29 November 2010

Books in the House Monday - 29 Nov 2010

From the fab Jenna (Imzadidragonfly):
AN ARTIFICIAL NIGHT: October Daye #3 - Seanan McGuire, UF
A CUP OF NORMAL - Devon Monk, signed
MAGIC AT THE GATE: Allie Beckstrom #5 - Devon Monk, signed
and gorgeous and yummy birthday pretties!!

From Kris of the Cozy Challenge, a gorgeous handcrafted bookmark

LaurieLee on WW GDT/BTO:

Dad brought some nifty mysteries:
VANISHED - Joseph Finder
THE SILENT HOUR - Michael Koryta
BURN FACTOR - Kyle Mills

27 November 2010

Lady K-ism of the Day

From this morning while Grandpa Jack and Lady K are playing "What am I thinking? The Animal Edition" a game that Lady K made up a few years ago:

Grandpa Jack: I am thinking of an animal that lives in Australia and starts with the letter 'W'.
Lady K: Oooooo, that's a good one.
Mommie: Wombat?
Grandpa Jack: Yep, your mommie got it.
Lady K: What the heck is a wombat?
Grandpa Jack: It's a mammal that only lives in Australia, the Aborigines eat it.
Lady K: I guess that's good for the Aborigines, but not so much for the wombats, hope they're fast.

24 November 2010

HUNGER GAMES: Book One Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins, narr Carolyn McCormick

From the back of the BOCD: Made up of 12 districts, the futuristic North American nation Panem requires that one girl and boy from each district compete in the annual Hunger Games, a live fight to the death broadcast on television. When 16-year-old Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games , she'll have to kill or be killed.
I know there have to be thousands of reviews already out there, so I won't do much more than say how much I loved listening to this book. The narrator, Carolyn McCormick, is pitch perfect and enhanced my enjoyment of this story.

This could have been a stilted book, plenty of places for drama overload, but it stayed the course and was wonderfully told.

I had to sit in the car for a while this morning when one of my favorite characters died. Tears started welling up, then spilled over and I just couldn't stop. The imagery is so vivid.
I am so glad I have the next one, CATCHING FIRE, bumped up to the top of my Recorded Books wishlist.I really can't wait to find out what happens next to Katniss, Peetah, and everyone else in their village.

A HUGE bowl of postapocalyptic diamonds.....

22 November 2010

MURDER MOST FROTHY: Coffeehouse Mystery #4 - Cleo Coyle

From the back of the book: Endless Summer, Bottomless Cups
Clare Cosi's new friend , millionaire David Mintzer, has an offer no New York barista could turn down: an all-expenses paid summer away from the sticky city. At his Hampton mansion, she'll relax, soak up the sun, and, oh yes, train the staff of his new restaurant. So Clare packs up her daughter, her former mother-in-law, and her special recipe for iced coffee for what she hopes will be one de-latte-ful summer.....
Soon, Clare tends the coffee bar at her first Hamptons gala. But the festivities come to a bitter end when an employee turns up dead in David's bathroom---a botched attempt on the millionaire's life. Thanks to the Fourth of July fireworks, no one heard any gunshots, and the police are stuck in holiday traffic. Concerned for everyone's safety, Clare begins to investigate. What she finds will keep her up at night---and it's no the java jitters......
Includes recipes and coffee-making tips!!!
I do like how Clare gets involved in the solving of the murders that occur around her. She's taken it out of NYC this time..seems thar's murder in them thar Hamptons among the rich and big housed.
Clare takes her time and sees all varieties of suspects, all viable and up to something that could have included committing murder. She's not always right, but that doesn't keep her from continuing on the hunt and trying to get the police to listen.
Clare has to deal with her headstrong daugther, headstrong ex-mother-in-law and her headstrong ex-husband along the well as the headstrong rich friend she's trying to help.
I love love love this series. It makes me want to go buy a foo-foo coffee and solve a mystery.
Five foo-foo coffee beans...

STATE OF THE ONION: White House Chef Mystery #1 - Julie Hyzy

From the back of the book: Never let them see you sweat----that's White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras's motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She's hell-bent on earning her dream job--executive chef. There's just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it too. Well, that at the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry....
The highly trained Secret Service agents couldn't do it. The snipers swarming the White House grounds were no help. Only Ollie Paras was able to stop the intruder---hitting him with a frying pan. She'd like to wash her hands of the whole thing, but after she witnesses a murder, there's no going back....
Ollie's Secret Service boyfriend warns her that the killer is a world-class assassin. And Ollie's the only person alive who can recognize him. Still, guilt propels her to investigate, even if it means putting herself--and her relationship--in hot water.....
I am glad I have the second in this series all lined up. I really enjoyed my time with Ollie and the view into the White House kitchen. I can see how murder and intrigue can happen in this high profile political arena, so the eyebrows won't be as much in the hairline when the murders occur. And it's an East Coast setting, so perfect there, too.
I had the good characters, Ollie and the White House kitchen staff, Secret Service good guys, etc, to cheer for. And there're the really snotty characters to want to smack around, like the head of the Etiquette Affairs, Peter Everett Sargeant III. Ooooo...I really want to hit him on that flat part of the back of the cranium or give him a swirly. He's a bully with a sense of power and, for some reason, he really does not like Ollie. I like the conflict between the two and I hope Ms Hyzy fills us in on his antagonism for Ollie.
Five tasty powers that be beans......

Books in the House Monday - 22 Nov 2010

From Our Lady of the Books, Pamala in Bartlett IL:
BED BUGS - Taylor McCafferty, cozy
DOUBLE CROSS - Barbara Taylor McCafferty, cozy
WITCH'S GRAVE - Shirley Damsgaard, paranormal cozy
FEAR THE WORST - Linwood Barclay, thriller
STONE RAIN - Linwood Barclay, thriller
NO TIME FOR GOODBYE - Linwood Barclay, thriller
A HARVEST OF BONES - Yasmine Galenorn, paranormal cozy
POPPY DONE TO DEATH - Charlaine Harris, cozy mystery
GLIMMERGLASS - Jenna Black, YA fantasy
STATE OF THE ONION - Julie Hyzy, cozy mystery
HAIL TO THE CHEF - Julie Hyzy, cozy mystery

From my cozy book buddy at work Ann:
THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME - Krista Davis, cozy

From Cassie:
FATALLY FROSTED - Jessica Beck, cozy

High Crimes Mystery Bookshop:
RAVEN BLACK: Shetland Island Quartet #1 - Ann Cleeves, thriller

HARD MAGIC - Laura Anne Gilman, UF
RUNNING WITH THE PACK - werewolf anthology edited by Ekaterina Sedia

21 November 2010

A LOCAL HABITATION: October Daye #2 - Seanan McGuire

From the back of the book: October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood.

Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, most changelings are second-class children of Faerie spending their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning---otherwise known as Fremont, CA--to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment--but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as easy as it seems. January runs a company that produces computer fantasy games, and her domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a rival duchy whose ruler is looking for an opportunity to seize control. And that is the least of January's problems. For Tamed Lightning has somehow been cut off from te other domains, and now someone has begun to murder January's key people. If Toby can't find and stop the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.....

I loved the first in the series, ROSEMARY AND RUE, but this one made me holler! It was like reading an Agatha Christie, like 10 LITTLE INDIANS, but on hellah steroids. The suspense was killer, the murders were intense, and October on the job was classic.
Toby keeps it together somehow. I really don't know how she does it. She's had to deal with being a changeling and she could easily have a big ol' chip on her shoulder. She doesn't let it all get to her though. Or that's the appearance anyway.
All I know, Toby kicks ass, takes care of her peeps and makes sure no one gets left behind if she can help it.
Five intense beans....

18 November 2010

VANISHED: Greywalker #4 - Kat Richardson, narr Mia Baron

From the back of the BOCD: Kat Richardson's enormously popular Greywalker series is now a fixture on the New York Times best-seller list. In Seattle PI Harper Blaine's fourth adventure, she delves into her own past and makes some shocking revelations.
After receivinga chilling warning about things lying in wait for her from her long-dead boyfriend, Harper travels to her childhood home in California. While sorting through old effects, she makes a startling discovery. It seems that before her father committed suicide, he had journalled about witnessing bizarre, unearthly events. With barely any time to process this new info, Harper is pressured by a group of vampires into taking a case in London, pitting her against a group of old foes. And as her work continues, she becomes privy to more secrets about her past----and her future.
Supernatural suspense blends seamlessly with urban action as Harper continues developing her Greywalker talents. Narrator Mia Barron never skips a beat performing this high-octane thriller.
Holey crap-a-duck! This is the BEST of the series! I got to meet Harper's piece-of-work mother and learn more about Harper's background. She traveled outside of Seattle and thar be scary things in California and London (go figure).
She has to leave Seattle and loved one behind to go figure out what is going on in London, part of which are her vivid dreams of her ex, Will.
Action packed, excellent character driven urban fantasy. I wish I could say more, but I fear I will spoiler the heck out of it and I don't want to ruin it for anyone.
Mia Baron has mellowed her narration or voice or something, not sure what, but Harper sounds better this go around.
Five sparkly goin' to London and see what's happenin' diamonds....

16 November 2010

I'm Not 50....

That's my story and I am stickin' to it....
Here's Lady K's birthday song for me:
(Now I might be biased, but I believe this is the best present ever)
Yo, Happy Birthday Mom
Momy, I love you to my hart
I wish you a Happy Birthday
With cake and bloons
It will never end
It will never ever ever end

14 November 2010

Lady K-ism of the Day

Lady K and I are watching season 3 of Big Bang Theory and the episode where Raj might be deported...he bursts into tears, comes back from the bathroom, "Sorry I lost my cool back there."
Lady K: "Ah, dude, you can't lose what you've never had."

13 November 2010

My New Favorite Cooking Show.....Bitchin' Kitchen

I wish I could find a bigger image for Bitchin' Kitchen, my new favorite cooking show on the Cooking Channel.
The premise is awesomely snort laugh funny Nadia G hosting each episode's theme. Tonight was Impressing the In-Laws. It's informative, irreverant and hilarious. Exactly my kind of cooking show.
I've started DVRing the show in case I miss anything. DH just caught part of it and sat down to watch....I think Nadia's sass might have won him over.
It comes on Wednesday night at 10:30pm ET and a replay on Saturday night at 11pm ET.

DEEPLY, DESPERATELY: Lucy Valentine #2 - Heather Webber

From the back of the book: The irrepressible star of TRULY, MADLY (my review) is back in business. This time, Lucy Valentine will go to the ends of the earth to find true love for her clients...and maybe even herself.
Lucy watns to breathe new life into her family's Boston-based matchmaking company. But how? Even though she comes from a long line of ancestors blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, a freak accident left Lucy with only one special skill: finding things. Car keys, socks in the dryer, needles in haystacks...and now, in a stroke of professional genius, lost loves!
It's not long before Lucy's on a winning streak, helping old flames reunite and create new sparks. Business is booming. But when Lucy finds herself involved in a possible case of murder, she realizes she's in too deep. Enter Sean Donahue, Lucy's handsome fire fighter-turned-private eye neighbor, Sean is just the man she need to help her on the job. Could he also be the man she's been looking for all along? When it comes to Valentine, Inc., falling in love is always serious business.....
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, TRULY, MADLY, but I luh-huvved Lucy's adventures here. She's got her wonderful wack-a-doo family, her boyfriend Sean, and her abilities.
What she also has are anonymous letters coming in threatening her, she has her very own journalist hounding her every move, and her boyfriend's ex is back in town and in need.
Lucy hesitates when it comes to Sean. She thinks the curse is going to kick their relationship to the curb and the ex-in-need isn't helping. Sean feels obligated to help her out, but feels bad about leaving Lucy behind.
Lucy also is in cahoots with one of her two best friends, Marisol. The two of them are trying to get the goods on their other bestest friend, Em's, intended. Neither Lucy or Marisol like the jerk and need for Em to see it, too. It's like watching Lucy and Ethel get together on a caper.
The heartwarming bits are when Lucy helps find missing persons. I love watching how she goes about the process and the end results.
Five magical sparkly diamonds.....

08 November 2010

Books in the House - Monday - 8 Nov 2010

MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN: Mace Bauer Mystery #2 - Deborah Sharp, funny cozy mystery
GRAVE WITCH - Kalayna Price, UF
KIDNAP & RANSOM - Michelle Gagnon, suspense
From Mystery Lovers Bookshop (using my giftcard I won thanks to Ellery Adams contest she had on Cozy Chicks blog)
MURDER AT THE PTA - Laura Alden, cozy mystery
MURDER FOR CHRIST'S MASS: Templar Knight Mystery - Maureen Ash, historical mystery
MERRY, MERRY GHOST - Carolyn Hart, paranormal cozy mystery
FUNDRAISING THE DEAD - Sheila Connelly, cozy mystery
DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS: A Memphis BBQ Mystery - Riley Adams, cozy mystery
...and a very sweet freebie from this fab bookshop:
MAMA DOES TIME: A Mace Bauer Mystery - Deborah Sharp

07 November 2010

BOOKPLATE SPECIAL: Booktown Mystery #3 - Lorna Barrett

From the back of the book: Tricia Miles, owner of Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, is still settling into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name----and where everyone's quick to lend a hand, even when murder is afoot...
The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up ----and put up with----her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy has stolen one hundred dollars, among other things. But the day she's kicked out, Pammy's found dead in a trash cart, leaving loads of questions unanswered. What was she foraging for? Did her killer want it, too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in headfirst.....
I love the WTF endings in a good mystery. When it happens in a cozy mystery, it's even better. My eyebrows were up well past the hairline this morning when I finished this third entry in a fun series. I want to live in Stoneham, own a bookstore or work for Tricia. I could help her with her sister, Angelica, who means sort of well, just has an offbeat way of showing it.
I learned of a new-to-me lifestyle, freegan. Freegans salvage foods from Dumpsters for various reasons, either for to save the Earth or due to finding themselves in circumstances that require them to supplement their pantry to feed their family.
The mystery is there, who killed Pammy? But there is a focus on food pantries and freegans, bringing awareness to the reader. Thank you, Lorna.
I can highly recommend this book and this series. Good mystery, good characters, excellent premise. And the recipes in the back.....BOOKPLATE SPECIAL has meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, quick-and-dirty garlic bread, potato and leek soup and mini spinach quiches....nummers!
Five eyebrow raised and umby-gumby recipe beans.....

TOWN IN A BLUEBERRY JAM: Candy Holliday Mystery #1 - B B Haywood

From the back of the book: In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father, and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two......
Candy is just as shocked as the rest of the locals when two murders occur back-to-back. First, an aging playboy takes a midnight nosedive off a seaside cliff. Then, gossip columnist--and recently crowned town Blueberry Queen---Sapphire Vine stops the business end of a hammer with her head, right in her own home.
When her friend, a local handyman, is accused of the murder, Candy investigates to clear his name. Was the gossip columnist moonlighting as a blackmailer? Was the playboy playing around wit the wrong person? But as Candy sorts through the town's juicy secrets, things start to get very sticky indeed....
Another fine cozy mystery set on the East Coast...this one is even better with the main character, Candy, owning a blueberry farm. She is a busy chickie, prepping for the upcoming festival and taking care of the farm as well as the odd jobs around town to help bring in some extra cha-ching so she can keep living this life she's grown to love.
There are some really well written characters, a good main character who is curious and wants to help her friend, there is her father who is helping in his way. There is a best friend to go on the capers with and a really off the wall character to make the eyebrows raise. And the ending to make the eyebrows go up even farther in the hairline.
I am looking forward to another look-see at Cape Willington and see what else Candy Holliday can get into.
Five (well there are four) blueberry recipes in back beans......

05 November 2010

ONE BAD APPLE: An Orchard Mystery #1 - Sheila Connelly

From the back of the book: An apple a day keeps he corpses away....
When Meg Corey unexpectedly finds herself out of a job, an apartment, and a relationship, she seizes the opportunity to renovate teh Massachusetts colonial house her mother has inherited from distant relations and to sell it quickly for a share of the profits. But Meg gets more than she bargained for when she learns that renovating a two-hundred-year-old house is no easy task and that the gorgeous fifteen acre apple orchard on the property is in danger of being paved over by developers. And she definitely isn't expecting to run into her ex-boyfriend....floating dead in her new septic tank.
The police immediately suspect Meg, whose only ally is th charming local plumber who found the body. Determined to clear her name---while fighting her growing attachment to the troublesome house and orchard----Meg begins to investigate the crime and the townspeople only to find there's one bad apple in this bunch.....
There is something about a cozy set in New England. It seems perfect to me...or it's maybe too much Murder, She's a perfect setting for a cozy. Crisp weather and apple orchards, gazillion year old colonial houses and hard to get to know towns peeps.
Meg is handed an opportunity she can't refuse, taking on a partnership with her mother on the house Mom has inherited. How long can it take, slap a little paint on it and clean it up and flip that puppy.
Yeah, not so is shot..but that brings in the yummy plumber, Seth. He becomes her first friend and helps her work on the mystery of who dumped the dead ex in the new septic tank (as ick goes...*shudder*...excellent touch Sheila).
I am looking forward to more Meg and Seth, more small town, another mystery and some yummy apple recipes like the ones in the back of this book.
Five give me some HoneyCrisp and Pink Lady beans......

02 November 2010


From the back of the book: It's one thing to date a single father with emotional baggage....but quite another to date one who's dead.
It's only because of my work as a paranormal investigator that I, Libby Monroe, end up in a town like Broken Heart, Oklahoma, chasing down bizarre rumors of strange goings-on----and finding vampires, lycanthropes, and zombies. Oh, my!
I never expected to fall in lust, but sexy vampire Ralph Genessa is too irresistible. The fact that he's the loving father of twin boys drives the nail into my coffin and wins my undying love. And you know what they say: Home is where the heart is. Only this town is being torn in two by a war between the undead, and I may be the oly thing that can hold Broken Heart together.
I don't typically dig on paranormal romance, but I do love this series. I've reviewed two of the three of the series, BECAUSE YOUR VAMPIRE SAID SO and OVER MY DEAD BODY. (my reviews) Michele had me at I'M THE VAMPIRE THAT'S WHY. Excellent premise of a little town in Oklahoma being taken over by supernatural beings for a place to call their own, the shenanigans, some kickass fighting to keep the town and the hot monkey love. It's all tied up in a witty paranormal package that keeps me reading more when other paranormal romance books don't do nearly as much for me since they don't make me laugh like Michele's characters do.
Libby Monroe stumbles into Broken Heart while on the hunt for paranormal beings. This has been her life's work having been raised in the atmosphere with her parents. She immediately meets vampires and werewolves and dragons and gets told by Queen Patsy that she will not be allowed to leave Broken Heart, she knows too much.
It's a lot funnier than my review can let on, but I don't want to give anything away. There are some yummy love scenes, dragonfire, vampire schtuff....all good fun.
I found a neat tidbit in the pages, too. Libby is looking for something to read on Ralph's (her honey-vamp) shelves of books and finds the fab GRAVEDIGGERS WANTED: NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY - Jeff Strand (my review in the link). I read this superbly funny thriller in June 2009 on the recommendation of J A Konrath and after reading an interview Konrath did with his buddy Jeff. Michele notes this in the afterward and I became an even bigger fan.
Five it's funny in Oklahoma beans.......

01 November 2010

Books in the House - Monday - 1 Nov 2010

From Ann @ work:
WORKING STIFF: Mattie Winston Mystery #1 - Annelise Ryan, cozy mystery

From Jeanne Stein:

CHOSEN: Anna Strong #6 - Jeanne Stein, my signed copy of UF and goodies for Lady K (love the zombie duck!)

From Cassie:

A VICKY HILL EXCLUSIVE! - Hannah Dennison, cozy mystery

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM - Wendy Lyn Watson, cozy mystery

From Kris (Not Enough Books) and my win from her Cozy Mystery Challenge:

THE CHRISTIE CAPER: Death on Demand #7 - Carolyn G Hart, cozy mystery

LAST WRITES: A Jaine Austen Mystery #2 - Laura Levine, cozy mystery