Showing posts from 2017

Book Beginnings

September 1981

Dear Mousey,

Fun facts About Murder: Use Coca-Cola to clean up blood spills. The combination of ascorbic acid and carbonated water actually digests the blood, leaving no trace of evidence.

This seems like a frightening opening to a novel involving a boys school, a church school. I feel as though something dreary and horrible is going to happen within the pages of  "Different Class" by Joanne

Let's clean out the Jails. Let's fill them with whomever is easiest to catch. Their innocence doesn't matter.

East Texas is a place where there are good times and bad times. In "Bluebird, Bluebird" by Attica Locke, there are really awful days for people like Geneva, the owner of the cafe, Joe, her husband, and Darren, a Texas Ranger, and others I haven't named like the visiting Law student, Michael. This novel involves more than one crime and I mention Geneva, first because she will experience both horrible incidents personally. Both crimes touched my heart. However, I felt more touched by the double homicide. It happens six years than the bayou murders. It involves a black man and a white woman. There springs alive a bed of hatred or more specifically racism. No dirty rice, okra or catfish can calm the nerves of the community. The special dish seems to give only energy to the body to scream and cry and wonder why.

There isn't a race riot. There is just the knowledge of Darren, the Texas Ranger, and the relatives that the case needs solving quickly. Before the …

Choose Susan Vreeland as your companion to the art museum

"'An eye like a blue pearl,' was what my father said. And then he died. During a winter's first snowfall, just like this."


I seem always to come to death's door and stop!

Sleeping Beauty was awakened with a kiss. In Mary Ashley Townsend's poem "Creed," a woman, I think, not a man is awakened not only from a long sleep but from death. The real sleep which is described as "cold" and like someone living in "exile" is romantic and not dreary. If I think of a realocation, I remember descriptions of  Siberia.  It is her lover's love that awakens her. She "gladly" feels herself awake from the strange, unknown place of death. It is thought of as an isle.

This seems like such a romantic poem. However, If I think of prose, I think of "The House of Ushers" by Edgar Allan Poe? I'm not sure whether it was love that awakened her or something else. There are two words in this stanza that puzzle me. What does the poet mean by "folded orbs?" let's see if I can print the stanza here with the two words that are puzzling to me.


The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

"Ida, my dear, you don't really believe that fascism can survive in the land of liberte', e'galite', et fraternite'?"

Dare To Come Out And Play With Keys And Locks

In "What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours" by Helen Oyeyemi, there is music, puppets, beautiful English and Chinese roses, music and keys and locks. All of this and more tempt our imagination and curiosity to come out and play. A desire is awakened to visit La Pedrera in Spain. It is definitely a book where a reader will find the time to revisit and relearn the characters. I feel each time it is reread another key will become available to open another locked door.

The Kipling Cafe Created by Ellery Adams

I am so in love with Storyton Hall. Is there a real one in my city? The atmosphere is wonderful. There are Mystery book covers framed and placed on the wall. Then, I read about the menu. Had to share it. "Guests savored the October sunshine while the waiters bustled about serving Julius Caesar salads, Herman Melville chowder, Homer's pulled pork sandwiches, or Mark Twain chicken biscuits along with iced tea and lemonade."

Kate Drayton Returns To Her South Carolina Home

Kate Drayton is home from Harvard to work on a writing assignment. Also, she wants to seek answers to her Southern past. There are many secrets in her South Carolina background. Her story is going to involve a slave revolt. One that failed. That's the interesting point. How often did a revolt fail? I immediately want to know what caused the failure. I also want to know what does it have to do with a White girl's life.  As she and a friend boy of color take a walk together, the Spanish Moss is a reminder of "ropes." I think of the ropes used for lynching. Hope I'm not off track.

Tell Me A Story About This City

There are times when it is necessary to walk through dark passages. These places that make us uneasy lead to the truth. In "Buenos Aires Noir" Edited By Ernesto Mallo, there are many passages about murder, drugs, poverty, bad marriages. These are not just horror stories written without a purpose by these different Spanish authors. Their idea is to give a glimpse of the parts of Argentina never seen by tourists. Yes, the discomfort of the stories causes edginess. The good part of that negative feeling is that we learn this place is like our country in its troubles. In other words, we do not suffer alone, and we are not peculiar. If and when we ever meet one another, our introductions to one another will lack a feeling of desperate strangeness. We will remember our brother, sister, friend or the boys who played basketball in the streets.

Each story led to a desire to know about the author. Thankfully, in the back of the book there are short bios for each author. Now I know t…

Leptodermist And Taxidermy

Although very sorry about the murder of the Pacific Northwest Artist, I still laughed a plenty while reading the lines Stoker Templeton-Vane and Veronica Speedwell threw at one another. The fact that Veronica is a butterfly netter makes for exciting reading too. I wanted to look up each butterfly named. I didn't have time. I wished for more detailed descriptions of the butterflies. I especially like the part where Veronica and Stoker or maybe just Veronica become "foxed." Stoker carries her over his back and Veronica says the view is wonderful. There is only one more book in the series, I think. So, I am looking forward to your next set of mysteries.

Sorry for not mentioning the title and your name which I remember very well: "A Perilous Undertaking" by Veronica Speedwell. Oh yes, Veronica does have the nerve of an aching tooth. That is so true.

Your mystery brought back happy memories. A few years ago I read a Historical Fiction novel by Susan …

"It was a big, ugly, antique, but convenient house..."

"...I had the fancy of our being almost as lost as a handful of passengers in a great drifting ship...I was strangely at the helm!"

Words Of Loving Advice to Men And Women

In this book, "Letter to My Daughter" by Maya Angelou, I discovered a few new facts about Doctor Maya Angelou. For example, I did not realize her mother owned a hotel. I also didn't remember her sense of humor. I also think she had the ability to disagree with a person's opinion without raising her voice and maintaining her dignity in front of other people. This book definitely gives a fuller picture of this woman's opinions.

I liked thinking about the women she called her daughters. These women must have visited her countless times and received good advice. Two of the women she listed as daughters are Oprah Winfrey and Gayle B. King. Maya Angelou also remembers people who "mothered" her whenever struggles occurred in her life. For those of us who did not have the chance to meet her personally, she hopes her books will nurture us as a mother would care for her children throughout life.

It is grand to know that the book is for every type of woman: Black,…

A City of "Contradictions"


When It Rains, It Pours

Rachel, Pinsiera, a little girl, is very ill with Leukemia. In "Exposed" by Lisa Scottoline, family and friends deal with all sorts of troubles while doing their best to give all the love possible. These troubles stem from the father, Simon's, job. There is a cover up and those in higher position have a deeper concern for money rather than the stress this father is dealing with while waiting for the right donor for a Bone Marrow and the heavy medical costs. Simon has only one course of action. When he takes that action, all the balls fall to the floor as these White Collar criminals defame his character and fight back.

The author shares what it is like to family and friends stick beside you.These Philadelphians are always there to catch you before you fall. Thank goodness, there are also lawyers who still care about the human condition rather than lining their pockets. It is great to read about two friends, Bennie and Mary, who never betray one another. Whi…

A Bedside Confession

At seven years old, Brooke lost her mother. Years later she would lose her father, Jacob. After his death, Brooke began to learn about the many secrets surrounding her life. These secrets would lead to a heavy disagreement with Trent, her finance. Her grandmother tried to help her understand the past. To learn all of her past, she would have to leave Raleigh and go to Atlanta.

It is easy to feel deep sympathy and empathy for Brooke. There are feelings for mothers too. All mothers step out on an unknown path. There are dramatic stories some mothers can tell. This one in "Seeking Sarah" rings true. I think we've all felt some of the mother's feelings or the emotions of the daughter. There comes a time when these words are taken with more than a grain of salt. "Tired of the games...Tired of the losses."

ReShonda Tate Billingsley's "Seeking Sarah" is an emotional book. It leaves me hoping to find any Sarahs in my life. Sarah is such a…

A Fatal Push

This is a relaxing cozy to read. Although the title is "Murdered by Wine," a person does not need to drink a glass of wine while reading it. As a matter of fact, Kelly does not like wine tasting. What really quenches her thirst is solving the murder of the lady tour guide. The best fun is getting to spend time with her son - in - law, Brad, and their daughter. When the ghastly incident happens, Kelly's husband, Mike, is ready to help the officers there in California.

I really liked this cozy written by Dianne Harman because the murder is easy to solve. Plus, I liked learning about the wine making process. When I think of wine making, I see Lucy and Ethel on "I Love Lucy" stamping around in a vat of grapes. Now I know there is a new way to mash grapes. Machinery is used to deseed, etc.

I also loved reading about the calls back and forth to the families in Italy. I would love to know the prices of a meal and wine at The Pastel Rose where Kelly and …

If We Can't Have Children, Who Should We Blame?

In Accra, Ghana, there is a brutal murder of a woman for cultural reasons. Inspector Darko Dawson's life goes through extreme stress as he works to find the killer along with his new partner, Mabel Safo. Since this mystery in the Darko Dawson mystery series involves a high amount of Charismatic religion, it is not problematic to write that Inspector Dawson's family along with himself are fighting with  temptations and trials and definitely need support from the rest of the family.

I felt surprised that Darko Dawson is allowed to remain on the case. The case is so brutal it causes Christine to lose her balance and serenity. Sadly, she has lost not only a cousin but her best friend. During this time, there is an obedience problem with Sly, their son. Inspector Darko must handle it immediately before it gets out of hand.

In this novel "Death By His Grace," by Kwei Quartey, there is the chance to explore Darko Dawson's feelings about every day life. His ideas about …

European Book Challenge For 2017

FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

   Germany, Poland, Paris

Chaos And Secrets

My heart is really pumping faster than usual. In "Working Fire" by Emily Bleeker, I have read about two sisters who watch their lives fall apart. Two sisters who lead good lives: They love their father and care for him during a very difficult illness. These sisters help each other in any way possible. One sister loves her husband and daughters with all her heart. The other sister is a paramedic. She wants to spend her life rescuing people in her community. At the same time, she gives her love to a soon to be husband and her brother - in - law and nieces. Both women share a friendship with one man who is an artist. Through sacrifice, both women want to make life better for themselves and other people.

However, their good life was changing in the shadows somewhere. Friends began to change and a marriage became strained. Life became full of ghostly shadows. There are old secrets, and daily needs become impossible to bear. All of a sudden, life is a series of open …

It Is A Time Of Terror

It is such a terrible time. It is war time in Germany, Poland and Paris. It is a time when one man ruled as dictator. It is his, Hitler's, decision to destroy certain groups of people. In "Half-Blood Blues" by Esi Edugyan, a German American band is the focus. We meet guys who love Jazz along with their lady friend, Delilah. There are many hardships. Their race becomes a thing of danger. One in the group, Chip, is German and Black. Sid is Black, etc. All of a sudden ethnicity becomes an intricate thing of beauty, and it is realized race mixtures are as different as cake batters. If you are open to racial harmony, you will see the novel in one way. If not, you will see it in another way. It is your call, your decision.

Within the pages, there is the one and only Louis Armstrong. Ultimately, he will leave Europe and go back to America because of the fast movement of troops throughout Europe. However, he does not leave before trying to mak…


"The Absence of Evelyn" by Jackie Townsend is about the people we love. Their permanent going away need not take them away from our hearts. Our love can bridge the silences. Evelyn's life is a love story made clear through her survivors. Memorable is Marco, Evelyn's lover, and Olivia, her daughter, slowly and lovingly spending time in the place, Hanoi, that Evelyn loved the most.

The novel is multilayered like a torte. However, not as sweet. There are shocking secrets, and there is forbidden love. Also, there are hard choices. It is a novel heavy in thought but easy to digest and regurgitate for further thought. It is one not to miss in 2017. Take time to meet Evelyn who made an important life decision during September 11, 2001.

Death a huge part of life is different for each of us. Perhaps, it is all for the purpose of our continued story. This makes our calling as mothers, sisters, husbands or fathers and friends as intricate and delicate as spider …

A Visit Around The World During 2017 Ending In 2018

Again Rose City Reader hosts a European Reading Challenge. It seems very simple which makes it feel welcoming. A person entering can choose any genre. There are a list of countries on her blog. No one can repeat a country or author. You can overlap with other challenges. You can use e books. Pick  your level from her blog. I have chosen Five Star Deluxe Entourage. The challenger must finish their goal by January 31, 2018.  See all information on Rose City Reader's blog.

There is a gift in every day

This novel "All That Matters" by Jan Goldstein is mostly about Jennifer. The Zuckerman family are the secondary characters who help her cope with chronic depression. There is her father, Barry, her grandmother, Gabby, and her grandfather and her mother, Lili, whom we never meet. Jennifer's mother dies accidentally. The novel is heartbreaking simply because the father is really unavailable. He has a new wife and a new baby. It is also heartbreaking because there are so many losses experienced by each character. For example, there is the Holocaust family stories that Gabby has held in her heart for so long. I am learning that each Holocaust story is dramatically different in some way. Each person who has experienced it seems to come away with more new ways for their present friends and relatives to cope with life today.

There are many jaunts throughout the novel. Gabby's life story takes her back to Poland. Jennifer's story begins in California. While…

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

I'm picking up so many books lately which include the months of the year while focusing on a season too. I find this idea totally delightful. While I might forget for a moment that it is autumn, winter spring or summer, the books bring me back to the right time of celebration. Already this week I've read about fruits like the apple or something called a "quince."

Seasons are so important whether in a story, a book or in a movie. Seasons are a way God uses to celebrate His ability to create. It is His hope that these times will cause us to become more creative whether coloring a red leaf, putting sequins on a lemon or painting a mountain.

Our autumn has not arrived yet. We still have a tiny bit of summer to enjoy. Already, I am looking forward to cooler mornings. I thought making an afghan using orange and burnt brown would keep my minds centered on the changing trees. One year my husband and I did have the chance to ride the Souther…
"To satisfy Irina and Seth's curiosity, Alma began by telling them, with the lucidity that preserves crucial moments for us, of the first time she saw Ichimei Fukuda. She met him in the splendid garden at the Sea Cliff mansion in the spring of 1939."

Alma Belasco is really an original character. She is a woman who lives by her own rules. She wears purple rings, she's a woman who disappears twice a week to an unknown place.

Great suspense~

The thunder starts as we're saying goodbye, leaving each other for the summer holidays ahead. A loud crack echoes off the ground, making Connie jump.

The author, B.A. Paris likens this storm to an "omen." I did think of foreshadowing.

Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

"It's interesting, isn't it, how when you stay in a hotel almost anywhere all you hear are the major languages;...But they were speaking some of those languages in the hotel that weekend--wonderful, exotic languages, including one that had clicks and whistles in it. !Kung. And it has an exclamation mark in front of it."

The Ray of the Microcosm by Petar II Petrovic Njegos

He now remembers his first glory, dreams Of blissful times, but dreams and memories Are fading far too fast out of his sight, Pressed in dark ranges, they withdraw and flee Into the wide book of eternity;

Ron Carter - The Shadow Of Your Smile


The Islands And A Movie Star Or Two

When I looked at this novel, I could not imagine how the author, Margaret Cezair-Thompson would bring Errol Flynn and Jamaica together. However, once Ida, a young teen-ager, and her father came on the scene it all blended together very nicely. While growing up his photo might have flashed across the tv screen.  What stood out? His looks. He seemed very handsome. When I looked back at his photos and movie clips tonight, he still looked handsome. The mustache is what draws me. My father had a mustache too. Maybe the spirit of a pirate lived in him also.

Now, I have found out that Errol Flynn really had a life on the island. I love the quote at the front of Margaret Cezair-Thompson's novel about his life there. "Back in America, little was known of my life in Jamaica." He wrote this in his autobiography "My Wicked, Wicked Ways."

Ida, the teen, whom I think of as the main character is named after a movie star. I know nothing about this star. I only heard her name …

The Time Of The End On Earth

One Nation Without Law by Phil Hotsenpiller

Two facts stand out immediately.  One involves gratitude. I am thankful to Phil Hotsenpiller in "One Nation Without Law." He writes a reminder.  None of us are without the capabilities of sin. As hard as it is to believe or accept raging anger can come to life in all of us. Only the Good Lord's Holy Spirit holds us steady. The author writes that we can become as evil as Eichmann.  He is one of the men who participated in the horrors which came upon the Jewish people.

Although all of mankind have sinned, there is still a living hope. God never gives up on us. However, the author writes there is a time when the people on Earth will first go through the judgments of God. Our enemy or enemies will act as brutally as the Assyrians did against the Ninevites in Bible History. There is an Historical Assyrian Art piece that shows the ugliness of cruelty.  "In a bronze relief...two victims...are highlighted: one prisoner impaled on …

Are You Sleeping?

If you've ever wondered does God talk to us through dreams and visions, this is the book for you. It's Non-Fiction. In Faith Blatchford's book, we are reminded of the dreams in the Bible. For example, Abraham's dream is one among five. Impressionable is the thoughts about why God gave us sleep. Our sleep is His gift. It is exciting to think about God's timetable. Does He live by one? Does He need rest? These types of questions are answered in "Winning the Battle for the Night: God's Plan for Sleep, Dreams and Revelation."

After reading this simple and thorough book, the mind opens to another way God might choose to show solutions to our problems and give guidance, etc. Knowing God is aware of us as we sleep could possibly take away sleep anxieties. After all, He is our Protector. The One who never grows tired, and the One who never leaves us.

It is helpful to read closely the scriptures given in the chapters. I had questions about some s…

Just minor thoughts about the Branigan Powers Mystery (Kregel)

Getting to know more about Malachi. He seems like a minor sleuth. He thinks more than he talks. I'm glad to have a Black sleuth in on a major case with a White reporter. This brings up Branigan. She really seems to go along without much help from the police. Of course, there is Detective Scovoy.  Have many thoughts. Will bring it down to the fact that I'm really liking this mystery. For once, I can't figure anything out. Who murdered Maylene and Janie Rose?  I do believe a young woman drove the hearse that fatal night. I'm thinking this because of Charlie's dream about Mrs. Santa driving the sleigh.


I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my Feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

                                 Emily Dickinson

Beach waves swim calmly
over a seal.
Laughter blows wind lightly
over their  day.
Silent Seagulls fly daily
over castles of sand.

I immediately felt drawn into "The Tincture of Time" by Elizabeth L. Silver. Abby's Brain bleed is very serious. None of the doctors seem to know why it has happened. There are months and months of MRI's and other tests. While caring for her baby, Elizabeth L. Silver's mind traveled many different ways. Nothing seemed to escape this mother's mind.

In the Memoir, her thoughts travel from Faith thoughts to philosophical ones. She begins with this "tincture of time." Then, travels over to Macbeth and Hippocrates. Although some of her thoughts are above my head, they were still beautiful in writing. There is also Medical Art. Never having heard of Bioart I lost myself in the photos on the Internet.

Since the author is a lawyer, there is much to learn about malpractice. By forty years old, many doctors will have experienced one suing for malpractice. Elizabeth L. Silver's father, a doctor, suffered his share of traumatizing moments wh…

When You Don't Know Why, Who Gets The Blame?

The Tincture Of Time A Memoir Of (Medical) Uncertainty by Elizabeth L. Silver

Not wanting to share too much about this true story, I will only write that it is well worth your reading time. I've had sick babies, but I have never been subjected to the sort of questions put to the Silvers in "The Tincture Of Time". It is like a Homicide case. The family is often suspected first. Therefore, hard questions are asked of them. They must answer hard questions while in their hearts is the truth. 'I could never commit such a deed. I love them with all my heart.' The authorities whether doctors, social workers or police do not realize that long afterward the parents will feel guilt over the accusations. It breaks my heart to think how these precious moments with Abby are being destroyed. Thank goodness babies can not understand the words that leave our lips. However, I have read or heard babies can feel our stress.

I am thankful that this book did not miss my eye. I discov…

Painting And Dancing

I love good romance novels and stories. Janice L. Dennie's "Brandon's Artistic Passion" is really wonderful. Brandon and Ciarra are thoughtful. Getting to the bedroom is not their only goal. Both share their careers. Brandon is an artist. Ciarra is a ballerina. Brandon shares the fact that he is blocked. Unable to paint for a whole year. Ciarra explains about the difficulties she faces as a ballerina. She faces racism along with the every day pains faced by all ballerinas. One work related problem is Tendonitis.

While reading, I wanted to see each of the paintings named by Brandon. On the beach he sketches. He also paints Ciarra. While his love for Ciarra is deep, memories of his childhood haunt him. This explains the one year of no paint brush in hand. I also tried to picture Ciarra dancing in the Nutcracker Suite and the Firebird. I could see her in the red tutu and purple feather.

There are so many beautiful California scenes. There is the fog in S…

Her Childhood Was Not A Fairy Tale

The Con Man's Daughter: A Story of Lies, Desperation, and Finding God by Candice Curry is a sad family's true story. Candice Curry's father is like a child himself. In his daughter's eyes, he is very, very selfish. She spends most of her life striving to conquer the bad memories of her childhood. Once she grows up she takes on the battle of her step siblings. She wants to make sure that her father does not hurt another child in this life. As she struggles through many battles in life, she learns to walk in faith. God becomes the pilot of her life, her "Blessed Assurance" and her friend.

I especially remember the courtroom battle. It is a custody battle. It takes courage to tell her personal feelings about her father to the court and support her stepmother. All the while, he is there listening at each word. He proudly acts as his own lawyer.

In the end, she must step toward forgiveness of herself and help her family forgive their past of dysfunc…

Whom Shall We Talk To Next?

Nine years ago in Chicago five women disappeared. Two detectives, Evie Blackwell and David Marshall, work together trying to find a solution to the above crime along with another crime involving a murdered detective who had been working on a case about an unfaithful spouse.  Both cases have gone cold. Evie is working on the missing women, mainly a college student named Jenna. The cases begin to interweave which thickens the distasteful stew.

It would seem like Evie and David would become romantic involved while working together.  However, it never happens. As a matter of fact, neither thinks of romance because each are involved with other people. David is involved with Margaret called Maggie throughout the book. She is a very famous singer. Evie is involved with Rob. These cases are cold because six to nine years have past. The methods used by these detectives to solve these awful crimes are amazing.

In "Threads Of Suspicion" by Dee Henderson, there is the added layer of Ch…

The British And The Scottish

It was a bloody time in Scottish History. The Scots and the British hated one another. The British placed Scots, if they could catch them, in leg irons and in prisons. Although this was a brutal period, there is something romantic about strong, brave men and women fighting to keep or regain their independence.

Battles like the one at Culloden leave the imagination running wild. There is Bonnie Prince Charlie who remains in the shadows like a ghost. In 'Highland Bloodline' by Florence Love Karsner, there are pages and pages about one family, the Mackinnons. For example, there is Caitlin. She is a healer. Lightening fire can flow from her fingertips in moments and at the right time. She is there to use her healing skills on those who suffer with Scarlet Fever. There is Alex who meets his son for the very first time.

In Highland Bloodline, there are animals walking the Highlands: a wolf, a cat, the flying of an owl and not a deer but a... Its antlers are called a rac…

I'm reading this story now. Really.



Pontius Pilate's question about truth becomes more significant now. To know the difference between a truth and a lie in our mind where thoughts first begin is almost sacred. Clayton King in "Overcome" writes about living a healthy Christian life by recognizing the lies we are told. Replacing those lies with truth takes us down the correct fork in the road.

This book is full of richness while at the same time it is written so simply. His instructions on a way to live a better Christian life do not leave feelings of fear. This is another outcome of the author's strategy. We are released from fear. One scripture about truth comes to mind thanks to Clayton KIng. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

The Last Valentine by Felix Anderson

I always thought the French and the Italians knew about the intricacies of love. Now I know it is the Spanish too. In "The Last Valentine" by Felix Anderson, there are philosophies about love.There is the desire to love beyond the grave. There is also a mysterious Labyrinth. There is a bloody letter stolen from a dead man and just about every sort of love you can think about no matter whether you have experienced love or not. The characters seem very real. The family histories are interesting, but sadly it is a book that lasts far too long.

Obviously, Felix Anderson is in love with love in "The Last Valentine". There is  no way to read his words without falling in love with love, crying over past loves and remembering words said or not said. I feel all gooey with chocolate, sticky with love and sad because there are graves of those whom I have loved not visited. Yes, this is Historical. It is also about location, Puerto Rico.

It's Not All About Romance

aT Scotland is a raw land. It's filled with brutal fighting with the British and the hidden faces of Highwaymen behind every bush along with monstrous animals. It is also a land known for its supernatural occurrences. Healers and its natural wonders like the Circle of Stones and Rowan wood which spits blue liquid. Although there are many unsettling occurrences, there is also love. Caitlan and Alex along with his many brothers are a special part of "Highland Bloodline" by Florence Love Karsner.  florencelovekarsner

It's 1888 in the spring and summer

I am in Russia at Luka enjoying conversations and the fishing and the deep thoughts of Zinia who is blind and the special company of Anton Pavlovich who wants to write a novel. The house is full of sisters, brothers and friends and a parent or two. Anton deep desire is to write a novel. He does not have the time. He leans on short stories. His encourager is Zinia which is short for a really long name which I can't find at the moment.

I think wisdom must come with illness. As if blindness is not enough, she also suffers with severe headaches. Although blind, she observes so much around her. Nothing is taken for granted. Her time is spent with notebook in hand, her journal. What she will write each day is always a surprise to her.

I now would like to ski. Isn't that a laugh?

A Family's Ups And Downs

If you want to learn about the important issues facing Americans today, read about this family. "Tell Me How This Ends Well" by David Samuel Levinson is about a Jewish family. There are three siblings: Mo, Jacob and Edith. These three deal with personal problems as well as troubles with their parents. This family is ordinary because of their differences. No family circle conforms to an exact Pollyanna image. This family is extraordinary because of a murderous plan put together by the brothers. David Samuel Levinson book becomes a premeditated bloody mystery.

The plan is shocking. However, it is not without reality. Who knows what siblings discuss in their bedrooms and in their cars before coming to the dinner table? I liked the fact that the author surprised me and frightened me with this deadly plan.

Many men do not get along with their fathers. This father,for example, is set in his ways. He is outspoken. He wants his children to look like a photograph taken…

A Most Singular Venture by Donna Fletcher Crow

Very disappointed by "A Most Singular Venture" by Donna Fletcher Crow. I hoped the dryness would go away and leave me floating through the pages happily. The book has everything I like in it. There are rare books, bookstores, England and Jane Austen, marriage, mystery. I'm really hurt because one of my favorite Classic authors is Jane Austen. Anyway, I soon became discouraged. What I wanted to happen didn't happen.

I feel so badly. The author's name is one I fell in love with too. I liked repeating her name in my head, Donna Fletcher Crow. I'm definitely going to read another one of her books. I have great hopes that soon this author will satisfy my need for a good mystery or English fiction with History. Thank you for a copy of the e-book from Reading

A Shakespearean Garden

It's the first day of spring. What a perfect time to finish reading a novel by Ellen Herrick titled "The Forbidden Garden." Sorrel Sparrow, one of four sister, goes to London. Her duty is to restore a Shakespearean Garden. While the family who own the garden have continued to grow and remain vibrant, the garden has been left to die.

This is a second book in a series. The first book about the Sparrows is named "The Sparrow Sisters." Their last name is like a call to nature. Unfortunately, there is little information in "The Forbidden Garden" about the sisters. Just enough is given to wake up the curiosity. I especially worried about the death of one sister. I also began to wonder about how they were treated in their town. Often, women who have special abilities or talents are seriously thought of as witches. By the way, I don't feel a person has to read the first book. I thought of this as a stand alone because it focuses on Sorrel…

Let's Visit Denmark!

This is a great book for any one who would like to learn about Denmark. Reading it does not mean you plan to visit there. If you never go, you would have explored the lives of people, the Danes, who are very happy. Helen Russell, the author of "The Year of Living Danishly:..," also shares her life with her husband. She calls him Lego Man. It is because he works for the Lego toy company in Denmark.

Although this is a very prosperous country, there are many contradictions. These differences can lead to laughter or just a feeling of 'how strange.' For example, the Danes are very jolly but there is a part of the population who take antidepressants. This surprised me. Also while Denmark is known as peaceable, there is this Denmark thing about passing a blow if you care to do so while out and about or among school friends. It is possible to get in a fight. Also, there are unhappy marriages. The reason given is because the parents prioritize the lives of thei…

Take A Trip To Canada

In one Canadian city, there is the largest fiddle ever seen. In another city, Halifax, there is the Maritime museum where a person can remember the Titanic. All of the places explored in Canada by
 Marie Schaeller in "Exploring Atlantic Canada: A 2-week Travel Memoir of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia" leave something to remember. As helpers, there are many links in the one hundred twenty - one page book.

At first, I thought the small book began too much like a Fodor's Handbook. I thought, "oh brother." It did not take a long time for a change of mind to happen. Soon I wanted to remain with this fiddler player on her journey. It became a fun journey. There are illustrations and a map or maps. I followed along on the map. Feeling what she was seeing became easy. While she played her fiddle outside beneath the stars at night or during the daytime during a break, I sat beside her and listened with enjoyment. What is it like to pl…

When God Says Wait by Elizabeth Laing Thompson

In our society, there is the idea it is better to move forward. Hurry! Make any decision just make one. Not many people talk about waiting and how to do it. To talk about waiting means a belief in the power of prayer. It means believing that you are not in control of your life, but God is in control of your life. It means praising God and learning more about His attributes.

In "When God Says Wait" by Elizabeth Laing Thompson, there are chapters with journal prompts to help a person come to a better understanding on how to endure while waiting for God to give you what is best for your life. The journal entries are simple. I felt no anxiety about trying two or more of them. I had the chance to write and think about the pitfalls you might fall into while God is equipping you with patience. One is mental depression.

The chapters are about Bible heroes and heroines. There is Mariam, Joseph, Mary and Naomi, etc. The author also shares her life in the chapters. Whil…

The Glass Slipper Project by Dara Girard

** spoiler alert ** It's a turnabout in "The Glass Slipper Project" by Dara Girard. Four sisters who lived in a mansion find themselves penniless. Alex, the boy whose mother worked for this family returns rich. He decides to buy back the big house. At their wits end, the sisters make a plan. One will marry Alex. Then, the other three sisters can move back into the house. All four will live happily together with fewer worries and the family will have become bigger.

However, like all plans made on the fly everything begins to fall apart. This is when the author brings in lots of unexpected circumstances. "The Glass Slipper Project" fills with surprise after surprise. One surprise is who will marry whom. In other words who will win Alex's heart and his friend, Tony's heart. I liked Isabella the best of all. She thinks of herself as invisible. As the story goes on, Isabella seems to lose more than the other sisters. All of her drea…

A Nurse In Winter

If this book is about one thing, it's about prayer. "In Winter's Secret" by Lyn Cote, a Home Health Nurse named Wendy, is followed through the heavy snow by a burglar. The homes where she visits are entered by this person after she and her patient leaves for care. She prays not too many of her patients will become harmed or fatally wounded. In the meantime, she and Sheriff Rodd deal with personal issues.

It's fascinating the way God works with Rodd during the crimes. He must learn to depend on God. It's hard for him. He feels there is no need to bother God. After all, this is a problem he can handle himself. While we read about his battle with God, there is Wendy with her set of trials. She deals with her past. Perhaps, working too exhaustion is her way of not facing the pain she has experienced throughout the years with her mother. In the present, she faces the pain of seeing a uncle over drink and fight at the bar. Then, …