Sunday Post: Our first frost

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

It’s Halloween and November next week. And we had our first frost here in Iowa Friday night so the growing season for most plants is done for this year. However, even though the weather is cooler we’re still having lots of beautiful, sunny days.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Greeting cards and a fox and dragon and octopus . . . oh my!

I make cards to send to family and friends and I’ve worked on Autumn and Halloween cards the last few weeks. I got them mailed this week and it’s still Autumn and Halloween hasn’t even passed. A lot of the time I’m late getting my cards off! I had so much fun with these cards and I got a new die which cuts an envelope liner from paper to put in the envelope to create a one-of-a-kind envelope!

We picked up the pottery my daughters and I had painted last week and we’re very happy with the results! The dragon, fox and octopus are all banks which we plan to use for loose change. The star is for a candle and the plate for a wall.

My allergies are still bothering me and I had a couple of days I didn’t feel like doing anything. My husband has caught a cold so I’m not getting too close to him! Hopefully, he’ll start feeling better soon.

Blog

I’m working to get a few posts done ahead so I can schedule my weeks better . . .  especially since November begins next week and November and December are always very busy in our household–in a good way. I love the holidays and around here they start with Thanksgiving which also starts with lots of planning since we have around 50 people who come each year. So the more planning and scheduling I can do for my blog the better off I will be!

I’ve read some really good books lately and that always makes me happy. However, that doesn’t always mean more blog posts. And sometimes I get involved in reading other blogs, but then don’t have time to comment. I’m trying to remember to go back to those blogs and comment later.

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • November books on my list
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless

What I’ve read

Running Out of Space by S.G. Higbee

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Smoky Mountain Tracks by Donna Ball

Cold as Ice by Julie Mulhern

Books I got this week–all audiobooks

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkein

Childhood Classics, Vol 3: Christmas Collection narrated by various celebrities

Evan Help Us by Rhys Bowen

Evanly Choirs by Rhys Bowen

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

Sunday Post: October 30

Sunday-Post

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

Happy Halloween
bailey-halloween-2
Bailey seems a little embarrassed!
A sick husband

I spent most of the week taking care of my husband. He’s been sick since last Sunday and not feeling better after a week. We’ll see his doctor again this week. Poor guy. He’s not sick very often and he’s not able to do much of anything.

Not on the road again . . .

Needless to say, he didn’t fly to Spokane this week to drive our car back home. We postponed the trip for two weeks. We’ll have to decide this next week if that’s going to happen.

Blog posts
Tentative blog posts for next week
  • November books on my list
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-thon Goals
  • Review: Send in the Clown by Julie Mulhern
  • Review:  An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca

My books

What I’m reading
  • Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
  • Casting Bones by Don Bruns
What I read
  • An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca
  • Badlands by C.J. Box
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein36

The Magic of Christmas by Sarah Morgan

The Moor by Laurie R. King

A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King

Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd

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

Save

Save

Save

Autumn-themed children’s picture books

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m talking about Autumn-themed children’s picture books. There are both Halloween books and books about fall. I love picture books because the illustrations are often so beautiful. I think the illustrations often are as much for the adults as for the children! I also love when the books have poetry or repeating language. Those books are fun to read to children. So these are the books I think many children would enjoy.

autumn-is-hereAutumn is Here! A Young Readers Picture Book

Author & Illustrator: Heidi Pross Gray

Age Level: 0 to 8 years

Publication date: 2012

34 pages

Summary: Fall books are a wonderful way to explore the seasons with your children. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the book Autumn is Here! With full color watercolor illustrations and whimsical text, you and your child will explore all the different changes in nature and in family life as autumn approaches. Pick some apples, bake some muffins, watch the squirrels gather nuts, visit the farm and have a bonfire! Warm up some cinnamon tea and cuddle up with your child today to read a wonderful book about fall, Autumn is Here!

one-witchOne Witch

Author: Lauren Lueck

Illustrator: S.D. Schindler

Age Level: 3 to 8 years

Publication date: 2004

32 pages

Summary: One witch, on a hill, had an empty pot to fill. So what does that one witch do? She goes around to visit all her fiendish friends, naturally; two cats, three scarecrows, four goblins, five vampires, six mummies, seven owls, eight ghosts, nine skeletons, and ten werewolves.

At every stop they contribute ghoulishly tasty ingredients until the witch has enough to make a properly gruesome stew for her party. Then, of course, she must send out her invitations; to the ten werewolves, nine
skeletons, eight ghosts, seven owls, six mummies…

Count up and count down again as one witch gets ready for a fun-filled monster bash. Come along, they’ve got a special surprise waiting just…FOR…YOU!

the-autumn-visitorsThe Autumn Visitors

Author & Illustrator: Karel Hayes

Age Level: 3 to 8 years

Publication date: 2015

32 pages

Summary: In this fourth and final book in Karel Hayes’s acclaimed Visitors series, the beloved family of bears gets in another round of adventures as they experience the full enjoyment of a New England autumn. First up the country fair–the bears sneak onto the midway after hours to play the games and be thrilled by the rides. Next comes Halloween, for which the bears all cleverly disguise themselves to gather a load of trick-or-treat candy. And finally there’s a big Thanksgiving feast for all the friends of the forest. As always, the bears manage to have all their fun while carefully avoiding detection

goodbye-summer-hello-autumnGoodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Author & Illustrator: Kenard Pak

Age Level: 4 to 7 years

Publication date: 2016

32 pages

Summary: As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way!

Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.

i-love-fallI Love Fall: A Touch and Feel Board Book

Author: Alison Inches

Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata

Age Level: 2 to 4 years

Publication date: 2012

12 pages

Summary: From plump orange pumpkins to crunchy leaves, readers will love all the textures fall has to offer in this delightful touch-and-feel board book.

From woolly scarves and plump orange pumpkins to crunchy leaves and smooth wicker baskets, readers will delight in all the different textures fall has to offer. With simple, rhyming verses and sweet, vibrant illustrations, youngsters can celebrate the season with this touch-and-feel board book that’s perfect for small hands.

leaf-manLeaf Man

Author & Illustrator: Lois Ehlert

Age Level: 4 to 8 years

Publication date: 2005

40 pages

Summary: Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.

With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children.

Includes an author’s note and leaf-identifying labels.

wild-childWild Child

Author: Lynn Plourde

Illustrator: Greg Couch

Age Level: 3 to 8 years

Publication date: 2003

32 pages

Summary: In this magical bedtime book, Autumn doesn’t want to sleep. Mother Earth wants to put her wild child, Autumn, to bed. But Autumn isn’t ready. First she wants a song, then a snack, then pj’s, and a kiss. Lynn Plourde’s crisp text crackles like fall leaves and Greg Couch’s illustrations are a color extravaganza. Wild children and their parents will love this scrumptious, satisfying tribute to the wonders of nature and family. Wild Child is the first of four seasonal picture books by Lynn Plourde and Greg Couch.

room-on-the-broomRoom on the Broom

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

Age Level: 3 to 8 years

Publication date: 2001

32 pages

Award: Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book to Read Aloud (2003)

Summary: The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

big-pumpkinsBig Pumpkin

Author: Erica Silverman

Illustrator: S.D. Silverman

Age Level: 4 to 8 years

Publication date: 1992

34 pages

Summary: The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

the-widows-broomThe Widow’s Broom

Author & Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg

Age Level: 4 to 7 years

Publication date: 1992

32 pages

Summary: “Witches’ brooms don’t last forever. They grow old, and even the best of them, one day, lose the power of flight…. On very rare occasions, however, a broom can lose its power without warning, and fall, with its passenger, to the earth below … which is just what happened one cold autumn night many years ago.” So begins The Widow’s Broom, the gentle, strangely captivating book by Chris Van Allsburg, who received Caldecott medals for Jumanji and The Polar Express.

The story gets under way when the lonely widow Minna Shaw finds a wounded, sky-fallen witch in her vegetable garden. The witch disappears before dawn, but leaves her old, presumably defunct broom behind. Minna begins to use it around the house and finds that “it was no better or worse than brooms she’d used before.” However, one morning, Minna sees the broom sweeping by itself! Opportunistically, she trains it to chop wood and fetch water.

When the neighbors find out about this “wicked, wicked thing” (posing as an innocent, hardworking broom), they accost the widow and demand that the broom be burned. Are they successful in separating the lonely widow and her diligently sweeping friend? This is a wonderfully suspenseful book to read aloud and young listeners will earnestly hope for the broom’s survival. Still, older, wiser readers, ages 8 and older, will be swept up in the story, too.

Do you have favorite autumn-themed children’s books?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Halloween cozy mysteries

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week we have a Halloween themed freebie. I’ve chosen to spotlight Halloween themed cozy mysteries. I’ve only read one of these books since I don’t read too many cozy mysteries. When I read Trick or Treat Murder it made me wonder how many other mysteries are Halloween themed. I was surprised to find out how many there are!

Another reason I chose cozy mysteries is that I don’t like scary books which are what a lot of people enjoy at Halloween. Not me! Cozy mysteries tend toward non-scary settings.

trick-or-treat-murderTrick or Treat Murder

  • by Leslie Meier
  • Lucy Stone #3
  • The only one of these books I’ve read and reviewed!
  • Haunted-house parties and ghostly galas…grinning pumpkins, mayhem and murder. It’s going to be one heck of a Halloween for Lucy Stone and Tinker’s Cove…It’s October in Maine, and everyone in Tinker’s Cove is preparing for the annual Halloween festival. While Lucy Stone is whipping up orange-frosted cupcakes, recycling tutus for her daughters’ Halloween costumes, helping her son with his pre-teen rebellion, and breast-feeding her brand-new baby, an arsonist is loose in Tinker’s Cove. When the latest fire claims the life of the owner of the town’s oldest house, arson turns into murder…

A Catered Halloweena-catered-halloween

  • by Isis Crawford
  • A Mystery with Recipes #5
  • Sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons are thrilled they’ve been asked to cater a haunted house fundraiser. But they soon discover that ghosts aren’t the only unwanted guests when a murderer strikes…With the promise of a hefty commission and some valuable word-of-mouth for their catering business, A Little Taste of Heaven, Bernadette and Libby Simmons agree to cater the charity haunted house being staged at the old Peabody School. The gothic building-complete with towers and turrets-is the perfect setting for a haunted house fundraiser. But what makes the setting even more eerie are the rumors milling about town that the school is haunted by the ghost of Bessie Osgood, a girl who died in an “accident” years before. Bernie and Libby don’t believe in ghosts although they both agree there’s something creepy about the Peabody School. And when wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate is found dead in the haunted house, the sisters wonder if a murderer might also be lurking about Peabody’s gloomy halls.In life, Amethyst Applegate earned herself a reputation as a notorious home wrecker. The vicious vixen had so many enemies it’s a surprise she stayed alive as long as she did. From Inez Colley, whose husband had a steamy fling with Amethyst one night, to Bob Small who went to jail for grand larceny because of Amethyst, and Zach Timberland who blames Amethyst for ruining his daughter’s life. And that’s just the beginning of the long list of suspects.While almost everyone Amethyst ever met might have a motive for killing her, not everyone had access to the Peabody School. All Bernie and Libby know is that it’s time for them to crack this case wide open. But when they keephitting one dead end after another, they realize the key to solving Amethyst’s death lies in discovering what really caused Bessie’s death all those years ago. And if Bernie and Libby don’t solve this mystery soon, they might become the next stars in a real-life horror flick.
    inked-up

Inked Up

  • by Terri Thayer
  • Stamping Sisters #2
  • Halloween is scarier than ever in Aldenville, Pennsylvania, when professional rubber stamper April Buchert discovers a dead body in a “haunted” corn maze. The police suspect the victim’s husband murdered her, but April knew the couple, and she and the Stamping Sisters are determined to find the real killer before he catches another in his murderous motif.

 

Fiber and Brimstone fiber-and-brimstone

  • by Laura Childs
  • A Scrapbook Mystery #8
  • It’s Halloween in New Orleans-and the festivities are going to be killer.With the help of her best friend Ava, Carmela Bertrand is building a giant monster puppet for the Halloween Monsters & Mayhem parade. Things get terrifying earlier than expected when they overhear an argument between Jekyl Hardy and Brett Fowler- and just minutes later they find Fowler’s dead body.Carmela has known Jekyl for years and can’t believe he’d ever resort to murder, despite the fact that Fowler owed him money. But when another victim is discovered-who also had an unfriendly relationship with Jekyl-Carmela is convinced someone is framing her friend and now must find a way to unmask the real killer.

Town in a Pumpkin Bash

  • by B.B. Haywardtown-in-a-pumpkin-bash
  • A Candy Holliday Mystery #4
  • In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two…Halloween is fast approaching, and preparations for the Pumpkin Bash, Cape Willington’s annual autumn festival, are well underway. Candy is running this year’s haunted hayride, in the hopes of making some extra cash. But when she discovers a real dead body near some fake tombstones, Candy’s side job becomes a full-blown investigation to find out who turned a holiday attraction into a real horror show. Will Candy’s keen eye for detail unearth buried town secrets? As her search leads her through old graveyards and a haunted house, Candy will discover that not all of the skeletons hidden in this small town’s closets are Halloween decorations… INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

A Killer Maizea-killer-maize

  • by Paige Shelton
  • Farmers’ Market #4
  • Becca Robbins is selling her farm-made jams and preserves at a county fair where business is not the only thing that’s dead…The last person Becca expects to run into at the Swayton County Fall Festival is her ex-husband, Scott Triplett, who’s operating a shooting gallery. Honesty was not always Scott’s policy, and their unexpected reunion is further complicated when the festival becomes a crime scene. On Becca’s second day there, Ferris wheel operator Virgil Morrison is found hanging from his rickety ride, dead from a gunshot. As Becca starts to notice Scott suspiciously sneaking around the fairgrounds, she begins to worry her ex may be involved in the murder. Then there’s the shadow she sees in the creepy corn maze and rumors of a gypsy curse–not to mention Virgil’s mysterious spider tattoo. Now Becca must search through a labyrinth of lies, secrets, and superstition to find a kernel of truth…before the killer starts stalking her.the-pumpkin-thief

The Pumpkin Thief

  • by Melanie Jackson
  • A Chloe Boston Mystery #2
  • Chloe Boston, meter maid and unofficial sleuth of the Hope Falls Police Department, is on the trail of the Halloween Killer and a second troublesome criminal, the Pumpkin Thief, who has robbed every pumpkin patch in town. Aided by her dog and new boyfriend, Chloe is closing in on Hope Falls public enemies 1 and 2.

ghastly-glass

Ghastly Glass

  • by Joyce Lavene
  • At her glass-blowing apprenticeship, Renaissance reveler Jessie Morton’s crabby boss and his creepy nephew are causing her problems. But when the man playing the Grim Reaper is killed, Jess has to find the lady, lord or serf whodunit.

 

murder-of-a-royal-pain

 

Murder of a Royal Pain 

  • by Denise Swanson
  • A Scumble River Mystery #11
  • When school psychologist Skye Denison stumbles over the body of pushy “Promfest” chairperson Annette Paine during a Halloween fundraiser, it looks like a clear-cut case of promicide. Annette was not the only prom mom desperate to see her daughter crowned queen. But she was also wearing the same witch costume as Skye, so which witch was the intended victim?

What are your favorite Halloween book themes? Do you like the scary books or are you like me–non-scary only!!?

 

 

Sunday Post: Oct 25

Sunday-PostThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week–home and blog

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maine coast and greeting cards

We stayed at the Maine coast–in a small town called Ogunquit–last weekend and had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful–cool, but lots of sun. We had a great hotel room–at high tide the water came so close it looked like we could step right into the water! A river runs into the ocean at Ogunquit (and in front of our hotel). At low tide it was easy to see the river, but not so easy at high tide. We could have stayed on our balcony the whole time and watched the ocean, but we helped the economy by shopping, eating and sightseeing!

Once again it felt like a very short week. I did get some cards made. I have a number of birthdays plus autumn cards I want to send. I hope to make and send a few Halloween cards early in the week, too.

What we’re watching

Nothing new this week!

Blog

I made a little progress with Bog Ahead, but at the expense of visiting other blogs so next week I need to do both plus keep reading!

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier

The Martian by Andy Weir (Audiobook)

What I read last week

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

None!

NetGalley

Library books

E-books

Audiobooks

Internet

  • Julia Spencer-Fleming (author of Through the Evil Days and other mysteries in the Claire Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne series) one of the writers of the Jungle Red Writers blog wrote a post “Three Ingredients, Seven Hours” about crock pot recipes with just three ingredients. Crock pot meals always seem like a great fall dinner.

Next Week–home & blog

Halloween is on Saturday and I want to send a few cards to friends and family so I hope to get those finished and mailed on Monday.

I want to finish up with Blog Ahead by getting a few posts ready since this is the last week. And I want to visit a few more blogs. And I want to read plenty of books. And . . . .

Blog posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton
  • Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
  • Sunday Post

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

Sunday Post: Oct 26

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgHappy Halloween!

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

A few years ago my daughter carved a pumpkin for her grandpa!
A few years ago my daughter carved a pumpkin for her grandpa!

My husband returned from Oklahoma City on Friday. My sister-in-law has been in town all week at a conference so we met her for dinner in Washington DC. It is always fun to spend time with our family and have a good dinner, too. The rest of the weekend has been quiet.

The weather is cooler and we’ve had lots of beautiful sunny days, but it’s hard to believe the end of October and Halloween are nearly here.

I finally bit the bullet and requested some books from NetGalley. I had signed up a year or so ago, but never actually requested anything. When I got an email this last week inviting me to request the latest Mary Balogh book–Only Enchantment. I definitely wanted it so I requested that and three other books which caught my eye. I didn’t think I would be approved any of the books, but I got all four of them! I’m trying to get Only Enchantment read and reviewed before the book comes out on Tuesday.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

What I read the this week

A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

Books, E-books, Audiobooks–Netgalley, library, purchased or free

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Netgalley–e-book

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Undercity by Catherine Asaro

Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King

Library

A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Library e-book

And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie

Kindle e-book

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

Audiobooks

None

Around the Internet

  • I’m participating in the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery (formerly Bawdy Book Blog) which begins November 6. I love Christmas books so it’s a good way to get started!
  • I’m also participating in Blog Ahead during November hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup where the goal is to increase our pre-scheduled posts by 30. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do quite that much, but I do plan to do as much as I can.

Next Week

Home & blog

Halloween this week! We don’t do anything special, but when our kids were little they had lots of fun dressing up. Our son has been in New York City during October, but will be back in the DC area on Halloween and we’re hoping to get together.

Posts

  • Review: Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie
  • November books on my radar…
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?