BOOKS AND BLOGGING PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!
Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?


Monday, August 5, 2019

Review For UNDER CURRENTS By Nora Roberts 5*

Title: Under Currents
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: * * * * *
Publishers: St. Martin's Press (Jul 7, 2019)
Hardback: 436  pages
ISBN: 9781250207098 
FTC Disclosure: Book from local public library

Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers - and even Zane's own aunt across the lake - see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children's ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.
As his father's violent, controlling rages - and his mother's complicity - become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her Be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.

When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the facade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph - and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves...

This is one of those books that you absolutely cannot put down until the end. While it didn't have any mindblowning twists, (it's more a romance than a suspense story) you'll realize very quickly the who, it will make you flinch with horror that parents could be so cruel. It will often have you near tears, but the main characters had so many Roark/Eve mannerisms and words of wisdom, I knew it would be a satisfying read.
I loved the depth of the main characters and how much they grew and evolved throughout the book. It's not often that the author takes the time and allows us to understand their back stories as well as allowing their love to grow slowly. I loved the locale as it's one I'm very familiar with and was right on the money with the locals in a small town in the mountainous North Carolina hill country. I hope that Nora took the opportunity to spend some time in the Asheville communities and see for herself some of the beautiful scenery and possibly the Biltmore house.
With a gardening soul myself, there may have been a bit too many pages spent on details with Darby's landscaping job but I enjoyed it.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Texas Cowboy's Protection By Barb Han -2 *

Title: Texas Cowboy's Protection
Series: Don't Mess With Texas Cowboys #1
Author: Barb Han 
Genre: Cowboy Romantic Suspense
Rating: * *
Publishers: Independently published
(Mar 26th 2019)
Ebook: 163 pages
ASIN: B07Q2RGR8S

Isaac Quinn missed his chance with Gina Anderson when he broke up with her after high school years ago and joined the military. Now, he’s back home for a big family announcement. Staying in Gunner isn’t in his plans until single mother, Gina, crosses his path. Learning she’s just escaped from an attempted kidnapping, he’ll stop at nothing to save her and put the creep behind bars…no matter how long it takes.



As a lover of second chance romance this book had great promise but it lacked enough meat to make it work. At only 163 pages it was a very quick read, barely an hour, but it took place way too fast and without enough content. I loved the main characters and the suspense, mystery but just kept feeling like I had to go back to see if I had missed something in the story telling. I hadn't. And what happened to Brittany's baby? Never mentioned who was caring for it. All in all, not enough meat to sink your teeth in, only enough to give you a taste. Which may have been the reason it was a free Kindle read. But got to tell you, I'd never spend $9 (Amazon price) for 150 page print book. I expect a bit more entertainment for that price. At 70 reviews strong on Amazon, all of them the free Kindle format, I'm apparently not the only one that feels that way.



View all my reviews


Monday, February 25, 2019

Review of CONNECTIONS IN DEATH By J D Robb- 1*

In this gritty and gripping new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Eve Dallas fights to save the innocent―and serve justice to the guilty―on the streets of New York.

Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads―and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering―whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.
Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison―and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.
Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances…
Title: Connections in Death 
Series: In Death (#48)
Author: J D Robb
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: *
Publishers: St. Martin's Press
(February 5, 2019)
Hardback: 384 pages
ISBN: 978-1250201577
FTC Disclosure: Public Library

I never thought I'd see the day that I gave a JD Robb/Nora Roberts book a one star review. While this was absolutely the dullest murder mystery that Eve Dallas has ever been involved with, I also have my doubts that it was penned by Robb. There is none of the clever wit, snarky humor, or warmth that I have come to expect when reading an IN DEATH book. There was no clever evil doer that Eve matched wits with. It was blah! It was so flat, no life at all to the story. I've been less than satisfied with the last couple of books in the series but this one was a new low. All the characters were there, Eve , Roark, Somerset, Peabody, Feeney, McNab, but none of the life that you expect from this series. Thank goodness it was a library book. I thought I might be getting burned out on the series so after the last book I started listening to the series as audio books and nope they were as great the second time as the first. The newer books just fail to rise to the level of the earlier books. So as much as it grieves me it may be time to pull the plug on what has up to now been my favorite on going series.

In Death
1. Naked in Death (1995)
2. Glory in Death (1995)
3. Immortal in Death (1996)
4. Rapture in Death (1996)
5. Ceremony In Death (1997)
6. Vengeance in Death (1997)
7. Holiday in Death (1998)
7.5. Midnight in Death (1998)
8. Conspiracy in Death (1999)
9. Loyalty in Death (1999)
10. Witness in Death (2000)
11. Judgment in Death (2000)
12. Betrayal in Death (2001)
12.5. Interlude in Death (2001)
13. Seduction in Death (2001)
14. Reunion In Death (2002)
15. Purity in Death (2002)
16. Portrait in Death (2003)
17. Imitation in Death (2003)
17.5. Big Jack (2010)
18. Divided in Death (2004)
19. Visions in Death (2004)
20. Survivor in Death (2005)
21. Origin in Death (2005)
22. Memory in Death (2006)
22.5. Haunted in Death (2006)
23. Born in Death (2006)
24. Innocent in Death (2007)
24.5. Eternity in Death (2007)
25. Creation in Death (2007)
26. Strangers in Death (2008)
27. Salvation In Death (2008)
27.5. Ritual in Death (2008)
28. Promises in Death (2009)
29. Kindred in Death (2009)
29.5. Missing In Death (2009)
30. Fantasy in Death (2010)
31. Indulgence in Death (2010)
31.5. Possession in Death (2012)
32. Treachery in Death (2011)
33. New York to Dallas (2011)
33.5. Chaos in Death (2013)
34. Celebrity in Death (2012)
35. Delusion in Death (2012)
36. Calculated in Death (2013)
37. Thankless in Death (2013)
37.5. Taken in Death (2013)
38. Concealed in Death (2014)
39. Festive in Death (2014)
40. Obsession in Death (2015)
41. Devoted in Death (2015)
41.5. Wonderment in Death (2016)
42. Brotherhood in Death (2016)
43. Apprentice in Death (2016)
44. Echoes in Death (2017)
45. Secrets in Death (2017)
46. Dark in Death (2018)
47. Leverage in Death (2018)
48. Connections in Death (2019)
49. Vendetta in Death (2019)

50. Golden In Death (2020

Friday, January 4, 2019

Review Of Then She Was Gone By Lisa Jewell- 5*

Title: Then She Was Gone
                                         Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: * * * * *
Publishers: Thorndike Press Large Print
(May 2, 2018)
Hardback: 531 pages
FTC Disclosure: Public library

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.
And then she was gone.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Ahhh, a very satisfying read!!! 
Although I thought I had figured out part of this mystery, I was pleased that the author threw in enough curves to keep me guessing but still stay true to the story. It was at times horrifying and totally had me wiping tears from my face while still offering a look at the resilience of the human soul.
All of the characters were well flushed out and even the minor ones were believable. The villains were evil but humanized by the events in their lives. In general, I don't like a story told from multiple viewpoints but it absolutely worked in this instance. 
As a parent, I can't imagine the unbelievable horror of having a child disappear without knowing what has happened but I'm not sure if Laurel had known the intimate details of Ellie's disappearance if it could have been any less horrifying. While there is a satisfying ending to the story, the trip is full of bumps and turns that makes it impossible to slow down or take a break until the end is reached.


Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found YouThe Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review of Mary Poppins Returns- 4*


Directed and produced by Rob Marshall, "Mary Poppins Returns" also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. The film, which introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson, also features Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. The film is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers' additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep). The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt. The screenplay is by David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score.


Rating: PG (for some mild thematic elements and brief action)
Genre: Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Rob Marshall
Written By: David Magee
In Theaters: Dec 19, 2018  Wide
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures



While I loved Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, Joel Dawson as Georgie Banks stole the show. He was so adorable. 
I probably have not seen the orginal Mary Poppins in 30 years so I'd probably forgotten more than I remembered. This wasn't a bad thing as I wasn't constantly comparing the two movies. I was able to just sit back and enjoy Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and the fabulous musical numbers. So grap a big bag of popcorn, a cold drink, and sit back and enjoy.