Book Review

Top Thrillers and Suspense!

I have been reading a lot of stand-alone thrillers and suspense books lately, and I am excited to share some of the best ones with you! While these certainly have mystery elements to them, the main focus of these books is the tension created by the plots, and these are sure to grip you from start to finish!

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First up is The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth. I really loved this one! It’s an intricately plotted domestic thriller about two sisters named Rose and Fern. Both sisters are narrators of this book, and it was fun to figure out which, if either, was the more reliable narrator. As the present plot unfolded, the book also sheds light on the past. And as present-drama and past-secrets collide, I was on the edge of my seat. I am a big fan of Hepworth and can’t wait to read more of her books.

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Next is The Last Flight by Julie Clark. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “stressful” (but in a good way!) This was an incredibly gripping book! Again, there are two viewpoints we follow in this book – Claire and Eva. Both women, who only meet briefly, are desperate to escape their circumstances. But when they attempt to swap lives, both of their dark secrets continue to cause problems. There were lots of fun twists and turns in this one!

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Finally, there’s For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing. This book features a true anti-hero: Teddy Crutcher, a teacher at a prestigious school who enacts his own form of justice as he tries to teach those around him a lesson by very dubious means. The characters in this book were absolutely fascinating, and while the plot was more straightforward than mysterious, I really enjoyed the tension and slow build. I would definitely recommend this one to people who like character-driven suspense.

Have you read any of these or do you have a thriller you want to share? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany

Book Review

Review: Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day

Winter always makes me want lots of cozy mysteries on my Kindle! There’s something so wonderful about the fun small towns and amateur sleuths. Recently, I’ve been binge reading the Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day and I highly recommend them!

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The first book in the series is Flipped for Murder. It stars Robbie Jordan who recently moved back to a small town in Indiana to open her own restaurant/country store Pans ‘N Pancakes. Robbie is a great protagonist with an interesting backstory and a lot of great personality. Day does a wonderful job at creating this character as well as many memorable side characters. With each book, I look forward to diving back in to this little town and spending more time with these characters. The mystery plots are pretty standard for the cozy genre, and I appreciate that they move quickly and remain engaging throughout the series. Overall, I highly recommend this one – just prepare yourself to be hungry after reading Day’s descriptions of all the food that Robbie cooks in her restaurant!

Have you read this series or are you loving a different cozy series this weekend? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany

Poetry Review

Ephemeral Elegies December Roundup

I hope everyone had a good holiday season! January has felt like both the shortest and longest month ever due to a bad bout of covid. But I’m on the mend now and wanted to share the December roundup from Ephemeral Elegies:

I hope you enjoyed these poems! Thanks for supporting this project and our amazing poets!

-Tiffany

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
Fashion

Dream Dress! – Perfect for a Gala

Do you ever stumble across a dress or shoe that you can’t stop thinking about? It happens to me pretty frequently, and while it used to make me worry I was deeply shallow at heart, now I know it’s just an extension of my imagination. When I see something beautiful, I’m drawn to it – I’m drawn to its story or the story that could be formed around it. And recently, I came across this dress and a new obsession began. I absolute long for a reason to buy and wear this dress (so, side note: if you’re going to a gala soon, feel free to invite me!)

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The amazing thing is that this Nina tulle dress is actually pretty affordable and available on Amazon for only $69. It really does seem like something that someone would wear to a gala or red carpet event. It might even work for a formal event like prom or even as a bridesmaid dress. Unfortunately, in my case, I know that my short height and larger bust size would make it difficult to pull off this dress even should the occasion arise, but a girl can dream, right?

Anyway, even though I probably won’t be able to wear this dress to a masquerade ball on Valentine’s day where I fall in love with a mysterious stranger (oh no, I fear I’m veering dangerously close to Hallmark movie territory now), that doesn’t mean you can’t!

If you have a great story about a life-changing dress or have an opinion on this one, be sure to let me know in the comments section!

XO – Tiffany

Book Review

Book Review: Maggie Hope Mysteries

It’s been a while since I reviewed a book or series, but there’s one series in particular that I definitely wanted to share! I have been loving the Maggie Hope Mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal. These are historical mysteries set during World War II that feature a young woman, Maggie Hope, a British-born American who becomes a codebreaker and spy. The first book in the series is Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.

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This is a pretty long-running series. It has 10 books that have already been published and surely more are on the way. I am halfway through the series, and I think they just keep getting better and better. Maggie is a fantastic heroine who really grows and evolves throughout the series (which means, you definitely should read them in order to get the full impact of her character development!) She is smart and engaging and I adore following her on her many WWII adventures.

Also, while this is definitely not a cozy series, I appreciate that there are some lighthearted moments in each of the books, which balances out the serious war subject matter. I don’t know about you but WWII books can really get me depressed but these balance out the facts with some fun fictional scenarios that are probably a touch beyond what is realistic. Still, I love that each book features at least one very important real historical figure.

If you are a fan of mysteries and history, I absolutely recommend this series. They’re truly some of the best I’ve read. They’re fun and adventurous but are firmly grounded in actual historical events. The characters are refreshing and lively, and they also grow in believable and meaningful ways throughout the series.

Have you read this series or do you love a different historical mystery series? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany

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New Painting – Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve! Right now, it seems like Cincinnati will be having a mild, kind of warmish Christmas which is just fine with me. I can’t believe this is the second Christmas we’re celebrating during a global pandemic, but hopefully that helps us all feel just even more grateful for our family and friends.

I was looking through my recent paintings and this one felt a bit Christmas-y to me with the red and green like light coming through a stain glass church window. Anyway, I thought I’d share it since it’s a tad festive.

May you have a wonderful Christmas filled with all the people you love and the warmest of memories!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

-Tiffany

Fashion

Petite Fashion Styling – Best Pants Ever!

As a petite person, it can be really hard to find clothes that fit correctly. Often, petite departments have limited options filled with matronly things I don’t particularly want to wear. But with short arms, a short waist, and very short legs, standard clothing departments typically just have options that seem to devour my frame and trail on the ground behind me. In case you also have this issue, I wanted to share my absolute favorite brand for affordable pants that fit without needing to be tailored or hemmed!

For reference, I am 5’2″ so even some petite pants end up being a bit too long. However, the Hybrid & Company Women’s Stretchy High Waisted Slim Fit Pants come in Standard, Short, and Tall sizes, and I’ve found that the Short ones are PERFECT for my frame. Not only is the length perfect, but they are so comfortable! They also have functional pockets and are pull-ons so you don’t have to worry about zippers or buttons. I wear these pants almost every day and have them in charcoal (featured above), black, dark wash denim, and white.

I found these pants on Amazon and they are only about $30 (the price seems to fluctuate but it’s always roughly that amount unless there’s a sale!) I would love more color options, but I’m thrilled that I can get all the neutrals taken care of! I will say that it’s important to order a size up (I’m typically a small but I definitely need a medium in these pants). I hope these pants are never ever discontinued because they are so perfect for me and my short stature.

Also, as a bonus, I’ll link to the shirt I’m wearing in the picture too: it’s from Romwe and retails on Amazon for about $20. I love the little pearl detailing, the puffy sleeves, and the slim fit. Often, since I’m short waisted, shirts drown me or look like tunics even when they’re not supposed to, but this brand is cut at just the right length. They aren’t actually marketed as petite though, so if you have a longer torso, these might be too short for you. Also, I typically order two sizes up (the shirt in the picture is a large). It can be annoying guessing at sizing for fast fashion, but I typically try to err on getting a bigger size whenever possible since lots of similar brands fit smaller than expected.

I hope this was helpful! If you’re petite (or have the opposite problem) please let me know in the comment section if you have any favorite go-to brands that fit you perfectly!

XO- Tiffany

Poetry Review

November 2021 Ephemeral Elegies Roundup!

I am super proud and honored to be the Editor-in-Chief of Ephemeral Elegies, a poetry-focused literary journal. It’s been an amazing experience to connect with so many poets from around the globe, so I wanted to make sure I’m sharing more of their work on this site too. So, after each month, I’m going to start posting a roundup of the poems published in case anyone wants to experience some great poetry. Here are the poems that we published in November 2021:

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany

Fashion

Great Christmas Shopping Idea!

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea for the fashionista in your life, look no further! I am absolutely obsessed with this Scarleton bag that I bought myself for Black Friday!

This medium-sized bag is perfect for the office. It’s small enough to not feel like a burden while being big enough that I can toss a book or something larger inside to transport it to and from work. It comes in so many shades but I picked grey because of its versatility. It goes with every outfit I own and the neutral color balances out the adorable but large bow. Its quilted design also reminds me of vintage Chanel. Best of all, this bag retails at $40 so it won’t break the bank!

Anyway, happy holidays everyone! And enjoy the last-minute shopping adrenaline high!

XO – Tiffany