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Showing posts from September, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays - Shadow and Silk


Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.Please avoid spoilers!

"Her fingers ached from her fierce grip on the money in her pockets. With those greasy bills she would rescue one of the most extraordinary textile artifacts it had ever been her privilege to see."

Excerpt from my current read "Shadow and Silk" by Ann Maxwell (aka Elizabeth Lowell) on page 9.

Head over to Should be Reading and check out the other participants TEASER TUESDAYS

National Novel Write Month Plan


In order to hold myself accountable for getting things done, I'm posting my plan.

I'm going to challenge myself again and join in the National Novel Writing Month which runs from November 1 through the 30th. The goal is to write a 175 page, 50,000 word novel by November 30th. Basically you don't edit, you just write. This time I will be tackling a romantic suspense mystery. So during the month of October I will be doing research, finalizing my characters and doing an outline. The story has been in my head for a few months now.

In order for me to start writing the new story, I want to finish the 2nd edit on the first story. I was just reading through it today and realized I had already changed a lot of it. My reader's (thanks - mom) only complaint was I needed to cut out some of the scriptural verses. I put in a lot of verses and what not for nano - kind of went overboard in order to get that 50k. It morphed into 100k so there is quite a bit I …

Musing Mondays - What are you reading?

Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

Today’s MUSING is just going to be a simple one on reading…WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? I'm currently reading "Violet Dawn" (Kanner Lake Series # 1) by Brandilyn Collins.WHY ARE YOU READING WHAT YOU’RE READING? PLEASURE? FOR REVIEW? SOMETHING ELSE? I read for pure pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. Reading is my entertainment, the way I escape. Reading relaxes me. I actually find myself getting cranky when I don't read. The only time I don't read for pleasure is when it is for a college class. Except sometimes that is pleasurable also because it's my choice.WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING? Just finished Stuart Woods "Beverly Hills Dead"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL BE READING NEXT? Hmmm! I really haven't decided yet. Generally after reading an intense book, I'll read something light, then back to another tense book. I take a look at my TBR and pick what rocks my fancy next.
National Novel Writing Month
November 1 - 30, 2008

Celebrating 10 years of literary abandon!

I just popped into to see what was going on and Surprise! The revamped website is up and running. They launched early to get all the bugs out.

They are going to have some great pep talks by author Piers Anthony. If you are into science fiction/fantasy you will remember the xanth series. I still have all mine (boxed up in the closet) Maybe I should donate them or start a contest to give them away. Hmmm! Also Brian Jacques of the Redwall series, Meg Cabot of the princess diaries, Katherine Paterson who wrote Bridge to Terabitha and a host of other authors.

I am still deliberating whether I should do it again this year since still working on the rewrite of "Floating on the Surface." I have some great ideas. So should I do it or not. Just for grins, there is a nifty little poll on my side bar. What do you think?

Cozy Mystery Challenge Wrap up

Cozy Mystery Challenge Wrap Up

The Cozy Mystery Challenge for September is over as of Tuesday. Wow, the month went fast. I kept the challenge easy and read 3 books for the Challenge: Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle; Murder Uncorked by Michelle Scott; and Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett. (the links lead to my reviews)

I enjoyed Cleo Coyle's Coffee House Mysteries so much, read the next two -# 3 Latte Troubles and # 4 Murder Most Frosty. There are 3 more in the series including Decaffeinated Corpse, French Pressed and a new one being released on the 30th - Espresso Shot. Those are all going on the wishlist for later. I have to finish the Fall Reading Challenge first. I plan on reading her HAUNTED BOOKSHOP series, which is under her pseudonym Alice Kimberly, when done with the COFFEE HOUSE MYSTERIES. So a big thumbs up to Cleo Coyle.

Murder Uncorked by Michelle Scott was okay. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Coffee House Mysteries but the story was interest…

Book Review - White Lies

White Lies


Jayne Ann Krentz

I've discovered another author whose writing I enjoy. WHITE LIES is the first novel I've read by Jayne Ann Krentz and I liked it. She writes under at least 3 pen names: Krentz for romantic suspense, Amanda Quick for historical romances and Jayne Castle for futuristic paranormal romance. On her website you will find a complete list of all her books. She seems to be as prolific as Nora Roberts. I also happened to pick up "DARK LIGHT" when I was at Barnes and Noble picking up Brisinger.

WHITE LIES is a paranormal romance and book # 2 in the Arcane Society series. I didn't read book 1 because don't like historical type romances, so started with White Lies.

Front Inside Flap Description of Book

"Level ten parasensitive Clare Lancaster has resigned herself to the fact that she may never find a suitable mate. A human lie detector, any falsehood--no matter how subtle--sets her blood racing. And most people, to one degree or a…

Presidential Debate

1st Presidential Debate

Father and I watched the debate last night between McCain and Obama. Jim Lehrer did a good job of trying to keep them on track and pushing them to answer the questions rather than give talking points. At times it seemed they were arguing semantics.

In my opinion McCain won hands down. He was confident and quite knowledgeable. Much of his wisdom came from his age and experience. Obama revealed himself to be ignorant when it comes to foreign policy and seemed bent on repeating certain talking points. You could tell when he got flustered or didn't like what McCain was saying because he would interrupt or start stammering. If you watched the debate, you will remember McCain didn't ever interrupt Obama, but gave him the respect of waiting until he was finished speaking. Obama felt the need to defend himself numerous times.

I was flabbergasted at his take regarding Iran. One, his ignorance in dealing with the leader of Iran. "Mayb…

Weekly Report #4

Weekly Wrap up

Monday was the Autumn equinox so we started off lessons by reading about Hemispheres and Seasons. I'm trying to work a bit more geography into lessons this year. Generally we just map out the location of books we read. Last year I purchased the "Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide by Hogan and Wiggers and it is chock full of activities for grades K - 12. It's time to start utilizing it a bit more.

Faith and Devotions: I decided to go with Real Life Devotions with God. Starting with the Sept 22nd entry - it was all about forgiveness and being honest. We also started watching a couple Bibleman dvds. A couple weeks ago I went to Berean's and picked up Veggie Tales "Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue." The veggie tales are timeless and I just love them. On a whim, I picked up Lambasting the Legions of Laziness. I had never seen Bibleman and thought we would give it a try.

James loves it and forgive me pleas…

Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about / find this week? SHARE WITH US YOUR FRIDAY FINDS!

In my meanderings around blog world this week, thanks to the Fall Into Reading Challenge, I have discovered several books that really caught my fancy and have gone onto my wishlist. My TBR piles is so huge right now it is about to topple over, so I can't buy any more books for a while. Of course, it depends on what your definition of a "while" is. :)

Gregory Maquire - author of "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" which is a retelling of Cinderalla


Wicked, the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

A young adult fantasy novel, Magyk in which the seventh son of a seventh son that must battle the forces of dark magyk.

A legal thriller by Don Brown: Treason. Excerpt from back cover: " The Navy has uncovered a group of radical Islamic clerics who have infiltrated the Navy Chaplain Corps, inciting sailors and marines to acts of terrorism. And Lieutenant Zack Brewe…

Booking Through Thursday - Most unusual book.

Booking through Thursday

I discovered booking through Thursday recently and decided to give it a try. It is a weekly meme that asks questions about books and reading. This week the question is:

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?My first thought was Frank Peretti - a christian novelist. The first book I read of his was "This Present Darkness"

It scared the living daylights out of me. It was the late 80's and I forget who told me about him, but I was into science fi…

West of Mars - Win A Book

Book Giveaways

I discovered an interesting website the other day. West of Mars - Win a Book
Susan Helene Gottfried and several other ladies have gotten a blog together that lists all the neat contests and free books out in blog land. Just follow the links from their site and enter to win ebooks, free books, contests and what not.

For example: Katrina at Stone Soup is having a book giveaway that lasts through Sunday. She is letting two winners chose a book from her current bookshelf. Just head over to her blog and click on the bookshelf. Then leave a comment letting her know your 1st and 2nd choices.

Keep an eye on West of Mars - you just may win something.

Teaser Tuesdays - All The Queens Men

MizB at Should Be Reading

is the host of

Teaser Tuesday

Instructions for Teaser Tuesday: Grab your current read, let the book fall open to a random page and share 2 "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere between lines 7 and 12. No Spoilers however that give away the plot.

"No, but I go to a lot of trouble to make sure no one knows what I look like, or who I am. Trust me. My cover is so deep sometimes I don't know who I am myself."

From "All the Queens Men" by Linda Howard pg 98

Run over to Should be Reading and check out the other participants "teasers"

What's On Your Nightstand

What's on your Nightstand

It's the 4th tuesday of the month and 5 Minutes for books is hosting "What's on your Nightstand.

Jennifer wants to know:

What's on Your Nightstand? in several ways. You can cover one or all of these topics:Take a picture or simply give a list of the stack of books that you are in the process of reading or planning to read (it might be on your nightstand, on a bookshelf, or like me, under your bed). Give short reviews of the book or books that you read that month.Tell about what you are reading and why. I love to read the backstory on books. Did someone give it to you? Are you trying out a new genre at the recommendation of a friend (or website)? Did you stumble across a new author in a used bookstore?Fill us in on your reading habits. When are you reading these books? Is one reserved for bedtime reading? Does one stay in your car to be read while you are waiting? Do you read just one book at a time?
Here's the actual picture of my nigh…


Do I have Patience?

I wanted to buy Father some record shelves for his office. He has a huge collection of records and I wanted something nice to put them in. I found this record stand by Sefour at and ordered 4. They arrived within a week of purchasing them. We received the 4 huge boxes and I put them together (very easy) and dragged them into Father's office and filled them with records. When he came home from work:

TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, he was pleased and surprised.

Unfortunately 4 wasn't enough and we needed two more. So I thought I would buy 2 more for a Christmas present.

I did on December 12, 2007.

They just arrived today.......

I couldn't find these stands anywhere else, you see. So the dealer notified me that they were backordered for a couple months. Okay, I said we will wait. Couple months later, I am notified that the stands are still backordered. Sefour, the manufacturer is in England and I guess they had a gazillion orders or a…

Fall Reading Challenge

It is that time of year again.

Time for the

3rd Annual

Fall Into Reading Challenge

Hosted by the lovely Katrina at Callapidder's Days

The Fall Into Reading Challenge is a fun, easy, casual challenge that is open to everyone and is simply a low pressure challenge to read. Read as many books as you want or just one, two or three. All you have to do is set a goal and go for it. Then, share about books you read, your likes or dislikes, new discoveries with everyone.

The challenge runs during Fall from September 22nd through December 20th. There are 13 weeks in Fall and I will probably be able to manage at least two books a week. Several are authors I have already read with sequels or the beginning of new series. There are a few first timers on the list as well. The books aren't in any certain order and subject to change.

1) White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz. First time read for this author and is a secular paranormal romance. Part of a series. She blogs with several other au…

Guest Blogger: My Dad - Colonel AJ

Saved by Secretary Paulson

Wow! What a week! Some folks read books, some watch movies or television, but I enjoy the stock market and the excitement of buying and selling. This last week has been a wild, wild, ride. So what has been so exciting about this past week and why should you care?? First I would suggest that you say a small prayer that the plan Secretary Paulson submits to the Senate Banking Committee tonight is approved immediately and without the politicians trying to add a bunch of "earmarks" to the plan.

As I have been watching the desperate maneuvers of Mr. Paulson and the Fed Chairman try one financial trick after another I was preparing to pull all my money out of the market and out of the bank on Monday. Why? Because I was watching the financial structure of the United States coming apart.

How would this have affected you???

One or two weeks from now you would have gone to the local bank, put in your ATM card, and nothing would have come out. Next week you would…

Book Review - The Tunnels

The Tunnels


Michelle Gagnon

I just finished "The Tunnels" and it is one scary, creepy, good thriller! The Tunnels is the first of two novels written by Michelle Gagnon. I happened to have picked up the 2nd book "The Boneyard" first and it was excellent.

The books feature FBI special agent Kelly Jones (also the main character in Boneyard) who is investigating the murder of two female students at a prominent New England College. Beneath the college run an old tunnel system dating back to the 1800's. The girls were killed in ritualistic fashion and it is a race against the clock for Jones and her partner to find the serial killer as the body count rises.

Back cover:

"An old, abandoned tunnel system beneath a prestigious New England college becomes the gruesome stalking grounds of a serial killer...

The crime scenes are grim and otherworldy. The bodies of two female students are found mutilated and oddly positioned in the dark labyrinth beneath the schoo…

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading is hosting Friday Finds and asks:

What great books did you hear about, or add to your TBR list/piles this week? SHARE WITH US YOUR “FRIDAY FINDS”!The books I added to my pile this week and all found at my favorite used bookstore Book Lovers Cafe are:

Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Finding Home (3 complete novels in one) Contains Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard, Chain Lightning by Elizabeth Lowell and Popcorn and Kisses by Kasey Michaels.

Two more coffee house mysteries by Cleo Coyle: #3 Latte Trouble and #4 Murder Most Frothy

Happy Reading!!!

Crazy Cats

Crazy Cats

We picked up Luna from the vet Thursday morning. She was pretty sleepy after having been spayed, plus getting her annual vaccination and they flushed her ears because of ear mites. We got her home and I took her out of the cat carrier. She walked slowly over to Melvin who just looked at her and went about his business. She wandered down the hall and ran into Gracie and suddenly all heck broke loose. Gracie suddenly arched her back and got all bristly as if she were going to attack Luna. I quickly picked up Luna and jumped out of the way as Gracie had upset Melvin who suddenly arched in hump back, fur sticking out all over the place mode. They raced every which way peeing all over my hallway and master bedroom carpet.

What the????

Father quickly call the vet to find out why our cats were suddenly going crazy, while I took Luna into James bedroom out of harms way. Evidently Gracie didn't like the way Luna smelled.. She didn't recognize her smell and tho…

Pensive Cat

Pensive Cat

Hey Mom! Where are you going?

Momma Luna went to the vet today to get "fixed" The 3 stooges will get their turn soon. However, I have to find a less expensive vet. Our current vet charges $130, just for the surgery but I didn't want to go to a brand new vet to get her spayed. Nothing like trial by fire and discovering an incompetent surgeon. And I didn't want to take her to one of the county's spay and neuter clinics, because I don't trust the production line surgeries. So, I'll be making a few phone calls today, checking out new vets and finding out prices.

Book Review - No One Left To Tell

No One Left To Tell


Jordan Dane

I just finished reading "No One Left To Tell" today. It was the first time I had ever read anything by Jordan Dane. The story was interesting but I got the impression either two people were writing the story or else she was channeling Mickey Spillane. The story didn't flow well. You had wonderful prose mixed in with some statements that stopped the story cold and made you laugh.

For example:

Page 182: "The heat from her skin seduced him. Raven orchestrated his body's reaction with the precision of a symphony conductor. Bellowing with the resonance of a bass drum, his heart pounded his rib cage, the sensation intoxicating."

It didn't fit in with the scene as they were in a hospital waiting room because her partner had been shot. Raven was angry and Christian was suddenly overcome with passion for her. They started making out in the waiting room. I practically dropped the book laughing.

Page 206: " Sam's …

Musing Mondays - treatment of books

Today MizB over at Should Be Reading muses over the treatment of books.

She asks: HOW ABOUT YOU? Do you treat books carefully, or do you just treat them as any other object? Do you have certain things you refuse to do with books (write in them, etc)? If so, what are they?

My treatment of books has changed over the years. When I was in my teens, I used to dog ear the pages, no matter whether they were library books or my own. Somehow, I didn't give it a second thought that I was hurting the book or upsetting someone. Somewhere along the line, a librarian friend educated me and I stopped dog earring pages and started using bookmarks. I never wrote in fiction books, but I did in my college books. Mainly because they were mine to do with what I wanted and helped me to remember. I'm a collector of books and still have a few of those college books in the shelves.

Now, I am more respectful of my fiction books and never turn down the pages or leave them lying open and spine u…


It never fails!

Yesterday on my way to the grocery store, I stopped by Berean Christian Books. As I perused the children's devotional section, I found this great book

The One Year Book of Real Life Encounters with God by Child Evangelism Fellowship.

The book has 365 devotions that ask questions such as: why does god let bad things happen? or why should I obey God when other don't?. I looked through the book and was really impressed with it.

January: God the Father
February: God the son
March: God the Holy Spirit
April: Victory
May: God's word and me
June: Witnessing
July: Worshiping God
August: Obeying God
September: Living for God
October: Trusting God
November: Taking a Stand
December: What I believe

What really sold me was when I looked at September 15 because if I got the book that would be our starting point.

September 15: How can I be patient?
September 16: What does God say about anger?
September 17: Is it ever right to be angry?
September 18: How can I have self cont…

Blog Find of the Week - Should Be Reading

Blog Find of the week

Discovered a new blog this weekend that peeked my interest: Should Be Reading. She has weekly events including Musing Mondays, Teaser Tuesdays and Friday Finds.

On Musing Mondays, MizB muses about books and invites other blogger to muse along with her.

On Teaser Tuesdays, you grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Then you share two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere between lines 7 and 12. Don't forget to share the title. However, don't give anyway anything that will spoil the plot of the book.

Friday Finds asks you to share about the books you have discovered during the week that you will be adding to your TBR (to be read) list or just sound interesting. Then share your link with Friday Find participants at Should Be Reading's Friday Find post for the week.
Sounds like fun! Stay tuned for my first Monday Musing.

Lehman Brothers Goes Bankrupt

Lehman Brothers goes Bankrupt

My dad, the financial genius says it best

"What a day in the financial world. Lehmam Brothers, a 184 year old company is going to file for bankruptcy. Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch. A special fund of $70 Billion is being set up by commercial banks to fight off the short sellers. All these companies and their Board of Directors and the Sec of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Members all worked over Saturday and Sunday. All this and the American Public had no clue and still doesn't, that the U.S. Financial System was at risk for collapse because all the dominoes were falling one by one. The congress will start hearings next week but its just window dressing. Basically the Congress caused the whole thing in the first place years ago when they wanted to get more poor people into housing and passed a law that would let folks buy a house with nothing down or even worse, no credit. Well that started the boom. When th…

Book Review - Through The Grinder

Have you ever tried Coffee Marinated Steak with Hearty Coffee Gravy? If you love coffee and it sounds delicious, head on over to Coffee House Mystery for the recipe. Or better yet, Read "Through the Grinder" by Cleo Coyle.

The complete recipe for this interesting meal is at the end of the story. "Through the Grinder" is the 2nd of 6 novels in the Coffee House Mystery series.

Clare Cosi is the manager of The Village Blend coffeehouse. Her daughter lives close by and her ex husband even closer, sharing the home above the coffeehouse, when he isn't out of the country buying coffee. She is in "like" with a handsome, yet married police detective Mike Quinn who likes to discuss his cases with her. Things hit a little to close to home when single female customers start committing suicide (or did they?).

Unfortunately, Clare's new love interest is the prime suspect so she and her ex start a little investigation of their own. You'll never…

Weekly Report # 3

Weekly Wrap Up

Lessons went well this week and I added in history this week. I decided to go with reading "This Country of Ours" by H.E. Marshall. It was recommended on and after reviewing the book, decided to go with that. We have given Story of the World a good college try but neither James or I love it. James eyes glaze over every time I read it and we never could get into all the activities. SOTW has it uses though and the activities book has an abundance of book resources. Between SOTW, Ambleside, and History Odyssey, I've purchased quite a few books to go along with reading TCOO. It just happened to pick up where we left off in SOTW with Christopher Columbus....

We are also reading "Diego Columbus: Adventures on the High Seas" by Marni McGee. The story is from the perspective of the son of Christopher Columbus and based on fact.

Voyages in English: We are still on Section 1: Sentences. We finished up 1.6 Kinds of Sentences and …

Book Review - Murder Uncorked

Murder Uncorked
(The First Wine Lover's Mystery)


Michele Scott

From the Back Cover

"Nikki Sands was like every other aspiring actress - waiting tables between jobs. But Nikki has taken serving wines to heart. She knew enough to impress Napa Valley's golden boy, Derek Malveaux, who offered a job at his vineyard."

In the beginning of the story, Nikki serves drinks to "the Bimbo" and "Casanova". The bimbo manages to get Nikki fired and Casanova comes to her defense. Casanova turns out to be Derek Malveaux of the Malveaux Estates Winery in Napa Valley. Impressed by her knowledge about wine, he offers her a position as sales manager and personal assistant.

From the moment Nikki arrives on the estate, mysteries surround her from the death of the estates top winemaker to discovering someone is skimming profits. Nikki takes the sleuthing skills she learned from her failed acting gig as a police detective and tries to solve the case.

I wasn't too par…

9/11 Presidential Forum - soap box moment

Soap Box Moment

Last night I happened to catch the second half of the 9/11 presidential forum hosted by Columbia University on the Fox News Channel. We tuned in during the interview with Barack Obama. Hopefully it will be repeated at some point, so I can see what McCain had to say.

Several things crossed my mind while watching Obama field the questions from Judy Woodruff and Richard Stengel.

Obama reminded me of having a job interview. Most of the time when you go out for job interviews, you research the company and basically gear your answers to the philosophy or needs of that company. If you get the art of the interview down, you become a excellent bs artist. Tell them what they want to hear in order to get hired. Believe me, I did it millions of times over the years. His demeanor, attitude, words and physical mannerisms were geared entirely to presenting himself in the best possible way and telling the interviewers what they wanted to hear in order to get hired. He doe…

Crazy Cats


When I do this
They do this!

But Mom!
I'm so cute and love to nibble on your toes

Books, Books and more Books

Books, Books and More Books

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm an addict - a book addict. Being a fast reader, I probably read at least 4 books a week. Ever since the used book store opened up in the same shopping center as our business, the addiction has been growing. It all started with nanowrimo actually. I was trying my hand at writing a novel and started reading all kinds of romance novels. My first discovery was Nora Roberts and I read all of hers. Then it progressed to Elizabeth Lowell and Linda Howard and Karen Rose and on from there. I have discovered an amazing number of excellent and not so excellent writers of romantic thrillers and suspense novels.

Yesterday was a work day and while I was at Save-mart doing a commercial bank deposit (Yes - b of a has a branch in save-mart which is so wonderful because it saves me standing for hours in line at the regular bank) I needed to pick up a few things and of course, had to browse through the book section. I actually fo…