Tag Archives: Illinois

Book Review: Sweet Girl Undone – Engaging New Series By NY Times Best-Selling Author

Sweet Girl Undone

By Denise Swanson

Lucy Wheeler loves her life as a special education teacher in Cedar Vale, Illinois. Sure the town is small and not many eligible bachelors are ripe for the picking, but she has her bestie to hang out with and her family close by.

Known as “the nice girl” Lucy rarely makes waves. Normally she is excited about the new school year starting, but after receiving the principal’s memo outlining all of the assignments for the year she realizes that he is taking advantage of her good nature again. Her frustration is calling for a quick trip for ice cream with her best friend and fellow teacher Delaney. The sweet treat ends with a serious discussion about the state of Lucy’s love life.

Lucy needs to start dating. She is in a rut that is comfortable but lonely. Ever since the college breakup via text with the love of her life she has been drifting in the love department. She doesn’t want to admit, even to herself, that she still cares about him. Making matters worse, Curt, her ex, is now the Pastor at the church she attends. In her eyes no one can measure up to him even though he broke her heart. If she opens up to him, will he respond or make her even more miserable by rejecting her again?

New York Times best-selling author Denise Swanson is well represented on my bookshelf with her Scumble River Mystery cozy series. I love her books and even though I am not usually a fan of romance novels, I enjoyed the characters and settings in this prequel novella of this new series. I can’t wait to read more about Lucy, Delaney and the rest of the gang. It is always fun for me to read about the places in Swanson’s books as I am from the Chicago area and recognize the local landmarks.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Paramount Theater in Aurora, IL Never Disappoints

Paramount

We went with our best friends to the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, IL last Saturday. If you read yesterday’s post I talked a bit about it, but was so focused on the sock incident I decided to wait until today to talk about the actual event.

Let me say first of all that I love Mannheim Steamroller Christmas songs. The band meets orchestra sound is very pleasing to me when it is the carols I know and love. But, when it is music from their “Fresh Aire” albums that is a different story. It isn’t rock, it isn’t big band, it isn’t an orchestra and it just isn’t for me. The crowd loved it and that is great. I am thinking the audience on Saturday would have mostly hated the Foo Fighter concert so I can appreciate different strokes (or music) for different folks makes the world go ’round.

What I did  enjoy was spending time in my favorite theater. The Paramount Theater was built in 1931. The Art Deco style has been beautifully refurbished and an addition was completed in 2006.

Wall art

This is one of the murals on the side walls.

Paramount ceiling

This is one side of the ceiling and part of the balcony.

It always makes me nostalgic to attend events at the Paramount because it is the first theater I remember going to when I was little. My aunt took me to see the new Disney movie “Mary Poppins” there when it was released.

In the early 1980s my middle sons were in a summer theater program and performed “The King and I” before a sold out audience. I worked behind the scenes helping all of the “king’s kids” with make-up, hair and costuming.

So even though the show was not quite what I expected.  the theater was fabulous, the time spent with friends priceless and the evening filled with laughter and song. It was a great way to spend a Saturday night.

 

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Filed under music, Paramount Theater, Wandering Weekends