Book Review: Hearse and Gardens

I’ve been super busy lately, which I hate to  say. It just sounds like some self aggrandizing defense bs. But I say it now to explain why when I was at the library with the kiddo and had exactly 12 minutes, he got 11 minutes to get books and movies and I got 45 seconds to grab every cozy mystery on the popular reads shelf. LOL.

Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge is the second book in the Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series. I haven’t read the first. I did not find that a problem.

It was amusing in a calm sort of way. I found myself neither excited nor bored. Just contently reading a long. The main character is interesting, partly because her life is very removed from mine and I love a window into a world I don’t know.

Meg and her best friend Elle stumble across a dead body while clearing out an old bungalow of the pieces they can rehab for their businesses. Hence the mystery begins. But the murder is old and that sapped some of the adrenalin from the mystery in my opinion.  It’s also a mystery in the style of Christie, in that, you get small glimpses and bits of clues but Bridge holds back critical facts so Meg can do a big reveal at the end to all the players.

℘℘℘ 1/2 – I give it 3.5 pages. It was good. I enjoyed it. I would probably read another one in the series if it came across my path but I wouldn’t go looking for it.

Fiendish Friday: CSI Miami

There are times when I just feel so…empty of joy. When I am sad and suffering malaise and my heart needs time to process the new normal. I am not a rapid processor. It can take me some months to come to terms with changes in status. By which I mean things like the death of a friend, betrayal by someone, or just a general crappy feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to accept more. God help me when all three coincide – hello life.

Now I am a big TV watcher. I am. I like to crawl into the bed at the end of the day and just watch an episode, or half an episode, and drift off to sleep. It soothes me. But when I get into one of the aforementioned malaise situations, I can’t watch TV I like. What if my state of dysfunction makes me not like the show anymore. And I can’t watch anything new because I know I won’t like it. So that leaves me with….

CSI Miami, because it’s already so bad, it can’t be ruined by my mood. LOL

What do you watch when you have the doldrums?

Book Review: The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle

My TBR shelf is over flowing and I should really be reading some non fiction stuff to put together a curriculum for my geography cum history/literature class this fall and yet while my book is out for beta I couldn’t help but binge on fun reading. Like The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio. Readaholics? Oh yeah. Agatha Christie reference? double check check.

The Poirot reference isn’t the only thing Christiesque about the book. It went down smooth, like creme caramel sliding off the spoon, tantalizing your tongue before landing lightly on your belly. Well this book slid gently off the page, tantalizing my eyes before landing lightly on my brain and dissipating.

Amy Faye, the main character, has her hands full, with a book club that reads only mysteries (Can I join?) and then watches the movie made of them. Her own event planning business. A hot new love interest. And her brother’s new brew pub – she’s handling the opening. Nothing like a murder to mar an event.

I read this in one day, partly thanks to the hubs who took the kiddo to the pool for 3 hours, hello found reading time. But I might have anyway since when options arose, I opted to keep my nose in this creme caramel, each time, til it was done. And yes, I scraped the bottom of the bowl. Then went online to order the first book in the series. LOL

℘℘℘℘℘ – Five Pages for the sheer joy of this total fluff.

PS. Just finished the first one, Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco, also fabulous.

Book Review: Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter

I got an email from a marketing intern at a publishing house asking if I want to review Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly before it released. Oh heck yeah. I love getting books early. Diane Kelly writes the police dog book series I adore because she includes chapters from the point of view of Brigit the German Shep. LOVE it.

So I e-gallied Satin Garter with pleasure. This is considerably along in the series, the 11th book in fact, and I haven’t read any of them before. shrug. Was not a problem at all. The cases Tara Holloway works in the book are stand alone. All characters are introduced in a way that explains quickly where Tara knows them from. The romance is already blooming but it’s still fun to enjoy their process. Cough, cough, no pun intended.

I have to admit I found the first third of the book slow, but maybe that was just my mental state at the time, because the next two times I sat down to read I really liked the book. I felt it moved at an appropriate pace, was funny and entertaining, and I was mildly irritated when I had to stop reading and handle something else. It’s a pretty quick read, maybe 5 hours. It left me with no lingering questions about the state of the world or any desire to gouge my own eyes out. LOL. It was just a pleasure.

℘℘℘℘ – Four Pages. Read it in 3 sittings. I’ll definitely grab more in this series.

Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter releases August 2nd.

Random Tuesday Post: Wintergatan

Because this is just too damn cool not to share. Thanks to the smallestforest for introducing me.

I’m scheduling a few posts while I still have an internet connection, because I can’t resist… “The Wintergartan Marble Machine, built by Swedish musician Martin Molin and filmed by Hannes Knutsson, is a hand-made music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles.” —Wired Magazine […]

via Waterdrop music —

Fiendish Friday: Cinnamon Rolls

For as long as I can remember the smell of the cinnamony buttery goodness has made my mouth salivate. My mom made me cinnamon toast as a special treat when I was sick as a child. I’ve tried every cinnamon roll known to man from the cheap ones you get at 7-11 to the 900 calories of Cinnabon classic. The smell; it gets me every time luring me to come try a bite.

And do you know what every one of those bites has in common? Do you?

None of them taste as good as they smell. That first bite is a total downer, a complete disappointment.

There is a solution. Kyra’s Bake Shop. Their cinnamon rolls taste the way other cinnamon rolls smell. It’s heaven. Thank god her shop is three hours one way from my house otherwise my ass would be the size of a semi truck. LOL. But god do I love her cinnamon rolls. And her cheesecake. And her focaccia bread.

I am not a paid rep for Kyra. Just a devotee of the amazing goodness her bakery cranks out. And yes, it is ALL gluten free.

Oh and if you’re not driving to Kyra’s this weekend, Maple Valley Days starts today at 3PM, runs all weekend long. Pop by the FreeValley Publishing booth, say hi. Bring me a cinnamon roll from Kyra’s and I’ll write you into my next book, bring me two and I’ll write you in and not kill you off. LOL

Book Review: The Man Who Never Was

I don’t what it is about me and cruises. I can’t just read fluff and be done with it. LOL. The Man Who Never Was: World War II’s Boldest Counterintelligence Operation by Ewan Montagu is one of the books that had been hanging around my to be read list at the library for a while. I got a notification that an e copy was available just in time to be downloaded for the trip.

It’s a short read and written as a crony might tell you a complicated story over a glass of scotch and cigars. A number of chapters are devoted to a straight forward telling of how the mission came to be, how it was carried out, and how they got all the materials they used. Several more chapters detail what was uncovered after Germany lost the war and the allies had access to their papers.

If you don’t know the details, I’ll give you a brief and you can decide to invest in the 150 page long explanation. Essentially in an effort to convince the German High Command that the allies were not going to attack Sicily, a plan was hatched to fake up an officer and have his dead body discovered somewhere the Germans were likely to get hold of the papers this officer might be carrying. It worked in case you didn’t know. LOL.

℘℘℘℘ – Four Pages. I read it in a quick day on ship with a cocktail or two. Dry British humor abounds.

Fiendish Friday: Gibbs Rules

Did you miss this little gem on my blog during April? I kind of did. There’s something refreshing about going through your week looking for moments to make fun of yourself so you can amuse others with them. While I’m in Hawaii sunning myself, I give you Gibbs rules.

I’ve been a fan of NCIS a long time. I kind of had a crush on Mark Harmon back from the movie Presidio. “You can have her, she’s dangerous.” Said with a sexy sneer. Anyway I digress…

Frequently on NCIS they refer to Gibbs Rules. But it’s not like the spout them off routinely or often enough for you to catch it when they oops. And of course they aren’t written down on the show, that would be too easy. Clearly the writers for the show didn’t bother to write them down either because this is what I found when I did write them down. (Yes, I wrote down every Gibbs rule when it was mentioned for 12 seasons.)

1.Don’t screw over your  partner. (wise) 1b. Don’t let suspects stay together. (duh)

Yep there are two rule ones. They actually get around to making fun of that in season 12.

2. Always wear gloves at a crime scene. (reasonable)

3. Don’t believe what you are told, double check. 3b. Never be unreachable. (raises eyebrow)

Again in Season 12 they mention 3 is a double rule. Perhaps they got a continuity editor in Season 12? LOL

4. One can keep a secret. Two if absolutely necessary. (I’ve heard this only works if the second person is dead.)

5. Don’t waste good. (Fab advice.)

6. Never say you’re sorry, it’s a sign of weakness. ( a little weakness is a positive thing, keeps you human.)

7. Always be specific when you lie. (I write for a living, no problem there.)

8. Never assume. 8b. Never take anything for granted. (even Gibbs rules?)

9. Never go anywhere without your  knife. (er, airport anyone?)

10. Never get personally involved on a case. (bwahahahah.)

11. When the job is done walk away. (sound advice)

12. Never date a co worker. (but it makes work such fun)

13. Never involve a lawyer. (lol – no comment)

14. Bend the line, don’t break it. (god were the show writers giving themselves advice?)

15. We work as a team. (sure you do Gibbs)

16. If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it. (you’d need a lawyer then)

18. Better to seek forgiveness, than ask permission. (I used to work with a guy who bought into this.)

20. Always look under. (under what?)

22. Never bother Gibbs in interrogation.

23. Never mess with a Marine’s coffee. (never mess with anyone’s coffee)

35. Always watch the watchers. (creepy but wise)

36. If you feel like you’re being played, you probably are. (spidey senses working over time)

38. Your case, your lead.

39. There’s no such thing as a coincidence. (I beg to differ)

40. If it seems like someone is after you, they are. (ditto spidey)

42. Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you. (ROFL)

44. First things first, hide the women and children. (Ok so Gibbs is a bit of a chauvinist)

45. Second chances.

51. Sometimes you’re wrong.

61. Give people space when getting off the elevator. (perhaps a Gibbs headslap would help my kiddo learn this.)

69. Never trust a woman who doesn’t trust her man. (Amen.)


Creative Nepotism?

I had 12 extra seconds today and found that rare opportunity to click over to the Discover link on my reader page. This is what caught my eye. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. I know I’ve certainly found myself giving better reviews to people I know and like, agonizing about whether to tell someone their book needs work because I really liked the person, and wondering if my less than impressed opinion was valid because someone was way more successful than me. Let me know what you think…

At Vida, writer Dallas Athent confronts one of the thorniest issues plaguing the literary scene: the unspoken nepotism-fueled culture of connections and reciprocal favors that determines who gets published where.

via Report from the Field: Struggling with Creative Nepotism — Discover