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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Books, Gifts, and a Giveaway



Hello, dear friends.   Find a comfy chair and grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine.  This post is a long one but chock full of good books and gift items for the book lover in your life.  If you stick with me, you will be rewarded with a giveaway at the conclusion of the post. 




Over the weekend, I had a chance to go to a book signing for one of my favorite authors, Dolley Carlson.  I had the pleasure of meeting delightful Dolley two years in a row at the Beacon Hill Garden Walk.  You can read about it here and here.

Dolley is the author of The Red Coat, one of my favorite historical fiction novels.  The story opens with an Irish domestic worker asking her Beacon Hill employer for a red coat which was in a donation pile.  That red coat weaves many tales throughout the coming years.  The Red Coat is a beautifully written multi-generational novel that follows two families and one red coat.  I was so sad as I read the last pages.  I wanted it to last forever.

Here's the good news.  Dolley was kind enough to give me an autographed copy of The Red Coat for a giveaway.  There will be more details at the end of this post.

Here's some more good news.  I've asked a dear reader to review some nonfiction books that she has enjoyed.  Her name is Ellen, and she is a native of the great state of Michigan.  Reading is her passion and Ellen is discriminating - only nonfiction.  I am so happy to welcome Ellen and I look forward to working with her in posts to come.








What can I say?
I've been a sucker for a love story involving a Catholic priest since The Thornbirds.
This one doesn't disappoint.



This page-turner centers around an Irish girl coming to America in the early 1900s.  While at sea, Bridey loses the love of her life.  The Latecomers has got everything - love, heartache, strong family ties, 
plenty of secrets and inspiring friendships.



 

There are lots of twists and turns in this spine-tingling thriller about a prominent doctor and the pharmaceutical business.  This one kept me guessing until the bitter end.



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I adored The Story of Arthur Truluv.  Naturally, I was excited for the sequel to be released. Night of Miracles is a sweet story but lacks the magic of the first book.
Don't listen to me though, it got great reviews on Amazon. 




I just started this one, and it grabbed me from the first page.  This is the first book that I have read by Nicholas Sparks since The Notebook.  I'm only a few chapters in, and I'm already pining for the protagonist, Tru.  Of course, his name is Tru.  I think that I will be looking into some of Sparks' older books.
Any recommendations? 




I just started listening to this one.  It is so good that it got me to take my walk for the past two days in 40-degree weather.  I hope that the story will keep the momentum.  I need to lose some serious lbs.





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Bill Bryson is a fountain of knowledge and an amazing writer. If you aren’t yet familiar, he will stun you with the minutiae he can summon about things like the history of toilets. Funny and yet exceedingly factual. 


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A reference manual to one of the very best cooking shows on TV. Not only great recipes, but you’ll love the reviews of the products they tested and resulting recommendations. A must-read before you impulse-buy yet another trendy appliance soon relegated to the donate pile. 


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If you’re a fan of interior design you may already own one of Ms. Howard’s lovely books showcasing her amazing skill at placing tchotchkes and fluffing pillows (and I mean that in only the most admirable way). She’s an incredible designer. Her latest effort capturing the coastal atheistic will have you dreaming of a watery blue color scheme with the “Theme From A Summer Place” wafting on the breeze. 

Great job, Ellen!
You're hired!




This one sounds intriguing. It is about a writer that is hired by the husband of another writer to finish his wife's books because she is dealing with an injury.



It seems like yesterday that Lisa Jewel released her last book, which I enjoyed.  This one looks like another nail-biter.


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Great reviews on this one.  It is not my usual kind of story, but I may make an exception for this one.  Besides, I really like the cover.


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I'm really not sure what the story is about from reading the synopsis.  It has evoked some emotional reviews.  Rumor has it that the audible version is better than the book.



The wife is blissfully happily married.
The husband, not so much.



Two married lawyers take the law into their own hands when their son gets in trouble.

Sounds like a good story but I'm pretty sure I would never be friends with the parents in real life.



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I usually buy this type of book the first of the year with all good intentions.  
I never follow through.  
You might have better luck.




I had the privilege of meeting Ann Hood at a Breakfast With The Authors.  She was lovely and a fascinating speaker.  This book looks good.






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A possible stocking stuffer for the college student in your life?







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The Mister bought me an Oasis this year, and I love it.  
It's light and waterproof.

Remember when I spilled my Smoothie on my keyboard?
It wasn't pretty.

The Mister is now buying me only waterproof gifts.
It's lucky that I'm not sensitive.




If you or someone you know loves to read and has a long, nasty commute on a daily basis a subscription to Audible is the perfect gift.

The difference in the Mister's mood when he is listening to a good book in the car and when he's not is like night and day.

As I mentioned earlier, a great book gives me the incentive to get outside and walk. 



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I mentioned this cute ornament on another post.







This is for the person who loves the smell of books.
Btw... the Mister loves the smell of fresh mulch.
Hopefully, there is not a candle carrying that scent.






Now that bibliophile in your life can smell like a book!


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True dat.



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An idea for the future book lover - a book with a matching onesie!





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A digital timer/bookmark is another idea for the organized book lover!








A warm bath, a great book, and a glass of vino.  Why not give your favorite book lover the ultimate moments of relaxation after a long, hard day of blogging working.




For the book lover in your life who appreciates a delicious hot breakfast and a good book while lounging in bed on a Sunday morning.  



A book seat is perfect for the reader who needs to be hands-free so that he/she can dip their chips and hold a glass of wine.  
Not that I would know anything about that...




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How cute is this?
A wireless folding book lamp.





For the ultimate Moby Dick fan.




or the sailor...



...Or the traveler


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.. or the Super Hero in your life.



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Each tea bag comes with a literary quote.
Why didn't I think of that?



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... and one more glass of wine. 



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Why not give the tea, mug, this cute spoon, and a book together as a sweet gift for your favorite reader?


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Cute stocking stuffer!




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A book light AND a bookmark!



And one more glass of wine...
Have I said that already?



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For the book lover who also enjoys a signature cocktail.




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My #1 gave me one of these journals years ago.  It was great because I had been known to not only buy but also read a book twice and not on purpose.  Now I consult my blog. 



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How about some notecards with a sweet note attached saying... for my thank you note.  Then again, skip the note.
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For the reader that can never find their glasses.
Warning:  this is not for the person who always loses their keys.



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I've been a proud member of a few of these book clubs.


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My mantra for 2019!


You made it!
It's time for the giveaway.



I love the cover as much as the story.




The Giveaway not only includes an autographed copy of Dolley's wonderful book, The Red Coat but also a Christmas Ornament entitled A Day At Fenway Park.

To enter, please leave a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on my blog in 2019.  You can tell me what you would like to see less of too - like ridiculously long posts like this one.

I have heard from several of you that you have been having difficulty leaving comments.  

Have I mentioned to you lately how much I hate technology?  

Anyway, not to worry if you can't leave a comment.  Just shoot me an email at preppyemptynester@gmail.com, and I'll count you in. 

Just as a heads up... I am vulnerable to bribery as well as flattery.

* Giveaway is now closed.




Are you stumped trying to think of the perfect gift for someone?
My gift guides can be found hereherehere and here.



Until next time...





Dogster


Linking up with:
Friday Favorites
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Friday Feature
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Life According to Steph
Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

119 comments:

  1. I love your blog just the way it is!!! I love your book recommendations, the librarian at my library asked me where I find my books. She should be following you soon. Happy Holidays.

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    1. Hi Maryann... Thank you for your kind words. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. I love your posts, especially your book posts! I have read several of your recommendations so thank you and keep them coming! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas! Susan

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    1. Thank you, Susan for taking the time read my blog. I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas as well.

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  3. Love the blog and sketch of the house!
    More-family and fun-books too
    Less-???

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    1. Thanks Brenda. I think that I do need to add some more family and fun books. I'll see if I can find some for January's post. Have a great weekend.

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  4. Fantastic post and a great giveaway. I've already added a book seat to my Amazon cart. I'd love it if you posted recipes of some of the dishes your husband makes-they always look so delicious. Merry Christmas, Lisa

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    1. Not to worry, Lisa. I already talked to the Mister about contributing some recipes. He said "fine." That doesn't mean he's actually going to do it. It just may take more "reminding" on my end. Have a great Christmas, Lisa.

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  5. Love your blog just the way it is!📚I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you for doing these wonderful book reviews. Merry Christmas to you and yours🎄

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, Stephanie. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Enjoy your weekend.

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  6. I don't have any suggestions for your blog - but you might like this book by Diane Chamberlain - The Dream Daughter. I could use your husband to prepare a few meals a month.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Lisa. I am a big fan of Diane Chamberlain's. Have a great weekend.

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  7. Great book reviews. I’ve been enjoying your blog just the way it is. I love your header picture. So cute.

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  8. I love your blog just the way it is. I ALWAYS love anything about books books books. And Amazon. Because I'm obsessed with both. :)

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    1. I agree on both counts. Have a great weekend, Kelly.

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  9. That sounds like a great book!! I think I have my shopping done. Just waiting on a few things to arrive from Amazon. I ordered my hubs some Black Rifle Coffee. It is a company owned by an Army vet and I have heard a lot about it. I do not like really strong coffee but Marvin does so I think this will hit the spot. Thanks again for giving us a heads up on books to look for at the library.

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    1. I LOVE strong coffee and will give Black Rifle a whirl. Have a great weekend, Arlene.

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  10. The book and the cover are intriguing. I love your blog Katie. Your book reviews, travels, and glimpses into life sweetened with humor are just what I need.
    I find book reviews on Amazon to be so interesting. I just downloaded one the other day that basically had all 1's or all 5's. I will have to see which category I fall in:)

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    1. I am always curious about those books, as well. Let me know what book and what you think. Enjoy your Saturday, Sandy.

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  11. Well I just ordered the book so I guess You should count me out of the giveaway :)
    I would like to see more adventures with your friend Jill on Cape Cod. Love, Your Friend Jill

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  12. I look forgot your blog each week. I hope you share with us about your #1’s wedding.

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  13. I adore your blog and have been reading it for years....you have wonderful suggestions for gifts and I always keep a list of the book recommendations close at hand.
    I think the "Mister" should do a cookbook complete with photos...his creations are truly a work of art.
    Merry Christmas to all.

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    1. I will pass on your kind words to the Mister, CD. Hope it doesn't go to his head.
      Enjoy your weekend.

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  14. Love your blog, but since your daughter is getting married in the near future, could we follow along as the wedding preparations begin -assuming that is OK with your daughter of course! Sherri

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    1. I will consult Bridezilla, oooops, I mean #1 and let you know. Have a great weekend.

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  15. Watching You does look good. I live for these posts! Talk about some cool gift ideas, love these as I have many book lovers in my family except my sons, but I guess college textbooks count, right? Have a splendid day lovely lady!

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  16. That book suggestion sounds fabulous! And I’m looking forward to reading it! In 2019 I want to hear more about the wedding plans for number one, so exciting! I also love reading book recommendations. Keep them coming!

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Joan. I have a feeling you are my CSH buddy. If you are I love following your beautiful family on FB. Have a very Merry Christmas. xx

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  17. I agree on the wedding plans for #1. Your blog is one of my fav's. I check in daily to see if you've posted. I'd be happy if you posted even more about anything! Your sense of humor is the best :)

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    1. I'd be happy if I had more to write about!! Have a wonderful weekend, Lauren. Your dog is adorable!!!

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  18. Good morning. I love your blog. It is the highlight of my day. The only thing I dislike is that you don’t write a new post every day. LOL. You are a breath of fresh air.

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    1. Thank you KimberlyAnne! I wish I had that much to talk about! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  19. I love book reviews...and BOOKS! Would be thrilled to win a copy of this one. How neat that you got to meet the author. I like reading your gift ideas...keep them coming! Holiday hugs, Diane

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  20. There is not one single thing I would change about your blog posts. Just keep on keeping on. I would sure miss you if you didn't. I have read most of the Sparks books and would actually recommend everyone of them. Dear John was made into a movie that you may have seen. Others that I still have on the shelf are Two By Two, The Choice, A Walk to Remember, and At First Sight. Start from the most recent or oldest of his books and go from there. You also might want to check out Charles Martin if you haven't already. I am waiting on my audiobook of Every Breath as we speak. Thanks again for a great post.

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  21. I have been a faithful reader for years, so obviously, I enjoy the content as is. Having said that, I would love to see more of your lovely home, both inside and out. Did you decorate it yourself? Did you make any mistakes? What's your favorite room in the house?
    I also really enjoy any mention of your girls, as I have two grown daughters myself!
    Wishing you a lovely day!

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    1. More home posts in 2019. I promise. I better start dusting! Have a great weekend.

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  22. I am a fairly new reader of your blog but love the way it is. I love reading your reviews on books and adding some to my list. Love the gift ideas in this post. Looking forward to trying to find some. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Monique.. welcome to my blog. Good luck shopping. Have a wonderful week.

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  23. I enjoy your blog so much.I really love the posts about your adventures around your area.I have always loved your part of the world.Dreamed of going in my mind,but will never be able to in real life.At least I feel like I am there when you give of details of your outings to the towns,and the ferry rides.Love when your daughters come along.So happy for your upcoming wedding.My granddaughter was married at a plantation in October last year.Best day ever.Many happy memories coming your way.

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    1. I love when my daughters tag along too! Your granddaughter's wedding sounds beautiful. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  24. Katie, I love your blogs just the way they are. Nothing to add or take away!! I would love to be entered in the give-away! How fun!!

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  25. I adore everything about your blog! Love your gift ideas!

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  26. I love long posts when they are as fun and valuable as this one! So many good ideas! And welcome to Ellen from my own state! (Where's Ellen from in Michigan?)

    What a wonderful premise for a novel and historical fiction. Delighted to enter and thanks for hosting such an intriguing sounding giveaway!

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  27. Your blog is perfect!! Always informative and entertaining. Looking forward to wedding posts in 2019 :)

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  28. Book sounds like a great read - thanks for the recommendation.

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  29. Hi Katie! I love love love your book reviews and, thanks to you, I am a walking audible fan! I also go see my mom every other week and it's a 5 hour round trip ride. I have missed my exit before because I am engrossed in my book. Ha!! Also love your gift ideas and favorites!! Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Hi Adrienne.. I'm so glad that you love Audible as much as me. It makes long walks and drives fly by. I just listened to "Have A Nice Day" on Audible. It's free with an Audible subsciption. It's a one-act play written by Billy Crystal and it is a riot. Have a great week.

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  30. How about an occasional advice column? You have such a delightful sense of humor, I'm sure your answers would be a hoot! I'm intrigued by this book because my great-grandmother arrived from Ireland in the early 1900s & worked as a housemaid on Beacon Hill. At least that's the story she told us. As I work on the family genealogy, I've found that she lied about her age at every opportunity! So who knows how much of her story is true! :)

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    1. An advice column? I LOVE it. If there is one thing that I LOVE to give is advice. Ask my family. My Grandma lied about her age too. She died at 102 or 104 or ??? Have a great week, K, and thanks for the suggestion.

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  31. What a great giveaway! I’d love to see even more of your travel excursions in 2019!

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    1. Me too!!! I better tell the Mr. to book something! Enjoy your week, Karen, and thanks for reading my blog.

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  32. I love your blog! My son and his family live in Boston so when I read your blog I feel like I am visiting them. I make a note of the restaurants and places you go in the northeast that I would like to visit. I also have read many of your book suggestions. My favorite has been A Gentleman in Moscow, May even give it for Christmas gifts this year. So keep the recommendations coming.

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    1. I love to give my favorite book of the year as a present. Have a great week, Peggy Mae.

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  33. This is probably not as detailed a request for posts for 2019 as you'd like, but truthfully, I love your blog and the variety of ideas, decor and more pressing topics like gift buying, beauty and books, movies and the like, just as it is. You cover the topics I enjoy reading about and your humor always has my mister asking, what's so funny?, as I read each post.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Karen. I appreciate your nice comments. Have a great week.

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  34. You are the best! And I'm not bribing you with flattery. Prove it, you might say? I'm not writing this because of your giveaway -- I've already told my Mister about "The Red Coat" as a Christmas gift. I'm writing this to tell you how happy your blog makes me! It does! I love your ornery humor! Your verve! Your book reviews, stories about your family, pictures of your lovely home. When your blog arrives in my email box, I actually save it for last so that I can make a cup of tea, sit down & savor it. You're a treasure & we 💚 you. Merry Christmas! XO Marilyn🎄

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    1. Marilyn..."Ornery" is my middle name! Your comment made my day! Have a wonderful week.

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  35. Always enjoy your blog. Really missed you when you where away this summer. Do like the book reviews and gift ideas. Actually the whole blog! What a lovely give away.
    Seasons Greetings to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks so much Betty for taking the time to read my blog. I missed you too this Summer. Have a wonderful week.

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  36. Please don't change a thing! Yours is the blog I most look forward to! Humor, information, fashion, great taste (we have similar taste), love of family, etc. Merry Christmas!

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  37. Books!! Seems like everyone loves your book reviews.

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  38. I just found your blog and I wouldn't change a thing!

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    1. Dorothy - Welcome! I'm so glad that you found me!! Enjoy your weekend!

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  39. Hi,
    I like your blog just they way it is. I enjoy your posts about your travels. Most of all it is the humor. I love your humor.

    Give us a review on any of the other N. Sparks books you read. My most recent reads by him have been The Longest Ride .. I liked .. the way he writes about the mother in the story did not appeal to me. She is like this super farm lady. Since I have a flower farm, I knew that ALL that she does just was not do able. LOL So it maybe was just me.

    The Best of Me was the other I read. It was good.

    Two by Two intrigues me. Let me know if you read more of his work.

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    1. I certainly will, Carla. WAIT! You have a flower farm? How wonderful! I'll keep you posted on N Sparks books. Have a great weekend. Thank you so much for leaving such nice comments during the year. They are much appreciated.

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  40. I love your posts. More about what you are wearing or buying.

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    1. Buying is a lot easier than wearing since I spend most of my life in yoga pants even tho I don't do yoga. Don't tell my neighbors tho - I tell them I am always off to class. Have a great weekend.

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  41. Naturally, we want to hear about wedding planning!
    Info on bloggers that you follow - why do you follow them?
    Party planning, menus, recipes - maybe from hubby?
    Keep up the book reviews & your sense of sarcasm, oops, I mean humor!
    Schedule a Meet & Greet in Dallas, Boston, etc!!

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    1. bjd... those are great ideas. I may do a blogger/instagramer post. All the recipes would HAVE to come from the Mister, my arsenal is on the light side. Good idea about the Meet and Greet too. Thanks for the inspiration, bjd.

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  42. Hi there! Another fan of your blog here! I enjoy it all but especially your book and “stuff” recommendations. I ordered the collagen cream in the yellow jar that you suggested and it is wonderful! I also like seeing the food that your husband makes. Merry Christmas to you! Shari

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    1. Jemimagold... so funny you should mention the cream. I ordered 2 jars and one was cracked open. I filed a complaint with Amazon and within 24 hours I had a credit and I didn't have to return them. One of the many reasons I love Amazon. Hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

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  43. I can't think of one more thing for your blog. It is perfect and I really look forward to it - my favorite blog in fact. I laugh so hard so much as I love your humor. I just wish I had known you as we lived in Dallas (McKinney) at the same a time. Keep bringing humor into our lives!!!!:)

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    1. Oh no... you were in McKinney at the same time? Two ships passing in the night. I miss McKinney and I loved the Square so much. Thanks for reading my blog. Have a great weekend.

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  44. Just keep on doing what you're doing...don't mess with perfection! You make me smile!

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    1. Thank you, Karen for taking the time to read my blog. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  45. Hi Katie, I really enjoy your blog just as it is! I adore your sense of humor and the love you have for your family and friends. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, LeAnne... I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

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  46. I love reading about your adventures, family, pooches, and books you recommend. My only wish is that you continue your blog over the summer.

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    1. Joyce...Thank you for your sweet words. I use the Summer to plan out some of what I will write about for the rest of the year. I also double up on my reading so I can give plenty of reviews in the Fall. Thanks for reading my blog, Joyce!

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  47. I like your sense of humor and enjoy the fruits your labor with wonderful suggestions.

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    1. Thank you Jane. I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.

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  48. I love your book and movie reviews and also when you travel around New England. Hoping to see lots of wedding posts as we are preparing for our son's wedding in June. ❤️

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    1. Hi Ellen! Good luck with your son's wedding. I will start writing about #1's soon.
      Have a great weekend.

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  49. I love reading your blog especially all you book recommendations!

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  50. I love your dogs and your sense of humor! I enjoy your book reviews. I think you enjoy your life and we love reading about you! Doris

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    1. Hello Doris! Thank you so much for your sweet words. If you are the Doris that I think you are, I hope that you are enjoying some Florida sunshine. Have a wonderful Christmas. xx

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  51. Love the book recommendations and I always look forward to seeing what you'll recommend next!

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  52. I love all your content! Book reviews are always appreciated! I'd like to see more of your house....decorating, organizing, etc. It is a tranquilly gorgeous snowy (so rare!) day here in west Texas so I plan on hunkering down with a good book, by the fire alllllll day!

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    1. Hi Brooke! Snow in West Texas? Well Glory Be! Enjoy that quiet day with your good book. There's nothing better!

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  53. I always enjoy your witty posts Katie, you always make me laugh and smile! I've got to dedicate more time for reading in 2019, and love to hear your recommendations. I think I read an excerpt of the Red Coat on my Kindle, and in my typical fashion, just never got around to reading the whole thing! I really don't like the posts where there are prompt questions and the writer answers, except yours because your answers are always clever and funny! Just be yourself and write whatever you want!
    Jenna

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    1. Thanks, Jenna. I love your blog too. You do in one day what I barely get into a week. Have a good Sunday.

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  54. No need to change your posts at all. I find them interesting and fun!
    Especially like your book reviews and suggestions.
    Phyllis

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    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Enjoy your Sunday!

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    2. Jayandlorensharkey@att.netDecember 9, 2018 at 7:21 AM

      I look forward to getting your emails every week! I love your sense of humor! One of my favorites is your gift ideas. They are so helpful. Please keep them coming! ~Loren

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    3. Thank you, Loren. Enjoy your Sunday!

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  55. More posts of the Mister's cooking would be fabulous. The ones you post when you have a dinner party are just gorgeous. Merry Christmas!

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  56. Love Love Love your shopping guides! I just ordered three things that you wrote about above!! Thanks...and that comes with a huge dose of complimentary bribery!!
    More pics of that famous chef's concoctions....Love to see the ways he puts food together!

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  57. oops....looks like while I was posting here, you were making a new post!!
    No problem.....you can keep the complimentary bribery for next time!!!
    Love ya!

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  58. Katie, I can't wait to read the Red Coat...ordering it for my Kindle tonight. If I wasn't 42 pages deep into a project for my grad course I would enter your contest, but can't spare another word. Take Care.

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  59. Regarding books by Nicholas Sparks, I have read them all. He knows the mind of a woman. I am ALMOST finished with "With Every Breath".

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  60. I love reading your posts! My favorites are usually the book, movie, or TV show reviews. Can't wait to read The Red Coat. I always appreciate the spot-on graphics in your posts. Your humor makes me laugh out loud. Keep up the great work, Katie. We appreciate you.

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  61. The Latecomer is waiting for me at the library, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  62. Pinch Provisions makes such cute stuff. Thanks for sharing that one.

    I like the addition of the nonfiction reviews.

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  63. I'm really excited to read Watching You by Lisa Jewell soon!

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