Saturday, August 2, 2014

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

This is the 3rd book of the Ruby Red series and it might be the last.
Time traveler Gwen searches for the reason behind the family blood line of time travelers.  This follows the first 2 books effortlessly and without too much repeating which I love.
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.

She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux

This book was a bit hard for me to follow.  There is a lot of time switching for the story of Jocelyn who is present day and Miss Edi's life in 1941.  Even when they started figuring out the mystery, I wasn't sure I understood what they were finding.
I enjoy Jude's books, this one wasn't my fav.
Jocelyn Minton is a woman torn between two worlds. Her mother grew up attending private schools and afternoon teas, but she married the local handyman. After her mother died when Joce was only five years old, her father remarried into his own class, and Joce became an outsider -- until she met Edilean Harcourt. Although she was sixty years Joce's senior, Miss Edi was a kindred soul who understood her like no one else ever had. When Miss Edi passes away, she leaves Joce all her worldly possessions, including an eighteenth-century house and a letter with clues to a mystery that began in 1941. In the letter, Miss Edi also mentions that she has found the perfect man for Joce -- a handsome young lawyer. Joce is shocked to learn that the mystery, the house, and the future love of her life are all in Edilean, a small town in Virginia that Miss Edi never told her about. Hurt that the woman who meant so much to her kept so many secrets, Jocelyn moves to this tight-knit village in an attempt to understand the legacy that has been left to her. As she begins to dig into Miss Edi's mystery, she soon discovers some shocking surprises about her family's history and her own future -- and she meets a man with his own mysterious past.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Temptation by Jude Deveraux

When I first started reading this book, I didn't think I would like it.  There was to much drama between step father and step daughter.  If you find yourself feeling the same, keep reading for just a bit longer.  The book gets better and will reel you in.

Hidden secrets, high passion, and a healthy dose of humor are Deveraux hallmarks, and Temptation is one of her best. The tempting bestseller features a fish-out-of-water heroine, a hidden family treasure, and a Scottish laird who would rather die than be married.

Temperance O'Neil is a women's rights activist in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. At the age of 29, she had given little thought, time, or attention to her love life and thrown all of her energy into helping the city's poor and downtrodden women. But when Temperance's widowed mother shows up with her new husband, Angus McCairn, everything changes. Angus has control over the O'Neil money and uses it to force Temperance to move to Scotland, where he's determined to make a "proper" lady of her. This results in a brief but amusing battle of wills that culminates in a blackmail deal: If Temperance can make Angus's nephew, James, take a wife within the next six months, then she can have her money and her house back.

Temperance travels to James's home in the Highlands, only to discover a huge, filthy, ramshackle house and a style of living that is far from the city ways she is used to. Showing up under the guise of being the new housekeeper, Temperance sets about tidying up the place and finding James the perfect woman. While trying to sneak a humorous parade of inappropriate candidates past James's watchful eye, Temperance finds herself falling in love with the man. But just as she comes to this realization, the perfect match for James shows up: his childhood sweetheart, who is now a widow. Torn between the work she once did, her passion for the people in her new life, and her love for James, Temperance makes a hard decision that forces her to risk everything she holds dear.

Deveraux makes good use of historical detail and creates characters who are charmingly and believably flawed. There's a fun mystery to solve regarding a hidden family treasure and the reason behind Angus's determination to see his nephew married off, and plenty of obstacles to overcome. All of it is seasoned with Deveraux's trademark humor and passion, a recipe that never fails to satisfy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert

I love the writing style of Susan Wittig Albert.  Her stories glide effortlessly with wonderful descriptions and great characters.  This is a new series that has a bit of a historical fiction flare to it and it takes place in the 1930s.  This deals with a gardening club in the fictional town of Darling Alabama.
The country may be struggling through the Great Depression, but the good ladies of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their chins up and their town beautiful. Their garden club, the Darling Dahlias, has just inherited a new clubhouse and garden, complete with two beautiful cucumber trees in full bloom. But life in Darling is not all garden parties and rosemary lemonade. When local blond bombshell Bunny Scott is found in a suspicious car wreck, the Dahlias decide to dig into the town's buried secrets, and club members Lizzy, Ophelia, and Verna soon find leads sprouting up faster than weeds. The town is all abuzz with news of an escaped convict from the prison farm, rumors of trouble at the bank, and tales of a ghost heard digging around the cucumber tree. If anyone can get to the root of these mysteries, it's the Darling Dahlias.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton

When I first started reading this book, I thought a hoosier was either a person born in Indiana or a sports team.    This is book 1 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.  I will read the second book to see if I want to continue the series.  The characters didn't have as much spunk as some of my favorite books, but the book was still enjoyable.

A Hoosier to die for?When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it’s love at first sight. Despite the protests of her sister that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie’s “junk,” she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

But that night on the summer porch where they’ve left the Hoosier to be cleaned up, a man is murdered, struck on the head with  the steel meat grinder that is part of the cabinet. Who is this stranger—and what was he doing on their porch? Does his death have anything to do with the Hoosier?

As the police struggle to determine the man’s identity, Jaymie can’t help doing a little digging on her own, accompanied by her three-legged Yorkie Poo, Hopalong. But in her bid to uncover the truth about the hidden secrets of the Hoosier, Jaymie may be the one who ends up going, going…gone.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo

This is the last book of the Children of the Red King series.  It's a YA series but great fun loaded with adventure with magical children.

Charlie and his friends take on the most powerful and dangerous magic in Book Eight of this extraordinary series. As wicked forces come to a head at Bloor's Academy, Charlie and his friends must use all their magic and all their might to fight the evil and save Charlie's parents. In his greatest adventure yet, Charlie must discover the fate of his family, the evil intentions of the Bloors, what has become of Septimus Bloor's will, and, most important, the destiny of the Red King's heirs. But are the Children of the Red King strong enough to defeat the darkness to find the answers? 

Dark forces are gathering at Bloor's Academy as the Bloors search for a lost box containing a hidden will- a will that reveals the true destiny of the Red King's heirs. And the Bloors are determined to keep Charlie Bone from finding it first. But Charlie is also facing the lord of the sea, who is trying to drown his parents, and a deadly expert swordsman from another century. The Red Knight might be the only hope. But who is the mysterious Red Kinight? And can he help Charlie and his friends defeat the evil magic for good?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Smitten Book Club by Colleen Coble

This is a fun book that has plenty of fun, a little mystery but in a Nancy Drew way, no one gets hurt and a little romance. 

""Consider that your beau is like a coveted novel whose compelling first lines you've just begun to read." --A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship"

At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town.

As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie!

One by one, each of the women finds romantic love--often in spite of the historic book's advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall is book 1 of the Hex Hall series.  I will definitely be continuing the series.
Sophie is thought to be a trouble maker, but she is really just a witch that doesn't know how strong or important she is.

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

A Stephanie Plum novel.
I love this series.  Simple fun and lots of trouble.  If you're looking for a fast paced, easy beach read with characters you'll love, this is a go-to book.

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sapphire Blue by Kirsten Gier

2nd book in the Ruby Red series.
Another fun time travel book.  Time travel can be a bit confusing if you think about it too much and this book really gets you thinking about the theory of time and possibilities of change.

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Steward

Mysterious Benedict Society Book 2
What a great book for YA and younger.  I do enjoy the 4 genius children that go on another great adventure.  Great characters with plenty of personality.

After reuniting for a celebratory scavenger hunt, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to go on an unexpected search--a search to find Mr. Benedict. It seems that while he was preparing the kids' adventure, he stepped right into a trap orchestrated by his evil twin Mr. Curtain.

With only one week to find a captured Mr. Benedict, the gifted foursome faces their greatest challenge of all--a challenge that will reinforce the reasons they were brought together in the first place and will require them to fight for the very namesake that united them.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy - Book 1
This book starts out scary with plenty of witchcraft and spells from days long ago then moves forward to present time where we meet Iona who doesn't yet know she is a witch with some very strong talents.   I love these Nora Roberts trilogies and look forward to reading the next two.

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society #1
This is also a YA book that I enjoyed so much I will definitely read the rest of the series.  It's full of curious children with odd talents.  Odd balls in normal groups they find a kindred friendship amonst themselves in order to fight against some very mean people.

As the book begins:  "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try. Only two boys and two girls succeed for a secret mission, undercover and underground into hidden tunnels. At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is - there are no rules.

4 children succeed in some peculiar tests, and are to go on a secret mission. They have to defeat this evil machine, owned by Mr. Curtain, called the Whisperer. The Whisperer has the power to erase your memory and send messages. The kids, Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance spend a few days at the Institute, where Mr. Curtain and the Whisperer are.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Golden Valkyrie by Iris Johansen

This is a good beach read.  Nothing heavy, nothing too serious and not so enticing that I don't want to be disturbed until I finish the book.  I enjoyed the story for the fluff it was, but there were times that I found Honey to be a little too sweet, a bit too understanding, but the man in her sights did have a lot of money!
When P.I. Honey Winston is hired to steal incriminating letters from visiting dignitary Prince Rubinoff, she’s prepared for a dangerous mission that could end her career. But when she blows her cover, she finds that the amused prince is everything the media have made him out to be: part Adonis, part playboy—and irresistibly charismatic. The problem is, the feeling is mutual. Intrigued, the prince is determined to keep his gorgeous young trespasser by his side as long as possible.
For he’s never met anyone quite as daring, or breathtaking, as Honey. With the tables turned, Prince Rubinoff has Honey appointed his personal bodyguard. The official reason is an assassination plot. The truth is far more dangerous

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier

Precious Stone Trilogy - Book 1
This is a YA book, but so much fun I look forward to reading the whole series.
I love time travel books and this one did not disappoint me.  Some story lines are bit unfinished and some characters a bit too watery, but the fun of time travel makes up for the little flaws.

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

A Magical Bakery Mystery #1
This is a great beginning for a fun series.  I'm looking forward to readiing #2 in the series.  Finding bakery full of good hearted witches would be such a fun surprise.  That would be a group I would love to spend an hour over coffee and chatting.
Then add mystery and mayhem and it turns into a great adventure.

Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy's cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren't just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben's name and find the real killer

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee

I was hesitant to read this book based on the title, but I'm glad I didn't judge this book on a title or cover.  I enjoyed reading the friendships built, understood the insecurities found and became good friends with the wonderful characters.

At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.

Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.

Friday, April 4, 2014

And Then You Dye (Needlecraft Mystery 16) by Monica Ferris

This series has another cast of enjoyable characters that I enjoy visiting every time.

Betsy is a natural-born yarnsmith—so it’s only fitting that some of her favorite items to stock come from the dye-works of Hailey Brent. Hailey makes hand-dyed knitting wool, silk, soy, and corn yarns. She uses only natural vegetable dyes, creating soft and beautiful colors. Which means her yarns are expensive, but well worth it.

Unfortunately, someone thinks they’re worth killing for.

When Hailey’s body is discovered shot dead in her workshop, Betsy discovers that there was a lot about Hailey she would have never guessed. Like her penchant for stealing other’s property for her own use. Her use of dangerous additives to create her so-called all-natural fibers. And a scheming mind that had made her more than one enemy.

The police start investigating and soon put Marge, who owns the nursery next to Hailey’s home, on the suspect list. Marge approaches Betsy to prove her innocence, and Betsy un-eager to do so, agrees to look into the case.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews (Meg Lanslow #13)

I love all the main characters in this series and they all show up true to form. 

Meg tends to leave her babies to Michael's care a bit too much in this book. 
She keeps mentioning how exhausted she is, but she's always out and about town helping everyone pack up the offices since the town was bought by a large company.
Weird... yes..  fun book... yes.
The Synopsis:
During a 2am feeding for her four-month-old twins, Meg Langslow hears an odd noise and goes downstairs to find her living room filled with dozens of animals—cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a stunningly foul-mouthed macaw. She soon learns that financial woes have caused the local animal shelter to repeal its no-kill policy. Her kindhearted father, her zoologist grandfather, and other like-minded citizens have stolen all the shelter’s animals, both as a gesture of protest and to protect them until the hated policy can be repealed. But the volunteer who was to transport the animals to new homes has been murdered.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Kindle Giveaway! hosted by I am a Reader not a Writer

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

I just found out about this giveaway and it ends at midnight tonight, so don't wait to enter!
At first I wasn't going to enter but there are some books that are written in only ebook format that I miss out reading.  
Plus, whenever I ask someone reading an ebook I ask how the transition from paper books went.  
Every person said they love it, every person said they don't miss reading paper books.  
The readers are light weight and you can adjust the brightness and size of font!

There are several ways to add entries, posting on your blog will give you an additional entry.
Go for it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess

A Claire Malloy mystery.  I like the character of Claire Malloy but I'm not fond of the personalities of her daughter or the young man that works at her bookshop.   This was not one of my favorite story lines, but still worth reading.  It kept me involved enough to keep trying to figure out 'who done it'.   I like Joan H's writing and look forward to the next one. 
Claire Malloy—now a married woman of leisure—tries her hand at volunteering, but instead lands her right in the middle of another murder investigation.  Longtime bookseller and single mother, Claire Malloy has recently married her long term beau and moved out of her less than opulent apartment into a sprawling, newly remodeled house.  Her daughter, Caron, is making plans for college. All of which leaves Claire with something she hasn't had in quite a while: spare time. When her attempts to learn French cooking start getting "mixed" reviews, she agrees to help Caron and her best friend Inez in fluffing up their college applications by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council.  But her modest effort to give back quickly becomes a nightmare when she’s railroaded onto the Board of Directors of the troubled nonprofit. Vandalism, accusations of embezzlement, epic budget problems, and a cacophony of heavily-accented English speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as she decides that it might be best to extricate herself, Claire gets a frantic call from her husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. One of the students, an older Russian woman named Ludmilla, famed for her unpleasantness, has been murdered in the offices of the Farberville Literary Council. For the first time ever, Peter actually asks Claire for her help.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

A Hercule Poirot mystery.   Agatha Christie was a genious.  Every book of hers that I have read were excellent.  I may go back and read them in series order, just for fun.  Each book is an entity to itself, no order is required, I just like to read books in order of when they were written. :)
One day, Poirot notices 3 mistakes in his letter. When he asks his secretary, Miss Lemon, what's wrong, she tells him about the curious thefts in the boarding-house her sister is manager of and concern for her sister is interfering with Miss Lemon's typing abilities.  Poirot interviews the residents and finds the culprit. After everything is settled and the culprit is about to be engaged, murder strikes.  The police write it off as a suicide.  Poirot  investigates and comes across another murder many more twists and turns.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Storm Warning: The 39 Clues - Book 9 by Linda Sue Park

The whole story line of the 39 Clues is a bit unbelievable since 2 children and an unrelated guardian manage to travel all over the world, with unlimited funds and escaping near death in every adventure.  Yet, for a YA book, I find the characters enjoyable and continue to read the series.

Amy and Dan are going to Jamaica to find the next clue. They find out that their rival, Eisenhower knows where they're going and they start suspecting their closest friend, Nellie is betraying them. When they get on the plane Nellie tells them what she's doing but didn't tell them who she was working for.

On their way Amy and Dan found a bear claw, a serpent medallion, a small silver snake that's a nose ring, a strip of gold, and a dragon fang. These things were used to open a special box and their new friend, Lester got that kind of box for them but he sacrificed himself to prevent it from Amy and Dan's worst enemy, Isabel. Nellie brought Amy and Dan and the box to the person she was working for and that person told them to open the box in less than one hour. They had managed to open it and then the person told them that he was Fiske Cahill. Fiske helped them by telling them seven clues and Amy and Dan started to trust Nellie.

They found out that the next clue is in England and were told to win the clue hunt and bring all of the Cahill family including Dan and Amy's enemy's together. After that, they set off to England.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters

This is the first book in the Vicky Bliss Mystery series.
I liked Vicky Bliss from the start and plan to read the rest of the series.
Somehow it is written in a Nancy Drew style mystery but I can't pinpoint why I was reminded of Nancy.
In this first book of the series, we meet art historian Vicky Bliss.  She is as beautiful as she is brainy--with unassailable courage, insatiable curiosity, and an expertise in lost museum treasures that will lead her into the most dangerous of situations.  The story takes us from Cleveland, OH to Germany. 

 A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg.  Vicky and her friend Tony are both history experts with several degrees, and throughout the book discuss the events of a Peasant rebellion in the time of the early Reformation so we can understand the significance of the historical clues to the disappearance of the last masterpiece of a Reformation artist. The prize has called to Vicky and Tony, and a bet between them take them into the forbidding citadel of Rothenburg and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadly. Here, where the blood of the long forgotten damned stains ancient stones, Vicky must face two equally perilous possibilities. Either a powerful supernatural evil inhabits this place. . .or someone frighteningly real is willing to kill for what Vicky is determined to find.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Dead in their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

Flavia DeLuce is growing up.  She's not the brash, showoffy little girl she once was, but a bit more reserved.  Perhaps this is due to finally dealing with her mother being found in a plane crash after she has been missing in action for the last 10 years.
I enjoyed the story and the deLuce family even though they were all extremely subdued.  
On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train's arrival in the English village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear.

Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd...

Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces' crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test.

Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself.

Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office - and making spectacular use of Harriet's beloved Gypsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit - Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Duck the Halls by Donna Andrews

I always enjoy any mystery Meg and her family get involved in.  All the characters are like old friends that one sits back and listens to gossip about them.
The story line is a bit hard to believe that anyone could pull off the fiascos that ensued, but it still a fun story.
A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Otis, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen—only to turn up later during the concert slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens.

It’s clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Otis is discovered dead. Could this be a bit of nasty revenge from the now deposed Pruitt family? Or harassment from the Evil Lender? As Meg searches for answers she also races to finish all of her Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time to make the season jolly for Michael and the twins.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

There were times I truly enjoyed this book and times I thought Ace, the mad, fat heroine of this book was way too insecure and untrusting of the man that loves her.  Yet, isn't that how life really is.  Why shouldn't a book take this reality and focus on it.  Ace and her two best friends, Chloe and Lilly, have great adventures and enough sense to take care for their besties like no one else could.  I loved how they handled Chloe's cheating, good for nothing husband.  That alone would make the book worth reading. 
When you live in Bugtussle, Mississippi everyone knows your business. EVERYONE. Which is one reason that Graciela Jones (Ace) is a bit wary when her ex-boyfriend comes back to town. She can’t turn around without someone telling her she should never have left him, what he’s doing at the exact moment and where he is and with whom. Her dog has even forsaken her lap for his. What’s a girl to do?
Ace’s best friend Lilly has been suspended for having an affair with a student - which she didn’t. Mason came back home to help Lilly out since he’s a hot-shot attorney in Florida. Where Ace lived with him until she saw him talking to another woman, got pissed off and left.
Lilly and Ace have a fairly innocent friend named Chloe who had the misfortune to marry the town abuser (covered for by his mommy of course!). When he hits her one time too many, Ace decides he’s got to go and beings plotting his end with the help of Mason, Lilly and the town’s Grand Dame who has more between her ears than just jewelry and a mansion.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The All-girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg is one of the best story tellers around.  In this book, she mixes in historical fiction by switching from past to present throughout the book as we learn about the little known piece of history in WWII, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
Filled with southern charm and plenty of humor, this is a fast read.

Sookie Poole is more than ready for the empty-nest syndrome to set in now that she and husband Earle have married off their last daughter. Sookie's Alabama socialite mother, Lenore Simmons Krackenberry, lives right next door and Sookie does her best to look after the octogenarian Lenore but Lenore is a force to be reckoned with. Beautiful, opinionated and outspoken, Lenore has been the darling of Point Clear, Alabama, and Sookie has always felt like an ugly duckling living in her mother's shadow. One morning as Sookie opens Lenore's mail (one of Sookie's duties since Lenore can't be bothered with the mundane task) she finds a letter from the Health Department in Houston, Texas, and Sookie's life will never be the same.

In 1941 in Pulaski, Wisconsin, the Jurdabralinski family were owners of the local filling station where father and son proudly serviced the cars along the busy interstate. Now that America had entered the World War Wink Jurdabralinski heads off to war and the filling station becomes the full-time job of the 4 Jurdabralinski sisters, Fritzi, Sophie, Tula and Gertrude. The sisters capture the imagination and the admiration of male motorists and the filling-station becomes the busiest in the area. Fritzi, the eldest, wants more excitement in her life and joins the Billy Bevins daredevil flying circus where she performs death-defying stunts and becomes a skilled pilot herself. When the military forms the WASP group Fritzi signs up immediately and she is soon followed by sister Sophie. The two sisters ferry planes to US pilots throughout the war.

The two stories intertwine throughout the book making for an enjoyable read of both present day and WWII America. The characters are wonderful and there is a great deal of Flagg's trademark humor.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

This is an excellent historical fiction for 4 - 5th graders.  Boys especially will enjoy the adventures, but girls too since I enjoyed it. It's about a 12 - 13 year old boy learning to survive in the wilderness, on his own in 1768.

Young Matt and his father travel to Maine to stake out land for their family and build a home that his mother and sister can move into.  They left the girls back home until the house is ready.  Matt's father eventually goes back and leaves Matt to keep up the house and care for the garden so there is food when the family returns in 7 weeks.  After his gun is stolen, Matt befriends Attean, a native American boy, who teaches him the survival methods of his people. Their friendship deepens, and we learn to see white America through the eyes of a native resident. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Pirates Coin by Marianne Malone

There is plenty of magic, mystery, and adventure in the third The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure.
I have always loved doll houses and as Ruthie and Jack miniaturize and walk through the rooms, I walk with them with the wonder and eyes of a child.  
I would love to see the Thorne rooms located in Chicago.
*** Here is a fun surprise ***  There is an adventure online game called Game of Thrones that will walk you through the Thorne rooms.  The photography is fantastic, the game is fun.

Sixth Graders Ruthie and Jack return to the Art Institute of Chicago's magical Thorne Rooms. During a school presentation, Ruthie and Jack discover that their classmate Kendra is descended from Phoebe Monroe, the young slave they befriended when they traveled to 19th-century South Carolina. Kendra tells them that long ago her family lost their good name and their business selling herbal remedies when mobsters accused them of stealing the recipes! Only Ruthie and Jack know the truth--because only they know about the secret ledger that Phoebe wrote the recipes in long ago! Ruthie and Jack's mission to clear Kendra's name takes them back to the Thorne Rooms, where a mysterious old coin leads them to 1753 Cape Cod and to Jack's own ancestor . . . the pirate Jack Norfleet! But playing with history can be dangerous! Suddenly, Jack's very existence is in jeopardy! Can Ruthie and Jack find the proof they need to help Kendra? And can they fix the past and save Jack's future . . . before it's too late?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson

Goldy Shulz and her best friend Marla Korman hang out and sleuth together along with their safety shadow Sargent Boyd in this mystery with lots of twists and turns.  Even Goldy is fooled by a few people with unexpected surprises.  This time her husband gets her 24 hour protection from a killer on the loose and she still manages to get in trouble.

The Synopsis:
Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she's leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in.

But what looks like a coronary turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking.

When a colleague—a woman who resembles Goldy—is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before that killer can serve her up cold

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Literary Blog Hop begins today

If you haven't read about this yet, there is a Literary Blog hop going on beginning today 2/8 through 2/12.  It's hosted by Judith at Leeswammes' Blog.
This will give us an opportunity to meet over 40 other book bloggers. 
Many (maybe all) are having a giveaway during the Blog hop.  If I had known earlier, I would have participated in the Hop.  
Now I have my day planned out!  I'll blog hop through breakfast, then move my laptop in front of the TV and hop while watching the Olympics.  This is my version of an Olympic event! :)  I'll have to find some time to knit while watching the Olympics too.  It's just wouldn't feel right without knitting at some point.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ghost gone Wild by Carolyn Hart

I love Baily Ruth Raeburn.  She is a sweet angel of heaven, though she only calls herself an emissary from Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions and occasionally a ghost.  She loves earthly things and delights in treating herself every chance she gets.

The Synopsis:
Bailey Ruth stumbles into to trouble when she leaves heaven to help out a ghost’s nephew, Nick Magruder. Unbeknownst to Bailey Ruth, this heavenly mission was not approved by Wiggins, and she is stranded on earth trying to protect Nick from murder. Bailey Ruth must use her sleuthing skills to determine who the attempted murderer is and why. She eventually teams up with his Aunt Dee – who sent Bailey on this mission. Can she solve the mystery and prove Nick’s innocence before it’s too late?

The story is written in first person following Bailey Ruth. As a ghost, she is able to disappear and reappear on earth, stay invisible or be seen, and move objects. She is…I shall use the word: quirky. She loves changing outfits and doesn’t mind breaking the rules that guide the emissaries from heaven. When she gets to earth to save Nick, she finds out she is stuck there because it was not a true mission from the Department of Good Intentions. Using her sleuthing skills and sweet talk, Bailey goes undercover in different disguises to solve the crime. Nick’s Aunt Dee joins up with Bailey. Although the two are different in the styles of their mission, they want to help protect Nick and find the perpetrator before the Department of Good Intentions/Wiggins finds out and takes them back to heaven. Nick is a young man who struck it rich with a video game. He was picked on in high school, and thus, doesn’t mind showing his influence as a wealthy man now. This, however, surfaces different targets that might want to hurt Nick. Add in an old historical treasure hunt to this mystery and there are more targets/motives to deal with.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

OMG!  If you have not read "The Name of the Wind", the first book in this series, I highly recommend it.  Not because Wise Man's Fear won't make sense, it will.  Read the 1st one because it may be just one step better than this one.  If you don't have time to read, the audio version is very well done with a massive 36 CDs!
Some say Wise Man's Fear is about a boy who is too perfect in everything he does.
This is a fantasy book, and he is the hero, about the only thing he doesn't do well is get the girl he is in love with.  He has his share of trials and tribulations and adventures.
It's an excellent story.  Trying to read the story line below, without reading the first book could be a bit overwhelming - there is so much going on, but it makes sense when you read the book.

The synopsis:
Day Two: The Wise Man's Fear. "There are three things all wise men fear; the sea in storm, a night with no moon and the anger of a gentle man." An escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe discovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's road. All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived. Under her tutelage, Kvothe learns much about true magic and the ways of women. In The Wise Man's Fear Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kissing Christmas Goodbye by M.C.Beaton

Completed 1/18/14
Synopsis:  Unlike quite a number of people, Agatha had not given up on Christmas. To have the perfect Christmas had been a childhood dream whilst surviving a rough upbringing in a Birmingham slum. Holly berries glistened, snow fell gently outside, and inside, all was Dickensian jollity. And in her dreams, ex-husband James Lacey kissed her under the mistletoe, and, like a middle-aged sleeping beauty, she would awake to passion once more
This year she is sure that if she invites James to a really splendid, old-fashioned Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log.

In the meantime, when a wealthy widow hires Agatha because she is convinced a member of her family is trying to kill her, Agatha is intrigued---especially when the widow drops dead after high tea at the manor house. Who in this rather sterile house, complete with fake family portraits, could have hated the old lady enough to poison her?
Agatha sets out to find the murderer, all the while managing a pretty, teenage trainee who makes her feel old.

My review:  Agatha Raisin can be a bit sharp tongued, opinionated, pushy and whiney all at the same time.  Her heart is in the right place when she hires Toni, a teenager running away from abuse. 
Yet, while she manages to love and care for Toni, she whines about how inadequate, frumpy and old Toni makes her feel and she worries that Toni will steal her friends away.

I liked Toni and hope she stays around.  There were plenty of characters to keep the book moving fast and the story interesting.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Body in the Piazza - Katherine Hall Page

Completed 1/12/14 -
Faith Fairchild and her husband are celebrating a big anniversary with a trip to Italy, filled with exquisite indulgences—the art, the Chianti, the food, the Ferragamos! After a weekend in Rome, they travel to Tuscany, where Faith's former assistant Francesca has opened a cooking school. 

But, along with pecorino, panna cotta, and prosecco, it looks like murder and mayhem are also on the menu! On their fist night in the Eternal City, the Fairchilds stumble upon a dying man in the Piazza Farnese.  Mysterious characters from Rome resurface in Tuscany. And somebody is intent on sabotaging Francesca's new business. It's up to Faith to put everything right—and still whip up a mean Spaghetti a la Foriana, of course!

My review:
This is a fun foodie book with a little mystery on the side. Plenty of Italian food to drool over and the talk about Tuscany towns and scenery made me want to go back again.  

There were pieces that could have been played into more but the story line moved on to something else.
It almost felt like there was more to the story but things were cut out in editing.
Too bad, it's a cute, fast little mystery with a fun romp through Tuscany.
It's worth ready, just for fun.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Completed 1/4/14 ---  17286781 Synopsis:
The wedding is planned for Christmas eve. Eloise (wezzie) is having her mother, Marion Foley help her with the dress. redoing one that was her grandmothers.
Daniel, the groom, goes to work for a New York restaurant. he's a guest chef, design a menu and run the kitchen for a month. Wezzie had no idea the owner of the place is not a fat old lady and the photo she sees on the bulletin board of the sexy owner and her fiancee throws her off guard.
Wezzie travels around town to set up the food, flowers,  and the wedding.
It was only to be a small family gathering but the others make it sound like a major extravaganza. Weezie goes to yard and estate sales and her concept of buy and sell with a profit is spot on.  Then a week before the wedding she takes off to New York to surprise her fiancee.

In alternating chapters Beebe has her own story-she is 8 months pregnant, and runs a beach motel on Tybee Island with her live in boyfriend who is also the baby daddy. An old woman visits her to discuss her divorce from Richard who then went to jail 6 years earlier.

My thoughts:
This is the 4th book in this series with Bebe Loudermilk and Weezy Foley. I enjoy the 2 friends together and all their misadventures, but this last book had too much starry eyed - bride to be romance for me. I still highly recommend reading it, I felt Weezy was made to look too innocent in the light of her upcoming wedding. Read the book, I'll be interested in seeing how others feel about that.

Back to the misadventures... Christmas Bliss has it's fair share of fun, but could this be the last in the series if Weezy is getting married and Bebe is having a baby?