Fashion: Bonobos Winter Style Challenge

Monday, November 24, 2014

With sites like Bonobos.com, men have no excuse for not looking their best. Fairly new to the game, founded in the late 2000s, Bonobos offers apparel from the likes of suits to casual shirts to shoes. The man in your life can look put together for work or for those Saturday visits with you to the bookstore.

In honor of their new Winter LookBook, Bonobos is hosting a Winter Style Challenge for fashion bloggers. They asked me to come up with my best look to complement an ensemble from their men's suit collection. I don't blog about fashion as much as I'd like to, but as a Pinterest addict who's constantly pinning something fashion related, I jumped at the chance and here's what I came up with.

Here's the men's ensemble from Bonobos:




Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson (YA/Teen Fiction)~ My Review

Saturday, November 22, 2014

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Trading Secrets
by Melody Carlson
Copyright 2014
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800722272
The Story:
The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?

Read more about Trading Secrets on the Revell website.



My Review:
I don't normally pick up young adult books when I visit the Christian book section, but I'm considering making room on my shelves after having had such a great experience with the books I've read this year. Since Amish stories are my guilty pleasures, I thought I'd give Trading Secrets, teen fiction set in Ohio, a go. While not a must-read, it's still a cute story of faith and friendship.

Happy Holidays with Her Universe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TARDIS Knit Dress
Photo from Heruniverse.com
I don't know many people who aren't suckers for the Christmas season. As much as I HATE the cold, I love the thought of a white Christmas spent with family and friends. In fact, I think Christmas is the only time of year I wish for snow. Of course it never seems to happen, but I can continue to hope, right? Oh well.

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco, Book 3) by Julie Lessman ~ My Review

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Surprised by Love
(The Heart of San Francisco, Book 3)
by Julie Lessman
Copyright 2014
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800721657


The Story: 
She can turn the head of the man who spurned her--but can she turn his heart? 

When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney's office, she's thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she'll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored.

Doctor Who: The Spear of Destiny Review + Giveaway! #12Doctors12Stories

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! Chances are, most of you are or have dressed up as a favorite superhero, princess, or even a character from your favorite story for those Halloween parties or trick-or-treating. I dressed up as Barbie, I'm pretty sure I dressed up as a monster, and one year I went as a blast from the past; a 50s girl complete with poodle skirt.

I have to say if I were going out tonight, I'd go as the Doctor. By now, I'm sure you all know how much I like love am obsessed with Doctor Who, so this probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. How could you not want to pay homage to someone as cool and timeless (pun intended) as the universe's favorite Time Lord?

The character of the Doctor is one of the few TV heroes with staying power -- he's been around for over 50 years now and it's easy to see why. Doing good will never go out of style in my opinion! And speaking of style, could it be any easier to whip up a Who costume in the lurch? I mean this guy has some serious fashion sense. Quirky would be the word I'd use most often. Fluffy collars, celery pins, sleek leather jackets, and of course, the "cool" bowtie! You can definitely get creative with your cosplay! You can even get Fido involved. If you need a little help with your costume, be sure to visit the BBC's Doctor Who website -- you can download printable masks!

Sole Mates: Wide Shaft Boots

Friday, October 24, 2014

I'm a total Pinterest addict. Since joining a few years ago I've pinned and repinned over 12,000 recipes, GIFs, wedding gowns, and film and TV related items. I pretty much can't go to sleep at night unless I log onto Pinterest and pin a few things. So, yeah, I'd say I qualify as an addict.

A few nights ago I realized that "I'd Wear It", a board of all sorts of fashions that I'd love to rock, was bursting with over 500 pins. I know it's a good idea to limit the number of pins on a board so things don't get too cluttered or lost in the abyss, so I've been TRYING to reorganize and shuffle things around. In my scroll through said board I realized that a lot of my pins were shoes. Yes. I have also somehow morphed into a shoe addict. Well...not so much a shoe addict as a boot addict. Heels are pretty, but they kill my piggies -- plus I'm a clutz. I do love a pair of tall boots even though my large calves hate them. But what's a Pinterest board for other than a place to pin your hopes and dreams, right?

Anyhoo, I got this idea for a board called "Sole Mates". I know it's a little corny (OK, a looooot corny), but at this point in my life a good shoe is pretty much the closest thing I have to true love. I also have a special boo board, "Boot Beauties". Since it's fall I thought it would be fun to share some of the boots I love and the one's I'm lusting after right here.

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The Classic 
Price: $428.00
Image from the Frye website 
For me, Frye is the penultimate boot. It's easy to see why they've been making boots for over 150 years. I love their combat styles. Whether or not these riding boots will fit those with a more voluptuous calf (the website reads 15 2/3" circumference and that isn't cuttin' it for this gal), I don't know. Can we talk about how beautiful these are though? That leather looks like a strong cup of coffee and I'll bet it feels like butter! Smoooooth, baby.

It's Animal Welfare Week ~ Check Out Doghouse by L.A. Kornetsky (Pocket Books Fiction)

Friday, October 10, 2014

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Coco says, "I'm a queen and
I have the crown to prove it!"
You may not know it, but it's Animal Welfare Week through October 11 and National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week November 2 - 8. I don't know about you, but I would be lost without my furry friends. Coco is queen of the castle here at Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot and she's helping me celebrate critters everywhere with this special post featuring L. A. Kornetsky and her latest novel, Doghouse. If you love a mystery with a twist (anthropomorphic characters), this is a book you'll want to get your hands (or paws!) on.

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The ASPCA and kitty, Pandora by L.A. Kornetsky:
I’m getting ready for a move, and part of that is decluttering. Getting rid of things – objects, old paperwork – that I don’t need to haul with me any more.

But in a folder of otherwise no-longer-needed papers, there’s a sheet I’m keeping. It’s from the ASPCA, and it documents my adoption of the kitten once known as Minna, who became my beloved Pandora, gone now a little over a year.

There’s no point to keeping the sheet of paper. All it does is say that I paid x amount for a 4 month old female tiger kitten, spayed. But throwing it out isn’t an option, either. Because this was the first connection I had to Pandora, the first contract we made with each other: I would give her food, shelter, care, and a lap when she wanted it. I would give her a home. And in return, she gave me such love and companionship, letting her go at the end was no less a pain than losing a human friend.

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford (My Review)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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The Sea House
by Elisabeth Gifford
Copyright 2013
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250043344
The Story:
Scotland, 1860. 

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together – a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.


My Thoughts:
Elisabeth Gifford's The Sea House is a book I could not put down. I know that has become something of a cliche in the book review world, but it's true! Even if I had not been on a deadline to get this story read, I honestly think I would have read it in one sitting. Not only is the setting wonderful (The Hebrides), but the story revolves around an old house on the seaside and an intriguing decades old mystery that haunts its new owners.

Book Spotlight: The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall seems to be the perfect time for new books. The weather's getting cooler and sitting by a warm fire or cozying up under a fuzzy blanket with a hot cup of tea are perfect situations in which to find yourself with a good book close at hand. This time of year authors and publishers take full advantage and some great looking books are in the pipeline from some of my favorite authors as well as new stories from established writers. One of those writers, Lena Goldfinch, has a brand new sweet historical romance coming out that looks fantastic. I thought I'd share with you just in case you're looking for a book to add to your TBR piles this season! Check it out and let me know what you think. Don't forget to enter Lena's giveaway linked at the bottom of this post!


The Story:
What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?

Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a "perfect lady" for a wife—a real Southern belle, who's now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a "perfect lady" for her future husband.

If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he'd have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca's vulnerable eyes...and knows he'll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.

Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?

Book One in The Brides Series
Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel 

Release Date: October 6th, 2014
Available for pre-order in ebook format: 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Litfuse Blog Tour: Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll (My Review)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hidden in the Stars
by Robin Caroll
Copyright 2014
Abingdon Press
ISBN: 9781426773600
The Story:
A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large—and who his next victim will be.

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21‑year‑old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?


My Thoughts: 
I'm an avid reader of just about any kind of romantic fiction. When I have to take three weeks off from reading (yeah...three whole weeks!), you better believe I have high expectations for the book that restarts my reading binge. Luckily, that book just happened to be by Robin Caroll, so I knew it was pretty much a given that I would enjoy the story.

Hidden in the Stars was a sweet little treat for this book addict. At just over 200 pages it was just the right length to get me back in the game. Happily I can say Robin used those pages wisely and crafted a suspense-filled yet tender love story that I liked. It was interesting to read a story where the main character communicated through a lip reader since her injuries limited her. I thought it was a tad awkward for a romance, but the ending of the story wasn't completely over-the-top, so it ended up working for me.

Tieks Review

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Tieks arrived in this pretty blue box
with the flower, drawstring pouch,
Tieks info card, and a sweet
handwritten note. Sorry, the blue
chair and cushion aren't included. ;-)
Ahhh the first day of fall, isn't it refreshing? Meh. I don't care for it. Bet you thought that was going to go a different way, didn't ya? Well, even though I don't care for the arrival of the cooler weather, I do appreciate the fact that I can once again break out the boots! Yay! However, if you're a flip flop wearing girl like I am, the transition from almost going barefoot to encapsulating the ol' tootsies in thick socks and leather can be a difficult thing! Luckily, I have found the perfect shoes to help with the aspect of transitioning my feet from summer warmth to fall chill -- Tieks by Gavrieli.

Just what the heck are Tieks? you may be wondering. Tieks are a fabulous line of high quality leather (don't worry, there are vegan choices too!) ballet flats available in a variety of shades, colors, and patterns, to suit just about everyone's tastes. Each shoe is accented with the classic Tieks blue sole and heel accent. The patent leather and prints are two of my favorite collections.

Her Universe Apparel is a Fangirl's Dream ~ Review & Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photo of Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein
wearing the Doctor's Catchphrase tank
By now I'm sure you know that I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, Marvel, and other sci-fi and superhero franchises. These days I think it's becoming more acceptable to be a geek than ever before. I personally LOVE that more companies are catering to not just the dudes anymore, but names like Her Universe and Think Geek are marketing towards the ladies.


Her Universe is one of my all-time favorite companies. Not only are their clothes specifically geared towards the female figure, but they offer clothing for all shapes and sizes anywhere from extra small to 3X. Did I mention a lot of their stuff is made right in the US? I know, right?! Super cool! I own a few of their pieces, including the tank top pictured above. It's part of their new Doctor Who collection and I already know it's going to be a wardrobe staple. I really don't care that it's fall and there's a bite in the air. I'm wearing it, sleeves or no! Its super soft cotton blend in the perfect