26 February 2013

Meet Lucy the Wonder Weenie

Lucy the Wonder Weenie written by Nina Clark and illustrated by Sara Pulver.

Lucy the Wonder Weenie is written by Nina Clark and illustrated by Sara Pulver. It's a 32 page paperback available for purchase at Amazon. I found Lucy the Wonder Weenie to be one adorable diva dog. The art is pure whimsy. Plus who doesn't love a snappy dressed dog in a cape in heels? The story is equally as clever and whimsical. Lucy the Wonder Weenie manages to turn what her family doesn't love about her (her constant licking) into her strength. So kids learn a groovy message and that dog licks are really like kisses. Lucy is one fab pooch and I look forward to her future adventures. Viva Lucy! 5 stars

To learn more about her, visit LucytheWonderWeenie.Blogspot.com.

23 February 2013

The Love Goddess' Cooking School

Recipe for The Love Goddess' Cooking School:
6 deliciously flawed main characters
1 pretty coastal town in Maine
1 darling cottage/cooking school
1 handful of pain and disappointment
2 heaping handfuls of friendship, love, and wishes

3 ingredients that brought me to the The Love Goddess' Cooking School:
1. My love for the kitchen, especially the faucet, on the cover.
2. My affection for stories with elements of cooking magic.
3. My admiration for the sweet complexities I enjoyed in The Secret of Joy.

The Love Goddess' Cooking School didn't disappoint. The characters were easy to relate to, root for, and ultimately care for. The drama was just thick enough to keep me interested but never thick enough to feel heavy. The setting is full of oodles of charm. All in all it's cute and would make an adorable movie. I would love to see Alexis Bledel play Holly.

Whine: The last 1/4 is a bit predictable but there is nothing wrong with that. By that point you're invested and itching to read the last pages of nonna's diary.

Whimsical: Some of the charming Italian recipes that call for memories and wishes are featured in the back of the book.

Whippersnappers: Mild mentions to infidelity, sex, death.

Wisdom: "What I've learned, Mia, and what my grandmother always said, is that the whole point is wishing and remembering - not if what you want happens, not if remembering hurts. Because when you wish for something, you're asking. And when you ask, you're trying. And all everyone can really do is try, right?"

3 stars 

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

22 February 2013

Mama Loves: Kisses

One of mama's favorite things is how Baby Whimsy kisses her stuffed animals now. 
Kisses rock. Isn't her owl cute? His name is Hootie. 
I hope I'm not the only gal that names her child's plush toys.

18 February 2013

Random Loveliness of the Week


I am SO trying this the next time we have ice on the ground.

Sure sock monkeys are cute but sock piggies are better!

Need to smile?

I must try this DIY.

*le sigh* I want to vacation here.

Vinegar makes nail polish last longer? Who knew?!

I love this walk down cereal memory lane.

Wish I could attend this.

16 February 2013

Reflecting on When You Were Older

I didn't intend to like When You Were Older. I didn't even intend to finish it. I tried it one night on a whim and the next thing I knew, I was half way through and found myself craving more. I don't know what to say about this story other than it disarmed me and held me captive. Who hasn't wondered what it was like for the ones that survived? The ones that had to grapple with how close they got and find a way to move forward. That mix of both relief and guilt they must carry with them. These characters, their feelings, and the series of tragedies that befalls them felt so real and tangible. While I may have started When You Were Older a skeptic, I devoured it and am happy that I read it. It's one of those stories that stuck with me and I will reflect back to. The next time I need a read that feels real and true, I'm going to try another Catherine Ryan Hyde story. 
Have any of your read her work? Do you recommend one over another?

Whine: I did feel Russell should have focused on the loss of his mother a bit more.

Whippersnappers: The story, despite the tragedy that begins it, is pretty clean. There is no sex and minimal, if any, foul language. There is anti-war sentiment and some violence.

4 stars

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

15 February 2013

City of Dark Magic Audiobook Review

Publisher's Summary: "When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s "Immortal Beloved", she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a 400-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide. City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel - or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year."

.......................................................................

Yowza! This book is a wild ride. There is sex, history, lies, magic, priceless artifacts, music, murder, drugs, intrigue, espionage, alchemy, mystery, and Beethoven. It's no rom-com (romantic comedy) but it is an original, super cool, suspenseful mystery with plenty of fascinating historical elements, written in a style that is both deep and brutally honest.

Whine: Pet peeve alert! Why does that bad guy or girl have to be an evil Republican? *eye roll* Come on. Politicians on both side of the aisle are corrupt. Parajunkee said it best recently in her post Stereotypes in Fiction.

Wooed: Beethoven Beethoven Beethoven. His music is a big part of the story. If I ever listen to this again, I will make sure I have a pen and paper handy so I can look up all the musical pieces Sarah mentions.

Wishing: I totally wish they had a City of Dark Magic tours of Prague. I would love to wander the city and explore the places that inspired the story while listening to the music that was pivotal in certain scenes.

Words aloud: Natalie Gold impressed me. She does an awesome dry sarcastic Sarah and crazy tyrannical Charlotte. Both are so different and well done that I had a hard time believing it was the same narrator. I even checked several sites to make sure I wasn't overlooking someone. I've seen a few complaints regarding Natalie's accents but I disagree. I genuinely liked them.

Whodunit: All the twists and turns kept me guessing. You never know who is in cahoots with who and who you can trust.

Whippersnappers: Sex, murder, death, some profanity, drug use, and a few homosexual characters. However, there was only one scene that made me uncomfortable. I cringed and my tummy hurt a bit after the "Hieronymus Bosch" scene in which Sarah witnesses multiple rapes. It's not descriptive but it is something that may affect sensitive readers.

Wind-up: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte, is narrated by Natalie Gold, published by Penguin Audio, and is 13 hours and 33 minutes long. Audiobook rating: 4 stars. Narrator rating: 5 stars.

Want more?
Read That's What She Read's review of City of Dark Magic.
Flip through the photos of the real Magnus Flyte at Cari's Book Blog.
Watch the City of Dark Magic trailer.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Psst, I made the Stuffed Cherry Blossom Cookies.  
I'm giving them to Mr. Whimsy tonight.
They're delish but a bit big and misshapen. 
It's a good thing he loves me anyway.
If you're cooking or baking, I wish you perfection 
or someone who loves you too much to care.
If you're going out or staying in to celebrate, 
come back tomorrow and tell me what you did, k?
Happy Valentine's Day sweeties!

11 February 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy & Random Loveliness of the Week


Happy Lunar New Year! We celebrated with these red paper lanternsa big Chinese dinner, and mochi ice cream. Plus, I didn't sweep. That one was hard. It was fun and I look forward to incorporating new elements and traditions next year. How was your weekend?
...
An introduction to floral waters.

After you see this, you too will be dreaming of Love Tea & Lavender Truffles.

Need a bookmark?


Did you hear about Barbie's house? Am I the only one wondering what her next house will be like?

I'm thinking of making these Cherry Blossom Cookies for my honey this Valentine's.

These may be one of the cutest measuring cups ever

10 February 2013

A Sweet eBook Treat This Week


Let Them Eat Cakethe first book in the Christian Fiction series French Twist, is FREE this week for the Kindle. Plus, books two and three, Bon Appetit and Piece de Resistance, are only $0.99 each! But hurry because the offer ends on Valentine's Day. 

Pop by Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot for a chance to win a box of petit fours.

09 February 2013

Rustic Elegance: A Photo-Essay on Why I Want to Move Into Anthropologie


 Isn't it lovely? Have you been? Did it charm you as it did me?
I know it's expensive but each time I step in, I come out feeling inspired.

{PHOTOGRAPHER CREDIT: TALES OF WHIMSY.COM}

07 February 2013

Refuge Review

Refuge is an exciting realistic peak into Afghani and Pakistani culture and life. It feels incredibly authentic and has some really down-to-earth likeable characters. I fell in love with Charlie immediately and was slowly won over by Noor. It's a really great read. I have only two complaints. Their first kiss was a little too uninhibited for me. Given Noor's devout faith, I believe she would have been more restrained. Secondly, I wish I had known it was part of a series. I stayed up well into the night reading, getting only fours hours of sleep, only to growl in disappointment when it ended with a heart-wrenching cliffhanger with no second book in sight. Don't get me started on how sick I am of series reads. But despite my gripes, Refuge is a really compelling read from start to finish. 4 stars

Word to the wise: If you've ever wondered what it must be like for an intelligent well-read woman to grow up in this culture - read this book. If you simply need to escape and read something totally different - read this book.

Whippersnappers: Expect the violence and brutalities of war, occasional profanity, as well as mentions to sex, nudity, and physical abuse.

Noor reminded me a bit of this famous Afghani refugee.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

03 February 2013

Random Loveliness of the Week


6 cool facts about Jane Austen.

How great are these dip dye jeans?

This French farmhouse nails rustic charm and modern elements.

This bowl and me belong together.

I want to move into this log cabin.

The most charming video.

Fun snarky cups.