Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amazing Gracie

Amazing Gracie

Sherryl Woods

5 out of 5

I am not usually a fan of girlie romance types of books, but sometimes the right book lands in your lap and you are really glad that you read it.

Gracie McDougall is looking for something and it's definite not running a small luxury hotel in France, though she loves her job, she is looking for something that is missing and her mind keeps wandering to the small town of Seagull Point, Virginia. This town holds old memories for her, but she doesn't know if it's enough to keep her there until she stumbles upon a rundown Victorian that is just calling for her to turn into a Bed and Breakfast. That is if the difficult property manager would just listen to her plans.

Kevin Daniels has no desire to let some upstart come into his town and try and turn his family home into one of those dreadful tourist traps. He has no desire to listen to her plans and definitely does not want his aunt anywhere near this beautiful charming woman.

Well, as all romances lead in the same direction, there is certainly an attraction between the two and who knows what can happen with you mix business with pleasure.

Sherryl Woods weaves a very entertaining story, mixing enough of the main plot with just the right amount of subplot to keep the reader involved in all the storylines. It is disappointing that this book wasn't the beginning of a series, I really think that Ms Woods was on to something really good. Maybe someday, but for now, this stand alone will remain one of my favorites books this year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Murder at Monticello

Murder at Monticello

Rita Mae Brown

3 out of 5

Other than hope that this series will improve I don’t know why I keep reading. Every book is the same, the human characters are slow and the animals save the day. Really? At no time in Crozet, Virginia can you find a smart human?

I have never read these books in order, but then again, I don’t think that it is a requirement. The characters stay the same, the animals stay the same, only small portions of the locale seem to differentiate the books.

This time the reader is taken to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello here the discovery of the human remains of a wealthy Caucasian male are found beneath the hearth of a slave’s cabin.

Harry, with her usual band of dim-wits, search historical records for some clue as to the identity of this man from the early 1800’s. But not all involved in this matter want the truth to come out. Sometimes history should stay buried, but with a couple of cats and a corgi on the case, no human has a chance to keep their secrets hidden.

Once again Rita Mae Brown has her political agendas stamped into this book. I just wish she would make up her mind if she wants to be a speech writer or an author of mysteries. If you want completely mindless reading and a heavy dose of the author’s personal opinions and political views, I would suggest this series. Otherwise, head out of Crozet and into a town with a smarter human population.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

31 Bond Street

31 Bond Street

Ellen Horan

4 out of 5

Historical mysteries are always hit and miss with me. Sometimes the author assumes that the reader knows more about the period then they do or are overly descriptive of the environment and fainting couches.

31 Bond Street falls more into the middle of the road. Ellen Horan explains enough, but at the same time, leaves a bit up to your imagination as to what really did go on behind the doors of 31 Bond Street.

When Emma Cunningham’s resources start to run a bit thin she sets her sights on Dr. Burdell. He has the money, the power and most importantly, the correct address. What she sees as her ride to the top, he sees as a new house manager. She and her daughters can have the room upstairs and he can brag to his friends that he now has a new investor for a rather shady deal that is being cooked up.
Unfortunately, things don’t work out as either had planned when Burdell is found dead and Emma is quickly blamed. To her rescue comes Henry Clinton, newly branching out on his own as a criminal defense attorney, who must go toe to toe with Abraham Oakey Hall who has his eye on the Mayor’s seat and this black hearted gold digger is not going to get in his way. If Dr. Burdell has taught Emma anything, it’s not to trust anyone, so what does she do when a murder has been committed and all fingers point directly at her.

A very captivating and twisty tale set in 1857 New York, the reader is taken on a journey of the times and tone of this gritty place. A tale of murder, greed and politics – add 150 years to the date and you could have a new episode of Law and Order.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brother Odd

Brother Odd

Dean Koontz

4 out of 5

Considering how the prior book, Forever Odd, ended I was under the belief that Brother Odd would have centered more on the Elvis character, unfortunately, that was not the case. Once I got over my disillusionment, I found that I rather enjoyed this book. Actually, I’m really enjoying the whole series.

Needing a break from Pico Mundo, and the place that holds so many memories of Stormy, Odd heads to the solitude of an isolated mountain monastery, but peace is not what he finds there. Lurking around the corners are supernatural beings, a quirky Russian and not to mention a rather reclusive mad scientist. With humor that is all Koontz, the reader not only finds himself entertained, but from time to time laughing out loud.

Koontz’s writing is never lollipops and rainbows, but he does bring humor and scientific wonder that has the reader wondering what is actually going on the writers head.

Odd, to say the least is an interesting character and I do hope the Koontz can keep up the pace with this series. From time to time he has let me down, going too far afield with is imaginings, but this time and this series, he seems to have the right tone and feel.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Love Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the idea of getting together with loved ones because that is where you want to be. There is no hidden agenda, no obligatory gifts to buy, just good laughs and great food.

This year will be different for us. It will only be my children and I. In a couple of weeks, we will have a second Thanksgiving with friends. We will all gather for a great day of ping-pong and football. Eye watering laughs and new memories.

Holidays seem to be different for everyone. Take this time to be thankful for what you do have, the blessings that you have been given and the blessings that you are to others.

We might not all be in the place of our choosing, but we are here and we can make this a great day for those around us.

Be a Joy for Someone

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rapidly Changing Life

After 26 years of marriage, I am now finding myself in the middle of a divorce and moving into my own apartment. My daughter and I will be moving across town, closer to school and work and starting a new life for ourselves. My son will be staying with his father until he leaves for the Air Force in a year. Though I thought that this was going to be a major trauma, I think it is what is best for now.

So, how does one go from a 2,400 square foot house to a 650 square foot apartment? You first start by donating 400 books to your local library and thrift store. This is no simple task. I have been working on it for a couple of weeks now and both locations are asking for no more book donations. Still have a couple of boxes here and nowhere to take them. Will have to go on covert operations and leave them by their door early in the morning so that way they cannot say no. Still have lots of other stuff to drop off, so maybe if I add a box at a time, they won't complain too much.

Next on to every cupboard and drawer. It is amazing the amount of stuff that you accumulate. Thankfully, my soon to be ex-husband is keeping the house, for now, so I can slowly move all of our necessary stuff in steps.

We will be fully moved in right before Christmas, not a great time to move, but that is the best that I can do. That is what I have to remember, this may not be great, but it is the best that I can do.

So that is a short explanation as to why there have not been any reviews in a while. I am still reading, but the idea of actually sitting down and writing the reviews is beyond me right now. Everyday is not a positive state of mind, just working through the stages one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ghost In Trouble

Ghost in Trouble

Carolyn Hart

3 out of 5

I was not as impressed with this third outing of the Bailey Ruth Series. The first two books had a steady flow, whereas, Ghost in Trouble came across to me as too choppy with a profusion of unnecessary characters. Get to the point, stick to the point and encourage me on the path to the ending that is the formula for a good book. This on the other hand just did not have the spark to keep me reading.

As we know from the previous books, Bailey Ruth Raeburn and her husband died in a boating accident and now Bailey works as a heavenly emissary helping to keep the living out of trouble. Unfortunately, Bailey has a problem when it comes to following the precepts and from time to time oversteps her boundaries much to the frustration of Wiggins her immediate superior.

Bailey Ruth arrives back in Adelaide, Oklahoma, her former in real life home, to help Kay Clark after her boyfriend, Jack Hume, is discovered dead as the bottom of a staircase at the family home known as the Castle, a local Adelaide landmark.

In and out of the story comes the over abundance of characters that lead this reader to refresh her memory as to how they all fit in.

As with the two previous books, Bailey's antics and sudden appearances in multiple outfits, that are practically a character all their own, lead to the bad guys getting caught and the good guys riding off into the sunset, or the train that is barreling into take Bailey Ruth back home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

So Far This Year

Total Pages Read 11930
Fiction 16
Non-Fiction 6
Mystery (All Genres) 32
New Authors 33
Audio 10
Young Adult 1

Total Books Read 55