Monday, February 27, 2012

A couple of February updates and a couple of book reviews.......

I am closing out February's grocery totals and have to say I went over budget.  I had budgeted $300 for the month and actually spent $336.25, with savings of $90.48 for the month.  I did take part in the 20 x the points at Shopper's Drug Mart on Saturday and have updated my points totals on the side bar, but do have enough points for one redemption of $250 on mega redemption day, which is pretty good, as it's only the end of February. 


I have a couple more book reviews for you.


"The Darling Dahlia's and The Cucumber Tree," by Susan Wittig Albert. 


A small Southern town blooms into life in Albert's nostalgic first in a new Depression-era mystery series. Darling, Ala., is in the midst of financial upheaval surrounding the Darling Savings and Trust, though the ladies of the Darling Dahlias Garden Club are still excited about their clubhouse, an old estate recently inherited from Mrs. Dahlia Blackstone, whose garden includes a possibly haunted cucumber tree, which might shelter a buried treasure. Also distracting the members--especially widow and probate clerk Verna Tidwell; legal secretary and freelance journalist Elizabeth "Lizzy" Lacy, and Mayor Jed Taylor's wife, Ophelia Snow--are a prison break and the disappearance of drugstore clerk Eva Louise "Bunny" Scott, the town tart. After Bunny turns up dead in a wrecked stolen van, the ladies investigate.


This is the first in a series of books about the Darling Dahlias and is set in the 1930's.  It's another book that is so well worth the read and I will order the other's in the series from the library as I thoroughly enjoyed this.  I actually didn't figure out the murder mystery part of it until just before it was revealed as to who did it. 


This book had a great small town feel to it and you were quickly sucked into the story.  The author took you back into the depression era of small town America and even mentioned the differences between the "coloured folks," and the whites.  I can't wait to read the other books in the series.  Oh and I looked up what a Cucumber Tree was as I had never heard of it, from what I can see it's a type of Magnolia.


"Angel Lane," by Shelia Roberts


Keep the heart in Heart Lake. That’s exactly what three small-town shop owners hope to do when they launch their crazy-ambitious “Have a Heart” campaign—asking neighbors to commit one random act of kindness every day. Emma, Sarah, and Jamie love their lakeside community, but the little town is growing too big too fast, and a doing a good deed never hurt anyone. Or so they thought…



When Emma slashes prices at her quilt shop, practically giving away blankets to anyone who looks vaguely cold, she almost stitches her way into bankruptcy. Sarah’s free cooking class boils down to a hotbed of crime when some punk kid swipes her favorite heirloom. And at Jamie’s chocolate shop, things take a bittersweet turn when a local policeman starts giving her grief, stirring up feelings she’s tried to forget—and slowly melts away her defenses…


This is one of those feel good books that make you believe there are good people out there that will help you in a time of need.  It is again set in a small town, where everyone knows one another.  It also has a believable story line in that we all need to support our small town businesses before they all go under, rather than these large chain super stores where you're just another face.


The author has written other books that centre around the town of Heart Lake, I am not too sure of the order of them, I couldn't quite figure it out?  A bonus for this book is that there are recipes in the back of the book for you to try if you like, like Chocolate Mint Pie and White Chocolate Lemon Fudge........so if nothing else read the book just so you can access the recipes!!!

6 comments:

Denise said...

Two very good book reviews, thanks Gill. I especially enjoy those set in the early part of the century.

Kaisievic said...

Great book reviews, as usual. Thanks, Gill.

Theanne said...

enjoyed your post...happy Monday!

Sandi McBride said...

I look forward to the book reviews and always marvel at how much you save...I'm hopeless at it! I am reading The Cat's Table right now and so far like it very much.
Hugs to Molly...any word on her new playmate?
Sandi

~Carla~ said...

You're an awesome shopper!! I don't think your going over is too bad honestly! Great book reviews!! Are these reviews for a different company, or just your own, Gill?

Rose said...

I am going to check and see if our library has any of these in kindle edition...if not I might just get the paperback edition...I know that one of the libraries I go to has some of them.