Watching the premiere of a new show. That show is produced by popular TV creator Shonda Rhimes. That new show is The Catch, and today I'm sharing my review of it.

My mom and I were both curious about this one (especially being fans of White Collar or The Thomas Crown Affair) so when it finally landed itself a premiere date, I knew it'd be one I'd be curious about. Needless to say, I was 110% in love with the pilot, but that doesn't mean I don't have some reservations. Find out what they are in my full-length review (over on Silver Petticoat) by following the links provided below. 

The Catch TV Review – ABC’s Smart, Sassy and Romantic New Primetime Drama

While I’m not a girl one would call a dyed-in-the-wool feminist, TV shows with strong female leads still consistently pique my interest. Likewise, shows that have a lead with a hidden agenda also intrigue. Revenge (ABC) or Shades of Blue (NBC), for instance. ABC’s latest network show pushes their quest for drama queen title extraordinaire with their newest Thursday night drama, The Catch. The premise is a kind of cat-and-mouse game that promises to be as curious as it will be fun. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat➔

Did you catch the premiere of this new show? What were your impressions? Comment on Silver Petticoat or down below with all of your thoughts! I'd love to chat with you.

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Dickensian (2015)


BBC's Dickensian Amelia Havisham
 
It's no secret that I'm something of a costume drama junkie. When I read about new ITV or BBC drama, I race to discover what else I can about it: who's going to headline? Is the story a remake or an original drama? What's the time period? Who's writing it? The more news-y stuff I uncover, the more curious I become (or rule out as one that gets marked "not-for-me"), and heavens, when the promotional photos begin floating around, fangirling begins in earnest.

Today, I'm sharing one of the recent miniseries that one of my searches resulted in. Only unlike most of my "research" on the genre, I didn't know everything there was to know about this one. As is the usual standard of BBC, this 20-part miniseries is gorgeous. Unfortunately, it's not set (as of now) to premiere in the states (or I can't find evidence of this), but since anything Across the Pond does usually travel over here, I suspect it won't be long and it'll make its way here. Until then, let me know if you've seen this one or are anticipating it. I've love to chat it up with you as this is a very interesting if not totally emotionally fulfilling drama that's as gorgeous as ever and full of a talented cast to bring these vibrant Dickens characters to life.

Dickensian

Dickensian (2015) – A Gothic Dickens Prequel

If you have an intimate knowledge of Dickens then you know the one thing his stories are chocked full of is colorful characters. The only way I know his stories are through the magnificence of small screen adaptations, many of which were produced by BBC or ITV Masterpiece Theatre. Either way, not only do the productions bearing his name boast a litany of characters, they also have unique names.

But what if Inspector Bucket (Bleak House) were called upon to investigate money-lender Jacob Marley’s (A Christmas Carol) death? Or what if the once young and vibrant Miss Barbary who we come to know as Lady Dedlock (Bleak House) was bosom friends with an engaging and happy Amelia Havisham (Great Expectations)? Dickensian answers some of these questions. Continue Reading ➡

Do you have thoughts on this one? Or are you planning to see it? Comment with any of your opinions or fangirl moments.

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War & Peace (2016)


Natasha and Andrei Dance in War and Peace

The only exposure I’ve had to this story was the recent foreign adaptation that was eventually dubbed in English. When news broke that a British version under Andrew Davies and BBC’s deft hand was in the works, I was ecstatic. Seeing a version actually filmed in English seemed the icing on the cake in what would, ideally, be the perfect adaptation of a classic masterpiece.

1805 sees a fierce battle between the French and Russian continents.  The battles the two countries engage in results in mass casualties, and droves of young men finding commissions. Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (James Norton) is one such man. Though he is titled and has a wife with child, Andrei is anything but satisfied in his life. The social nicety’s his name affords him are stifling as is the lack of affection he feels for his family let alone his own wife. In war, he can at least achieve glory and hope to do something good with the remainder of his life. At least that’s what he envisioned… 
 
War & Peace

The Rostov family is also sending a son off to war, but not before their friend (and recent heir to his father's title and fortune), Pierre Bezukhov (Paul Dano) visits the family. A family that includes the happily-married parents Count and Countess Rostov (Adrian Edmondson, Greta Sacchi) of three children; their son Nikolai (Jack Lowden) is eager to join his country’s fight; and their daughter, Natasha (Lily James) is a dreamer who fantasizes about love and the fairy tale of meeting her true love. As the lives of these prominent Russian families intertwine in various directions, some will find their futures are about to come crashing together.  

REVIEW | War and Peace (2007)

Lily James in War and Peace

Anytime a new period film production is put into play there is always a risk of it working over hard to appeal to a secular audience. Such is the case with this magnificent production. Before going further, I’ll address the bad end of this series. I’m saddened that the talents of Andrew Davies (A&E’s Pride and Prejudice) felt the need to waste time on mature content. It’s a pity filmmakers felt, that for this to enjoy a successful run, the only way to achieve this was by visualizing the implications of the stories moral ambiguity (to put it politely). On the flipside the version I watched (US via iTunes) is much cleaner than I'd read leading me to surmise the UK edition has more graphic content.  

Beyond this, this period drama is magnificent. Fortunately, flaws and all, there are enough episodes that deal in only the “pretty” or emotional pull the story can elicit. As a costume drama, this dazzles brighter than a handful of stardust. Just as one would anticipate from a BBC production, the costuming is gorgeous. In keeping with their traditions, there are some ensembles that are obviously modernized. Glossy and sophisticated takes over the better part of this lending a kind of unexpected charm balancing out the modernization.  
 
What surprises me most about the miniseries is the “disconnect” between the stories. The 2007 adaptation (I realize my comparisons to this aren’t needed), did a far superior job of keeping things “smaller” and connecting everything. This series keeps the all of these characters apart. Or at least this is the primary series of events until the third and fourth episodes (which also enjoy a several year jump in the span of the two episodes). Speaking of episode four, it boasts one of the most beautiful dance scenes ever. Not only is the dreaminess of it elegant, I also like that the scene shows the reaction of another character who, later on, factors greatly into the future of the lady.  


War & Peace

In conclusion, Andrew Davies has another stellar piece of TV mastery on his hands. Though with its cast of British talent and production (whom I've not talked of at all, but all are amazing including the charm of James, the sophisticated cool of Norton and gentlemanly Dano plus Aisling Loftus, Tuppence Middleton, and Tom Burke also get starring credits) this does convey a decidedly British atmosphere just the same I found myself not at all bothered by a Russian classic being less than its setting. Though dark as it edges towards its conclusion, with its vibrant use of color, wonderful costume design and talented cast, War & Peace is a masterpiece of a production that rewards a viewer’s patience with the prettiest of conclusions and is something I’ll enjoy revisiting time after time. 

Content: In the final five minutes of episode two, there’s a semi-graphic – clothed, sex scene. Multiple scenes of prostitutes either in bed with men or sitting on their laps during a night of drunken partying, and suggests of incest form. A brother and sister are seen “fooling around” under the sheets; barely avoided nudity crops up 2-3 times. There are a 1 or 2 visual innuendoes. A woman is seen lying in bed with a blood soaked white gown [episode eight - on iTunes] having committed suicide. Many bloody battles take place over the course of the eight installments; nearly all involve scenes of men being stabbed, shot or lying dead with body parts blown off. The episodes are rated TV14.
 
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Q&A with Lindsey Andrews | The Art of Book Cover Design, Part 1



Hello, hello! Today, I'm (again) sharing an article from my week over on the amazing Silver Petticoat. But I couldn't help it. Why is this? Well, because it's an article on the "art of book cover design." Unlike in the past when I've merely gathered awesome book covers to spotlight here, this time I actually put in some research-y work and got in touch with some of the designer's whose work I've liked and admired.


Though I didn't necessarily intend it to be, this has turned into a bit of a series. So, today's "part 1" features the talents of Lindsey Andrews, the creative mind behind Richelle Mead's upcoming The Glittering Court and the famous cover remodels of the Anna and the French Kiss series. Lindsey was so lovely to chat with and I appreciate her going above and beyond in taking the time to answer my questions; thank you, Lindsey. It was a pleasure to host you for this fun Q&A.

Photo provided by Lindsey
Below you can find a snippet (as usual) of the article which not only features Lindsey's interview, but also some of my favorite text overlay designs since the focus of the article (from my pushing it) is the re-designs of the "Anna" series. I invite you stop by with some comments for Lindsey, and share some of your thoughts or leave comments about things YOU would like to know about the cover design process. I'd love to have some feedback as I continue working on this series and chatting with other designers.

The Art of Book Cover Design, Part 1: An Interview with Glittering Court’s Book Designer, Lindsey Andrews

In the five years I’ve been a blogger, one of the many discoveries I’ve made is this: there is an entire community of book lovers who go crazy (in a very positive way) over books and the world from which they come from. I feel quite at home in this world. This includes the amazingly talented authors who write these novels, the publishing houses who buy and market them, and of course, perhaps one of the most important things (because the presentation is everything, right?), the people behind the cover design. Continue Reading ➔
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The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan - Smart and Sassy Edwardian Fiction



About the Book:
Author: Rachel McMillan
Publisher: Harvest House
Source: Author provided E-galley
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: Herringford and Watts, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Historical
Rating: 5 out of 5 


One of my weaknesses is historical settings set in or around the 1900s. I know the blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of Julian Fellowes and a little drama called Downton Abbey. This is partial reason why the debut novel of Rachel McMillan rose up to be one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. Never mind its premise being completely different, it became the one novel I was 99.9% sure of 100% adoring. Helping to sell this educated guess of mine was the beautiful and swirly cover art that featured the old-fashioned art of silhouettes to say nothing of its gorgeous swirly font. As I turned the pages, within the span of 10-15, I was swept into Rachel’s Toronto and the fascinating historical setting of 1910.

GIVEAWAY | Rachel McMillan's Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

Jemima Watts isn’t what anyone would call a rebel. She grew up a good girl and prepared to become a proper society wife and mother. At least that was the plan until she met Merinda Herringford. Merinda is the complete opposite of Jem. She’s opinionated, regularly dons trousers and refuses to play by anyone’s rules. Somehow the two girls get along swimmingly. Their friendship eventually takes them to being roommates and operating a consulting detective agency that Merinda frequently likens to that of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s exploits. When the girls stumble onto a string of unsolved murders, they find themselves in over their heads. But with the help of police constable Forth and the hot-tempered (but oh-so-swoony) reporter Ray DeLuca, they might uncover more than they bargained on finding. 

If I were to keep this review simple, the one word that I’d pin on this novel is “delightful.” Fortunately, I don’t have to leave it at merely a one word acclaim because The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is that and so much more. Readers who appreciate humor in their historical fiction will love this. Thrill seekers who enjoy historical time periods will find their fix inside these pages. Romantics will discover a chaste and swoon-worthy romance wrapped carefully inside the mystery. Given the book’s leading characters are women this novel does have a strong sense of feminism which is why some of the turns did take me by surprise. But I appreciate the balance Rachel gave the subjects. Her voice creates strong characters in Merinda and Jem (whom we stick with for the majority of the novel) and yet, the men in her story aren’t ill-treated, and if they do take some flack, it’s because they allowed it.  

When I look back on my blogging origins up to the place where I am now in this journey, one of the things I never anticipated was reviewing the novels of people who I’d “meet” on this adventure and come to consider friends. Rachel McMillan is a well-known and respected blogger who, as will be familiar to those who know her, has a fabulous sense of humor. (Don’t believe me? Simply go read her sassy tweets with David Huddleston – and if you’re confused by that statement, trust me, this is a thing.) As fellow book blogger Cassie aptly coined  a descriptor for this, ‘Bachelor Girls’ is full of Rachel-isms that will make readers giggle, and flip the pages all the faster. Each layer this story adds is as captivating as the last, and though a sense of completion is found in the final page, you’ll be left wishing the next chapter in Jem and Merinda’s adventures were at arm’s length. 
Though tempted to say so much more, all I will say is this: go read this debut. You won't regret it.

Synopsis: In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever--if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

COMING NEXT FROM RACHEL McMILLAN: The legacy of literary icon Sherlock Holmes is alive and well in 1912 Canada, where best friends Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts continue to develop their skills as consulting detectives.

The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem's flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin--a man with a deadly talent.

While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads--and hearts--with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her own hands full with a husband who is distracted by his sister's problems but still determined to keep Jem out of harm's way.

As Merinda and Jem close in on the danger they've tracked from Toronto to Chicago, will they also be able to resolve the troubles threatening their future happiness before it's too late?

Independence, love, and lives are at stake in A Lesson in Love and Murder, the gripping second installment of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries series. - Amazon, August 2016

Amazon | Goodreads


Sincere thanks to the author for providing a complimentary e-galley of this novel for the purpose of reviewing it.
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Book Giveaway | Rachel McMillan's Bachelor Girls



G'Morning, friends. It's giveaway day because the book Finding Wonderland is touting today is so darn good. Plus, who doesn't want to have a celebrate-all-things-McMillan day!?

 BOOK REVIEW | The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

Rachel McMillan is a familiar name in the blogosphere, but what you might not know (though you totally should) is that she's written a novel. Yes, that's right! Rachel wrote the April 1st release The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder.

With that said, let's (as usual), get the rule details out of the way.

The giveaway(s) is open to all readers. But if you live outside the US, by entering you're agreeing to accept a gifted Amazon Kindle e-copy of the novel. (When applicable, US residents will be offered a paperback copy.) I do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends March 31st.


The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder Synopsis: In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever--if they can stay alive long enough to do so. - Goodreads


Amazon | Goodreads

Tweeting:

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) - An Entertaining Finale To the YA Adaptations



Afternoon, my fellow book loving friends and readers! Today, I have a new review to share with you all. On Monday (of this week), I went to my closest theater and saw Allegiant. Really, this is my chance to actually give a shout-out to my mother (though she never reads these scribbles) and thank her bunches for going with me to see Allegiant. You see, I've not seen any of the Divergent films in theaters because, well, everyone I know in my life thinks I'm nuts for liking dystopian (all the more reason I'm thankful for all of you - I can FANGIRL!). But this time, Mom and I decided to go see this one because a.) school is out this week which means our theater ACTUALLY shows afternoon films, and b.) who doesn't enjoy a mother-daughter day out?


But back on point which is Allegiant. So, yes. I know there is boatloads of controversy surrounding this one because it's not what it should be in relation to the novel. You see, I don't care a whit about this since I've not read the book. Therefore, my review is based off the film as an individual and by that, I actually loved this installment. The romance, the cool gadgets, the acting (Peter's snarky tude though!), and just, in general, it's epicness. Oh yeah, and that EPIC kick-butt rescue scene with Christina and Tris? Pretty cool.


With all that said, below is the review snippet and link. What about you? Did you like this one... what were your impressions of it as a way to further the story? Share any of your thoughts on Silver Petticoat or here. I'd love to chat it up with you!



The first half of the much buzzed about conclusion of the Divergent Series opened this past week, and with it, more controversy and disappointment followed. As nearly all YA trilogies are wont to do, the final novel (also titled Allegiant) in Veronica Roth’s popular series was broken into two parts. Only instead of coupling with its title the ever popular “part 1” and “part 2” title sequence, this series titled its final film (set to arrive in theaters June 2017), Ascendant. In Allegiant, the story of a very unusual girl who leads a rebellion picks right back up where Insurgent left off. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat ➔


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