Monday, April 7, 2014
Hannah Troyer, 22 year old, knows something is wrong when she doesn't smell kaffi brewing from Ethan Gray's shop, A Simple Blend. When young Hannah decides to see what's happening, she finds the shop's front window broken and a very dead Ethan slumped over the counter. No wonder there was no kaffi brewing! Hannah rushes to tell Amber Wright, general manager of Amish Artisan village. the gruesome news.
When Amber finds something nasty on her porch and some cryptic messages painted near her house, she and Hannah, along with Amber's neighbor, Tate, decide to team up in trying to determine who would have wanted Ethan dead. Even though the police think Ethan died of a heart attack, the amateur sleuths are not convinced. Too many things just don't add up.
Not just a mystery, there are dual romance story lines going on . I actually enjoyed this part of the story as well as the mystery. Even though I figured out the culprit, the motive eluded me until the final denouement. I thought this was a good mystery with well fleshed out characters. The Indiana sense of place was also well done.
Vannetta Chapman has become one of my favorite writers of Amish fiction. Combine her wonderful stories with a mystery and it's a winner in my opinion. I really enjoyed this one. If you like mysteries, romance and Amish fiction, Vannetta is also the author of the Shipshewana Amish mystery trilogy which I found to be excellent. 4****
Vannetta can be found at her website, Goodreads, and on Facebook.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Netgalley/Zondervan in exchange for my honest opinion.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online. Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Westmetro Mommy.
We've been watching this pileated woodpecker for days working away at this tree across the street from us. Today is the first day that we've seen him on the inside looking out.
We've been watching this pileated woodpecker for days working away at this tree across the street from us. Today is the first day that we've seen him on the inside looking out.
|Hmmm . . . where do I start?|
|Looks like a big job|
|Hole's big enough now, time to relax|
Friday, January 17, 2014
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Jove
(first published April 2nd 2013)
more details...From Goodreads
0515154695 (ISBN13: 9780515154696)
"Samantha’s marriage has been complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal. Claire, an empty nester and struggling author, is wondering if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than not having any dreams at all. And after countless battles with her faithless ex-husband, Brooke is coming to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.
But when Edward, the concierge of their historic Atlanta apartment building, invites them for weekly screenings of an addictive television show, the four of them embark on a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey."
Every Wendy Wax book I've read, I've enjoyed immensely and this one was no different. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I was engaged in the story from the get go and emotionally invested in the characters. Wendy makes each and every character in the story come alive, so much so that I wanted to hug, give a stern talking to or slap each character. Yes, Wendy is that good at making the reader feel what the characters are feeling.
If you like your fictional women to be strong, caring women who support and understand each other, this is a story for you. The sense of place is so well done and of course, I just loved the Downton Abbey scenes. An enjoyable story of relationships, friendships and contemporary themes, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is not to be missed.
Wendy Wax is the author of numerous wonderful novels. She can be found on her webpage, and Goodreads.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Penguin in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Here is where I plan to keep a record of books read and to be read. Once I finish the book it will be rated. If there is no rating, it means I just want to read that book in that month.
Ratings criteria or what I call the "put down, pick up factor":
- 1* put it down and leave it down, couldn't stand it, best used as a paperweight, doorstop or kindling.
- 2* meh, could take it or leave it but mostly leave it. I could put it down and not care if I picked it up again or not
- 3* okay enjoyable read, although I liked it, I could put it down easily and not rush back to continue
- 4* I really liked this one, I could put it down but reluctantly and was anxious to get back to it
- 5* Loved it! Couldn't put it down and if I absolutely had to ( if something was on fire or flooding) I couldn't wait to get back to it.
- The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (ccls/digital) 3***
- Ten Lords A-Leaping by C.C. Benison 3***
- Cancellation by Death by Dorian Yeager 3***
- Virgin River by Robyn Carr (kindle) 4****
- South of Hell by P.J. Parrish (ILL) 4****
- Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr Kindle) 4****
- Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr (kindle) 4****
- Murdermobile by B.B. Cantwell (kindle) 3***
- The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (ccls/digital) 3***
- Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer (ccls/digital) 3***
- A summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr (ccls/digital) 3***
- The Secret Hour by Luanne Rice 4****
- The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore (ccls/digital) 2***
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (kindle) 3***
- If You Can't Stand the Heat by Robin Allen (kindle) 3***
- The Witness by Dee Henderson (nook) 3***
- Simple Addition by Marshall Thornton (nook) 2**
- Plan B: A Nick Heller story by Joseph FInder (nook) 3***
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (ccls) 2*
- Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis (kindle) 3***
- Appraisal for Murder by Elaine Orr (Jolie Gentil #1) (kindle) 3*** $.99
- Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (nook) 3.5***
- Rekindling Motives by Elaine Orr (Jolie Gentil #2) (kindle) 3***
- Drool Worthy by Tami Brothers (nook) 2**
- Dark Witch by Nora Roberts (ccls/digital) 4****
- When the Carney Came to Town by Elaine Orr (kindle) 3.5***
- The Beach House by Georgia Bockoven (ccls/digital) 4****
- Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine (ccls/digital) 3***
- Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (ccls/digital) 3***
- The Bloodied Cravat by Rosemany Stevens 2**
- Lifeguard by James Patterson (ccls/digital) 4****
- Declaring Spinsterhood by Jamie Lynn Braziel (kindle) 2**
- Two Widows and the Rest Home Menace by Ruth Ross (kindle) 3*** $.99
- The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani (ccls/digital) 3***
- Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (kindle) 3*** $1.99
- Flirting with Disaster by Sherryl Woods 3.5***
- Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo (nook) 1*
- Motherland by Maria Hummel (ccls) 4****
- Return to Grace by Karen Harper (ccls/digital) 3.5***
- Wedding Bell Blues by Ellie Ferguson (kindle) 3***
- The Russian Van Gogh by Robert Child (kindle) 3***
- Ridgeway Manor by Michelle Hart (kindle) 2.5**
- Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard (kindle) 4**** $.99
- Julius Katz Mysteries by Dave Zeltserman (kindle) 2**
- Entangled by Barbara E. Brink (nook) 2.5**
- Following Your Heart by Jerry S. Eicher $.99
- Flirting with Pete by Barbara Delinsky 3.5***
- Waking Up in Charleston by Sherryl Woods (ccls) 3***
- Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (ccle/digital) 4****
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 4**** $1.99
- Telling Lies by Cathi Stoler (kindle) 4****
- Fetching Raymond by John Grisham (ccls/digital) 2**
- March Violets by Philip Kerr (ccls) 2.5**
- Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor 2.5**
- The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett 3***
- Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman (nook) 3.5***
- In for a Penny by Kathryn Wall (kindle) 4**** $.99
- Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (ccls) 4****
- Hats off to Murder by D.S. Nelson (kindle) 3***
- One for the Rooks by D.S. Nelson (kindle) 3***
- White Nights by Ann Cleeves (ccls) 4****
- A Stony Point Christmas by K.D. McCrite 3***
- Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr (ccls/digital) 3.5***
- The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie (ccls) 4****
- Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (ccls/digital) 4****
- Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd (ccls/digital) 2.5**
- Keeping Secrets by Cathi Stoler (kindle) 4****
- Dangerous Waters by Ann Allen (kindle) 4****
- Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr (ccls/digital) 4****
- Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin (Nook) 3***
- Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Nevin 3.5***
- Knitting for Dummies by ? (ccls/digital)
- A Death in the Family by Caroline Dunford (kindle) 3*** $.99
- One Silvery Snowflakes on Lancaster by Sicily Yoder (Whoopie Pie #1) (kindle) 1*
- For Love of Livy by J.M. Griffin (kindle) 3***
- The Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton 2.5**
- The Outcast Dead by Ellie Griffiths (ccls) 4****
- Killer Cupcakes by Leighann Dobbs (kindle) 3***
- Dying for Danish by Leighann Dobbs (kindle) 3***
- Winter Surplus by Sicily Yoder (kindle) 1*
- Winter Letters by Sicily Yoder (kindle) 1*
- Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith (nook) 3***
- The All-girl Filling Station by Fannie Flagg (ccls/digital) 4****
- Pretense for Murder by Karen Abrahamson (nook) 1*
- Rules of Lying by Stephie Smith (kindle) 3***
- The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill (ccls) 2**
- Red Bones by Ann Cleeves (ccls) 4****
- The Chance by Robyn Carr (ccls) 4****
- Close to the Bone by William G. Tapply (ccls) 3***
- Every Day by Marie Mosley 2.5**
- The Book Stops Here by Ian Sansome (ccls) 3***
- Heiress by Susan May Warren (nook) 3.5***
- Lamb to Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins (kindle) 3*** $2.99
- Amish Neighbors Vol 1: Becoming Amish by Melanie Schmidt (kindle) 3***
- The Sea Glass Sisters (prelude to Prayer Box) by Lisa Wingate (nook) 3.5***
- The Summer Snow by Rebecca Pawel 3***
- The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (ccls/digital) 4****
- Black Lake by Johanna Lane 4****
- Courting Cate by Leslie Gould 3***
- The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown (nook) 3.5***
- First Offense by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg 3.5***
- Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley (nook) 4****
- The Other Side of the Bridge by Kathleen Swartz (kindle 13)
- The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger (LT)
- Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (kindle 12) (BP) $1.99
- The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan (kindle) $2.99
- Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster (kindle)
- In the Blood by Stephen Robinson (kindle 12) spring challenge
- Tangled to Death by J.M. Griffin (kindle 12)
- Four Friends by Robyn Carr (ccls) on hold
- Natalie Tereshchenko by Elizabeth Mills (nook 11) spring challenge
- Return to the Beach House by Georgia Bockoven LT
- Granny Heist by Juliet Dillon Clark (kindle 12) spring challenge
- Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich (ccls/digital) on hold
- W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton (ccls/digital) on hold
- A Shiver at Twilight by Erica Quinn (kindle)
- Druids Daughter by Jean Hart Stewart (kindle)
- Tanglewood Plantation by Jocelyn Miller (kindle) 12 $.99
- The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin (rev)
- Clara by Kurt Palka
- Enduring Passions by David Wiltshire (1939-45 wartime England, social classes etc) ILL
- From Dust to Ashes by Tricia Goyer (WWII Liberation series #1) (ILL)
- Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield N/A
- Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley N/A
- I Gave my Heart to know This by Ellen Baker (ILL)
- Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson (ccls)
- Last Train to Paris by Micele Zackheim (WWII)
- Long Man by Amy Green (dar reco)
- Magnolia Wednesday by Wendy Wax (reco by Dar) (ILL)
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (staci reco)
- Mimosas, Mischief and Murder by Sara Rosett (ILL)
- Mint Juleps, Mayhem and Murder by Sara Rosett (ILL)
- Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer summer release
- Never Preach Past Noon by Edie Claire (at ccls)
- Night Song by Tricia Goyer (liberation series #2) ccls
- Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (ILL)
- Passing On by Penelope Lively (MM at Diane's bbts) ccls
- Pictures of the Past by Deby Eisenberg (WWII art)N/A
- Postcards from Berlin by Margaret LeRoy (ccls)
- Rachel's Secret by Shelly Sanders (ILL)
- Random Harvest by James Hilton WWI&II story rec see DVD also CCLS has both
- Ratlines by Stuart Neville ( WWII end)
- Red Ruby Heart in a Deep Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers (ILL)
- Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino (11/30/12 reco by Caite)
- Say it With Poison by Ann Granger (cd) Cotswolds
- Stuck on You by Lucy Lawrence (Jenn Mckinlay pen name, set in New Eng.)
- The Affair by Felicia Clifford (12/28/11 WoW pick Diane at BBTS)
- The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy
- The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
- The Bird House by Kelly Simmons
- The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds (Luanne at a bookworm's world reco)
- The Collaborators by Margaret LeRoy
- The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Trees by Susan Wittig Albert
- The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
- The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott (Titanic legal trials re Lady Gordon what happened in lifeboat)
- The English German Girl by ? reco by Anna H
- The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb (ILL)
- The Girl at the Lion D'or by Sebastian Faulks (1930 France)
- The Gin and Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter *
- The Granville Affaire by Una-Mary Parker WWII is declared eng (ILL)
- The Granville Legacy by Una-Mary Parker wc post wwii
- The Harbour by Francesca Brill N/A
- The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax
- The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones
- The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank
- The Irish Lady by Jeanette Baker reco by Staci (ILL)
- The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
- The Love of my Youth by Mary Gordon (bibliophile by the sea review 3/11)
- The Moon Sisters by Sarah Addison Allen
- The Night Sky by Maria Sutton (reco at house of 7 tails blog) WWII N/A
- The Perfume Collector by (ILL) 4/14
- The Printmaker's Daughter by Katherine Govier (old Japan)
- The Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts (O'Dwyer cousins #2 in trilogy)
- The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
- The Summer Before the Storm by Gabrielle Wills (Canada rich/elegant 1914 #1 Muskoka series) N/A
- The True Memoirs of Little K by Adrianne Sharp (Russia, tsars, Romanov, ballet reco at Raging Bibliomania(zibilee) ccls
- The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones (ccls)
- The Unseen by Katherine Webb
- The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
- The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey (author of The Linen Queen) ccls
- Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann ILL
- Those in Peril by Margaret Mayhew (wartime England) (ILL)
- Well Bred and Dead by Catherine O'Connell
- When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenwaldt (reco by Staci 2/14/11 ccls
- Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Bill Slider series)
- The Kill Call #9 pre order for kindle 6/2014
- Lost River #10 (not in lib) poor reviews
- The Devil's Edge # 11 (ILL)
- Dead and Buried #12 (ILL)
- Already Dead #13 pre-order 8/19/14
- The Little Death # 10 (ILL)
- Heart of Ice # 11 (ILL)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 26th 2013 by Plume
more details...ISBN:0142196991 (ISBN13: 9780142196991
New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio imagines life on Boat Street, a floating community on Seattle’s Lake Union—home to people of artistic spirit who for decades protect the dark secret of one startling night in 1959
Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. She discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth, a young newlywed who lived on the boat half a century earlier. Ada longs to know her predecessor’s fate, but little suspects that Penny’s mysterious past and her own clouded future are destined to converge.
My thoughts: Trying desperately to overcome her grief, Ada Santorini leaves her career in New York and heads to Seattle. She has rented a houseboat on Lake Union. This is the very same houseboat where Penny Wentworth once lived as a young bride to her much older husband, the famous artist, Dexter Wentworth. Ada discovers the key to Penny's trunk and begins to delve into the mystery of Penny's disappearance. Some of the current neighbors were living there when Penny did. A little unlikely, but that's part of the story.
Switching back and forth between the perspectives of 1959 Penny and current day Ada, the story is told. I normally find dual time frames very interesting and easily read. However, my one quibble with Morning Glory is that the chapters were too short. I felt that I was just settling into one timeframe and character only to be abruptly yanked out of the scene and thrust into the other timeframe. Unfortunately, it wasn't a smooth transition.
After a while when an author uses the same formula, the stories tend to become predictable but that does not take away the enjoyment factor when reading one of Ms. Jio's books. Her deft handling of sense of place is excellent. No matter what time frame, I did feel as if I were on the houseboat with the different characters.
Having read every one of Sarah Jio's books, I think Morning Glory is not quite as good as The Bungalow or The Violets of March but still a very worthwhile and fun read. A little bit of mystery along with a little bit of romance made this a 3.5* read for me.
Sarah Jio, a native Seattleite, has written four previous novels. She can be found on her webpage, Goodreads and Facebook.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Plume in exchange for my honest opinion.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: November 26th 2013 by Kensington
Secrets on Cedar Key, the fifth book in the series, is another wonderfully heartwarming story of families living on the little island of Cedar Key, Florida. In this one, the focus is on Marin Kane, 56 year old widow and mother or two grown sons, living with her mother, Dora. Mother and daughter own the Yarning Together shop and expansion plans for a needlework shop have begun. A setback with the builder is just a minor inconvenience compared to the emotional bombshell dropped on Marin by a phone call from Mailboxes. The rent is due and there is a letter in the box. Marin is dumbfounded as she finds out her late husband, Andrew, had kept this fact from her. What else could he have been hiding over the years?
It turns out Andrew had more than just a secret mailbox! When the letter arrives, it opens up a lot of questions in Marin's mind. She begins to wonder about her whole marriage with Andrew and ponders what is the right thing to do. Experiencing a whole range of emotions and since the Needlework shop is no where near completion, Marin decides to go to Paris to clear her head and figure out what to do next. With the help of her mother and her new gentleman friend, Worth, Marin embraces the idea of forgiveness and acceptance and comes to the "right" conclusion for her and her family.
I'm being intentionally vague here as far as story recap. I think the synopsis on Goodreads gives away too much. I'd like you to discover it for yourself. Suffice it to say I found it a compelling read, hooking me from the start and keeping my attention to the last word. Terri's books always get my emotions involved and it's so easy to engage with the characters (the ending of this one had me reading through tear filled eyes). I've loved every story so far and can't wait for the next one. If you are a fan of women's fiction, you'll be sure to love this series.
While each book can be read as a stand-alone but it is recommended to start from the beginning. 4****
Terri can be found on her webpage, at Goodreads or on Facebook.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by the author, Terri DuLong, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
From good reads:
A deep freeze is bearing down on the Florida Everglades, the kind of brutal storm the locals call a killing rain. For Detective Louis Kincaid, the coldest night of the year has brought a terrifying new chill- a grisly discovery that tightens his every nerve in warning........
The body proves this is no routine case. It's the start of a nightmare. & When the killer chooses his next victim, theres no doubt the detective is matching wits with a predator who is as ruthless as they come.
Now with time running out, Kincaid is on a desperate hunt of his own, tracking a twisted adversary one step away from committing the ultimate horror
This is one series TBG and I really enjoy. The main character, Louis Kincaid, is one strong, ethical individual. He has some childhood baggage that occasionally he still struggles with but it doesn't get in the way of his doing the job. He started out with a small sheriff's department and is now a P.I. in Florida.
I got book 8 as a kindle freebie and liked it so much, I started the series from book one. If that first book doesn't hook you, I don't know what will. I swear I had heart palpitations!
I'm about 2/3 of the way through A Killing Rain (bk #6) and loving it. If you're in the mood for a really well written, strongly plotted mystery, look no further than P.J. Parrish's Louis Kincaid series.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Saturday Snapshot (originally hosted by At Home with Books) is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. To participate in this meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.
To celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary and to see where TBG's mother was born , we took a trip to Nova Scotia. These were taken in Peggy's Cove in Halifax. Unfortunately, it was misty, windy and pouring down rain all day. I took these just before the deluge started.