Dec 31, 2016

New Washer and 2 Makeovers

 When my washer died we got the washer that matched my dryer. This was back in July I think and so far I have been very pleased with it.

 One of the things I didn't like about the old washer is it never seemed to fill the washer with enough water, especially when the clothes were dirty. This washer has a deep fill function that I love.

 And it has a glass top so you can see your clothes being washed.

 Now for the makeovers. My comforter got a tear in it but I didn't want to go the the expense of buying a completely  new bedspread and matching curtains.

 Bed, Bath & Beyond had duvets marked down. I found this gray one that matches the gray stripe in the bed skirt and pillow shams. It also had pillow shams with it. So I used one as an accent pillow.

 Then I added my crocheted pillow to bring out the red, in my yellow pillow shams. 

 Next project involved a new frame for an old picture and a different background created with decoupage.

 I mainly used napkins I got at the Dollar Store to cover the mat I got for the picture frame.

 This is what it looked like originally, the  Butterfly was crocheted by my Aunt Eloise and I have had it for close to 30 years now or longer. With the blue walls and the blue background it just sort of blended in.

 First I carefully removed it from the frame and hand washed it. I let it air dry over night.

 Placed the new mat in the frame.

 Carefully placed the butterfly on the background I had made with paper from a decoupage book.

 And put them together. The white Butterfly really stands out against the new background and the white frame accents it well.

It also goes much better with this new picture I found marked down at Kirklands.

The Games (Private, #11)

The Games (Private, #11)The Games by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK this is another one of those books that has two titles "Private Rio" is it's alternate name. Why can't they just use one title and stop confusing people?

Jack as usual has a full plate but is confidant he can handle it with his lady love Tavia by his side. First the Wise twins are kidnapped, they were in the country under aliases providing humanitarian aid. So who found out their identity and how is the first question Jack has to answer. Cherie and Andrew Wise descend on Rio in hopes that Jack can rescue their daughters alive. The kidnappers demand that Andrew Wise deliver the money in person and the drop goes horribly wrong when Andrew himself is kidnapped and "Favela Justice" puts him on trial for the rape and persecution of Brazil's poor through his company's profiteering in the construction of the World Cup and Olympic Games venues. Once Jack figures out who the kidnappers are he reaches a horrible conclusion but first he has to rescue Andrew Wise, unfortunately during the rescue of Wise Tavia is killed.

Justine shows up to comfort Jack (OK I really hated the way he killed Tavia off and put Justine and Jack back together. I liked Tavia and Jack together and she seemed much better suited to Jack). Jack's hunch about Doctor Castro pays off when they find his secret lab. Now Jack has to find and stop Castro before he disburses his plague over the attendees of the Olympic Games. They find Castro too late as he has already launched the drone that will spread the plague but after dealing with Castro Jack tries a daring maneuver to hook the drone with the helicopter he is flying and risk his life to keep Rio safe.

*Couple of mistakes in the book that were annoying. Whoever edits the books needs to pay more attention.

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Dec 21, 2016

U Is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21)

U Is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21)U Is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kinsey seems mired in the past. First there is her case a young man (Michael Sutton) comes to her claiming he saw the burial of a kidnapped child when he was six. He wants Kinsey to help him find the grave. She finds the grave but the body in question is that of a dog and proof comes to light that the young man was out of town on a family vacation when the young girl was kidnapped. With Michael's testimony discredited the case seems to be at a dead end.

In her personal life proof comes to light that her Grandparents did care for her and made an attempt to gain custody of her.

Realizing there was a prior kidnapping, Kinsey figured out that what Michael Sutton saw was the money the kidnappers got for returning Rain being buried after they realized Rain's Grandfather used a fluorescent marker on it. Since the money they got from Rain's kidnapping was marked, they kidnapped Mary Claire and due to her medical issues the Valium they gave her caused an overdose. The young teenagers never intended to harm Mary Claire. But the realization comes to late for Michael. He spotted one of the kidnappers and was lured into a trap and killed. But he left a voice mail for Kinsey telling her where to find one of the kidnappers. When Kinsey realizes the "kidnapper" was her old school mate Walker the pieces of the puzzle fall in place and she saves him from being mopped up by his partner who is determined to escape justice once again.

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Dec 13, 2016

The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories #10)

The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10)The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Uhtred finally retakes Bebbanburg.

The book opens with Uhtred laying siege to Bebbanburg but when Sigtryggr sends for help he is forced to abandon the siege. Which turns out to be lucky for him because he would have been caught on the plains and easily killed by the Scots (Constantin) who hope to claim Bebbanburg for their own.

Uhtred uncovers a plot by AEthelhelm (King Edward's Father in-law) to attack Edward's men and make it look like they were attacked by Sigtryggr's men, destroying the truce between the Saxons and the Danes. AEthelhelm also planned for AEthelstan (King Edward's oldest son by his first wife) to be leading Edward's men and hoped he would be killed in the attack paving the way for AEthelhelm's grandson to be King. King Edward sent Brunulf to lead his men instead of AEthelstan and Uhtred managed to save Brunulf and his men. Uhtred interrupts King Edward's council where AEthelhelm is calling for war against Sigtryggr and Uhtred for killing Brunulf with a very much alive Brunulf and the leaders of the attack (AEthelhelm's men) as prisoners. King Edward orders the prisoners executed and Uhtred blackmails AEthelhelm into doing what he wants, Uhtred also claims AEthelstan as his hostage in order to keep him safe.AEthelflaed (Edward's sister) is dying and can no longer protect AEthelstan. Uhtred gains a peace treaty for a year between the Danes and the Saxons.

Uhtred then sets out on a devious route to Bebbanburg. He plans to sneak into the fort when they hopefully mistake his ships as the ships (provided by AEthelhelm) they are expecting to resupply them. His plan works and the guards at Bebbanburg open the gate for his ships. With AEthelstan's help (AEthelstan is almost as good a warrior as Uhtred) Uhtred succeeds in defeating both AEthelhelm and his cousin Uhtred. AEthelstan persuades him to keep AEthelhelm as his prisoner and ransom him for a great deal of money which will replenish Uhtred's coffers and weaken AEthelhelm. He also insist on keeping AEthelhelm's daughter as a hostage since Uhtred Jr (one of Uhtred's son's that I refer to as the Warrior as he had another name until his older brother Uhtred became a priest) has taken a liking to her.

With Uhtred in charge the Scots withdraw.

Uhtred is thrilled to finally be HOME.

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Dec 7, 2016

The Little Red Chairs

The Little Red ChairsThe Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

My library has it shelved as a romance, but there is nothing romantic about this book. I read it on the recommendation of Smithsonian Magazine but found it had little to do with the Beast of Bosnia or his crimes. It's a mishmash of peoples lives mainly Fidelma's.

A stranger comes to her village in Ireland and opens shop as a healer. Fidelma becomes his lover, then his identity as a notorious war criminal is revealed when he is arrested. The pregnant Fidelma is attacked by his supposed friends who give her a forced abortion with a crowbar. After she recovers she flees to England where she takes various menial jobs to survive until her husband forgives her and provides her with a stipend each month.

She then travels to the Hague to attend Vlad's trial and returns to Ireland for her husbands death.

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Dec 3, 2016

Hero (Homecoming #3; The Legend of Drizzt #30)

Hero (Homecoming #3; The Legend of Drizzt #30)Hero by R.A. Salvatore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is Artemis Entreri's book.

Drizzt is home after rescuing Dahlia, but he believes everything is a cruel lie conceived by Lolth to destroy him. None of his friends are able to help him, as he doesn't believe any of them are real. The Dragon sisters suggest taking him to the Monastery of the Yellow Rose and eliciting Master Kane's help. But even Master Kane can not help Drizzt. Then help comes from an unexpected source Yvonnel (I am really going to like her, and can't wait to read more about her in future books) comes to the surface and offers to lift the curse she placed on Drizzt with Artemis Entreri's help.

Meanwhile Regis has gone home to Donnola Topolino, accompanied by Wulfgar. Donnola accepts a job to rescue Queen Concettina from King Yarin, and sends Regis and Wulfgar to their court. Regis and Wulfgar find the Bouldershoulder brothers Pikel and Ivan there and enlist their help. Unknown to the conspirators Queen Concettina has been possessed by a demon. Wulfgar is trapped in the demon's magic mirror when she flees the court and Regis and Pikel follow them, while Ivan stays behind in an attempt to explain things. The demon attacks and Pikel barely escapes with his life and believes Regis is dead.

A dying Pikel is found by a kindly couple who take him to their home and when he hears talk of Drizzt manages to send for Drizzt, who has been healed. Drizzt, Artemis Entreri, and Yvonnel come. Yvonnel tries to heal Pikel but isn't strong enough. Entreri and Drizzt set out for the caves to rescue Wulfgar and avenge Regis with Guenhwyvar. Yvonnel goes to the drow who freed the demon and tricks them into helping send the demon back, then sends them to cure Pikel. Drizzt and Guenhwyvar are severely injured when the demon attacks, the demon is fixing to finish Artemis Entreri when Regis comes to his aid. The demon flees and Regis and Artemis Entreri free Wulfgar. Yvonnel bargains with Lolth to cure Drizzt. A healed Drizzt stands up to Lolth and refuses to worship her. Surprisingly she heals Guenhwyvar and allows everyone to go free including Yvonnel, who agreed to sacrifice herself to Lolth to save Drizzt.

King Yarin takes Queen Concettina, Wulfgar and Ivan prisoner and plans to try them for treason luckily King Yarin dies in his sleep (thank you Entreri) before they can be tried and all the charges against Queen Concettina, Wulfgar and Ivan are dismissed.

Jarlaxle's only trusted friend returns from the dead and wants to see his son. I can't wait for the next book. I think my favorite part of the book was when Jarlaxle was reunited with his friend, it was nice to see him displaying such emotion, and explains why he always protected Drizzt, even at risk to himself.

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Nov 26, 2016

The Whistler

The WhistlerThe Whistler by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great.

Lacy and Hugo work for the Board on Judicial Conduct and most of their cases are pretty mundane. This one is anything but mundane. Judge Claudia McDover is accused of taking bribes from the Catfish Mafia headed by Vonn Dubose (a shadowy figure whose real name is unknown). Greg Myers is making the complaint but he is acting on behalf of a client whose name he doesn't know and is contacted through a middleman Cooley. Among Claudia's many crimes, she helped frame an innocent man and send him to death row because he stood in the way of the Indian Casino.

Evidence is on the thin side until Dubose orders a hit on Lacy and Hugo. Hugo is killed during the staged wreck, but Lacy survives and is determined to get justice for Hugo. The FBI is approached but initially seem uninterested until Sheriff Lyman Gritt contacts Lacy. After Chief Cappel fired Gritt because he was actually trying to solve the case, Gritt took the evidence he had to Lacy, including a bloody paper towel the driver of the truck that hit Lacey and Hugo used. They also had video evidence when the driver of the get away truck stopped at a local store for some ice. With this evidence they are able to identify the driver of the truck and the FBI gets him to flip on his co-conspirators. They also have a video of the truck used in the wreck being stolen.

Now Lacy and the Whistler just have to stay alive long enough for the FBI to arrest everyone.

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Nov 21, 2016

Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)

Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)Escape Clause by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Virgil never disappoints he will have you on the edge of your seats with a few laughs along the way. After all he is that Fucking Flowers.

Two rare tigers are kidnapped from the zoo, the kidnappers plan to use them in traditional Chinese medicine. When one of the kidnappers who isn't the brightest tool in the shed leaves his prints on a light bulb at a house they used to stage the kidnapping Peck decides he needs to get rid of him. of course after he kills him he has to kill the guys brother and then the Simonians come to town to avenge their slain family members. So now Virgil has two possibly 3 murders tied to his Tiger case and the death toll is liable to mount before the book ends.

Meanwhile Frankie's sister Sparkle is stirring up trouble and Frankie is caught in the crossfire.

Virgil finally breaks the Tiger case wide open, but as usual he is without backup and even manages to lose his gun, but Peck never saw Virgil coming or rather he never saw the poetic justice Virgil served up coming.

*Long time readers know that Virgil's boss Lucas Davenport is no longer working with the BCA Virgil's new boss is Jon Duncan. Davenport is mentioned a time or two.

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Nov 18, 2016

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain

Very repetitive and I couldn't get into the way he jumped around from events. It's like being stuck on the front porch listening to one of your elderly relatives ramble on about boring stuff with a few interesting tidbits thrown in.

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Nov 16, 2016

Night Watch (Kendra Michaels, #4)

Night Watch (Kendra Michaels, #4)Night Watch by Iris Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off I want to say I love Jessie, and hope to see more of this new character.

The book reveals more about how Kendra gained sight and the Doctor that made it possible. Charles Waldridge is on the run when an investor in his research gets greedy. Unfortunately Dr. Waldridge is abducted and Kendra is possibly the last person to see him alive, one of the other Doctors he was working with Shaw is dead and Biers has disappeared. Kendra goes to Adam Lynch for help in finding Dr. Waldridge.

Together they discover the identity of the mysterious motorcycle rider that saved Kendra from being kidnapped. Jessie is a private eye that Waldridge hired before he disappeared. When Lynch is forced to leave Kendra and go to London after his friend Rye is murdered he hires Jessie to keep Kendra safe. But when Biers turns up and convinces them that Waldridge may be running out of time Kendra comes up with a plan to allow the kidnappers to take her so that Jessie can track them using a GPS chip embedded under Kendra's skin.

Unfortunately Biers was working for the kidnappers and they remove the chip before Jessie can track them to their hideout. Kendra and Dr. Waldridge make plans to escape on their own and a furious Lynch comes riding to the rescue in the nick of time.

Waldridge is worried about the government taking over his research so the book ends with Jessie and Lynch helping Waldridge disappear.

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Bathroom Remodel ~ The Mirror

 Bed Bath and Beyond had these towels on Clearance plus a friend gave me a 25% off on the entire order coupon, so these nice Slate Bath Towels, Washcloths, and Hand Towels  now have a home in the Master Bath.

 The mirror is framed in the same wood as the vanity and stained to match.

 I really love the mirror.

 It looks perfect with the vanity.

 Having the vanity set back has really opened up the bathroom and it feels so much more spacious. And this sounds odd, but I actually have more room for storage in the new vanity. I am very pleased with it.
If you are willing to wait and have the time then I can't recommend Mercier's Cabinet and Woodworking enough. They do excellent work.

Nov 12, 2016

Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, #1)

Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, #1)Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Darla has inherited her Aunt Dee's bookstore in New York and is holding an autograph signing for a popular author of teen mysteries. When the author is mowed down during a cigarette break Darla suspects foul play. With the help of Hamlet (Aunt Dee's cat), Jake (the ex-cop who lives downstairs) and Reese (Jake's cop friend) Darla starts sleuthing until she uncovers the surprising truth and a confession is forthcoming after a ghostly intervention.

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Nov 10, 2016

President Trump Can Thank The DNC For His Win

The DNC handed Trump the Presidency the day they decided to force Hillary down our throats. It wasn't enough that the Superdelegates (party elites that can overturn the popular vote) announced they were going to vote for her from Day 1 of the primary, although they don't actually cast their votes until the actual nomination at the convention.

Superdelegates  enabled Clinton  to tie Sanders on delegates coming out of the New Hampshire primary even though he decimated her in the popular vote by 22 percentage points.
But the TV media kept touting it as a win for Clinton, even though it really wasn't. But even with the Superdelegates her win wasn't assured so the DNC continued to rig the primary in her favor from not scheduling debates, to scheduling them at times when they knew there would be few viewers and giving Clinton the questions in advance.

Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic primaries through democratic means. Rather, she stole the Democratic presidential nomination through systematic manipulation of the primary process. Over 400 super delegates pledged their support to Clinton before a single person cast a vote, the DNC is led by a Clinton surrogate, and mass consent for Clinton’s coronation was fed to the public through mainstream media outlets owned by wealthy Clinton donors.
The Democratic primaries exhibited a stark disregard for the values endemic to democracy, nearly solidifying an oligarchy in which corporations and wealthy donors use the government as a means to perpetuate their own agendas. These interests circumvented democracy to help Hillary Clinton out-raise Bernie Sanders by over $80 million from Super-PACs. - How DNC Rigged Primaries for Clinton
Even with all that "help" she wasn't doing well in States that normally vote blue. So voter rolls were purged and life long Democratic Party Members who favored Sanders had their party affiliations changed without their consent in States with closed elections.

The first head has rolled after more than 100,000 voters were mistakenly purged from the Brooklyn voter rolls ahead of this week's New York primary, which handed Hillary Clinton a much-needed win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the chief clerk of the New York Board of Elections, was suspended "without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation into the administration of the voter rolls in the Borough of Brooklyn," the agency said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News.
Many voters reported being registered as Democrats, only to find that their affiliation had been changed from Democrat to unaffiliated. That meant they couldn't vote in New York's closed primary election, which requires an official registration with one of the major parties.

This isn't the first time Haslett-Rudiano has made headlines. According to the Daily News, a building she owned on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was the subject of more than 20 Department of Buildings violations over the years after she'd let it fall into disrepair. The building, which she reportedly bought for $5,000 in 1976, was sold in 2014 for $6.6 million. - The Story of the Great Brooklyn Voter Purge Keeps Getting Weirder, Mother Jones
For a party that is supposed to be against election fraud and voter disenfranchisement they were noticeably silent on the fact that Bernie Sanders' supporters had their votes suppressed in State after State. And Daily Kos banned users who dared to criticize Clinton, or point out the massive voter disenfranchisement that was taking place in the Democratic Primary. How dare we point out that Clinton was having to cheat to win the primary, she was the First Woman blah blah blah, if you didn't back her you were sexist. It couldn't possible be because we were for progressive things like Social and Economic Justice, that we cared about the Environment and that we preferred peaceful solutions to foreign problems. When you totally dismiss half your base and inform them that you don't need them don't be surprised if they don't show up at the polls. And if you are suppose to be a Progressive Party don't be surprised if the voters want a Progressive Candidate. When you anointed the Establishment Candidate over the truly Progressive Candidate exactly why did DemExit shock you, the people who cared about progressive issues felt betrayed.    
But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.
The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton. 10 reasons why #DemExit is serious
People that feel cheated don't normally vote for the person who cheated them. Yes, some Bernie supporters did vote for Hillary, but they weren't excited about it. Some choose to vote for her because she was a woman and they were mildly excited about the idea of the first woman President and they wanted to prevent a Trump Presidency, they never worked up the enthusiasm to campaign for her. Others choose to look for a Progressive Candidate that championed the views and issues they held dear and they found Jill Stein, Green Party. Was she an ideal candidate, No. Did she have a real shot at winning, not really (No Media Coverage, not included in the Debates).  I voted for her in hopes that she would get enough votes to break the two party hold on our Nation and I believed that if by some miracle she did win the progressive ideals I hold dear would stand a chance. Jill Stein would have made an awesome President. And before those of you who decided people didn't vote for Hillary was because she was an old woman accuse me of sexism/ageism I will point out that Jill is a WOMAN and is only a few years younger than Clinton. But then that is one of the biggest problems that the DNC and Hillary supporters had, they simply refused to see that it was "THE ISSUES" that were turning people off. Not the fact she was a woman, not her age, but her position ON THE ISSUES, THEY CARED ABOUT.  

I imagine that the biggest majority of voters who were told by the DNC that their votes really didn't matter choose to just stay home. I mean why stand in a long line in the pouring down rain in order to vote for someone you didn't choose to represent you but had forced on you by the party elites in the DNC. Especially when the Hillary supporters kept assuring us over and over again that her win was inevitable, just like they did in the primary. 

Nov 9, 2016

Kill or Be Killed

Kill or Be KilledKill or Be Killed by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be honest I have only read 3/4 of the book as I have Little Black Dress and will read it at a later date as the library book needs to be returned and I had a ton of library books come in at once.

The Trial was OK
Heist was Great
The Women's War stank

I do like the fact that he combined the bookshots in a hardback book as my library will not get the bookshots in and when he writes bookshots like The Trial that go with a series I follow I feel like I missed something if I don't read them.

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The Women's War by James Patterson

The Women's WarThe Women's War by James Patterson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Predictable plot and having a horse burned alive added nothing to it. Soldier's family is killed while they are off killing bad guys and their families. Soldier retires from the military and goes after the bad guy, with the help of their friends. Soldier is responsible for a horse being burned alive before finally killing the bad guy. Soldier goes home and starts a life. Only twist is the soldier and her friends are women.

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Nov 8, 2016

Perdido Vineyards

We went to Perdido Vineyards for our anniversary back in June and had a wonderful time. It's rustic, but the staff is friendly and very informative about the history behind the vineyard and wine making in general.

This is the  ELBERTA MAY WINE and was my favorite. If you are near Mobile, Alabama I would definitely suggest a visit. Pack a picnic lunch (there aren't any nearby restaurants)  and you will be all set for a fun day.

Nov 7, 2016

Heist by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Rees Jones

HeistHeist by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not really a fan of his bookshots, but this short story gets everything right.

When a soldier comes home physically damaged and the health system refuses to pay for an experimental treatment in America that might give him his life back, his best friend, his wife and his younger brother decide to pull a diamond heist.

Unfortunately they steal diamonds from a mobster who is determined to hunt the trio down.

Detective Hill is days away from early retirement with dreams of starting a chain of gyms in his head when he takes the case and follows the trio to Amsterdam. And then the story takes and unexpected turn.

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Nov 4, 2016

The Trial (Women's Murder Club #15.5)

The Trial (Women's Murder Club #15.5)The Trial by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When the Kingfisher is captured, he threatens the judge, jury, DA and anyone else he considers a threat including Lindsey Boxer, but his wife and her Father have plans to bring the Kingfisher down for good.

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Nov 3, 2016

The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16)

The Obsidian ChamberThe Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not as good as some of the previous books, but still a good read.

We learn right away who Pendergast spotted in Exmouth as the book begins with Diogenes drugging Proctor and leading him on a wild goose chase to Africa after arranging for Mrs Trask to be away from the Riverside Manner caring for her sick sister. This allows Diogenes to court Constance who has retreated to the basement after Pendergast's death. Diogenes eventually convinces Constance to leave with him and they travel to Diogenes' private island in Florida after Diogenes acquires the cauda equina needed to restore Constance to health.

Meanwhile Pendergast escapes from the drug smugglers who fished him out of the Atlantic and were holding him hostage. We also learn more about Pendergast's past as part of an elite Ghost squad and why Longstreet (H) protects him. With H's help Pendergast starts tracking Diogenes and Constance. Once they are found Pendergast wants to go to the island with H to kill Diogenes, but H wants to take an entire strike team. Pendergast sets out on his own, while H arranges the strike team.

Pendergast gets there in time to rescue Constance from Flavia who has been hiding on the island in hopes of killing Constance and winning Diogenes' love. Diogenes has been crushed by Constance's revelation that she has been toying with him. Pendergast plans to kill Diogenes, but Constance pleads for him and states that there is a kernel of good in Diogenes and that he should be given a chance to nurture it, and brings up Pendergast part in ruining Diogenes life as a child. Realizing the strike team is about to arrive Pendergast works to get Diogenes and Constance off the island. Thanks to Diogenes blowing up his "curiosities" and Flavia attacking the FBI enough chaos erupts for the threesome to make their way to where Pendergast has hidden a kayak. Before they can escape Longstreet confronts them, he attempts to kill Diogenes, but Constance and Pendergast plead for his life and he is allowed to escape, but Longstreet informs Pendergast he is through with him.

Once they return to Riverside Manner Constance confronts Pendergast about his feelings for her, but when he refuses to become her lover, she makes plans to go live with her son and the monks in Delhi. Proctor returns home.

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Oct 27, 2016

Catlantis by Anna Starobinets, Jane Bugaeva (Translation), Andrzej Klimowski

CatlantisCatlantis by Anna Starobinets
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Delightfully charming fairy tale.

Baguette has been foretold as the Ginger Tabby that will bring the Catlantic Flower that gives cats their nine lives to his people by the Oracle. Baguette is motivated to go on the quest by his love of the Oracle's granddaughter Purriana. She won't marry him unless he brings back the flower. So Baguette uses his magical ability to time travel to go back in time to Catlantis.

He discovers that Catlantis sank because the Catlanteans angered the Gods, he barely escaped Catlantis with his life and due to his hasty exit forgot to give a destination and arrived in Medieval France with one Catlantic Flower. Unfortunately he disappears soon after he arrives and he learns from Princess Panna Catta that you can't bring things back from the past. But he is in luck because Panna Catta knows what a Catlantic Flower looks like and they even have some growing in the Palace Gardens. Panna Catta ask for one small favor for her help that Baguette wait until after The Trial to stop time and return home. Unfortunately during The Trail Black Tony curses all cats to forget what the Catlantic Flower looks like. Baguette returns to present day France without the Catlantic Flower.

Baguette is found by a French Baker who has seen the flyer his family put out for information on him and kindly flies him to Russia to be reunited with his family. Meanwhile Purriana figures out that her Grandmother wasn't wrong with her first prediction about the Catlantic Flower, the cactus the Council of 6 tossed aside as of no importance and that was rescued by Baguette's family is the very rare Catlantic Flower and it only blooms once every thousand years.

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Oct 24, 2016

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated by death this is the story of Liesel Meminger's life. It begins with the death of Liesel's young brother on a train and her acquisition of The Grave Digger's Manuel.

Her growing attachment to her foster parents, especially Papa who teaches her how to read. Her friendship with Rudy (who greatly admires Jesse Owens, a very dangerous attitude to have in Hitler's Germany). And how a promise her Papa made during World War I puts the family at risk when the son of the Jew who saved his life comes to live in their basement. And how her love of books is the beginning of a friendship with the Mayor's Wife.

How Papa's act of kindness results in Max's leaving, how Liesel searches for Max every time Jews are paraded through their city. How Papa is drafted into the Germany army and how his broken leg sees him sent back home to die on Himmel Street with his neighbors and how Liesel miraculously survives the bombing of Himmel Street, to die of old age in Australia.

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Oct 19, 2016

Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy #1)

Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved all the animals in the book, but I was rather hoping the murderer would kill all the people in Crozet off.

Postmistress Mary Minor (I can't stand her nickname, so I will refer to her as Mary) noticed that all the recently deceased received postcards with tombstones on them shortly before their murder. Mary along with her cat Mrs Murphy and her dog Tucker, will aid Sheriff Rick Shaw in solving the postcard murders in Crozet.

I love the sketches throughout the book of Mrs Murphy and Tucker.

Was rather sickened by the advocating of culling the sick (I guess the author is a fan of Eugenics)  and all the political tangents the book went off on. The book seemed to be more interested in pushing feminism and other social issues than actually solving the murders. 

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Oct 14, 2016

Missing: A Private Novel - Private Sydney (Private #12)

Private Sydney (Private #12)Private Sydney by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Call me annoyed because the title on the book I have is Missing: A Private Novel really tired of the books coming out with several different titles.

Craig is having a bad day, first there is the couple that come in wanting him to investigate a potential surrogate for them, the office has had it's windows smashed in, and his boss Jack Morgan calls wanting him to look into the disappearance of Eric Moss, a personal friend of Jack's. Since surrogacy for pay is illegal in Australia Craig is inclined not to help the couple, but they assure him that there is no payment involved the young widow with two kids of her own is willing to be a surrogate out of the goodness of her heart. They learned about her from an online surrogacy site and they just want to verify the information she provided is true. Thinking of his deceased son Craig takes the case.

The surrogacy case should have been easy peasy but after giving the couple the information about the surrogate Craig is horrified when she winds up dead and the baby she was babysitting goes missing. Craig suspects his clients and is further convinced of their guilt when he discovers everything about them was bogus. With Private's reputation on the line Craig tracks them down only to discover they are innocent but that the dead woman wasn't the woman they meet. Not only was the poor woman murdered before that she was the victim of identity theft. And this isn't the first surrogacy scam the con artist pulled using the deceased woman's identity.

The Eric Moss case is even tougher. Because not only is the man everyone knew as Eric Moss missing Craig can't find any record of him, it's as if he never existed. To further complicate matters Craig is falling heavily for Eric's adopted daughter Eliza and really wants to help her find her Father. Suspecting that Eric Moss was an agent for some "government" agency Craig determines to protect Eliza and uncover the truth about the man she knew as Eric Moss.

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Oct 13, 2016

Bat #JHC

Sometimes we think Yang has bats in the belfry so he seemed to be the perfect candidate to star in today's artwork.

Oct 12, 2016

Woman of God

Woman of GodWoman of God by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK my biggest problem with the book is that any man Bridget gets romantically involved with winds up dead. If you want a happy ending this book isn't for you.

It begins with Brigid practicing medicine in the Sudan with Kind Hands where she begins a romantic relationship with Colin. After a massacre of BLM soldiers Colin and Brigid go to assist the survivors. Colin is gunned down helping Brigid who is attempting to get  a BLM soldier to the helicopter and Brigid is wounded. After her recovery she goes to stay with friends in Rome until a vision sends her back to the Sudan where she helps capture the man responsible for Colin's death.

Brigid then goes to Berlin where she works in a BZFO clinic that is experiencing a MERS epidemic. Soon she meets their benefactor and playwright Karl who woos her. They eventually marry and have a daughter but Brigid's wedded bliss is cut short when Karl falls down a flight of steps with their daughter in his arms, both are killed.

Determined to face her past she goes to Boston and confronts her drug addicted Father. He reveals that her Mother cheated on him and Brigid is the result of the affair, and that it was her Mother who got him addicted to drugs. Seeking solace in the local Church she meets Father James and the two become friends. Brigid stands by James when a young man accuses him of molesting him when he was a student. The young man breaks down in court and admits that he was lying but James is disillusioned by the Catholic Church's refusal to stand behind him. He leaves for a new Church in a rural area and ask Brigid to keep his cat for him.

Eventually James turns the Church into a JMJ Church (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) where all are welcome and he promotes the radical beliefs that women should be able to become priest, priest should be allowed to marry and that everyone should be accepted. When James ask Brigid to bring his cat to him he reveals he is "in love" with her and ask her to stay. They eventually marry and have a daughter. When Brigid is ordained as a priest in the JMJ Church a local man who is unable to stand the apostasy guns James down. Widowed again Brigid returns to Boston with her daughter where she becomes a priest at the Church she and James originally meet at. The Pope ask Brigid to meet with him shortly before he dies and there is some speculation that Brigid may be named the first woman Pope. Leading to her being gun downed shortly after their meeting.

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Oct 7, 2016

Monster #JHC

Scylla and Chimera from ATCAD were named after monsters in Greek mythology, and were the inspiration for today's blog post.

Oct 6, 2016

Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)

Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a sniper kills three skaters Eve quickly concludes that the elderly ob/gyn was the target and the other two victims were cover for the kill. But why did someone want the kindly doctor dead and can Eve discover their identity before they kill again.

With Roarke's help the nest is found and Eve comes to the chilling realization that there are two snipers a teacher and an apprentice. Thanks to an observant concierge the snipers identity is revealed as a former NYPSD sniper who retired after his young pregnant wife died in a vehicle accident. Now with the help of his daughter Willow he is killing anyone even remotely connected with her death. But Eve soon comes to the realization that the 15 year old girl is the mastermind behind the killings. Unless Eve can catch Willow people will continue to die because Willow has her own list and no plans to stop killing.

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Oct 4, 2016

Oct 3, 2016

Spooky #JHC

Chimera, Yin and Scylla from ATCAD are helping me with Spooky.

Oct 1, 2016

#JHC Pumpkin

I was made aware of a fun Halloween Challenge going on throughout all of October. This challenge is being hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells (JNW), who has created a calendar with a word prompt for each day of October. On that day, we are challenged to post something - whether it be a photo, art, a poem, or even a quote - relating to that word.  The prompt for today is pumpkin.

 Sweet Annie Tuiren the Beagle from ATCAD helped me with today's prompt. ~Alasandra