31 May 2008


PINK FLAMINGO MURDERS was readable, but only just. I have definitely read better by Elaine Viets, but if this had been my first by her, I'd have hesitated to read anything else in her work. I am glad I know her other books, series, and one of my favorite blog sites, Lipstick Chronicles where she writes from time to time.
This one has a newspaper columnist who works for a troubled third rate paper in St Louis and has commitment issues. She finds a story in her own neighborhood and it leads to four murders possibly caused by the neighborhood watchdog of good housekeeping. I believe I'd be moving out of that there neighborhood.....I can take a hint.
I finished reading it and I will definitely read more Viets' books, but probably not from this series. I got rather irritated once (okay more than once) too often at the storyline and characters.


This has to be one of the best books I have read in a very long while. I could say it's because of who it is about, a rock guitar god who DH admires greatly. I could be transferring. Whatever, the book is a story of a highly talented, troubled soul who was rated the second best guitarist in the history of rock only after Jimi Hendrix.
Duane was only 24 when he died 29 October 1971 when he and his Harley motorcycle collided with an unexpectedly stopped truck. In his short life he accomplished so much musically and with the people in his life. He was a natural leader, driven to excellence.
The book goes into possibly more detail than some people might want to know about each song played at any given venue, or how each song came into being, but to me it was a fascinating insight into the man and his bandmates lives and their music.
This book gets a highly emphatic five beans! Long live rock & roll!

27 May 2008

Giving up on books....

Lord NO! Not forever!! That would be like taking away my oxygen. Could barely hope to exist without my books!
Just have been having less than good luck with my audiobooks lately. Just this morning I decided to give up on BLUE LIGHT - Walter Mosley. Before that was VAGABOND - Bernard Cornwell and QUEEN OF ANGELS - Greg Bear. I practically will myself to listen to 3 or 4 of the tapes and just cannot make myself go on. I look them up on Recordedbooks and add them to my wishlist to try something different or just because they sound good at the time. Then they arrive in the mail and languish in the container they come in until I feel semi in the mood. Then....nope...not so much.
So now listening to a surefire hit, ALL TOGETHER DEAD - Charlaine Harris. It's one I own and have kept on Mt Git'r'Read for just such an 'emergency'.
Just checked my wishlist and have some really good ones on the way from RecordeBooks:
THE PRESTIGE - Christopher Priest
THE QUILTER'S HOMECOMING - Jennifer Chiaverini

26 May 2008

SWIMMING WITHOUT A NET - MaryJanice Davidson

This is a fun humdinger of a book. A nice little cozy with little paranormal leanings. It's funny and cute.
Fred, Fredericka, is a mermaid hybrid. Her father is a merman who washed up on shore and 'knocked up' Fred's hippie mom, Moon, and disappeared to the waves again. This left Moon to raise hybrid mermaid (and cranky) Fred on her own.
This being the second book in the series, Fred's story continues and she is invited to meet the Royal mer-family at a conference in the Cayman Islands. She takes vacation from her job as a marine biologist and brings her friends down with her.
She is walking the proverbial tightrope between the human and mer-folk sides, plus she is being pursued by two men, one mer-prince and a biped, as humans are called. This is all making her even more cranky.

4 beans!!!

25 May 2008

LITTLE BITTY LIES - Mary Kay Andrews

A pretty good book to read by one of my favorite authors, but HISSY FIT remains my favorite by Mary Kay Andrews with BLUE CHRISTMAS running a close second.

Poor Mary Bliss has a heap o' trouble going on in her life....her husband has left her and left her in debt up to her eyeballs. She has a house to keep and a daughter to take care of. All around her seems to be collapsing. Thank goodness she has her best friend, Katharine, to help out in times of crisis.
What plan do they come up with to help bail Mary Bliss out of trouble? Why kill off the husband of course. It all goes to hell from there in a fabulously huge and funny way.

Gets three beans...

24 May 2008

Must See: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

You must absolutely go see this super addition to the Indiana Jones series. Raiders of the Lost Ark will remain my favorite, but this one is a very close second. I think I am going back on my own to watch it and catch the parts I missed due to my bathroom breaks, Lady K's bathroom breaks when she swore she didn't have to go when she went with me and the inevitable popcorn fetchin'. A lot of fab adventure, good choices in actors matching the characters, superb bad guys, wonderful good guys, yummy male co-leads. And if I said any more, then you wouldn't have to go see the movie. SO GO SEE THE MOVIE!!!

22 May 2008

More reasons to laugh in Casa de las Risas

The dancing chef.....

Channeling Mick Jagger.....

Freak of Nature Weather

Here's the freaky cloud we have hanging west of our house.......we've been having tornadoes in the area all afternoon, even made CNN Headline News. Tornadoes, hail, rain and funky cloud formations.

Maggie's SOUTHERN READING CHALLENGE - Mini Contest "Name Your Homeplace"

Above is the link to Maggie's 'Name Your Homeplace Contest' in her very fun Southern Reading Challenge.

I believe I have named my homeplace.....Casa de la Risa (House of Laughter) and below are the pictures of why we laugh so much:

I swear I don't know what we did before we had Lady K in our lives....

21 May 2008

Big Stone Gap pictures.....

Wildflowers in the field near our hotel
Lady K and I in front of the welcome sign

20 May 2008

THE WOODS - Harlan Coben

THE WOODS is not gonna be a favorite Coben book with me. It may be it's because it's my first stand-alone of his, but I really think it was because it's a very convoluted wrapped-around-the axle-multiple-stories-going-on for me to digest comfortably. I did read it and finish it, there is enough of the Harlan charm in there to keep me going, but I'd be disappointed if I read another of his stand-alones that read to this enth degree of complexity.

The book begins with a mass murder in the woods of a summer camp that happened 20 years ago. The main character, Paul Copeland, is the state prosecutor and the brother of a girl who was involved. Cope, his nickname, is involved in a court case against two college students accused of rape. This leads to the fathers of these two students going into Cope's background which not only involves the past mass murder, but a past of family members involved in the KGB. It continues to get more complex as the story continues. No one is as they appear, everyone is telling lies to cover the past and I was glad to finally finish the book and get ready to read something to cleanse my palate.
I give it two beans...

DEAD MAN'S BONES - Susan Wittig Albert

DEAD MAN'S BONES is one of the lighter of Albert's herbal cozy series. Yes, there is a murder or two both in the past and present, but there is banter in this one and that is not usually in her books as a rule. I liked it, but it took me a bit to get used to it.
China's stepson is working in a cave outside of town. It is an archeological dig, but he finds less than ancient bones in the cave. Who do they belong to?
There is also the town's new theater to christen with a play written by the donor of the building and the $$ to refurbish the much needed play arena. There are hoops to jump, of course. The building used to be the horse stables on the land of the richest woman in town. She is also the meanest, so the hoops and conditions are many and frequent and irritating to say the least.
Then there are the dead bodies and the characters who populate Pecan Springs, Texas. Not all are who they appear to be and the questions don't all get answered, so there is definite reason to continue the series.
Three beans....


Thank goodness for long plane rides, I guess. Not fond of the cooped up feeling, but the ability to have some fairly uninterrupted reading time is nice.
I started and finished SHOOTING GALLERY in the first day or so of our trip to Big Stone Gap. A super easy breezy read of a cozy. I love this series because of the characters, the story, and the art history I learn while reading.
SHOOTING GALLERY is the second in the Art Lover's series and I have the third, BRUSH WITH DEATH, ready to go in the next few weeks.
Annie Kincaid is a reformed art forger. She is trying to build up her legitimate faux finishing business, but her past and the stolen art won't let her be. And then there are the dead bodies that keep turning up. Annie also has a seeming plethora of men after her for one reason or another. Mostly romantic, but can she trust their agendas??
A super read for anyone who likes well written cozy mysteries or anyone looking to dip their toes into the cozy arena.
Three beans..

14 May 2008

Heading To BIG STONE GAP, VA!!!

DH is the best! We are going to Wise, Virginia for his nephew, Josh's, college graduation. DH grew up in Clintwood, Wise, Haysi, etc. All of these towns are mentioned in the BIG STONE GAP series by Adriana Trigiani. This is a series I have on my keeper shelf, that's how much I adore them. We could have stayed in any of those towns, but DH made reservations in Big Stone Gap! He promised to let me get digital moments in front of as many locales from the books as we can find, especially in front of as many Big Stone Gap signs as I can plant myself in front of.
See you when we get back!

13 May 2008


I am sure that THE GOLDEN COMPASS is billed as a juvenile fantasy, but adults who like a good story, fantasy or otherwise, will surely like this series starter. The action is pretty much non-stop, the characters are engaging, the story is stay-up-late compelling.
Lyra, the main character, is a young girl running basically feral in the halls of Jordan College in Oxford. She stumbles into an intrigue that she is to play an important part of the unfolding.
There are daemons, talking polar bears, good and bad witches, gyptians (gypsies) all involved in the tale of stolen children and what happens to them. Lyra heads to the North in search of her stolen friend and all of the others being taken for reasons only hinted at.
It is a riproarin' adventure and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

This gets 4 coffeebeans!

12 May 2008

TULAROSA - Michael McGarrity

TULAROSA was a surprise to me. I didn't expect to find such an involved and intriguing story on just six audiotapes and I sure didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I had it on my wishlist because George Guidall is the narrator and found a new author who I will continue to listen to and read.
I also found that it's a first in a series. For some reason, I went into it thinking it was a stand alone. Very happy that I get to hear more of retired Santa Fe chief of police Kevin Kerney's investigations.
In this book, Kerney is hired to find his missing godson, Sammy. It leads to involvement in military ops, illegal trade in buried treasure, and people not as above board as they appear.
This is a very very good book and I know the rest of the series is going to be the same. So very glad I found this!

Definitely gets a four coffee beans.

11 May 2008


Above: My wonderful reason for being able to celebrate today.....

Below: Flowers for all of the Moms out there, wherever they are....

10 May 2008


WHISKEY SOUR is an interesting mixture of suspense, thriller, and humor. It really works well and I will be reading the rest of this series and anything else Konrath writes.

What could be an eye rolling worthy appellation, actually works wonderfully.
Chicago Police Detective Jacqueline 'Jack' Daniels comes by her name by marriage and she doesn't seem to mind so much. She has the task to bring in a serial killer by the unlikely name of The Gingerbread Man. He is torturing and killing women in Chicago and leaving taunting messages for Jack.
She is racing against time to capture him before he kills again.
The humor part is the wonderfully stereotyped FBI agents who, with their profiling computer, make moronic 'insights' into the serial killer's modus operandi. Along with this, poor Jack suffers from chronic insomnia, maxed out credit cards from purchases of late night infomercial merchandise, live in boyfriend leaving her for his personal trainer, and trying her hand with a dating service.
Sum total of this makes for a 4 bean rating.

08 May 2008

TRIPTYCH - Karin Slaughter

It's time for another break...from the very fiercely astounding written words of Karin Slaughter in TRIPTYCH. Slaughter writes with such intensity it draws the reader in and does not let go. I get so caught up in the thriller that it affects my dreams. Not many books do that...Karin Slaughter's books do. This is why I take long breaks, sometimes months long, between each of her books.
This one was the most intense yet. It was like peeling an onion....a really gut-wrenchingly strong emotion yanking each piece of the thriller was released. It was tension at its best.

This one gets five beans.

07 May 2008


I like this series quite a bit. It's a cozy in that there is a mystery to solve by someone who is not necessarily the usual type to solve mysteries. Maggie, the main character in the series, has psychic abilities that she has, for the most part, suppressed. Some because of her upbringing, some because of the fear of loss of control and the unknown. She works with a group of friends who call themselves the N.I.G.H.T.S, Northeast Indiana Ghost Hunting & Tracking Society. They search out the spectral disturbances that have been occurring in their small town and help solve the mysteries.
This mystery begins with the vandalism that has been rampant lately and includes a murder of a local Amish man.
There are side stories of a ghost in the library and the trying to bud romance of Maggie and Tom, a local cop.
This is a good cozy series with a nice paranormal bend to it. I give it four beans.

06 May 2008

New Challenge...just have to come up with the books

Above is the link to my next challenge. I just have to find the three books. I believe it will be all Southern humor so it will be

05 May 2008

I just realized.....I COMPLETED A CHALLENGE!!

I've no idea why it just hit me, but I suddenly realized that I completed one of my challenges. It was What's In a Name Challenge, only 'had to' read 6 books between JAN - DEC 2008, a list of books with these 6 provisos in the title:
1. A book with a color in its title. (THE BLACK ECHO - Michael Connelly)
2. A book with an animal in its title. (THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT - Robert Crais)
3. A book with a first name in its title. (AGATHA RAISIN AND THE QUICHE OF DEATH - M C Beaton)
4. A book with a place in its title. (PACIFIC VORTEX - Clive Cussler)
5. A book with a weather event in its title. (STORM FRONT - Jim Butcher)
6. A book with a plant in its title. (THYME OF DEATH - Susan Wittig Albert)

All very very good books to read, so a super challenge to try.

Now, apparently, room for another challenge to do......

02 May 2008


I adore Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series and I though to giver her Inspector George Felse series a try. Nope, not as good. I was glad it was short and that Simon Prebble was the narrator. I don't know if it was because it was written, and likely took place in, 1961 or if I just kept comparing the Inspector's methods to Brother Cadfael's.
Inspector Felse is handed a case that he was privy to on the night of the incident. The murder of a beer baron in his local area and no one is sad that he has been killed and there are plenty of suspects to go round. His son has been disinherited, his help has been left to do everything with no thanks and little pay. I didn't care for any of the characters and I don't believe I will be reading or listening to any more of this series.
Whatever, I did sit in the car to finish it so that I could write it up and get started on something new for next week.

3 beans (for the narrator)

01 May 2008


FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES - Kathy Love, TPB, okay vampire romance

THE BONE GARDEN - Tess Gerritsen, BOCD, Very good stand alone suspense

THE GHOST AND THE DEAD MAN'S LIBRARY - Alice Kimberly, MPB, love this series!

TALL, DARK & DEAD - Tate Halloway, TPB, good paranormal slightly light

YARN HARLOT - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, TPB, warm, funny, GOOD!

RUEFUL DEATH - Susan Wittig Albert, MPB, my second favorite China Bayles

MISS JULIA STRIKES BACK - Ann B Ross, BOCD, such a GREAT series! I want to be Miss Julia when I grow up!

18 SECONDS - George D Shuman, BOT, good thriller w/an intriguing premise, author took some shortcuts that annoyed me

THE BLACK ECHO - Michael Connelly, MPB, very good twist & turn police thriller/suspense

FINDING YOUR MOJO - Stephanie Bond, MPB, autographed copy, good suspense, love the characters

SERVANT: THE AWAKENING - L L Foster, MPB, paranormal slayer, superb

SECOND SUNRISE - David & Aimee Thurlo, MPB, vampire/suspense-GOOD! So glad this is a series!

9 books
3 audio
12 for the month
47 for the year