Variety in good books

This has been another week of good books.

One of them was so good it kept me up all night reading. I love it when that happens….. even if I  do regret it the next day when I have to get up for work. You’d think I could plan things a bit better wouldn’t you, but how can you predict an ambush.

And, like someone said …. once I open it, how can I be expected to put it down.


When I looked at the clock and it said 5 AM… I figured… might as well finish it. 🙂

The thing I liked most about this selection of books was variety. Different genres,  different eras, different countries, different social strata. Reading doesn’t get old with that much variety.

I’d say it was fun, but not in a light hearted way. They weren’t so much dark as they were intense. Some less so than others, which was helpful. We need lighter somewhere in the mix.

The darkest ones would have been the Jess Williams Trilogy and Digital Winter.

The Jess Williams trilogy really did have a take-no-prisoner mentality, and there were many burials in each book. In spite of that though, it wasn’t as dark as you might think- there was a bit of a Robin Hood quality to it.  Jess was a man with a soft heart underneath the tough exterior, and he was out to bring justice, and protection, to those who needed it most.

Digital Winter was dark because it was easy to visualize battles for power happening in our present digital world. And that’s scary. On the other hand though, it’s good to be scared a little, maybe it will spur us on to be mentally prepared for  the possibility of such a disaster.

I managed to carve out time for a 4 day binge and it was great! Loved spending time with these books.

Marrying Miss Marshall  Wild Wyoming Hearts – Marrying Miss Marshal book 1 –  Lacy Williams …..  Dana Carpenter, the town marshal, with abilities unrecognized by local citizens, has to work alone because no one is willing to work with her.

Chas O’Grady is caught in a cattle stampede and Dana’s sense of responsibility compels her to risk her own life to rescue the greenhorn from certain death. Not a good first impression to make when you are coming to town hoping to enlist the help of the local marshal. He has the skills and might be willing to be deputized and work with her, but she’s not willing to work with him. Until powers-that-be leave her no choice.


Remember to Forget Clayburn Novels – Remember to Forget – Deborah Raney …. Maggie Anderson has been living under her boyfriend’s tyranny for two years, but circumstances change with a carjacking on the middle of the night run to pick up his whiskey.

Trevor Ashlock has been locked in grief and burying himself in work, until a beautiful stranger comes to town. The suspicious circumstances of her appearance leaves them both on edge trying to protect secrets. Will Maggie’s abusive boyfriend find her? Will Trevor be able to admit to his loss?


Heart of a Prince Crowns and Courtships – Heart of a Prince book 1 – Carol Moncado ….  Vacationing Jordan Haines has been on the water longer than he should have. Needing a rest, he spies an empty secluded private beach.

Crown Princess Astrid of San Majoria, doesn’t expect to find her personal sanctuary breached by someone using her beach chair. She would have ordered him off the property but he seems to have no idea who she is…. and there is something about him that feels safe somehow.


A Soldier's Promise Crystal Lake Series –  A Soldier’s Promise book 2 – Laura Scott…. Julie Crain has a soft heart for people in need but doesn’t want to get involved this time. Not after the  last attempt to help turned into a relationship that ended badly.

Derek Ryerson and his young daughter need a place to recuperate from a serious car accident but there are no rooms available on this July 4th weekend. Julie has the room but is this a man she can trust? Derek needs help but can he trust her if his secret is exposed.


the Jess Williams Trilogy The Jess Williams Trilogy books 1 – 3  – Robert J Thomas – This is a Western thriller series with a take-no-prisoner outlook on life.

The Reckoning …. Jess Williams is eleven when he comes home from town to find his parents and sister brutally murdered, and he knows who did it. In that moment he vows revenge on the three men and plans relentless practice with his dad’s Colt .45 until he can shoot better than anyone else. The sudden and mysterious appearance of a new and unique pistol with holster make that goal possible in a way never seen before.

Brothers Keeper …. Jess returns from his successful mission to find himself in the middle of a bloody war with a father bent on revenge for the death of his only son, an evil man   who clearly deserved to die. His mission after winning this war is to find the brother he never knew he had.

Sins of the Father …. Jess has been hunting his birth father for two years and has him in his sights when a friend needs his help. A range war has broken out between two cattle  barons and everything, including the town, is about to taken over by one powerful greedy man.  Jess arrives and men are dying one by one.


Molly book 3  Women and War Series – Molly book 3 – Ellie Keaton …. Molly wants to join the war effort as a pilot but the US Air Force is not admitting female pilots, yet. Britain on the other hand is desperate for pilots. Travelling by ship, Molly and her friends face the threat of U-boats and other perils before they even set foot in Britain. The man she loves is over there somewhere too, as a fighter pilot, and it has been two years since she last heard from him.


Goodbye, Magnolia Cornerstone series – Goodbye, Magnolia book 1 – Krista Noorman … Maggie is secure in the smooth operation of her successful wedding photography business, until uncertainty shows up in the form of an old, and unloved, classmate. Forced by circumstances to form an alliance with a man she considers the enemy, she has to face up to her fears, and incorrect assumptions.


Digital Winter  8 Minutes to… Digital Winter – Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky … a twenty-two year old savant, with physical limitations, spends all of his time on his computer, creating a virus capable of taking out power grids everywhere. Aided by a shadowy companion he sends out the virus causing world wide blackouts, everywhere but in his New York apartment. Government agencies scramble to figure out who is behind all this, and his parents wonder at the power they have while others around them don’t.

Happy reading in your part of the world.

Here’s to finding more great books!

I’m calling time on rewrites so hope there are no glaring pot holes left over after the latest rearranges. If there are I apologize 🙂

An exciting new Mystery blog

Kent Holloway Online is the exciting new blog on WordPress. Kent is an established author of thrillers and is thinking about writing mystery. Thus the blog.

You all know, if you have followed me for very long, that I get excited when I read a really good book. I love good writing and good story telling. And I love telling the whole world about it when I find it. I have to tell you about this.

I liked this blog because it challenged me to think about some things, it told me some things I didn’t know before, and it captured my interest with his engaging style.

Have you ever given much consideration to the differences between mystery, cozy mystery, whodunit, procedural, and more? Or how sometimes books are written with mixed genres? Doesn’t this make you think of the dreaded mixed metaphor? I have noticed it is sometimes hard to nail down the genre but can’t say that I’ve ever given it much thought beyond that. After reading this thought provoking post …. well, now I will. I’d be curious to see if someone else can answer the questions better than I could.

In the latest post Kent introduces us to the real Richard Castle ….. author Tom Straw. In a fascinating interview with Tom, we get to hear the back story and see some of the spin offs of this TV show, and if you are a fan of Castle, like I amyou will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look. Even if you have never seen the show you will enjoy the interview, it gives great encouragement to aspiring writers I think.

Check out his blog at

I predict that once his blog catches on it will explode with followers. He has something to say, and he says it well.


At my place – there is a new list of books in the works, stay tuned. I just had to get this blog post off my chest first so I could settle down to work. I do hope you will check it out, I think you will love it too.





Upping our game

This was another week of good books. I liked some of them especially well.

There were a couple I had trouble getting into but I could tell they were good books, just not books that appealed to me at this particular time, so I included them anyway. They will appeal to someone, I know.

One of the things I loved about the books this week – unexpected twists and turns.

We talked about the unexpected at this month’s meeting of the local writer’s group I belong to. We are having a story challenge again.  We will be given a partial sentence to  finish and use as a springboard to jump into a story. We talked about finding new slants so it doesn’t sound like we are all doing a variation of the same outline.

Last months story challenge entries were all well written and it was exciting to see the high level of  enthusiasm. This time we are hoping to up our game a little. We all did tend to go in the same general direction in our story treatment last time. Maybe we will be inspired to think outside the box a little and come up with some unique treatments for this new story.

We are really getting into this, so much so that we are hoping to have something we can publish when we’re done. Maybe something that could be spread around  in the community as reading material. Waiting rooms and care facilities would be good places to start. Who doesn’t love something new to pick up and read at a time like that.

Now, on to the books

A Nest of Sparrows A Nest of Sparrows – Deborah Raney…. Wade didn’t expect to ever fall in love, but he did. And he loved her three children as if they were his own. The unthinkable happens before the wedding can take place and Wade and the children are left to cope with their grief. Uncertainty is very real as it isn’t clear if he will be able to keep them.

A Distant Melody Wings of Glory –  A Distant Melody book 1- Sarah Sundin …. Allie will do anything to gain her mother’s approval, including marrying a man she doesn’t love. Lt Walter Novak is fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women. He takes his last furlough at home, before shipping out, to attend a wedding , meeting Allie, forming a friendship around a mutual love of music. Can they untangle their secrets and commitments soon enough to have a future together.  Wings of Glory follows the three Novak brothers, B17 bomber pilots stationed in England during World War II.    4 stars

Unbound Omega Trilogy  The Omega Trilogy – Unbound book 1- J B Simmons … Elijah Goldsmith is trying to ignore dreams he has been having, nightmares about a dragon destroying  St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He’s never been to Rome. Graduating soon, he is applying to be a spy with the International Security Agency where he meets Naomi. There is a strong attraction between them and she makes him want to share his secrets. As they delve into finding an interpretation for the dreams it seems there is more to their attraction than romance, something else is at play here. The year is 2066, when the world ends.  4 stars  I hope to read the next two in this Sci-Fi/Fantasy series.

Trial by Fire  Trial by Fire – DiAnn Mills….. Special Agent Savannah Barrett and her partner SA Paul Winston are in the middle of investigating a number of puzzling church fires when she receives word her estranged son and his wife have been killed in a car accident, She is instantly guardian to three grandchildren she didn’t know she had. Life is thrown into disarray as she adjusts to having children again. And life is even worse when the church arsonist begins to target her, and her family. 4 stars

Talking to the Dead  Talking to The Dead: a Novel – Bonnie Grove … Kate Davis is struggling after the unexpected death of her husband. She can’t bear to go upstairs so she has been camped out on the sofa in the living room for weeks. She hasn’t bathed, changed clothes or been out of the house, and she can’t sleep –  because her husband Kevin keeps talking to her.  She is questioning her sanity. She tries many places to find help with this but fails miserably. Until she meets Jack, a warm hearted, unconventional pastor of a ramshackle church. Kevin’s voice seems to get quieter, until she begins to uncover his secrets, then he starts yelling.  This was a good book, definitely a different twist.

The Lady's Slipper The Lady’s Slipper – Deborah Swift … English artist Alice Ibbetson discovers the fragile flower she thought was extinct, in the nearby forest and steals it. She wants to paint it and find a way preserve it’s life for generations to come. She is not the only one to want it. A herbalist wants it for his medicines and a farmer wants it to  increase his fortunes, hoping it will become the next craze in gardening circles. In her efforts to save the flower Alice finds herself caught up in danger, treachery and unexpected passion. Historical fiction.

Her Heart's Promise  Sweet Hearts of Sweet Creek – Her Heart’s Promise book 2 – Carolyne Aarsen …. As the plain sister with two beautiful siblings Nadine is used to being overlooked but she is not going to allow to late father’s employer to overlook  his suspicious death. She plans to use her position as editor of the local newspaper to help her find the truth. The trouble is, her high school crush and new owner of the paper, wants the story buried. To further complicate her life, she has a sick mother, a matchmaking grandmother, and a fake boyfriend who turns out to be real.

Happy reading everyone.

my feral friend

feral friend 2

my feral friend … on high alert

I enjoy his company even though he isn’t very affectionate, or much of a conversationalist. He seems to like me ok too since he shows up nearly every morning to lose himself in dreams on my deck. It’s hard to say how long he has been coming around (I don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in my yard) but I did notice him sunning himself in my flowerbeds in summertime. I’m assuming it’s a he since there has been no evidence of any kittens following him around.

He didn’t show up for a couple of days and I was worried the eagles had swooped in and had him for supper. He’s back today, though, so all is well.

I’m also assuming he has a mother

mother and son

I’m assuming it’s his mother because it’s an older cat, and fathers don’t usually bother with their offspring. It’s cute to watch how territorial he is about this place. Obviously he feels like he was here first and it’s his. Usually he manages to keep her down on the lowest step, sometimes even growling and spitting to make it happen.

I had to be sneaky to get any pictures as it doesn’t take much to make them run. It’s getting better though. I can open the blinds now without him flinching and he will even sit still while I talk to him a little, through the glass, asking him how his day is going.

He reminds me of a cat I befriended a bunch of decades ago. I was just a young thing living in a basement suite when the lady in the house next door noticed a feral cat living in the bushes across the back lane and started feeding him. She figured he was someone’s pet and had been abused, leaving him terrified of people. All would have been well with this scenario but they decided to move, and she had a couple of big dogs making it impossible for the cat to move with them. My neighbor decided that I should overcome my reluctance and take on the feeding of this cat. I finally did and eventually we got on famously. He was comfortable enough to move inside and attempt to take over the house. I loved him but don’t see any house cats in my future this time. That’s ok, judging by the trails I see this one take across my yard, I don’t think I am the only woman in his life.

Books… I have been reading lots and will list them for you in the next post, I will start it in the next few minutes.