ARC – A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh

36227307I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love the ideas in this book. I am a book lover, but also a lover of the ideas and scenes in books. Cooking can be a great storytelling tactic. Everyone has to eat, and many memories can be shared over tea or scones, or scotch eggs for example. Recipes whose sole purpose is to transport you back to a specific scene in a novel that you found evocative is such a fantastic idea. Many of the recipes are from well-loved children’s’ books. This opens up such a wonderful opportunity to share something special with your child and make a memory. The recipes are easy to follow, and the pictures are lovely and well framed. The writing is concise and easy to understand. I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas and writing in this book and look forward to testing out some of these recipes with my own daughter when she is older. For now, I will have to make some Winnie the Pooh Hundred Acre Tea with her and watch the movies.

ARC – Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega #5) by Patricia Briggs

I received this as an advanced copy from for an honest review.


Image courtesy of goodreads

When I first started reading this novel I felt pretty strongly that the story could have stood a trim and be better served as a novella. The plot felt too small and specific to carry an entire novel. This may be because I haven’t read books 2, 3, and 4 of the series and I am not as familiar with the characters as some. However, Patricia Briggs is, in general, a fantastic writer. I am a rabid fan of the Mercy books and pretty much anything she writes in that world. I didn’t think it would be a problem coming into the novel a little out of sequence, and it wasn’t. This is how I felt for the first 100 pages or so. It slogged a bit and the characters and setup just didn’t gel. Why is this plot important? Why do I care? What is the mystery that is trying to be solved? None of these questions came to much of a head till about 250 pages into the story. It is worth the wait. The climax of the story is absolutely worth the wait. But, I just don’t think this is one of her best books. It is heads above most writers out there, but all in all, it felt to slow for her normal pacing.


ARC of The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York by Peter J. Tomasi, Sara DuVall (Illustrations)

I received this as an advanced copy from for an honest review.


There are countless stories rich in history interlaced in the concrete, wire, and foundations of human civilization;  whether it be a tower in Pisa or a bridge that spans the waters between New York City and Brooklyn; every brick, trestle, and pylon could tell a story.  It is up to us, the stewards of the past, to recognize, learn from, and appreciate these works.  We would not be where we are as a society without people like the Roeblings. I can now say after reading this novel the Roeblings are added in my mind to the likes of Guggenheim, Olmstead, and Vaux.

The novel is not the dry telling of pounds per square inch of pressure in the caissons or the tensile strength of the wires; It is the story of a monumental project and the people who dedicated their lives to see it through. Specifically, a husband and wife team whose love and respect for each other are tantamount, as well as their mutual intelligence shines throughout the story much to the credit of the author Peter J. Tomasi. Graphically it is beautiful. They set the historical tone without being overly fussy and fastidious to detail. Sarah Duvall did her research into the period. Pictures of the bridge are not overly technical. I would assume this is a stylistic choice, yet they convey all the necessary information to the reader. This allows the story to move at a good place and pause when necessary for reflection. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who appreciates a good history lesson that is so intriguing it could be written as a work of fiction. I look forward to reading many more works by the author and enjoying the art of the illustrator.