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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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Shadowy Horses

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9781402258701

THE INVINCIBLE NINTH ROMAN LEGION MARCHES FROM YORK TO FIGHT THE NORTHERN TRIBES. AND THEN VANISHES FROM THE PAGES OF HISTORY.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

"Like something out of the pages of Daphne du Maurier."— Daily Express

It seems I am drawn to books that either take place in England or Scotland.. or somewhere close by!

Susanna Kearsley always adds some romance to her books, and this was no exception.  However, it is never her main focus.  This time the focus was on an archeological dig to find traces of the Ninth Roman Legion on the property of a "madman"... or was he?!

The main characters are flushed out and become instantly likeable.  The dig itself becomes a "wonder".  Will they find something or not?  And then there's the Ghost that only a young boy can see!  Even the ghost becomes a fine addition to the lineup of characters.

I quite enjoyed the book!   I don't read "romantic novels" but when there is a good story and a good author, and the "romance" is secondary to everything else... then I do enjoy it.  And this is how Susanna Kearsley has written this book.  She wrote one other that had me really liking the "love interest, Scotsman" that I read some time ago called Winter Sea.  But others of hers jump back and forth between centuries and that generally drives me crazy lol. 

But this was one of her exceptions.. and it's a nice laid back book to read.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 6th Lamentation

The 6th Lamentation by William Brodrick.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books;(July 27, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0142004626

 

 

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This first-time novelist was an Augustinian friar before becoming a barrister; his chief protagonist, Father Anselm, was a barrister before becoming a monk. The two vocations offer fitting keys--logic and compassion--to unlock the doors of this labyrinthine tale. A suspected Nazi war criminal, Eduard Schwermann, asks for sanctuary at Anselm's home, Larkwood Priory. When the Vatican asks Anselm to investigate on its behalf, Anselm finds reason to suspect the church itself may have been complicit in Schwermann's long-ago escape to England. In nearby London, dying Holocaust survivor Agnes Aubret shares a secret with her granddaughter, Lucy: Agnes was part of a French Resistance ring broken by Schwermann. Schwermann's trial begins with both Anselm and Lucy still hurrying to make sense of the past. Sticky strands of deceit, loss, and betrayal bind together a large cast of characters, and untangling them is both difficult and painful. Though Brodrick builds tension slowly (he's better at foreshadowing than planting clues), he's mapped his plot masterfully, and his approach to the thorny issues of justice and punishment is thoughtful and complex. Keir Graff

So... if you like historical fiction you may well enjoy this book.

It's a mystery with more then plenty of secrets to be learned about.    As you have read from the Amazon review it's a story concerning a Nazi criminal who has taken up sanctuary with the Monks.   Also of a lady named Agnes with many secrets as she is told she will soon die and now thinks she needs to tell the truth about her past... but more went on than even she was aware of. 

Surprises emerge as you read and never stop until the last page of the book. 

The author was so good that at times I felt the story was not fiction!  He did his homework well!   While many don't want to be reminder of the Holocaust and mass murders, which I can't say would be my first choice for reading, it was not overpowering and I found the book very well written and the characters made interesting enough that I wanted to know their whole story.

So the book gets a thumbs up from me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Before Star Trek There Were Westerns.

I thought I'd play a little game...

Before DeForest Kelley became known as Dr McCoy from Star Trek, he made westerns.

I've posted some photo's here and want to see if you can name the western that the photo is from!

Good luck! (and no cheating!)  Everyone should be able to get "one"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Rose

 

The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (January 29, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0143122746

From Booklist

Kelly follows up her outstanding debut (The Poison Tree, 2010) with another suspenseful tale that keeps the reader on edge until the last page. Quiet and troubled teenager Paul has become tangled up with hooligan Daniel, and the two of them get rich selling scrap metal they’ve ripped off from construction sites around Essex. When a run goes bad, leaving a man dead, Paul rats out Daniel in exchange for community service. He’s placed with a social-services group renovating a public garden, where he meets the mysterious Louisa. Louisa is tormented by her past; as a goth teen, her volatile relationship with a musician ended badly, and she’s blamed herself for the past 20 years. Despite their age difference, Paul and Louisa start an affair. Trying to hide their relationship while escaping their pasts proves to be too challenging for the lovers; a bad end seems inevitable, but there is considerable tension as it approaches. Reminiscent of early Ruth Rendell, Kelly is a master at teasing her readers by doling out just enough backstory, a little bit at a time, to keep the suspense high. --Rebecca Vnuk

I'm not a lover of books that jump back and forth.  Although the chapter gave the year in which things take place, I always find them hard to follow until I am half way through the book!  That being said, the book gradually got more and more secrets to come out and you found yourself wanting to know answers to certain things.

The last number of chapters really pulled the story all together rather quickly and put some twists into it so that the ending wasn't quite what was expected.

It may not be my all time favorite book but I was pulled into the story, and having accomplished that, I read the book rather fast. 

I know I don't write my own "reviews" but I figure that most of the time it was Amazons review that made me want to read the book so it would most likely be the reason someone else reads it!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9780307950659

pemberly

 

From Booklist

Really, gentle reader, there are limits. When mystery grande dame P. D. James felt the mantle of Jane Austen fall on her shoulders, why didn’t she simply shrug it off? Instead, she has produced a straight-faced mystery—no zombies—in which a murdered body is found on the grounds of Darcy and Elizabeth’s stately home, Pemberley. James places a template of Austen characters and Austen-like language over a traditional mystery plot and even takes on the role of the omniscient Austen narrator herself. The mystery is set in 1803, six years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy, with ample space given to catching us up on the recent doings of the Bennet family. On the mystery side, there’s plenty of action, from the discovery of Captain Denny’s body, through a trial, assorted deceptions and mix-ups, and love affairs. Unfortunately, though, if this is meant as an homage, it’s a pretty weak cup of tea, starting with a greatly diluted version of Austen’s famous “truth universally acknowledged” opening. James’ many fans will be pleased to see any kind of new book from the 91-year-old author, but discriminating Austen devotees are unlikely to appreciate the move from social comedy to murder.

I am not sure why I picked up this book unless it was because I saw it often in reviews and then found it at a thrift store.  I've never read Jane Austen so I was surprised that I had no problem following the story.  

I am glad that it had a mystery attached to it, or I might not have read the whole book.  I love watching movies like Pride and Prejudice but unless there is a mystery or murder, reading it takes me too long!

I will say that one doesn't have to have read other Austen books to be able to read this one.  It was pretty good.  I know this because when I can read a book quickly that means it kept my interest!  But, for sure, if you like Austen books you will positively like this one!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Garment of Shadows

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Bantam;(August 20, 2013)
ISBN-10: 055338676X

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today’s most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.
In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.
With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It's been some time since I read  a Mary Russell book by Laurie R King.  I think I read all of them up until the last 2 or 3.    Many of the books take place in areas like Morocco or Palestine.

After reading so many Mary Russell books I feel like Sherlock was really married to her and that they both solved international crimes! 

This one was another enjoyable read.  But if you have not read any of the other books there are some mentions in the book referring to other stories and other characters. However, I will say that I don't feel you have to have read ALL the Mary Russell books to enjoy this one too.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Just Because the Hobbit movies are coming to an End.

I was digging in old photo's for Thowback Thursdays and I came across these four photo's I had taken EON's ago!  What they are, in case you aren't sure, is:  I first drew these four drawings on my old "bellbottom" jeans and then embroidered them.

The drawings I copied from a book by Rankin/ Bass of Tolkiens Hobbit story which they had made a cartoon out of ... again: eons ago.  I purchased the book in 1977 .   That gives you and idea of how old these are... when the jeans wore out I cut them off and sewed them to a second pair of jeans before they finally were getting not worth saving.

What no one realized back then is how many hours it takes to embroider these!  I had one person tell me they would pay me to do Smaug on his jean jacket... I told him I would only charge 1.00 an hour but Smaug would then cost about 45.00... he changed his mind lol.

Below is a scan of the book I copied the drawings from.. back then it was all there was of The Hobbit.

Now, of course we have Peter Jackson and his fabulous versions of Lord of the Rings and .. The Hobbit!

I doubt Peter Jackson will ever really know how it makes me, and many others, feel to see it come to life so magnificently!  It's like he got inside my head.  But actually it's what was in HIS head!  His obsession to do it and do it like no one else could have done.

Thank you more than you know Mr Jackson!

Meanwhile, I still have the old book... but no longer have the old embroideries....except for one...that's rather large.  It would surely not fit on a pair of jeans!

  

(it's about 38 inches wide and took nearly a year to embroider it all)

Anyway.... enough of old memories...and on to December when we get to see the last installment of Tolkien/ Peter Jackson's, The Hobbit!

A Place of Secrets

 

A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks;(January 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0805094490

From Booklist

Antiquarian book appraiser Jude Gower takes an assignment in Norfolk to evaluate the collection of eighteenth-century astronomer Anthony Wickham. Hore embellishes the tale with the familiar elements of the genre—family secrets, a blending of romance and suspense, and, of course, the requisite family mansion, this time a slightly eerie manor house called Starbrough Hall. Jude, whose family is from Norfolk, discovers a connection between her grandmother and a gypsy girl who played in the crumbling folly tower on the Starbrough property. A frightening dream has haunted Jude for a long time, and now, with the help of the handsome artist Euan, she begins to connect the puzzle of Gran’s memories, her own dreams, the gypsies, and Wickham’s folly. This romantic suspenser is rescued from cliché by the story’s momentum and the affectionate and compelling characters. It’s compulsively readable and highly entertaining. Readers who long for the old-fashioned gothic romance of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels will rejoice in the U.S. debut of this popular English author, and fans of Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton (2008)and Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea (2009) will be delighted. --

This book is partly a "falling in love" story... but only partly.  I am not a love story person per say   however, when it's the "back story" it's enjoyable.

Jude goes to a mansion type home to evaluate a library full of old astronomer book, papers, and even a telescope.  I found it interesting how they get evaluated.  I know about "first additions" but past that I know nothing. (big surprise huh?!)

Of course there is a story behind the books in the library of the home that gets you hooked.  Then you get to "meet" the man and his daughter who's books and paper's they were originally.   Of course this comes with a mystery!  Hooray for the mystery!  Each thing uncovered leads to another and so you find yourself drawn back to the book to see what's next ..and what's next?...another mystery leading from the one you just discovered!

This was another enjoyable read.  I do like when a story only lets out secrets a little at a time so you have to keep reading!

The Amazon review is right about the fact that if you enjoy Kate Morton and Susanna Kearsley then you will most likely enjoy this book.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

A Half Forgotten Song

A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks;(May 28, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062234463

 

From the Back Cover

A spellbinding tale about the power of love, the danger of obsession, and the unfaithful nature of memory, A Half Forgotten Song is by turns haunting, joyous, and heartbreaking

1937. In a windswept village on the Dorset coast, fourteen-year-old Mitzy Hatcher has endured a wild and lonely upbringing. But the arrival of renowned artist Charles Aubrey, along with his exotic mistress and their two daughters, changes everything. Over the course of three summers, Mitzy develops a deep and abiding bond with the Aubrey household, gradually becoming Charles's muse. Slowly, she begins to perceive a future she had never thought possible—and a powerful love is kindled in her. A love that will grow as she does: from innocence to obsession; from childish infatuation to something far more dangerous.

Years later, a young man in an art gallery happens upon a hastily drawn portrait and is intrigued by its curious intensity. The questions he asks lead him to the seaside village—and to the truth about those fevered summers of long ago.

Another enjoyable read!  I'm on a roll!

Once again it takes place in England. (sigh)  When a young man, newly divorced, goes searching for information on an Artist that he was trying to write a book about, his life changes... a lot!

Most of the book is told a memories of an old lady who once knew the artist Charles Aubrey.   Her youth.  Her adoration. and her obsession with him.   All makes you wonder what's true and what's fantasy?!  You guess about half of the answers but that other half is doled out in small increments.  It keeps you coming back to see if you are right or wrong.    Sometimes you are right... for a while.  Then the story changes and maybe you aren't right!

Along with all her memories, there are some "new" Aubrey drawings that come up for sale of a man named Dennis.  Who is Dennis? No one seems to know.  I will say that eventually you find out, but I don't want to say too much or you'll know the who story.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I believe this is the second book I've read by Katherine Webb.  The first being The Legacy, which I also enjoyed. And if I remember right, it also concerned old memories.  I like that format as you feel you are really learning  a lot about the character.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Tutor's Daughter

 

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0764210696

 

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame. . .and which brother to trust with her heart?

A bit unexpected, and yet a very enjoyable read!

I must have chosen this book because I read the amazon review and saw it took place in Cornwall England!

It wound up being a sort of love story.  Something I don't generally read.  However Julie Klassen was so very excellent in her character building that any love story was secondary to all the other goings on.

I totally enjoyed getting to be in Cornwall, and getting to know all of the characters one fault, or one good part at a time.  The family mysteries that were involved kept me reading every time I sat down!   I never realized that I was so "nosey"! haha

Anyway..this is a very enjoyable book.  Easy reading.  And well developed characters.  I think, if you are like me, and not really gung ho for a romance novel but are character driven that you would enjoy this book!

Rip Has Come and Gone.....again!

 

This year, as before, I only sign up to read one book, but obviously I read more!

Once again Carl pulled off another RIP Challenge and once again those of use to love his challenges read a lot and left reviews on the RIP Review site.

This is a list of the books I read this year.............

1.Bone Bed..........................Patricia Cornwell.....(480 pgs)
2.The Unburied......................Charles Palliser......(400 pgs)
3.Others............................James Herbert.........(512 pgs)
4.The Witches.......................Roald Dahl............(240 pgs)

5..Red Mist..........................Patricia Cornwell........(544 pgs)
6.This House is Haunted.............John Boyne............(291 pgs)
7.Rustication.......................Charles Palliser............(323 pgs)
8.The Dark..........................James Herbert............(442 pgs)

This is the first time I've read Patricia Cornwell and enjoyed the books I read.  

I've read James Herbert before and liked him with The Others but found The Dark a bit overwhelming.

This was also my first time for Charles Palliser.    It seems I did "two" of many authors this time.

The books were all good or ok but nothing here to jump up and down about.   Of all these books I'd still put The Thirteenth Tale at the top of the list.

I hope everyone had a good time this year and found some really good books!  I know I added some to my wish list from reading reviews.

Until next year... Happy RIP !!