Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Day for Night by Stacey E Bryan

Rae is an actress who has recently been kicked off a reality tv show.  In her apartment laundry room, she witnesses an attempted alien abduction.  Now she is in a spiral trying to deal with her insane life.  Then add vampires, aliens, a vampire hunter boyfriend and an adopted godson named after one of Jupiter's moons and an ex- who leads a cult.  Combination = silly, funny and crazy.

I laughed a lot and the cultural references added to the insanity of the whole ride.  Very fun read.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blog: Part Three

Good Evening Everyone,
Now for the rest of my life. I am cross stitching on "The Spell Store" as most of you know I love Halloween and Fall.

Since I last mentioned it I've made a couple of trips to our local library. They have a lot of "Father Dowling Mysteries."

I finished reading a week or two ago Eggnog Murder which is a collection of short stories by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. This is an excellent Christmas read and because they are a collection of amazing short novella. 

My diabetes has been acting up lately. We put me on Trulicity and the first four weeks were a low dose. It did not do a lot of good. Last week we started on the higher dose and I am having it work better but not great which will make my six-month doctor's visit interesting because I need to have the blood work done this week!
I also need to make an appointment this week and since I need a different BP monitor like I said all of this should be interesting. My appointment needs to be by April ninth. This six-month one kinda snuck up on me. Wish me luck.
The positive side is I have lost some weight.

Moving along I also finished reading "Better Late Than Never." This by Jenn McKinlay." I don't think Jenn McKinlay can write a bad book. She writes more than one series. This is the hat shop series.

I'm not sure what is going on with my mail lately but yesterday I received a Christmas Card from my cousin Sharon that was mailed December 17th 2016, yesterday was March 25th, 2017. To top this off an author sent out a book for me to review and it's somewhere around three weeks late. It hasn't shown up and so now the is sending another copy.
I'm starting to wonder what else I've not received.

Today we finally took our Christmas Tree down, changed a little of the living room around. Our skeleton Scully has been set up for spring.
My daughter (Amanda) texted me this morning. She had questions about what I might want for my 0th birthday. At first, I couldn't think of anything since my birthday is in July and also because you know how it is when someone asks you what you want. Your mind goes blank but I did finally say something and she wanted me to keep going on listing more. I did but it still felt odd. Pretty sure part of it is that number 60 coming into view. I do better with 59 or 61 but the ones that end in zero always seem to be filled with angst. 
Moving along: I'm not sure what we will do for Easter this year. Currently, our family is in a flux everyone is faced with lots of changes and life is difficult for some. 
I probably wouldn't mind curling up with a good book.
I will leave you with the following questions. 
What are you reading?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Do you have a setting for your cozy mysteries?
Okay, off to create mischief.

May you always have a good book,

Blog: Updates Part Two:

Good Morning,
Okay now for what I've been reading this week.
I'm enjoying Father Dowling Short Stories. 
On my kindle, I am very happily enjoying "Asking for Murder" by Roberta Isleib and this is one of her advice column mysteries.
Next, comes a book that is not a cozy. It is a historical mystery. "The Queen's Accomplish" by Susan Elia MacNeal and it's a "Maggie Hope Mystery" now I have just discovered these mysteries. There are several and so it's safe to say I'm hooked on a new series.
I have several other books that I am reading, that depend on time and mood. 
Movie Watches for this week:
Let's see I have binged watch "The Garage Sale Mysteries" these are on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
On Acorn there are several starting with the "Miss. Marple Mysteries, Poirot Mysteries and The Agatha Raisin Mysteries."
I am looking forward to new seasons of "Vera" you can't beat Ann Cleeves when it comes to writing mysteries.
I did catch up on season 19 of "Midsomer Murder" this happened a week or two ago.
My Netflix binge watching has been a little dull as of late.  
I love Sunday Night viewing so after tonight there might be more things to talk about especially with my Hallmark Movies & Mysteries as today is the binge of the Joanne Fluke Movies.
Oh I have watched "Monk Mysteries" all on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Okay, this is it for part two of my updates.
Part three will soon arrive today.


Blog: Updates

Good Morning Everyone,
I thought I would start my blog work this morning with some updates.
First, thank you for bearing with me today. We lost our precious human dog PepperElla James, she was a loyal, smart, loving and dedicated to helping us live longer. I lost it a little when she passed away and Frank was worse. our daughter came down and helped distract her father and me. 
Putting one foot in front of the other we have a new dog who has a lot of heart. I will post a picture of her soon but we've been so busy that I haven't sat long enough to do this task.
We adopted her from our no-kill shelter this week. Her name is Miss. Rylee Peabody James. She is a mixed two year old Corgi and Apso Proso York mix.
I'm currently teaching her to fetch a ball, trying to follow commands and the first day after adopting her we went on fourteen or more walks. It's safe to say she loves walks. She also loves car rides. 
We were told that she rode along in the service vans and loved it. Her previous owners took her for car rides and trips.
However she is solely my dog in the fact she won't let Frank walk her unless I'm along if I sit down so does she, she follows me everywhere and I've never been adored this much. 
Frank doesn't know what to think as he's usually the owner this happens to and yes, I'm enjoying all of this attention from her.
I say all of this as to why I haven't blogged much or posted reviews.
This is part one of my updates today.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Kiss and Kill by Dale Hudson

Rick Pulley was a minister and missionary along with his wife, Patty Jo.  They traveled playing Christian music and ministering to youth.  Then one day Patty Jo disappears leaving a grieving Rick and friends.  Only after her body is found much later, it turns out their marriage was not what it seemed and Rick had dark secrets.

What I liked the most about this book, is the way the author does deep research and really makes you feel like you know the people involved.  It is a skill I have found in his other books as well.

After his first book - An Hour to Kill, I corresponded with him and he was generous enough to give me VHS tapes of some of the interviews he had with Ken Register.  It was fascinating.  Unfortunately Dale, died several years ago in a drowning accident.  A real loss.

True Crime at its best.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Communication is a necessity - Metro

Last night's commute:

Got to transfer station, there were 6 green line trains and 4 yellow trains to the Airport in the 45 minutes I stood there. THEN there was a yellow line Huntington train, so I got on – relieved. Then after another stop, they announced it was being changed to an Airport train. So I would have to go to airport and wait for ANOTHER Huntington train. Now, Huntington trains are supposed to be every 24 minutes during this surge, but obviously they are not. So get to airport and could barely get off the train because the platform was completely full of people. So, even if another Huntington train came I wouldn’t be able to get on it. Probably it would take at least two of them, so at every 24 minutes that would be about an hour and a half. And they already weren’t sticking to the 24 minutes thing. All this time, there were no text alerts, email alerts, website postings or announcements over the speakers.

So, two other women and I shared an uber from the airport to the metro station where our cars were. So MORE money. It was insane and frustrating.

And the real problem was the no communication thing. Why Metro can't just tell people what is going on is beyond me....

I noticed this a lot at a prior job, where people would call and call about their claims and get angrier and angrier because no one was calling them back. The claims rep's response was they were waiting for the insurance company to update them. THAT was true but if they had only just called the person back and told them that it would have gone a LONG way to diffusing all the anger.

It seems obvious to me and I try to live by it myself. I wish others would learn the lesson.

As for metro, it is even more annoying because the new GM swore on better communication. HAH!

So, let's see how tonight's commute goes.... It is going to be a LONG several weeks.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

Lana is a Reaper, harvesting souls and bringing them to the appropriate afterlife.  She does her job, often skirting the rules.  Only now, something big is going down in Eternity and she needs to harvest a special soul that will save it.  There are those that will try and stop her and allies that will help her.

I loved this book.  A fun world built of various deities from various religious belief systems, run by Grim like a corporation.  A lot of political haggling and deals being made.  The story is full of unexpected twists and turns and hidden loyalties.  A Hodge Podge of deities and paranormal beings make it a fun mash up with some serious suspense.


Review: Assault And Beret: By Jenn McKinlay

Vivian Tremont and her cousin Scarlett Parker own their London Hat Shop but when Viv is invited to Paris to teach a class on hat-making she seizes the opportunity to go because she wants to get an annulment from a husband nobody knew had a husband.

Vivian takes Scarlett with her because she needs Scarlett to find her missing husband. Scarlett finds William Graham that is she finds William after she recovers from the shock that Vivian had a husband.

William is an insurance investigator of art and recently a small Renoir has been found in a junk shop. This leads to a merry chase when William is kidnapped right in front of Scarlett and Vivian.

Things go from bad to worse and soon Harrison Wentworth (Harry) to Scarlett arrives from London to help find Viv's husband and to see the love of his life Scarlett. She needs his help and Viv definitely needs Harry's connections.
Together Harry and Scarlett begin following the clues and some rather unique and unsavory characters.
What they find at the end of their search is not only unpredictable but could get them all killed.

Assault And Beret by Jenn McKinlay is penned with a Paris flavor and if you have an admiration for Paris Fashion you won't want to miss reading this mystery.
This mystery has a flair for fashion, art and the foodie in all of us.
I enjoy this series and while I love visiting their London hat shop I have to say it was nice to see them away from the shop in one of the most romantic and mysterious locations in the world.
I give this book in the series a 9 out of 10.
Pamela James

Blog: Dark and Stormy

Tonight was a dark and stormy night. I love reading on a dark and stormy night.
We lost television reception tonight.
I curled up with my mystery and read until life in Kansas returned to our version of normal on my little street.
What is your favorite weather to read by? I would have loved to have read a ghost story but a mystery served me well tonight.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan


Writing is a strange business. I mean, it’s fun to tell stories but sometimes I become plotless, and that’s not a good thing.

For instance, I know who the victim is in the next Daisy Gumm Majesty book (Spirits Unearthed) and I know who dunnit. It’s those pesky 300+ pages in the middle I have to figure out. I expect Daisy to do more spiritualist stuff, which is fun and should take up several pages. And maybe Sam’s Voodoo juju will pester him again (it did in the forthcoming Daisy book, Spirits United).

As a fake spiritualist-medium in the 1920s, Daisy has a built great business for herself and her family. True, she lies to people for a living, but she justifies her line of work by reminding herself she helps grieving family members and friends by reassuring them the dear departed is happy on the other side of life. Above anything, Daisy doesn’t want anyone to commit suicide because they want to rejoin their late beloved. I guess that’s a sound answer to people, including her fiancĂ©, Sam Rotondo, who tell her they think it’s rotten of her to fool people. Of course, Daisy generally reminds him that the people she fools want to be fooled. Fair enough for government work, as folks used to say. Not sure they say that anymore—or that it’s true—but what the heck.

As a plotless Daisy story whirls in my head, I’m also getting ready to visit my own and Daisy’s old stomping grounds, Pasadena, California. The reason for this sudden trip is lousy, but I expect to see some of my old favorite sites. That should be nice.

In the meantime, as I was trying to clean up stuff, work-wise, before my trip, I decided the book I’ve wanted to finish for more than a decade now will never get written if I don’t have a deadline. I haven’t written to a deadline in… well, a whole bunch of years. So I decided what the heck and sent a query to an editor. Much to my astonishment, the editor emailed me the next day and asked me to send him the full proposal. So I did. With any luck he’ll reject the book, but if he doesn’t, I’ll be in full-blown panic mode as I finish that book and try to figure out the next Daisy plot.

Sometimes I think I’m an absolute idiot. Other times I’m sure of it. Sighhhhhh.

Anyway, I’ll be in touch with the winners GENTEEL SPIRITS, February’s contest book, individually. At the end of March, I’ll give away three copies of the original hardback version of FALLEN ANGELS.

By the way, FALLEN ANGELS won the Arizona/New Mexico Book of the Year Award in 2012 for best mystery/thriller (tied with Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’s THE AMERICAN CAFÉ). As a rule I don’t enter contests, since I share George C. Scott opinion about judging the worth of artistic endeavors. I honestly don’t think you can say one book is better than another if you’re comparing, say, COCAINE BLUES by Kerry Greenwood, to GONE GIRL by Jillian Flynn. Personally, I loved the one and detested the other. If all judges of all book contests were like me, GONE GIRL wouldn’t have been the fabulous success it was. I’m probably wrong, but it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it, darn it!

Also (this is silly) the only reason I entered the AZ/NM BOTY contest was because, the state of literacy in New Mexico being what it is (abysmal), the notion tickled me. Sometimes I think I have a black heart.

Anyhow, 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). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

Blog: Weekend Viewing

My weekend movie and series viewing is a Hodge podge of fun.

Of course, we watched Harry Potter Movies. These are Frank's comfort views.
I watched Midsomer Murders because they will have a new season out soon. 
Tonight we watched Feud as this was on FX and it added a lighter touch to the weekend. 
I watched Jesse Stone Movies/series that was on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. 
Yesterday was Columbo Marathon and I watched a few of those shows.
I also watched some Vera episodes on Acorn as soon there will be a new series.
Oh and we watched Woman Of The Year on Friday night.

T have taped Time after Time it's a modern day hunt for Jack The Ripper.
I also will watch Elementry as soon as I can and this morning my daughter will call me.
We also have predictions for rain and I hope the bad weather won't make me resume my blog work and write reviews.
Okay, I am off to bed my daughter will call early in the morning and I'm reading a really good book. 
Until later have a great Monday.


Review: 13 Stolen Girls by Gil Reavill

After an earthquake in LA, Detective Layla Remington finds a large broken barrel with a body inside.  It turns out to be a missing actress...