Book Review: The Crossing PLaces

I reviewed The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths a few weeks ago, liked it a lot. I grabbed the follow up to that book, Smoke and Mirrors, shortly thereafter and it was awesome. So of course I grabbed the first book in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series, The Crossing Places.

I am less enthusiastic about this series. It is still very well written and I quite like the lead character. Ruth Galloway is independent, intelligent, and a total introvert. She is a professional forensic archaeologist who teaches at Uni. She has an Indiana Jones poster in her office for the humor of it. When the book starts she is asked to evaluate some recently found bones for the police. This is a new direction for her. As the book goes on she finds lots of parallels between what an archaeologist does and a detective’s job.

It’s slower moving than the Magic Men series. And it is a bit darker. I liked the feel, the slow, creepy, languid pace. Although, I did know who done it before Griffiths revealed it. Maybe that’s why I am less enthused.

On the other hand I downloaded the next 2 books in the series for my upcoming trip.

℘℘℘℘ – A sold four pages. I can’t wait to see where the series develops.


Fiendish Friday: Brick and Mortar

For years now I have quietly nodded when people raged at Amazon for putting brick and mortar businesses out of business. Yes Amazon was convenient but I could see their arguments about the mom and pop store. I didn’t feel like I could have a dog in the fight though.I have family that works for Amazon.

This week I attempted to buy good quality shoes for my son. He outgrows shoes every 8-10 weeks, or he was for a while, so I was buying medium ish quality shoes because even semi cheap shoes can last 8 weeks, and at 25 a pair, that adds up 6 times a year. But his feet have only grown about a size in 6 months and he’s been complaining about his legs hurting. So I decided since he had slowed down, I would spring for good quality shoes. Ideally, keens for the running/hiking functionality.

We went to several upscale stores, looking for keens. Guess what I heard at each one? “We don’t carry kids shoes anymore.”

You have got to be kidding me. Who stops carrying something that by it’s very nature has to be replaced every few months? No one who wants to make money apparently.

Wild guess where I got exactly what my kiddo wanted and at a decent price?

Amazon. laughing, what else was I gonna do?

Book Review: 4th Quarter One Star

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, every creature was reading, even my mouse. We just aren’t reading these books….

Eclair and Present Danger, Laura Bradford.

I wanted to like this book, I did. I love the idea of an emergency dessert squad delivering tasty yummies for every crisis in your life. But…sigh…The main character lives through an occurrence and then tells multiple groups about it. And you get to read it multiple times. By the end of chapter 17 I knew the whole murder plot. And I totally didn’t care. Plus Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day popped up at my local library and I grabbed that to read instead.

Read to Death, Terrie Farley Moran.

I took this with me on my most recent trip. It traveled through Harry Potter land at Universal and went to Legoland with me. But I had to abandon it. It was more or less ok. I can’t make any big complaints. It was just a little tedious. There was some definite ambiguity about the relationship between the two main characters. And I seriously thought for a bit the author was going bold and making them lesbians, in a mainstream cozy mystery, but no. sigh. And then it came, the moms showing up to support in a crisis. Bleh. I was done. No mom love.

Greatest One-Percenter Myths, Mysteries, and Rumors Revealed – Bill Hayes

I was in the library, we were short on time. I was grabbing a book on Houdini for the kiddo and saw this when I turned around. It seemed like it could be interested. Sadly no. There were lots of myth and mysteries and rumors talked about in the book. But no actual truth despite the book promising to reveal all. Essentially it is a demonstration of flawed logic. No actual facts, truths, or secrets come out, the author just makes fun of the “lies” that are circulating. I kept reading long after I was annoyed thinking maybe just maybe something would come to light. Nope. When the library emailed me my 3 weeks were up I happily returned it half read.

High Kicks, Hot Chocolate, and Homicides – Mary McHugh

sigh. I dropped this one 40 pages in. I didn’t care at all about the victim, there wasn’t enough interaction with her prior to her death for me to be concerned. And it was pretty obvious already who dun it. I checked the back of the book and yup I was right. But there were two things that just rubbed me the wrong way hard about the main character, which is why I dropped the book. First she’s having an affair. It might only be an emotional affair but she is. And she keeps going on about how much she loves the affair guy but isn’t going to leave her husband because marriage is for better or worse. Um, then stop making plans to see the affair guy, daily, and work on your marriage. Then in a mental rambling to herself she talks about how if she didn’t have this dancing hobby she would just sit at home and eat chocolate and then she might weigh as much as 150 pounds. Oh the horror. Done with your skinny cheating ass. Buh-bye.

Book Review: Meternity

I grabbed Meternity by Meghann Foye off the readers choice shelf on a whim. Emily Giffin gave it a positive review on the front cover and I like Emily Giffin. Meternity kept me occupied in the airport and on the plane on our way home from SoCal.

I have super mixed feelings about this book. The premise is hysterical. A woman working at a mommy magazine is irritated that she constantly has to pick up the slack for working moms. That her opinions are always discounted because she doesn’t have any kids. Then at a meeting with her bosses she vomits and they think she’s pregnant so she goes with it. The idea is she will use the “maternity” time to launch her freelance career.

The vast majority of the book is about all the complications she runs into while lying for months on end to her employer (and the federal government). As well as all the opportunities that come her way, now that she is pregnant, from her employer.

I don’t want to give away the ending. But there’s all this build up and pop. In like two pages, the denouement. It was unsatisfying. Lie and commit fraud and magically you’ll get all you want? WTF?

And I think what bothers me most, is through out the whole book the main character blames everyone else, not taking responsibility for her own actions. And in the end, she is handed everything she wants. She doesn’t work for it. She doesn’t earn it. She’s still just a passive object in her own life.

This was super hard to rate, because I read it in one day and quite enjoyed it for like 250 pages and then disappointment began to set in as I didn’t see any growth or consequences.

Wednesday Writer’s Update 11/9

The kiddo and I have colds. This is not good for a number of reasons.

A) We had to cancel our trip to the Pac Sci to see Sherlock Holmes exhibit.

B) We had to cancel game night. bard-starlet-radio-hour-flyer-2016-ghosts-final

C) Saturday, in addition to writing one of the scenes, I am acting in two of the five vignettes at Bard and Starlet Radio Hour.  I don’t know how that happened.

Actually I do.

I said I would help at the first read through because we were short an actress and then the others decided I should keep doing those parts for the show.

slaps forehead




“Don’t anything great if you can’t handle the congratulations.” Free tickets to the show if you can tell me what movie that line is from.
Ahh who am I kidding, the show is free either way. Come on out if you’re local and enjoy my extreme discomfort.

Sunday Sup: Quiche Becomes Fritatta

Make yourself at home.

Book Review: Because I Said So!

This is not my first Ken Jennings rodeo. I suppose you could say I have a writerly crush on him. Not him, per se, his books. He always writes these humorous geeky little non fiction works that are vastly entertaining. Every time I see he’s come out with some new works I have to read them.  Because I Said So! is a review of all the things parents tell their children and whether it has any basis in science what so ever.

Like “Run between the raindrops, you won’t get so wet.” Well obvious one can’t run between raindrops but running is more effective than walking if you don’t have an umbrella because your overall time in the rain is less. Cool huh?

“You only use 10% of your brain.” Totally false, which is why you can just hammer and nail into your head and have everything be all good. Turns out you need all that gray matter.

Anyway, the book is funny and geeky, and totally validated my bathroom germ horror. LOL

℘℘℘℘ – Solid 4 pages. Finished it in just a few days with a smile on face every time I read it.

Book Review: Grilled for Murder

Still on that cozy mystery trend. Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day. Second book in the Country Store Mystery series, I was quite ok having not read the first one, although I might go back and read it now that I liked the second one. LOL.

The main character, Robbie Jordan, had just opened her life long dream, country store and restaurant, in the small town her aunt lives in. She reluctantly agrees to cater an event at her store and the next morning finds a dead body.

Some things I liked about the style.

-Robbie has no desire to be an investigator. She isn’t begged into it by anyone. She tries to stay out of things.

-You know what Robbie knows, when she knows it. Nothing is kept from you. You can make all the deductions Robbie does.

-Someone very unpleasant is killed. Someone very unpleasant did the murder. I never like it the story line has the wonderful person die, killed by someone backed into a corner. Give me nasty gets what’s coming to them, every time.

Things I didn’t like about the style:

-It’s a little repetitive.

-Author Day isn’t quite careful enough with tracking her facts. There are a few “but, wait” moments.

℘℘℘℘ – Solid four pages. Read it Sunday in between household chores. Enjoyable. Amusing. Has curl up with a good bottle of wine on a rainy night written all over it.



Wednesday Writer’s Update 9/28

I made it cafe tonight. I was later than all get out, but I got here. I managed to break away from gravitational force that is my kiddo. Want to know how? I spent 2.5 hours sorting through legos so kiddo could rebuild a set that had been dismantled. So when daddy got home and I announced I was going to cafe, kiddo gave me a hug and let me out the door. Woohoo! If only I had 2.5 hours every Wednesday….

So Monday after my second geography class, I was checking with a mom to see if she got the notes I emailed out and she told me her daughter couldn’t stop talking about my class last week. Huh? Who knew teenagers actually listen….

I find I am spending about 3 hours of prep time per 50 minutes of class. On the plus side if I teach this again in a few years, I’ll be good to go. LOL.

I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday for a little prod of accountability.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ Um…did that short one earlier this month, about writing, so I am good for 3 more days. LOL

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ So this year has gone, not quite according to plan. I think only 2 people are publishing this year and I am not one of them. However, we are going to do the class again next year with a more relaxed time frame.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

√ So my beta edits are waiting for me. I’ve looked at them a bit. I’ve at least decided which ones I’m throwing out. I know where my book is going, I know what I want it to be.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ Teaching. First Nano class is this Friday. I feel like it’s so short til Nano, I really wanted more time to talk plot and characters with them, to go through some exercises, but we have only 4 classes before the writing begins in earnest.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either.

√ I have done something horrid to my right shoulder. I think it’s some sort of hang over from all the painting I’ve been doing around the house. And I’m still not done. Oh well, we used good paint, with a little luck my shoulder will recover before I have to do it again.

– yoga daily.

√ eh, more like every other day. Whatever, I’m showering every day, mostly. LOL. Priorities right?