Winter in July Blogathon -New in Town (2009)

SUMMARY

Lucy Hill (Renee Zelweger) is the sole female executive for Munck Foods in Miami. Her career is her priority. When her boss mentions that one of their blue collar manufacturing plants needs some restructuring, Lucy volunteers. She is less than enthused however, when she learns that she will have to temporarily relocate to a small town in wintry Minnesota.

Lucy’s arrival in New Ulm is less than promising. The town’s citizens and plant employees are prejudiced against her. Lucy’s chilly attitude does nothing to endear her to them. Things go from bad to worse when she unintentionally antagonizes both the local union representative, Ted (Harry Connick Jr.) and Stu (J.K. Simmons), the plant foreman. Her only ally is her overly friendly secretary Blanche (Siobhan Fallon Hogan).

Thanks to Blanche’s efforts, Lucy slowly begins to warm up to the people of New Ulm. She begins to see them as individuals with something to offer, instead of names and statistics related to her job. As Lucy starts to involve herself in the community she finds she has more in common with these small town folk than she wants to admit. Her relationship with Ted also begins to heat up, though Stu still resists all of her efforts at reconciliation.

Lucy’s love for her new friends is challenged when her boss orders her to close the plant which provides the main source of employment for New Ulm. She is forced to re-examine her priorities and determine where her heart belongs. Continue reading “Winter in July Blogathon -New in Town (2009)”

Top Ten Tuesday -A Few of my All Time Favorite Books

Today’s Topic: Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Well, I may have jumped the gun a little bit on this week’s prompt. I actually tackled this subject on a recent Top Ten Tuesday post. So instead of sharing my favorite reads of the year, I’m going to share my favorite reads ever! These are books that I re-visit over and over without ever growing tired of their stories.

Since I have more than ten all-time favorites, today I will share those that have received little to no attention on my website. I always love to introduce people to a good story!

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -A Few of my All Time Favorite Books”

Top Ten Tuesday -Books That Celebrate America

Today’s Topic: Books with Red, White, & Blue Covers (In honor of the 4th of July in the USA. Choose covers with your own country’s colors if you prefer!)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I was really excited about this week’s prompt, until I started looking through all my books. Can you believe with hundreds of books on my shelves I only have two or three with appropriately hued patriotic covers?! #fail.

After this astonishing discovery I realized I would have to reinterpret the prompt. So, instead I have made a list of books which I believe feature stories celebrating America. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Books That Celebrate America”

Foreign Film Friday -The Red Queen (2015)

SUMMARY

She was referred to as “Soviet Sophia Loren” and “the most beautiful Kremlin weapon.” But who was the Red Queen? Was she the queen of the catwalk or a KGB agent seducing foreign diplomats? How did she manage to succeed and what was the price she had to pay? The life of Regina Zbarskaya, the most famous USSR, is full of mystery and drama.

In 1950’s Communist Russia, a family tragedy leaves Zoya Kolesnikova a stigmatized orphan. Leaving her home town, she heads to Moscow to escape her past. While there she adopts the name Regina. With the help of a benefactress,she reinvents herself through education and determination.

Initially she pursues her mother’s dream of becoming an accountant, but a chance encounter leads her into the world of fashion. Regina works hard not only to become a clothes model but also to overcome past mistakes. Eventually, she realizes success not only in Russia but also world wide. But past traumas still haunt her and a life of fame has its’ price. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -The Red Queen (2015)”

Film Review -Tea With Mussolini

Tea With Mussolini is a film that has been on my radar for a long time. For years. Populated with some of the best British actresses of our time, I knew it was a movie I had to see. Unfortunately, it is not readily available on the streaming platforms I use. Finally, I decided I had waited long enough and purchased the DVD. It’s a purchase I do not regret.

In it’s purest form, Tea With Mussolini portrays the story of an orphaned Italian boy who’s life intersects with those of female British expatriates living in Italy during the years of WWII.

SUMMARY

Little Luca’s mother is dead and his father cannot claim him, thanks to his vindictive, jealous wife. He is taken in by the kindly, maternal Mary Wallace (Joan Wallace) who can’t bear to see him sent to an orphanage. Mary is part of a community of British woman living in Florence which includes the flighty, artistic Arabella (Judy Dench) and the widow of the former British ambassador to Italy, Lady Hester Random (Maggie Smith). Also, contributing to Luca’s education and welfare are the American women Georgia Rockwell (Lily Tomlin) and the wealthy, flamboyant, Elsa Morganthal (Cher). Elsa’s friendship with Luca’s mother inspires her to provide a small trust for Luca’s future. Together these women share their knowledge and compassion with the young Luca before he is sent off to boarding school on the eve of World War II.

Years pass, and the women remain in Italy even though Britain is at war with their host country. Eventually, they are removed from their homes in Florence to less than acceptable housing as prisoners of war. Luca returns home where he secretly works with Elsa to better their living conditions.

To read the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat.

Book Review -The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

SUMMARY

After her seemingly perfect life falls apart, Sarah Hollenbeck reinvents herself as a successful author of steamy romance novels.  At the height of her fame, Sarah becomes a Christian. Determined to leave her old life behind completely, she experiences culture shock as she throws herself into a new lifestyle.

But her old identity isn’t so easy to leave behind. Her fans and her publisher are clamoring for a new release. Meanwhile, Sarah’s past is one she tries to keep quiet at her new church, especially when she begins dating her pastor. Sarah is sincere in her desire for a complete personal transformation. But navigating the expectations, demands and privacy concerns of her new life presents a challenge. Continue reading “Book Review -The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck”

Top Ten Tuesday -Series I’ve Given Up On

Today’s Topic: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Although I probably have more reading time than most, it isn’t near enough to conquer my massive TBR list. Unfortunately, this means many books I purchase don’t end up being read. And though I almost never DNF a book, I do sometimes DNF a series. It’s rarely because I don’t like the series. Most of the times it is because a lot of time has passed in between the books I’ve read and the ones still remaining and I lose interest. Other times, I like the first book or two in the series, but I just don’t find them compelling enough to continue. With reading time a valuable commodity, a series must keep me intrigued over the length of the entire series. I may finish a single title that I find less than fascinating, but I won’t invest the time into a whole series. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Series I’ve Given Up On”

Classic Film Review -Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

SUMMARY

Ruggles is a staid valet employed by the Earl of Burnstead. Ruggles comes from a long line of men who have served the Burnstead family for generations. So, when the Earl informs Ruggles that he lost him in a poker game to a wealthy American couple, Ruggles tries to hide his surprise. It becomes harder to disguise this surprise when he meets the Floud’s, his new employers. They have only recently come into wealth and it shows.

Egbert Floud is the epitome of a loud, tasteless American tourist. While his wife Effie tries very hard to disguise their humble beginnings with expensive clothes and poorly spoken French. Ruggles is privately appalled by the Flouds, particularly as Egbert insists on treating him as an equal and continually ignoring their difference in class. Effie on the other hand is a woman Ruggles understands, despite her patronizing snobbery. Effie’s desire for an English valet for her husband coincide perfectly with Ruggles understanding of his place in life.

But Egbert just can’t seem to treat Ruggles as an inferior. When the Flouds return to their western Washington home town, Ruggles learns his preconceptions of a wild untamed land have been exaggerated. He has difficulty adjusting to the little town of Red Gap, but as Egbert and his friends continually insist on treating Ruggles as an equal, he begins to see the benefits of America. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Summer Reads

Today’s Topic: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach (This can also serve as your summer TBR)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Well, I was going to choose books to be read by the pool or beach. But there are two problems with this.

1.) I’m not a seasonal reader. I choose books like I choose clothes; by whatever catches my fancy that day.

2.) I don’t spend ANY time at the pool or beach. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was at either of these places.

So instead, this week’s list will be my Summer TBR list. There are some new releases, that I’m really looking forward to tackling. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Summer Reads”

Book Review -In the Eye of the Storm

SUMMARY

In the Eye of the Storm is the second book in a series written by German author Robert Thier. It picks up where book one left off, with the powerfully wealthy, arrogant Rikkard Ambrose still trying to shed himself of one very stubborn female employee. But Lilly Linton refuses to be fired or to quit.

Mr. Ambrose and Lilly are still locked in a battle of control, while also fighting their strange emotional reactions to each other.  Mr. Ambrose is also still at war with his long time business nemesis. This precipitates a trip to Egypt for himself and Lilly. In an effort to appear undercover in a guise his nemesis will never suspect, Lilly and Mr. Ambrose pretend to be a honeymooning couple. But Lilly has trouble playing the part of a loving wife to her tyrant boss. Not to mention, their pursuit of information and revenge puts them both in more peril than ever. Continue reading “Book Review -In the Eye of the Storm”