Thursday, December 27, 2012

Double Booked

Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon meet the criteria for this challenge because Hamlet is an important part of the book and he is on the cover.

Darla Pettistone inherited the bookstore from her Aunt.  She manages to get an author to agree to a signing at the store.  Unfortunately, the author is hit by a car and dies.  Was it an accident or was it murder?  Hamlet provides clues to the solution.

Jake, her downstairs tenant hears footsteps in the store but they never see anyone there.  So, Darla has camera installed to try to find out if there is a ghost or another reason.

Jake is a former policewoman and there is Reese, the cop whose first name is a mystery until the end of the book.

I loved this book and look forward to reading the next one with the cat mystery group on yahoo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A to Z Book Challenge 2013

A  Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body by Jennie Marts
B  Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
C  Cat Laughing Last by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
E  Ella the Rose Fairy by Daisy Meadows.
F  Freedom (Miss Annie Bk1)  Frank Le Gall
I  Internal Affairs by Alana Matthews
Junie B. Jones is (almost) a Flower Girl  by Barbara Park
K Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown
Murder on the Mind by LL Bartlett
O  One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett
Q  Quincy, M.E. by Thom Racina
Y You Belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark
The Virgin and Zach Coulter by Lois Faye Dyer

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Eclectic Finished

The aim of The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge is to push you a little outside your comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different genres.
Below is a complete list of the genres and the books and authors for my 2012 Eclectic Reader Challenge.
  1. Literary Fiction: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction Along Came A Spider by James Patterson
  3. Romantic Fiction: Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich
  4. Historical Fiction: Trumpet by Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes
  5. Young Adult: If I Could be Like Jennifer Taylor by Barbara Ehrentreu
  6. Fantasy: The Ugly Princess by Elizabeth K. Burton
  7. Science Fiction: The 5 Moons of Tiiana/The Chronicles of Rez Paul Harry
  8. Non Fiction Unorthodox The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots A Memoir by Deborah Feldman
  9. Horror Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  10. Thriller /Suspense Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
  11. Classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  12. Your favourite genre (Crime/Mystery) Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Classic Alice

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll TOR edition published in June 1972.  Just to clarify, this book is where Alice sees a white rabbit with pink eyes walk near her.  She hears the rabbit talk and it took a watch out of a coat pocket.  Alice had never seen a rabbit with a watch or coat before.  The rabbit popped down a rabbit hole and Alice followed.  

She finds a bottle marked 'Drink me" which she checks for any indication of poison before drinking it.  Then she finds a cake marked "EAT ME."  Then she meets various creatures including a Cat without a Grin.  There is also the famous tea party with a Hatter and a Hare.

Then Alice plays croquet with a King and the Queen of Hearts is always saying, 'OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" Though the King pardons all so no one dies.  Alice wakes up at home next to her sister.

I don't remember reading this before.  I have seen it on television but do not remember actually reading it myself.  This edition has additional material written by Jane Yolen that explains about how the critics felt when the book was written. They would be surprised that it is considered a classic and that the characters are part of our culture.  This is a book that should be read perhaps before watching the movie instead of afterwards.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Book

Heather Graham;s Home in Time for Christmas is my forth Christmas book.  Jake Mallory is hung in New York City in 1776 on Christmastide or was he?  Jake is found by Melody Tarleton in the 21st Century.  He is dressed in Revolutionary Period Clothing and claim's that he was exucuted by the British.

Melody brings him home to Gloucester to her home which turns out to be his old home as well.  There are differences - the house has electricity and indoor plumbing.  Luckly, some of her brother's clothes fit Jake.  Mrs. Tarleton has found some old diaries in the house which mention a Jake and a Serena.  Then, Mark, a close friend who wants to marry Melody comes home.  Mark tells Jake he is her fiance which Melody disagrees with.  She is not in love with Mark.  She does fall in love with Jake. 

There is a Wiccan Ball where Jake plays music and Mark drinks too much.  The Tarletons try to return Jake to the past but Mark interfers and drinks a potion.  Mark winds up back in time and meets Jake's sister Serena.  He was in love with her. 

It takes several attempts before Mark winds up in the past with Serena and Jake in the present with Melody. 

This is the 2nd time, I have tried to finish this book.  I think I got interrupted and never finished it the first time, I read it.  I did not remember the ending.

I loved this book and would not mind reading it again, next year at the same time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Buy the Cow 2013

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge

Welcome to the 2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge! The hosts might have changed a bit, but we're still here to encourage you to read those freebies!

Previously on WBtC: In 2011, Missie @ The Unread Reader started the Show Me the Free reading challenge as a way to get some of those freebie ebooks read. It was a hit and in 2012 it morphed into the Why Buy the Cow? challenge and she invited me to join her as a co-host. Unfortunately, Missie is unable to continue hosting and has graciously handed the challenge off to me and my partner in crime, Amanda @ On a Book Bender.

Things you need to know: This challenge is for free LEGAL downloads of books. These can be books offered through bigger sites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or smaller sites, such as Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks. Ebooks offered through author or publisher websites are acceptable as well, provided they are available free to everyone at the time of download. ARCs, library books, books free through Amazon Prime, books won or gifted, and galley ebooks DO NOT count toward this challenge.

Here's how it works:
  • Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained FREE e-books. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
  • Anyone can join. You don’t have to be a blogger, and you don’t have to live in the United States.
  • Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage.
  • Please Note: If you don’t have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon’s Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. You can join at any time.
  • e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
  • Every month in 2013, I will make a post for the 2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge so you can link your reviews. Based on participation, monthly link ups may be combined.
Challenge Guidelines:

  • If you have a blog, create a post announcing your participation in the challenge. Please include a link back to this post.
  • Non bloggers: participate by linking up your profile URL from the site you plan to post your reviews on such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
  • When you post your book review, you MUST reveal how you obtained the free & legal download. Please make your source clear. We do not condone piracy of any sort.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them.
  • Crossovers to other reading challenges is acceptable, but ARCs/galley e-books DO NOT count. Again, this is a Reading Challenge to read as many of the FREE e-books legally offered for your e-reader. To get started, check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, or the Free e-books on Barnes & Noble.
Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Penny Pincher: 24 Books
Buying in Bulk: 36 Books
Super Saver: 50 Books
Extreme Couponer: 100+ Books

Intrigued? Do you think you want a piece of this action? Excellent. Hop on over to the
sign-up page and show us what you're made of!

Want to know where to start looking for those freebies?
Amazon Barnes & Noble
Smashwords All Romance eBooks: offers random freebie books throughout the year (signing up for the newsletter is the best way to stay updated about new freebies)Pocket After Dark: offers free online reads that change monthly and/or every two weeksBooks on the Knob pulls freebies from around the web in different genres for reader consumption (for romance/erotica reads check out Erotica and Romance Books on the Knob)
Additionally, check out your favorite authors' blogs. They often have hidden gems for their readers.

Sign-up! Tell your friends! Read free books!
Since I am doing other book challenges I will only agree to the Coupon Clipper level which is the same as 2012's challenge required.

Habits of a Cat

A Cat's Legacy: Dulcey's Story by Dee Ready was made available as a free book on the anniversary of the death of E.C. Stilson's son and was one of the books available for free by Wayman Publishing during their Christmas Book Fair.  I obtained it as one of the three books I choose from E.C.

This e-book is about the twelve habits cats and humans should have.  Dulcey tells about each habit and then Dee, her human tells about the same habit. I guess I am used to reading things from a cat's viewpoint since I first read Midnight Louis' adventures which he shares with Carole Nelson Douglas in their book series.

As a the human of three cats, I am aware of some of their habits but mine have not confided in me the way Dulcey has with Dee.  They do help you through grief that you have when one of the household dies or goes missing as happened with our KITT.  We did, however, make our house a three cat house again when we found Reese.  I know our cats missed KITT as he was laid back and at 14 or older he certainly did not have the energy that 5 month old Reese has.  KITT was my lap cat, the one cat who could help me get through anything, I still miss him. 

I really liked this e-book, it made me laugh and it made me cry.  I don't know if it helped me discoveer what my cat's heartwishes are, though I am sure Skittles would wish Reese would be less active and leave her alone.  She is content to sit in a sunbeam and come to you when she wants to be loved unless she is next to you, then you should be petting her.  Snicker's would like to spend more time outside - he loves to escape especially when we are going out.  Miss Reese just wants something or someone to play with.  They all want to be feed and have fresh water and clean litter.  I am trying to get Reese to spend time on my lap, she will stay there for a short time unless it is nap time, then she'll stay longer.  She does come and sleep near me when I go upstairs early or for a nap.

This book is a must read for any cat lover or anyone owned by one!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Homecoming and More

The Maverick's Christmas Homecoming by Teresa Southwick is my third Christmas book.  I was expecting to only read two books for this challenge and find myself on my fourth.  I will not blog separately about the fourth book but will put it only on Goodreads.
Chef Shane Roarke comes to Thunder Canyon to find his realparents.  Though to the world at large he is just there to cook at the Gallatin Room.  He falls for Gianna Garrison who is a waitress in the restauant.  She soon becomes his confidant and his love as she helps him find out who his mother was.  A private eye found that his father was in jail.  Thanks to Gianna he visits his father and finds out the identity of his mother.  Unfortunately, his natural brother does not believe him until he finds out it is true and tells Shane on Christmas. 
I must admit it was the fact that Walmart was offering three books for $9.99 that led me to this book as well as the first book I read for this challenge.  The other book I am reading is my Heather Graham and it is actually a re-read.
I also watched two wonderful Christmas movies on Hallmark this past weekend.  The Christmas Bride was about a women who had walked out of her weddings.  She falls for the man while helping him re-decorate his place and the wedding is very spontaneous - she is not given the chance to walk out on him.
The second movie was about a young man who needs a new heart.  A young man becomes brain dead after an accident and his mother must decide to donate his heart.  He is a match.  There is a storm and the power goes out at the airport before the plane with the heart arrives.  Freinds and family of the boy set out luminaries to help guide the plane down.  Then they must get the heart to the hospital on time.  It is a wonderful story to watch especially at this time of year.   

Visions of Sugar Plums

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich satisfies two challenges. It is a Christmas book so it is my second for the 2012 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.  It is also a Crime/Mystery book which is my favorite genre of the 2012 Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Stephanie Plum brings fugitives to justice for a living.  It is Christmsa time and she has not done any shopping or purchased a tree.  She finds a stranger named Diesel in her apartment and he does not tell her why he is there until near the end of the book.  Stephanie is looking for a toy maker named Sandy Claws and it turns out Diesel is looking for a man who is also looking for Sandy.  This Mr. Ring is very "electric" and winds up at Stephanie's parent's house as a guest of her grandmother.  Everythign turns out ok in the end as this is a Christmas story.  Mr. Claws even makes a special horse for Stephanie's niece, Mary Alice.

I seem to read the Stephanie Plum novels which do not have numbers in the title.  I guess I should read the other books some day.  I like that Diesel does make sure Stephanie does have a tree at the end even if we do not know if it was stolen or not.  I would recomend this book to someone who would like to read a different book with a Christmas theme.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Coraline by Neil Gaiman was my choice for Horror as this is not a genre I am fond of.  The cover of my book is not the same as pictured above.  I could not find a copy of the correct cover.

Coraline was made into a 3D movie which I would not go to see as I did not like the witch in Snow White.  Coraline is the story of a little girl who discovers a door int her old house that leads until another existance.  She had to find out what was on the other side of the door.  She found another mother and father who thought rats were pets and a cat was a monster.  In this other world, the cat could talk.  The other mother wanted to sew buttons onto Coraline as eyes.  In fact, she kidnapped Coraline's real parents.  When this other mother put Coraline into a closet, she discovered 3 others whose souls were stolen.  Coraline winds up challenging the other mother - if she can recover the souls and find her parent's she has to go free.  Of course there has to be a happy ending.

I am glad my bookstore recommended this book.  It is well writen.   I had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Gaiman speak at a Science Fiction Convention so it was good to read something he had writte.

I am glad this book had a happy ending as I would have had trouble sleeping afterward if it had not turned out ok.  I know this was written for someone much younger to read but I really liked it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Y is for Yellowhammer

This is an Alabama Alphabet written by Carol Crane. Each letter is illustrated by Ted Burn that really captures the subject of the letter. I found it by looking at library catalog.  It's call letters are E 973 DIS (from Green Free Library in Wellsboro, PA). As a former teacher,. it is always interesting to find something new for children.

Each letter has a short poem - which could be read aloud for non-readers while the picture was shown or read by younger readers.  For older readers or adults there is a paragraph or more about something or someone from Alabama.

A Yellowhammer is the state bird and is also called the Common Flicker.  Alabama has been the "Yellowhammer State" since the Civil War.  The gray uniforms of the Confederate soldiers of Huntsville, Alabama had bits of yellow on the sleeves, coattails, and collars.  When they rode past soldiers in Hopkinsville in the state of Kentucky, someone yelled out, "Yellowhammer" twice, then "flicker, flicker" and the name soon was used for all Confederates from the state.

One of the best things about this book, is that there is a 20 question quiz at the end, which would save time for a teacher who could use it to find out if her class was listening.

This book would be a wonderful addition to a classroom from kindergarden to fourth or fifth grade when students are learning about states.  I did not know about "Ivy Green" which is where Helen Keller lived as a child. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Naughty or Nice Movie

Naughty or Nice is a Hallmark movie.  It is the story of Krissy Kringle who finds the Naughty Book left at her house by Santa Clause.  She lives on Candy Cane Lane and has mail meant for Santa delivered to her. She looks in the book and finds out what naughty things people have done.

It takes talking to her parents to find out that she can find nice things out also.

As with Hallmark movies at Christmas time, this one has a happy ending.  She gives the book back to Santa and becomes engaged to her boyfriend.

I love watching Hallmark movies and learn something new each time I watch one.  I will be looking forward to watching this one again.

Name Challenge 2013

Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories:
  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title:The Top-Flight fully-Automated Junior High School Girl Detective by E. W. Hildick
  2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title:  Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title: One Hex of a Wedding by Yasmine Galenorn
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington
  5. A book with an emotion in the title: Cat Spitting Mad by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: How to Lose a Tooth by E. C. Stilson
The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know

  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
  • Books may overlap other challenges.
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Baby For Christmas

A Baby For Christmas by Joanna Sims is a Harlequin Special Edition.  Captain Luke Brand is a wounded Marine who comes home for Christmas early.  He needs to make amends with the widow of his identical twin brother.  His brother was an Army ranger.   A small black kitten with golden eyes was found by the man who drove him to the Brand ranch and Luke decides to call the kitten Ranger because black and gold are the Rangers' colors.

Sophia is pregnant with Daniel's son, who was conceived on a visit he made home when there were no condoms in the house.  He did not know Sophia was pregnant when he was killed.

Luke has been in love with Sophia from the first time he saw her.  Sophia falls in love with him during the time they spend together before the rest of the Brands come home.  It takes time before they are willing to admit their love for each other.  It takes Luke's mother and a letter that Sophia finds to get her to tell him how she feels.

The baby does not make an appearance until the New Year and Luke gets to be in the delivery room during the birth.  Luke proposes with his grandmother's ring that his mother had with her.  Sophia does not say "yes" until Luke says he will not re-enlist as she does not want to lose another husband in a war.

I love the descriptions of the house and have to admit I have a soft spot when it comes to kittens.  As with other Harlequin books, the description of the main male character is very specific and in this case even includes Luke's scars.  This was an easy book to read.

I had on some of Hallmark's Christmas movies while I was reading but could not tell you what I was watching.

Animal Challenge New

Since I have read 6 books for 2012, I will continue for 2013, here.
1.  A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon
2.  Cat Spitting Mad by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
3.  What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart
4.  Cat Laughing Last by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
5.  One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bennett
6.  The Big Kitty by Claire Donally
7.  Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alphabet Challenge

"Q" Clearance by Peter Benchley

Timothy Burnham is a speechwriter for the president.  He receives an upgrade due to time in office which includes "Q" Clearance.- which means he has access to top-secret atomic information. he gains power and a paper shredder.  Most of all the President of the United States feels that Timothy is the one man who speaks the truth.  Burnham is suddenly targeted by Soviet spies.

This is a story of a man who uses vitamins to keep sober and who has allergies and needs sugar to keep from having a hypoglycemic attack.  His wife throw him out of the house after finding street people and a bug in their car and then files for Divorce.  Burnham likes to play squash and meets Eva who is a nutritionist and the daughter of a spy (which he is not aware of).  Timothy falls in love with Eva.

This is an easy book to read.  It shows some of the behind the scenes at the White House.  I could imagine that meetings with the Cabinet could get boring and the President could fall asleep and have someone awaken him as Timothy does.  I love Timothy's secretary finding out things from other secretaries and telling him about tapes.  These tapes help him get back at the man who taped them.
It is an older book which I found in the Wellsboro Public Library.  I enjoyed reading this book.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cozies 2013

I will be participating again.  Level 3 - Super Sleuth - Read 13 or more books  
As I read more than 13 this year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Challenge

Monday, November 19, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
Candy Cane - read 1 book
Mistletoe - read 2-4 books
Christmas Tree - read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
*Additional levels:

Fa La La La Films - watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
Visions of Sugar Plums - read books with your children this season and share what you read

*additional levels are optional and must be done in addition to a reading level
    I will try Mistletoe level and Fa La La La Films

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Barrys Tale

    Barry's Tale is a novella by Lawrence M. Schoen I went to  and read the pdf file.  I found out about this from a post card that was at a display at 2012 Philcon (convention of Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention.  Lawrence is better known for creating the Klingon Language.

    Conroy owns a company called Buffalogic, Inc.  He was a hypnotist and is a foodie.  He goes to Colson's World for a festival which features all types of BBQ.  There he sees a girl he last saw when he was 19 named Bethany Colson.  She looks the same as she did then.  With her is a young girl named Gel.

    Reggie, a Buffalo dog or buffalito was with Conroy.  Buffalitos can eat anything but they will not eat humans and they produce oxygen instead of CO2 when they fart.

    Gel and Reggie get into an area where a Thoat is and the Thoat feels threatened and lunges for them.  Gel makes the animal disappear.  She has made other things disappear also.  The problem is she cannot control this and Conroy feels hypnosis may help.  It turns out the things are not destoryed as Conroy thought but moved elsewhere.  Gel is part Plenum and part human, he discovers.

    Barry of the title is one of the mascots of the festival - it is a stuffed bison toy.  It turns out to be the key to keeping Gel alive.

    I had not read any of Dr. Schoen's other works.  I enjoyed reading this.  I have been "hypnotized" which in my case was more playing along, I believe than real hypnosis.  The process is explained and I love the idea of another race that looks human because they are half human.  The Plenum are usually found in pairs and are capable of teleportation.

    If I may quote from the postcard:
    "take one mesmerizing rogue and an adorable, flatulent pet
                             add a barbecue competition....
                      american bison and martian thoats...
                  a child with the power to destroy a world...
             an old man with a secret that could rock humanity'...
          a woman from collage who hasn't aged in fifteen years...
    alien beings with instantaneous, galaxy-wide teleportation....
                                        and a plushie!"

    How can one resist an advertisement such as that!

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    November A to Z

    Nightshade on Elm Street by Kate Collins shows lighted windows which means that the buildings have working electricity.  I am grateful that we did not lose any power as my husband uses an oxygen concentrator and a C-Pac machine.  Since I have friends who live in the areas that Sandy hit, I hope they all get power back soon and have warm places to stay.

    This book is the latest book in the Flower Shop Series.  Pryce's girlfriend is missing and he calls Abby and Marco to investigate her disappearance.  When a body is found on the beach near where Pryce lives on Elm Street, it is thought to be her.  Meanwhile, back at the Flower Shop, Marco's mother starts bringing in food to feed the customers.  Abby is trying to have a bridal shower the way she wants it not the way the others in her life want.  Jillian is pregnant and does not want Abby to tell anyone - though she is always throwing up.  I don't want to say too much as it is more fun to read the book.

    I look forward to finding out what kind of wedding Abby and Marco have and where.  The series is a fun one to follow.  I did not read the first books in order but thing it would be easier to read them in order.  I will give this book five stars on Goodreads.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Challenge Update

    I seem to be where I need a few books to complete my challenges for the year.  I have 3 letters left of A-Z challenge - I am half-way in one of the letters.  I started to read several classic books, just need to finish one of them.  I finished cozy challenge and what an animal challenge but will continue to read cozies and have another animal book to read.

    I have been posting some reviews on Goodreads. 

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Haunting Obsession

    I obtained this book for free for my Kindle for PC application from

    Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan is the tale of a man with a crush on an icon.  The "obsession" is Maxine Marie who according to the author is based on Marilyn Monroe.

    Daryl Beasley has pictures of Maxine Marie in his workspace and in his home.  He goes to buy his girlfriend Lorretta a birthday present and sees a framed rent check signed by Maxine and buys the check.  This causes Lorretta to break off with him.

    He brings the framed check home and hence begins his problem.  Maxine appears and starts to haunt him/   When Lorretta cannot find Daryl at work, she goes to his apartment.  Loretta and Maxine fight and Daryl does all he can to get Lorretta out of his place alive.

    Lorretta searchs the Internet for help and finds some.  You will have to read this book to find out what happens.

    I enjoyed this book.  It is more paranormal than horror and I will thus need to find another one for my horror book.  The book is a story about love and obsession/  It gives some rules about ghosts that I was not aware of and don't know if they were just created for this work or uses in other works.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    The Wicked Wager

    The Wicked Wager is a book by Anya Wylde that has romance and a murder mystery in the Regency period.

    Lord Richard Hamilton falls for Emma Grey and asks her to marry him.  Her parents approve but, her uncle the Duke of Arden wants them to wait a year vs the two months that Richard wanted to wait.  Richard makes a wager with Emma about whether the Duke or someone else would see through his disguise as new head gardener or find him in a compromising situation with Emma so they would be forced to marry earlier.  Richard discovers that the Duke's sister has been blackmailing people and she tries to blackmail him.  To complicate matters the Duke sens for Richard to come for a visit.  So, Richard gets his good friend (who has black hair vs Richard's blond hair) to come as Lord Hamilton.  Of course, the friend falls madly in love with Emma's best friend and sometimes forgets to woo Emma.

    To further complicate matters, the servants quarters are locked and Richard cannot make his way back to them one night and winds up spending the night in Emma's room.  It happens that the Duke's sister is murdered during the night and almost everyone is a suspect except the Lord's one servant who was following the real Richard and Emma.  The fake Richard is seen going into his "love's room" and the Duke decides both couples must marry as soon as possible.

     I have to admit I was looking for the murder much earlier than in actually occurs.  I did enjoy reading this e-book.  I feel that anyone who likes romantic novels especially in the Regency period would love this book.  I am not sure all mystery fans would feel the same way about the mystery happening so late in the work as the characters are well developed and the book is interesting to read.

    I was given a free e-book by the author who asked me to write an honest review.

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Junior Intern

    Junior Intern by Alan E. Nourse

    Ted Coleman receives a note from Dr. Bart (Bartholomew) to meet him at his office.  Ted thinks it is because he had been dating the doctor's daughter.  It turns out that the doctor is concerned that Ted would not be able to study pre-med and play football in college.  Ted had won a football scholarship to college.  Dr. Bart has 'adopted' boys and payed all of their college and medical school expenses as needed.  He is willing to do the same for Ted if he is a "winner".  A job at Darwin Hospital working under intern Neal Tucker who is one of the doctor's boys.

    Ted's job is to do heavy work as moving beds, setting up oxygen tanks and other things as being in charge of sterile supplies and helping doctors with procedures.  Ted is taught how to do blood counts and cross matching.  He learns how to take blood pressures and how to observe patients.  He even discovers uneven pupils in one patient which lead to his observing an operation and forgetting that he had a date.

    During an emergency, Ted takes charge and helps move patients, supplies, and doctors from one location to another.  While helping out during the emergency situation, Ted discovers the answer to the question that Dr. Bart had asked him, "Why do you want to become a doctor?"  it is because there was nothing else he could do.  Medicine a way of life.

    I found this book on one of my bookcases and decided it fit in with this challenge.  Alan Nourse is an M.D. and also wrote a book called Intern under the name 'Doctor X'.  He is better known for his science fiction books.

    This book describes the way things were in hospitals in the early 50's.  Blood is collected by the Red Cross or Commuity Blood Banks vs individual hospital (at least here in Tioga County, PA).  Donors are asked lots of questions and many tests are run on the blood before it is used.  People can even bank their own blood when facing surgery.

    I loved the book and gave it 4 out of five stars on Goodreads.  I have not read any of Dr. Nourse's other books recently.  I enjoyed this book and wish it was more easily available for others to read.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Allergic to Death

    Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran is about Gigi Fitzgerald and her company Gigi's Gourmet De-Lites.  Reg, the dog on the cover belonged to Martha Bernhardt who winds up dead from a peanut allergy after eating one of Gigi's meals.  The death is ruled accidental.  However, Gigi does not keep anything containing peanuts in her cottage. Winston Baernhardt, Martha's ex does not want the dog but, Gigi does.  Reg plays an important part in this book.  The dog helps find a clue and is very helpful at the end of the book in more ways than one.

    I certainly think I would enjoy some of the meals described in this book.  Since, I attend performances of a small theater group, I do like the theater as a backdrop for many of the scenes.  I think any fan of cozy mysteries would love this book and would like me look forward to reading more about Gigi and her friends.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Operation XOXO

    The challenge for September is to read a book with a school in it.  Operation XOXO by Elle James certainly fits this challenge.  Elise Johnson (Alice Klaus) is a history teacher at a high school in Breuer, Texas.  She was married to Stan Klaus in 'South Dakota who was identified as a serial killer.  Everyone thought he had died in a fire but a body was never found.  Alice changed her name and moved to Texas with her two boys.  Much of the book occurs in the school or Elise's classroom.

    One day. Elise gets a message making her think her ex is alive and will murder her if he gets the chance.  Enter FBI agent Paul Fletcher who helped her in South Dakota and who is now working in Texas.  When a girl is reported missing in Breuer, Agent Fletcher decides he needs to protect Elise.

    I do not want to give away too much of the story.  This book is a Harlequin Intrigue book and there is a sex scene in it so it is not for younger readers.

    It is a very quick book to read and I read the book in less than a day.

    Death by the Dozen

    The cover of Death by the Dozen features a small picture of Captain Jack.  Captain Jack is a kitten that is found by Mel who is one of the owners of Fairy Tale Cupcakes.  Mel lives over the shop.  One day she and Angie hear a noise that "..sounded like someone being stabbed."  The sound was coming from the dumpster.  They find a tiny white kitten with a black patch over one eye.  Being film buffs they name the kitten Captain Jack after Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

    This kitten winds up in Mel's apartment and finds its way into her heart, 

    Since there is an animal on the cover, it fits the criteria for this challenge.  Captain Jack may not be a major character but the cat does provide companionship for Mel when she needs it most.  I am sure I will be reading more books with animals but I did want to include this one because I also fell in love with a kitten that was found and now Reese is a very active member of our household.  Reese was not found in a dumpster but we saw him at a private club that we belong to and brought her home.  I don't know if she was after a cupcake when she was found but she sure likes her kitten "milk".

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was a free book obtained for my Kindle for PC.  I assume I may have read it for school but did not remember the story.  I was reading a review about a sequel and decided I should read the original book.

    Jane Eyre was taken in by a relative and after he died, his wife sends her to a school for the poor.  She finishes school there and teachs for two years.  Jane then becomes the governess for Mr. Rochester.  She falls in love with him but leaves after she finds that he is married.  She winds up at Moor House and finds that the family that lives there is actually her cousins.  In fact,her male cousin wishes to marry her and take her to India with him.  But, Jane still loves Mr. Rochester and goes to find him.  She finds him and they marry and have a child and the story ends ten years after their marriage.

    This book is my literary fiction book.  It is still a great story.  I would certainly recommend that even if you have read it in the past it is worth reading again.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Zero Mostel

    The challenge for August is to read a book about a super-hero.  Super as a noun can be defined as an article of superior quality, grade, size and as an adjective as of the highest degree, power of extreme or excessive degree.  A hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability or one who has heroic qualities.  A hero can also be the male character in a story.

    The dust jacket for Zero Mostel a biography by Jared Brown states " Mostel was a uniquely talented actor, a gargantuan personality, and a man of many contradictions.  He was huge in stature..."  Certainly anyone who was six feet tall and weighed 300 pounds would be considered super at least in size.  He certainly by the above description had a large personality also.  Since, Zero is the main male character in this story of his life he is the hero of his own story.  Within the book it states that when Mr. Mostel returned to New York after his testimony before the committee that determined who was a Communist and hence blacklisted, "he received a hero's welcome from his family and friends."

    In 1938, the House of Representatives created a temporary investigating committee called the Committee on UnAmericcan Activities or HUAC.  They investigated the Federal Theatre as they felt the its employees were engaged in a conspiract to overthrow our government. The Federal Theatre went out of existane in 1939.  If you denouced communism and cooperated with the committee you were ok otherwise you were considered unpatriotic and subversive.  This committee became a standing committee in 1945.  A political blacklist that would deprive any witnesses who refused to cooperate of their jobs was supposedly created between the Chairman of the committee and Hollywood producers. 

    Zero when called to testify had to be funny.  He could not take anything seriously.  Zero would not name names.  He "emerged from the hearing with his dignity intat, he had the courage to assert his belief in freedom of speech and to oppose the committee's attempts to limit that freedom."  This is why he was called a hero.  He did not name anyone.  He retreated to his painting studio for a year after he testified.

    Mr. Mostel won three Tony awards after the hearings.  His best known role was that of Tevye in Fidler on the Roof on and off Broadway.  Though he did not play the part in the movie.  

    I did not know of Mr. Mostel's love of painting before I read this book or that he was blacklisted.  I did remember hearing about others being blacklisted and author's using others to front their works.  This book is well written and allowed opportunities to reflect on what was written.  Zero is certainly not a traditional super-hero but anyone who can stand up to a Congressional Committee the way he did is a hero in my estimate!

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Science Fiction

    I obtained The 5 Moons of Tiiana/The Chronicles of Rez Cantor: A swashbuckling, science fiction epic filled with adventure, mystery, romance, and fantasy by Paul Harry from Amazon for free on July 31, 2012.  This e-book was free for a limited time.

    Rez Cantor is the protector of the Crown Princess of Melana and holds the rank of Captain.  When Melana empire is to be overthrown by the Relcor and the royal family killed.  He is asked to save Princess Leanna.  They flee the planet in a warp-drive ship which is blown up.  Rez winds up on one of the moons of Tiiana and is taken prisoner.  The book tells of how he escapes and how he is re-united with Leanna.  Before, he can return home he must save Tiiana.  Rez meets many "people" on the moons of Tiiana and unites the various species he meets to conquer their enemies.

    I enjoyed the descriptions of the various species and the various locals.  Pyramids hide a means of travel between the various moons which Rez eventually understands.  The author loved Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series and created this book along the same lines as that one.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Death In Show

    Death in Show is another Dog Walker Mystery by Judi McCoy.  I am hooked on this series about Ellie, the dog walker, and Rudy, her own dog.

    In Death in Show, Lulu, one of the dogs that Ellie walks is entered in the MACC which is a big dog show.  When Lulu's handler dies, her owner asks Ellie to be Lulu's new handler.  Ellie who feels very nervous in public agrees after Lulu "tells" her that she will lead the way.  Of course, things get complicated because Sam Ryder, Ellie's boyfriend, is assigned to investigate the murder.  Back on the dog walking front, Ellie is having trouble with her latest assistant walker.

    I don't want to say how Lulu does in the dog show as that is a good part of the book.

    I am reading the next book in the series and will probably finish that shortly, also.  I am a big fan of this series and gave Death in Show 5 stars on Goodreads.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Hounding the Pavement

    Hounding the Pavement by Judi McCoy is a Dog Walker Mystery which makes it a good fit for this challenge.  Dogs are on the cover and are a major part of the book.  Ellen Elizabeth Engleman better known as Ellie is newly divorced and goes to the ASPCA to celebrate.  She gets a psychic message from a dog saying it was the "her dead dog Rudy" and "it was time from them to get together again". Adopting the dog, led her to a job as a dog walker.

    Ellie talks to the doorman at the Davenport where her clients lived and finds out everyone left but Professor Albright.  She picks up a new dog, Sweetie Pie, first and then two more dogs before stopping for Professor Albright's Bichon, Buddy.  Since, she was told the Prof had not left yet, she knocks on the door before using her key.  She tries to go in but the door is blocked.  She uses her body weight to push the door open more.  She squeezes in and finds the professor's body and finding no pulse or breath she calls the doorman and asks him to call 911.  She calls the dogs name and he does not come.  She has the doorman hold the dogs and looks for Buddy in the apartment.  She does not find the dog there and does not know what happened to him.  The police are more concerned about what happened to the professor than to worry about a lost dog.  A good looking policeman named Sam Ryder is sent to investigate.  Ellie is questioned and Detective Ryder does not think she could kill anyone.  Rudy does not like the detective.  Ellie, however, is determined to find Buddy.

    I loved this book.  Though the connection between Ellie and the dogs seems strange, there are some people who seem to know what dogs want.  Ellie and Sam have mothers who want them to see them more often and who are concerned about them.  I feel that I would trust Ellie to walk my dog if I had one.  The human and animal characters are well described and I will look for Heir of the Dog which is the next book.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Eggsecutive Orders

    The July Challenge is to read a book with a celebration.  Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy has one of the oldest celebrations at the White House, the Easter Egg Roll.  The book is about the death of a NEA agent after a White House Dinner.  Ollie and her staff are banned from the White House kitchen just before preparations for the Easter Egg Roll are to begin.  Because, Ollie is detained at the White House for questioning her boyfriend, Tom picks up her Nana and mother at the airport.  At least, because of the involuntary vacation Ollie gets to spend time with her family.

    There are times in this story, when you don't know who are the good guys and who are not.  I must admit that I was surprised by the ending.  I very much enjoyed reading this book.

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Week Four

    Chapters 21-27

    1.  Grizelmore the Goblin has some really weird cravings and eating habits. Tell us about some of your weird eating habits. Bonus point if you can show me a picure!
    I like to eat ketchup on eggs which some people may consider weird.
    Picture is ketchup on eggs.

    2.  In chapter 22 Aiode and her friends try to go and get their instruments replaced at the factory. There are a ton of different instruments there being made for the fairies, but man are they a fortune. Do any of you play any instruments? Have you ever played an instrument? If not, what would you play if you could?
    I have a cord organ which I did play but have not for awhile.  I did have piano and organ lessons in school so I can read basic notes.  I did not learn to play cords on the piano, which I wish I could do.  Mine is a less expensive model.

    3.  Jason and the band are finally discovered by the elf (with the crazy long name) and Buttercake the freaking adorable unicorn who turns into something not so adorable. If you were a detective who would you choose for your magical accomplice?
    Harry Potter would be nice to have as a magical accomplice.

    4.  The book ends on a happy but painful note. What do you think of the ending? Were you happy with the turn of events? 
    I hate to see any animals harmed, even fictional ones.

    5. Tell us your favorite quote(s)/part(s) from the book!
    I like the part where Jason takes his sister to the zoo, even though it was a cover for him to get there, she had a good time.