28 January 2012

80s Dance Par-tay!

Lady K's school had a 80s dance party last night. Thanks to Tracy at Salon Tao, Lady K had the perfect outfit. Tracy does the best pedicures and manicures at Salon Tao and is a stylin' chickie. Her daughter is, too, and Tracy said she'd bring in her daughter's costume bits and pieces from being an 80s rocker chickie at Halloween. She brought in a bag filled with the cool neon fishnet stockings, bracelets, hoop earrings, and jammin' headband and skirt. And some FAB sparkly makeup! All we had to find was a top and leggings and shoes. I think we did a pretty nifty job.

Close up of the sparkly makeup Tracy at Salon Tao let me borrow

We had a lot of fun putting this look together

Ready to rock it....

The glow after winning the costume contest in the third grader category!!!

We had a good time. Plenty of kids and parents showed up and the place was hopping. I cannot remember the last time I did the Electric Slide, but the entire crowd was into that one and we had fun.

27 January 2012

THAT THING AT THE ZOO: A Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter Novella - James R Tuck

Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected. . .
Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in treetops. And he's only got till sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse. Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to unholy ground is to risk unleashing his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts. . .

What an excellent ride this novella was!! It was short and to the point, 62 pages of fab.

Deacon has so many things in his life that would keep anyone else down in a bottle somewhere. He chooses to hunt those things that go bump in the night.

One of the reasons I dig reading urban fantasy, or paranormal in general, is that there are so many takes on vampires, shapeshifters, demons, angels, etc. Reading this one has a difference between vampires and Nosferatu.

I really look forward to learning more about Deacon and his friends and the strip club he owns.
I found out about this novella on Amberkatze's blog She interviewed James this past weekend and there's a prize drawing for a signed copy of the first whole book in the series, BLOOD AND BULLETS

I have it on the WWBL, it comes out 7 Feb. If I don't win the signed copy, I'll be at the bookstore that day.

Four bump in the night beans.....

23 January 2012

Books in the House Monday - 23 Jan 2012

Barnes and Noble Nook Store {}:
SHOT AT AND MISSED – Larry J Hillhouse, thriller
TROUBLE IN MUDBUG – Jana DeLeon, cozy
AREA 51 – Robert Doherty, sci-fi
TROUBLE IN SPADES – Heather Webber, cozy
HOLLOWLAND – Amanda Hocking, YA fantasy
WINTER SEA – Susanna Kearsley, fiction/'time travel'

High Crimes Mystery Bookshop {} :

TRESSED TO KILL: A Southern Beauty Shop Mystery #1 - Lila Dare, cozy, MPB

IT TAKES A WITCH: A Wishcraft Mystery #1 - Heather Blake, paranormal cozy, MPB

TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery #1 - Kari Lee Townsend, cozy, MPB

VampChix/Bite Club { } :

THE DEMI-MONDE WINTER - Rod Rees, fantasy, HB

Dru's Book Musings {} :

BUFFALO WEST WING: White House Chef Mystery - Julie Hyzy, cozy, MPB, signed by the author

22 January 2012

MURDER PAST DUE: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery - Miranda James

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the good-natured librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie's returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but soon enough he's entangled in a real-life thriller....

A famous author of gory bestsellers and a former classmate of Charlie's, Godfrey Priest may be the pride of Athena, but Charlie remembers him as an arrogant, manipulative jerk----and he's not the only one. Godfrey's homecoming as a distinguished alumnus couldn't possibly go worse: by lunch, he's put a man in the hospital. And by dinner, Godfrey's dead.

Now it's up to Charlie, with some help from Diesel, to paw through the town's grudges and find the killer before an impatient deputy throws the book at the wrong person. But every last one of Charlie's friends and coworkers had a score to settle with the nasty novelist. As if the murder wasn't already purr-plexing enough.....


Cats and cozies seem to go together. I like the mixture most of the time. This is one of those times. The cat in question here, Diesel, is pleasantly not too precious for words. He's a man's cat, perfect for Charlie, the main character. And perfect for me, a reader who doesn't dig too precious for words very well.

A darn good mystery even if I did figure out most of the action mid-book. I didn't mind since I was enjoying the dialogue and the scenery and Diesel. All of that goes a long way for me, especially when I have a McCrappeload of books on Mt Git'r'Read and have been known to put a book on the trade pile when I figure out whodunnit and the story isn't gettin' it done for me.

I don't get to see too many male protagonists in cozies, this was refreshing to see. And a male protagonist with a non-precious cat on a leash? Bonus. And he works with books? Extra sweet.

Four bonus extra sweet beans.....

NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS: An Ethan Gage Adventure - William Dietrich

What mystical secrets lie beneath the Great Pyramids?
The world changes for Ethan Gage—one-time assistant to the renowned Ben Franklin—on a night in post-revolutionary Paris, when he wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Framed soon after for the murder of a prostitute and facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, the young expatriate American barely escapes France with his life—choosing instead to accompany the new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt. With Lord Nelson's fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. And in a land of ancient wonder and mystery, with the help of a beautiful Macedonian slave, he will come to realize that the unusual prize he won at the gaming table may be the key to solving one of history's greatest and most perilous riddles: who built the Great Pyramids . . . and why?


While trying to build up the stack of books to give my dad his next visit, I came across this adventure thriller set back in the time of Ben Franklin. Ethan Gage is an American in American in trouble in Paris and he has to get out of Dodge (euphemistically speaking) or go to prison for murder. A murder he didn't commit, but the fingers are pointing.

So off he goes with a group of savants as the scientists and thinkers are called who accompany Napoleon to Egypt. It's definitely not glamourous, in fact it's rather torturous to all and Ethan finds himself wondering if it might not have been better taking his chances back Paris or head back to America.

He gets a lot of help along the way, all because of the medallion he carries. There are many who feel it holds secrets to great power and these many are willing to do anything to get this.

I had fun reading this Indiana Jones/Dirk Pitt style adventure. I did better when I could read in a quiet place. It's a busy book, plenty of action and dialogue and characters to follow, so reading with distractions of a television or people chatting was an issue at times.
I am already looking forward to reading the next in the series, THE ROSETTA KEY. The series is a history lesson as much as an adventure.

You can visit William Dietrich here:

Four adventure in history beans.....

21 January 2012

A HOE LOT OF TROUBLE: A Nina Quinn Mystery #1 - Heather Webber

Taken by Surprise, Nina Quinn’s landscaping firm specializing in surprise garden makeovers, is the only thing in her life that seems to be thriving. Her marriage to adulterous police detective Kevin Quinn has wilted. Her antisocial stepson Riley is spreading trouble like pungent manure. Even her gardening tools are disappearing, including a rather valuable set of hoes. Worst of all, the delightful old man who first introduced her to the joys of horticulture is dead—and not by natural causes. Something evil has taken root in Nina’s small Ohio town, and the local police—including dearly unbeloved Kev—are baffled. But it’s amazing what a resourceful gardener can dig up when she puts her mind to it—though, by sticking her hands too deeply into this fetid, fertile soil, Nina might well end up planted beneath her own petunias.


I already love reading Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series and I am eagerly looking forward to reading IT TAKES A WITCH: A Wishcraft Mystery she writes as Heather Blake.

If I were to have a landscaping business, it would be like Nina's 'Taken By Surprise'. It's a way cool concept of creating a project in one day and surprising the client. I adore gardening and surprises.

And I adore a well written mystery. And this one fits that profile. It's a mystery that has me very happy to have a Nook so I can read books that are no longer in print except at a used bookstore if you're lucky.

Visit Heather over at the Cozy Chicks:

and her website:

Five blooming mystery beans.....

20 January 2012

THE ABANDONED: Graveyard Queen prequel - Amanda Stevens

Overview: There are rules for dealing with ghosts. Too bad Ree Hutchins doesn't know them.
When her favorite patient at a private mental hospital passes away, psychology student Ree Hutchins mourns the elderly woman's death. But more unsettling is her growing suspicion that something unnatural is shadowing her.
Amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest believes Ree is being haunted. Even Amelia Gray, known in Charleston as The Graveyard Queen, senses a gathering darkness. Driven by a force she doesn't understand, Ree is compelled to uncover an old secret and put abandoned souls to rest—before she is locked away forever....
An ebook exclusive prequel to The Graveyard Queen series.


Oh how glad I am that I have a Nook! THE ABANDONED is only available (at least that's what I gather) as an ebook. And it was free, like a gimme so the reader can taste the world of Amelia Gray in this novella. I've read THE RESTORER ( the first book in the series. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series as it comes out.

Amelia isn't in the book very much, but the setting from the first book is there. So dark and dank and scary. And gooooooood.

I hope the characters get revisited in future books.

Four sparkly scary diamonds......

Less Bacon and More Shakin' - 20 Jan 2012

First time back to a Weight Watchers meeting in a month. First it was the holidays, then shift work, then a'feared of what the scale would say. Good news, down 1.2 pounds to 231.6. Thirteen pounds gone for good. A good push to increase my days at Lifetime Fitness.

Back to the gym in the new year. Discovered the rowing machine and Aqua Aerobics and Aqua Zumba. Too much fun and perfect for my intro back to group fitness classes.

10 January 2012

TOO BIG TO MISS: An Odelia Grey Mystery - Sue Ann Jaffarian

From the back of the book: Too big to miss—that's Odelia Grey. A never-married, middle-aged, plus-sized woman who makes no excuses for her weight, she's not super woman just a mere mortal standing on the precipice of menopause, trying to cruise in an ill-fitting bra. She struggles with her relationships, her crazy family, and her crazier boss. And then there's her knack for being in close proximity to dead people . . . .
When her close friend Sophie London commits suicide in front of an online web-cam by putting a gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger, Odelia's life is changed forever. Sophie, a plus-sized activist and inspiration to imperfect women, is the last person anyone would ever have expected to end her own life. Suspecting foul play, Odelia is determined to get to the bottom of her friend's death. Odelia's search for the truth takes her from southern California strip malls to the world of live web-cam porn to the ritzy enclave of Corona del Mar.


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!! I had no idea what kind of book I was going to read when I started this humdingah!

Best of all, I loved Odelia's moxie, once she found it. Bless her, she's a big girl like me, plenty to love, but has to work on her 'go get 'em 'tude. Thankfully, she has her plus size bud, Sophie. Sophie has helped many other zaftig women in the area with her support group and morning walking group. Sophie is larger than life in more than dress size. So when she commits suicide, Odelia knows something is wrong with that picture. And she begins to investigate.

She learns some astonishing info on someone she thought she knew well. Rather than deter her, it makes Odelia work harder at finding out what happened.

There's a bevy of twists and turns in this fantabulous book and I cannot wait to read more adventures of Odelia. She has a new relationship with a sweetie and a green cat...what's not to want to discover?

Five shiny larger than life diamonds......

02 January 2012

Books in the House Monday - 2 Jan 2012

New on the Nook:
A HOE LOT OF TROUBLE: A Nina Quinn Mystery #1 - Heather Webber, cozy
THE ABANDONED: Graveyard Queen Novella - Amanda Stevens, Gothic thriller
THE CERBERUS PROTOCOL - Jon F. Merz & Joseph Nassise, UF
DRIFTNET - Lin Anderson, forensic thriller

From Library Thing (
WITCHFUL THINKING - H. P. Mallory, paranormal romance, ARC due out 28 Feb 2012

01 January 2012

December 2011 Book Journal

A quiet reading month for me and only nine books read or listened to:
SWITCHED: A Trylle Novel - Amanda Hocking, YA fantasy, ARC from Library Thing, fab!

THE REAPERS - John Connolly, thriller, BOCD, superb

THE DARLING DAHLIAS & THE CUCUMBER TREE - Susan Wittig Albert, cozy set in 1930s Alabama, BOCD, amazing

RAVEN BLACK: Shetland Island Quartet Book One - Ann Cleeves, thriller, TPB, awesome

HARK! THE HERALD ANGEL SCREAMED: An Augusta Goodnight Mystery - Mignon Ballard, cozy w/guardian angel, MPB, good

LEGACIES: A Repairman Jack Novel #2 - F. Paul Wilson, thriller, MPB, excellent

A SHEETCAKE NAMED DESIRE: A Piece of Cake Mystery #1 - Jacklyn Brady, cozy, MPB, excellent

WHO DO, VOODOO?: A Mind for Murder Mystery #1 - Rochelle Staab, cozy, MPB, really good

A SLICE OF MURDER: A Pizza Lover's Mystery #1 - Chris Cavender, cozy, Nookbook, decent

KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS - Jennifer Estep, UF, Nookbook, good

Books: 7
Audio: 2
Total for month: 9
Total for 2011: 134

Happy New Year 2012