Mini Reviews

Last year I fell in lurv with Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series about a young woman with elemental powers (she can controls the elements ice and stone) who by day runs a successful BBQ joint and by night, is an assassin. But she only takes out the bad guys.  In Widow's Web, a dangerous elemental, who was also once seriously involved with Gin's lover,  has come to town and is bound and determine to kill all who get in her way. Great series and look forward to the next book Deadly Sting which is coming out in March.

I am a sucker for series and once I read the first book in a series will go on to read the rest (if the first one is good) of the series in short order.  Discovered new to me author Julie Ann Walker who wrote The Black Knight Series and # 4 will be coming out in April.  The Black Knights are a black ops team for the U.S. Government and operate out of what looks like a  motorcycle design and repair shop, but that's just their cover.  Hell on Wheels introduces Nate "Ghost" Morgan and Ali wheeler; In Rides Trouble # 2 covers Frank Knight and Becky "Rebel" Reichert, and Rev It Up #3 follows Jake "the snake" Sommers and Michele Carter.  


Cindy Gerard, author of The Black Ops series and The Bodyguard series has a new series called the One Eyed Jacks. The first book Killing Time is excellent and features Mike Brown, once a hot shot black hawk helicopter pilot for the military, who retired to Lima Peru, after a mission goes wrong.  He's shanghaied by Eve Salinas, the widow of one of the men from the failed mission. She is on a mission of her own to find out the truth of what happened.  But someone doesn't want them to talk about it and Mike and Eve are on the run. 

Sunday Salon: January wrap up and February Reading plans

I was good during the month of January and concentrated on reading dusty books and made a small dent in my book stack but the stack had babies in February so back to where I started.  Actually clearing the stacks by reading authors and titles in alphabetical order after starting the year with a historical mystery, then a Canadian mystery for the Continental Challenge for 52 Books. 

At the end of last year I downloaded the first book in a new to me romantic action series - the Black Knights Inc by Julie Ann Walker.  And since I'm a sucker for series, had to download the other two since the first one was so good.  A small cheat on my buying ban which has now gone by the wayside with the result of a Super Bowl buying binge.  It may look like a long list but 3 or 4 books were very short and ebooks just seem to go faster.   

Started out the year thinking I would try and review every single book - not sure if that's going to work out.  We'll see. I'll have to mix it up with a few mini reviews. The links are to my reviews. 

1. The Rossetti Letter - Christi Phillips (Venice, Italy - 438)
2. Neuromancer - William Gibson (Cyberspace - 288 eb)
3.Around the World with Auntie Mame - Patrick Dennis (multi - 317)
4. No #1 Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith (Africa - 235 eb)
5. Sick - Brett Battles (California - 296 eb)  
6. Across the Universe - Beth Revis  (Space -398)
7. Genesis - Bernard Becket  (Fictitious Academy - 150)
8. Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin # 7) - Jennifer Estep (Appalachian Mountains - 400 eb) 
9. Hell on Wheels (Black Knights Inc. #1) - Julie Ann Walker (Chicago - 384 eb)
10. The Trial of Fallen Angels - James Kimmel (Shemaya fictional purgatory - 365) 
11. In Rides Trouble (Black Knights Inc. #2) - Julie Ann Walker (Chicago - 320 eb)
12. Rev It Up (Black Knights Inc. #3) - Julie Ann Walker (Chicago - 352 eb) 
13. The Bridge - Karen Kingsbury (Tennessee - 120 eb)
14. Pirate Latitudes - Michael Crichton (Jamaica -320)
15. Birthmarked - Caragh O'Brien (dystopian world - 384 eb) 
16. Black Order - James Rollins (Nepal, Germany, Africa - 622)
17. Killing Time (One Eyed Jacks #) - Cindy Gerard (Peru/Idaho - 400 eb)

For February, I am trying to read more non fiction books (writing craft wise and for 52 books inspiration challenge), plus Lent is coming up so...

I just completed my first non fiction read for inspiration challenge: Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton and the Vocation of Writing edited by Robert Inchausti.  It was comprised of essays from many of his books and interesting to see his thoughts over the years about writing and all the authors he corresponded with. Moving on to Pope Benedict's Jesus Of Nazareth: Holy Week from the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection
and Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation

Besides the two books which are still in progress - Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey and Neubauer's Write Brain Exercise Workbook  I'll be reading James Scott Bell's The Art of War for Writers. I know it sounds like a lot, but spread out over a week's period of time, my morning study time moves rather quickly. Although James has been bugging me to get back into writing Green Cross.  I think I may have to have a couple unplugged days during the week during Lent. 

Fiction wise, I'm currently listening to the audio book of Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist in the car and reading the hardback of  Deborah Crombie's No Mark Upon Her.  As you can see, I've moved on the D's and waiting in the wings is Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop and Robert Jordan's The Dragon Reborn

And last but not least, delving into  Yes, Your Teen is Crazy: Loving your Kid without Losing Your Mind by Michael Bradley, which was recommended to us and is a guide to how to deal with those tumultuous teenage years.   Speaking of teenagers, we are coming up on the deadline for spending the educational monies Visions gave us for the year. James seems to be like his father and prefers non fiction over fiction. Unless it's a comic book. I was coming up with a list of things to order and asked him what he'd like to read. He asked for - biography of Obama, Hitler, Queen Elizabeth, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Plus Commodore Perry in the land of the Shogun. My son has an interesting mind.  I'll let you know which one we end up reading first.   :)  

So - What are you reading?  

Write Brain Wednesday: Natures washing machine

Thought I start sharing some meanderings created from the Write Brain workbook exercises. The task was:

Choose ONE word that appeals to you:  Trophy,  Bible,  Inhale,   Giraffe,  Weed,  Lava,  Crush,   Banana, Mask,  Fender,  Gas

Choose ONE setting that most appeals to you: At a circus,   During a war,   In a space station,  Under a full moon,  On a beach,  At a park

Choose ONE starting phrase that most appeals to you:  If I could stop,   I once asked,  The first day,  If you must know,  The hurricane neared

Start your story with the phrase and incorporate the setting and the word. I went with  

Bible    On a beach    If I could stop

Nature’s Washing Machine

          If I could stop the world for a day, a moment, a lifetime, I’d sit and contemplate. Contemplate what?  The real meaning of the bible perhaps?   A word.  A phrase.  A sentence.  Which one?  Which one speaks to you, leads you somewhere, answers a question. Do you take it literally or figuratively?  How do you know which one is right?  It doesn’t have to be right.  It’s what you make of it. 
          Sit down on a beach and count the grains of sand. Impossible….yes.  Now just let the sand sift through your fingers.  Feel the texture, the heat, the cold. Is it wet or dry?  Depends on the time of day doesn’t it.  Is the tide in or out?  Sand sifts through your fingers like the thoughts in your head.  Sliding through, past, dropping down to rejoin the bits on the ground. Some sticks to your hand, Adheres to the lines and wrinkles of your palm, between your fingers, under your fingernails -  sparkling, shiny bits of dust.  Sift through the sand on your palm.  All shapes and sizes: rough or smooth, large or small, hard or soft.  Your thoughts.  Just like your thoughts.  Hard edges,  soft moments.  You can hold on to them or brush them away like the sand.   Sand. Countless  grains of sand. Particles of life.   
          Is it possible to catch the thought of the person who sat here before you, running their hands across the sand, sifting it through their fingers?   So many grains of sand, so many thoughts left behind.  Where do they all go?  Tumbling out to sea in a wash of waves, being cleansed and returned - full of peace, full of quiet power.  Nature’s washing machine for the mind.