Samuel Adams Brewery | Boston, MA

Apparently breweries are my jam right now. But hey, if you’re in Boston, of course you have to check out their beloved Samuel Adams. It would be a crime not to. ;) Plus the tour is free and they give you a souvenir glass to take home. Wins. I’m all about wins.

These are hops. If they ask you to rub them between your hands, don't. Unless you like sticky hands.

These are hops. If they ask you to rub them between your hands, don’t. Unless you like sticky and hoppy smelling hands.

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samuel-adams-brewery

One of their rare brews, Utopias, is stored in old Whiskey bottles for a year. Certain states don't even sell it!

One of their rare brews, Utopias, is stored in old Whiskey bottles for a year. Certain states don’t even sell it!

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Our tour guides Andrew and Bobby were rather comical and made the tour that much more enjoyable. They’re commentary had me chuckling quite a bit.

We got to try three, so here’s my official review!

Boston Lager
This brew accounts for about 50% of their annual sales and is known for it’s clarity, amber gold color and tastes right in the middle of hops bitterness and malt sweetness. I liked it. It’s one I’d buy and keep in the fridge. If you haven’t tried a Samuel Adams beer, I’d definitely start with this one.

Summer Ale
Mmmmmm. I’m learning when there is a dash of lemon and summer involved in the name or description I’m usually a fan. This one was no different.

Belgian Wheat Ale
We’ll just say this one wasn’t my favorite. A bit too bitter for me.

The tasting room

The tasting room

This one is their most popular

This one is their most popular

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samuel-adams-brewery

samuel-adams-brewery

So there you have it – a peek into the inner workings of the mighty Samuel Adams ;). Boston really is such a fun city. There’s something for everyone and I definitely want to visit again!

Have you ever tried Mr. Adams’ beer? I think I need to start adding wineries to the blog. Anyone up for a trip to Fredericksburg? :)

Meet Rachel of A Fair Substitute for Heaven | Blogger Interview

I’m soooo excited to have Rachel on the blog today! Not only does she have fabulous taste in literature and television (One word: Sherlock), she’s a fantastic book blogger with honest and great reviews. It’s always fun to chat about recent reads, Danny Castellano’s dance moves and anything else awesome. Plus she hails from Canada, so that automatically earns points. :) Without further chatter from me, here’s Rachel!

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Fast 5

1. How long have you blogged?
Since 2004 ( I had a now-deleted personal blog which was like a journal). In April 2006 I started my current blog A Fair Substitute for Heaven.

2. What’s your favorite genre (or at least one of them)?
In the CBA: historical romance, otherwise: I’m a Victorian literature nut, anything sea-faring or detective fiction.

3. What are you currently reading?
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, Our Great Big American God by Matthew Paul Turner, Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

4. What’s another blog you enjoy?
It’s not really a blog, but I love sherlockian.net. I have been a Holmes aficionado since I was a little girl and it has EVERYTHING.

5. What’s something you enjoy outside of reading?
I am a classically trained singer so I like music and performance (and especially the theatre). I also like to travel.

4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I have a literary agent! And I have two completed novels on submission rounds. I just thought I would scribble my life away in private as I had always done. I still scribble, but now I SHOW people :).

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Stop worrying about stupid stuff and enjoy life more. Really, that high school French test has no bearing on my worth as a person. I would’ve shown my writing to people earlier than the tender age of 32.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
So many. My dream trip since I was a girl who read Bodie Thoene’s Vienna Prelude was to go to Vienna, Austria and walk in Elisa and John’s footsteps. A few years ago, when I finally went and was sitting in the Albertinaplatz with a cup of einspanner looking over at the Staatsoper, I had that amazing realization that I had made a dream come true. I was watching it unfold before my eyes!

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
God uses people who colour outside the lines. He always has. He always will. If He wanted you to be someone else, He would have made you that way.

Where can we find you on the world wide web?
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Blog | Instagram

Thanks so much for hanging out Rachel! Such a pleasure! Be sure to say hello and connect with Rachel around the world wide web!

Fun Finds for the Booknerd #18

August 2014 Fun Finds

I’m not sure I’m ready for September to make its appearance. But as with all the previous month of this year, they don’t really care, so I’m just going to suck it up and embrace the days passing by much too quickly. But really 2014. SLOW DOWN. Anyway, how has the summer treated y’all? Are you ready to dive into Fall? I know I am! It’s more due to withdrawal of sports and of course The Walking Dead ;) then anything else. Bring it on Saints and Daryl!

Until then, here’s some of my favs from around the world wide web.

1. Train Like You’ve Been Picked For The Triwizard Tournament. I feel like my work out intensity will increase by at least 300% wearing this shirt. I don’t have scientific evidence to prove this, but I should probably get it just in case. #HarryPotter4Life $21.60

2. Olde Book Pillow Classics. My roommates are moving out and taking the decorative pillows with them (I should point out it’s for all awesome and exciting reasons!), so I figure these are perfect to replace those. For Book Club people! Book Club! $17.99

3. Book Temporary Tattoos. I’m a fan of tattoos. Oh, there’s some terrible ones out there, but there’s some really artsy and beautiful ones out there too. I think these are kinda funny. And if you’re thinking about one – you can go for a test run with these temporary ones! $5.00

4. The Book Seat. One of the biggest issues in the life of a reader (y’all know the struggle is real) is trying to find a comfortable position to read a book. This is no easy task friends. I think they should send me one or two of these to test out. I’m all about scientific research. $30.98

5. Avid Reader (Antique) Wall Clock. I love this clock! Plus, this is the only time that matters right? $19.99

Alright, what have y’all found for fun finds? Any of these grab your attention?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Book Review

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

Well, wasn’t this book just a bowl full of cherries?

Since I need a few more minutes to COMPOSE MYSELF, let’s start with the description:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

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This is a really hard review to write because all I want to do is talk about what happened in the book. But then that wouldn’t be a review as much as a spoiler party. So I won’t, but comments are free game, that’s all I’m saying.

Gillian Flynn has a talent to KEEP YOU GUESSING. Her writing keeps you hooked and she is definitely creative in plot lines. There were certain things I read and thought “danngggggg that’s just bat crap crazy.” Then a couple chapters later I’d find whole other levels of crazy. It’s just that kind of book.

It’s a dark novel (much more than I normally read), there’s some twisted folks, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hooked 100%. There’s quite a bit of foul language (which I thought was a bit excessive), so if you’re not a fan of that, then be warned.

But man, when it ended, all I’ll say is I didn’t expect that! So many thoughts about the characters, what happened and how it all ended. This book does not lack in discussion points. Not one bit. I’m really interested how the movie is going to turn out. I think Ben Affleck will be a good Nick. We shall see!

Have any of you read this one or any others by Gillian Flynn?

Where to buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

4 Questions with Bestselling Author Steven James | Author Interview & Giveaway

Today I get to introduce y’all to the excellent and fabulous writer, Steven James! Not only do his books win awards, he’s a bestselling author. He writes books that hook you and have you reading as fast as you possibly can, because YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. It’s not just me either! The King was the 2014 INSPY winner for Mystery/Thriller (be sure to check out the giveaway at the end). Anyway, I’m super excited he’s on the site and enjoy!

Steven James is the author of more than thirty books, including the critically acclaimed Bowers Files, an eight-book series of psychological thrillers which currently includes The Pawn, The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop,The Queen, and a prequel Opening Moves. The series has received three Christy Awards and numerous other honors.

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4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
You’d think I would have anticipated the day when I had two girls in college, but thinking ahead has never been my strong suit. Career-wise, I never would’ve thought I’d have branched out into writing two other series besides my Patrick Bowers novels. It’s an amazing life, this writing gig, but my brain sometimes needs a vacation.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Hmm . . . That’s an interesting question. I don’t like to look over my shoulder and get mired in regrets—since there’s often not a whole lot we can really do about them. However, I’d say that when I was high school I had an interest in creative writing but never had a teacher who encouraged me to pursue it—perhaps the opposite. I never felt free to really express myself. Not to blame them—it was my own insecurities that bogged me down, but I’d say I would go back and write, regardless of what other people thought about that, and give my imagination the free rein it wanted so badly.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Honestly, the time I felt the most joy was the day I became a Christian back when I was in college. There have been lots of other amazing moments—stargazing while backpacking in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, seeing the look in my wife’s eyes when I proposed to her, being present when my daughters were born, and, yes, receiving the first printed copy of my first novel in the mail—but I believe people are spiritual beings and the day I realized that God had truly saved me from my own boneheaded choices and selfish motives was the best day of my life.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Live with both eyes open. Don’t ignore the suffering on our planet and close yourself off from the joy. It sounds a little self-evident to say it, but time is life and life is time. What you spend one on, you end up spending the other on. If you waste one, you’re wasting the other. So embrace the moments you have. Relish them. Life is fleeting. Hope is a gift and eternity is only a heartbeat away.

Be sure to connect with Steven James around the web!
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you again so much Steven! I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did :). Now I want to spread the love, so I’m giving away the INPSY winning novel! Details below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway