Mailbox Mondays

Our Host for Mailbox Monday

Marcia of the Printed Page

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.


James and I discovered a great little bookshop in the small town of Watsonville this past week - Crossroads bookstore. Not only did they have a great assortment of new and used books, they had a friendly shop kitty called Bookie. We picked up several books including:

Presidents Reading Project


Personal Reading Challenge


for Father

For James



Plus I received two review books from Harlequin Teen this week:





And


Courtesy of Persues Book Group



Father is most impressed with the books I've been receiving lately, yet he is concerned about our crammed bookshelves. I'm contemplating what to do about this situation and like Marcia's Read it Forward, but I also like Staci's idea of Giving Books Back to You! I also like the give-a-way website hosted by Susan's West of Mars-Win a Book. Whatever I come up will be simple and easy - not a lot of rules. Any ideas?

What books did you receive this week?

The Sunday Salon: Heather J - I dare to accept your challenge


This week's Sunday Salon is all about dares. I remember as a youngster playing truth or dare and daring my friends and the double dares we used to do. Minor, relatively, inane innocent fun back in the 60's. Today we have the book bloggers version of Dare. A new challenge is floating around the blogosphere - I Dare You To Accept This Challenge. The challenge is the brain child of Alea and Irish.

"Maybe your best friend only reads romances or maybe all he watches is sports. You think that she/he needs to branch out, but what can you do? Well, what did you do when you were younger? You dared people to do things that they might not normally do. So, why not dare your friend to read your 10 favorite books by Stephen King? Or maybe your 10 favorite episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Or perhaps your 10 favorite Bollywood films? Or what ever else comes to mind."


Heather J of Age 30+ A Lifetime of Books has posed a science fiction / fantasy dare:

I dare you to complete at least 5 of the 10 items on the list below (though I triple dog dare you to tackle them all!) [And of that 5, at least 2 must be books.]
  1. Watch The Princess Bride
  2. Watch Willow
  3. Watch The Last Unicorn
  4. Watch Labyrinth
  5. Watch at least 3 episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess
  6. Read Dune by Frank Herbert
  7. Read The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  8. Read The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  9. Read Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  10. Do a video blog about at least one of these items
You have 10 months to complete the challenge and should be done by April 10, 2010. If you fail in this challenge you must write a lengthy blog post about the value of Fantasy/SciFi books and movies in today’s world and why more people should be watching/reading them.

Sounds like a lot of fun and will be revisiting the movies and books of the my past. I had just been thinking about The Princess Bride and Willow the other day as a matter of fact and introducing James to the movies. I read the Dune series way back in the 70's so it will be interesting to reread it. Frankly I don't remember if I ever read The Mists of Avalon or the Eye of the World. I know absolutely nothing about making a vlog so that one is kind of iffy, but I'm going to try and complete all 10.

For more information about the challenge, check out the blog, read all about it, the rules (yes - there are rules) and the different dares folks have challenged other bloggers to complete and everyone's progress so far.

Pajaro Dunes - How we spent our vacation!

Pajaro Dunes

We have just returned from a fun filled week on the coast. We went to Pajaro Dunes which is a private beach community located between Monterey and Santa Cruz. We rented a beachfront condo and had fun in the sun, playing on the beach, whale watching, reading and relaxing. We celebrated our 12th anniversary and Father's 50th Birthday. Back in the 70's Father's family owned one of the condominiums and built House 55 so it was an walk down memory lane for him.


Pelican Point Condo # 20


Shot Father took of James on the balcony from the beach


The living room and our view




We had the most amazing time and most of the time we had the beach practically to ourselves. The first morning James and I got up and got to see dolphins and sea otters playing in the surf. They would actually ride the waves coming into shore.



The dunes is also a national Marine Sanctuary, so we saw tons of birds and we just had to go out and check them out. They were following schools of fish down the beach and feasting.




We went on a 3 hour whale watching tour through Monterey Bay Whale Watch which was actually James first time on a boat. Happy to report he isn't prone to sea sickness. We saw seals, sea otters, dolphins, humpback and blue whales. It was interesting to see the schools of krill swimming around and the whales surfacing to scoop up a whole slew of them. We also got to see jelly fish and moon jellies.


Dolphins


There She Blows



Blue Whale

At a certain point, we gave up taking pictures and just enjoyed watching the whales and the boat ride. After the boat ride, we wandered around fisherman's wharf and had dinner at Isabella's Italian Seafood restaurant. Delicious and highly recommend it!

Beautiful Sunsets!


Took oodles and boodles of pictures to experiment with and will have plenty to share for wordless wednesday and a whole lot more, including a funny story to tell about James and encounter with a pelican.

Goodbye Ocean!



Time to pull the plug - metaphorically


Time to pull the plug


Allrighty, my chickadee's - Time to unplug, pack it up and hit the road. No blogs for the next few days - not even auto posts. Didn't have time to come up with anything. Behave yourselves and I'll catch you on the flip side.



Rubert Holmes

Pina Colada

I was tired of my lady
We'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording
Of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleeping
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read

"If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape."

I didn't think about my lady
I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady
Have fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I'm nobody's poet
I thought it wasn't half bad

"Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red-tape
At a bar called O'Malley's
Where we'll plan our escape."

So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady
And she said, "Oh it's you."
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, "I never knew."

That you like Pina Coladas
Getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes of the Cape
You're the lady I've looked for
Come with me and escape

Musing Mondays - to be series or not to series!




Rebecca of Just One More Page asks:



Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book series…


Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first installment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?(question courtesy of
Elena)

I would much rather read a series than a stand-alone book. I do read stand-alone's but when I get the warm fuzzies at the end of the story, feeling like I really got to know the characters and involved in the story, that's when I wish it had been the start of a series. But for some stories, all good things must come to an end.

Do I stick with a series the whole way through? Yes, IF, the first book really captured my attention.

I love series and have read a billion of them from J.D. Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) In Death Series to Nora's multiple romance series such as Chesapeake Bay or Macgregors. Then you have Elizabeth Lowell's The Donovan series to Roxanne St. Claire's Bulletcatchers. And Thomas Wayne Batson's young adult fantasy series The Door Within to Ted Dekker's Paradise to Terri Blackstock's stories such as Cape Refuge and the Restoration Series. Oh and how can I forget Bodie and Brock Thoene - their A.D. Chronicle Series and Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles are just amazing. You can't read just one.

My interests are pretty eclectic from romance to romantic suspense to paranormal to mysteries to science fiction/fantasy to christian to thrillers.

Most of the time when I discover a new book and find out it # such and such of a series and it's by an author I've never read before, I'll try to go back and read the first books so I can follow the storyline better. Some series books are designed as stand alones, but I still prefer reading from the beginning. Of course, you sometimes run into the situation that their writing left a little bit to be desired at the beginning, but really improved with the next few books. So in that instance, it turns into a good thing that I read the book out of order.

How about you? Do you prefer Series or Standalone?

Sunday Salon -- It's our 12th Anniversary!!!

Good Afternoon Sunday Saloners. Today is our 12th Wedding Anniversary and the time has just flown by. It really doesn't seem like 12 years. The traditional gift for the 12th this year is silk or linen. We've had fun each year coming up with creative gifts and I'll just leave it up to your imagination what the silk gift will be. Father's 50th birthday is also coming up on Tuesday. I've always made it a point to keep the two celebrations separate and not combine gifts. This year we are going here:

We have rented a condo on the beach near Monterey and will be leaving tomorrow for 5 laid back, glorious days at the coast. We will be bringing this

to assist in our celebration of our life, wedding, Father's birthday, James graduation from 3rd grade, and whatever else we can think of to drink too. We had initially purchased the champagne to drink on New Year's Eve, but it had been shelved due to Father breaking his leg and being on pain medication.

I'll be bringing a few books with me, one from each challenge. They're listed in my sidebar. Whether I get through them or not will be another story, but generally I end up running out of reading material where ever I go and have to buy more books. Not such a bad thing, because that means I can check out the local bookstore. Reminder to self: Don't forget the camera.

Speaking of Challenges, I am breaking down and joining one more: J.Kayes Book Blog 2009/2010 Lisa Jackson Reading Challenge. I already have several of her books that I will be reading which are:

  1. Hot Blooded
  2. Cold Blooded
  3. The Night Before
  4. Shiver
  5. Lost Souls
  6. Wicked Games

I picked up a few new books this week including: "Silent Thunder" by Iris Johansen and her son Roy, "Witching Moon" (moon series #3) by Rebecca York, "Wizard's First Rule" by Terry Goodkind and Lora Leigh's "Bengal's Heart" which is a new book in her Breed Series. Oh! And "The 39 Clues: Book 1 - The Maze of Bones" by Rich Riordan. I've been eyeing this book a long time in the store and finally broke down.

I seem to buying a new book for every book I read. The TBR pile isn't getting any smaller but it isn't getting any bigger either. However, my bookshelves are all double parked and jammed full. Father was cleaning out his office the other day and comes to me and says

"I need another bookshelf, can I take one of yours."

"Oh sure, Dear" I said with a laugh, "Take your pick. Good luck!"

Book Review # 122 - Water Witch by Deborah LeBlanc


Water Witch

By

Deborah LeBlanc


Back Cover: "Dunny knew from an early age what it meant to be an outsider. Her special abilities earned her many names, like freak and water witch. So she vowed to keep her powers a secret. But now her talents may be the only hope of two missing children. A young boy and girl have vanished, feared lost in the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. But they didn't just disappear; they were taken. And amid the ghosts and spirits of the swamp, there is a danger worse than any other, one with very special plans for the children--and for anyone who dares to interfere."

I have to say "Water Witch" captured me from the moment I started reading it. It is told from the first person perspective of Dunny. However, the rest of the character's thoughts are in 3rd person point of view including the demented kidnapper, the children and Poochie who is her brother in law's grandmother.

Olm's father has died and Olm tries to recreate an ancient pawnee indian ceremony to get the attention of the spirits and obtain power and knowledge.

"As legend had it, in order for a son to acquire the knowledge of all the leaders in his ancestral line, he had to offer his father's body to the elements at the time of his passing. When only the bleached bones remained, the father's spirit would then be released, and all a son had to do was call upon what was rightfully his. To Olm, acquiring that knowledge mean ultimate power." (pg 2)

Taking the old stories his grandfather had told him which included annual sacrifices, Olm adapted the ritual to suit his needs. Remember the old adage "close enough for government work." Well, during the ritual Olm manages to release all kinds of malevolent spirits and the only way he could think to get rid of them is more rituals and sacrifices. He starts out with small animals and it escalates to people.

Dunny's sister Angelle calls her in a panic, asking her to come to Louisiana. She wants her to use her "special powers" to help find the children. Once Dunny gets to her sister's house, she discovers weird stuff is going on. Angelle lives in a backwater town on the bayou with a cast of real characters. Everyone has their secrets.

Trying to keep her "special ability" (no, I'm not going to say what it is) a secret, Dunny and Angelle, along with the help of Angelle's supposedly senile grandmother in law Poochie, who has more upstairs than anyone realizes, set out to try and find the children. Poochie provides a humorous element to the story which interspersed with the gruesome thoughts and actions of Olm, the terror of the two kids, the tension of the two sisters, and the supernatural elements makes for an excellent story.

Excerpt: Poochie pursed her lips again, then added for good measure, 'and if you got a little extra time, could you let me know what de hell's goin on wit' de shoes on de purgatory side of my prayer tree? Dem shoes up and disappeared just like dem chil'ren, and it's makin' me cuckoo tryin' to figure out how come. So, if you would give me de answer to dat, too, I'd appreciate it. Now I'm done. Thank you."

Satisfied that she'd covered all the bases, Poochie opened her eyes, prepared to sit for a while and simply listen in case God decided to quicken His response time. That's when she saw them...

Three long, dark gray shapes, floating only inches from the gorund, coming from the bayoe toward the house. Although the forms weren't clearly defined, she could make out heads, arms, and what looked like very skiiny stick-shaped legs. By the time she got to her feet, they'd already reached the house and were making their way inside by seeping through the bricks.

Poochie grabbed her walker and made a sign of the cross. God wasn't farting around this time. He was obviously giving her some of the answers she'd asked for. The only problem was from the looks of those things headed into the house, she wished she'd kept her damn mouth shut for once." (pg 99-100)


A huge thank you to Anna of FSB Associates for providing me with a copy of Water Witch. I hadn't read anything by Deborah LeBlanc before and have to say she's earned a new fan. It was interesting to discover Leblanc is, among other things, a licensed death scene investigator, part of a paranormal investigative team, and President of the Horror Writer's Association. She also created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge in 2004 to encourage people to read and founded Literacy Inc., to fight illiteracy in America. Interesting woman.

Pages: 290
Publisher: Leisure Books
Released: September 2008
Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Other Thoughts about the book: (beware contain spoilers about her "special ability." So, if you don't want to know....

Clothilde of Ultoday.com:
"
In a LeBlanc novel, you can always expect lots of action, suspense, evil that expands the boundaries of horror and plenty of paranormal elements. “Water Witch” is no different and will keep readers up at night until the eerie conclusion. But like LeBlanc’s four previous novels, “Water Witch” contains various storytelling elements and isn’t easily labeled."

Cheryls Book Nook:
"Water Witch is the first book I have read by this author. Readers may not realize it but location or background setting does help play a part in telling a story. In the case of this book, the location of Louisiana really set the mood for this story."

Clayton of The Deepening:
"Water Witch is a realistic look into madness and what makes us individuals. It’s also a solid and entertaining horror story. The horror was understated and presented in a believable way. I could see all of the scenes clearly in my mind’s eye. I also identified with the characters, even the tortured soul who was the villain."





I got an A!

Happy Dance, Happy Dance!

I got an

A


I got a 95 on my final which resulted in a A in my Modern Fiction course. I'm so glad I took this course, but it was truly a brain drain with all the writing that was required. I'm not complaining, otherwise would have never been exposed to the stream of consciousness styles of Virginia Woolf in "To the Lighthouse" or James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Or reread Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." Nor would I have ever read the feminist poetry of Hilda Doolittle or Wilfred Owen's war poems. Or be introduced to the post modern author Don Delillo who wrote "White Noise." Now I can say I've read Virginia Woolf, I've read James Joyce. Did I like their stream of conciousness styles. Am I richer for it? Not necessarily, but wiser when it comes to modern literature.

I have one more lower level class left. The lower level course will be taking is History of Ancient Art: Ancient through the 14th Century. It starts in November, so I'll actually have a couple months off. I already took History of Western Art since the 15th Century and learned so much. And the good part is I get to use the same book. Remember this huge tome.


It's a heavy sucker but full, full, full of so much information. After this class I have 4 upper level courses remaining and have established a depth in literature, so my remaining courses should prove to be interesting.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Libri Multus - #116 - 121

Just a few light books I read between the review books and some of the heavier, darker ones, I have a tendency to read.



#116

Kill Zone by Vicki Hinze. (book 5 in War Games Series.) New to me author discovery. Writer of Paranormal suspense romance. Psychologist Morgan cabot heads a special military support team including Taylor Lee and Jazie Craig who have special abilities. They can hear, see and feel things that others can't. They are after a terrorist who uses body doubles not only for himself, but also doubles to infilitrate anyway at anytime. Do you really know the person sleeping next to you? Looking forward to reading more by Hinze.

#117
Paradise Valley (Virgin River Series # 7) by Robyn Carr. Main story follows Rick and Lisa, the high school sweethearts introduced a few books back. Rick has returned from Iraq, injured and mad at the world. Will the twosome be able to survive this latest problem? Shady Brady is back and he's turned a new leaf so to speak and wants to start over in Virgin River. Also follows the continuing romance of Walt and Muriel, Abby and Cameron and brings back a sober Cheryl, the former town drunk. Great series.

#118

Shattered (A high Risk Novel #3) by Joann Ross. Follows Shane Garret, an army night stalker pilot and Army doctor Kirby Campbell. They once had a red hot affair while in Baghdad, but when Shane looses his leg in combat, cuts off Kirby as well. In his mind, it would be better for her to find someone whole. They are thrown together again, a year later, when they both end up working for the phoenix team to rescue a co-worker and doctor friend of Kirby's taken hostage in Central American. Very, very good.

#119
Too Far Gone (Navy Seal # 6) by Marliss Melton. Follows Navy Seal Sean Harlan who has befriended his renter Ellie Stuarts and her three little boys. When her boys are kidnapped, Ellie and Sean are blamed and they are on the run, trying to find her boys, trying to stay one step ahead of who ever is trying to pin it on them and figuring out who they can trust. Also very, very good.



#120
The Inn at Eagle Point (book 1 in Chesapeake Shores Series) by Sherryl Woods. I happened upon a Sherryl Woods book in Savemart which was the 3rd book in the series. After reading it, prompted me to go back and read the first two books in the series. The main part of the story follows Abby coming back home to Chesapeake Shores to help her sister, Jess. She also runs into an old flame, Trace, who she had left years ago. At first he does everything he can to force her to stay in town and help her sister just for revenge. But soon, the revenge turns to wanting a second chance.

#121
Flowers on Main (Chesapeake Shores # 1) by Sherryl Woods. Takes up with another sister, Bree leaving Chicago and her career as a writer to open up a flower shop and make a new start. She also had left behind an old love when she moved away and he isn't so happy she has returned. He would rather have nothing to do with her at all but he is the flower wholesaler. They have to learn to put aside hard feelings and work together, while the whole town watches and waits to see what is going to happen.

Booking through Thursday - Recent Best


"What is the best book you've read recently?"




You would think asking what is the best book you've read recently is a simple question and there should be a simple answer. But I have to borrow from a famous or infamous (depending on your point of view) party and ask define "recently." Call me weird, but for grins I looked up the definition of recent:

  1. Lately
  2. not long past
  3. of or belonging to a time not long past
  4. (geology) noting or pertaining to the present epoch, originating at the end of the glacial period, about 10,000 years ago, and forming the latter half of the Quaternary Period; Holocene.

Okie doke. The best book I've read in the not so distant past is the one I just finished "Water Witch," which I have not reviewed yet.

Something to look forward to. It was spooky, creepy, funny, and not one you want to read right before you go to bed or you won't be going to sleep. Deborah LeBlanc has found a new fan.

Now, if you were to ask me what's the best book I've read all year, I really wouldn't be able to make up my mind and we'd be here all day while I debate it.

What's the best book you've read "recently?"

Hugo Awards - The best in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Hugo Awards


These days there are awards for every different genre and category of book. The award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy is the Hugo Award. The awards were recently presented August 6th - 10th in Montreal. The 2009 Winner for the best novel is a book I'm sure most of us have heard of or read by now.

Neil Gaiman's - The Graveyard Book

His competition was Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother," Neal Stephenson's "Anathem," Charles Stross's "Saturn's Children," and John Scalzi's "Zoe's Tale." The only one I've read is Gaiman's so I have some catching up to do.

The very first Hugo awards were awarded in 1953 and the toastmaster was Isaac Asimov. The best novel award went to Alfred Bester for "The Demolished Man."

Ever heard of it? I haven't and it does sound really interesting so added it to my wish list. Surprisingly, even though I grew up on a diet of science fiction and fantasy, there were many on the list I had never heard of. Including this one from the year I was born. Written in 1959 by James Blish


Here's what Amazon has to say about it:

"The citizens of the planet Lithia are some of the most ethical sentient beings Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez has ever encountered. True, they have no literature, no fine arts, and don't understand the concept of recreation, but neither do they understand the concepts of greed, envy, lust, or any of the sins and vices that plague humankind. Their world seems darned near perfect. And that is just what disturbs the good Father.

First published in 1959, James Blish's Hugo Award-winning A Case of Conscience is science fiction at its very best: a fast-paced, intelligent story that offers plenty of action while at the same time explores complex questions of values and ethics. In this case, Blish has taken on the age-old battle of good vs. evil. Lithia poses a theological question that lies at the heart of this book: is God necessary for a moral society? The Lithians are nothing if not moral. Not only do they lack the seven deadly sins, they also lack original sin. And without any sort of religious framework, they have created the Christian ideal world, one that humans would be eager to study and emulate. But is it too perfect?

Is it in fact, as Father Ruiz-Sanchez suspects, the work of The Adversary? And what role does Egtverchi, the young Lithian raised on Earth, play? Is he an innocent victim of circumstance, or will he bring about the Dies Irae, the day of the wrath of God, upon the earth? The fate of two worlds hinges on the answers to these questions, and will lead to an ancient earth heresy that shakes the Jesuit priest's beliefs to their very core.

A Case of Conscience is a brilliant piece of storytelling, and it packs a lot into a scant 242 pages. Most readers will probably finish the book in one sitting, unable to stop until the spectacular denouement. But the questions posed by this little-known gem will stay with you for days afterward. --P.M. Atterberry "
Intriguing! I think I feel a challenge coming on.

Book Review # 115 - The Divorce Party by Laura Dave



The Divorce Party

By

Laura Dave


Back cover: "Gwyn Huntington knows how to throw a party. And Hunt Hall, her postcard perfect Victorian home in Montauk, is no stranger to celebrations. But on the morning of her thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, she's putting finishing touches on the last party she'll host there: A party to celebrate her divorce.

Just over one hundred miles away, Gwyn's future daughter in law, Maggie Mackenzie, sits on the floor of her Brooklyn apartment attempting to organize her new life. She's in love with a wonderful man, and today she is meeting his family for the first time.

The Divorce Party takes us into the lives of these two women at opposite ends of marriage. For all the differences between them -- distance, priviledge, age-- Gwyn and Maggie have one thing in common. Each has found herself at the crossroads, facing the same question: How hard should you work to stay with the person you love?"

When Anna of FSB Associates asked if I was interesting in reviewing "The Divorce Party," I have to say I was intrigued. A party to celebrate divorce - couldn't imagine it. The story is told from Maggie and Gwyn's perspective and alternates every chapter.

Gwyn and Thomas are getting a divorce because he has told everyone he wants to become a Buddhist and has been taking a lot of trips to retreats. He no longer wants to be married because it doesn't fit in with his new lifestyle. Their adult children are trying to be understanding but having difficulties when it seems their mother is angry and hurt. They think something else is going on. Why is Gwyn going to so much trouble to make Thomas's favorite red velvet cake and have a bottle of 1945 chateau Mouton-Rothschild flown in by private jet from Europe. There are many questions that Gwyn refuses to answer until the right moment.

Maggie and Nate are struggling to open a restaurant and Nate has refused all monetary assistance from his rich parents. She is nervous about meeting his family. And when she does, she discovers several things about Nate after arriving in Montauk that make her doubt him, question her love for him.

As each woman struggles with the truth, they discover the strength within themselves to believe in themselves and do what's right for them. The story is well told and the characters engaging. Thank you, Anna for sending me the book.

Pages: 256
Publisher: Viking
Released: May 2008


Other thoughts:

Luanne of A Bookworm's World:
"When I picked up Laura Dave's second novel, I thought it would be a chick lit read based on the cover. I hesitate to label it as there was so much more to it. it was by turns funny, sad, poignant and hopeful. A fairy tale - no, but a definite page turner. You'll find yourself re reading some of the passages on relationships and thinking about your own."


Tina of BookShipper
:
"This is definitely a book written from a woman's point of view and it is extremely touching (and I HATE to cry when I am reading)."

Jeanette Stingley of BellaOnline:
"Dave is a very gifted story teller. She keeps you hanging at the end of every chapter. You do have to read chapter in succession because they build upon each other. Dave makes you feel as if you are right there at the side of each character watching the story unfold. It is the way these 2 women analyze their lives(past, present and future) that makes the reader get sucked in."


Teaser Tuesdays


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I'm currently reading a supernatural thriller "Water Witch" by Deborah LeBlanc - (courtesy of Anna from FSB Associates).

"Why do you call out bingo letters and numbers?"

"Cause I like how dey sound. You know how when you go to de bingo hall and all de little balls is flyin' around in de machine? Den dat machine sucks out one of dem balls, and a man grabs dat ball, and he yells, B-Two!---N-thirty eight!--O-fifty two! I love when dat happens! It passes me de frissons all over." (Pg 34)

I'm only halfway through so didn't want to randomly open the book past where I haven't read yet. It's getting spookier.

"I turned to my sister, the hush in her voice sending a cold child up my spine. Her face as as white as the curtains on the window. She pointed to the archway that led to the living room--and the dark gray, wavering shadow that floated past the entrance." (pg 85)

Meanderings on Monday mindfully meditating on the mundane

Meanderings on Monday mindfully meditating on the mundane


My monday version of Sunday Salon with a little bit of this and a little bit of that with a pinch of "Hey, who would have thunk it."


This weekend, we watched a couple shows we dvr'd during the week.
He's so cute! Don't you just want to pinch his cheek!


I love Eureka which is on the sci fi channel and have been watching from the first season. And I don't mind product placements in the middle of a show as long as they're done tastefully such as Jo's marvelous new police car, but what bugs the heck out of me is.... What the heck is with changing the name of the channel to "SyFy." Their explanation:

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

Really. I never considered myself a geek, nor the majority of my family or friends who grew up on science fiction and absolutely love it. So, they are changing the name to non geeky "syfy" which will enhance their image that they have more imagination and will have shows with more imagination.
“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

Oh Please! The new name is annoying and the glaring misspelling just bugs the heck out of me. Can you tell I don't like change.

Changing the subject: The new season of Mad Men has started. Father loves the show and out of curiosity I sat down to watch the first new episode with him last night. He brought me up to date on the happenings of the show, the people and who was involved with whom. It was very weird at the beginning with one of the lead characters, Don, having these visions about a prostitute having a baby and the baby's name being named dick because she threatened to cut off his privates and boil it in hog's fat for getting her pregnant. That part of the show made no sense whatsoever.
We almost turned it off at the surprising guy on guy action in which they were establishing "Hey, we decided Sal needs to be gay now," but fast forwarded through it. The politics being played by the bosses was interesting and I have to say it's a soap opera.

My Modern Literature class is done. Finished the final on Sunday afternoon and submitted it. It was a combination of analyzing "White Noise" by Don Delillo and "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce which were equally strange books and comparing and contrasting poetry by modernist poets. I was immersed for much of the weekend in the mind and poetry of Hilda Doolittle. Poetry isn't exactly my forte but I do have to say she had a way of making nature sound erotic.

Oread

"Whirl up, Sea --

Whirl your painted pines.

Splash your great pines.

On our rocks.

Hurl your green over us --

Cover us with your pools of fir."
What do you think?




Book Review # 114 Boneman's Daughter by Ted Dekker




Boneman's Daughter

By

Ted Dekker




Front Flap: "Would you kill an innocent man to save your daughter?"

They call him BoneMan, a serial killer who's abducted six young women. He's the perfect father looking for the perfect daughter, and when his victims fail to meet his lofty expectations, he kills them by breaking their bones and leaving them to die. Intelligence officer Ryan Evans, on the other hand, has lost all hope of ever being the perfect father. His daughter and wife have written him out of their lives.

Everything changes when BoneMan takes Ryan's estranged daughter, Bethany, as his seventh victim. Ryan goes after BoneMan on his own. But the FBI see it differently. New evidence points to the suspicios that Ryan is BoneMan. Now the hunter is the hunted, and in the end, only one father will stand."


As everyone knows, Ted Dekker is one of my favorite writers. His thrillers are all well writen, unique and some can be very chilling and creepy.
His books generally evoke a personal response, make you think. "BoneMan's Daughter" had me cringing and gritting my teeth throughout. It is rather violent, gruesome, and dark. I didn't like the decisions made by the characters and I really, really, really hated the ending. Yes, the story is well written and I would recommend Ted Dekker to those who like thrillers. Just be warned - this one is graphic and creepy.

Pages: 416
Publisher: Center Street
Released: April 14, 2009
Genre: Christian Thriller


Other Thoughts:

Amy of My Friend Amy:
"
I sort of enjoyed BoneMan's Daughters as well, but it's a pretty gruesome read. I can't say that it's my favorite of his books. I do enjoy suspense books centered around serial killers, but I got really queasy reading this one!"

Luanne of A Bookworms World:
"On one level this is simply a story of a father fighting for his daughter's love and life. And on that level, it's a heck of a good tale, keeping me turning pages late into the night. It's a well written, suspenseful thriller, with a great twist at the end.

But in a bigger sense, BoneMan is a battle between good and evil. It is also a story of needing to be wanted, needing the love of a parent. For even though the BoneMan is disturbing, despicable and horrendous in his actions, the impetus for his actions is the desire to be loved."

Jennifer of The Literate Housewife Review:
"This novel was more than just a good read. It is a story the reader experiences through almost every sense. I saw the words upon the page, felt the Boneman’s cool and smooth, smelled the ever present scent of Noxema, and heard the popping sound of breaking bones. Having almost my entire body engaged in a novel added to the suspense and the thrill."

I am an appreciator!

I Am an Appreciator!



Say what?



I rarely talk about work but yesterday was an odd day at the shop. Every single one of our customers and non customers who walked through the door were very wired. One was concerned I was going to scratch up his stereo with my lego watch. Yes, I wear my son's lego watch to work and most of the time it prompts interesting questions. I assured him it wouldn't.


Another walked in and saw our complaint department plaque on the wall and with a worried look "Well, I can see I better not complain," then proceeded to complain about this, that and the other thing and talked himself out of leaving his unit for repair with hardly a word from me.


Holy hand grenade Batman!


The topper on the day. I'm on the phone and a young african american gentleman walks through the door. His baseball cap slanted to the side, the droopy pants and maybe this is a new style - his shirt half on with only one arm through a sleeve. He gives me this beautiful smile. "I was just walking by and I had to come in an tell you how beautiful you are," as his eyes slide from my face to my double A chest, then around the room, then back to me. His hand comes up to his chest. "But you must know that. Were you a cheerleader, you just have to have been a cheerleader."

"Nope," I said with a slight shake of my head. What else can you do but smile and say thank you.

"I'm sure your husband must tell you every single day. He must, he just has too" with another dropping look to check out the picture of the grand canyon train running across my chest. I'm trying not to laugh and be polite. What does this guy want?

"Well," he says. "I'm an appreciator. And when I see something or someone beautiful I just have to say something. I'm not one of those detractors. You must be from California."

"No, actually Texas" which lead to where in texas and when I said "Arlington" he looks at me excitedly.

"You must know Hank. I can't remember his last name though, but the Hank guy. You know, the one who sells propane?"

"Sorry, don't have a clue. It's been a while since I've been there." When I tell Father about the conversation later, he immediately picks up on the Hank. The cartoon character Hank Hill on King of the Hill who works at the fictional propane company in Texas.

This guy acted like he was talking about a real person. Anyway after he finished casing me and our shop, eyes wandering all over the place, he wished that I would have a "fine" day and eased out the door.

I guess I should have been flattered, but it was just strange. Most of the customers (generally men) are appreciators of all things electronic. Rarely me, except they appreciate the fact we are a mom and pop shop and get personalized service. All the while my technicians are working in the back and listening to the conversation. I had expected at some point during this conversation for one of them to make an appearance, but R just said later"Oh, you didn't have the stressed sound in your voice that you get when your upset, so I wasn't concerned."

Gee, they know me so well.

Have you any odd things happen lately?

Book Review # 113 - Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper




Blood Dreams

by

Kay Hooper




Back Cover: "Dani Justice knows all about monsters. They haunt her dreams--and her life. But she never expected to find herself on the trail of a real flesh and blood predator so cunning, he's eluded the best law enforcement could send against him; so deadly, he doesn't hesitate to kill even a senator's daughter. Or a cop. Dani doesn't want to hunt this killer. But she doesn't have a choice. She alone commands a weapon powerful enough to stop him. And she knows something even Bishop of the FBI's Special Crimes Unit doesn't know. Dani knows how the hunt ends. It ends in fire. And Blood. And death. What she doesn't know is who will survive."

I picked this book up as part of the Take A Chance Challenge hosted by Jenners. #1 of the challenge is random book selection in which you choose a section in the library or in my bookstore, following predetermined directions such as 3rd shelf over, 4 shelf down, 10 book over and see what book you find. My random book find was "Blood Dreams" and a very good find indeed. I've read a couple books by Kay Hooper in the past and liked them, so couldn't go wrong.

Blood Dreams is the first in a new Bishops Special Crimes Unit trilogy with the 2nd book Blood Sins already out in hard bound and the paperback to be released at the end of December.

Dani can predict the future through her dreams and lately she's been dreaming the same scene every night - a warehouse on fire and they are searching for the killer and someone he has trapped. As the story progress, the dream alters slightly and Dani isn't quite sure what it means. She and her sister Paris share a twin connection and Dani's abilities are stronger when they are together. They are part of the psychic team that makes up Haven, a special crimes unit that operates without interference from the government or the police. The story follows the perspective of several characters including the killer's who kidnaps, tortures and kills women. Other members of Haven are introduced as well and their stories will be told in the remaining books of the trilogy.

Pages: 352
Publisher: Bamtam
Released: November 2008
Genre: Suspense

Other thoughts:

Robert of Fantasy Book Critic:
"
Regarding the story, I have to admit that “Blood Dreams” surprised me a bit. You see, based on what little I had read about the novel, I thought it was going to be a standard suspense thriller—serial killer on the loose, a manhunt, some police procedural thrown into the mix and so on. What I didn’t expect was the Special Crimes Unit to be a team of psychics! I know that psychic abilities in police work is nothing new to literature, film or television, but I just wasn’t expecting it with this particular book, so I was caught off guard, but in a good way :)"


Jane of Dear Author:
"The best part of the story is the suspense. The serial killer was super creepy (and for readers who have a low tolerance for violence, this book is not for them). Dani was so convinced something terrible was going to happen and that sense of foreboding was well conveyed to the reader. Dani’s dream vision is told more than once and I never found it to be repetitive which is something I feared. The ending was a surprise and didn’t cheat Dani’s visions."





Work In Progress Wednesday

I'm happy to say I'm making progress with WIP1 - Floating on the Surface and have finished typing up everything written so far. It gave me a better idea of where I was in the story, which helped unstick whatever was stuck and I was able to get back to working on the story this morning.

Nifty Word Meter



I'm currently on Chapter 17 and have written 21,567 words. My plan is to write in the mornings and type it up in the afternoon. I spent some time this morning thinking about changing the title and will most likely have to wait until the story is finished. I came up with some alternatives:

"Touch of Ashes"

"Silent Shards"

"Splintered Memories"

"Souls Tears"

"Fallen Dreamer"


What do you think?

Today Jody of On the Path has a wonderful post about making time to write and she asks "do you need more writing time? Or do you need to make better use of the time you already have."

I definitely need to make better use of the time I already have. I have a tendency to get distracted by just things, my guys, cats, birds, nature. It's all a matter of focus and removing the distractions and not turning on the computer unless I'm done writing. I'm definitely can't multitask while I'm writing. Nor can I work on more than one writing project at a time. Multitasking is Terri's question that came up on the Query Tracker Blog Chain this month that several writers are part of and I read religiously. Many interesting writers with different perspectives - very enlightening. I have no problem multitasking at home or work, juggling many different tasks at the same time. But when it comes to writing - if I tried to juggle more than one story at at time or tried to channel more than one set of characters at a time, I'd probably go nuts. :) Must be a completely different mind set.

What about you? Can you focus on more than one writing project at a time?


Work In Progress Wednesday is brought to you by Kate of The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me. If you would like to participate in WIP wednesday, write up a post, head on over to Kate's and leave in a link in the comments.