Recruits

The book I loved this week is Recruits by Thomas Locke (T. Davis Bunn).  Davis Bunn is a prolific author and has been one of my favorites for decades. I’ve read every book I could get my hands on and have, fortunately, lived in cities with great libraries that considered him a favorite too and stocked most of his books. He is flexible at writing and successfully spans a number of different genres, there is something for everyone. If you haven’t read any of his books, you will be glad you did.

Recruits is a fantasy aimed at young adults but will be loved by young and old alike. Seventeen year old twins, who have had detailed dreams for years about a city in another world, are approached by a clandestine scout from this other world to see if they would be interested and able to become recruits to the human assembly, they have 30 days to prove themselves or their memories will be wiped.

I don’t know how to put into words the magic that happens when an author gets everything just right and the story becomes real for the reader, this was one of those books for me.

Part of the twins gifting was the ability to transition from one location to another, to far off worlds in other parts of the galaxy where they met up with many people of other races. I don’t want to spoil any of the story for you so will not give many details, I’ll just say there are lots of great characters, conflict and situations, family relations and stresses. The story grabbed my attention from the first page to the last and I didn’t want it to end.

I am a trekkie, a fan of Star Trek movies and TV shows, and this book felt, to me, like Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine did when I used to watch them. As often happens, one thing led to another, and I started thinking about the whole question of whether or not there could be other inhabited worlds out there.

With recent discoveries about the beauty and vastness of outer space, and with newly uncovered marvels in our own world, it occurs to me that the mind behind all of this is highly creative. If I were the creator, I wouldn’t be content to have just one populated world, I would have many worlds, with a great variety of life forms.  I can’t imagine that the creator of this universe would be content to stop with just one world either. Maybe the stories birthed in the minds of writers like Thomas Locke are like the twin’s  dreams of another world in Recruits. Maybe there are other inhabited worlds out there.

You will have to read Recruits, maybe you will agree with me.

 

Dream With Me Cowboy

I think Dream With Me Cowboy by Debra Clopton was the most fun I’ve had this week. I love it when  a book makes me laugh out loud and this one did. With a pink convertible, a take charge attitude, a mind full of great ideas, and the personality to charm people into following her, it made for interesting situations. On top of it all, the match makers are at work behind her back. She may not think of herself as a good candidate but that doesn’t mean they agree with her. 🙂

Texas Matchmakers – Dream With Me Cowboy book 1-  Debra Clopton . ……  a fun romance that doesn’t go the way it was intended. Some of the town’s elderly match makers decide to address the lack of potential wives by placing ads to attract young women to their small town. Lacy Brown sees the ad and drives her pink convertible into town intending to open a hair salon and do her part to help make this all happen. She has NO plans to be part of the solution by becoming a bride!

If you enjoy a fun read be sure to check this one out.


A few more good books this week:

The Sterlings Series – Secrets & Chance book 1 – Lynn Hastings and Z L Arkadie …… Rosalie escaped the abusive marriage but has not lost her close relationship with his matriarch grandmother who has invited her to a special birthday party. She arrives to find she has stepped into the middle of a major family dispute regarding said grandmother who has also disappeared….. because she is up to something. I liked the twists and turns in a new presentation of a familiar story idea. It was well written and attention grabbing.

A Deadline Cozy Mystery – Sunny Side Up book 1 – Sonia Perrin ….. another story with a bitter divorce and an elderly, disappearing, family member. Eve decides to accept the invitation to spend time with her mystery writing aunt only to find she has mysteriously left town (as she sometimes does when a new story is brewing) and there is a dead body. Of course. Eve is now a suspect but has to find the real killer….. it’s her civic duty. An entertaining and fun read.

Song of Suspense Series – A Melody for James – Hallee Bridgeman …….  Romantic Suspense,   a bond forms when their plane is storm grounded and he strikes up an uncomfortable conversation, intending only to pass some time. In the end they discover they have much in common and want to explore the idea of a relationship after this trip is over. Their plan to meet for dinner never happens due to bizarre circumstances,  which also means they lose track of each other. Years go by but neither can forget the other. There are sinister forces at work in each of their lives, forces that separated and will reconnect them.  This book keeps you guessing until the end, wondering if they will ever meet again.

Daniel Trokic Series – Under a Black Sky – Inger Wolf …..  a Scandinavian Mystery….  a prominent Danish volcano scientist in Anchorage Alaska is found brutally murdered in his home, along with his wife and son but their daughter is missing. Is she in hiding, or has she been taken? Is she alive or dead? Why has this happened to a seemingly well liked man, without enemies? Danish authorities send one of their top detectives to help solve this mystery involving one of their own. I enjoyed this enough to want to read the next book in the series. Sadly, it hasn’t come out in English yet.

Lei Crime Series – Rip Tides book 9 – Toby Neal …. poised to win the Triple Crown of Surfing, the Maui surfing star is discovered dead after a collision and fall in a wave  he could have easily conquered. A high profile murder case  with many unexpected secrets in the surfing world. This complex story made for a good read.

As always, I hope you will find some inspiration here, if not to a specific book then to the search for an interesting book, there are so many out there just waiting to be found.

Happy reading!

 

Dream With Me Cowboy

I think Dream With Me Cowboy by Debra Clopton was the most fun I’ve had this week. I love it when  a book makes me laugh out loud and this one did. With a pink convertible, a take charge attitude, a mind full of great ideas, and the personality to charm people into following her, it made for interesting situations. On top of it all, the match makers are at work behind her back. She may not think of herself as a good candidate but that doesn’t mean they agree with her. 🙂

Texas Matchmakers – Dream With Me Cowboy book 1-  Debra Clopton . ……  a fun romance that doesn’t go the way it was intended. Some of the town’s elderly match makers decide to address the lack of potential wives by placing ads to attract young women to their small town. Lacy Brown sees the ad and drives her pink convertible into town intending to open a hair salon and do her part to help make this all happen. She has NO plans to be part of the solution by becoming a bride!

If you enjoy a fun read be sure to check this one out.


A few more good books this week:

The Sterlings Series – Secrets & Chance book 1 – Lynn Hastings and Z L Arkadie …… Rosalie escaped the abusive marriage but has not lost her close relationship with his matriarch grandmother who has invited her to a special birthday party. She arrives to find she has stepped into the middle of a major family dispute regarding said grandmother who has also disappeared….. because she is up to something. I liked the twists and turns in a new presentation of a familiar story idea. It was well written and attention grabbing.

A Deadline Cozy Mystery – Sunny Side Up book 1 – Sonia Perrin ….. another story with a bitter divorce and an elderly, disappearing, family member. Eve decides to accept the invitation to spend time with her mystery writing aunt only to find she has mysteriously left town (as she sometimes does when a new story is brewing) and there is a dead body. Of course. Eve is now a suspect but has to find the real killer….. it’s her civic duty. An entertaining and fun read.

Song of Suspense Series – A Melody for James – Hallee Bridgeman …….  Romantic Suspense,   a bond forms when their plane is storm grounded and he strikes up an uncomfortable conversation, intending only to pass some time. In the end they discover they have much in common and want to explore the idea of a relationship after this trip is over. Their plan to meet for dinner never happens due to bizarre circumstances,  which also means they lose track of each other. Years go by but neither can forget the other. There are sinister forces at work in each of their lives, forces that separated and will reconnect them.  This book keeps you guessing until the end, wondering if they will ever meet again.

Daniel Trokic Series – Under a Black Sky – Inger Wolf …..  a Scandinavian Mystery….  a prominent Danish volcano scientist in Anchorage Alaska is found brutally murdered in his home, along with his wife and son but their daughter is missing. Is she in hiding, or has she been taken? Is she alive or dead? Why has this happened to a seemingly well liked man, without enemies? Danish authorities send one of their top detectives to help solve this mystery involving one of their own. I enjoyed this enough to want to read the next book in the series. Sadly, it hasn’t come out in English yet.

Lei Crime Series – Rip Tides book 9 – Toby Neal …. poised to win the Triple Crown of Surfing, the Maui surfing star is discovered dead after a collision and fall in a wave  he could have easily conquered. A high profile murder case  with many unexpected secrets in the surfing world. This complex story made for a good read.

As always, I hope you will find some inspiration here, if not to a specific book then to the search for an interesting book, there are so many out there just waiting to be found.

Happy reading!

 

Manuscript for Murder

Chautona Havig is a prolific writer with some of the most unique and interesting plot lines and characters I’ve read in a while. I’ve been following her the last five years and her books are many and diverse, quite amazing. The first books read and loved were from the Past Forward Series. Her characters were well developed, in very unexpected, unique, and inspiring ways. Happily, I couldn’t help but become immersed in this story, holding my breath in places, trying unsuccessfully to imagine how the crisis could possibly be resolved. The reason I couldn’t imagine was because somehow she envisions scenes that are way outside my box. Maybe they aren’t outside the box for her, maybe she has encountered situations in life where people thought and reacted that way. However it goes, I was impressed with her protagonist, that’s why I kept reading.

Chautona is also prolific with her email give-aways, set out in emails that are fun and entertaining. Her love of life is contagious.

Getting back to the most recent book read, it was The Hartfield MysteriesManuscript for Murder book 1….. a successful, prolific writer moves to a small town because of the atmosphere and  low crime rate only to become a local celebrity. Her newest book, inspired by a minor event in her new town also inspires a new serial killer. By the time the killer has replicated the murders in 4 books in a row she is ready to give up writing altogether.  But she doesn’t give up, instead hatching a plan to help catch the killer.

If you enjoy books with a deep message mixed with a healthy dose of humour check her out. You will enjoy her wonderful covers too. There’s no sense in telling you to check her out without giving you ways to do that so…..  chautona.com for her website and Chautona Havig: Just the Write Escape for Facebook

Her books, previously read

The Past Forward Series books 1-6 – Chautona Havig

Aggie’s Inheritance Series – Ready or Not book 1, For Keeps book 2, Here We Come  book 3  – Chautona Havig ….. Aggie is single and shocked to inherit a ready made family when her sister and husband die unexpectedly.

Allerednic: A Regency Cinderella Tale in Reverse – Chautona Havig

Journey of Dreams Series – Prairie book 1 – Chautona Havig  ……. this is a fantasy exploring those dreams that are the delight of our hearts

The Hartfield Mysteries – Crime of Fashion book 2 – Chautona Havig …… a successful writing career allows her to invest in a friend’s fashion dream of a high end, big city boutique. Shockingly, people are now beginning to die in this new location.


Her books, downloaded but still to be read

Noble Pursuits – Chautona Havig

Argosy Junction – Chautona Havig

Advent – Chautona Havig

Diary of a De-Clutterer – Chautona Havig

My download rate exceeds that of books read, hence the backlog of unread books, and of course the latest books are distracting to this fickle reader.  I love having so many choices ♥

Be inspired!  Happy Reading!

Since I still haven’t gotten to the rest of the books read this week there will have to be another post. More to follow.

Cowherd and the Weaver Girl

Tens of thousands of couples chose sacred seven as their wedding date. Going back a decade, wedding website The Knot usually had around 12,000 couples registered and preparing to unite on any given Saturday in July, but leading up to 7/7/07, there was triple the amount: 38,000, even more than the millennium. (Time.com) Seven is…

via Cowherd and The Weaver Girl – Chinese Valentine’s Day — Bamboo Sketches

The Watchmaker’s Daughter

I love it when I find a book that rises above all the rest and is a magical read.

Glass and Steele Series -The Watchmaker’s Daughter book 1 –  by C.J. Archer is one of those books. The story has elements of the Count of Monte Cristo, one of my favorite books. It’s hard to put the euphoria of the reading experience into words but I’ll try. I think the thing that tickles me most is the mystery and intrigue surrounding the characters, and the subtle humour in actions and dialogue. Like in the Count of Monte Cristo, the characters seem out of place in the opulent surroundings, and yet they seem to have the right and the means to be there. There are secrets lurking beneath the surface but there is nothing to grab hold of to expose them or even prove the secrets are real. There are great characters who frighten and charm all at the same time, there is also risk, romance, and unexplained magical moments.  Nothing is given away as details  come out in layers. with the whole truth being saved to the very end.  I am still basking in the glow of an enjoyed book newly finished. 🙂

A Sydney Brennan Mysteries – Back to Lazarus book 1 – Judy K Walker …… Another of my favorite books this time. A private eye is hired by a woman to solve a cold case involving the decades old murder of her mother and the more recent suicide of her convicted father. I liked how this story was unpredictable and believable, I liked the characters and how they played off one another…. and the trouble the PI could get into with her won’t-quit attitude. There was a humorous side to all of this that helped make it an enjoyable read.

The Brides of San Francisco – Nellie book 1 – Cynthia Woolf …. post civil war era, Nellie, to escape the cruel influence of her late husband’s wealthy family, decides to take her two young children and become a mail order bride in San Francisco. Bachelor Blake is a successful saloon owner wanting to branch out to become a legitimate businessman, but council rules say he must be a family man. This scenario made for an intriguing story.

Hot Chocolate in June: A True Story of Loss, Love and Restoration – Holly Mthethwa

Thomas Kincaid Cape Light Series – Songs of Christmas – Katherine Spencer ….. Two protagonists, one a young musician trying to advance her career, the other an elderly  woman resisting changes with a less than charitable attitude.   I am now the proud possessor of a public library card (the first one in 5 years) and this was the first book signed out. I had not read any books by this author so it was a pleasant change.

The Women of Valley View – Pam book 3 – Sharon Srock ……  a story of love, abuse, bitter divorce, and pain that won’t go away. Then the unthinkable… he moves back to town and all of the hurt resurfaces. She doesn’t know, he is dying. Some weeks most of the books fall into the “OK” category. This week had more than a few rising above the OK assessment. This was another well written and gripping story.

Arcadia Valley Romance – Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley book 1 – Mary Jane Hathaway and five other authors….. 6 books in this collection all set in Arcadia with stories that intertwine with the other authors. These books are the first in a three book series  for each author. They were all good and I look forward to reading more of them. This collection is still currently free tonight.

There are still a few more books on my list but one of them is an author I have been wanting to showcase so I think it needs a separate post.

I hope you have been inspired to check out some of these authors and will discover some books you love too.

See you soon.

Happy reading.

 

 

 

Post from – God is in your typewriter – Melissa Presser – inspiring

This morning while waking up at an ungodly time after making the trip to see my sister in Las Vegas, I finally opened up my electronic devices only to find of one million messages. Out of the million or so messages that were awaiting me, I saw the flash to accept a new comment on […]

via On coincidences, God’s punishments as gifts and loving the thing you’re supposed to hate — God is in your typewriter

A favorite book this week

This week is about books, some I loved and some…I didn’t.

Generally, I don’t like to talk about books I dislike in a blog post (I save my rants over pet peeves for in person conversations not caught on camera) Putting dislike into words in a blog post just feels too much like a written rejection letter.  I would rather stick to the positive and  tell you about the books I liked and let the negative be shown subtly by the book’s absence from my list.

But, there’s a downside to positive only comments, it gives the impression I am an  indiscriminate reader.

So, I will give you a reason to believe I have opinions about what’s good and what’s not. There were a half dozen books this week that didn’t survive past the first few pages. There were two in particular, though, that caused a high level of disappointment. I had great expectations for them because they were written by popular public figures with something to say. I kept reading longer than usual, wanting them to get better. They didn’t

The first one is an allegory, I’ve read other books in a similar style and loved them, I expected to love this one too. The first off putting thing was, the hype overkill at the beginning of the book. How many endorsements do you really need! The second off-putting thing was, the story didn’t live up to the hype. It was disjointed, hard to follow, and the symbolism didn’t marry well with descriptions and actions, which was frustrating.

The second book was also similar in style to several other books I’ve read and enjoyed  recently. My expectations were high because I’ve not seen another book address this particular topic, at least not from this angle. The introduction gave me hope because it talks about how the book came to be, and how it was originally longer but they pared it down significantly. It could have been pared down even more, in my opinion. How many ways should you say the same thing?

The major downfall I see with both of these books; they had something worth saying, but the process of writing is not a strong skill for either of them. An experienced editorial team would have been a great asset.

I give them kudos for trying though because writing a successful book is not as easy as it looks.

 

So, having mentioned books I didn’t like, it’s time to mention some books I did like, enough to stay up reading half the night in some cases.


Kiya Trilogy – Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh book 1, Kiya: Mother of a King book 2 – Katie Hamstead …… this is a fictionalized story of King Tut, an excellent read and my favorite this week. I’m looking forward to reading book 3

Detective Madison Knight Series – Deadly Impulse book 6 – Carolyn Arnold …… I enjoy Carolyn Arnold and this was another good one from her, lots of believable twists and turns while  looking for the killer.

Bridge to Haven – Francine Rivers ….. this story starts when an abandoned newborn is mercifully found by a tender hearted man, under the bridge at the edge of town. Sometimes the sad places of our lives cause us to make devastating decisions. This is a book of second chances. Francine Rivers has been one of my favorite authors for many years and still is.

A Riley Paige Mystery – Once Gone book 1, Once Taken book 2 – Blake Pierce ….  a brilliant female police detective with a broken past that makes her more than a little prickly. Blake Pierce is a new favorite author of mine.

The Kate Lange Thriller Series – Damaged book 1 – Pamela Callow …..  Suspense…. recovering from the death of her sister and a messy break-up, Kate finds herself with a new law firm, embroiled in a dangerous mystery.

Skye Cree Thriller – The Box of Bones book 3 – Vickie McKeehan …. a serial killer, dismembered bodies, and not much to go on. This was  believable too, a mystery that keeps you guessing to the end, the best kind.

The Retired Gardener – Gideon Williams ….. this is definitely not your usual thriller, a retired gardener who always seems to side step away from harm directed at him.  A new slant on thrillers.

As always, I hope you will be on the lookout for good books, there are so many out there waiting to be found.

Happy reading!

slow week

There’s not much writing happening at my house this week.

I have a job doing administrative work for a company 2000 km away from where I currently live. I used to live there and worked everyday in the office, for 5 years actually. Now, I’ve been here 5 years, working remotely, and loving it. I moved to be closer to family, and a good move it’s turned out to be. It’s nice getting to spend time with some of my grandchildren, watching them grow up, much to quickly.

I have 7 grandkids, 6 boys and 1 girl…….. she can hold her own with those boys. 🙂

IMG_20160913_223607.jpg

And they aren’t wimps, although they do love their sister so I’m guessing they don’t treat her as roughly as they could – although they might like to now and again.

Getting back to the subject of work. Three weeks of covering for my young colleague while she is even farther away, (5500 km from the office, I am about in the middle, between west and east, big country this) for her wedding, that means there hasn’t been much time for things I usually spend time on, like reading and writing. The work load  has been busier than we guessed it would be. Busier is good.

It has been nice doing her job because it gives me more contact with others in the office, more than I normally get with my job description, and I like that. I miss the connection. That’s the downside to this style of working. On the plus side though, in this age of computers and internet you can work almost anywhere.

It’s kind of fun, the contact I have with some of the agencies I deal with, when they have to call me and find out how far away I am from them. It makes me smile to myself when I’m talking to them and think about the fact that at one time I used to live in the city they are in, and shopped just a few blocks from their offices.

This time next week Danielle will be back and life will get back to normal. Although I guess it won’t be quite back to normal as I will have to do some grandma duty while mom and dad are working through the month of August. I love having the boys around. Hopefully they will come to my house a couple of times for overnights and we can have some movie marathons.

I love movie marathons, they bring back memories of when I was a mom. I can remember watching Brave Heart once with my teenagers (2 boys and a girl, who wanted to do whatever the boys did) and some of their friends. I was pretty proud of myself for sticking it out, although I do admit to crocheting at the time, it helped me get through the gory parts. And Princess Bride, I think we about wore that one out, it was a favorite. ” my name is Inigo Montoya…..” there are so many great lines in that movie.

And then there were the all night Rock-A-Thon fund raisers. The teenagers would have to rock, in a rocking chair, all night, no sleeping, and their sponsors would give them money for a group trip they were planning, if they managed to last the night. They would watch movies to help  stay awake, and eat pizza and lots of other yummy junk food. Luckily I was there without  responsibility so I didn’t have to fight sleep. I could usually make it half way through the night before closing my eyes and abandoning them.

I am looking forward to movies the next few weeks, the boys have their favorites too, although last time we watched some Disney movies since they have been assigned Disney movies as school homework, We watched Beauty and the Beast, their first time. It wasn’t as much of a chick flick as they expected, these fairy tales do have a bit of a violent side to them, which wasn’t a bad thing since they are still in the “ewwww, girls” stage, mostly.

So, that’s how my week is going, nose to the grind stone! 🙂

I downloaded some good books today so I am sure I will be stealing some moments for reading.

Wishing you some good books too and happy reading moments.