Book Review: Murder Likes It Hot

I was sliding through the library on my way to the last scheduling committee meeting, and this book just fell off the shelf at my feet. I had to pick it up and take it home; it would have been rude to leave Murder Likes It Hot by Tracy Weber just lying there on the floor, right?

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

Newly married yoga instructor Kate Davidson feels stuck in low-energy limbo, despite her high-energy life. She’s trying to conceive a child, keep her studio afloat now that the ultra-cheap Some Like It Hot Yoga studio has opened across the street, and start a yoga program at a local resource center for homeless youth.

When a center employee is found dead, Kate sets aside her fertility and financial woes to delve into the world of teenage homelessness. While digging for clues with her German shepherd Bella, Kate discovers that family can be formed by bonds stronger than shared DNA, and she must defend it at all costs.

My thoughts:

Despite the slightly racy title, this book is feel good yoga and cozy mystery all the way. Let me just say I have to give kudos to Weber for weaving in the yoga and dog rescue work like they’re finely attuned spices in a good meal, rather than slathering it on like butter on cheap toast. I feel like the lines about yoga and animal rescue work are there to tell more about the main character, Kate, rather than pad the book.

I have this vague idea I read one of the series before and didn’t much like it. But I will say if that was the case, Weber has really hit her stride. This is book 6 in the series and I liked it enough, I will be back tracking to read the rest.

I live in the Seattle area, more or less, and the way she touched on the political issues surrounding homelessness locally was exceptionally well done.

The victim of the murder was unexpected. The bad guy was not so surprising once the actual murder occurred. I had a whole other extremely common plot line in mind as I was reading. But Weber didn’t go that way, all to the good. And extremely rare in a cozy mystery, she made me cry at the end.

I won’t even mention that she called an automatic, a revolver at one point. Except I just did. Well, no one is perfect.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Profound Memes

I saw this meme recently that said “doing your best does not mean working yourself to death.”

I’m sure for someone that made perfect logical sense.

My brain, however, just keep spluttering.

If I am doing my best, I should keep at it until the thing is done and done right. You can’t put a time limit or an effort limit on doing your best. Your best is your best. It’s not someone else’s.

And we all have varying degrees of “best” in us. My son for example, his best vacuuming will leave crumbs under the dining table. Mine doesn’t. His best lacks experience right now. He’ll gain it. In five year if he is still leaving crumbs under the table, I won’t accept that was his best. LOL.

So how do I draw the line for me?

“I wanted to do my best but you know, that took too much effort, so I went to bed instead.”

Not happening.

And maybe I would be healthier, and happier, and less tired if I did. But I can’t.

My best is 100%. Anything that deserves my best, deserves that.

Then again I might be crazy. What do you think?

Book Review: Read and Gone

Jay reminded me of Allison Brook the other day. He reviewed her third book and I suddenly realized, wait – I haven’t read the second one, Read and Gone, yet. Clickety Click, and poof it came to my kindle.

Basic Summary (courtesy of Amazon):

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

My thoughts:

I find Carrie much more charming now that she has really embraced settling into the wonderful life that came her way, really via her Aunt and Uncle. She’s amusing and has funny friends. The library ghost is an interesting way to bail Carrie out of trouble and grant her knowledge she can’t get any other way.

On the other hand, she’s gotten dumb. Like the criminal had to actually hit her over the head twice before she caught on this time. LOL.

Will I read book three? Absolutely. And not just because Jay says the author really hits her stride in book 3, but it doesn’t hurt.

 

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Another driving PSA

I know I post these way too often but this time…I was wrong…oops

I routinely turn left at an intersection where the two directions opposite each other are coming out of parking lots and while they have two lanes, there are no protected arrows, just the big round green circle at the same time. One lane is straight/right, one lane is left turn.

I always though that people turning left had the right of way. After all the right turners can go anytime there is a break in traffic but the left turners can only go on the green light. Makes sense for traffic flow that left turns should have right of way, otherwise once all the right turns go, there won’t be time for the left to go and that will just back up for days.

Anyway after some woman yelled at me last week and called me a not nice name, I decided to research this.

And I was wrong. Unprotected left turns are the bottom of the priority list even behind right turns.

Makes zero logical sense to me.

Luckily I moved this weekend and now I can go right out of that lot towards home and have the right of way. LOL

Book Review: Cinder

I don’t remember who recommended Cinder by Marissa Meyer to me. Someone who knew I was looking for Sci/Fi and Fantasy options for my creative writing class. It didn’t come in time for me to use it as an example for Sci/Fi. It’s rather complicated though, a retelling of a fairy tale with advanced technology.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

 

My thoughts:

I felt no impetus to read. I don’t know any way to explain it other than that. It is well written and enjoyable. I liked it. But at no point was I invested. In fact I remained 20 pages from the end, in the middle of what was sure to be the climax, for a week and didn’t even care.  I reread World War Z instead.

I don’t know why either. The characters are well drawn. The plot is good; predictable but I find most books predictable. The style was fast paced. Everything that makes a good book was totally present and accounted for.

It just didn’t speak to me.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Making a movie

This is one of those random plinko machine brain hopped on someone else’s train of thought and went for it. It was a guest post on a blog I follow about who would play your characters if they made a movie of your book.

Ostrich Mentality is the only book people talk about being made into a movie. So I gave it some thought. (Er, when I say people above, I don’t mean people in Hollywood, just to be clear. LOL)

Galatea: bad-ass assassin starting to question the orders she’s chosen to accept.

Image result for inbar lavi

 

Inbar Lavi

You’re asking who?

She’s done some stuff. I’ve seen her on SOA and The Last Ship. She looks so girl next door sweet. And yet flawlessly plays trouble.

 

 

 

Talon: British SAS on loan to Mi6. Sexy in that devil may care way some men have. Good at what he does. Inventive in his means.

Image result for charlie hunna,

 

Charlie Hunnam

I know, I know. He only has one role. Lucky for me that one role could easily be adapted to play Talon.

And really all the hot Brit actors that I would love to cast as Talon, are getting a bit long in the tooth for the role. cough cough, Daniel Craig.

 

 

Ash: American with a long history of doing the dirtiest work imaginable for his country.

See the source image

 

Gerard Butler

I really wanted to say Jeremy Renner for this role but realistically he’s the wrong body type.

 

 

 

Stan: Obnoxious, know it all, pain in the ass idiot with an over inflated sense of self

 

Barrett Foa

He’s almost perfect, except he’s too pretty.

Stan is less. LOL

 

 

 

 

Hollywood, are you out there listening? I would be super realistic in my demands. LOL.

Book Review: Reprise – World War Z

Disclaimer: I’ve reviewed this book before, 3 years ago maybe, you can read that here if you like.

I’m teaching Creative Writing this year and I allowed my students to pick the genres we discuss and write in. It’s been a mixed bag. LOL.

One of their choices was Sci Fi scary. You know aliens attacking, etc. But you can only read so many of those examples before, yawn. So I wove in a few other things. A short where the main character is a sentient ship in outer space. The first chapter of The Martian by Andy Weir. And then I talked a little about World War Z because of its unusual style, a pastiche of a sociological study.

This made me want to read it again and see if it was really as great as I remembered. And damn if it wasn’t still amazing. I stayed up half the night reading, again.

It is a fascinating read.