Sunday Post: A trip to Illinois

Connecting with others to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

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

Olaf sleeping on my lap this morning

I’ll be gone most of today since we’re going to visit our daughter in Illinois. I probably won’t get a chance to visit any blogs until tomorrow. We’re taking Olaf with us because we’re going to be gone over Labor Day weekend as is our daughter. She has gotten a pet sitter for her cat which Olaf will share! I haven’t found a pet sitter here yet.

Our new house is part of a group of houses built in the last few years from farm fields. There are still farms and fields around us, but more and more houses are being built. However, the above farm is one that is only moments away from our house. I love the red barn in that photo. And behind our house are several small properties that keep chickens and even a donkey! It makes me sad that most of the fields will be gone in the next few years so that houses can be built. This town is growing like crazy!

My orchids are loving all the light we have in our new house. I’ve had two of them rebloom already. I need to repot a couple of others. I love all the windows and light we have and am looking forward to the change of season when the light will be different in the house. I love every season and the changes that come every season.

My husband and I are getting out and about, but we stay outside as much as possible. We went to one of our favorite coffee and breakfast places. One of the things I love–besides the coffee and food–is the wrap-around deck where we can sit outside and enjoy the outdoors. On the day that we stopped by it rained, but a portion of the deck is under a roof so that even though it poured down rain we stayed dry! We have even gone to our niece’s kids’ soccer games which brings back memories of when our kids were playing soccer.

Blog

I enjoyed visiting blogs and catching up last week on what everyone has been doing during the summer. As I mentioned we’re going to be gone some next week. I won’t visit many blogs or comment, but I am getting a couple of posts scheduled. The one I won’t get done is next Sunday’s Sunday Post.

Posts last week
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • September 2021 books on my list

My books

What I’m reading
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Jodi Taylor
Books read last week
  • Dead Blow by Lisa Preston
  • Sleeping Dogs Lie by Samantha Downing
  • Smokescreen by Dick Francis
New books

What did you do last week and what do you plan to do this week?

Sunday Post: Almost the end of summer

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 hard to believe summer is almost over. Especially since the weather is so hot right now and will be even hotter next week with several days in the 90’s (and heat index in the low 100’s). Schools have already begun here which is hard for me to believe since I didn’t go back to school when I was a child until the first part of September.

I’m doing a Sunday Post for the first time since we moved into our house in mid-May. We’ve been busy, but sometimes especially in the first month after our move I kept losing track of what day of the week it was and would discover I’d missed another post–even when I had posts complete.

Things are better now though we’re still unpacking a few boxes and looking for things that we still haven’t found. This week I needed to look for clothes a little dressier than what I’ve been wearing all summer. I finally put together something I can wear though I didn’t find the clothes I was looking for. Maybe I donated them before we moved since I got rid of some of my clothes!

We are loving our new house. We’ve gotten pictures on the walls, decided where the furniture is going to be put and got rid of more stuff that didn’t quite find a home in our new house. We can get one of our cars in our two car garage! Our cat Olaf settled in after a day or two of hiding. He loves running on our carpetless floors and then sliding on them–sometimes into a wall! That doesn’t stop him. He also loves hiding in boxes or an empty laundry basket and then jumping out to surprise us!

We’ve done some traveling and have more planned plus we’re doing things with our family that lives in the area. We’re trying to do things outside though with the high temperatures at the moment that’s harder to do. The local weather forecast mentions how long it takes to get sunburned if you’re in the sun and it’s been only 20 minutes. So we’ll probably stay home more until it’s a little cooler.

Blog

I’ve been absent from my blog since we moved in to our new house. I’m hoping to write more regularly, though as I mentioned above we’re going to be gone several times in the near future so I may miss more Sunday Posts. I will try to get some other posts scheduled. I plan to visit blogs today and I hope to catch up on some of the blogs I follow.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • September 2021 books on my list
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Dead Blow by Lisa Preston
  • Sleeping Dogs Lie by Samantha Downing
Books read recently
  • Boiled Over by Barbara Ross
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
  • Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
  • Between Decisions by W.R. Gingell
  • Aoife’s Chariot by Katherine Pathak
  • Moving is Murder by Sara Rosett
  • Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
New books

What have you been up to all summer?

Sunday Post: It’s already April

Connecting with others to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

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 didn’t get much done last week.

We had to have our cat Elf put to sleep during the week. It was such a hard decision, but she wasn’t getting any better. In fact, she was losing weight each time she was weighed and had stopped eating.

The above pictures show Elf (calico cat) and Scorch (part Snowshoe cat). They came into our household together though they weren’t litter mates. Scorch got a lot more dark patches of fur as she got older. Scorch died in 2019 when she was 10 years old. Elf was 12 when she died this week. They were both such wonderful sweet cats and both died too soon.

Blog Life

Though I’m late getting this Sunday Post done I’m getting caught up a little on my blog comments and visiting other blogs.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs
Books read
  • None
New books

I hope you all have a great week.

Sunday Post: More snow forecast!

Connecting with others to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

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

A rare moment of togetherness for Olaf and Elf

More snow is heading our way. A little on Saturday night and then a bigger storm on Monday with maybe 5-10 inches of snow. Luckily, we don’t go many places so that shouldn’t be a problem for us.

Inaugeration

We spent the day on Wednesday watching the Inaugeration of our 46th President. There were so many great moments from the day.

Our new house

The foundation for our house was poured this week which is exciting. We also had a meeting to go over the blueprints and ask any questions. So good to see so much coming together and the house moving forward. Soon the framing will start!

Blog Life

I finally competed my 2020 end-of-year posts! I like to look back at my reading year and it’s also nice to have the posts for a number of years so I can compare what I’m reading.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Lost Flyght by S.J. Pajonas
Books I read last week
  • Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
Books I got last week

What did you do last week? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: On to Indiana

weekly meme to talk about books and a little about our personal lives

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

Cooler weather at night and nice sunny days. I love the fall weather.

Illinois

I was in Illinois all week with one of my daughters since we got new carpet in our Iowa house. I brought the cats and we stayed with my daughter because the carpet took several days to complete. Olaf had great fun exploring and decided to go under the above cabinet. I was amazed he could fit under it and that he was able to get back out without help!

Indiana

Since we were close to Indiana my husband and I drove there to visit our younger daughter and see a house that’s already built that will look similar to the house we’re having built. We were able to measure a few rooms and get an idea how our furniture will fit.

We are very impressed with how beautiful the leaves are right now in Indiana. My daughter has three trees in her yard which have turned yellow and orange. Beautiful!

Our daughter will be gone for a few days so we’re staying to take care of her dogs while she’s gone. It’s nice to take a break from our cleaning and sorting and purging at our house!

I’m loving seeing my daughters and I feel somewhat safer in Illinois and Indiana since they have mask mandates and Iowa doesn’t.

Blog Life

I caught up for about a day with comments, but am behind again! I visited a number of blogs and caught up a bit with some of my blogging friends. It’s always nice to see how you all are doing during these trying times. I hope everyone is staying safe.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall
  • Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
What I read
  • The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
  • The Vampire Moon by J.R. Rain
Books I got

What have you got planned for next week? What did you do last week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: A look back at February

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.

Note: I haven’t done a Sunday Post since last February. I found this Post which should have posted on March 1, but I think we were traveling or I didn’t have internet available. Anyway, I thought I would post the “Personal Life” section which talked about what I had done in February. I was struck by how different life is now.

Next week I hope to post a regular Sunday Post for what I’m doing and reading.

Personal life

What I did in February

My Ragdoll kitten turned six months old and will be a year old in September. Elf is a senior girl at over 10 years old.

I made cards for birthdays, thank you’s and Valentine’s Day. (I’ve made lots of cards to send during the pandemic.)

My daughters made a surprise visit to us over Valentine’s Day and it was wonderful to see them. (Now we wouldn’t surprise each other like that!)

Toward the end of February we went to Seattle to visit our son. Before we left for Seattle we knew there was a Covid 19 case in Seattle, but had no idea what would happen in the months to come. As you can see from the photos we did quite a few activities with lots of people around us. By the time we left Seattle, Covid 19 was in nursing homes there and I felt we should quarantine for two weeks when we returned to Iowa. Before the end of our two weeks the whole of Iowa and the rest of the U.S. were quarantining.

February photos

I’ll see you all next week and look forward to seeing what you’ve been doing.

Sunday Post: After the caucus

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 had a tiny bit more snow, but also a few sunny days above freezing. However, our north facing backyard is still filled with snow!

The last two weeks in pictures
Iowa Caucus

I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Iowa Caucus and what a fiasco that was. It was my first caucus (we moved to Iowa three years ago) and I volunteered to help people sign-in. It was very interesting since it’s so different from just voting for a candidate, but it was also chaotic. We were in a middle school gymnasium and it was very loud. The precinct captain didn’t have a sound system so it was very hard to hear what anyone was saying.

After we finished caucusing we went home and that’s when we heard there was some kind of problem though on Monday night no one knew what the problem was. Now almost a week later and Iowa has provided numbers, but news organizations have found some inconsistencies and still don’t feel confident to call a winner. My takeaway from this is that maybe Iowa needs to just vote and do away with the caucus system!

Elf and Olaf

Elf and Olaf (Olie) are getting along better. Olaf was neutered this week. He’s five months old so I’m glad he hadn’t started spraying. He weighs almost nine pounds!

Other activities

Now that the caucuses are over life is getting back to a more normal level. We went out one evening to a cabaret performance. The singer was great. We also got away one evening and played dominoes at our local brewery. Lots of fun though my husband beat me even though (because) he drew 22 tiles and then was able to block me several times!

We had lunch at our botanical garden cafe. Again, lots of fun! The botanical garden dome is wonderful in the winter since it’s warm and all the plants are green and growing! Some are blooming and there’s even an area with cactus! On the way to the botanical gardens and along the Des Moines River is the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens with an Asian pavilion as the main feature. Ray was an Iowa governor (1969-1983) and the first public official anywhere in the United States to offer the Vietnamese “Boat People” a safe haven as well as sending food and medicine to Cambodia and helping keep the Tai Dam of Laos intact as a people and a culture by making it possible for them to resettle in Iowa.

Blog Life

In January I read 16 books–much higher than my average of 7 or 8! Several of the books were short so that factored in, but I also read some very good ones which I flew through. In February, I’ve already abandoned two books–one at 36% and the other at 25%–because I decided they just weren’t what I wanted to read right now. They were depressing me and I want to enjoy my reading.

Last two weeks
Next week
  • February 2020 books on my list
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris
  • Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
What I read recently
  • Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
  • A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
  • Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak
  • House of Teeth by Dan Jolley
  • Blind Search by Paula Munier
  • The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
Books I got recently

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan (ebook, purchased)

Some of the Best from Tor.com:2019 Edition by Elizabeth Bear, Siobhan Carroll, John Chu, Greg Egan,et al (ebook, purchased)

The World of Cork O’Connor by William Kent Kreuger (ebook, purchased)

Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak (KindleUnlimited)

Fashion Goes to the Dogs by Peggy Gaffney (KindleUnlimited)

The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannsen (KindleUnlimited)

A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris (ebook/library)

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (audiobook/library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Are you planning anything for Valentine’s Day?

Sunday Post: A musical, a deer and more snow

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 warmed up some this week. The temperatures stayed around freezing all week, but we still got a little more snow each day and since it was overcast little or no melting. Some of the side roads are still packed snow and ice. Some parking lots are slushy snow. Of course there are mounds of snow everywhere, too. For the most part I haven’t had any problems getting around town though I didn’t go out all that much. (I did almost get stuck in A Starbucks drive through since it was solid, bumpy ice!)

Adore Us! Line (a caucus parody of A Chorus Line)

Saturday night my husband and I went to a musical parody showing the Presidential candidates begging for Iowa voters. The opening song, a parody of the song “I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line was great. The whole parody was so well done. I especially loved that the Pete Buttigieg character was played by a very talented 9th grade boy! We stayed afterward for a question-and-answer period with the actors and author of the parody. (The above picture shows the stage during the q-and-a session.)

Elf and Olie

Elf and Olie are getting along better though Olie still chases Elf and tackles her sometimes which leads to swiping of paws, yowling and much indignation. She often acts like a grumpy old lady with a toddler she can’t get rid of.

We did have a scare with Olie one day. We have closed him up in a bathroom at night so he could eat, stay out of mischief and to give Elf a break. That morning he came out of the bathroom limping. As the day went on he began hopping on three legs, sleeping most of the time and putting little weight on his paw. We called our vet and got him in that afternoon. We thought maybe he’d landed wrong when he jumped from the bathroom counter. However, an x-ray of his leg showed no broken bone. (Thank goodness.) However, his leg was swollen so they surmised that in the scuffles with Elf she may have snagged his leg with a claw or her teeth. He got antibiotics, pain killers and other medicine. When we got home he slept for an hour and I guess the pain killers kicked in because he was running after Elf as though nothing was wrong! The next morning he was limping again. However, Olie is fine now and perhaps doesn’t jump on Elf quite as much. Maybe?!?

Cleaning and allergies

Good news? I’m over my cold. Bad news? I’m still having more allergies than I’ve had for the past year or so which is irritating, but usually the runny nose and sinus headache goes away after a couple hours. After I started feeling better I spent a couple hours each day cleaning my craft room so I could finally work on cards again. Since it’s been a month since I’ve done any cardmaking it has taken me a while to get back into the creative zone. Finally on Saturday I was able to make a card so I’m hopeful next week will be a creative one for me.

Blog Life

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

My books

What I’m reading
  • Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
  • A Conspiracey in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
What I read recently
  • Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong
  • Wyrde and Wayward by Charlotte E. English
  • A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Books I got recently

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (ebook, purchased)

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (audiobook/library)

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

Sunday Post: A new decade

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 thinking a lot about the start of a new decade. [I know technically this isn’t the start and that next year is, but this what I’m calling the start of the decade.] This decade needs lots to happen in our world and I’m not sure we’re going to get it done. I guess in ten years we’ll know. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading. (I kind of feel like I’m fiddling while Rome burns.)

Back home
Olie playing with the rearview mirror during a rest break on the drive home

We got back home from Christmas and New Years in Indiana on Friday. We had a wonderful time there, but it’s so nice to get home and know that I can stay home for a while! We took our kitten Olie with us since he’s only four months old. He did great with his first introduction to dogs, small children, lots of new people and long car rides in a cat carrier. We let him out of the carrier when we stopped and he had fun exploring the car–especially the dashboard.

Now that I’m home I have lots of cards to make, but first I need to clean up my craft room which I left in a terrible mess before we left for Christmas. That’s going to take me several days!

My husband and I are getting ready to participate in our first Iowa Caucus. I’ve never caucused before, but I’m looking forward to it.

Television

We finished watching The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition Saturday night. I enjoyed it a lot though I still like the British edition better. I do hope they continue to do more of the American edition though.

Blog Life

I read my first book of the new year–Carrots by Colleen Helme–on New Year’s Day. It’s the beginning of a series and a new author to me. I really liked it and look forward to more books. And since there are already 12 books in the series I will have plenty to read! I like the idea of starting a new year with a new series and new author.

I’ve been working on end of year posts, but didn’t get any finished this last week. I plan to finish and post them this next week. (I hope.) I also want to post a goals post–which I haven’t started yet! And I’m still thinking about what my goals are for the next year.

Last week
Next week
  • Ten Anticipated books for first half of 2020
  • My favorite books of 2019
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Favorite books of the last decade
  • 2020 goals
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima
What I read recently
  • Between Homes by W.R. Gingell
  • Carrots by Colleen Helme
Books I got recently

I got a “few” books…haha! Amazon had an offer that if I bought $20 in ebooks I’d get $5 for more ebooks so, of course, I had to do it and I had no problem spending the $5 either!

The Silver Mark by Sarah Painter (ebook/purchased)

Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg (ebook/purchased)

Wyrde and Wayward by Charlotte E. English (ebook/purchased)

Snow Day by Andrea K. Höst (ebook/purchased)

Balanced Chaos by Charissa Dufour (ebook/purchased)

Cold Noses and Warm Hearts by Laurie Morrow (ebook/purchased)

Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood (ebook/purchased)

Carrots by Colleen Helme (Kindle Unlimited)

Days Gone Bad by Eric Asher (Kindle Unlimited)

Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima (Library, ebook)

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

January 2020 books on my list

Books published in January 2020 I might read — What books have I missed?

books-on-my-list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of as the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget!

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I might not know about!

January 1

The beginning of a new series and it’s an author I haven’t read before as well as a police procedural!

Lost Hills

by Lee Goldberg

Series: Eve Ronin #1

Published by Thomas Mercer

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

237 pages

Synopsis: A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.

Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.

January 7

I’ve read a number of books by Jenny Colgan and I really like her writing. Plus the cover is very cute!

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

by Jenny Colgan

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

368 pages

Synopsis: Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie’s dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, it wouldn’t hurt if there were more eligible bachelors.  

More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there’s no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills—or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she’s never been one for muddy rain boats—and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere—the tiny town does have one major draw: men. LOTS of them!

But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she’s not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there’s the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can’t afford to get on Harry’s bad side any more than she already has.

January 14

I liked the first book in this series a lot. Gunnie Rose is a very memorable character.

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #2

Published by Gallery / Saga Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Alternate History

304 pages

Synopsis: In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what’s inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

This is a new author to me, but it has a beautiful cover and this historical mystery series sounds really good.

The Hollows

by Jess Montgomery

Series: Kinship #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Historical Mystery (Ohio, 1926)

352 pages

Synopsis: Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.

Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths, but Lily does not believe that an old woman would wander out of the hills onto the tracks. In a county where everyone knows everyone, how can someone have disappeared, when nobody knew they were missing? As ghost stories and rumors settle into the consciousness of Moonvale Hollow, Lily tries to search for any real clues to the woman’s identity.

With the help of her friend Marvena Whitcomb, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—an asylum is northern Antioch County—and they begin to expose secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains. 

A great title and dogs and cats are in the story so this sounds like fun! But the dog mentioned in this synopsis is a bulldog and I think this is a Boston terrier? Why is he on the cover?

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets

by Annie England Noblin

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Animals

382 pages

Synopsis: Laid off, cheated on, mugged: what else can go wrong in Maeve Stephens’ life? So when she learns her birth mother has left her a house, a vintage VW Beetle, and a marauding cat, in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, she packs up to discover the truth about her past.

She arrives to the sight of a cheerful bulldog abandoned on her front porch, a reclusive but tempting author living next door, and a set of ready-made friends at the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, where women knit colorful sweaters for the dogs and cats in their care. But there’s also an undercurrent of something that doesn’t sit right with Maeve. What’s the secret (besides her!) that her mother had hidden?

January 21

I like reading books set in Montana plus this is a mystery and about a military veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The Blaze

by Chad Dundas

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

384 pages

Synopsis: One man knows the connection between two extraordinary acts of arson, fifteen years apart, in his Montana hometown–if only he could remember it.

Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father’s death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. It’s not only a blank to him, but a mystery. Why as a teen did he suddenly become sullen and vacant, abandoning the activities and people that had meant most to him? How did he, the son of hippy activists, wind up enlisting in the first place?

Then on his first night back, Matthew sees a house go up in flames, and it turns out a local college student has died inside. And this event sparks a memory of a different fire, an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew’s past that might lead to all the answers he’s been searching for. What he finds will connect the old fire and the new, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder. 

I read the first book in this series and liked it a lot plus I’ve read the Linesman series also by Dunstall which was excellent.

Stars Beyond

by S.K. Dunstall

Series: Stars Uncharted #2

Published by Ace

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: An engineer with a fondness for weapons. A captain with no memory. An obsessive genemodder who loves to tinker. Meet the crew of Another Road.

Josune, Roystan, and Nika have escaped the company thugs trying to kill them. They’ve gotten a new spaceship to replace The Road (after it was blown up underneath them). And their new ship is armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, courtesy of Josune. All that’s left to do before they head out to find the legendary lode of transurides is to restore Roystan’s memory. To do that, they need to collect the genemod machine Nika has ordered.

But first, they have to shake off the Justice Department agent and the Companies tracking them.

It should be easy. They’ve done it before. What could possibly go wrong?

January 28

My husband has read several of Eoin Colfer’s books, but I haven’t. I like that this is an adult fantasy about dragons and that it takes place in the modern world!

Highfire

by Eoin Colfer

Series: Unknown

Published by HarperCollins

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

384 pages

Synopsis: In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?

A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.

Another new author to me plus a mystery and a police procedural. Yes!

A Dredging in Swann

by Tim Garvin

Series: Seb Creek Mysteries #1

Published by Blackstone

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

304 pages

Synopsis: Two investigations start at the same time in Swann County, North Carolina, one by the FBI, the other by the sheriff. The feds want to know who stole three Stinger missiles during a helicopter crash. The sheriff wants to know who hung a black ex-con in a well.

Seb Creek, a sheriff’s detective, gets involved in both investigations and fights through lies, secrets, and murder to find the killer. The trail involves a long-ago ax murder, the ravages of combat, an outdoor gas chamber, a mystery at the bottom of a well, and finally a last killing and an ancient testament.

The dog on the cover of this book is so cute plus it’s nonfiction and it sounds heart-wrenching (Gabby is 8 years old and has never been outside??) I think I need to read this. (I am glad to see the dog on this cover seems to match Gabby as described here.)

Gabby: The Little Dog that Had to Learn to Bark

by Barby Keel

Series: None

Published by Citadel Press

Genre: Nonfiction, Animals

256 pages

Synopsis: Baby seagulls, mischievous ferrets, strutting peacocks…in the decades that Barby Keel has run her animal sanctuary in the English countryside, she has seen all manner of creatures. Thousands of cats and dogs have come through her doors and, with the aid of Barby and her dedicated staff, found loving forever homes. But Gabby, a small terrier with solemn, terrified eyes, is like no case Barby has ever encountered before.

Gabby has spent all eight years of her life indoors. She has no idea how to play with a toy or chew a treat. She has never dug in the dirt or rolled happily in the grass. Strangest of all, Gabby does not know how to bark. Barby can tell that the little golden-haired dog is bright and curious beneath her paralyzing fear, but coaxing out Gabby’s true spirit will be a daunting task.

Yet sometimes, a dog and a human fit together like two puzzle pieces, and so it is with Gabby and Barby. And Barby, who believes passionately in animals’ ability to help and heal those they love, will find her faith in Gabby repaid just when she, and her sanctuary, need it most . . .

I’m several books behind in this series, but I really like the ones I’ve read so I’d like to catch up so I can read this one!

Death Comes to the Nursery

by Catherine Lloyd

Series: Kurland St. Mary’s Mystery #7

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Delighted by the quiet uproar of raising their newborn, Lady Lucy and Major Sir Robert Kurland could not be more pleased at the prospect of welcoming another into their home. But their preparations are soon overshadowed by a baffling case of murder . . .

Once known to all in her village as the rector’s daughter, Lucy is now a mother herself—to a wonderful eighteen-month-old son, Ned. Upon discovering that she is expecting a second child, Lucy and Robert are delighted. In anticipation of the new arrival, Lucy is set on expanding her nursery staff. When Agnes, her current nurse, recommends her cousin, it seems like the perfect solution.

But trouble arrives along with the new nursery maid from London. Polly’s flirtations provoke fisticuffs in the servants’ hall and tumult in the village tavern, and on her afternoon off, she fails to return to the Kurland Estate. When a farmer finds her lifeless body in a drainage ditch, Lucy and Robert fear foul play.

This dog looks a lot like my daughter’s black lab so I had to include this book! However, the only dog mentioned in the synopsis is a poodle so who is the black lab??

Cold Nose, Warm Heart

by Mara Wells

Series: Fur Haven Dog Park #1

Published by Sourcebook Casablanca

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dogs

384 pages

Synopsis: All Caleb Donovan has to do to redeem his family name is take a rundown Miami Beach apartment building and turn it into luxury condos. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, that would also turn the local dog park into a parking lot and the neighbors aren’t having it. Caleb is faced with outright revolt, led by smart, beautiful building manager Riley Carson and her poodle, LouLou.

For Caleb, this project should have been a slam dunk. But even more challenging than the neighborhood resistance is the mutual attraction between him and Riley. It would be so much easier just to stay enemies.

What books are you excited about this month?