Book Review & Lake Winni Tour: A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

I finally have another book to tell you about! I’ve been very anxious to share it with you. I actually finished it a little bit ago but due to the timing of my vacation to Lake Winni, I had to sit on it. I chose this book because I wanted to take you all on a tour of Lake Winnipesaukee since I love it here so much. I had some trouble finding a book set in Lake Winni. The first book I found was something about ghost stories but I just wasn’t feeling that one. Then, I went to a book store up here during my last vacation thinking for sure someone working there could help me. I picked up a couple of books to only realize they weren’t set here. Finally, good old Amazon lead me to A Little Murder by Cindy Davis! I don’t know how I didn’t find it before but never mind that, let’s get to it!

Angie Deacon, who is married to Will, is feeling like he has grown distant from her. In the hopes to help get him out of his funk, Angie decides to do something special for his birthday. A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee is what she decides on. Sounds like a brilliant idea! A beautiful day on Lake Winni…what could go wrong? Hmm? Maybe a little murder??

DUN-DUN-DUUUUUN!!! None other than the boat owner himself, Nolan Little, bites it. The only suspects of course are the ones who were on the boat, so six people in total. The boat owner’s wife, Val becomes the main suspect and Angie, in a very supportive move, teams up with Val to help her clear her name.

After catching Will up to no good, Angie becomes estranged from her husband and fully commits to figuring out this crime, much to the detective, Jarvis’ dismay. Everyone on that boat seemed to be up to something sketchy, so they just have to figure out how it all connects together.

A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

Lead after lead gets Angie and Val into some jams. I was so tense while reading this book because every time they followed a hunch, something inevitably would go wrong. However, Angie seemed smart and competent, so I trusted her along the way even though I was terrified for her.

It usually takes me a little while to get into a new book, but this book hooked me early on! I love a good whodunnit and this one does not disappoint. I was dying to know who murdered Nolan Little. Of course, as per usual, I tried to figure things out for myself, but never had it quite right. There are lots of shady characters in this book that will make you wonder. And there was a little dash of sexual tension thrown in, which of course I always welcome.

I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. I’m not gonna lie, in the past I’ve typically read books that are very popular, a lot of books turned into movies, or well-known chick lit authors. I had never heard of this book or author so I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get. I also read a couple of reviews that said there were some editing glitches in the book that were distracting. I was happy to find that wasn’t the case. The book was perfectly written and so well done. I will definitely be reading more from this author. I’m so glad I found her! Thank you Cindy Davis for writing this awesome book. It was so fun reading it!

As always, when I read a book, I go out and explore the world of the book. Here’s a sneak peek into my A Little Murder Tour:

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee
Looks like a fun and beautiful house! I want to play!
Lake Winnipesaukee
Another gorgeous one! Look at that wooden boat. 😊

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay
Wet hair, don’t care (as I shrink the pic).
Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gnome Village
Gnome Villages are apparently a thing in New Hampshire.

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gnome Village

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gilman Pond

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay
There will always be dogs, somehow, someway.

Full tour is coming soon! I’ll be on Lake Winni and headed to Alton  Bay!

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay

Check back soon for the full tour! Thanks for reading!

Book Review & East Village Tour: The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen

I have got a great book to tell you all about! Do you like love stories? Do you like mysterious, love stories? Well, I do because I can relate. All my “love stories” are a mystery. It’s always a mystery to me what went wrong. Have you been ghosted before? Yeah!? Me too! One of the main characters in the book, Wes, gets ghosted BIG TIME. Poor guy! If you’re in the dating world, you know first hand how much it sucks to get ghosted. Can’t help but to feel for Wes.

About Wes…he’s doing a summer film program at his dream college, NYU University. During the program, being the good guy that he is, he helps out his friend Tyler with his film. Tyler is doing some artsy, experimental film and so together they film a real seance that takes place in a dark townhouse in the East Village. At this seance, Wes meets a mysterious and beautiful girl. After the seance, he wants to get a signed consent form from her so she can appear in the film, but he didn’t see her come out. He also got distracted by another intriguing girl from the seance and went out for pizza with her. Tyler was not happy. Tyler needed that consent form, so Wes has to figure out how to track her down.

Somehow he does find her but then he loses her again. He can’t catch a break! Disappointed and a bit rejected, Wes tries to forget about this beautiful girl who has captivated him. But maybe their paths will cross again??

Annie van Sinderen is the captivating girl and she’s got a lot of baggage. If Wes and Annie were on Facebook, their relationship status would definitely be, “It’s Complicated.”

The story is told through Wes’ perspective and Annie’s. While Wes is experiencing NYC for the first time, Annie grew up there, however, she grew up in NYC in 1825. Yeah, “It’s Complicated,” is an understatement. What is Annie doing? Can she accomplish what she needs to do? Can Wes help?

Katherine Howe told me herself on Twitter that this is a weird book. She wasn’t kidding. It’s weird, it’s hypnotic, chaotic, captivating…what else? Spellbounding! Mesmerizing! It’s just so cool and amazing…haunting and jaw-dropping. It made me wonder about the history of New York, and especially since I live here, it made me picture what the city was like back then. The book is very descriptive, which makes it easy to picture.

The images of Annie being forced into present-day NYC are emblazoned in my mind. Can you imagine how jarring NYC would be to someone from 1825? Katherine Howe really makes you understand what a confused and terrified state of mind Annie must have been in when she had no idea what was going on around her.

The book makes you care about all the characters. Their struggles whether in present-day or 1825 are real and relatable.

I highly recommend this book. It was awesome!

As always when I read a book set in NYC, I take myself out on a tour of the city inspired by the book I read. Annie Van brought me to the East Village in Manhattan.

Here is a sneak peek into that tour:

The Merchant’s House Museum

West Village

The West Village, NYC

NYC, Annie Van Tour

NYC Tour, Book Review, Annie Van tour

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen tour

NYC community garden

East Village community garden

East Village Dog

Washington Square Park

The Appearance of Annie van SinderenStay tuned for the full Annie Van tour! Thank you Katherine Howe for the inspiration! It was a hauntingly, beautiful day. 😉

Full tour is live! Check it out here!

Book Review and Ditmas Park Tour: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Since the last book I read was set in Manhattan, I thought it would be nice to head back to Brooklyn. I am a Bk girl after all, which I admit, makes me a little biased. This book is set in Ditmas Park, a little oasis in Brooklyn that’s hard to believe exists until you step foot over there. Do you need a breather from the hectic, rushed vibes of Manhattan? Ditmas Park is your answer! It is a breath of fresh air!

Needless to say, I was excited to read Modern Lovers. In fact, I’ve been planning on reading it for a while but I needed to wait until the trees would be in full, spectacular bloom for you. In case, you’re wondering, yes, I have been to this part of Brooklyn before. I was amazed the first time I walked around this neighborhood, so I really wanted you all to see it too. Sadly, I had a bit of a weather delay and the day I went was not the perfect day I was hoping for either. It was a bit rainy, but not so terrible that I couldn’t enjoy the day.

Okay, down to business! Modern Lovers is about a close group of friends, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia who knew each other during their college days and were in a band together. Elizabeth and Andrew were college sweethearts and now are married living in Ditmas Park with their teenage son, Harry.

Zoe is married to Jane and they also live in Ditmas Park and coincidentally have a teenage daughter named Ruby. Do you see where this is going? Yup, Harry, and Zoe might become more than friends…

So that leaves Lydia…Lydia became quite the rockstar but as stars go- they rise and then they fall. Unfortunately, Lydia’s fell. A film surrounding her life is a major focal point of the story.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Prior to reading, I had glanced at some negative reviews. Well, I, for one was completely invested in each of the characters’ stories, especially Elizabeth’s.

The characters seemed real and honest. I enjoyed Ruby’s badass personality and Harry’s innocence. The relationship troubles the characters faced seemed very relatable. I rooted for them and hoped for the best when things seemed to get a little hairy. I definitely recommend this book.

In case this is the first time you’re reading my blog, I read books set in NYC and take a tour of the city using the book as inspiration. Check out the last tour I went on based on the book I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk. You can read it here.

I’ve lived in NYC for almost 13 years and if I’m being honest, I was in a bit of a rut doing the same things day in and day out. Wake up-Work-Home-TV-Bed. Rinse & repeat. Many times I thought, “What am I doing living in such an expensive city?” Am I taking advantage of living in one of the coolest cities on the planet? The answer was no. I needed to change that. When I got this idea, I felt excited. I love reading and who knows where these books and characters will take me? I wanted to see!

Part of me was nervous because if I don’t make plans with friends, I usually just stay home unless I have errands or something. Could I spend a whole day in the city doing solo activities? Brunch, dinner on a Saturday night, or a concert? Well, now I have done those things and it makes me eager to do more! Now I know that I don’t need to wait for anyone to get out and explore. I don’t need to wait for permission to go out and live an adventurous life.

But of course I know friendships and even dating (ugh) are important. So don’t worry, I will still keep up with my social life. I do have some pretty great people who I’m lucky to call friends.

On to the best part- a sneak peak into my tour!

Here you go!

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Cortelyou train tracks

Trees of Ditmas Park
Trees of Ditmas Park

Ditmas Park tree trunk

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Thank you for reading! Full tour is here!

Book Review and Manhattan Tour: I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

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After the serious tone of the last book I read, Reconstructing Amelia, I decided I needed to go back to the land of chick lit. I do heart New York and heart it even more since going on tours of the city based on the books I’ve read. Lindsey Kelk’s, I Heart New York, sounded like the perfect choice for me.

Angela, who lives in London, is at her best friend’s wedding when she stumbles upon her own fiancé cheating on her. To make matters worse, Angela finds out her best friend knew about it and didn’t tell her. Angela is rightfully furious with her fiancé and her best friend. She makes an unglamorous exit from the wedding, although, who could blame her? The next day, Angela high tails it out of London and sets her sights on New York City.

She has no plan. Even doesn’t know where she’ll stay until a cabbie brings her to a random hotel in the city.

We follow along the way as Angela navigates a foreign city, makes friends, meets guys, and tries to sort out her life.

I was invested in Angela’s story and entertained by it. I definitely wanted to get to the end to see how it all plays out.

However, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t frustrated by how easily things seemed to work out for Angela. Angela is a freelance writer who was not currently working when she went to NYC. She was able to book a ticket and stay at a very expensive NYC hotel. She had some savings, but still. Besides the flight and hotel, she went on major shopping sprees and spent a fortune on designer items. It made me nervous for her as I read it. My stomach hurt! No joke! I was thinking, “Angela, you have no job and you’re living in an expensive hotel, slow your roll! Geez!”

Even more frustrating for a single lady like myself is that in less than a week, she had two hot guys after her. How did she do it? Is it her British accent? Probably!

I had to continually remind myself to suspend my disbelief so that I could enjoy the book. Ultimately, I did enjoy it and was glad I read it.

The best part is that it inspired a cool tour of NYC! If this is the first time you’re reading, I go on tours of NYC based on books set in the city. I have a good excuse to take myself out and explore the city in a whole new way. After living in the city for almost 13 years, I feel like these tours have given me a new appreciation for this city. It’s stunningly beautiful and a surprise is waiting around every corner!

Here’s a sneak peak into my tour:

Union Square, NY
Union Square
Dog
Dog creeping continues…
City Streets
Love Elvis and Mickey Mouse
New York City
It’s a long way up!
New York City
Cool underpass I walked by
The Museum of Modern Art
The MOMA
MOMA
Seen at the MOMA
MOMA art
Love the vibrant colors and shapes. Looks like it’s moving!
MOMA
I’d like to put this in my apartment. Just help me lift it, will you? You don’t think it’ll fit in my apartment? My sofa fit!
MOMA
I change my mind. Let’s put this in my apartment instead. Thanks!
New York City
City streets…I should start riding a bike…no I shouldn’t.
Sea Glass
Kicking back in my kicks!

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed and thank you so much for reading.

The full tour will be coming to your screen of choice soon! Signing off…

Full tour is here!

 

 

 

Park Slope Photography Tour

Hello again! This past Sunday I posted my book review of Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, but I also told you about the tour of Park Slope I went on based on the book. It was a “date” with myself in the very setting the story takes place. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, then click here. My full tour with sites specific to that lovely book will be coming on Sunday, I promise. Can I make that promise? It’s my first blogging promise, I’m nervous. I can do it…I promise.

Until then, I want to share some more photos from that day I think you might like.

Here they are!

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Prospect Park. I guess I should have found out who the soldier is in the monument. Sorry. Anyone know? Next business- can anyone spot the dog(s)? I can’t tell if it’s one dog or two! 🤔
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I’m obsessed. Why can’t I have one? They’re sooo pretty.
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I tried to get a cute dog picture and this happened
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Well, hello gorgeous trees!
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Can I frolic with them?
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Looks regal
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Look at this! It’s the Old First Reformed Church. Beautiful!
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I love this. A beautiful church and a Key Food grocery store. That’s so Brooklyn!
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Her jacket and backpack go perfectly with this home. She can never leave this spot.
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Always some kind of fair or open market going on.
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I’d live in one of these.
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Or I’d totally live in one of these too!
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I would not live…oh who am I kidding? It’s waaaay bigger than my apartment, and it’s in a prime neighborhood right by the park! I’d move in yesterday.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed my half-tour! Come check back on Sunday to see if I treated myself the way I deserve on my date. Also, I think I had a missed connection. Story of my life. I’ll let you be the judge.

See ya again soon!

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Book Review & Brooklyn Tour: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

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I’ve done it again! A tour of the city inspired by a book I’ve read. If you haven’t read about the first time I did this, check out my Breakfast at Tiffany’s tour here.

Now let’s get to the most important reason I’m writing today and that is to tell you about this book, Reconstructing Amelia. What a beautiful book. Beautiful and heartbreaking. Don’t worry, I won’t write anymore than what you would already read in the book summary.

It starts off with Kate, who’s working a high pressure job as a lawyer for a Manhattan firm. Kate is a single mom to teenage daughter, Amelia. They live in the idyllic neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Kate is in an important meeting when she gets a call from Amelia’s school, Grace Hall, and is told she must come right away because her daughter has been caught cheating on a paper. Kate does not believe this can be true of her extremely gifted and trustworthy daughter. When she finally manages to escape her office and arrive at the school, her world comes crashing down: Amelia has fallen from the roof and is dead. Soon Kate learns from Grace Hall and the police, that Amelia jumped. At first Kate accepts this explanation, but later on, something makes Kate question everything. Did her intelligent and beautiful daughter really jump? Kate is determined to find out the truth.

This was a tough read. I enjoy suspense books, which this is but it’s so much more. I got invested in this story because I wanted to know what happened, but also because the reality of the situation tugged at my heart. This story fluctuates from Kate’s point of view and Amelia’s. It’s gut-wrenching from both perspectives. From Kate’s point of view, we have a mom grappling with the reality of her daughter’s death, and with Amelia we know that ultimately she will die. It’s a tough pill to swallow. We follow Amelia’s story as she goes about her everyday life. We fall in love with the bright, thoughtful girl she is and see her as someone who should have a bright future. We know she doesn’t. Kimberly McCreight captured real, honest characters. The Kates and Amelias of this world do exist and that truth is what made it hard for me to read. I am so glad I read it though. Not only is it a compelling story, I think it helped strengthen my compassion for people in similar situations as these characters.

As I read this book, I thought, “Is it okay for me to go on a tour of Park Slope based on this sad story?” I read a lot of fun, chick lit books, which seems more appropriate for a “date” with myself as I explore the city. However, I also thought about how much I completely fell in love with these characters. Wouldn’t it be cool to explore their world for a bit? It’s hard for me to let go of characters after I finish a book, so going on this tour would let me hang onto them for a little longer.

I plan on doing this more, for as long as it’s still fun. Reading books set in NYC and then exploring those worlds is a great opportunity for me. I’ve lived in NYC for almost 13 years now. I’ve had many thoughts about moving out of this expensive city and thought about where I would go. I have a couple places in mind, however, something holds me back from escaping this city of tiny apartments. I still think I haven’t made the most of living in this city. It is an amazing city but have I done enough? Yes, I have a great job I can feel proud of, I’ve been to lots of Broadway shows, eaten at great restaurants, have awesome friends, taken random acting and improv classes, but have I fully taken advantage of living in this great city? Most of what I do I could do anywhere and for a lot cheaper. I have good friends, but at 38 years old, many have moved away and I’m still single.

I need to get out of my comfort zone and off my couch. Oh do I love my relaxing weekend mornings, grabbing a coffee and bagel…coming home to my lovely couch. Did you know for 8 years I lived in an apartment that was too small for a couch? Now I’m in an apartment that can fit a couch. Sweet heaven!

As lovely as my couch is, it’s time for a change and time to get everything I can out of this city. It’s nice going on dates with guys (by nice, I mean hellish), but now I want to take myself out on “dates” in the city. And my “dates” will be inspired by amazing books! How cool is that?

My day trip into Park Slope was incredible! I’m a Brooklyn girl so a bit biased, but I had such a wonderful time and discovered some great places, thanks to Kimberly McCreight.

Here’s a sneak peak into my Park Slope tour:

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Beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn
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Prospect Park
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It’s no secret. I love dogs! I’m a dog creeper.

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This building says, “This is me, I’m beautiful and you know it. Can’t stop looking at me, can you?”
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More lovely brownstones
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Colorful Brooklyn!

Full tour with sites specific to Reconstructing Amelia is here!

Also, if you haven’t already, why don’t you read about my last tour? Go here. Thanks so much for stopping by!