30 March 2012

PROPHET - R J Larson

"Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see."

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen--not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
"Istgard has turned their back on Me. See the evil they do."

Yet after experiencing His presence, she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to follow the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. Here she meets Kien, a young Traceland ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela must surrender to her destiny . . . and determine how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
"Will you accept the branch and speak My will? Will you be My prophet?"


A YA fantasy tale reading like a Bible story and that's not a bad thing. I like Bible stories, my favorites are the ones that have strong female protagonists. That's what PROPHET has, a strong lead character who is offered the daunting task of becoming the voice for the Infinite, the being her people worship. The Infinite wants war to end and for others to come back to his fold.

The story flows along nicely with plenty of well-written dialogue, action, a bit of romance, humor. It's the beginning of a lovely series that's not too preachy.

Four lovely flowing beans.....

25 March 2012

OLD HAUNTS - E J Copperman

Alison Kerby's guesthouse already has two resident ghosts. But now, the past is coming to visit. Make your reservations early.

There's nothing quite as mournful as a gloomy ghost---and Alison has a pair of sad spirits, Maxie and Paul, haunting her Jersey Shore guesthouse. Maxie wants to know who murdered her ex-husband, a biker named Big Bob, whose remains have just been discovered two years later. Paul, pining for his still-living almost-fiancee, wants Alison to track her down and make sure she's okay.

The only one who isn't missing her ex is Alison---because The Swine has waltzed back into her life, specifically into her guesthouse, and is trying to win back their ten-year-old daughter, Melissa. He says he wants to get back together, but Alison knows him too well. The only question is: What is he really up to?


Third in this paranormal cozy mystery series and it's even better than the one and two. I got to see more of the main characters' (living and not-so-much) pasts. Loved meeting The Swine after hearing so much about him in books one and two. I can see why Alison pitched him, though it should have been sooner. He's so smarmy!

The various stories going on through the book are intriguing and highly page-turn-faster-able. Seeing Maxie show vulnerability almost makes me willing to put up with her ghostly brattiness. Poor Paul has it bad for his past almost-ex.

The resolutions of each mystery are nifty.

I hope E J writes faster and gets number four out soonest. Visit him at:

Five nifty beans.....


First in the Victorian Mystery series by Robin Paige, author of DEATH AT DAISY'S FOLLY and DEATH AT DEVIL'S BRIDGE.

Kathryn Ardleigh is everything the Victorian English gentlewoman is not----outspoken, free-thinking, American.....and a writer of the frowned upon "penny-dreadfuls". When Kate arrives in Essex, England, she shocks the household at Bishop's Keep----and captures the interest of amateur detective Sir Charles Sheridan as they begin there first case together.

A dead body has been uncovered at a nearby archeological dig. The investigation provides the perfect research for Kate's fiction. But the curious writer may be digging too deep---especially when the trail leads her into a secret occult society known as the Order of the Golden Dawn.....


When I think of cozies, I think of gentle mysteries set in mellow locales with interestingly quirky characters. The Victorian Mystery series fits the bill. It's set in Victorian times where women were expected to behave in a certain fashion, especially in England. Kate is strong-willed and does as she pleases, at least that's what it seems to others. I like Kate, because she has to earn her way to live and she has found a talent at writing 'penny-dreadfuls', those titillating thrillers that people hide, but love to read.

Kate has found success with these, but her imagination has run to the edge of her limits. So when the invitation comes to visit the family estate in England, a family estate she didn't know was there, an archeological dig and a mystery drop in her lap, she is excited to have fodder for her writing.

It's a good thing I enjoyed the two books I've read in the series as I have a whole stack of them waiting for me.

Five Victorian strong-willed beans.....

24 March 2012

A FITTING END: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery - Melissa Bourbon

Former Manhatten fashion designer Harlow Jane Cassidy has a gift for creating beautiful dresses. But when Harlow becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, she'll need more than her sewing skills to unravel the mystery.....

Business is booming at Harlow's custom-dressmaking boutique, Buttons & Bows, even with her great-grandmother's ghost hanging around the shop. But thanks to the fast-approaching Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball, Harlow has her work cut out for her when Mrs Zinnia James hires her to make her granddaughter's pageant gown.

With the debutante ball getting the whole town of Bliss, Texas, into a tizzy, Harlow knows her dress has to be perfect. but when a local golf pro is found stabbed to death with dressmaking shears, the new deputy thinks Harlow and Mrs James conspired to commit the crime. Now Harlow has to finish the dress on time and clear her name before the next outfit she designs is a prison jumpsuit.....


I do enjoy continuing a series, though I rarely immediately get the next in series this quickly. I usually wait for a bit since there are so many other new-to-me series out there to discover. I made an exception here as I really like the characters and the setting of this series. The mystery is well done, the victim got his 'just desserts' and the fun of the chase is enjoyable. I do like the ghostly presence of Harlow's great-grandmother and the varying gifts of Harlow and her family.

Five Texas ghost beans....

23 March 2012

Less Bacon and More Shakin' - Friday - 23 Mar 2012

‎2lbs,2lbs,2lbs,2lbs!!! I am down down down 2lbs! Even with the grumpypants day and visit to Cinzetti's Italian Kitchen for Lady K's birthday, I tracked like a fiendette and got in walks with Bailey the Wonderdog every day. She's happy, I'm's all good.
Starting weight: 244.6
Current weight: 225.8

Fri 16 Mar - 7036 steps
Sat 17 Mar - 9654 steps
Sun 18 Mar - 8868 steps
Mon 19 Mar - 10,116 steps
Tues 20 Mar - 14,658 steps
Wed 21 Mar - 14,526 steps
Thurs 22 Mar - 10,042 step

18 March 2012

BURIED IN A BOOK: A Novel Idea Mystery - Lucy Arlington

"My first day as an intern at the Novel Idea Literary Agency began with a caramel latte, a stack of five hundred query letters, and a dead man. I don't know which was worse: the queries or the corpse."

After receiving her first pink slip at the age of forty-five, former newspaper journalist Lila Wilkins is desperate for work, even if it means taking a pay cut. After combing through the classifieds, Lila accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in the utopian town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina.

Lila can't imagine anything better than being paid to read, but with a crew of quirky coworkers and a sky-high stack of of query letters, she doesn't exactly have time to discover the next great bestseller---especially when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room.

No one else seems too concerned about the man's demise, but when Lila uncovers a series of threatening letters, she's determined to uncover who killed the man's dreams of literary stardom.....


I have found another favorite mystery series! I loved Lila, her mother and wanted to hug Lila's son. As much as I loved the well-written mystery, I really liked how Lila pulled herself up by the proverbial bootstraps and didn't mope overly much over losing her job, having to move in with her mother and losing communication skills with her teenage son. Lila looked for, and got, a new job that she knew would be hard, but doing something she'd enjoy.

I now have another village I want to live in. Inspiration Valley, North Carolina could easily be too precious for words (sorry), but it works here. It's a town full of creative people making a living doing what they love. I wish there was a sandwich shop nearby like Catcher in the Rye that's in the book. They have fab sounding sammies and customers are assigned book characters upon ordering their fare.

One of my favorite characters, Amazing Althea, is Lila's psychic kind of kooky mom. She helps people solve their problems with psychic advice and chocolate banana bread. She's always there for her daughter and grandson, helping however she can.

Five sparkly I wanna get paid to read too diamonds.....

Blooms in the Garden....First BITG for 2012!!

I know, this one isn't exactly in the's what's become the orchid corner in the kitchen

A little Johnny-Jump-Up that jumped into one of the planters over the winter...I don't mind at all

First daffodils in the front berm...these are wee mini ones that are just sooooo cute! Must get more

16 March 2012

Less Bacon and More Shakin' - 16 Mar 2012

Fri: 11,414 steps
Sat: 7554 steps
Sun: 5449 steps
Mon: 9281 steps
Tues: 7702 steps
Wed: 7271 steps
Thurs: 7036 steps
Activity is still walking to and fro and up and down stairs. I have house cleaning to do in a bit. Normal cleaning and have a sleepover partay to red up for. Lady K's birthday party sleepover...four little 7-9 year old girls tomorrow afternoon-evening through Sunday morning. Did lose .8lbs this week. YIPPEE! Now at 227.8 from 244.6..onward and downward....

14 March 2012

TRESSED TO KILL: A Southern Beauty Shop Mystery - Lila Dare

St Elizabeth, Georgia, offers charm, Southern hospitality---and, most recently, murder. Now, hairdresser Grace Terhune is ready to crack this case---before things get snarled beyond repair....

Everyone at Violetta's salon----including Grace Terhune and her mother, Violetta---has their scissors at the ready for the influx of St Elizabeth's high-society ladies. Of all the snobs getting their hair done for the town meeting, the worst is Constance DuBois, a woman heartless enough to ruin people's livelihoods on a whim. And after a tinting accident leaves her hair with orange stripes, Constance vows she'll close down Violetta's....

Hours after the threat, Grace and Violetta find Constance dead, and some---including the police---believe the mother-daughter duo did her in. Grace sets out to clear their names, but with an accusing special agent, her lecherous ex on the police force, and the distraught daughter of the deceased all working against them, Grace is up to her perfectly shaped eyebrows in trouble...


Books set in the South are among my favorites, be they Southern humor a la Mary Kay Andrews or Celia Rivenbark or Southern Gothic by Amanda Stevens or Daniel Hecht or a cozy mystery set in the South like this one.

There's a fab mystery, a good reason for the main characters to get involved in the solving of the mystery, and the unique euphemisms of the South abound throughout.

The story is tight in a good way. No loose ends or what the...moments. I loved the good guy characters and wanted to smack the poopy ones.

I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

There are also some highly nifty organic skin care recipes in the back of the book. I like the exfoliating one a lot.

Five Southern beauty beans.....

10 March 2012

Daylight Savings Time in the morning...

Don't forget that the dratted Daylight Savings Time started in the morning....really wish we could pick a time and stick with it....this making me get up an hour earlier for work in the AM...0415 will be really 0315....blech....can only hope that my favorite Starbucks will remember too.....

09 March 2012

Less Bacon and More Shakin' - Friday - 9 Mar 2012

I know it's been forever since posting any kind of weight loss here...I've been posting daily on Facebook on my activity, whether I get the activity or not. It's keeping me honest and keeping my bum (and the rest of me) motivated.

I am now down 16 pounds, down to 228.6 from 244.6 and it feels good. I have a long 'weigh' to go, but it feels do-able.

08 March 2012

BLOOD AND GUITARS - Heather Jensen

When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she’s only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood. Trey’s band is recording a new album and with Aurora as his muse, Trey is writing songs like never before. After being hired by their record label to paint the cover of the new album, Aurora has a legitimate reason for spending so much time with Trey and his band mates. Aurora can’t deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.


YUMMY!! I love a book that makes me wish I could jump into the story and hang with the characters. Aurora has a cool vibe and more than just her low body temp. And Trey...well, Trey just sounds fab and dreamy. Both are mellow in how they handle their talent and abilities. I like how they find each other at the club. It's like every fan-girl's dream of having the rock star of their yen in need of rescue and being able to do so in a superb fashion with some HEA possible.

I've seen this book compared to the Twilight schtuff because of the vampire and the human diggin' each other....but I don't want to read any of the Twilight schtuff after the first one and I do want to read more of Aurora's and Trey's story. Heather, please say there's more!

Visit Heather at her blog:

Five please say there's more beans.....

05 March 2012

Books in the House Monday - 5 Mar 2012

PATIENT ZERO: A Joe Ledger Novel #1 - Jonathan Maberry, thriller

A DUTY TO THE DEAD: Bess Crawford Mystery #1 - Charles Todd, mystery

FOR I HAVE SINNED: A Charlie Davidson Story - Darynda Jones, UF

From High Crimes Mystery Bookshop (

HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY: A Party Planning Mystery #1 - Penny Warner

03 March 2012

Caaaaarl! Bravo Llamas...Best Crew EVAH!

This is my crew, the Bravo Llamas. L-R: Vickie Llama, Ricky Bobby Llama, Kevin Llama, Dan LLama, Michelle Llama, Jay Llama and Matt LLama. We became this after LLama Crew Commander Matt came in, on his very first day, wearing the llama hat he is wearing in the pic. Matt Llama, Kevin Llama, and Ricky Bobby Llama are all fans of the Youtube sensational cartoon, Llamas with Hats. I looked online on and found the shirts for our crew photo..

See below if you've never experienced the fab Llamas with Hats:

01 March 2012

Books Read in February 2012

Books read in February:
16. TRACKING THE TEMPEST: Jane True Novel #2 – Nicole Peeler, UF, MPB, excellent
17. AREA 51: Area 51 #1 – Robert Doherty, sci-fi thriller, Nookbook, fab thrill ride
18. ECHO PARK: Harry Bosch #12 – Michael Connelly, thriller, BOCD, always good
19. DEAD IRON: Age of Steam Book One – Devon Monk, steampunk, TPB, HoleySchmokes!
20. BIGGIE AND THE DEVIL DIET – Nancy Bell, cozy, BOCD, really good
21. A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH: The Monastery Murders #2 – Donna Fletcher Crow, suspense, TPB/ARC, excellent
22. STRANGER IN PARADISE: A Jesse Stone Novel – Robert B Parker, suspense, BOCD, excellent
23. BURIED IN A BOOK: A Novel Idea Mystery #1 – Lucy Arlington, cozy, MPB, super
24. TRESSED TO KILL: A Southern Beauty Shop Mystery #1 – Lila Dare, cozy, MPB, yee-haw good
25. TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery #1 – Kari Lee Townsend, cozy, MPB, good
26. THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS – John Connolly, dark fantasy, BOCD, WOW!
27. BLOOD AND GUITARS – Heather Jensen, paranormal romance-ish, Nookbook, really cool

4 audiobooks
2 Nookbooks
6 books
12 for February
27 for 2012 so far