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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