Wedding Etiquette and a Book Review

Weddings…does any one event conjure up more questions about etiquette?  The first thing my mother did when I became engaged was buy a wedding book about the “Do’s” and “Do Nots”.  I did the same for both of my daughters.

Why then, is today’s first featured photo of the delightful new cozy mystery “Waiting for the Detectives”, (available May 23, 2017), by the lovely Julie Mulhern? (Pictured below)

 

Well…let me back-peddle a little… I recently saw several ads for Julie’s “Country Club Mysteries”.  Each book looked like a fun read, so I ordered the first in the series, “The Deep End”.  I was hooked.  By the time I had read 50 pages, I just had to order the second in the series, “Guaranteed  to Bleed”.  What was it that made the books so enticing?  Many things.  They’re funny, (at times laugh-out-loud!), well-written, never drag, and…set in the ’70’s!  I love that era, partly because I grew up then.  I think perhaps I was born in the wrong time.  I think I would have fit right into Ellison Russell’s, (our heroine), world.  She’s beautiful, chic, rich, and most importantly, a strong woman.  And yes, the country club scene is a big part of Ellison’s life.  And don’t do messing with etiquette in Ellison or her mother, Frances’, orbit!

I would love to plan Ellison’s wedding, (of course she is tangled in a love triangle!), but she would need no help.  I imagine it would be something classic and old-fashioned like the photo above (which just happens to be of my daughter and son-in-law 🙂 ).

Here’s a little blurb from Barnes and Noble about “Watching the Detectives”

“Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’s new partner considers Ellison a suspect? With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.”

Did I like this latest in the “Country Club Mystery” series?  No…I LOVED it…

“The Forever Summer” by Jamie Brenner

A beautiful pastry and an enticing book cover.  What do they have in common?  Well, they both look delicious, delectable, perhaps too good to be true.  And often times they are.  Perhaps the gorgeous pastry was too sweet or just blah.  The book’s cover, which promised such an exquisite escape from reality, a magical page turning oblivion — didn’t.

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But this is not the case with Jamie Brenner’s new novel, The Forever Summer“.  The book delivers all that the cover promises.  A page turner…you bet ya.  Romance?  – and then some.  Tears?  A couple – but not a tear jerker.  I’m not a fan of the double hanky.

As Barnes and Noble’s website tells us:

The discovery of long-buried secrets brings three generations of women together to Cape Cod for the summer homecoming of a lifetime.

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it’s paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father’s hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin’s half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn’t even know she had.

As the summer unfolds at her grandmother’s beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister’s existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin’s beliefs–in love, and in her own identity–to the core. Filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotionally resonant page-turner, and a delicious escape for any season.

Brenner’s characters are multi-dimensional, rich and lovable.  Brenner draws you into her story and the characters’ lives from page one.  Pick a day when you have a good block of time to read, because you won’t want to put The Forever Summer down!

This is a wedding blog, you may be saying to yourself right about now.  Not a book reviewing site.  You’re right.  And while “The Forever Summer” is not wedding themed, as Brenner’s previous novel, “The Wedding Sisters” was, it still addresses important issues for a good marriage such as love, commitment, forgiveness.  This book has it all!
Would you like to order your own copy of The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner?  It’s available April 25, 2017, but you can preorder now!  Just click on either link to get more info.

Barnes and Noble – “The Forever Summer”

Amazon – “The Forever Summer”

The lovely Jamie Brenner

“The Wedding Sisters“, Brenner’s previous novel mentioned above, is every bit as entertaining as The Forever Summer.  If you’re interested in it, click on the links below.  Want more details?  Click on the link to my blog for its review.

“The Wedding Sisters” blog post by Mary P. Karnes

Barnes and Noble – The Wedding Sisters”

amazon -“The Wedding Sisters”

It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a book as much as “The Forever Summer“.  I’m a sucker for a beach read set at… a beach!  I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

DIY Wedding Projects and a Book Review!

DIY Wedding projects and a Book Review!  Ok…I’m going to state the obvious. Weddings are expensive – very.  Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to spend any way we choose on our big day; choices must be made.  One way to save is to employ as many DIY, (Do It Yourself), wedding projects as possible.  But even this option can be pricey.

Just the wedding cake can cost you a fortune!  (Photo creds: Patty Cloherty)

I discovered a new cozy mystery series recently.  It’s a “Garage Sale” Series.  ‘Garage Sale?’ you say.  Yes!  It’s super cute and gives one the best ideas.  But the series doesn’t revolve just around ‘tag sales’ as we prefer to refer to these sales in New England.  It’s just a fun backdrop.

Barnes and Noble gives us a great synopsis of the first book, “Tagged for Death“:

Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn’t easy, but that’s what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah’s self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career. 

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt. . .that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington’s chief of police. If that’s not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it’s up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer. . .

But finding that treasure can be murder.

I…LOVE…SARAH.  She is spunky, smart, and I think she and I would be great friends.  She’s just the kind of woman I’d love to hang with – of course I really enjoy the company of her creator, the talented Sherry Harris, perhaps that’s why I like Sarah!  🙂

So think about it…wouldn’t it be a great idea to look for garage sale deals when you’re attempting to create centerpieces for your wedding dinner tables?  You can pick up some mason Jars for pennies on the dollar at a tag sale, or perhaps some charming antique teacups to use as favors at a bridal shower. The options are endless!

My dad, 99 this year, was always a big garage sale fan in California.  I didn’t go with him as much as I wish I had.  We all have those little regrets, don’t we?  But boy did he make some finds.  My first set of golf clubs, at the tender age of 6, were purchased at a garage sale.  He cut down some adult clubs for me, and lovingly wrapped the shafts in some durable tape.  My father, who is a pack rat as am I, probably still has those clubs stashed somewhere…

Little Mary with Dad

The good news? Once you read the first book in the series, “Tagged for Death” you’ll want to read all three!  Click on the links if you’d like to order.  I included links to Barnes and Noble, but they are available at Amazon as well.

Book #2: “The Longest Yard Sale

Book #3 “All Murders Final

I must admit, after I finished book number three, I felt a little bereft.  But YES!!!  Book # 4, “A Good Day to Buy” is now available for per-order and will be available April 25, 2017!!!  I can’t wait!

I love these books, and much to my delight, each one seems to get better.  I enjoy the familiarity of a series.  You feel like you know the characters, as if they’re friends, almost family.  Harris achieves this effortlessly. Do yourself a favor and try this series.  Believe me, you’ll be hooked once you do.

Below, the lovely author, and my friend, Sherry Harris.

If you’d like to ready other posts on DIY projects, click on the links: DIY Wedding Flowers and DIY Wedding Ideas.

“War and Peach”- Book Review: A Murder and a Wedding!

A murder and a wedding…this there any better combination?

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Ok…I’m going to share a little personal information: an attribute and a flaw.  The attribute…I can almost ALWAYS figure out who the murderer is in a “Who Done IT”.  The flaw…I almost always skip ahead in a book.  I can not stay focused long enough to read the book from beginning to end without cheating.

There was an exception this past week.  I had the pleasure of reading Susan Furlong’s latest cozy in the ‘Georgia Peach Mystery’ series, “War and Peach”.

Barnes and Noble gives us a nice overview:

“Nola Mae Harper is too busy restocking the jars of preserves and chutney flying off the shelves of her shop, Peachy Keen, to keep up with all the gossip about the upcoming mayoral election, but she does know the debate is sure to be a real barn burner.

Local farmer Clem Rogers claims he has a bombshell that could take small business owner Margie Price out of the running. But before Clem can reveal his juicy secret at the debate, his actual barn goes up in flames—with him inside of it. The town casts its vote against Margie, but Nola isn’t convinced the hardworking woman is capable of murder. Now to clear Margie’s name Nola will have to work fast under pressure, before Margie gets taken in by the fuzz…

INCLUDES RECIPES!”

“War and Peach” is the third book in the ‘Georgia Peach Mystery’ series, and I have to say, my favorite!  Not only did I NOT skip ahead, I didn’t figure who the murder was.  And it wasn’t because he/she was so random no one  could come to a reasonable conclusion.  Furlong so creatively crafted her story, all the clues were there, but one had to be on his toes.  I LOVED this book.  Furlong kept true to her comforting small town style with interesting stories and southern culture, while keeping the tale germain to all our lives.

A personal favorite novelty of Susan’s books?  I adore the “Southern Girl Secrets” at the beginning of each chapter.  They’re cute, at times funny, but always words of wisdom.  Below is the lovely author, Susan Furlong.

Now on to the book’s wedding…There’s so much you can do with peaches as a focal point; cocktails, dressing on the cake, (see top photo), color scheme, decorations.  Love the ideas in the photo below.

yes bride.com

The wedding in “War and Peach”, and this is a spoiler alert… is what many of us should aspire to.  The bride and groom have chosen to make their marriage the main event with their wedding a delicious appetizer.  Anxious to know more?  Well, you’ll just have to read the book!  I’ve included links to  Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Just click on either link to be directed to obtain your very own copy!  Hey!  Want to WIN an author signed copy of “War And Peach”?  All you need to do to enter the contest is register as a blog user. I will randomly choose a winner next week.  Good luck!

And really…don’t you just want to take a bite out of one of the glorious peaches below?

the knot.com

lulusweetsecrets.com

Wouldn’t either photo, above and below, be the perfect venue for a “peach farm” centered wedding?

onlyinyourstate.com