Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All Things Murder by Jeanne Quigley

Barton is a small village in the Adirondacks. Veronica Walsh comes back here from California. The Soap Opera in which she acted is shutting down. Veronica loves acting but knows it will be difficult to find a new show at her age. All Things Murder is the first book of a new mystery series named A Veronica Walsh Mystery. Not long after Veronica returns to Barton, her neighbor, Anna, is murdered. Anna is a well to do woman. No one in Barton really cares for her personality. When she  is murdered, no one is shocked. Just before her death, she was enthusiastic about a new mall joining the community. This mall would have caused many small businesses to sink. This is very sad because the business owners need their money, and they love working independently. Plus, they've established a good relationship with the people in the town. Anna didn't seem to care. She was all about the bottom line money. Veronica finds herself fully involved in the case. For one, she lives next door. Secondly, Veronica finds  Anna's body.

There is something about Jeanne Quigley that is super. The characters and the town come alive. Each character is well developed.  Although I met her only after the murder, I learned a lot about Anna. I also liked the idea of Veronica working as a former actress in California. I especially liked her growing relationship with Mark, a romantic relationship. The solution to the crime seems a little bit shallow. This is not a complicated mystery. If you like complexities in a mystery, those are not here. This is a quick, fun and relaxing cozy. I am reminded of when small towns had a Main street with the hardware store, the butcher shop, book store, etc. This Main street is on Orchard. Again, Jeanne Quigley makes it come alive.

Jeanne Quigley is a debut author. She writes like an author who has been around for awhile. Thanks to Gale Cengage Learning for a debut

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Stranger (need to edit)

She had lost a great opportunity. That's what the cashier at the Woodstock market told her. Her best friend said the same thing. She added the words, "another door will open. Don't worry." Cynthia wasn't worried about the lost opportunity because she was never aware of it. Being Bipolar, there were many things in a given day, month or year that didn't appear on her radar. In the midst of five people in a room, she could be unaware of what was being talked about, who was talking, what potato chip and whip they were eating. Cynthia seemed to zoom in and out of her body like a busy bumblebee. Unfortunately, no one knew when she was really present and when she had flew away.

Stress conquered her memory long ago. She would soon forget to think about this mysterious opportunity. Friends and family would worry about it more than she would worry about it. At the moment, she was concerned about yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner. She promised her mother that she would be responsible for putting one wild flower in each bedroom. There were only two bedrooms. For no reason at all she decided to take Browser for an extra walk. Browser could never be taken out too often. He liked to walk in rain, snow, heat or cold. He was enjoying the walk so much that Cynthia didn't look at signs or lawns or cars as markers. She just laughed and ran along with Browser until they were at the base of the mountain. She'd only seen this place from a car window. She looked all around. Her head moved quickly like a woodpecker's red head. Then, she stopped. People would think her strange. She'd already seen children in cars passing by pointing their fingers at her. Then, two little girls walked up to her. One was licking a caramel apple taffy while the other girl licked a red candied one. The girl with the red coloring all all around her lips asked, "lady, are you lost?"

When afraid Cynthia never answered questions. She looked away from the little girls eyes. Then, they bent down to rub Browser. Browser had stuck his paw out for a handshake. He seemed oblivious of their problem. Cynthia pulled on his leash and started walking again. She pretended to window shop. She stood in front of the toy store window for a long time. Being small would make everything alright at this moment. Along with Browser would be her Grandpa Tate. With him along, nothing like getting lost would have happened. She stared at a red wagon. She didn't know why it caught her attention. She didn't have a brother. None of her friends had owed a red wagon. The red seemed so bright like the only right thing to do was to buy it and put it under a Christmas tree.

Then, Cynthia heard a horn blow. She turned around to look. It was a man in a small blue car. He yelled "need a ride?" Cynthia stared. Although she was grown up, what she was told as a little girl still held water. Her Grandfather said over and over, "Never talk to strangers. Keep walking. Stay in a crowd." But this young man looked so friendly. He was alone in the car. His skin was the color of dark chocolate, and his eyes were light brown. Before she could think, she had gotten in the car. It felt safe and warm and the Christmas carols playing on the radio made her feel like she had made the perfect decision. Grandpa would feel proud of her.

"Where can I take you?"

Cynthia paused. She looked straight out the window. She felt like a mannequin. "I want to go home."

"I suppose we're all tired of these holiday crowds and it's colder than usual. No joking, where's home?"

Cynthia often wondered could people tell that she was different. She wondered what did different look like. When she went to her Mental Illness support group every person looked normal to her. She wondered if this man could tell she was beginning to tremble. Her eyes began to open and close rapidly. That always happened in new places with new people. She looked back at Browser. Browser looked out the window. He looked like he was searching for their house. She could tell that Browser felt like they were in trouble. He was trying to figure out what to do while she couldn't think at all. Her mind had gone as blank as a white sheet of stationery paper. She hoped the man wouldn't ask any more questions. All he had to do was take her and Browser home. That wasn't hard. After all, this was Christmas time. Magic happened. She smiled and waved at a lady outside the car window. She was shoveling snow. Yes, this man with no name in a little....Oh, she couldn't remember the color of the car. Anyway, he would take her and Browser home. She looked up at the tall, blue and white mountain. Going up the mountain must be a shortcut. Yes, they would get home very soon. Cynthia leaned back in the seat and closed her eyes. She began to repeat the words magic, magic, magic in her head. We're almost home. He's such a nice man.

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I finished reading A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby.
I finished fighter pilot's daughter by Mary Lawlor. It's non-fiction.
I am reading All Things Murder by Jeanne Quigley. It's for a book review.I'm going to spend more time reading Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships by Eve Picquette. It's for a blog tour book review.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

fighter pilot's daughter by Mary Lawlor

This memoir about a daughter growing up in the United States military was very interesting. Mary Lawlor is the daughter who writes her personal experiences of the Sixties. Mary Lawlor's father is a Fighter pilot. He's great at what he does in the military. When he comes home to spend time with his family, he's a different man. Mary Lawlor strives to explain his temperament in the memoir. She also writes about her mother, Frannie. Frannie is the one who carries on  while the father is fighting overseas. The Lawlors also experience battles at home without their dad. They are moved from place to place over and over again. Permanence seems like a word not written in a dictionary yet. Mostly Jack fights what we call  the Cold War. So there is much written about the Communists.Communism is the secret bogeyman hiding in a locked closet. No one sees it, feels it but there is this fear of what will happen if it jumps out of the closet.God forbid, if you should meet one.So, there is no way not to go to war.

The writing style of the memoir is wonderful. It reads like a novel. When the family moved from California to Alabama or some other location, I could easily feel their emotions. I especially enjoyed reading about Mary Lawlor's move to Paris, France. However, there are years when are father and she do not see eye to eye. At one point, he asks, "are you queer?" This gives an idea how people described people different from themselves during this period. Another question, "are you hanging with commies?"

I wasn't prepared for the fist in the eye that Jack gave his daughter, Mary. Her eye did bleed. Fighter Pilot's Daughter by Mary Lawlor might have been a bit glossed over. Perhaps, it was impossible for Mary Lawlor to write about all her pain overtly. . I also got the idea that Frannie and Jack might have drank a tat more than enough to get through his absences from home and the talk about Communism and war. I strained to get a clear picture of who Jack and Frannie really were underneath. Since the Sixties were different, I doubt if they thought about analyzing their inner selves. I don't know if Pop Psychology had been born yet.

I enjoyed this memoir. I hope there are more books to be written by Mary Lawlor. Her own words say it best. "I try to remember the feelings of our household, but there are too many shifts and changes in the stream of years to see well." Bravo! How many authors are willing to mention that their memories might have now gone astray as the years passed. Mary Lawlor seems like a Military daughter who grew up perfectly.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby

I really love the cover of A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby. Along with the beautiful cover, there is a wonderful Christmas novel. Alexis is in love with Chase. They are going to marry. However, they have one problem. It's called a future mother - in - law problem. Geneva is Chase's mother. She despises Alexis. All she wants for Christmas is for Alexis to disappear from her son's life. The novel is filled with painful situations: there is conflict between two sisters, Sabrina and Alexis, there is the emptiness Alexis experiences every Christmas season because she misses her mother so much, and of course, there is Geneva, the mother - in - law no one wants in their life.

All the way through the novel, Alexis proves herself to be quite a lady. I don't think she ever faltered. I really liked Alexis especially when she would do all she could to help her neice, Courtney. Then, I began to think that Alexis just is too good. She's the Angel on the top of the Christmas tree. Strangely, her perfect nature didn't disturb me. I liked this perfect lady. Too bad there are no perfect ladies in real life.

In my eyes, I felt Alexis forgave Geneva too quickly. The woman had said awful things about Alexis. It would take me at least a month to forgive the hateful woman. Alexis forgives her immediately. Perhaps it's the Christmas prayer that Alexis wrote down. I'm sure the prayer helped her through so many holdiday problems. As far as forgiving Geneva, Alexis came off too perfect. While under the magical spell of Kimberla Lawson Roby's writing or the Chicago holiday air, I accepted this perfect woman. In other words, I loved this novel and the main character. It's the first Christmas novel I've read this year. If I don't read another one, I feel completely satisfied with this one novel. Whatever my Christmas problems, I am ready to say "Merry Christmas."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wondrous Words
1."It is two days after the feast of Saint George on Saint Margaret's marsh. Pieter lies struck down with a flux of some sort; It is in his stomach and he cannot move. Sarah fears the worst - he's always had too much black bile but would never give credence to the doctors."

.flux (flÅ­ks) n. The discharge of large quantities of fluid material from the body, especially the discharge of watery feces from the intestines. Material thus discharged from the bowels. The rate of flow of fluid, particles, or energy through a given surface. Google

2.A wherry has just cast off from the staithe at Stokesby as they round the last bend and the village comes into view. Beth fends with the oar and Richard leaps to the bank, making fast the boat."

wherry a light rowboat used chiefly for carrying passengers.

staithe A landing place or pier where ships may tie up and load or unload. 2. Obsolete A shore or riverbank. v. wharfed, wharf·ing, wharfs. 

fend manage (by oneself), cope alone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

fighter pilot's daughter by Mary Lawlor

I've never ridden down Rt. 66. I just vaguely remember a song or t.v. show about Rt. 66. Our famous route was and has been Rt. 95. We could travel from Pennsylvania down to North Carolina and Florida on this route of paved road. Then, we could come back the same way. Here is Mary Lawlor's memory. Rt. 66 is nos called the Historic Route.

'"We drove straight across the South, following Route 66, and stopped along the way at tourist sites. The trip took seven days. We stayed in motels along the road and ate dinner in trucker's restaurants."'