Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tips from Tulip Christian Mystery series

I stumbled upon a quite good, cute mystery series of 3 books by Mindy Starns Clark. And I got them all read this weekend. She calls them the Tips From Tulip series and can also be referred to as the Smart Chick series. So these delightful cozies center around Jo Tulip, who comes from a rich family but likes the mundane life she leads doing a newspaper column started by her grandmother. Kind of like a Hints by Heloise column. The titles of the books are: The Trouble With Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder and Elementary My Dear Watkins. What is most interesting is how well Jo deals with tramatic experiences in her life while in the process of solving crimes. Not just murders. So during the course of the books she gets left at the altar by a man paid by her parents, almost loses her newspaper column due to newer technology, goes on a blind date which the guy has an asthma attack and dies and finds herself avoiding a killer who wants her dead for her money. That she doesn't have yet. All of this while she discovering her soul mate is the boy who lives next door and has been her best friend forever. Too top all of this, there really is a Tips for Tulip. http://wwwtipsfromtulipcom.blogspot.com/ I put these books up the upper limits of should reads. Wish there were more. http://www.mindystarnsclark.com/

Friday, March 26, 2010

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

I am fast becoming a big Heather Graham fan. In one of her most recent books, Unhallowed Ground, we find another paranormal type romance. But yet it isn't. Eeehhhh. This book takes place in St. Augustine Fla and centers around Sarah, who is a historian working as a docent at a museum while she is busy renovating an old historic house that she has always loved. Now the house has a morbid past, with being a mortuary a time or two with the morticians hiding bodies in the walls to reuse the fancy coffins and having a voodoo witch supposedly living there also. What starts the story out is missing girls, and when they are eventually found, drained of blood. Of course you think vampires but not the case. Where the romance in the story is between Sarah and Caleb, who is a private investigator who is a little psychic. He has come down to Fla to find a missing girl from a year ago and to help search for the recent one. And he keeps finding bodies as he is sort of drawn to them. Like he was to Sarah's house. And on top of that we have a mystery with a relative of Caleb's that is associated with the house. Fab book I didn't want to put down and y'all must read it. http://www.eheathergraham.com/

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Here Lies Arthur

Okay so I like to read young adult books. And this was a pretty good version by Philip Reeve, of Arthur from the viewpoint of a young girl, rescued by Myrddin(Merlin), after a raid on a farm by Arthur and his men. In this version Arthur is portrayed, not like the good person from the Disney Sword in the Stone, which is one of my favorite movies, but more realistic and truer to the times. The girl is disguised as a boy, for safety reasons, and follows along with Myrddin until she starts to become obviously a girl to some people. Then he conveniently gets her into Geneviere's ladies and takes a step more into the background. So we watch her evolve from the boy, to a girl, and even back to a boy, for the sake of opportunity to ride into battle. Good descriptions of battles and mentalities without getting overly descriptive. But what is fascinating is the ability of Myrddin to weave the actual events in Arthur's life and twist them into a fabulous tale to tell around the fireplace with magical results. I heartily recommend that you should read this version. http://philipreeve.blogspot.com/

The Lost Enchantress

This book was right up my alley. It is a paranormal romance by Patricia Coughlin. Yes, I did feel it a rather typical story of this type. You know that one I mean. The woman is just learning how powerful she is or that in fact she has powers. But yet doesn't really believe it or come to terms with it. And then there is the guy who is magically linked to her in some way. So in this story, Eve knew she had something but denied it. Ignored it. Until she happened upon an auction and was intensely drawn to a necklace with an hourglass pendant. Come to find out she was destined to find that and get it no matter what. In comes the guy who is the bidder against her. And we find out he figures in as having been cursed by the pendant and needs to get uncursed. And she can do it with the power she apparently has but doesn't know how to use. But he does and proceeds to instruct her. I really liked this story and enjoyed it very much. Of course, a happy ending and think you should read it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shades of Grey

The first in the new Dulcie Schwartz mystery series in which the ghost of her dead cat helps her out. Sort of. Really more like guides her around things. It all starts off with her coming home to find her temporary roommate stabbed and the dead cat warning her not to go in. But she does anyway, of course, while thinking she is going crazy. What is interesting is how the whole story with the death and computer hacking at her work and at the university, where she is trying to finish her thesis, all ties in well together. Lots of clues and her research on her topic provide a good story line and a good read. I would probably read more of these books if they came to the library. http://www.cleasimon.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spinning Forward

An interesting novel written by Terri Dulong. What drew me to the book is it had to do with knitting, of course. And the fact it was a "starting over" chicklit. So the story goes, Sydney Webster' husband has died in a car crash and has left her up the creek due to his gambling debts. She had had no clue to their finances. Upon being evicted from her home, she goes to stay with a dear friend in Cedar Key, Fla. Alison owns a bed and breakfast and has an inviting addition called the Tree House, which she offers to Sydney. Once Sydney gets a grip, she finds a job as a waitress and stumbles into an opportunity to open a knitting/spinning store, which she applies calls Spinning Forward. What was different about this story is Sydney spins animal fur, like from cats and dogs, so you can knit things with it. But where the story gets intriguing is that the birth mother she just decided to start looking for, is there in Cedar Key. A rather standoffish woman, that takes a long time to win over, and then to find out she is dying. That was the hankie part. So Sydney starts a new business, finds her mother, loses her, and finds out she can love again at 50, once she lets herself go emotionally. A real feel good story and you should read it. http://www.terridulong.com/

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bay City Paranormal Investigation revisited

I decided to continue with this series of books, which I read the first book a week or two ago, by Ally Blue. Why, I am not totally sure, but the concept of being like Ghosthunters really drew me in. So I have now completed reading the next four books in the series and have mixed feelings. Most of the books only really center on the paranormal event of a portal from another dimension. And gay guy sex. I now know way too much about having gay guy sex. I feel like kind of a voyeur. At least by the fifth book, she stopped describing the sex acts in great detail and there was a little more story. So I can tell you the paranormal part is a little on the lean side but if you are into guy sex, this is a good set of books to read. That's all I am going to say.
Well, on to the next book.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At Home on Ladybug Farm

A very cute story from Donna Ball following the first book, A Year on Ladybug Farm, which I devoured too. Three women, retired from their busy lives and jobs, are now going into year 2 on the gorgeous sounding, farmstead in Shenandoah Valley, VA. With the help of a orphaned teenage boy and one of the women's daughters, they have many new fun ventures, and adventures, into renovating the farm and making it self sufficient. It is a encouraging story of making dreams come true. I was rolling on the floor, reading the scene of the Easter dinner with the pastor, when the daughter decided to spring her new idea for the farm: 144 baby chicks, with some escaping and visiting the set table. And additionally, when they decide to sand the wood floors. It is definitely a fun read, watching unexplored talents coming through and having opportunities of showing off the ones they have. Reading about the different eras in the history of the house and helping explain the interesting treasures they find in the walls and barn. I think you should read these books and hope another is on its way. http://www.donnaaball.net/

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pirate Latitudes

This is a book published posthumously from Michael Crichton. I was more impressed with this one that it didn't come off, like Timeline, as a definitely gonna be a movie book. This book has a lot more historical info intertwined with the story. More lively and colorful character development. I learned a lot about the times and a feel for the politics. The book centers on the ambitious privateer/pirate attack on a Spanish fort/outpost, that has a treasure laden galleon sitting in their harbor, by Charles Hunter and his eclectic crew. The fort is considered impregnable, which proves to be wrong, and the whole idea a folly by most pirates standards. It has a Pirates of the Caribbean feel, which may be why he did not submit it for publishing before. I have loved all the books I have read by Crichton and regret there will be no more. He is a 'should read all his books' author.
PS - I am now working on past seasons of Bones so reading is still a little behind. And I will warn you, Ghost Whisperer is next.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder

The second book in the Opal, the glass magician, series after Storm Glass. I had read her Study series, which I will admit I liked better, and can't wait for the next one. In this book, the sea glass actually played a small role. When Opal is at the coast awaiting training a new set of orb glass blowers, one of the Stormdancers, who capture the storms in the orbs, finds a bunch of sea glass on the shore. She is a beachcomber extrodinaire and gets mezmerized by the sea glass that apparently has magic in it. Opal is the only one who can diffuse the volatile glass before it gets out of hand. In this book, she is a one of a kind magician, in many aspects with glass and blood magic. Everyone who finds out about her, wants her. I did get a little frustrated at her trust issues as I guess you were suppose to. You were mislead to believe she had her act together but makes many mistakes which causes lots of action. The ending very well leads into the next book. This was a good read. http://www.mariavsnyder.com/

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Girl on Legare Street

I am most definitely hooked on this suspenseful, supernatural series by Karen White. I had loved The House on Tradd Street and just devoured The Girl on Legare Street. Melanie, or Mellie if you want to get on her bad side, is a realtor relocated back to the Charleston, SC area. She is in the process of renovating a historic house, left to her by a brief acquaintance, when she finds herself unwillingly drawn into helping her mother do the same to her childhood home. Her mother, with the same hereditary psychic ability as Melanie, had mysteriously left 30 some years ago to pursue a career in opera singing. But Melanie is reluctant to help her mother, as she still hurts from the rejection she experienced long ago. As the renovation starts, the ghosts come out of the woodwork. One protective and one vengeful. The key to the puzzle, so to speak, is the front window of the house which has a deceiving design in it, depending at what time of day you look at it. What lightens up the story is the unlikely romance Melanie has with an author named Jack, who knows her secrets and tortures her emotionally, constantly. I vote that this is an absolutely have to read. Not a dull moment in the book. http://www.karen-white.com/
I have not been reading much for the last couple of days. I checked out a couple of seasons worth of NCIS from our public library and am catching up on episodes that I missed.