Showing posts from March, 2014

Chinese Meatballs

My Dad was visiting today. I offered him something to eat and here's the conversation that ensued:

Me: I've got a meatball dinner if you'd like to have some.
Dad: What kind are they?
Me: Meatballs with marinara sauce.
Dad: Marynary sauce? But what kind? Are they Swedishy? Is is Chef Boyardee without the chef?
Me: Chinese.

Something Yellow by Laura Templeton

Something Yellow 
By: Laura Templeton
324 pages
Publisher: Page Spring Publishing 
Publication Date: October 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy it:

Add it on Goodreads


It has been thirteen years since Holly’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, disappeared without a trace.

It has been thirteen years since Holly left her hometown.

It has been thirteen years since Holly’s first love and high school boyfriend, Houston, was the only suspect.

Now another nine-year-old girl has disappeared.

Holly is back, and so is Houston—never charged and still proclaiming his innocence.

Can she trust him . . . should she trust him?

My Thoughts:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book- I'm from the mountains of Southwest Virginia and it was a refreshing change not to have my people depicted as lazy, uneducated, toothless in-breeders. The characters were well-rounded, successful, and intelligent. The story was part mystery, part supernatural, with a little…

A Review of: Within My Grasp: A Double Amputee's True Story

Within My Grasp: A Double Amputee's True Story
By: Mike Penketh, with Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March
Genre: Autobiography/ Personal Growth
224 pages
Publisher: EditPros LLC 
Publication Date: April 2013
Buy it:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

What would you do if you found yourself awakening from a deep slumber to discover that your hands were missing? How would you eat, or drink? How would you brush your teeth? How would you change your clothes? How would you turn a door knob? How would you answer the phone? How would you sign a check, or a form? The frustrations are endless, but survival is a human instinct, so you would have to figure out how to perform essential functions, or have someone do them for you. The innate instinct for survival can get you by, but the human spirit and a strong sense of determination can help you overcome obstacles at a much faster pace.
American Airlines Captain Mike Penketh maintained …

Setting Boundaries

My Mom saw her GP today. She's been having migraines more often. As she was summarizing what she was ordering for me she turned to me and said,
" And you, you need to make her an eye doctor appointment."
Okay, that set my teeth on edge.
This is the second time that she's ordered me to do something concerning my mother. The first time I kept my mouth shut. This time I didn't.
As my Mom was going to check out, I got the doctor's attention and said this:
" Doctor, I don't mean to be rude- but don't tell me what to do."
" Don't ever tell me what to do again." You understand?"
I believe technically she's a good doctor but she's acts unprofessional at times and is a little mouthy. She's badmouthed doctors and complained about things in front of us that she should keep to herself. She's also from a different country and maybe doesn't realize she's being offensive.

A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses

A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses
By: Susan Wittig Albert
303 pages
Genre: History
Publisher: Persevero Press
Publication Date: August 2013
Buy it:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

From bestselling, award-winning author Susan Wittig Albert comes the true story of Rose Wilder Lane, who transformed her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, from a farmer’s wife and occasional writer into the world-famous author of the Little House books. A Wilder Rose is a novel about of two exceptional women: a mother who has a fascinating pioneer story to tell but lacks the skill to write for publication; and a daughter, a much-published author with the skill to turn her mother’s drafts into memorable books and the publishing connections to get them into print. Set in the Depression, their story is one of painful family conflict and eventual triumph over difficult odds.

But why did they conceal their collab…

The Case of the Missing Dentures

" Lisa, I can't find my teeth. I put 'em on the table last night. I found the top ones but can't find the bottom ones ", my grandfather said.

So, my husband and I did our best Nancy and Ned impression and started looking for the missing lowers. We looked in the living room. Not there. We looked beside his table.  Not there.

" Maybe they're in your chair", I said.
"No, I looked."

After looking under, over, and below items, and in different rooms they were still missing.

" Maybe a rat got 'em."

Maybe one did. Maybe it needed a set of lowers. Rats gotta eat, too.

He decided to check his chair once more. Ned Nickerson and my grandfather found them; they were rattling around in his chair.

Maybe the rat gave 'em back.

Book Review of The Rich and the Dead

The Rich and the Dead
By: Liv Spector
Genre: Mystery
320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 2014

Get it at:

In exclusive Star Island, Miami, money and power can't protect you... In collaboration with branding powerhouse Alloy Entertainment comes a thrilling new series featuring a former Miami PD detective on the hunt for a mass murderer, who must face the past she thought she left behind.

On New Year's Day 2015, twelve powerful, wealthy people were found dead—shot in a lavish Star Island estate. In 2018, the murderer remains at large.

As a detective and lead investigator on the case of the century, Lila Day was consumed by her hunt for the Star Island Killer. But that was before she was pushed out from the force, and her life unraveled.

Years later, down on her luck and no longer a police officer, Lila is approached by mysterious billionaire Teddy Hawkins. He has a job for her, he says—solving the Star Island murders…

Book Review: Whack Job

Whack Job
(Elliot Lisbon #2)
228 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press 
Publication Date: May 2014
You can get it here:

* I received a copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Elliott Lisbon blends her directorship of the Ballantyne Foundation with her PI-in-Training status by planning parties and performing discreet inquiries for charitable patrons. But when the annual Wonderland Tea Party makes everyone go mad as a hatter, Elli gets pulled into a shooting, a swindle, and the hung for a Faberge egg.

My Thoughts:

While I enjoyed the plot and the locale of the book I found some of the characters to be annoying. I found myself wishing Elliot would just focus at times. I also thought the book tried to hard to be wacky and slapstick with all the predicaments Elliot got into. But overall I still enjoyed the book.

About the Author:
Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. She read h…

At Least I'm Consistent

My late grandmother got sick in 2003. My Mother and Grandfather lived with her and so were her main caregivers. I also helped with her to take some of the load off them. For a while I worked until she kept having recurrent health problems and had to go in the hospital one time after another. At Christmas 2003 she had to be transferred to a hospital an hour away.  I needed to be more available to stay with her so I called my supervisor and told her I needed to take some time off to be with my family.

Her response:
" You'll have to get a doctor's excuse."
" I have to get a doctor's excuse for my grandmother being sick?"
" Yes."
" She's in the hospital. I don't know when she's getting out."

So I quit.

We decided to try and get personal care. She didn't want strangers coming in so it was decided I would take the PCA classes and be her aide. I needed a job and she needed the help. So I became her aide, even though I felt s…

Book Review of Round the Bend

Round the Bend: From Luton to Peru to Ningaloo, A Life After Redundacy
By: Alistair McGuinness
256 pages
Genre: Travel Memoir
Publisher: Matador
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Buy it here:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Three things happened simultaneously. The lioness charged, Alistair fled across the parched savannah and his wife screamed for him to run faster. Stuffed deep inside his tattered rucksack was a guidebook containing advice on what to do in wildlife emergencies, which he planned to read if he survived the next thirty seconds.

Future plans to climb Kilimanjaro, teach English in the Amazon and live in Australia were temporarily forgotten as he turned to face the pouncing lioness, thinking back to the words of advice from his mother-in-law. "Don't do anything silly, and look after Francine." From deep underground in a remote Bolivian mine to the scorched Australian outback, Round the Bend is an adven…

Lucky Answers All

Recently The Husband got a letter from a government agency explaining he would lose part of his benefits if he didn't call them and correct the address. Okayyy, we thought that was a little strange because he had been getting correspondence from that agency at our new address for over a year. So, he called them. After waiting for 275 hours he finally got through.
Husband: Hello. I got a letter telling me I would lose some of my money...
CSA: Yes. It says we need your correct address.
Husband: I've been getting correspondence from your agency for over a year at my new address.
CSA: The system says we need your new address.
Husband: I have a letter in my hand from your agency with the correct address on it.
CSA: Yes but...let me transfer you.

He got the person's answering machine and left a message. The next day Lo and Behold the agency called back. My husband was informed that it was a different system and it needed the new address.

" But it's the same agency."…

Book Review of The Sound of Broken Glass

The Sound of Broken Glass
(Duncan Kincaid and  Gemma James #15)
359 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Paperback publication date: February 25, 2014
Buy the book at:
Books-a- Million

* I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In the past . . .
On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.

In the present . . .
On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team in So…

Using the Force with Oji Ben Kaknobby and Yoder

Today I took my Dad to the store. He bought some Dove Dark Chocolate that he likes so well. Here's his response to it:

" Mmm, Mmm. I'm glad I got some of this chocolate candy. I was punying away."
" You sure are talking a lot to be so puny.", I responded.
" Hush. I was using that...what's that thing they use on Star Wars? Omen?"
" The Force."
" Yeah. I was using the Force like Oji Ben Kaknobby, Yoder, Sky Lukewalker, and Princess Lay Me Down."
" Dear Lord in Heaven. Help Me."
" What's that thing called that growled all the time?"
" Chewbacca."
" Yeah. I bet Chewbaccer had a tick on his ass. That's why he growled so much. Who was that with him?"
" Han Solo."
" Han Soho?"
" Yes. It was Han Soho."

The Hairless Mexican Chihuahua

It's been slightly over two weeks since my husband got home from the hospital after suffering a light heart attack. Last night I asked him:

" How are you doing" Is your chest bothering you?"

He responded with:

" My chest has always bothered me. It looks like a hairless Mexican Chihuahua."

" Oh my gosh. Nevermind."

Book Review: Skull in the Ashes

Skull in the Ashes: Murder, A Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence in America
By: Peter Kaufman 
Genre: History
298 pages
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Get it at:
University of Iowa

 * I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

On a February night in 1897, the general store in Walford, Iowa, burned down. The next morning, townspeople discovered a charred corpse in the ashes. Everyone knew that the store’s owner, Frank Novak, had been sleeping in the store as a safeguard against burglars. Now all that remained were a few of his personal items scattered under the body.

At first, it seemed to be a tragic accident mitigated just a bit by Novak’s foresight in buying generous life insurance policies to provide for his family. But soon an investigation by the ambitious new county attorney, M. J. Tobin, turned up evidence suggesting that the dead man migh…

Book Review: Losing It All

Losing It All
By: Marsha Cornelius
Genre: Fiction
380 pages
Publisher: Hickory Flat Books
Publication Date: February 2013
Get the book here:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Frank Barnes is content living on the streets of Atlanta. A soup kitchen and a makeshift shanty sure beat his days as a POW in Vietnam. But Chloe Roberts can’t handle the eviction that sends her into the hell of homelessness. With no family or friends to turn to, Chloe and her children are sucked into the traumatic world of night shelters, and dangerous predators.
When they bump into each other at the soup kitchen, Frank offers Chloe a glimmer of hope that she can pull her life back together. She rekindles his lost sense of self-worth by taking his mind off his own problems. But they will not meet again until Frank is riding high as a working man, and Chloe has hit rock bottom.
By helping Chloe rebuild her broken life, Frank banishes the demons from his own past…