Stephen Kellogg at Arch Street Tavern

Sunday night, Stephen Kellogg ended 2013 with his last show in Hartford, CT at the Arch Street Tavern.  This is a restaurant, not a venue so the seating was rather awkward.  We opted for a booth over a seat in the middle of the floor because we wanted to eat.  That meant I had my back to the stage and would have to lean around the booth to see the stage.  Opener Dan Mills took the stage at 8pm and I opted to not turn around for most of his set, but the sound was great and I did enjoy his set even if I couldn’t see him! At 9, Stephen took the stage and more people had showed up, blocking our view even if we did lean out of the booth.  Fortunately they ended up moving to a different spot and I ended up sharing the other side of the booth with my friend so I wasn’t twisting around all night.

Since it was a holiday run of shows – he did a couple of Christmas songs after talking about how creepy most of them are – noting particularly Santa Baby and Baby It’s Cold Outside. Then he did another creepy Christmas song – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. He had Dan come back to sing Winter Wonderland with him and Dan stayed on stage to do Start the Day Early with him as well.

Before Ingrid’s Song he asked if the bar could be quiet for just 2 minutes and then seemed to get a bit annoyed when while he was talking about the song and how it is for his mother in law and glasses were still clanking. Things seemed to calm down when he was actually performing the song though.

He talked a bit about how David Copperfield had been really inspiring to him on his latest record (which he said based on sales he knew most of us didn’t have it. oops! I keep meaning to buy it but then get distracted!)  Then he read a few passages from the book.

He ended the main set with Thanksgiving – which gets so much emotion behind it, it gives you goosebumps. The song gets more and more powerful as it goes on and it was just an amazing performance.

For the encore he did a couple songs and then moved out in the crowd and stood on a chair to do My Favorite Place. And he had us sing along.. and along and along. It was a great sing a long to end the night!

He mentioned coming back to end his tour in March in Fairfield so I am looking forward to that – as long as it doesn’t fall on a date when I already have a show. (His other dates are dangerously close to the weekend I am already booked up!)

Born in the Spring
Watch You Grow
Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts
Lost and Found
4th of July
The Brain is a Beautiful Thing
Girlfriend as Pretty As You
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Winter Wonderland
Start The Day Early
Men and Women
Ingrid’s Song
(Copperfield Reading)
See Yourself
See You Later, See You Soon

Satisfied Man
My Favorite Place


Book Review: Renaissance Man

renaissanceRenaissance Man is Book 3 in the Blaze of Glory series. (I have previously reviewed Blaze of Glory and Look Twice) .  If you have not read any of the books in this series yet and do not want to be spoiled, then I recommend you do not start reading this review.  Seriously, don’t read beyond this point because I will be mentioning things that happened in the previous books and if you want to read them you will be spoiled. (I was spoiled on the first book when I was setting up the review post so I know how terrible it is to be spoiled on this series.) Leave the post now…

In Book 3, Tea’s twin brother Seth is off in Europe looking for their biological father and traveling.  Jaden isn’t around as much because he is working to become a lawyer and has to put in a lot of extra hours at the office.  Tea is off competing with Hades almost every weekend and it seems to be putting a bit of stress on her and Jaden’s relationship because they hardly ever get to see each other.  Jaden is trying to get Tea to pursue her schooling to become a vet more seriously because she can’t ride horses for the rest of her life.  Tea doesn’t see why she can’t!  Tea then begins to realize that Jaden isn’t happy with his career in becoming a lawyer, that he was always happier when he was playing polo.  Their relationship seems to be on the rocks and when an opportunity arises for Jaden to leave to help his uncle with his horses, Tea tells him to jump at the chance hoping it would get him back into polo and happier again.

There is all sorts of other drama going on with Hades getting stolen and how to deal with that. Also, Jaden’s father wants the family to sell the farm so he can have extra money to get married again and have children with his new wife.  Dec doesn’t really want to sell it because he wanted Tea and Seth to live there until they finished school. Gran doesn’t really want anything to be sold either but ultimately it is up to Dec and his brother and sister what they want to do.  Tea doesn’t want to lose the farm and barn and wants to figure out a plan to make things work.

It was interesting to see the changes in the characters over the three books (mostly for the better) and how everyone is still trying to deal with Jaden and Tea’s relationship. Also how Tea’s relationship with Seth differs with him not around most of the book.  Another great book from m. garzon and I am still looking forward to what happens with this as a TV series!  This is the last book of the trilogy.  These books are recommended for ages 15+.

The author sent me a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

The third book in the popular ‘Blaze of Glory’ series, soon to be adapted for television.

“And they lived happily ever after.”

In fairy tales, that’s always how things end. The prince and
princess ride away on his white horse, and from then on all’s right with
the world. But what if it wasn’t? What if the prince’s life didn’t suit
the princess? What if she felt stifled by life inside the castle walls?
Could she tell him? And if she loved him—really loved him—how could she
ask him to give up his kingdom?

Book Review: Ruby Heart


Ruby Heart is the second book in the Neve & Egan Cases.  I had not read the first one but that did not seem to be a problem as I read book two. Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are Private Eyes. Egan is her blind former history professor. The book follows the job they take from Mrs. Hargrave.  She had a ruby heart necklace which was a family heirloom.  It had gotten stolen when her parents were taken to a concentration camp during WWII.  Recently, it had been recovered in an abandoned house and returned to her, but shortly after that it was stolen from Mrs. Hargrave’s home.  Mrs. Hargrave believes that not wearing it is bad luck as her mother wore it to her wedding and had a happy marriage and her grandmother as well.  She and her son’s wife did not and are now divorced.  Since her granddaughter is set to be married soon she wants her to wear it so that she will not be cursed with an unhappy marriage.

The case has 2 crimes that they are trying to investigate – to find out where the necklace went after her parents were taken during the Holocaust as well as to try and find who took it more recently.  When Neve’s flat gets ransacked and her mother injured by the intruder, she knows she is on the right track – even though she is not sure exactly what track that is.  Will she be able to solve the case and get the necklace back before Mrs. Hargrave’s daughters wedding? With Mrs. Hargrave’s health failing – can she hold on long enough to be reunited with the only connection she has to her parents?

I really liked this story. I love a good mystery and this story had a lot of twists and turns.  Just when I thought I had something figured out – I realized I didn’t.  Neve & Egan are good at what they do and I really liked their chemistry together as well.  I am looking forward to future cases with them!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to participate in the blog tour. I was not otherwise compensated.

Ruby Heart Book Summary:

When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.

To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again.

When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalised, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.

Cristelle Comby‘s Bio: 

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.

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