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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Bone Bed

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Book 4 for RIP.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult(October 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780399157561

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell.

 

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.
This is Kay Scarpetta as you have never seen her before. The Bone Bed is a must read for any fan of this series, or an ideal starting point for new readers.

This is the first “Scarpetta” book I have read. But not the first Patricia Cornwell book.  In 2002 she put out a book called: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed.  Which was her version of searching who the real Jack the Ripper was, and it was a very good book.

Although she has about 20 Scarpetta books out, and this is far (far) from the first, I did not find it hard to follow the characters.  The book is about  6 pages per chapter and 1 1/2 spacing, so reading it is easy and clear.

I found the book engaging but I wouldn’t say it is going to be an “all time favorite” but I will read a second Scarpetta book that I have here in the house , and if it’s as good as this one I have no doubt that somewhere down the road I will read others.

I do have to say there are books in which the characters grab me harder and make me want to read stories with them in it more than this did.. but as I said, it was engaging enough that I didn’t put it down and will read another to see if the characters grow on me more.

It’s a good “forensic mystery” and a fast read for anyone wanting such a book.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Happy Anniversary DeForest & Carolyn

Today, being the Anniversary of DeForest and Carolyn Kelley, I thought I would post a few photo’s of them.  They would have been married 69 years today. (married in 1945)

There are no words that can express how much they mean to me or how much I still miss them…

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(the  black and white photo is not mine.. the rest are my photo’s)

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I still love you with all my heart.

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Friday, September 05, 2014

The Unburied

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Book 3 for RIP.

The Unburied by Charles Palliser.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(November 24, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0374280355

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There are three separate tales interwoven in this novel-three tales that could be called ghost stories, for their mysteries can never be resolved, the victims and the perpetrators never laid to rest.
Dr. Courtine, an unworldly academic, is invited to spend the days before Christmas with an old friend. Twenty years have passed since Courtine and Austin last met, and the invitation to Austin's home in the cathedral close of Thurchester is a welcome one. When Courtine arrives, Austin tells him a tale of deadly rivalry and murder two centuries old. The mystery captures Courtine's donnish imagination, as it is intended to do.
Courtine also plans to pursue his research into another unresolved and older mystery in the labyrinthine cathedral library. If he can track down an elusive eleventh-century manuscript, he hopes to dispose of a deadly rival of his own. Doubly distracted, Courtine becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the sequence of terrible events that follows his arrival, and he becomes witness to a murder that seems never to have been committed.

First off, I think I grabbed this book at a thrift shop for 1.00.  I saw the title and thought this looks like it’s a good one for RIP.. and it was!

Seriously, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this or not since the historical parts were way earlier than most I read, and I don’t generally read about “religion” history.  But, something about it grabbed me right away and although I felt lost now and then I kept picking up the book to read more. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

It read rather quickly (even when I was lost) and it slightly reminded my of television when they do “cold cases”… you sure can’t get much colder then this was! lol   So it is now onward and upward to the next book! (and no.. my tbr pile never EVER seems to get smaller!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Others

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Book 2 for RIP…

 

Others by James Herbert.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Forge Books;(October 14, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0312872933

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Amazon.com Review

Author of such classic chilling tales as The Fog and The Rats, Britain's foremost horror master James Herbert now cleverly transcends the boundaries of detective fiction and the supernatural for Others, a book that begins in the bowels of Hell. In this fiery underworld we meet a former Hollywood movie star, thrust there for a lifetime of depravity. But now this damned soul is given one more shot at redemption, a chance to live again as a human. Begging for a new judgment, he is sent back to earth, without memory of his past life or death. However, his new existence will be a wretched one, living in the body of Nicholas Dismas, a brilliant and tender-hearted private investigator sadly afflicted with horrendous physical deformities. Shunned by strangers, Nicholas struggles not only with his malformed body, but also with a troubling sense of self. Staring in the mirror, other eyes stare back, "too blurred for recognition. That ill-defined but handsome countenance had hinted at something too evasive to remember properly, too vague to focus upon, yet still filled me with a strange, elusive regret." It isn't until Dismas takes on a seemingly run-of-the-mill missing person's investigation that he begins to understand the origins of his own hellish identity.

Others is a dark exploration into the psyche of the eternal outsider, a tormented freak in a cruel society. Gory, but brilliantly conceived, Herbert will leave you feeling haunted long after reading his final words. --Naomi Gesinger

The last book I read by James Herbert was The Secrets of Crickley Hall.. and I enjoyed that one very much..  Now comes   “Others”.  ..and I have to say, once again, I enjoyed Mr. Herbert’s writing.

In this book he came up with such an unexpected protagonist (Nicholas Dismas) that I wasn’t sure in the beginning where this was going.  But he was so unexpected and unusual that he alone held my interest.

The first half of the book was good.

The second half was one of those when each time you sat down you grabbed the book to read “at least one chapter”… and with each chapter it picked up speed!

Most all books have “good and evil” in them… and the “evil” in this book was really disgusting!  ..which only means:  James Herbert has one heck of an imagination!!  I was glad he extended the book by letting me know why and how the whole thing came about .  I know I wouldn’t have been happy not knowing lol.

This is surely a read for RIP!  (and so is The Secrets of Crickley Hall, should you come across a copy)

Monday, September 01, 2014

The Witches

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My first book for RIP..

The Witches by Roald Dahl.

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(August 27, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0374384592

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From ERICA JONG'S review in THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW:

“ ‘The Witches’ is a heroic tale. A schoolboy is transformed into a tiny mouse (with, however, the mind and language of a very bright child), and through his extraordinary bravery, he manages to save all the children of England from the same fate. Under the surface of this deceptively simple tale, which whizzes along and is great fun to read, lurks an interesting metaphor. This is the equation of childhood with mousedom. A child may be smaller than all the witchy, horrifying adults, but he can certainly outwit them. He is tiny and crushable, but he is also fast and well-nigh invisible. With the assistance of his benevolent Grandmamma (who hoists him up to things he can’t reach, secretes him in her handbag, feeds and cuddles him), he is able to outsmart nearly the whole adult world . . . The boy doesn’t mind being a mouse, he says, because ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’ And, indeed, the hero of this tale is loved. Whether as a boy or a mouse, he experiences the most extraordinary and unqualified approval from his grandmother—the sort of unconditional love adults and children alike crave.”

Well … it would seem that the review above says it all! 

Roald Dahl has written many books for children and I have yet to find a “bad one”.   When my children were very young I remember reading out loud to them James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. .. and here I am at 70 reading yet another of his children's books!

The book was given to me by my “adopted son”, Chris long ago..I knew I’d read it one day for RIP… I finally read it Chris!!!

Now I think I should read something a bit more adult-ish for RIP !   But, this is certainly a good book to read out loud to young children!

(oh, and if you want something really, really, really RIP-ish, and if you haven’t read it already, I recommend The Thirtheenth Tale!)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rip IX

Holy cow!  Nine years?!!!!..   Goodness gracious… Carl is at it  again!

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This year I am choosing……

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Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.

Let me quote our Imperial Leader about the categories…

September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

Here are a few books I will choose from..

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Or……. I may choose something else!

No matter what, the RIP challenge is always fun!  So come join us!  The link to join us is at the top, just click on “Carl” and the magic will begin!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Witch Wraith

Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345523547

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For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the profound evil imprisoned there. But now the unthinkable is happening: The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode—and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fueled by a rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to spill forth, seeking revenge for what was done to them.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach and once more seal the denizens of the Forbidding in their prison. But when she falls into the hands of the powerful Federation’s diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford—desperate to save his imprisoned brother—seeks to discover if his famed but ill-fated ancestor Grianne is still alive and willing to help him save the world . . . no matter the odds or the consequences.

As always Terry Brooks ramps up his last book of the trilogy so that you tend to read it faster then the first two books! 

Of the 3 books I enjoyed this one the best.  Usually it is the first book because it grabs you and makes you start reading it… but he did a lot in this last book to give you things you didn’t expect.  Or if you did expect it.. it didn’t happen the way you thought it would.  So.. three cheers for yet another trilogy concerning the original Shannara books..   oh.. and I see a new book has just come out!  Obviously this man will write until his hand is a “stub” like his pencils!… oh wait, writers use computers.. until his fingers are “nubs” from typing!

Thank you Mr. Brooks.. I do like returning to Shannara with new reads now and then.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bloodfire Quest

Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Del Rey(March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9780345523501

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The adventure that started in Wards of Faerie takes a thrilling new turn, in the second novel of Terry Brooks’s brand-new trilogy—The Dark Legacy of Shannara!
The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.
Back in the village of Arborlon, the mystical, sentient tree that maintains the barrier between the Four Lands and the Forbidding is dying. And with each passing day, as the breach between the two worlds grows larger, the threat of the evil eager to spill forth and wreak havoc grows more dire. The only hope lies with a young Druid, faced with a staggering choice: cling to the life she cherishes or combat an army of darkness by making the ultimate sacrifice.

And so I finish book two of the trilogy! 

Terry Brooks has been one of those constant writers that seem to pop into my life every now and then, and even if you think, “hmmm I've read something like this before” he continually puts in these little gems that you are sure you never heard of before in any other book.  Bits that tell you Terry Brooks is not done creating! 

You know I don’t do good “reviews” which is why I always use the one from Amazon.  But I do like to say if I am enjoying the books or not (seldom “not” because if I am not I don’t finish the book!).   I sometimes fine it hard to read long series of books because the “main characters” in the first books are gone and replaced with new characters.  So then the new ones better be well defined and a good story for them to keep my interest. 

That being said… it’s time to move on to book 3!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Wards of Faerie

Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Del Rey;(February 26, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345523482

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Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers for more than three decades.
Tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. The dwindling Druid order is threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones, which once warded the lands and kept evil at bay. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins. Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. Whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come.

I have followed the Shannara series from the beginning, and like many long running series I still feel the first trilogy was the best.  That might well be because of how character driven I am and I really liked the characters in those books.  Now many new characters appear but live in the “same land” and have many adventures surrounding familiar things:  re: the Elfstones.  Having familiarity helps you want to stay with the series and his adventure writing and land building is of high quality.

It’s hard to recommend this trilogy (beginning book 2 right now) only because so much has come before, and it’s hard for many people to come into a series knowing that it’s almost “never ending” lol.  So my strong recommendation is, if you think this is a series you might like… begin at the beginning with: The Sword of Shannara, The Wishsong of Shannara, and the Elfstones of Shannara.

I intend to finish this trilogy and …not surprisingly.. Terry Brooks just had a new Shannara book released last month called: The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara .

This whole series carries a likeness to the Lord of the Rings.. that sort of adventure along with some very nasty looking vile villains…  nuff said.     Ok, that’s it for now… off to begin book 2!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0743298039

(guess what I just finished reading… again!)

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Amazon.com Review

Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.

There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."
She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."
"I am a biographer, I work with facts."

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told. --Valerie Ryan

So… I felt the need to reread something that I know I liked so that I really didn’t have to be “spot on” with my comprehension as I already knew what happened.   This is my fourth reading of The Thirteenth Tale.

Since it has been at least 2 years since I last read the book I knew there would be some things I hadn’t remembered.  Not long ago Diane Setterfield came out with a second book called Bellman and Black.  I think I was expecting something along the lines of Thirteenth Tale, which it was not, and so I was disappointed in her second book, but if she puts out a third one day I will certainly read it.

This book is the type I like for mysteries.  Vida Winter asks Margaret Lea to write her biography.  She comes to  learn that there are many family secrets to discover. Many she gets told by Vida (slowly) and some she stumbles upon and manages to find for herself. 

Of course, unless you are extremely sharp, the end has a bit of a twist…which I did start to figure out, but still came as a surprise. (well ok.. not a surprise since I have read it before).   Setterfield’s writing in this book is just fabulous.  No matter how many times I’ve read it, I figured it would be a slow go for me they way I have been lately with my reading. But, she hooked me good and even with my problems I could never let the book lie for very long without picking it up again for yet another chapter.. or two… or three. (short chapters!!)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… if you want a creepy, try to figure it out mystery… this is a book you should read!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Series: Quality Paperbacks Series
Paperback: 504 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press(February 2000)
ISBN-10: 030680476X

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The long and eventful life of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) was full of rich experiences and courageous actions. The niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she married a distant relative and Columbia University law student named Franklin Delano Roosevelt; he gradually ascended throughout the world of New York politics to reach the U.S. presidency in 1932. Throughout his three terms, Eleanor Roosevelt was not only intimately involved in FDR’s personal and political life, but led women’s organizations and youth movements and fought for consumer welfare, civil rights, and improved housing. During World War II she traveled with her husband to meet leaders of many powerful nations; after his death in 1945 she worked as a UN delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, newspaper columnist, Democratic party activist, world-traveler, and diplomat. By the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt was recognized throughout the world for her fortitude and commitment to the ideals of liberty and human rights. Her autobiography constitutes a self-portrait no biography can match for its candor and liveliness, its wisdom, tolerance, and breadth of view—a self-portrait of one of the greatest American humanitarians of our time.

So………

July turned into a month of doctors, tests, and not feeling well..so the fact that this one book even got read is a small miracle!

I am sure I would have read this a lot faster had it not been for the things mentioned above and then add to it that I have read numerous books on Eleanor Roosevelt and I have to admit that this book didn’t have anything I didn’t already know.

I will say though that as a writer you had the feeling that you were sitting down with Eleanor and listening to her talk.  Very relaxing and very “I feel I know you”.

A small disappointment is that she actually had a good part of this book talking of Franklin and his Presidential choices and decisions.  Again, I had already read a number of books on them both and I was ready for “just Eleanor”.

I will always wish I had written to her when I was in High School, since she passed after I graduated. Such a fabulous lady. Such empathy. More people should be like her.

If you would like to read about her there are many books out there.. but if you want to “hear her voice” then this would be a good book.  (It’s also much shorter then most books on the Roosevelts!!)

I know history is not for everyone.  And it took me until maybe 2 yrs ago before it interested me.  But I think my next “history” book will be on someone else. Not sure who yet  :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Bookman’s Tale

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books(May 27, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0143125389

 

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From Booklist

Antiquarian bookseller Peter Byerly immerses himself in his trade to overcome grief from the loss of his beloved wife a few months earlier. Now plying his trade in England’s Cotswolds instead of the North Carolina site of his tragedy, Byerly happens across a small watercolor portrait of a woman who looks startlingly like his late wife. And so begins an obsessive hunt to find out the origins of this painting. Lovett shifts his narrative around in both time and setting, recounting the lovers’ first meeting, in the library at a southern college, and the blossoming of their seemingly improbable love affair: he a bookish, repressed teen, and she an heiress. Byerly discovers the portrait’s Victorian provenance, and then the author moves his story even further back, to the time of Shakespeare. Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett’s novel to treasure. --Mark Knoblauch

A person obsessed with the authenticity of old books and documents…  how could this NOT be a good read?  The answer is:  it’s a good read.

It jumped around a bit and I wasn’t sure I could keep straight where I was when, but I did manage and that alone says it couldn’t have been too hard because one of my favorite words is :  huh?.  

This was a good incorporation of a mystery, murder and love…not much left when you have all that!

I can’t say I have any big interest in “first editions” or “authenticity” of things..but this book absolutely kept me opening it over and over.  I was also glad it had short chapter, which is another thing that makes me read more, and more often.

Happily this is my 4th book for June and seeing as how badly my reading has dropped off due to “doctors” and such, I feel quite accomplished that the four books were interesting enough to keep me reading!

My books for June were:

Get Happy.........................Gerald Clarke.........(528 pgs)(Judy Garland)
This Time Together................Carol Burnett.........(288 pgs)
The Devil's Workshop..............Alex Grecian.........(386 pgs)(Scotland Yard Murder Squad)
The Bookman's Tale................Charlie Lovett........(384 pgs)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Devil’s Workshop

The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad (Book 3)

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 20, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0399166432

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They thought he was gone, but they were wrong. Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.
Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad faces the most shocking case of its existence, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestsellers The Yard and The Black Country.
London, 1890. A small group of the city’s elite, fed up with the murder rate, have made it their business to capture violent criminals and mete out their own terrible brand of retribution. Now they are taking it a step further: They have arranged for four murderers to escape from prison, and into the group’s hands.
But the plan goes wrong. The killers elude them, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt the convicts down before they can resume their bloody spree. But the Murder Squad may already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.
And that isn’t even the worst of it. During the escape, one of the killers has stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good, but who is now prepared to join forces with them.
And Saucy Jack has learned some new tricks while he’s been away.

This is the 3rd book by Alex Grecian about Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad that I’ve read.

I have to say I’ve liked ALL the books and glad to know there will be more along the way!

However, having said that I have enjoyed this latest book, I will say that it may not be to everyone’s liking, even if they have read the first 2 books.  This book (since the evil character is “maybe” Jack the Ripper) is  a lot more descriptive in the murders and what is done to the bodies.  

And having said that… if you’ve ever read anything on Jack the Ripper before then the descriptions in this book are no worse then any other.   Surprisingly, I may have said a mental “ewww” here and there but it didn’t stop me from reading every word of the book.

I like this “murder squad” Grecian has created.  I think it’s created lol, it may have been true for all I know!  Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith are excellent characters for this type of book… and I look forward to the next edition…whenever that may be!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Perfect Pair

Meet Pete and Theresa.  You won’t find a more perfect couple.

I’ve know them for a super long time..and they’ve always been part of each other since I’ve known them.

When they were younger they adopted a baby girl named Angel.  Later they added a set of twin girls.  I have always been amazed at Theresa being a mom to them all, the perfect wife for Pete, and holding down a job at the same time. And then still finds time for her friends.

And Pete….. well, Pete has been my savior more than once.  Most recently just the day before my cataract surgery when he drove 1 1/2 hrs to help me once again.  Pete has also the most calming personality. He can make ME, who is on anxiety pills, able to stay calm.  I think Theresa should rent him out..he does better then any counselor!

On his most recent trip to save me once again, Theresa, proving that she and Pete are not 2 people but 1 single entity, sent me a gorgeous Orchard! (see photo’s below)  I have to admit to being dumb about Orchards even though Theresa talked to me on the phone about it’s care.  I can now research some now that I can see enough to read !!

How do you thank people like this?  Especially when I know any time I get in a panic over my computer or other techy stuff all I have to do is call Pete and he calms me right down.  Definitely better then any pill a doctor has given me!

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Two most special people to me.  (And their daughters I am sure)

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Thank you Pete and Theresa … more than I can ever say .

Friday, June 13, 2014

This Time Together

This Time Together by Carol Burnett.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press(March 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 030746119X

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From Booklist

In her second book, comedy legend Burnett looks back fondly on her long and successful career in short, easily digestible chapters that part the curtain on her private life. Told in a chatty, intimate way, the stories encompass the star’s childhood; early days as an actress doing bit parts in New York City, appearing on game shows and various variety shows; her 11 years hosting The Carol Burnett Show; and life after the show ended its run. Readers will enjoy the comical reminiscences included, such as how she once used her famous Tarzan yell to disarm a mugger, funny interactions with fans who recognize her on the street, and the origin of famous scenes from the show, such as Scarlett O’Hara in a curtain-rod dress. Burnett doesn’t shy away from sad subjects and occasionally touches on personal losses. She also dishes about her famous costars and friends, including Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, and, of course, Carol Burnett Show regulars Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. Fans of both the show and the actress will enjoy this mostly lighthearted though sometimes poignant look back at Burnett’s career. --Kathleen Hughes

You can’t ask for an easier read than this book.  Most chapters are only one or 2 pages long. And many pages wind up having a chuckle to even some guffaws before those 2 pages are over.

As the above review tells you, Carol keeps this book on the positive side, but there are also moments that can tug at your heart.

The chapters fly by as she speaks of all the people involved in her show and many of the guests that went from making her a “fan girl” to a life time friend.

This book was totally enjoyed and if you ever watched her show I think you’d like this book too. 

Carol is iconic, and in her show she always let her talented cast have center stage when things “got out of hand” ..which just means Tim Conway and Harvey Korman being in uncontrolled laughter .

Go ahead..

Read it..

You’ll enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Blue Angels…

As most who follow my blog or facebook knows, not so long ago at the small airport of Vero Beach was an air show.  The guest stars were the Blue Angels.

I had never seen them before (or any like them). I live close enough that many of them flew right over where I live.  I was thrilled no end!  For reasons, I assume are from my depression and anxieties, I cried.  But then, something happened to me that hasn’t happened in well over a year… I looked forward to “tomorrow” to see them again!

The simple fact that for 4 days I looked forward to looking up in the sky and to feel the rumble and hear the sounds of their jets, led me to write them a letter after they had gone.  I wanted them to know that besides being “fancy jets” and besides doing shows to entice young men to join the service, that they made a very old lady smile and “look forward” to the next day.

It may not mean a lot to these young men, but it meant a lot to me and so I wrote them and told them so..

Today as I went out to check my mail this large mailing envelope leaned against the wall of my door… when I opened the envelope..I cried…again! geez!  The Blue Angels had done it again.. Needless to say, I wish they were here !  I still can’t believe that someone in their office took the time to send this old lady such a gift… I can never thank them enough. Never.  And I hope some day I get to see them again!

 

 

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Get Happy

Get Happy by Gerald Clarke

Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Delta (March 6, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0385335156

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From Publishers Weekly

Judy Garland's on-screen longing for a land where "sorrows melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops" was answered with a life plagued by emotional agony, dependency on drugs and alcohol, exploitative relationships, suicide attempts and physical violence. This exhaustively researched and illuminating biography by Clarke, whose bestselling 1988 life of Truman Capote won critical praise, is as compassionate as it is wrenching. It follows the basic themes established by the best of the more than 20 biographies and memoirs of Garland that have appeared since her 1969 death (in particular, Gerald Frank's 1975 bio, authorized by her family). But while most portray Garland as tormented by inexorable and sometimes inexplicable inner demons, Clarke brings to his work a far harsher evaluation of how the singer was treated by her employers, family and lovers: her mother gave her amphetamines at the age of four; producers at MGM sexually harassed her as a young teen; husband Vincente Minnelli cheated on her with men soon after their marriage; husband Sid Luft stole millions from her; fourth husband Mark Herron had an affair with Garland's son-in-law, Peter Allen (then married to Liza Minnelli). Many of Clarke's revelations are of a sexual nature--he mentions affairs with Sinatra, Glenn Ford, Yul Brynner and Tyrone Power as well as with women. Other revelations, such as of Garland attacking her young son, Joey, with a butcher's knife, are simply shocking. Yet Clarke never exploits this volatile material as cheap gossip; instead, he deftly weaves it into a detailed, respectful and haunting portrait. (Apr.)

It’s sometimes strange how you think you know a lot about a celebrity and yet, of course, you don’t.

Oh, I knew that Judy’s mother was the one who started her on her problems with “drugs”. Her excuse was that Judy earned money that they needed so it was ok to give her pills to sleep and pills to vitalize her .

Then when MGM came along they “owned” Judy and basically the pills just continued.

As I read this book it seemed her whole life she searched for love …love like she had from her father.  Unconditional love.  Not the sort her mother doled out.  Most all the men Judy thought she was in love with and married were much older then she was.  Always searching for the father figure. And someone who would take care of her and her money.  Instead they all used her and spent her money and this multitalented lady ended up (more than once)  broke.

Her choice of men stunk.  Liza’s dad, Vincente Minnelli was gay. But back then everyone hid that fact and married so they seemed “normal”.  How horrible to have to live like that.  But that’s how it was. One of her other husband’s, Sid Luft, father to Lorna and Joey really went through Judy’s money like it was never ending. 

I felt somewhat like this author wanted to shock people with all of Judy’s “affairs” and “marriages”, and yet they were what always caused her breakdowns and always left her feeling unloved and unappreciated.

Judy Garland had a very hard and sad life.  She had moments of glory and happiness, but they never lasted long. I find that to this day I feel sad for Judy Garland.  She gave all she had and got little in return but drugs, getting used, and unhappy.  But the book did make me feel I understood how this all happened to her..and there were people along the way that really thought they could help Judy .  It’s too bad they didn’t succeed.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What’s so Funny?

What’s So Funny by Tim Conway.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books;(May 13, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1476726531

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Six-time Emmy Award-winning funny man Tim Conway, best known for his roles on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian.
In the annals of TV history, few entertainers have captured as many hearts, tickled as many funny bones, and brought as many families together in living rooms across America as Tim Conway. In What’s So Funny? he brings his hilarious hijinks from the screen to the page.
Conway’s often-improvised humor, razor-sharp timing, and hilarious characters have made him one of the funniest and most authentic performers to grace the stage and studio. As Carol Burnett has said, “there’s no one funnier” than Tim Conway. Now, Conway takes us on a seventy-year, rags-to-riches journey that is touchingly comical and ultimately inspiring, from his pranks in small Ohio classrooms during the Great Depression to his pitch-perfect performances on national TV and in major motion pictures. Along the way, Conway shares hilarious and often moving accounts of the glory days of The Carol Burnett Show; his famous partnerships with entertainment greats like Harvey Korman, Don Knotts, and Dick Van Dyke; and his friendships with stars like Betty White, Bob Newhart, and, of course, Carol Burnett, who also provides an intimate foreword to the book.
As Conway continues to tour the country giving live comedy performances that enchant his always eager audiences, What’s So Funny? brings his warmth, humor, and heart to delight and inspire fans everywhere.

There is no one who can make me laugh so hard I cry and not even say a word… except Tim Conway.   So when he wrote this book I knew I wanted to have it, and my girlfriend Michelle made sure I had it for my birthday!

Along with serious things Tim’s humor is far from silent throughout the book! 

I remember seeing many appearances that he did.  The movies with Don Knotts , McHale's Navy other guest spots and of course Carol Burnett, which is where I see him in my mind even when I just hear his name.

He talks about the “elephant” routine and the “dentist” routine like they happened yesterday and lord knows I would laugh as much now as I did back then.  One scene he didn’t mention but always stuck in my mind is one with Tim and Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett Show where somehow Tim winds up “hung up” (sitting) on the door knob of the door.  My memory sucks but my guess is that Harvey did not expect to see him on the door knob…and so starts the uncontrolled laughter.  It became a game with Tim, “how long will it take me to get Harvey to laugh?”…generally it wasn’t very long!

Tim’s huge ability to improvise at the drop of a hat would throw off everyone on the show and then it became a challenge of who could “not laugh”…yeah right.

This is a good book giving you background information on Tim’s life and also filled with comical stories that helped fill that life.  Many of those stories I remember seeing for myself… but if you don’t know them.. you might want to read this book.

Thank you Tim Conway for always making me laugh..how I wish you were my neighbor !

Sunday, May 18, 2014

You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This by Robert J Wagner.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult;(March 11, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0670026093

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From Booklist

Wagner and Eyman, who coauthored Wagner’s 2008 autobiography, Pieces of My Heart, this time tell the story of a place and a time: Hollywood from the 1930s through the ’60s. Divided into topical chapters, including “Houses and Hotels,” “Style,” and “Nightlife,” the book follows Hollywood from its early days—until Cecil B. DeMille arrived in 1913, Hollywood was just another place outside Los Angeles—through its heady decades as the trendsetter in style and popular culture, and ending with the collapse of the studio system, when profits were in steep decline and many of the Golden Age stars were dying or aging out of the spotlight. You can tell that Wagner, whose acting career started when the Golden Age was its most golden, truly misses that time and place; his fondness for it and his distaste for the modern way of moviemaking come through on almost every page. For Wagner, the emblems of Hollywood at its grandest—the mansions, the stars, the parties, the watering holes—evoke a better world, and his account of how it was then just may leave nostalgic readers similarly affected. --David Pitt

I can’t say I am a “die-hard” fan of Robert Wagner's, though I  have enjoyed parts of his career .  But the write up on this book sounded like something I would enjoy.  I do like reading things about early Hollywood, and this was actually pretty interesting.

It was nothing like a Biography although his comparisons  could only be from “what he heard it was like” and when he was finally in Hollywood himself.

For a small book he did pack a lot of info, along with a lot of namedropping, which in this case was more informative then an ego boost.  Re: who bought what property when and for how much and how quickly prices went up to make someone even richer then they were.   Also information on the old “hangouts” for celebrities such as Restaurants and places to maybe gamble. (many before Wagner’s time).

It also included old Hotels and Houses and the people who were stars back then.

All in all I did enjoy this book.  I always enjoy learning about old Hollywood..not sure why but I do.  Just like I still enjoy the old stars and their black and white movies.   I guess it’s because I’m old … but I won’t stop enjoying it all!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Titans Curse

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This is book 5 for Once Upon a Time.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(April 8, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1423101480

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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Just after finding Bianca and Nico, two newly discovered half-bloods, Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Thalia end up trapped between a helicopter and a manticore. Artemis and her Hunters save the day, but Annabeth disappears over a cliff; then Artemis rushes off to hunt a dangerous monster. Back at Camp Half-Blood, the Oracle foretells that Artemis must be rescued and makes a prediction that bodes ill for one of their number—but which one? Percy, who is supposed to remain behind while others pursue the quest, follows in search of the missing Annabeth. Their adventures range widely across the U.S., taking them to locales that include Washington, D.C., and the deserts of the Southwest and pitting them against the usual assortment of colorful adversaries. The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series is built around a terrific idea—that the half-mortal offspring of Greek gods live among us, playing out struggles of mythic scale—and Riordan takes it from strength to strength with this exciting installment, adding even more depth to the characters and story arc while retaining its predecessors' nonstop laughs and action. Tixier Herald, Diana

First off, I have to admit that these three Percy Jackson books were all very enjoyable.

Not only did they have fast paced and continual adventure and excitement but they had comedic moments too.  You can’t ask for much more can you??  Oh and did I mention Olympus and all (ALL) the gods?? oh yeah..even outing their dirty laundry on having children with humans! (Somehow having a… ummm… relationship with a 15 ft high God seems a bit ..ummm impossible, but then when one is a God I guess there are no limits! lol

Oh! and let me not forget that during their adventures there a monsters of all sorts trying to kill them!  (“are we having fun yet?”)  But then, on occasion Mama or Papa God will help… just a little.  :o)

I can’t say a lot ..the review says it all.. I can only had that they are enjoyable, very easy reading, and the characters quickly grow on you .

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sea of Monsters

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This is book 4 for Once Upon a Time.

 The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(March 20, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1423103343

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From Booklist

In this second adventure in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Percy is anticipating the end of seventh grade and a summer at Camp Half-Blood with kids who are the offspring of Greek gods and mortals. He dreams that his pal Grover, a satyr, is in danger. After monsters attack in his school gym class, Percy and Tyson, a homeless kid, are picked up by Annabeth, a half-blood friend, and rushed to the camp, which is under attack. The tree that guards the camp is dying, and Chiron, the activity director, has been dismissed. Another dream reveals that Grover, whose peril is increasing, is on the same island as the legendary Golden Fleece, which may be the cure for the troubled camp. With the help of Hermes, Percy and his pals set off to the Sea of Monsters, where they encounter legendary dangers. Riordan's clever mix of classical mythology, contemporary teen characters, and an action-packed adventure will bring new readers to the series. Diana Herald

Well, Percy and his friends seem to get into trouble as fast as some “hobbits” I know!

I am finding all the referrals to the Mythical Gods has kept it all very interesting.  And as I said it’s action packed and fast paced, hard to leave the book down for very long.

I think I needed some easy reading with good story telling since my ability to do anything for very long is limited.

I know the first two books have been made into movies but I did not see them..I can see where they would be super filled with special effects.

This was an enjoyable read and I have book 3 here so I will read that and at least I will have read 5 books for OUaT!  I am sure young adults will enjoy these books very much… and heck they are a good change for us “not so young” too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Lightning Thief

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This is book 3 for Once Upon a Time.

 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(March 21, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0786838655

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From School Library Journal

At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI

So… I had forgotten that i bought these three books  long ago.   Since you attention span and comprehension and eyes have, let’s say… not been the best, I thought reading something easy might work.   And it actually did!    So, for now it’s YA books to keep me reading i guess.

I know this was made into a movie, which I haven’t seen, but I certainly can see how young people could enjoy this as a movie.

For adults it is double spaced and fast reading.  I don’t think too many pages go by when you find yourself utter..”what next?”   

I was surprised with parts of the ending and even more surprised to read that it “could have been” a stand alone book…but we all know it isn’t.   I just wanted to mention that in case you want a quick enjoyable read with likeable (and non likeable) characters but not necessarily want to read the whole series.

I did enjoy this and even though my past learning much about “the Gods” I guess I knew enough to not have a problem.  (that would be embarrassing for a 70 yr old to have a problem with a book written for the very young..duh…but then again some teachers I had I can honestly say I didn’t learn very much from!)

If you want quick and enjoyable and easy..this may be a book for you.  OR.. for you to read to a child or grandchild?  Check it out.