Sunday Post: 2020 is just around the corner

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

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.

Personal life

It’s kind of hard to believe 2020 is here in a few days. I remember when the new millennium was about to start and we were worried what might happen to the world’s computers. I had though about the year 2000 for a number of years and how old I would be and that a millennium was a big thing. And now suddenly that was 20 years ago. Wow!

Time flies….

It’s a cliche to say that the years go by quicker and quicker as we get older, but just because it’s a cliche doesn’t mean it’s not true. And when I searched for information about “time flying as we get older” I found a Scientific American article that explains this–that our brain encodes new experiences which happen more often when we’re younger, less often when we’re older. Thus, we perceive time going slowly when we’re young and time going faster when we’re older with our older brains–especially when we think about larger periods of time such as a decade or two. This makes sense to me, but I hadn’t put it all together.

Christmas

Our Christmas was wonderful–our family was together and everyone seemed to have a great time together (even all our cats and dogs).

I think we will remember Christmas 2019 as the “jigsaw puzzle Christmas!” We often have a puzzle we’re working on during Christmas, but this Christmas we completed two 500 piece puzzles, a 1,000 piece puzzle and we’re part way done with another 1,000 piece puzzle. I will get a little more done on that puzzle, but since the kids have left I probably won’t work on it too much…lol. We’re staying in Indiana until after New Year’s Day to take care of my daughter’s dogs while she visits some cousins in northern Wisconsin for New Year’s.

Olie and the dogs

My new kitten Olie came with us to Indiana and he’s done very well. He’s a very curious kitten and willing to try almost anything! We have a gate in the hallway to keep him on one side and the dogs on the other side. However, he has figured out that he’s small enough that he can walk through most of the panels which he does even when the dogs are in the living room. This is worrisome to me since one of my daughter’s labs chases squirrels, rabbits and other small animals in the yard. However, Olie isn’t too worried by Juneau and he bats Juneau in the face so that Juneau backs off! Juneau is curious about Olie, but seems to want to play. However, I still closely watch the interactions.

Blog Life

Last week
Next week
  • My favorite books of 2019
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • January 2020 books on my list
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Between Homes by W.R. Gingell
What I read recently
  • Between Frames by W.R. Gingell
  • The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland
Books I got recently

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan(ebook/purchased)

Why is Nothing Every Simple? by Jodi Taylor (ebook/purchased)

On Her Father’s Grave by Kendra Elliott (Kindle Unlimited)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate other holidays at this time of the year.

I’ve always loved Christmas and my kids and husband do, too! We’re having Christmas in Indiana with one of our daughters. She has such cute ornaments on her tree. Our Illinois daughter and Seattle son arrived on Christmas Eve. During Christmas Eve day we went to see A Christmas Carol done by the Indiana Repertory Theater. We’re also playing various card games and putting together jigsaw puzzles in between the eating!

I was looking at old Christmas pictures and found this Christmas card my husband’s family sent when he was a child:

I think it’s such a cute card and was obviously before everyone sent photos!

I found this photo of my brother and me from when I was about five years old. I know my brother got a chemistry set that year, but I don’t know exactly what gifts I received except for the Velvet Eyes book I see in the photo. Apparently Velvet Eyes was a story about “Santa’s little helper.” But I don’t remember it at all!

Do you celebrate Christmas or some other holiday like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Or do you just enjoy having some days off?

Sunday Post: Christmas in Indiana

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

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.

Personal life

We are in Indiana for Christmas. There’s snow on the ground, I’ve made some Christmas cookies, we’ve gone to a fun Christmas Market and my two other kids show up in a couple of days. I managed to get my Christmas cards made, written and mailed before we left home which made me happy. I love this time of year!

Blog Life

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Merry Christmas
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Between Frames by W.R. Gingell
What I read recently
  • The Wise Virgin by Jo Beverley
  • Dark As Night by Katherine Pathak
Books I got recently

Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod (ebook/purchased)

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (ebook/purchased)

Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet (ebook/purchased)

Dark as Night by Katherine Pathak (Kindle Unlimited)

The Dark Fear by Katherine Pathak (Kindle Unlimited)

Snowfall on Cedar Trail by Annie Rains(Paperback/Library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Plan for the Worst by Jodi Taylor

Science Fiction–Check; Time Travel–Check; Adventure–Check; Great Characters–Check. It’s all in this series!

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Plan for the Worst

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #11

Published by Hachette Book Group

Publishing date: April 16, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

480 pages

Synopsis: You know what they say. Hope for the best. But plan for the worst.

Catch up with the tea-soaked disaster magnets in their latest madcap adventure as they hurtle their way around History.

………………………….

I love this time travel adventure science fiction series and I’m so glad she keeps adding to the books!

Top Ten Tuesday: Twelve books I want to read this winter

That Artsy Reader Girl has hosted Top Ten Tuesday since January of 2018. This is a fun meme with specific topics each week. If you like to make lists and talk about books be sure to check it out.

This week we’re talking about some of the books on our Winter TBR lists. I’ve included both books that will publish during this winter and books from my TBR pile.

Books published during winter 2020

Shattered Justice

by Susan Furlong

Series:Bone Gap Travellers #3

Genre: Mystery

Publication date: December 31

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #2

Genre: Alternate History, Fantasy

Publication date: January 14

Stars Beyond

by S.K. Dunstall

Series: Stars Uncharted #2

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication date: January 21

Alone in the Wild

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Casey Duncan #5

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Publication date: February 4

False Value

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Rivers of London #8

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: February 20

Smoke Bitten

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #12

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: March 10

Books from my TBR pile

The Dark Angel

by Elly Griffiths

Series: Ruth Galloway #10

Genre: Mystery

The Wailing Wind

by Tony Hillerman

Series: Leaphorn & Chee #15

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Thunder Bay

by William Kent Krueger

Series: Cork O’Connor #7

Genre: Mystery

The Long Way Home

by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #10

Genre: Mystery

Between Frames

by W.R. Gingell

Series: The City Between #4

Genre: Urban Fantasy

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #6

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

Bonus Book

I had to return this book to the library before I was done with it. I’ve got it on hold again so I hope to finish it early in 2020.

The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

Series: None

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Audiobook, Library

Have you read any of these books? What books do you want to read this winter?

Sunday Post: It’s already the middle of December!

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

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.

Personal life

I’m having trouble keeping up with how fast December days are speeding by! Still so many things I want to do since I love Christmas. I have to realize I may not get everything done. The most important thing for me is to spend time with my family at this time of the year. And that’s what I need to remember and focus on.

We went looking at Christmas lights last night and I was able to get a few photos. It’s a ritual we always try to do sometime before Christmas. I love to see how people have decorated. It gets dark so early these days that seeing the decorations and lights is so cheering.

Other than playing with my new kitten I don’t feel like I’ve gotten very much done. (Playing with Olie is great fun and he and Elf are starting to play together.) I did do some reading since Olie like to help me read! I’m trying to read some Christmas books before Christmas. This is about the only time of the year I still read a few historical romances. And I’m still trying to finish Christmas cards to get in the mail on Monday or Tuesday!

Christmas in Indiana

We’re spending Christmas in Indiana and traveling there at the end of this week. It’s much easier for our kids to get to Indiana so that’s where we’re spending Christmas this year. We’re bring our kitten with us, my son is bringing his mini dachshund, our Illinois daughter is bringing her cat and our Indiana daughter whose house we’re invading has two dogs so we will have quite the full house of humans and animals!

Blog Life

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Wise Virgin by Jo Beverley
What I read recently
  • Crash Point by John Carson
  • Borderline by Janet Edwards
  • The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Books I got recently

Borderline by Janet Edwards (ebook/purchased)

A Study in Gold by Annie Dalton (ebook/purchased)

Shamus Dust. Hard Winter. Cold War. Cool Murder by Janet Rogers (ebook/purchased)

The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey (Hardcover/Library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

A fantasy set in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Universe

Slayer

by Kiersten White

Narrator: Madeleine Maby

Genre: YA Fantasy

Setting: Buffy Universe

Source: Audiobook, Library

Publishing Date: 2019

404 pages (12 hours)

Synopsis: Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

My Thoughts

Before I started the book I hadn’t realized the book was actually in the Buffy universe. That was something I really enjoyed. I liked the glimpses we got of Buffy and I liked that this book is mostly from the Watchers point of view. The book starts after the TV series ends, I think. (I haven’t watched any Buffy for a long time.) Might need to re-watch some of it since I really did enjoy it.

I thought this book had lots of promise. A watcher becomes a slayer! That sounds so great. I also liked the idea of hearing from the watcher side of things.

Too much angst

This book was a little too angsty for me. That’s why I don’t enjoy YA books very much anymore. I must confess I’m tired of all the teenage angst most of them have. I don’t mind reading about young protagonists, but I want some of the second-guessing themselves, constantly changing their mind and worrying about how they look all the time as well as the forbidden lovers trope kept to a minimum. This had a little too much of all that for me especially at the end. (However, this is more my problem than the book’s problem! But it is why I don’t read many young adult books.)

Characters don’t listen

I was also irritated when Nina wouldn’t listen to people. Sometimes you need to go your own way or follow your instincts, but if Nina had listened more and thought about things she wouldn’t have made some of the choices she did. Artemis, her twin sister, also irritated me by not listening to people—especially not listening to Nina whom she was supposed to love so much and whom Artemis had spent her life protecting. That was really irritating.

Bottom line

I listened to the audiobook and I thought the narrator did a good job. However, I probably won’t continue reading this series. It’s just not the series for me.

My Rating: B-
Narrator Rating: B+

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The K Team by David Rosenfelt

A mystery with a German Shepherd K-9. Yes!

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

The K Team

by David Rosenfelt

Series: The K Team #1

Published by Minotaur Books

Publishing date: March 24, 2020

Genre: Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Andy Carpenter’s wife, Laurie, was a cop, a good one. Now she helps out on Andy’s cases while also raising Ricky, their son. But she’s been chafing to jump back into investigating on her own, and when her former partner and his German shepherd K-9 partner come to her with a proposal, she’s in.

………………………….

I haven’t read anything by this author, but I love reading about working dogs. And I love mysteries so I’m looking forward to this one!

Sunday Post: A kitten arrives

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

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.

Personal life

I’ve had a bad cold ever since Thanksgiving. I think all the kids passed on their germs! I’m finally starting to feel better. However, between getting a kitten and sneezing and coughing I didn’t get very much done last week! And no Sunday Post last Sunday.

I can’t quite believe there are only two and a half weeks until Christmas! I have so much I want to do so I hope I get my mojo back after this cold and get busy. I love Christmas and that’s what I want to concentrate on (and the kitten, of course!)

Thanksgiving–new & old traditions

We returned from Thanksgiving last weekend. This year our Thanksgiving was all about beginning a new tradition as well as continuing some of our old traditions. Thanksgiving in our family had been celebrated for over 50 years at my father-in-law’s home in Iowa. This was a celebration of a large extended family which continues to grow larger as the family expands. Some years 40 family and friends attended and a few years over 100 family and friends attended. Every other year is usually a “small” year (with some family attending their in-laws thanksgivings) and the other year everyone who can attends.

My father-in-law died over a year ago and his house was sold so the Thanksgiving location changed this year to Indianapolis, Indiana where both my daughter my niece and her family live. My niece has a large home and she and her husband love to entertain so they want to begin a new Thanksgiving tradition in Indiana. This was a small year since we only had about 35 people. Next year will be bigger though some of the people who came to Iowa may decide not to come to Indiana. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Olaf

My other news is that I’ve gotten a new kitten. He is a ragdoll blue point kitten. (I didn’t talk about it much at the time, but one of my cats–Scorch–died last summer. I’ve missed her a lot and my other cat–Elf–missed having a companion.)

I’ve named him Olaf and am calling him Olie (pronounced “oh-lee”) for a nickname. I decided to pick a Norwegian name since part of my family came from Norway in the 1800’s. He’s a darling, mischievous, very active kitten…lol. We haven’t had a kitten in the house for quite a few years and I had forgotten how they love to test boundaries and how active and fearless they are.

Elf isn’t a fan at the moment. (She’s rethinking the whole wanting a friend thing!) She hisses when he gets too close, but Olie follows her around and keeps trying to make friends. He’s persistent and I think he’ll persevere…lol.

Blog Life

No Sunday Post last week.

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Crash Point by John Carson
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (I had to return this to the library and put it on hold again so I’m weeks away from finishing it) 😦
What I read recently
  • Warrior Fae Trapped by K.F. Breene
  • Pirate Bound by Carysa Locke
  • A Dark Shadow by Katherine Pathak
  • Sign Off by Patricia McLinn
Books I got recently

Lots of good books on sale the last couple of weeks!

A Better Man by Louise Penny (ebook/purchased)

Written in Red by Annie Dalton (ebook/purchased)

The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths (ebook/purchased)

A Death in Eden by Keith McCafferty (ebook/purchased)

Left Hanging by Patricia McLinn (ebook/purchased)

Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan (ebook/purchased)

The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan (ebook/purchased)

Crash Point by John Carson (Kindle Unlimited)

Between Homes by W.R. Gingell (Kindle Unlimited)

Stone and a Hard Place by R.L. King (Kindle Unlimited)

Blind Search by Paula Munier (Hardcover/library)

Dead Blow by Lisa Preston (Hardcover/library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

Features a forensic archaeologist who is sometimes called in to consult with the police

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

The Lantern Men

by Elly Griffiths

Series: Ruth Galloway #12

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishing date: June 16, 2020

Genre: Mystery

356 pages

Synopsis: Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway changed her life—until a convicted killer tells her that four of his victims were never found, drawing her back to the place she left behind.

Everything has changed for Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home, and partner, and she is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried—but only if Ruth will do the digging.

………………………….

One of my very favorite mystery series. I love the characters Elly Griffiths has created in this series–especially Ruth and Cathbad. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist and the way Ms. Giffiths weaves that into the central part of each book is wonderful. Each character in these books is interesting, but they are also very human which makes these books especially readable. They grow and change during the course of the series. And, of course, the mysteries are great!