Storybook Style: America’s Whimsical Homes of the 1920s by Arrol Gellner and Douglas Keister

ardg storybook

Storybook style, fairy tale, Disneyesque, Hansel and Gretel–these are all synonyms for what is surely the most delightful residential style of the twentieth century. With their romantic evocation of faraway lands and eras, storybook homes were created by architects and builders with a flair for theater, a love of fine craftsmanship, and above all a sense of humor–attributes that make them especially endearing to the jaded modern eye. The storybook style was born on the backlots of Hollywood in the 1920s, where brilliant set designers first learned to evoke the exotic architecture of medieval Europe and the Middle East. Movie-going Americans became fascinated with these settings, and architects and builders were quick to capitalize on this enthusiasm. The whimsical style soon spread from coast to coast, and the unforgettable results are portrayed here.

These Storybook style (also know as Whimsy) homes, are shown in these beautiful photographs.  With the potted history of how they came about during the 1920’s, when Hollywood was Hollywoodland, and the movie industry was just taking off.  The area was a blank canvas for building New select homes, with the mish mash of styles taken from Europe, and by using theatrics and craftsmen to create and conjure up these beautiful homes.

This stunning book is for anyone that loves ‘Home & Garden’ magazine, or just like me, like’s being plain nosey!

Would be perfect to grace any coffee table.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Published by Schiffer Publishing, and downloaded via NetGalley.

4 Stars****

High Sierra: The Range of Light by Fred Wayman

high sierra

The Sierra Nevada Mountains, which many consider the most beautiful range in the world, don’t easily reveal their treasures, but this photographic compilation, the result of over 30 backpacking trips in the remote high country, reveals the spirit and beauty of a national gem through brilliant images.

Focusing on carefully selected landscapes captured from virtually impossible vantage points, the photographs reflect a genuine Sierra back-country experience. Witness the disappearing edges between water and rocks at Lake Aloha, the scant vegetation peeking out between slabs of smooth granite in Cherry Creek Canyon, and read about the natural processes that led to the creation of waterfalls, glaciers, and lakes.

The painstakingly crafted compositions demonstrate how light can determine the way one sees and remembers a landscape. Musings about the Sierra Nevada by naturalists, mountaineers, and writers, including John Muir, Norman Clyde, Jane Wilson Howarth, and Jack Kerouac, complement the arresting photography.

A book of an area, that many will never visit.

With breathe taking pictures, that allow your imagination soar.

The sheer beauty of the pictures, is a must for any armchair traveller.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Published by Schiffer Publishing, and downloaded via NetGalley.

4 Stars****

The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co. #5) Sampler Chapter – by Jonathan Stroud

js empty grave

Although this was only the sample of the first chapter of the 5th and final Lockwood and Co. series, it left me wanting more!

The story starts with the gang trying to find the entrance to the tomb of the late Marissa Fittes, the first and greatest psychic investigator and founder of the Fittes Agency.

But rumour has it that she isn’t dead, but is alive and well and pretending to be her supposed grand-daughter, Penelope Fittes.  The same Penelope Fittes who is head of the Fittes Agency and probably the most powerful person in London.

Lockwood & Co. are about to find out if it is true or not…

The Lockwood & Co series are a spooky, fun filled series…and not to be missed.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Penguin Random House UK/Corgi Children’s and download via NetGalley.

5 Stars*****

Cozy Series I would like to see in Audio.

Been wool gathering.  Which seem to happen a lot lately.  And playing the game…

What if?

My ‘What If’s’ is…cozy series I would love to see in audiobook format, and available Internationally.

Here is my list of series I would like to see in audio.

Cackleberry Club Mysteries – Laura Childs.

Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries – Anne Canadeo.

Southern Cousins Mysteries – Peggy Webb.

Callie Parrish Mysteries – Fran Rizer.

Body of Art Mysteries – Ritter Ames.

Mack’s Bar Mysteries – Allyson K. Abbott.

Hampton Murder Mysteries – Carrie Doyle.

The Clock Shop Mysteries – Julianne Holmes.

Zodiac Mysteries – Connie di Marco.

Twin Sister Mysteries – June Shaw.

Tangled Web Mysteries – Sadie Hartwell & Greek to Me Mysteries – under Susannah Hardy.

Cora Crafts Mysteries – Mollie Cox Bryan.

Costume Shop & Material Witness Mysteries – Diane Vallere.

Bay Island Psychic Mysteries – Lena Gregory.

Living History Museum Mysteries – Amanda Flower.

Sketch in Crime Mysteries – Deirdre Verne.

Claire Hanover Mysteries – Beth Groundwater.

Arabella Beaumont Mysteries – Pamela Christie.

Wiccan Wheel Mysteries – Jennifer David Hesse.

Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mysteries – Kirsten Weiss.

Bad Luck Cat Mysteries – Kay Finch.

Lady Montfort Mysteries – Tessa Arlen.

Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries – Vickie Fee.

Both of Julia Buckley’s series.

Bucket List Mysteries – Elizabeth Perona.

All of Linda Wiken/Erika Chase books.

Charlotte Brody Mysteries – Cathy Pegau.

Wedding Planner Mysteries – Stephanie Blackmoore.

Popcorn Shop Mysteries – Kristi Abbott.

Farmer’s Daughter mysteries – Peg Cochran.

Elizabethan Mysteries – Amanda Carmack.

Tara Holloway Mysteries – Diane Kelly.

Haley Randolph Mysteries – Dorothy Howell.

Silver Six Mysteries – Nancy Haddock.

Postmistress Mysteries – Jean Flowers.

Chocolate Whisper Mysteries – Colette London.

All of Sue Ann Jaffarian series.

All of Laura DiSilverio series.

Taste of Texas Mysteries – Rebecca Adler.

Bookmobile Cat Mysteries – Laurie Cass.

Giulia Driscoll Mysteries (plus the 3 earlier books) – Alice Loweecey.

Bird Lover’s Mysteries – J.R. Ripley.

Carson Stables Mysteries – Leigh Hearon.

All of Nancy J. Parra, including the New Wine Country Tours series, the rest of Nancy Coco’s and the New series under the names Nell Hampton.

All of Laura Bradford & Elizabeth Lynn Casey books.

All of Casey Daniels & Kylie Logan books.

Would love to see all of Mary Daheim’s, Carolyn Hart’s and Joan Hess’s books in audio, and available Internationally.

The list is endless!

But unfortunately most of these, would be like whistling in the wind!

 

Audible UK…New Releases. July 2017

So we come to July.  Birthday month!  Here are some of the audiobooks out and coming out at the moment.  Full listing for July will be updated at the beginning of August.

1st July

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love – Sidney Chambers #6 – James Runcie.

Snowballs and Scotch Mist – Belchester Chronicles #3 – Andrea Frazer.

The Poisoned Chocolate Case – British Library Crime Classics – Anthony Berkeley.

Paving New Roads – Rowland Sinclair #4 – Sulari Gentill.

3rd July

Tip A Hat to Murder – Logland Mysteries #1 – Elaine L. Orr.

4th July

A Panicked Premonition – Psychic Eye Mysteries #15 – Victoria Laurie.

Fabulous Witch – Torrent Witches Cozy Mysteries, Book #4 – Tess Lake.

Watching the Detectives – The Country Club Murders, Book #5 – Julie Mulhern.

Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My – A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery, Book #6 – Denise Swanson.

5th July

Merry Murder – A Fiona Quinn Mystery Book #2 – C. S. McDonald.

The Château Murder – Molly Sutton Mysteries, Book #5 – Nell Goddin.

Land of the Free – Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries, Book #11 – Donna Ball.

11th July (My Birthday)

Death in D Minor – Gethsemane Brown Mystery #2 – Alexia Gordon.

Perish from the Earth – The Lincoln and Speed Mysteries, Book #2 – Jonathan F. Putnam (probably not strict ‘cozy’, but added it anyway).

The Crêpes of Wrath – Pancake House Mystery Series, Book #1 – Sarah Fox.

Murder at Lowry House – Hazel Martin Mysteries, Book #1 – Leighann Dobbs.

Kiss My Witch – Bless Your Witch, Book #2 – Amy Boyles.

Ten Dead Comedians – A Murder Mystery – Fred Van Lente.

Bad Vice – Gotcha Detective Agency Series, Book #5 – Jamie Lee Scott.

13th July

A Killer in Winter – The Ninth Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle – Susanna Gregory.

20th July

The Devil’s Disciples – The Fourteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew – Susanna Gregory.

To Kill or Cure – The Thirteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew – Susanna Gregory.

A Vein of Deceit – The Fifteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew – Susanna Gregory.

The Hand of Justice – The Tenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew – Susanna Gregory.

Missing in Christmas River – Christmas River Cozy, Book #9 – Meg Muldoon.

Letters to Die For – To Die For, Book #4 – Richard Houston.

27th July

The Killer of Pilgrims – The Sixteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew – Susanna Gregory.

Death Knocks Twice – Death in Paradise Mystery #3 – Robert Thorogood.

 

 

 

 

 

Audible UK…New Releases. June 2017

New audiobooks from Audible UK for June 2017.

1st June

Party Girls Die in Pearls – Oxford Girl Mystery – Plum Sykes.

Scarweather – British Library Crime Classics – Anthony Rolls.

The Case of the Gilded Fly – Gervase Fen Mystery – Edmund Crispin.

6th June

Death & the Gravedigger’s Angel – Auction Block Mysteries #3 – Loretta Ross.

Only Skein Deep – Knitting Mystery #5 – Maggie Sefton.

Death on Nantucket – Merry Folger #5 – Francine Matthews.

The Ghost Who Wasn’t There – Eli Carter & the Ghost Hackers Paranormal Mysteries #2 = Angela Pepper.

7th June

A Killer Retreat – Downward Dog Mystery #2 – Tracey Weber.

8th June

Death Around the Bend – Lady Hardcastle #3 – T. E. Kinsey.

Catnapped – Klepto Cat Mystery #1 – Patricia L. Fry.

12th June

Till Death do us Tart – Oxford Tea Room Mysteries #4 – H. Y. Hanna.

The Dead Shall be Raised – Inspector Littlejohn – George Bellairs.

Peppermint Chocolate Murder – Maple Hills Cozy #2 – Wendy Meadows.

13th June

The Dog Who Barked Fire – Eli Carter & the Ghost Hackers Paranormal Mysteries #3 – Anela Pepper.

14th June

Wicked Season – Ivy Morgan #7 – Lily Harper Hart.

The Light Keeper’s Legacy – Chloe Ellefson #3 – Kathleen Ernst.

20th June

Maigret and the Tall Woman – Inspector Maigret # 38 – Georges Simenon.

Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters – Inspector Maigret #39 – Georges Simenon.

Elementary, She Read – Sherlock Holmes Bookshop #1 – Vicki Delany.

Puppies in Paradise – T J Jensen #5 – Kathi Daley.

22nd June

Dark Dawn Over Steep House – Gower Street Detective Mystery #5 – M. R. C. Kasasian.

Lady Justice and the Cruise Ship Murders – Lady Justice Mysteries #11 – Robert Thornhill.

23rd June

Single Malt Murder – Whiskey Business #1 – Melinda Mullet.

Violet Vanquishes a Villain – Victorian San Francisco Novella – M. Lousia Locke.

The Antique House Murders – Oakwood Mysteries #2 – Leslie Nagel.

27th June

The House of Memory – Pluto’s Snitch #2 – Carolyn Haines.

Come Helen High Water – River Road Mystery #4 – Susan McBride.

Lowcountry Bonefire – Liz Talbot #6 – Susan M. Boyer.

Death of a Bachelorette – Jaine Austen #15 – Laura Levine.

Menace in Christmas River – Christmas River Cozy #6 – Meg Muldoon.

The Honeyed Taste of Deception – Walking Calamity #4 – Ceecee James.

Burned Bridges – Zoe Chambers Mystery #3 – Annette Dashofy.

29th June

Rooted in Evil – Campbell and Carter Mysteries #5 – Ann Granger.

Chocolate Can Kill – Emily Harris Mystery #1 – Annie Acorn.

30th June

Witch is When the Floodgate Open – Witch P.I. #7 – Adele Abbott.

A Bead in the Hand – Glass Bead Mystery #2 – Janice Peacock.

 

 

Audible UK…New Releases. May 2017

Here are the releases for May 2017.

1st May

Murder in the Museum – Inspector Shelley #2 – John Rowland (British Library Crime Classics).

2nd May

Murder in the Bowery – The Gaslight Murders #20 – Victoria Thompson.

Walking on My Grave – Death on Demand #26 – Carolyn Hart.

Dead and Berried – Cranberry Cove #3 – Peg Cochran.

4th May

The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star – Baby Ganesh Mysteries #3 – Vaseem Khan.

A Death in the Dales – A Kate Shackleton Mystery #7 – Frances Brody.

Death at the Seaside – A Kate Shackleton Mystery # 8 – Frances Brody.

5th May

The Case of The Irate Witness – Perry Mason #85 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

6th May

Murder on Pointe – Fiona Quinn #1 – C. S. McDonald

9th May

Edited Out – A Mysterious Detective Mystery #2 – E. J. Copperman (aka Jeff Cohen).

Death in the Cold Hard Light – Merry Folger Mysteries #4 – Francine Matthews.

Lattes, Ladyfingers, and Lies – Cape Bay Café #4 – Harper Lin.

Double Up – Davis Way Crime Caper #6 – Gretchen Archer.

Murder by Manicure – Bad Hair Day #3 – Nancy J. Cohen.

11th May

Killer Review – Painted Lady Inn #3 – M. K. Scott.

Murder in the Air – Twin Lakes Mysteries #2 – Marilyn Levinson.

12th May

Laced in Lies – Shelby Nichols #10 – Colleen Helme.

15th May

Lady Justice and the Book Club Murders – Lady Justice Mysteries #10 – Robert Thornhill.

Murder is for Keeps – Penny Brannigan #8 – Elizabeth J. Duncan.

16th May

Mother’s Little Helper – Margie Peterson #3 – Karen MacInerney.

Magic in Christmas River – Christmas River #7 – Meg Muldoon.

Death Abstract – Katherine Sullivan #2 – Emily Barnes.

A Book to Die For – To Die For Mysteries #2 – Richard Houston.

Sticks and Bones – Sarah Booth Delaney #17 – Carolyn Haines.

17th May

The Stiff in the Study – Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries #2 – Shea MacLeod.

18th May

The Novice’s Tale – Oxford Medieval Mysteries #2 – Ann Swinfen.

22nd May

Death of a Wolfman – Lily Gayle Lambert #1 – Susan Boles.

Bones and Arrows – Sarah Booth Delaney #16.5 – Carolyn Haines.

23rd May

Southern Fried – Kenni Lowry Mysteries #2 – Tonya Kappes.

24th May

Cherringham – Episodes 16 to 18 – Matthew Costello and Neil Richards.

26th May

Dying for a Dude – Laurel McKay Mystery #4 – Cindy Sample.

30th May

Scared Witchless – Bless Your Witch Series #1 – Amy Boles.

Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse – Aunty Dimity Mysteries #22 – Nancy Atherton.

31st May

Waves of Murder – Fiona Quinn Volume 2 – C. S. McDonald.

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness #1) by Rhys Bowen

rb Royal spyness

First in the Series.

This is one of the most delightful and fun historical mysteries out.  Laugh out loud funny.

Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne, is flat broke.  And escapes to London from the families Scottish seat, so as to not be married off to a foreign prince…aptly dubbed ‘Fishface’.

Having to find work is not going to be an easy task, as she has never had to do any work in all of her 21 years.

Sacked from Harrods after a couple of hours (due to her multi-married mother).  Learned to build a fire in the hearth.  Fallen for an absolutely unsuitable Irish peer.  Made a few quid housekeeping incognita, and has been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son.

Then to top everything off, finds a horrible French man who is trying to steal the family estate, dead in her bath tub.  And her brother the Duke is accused of murder.

Now she has to clear her brother and their very old family name.

Loved this highly funny historical mystery.  And look forward to reading more of Georgie’s adventures.

With a good set of characters, in a well plotted and written mystery.

5 Stars*****

 

Audible UK…New Releases. April 217

I know.  I have been a bit slack on updating the New Releases from Audible UK.  So I have decided to do a bit of back-tracking.  So I’m starting off with April 2017.

Sorry in advance, if I have missed anyone off.

4th April

The Valley of the Shadows – Cornish Mysteries – Carola Dunn.  (Still not tried this series by Carola.  Carola also writes the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries).

6th April

The Third Nero – Flavia Albia #5 – Lindsey Davis  (Met Lindsey a couple of years ago.  If you like her Falco books, I’m sure you will love the Flavia books as well).

Murder on the Pilgrims Way – The Whitstable Pearl mysteries #4 – Julie Wassmer (I have read the ebook ARCs for all 4 books, and have enjoyed them all.  Not sampled the audio editions).

7th April

Pancakes and Corpses – Peridale Cafe #1 – Agatha Frost

Fatal Fortune – Blackmore Sisters #8 – Leighann Dobbs.

Lucky Penny – Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #3 – Ellie Ashe.

11th April

Wicked Fog – Ivy Morgan #6 – Lily Harper Hart.

12th April

Silence of the Yams – Barbara Marr #3 – Karen Cantwell

13th April

Two Down, Bun to Go – Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #3 – H. Y. Hanna.  (Got .0 book on my TBR pile on Kindle…I will get to it at some point.  Not tried the audios).

17th April

A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia – Freddy Pilking Soames #1 – Clara Benson (These classic mysteries are being given a fresh airing).

18th April

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much – Mad For Mod Mysteries #4 – Diane Vallere.  (in my Audible Wish List).

Manic in Christmas River – Christmas River Mysteries # 6 – Meg Muldoon.

21st April

Silence of the Jams – Down South Cafe #2 – Gayle Leeson (aka Gayle Trent and Amanda Lee)

25th April

Deadly Wedding – Deadly Series #2 – Kate Parker (in my Audible Wish List).

Old World Murder – Chloe Ellefson #1 – Kathleen Ernst (In my Audible Wish List).

Though This Be Madness – Lily Long Mysteries #2 – Penny Richards (Listened to the first book in the series, and enjoyed it.  This one is still sitting in my Audible Wish List).

Every Body on Deck – Savannah Reid Mysteries #22 – G. A. McKevett (This went into my basket the moment it was released! lol  Still need to collect from the beginning, as this will be my second or third audio in the series that I have collected).

Christmas in Paradise – T J Jensen #4 – Kathi Daley (read a couple of ARCs, but not got around to the audio editions).

Cockatiels at Seven – Meg Langslow #9 – Donna Andrews (not tried any of the Meg Langslow books).

Antiques Frame – Trash ‘n’ Treasure Mysteries – Barbara Allan (in my Audible Wish List).

Mother’s Day Murder – Lucy Stone #15 – Leslie Meier (in my Audible Wish List).

Margaritas, Marzipan and Murder – Cape Bay Cafe #3 – Harper Lin.

The Case of The Fiery Fingers – Perry Mason #37 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Postponed Murder – Perry Mason #82 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Blonde Bonanza – Perry Mason #67 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Crying Swallows – Perry Mason #83 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Reluctant Model – Perry Mason #66 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Singing Skirt – Perry Mason #58 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Horrified Heirs – Perry Mason #73 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Spurious Spinster – Perry Mason #64 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Lucky Loser – Perry Mason #53 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Deadly Toy – Perry Mason #60 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Long-Legged Models – Perry Mason #56 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Troubled Trustee – Perry Mason #75 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Amorous Aunt– Perry Mason #69 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Screaming Woman – Perry Mason #52 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The fabulous Fake – Perry Mason #80 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Foot-loose Doll – Perry Mason #55 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Mythical Monkeys – Perry Mason #59 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Daring Divorcee – Perry Mason #74 – Erle Stanley Gardner.

 

Audiobooks…makes reading easier for dyslexics.

As some of my author Facebook friends are aware, and some of my newer author facebook friends may not be, is that I have struggled with (and still struggling with)dyslexia.

Being a product of the 1960s (yes, I’m that old!), dyslexia wasn’t recognised in most schools here in the UK at the time.  And most schools considered you as backward, thick and stupid and considered that you needed to be sent to a ‘special needs’ school.  Most parents didn’t know what dyslexia was, and didn’t understand or know how to deal with the problem.  In my case, my mum classed me as ‘just lazy’ when the school called in a child psychologist to test me.  And still the school did nothing in helping with the problem.

It was only when I had turn 11, and went up into senior school, that the problem was detected and some help was given.  That is when my love for reading began.  It is still a slow process and reading a whole book may take days instead of hours like a normal reader.

It is still a constant uphill battle for me, made worse now due to ill health, that my concentration level now is very limited.

One thing that I have found is a great help (for me personally), is audiobooks.

One of my main passions is ‘cozy’ mysteries, but I love any mysteries in general.  Unfortunately these for the most part, are mainly published in the US, and the audiobooks are not always available to us here in the UK or Internationally, due to publishers geographical restrictions.

What I would like to ask authors to do, when they next come to sign a new publishing contract, is for them to please, please push for audiobook and Kindle with Worldwide rights…if they can.  Yes, not all Kindle books are available Worldwide, either.  This will mean that your International readers/listeners will have better access to your books.  And in turn, hopefully getting you more International readers, and more sales.

And in turn, will help this silly old bugger get through a book in less than 4/5 days!