Monday, June 29, 2020

102. The Pact by Linda Castsillo

#11.5 Kate Burkholder
listened to Audible
narrated by Kathleen McInerny
Unabridged audio (1:52)
2020 Minotour Books
65 pgs.
Adult Mystery Novella
Goodreads rating:  4.15 - 961 ratings
My rating:  4
Setting:  Contemporary early winter, Amish country Ohio

First line/s:  "The blade left a trail of blood across pale flesh."

What I posted on Goodreads:  A non-murder mystery with a message and a HEA that could have gone awry but didn't. 

My comments:  This was not a murder mystery, yippee!  No one died.  It even had a bit of a moral/reconciliation between cultures that was quite endearing.  Very good short story, with a happily ever after that could've really gone awry.  It didn't!

Goodreads synopsis:  In The Pact a gripping Kate Burkholder short mystery from New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo, a terrifying disappearance in Amish country reveals the power of friendship.
          Three days before Thanksgiving, two boys disappear without a trace. Eleven-year-old Aaron Kuhns is Amish. Kevin Dennison is twelve and “English.” They’re adventurers, explorers, and inseparable best friends. When they don’t return home from what was supposed to be a fun afternoon of fishing, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must find the missing boys before the first winter storm of the season bears down on Painters Mill.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

101. Lonely Magnolia by John Isaac Jones

listened on Audible Escape, a novella
narrated by Tom Zainea
Unabridged audio (1:06)
2017, audio only, I think
50 pgs. (just a guess...)
Adult CRF with teeny tiny touch of fantasy...or not....
Finished 6/28/20
Goodreads rating: 4.27 - 15 ratings
My rating: 2

My comments: A founding father of the technology era goes online dating to find a partner for the rest of his life.  It backfires in that - SPOILER!!! - what he ended up with, his choice of mate, was an AI he had created long ago and forgotten about.  It ended up driving him mad, lol.  A decent idea, I wish it had been better executed. 

Goodreads synopsis:  When famous computer genius Dr. Carl Wingate decides to find a new wife online, it not only rocks the very foundations of the digital industry itself, but it turns his personal life completely upside-down. This is the story of Pygmalion for the 21st century.

Picture Book - Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak

Illustrated by Cathy Gendron
2020 Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky
HC 17.99
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.19 - 48 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Endpapers: mossy green

1st line/s:  "Birthdays are the best days for wishes and on this birthday Abigail wished for a pet."

Dedications:  To Abigail:  Yes, We'll get a dogwood, but you have to name it. - PC
     To green thumbs everywhere - CG

My comments:  I love trees, so I quickly and happily pick up every new book I find that has something to do with them.  This one was adorable, both the premise, the setting, and the illustrations.  This particular tree did seem to grow particularly quickly, but it's a picture book, right?

Goodreads:  Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet.
          So she chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That's because Fido is a tree!
          But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?

Poem: Sea Joy by Jacqueline Bouvier

Sea Joy

When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the blooming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me

I can run about - when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish
Oh - to live by the sea is my only wish..

           Jacqueline Bouvier
           from A Family of Poems (Kennedy)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

100. The Fix-Up by Kendall Ryan

Listened via Audible Escape
narrated by
Unabridged audio (
345 pgs.
Finished 6/27/20
Goodreads rating:
My rating: 2

First line/s:

What I posted on Goodreads: nothing 

My comments: Such a ridiculous story, the feelings and emotions of the protagonists in no way reconciled with their actions.  It was just plain stupid all around.  The ridiculous plan that Cameron hatched to find a wife for Sterling, and even more so the two of them not realizing where their feelings for each other would lead was totally implausible.  The entire book was implausible.  A lot of delicious meals and steamy foreplay happened, though....

Goodreads synopsis:  From New York Times bestseller, Kendall Ryan, comes a sexy new standalone novel.
          My tempting and very alpha friend Sterling Quinn is someone I consider off-limits.
         It's not just that we're friends, he's also cocky, confident, and British, which means he's a walking aphrodisiac.
          But lately he's been giving me the look. You know the one. When he thinks I'm not paying attention, and his gaze lingers for too long.
          When we start working together, that's when the sexual tension between us gets so thick, I want to hack through it with a machete. I want to make all these deep feelings I've harbored for him disappear, because there's no way this can end well.
          The lines between business and pleasure become irrevocably blurred, and I'm stuck between a rock, and Sterling's very, very hard place.
          Rather than keep a level head about our growing attraction, Sterling wants to go all in, showing me just how explosive we can be together.
          But I've been around long enough to know that this British bad boy is more than my heart can handle. I'm not about to be cast aside like yesterday's underwear when he's done having fun.
          Sterling’s never been told no, and he's not about to put his ego aside and play by my rules. But I never thought he'd fight so dirty.
          *This is a spin-off from the HITCHED series, but can be read as a standalone.

Friday, June 26, 2020

2020 Quilter's Trek: TRUE BLUE (formerly Row by Row)

This year I'm going to actually make the quilt.  It'll be in different shades of blues and I'm really looking forward to getting started.  I've ordered a few of the kits, they're on the way!

My first call was for my favorite block in all my searching all over the country.  I'm quite sure it was the owner I spoke with, and she was super nice and talkative.   She says these fabrics are from her favorite lines.  The kit was $14.99 and s/h was $4.95, which seemed pretty darned reasonable to me.  Can't wait to see and touch the fabric.  Love that there are words on the background fabric!

My second call was to Lind, WA.  I loved the idea of including a crazy quilted square, and their kit cost and shipping was incredibly reasonable ($10 plus $2.20 s/h) and I think this one will be easy and fun to put together!  Christy told me about retreats they have if I ever get anywhere nearby, and they sound great.  I think she says they're about 70 miles from Spokane.  Fun!

My third call was to Knit One Quilt Too in Rhode Island.  You had to order the kit ($18.95) through their website and s/h is ten bucks.  This seemed a bit much, so I decided to look further before purchasing.

The fourth call stayed right here in Pennsylvania, to Wormelsdorf.  I'm going to have to hit the maps ti figure out where in PA they are.   In Stitches Quilt Store used yo-yos as flower ins a basket that looks pretty easy, with an appliqued handle on each.  I think I can tackle that, something a little different....  The kit was $17.99 with s/h $4.75. Okeedokee!

This is so much fun, might as well track down another!  My call to Cambridge Quilt Shop in Cambridge, MA was easy as pie!  It looks like an extremely easy kit and packs a punch - and I can add anything and everything to embellish it if I want. The kit is for the HOME, she added the HOPE to give another idea of how it might be used.   The kit is $14.95 and she though s/h would be somewhere between four and five bucks.  SOLD!

Well, I've spent $75.00 on this quilt so far, time to yank in the reins until next payday.  But was this ever fun!  I wonder when the first one will arrive?

I really like the background of this Dresden plate, and I love the idea of appliqueing the ties to it.  Unfortunately she doesn't have any extra of that fabric (I thought it might be nice to use in other places in the quilt) but I could always cut away the background behind the applique, right?  She'll send an invoice via email to continue the purchase, So now I have a block from Missouri!  It's 16.95 plus tax which includes s/h.  Can't go wrong!

99. Scoring the Keeper's Sister by Delancey Stewart

listened to Audio on Chirp
narrated by Ellie Gossage and Logan McAllister
Unabridged audio (5:08)
204 pgs.
Adult Low-Steam Romance
Finished 6/26/2020
Goodreads rating:  402 - 610 ratings
My rating: 2.5
Setting: contemporary San Diego

First line/s: "There are a few things you need to know about me."

My comments: The story was okay, steam factor there but low, most of the 5- hours was story.  Professional soccer team San Diego.  Nothing special or different and only good endings for both mother's sickness and love.  Did not really care for either of the readers.

Goodreads synopsis:  Soulmates don't always start as friends. Sometimes they start as enemies. And sometimes they need cheese to help seal the deal... 
          Signing up for a matchmaking service was not my idea.
          But when Andrew-the-Hand-Model dumped me, my brother suggested I try Mr. Match. And I figured it couldn’t hurt. As it was, I’d never get away from meathead moron soccer players (since my brother plays keeper for the South Bay Sharks and I manage PR for the team). But Mr. Match is a moron too because he matched me with a guy I see at work every day. A guy who has a different girl on his arm at every turn. And a soccer player.
          Fernando Fuerte, the “Fuerte Fire,” is one guy I can assure you is NOT my match. 
          Getting girls is not a problem.
          Getting girls who care about something besides my status as the South Bay Sharks star striker, my salary, and my social status?
          Yeah. That’s the problem. So when my buddy Max tells me he’s actually Mr. Match–the secret proprietor of San Diego’s hottest matchmaking app, I let him convince me to try it. 
          And Erica Johnson is not actually a bad match–only she doesn’t seem to agree. And then there’s the small matter of her being in the middle of trying to save the team (and me) when the owner’s ex brings to light some, ahem, unsavory accusations about me…      
          And then there’s her enormous and disapproving twin brother…
          And there’s something about cheese, too. 
          But if I have my way? Erica will definitely be my match.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

98. Blue Moon by Lee Child

#24 Jack Reacher
listened to audio borrowed from Bosler Library
narrated by Scott Brick
Unabridged audio (11:21)
359 pgs.
Adult Mystery
Finished 6/25/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.97 - 40,462 ratings
My rating:  3
Setting: Contemporary unknown city

First line/s:  "The city looked small on a map of America."

What I posted on Goodreads:  Most Reacher books are unbelievable and implausible, but this one takes the cake!

My comments:  Not sure why Blue Moon was the title of this book, I may be missing something!  There was a lot of bloodshed in this story, bloodshed in which Reacher never batted an eye.  Yes, he was cleaning up some really bad guys, cleaning up in a city who really needed the help (two warring mafia gangs from two different countries) but it was pretty overwhelming.  Gaining the friendship of four different people who helped immensely also seemed pretty implausible.  This man has more than luck on his side, and as much as I celebrate his genius, this story just seemed to be over the top over and over again.  I must admit, it's nice to not be nervous at all as I anticipate what will happen next because I know Reacher will prevail.

Goodreads synopsis:  “This is a random universe,” Reacher says. “Once in a blue moon things turn out just right.”
          This isn’t one of those times.
          Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right.
          An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.
          Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.

Poem - Miss McGillicuddy by Mary Anne Hoberman

Miss McGillicuddy

When our old baby-sitter quit
Another sitter came to sit.
She told us as she did the split,
     “I am not a fuddy-duddy.
      I am Miss McGillicuddy.”

While she touched her toes, she said,
“Homework should be done in bed.
Rest is best to clear your head.
     First you snooze and then you study.”
     So said Miss McGillicuddy.

When it rains, she doesn’t fret,
That’s because she likes to get
Dripping, dropping, sopping wet.
     “I don’t mind if I am muddy.”
      Silly Miss McGillicuddy!

                        Mary Ann Hoberman
                        from Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry (Kennedy)
                        illustration by Karen Lee Baker

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Poem: What I Love About Summer by Douglas Florian

This is a wonderful example of a "LIST" poem:

What I Love About Summer

Morning glories
Campfire stories
Picking cherries
And blueberries
Riding bikes
Mountain hikes
Bird calls
Curve balls
Short sleeves
Green leaves
Swimming holes
Fishing poles
Nature walks
Corn stalks
Skipping stones
Ice cream cones
Double plays
And barefoot days.

                                Douglas Florian
                                from Summersaults (Florian)

Poem: Stegosaurus by David Elliott


Your brain?
The size
of a
Your bulk?
Which proves
there’s some-
thing more
to life
than just

                        David Elliott

Poem: The Aliens Have Landed by Kenn Nesbitt

The Aliens Have Landed

The aliens have landed!
It’s distressing, but they’re here.
They piloted their flying saucer
through our atmosphere.
They landed like a meteor
engulfed in smoke and flame.
Then out they climbed immersed in slime
and burbled as they came.
Their hands are greasy tentacles.
Their heads are weird machines.
Their bodies look like cauliflower
and smell like dead sardines.
Their blood is liquid helium.
Their eyes are made of granite.
Their breath exudes the stench of foods
from some unearthly planet.
And if you want to see these
sickly, unattractive creatures,
you’ll find them working in your school;
they all got jobs as teachers!
                                    Kenn Nesbitt

Poem: My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of it is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow –
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow:
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as the shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

                                    Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

97. Heidi's Guide to Four-Letter Words by Tara Sivec

Listened to on Audible Escape
narrated by Andi Arndt
Unabridged audio (6:15)
197 pgs.
Adult RomCom (ADULT -with definite steam)
Finished 6/17/20
Goodreads rating:  4.04 - 3973 ratings
My rating:  3
Setting:  Contemporary Minnesota - including accents and terminology

First line/s:  " 'Hello, everyone!  Welcome to Heidi's Discount Erotica Podcast, Episode Number Ten.' "

What I posted on Goodreads:  Stupidly unbelievable and totally fun.

My comments:  Very, very humorous story once you get over the overprotective, ridiculous mother.  It's about a 25-year-old that goes from super straight, innocent (almost ridiclously so) to over-the-tio sexual innovator.  Throw in befriending one of the hottest actors in America and his steamy romance author wife as your close friends and a too-good-to-be-true next-door  neighbor hunk and there you have it.  Totally unbelievable and totally fun.

Goodreads synopsis:  Cowritten by USA Today best-selling author Tara Sivec and award-winning narrator Andi Arndt, a hysterically funny, heartfelt romance about starting over and taking chances.
          Nothing good ever comes from drinking a box of wine alone. So when I decided to entertain my drunken self by setting up some hand-me-down podcasting equipment and reading the steamy parts from romance novels, I never thought anyone would actually listen. The fact that I admitted my huge crush on my sexy next door neighbor made the whole thing even more mortifying. But sometimes life surprises you, and that’s how my podcast, Heidi’s Discount Erotica, was born.
          Now I, Heidi Larsen, a sweet former kindergarten teacher in Waconia, Minnesota, lead a scandalous double life reading erotic novels to the listening world. And with each episode, I find myself embracing my new alter ego more and more. Now I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin and do things I never would have dreamed of - like kissing my neighbor.
          Look out, Waconia, because Heidi’s on the loose! She’s in your ears, in your hearts, and down your pants...wait, that didn’t sound as good as it did in my head. Well, you get the picture, don’tcha know!

Monday, June 15, 2020

96. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

listened to audio - borrowed from Bosler
narrated by Caroline Lee
Unabridged audio (16:18)
2018 Flatiron Books
453 pgs.
Adult Mystery/Thriller
Finished 6/15/20
Goodreads rating:  3.50 - 325,076  ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: contemporary - outside Sydney, Australia

What I posted on GoodReads:  4.5  Excellent character development, a little long, great ending.

First line/s: " 'I'm fine,' said the woman.  'There's nothing wrong with me.'"

My comments: A wonderful, slow-burn character study of eleven individuals that are thrown together during one crazy, impactful week.  You get a little bit of a lot of things - drug abuse and dependency, teenage suicide, battling self-esteem issues, and even becoming a multi millionaire overnight, with all the issues that might accompany that.  I very much enjoyed the character development and growing relationships.  It got a little slow at about the 3/4 mark, but the best part for me was the way Moriarty decided to end the book.  The last 5% just tickled me!

Goodreads synopsis:  Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?
          These nine perfect strangers are about to find out...
          Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
          Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?
          It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.
          Combining all of the hallmarks that have made Liane Moriarty's writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Poem: Golden Gate Bridge by Joan Bransfield Graham

Golden Gate Bridge

Rising above
            the fog,
I am an aria
            of orange,
a symphony
            of steel –
a remembered
            I span the
Golden Gate Strait,
            from shore to
shore, with a
            chorus of cars.
What song will you
On the other side?

                                    Joan Bransfield Graham

Poem: The Moon was but a Chin of Gold by Emily Dickinson

The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A night or two ago ---
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below ---

                                    Emily Dickinson

Poem: Diary of a Very Short Winter Day by Judy Sierra

Diary of a Very Short Winter Day

At the first hint of dawn
I awake with a yawn
And follow my cousins
(All thirty-three dozen)
To the end of the land.
Where we stand and we stand,
Playing who'll-dive-in-first,
And, fearing the worst.
We listen for seals
Who want us for meals.
I see one penguin lunge.
Then in we all plunge,
Take a bath, gulp a snack,
And climb out in a pack...
Hurry back to our home
For a quick preen and comb
So our feathers aren't wet
As we watch the sun set.

           by Judy Sierra

Poem: The Library by Sara Holbrook

The Library

Take the walk
to the open door,
this is where you
find out more
about the stars,
oceans, quakes
dragons, cars,
cheetahs, snakes,
unicorns, and
jumping beans,
horses, bugs,
and time machines.
From killer whales,
and free-tailed bats
to hammer heads
and kitty cats,
the library has got a book.
Come on in,
take a look.
Learn how to cook
or write a poem.
Read it here
or take it home.
What do you want to learn about?
It's free!
It's here!
Check it out!     
                     Sara Holbrook

Poem: Toad by the Road by Joanne Ryder

Toad by the Road

I’m only a toad
By the side of the road,
Watching the world go by.
Some bustle and hurry.
Some bustle and scurry.
Some wiggle, flicker, or fly.
They come and they go
On their way to and fro.
But I’d rather sit and sing.
It’s a glorious day,
So I’m happy to stay
And savor the songs of spring.

                        Joanne Ryder

Poem: Stone Wall by James Stevenson

Stone Wall

A strong stone wall
Is good to see:

All those different rocks
Working together
Getting along fine.

             James Stevenson

Poem: What Happens to Colors by Jack Prelutsky

What Happens to the Colors?

What happens to the colors
when night replaces day?
What turns the wrens to ravens,
the trees to shades of gray?

Who paints away the garden
when the sky’s a sea of ink?
Who robs the sleeping flowers
of their purple and their pink?

What makes the midnight clover
Quiver black upon the lawn?
What happens to the colors?
What brings them back at dawn?

                    Jack Prelutsky

Poem: Bear in There by Shel Silverstein

Bear in There

There’s a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire ---
He likes it ‘cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish.
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there ---
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

              Shel Silverstein

95. Fiance on Paper by Nicole Snow

listened to audio - Audible Escape
narrated by Jean-Paul Mordrake and Ellie McClendon
Unabridged audio (9:17)
2017 Ice Lips Press
320 pgs.
Adult Steamy Romance
Finished 6/10/2020
Goodreads rating:
My rating: 2
Setting: contemporary Seattle, Washington

First line/s: "Something in his makeup made him an utter bastard, but I owed him my life."

My comments: First of all, I don't think the guy on the cover is attractive at all.  Just saying....
Another kinky, steamy fake fiance romance.  This one's got a lot of background though, because it's been seven years since Maddie and Cal have seen each other, which is really, really weird because they'd adored each other the whole time.  I'm not exactly sure what has motivated him through those years, being so resistant to getting in touch with her even though she sent him lots of letters, etc.  And bad stuff gets fixed way to easily, a dying father who's been nothing but horrible to his son for years and with literally his last dying breath changes his tune?  A particularly aggressive maniac mobster-type backs down after his highly enforced mansion is easily breached?  Lots of trite stuff here which could have been written so much better.  The female reader was just a little too slow, mader her sound dumb.  The male reader was excellent. 

          His proposal came in a little black envelope with thirteen unlucky words:
          You still owe me that favor, doll, and I'm cashing in.
          Marry me.
          In a normal life, I'd never get hitched to Calvin Randolph. Not with his heart-stopping blue eyes, infamous player reputation, and an ego bigger than the part of his anatomy he loves boasting about the most.
          Been there, done that. All except the last part, which he's left to my shameful imagination for seven years apart.
          Of course, the fake fiancĂ©e contract I just signed is anything but normal. Neither was the tragic day our schoolyard romance died, when he made an unspeakable sacrifice.
           He saved my life. He paid a terrible price. Now, I owe him big.
          He's come to collect in make believe: the blushing lies, the sideways glances leaving me breathless, the teasing kisses every time his teeth grab my bottom lip in front of the world.
          It shouldn't be this hard.
          It's just pretend. It's just a few weeks. I can totally resist the demanding, cold, obscenely handsome man he's become.
          We have our rules. But the simple one I kept to myself might be harder: don't fall in love.
          I already did that once. I know the risks. I won't let it happen.
          Because if his charm steals my heart again, if I let him go all the way when his lips trace scary promises on mine, this paper engagement becomes real enough to ruin us...

Monday, June 8, 2020

94. The Getaway by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkinen

Listened on Audible - Audible Original
narrated by Emily Bauer
Unabridged audio (2:24)
2020 Audible Original
? pgs. (0nly out on audio) guessing 85 ...
Adult thriller
Finished 6/8/2020
Goodreads rating:3.31 - 33,333 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: contemporary, a lake outside Washington, DC

My comments: A creepy tale told in two voices about a woman who accepts a free "getaway" yoga weekend on a lake outside Washington DC. that turns into something quite unexpected.

Goodreads synopsis:  In this short thriller from number one New York Times best-selling authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, a young woman's dream getaway becomes her worst nightmare.
          Prepare yourself for a transformative experience. Sometimes, life's setbacks contain hidden gifts. Here at Lakewood, you'll find the space to unwrap them.
          A weekend at the Lakewood Retreat is exactly what Chloe Powell needs. Freshly unemployed after her boss loses a reelection campaign, the former press secretary desperately wants a break from the bustle of Washington DC. A flier posted at her yoga studio leads her to the getaway, which looks amazing: organic meals, celebrity testimonials, and a serene private property within driving distance of the city.
          It's so perfect, in fact, that Chloe's barely bothered by the intensely personal questions she's asked in her application, or the unnerving social experiments her enigmatic host, Sebastian, imposes on her once she arrives at his remote cabin. But when a mysterious new guest shows up, Chloe can no longer suppress her rising panic: This place is not at all what it seems.
          A pulse-pounding story from the first minute to the last, The Getaway explores the weight of the small choices we make every day, and their staggering, unintended consequences.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

93. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

listened on Libby, borrowed from Bosler
narrated by many readers
Unabridged audio (10:53)
2019 Electric Monkey
390 pgs.
YA some might say adult) murder mystery
Finished  6/7/2020
Goodreads rating:
My rating:  3

First line/s: "Pip knew where they lived."

My comments: This was just a little bit too unbelievable.  Not the mystery itself, which was quite well written, but the way it was actually solved, and the way it started (a high school capstone project....).

Goodreads synopsis:  The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
          But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Black & White Hexie Quilt

If I go back to blogs from March and April 2015, I can remember the first steps of this quilt, in Tucson.  I pulled it out today from a shelf in my PA home and decided to get started with it again.

Here's what I found sewn together, not much: (and there were 47 completed flowers in a lovely stack)
6/7/2020 Up to 182 hexies.  So much fun so far sewing this together!
6/11/2020  289 hexies
6/12/20 387 hexies.  I'm going to stop adding on too much for a day or two, I need to concentrate on getting a short stack of the horizontal diamonds ready to just grab and add.  I've got plenty of the 18-hexie flowers.  I'm loving the way this quilt looks!
6/14  New from-scratch elongated horizontal diamonds AND 523 hexies.
6/17 Sewing, sewing, sewing....660 flowers.....

6/21  797 flowers, slowly but surely.  Just received four more yards of white fabric, don't want to run out!
7/5/2020 917 Hexagons.  Been sewing together lots of the diagonals with b/w center, and not doing too much to the quilt itself,  I'm down to 24 (out of original 50) larger flowers that are ready to go.  Guess I'm going to have to do some calculations so that I know how many more flowers and diagonals I have to prep.  Good for visiting, waiting in the car, sitting my the ducks, and other times away from home.
Will have to triple check these preliminary figures, but:
standard full size quilt: 84 x 90
width: 8 flowers across = 76.5 in.
9 flowers across = 85.5 in.
length: 10 flowers down should equal about 92 inches
I'm thinking 9 flowers across by 10 flowers down
Need 90 finished flowers total
That means making 40 more.....don't groan!
This is fun, right?
7/16/2020  Sewing, sewing, sewing.  1060 finished hexies included so far, with lots of new finished larger flowers and diagonals.... 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here's a sketch of the different sewn-together blocks I want to have ready to pick up and add as I begin in earnest to sew this together:

Here's the photo of what I'd laid out on the wall in Tucson before I moved:

92. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

listened to audible borrowed from Bosler Library
narrated by Brittany Pressley and Kirsten Potter
Unabridged audio (11:00) though my "timer" said 12:19 at the end of listening
2020 Berkley and
327 pgs.
Adult Murder Mystery
Finished 6/6/2020
Goodreads rating:  4.10 - 25,405 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: 1982 & 2017 Fell, NY

First line/s:  "The night it all ended, Vivian was alone."

My comments:n  A ghost story.  A real, believable ghost story - and I don't believe in ghosts.  A serial killer.  Two 20-year-old protagonists, 35 years apart. 1982 and 2017.  Aunt and niece, both following the same clues and encountering the same ghosts.  A good story.

Goodreads synopsis:  The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
          Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

91. Veronica's Dragon by Ruby Dixon

#2 Icehome
listened to audio on AudEsc
narrated by Sean Crisden & Felicity Monroe
Unabridged audio (8:01)
280 pgs.
Adult steamy sci-fi
Finished 6/6/2020
Goodreads rating: 4.22 - 3569 ratings
My rating: blah!

First line/s: "When I awaken a variety of smells assaults my senses."

My comments: Okay, it's seriously time to stop reading these.  They're becoming repetitious...incredibly repetitious ... slow and way too much of the steamy stuff!  I love the basic outline of the si-fi story, but not much else.

Goodreads synopsis:  Resonance.
          It’s a given on the ice planet, forced upon you by the parasitic symbiont called the ‘khui’. With resonance, a guy and a girl are paired up because they’ll make great babies. It’s a survival mechanism necessary for this sparsely-populated world we’re stranded on… and romantic, in a weird, alien way.
          Everyone expects resonance to happen when twenty newcomers are dropped onto the frosty world. I doubt anyone expects the gorgeous, golden god named Ashtar to resonate to someone like me, though. He’s fierce. Flirty. Powerful. Disgustingly handsome.
          I’m… not any of those things. I’m bland. Boring. Clumsy.
          But resonance seems to think we’d be great together. And Ashtar does, too…___
          The Icehome series features all of the adventure, humor and community you’ve come to expect in the Ice Planet Barbarians series, but it stands on its own. You do not need to read the other series (or be caught up) in order to read VERONICA’S DRAGON. I do recommend reading LAUREN’S BARBARIAN to get the full experience. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Poetry Moments

Today I started videotaping my brief "Poetry Moments" that will be aired once a week, during this upcoming summer and hopefully longer at the library where I work.  They'll be put up on The Bosler Memorial Library Facebook Page.

Day 1 - 6/9/20 -  I wanted to start with Shel Silverstein, but perhaps a poem that wouldn't be quite as well known as most.  So I went to A Light in the Attic and chose "Bear in There."

Day 2 - 6/11/20 - I really wanted to follow up Silverstein with Jack Prelutsky, but didn't want it to be one of his funny or silly ones, so I chose "What Happens to the Colors?" from Sing a Song of Seasons.

Day 3 - 6/16/20 - Wanting to go with something different, I went for short, sweet, and unrhymed for this one,  "Stone Wall' by James Stevenson from one of his "corny" books.

Day 4 - 6/18/20 - A fun poem with rhyme and rhythm and a great photo I found.  "Toad by the Road" by Joanne Ryder.

Day 5 - 6/23/20 - I love penguins, and I've found lots of penguin poems.  Today I'm adding "Diary of A Very Short Winter Day" by Judy Sierra.

Day 6 - 6/25/20 -  Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote short poems and never gave them a title.  Here's one about the moon that begins "The Moon was but a Chin of Gold"

Day 7 -  6/30/20 - My close friend, Dede, lives just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, California.  I've been lucky enough to drive back and forth this magical bridge dozens of times.  I've loved every thrilling moment.  Joan Bransfield Graham uses music and metaphor to help describe the magnificence of this bridge in her poem, "Golden Gate Bridge."

Day 8 - 7/2/20 - A library poem today.  Took it from Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong's The Poetry Friday Anthology.which is packed with perfect poems for sharing, and they label sections from Kindergarten to grade 5.    This one's by Sara Holbrook, "The Library."

Day 9 - 7/7/20 - I wanted something short, sweet, and clever, so went with "Stegosaurus" by David Elliot from his book of dinosaur poems.

Day 10 - 7/9/20 - Most of Kenn Nesbitt's poetry is really fun and funny, and I check out his website once in awhile.  So today I decided to go for FUNNY!  "The Aliens Have Landed" came directly from his website.  I think it'll tickle younger elementary kids.

Day 11 - 7/14/20 - Since we're in the midst of summer I decided to go for a purely summertime poem today.  I've wanted to include a "list poem," and I think this one fit all of my criteria for the day!  I read Douglas Florian's "What I Love About Summer" from his poetry book, Summersaults.

Day 12 - 7/16/20 - Changing it up a little, I'm doing Robert Louis Stevenson's "My Shadow" from A Child's Garden of Verses.

Day 13 -

Day 14 -

Day 15 - 7/28/20 - From the book Marvelous Math, an anthology (a collection of poems by different poets) edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins comes part of Mary O'Neill's poem, Take a Number.

Day 16 - 7/30/20 - When I picked up the book I'm Just No Good At Rhyming (Harris) all I could think of was the old addage "You can't judge a book by its cover."  Talk about a nondescript cover!  But there were many poems that I really enjoyed, including The Secret of My Art.  Just plain fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

90. To Catch a Spinster by Megan Bryce

listened to audio on Chirp
narrated by Maureen Cavanaugh
Unabridged audio (4:28)
256 pgs.
Adult Regency Romance
Finished 6/3/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.69 - 2994 ratings
My rating: 2.5
Setting: London, England, turn of the century? (can't remember)

First line/s: "Miss Olivia Blakesley watched as her youngest sister was married and thought, 'That does it, old girl.  You are officially on the shelf.' "

My comments: Very cute and very stupid.  Haven't read any like this before, a short regency romance.  A 25-year-old "spinster" decides that she will spend the rest of her life unmarried, but wants to learn about the stuff that she'll miss.  So she makes an arrangement with an older, for-some-reason unmarried, very nice gentleman.  And of course they fall in love.  But she is stupidly stubborn and refuses to marry him until the very last few minutes of the book.  Refreshingly, didn't get steamy.  Read with a very snotty upper crust kind of British accent.

Goodreads synopsis:  Olivia Blakesley, self-proclaimed spinster extraordinaire, is quite happy with her life. She has her studies and her duties, what need does she have of a husband? With five sisters married she knows the reality does not live up to the promise, and does not need to personally experiment with the state to know she would be ill-suited to it. However, she finds herself envious of at least one aspect of marriage. But to experience the physical side of marriage, one doesn't need a husband, all one needs is the right man...
          Nathaniel Jenkins knows his duty. Marry a young girl from a respectable family and father an heir, no matter how cold the endless parade of suitable girls leaves him. But a shocking proposal from a scholarly spinster leaves him wondering if unsuitable is just what he's looking for. Can he convince his spinster that marriage is the greatest experiment of all?