Jul 19, 2018

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts (Goodreads Author)

Shelter in PlaceShelter in Place by Nora Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Mall shooting changes everyone's life forever. Reed becomes a police officer and finds his home on Tranquility Island. Simone tires to run from the past but eventually embraces it and memorializes those who died at the Mall. Together Simone and Reed will build a life but the Mastermind behind the Mall shooting is determined to kill all those who escaped. Will Reed be able to stop her before she kills again.

Fast paced and lovable characters. Simone's Grandmother CiCi is a hoot and Barney the stray dog steals the show as Reed's deputy.

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Fruit Trays for Baby Showers

 I made this for Katie's baby shower back in January. You attach the blueberries with toothpicks. For a girl you could find a cute bonnet but I thought this cap was perfect for a boy.

 You cut a small hole in the cantaloupe to insert the pacifier.

 I used a Mango to make the nose (attached with a toothpick). Not the best nose in the world but the best this Grandma could do.

 You could use a real watermelon but I had this cute watermelon bowl. I put whole apples in the bottom for the cantaloupe to rest on. You could use foam or a glass if you wanted you just need something that can support the cantaloupe's weight and raise it to the appropriate height.

 Then surround your baby with fruit. I used sliced apples and mangoes.

 A fruit platter with apple, kiwi and grapes (muscadines). Keeping the baby theme I stuck a pacifer in the grapes.

And for the additional bowl of grapes a cute little bib for the baby to be completed the decorations. 

Jul 14, 2018

Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory, #1) by Carol O'Connell

Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory, #1)Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Mallory's Father is murdered she is determined to track down the killer, but while she is out of commission Charles figures out who the killer is and how to trap him. Unfortunately the killer gets the upper hand on Charles, but Mallory arrives before he can finish Charles off, and when she sees the chance to kill two birds with one stone she takes it.

The book ends with Mallory planning to take Charles on a cruise so he can recuperate, he has lost some of his memory.

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Jul 8, 2018

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Other WomanThe Other Woman by Sandie Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an Advance Reader's Edition.

I did enjoy the book but I kept wanting to shake Emily, Adam wasn't perfect he was a jerk and treated her horribly. And the grief Pammie put her through was inexcusable. Frankly I kept wanting Emily to grow a backbone and kick Adam to the curb.

And then she gets pregnant, I can't blame her for wanting a Father for the child she is carrying but...honestly she is far better off without Adam.

The ending wasn't that much of a surprise to me there were hints and clues throughout the book. I think the only thing I found surprising was that she forgave Pammie and they developed a close friendship. Frankly if it had been me I would have been ready to wash my hands of the entire Banks family.

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Jul 6, 2018

The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook (Goodreads Author)

The Which Way TreeThe Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Club Questions and Answers
Did you enjoy The Which Way Tree... why or why not?
To some extent I did enjoy it, I was troubled by the mistreatment of the animals in the book.

Benjamin mentions Moby Dick throughout the book. Do you see parallels between Ahab and Samantha in their quest for revenge against the animals that maimed them? Are there any other parallels with other stories of quests for revenge that you can think of?
I did see parallels to Moby Dick, although I found the frequent mentions of Moby Dick tiresome.

What did you think of the format of the book-- that it was composed of letters? What were the advantages of this format and what, if any, the disadvantages?
I disliked it as I prefer books where you feel you are part of the story. Reading this as something that happened in the past lessened it's impact for me. The advantage from my point of view was it allowed us to find out what happened to Sam and Benjamin after the story ended.

What did you think of the ending of the book? What did you think happened to Samantha? Why do you feel she left the hide behind?
I think she realized the hide didn't make her happy. Unless she found a way to change I am afraid she meet a bad end. Her bad attitude lead her into a lot of dangerous situations and caused a lot of conflict.

Before you read this book, were you aware that many of the Germans in Texas were on the side of the Union and killed or harassed by the Sesesh (Confederates)? Did it change your perceptions on the Civil War in any way?
I had never heard the term Sesesh before reading this book. I found it to be an interesting glimpse into this period of Texas' history. But it didn't really change my perceptions of the Civil War.

Did you think Hanlin was as well-developed a character as the others or did you find him one dimensional?
He didn't have any redeeming qualities and I thought drowning was too good for him after he shot his Uncle's horse.

We find out that Pacheco is out for the bounty on the panther in order to rebuild his ranch. Why do you think Preacher Dob went along?
I think it was a mixture of wanting to keep an eye on his dog and the children and a chance to go on an adventure that he could feel good about. The panther was raiding livestock and attacking people so he could feel like he was benefiting people by helping to track it down.

Why do you think Samantha is so determined to kill the panther? Did you find her determination to exact revenge admirable or foolhardy?
I found it disturbing, I really think she needed psychiatric help.

When Benjamin starts the story, it doesn't seem that he likes his stepmother, Juda, at all. Why do you think that was and do you think it later colors his feelings towards Samantha?
I think he resented her taking his Mother's place and she was really strict and seemed to favor her own daughter over Benjamin. I don't think it colors his feelings toward Samantha, in fact he seemed to appreciate Juda's cleaning after she was dead and wished Sam was more like her.

Is there a character you identified with and why? No, but I would have liked to have read more about Zechariah (the dog) and Pacheco and his horse.

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Jul 2, 2018

Blind Justice (William Monk, #19)

Blind Justice (William Monk, #19)Blind Justice by Anne Perry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When a man guilty of extortion is about to be found not guilty due to a witness whose unsavory character is known to Rathbone due to the photographs Ballinger left him Judge Rathbone decides to give the photograph to the lawyer for the prosecution, who uses it in court to discredit the witness.

The accused (Taft) then goes home and supposedly murders his wife and their 2 daughters before killing himself.

The reason I only gave it two stars is because of the discrepancy. Taft is able to go home and supposedly murder his family and kill himself, while Rathbone is kept locked away in jail during his trial, even though at one point he had bail.

Judge Rathbone is accused of perverting justice and arrested and jailed. Hester, Monk and Scruff must use every means possible to free him with the aid of his lawyer Brancaster. Scruff will uncover that is was Rathbone's ex-wife Margaret who brought the charges against him. And Monk will discover that the Taft family was murdered by the unsavory witness who was actually the brains behind the extortion racket.

Rathbone will be striped of his judgeship and unable to practice law for at least a year, but wins his freedom with the help of his friends.

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