Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Blog: Books/Series/Binge watch

Over the weekend I finally went out of town. This is a big deal for me as I usually can't ride in a car because of my vertigo and it did make me feel not so hot a couple of time.
However, my daughter and husband helped by keeping my mind on other things.
Series: Now I want to jump ahead for a minute and tell you I watched the most terrific new series show tonight. It's called MIDNIGHT TEXAS and it's by Charlaine Harris. It is amusing, thinks outside the box and very funny.
Great lines, actors, I am hooked and I usually do not care for this type of shows. It's so original and the perfect blend of entertainment.
Okay back to my scheduled words of wisdom. 
I wrote a review on our blog but in case you missed it. I enjoyed the "law and author mystery" by Erika Chase. Such a good series and a great book
Now I've been binge watching many shows.
First I have watched many Hitchcock Movies. First STRANGERS ON A TRAIN,  REAR WINDOW AND ROPE.
Now shows I have binge watched lately are Midsomer murders, Perry Mason, Columbo, Vera, Shetland, Murdoch Mysteries, Harry Potter and Crocodile Dundee Movies.

The new show I want to see in the fall is the one that stars Jeremy Pivin.  I don't remember the title but it looks interesting and I am happy to him in another series.
 I'm currently reading is MURDER HAS NINE LIVES by LAURA LEVINE. 
I will write reviews and post them on our blog.

Tonight at the library I picked up one mystery and it is titled: BOOKED 4 MURDER by J.C. Eaton. 

Summer plans involve family. We have a grandson getting married on August 12th so is the next big deal to attend.

Meanwhile, I stay in and only go places (such as walks) in the evening and morning hours.

Okay until the next blog post this is all I have for now.

I will add that I am close to finishing a couple of cross stitch samplers and to add to my cross stitch hobby I'm collecting buttons. I decided this the way I'm going to finish a lot of my sampler projects.
I think I stated this before but anyway I am stitching an hour every morning and then on Saturday and Sunday I stitch in the morning while I watch my quilt shows.
Goodnight all,

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: law and author by Erika Chase

Bob Miller is a retired police chief and while he enjoys his retirement there are days when he wishes life was a little more exciting and when his twenty-one-year-old granddaughter Darla arrives in town and at his door, he views it as a second chance to get to know his granddaughter.

However, she brings trouble in many shapes and sizes. First with a boyfriend, also a stranger is murdered and since he's part of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society the members are not about to let one of their own suffer his burdens alone.
Molly Matthews is not only a member she is a whose big heart and helping hands have come in handy more than once.

Lizzie Turner is dating the police chief of Ashton Corners and Mark Dreyfus doesn't take kindly to law breakers. This time he has to make sure that the investigations are done to the letter of the law.
There seem to be drugs running a muck in town, strangers turning up dead, secrets and lies.

When it turns out Darla is afraid, and her boyfriend has been abusing her Bob has a hard time keeping things within the letter of the law.

law and author (Ashton Cornes Book Club # 5) is an enjoyable mystery that has many twists, turns and Erika Chase knows how to keep readers turning the page.

The whole series is great but this one stands out and shines as one of the best series books I have read this year.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

What Can I Say?

The winners of UNSETTLED SPIRITS, my June giveaway book, are Sharon Sambuca, Anne Harris, Marge Hagan and Tracy M. Thurber. I’ll get your books to you probably the week after next. I’ll also be mailing copies of SPIRITS REVIVED to June’s winners, since I didn’t get them mailed in June. Stupid month, June. Mostly mayhem; very little, if any, magic.

In fact, June, 2017, was one of the worst months in my life. I had yet another surgery and, while I’m recovering nicely, I’m tired of various body parts going out on me.

The worst thing that happened in June was the death of one of my very best friends, Barbara Masters. When I lived in Pasadena, California, we did pretty much everything together. Our kids grew up together, we went to exercises at the now-defunct YWCA together, we took our kids to the beach together, we went to see all the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas we could find, we held yard sales together, we saw a whole bunch of things at the Ambassador Auditorium together, and Barbara came to all the holiday feasts I prepared in my little Pasadena shack. The only good thing to come of Barbara’s death (for me) was the renewal of my acquaintanceship with her daughter, Kira Steinberg. I hadn’t seen Kira for at least 20 years, and it was great catching up with her. Kira is a dog-rescuer, as am I, and we both agreed we didn’t really understand crazy in people until we began rescuing dogs. We both have stories, which I won’t go in to here.

My grief at Barbara’s passing, however, can’t hold a candle to the grief another author friend of mine is experiencing. Her daughter was murdered by her (the daughter’s) husband in a murder-suicide a couple of weeks ago. I personally don’t care if people want to kill themselves, but think it’s reprehensible to kill another person merely because you’re mad at him/her. I don’t, from personal experience, know how one copes with the loss of a child, thank heaven. To have a beloved child murdered passes my comprehension.

About the only good thing to come from June, 2017, was seeing the cover art of my soon-to-be-published book, SPIRITS UNITED, which should be available soon. Here it is:

I think that’s it for July’s blog. I don’t have the heart to write anything else at the moment. Or to be funny.

I’ll let people choose their own book from my backlist in July, since I’m too befuddled to choose one myself. If you’re name is chosen, I’ll send you the book you select, providing I have a copy. If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in newsletters, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Ruffed-Up Murder by Susie Gayle and a frustrating trend in cozies

Will an Sarah live in a small Maine community which they want to stay as it is.  As a result of a loophole in zoning regulations, a man is killed who was selling his land to a Sprawl Mart chain.  

This book was more like an outline of a story to me than a fleshed out book.  The characters have very short interactions and no development.  The basic story is okay and could have been pretty good if it was less superficial.  what was 80 pages should have probably been twice that - with more enriched characters and dialogue.  So that I could like or even dislike then  -- instead of not caring at all.  

I didn't hate the book or anything, I just feel like it will be totally forgotten in a few days.

I am afraid this a trend I am seeing more often these days.  Basic story -- bare bones.  No real surprises or twists or interactions other than a few moments of questions to a few people.  I want authors to write and give us stories where we care what happens.  Not just spin them out every couple months without much development or growth.  There is a huge different between fleshing out a story and throwing in fluff to add words.  I think some authors are afraid of the IDEA of fluff and leave too much out to really give us a well rounded book.

A lot of reviewers will just not review a book they don't care much for, but I think it is important to review what works for US and what doesn't.  I don't want to be cruel -- I support authors and want them to succeed.  I just think this trend is sad.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

It’s June, by gum!

Good grief, the year’s half over. Seems like the older one gets, the faster time flies.

I’ll be in touch with May’s winners of SPIRITS REVIVED individually. And at the end of June, I do believe I’ll be giving away copies of UNSETTLED SPIRITS again because I have lota of copies of that one.

Anyhow, since I just had surgery to repair a piece of personal plumbing, this blog’s not going to be very long, but I had a lot of help and fun collecting its various parts.

It all started when my neighbor brought me a jelly doughnut (because he and his wife know I adore jelly doughnuts, but don’t eat them often because I try to eat healthily – I know, how stuffy, huh?) Anyway, he said he got it “from the bottom of his spleen.” That got me to thinking about some of the sayings I grew up with, and I asked folks on Facebook to lend me some of their remembrances. I’ll start with my own home.

When my dad thought someone was a meanie, he said the person had a scab over his liver. If he thought someone had done something particularly bone-headed, he’d say, “One more brain, and you’d be a halfwit.” My dad and my nephew Stephen were both in the U.S. Navy for eons and of course, for them both, creamed chipped beef on toast was always shit on a shingle. Stephen also mentioned that his mother (my half-sister, by gum) would say something was slick as a fart in a mitten.

My younger grandson, Riki, called Albuquerque “Albu-turkey” for a long, long time before he learned the proper pronunciation (well, the way New Mexicans say it, anyway).

My daughters both called hamburgers “han-gurmers.” Ever since I was given a black dachshund by a friend of mine, my kids said I was Weenie’s (that was the hound’s name) “grammoi.” So I am now Grammoi to my grandsons and both of my great-grandchildren.

My mom’s cousin’s husband, Miles Gilbert, when asked how he felt, would generally say, “Fine as a frog’s hair split four ways.” I’ve heard other people say “Fine as frogs’ hair,” but Miles had his own unique take on the expression.

Here are some other gems folks added to the list:

J.M. Cornwell produced these: Hope the crick don’t rise; lyin’ like a rug (when someone was fibbing); looks like the running gears of a katydid (when someone is skinny); gimlet butt (for someone who doesn’t have big hips); dumb as a box of rocks; a few bricks shy of a load; and a revolving door on her bedroom.

Judy Reutebach recalls her mother telling her “Your face will freeze like that” when she wore an unpleasant expression.

David Bedini’s family’s philosophy was, evidently, “Todays plums are tomorrow’s prunes.”

Vicky Fannin offered this from her dad, Byron: “Never say only and money in the same sentence.”

Carola Dunn’s son used to say donedies for donuts. To him all four-legged animals were “maus” (probably for meow).

Nina Paules’s grandmother, when asked what was for dinner, would say, “Layovers for meddlers.”

Diane Jasperson offered these charmers: Those maniac drivers passed me by like a dirty shirt; as well as: drunk as a skunk; purdier than all get-out; coffee is strong enough to curl your toenails; and does a bear poop in the woods.

James C. Work said his mom, when entering a dark room, would say, “It's dark as Egypt in there." His father thought she had mistaken "darkest Africa" but was too polite to mention it. James also remembered these: Somebody sure put a burr unner his saddle; don’t know him from Adam’s off ox; and dead as a doornail.

Here are some delights from Charlotte Westbrook McDaniel: So poor you don’t have a pot to piss in; ain’t that a kick in the head; about as useful as teats on a boar (or a boar-hog); It’s fixin’ to come a gully washer (hard rain).

Marcia-Lee Finocchio’s mom used to say she’d do something “after I eat this egg.” Marcia-Lee still doesn’t know quite what it means. Nor do I, but I like it.

Kathryn McIntyre grew up with these: She looks like the wreck of the Hesperus; time to bring out the brass monkeys; there’s frost on the pumpkin; like chasing a fart through a bucket of nails (when something is entirely futile); colder than a well-digger’s shovel.

Vicki Lemonds’ grandmother would say: It’s cold enough to freeze your pockets off and, when something didn’t go as planned, “Must not have been holding my mouth right.” For some reason, that last one really tickles me (editorial comment).

Sue Krekeler recalls hearing: S/he looks like five miles of dirt road (when someone is really tired).

Sherry Davis Fritz’s father would say something was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra; and something was “knee high to a tall Indian.” I have to admit I’d never heard that last one. I recall something being “Knee-high to a grasshopper” (editorial comment #2 or 3 or something).

Donna Weatherfield (another intrepid dachshund-rescuer) recalls the following: Hell’s bells and panther pants; Busier than a one-armed paper-hanger; and as nervous as a whore in church.

Debbie Sanders’ husband’s Pawpaw (whoever that was) used to say: Busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kickin contest; if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their butts when they hopped. Her mom liked to say: He don't have the brains of a piss ant; she don't know shit from apple butter; and you’d better straighten up and fly right.

Gina Gilmore offered the following: S/he don’t know shit from Shinola; and s/he looks like s/he’s been rode hard and hung up wet.

Susan Eggers grew up with these: Enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s pants; it looked like the itch (if something looked really bad). I’m extremely partial to the second one (another editorial comment).

Ann Watson Smith’s kids used to say nip-nops for flip-flops and pasghetti for spaghetti. My own kids said the last one (editor again).

Julia Anderson grew up with: Mad as a wet hen; I have so much wind, if I could finger it just right, I could play “God Bless America.” The latter was generally said after a meal containing beans, which “Stretch a meal and also cause gas.”

Debra Iverson recalls people looking as if they’d been drug through a knothole backwards.

Jeanell Buida Bolton recalls hearing Hells bells and little fishes.

Johannah E. Zimmerman (and I, too, actually) recalled people being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Susie Lonsinger remembers, when someone was getting uppity, s/he’d be told to get down off your high horse.

Lea Hood’s dad used to say she and her friends were a bunch of “wild Bohemians” when they were having fun (maybe too much fun).

Tabitha Hall and I remember calling a refrigerator the ice box. Becky Muth recalls the refrigerator always being the Kelvinator.

Thanks, everyone, for your input! I came away from this particular Facebook experiment with a whole bunch of new (to me) colorful expressions to use when life is dull.

If you’d like to enter June’s contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in newsletters, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: The Golden Peacock by Lauren B Grossman

Rainee is an award winning novelist who has writer's block.  After finding an ID card from the Holocaust museum, she intrigued by a woman who had the same birthday as her and decided to track her down and learn her story.  Jana is a German Jew who fled the Holocaust via the Kindertransport from The Netherlands and was fostered by a family on an English farm.  Rainee meets with her and discovers she has Alzheimers and is in a nursing home.  She then finds out information from the past that endangers them in the present.

This was a remarkable read, going from Rainee in 1997 and Jana's past as a child.  It involves Nazi hunters and those groups who protect Nazis in hiding.  Very engrossing and emotional.

What happened in the past leads to a whole new future for Jana


Friday, May 19, 2017

Blog: Shows and Movies

I've been watching many great shows this week.

Tonight I watched the movie of Doc Martin. This movie shows how it all came about and why he left London. I rate this an A.

I also watched the mini-series "Decline and Fall".
This has David Suchet in it and is on acorn. I wanted something with humor and it has humor in spades. It's another A movie.

I watched a Monk Marathon which of course is not only entertaining but I can cross stitch while I listen to and watch this series A rating and with this series I find it helps me while I do a lot of stitching.

I enjoyed Criminal Minds Season Finale and I give it a B this time around.
I loved Criminal Minds "Beyond Borders" and it receives an A as does "Call The Midwife and Elementry."

I have plenty more to share with you but we are having storms so tonight I will close with if you binge watch shows I hope the characters stay with you long after the credits roll.

Happy Viewing,

Blog: Books/Series/Binge watch

Over the weekend I finally went out of town. This is a big deal for me as I usually can't ride in a car because of my vertigo and it did...