Friday, February 22, 2008

#18 Every Last Cuckoo

Every Last Cuckoo
Kate Maloy
5 out of 5

This well written, thoughtful book wasn’t written for me. But it was written for me in later years when I need a road map on how to deal with loss and new life and how to see grandchildren for all the things that I can’t see in my own kids now. It’s written for the woman that misses her husband and isn’t still yelling at him for putting the clothes NEXT to the hamper and not IN the hamper. It’s written for the woman who is looking for the larger picture in life and not still consumed by the day in and day out mundane tasks that get us from point A to Point B.

This is the how to guide on growing gracefully and how the small things like caring for those that have no one else will make you life worth living. How when you have nothing left inside, you can still find more when you care for others.

Meet seventy five year old Sarah Lucas, her peaceful life has come to a crashing end when her husband of 50 years, Charles, has a sudden and devastating accident leaving Sarah alone and inconsolable. She is left with her memories and her questions. Her loses and her joys.

Unable to say no, that is not what her parents did, she opens her home to a rag tag group of people. First her granddaughter and her friends, then an Israeli pacifist, two fire victims, a young abused mother and her child, anyone and everyone one who needs a new start or a family to call their own. Slowly, they all come together and gain the confidence they need or the support they were looking for to rebuild their lives and to fly the nest.

This is a remarkable story of how you have choices in life, and when Sarah made the choice to take care of others, she took care of herself.

Amazon Review:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

#17 Merlot Murders

Merlot Murders
Ellen Crosby
4 out of 5

I started this out on audio, didn’t much care for it, then switched to the book and enjoyed it much better. Lucie Montgomery returns home to Virginia after living for two years in France recovering from a bad car accident that has left her leg twisted and practically useless. But this doesn’t get Lucie down; it’s just one more thing to deal with. She is returning home because her father, the head of the family vineyard has died from an apparent hunting accident. Being away so long has left Lucie out of the loop and she returns to find that the vineyard, is crumbling under debt, her brother Eli is determined to sell off the whole shebang so he can build a new more fabulous home and her little sister Mia is now dating the guy that caused the accident that damaged Lucie’s leg. Not that this isn’t complicated already, but when Lucie’s godfather is found murdered and the rest of the twisty plot of who done its and who will be murdered next, and who has a secret past and who will save the day. Not to mention a hidden necklace that belonged to Marie Antoinette and Lucie’s mother’s diaries. Yes, parts do get a little confusing with multiple plot lines and some apparent useless information, but hopefully the second in the series will straighten this out.

Amazon Review:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

#16 Hasty Death

Hasty Death
Marion Chesney
Cozy Historical Mystery
4 out of 5
Lady Rose Summer returns in this second outing of Chesney’s Edwardian Mystery Series. Rose is the spoiled daughter of the Earl and Countess Hadshire who is trying desperately to marry her off and since her failed first season, they are now considering either an asylum or India. Both seemingly will do the right job. But Roses decides to break the class barriers and go out into the working world with her maid Daisy. Being a typist seems interesting that is until she is forced to actually live off of her salary and not daddy’s money. Well, low and behold a murder mystery falls into their lap and with the help of charming Captain Harry Cathcart, they all, Rose, Harry, Daisy and Becket, wind their way though an interesting group of blackmailer and blackmailees to a rather unique conclusion. Who knew you could blackmail a person for that reason; guess we all have something we must hide. Once the murder is solved, Rose still has that little problem of becoming engaged or being forced to India. How is she going to get out of this, since marriage seems to be the last thing on her mind. I enjoy this rather easy to read series. No complicated storylines or history to remember; an easy adventure with a cast of interesting recurring characters. This one also includes a little side story of unrequited love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

#15 Interred with Their Bones

Interred with Their Bones
Jennifer Lee Carrell
Historical Fiction
3 out of 5
Mighty twisty, overly long and very confusing. Part Historian by Kostova and part Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, this story involves the missing manuscript Cardenno by Shakespeare. It's history, its legend and the secrets that were taken to the grave. Kate Stanley is a Shakespearean expert who unwittingly falls into a clandestine mystery of who was the real Shakespeare and what exactly happened to his missing work. When people die eerily similar to those characters in Ol' Will's works, she must race to the end as she had promised her mentor Roz at whatever the cost. Though this book is fascinating it would be much more so if it wasn't so complicated and written for a true aficionado. I suggest you be well versed in his works and Quixote before you take this book on even though Carrell tries to bring the reader up to speed, I was still left in the dark in many places.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

#14 Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words
Jenny McCarthy
This is not a book about how to cure Autism, it's a book about faith and listening to your inner voice when you know something isn't right and no one will give you the answers. Jenny McCarthy isn't just the big boobed blonde ditz, she is a mom and when she found her son in the middle of a seizure, her world literally came to a crashing halt and all of her energy was devoted to getting the best care for her son. Whether that meant fighting the medical establishment or her husband, she was going to get the answers, no matter what. The methods she used may not help everyone, but they worked for her when she found out about the window of opportunity to pull her son back from the grasp of autism. She admits that he is not a "typical" child, but he is the best that he can be and that's good enough for her. This is a great inspirational book that leaves you angered by the establishment and hopeful for Evan's future. Amazon Review:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

#13 Murder on the Rocks

Murder on the Rocks
Karen MacInerney
Cozy Mystery
4 out of 5

Natalie Barnes has decided to go for broke and trade her life saving for a Bed and Breakfast called the Grey Whale Inn on Cranberry Island in Maine. Soon the slimy Bernard Katz shows up and announces plans to change the whole inland into a mega resort which will include turning the Grey Whale into a parking lot. So no one is surprised when he is found dead, the only surprise is the who and why. Natalie just has to stay alive long enough to get the whole story out. Great start to a new series plus great recipes at the end of the book. Oh, and someone needs to tell the author that you don't get knitting wool from a goat.
Amazon Review: