Sunday Salon: September wrapup

Wow! September reading wise is a really big blur.  Surprised to find I only completed 8 books and half of those were audio books. 
  1. Memory in Death - J.D. Robb
  2. I'll Be Watching You - Charles De Lint  (ebook)
  3. Life Skills for Kids (dnf)
  4. Born in Death - J.D. Robb (audiobook) 
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  6. Innocent in Death - J.D. Robb (audiobook)
  7. The Raw Shark Texts - Steven Hall
  8. Creation in Death - J.D.Robb
I started a few and just couldn't get into them.  I've been listening to the In death series and find myself listening more and reading less.   Presently in a non fiction mode and for the past week have been reading Journeys on the Silk Road: A desert explorer, Buddha's secret library, and the unearthing of the world's oldest printed book (yes it's a mouthful of a title) by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters.  Almost halfway through and enjoying it.  Guess I just read non fiction a lot slower than fiction.   Also reading and writing my way through Writing Begins with the Breath by Laraine Herring.   Happy to say the book has really stimulated my writing.   I'll have a few snippets from the book to share soon.  Hopefully it will also stimulate me to write a few book reviews.  I'm so behind.

Speaking of which I'm thoroughly enjoying my online creative writing course and have some very unique and creative fellow writers joining in.

Today is the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week which I highlighted on 52 Books in 52 Weeks. Be sure to check out the list and see what books have been challenged this past year.    I've also declared October as spooky reads month and I'm determined to finally read Bram Stoker's The Snake's Pass which I've had in the stacks forever.   Also have a few other scary books on the shelves going to try and read this month:  Dean Koontz Odd Thomas, T.L. Hines The Dead Whisper On, Dan Simmons The Hollow Man and Ted Dekker's The Priest's Graveyard.  If I at least get Snake's Pass read, then I'll be happy. 

Starting the countdown for National Novel Writing month in November.  Will spend the next 31 days plotting and planning so I'll be ready to hit the ground running come November 1st.  

How is your fall shaping up? 

The Sunday

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!   The days seem to have gotten away from me.  Summer passed in a blur and don't feel like I accomplished very much.   Fall is here and for some reason feeling more inspired.   The majority of extended family crises have passed which is a very good thing.  I'm feeling a bit more creative and actually missing my writing time.  We're slowly settling in to our new routine with 7th grade lessons.   With the addition of P.E., James and I are spending an hour or so outside, playing catch and discussing a variety of things. My son  is thoroughly taxing my brain to the utmost extent jumping from subject to subject, mainly history.  I find myself saying 'wait a minute', running inside to get the encyclopedia.  *grin*  

Hubby is working on a new, improved version of his latest widget which means we've been working on advertising and websites and all the things that go with new and improving something.   I'm in the process of learning all about ecommerce and online shopping carts.  I'm thoroughly hating FTP protocols and wysiwyg editors when what you see isn't what you get.  Way too buggy for me.   Makes me really appreciate blogger.  Now I'm trying to figure out a way to just do our business websites in blogger instead and save myself a lot of headaches.  *sigh*

I've been ignoring my poor characters lately and never did finish the 2nd, or is it the 3rd edit,  of Eyes in the Ashes.   November is on the horizon and ready to start a new story, so......  Decided to take F2K's online 7 week creative writing course through Writer's University to give my creativity and imagination a bit of a jumpstart.   Loving it already and this week, the task is to have one of the character's you created, tell a little about you.   I'm going with Hunter who will be my lead in my newest story "Green Ice."  He was supposed to have played a small part in Blue Steel as an old love interest.  However, his part grew and threatened to takeover the story, so promised him a story of  his own.  Yep, the creative juices are flowing and I'll be doing a lot of brainstorming the next few weeks.  

The next round of a Round of Words in 80 Days will be starting October 1st and I'm determined to do a better job with my goals this round.  I unintentionally ended up sitting out Round 3.   Now I just have to work on getting up a hour or two earlier in the mornings to fit in my writing time.   Life is in an never ending state of flux.   Wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Fall!  

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Overview:  "Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.
Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is . . ."
I can't tell you how excited I was when discovered Dee Henderson had a new book coming out after a long multi year wait.  I fell in love with her writing and the O'Malley Family series several years ago.  I was fortunate enough to win a Advance Reader Copy and Henderson has hit it out of the ballpark again.  She has built a story around Ann Silver who not only is the top homicide investigator but she is also the writer, and friends with all the couples, who are the basis for the fictitious O'Malley family series.  Paul Falcon is also related to and friends with most of the couples.  However, he and Ann have never crossed paths.  So throughout the book, the reader (if you've read the O'Malley series) feels a familiarity with the characters and grow to love Paul and Ann through their eyes.  If you haven't read the O'Malley series, then you'll probably be wanting too, once you've finished Full Disclosure. 

Paul is a very intense character who is thorough and precise, studies and analyzes everything.  Ann is more free spirited, the job taking from one side of the country to the other at a moments notice. She never quite knows where she'll be one day to the next and just goes with the flow.  He intrigued by her enough to find out as much as he can from all their mutual friends before he decides whether to make a move or not.   Because they are barely in one place together long enough,  they talk through video Internet link, enjoying each other's company virtually, discussing cases and learning more about each other.  He also learns she holds a closely guarded secret that could affect more than just their lives.   

Full Disclosure is one of those books that once you start reading it, you won't want to put it down.  Paul and Ann's unique personalities, the intrigue, the twists, the secrets, the emotion wraps around you and holds you entrenched.  And when you are done reading it, won't want to read anything else for a while.  Upon finishing the book, felt like I had just completed a gourmet meal and was so satisfied, couldn't eat another bite.  

Here's the deal.  Full Disclosure will be released October 2, 2012.  But you don't have to wait that long because Bethany House is having weekly signed giveaways on a special Facebook page.  Head on over, check out the conversations with Dee Henderson, ask her a question or read the latest review of the book.

Check out the book trailer and read an excerpt here.

7th Grade

7th Grade has officially started and we are off to an interesting start.  We are already making changes and fine tuning the schedule.  Originally planned on changing from Voyages in English to Saxon's Grammar and Writing.  James did a couple lessons and decided he hated it, so back to Voyages we go.  Will be supplementing the writing portion with Susan Wise Bauer's Writing with Skill and continuing with Spelling workout.  

After much research, decided to go with History Odyssey for History.  In the process discovered K12's history book Human Odyssey and fell in love.   Thanks to the ladies on WTM, some had matched up already with Story of the World and some with History Odyssey.   After much debate decided to go with Human Odyssey as our History Spine and a blend of lessons from the other two activity guides.  I spent the past two weeks working up a schedule in order to match up with Visions in Education's calendar of things to study for each learning period.  So much fun and finished the plan last night.  James decided he likes Usborne's Encyclopedia of World History over Kingfisher, so we will be utilizing it for timeline and additional info.  We have a bunch of fun historical fiction books including Door in the Wall, Adam of the Road, Trumpeter of Krakow, 1001 Arabian Knights, King Arthur and his Knights, plus a few others. 

Math wise, James is still not ready for Algebra and my wonderful counselor at Visions said anything before Algrebra is pre-algrebra so don't sweat it.  *whew.  We are continuing with Saxon 6/5 and supplementing with Life of Fred Fractions, Decimals and Percents and Pre-Algebra with Biology.    Love, love love Life of Fred.  The series has changed James attitude about math and he doesn't dread it anymore. 

James and hubby will be doing Life Science together and have fun doing experiments from Pandia Press's Logic stage biology course Classiquest. We'll be doing straight biology for the first semester and the 2nd semester will be studying evolution, earth history and light.  Still have to work on resources for 2nd semester.

Elective wise going to continue with Thomas Kincaids Drawing Basic and will try out Alfred's Essential Music Theory for the 2nd semester.   For faith, character, life skills, I have a few fun things picked out to do and even snagged a copy of Game Maker's Apprentice to get James started in Video Game Design.  All in all, shaping up to be an interesting year.