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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, June 01, 2021

Wishtree

 Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.

Publisher : Feiwel & Friends; (September 26, 2017)
Language : English
ISBN-10 : 1250043220


Review by Amazon:

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all.


Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.


Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best―writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.
This book has Common Core connections.

 

Well, if you know me, you know I love trees.  It would be impossible not for me to pick up a book about a "Wishtree".   What is a Wishtree?  It's a tree, that once a year, on May 1st people young and old write a wish on a piece of paper or rag and then tie it on the Wishtree.

Some wishes are silly, and some are very heartfelt.

The story is about this tree, the animals that live in and on it and the new family that moved into the house by the tree.

It's a young person story (8-11) but I enjoyed the authors writing so much in The One and Only Ivan, that I had to see what she did  with a tree!

It's very enjoyable. Many can read this in one (or two) sittings.  Her writing makes you feel things.  Feel good. Feel sad. Even feel mad. It's a really nice change from my normal reading.  It's almost like she can get inside of you and know how you would feel at any point in her writing.  The young kids today are lucky to have her.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Crenshaw

 Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.

 

Publisher : Square Fish; (September 26, 2017)
Paperback : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250091667

 

Amazon Review

 

In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary. This title has Common Core connections.

From the same author of The One and Only Ivan comes a totally different book. In many ways I found this story very sad. But, yet this family had a lot of love to pull them through "the rough times" of not having enough money to pay the rent or bills.  It was all to familiar to me. 

On a different note. I never had an imaginary friend.  And if I did, I was to young to remember.  Truth be told, I could use one Now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Remarkable Creatures

  

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

 

Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
Language : English
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0452296722

 

Amazon Review:

 

From the New York Times bestselling novelist, a stunning historical novel that follows the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two extraordinary 19th century fossil hunters who changed the scientific world forever.

On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot ammonites and other fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms, and landslips, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man.


Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth, a middle-class spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset.

 

 For me, this book is a "reread".  When I first read it was in 2011, ten years ago!

Every now and then programs on tv include Archeologists that dig up "history" in Egypt.  I love watching it and I think I get as excited about the smallest find as they do!  From time to time I remembered this book.  The ladies are not Archeologists but look for fossils along the seaside.

Of course back in the 1800's women were not thought to  have intelligence enough to even know what they are looking for.  But, trust me, they do.

They begin to find skeletons of "monsters" never before seen or known about.  Still they received no recognition for finding them, cleaning them  and putting their bones back together to see what they even looked like.

It's a lesson in history.

It's a lesson in the difference between the poor and the rich.

It makes you want to walk the beaches with them and find something "Remarkable" !

Thursday, May 06, 2021

The One and Only Bob

 The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate.

Publisher : HarperCollins; Illustrated edition (May 5, 2020)
Hardcover : 352 pages
ISBN-10 : 0062991310

Amazon Review

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

Katherine Applegate has written these two books (The Only and Only Ivan) for young people.  Book number 2 (The One and Only Bob) began a little slower for me, however, I was enjoyable enough to keep reading, and I am glad I did !  The second half of the book was exciting  and touching and well worth the wait!

I know that The One and Only Ivan was made into a Disney Movie a few years ago, but I've never seen it and am disappointed that it's not a dvd that I can buy.

These 2 books wind up really "feel good" books.  Excellent for children and for old adults that need a break from reality!

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Diamonds and Dust

 Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges.

 

Publisher : Little G Books; 2nd edition (January 11, 2016)
Publication date : January 11, 2016
Print length : 263 pages

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

When a horrific murder takes place on a dark night in 1860's London, it changes two women for ever. New light is cast upon past lives they thought they knew so well, and suddenly their futures become intertwined.


The death of her uncle will leave eighteen-year-old Josephine King an orphan, an heiress and the owner of a priceless diamond, The Eye of the Khan. For Lilith Marks, a chance finally arises to end her life as a highly paid prostitute and to prove herself as a serious businesswoman.


Set against the backdrop of the great gas-lit city, the two women are drawn together in their quest to discover just who killed the man they both loved.


Diamonds & Dust is a page-whizzing narrative, with an intricate and absorbing plot that entices you through the teeming streets of Victorian London. If Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all washed up on a desert island, they might have come up with something like this.

 

When I got this book I didn't realize there were many more to come!  Having said that, I do consider this book a "stand alone" story.

To me, it was very enjoyable.  I love almost anything that takes place in"old England!"

You should take a chance on it and read it!!

Thank you Cath, for suggesting it to me!

 

Monday, April 26, 2021

The One and Only Ivan

  

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

  • Publisher : HarperCollins; 1st edition (January 6, 2015)
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0061992275

Amazon Review

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

Sometimes, without even realizing it, you need something different.

Sometimes it might be as simple as reading a book that you wouldn't think is for you.

Sometimes, it could be a book for a child.. or a young adult. Just so you don't really have to even thing of what you are reading.

And sometimes that book is so good you can't put it down.

Sometimes, you just need simplicity in you mind for a while because you are stressed with everyday life.

May I recommend "The One and Only Ivan" ?

I promise..it's a book about animals, and... it's a feel good book.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Gaslight Stalker

  

The Gaslight Stalker by David Field.

 

Publisher : Sapere Books (March 1, 2018)
Publication date : March 1, 2018
Print length : 198 pages

 

 

Amazon Review

 

London, 1888


Whitechapel is full of the noise of August Bank Holiday celebrations. Everyone is in high spirits until a woman – Martha Turner – is discovered brutally murdered.

Her friend, Esther, a lowly seamstress turned female sleuth, is determined to find the killer.
A young police officer, Jack Enright, takes the lead on the case, and he and Esther soon embark on a professional – and personal – relationship.


When another murder is committed and whispers of a slasher calling himself Jack the Ripper start flowing through the London streets, the search becomes even more desperate.


The police are on the wrong track and the young couple take matters into their own hands, and soon find themselves navigating through London’s dark underbelly.


Can they find the murderer before he kills again? Will anyone listen to their suspicions?
Or will this dark presence continue to haunt Whitechapel…?

 

A smaller book that was quite enjoyable.  I've read a number of books about Jack the Ripper but this one is different, which makes it a break from all the others.

When I got this book I did not realize that there were more books in the series.  I am interested in reading the others but am so far behind in all the books I have that I have not read, that I think for now they will just go on "ye ol' wish list"!

It's fast reading and only 198 pages so easy to carry to the beach or any restful place you might go.  It's also available as an E book.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

  

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss.

 

Publisher : Gallery / Saga Press (June 30, 2020)
Paperback : 464 pages
ISBN-10 : 1534427880

 

Amazon Review:

 

Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club foil a plot to unseat the Queen and race to save one of their own in this electrifying conclusion to the Locus Award winning trilogy that began with The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.


Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club...especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucina van Helsing, Mary Jekyll, and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished—and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!


As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and the Empire?


In the final volume of the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight” in a starred review, the women of the Athena Club will embrace their monstrous pasts to create their own destinies.

 

This is the final book of the adventures of "The Athena Club", using the same main characters , and adding yet another to the menagerie .

After book 2, which was quite large, I wasn't sure I wanted to read more, but, she drew me in making much of it about Egypt and Mummies. I enjoy watching shows on Egypt and Archeologists , so this book put me in the same frame of mind.

Of the 3 books I think book one was my favorite.  The author used characters that I had not read about before and as the book moved along (all 3) there would be conversations between the "girls" that were not going to be part of the book that was being written about their adventures. I found that quite original.

Over all I liked this trilogy. I think a big part is I like when names are used in a book that I already know.."like Sherlock Holmes?"... "but of course! "

I know I am reading slower each year because I need surgery on my eyes.. but I will never just stop reading!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Virginia Dare and the Ratcatcher

 Virginia Dare and the Ratcatcher by Michael Scott

ASIN : B08CD3P745
Publisher : Delacorte Press (March 30, 2021)
Publication date : March 30, 2021
File size : 3709 KB
Print length : 64 pages

Amazon Review:

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth behind Michael Scott’s New York Times  bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with “Virginia Dare and the Rat Catcher,” an ebook original short story.


Long before she ever met Josh and Sophie Newman, the immortal human Virginia Dare faced down an ancient evil on the soil of the New World colonies. And without her strength, the Twins of Legend might never have had a world to save at all.


Now, that lost story is told. .


The infamous Rattenfnager, the Pied Piper of Hamlin, has come to the East Coast of the Americas. But while in Europe he earned his living as a ratcatcher, he now carries with him an ancient and incredibly powerful flute—one that he plans to use to seize control of the new colonies, and eventually the entire continent. Only, Virginia Dare stands in his way, and she has a flute of her own.

Another great short story from my favorite author Michael Scott!!

This one was quite the adventure! I doubt, no matter who I was, I would NOT have volunteered to help!  A quite scary and unpredictable story.  But, each of these short stories that Michael Scott writes gives you more insight into the different characters of his books .... The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series, which I loved and have read more than once.

I do hope if you have never read them that you at least look them up on Amazon and see their reviews and find interest in them.  They are listed for Young Adults... but at 77 they STILL keep me reading them.  Most likely because the author is such a good writer!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss.

Publisher : Gallery / Saga Press; Reprint edition (April 9, 2019)
Paperback : 736 pages
ISBN-10 : 1481466542

Amazon's Review

In the sequel to the Nebula finalist The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of mad scientists from literature embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.


Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.


But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?
Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies
.

This is book 2 of a trilogy. The first book hooked me in..called The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter.  I like mysteries and detective murder books pretty much.  This one was different and enjoyable.

When I first read the names of the main characters  (Rappaccini, Moreau, Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde it was easy to fall into reading a mystery that used so many names that I recognized! I thought it was very original and although it took me all month to read, it was not the fault of the book.  A lot of the time I didn't feel well, the floaters in my eyes would not let me read over a 20 or 30 page chapter. Etc.  excuses I know but, you just know that if you read when feeling badly you won't retain what you read!  sigh.   Now I have book 3 to begin!  Book 3, " The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl" is a much more "normal sized book" lol.  

I hope if you choose to read these books that you enjoy them!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Death's Executioner

 Death's Executioner by Charlotte E English.

 

  • Publisher : Frouse Books (September 5, 2019)
  • Paperback : 366 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9492824108

 

Amazon Review:

 

To catch a monster, send a killer.
Murderers and monsters alike stalk the snow-drowned streets of Ekamet.

When nightmares creep out of the dark, distant past, who can face them?
It will take the eldritch powers of the spirit-witch. The ruthless cruelty of the undead. And the monstrous implacability of the Malykant at his best — and his worst.

But when it costs everything they can give, can a trio of killers win against nightmare?
If you can’t beat the dark, the only way through is to join it...

Konrad Savast returns in four final, brutal cases in the collected Malykant Mysteries.

 

Amazing.  Me, who doesn't like short stories, nor do I normally read of ghosts or spirits etc.. really liked these books!  And will admit that I am sorry they have ended.

If you like mystery and murder etc and want something a bit "different" these books are for you!

The first book I sent for was a mistake!  I didn't know it was 4 short stories!  But for a change, the mistake worked in my favor and I had a really enjoyable trilogy to read.  You might want to try book one and see what you think!!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Death's Avenger: The Malykant Mysteries, vol. 2

 Death's Avenger: The Malykant Mysteries, vol. 2 by Charlotte E English.

 

Publisher : Frouse Books (October 1, 2018)
Paperback : 394 pages
ISBN-10 : 9492824051

 

 

Amazon Review

 

To catch a killer, send a monster...
But what if a monster isn’t enough?
Shadows gather, winter deepens, and Assevan falls farther into the dark.
Pitted against monsters and men, Konrad faces deeper challenges. Darker foes.
Some can rival even the Malykant’s power.
Pushed beyond his endurance, challenged beyond his sanity, at long last Death’s Avenger might need a little help...
Konrad Savast returns for another chilling set of adventures in the second volume of the Malykant Mysteries.

 

Oh boy! Charlotte E. English has some great imagination!  I still am shocked that I like these books.  First off I don't like short stories... each book contains 4 stories.  And her characters are certainly original, at least to me!

If you are intending on reading books 2, all I will say about it is :  The ending is a real shocker!! .. on to book 3 !  (I know, not much of a review, but, to be honest I really don't know how to review these books and not give away anything important!  I guess you will just have to read them yourself!

Friday, February 05, 2021

Where the Crawdads Sing

 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

 

Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; (August 14, 2018)
Hardcover : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 0735219095

 

 

Amazon Review

 

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.


Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

 

This books was one of those stories about someone and the hardships she went through growing up in the swamps, while at the same time becoming exceptionally knowledgeable about the swamps and all the nature within.

While sad at times it really is a good read.  I feel like I am last on the list of people who have read this book.. I hope not.. and I do suggest it to anyone who wants a heartfelt feeling while reading it.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nicholas Flamel and the Krampus

  

Nicholas Flamel a Lost Story: Nicholas and the Krampus by Michael Scott.

 

ASIN : B08CD4QHML
Publisher : Delacorte Press (January 19, 2021)
Publication date : January 19, 2021
Language : English
File size : 3495 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
X-Ray : Enabled
Word Wise : Not Enabled
Print length : 57 pages
Lending : Not Enabled

 

Amazon Review:

 

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth behind Michael Scott’s New York Times bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with “Nicholas and the Krampus,” an ebook original short story.


Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have rescued the world from destruction countless times over—but can they save Christmas as well?


Now, that lost story is told. . . .


It is the first Christmas after the end of World War II, and something evil is moving through New York. The ancient immortal human Sinter Klaas, better known as Kris Kringle, is being hunted by a terrifying horned creature: the goat-demon called the Krampus. When the Flamels receive a desperate call from their old friend Kris, they must devise a plan to trap the monster—and get it all done before Christmas Eve.

 

How grand!  Yet, another great novella with Nicholas Flamel and Perenelle !  As far as I am concerned Michael Scott can continue writing novella's about the characters in his stories, forever!  It feels to me that the more I learn about the characters the more I am drawn to re-read the original books. (And I recently did that!)

Michael Scott has so many wonderful characters and such a great story to tell in the original Six books, that you really never want the story to be over!  Don't miss reading the original books... you know not what you will miss.

 

Read the whole series!
The Alchemyst
The Magician
The Sorceress
The Necromancer
The Warlock
The Enchantress

Friday, January 08, 2021

The Late Show

 The Late Show by Michael Connelly.

Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (January 23, 2018)
Paperback : 448 pages
ISBN-10 : 1455524239

Amazon Review

In this first installment of the Renée Ballard series, #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces a "complicated and driven" young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat (The New York Times).


Renee Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It's a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it's no accident. She's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn't want to part with. First, a prostitute is brutally beaten and left for dead in a parking lot. All signs point to a crime of premeditation, not passion, by someone with big evil on his mind. Then she sees a young waitress breathe her last after being caught up in a nightclub shooting. Though dubbed a peripheral victim, the waitress buys Ballard a way in, and this time she is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night.

As the investigations intertwine, Ballard is forced to face her own demons and confront a danger she could never have imagined. To find justice for these victims who can't speak for themselves, she must put not only her career but her life on the line.

It took me longer to read as my eyes continue to blur.

This was a new detective for Michael Connelly, but as usual for his writing and where it all happens makes me still enjoy it.  There's something about reading a book when you know the towns and many of the roads they travel on while searching for the bad guy!  

This is a good book for twists and turns.  You think you know, but guess what.. you don't lol. My next book will consist of Ballard and Bosch!!  But it is another over 400 page book, so don't expect a review next week!

This is my first book for the new year and a good one to start with!  I thank my girlfriend in California, Kris for sending it to me!! (Danke Kris!)   I hope some of you who like detective stories read Michael Connelly.. he knows how to write a good book!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Death's Detective

  

Death's Detective by Charlotte E English.

 

Publisher : Frouse Books (August 27, 2018)
Language: : English
Paperback : 326 pages
ISBN-10 : 9492824043

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

To catch a villain, send a monster.
There's a realm. Wreathed in ice and snow, drowning in the dark, Assevan needs a different kind of hero. 

There's a god. Merciless and cold, and quick to anger, the Lord of the Dead insists upon one thing only: vengeance for a murdered soul. 

And there's a man. A ruthless killer, Konrad is detective, judge and executioner in one. Dauntless, relentless, monstrous, he stands alone against the dark.
Meet the Malykant. Justice will be served. 

Four cases. Four killers. Four executions. Dark fantasy and murder mystery collide in this first collection of the Malykant Mysteries.

 

When I got this book I didn't realize that it was 4 "short stories".  Friends who know me know I am not a fan of "short stories". (with one exception: Nicholas Flamel).. anyway, it was here so I gave it a try.  Can you say "hooked"?!  Even I can't believe I am hooked on this book, the stories, the characters and their backgrounds and even "spirits" (snakes no less!).  Now, I like fiction and fantasy but I've never been into anything like this.

Now, that you know all of that.......... I loved this book!  So much that I ordered the other two books that uses these same characters.  Each of those have 4 stories also.   I will say, that the way book one was written it could have been just one story.  Each story is another murder and how the "detective" handles it in the manor in which his "boss" (who is "Death) wants him to.

My suggestion is to give this one a shot...

Different? Definitely.

Ghosts and Spirts?  Absolutely.

Characters with a background?  Totally.

Should you read it?  Without a doubt! 

 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

  

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

 

Publisher : Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (May 7, 2019)
Paperback : 480 pages
ISBN-10 : 149267012X

 

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day . . . quite unlike anything I've ever read, and altogether triumphant."―A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man's race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

 

The title alone drew me to this book.  How does one die 7 1/2 times?  Astonishingly enough.. if you read the book, you will find out!

Lot's of things for me to like about this book.  One of my absolute favorites is "short chapters"!  Also big on the list is, double spaced sentences, for easy reading for people like me!

But after all the "extra" goodies, I must say this book DID keep me picking it up. The only reason it took me so long is health reasons.  Doctor visits, hospital procedures, and just all around yucky.

While fiction abides in this book... mystery will keep you reading!

I enjoyed this book and I think you will too!!

 

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Little Exile

  

The Little Exile by Jeanette S Arakawa.

 

  • Paperback : 240 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1611720365

 

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

After Pearl Harbor, little Marie Mitsui’s typical life of school and playing with friends in San Francisco is upended. Her family and thousands of others of Japanese heritage are under suspicion and forcibly relocated to internment camps far from home. Living conditions in the camps are harsh, but in the end Marie finds freedom and hope for the future. Told from a child’s perspective, The Little Exile deftly conveys Marie’s innocence, wonder, fear, and outrage. This work of autobiographical fiction is based on the author’s own experience as a wartime internee.

Jeanette Arakawa was born in San Francisco in 1932 and was interned in the 1940s at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas.

 

A little learning from the eyes of a 10 year old who's family was interned during the war with Japan. 

This is a story  about the author with some fiction tossed in, but for the most part (with the name changed) it's how she remember her life with her family trying to make it in America and then getting treated like it was her fault.  Can you imagine being 10 yrs old and thinking, because you are "different" you caused a war and now was being treated like a prisoner?

It's a good little book .. and it makes you think.  You might want to pick it up and read it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Black Hills

 Black Hills by Dan Simmons.

 

  • Hardcover : 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780316006989

 

 

Amazon Review

When Paha Sapa, a young Sioux warrior, "counts coup" on General George Armstrong Custer as Custer lies dying on the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, the legendary general's ghost enters him - and his voice will speak to him for the rest of his event-filled life.


Seamlessly weaving together the stories of Paha Sapa, Custer, and the American West, Dan Simmons depicts a tumultuous time in the history of both Native and white Americans. Haunted by Custer's ghost, and also by his ability to see into the memories and futures of legendary men like Sioux war-chief Crazy Horse, Paha Sapa's long life is driven by a dramatic vision he experienced as a boy in his people's sacred Black Hills. In August of 1936, a dynamite worker on the massive Mount Rushmore project, Paha Sapa plans to silence his ghost forever and reclaim his people's legacy-on the very day FDR comes to Mount Rushmore to dedicate the Jefferson face.

 

Another (older) book by Dan Simmons.  I find I wonder about all the research he did for this book.   Paha Sapa  is Lakota for Black Hills.

This story covers the life of Paha Sapa from a very young child up to and including a man in his 70's.   Young enough to be raised by traditional Lakota  ways , yet lives to work on Mt. Rushmore and his dreams of retaliating the white people for what they have done to their tribe and others.

If you have interest in Native Americans this is a really good book.  Many truths about their life incorporated into a fictional novel.

If you have read any book by Dan Simmons you know what a good writer he is... the choice is yours.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Aoife and Scathach Shadow Twins

  

Nicholas Flamel: A Lost Story: Aoife and Scathach Shadow Twins by Michael Scott.


Publication date : November 3, 2020
File size : 2681 KB
Publisher : Delacorte Press (November 3, 2020)
ASIN : B08CD4BW7W
Print length : 86 pages


Amazon Review:

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth behind Michael Scott’s New York Times bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with “Aoife and Scathach, Shadow Twins,” an ebook original that includes two short stories.


Discover two lost stories from the life of the Shadow Twins, Scathach and Aoife, told now for the first time. . . .
“Aoife of the Shadows”


Lost on a distant Shadowrealm, Aoife is tempted by a crystal skull older than most civilizations. If she worships it, she will be given the power to kill her twin sister, Scathach.


“Scathach the Shadow in the Land of Youth”


The Warrior Maid Scathach is hiding out in a dangerous Shadowrealm, the Land of Youth, and must use all her skills to prevent a war.

This is yet another great novella from Michael Scott.  Stories of two more of his fantastic characters in his series of "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel"

Read the whole series!
The Alchemyst
The Magician
The Sorceress
The Necromancer
The Warlock
The Enchantress

In the series I loved Scathach and did not know a lot about her twin sister Aoife.  This Novella has 2 stories.  One of Aoife and one of Scathach.   I loved them both!  But, of course this being a Novella, they were way to short!

AS far as I am concerned, Michael Scott can do no wrong when writing about his series of books, and now short stories of many of the characters that were in his books.  He could do the novella's about every single character in the books and I would be happy!

Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes me love a book or not be that thrilled with it.  I think, to me, it has always been the characters and their personalities.  Of course a good story has to go along with them!  Michael's books, and now the novella's has all of that and more.

I wish they would never end!

Thank you Michael Scott, for such wonderful writing and fantastic story telling.  I hope you never stop writing!

(I anxiously await December for: Nicholas and Krampus!)

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

  

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, by Theodora Goss.

 

Paperback : 432 pages
ISBN-10 : 1481466518

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this “tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) debut is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.


Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.


But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.


When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

 

I enjoyed this book... I think the reason why is because I am so old I remember most of the names of the characters they are using!   Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein , Moreau, Sherlock and Watson... the names seem to go on and on.  You begin to think you "knew" these people!

I thought it was very original writing.  You are reading along and all of a sudden there is talk going on between the woman about how the book is being written... a chuckle arose now and then.  Easy reading, and enjoyable.

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Machiavelli: Guardian of Paris

  

 

Machiavelli: Guardian of Paris by Micheal Scott. (E-book)

 

Publication Date : October 6, 2020
File Size : 5655 KB
Print Length : 61 pages
Publisher : Delacorte Press (October 6, 2020)

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

It is 1793, and Paris is in the grip of the Terror—the terrible days of the French Revolution. Drawn by the destruction and chaos, Black Annis has come to the city with dark plans to bring even more death upon its people, and only one person stands in her way: the immortal human Machiavelli.


Now, that lost story is told. . . .


The Dark Elders granted Machiavelli eternal life. But the Prince lives only for himself, and he won’t allow Black Annis to destroy the city he’s come to call home. Only, is isn’t just Black Annis that Machiavelli’s up against—the Dark Elder is out to raise the catacombs of Paris, and now the dead are roaming the streets once more.

 

  So, the newest short story/ novella is about Machiavelli! 

When reading the original series I tended to (sometimes) not know if he was such a bad guy, or maybe some good in him.  I think this story about him settles that score!  An Immortal with a bit of a soul?   One must read it to find out! 

I am loving these short stories from Michael Scott, letting me know more about the characters and used in writing his series.  I think more authors should do things like this!  Very few people (characters) are always 100% "bad".  

I am already looking forward to next month and the next addition to his collection!  Aoife and Scathach  Shadow Twins.  I never got to know enough about Aoife and Love Scathach, so it should be, yet another, good read!

Thank you so much for keeping life in the Original Series Michael Scott !!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Glass of Time

  

The Glass of Time by Michael Cox.

 

Hardcover : 592 pages
ISBN-10 : 0393067734

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

Building on his "superb" (Washington Post) debut, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox returns to a murderous nineteenth-century England.

Like its "beguiling" and "intelligent" (New York Times Book Review) predecessor, The Glass of Time is a page turning period mystery about identity, the nature of secrets, and what happens when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present. In the autumn of 1876, nineteen year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood to become a lady's maid to the twenty-sixth Baroness Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal, and to set right a past injustice in which Esperanza's own life is bound up. At Evenwood she meets Lady Tansor's two dashing sons, Perseus and Randolph, and finds herself enmeshed in a complicated web of seduction, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, and murder. Few writers are as gifted at evoking the sensibility of the nineteenth century as Michael Cox, who has made the world of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins his own.

 

 Another really good book by Michael Cox.  This one follows The Meaning of Night, and tells how the lives of many of the characters in the first book fair after 20 years have gone by.

Once again, lots of mystery!  Lots of  "family secrets", and lots of unique ways that things happen and those same things manage to be found out. (Which means.. also, lots of surprises.)

Many authors make me wonders how their minds work to come up with such good stories !

I would advise that in order to enjoy this particular book that you really need to read, The Meaning of Night first.

Monday, October 12, 2020

October 12,2020


 Who's old enough to remember who this guy is?..................

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

October 7, 2020

 


I thought I would put up a photo I took when I lived in California and volunteered work for Tippi Hedren and her Shambala Preserve... a most Gorgeous Snow Leopard.. who's fur is like Satin!





I never resented for one instant volunteering for these wonderful creatures!


Sunday, October 04, 2020

October 4, 2020







I think the bottom photo give a good idea of just how Grand the Grand Canyon is!  Our United States have so much wonder scattered around us..  I suggest any who haven't see the Canyon  or the other National Parks, try to get there.  If you are given the chance don't say, " I can't go I have work to do".. or anything similar.  Go and do it... before it really is to late.

I can never Thank my friend, Cathy Benner for taking me to see the Canyon  and other National Parks enough. You won't be sorry... I can promise you that! 

 

Saturday, October 03, 2020

October 3, 2020


 Other then my plants on my counter, things I constantly change.   So my view from my recliner makes me feel like I can move things around... which in reality, I can't!  

It's so  hard to believe it's October!  Who would have thought that we are about to have a whole year of Covid?   I just got my Flu shot in hopes I can skip both of these fun things!  sigh.

Since I stay in my apartment so much, I am thankful for a few things... Air Conditioning!... my books...my computer...and tv, even though so much of that is "not normal" and sometimes harder to watch, I'm still glad it's there for me.

I hope everyone is staying safe and not taking chances with the Covid.

Friday, October 02, 2020

October 2, 2020


So... here we go with some photos from the Grand Canyon...But first, my special tree while we were there!







My brother used to say "It's just a big hole in the ground."... but... it's a beautiful big hole!!!  If you've seen the Canyon tell me what you liked about it!

 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

October 1, 2020


   "WELCOME....." to the house of Dracula.....  "

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Meaning of Night: A Confession

 The Meaning of Night (A Confession) by Michael Cox.

 

Paperback : 720 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-0393330342
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint Edition (October 17, 2007)

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England.

"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper." So begins the "enthralling" (Booklist, starred review) and "ingenious" (Boston Globe) story of Edward Glyver, booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.

Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onward, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.

The Meaning of Night is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.

 

At the moment I own but two books by Michael Cox, which I have read before and am rereading them now.

This is quite a long book but, the author writes with precision and leaves out nothing that you don't find out sooner or later.

It is a "story". Murder is involved, but the long story that goes along with the decision that is made, tells the entire story.  It may seem slow to some people reading it but it held me so as to be sure I read it all.  It took me a long time as health and other priorities kept me from finishing it sooner.

The top bold paragraph let's you know if you might like this book or not.  I liked it enough to get a second book of his called The Glass of Time.  If anyone reading this has read it before I'd like very much to hear what you thought of it.

Now, on to The Glass of Time!