Sunday Post: Lots of Family Fun

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

More rain and cold temperatures some of the week. The crabapple trees are just about done blooming. It’s supposed to rain all weekend so we plan to do mostly indoor activities.

Lots of family fun

My son arrived this week for a short visit. So good to see him. We picked him up at the airport and left from there to drive to eastern Iowa to visit his grandpa and other family members. We came back the next day so a quick trip, but so fun to see family and friends.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law had also gone there for a few days. They returned to our house for a few more days and left for home in Maine on Saturday morning. We all had a wonderful time.

They helped with the fence and bought some flowering plants and herbs which my sister-in-law planted in pots for me. She also helped me sort through clothes to give to Goodwill plus helped me pack away winter clothes and bring out spring clothes. Feels so good to get those chores done.

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We took them to two of our favorite places: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Raygun (an Iowa store which specializes in Midwest t-shirts and other Midwest themed products).

Outside activities

More work done on the fence. Just about all the posts are in. Work slowed down since we were gone two days this week plus it rained for a couple of days. One of the days it was only about 40 degrees all day so that was an indoor day, too! We’re also trying to clear some of the flowerbeds of the rocks and landscape cloth the previous owners used. It’s impossible to plant anything in the flowerbeds unless we remove both rocks and landscape cloth.

Blogging

With the road trip and visitors all week not much blogging, commenting or reading done. I’m hoping to get some reviews written and scheduled–we’ll see how well I do with that.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern

What I read

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Some books I got recently

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern (NetGalley)

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (NetGalley)

Blackfoot by W.R. Gingell (ebook)

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus (ebook)

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (Audiobook)

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (Audiobook)

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Interesting on the Internet

Sync is back! Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

For the first week (April 27 – May 3):

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich is dead on in this terrifying psychological thriller!

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of five teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…

…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist. Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails.

And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.

Oscar Wilde’s enduring masterpiece, this fable of innocence and corruption, purity and decay has become a true classic. The beautiful, narcissistic Dorian Gray, torn between the influence of cynical hedonist Lord Henry Wotton and tortured artist Basil Hallward, sells the beauty of his soul in exchange for external perfection. Ultimately, he cannot escape the disfigurement of sin. Wilde’s remarkable wit and memorable, epigrammatic lines dazzle in audiobook form!

Audiobooks available May 4 -10:

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Read by David Aaron Baker, a Full Cast

Published by Listening Library

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon—a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world—and a smart, savage satire that will captivate listeners with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

Published by Random House Audio

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: April 26

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

I’m not too far into this book yet, but so far I’m really enjoying it. Li at Me and My Books highly recommends this series and I’m finally starting to read it.

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1

Science Fiction, Time Travel

“History is just one damned thing after another.”

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.

Recently finished

The new Peacekeeper series is a continuation of some of the characters and stories from one of my favorite series–the Confederation series. Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is the main character in both series. She’s human, but many other characters in the book aren’t. I really like how creative Tanya Huff is writing the many other species we encounter.

This is a NetGalley book and I will review it closer to the publication date. I did really enjoy it!

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Peacekeeper #2

Military Science Fiction

Publication date: June 6

Reading next (perhaps)

I haven’t started The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, but perhaps I will in a few days. It’s an audiobook and we have had a lot of company lately so I haven’t had a chance to listen to any books for the past couple weeks. In fact, our son is coming to visit and we are taking him to see his grandpa and some other family members so we will be gone a couple of days so I may not get a chance link up this post on Wednesday. Since we’re leaving on Tuesday I might post this before we leave and then I think I can probably comment and link the post on my phone. I’ll give it a try!

A couple other books I want to start reading: Silent City by Carrie Smith and Gambrelli and the Prosecutor by Laurence Gilotti. These are both mysteries and mysteries are long-time favorites of mine.

What books have you been reading lately? What do you plan to read next?

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Sunday Post: Spring Really is Here!

Sunday-Post

Spring really is here!

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

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More rain this week and some cool temperatures, but our crabapple trees are really in bloom and they are beautiful. Spring really is here!

Busy week

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My back is still hurting. Just when I think it’s getting better I spend too much time walking or get up wrong and it starts really hurting again.  My husband’s sister and brother-in-law are visiting. We’ve had so much fun together. We spent a day in a nearby town which has a tulip festival at the end of the month, but a lot of the tulips are already blooming. The town was settled by people from Holland so there are windmills and beautiful historic houses as well as tulips! A beautiful day and the tulips are beautiful, too.

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My older daughter came for the weekend to help dig post holes for our fence. Having both our daughters helping was so great! We enjoyed beautiful weather on Saturday and all enjoyed being outside–especially my daughter’s dog Bailey. In the evening we had a wonderful dinner at a new restaurant that just opened this week. I can tell it will be a great place to go for special occasions. Lots of wood inside as well as some a picture with a living wall of plants. The Spring Spinach was a bowl with spinach, wild mushrooms, a ginger vinaigrette, a soft-boiled egg, mushroom bacon. We mixed it up after it was brought to the table. That was excellent as was the Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie. A great end to a wonderful day.

Blogging

A busy week so not much blogging done. Not even much reading.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

What I read recently

Nothing finished this week

Some books I bought recently

The Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh

Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell

Interesting on the Internet

Sync is coming back! It starts this next Thursday–April 27. Every week until August 16 Sync gives away two young adult audiobooks for free. These books are primarily for young adults, but anyone can download the audiobooks to listen to them.

For the first week (April 27 – May 3) these are the two books available:

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich is dead on in this terrifying psychological thriller!

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of five teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…

…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist. Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails.

And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.

Oscar Wilde’s enduring masterpiece, this fable of innocence and corruption, purity and decay has become a true classic. The beautiful, narcissistic Dorian Gray, torn between the influence of cynical hedonist Lord Henry Wotton and tortured artist Basil Hallward, sells the beauty of his soul in exchange for external perfection. Ultimately, he cannot escape the disfigurement of sin. Wilde’s remarkable wit and memorable, epigrammatic lines dazzle in audiobook form!
Note: these two books must be downloaded during the dates listed above. After May 3 they aren’t available.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: April 19

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: I’ve been doing Waiting on Wednesday for quite awhile, but the Breaking the Spine blog is no longer active and though many bloggers are still doing Waiting on Wednesday even without any linkups I’ve decided to try something new on Wednesdays.

Currently reading

The new Peacekeeper series is a continuation of some of the characters and stories from one of my favorite series–the Confederation series. Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is the main character in both series. I’m very much enjoying this book.

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Peacekeeper #2

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. No one who’d ever served with her could imagine any circumstance that would see her walking away from the Corps.

But that was before Torin learned the truth about the war the Confederation was fighting…before she’d been declared dead and had spent time in a prison that shouldn’t exist…before she’d learned about the “plastic” beings who were really behind the war between the Confederation and the Others. That was when Torin left the military for good.
Yet she couldn’t walk away from preserving and protecting everything the Confederation represented. Instead, ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr drew together an elite corps of friends and allies–some ex-Marines, some civilians with unique skills–and together they prepared to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not–or would not–officially touch. But after their first major mission, it became obvious that covert operations were not going to be enough.
Although the war is over, the fight goes on and the Justice Department finds its regular Wardens unable to deal with violence and the people trained to use it. Ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has a solution: Strike Teams made up of ex-military personnel, small enough to maneuver quickly, able to work together if necessary. Justice has no choice but to implement her idea and Torin puts her team of independent contractors back into uniform. It isn’t war, it is policing, but it often looks much the same.
When the scientists doing a preliminary archaeological dig on a Class Two planet are taken hostage, Torin’s team is sent to free them. The problem of innocents in the line of fire is further complicated by the fact that the mercenaries holding them are a mix of Confederation and Primacy forces, and are looking for a weapon able to destroy the plastic aliens who’d started and maintained the war.

If Torin weren’t already torn by wanting that weapon in play, she also has to contend with the politics of peace that have added members of the Primacy–former enemies–to her team. Before they confront the mercenaries, Torin will have to sift through shifting loyalties as she discovers that the line between”us” and “them” is anything but straight.

Recently finished

I’ve read books in this series for about a year and so enjoying it. Molly–named Moonlight by her mother(!)–is an ambitious, brave and intelligent young constable. I love the setting in the mountains of British Columbia.

A Cold White Sun by Vicki Delany

Constable Molly Smith #6

It’s the end of March and Trafalgar, British Columbia, is preparing for the last influx of the seasonal skiers. Teachers, parents, and students are preparing to relax at home or head off on vacation. But for high school English teacher Cathy Lindsay, the week of relaxation doesn’t work out as planned. She’s gunned down by a sniper on a hiking trail, her small dog the only witness.

Cathy Lindsay is an unlikely candidate for a murderous ambush: she was a respected teacher, in an apparently solid marriage to an Internet developer, living a quiet life. Sergeant John Winters, with the help of young Constable Molly Smith, digs into the Lindsay marriage and friendships, searching for a motive, but one thought continually niggles at the back of his mind: is it possible this was not a random killing but a case of mistaken identity?

 

This is a book I received from NetGalley. I was hoping it was a police procedural, but when I began the book I realized the main characters are part-time private detectives. I thought the book was a little unrealistic.

Dead in the Water by Matthew Costello & Neil Richards

Cherringham Novels #1

Dead in the Water is the first full-length novel set in the sleepy English village of Cherringham, featuring the unlikely sleuthing duo Sarah Edwards, an English web designer, and Jack Brennan, American ex-cop. The last episode, A Death in the Family, saw Jack rush back to the US to be with his family, leaving Sarah behind…

On the night of the school prom, popular teacher Josh Owens is found dead in the Thames in a drug-related accident. At first, it seems to be another sign that Cherringham High is spiralling out of control but the new head isn’t so sure, and quietly calls in local sleuth Sarah Edwards. Sarah is initially reluctant to take on the case, especially without Jack. But with the possibility of serious drug dealing at her daughter’s school, she feels compelled to get involved. However, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to Josh’s death than meets the eye, and that Sarah’s own life could be in danger. Solving crimes just isn’t the same without Jack…

Reading next (perhaps)

Silent City by Carrie Smith

Claire Codella Mystery #1

NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn’t even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time.

As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life.

Silent City, Carrie Smith’s explosive debut, will introduce readers to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction that will grab them and not let go until the very last page and a fearless heroine who they will enjoy for years to come.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Interdependency #1

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal — but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals — a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency — are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

What books have you been reading lately? What do you plan to read?

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Sunday Post: April 16

Sunday-Post

Kimba hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

We’ve had quite a bit of rain and it has been quite warm–60’s and 70’s–so the grass is a lovely green and our crabapple trees are about to bloom. I’ve noticed tulips blooming around here already. One of the towns close by has a tulip festival which doesn’t start until the end of April. Their tulips are already blooming, too!

Busy, busy, busy and medical issues

I didn’t do a Sunday Post last week since my daughter and I were in Kentucky for a baptism. We had a wonderful time and lots of great food. My niece and her husband had their third child a few months ago. They waited for better weather for the family to travel to a baptism! This is their third child and so fun to see how the two older girls are growing and changing and how unspoiled they are. The new baby is beautiful!

I’ve been tired since we got home on Monday evening. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in March and finally got the cpap machine and mask. I’ve had it about a week and sometimes feel a little better in the morning, but other times have a sinus headache from allergies. I’m also getting lots of leaks around the mask during the night. I’m working to get it all to work together so I won’t be so tired all the time. However, I’m finding it all takes awhile.

My back is also hurting this week making it hard to walk and sleep. I have arthritis in the lower back and one of the bones/joints is very painful. I can’t straighten up completely and even when I am sitting it’s painful. If it’s not better by tomorrow I’ll go to my doctor since it’s been hurting for at least four days.

And my husband’s sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit this next week. I wanted to get more cleaning and picking up done, but that’s not going to happen. My daughter is coming over today and she said she’d vacuum and clean the guest bathroom for me. It will be enough to get those things done!

Blogging

I introduced some mini reviews this last week. These were reviews of some mysteries I’ve read. I will continue to do these mini reviews with mysteries and fantasies and science fiction. I’m going to try a new meme on Wednesdays and maybe another new meme another day. Also trying to do more reviews and mini reviews. I’ve requested three NetGalley books in the past few weeks and am enjoying reading them. I’m being careful not to request very many though.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • New meme
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

What I read recently

Dead in the Water by Matthew Costello

A Cold White Sun by Vicki Delany

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Requiem by Celina Grace

Some books I bought recently

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Requiem by Celina Grace

Hushabye by Celina Grace

Fall From Grace by Clyde Phillips

The Danger by Dick Francis

An Unhallowed Grave by Kate Ellis

Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan Clark

Interesting on the Internet

Sync is coming back! It will start on April 27. Every week until August 16 Sync gives away two young adult audiobooks for free. These books are primarily for young adults, but anyone can download the audiobooks to listen to them.

For the first week (April 27 – May 3) these are the two books available:

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich is dead on in this terrifying psychological thriller!

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of five teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…

…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist. Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails.

And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.

Oscar Wilde’s enduring masterpiece, this fable of innocence and corruption, purity and decay has become a true classic. The beautiful, narcissistic Dorian Gray, torn between the influence of cynical hedonist Lord Henry Wotton and tortured artist Basil Hallward, sells the beauty of his soul in exchange for external perfection. Ultimately, he cannot escape the disfigurement of sin. Wilde’s remarkable wit and memorable, epigrammatic lines dazzle in audiobook form!
Note: these two books must be downloaded during the dates listed above. After May 3 these books aren’t available.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Who done it?

This year I’m trying something different with the books I read. I’m not going to do a separate review for every book I read. I need to shake-up my blog a bit and this is one way I’ve decided to do it.

These are some of the mysteries I’ve read since the first of the year.

Real Murders and A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden series #1 & 2)

Audiobook, purchased, narrated by Thérèse Plummer

Charlaine Harris wrote a new book–Sleep Like a Baby–in this series last fall. I had considered rereading some of the mysteries she wrote before she started writing the Sookie Stackhouse series.

A new book in the Aurora Teagarden series was impetus to start with that series. I own most of the paperbacks in this series and had bought the audio edition of the the first book–Real Murders–which I listened to last fall. I like the narration of this book. I didn’t really remember too much about Real Murders or A Bone to Pick even though I had read them years ago.

Real Murders revolves around Roe Teagarden’s membership in the Real Murders Club. The members are interested in true crime–especially historical cases. Each member tends to specialize in a particular murderer and murders. It’s great fun until the members of the club start dying. The deaths resemble the murders of some of their favorite murderers.

I don’t like true crime so I found their pastime morbid and icky. I did enjoy reading about Roe and the rest of the characters as well as the mystery.

Rating: B-

Paperback, purchased

In A Bone to Pick the Real Murders Club has disbanded and Roe inherits an estate from one of the former members of the club. Inheriting the estate isn’t all roses, however. Roe has many questions. She not only inherits her friend’s house and money, but everything in the house including a skull which was cleverly hidden. Why did her friend leave her all this money and the house? They weren’t that close. Why is the skull hidden in the house? Where is the rest of the body. Did her friend kill someone? Why did someone break into the house?

I like this series. Roe is an engaging character and I like the Southern vibe. (I don’t live in the South. If I lived there that vibe might irritate me!) I like the fact that Roe moves along in her life from the first book to the second book. She embraces the fact that she has inherited an estate and uses that to change things in her life. I also enjoy many of the other recurring characters in the book.

An enjoyable, light read.

Rating: B

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Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway #5)

E-audiobook from the library, narrated by Clare Corbett

dying-fall-by-elly-griffiths

I’ve read three books in this series since the beginning of the year. It’s hard not to gobble them all up since I like this series so much. However, I want to space them out and really savor them! I’ve listened to a few books in this series and really like the narrations.

This book is mostly set in the north of England–in Blackpool–where Harry Nelson is from. Harry and his wife Michelle are there visiting their families. He also visits his old police friends and gets involved in their cases. He also realizes he and his old friends don’t have much in common anymore. It’s always hard to realize that you no longer understand old friends.

Ruth also travels north to investigate what might be King Arthur’s bones. One of Ruth’s old friends discovered the bones, but then died in a house fire. Cathbad comes along and helps take care of Ruth’s toddler daughter Kate. Of course, awkwardness occurs when Ruth and Kate accidentally meet up with Harry and Michelle Nelson.

Sometimes the mood in this book is bittersweet and a number of things change for a number of the characters in this book. The suspense kept me listening as fast as I could!

Rating: B+

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The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway #6)

E-book, purchased

This book continues some of the events which happened to characters in the last book. I like that we learn more about a number of continuing characters throughout these books. They change during these books as well as the main characters. Lots happens to some of the characters in this book.

I like the way Elly Griffiths ties the historical aspects of her books into the present day aspects. She makes them very relevant to her story.

This was a difficult book for me since children are in danger. I don’t like that kind of suspense very well. However, this is a good mystery and I did enjoy it. Still one of my favorite mystery series.

Rating: B

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Dead Man’s Fancy by Keith McCafferty (Sean Stranahan #3)

Trade paperback, purchased (bought in the Country Bookshelf in downtown Bozeman, Montana when we took our road trip last fall)

Sean is an interesting character. He’s originally from the Northeast, but moved to Montana after his marriage failed. He has discovered he fits in so much better than he did in the Northeast. He’s been a fly fisherman since he was a child and he did some private detective work where he lived before.

He’s also an artist so in Montana he sets up a studio where he paints, but also advertises his detective services. He gets a few cases as well as selling some paintings. He meets Sheriff Martha Ettinger during his first investigation–The Royal Wulff Murders. Martha shows up in all the books and the books have a police procedural vibe.

The books revolve around fly fishing and Montana. Each book is named after a named fly tie which has something to do with the murder. I like that aspect. The author is a wildlife writer for outdoor magazines and does a great job with not only the mysteries, but also with the fly fishing aspect of the books. I like reading about the outdoors and fishing. I grew up in Oregon and spent lots of time with my parents camping, hiking and fishing. Other people might not enjoy the fishing aspects of the books so much.

This book has lots of aspects to it. The tension between environmentalists and ranchers as well as wolf lovers and wolf haters. A woman searching for her missing sister. And just who was the missing woman? There are so many contradictions to her. Dead Man’s Fancy has lots of twists and turns which I enjoyed. It’s hard to know exactly what is important and what isn’t.

Rating: B+

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The Armada Boy by Kate Ellis (Wesley Peterson #2)

E-book, Purchased

I recently reviewed the first book in this series–The Merchant’s House.

The mystery of the murder of a WWII American veteran keeps my interest and I find the detective team interesting.

I’m still not completely convinced yet about the archaeology aspects of these books. I do like the excerpts written by a character in this book at the beginning of each chapter talking about the “invasions” in this part of England which tie the Armada invasion with the WWII invasion of American soldiers. Even though the American were allies they completely disrupted life in this part of the world as  the Armada survivors might have done. The American allies weren’t always seen as a positive influence during or after WWII.

I really like the contemporary portions–the mystery and characters make for a good story. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Rating: B-

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Have you read any of these books? How did you like them?

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Waiting on Wednesday: April 12

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

shiver-hitch-by-linda=greenlawShiver Hitch by Linda Greenlaw

Series: Jane Bunker Series #3

Publication Date: June 6

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Jane Bunker thought she d escaped the pollution, noise, and dead bodies of the big city when she left her job as a Miami homicide detective and moved back to the idyllic town of Green Haven, Maine. But through her work as a marine insurance investigator, it appears she s left behind the bustle of the city, but not the murder.

When Jane is called to the remote Acadia Island to assess the damages from a house fire, she also finds a badly burned body in the charred rubble, and it turns out that the victim is the owner of the house, a wealthy woman who just happens to be one of the most hated women in town. As Jane investigates further, she becomes embroiled in a plot as thick as New England clam chowder, which involves convicted felons, a real estate scam, and the deep conflicts between the locals and the summer folks. On top of trying to find what might be a murderer on the loose, Jane is still living with her bonkers landlords, the Vickersons, who are delighted when Jane finds out that her brother Wally (who has Down s syndrome) is going to move in with them, after losing his assisted living arrangement. It s all Jane can do to keep all the moving pieces together, much less figure out who would want to burn someone alive and why.

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Why I want this book

  • I love reading books about Maine. I have relatives who live in Maine so reading books about Maine is almost like visiting them!
  • The main character was a homicide detective in Miami, Florida and now works as a marine insurance investigator. I like reading about investigators with interesting jobs.
  • Linda Greenlaw has written best-selling nonfiction books about her life as a lobsterman and as America’s only swordfishing captain. She lives on Isle au Haut, Maine.

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Review: Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Series: Vatta’s Peace #1

Publication date: April 11 in the US; April 13 in the UK

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

cold-welcome-by-elizabeth-moon-uk
The UK cover

Science Fiction

After nearly a decade away, Nebula Award–winning author Elizabeth Moon makes a triumphant return to science fiction with this installment in a thrilling new series featuring the daring hero of her acclaimed Vatta’s War sequence.

Summoned to the home planet of her family’s business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero’s welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.

Yet even as Ky leads her team from one crisis to another, her family and friends refuse to give up hope, endeavoring to mount a rescue from halfway around the planet—a task that is complicated as Ky and her supporters find secrets others will kill to protect: a conspiracy infecting both government and military that threatens not only her own group’s survival but her entire home planet.

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I have read most of Elizabeth Moon’s books through the years and love them. She writes really good stories and a lot of them are military science fiction which is what the Vatta’s War series is as well as the start of this new series (Vatta’s Peace). Elizabeth Moon served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps so she has a good knowledge of the military and uses that very well in her military science fiction.

BTW, I like both the covers, but I think the UK cover is especially nice. What about you? Which cover is your favorite?

Read Vatta’s War series first?

It’s been awhile since I read the last book in the Vatta’s War series and reading this book made me want to go back and reread that series! I think that will be one of my goals while I wait for the next book in the Vatta’s Peace series! I think a person who hasn’t read the Vatta’s War series can begin with this book, but if you read the Vatta’s War series first there are things you will understand better and this book will be richer and the backstory more understandable. Also reading this book will give away some of what happens during the Vatta’s War series.

My thoughts

Ky is now an Admiral as well as founder and commander of Space Defense Force, but most of this book takes place on the planet with Ky stranded in a very inhospitable place when her shuttle is sabotaged and crashes. The odds are against her and her fellow survivors living through the crash let alone surviving when they’re not found quickly, but Ky is very good at surviving. However, there are no communications in this area of the planet (near a failed terraforming continent). They’ve crashed into the ocean and the weather is very harsh (think Antarctica and its surrounding ocean in the winter) with the nearest military base far away and perhaps saboteurs among the survivors.

Ky is very much alone as she attempts to lead the survivors and keep everyone alive long enough for a rescue. She doesn’t know whom she can trust and no one lives near the area of the planet they crash in. This is very much a story of survival against all odds. Her family and friends don’t know if she is alive or not, but they continue to hope. However, most people both on planet and off assume all aboard the shuttle are dead.

The book alternates between Ky and her group, family and friends both on and off planet and her command structure in the Space Defense Force. I enjoyed all these POVs, but mostly wanted to know what was happening with Ky and how she would survive. Ky and her group move from crisis to crisis and there are lots of tense moments. She’s very ingenious and has a definite gift for command. No one knows for sure how far the sabotage goes or who’s involved. The Vatta family has been a target before and no one is sure they really found everyone involved in earlier conspiracies. Is this a new threat, an old threat or both?

A very good series beginning. This book is a complete story, but by the end there’s lots of room for more adventures. I’m hoping the next book has more of Ky and her friends and allies together. And more on her ship in space again.

My rating: B+

Have you read any of Elizabeth Moon’s science fiction? Or her fantasy?

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Waiting on Wednesday: April 5

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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cold-hearted-river-by-Keith-mccaffertyCold Hearted River

by Keith McCafferty

Series: Sean Stranahan #6

Genre: Mystery

Publication date: July 4

Synopsis: A story of lost treasure, Cold Hearted River begins with the death of a woman, stranded in a spring snowstorm, who in desperation climbs into a bear s den. When Sheriff Martha Ettinger, reunited with once-again lover Sean Stranahan, investigates, she finds a fly wallet in a pannier of the dead woman’s horse, the leather engraved with the initials EH. Only a few days before, Patrick Willoughby, the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, had been approached by a man selling fishing gear that he claims once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. A coincidence? Sean doesn’t think so, and he soon finds himself on the trail of a missing steamer trunk rumored to contain not only the famous writer’s valuable fly fishing gear, but priceless samples of his unpublished work.

The investigation will take Sean through extraordinary chapters in Hemingway’s life. Inspired by a true story, Cold Hearted River is a thrilling adventure, moving from Montana to Michigan, where a woman grapples with the secrets in her heart, to a cabin in Wyoming under the Froze To Death Plateau, and finally to the ruins in Havana, where an old man struggles to complete his life’s mission one true sentence at a time.”

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The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • I like Sean Stranahan and these mysteries.
  • The mysteries take place in Montana north of Yellowstone National Park and revolve around fly fishing. My dad was a fly fisherman and tied his own ties. He fished the rivers of Oregon, but I feel closer to him when I read these books.
  • These books are a meld of police procedural and private investigation, because while Sean works as a fly fishing guide, artist and private investigator he also often works with Sheriff Martha Ettinger.
  • I love the cover!

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Sunday Post: April 2

Sunday-Post

Kimba hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

Last weekend my husband and I visited our daughter in Illinois. Our younger daughter also came along since she had a flight on Sunday from Chicago. She flew to Ireland with some of her cousins for a quick trip (Sunday – Thursday). The group had six adults and four young children (including two babies born last fall). They had a great time, but the children all got sick (vomiting and diarrhea) during the trip and several of the adults were sick by the time they got home. At this point everyone, but one adult has been or is sick! My daughter is back home, but staying in bed. Hopefully, she’ll feel better soon.

I’ve been fighting allergies all week. I’m getting ready to try a new allergy medicine to see if that will help. I guess spring is slowly appearing which is also making my allergies an everyday affair. Our trees are getting ready to leaf out and some trees, shrubs and bulbs in the area are blooming.

My husband is getting ready to start building a fence around our backyard. We got the building permit last week and he plans to buy the materials soon. A fence will make it easier to take care of our kids’ dogs without fear they’ll run after deer or some other animal invading their yard.

I’m going with my daughter to my great niece’s baptism next week. We are both looking forward to that and my daughter will be a Godmother to Guiliana. It will be nice to see some of the family there plus meet the new baby.

Blogging

I’m planning to change-up my blog a little. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll do yet, but I’m thinking about it and hope to come up with some more ideas this week.

Blog posts last week
Blog posts planned next week
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

What I read recently

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

What I bought or borrowed

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

Shards of a Broken Sword by W.R. Gingell

The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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