Friday, August 26, 2011

Something to Think About....

We interrupt this book blog to bring you a public service announcement....

Seriously, what with earthquakes and dangerous hurricanes taking up a large part of the news lately, I thought it might be helpful to pass along a little bit of advice that has been learned through first-hand experience.

With many past mandatory evacuations due to hurricanes and recovering from the most catastrophic one, Katrina, I've learned a few important lessons that may be helpful to you in general, not just in the event of a natural disaster.

I tend to be a very organized person, so I didn't have a tremendous amount of difficulty in gathering the important things in life when we had 24 hour notice to leave before Hurricane Katrina hit -- but for those people who had documents in haphazard, unorganized places, I can imagine they were left leaving empty-handed or in a frenzy doing last-minute searches. The lesson here: Have a central place in your home where all your important documents are kept (life insurance, home insurance, health insurance, titles and deeds, passports, credit card info, certificates (birth, marriage, etc..), financial info, wills, and make sure you have a COPY of all this documentation! You want to file all the copies of this vital information in one type of file folder or container that you can pick up and leave with on a moment's notice. Having copies scanned to a disc is fine, but you also need hard copies. If you have a waterproof/fireproof home safe, it's even better to store your copies here. It's also a good idea to go room by room in your house and take a picture -- this is important documentation of your valuables in case of theft, fire, or water/wind damage. File the disc of photos with your vital info. *****Keep your originals and your copies of documents in two completely separate areas of your home.***** If something happens to one set, you still have another set of copies for backup in another place.

Many people lost everything -- everything -- during Katrina. Houses, furniture, tv's, cars, jewelry, clothes, etc.... You know what really hurt and caused the most distress? The lost wedding photos, the baby pictures, the portrait of a beloved family member that was ruined by the water. The lesson here: Material things don't matter in life, but sentimental things that are irreplaceable are heartbreaking to lose. Do you have backups of your photos, wedding albums, baby pictures, family pictures, etc...? If you have priceless family photos that were before the days of digital photography, make scans of one-of-a-kind photos and save to a file and backup with a cd or some other type of backup service. The disc can be stored with your documents as mentioned above. I took my entire wedding album and my children's baby books with me when I evacuated because they were well before the digital age and I had no copies, but I have since scanned them in the event I have to evacuate again. Heaven forbid!

Believe me, I hope you never have to experience a catastrophe, but no one is immune to the dangers of a house fire or a dangerous weather situation no matter where you live in the world. Start implementing a plan to organize and safekeep the important documents and photographic treasures that you value and it will give you great peace of mind.

If you live on the east coast of the U.S., stay safe!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Suddenly Sunday - End of Summer Beach Party

Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope all is well with you and you have been enjoying reading and collecting some great new books!

With all the hoopla related to getting into the back-to-school mode, I haven't accomplished much leisure reading. Hopefully, after I'm finished with shopping for uniforms and school supplies, filling out tons of teacher forms, and have all the Parent Back to School Nights behind me, I'll be able to give my attention back to some of those new books that are calling to me. Right now, I've just enjoyed these last few weeks of summertime with my kids and loved having them hanging around the house. They're growing up way too quickly for me.

In book news, I'm excited to receive a copy of Helen Hollick's Sea Witch which I won from Laura's Reviews. Thanks so much to both the author and Laura as it looks absolutely wonderful!

There will be a fun event tonight, End of Summer Beach Blowout, at Writerspace with many big-name authors (Deanna Raybourn, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sabrina Jeffries, Julie James, just to name a few) giving away great prizes such as advance-copy books, signed books, and lots of other goodies. Sounds like a fun opportunity to attend a virtual beach party and maybe win some prizes!

Happy reading and have a wonderful week!

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea at The Muse in the Fog Book Review.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

"Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.

So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg...
She's gate-crashed a wedding...
She's making money by secretly cleaning houses...
And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub and someone is definitely trying to kill her."
(from the publisher)

my thoughts:

Looking for a light, charming, and entertaining cozy mystery? Then look no further -- Lady Victoria Georgiana, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria known simply as Georgie, is delightful in her approach to life despite her royal connections. Born and raised in privilege to one day marry into more wealth, she suddenly finds herself needing to find a better way to support herself rather than an arranged marriage with an obscure foreign prince. What's a royal to do after getting fired from the cosmetics counter after only one day? How about advertising as a char lady? And imagine her surprise when she is recruited by the Queen to spy on a certain prince and his scandalous American love interest! Add a dead person in a bathtub and you have all the ingredients for a murder and mayhem mystery.

Georgie is endearing, spunky and down-to-earth and this is a promising beginning to a 1930's era English royal mystery series. Her Royal Spyness is strong on charm and characterization and light on mystery, so it's perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer mysteries.

For more information about the Royal Spyness series, click here.


Title: He Royal Spyness
Author: Rhys Bowen
Berkley Prime Crime
324 pages
genre: cozy mystery

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »