Friday, December 31, 2010

My 2011 New Year's Toast

To Nearest
To Far
To Greatest
To the Crew
To Cahoots
To the Ones Who've Been There
To the Ones Who'll Be There
To Dropping Everything
To Saying Anything
To No Judgements
To No Doubts
To Loyalty
To Trust
To Favors
To Lifelong
To Been Too Long
To Nothing Changed
To Having History
To Having Your Back
To Never Too Far
To Growing Up
To Settling Down
To Making Celebrations
To Friends
To Your Family - near and far
(borrowed from the Grey Goose holiday toast -- I loved the toast (modified) not so much the Grey Goose)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December's Book Reports

Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Another Jack Reacher story.  He's a drifter - no car - no suitcase - no i-Phone - just an ATM card with a big bank account. Jack is heading to Virginia and gets way laid in Nebraska. And if you know Jack you know he just can't walk away when people need him to make the wrong(s) right. I love these fast paced stories about Jack and his adventures.

Bad Blood by John Sandford
Virgil Flowers is the hero here.  Completely readable prose with a great plot/mystery and never is what it seems.  Virgil teams up with the Chief of Police, Lee Coakly investigating a double murder in SW Minnesota.  Or does it stop at two? Great story development and characters you love to hate.

The Taking of Libbie, S.D. by David Housewright
Rushmore McKenzie is kidnapped and transported to Libbie, S.D. - the town's angry for being duped and robbed of it's coffers.  Only they got the wrong Rushmore McKenzie. The impostor stole Rushmore's identity and will have to pay for taking our boy's name.  The Rushmore McKenzie series is always a good St. Paul, Mn read.

Saving CeCe Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
A southern charmer that recounts 12 year old CeCe's recovery from a childhood with her crazy mother and absent father.  She's rescued by her great aunt Tootie when her mother dies and moves from Ohio to the deep south.  A moving story that will make you smile reading this bittersweet story.

Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron
Another District Judge Deborah Knott book happening during the holidays. A story filled with her large bag of relatives filling out the mystery with mysteries of their own. The holiday spirit is mixed with mystery and mayhem as only Ms. Maron can do.

Coming Back by Marcia Muller
Sharon's still trying to get back to the life she had before her injury (last book: Locked In). She jumps in when a fellow physical therapy patient goes missing and pulls Sharon's P.I. team into the mix of murder, missing people and mystery.

Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger
Cork O'Connor is all alone in the empty house - the kids are gone for the summer and he's still getting over his wife's death. A mystery is just what he needs and lands in an old and new mystery that only he can solve. Another great Cork O'Connor story.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
The only book I read every holiday and love every time I snuggle up with this great story.  A Scotland setting, family and new friends create a bond during the winter Christmas season.  A wonderful, full feeling, reminiscent, heart-felt story.  My very favorite story of all time.  If you've never read this book --- please do, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the 12 Days Before Christmas

Head over to Bee Keeper's blog site and start the beginning of 12 days of holiday goodies!  There will be great gift ideas, a few stories, things to make & wrap, last minute presents, holiday decorating, festive wear and yummy holiday recipes. I was asked to participate and will start everyone off with
12 Days Before Christmas
with a Partridge in a Gift Tree
(a fun idea that brings back lots of great family Christmas memories)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a cleaning machine!

The holidays must be coming --- I've been a cleaning fool! The house needed a complete, thorough, down on my hands and knees, cleaning.  I love having a clean house for the holidays and we've got a couple of early arrivals soon to be upon us.  I've spent all week getting the cob webs out (living in the woods the house is a haven for cob webs - pesky cobs!), scrubbing floors, washing down walls, pulling books out of the bookcases,  polishing and putting books back. Pulling books out of the bookcases and donating them to the library. I've dusted, polished, arranged, moved, vacuumed again and again. I've cleaned beds, changed sheets - hated said sheets and bought new ones for our guest room. Made a few trips to donate to Goodwill, taken a stack of boxes to the recycling center. I've washed windows (although not all of them), cleaned light fixtures and painted a few areas that needed touch ups. Made repairs along the way, called in a plumber to fix a couple of leaky faucets, called in the furnace company to clean the furnace. Cleaned out fireplaces (plural), blew the wrap-around deck & driveway of all debris.  Next week I can tackle the bathrooms and do a last minute vacuum (again). Then I'll sit back and enjoy my clean house and get ready to decorate it for the holidays. Now that makes me happy.  What holiday preparations make you happy?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November's Book Reports

Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker
Spenser is hired as a body guard for a ransom exchange - cash for a stolen painting. Only the historian is killed during the exchange when a bomb was hidden in the package. He was under Spenser's watch and sets Spenser in motion to find the perps.  One of the best Spenser stories and sadly the last. (Mr. Parker died in January.) With 37 previous Spenser books, it's time to reread this greatly missed author again.

The Weed That Stings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradly
Flavia's 2nd outing into mystery, mayhem and murder. A traveling puppet show's van brakes down in Bishop's Lacy and the stage is set. An utterly beguiling mystery starring one of the most remarkable sleuths, a genius in solving not only one but two mysteries. This beloved 11 year old tugs at your heartstrings, keeps you laughing and waiting for book 3, A Red Herring Without Mustard coming the summer of 2011.  I can't wait!

The Reversal by Michael Connelly
LAPD detective Harry Bosch teams up with Mickey Haller in Connelly's latest. The murder is 24 years old and with new technology, the perp gets a new trial.  Mickey steps across the aisle and works for the prosecution on a one time deal.  He calls on Harry to investigate and asks his ex-wife to be his 2nd chair.  The book explodes from the first page to the very end.  Connolly's two best characters are great together. An up all night, can't put it down book.

Vanishing Point by Marcia Muller
Sharon McCones Detective Service is hired to find a missing person who disappeared 20 years ago.  The daughters want closure after their father passed away and hire Sharon to find out what happened to their mother. Another good McCone story.

The Every-Running Man by Marcia Muller
Sharon's husband, Hy's security company offices are being bombed all over the United States. Hy hires Sharon to find and stop the killings. McCone is alone in the field and sky while her detective company runs along without her. Or does it?

Burn Out by Marcia Muller
Sharon's taking a little R-N-R at her husband's ranch from the excitement of the agency and rethinking if she really wants to continue detecting, being shot at and sees fewer and fewer days with new hubby.  A local murder and disappearance has her back in the thick of things once more.

Locked In by Marcia Muller
The team pulls together to find the shooter who put a bullet in Sharon's head leaving her "locked in", paralyzed with only eye blinks to communicate.  All's well that ends well.  Another good McCone mystery.

Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein
The 6th book in the John Cupak/Danny Boyle series. The New Jersey seaside town, Sea Haven, has it's best detectives on the case when murder happens during the opening of the huge pier roller coaster.  Nothing is what it seems and John and Danny are on the case. A great banter-funny dialogue series that's a light read and fun to read.

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
In the sleepy rural town, Painters Mill, Ohio the Amish and English residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But, 16 years ago a series of brutal murders shatter the peaceful farming community. Kate Burkholder was there (being Amish) and currently the chief of police (not Amish anymore).  It looks like the Slaughterhouse killer is back to work. This 1st in a new series is very, very good. Great cast of characters, good writing and moves swiftly throughout. **Warning: the description of the crime scene and murdered victims is very gruesome (way more than I wanted to read). However, this book is very good -- very good.

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
Kate relives some of her own childhood nightmares when she and her team need to stop another killer in Painters Mill, Ohio.  An Amish family is totally wiped out in one evening and the killer needs to be stopped. Now.  Ms. Castillo paints a great story - wonderful developments - writing characters you want to get to know better and believable story lines.  This 2nd in the series is as good if not better than the 1st.  A fantastic writer.