Thursday, December 31, 2020

2021 Reading Challenges

Published in the Current Year - 2021
1.  A Tail As Old As Time (Aud. Short) (2)
2.  A Stranger in Town (#6 Rockton) (4.5)
3.  Much Ado About You (RomCom) (4)
4.  Shipped (RomCom) (4)
5.  The Set Up (RomCom-Aud Short) (4)
6.  Pause (Rom)
7.  Firekeeper's Daughter (YA CRF)
8.  Starfish (MidGr CRF Verse)
9.  Red, White, and Whole (MidGr CRF Verse)
10.  Live and Let Grow (CRF Novella)
11.  Call Me Crazy (Rom) (4)

One Word Titles
1.  Thorn
2.  Shiver
3.  Shipped 
4.  Roam
5.  Backtrack
6.  Pause
7.  Starfish

2.  Backtrack #9.5 Mike Bowditch

1.  Thorn
3.  Roam

Middle Grades
1.  Starfish

Historical Fiction
1.  The Giver of Stars (Moyes) 1937 eastern KY

Time Travel
1.  A Stitch in Time (Armstrong) 18th Century England
2.  A Ripple in Time (Zugg) early17th Century America
3.  Binding Vows (Bybee) 16th Century Scotland
4.  Silent Vows (Bybee) 16th century Scotland
5.  Redeeming Vows (Bybee) 16th century Scotland
6.  Highland Shifter (Bybee) 16th century Scotland

3.  A Dying Fall (4.5)
5.  That Darkness (4)
6.  A Stranger in Town (4.5)
8.  Shiver (3.5)
9.  Backtrack  (3)
11.  Girl, Lost (3)
12.  Then She Was Gone (4.5)
13.  Shadow Sands (4)
14.  A Cry in the Dark (3)
16.  Sleep Tight (4.5)

1.  Synnr's Hope (Ad SciFi - racy)
2.  Thorn (YA Fant)
3.  Map of Shadows (YA Fant)
4.  Crimson Born (YA Fant)
5.  The Legacy Human (YA Fant)
6.  Chain of Gold (YA Fant/Dyst)
7.  A Diamond in My Pocket (YA Fant)

2.  Maine: The Way Life Should Be: A Wicked Good Book of Verse

REAL books
1.  Starfish 

1.  Roam
2.  Backtrack

First in a Series
1.  Her Restless Heart (Stitches in Time)
2.  That Darkness (Gardiner & Renner)
3.  Thorn (Dauntless Path) YA
4.  Dirty Little Secrets (J. J. Graves)
5.  A Ripple in Time (A Ripple in Time)
6.  Crimson Born (Crimson Accord)
7.  The Legacy Human (Singularity)
8.  Binding Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travels)
9.  The Letters, The (Inn at Eagle Hill)
10.  Chain of Gold (Last Hours/Shadowhunters)
11.  A Cry in the Dark (Carly Moore)
12.  A Diamond in My Pocket (Unaltered)

Continuing in a Series
1.  #6 Rockton A Stranger in Town (Armstrong)
2.  #9.5 Mike Bowditch Backtrack (Doiron)
3.  #2 McCoinnich Time Traves Silent Vows (Bybee)
4.  #3 McCoinnich Time Travels Redeeming Vows (Bybee)
5.  #4 McCoinnich Time Travels Highland Shifter (Bybee)
6.  #2 Kate Marshall Shadow Sands (Bryndza)
7.  #2 A Good Girl's Guide to Murder Good Girl, Bad Blood (Jackson)

AZ?  MA?  ME? PA?
1.  Her Restless Heart Lancaster County
2.  Black Rock Bay island of the coast of Rockland
4.  Backtrack Maine Woods
5.  Eight Perfect Murders  Boston
6.  The Letters Lancaster County

British Setting
1.  Postcards from a Stranger (Yorkshire)
2.  A Dying Fall (Blackpool)
3.  A Stitch in Time (TT)
4.  Map of Shadows (Bath)
5.  Much Ado About You (Northumberland)
7.  Shadow Sands (Dartmoor)
8.  Chain of Gold (London)

Where in the World?
1.  Shiver (French Alps)
2.  Clap When You Land (Dominican Republic & NYC)

AUDIO Books - Audible/Chirp/Libby
                   Libby -  Don't Look For Me
Audible - Her Restless Heart 
Audible - A Dying Fall 
     Chirp - Some Like It Charming 
                    Libby - The Vanishing Half
Audible - Black Rock Bay
     Chirp - Synnr's Hope
Audible - That Darkness
                       Libby Love Lettering
Audible - A Stitch in Time
                        Libby - Thorn
                        Libby - A Stranger in Town
        Chirp - Map of Shadows
                        Libby - Much Ado About You
        Chirp - Dirty Little Secrets
        Chirp - Millionaire at Midnight
Audible - Shiver
        Chirp - No Time Like Forever 
                        Libby - Shipped 
        Chirp - A Ripple in Time
Audible - Crimson Born
                        Libby - Eight Perfect Murders
                        Libby - The Giver of Stars
                        Libby - This Is How It Always Is
            Chirp - Girl, Lost
Audible - The Set Up
            Chirp - The Legacy Human
Audible - Binding Vows
Audible - Silent Vows
Audible - Redeeming Vows
Audible - Highland Shifter
                        Libby - Then She Was Gone
Audible - The Letters
Audible - Pause
Audible - Shadow Sands
                        Libby - Chain of Gold
                        Libby - The Bromance Book Club
                        Libby - Clap When You Land
                        Libby - Good Girl, Bad Blood

Started But Didn't Finish/Abandoned
1.  Legendborn - Tracy Deonn - Libby @17%
2.  The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett - Libby @50%
3.  Elatsoe
4.  The Lions of Fifth Avenue - Fiona Davis - @33%

Fairly solid 4 rating
1.  Don't Look For Me - Walker
2.  Some Like It Charming - Bryce
3.  That Darkness - Black
4.  A Stitch in Time  - Armstrong
5.  Much Ado About You - Young
6.  Shipped - Hockman
7.  Roam - Armstrong
8.  The Set Up - Kothari
9.  Binding Vows - Bybee
10.  The Letters - Fisher
11.  Pause - Scott
12.  Shadow Sands - Bryndza
13.  A Diamond in My Pocket - Angell
14.  Call Me Crazy - Harlow

4.5 or 5 stars
1.  A Dying Fall (#5 Ruth Galloway) - Griffiths (4.5)
2.  Love Lettering - Clayborn (4.5)
3.  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things - Greenwood (5)
4.  Thorn (#1 Dauntless Path) - Khanani (4.5)
5.  A Stranger in Town (#6 Rockton) Armstrong (4.5)
6.  A Ripple in Time (#1 A Ripple in Time) Zugg (4.5)
7.  Eight Perfect Murders - Swanson (5)
8.  The Giver of Stars - Moyes (5)
9.  This Is How It Always Is - Frankel (4.5)
10.  The Legacy Human - Quinn (4.5)
11.  Then She Was Gone - Jewell (4.5)
12.  Firekeeper's Daughter  - Boulley (5)
13.  Chain of Gold (#1 Last Hours/Shadowhunters) 5
14.  Clap When You Land - Acevedo (5)
15.  Starfish - Fipps (5)
16.  Red, White, and Whole - LaRocca (5)
17.  Good Girl, Bad Blood - Jackson (5)
18.  Sleep Tight - Frasier (4.5)

Picture Books Read in 2021
8.  Maine: The Way Life Should Be: A Wicked Good Book of Verse

Novels Read in 2021
January (7) 2330 pgs.
1.  Don't Look For Me - Wendy Walker - 2020 Libby (4) 342 pgs. (342 pgs.)
2.  Her Restless Heart - Barbara Cameron - 2012 Audible (3) 304 pgs. (646 pgs.)
3.  Postcards from a Stranger - Imogen Clark - 2018 Audible (3.5) 348 pgs. (994 pgs.)
DNF - Legendborn- Tracy Deonn - 2020 Libby read 19% of 512 pgs [97 pgs.] (1091 pgs.)
4.  A Dying Fall (#5 Ruth Galloway) - Elly Griffiths -  2013 Audible (4) 391 pgs. (1482 pgs.)
DNF - The Vanishing Half, The - Brit Bennett - 2020 Libby 50% of 343 pgs. [172pgs.] (1654 pgs.)
5.  Some Like It Charming - Megan Bryce, 2013 Chirp (4) 222 pgs. (1876 pgs.)
6.  Black Rock Bay - Brianna Labuskes, 2019  KindleUnlAud (3) 364 pgs. (2230 pgs.)
7.  A Tail As Old As Time, A - Elle Hay -  2021 AudOriginal (2) 100 pgs. (2330 pgs.)
February (9) 3426 pgs.
8.  Synnr's Hope - Kate Rudolph - 2020 Chirp (2.5) 308 pgs. (2638 pgs.)
9.  That Darkness - Lisa Black 2016 Aud/Kindle (4) 308 pgs. (2946 pgs.)
10.  Love Lettering - Kate Clayborn, 2019 Libby (4.5) 307 pgs. (3253 pgs.)
11.  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things - Bryn Greenwood 2016 Audible (5) 364 pgs. (3617 pgs.)
DNF Elatsoe - Darcie Little Badger TPPL/Libby read 30% of 362 pgs. [109 pgs] (3716 pgs.)
12.  A Stitch in Time - Kelley Armstrong 2020 Audible (4) 336 pgs. (4052 pgs.)
13.  Thorn - Intisar Khanani 2020 Libby (4.5) 512 pgs. (4564 pgs.)
14.  A Stranger in Town (#6 Rockton) - Kelley Armstrong 2021 Libby (4.5) 368 pgs. (4932 pgs.)
15.  Map of Shadows - J. F. Penn - 2017 Chirp (1.5) 208 pgs.(5140 pgs. (5448 pgs.)
16.  Much Ado About You -  Samantha Young, 2021 Libby (4) 308 pgs. (5756 pgs.)
March (13) 3432 pgs.
17.  Dirty Little Secrets - Liliana Hart 2012 Chirp (3.5) 307 pgs. (6063 pgs.)
18.  Millionaire at Midnight - Naima Simone 2017 Chirp (3) 244 pgs. (6307 pgs.)
19.  Shiver - Allie Reynolds  2021 Audible (3.5) 432 pgs. (6739 pgs.)
20.  No Time Like Forever - Zoe York 2014 Chirp (3) 211 pgs. (6950 pgs.)
DNF - A Morbid Taste for Bones (#1 Brother Cadfael) Ellis Peters 1977 Audible
21.  Shipped - Angie Hockman 2021 Libby (4) 336 pgs.(6786 pgs.)
22.  A Ripple in Time, A  (#1 Ripple in Time) - Victor Zugg 2019 Chirp (4.5) 350 pgs. (7136 pgs.)
23.  Roam - C. H. Armstrong 2019 Kindle (4) 320 pgs. (7456 pgs.)
24.  Backtrack (#9.5 Mike Bowditch) Paul Doiron 2019 Kindle (3) 21 pgs. (7477 pgs.)
25.  Crimson Born (#1 Crimson Accord) - Amy Patrick 2020 Kindle (3.5) 248 pgs. (7728 pgs.)
26.  Eight Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson 2020 Libby (5) 270 pgs. (7998 pgs.)
27.  The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes 2019 Libby (5) 388 pgs. (8386 pgs.)
28.  This Is How It Always Is - Laurie Frankel 2018 Chirp (4.5) 338 pgs. (8724 pgs.)
29.  One Perfect Summer - Brenda Novak 2020 Audible (3) 464 pgs. (9188 pgs.)
April (14)
30.  Girl, Lost - Vikki Patis 2020 Chirp (3) 268 pgs. (9456 pgs.)
31.  The Set Up, The - Falguni Kothari 2021 Audible (4) 100 pgs. (9556 pgs.)
32.  The Legacy Human - Susan Kaye Quinn, 2014 Chirp (4.5) 413 pgs. (9969 pgs.)
33.  Binding Vows (#1 MacCoinnich Time Travels) Catherine Bybee 2009 KUnlAud (4) 292 pgs. (10,261 pgs.)
34.  Silent Vows (#2 MacCoinnich Time Travels) Catherine Bybee 2010 KUnlAud (3.5) 302 pgs. (10,563 pgs.)
35.  Redeeming Vows (#3 MacCoinnich Time Travels) Catherine Bybee 2010 KUnlAud (3.5) 314 pgs. (10,877 pgs.)
36.  Highland Shifter (#4 MacCoinnich Time Travels) Catherine Bybee 2012 KUnlAud (3.5) 296 pgs. (11,173 pgs.)
37.  Then She Was Gone - Lisa Jewell 2017 Libby (4.5) 359 pgs. (11,532 pgs.)
38.  The Letters - Suzanne Woods Fisher 2013 Audible (4) 316 pgs. (11,848 pgs.)
39.  Pause - Kylie Scott 2021 Audible (4) 225 pgs. (12,073 pgs.)
40.  A Chance Inheritance- Carolyn Brown 2021 Audible (3.5) 100 pgs. (12,173 pgs.)
41.  Shadow Sands (#2) - Robert Bryndza 2020 Audible (4) 3894 pgs. (12,457 pgs.)
42.  Firekeeper's Daughter - Angeline Boulley 2021 Audible (5) 496 pgs.(12,953 pgs.)
43.  Chain of Gold (#1 The Last Hours/Shadowhunters) Cassandra Clare 2020 Libby (5) 592 pgs. (13,545 pgs.)
May  (15)
44.  The Bromance Book Club - Lissa Kay Adams 2019 Libby (3.5) 352 pgs. (13,897 pgs.)
45.  Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo 2020 Libby (5) 432 pgs. (14,329 pgs.)
46.  Starfish - Lisa Fipps 2021 Book (5) 244 pgs. (14,573 pgs.)
47.  Red, White, and Whole - Rajani LaRocca, 2021 Book (5) 209 pgs. (14,782 pgs.)
48.  A Cry in the Dark (#1) Denise Grover Swank, 2019 Audible (3) 376 pgs. (15,158 pgs.)
49.  Live and Let Grow - Penny Reid, 2021 AudOriginal (2.5) 75 pgs. (15,233 pgs.)
DNF - The Lions of Fifth Avenue - Fiona Davis 2020 Chirp 33% = 118 pgs. (15,351 pgs.)
50.  Good Girl, Bad Blood - Holly Jackson 2020 Libby (5) 417 pgs. (15,768 pgs.)
51.  Sleep Tight - Anne Frasier 2010 Kindle (4.5) 400 pgs. (16,168 pgs.) 
52.  Call Me Crazy - Melanie Harlow  2021 Kindle (4) 320 pgs. (16,488 pgs.) 
53.  A Diamond in My Pocket (#1 Unaltered) Lorena Angell 2011 Kindle (4) 286 pgs. (16,774 pgs.)
54.  The Diamond in My Heart (#2 Unaltered) Lorena Angell 2013 Kindle (3.5) 277 pgs. (17,051 pgs.)
55.  The Diamond of Freedom (#3 Unaltered) Lorena Angell 2013 Kindle (4) 264 pgs. (17,315 pgs.)
56.  The Diamond Bearer's Destiny (#4 Unaltered) Lorena Angell 2013 Kindle (3.5) 286 pgs. (17,591 pgs.)
57.  House of Hollow - Krystal Sutherland 2021 Libby (2/4=3) 304 pgs. (17,895 pgs.)
58.  Turn the Paige - Roseanne Beck 2018 Chirp (1)284 pgs. (18,179 pgs.)
June (14)
59.  The Book of Speculation - Erika Swyler 2015 Kindle/Chirp (3.5) 339 pgs. (18,518 pgs.)
60. Poisonfeather (#2 Gibson Vaughn) Matthew FitzSimmons 2016 AudibleFree (4) 384 pgs. (18,902 pgs.)
61.  Cold Harbor (#3 Gibson Vaughn) Matthew FitzSimmons 2017 Audible (4) 318 pgs. (18,222 pgs.)
62.  Flame - Chelle Bliss.  2019 Audible (2.5) 320 pgs. (18,542 pgs.)
63.  The Book of Two Ways - Jodi Picoult, 2020 Libby (5) 416 pgs. (18,958 pgs.)
64.  Ground Zero - Alan Gratz, 2021 Libby  (5) 336 pgs. (19,294 pgs.)
65.  The Planters (#2 Ripple in Time) - Victor Zugg 2020 Kindle () 371 pgs. (19,665 pgs.)
66.  The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. - David Levithan, 2021 Libby (4) 224 pgs. (19,889 pgs.)
67.  The Nature of Fragile Things - Susan Meissner, 2021 Libby (4.5) 384 pgs. (20,273 pgs.)
68.  Disappeared (SS) - Linda Castillo 2021 Audible (3) 54 pgs. (20,327 pgs.)
69.  Unplugged - Gordon Korman - 2021 Libby (5) 324 pgs. (20,651 pgs)
70.  The Runes of Destiny - Christina Courtenay, 2020 Chirp (4) 352 pgs. (21,003 pgs.)
71.  To Be Taught, If Fortunate - Becky Chambers, 2019 Audible (5) 153 pgs. (21,156 pgs.)
72.  When the Stars Go Dark - Paula McLain,  2021 Libby (4.5) 371 p. (21,527 p.)  6/30
July (10)
73.  The Fixer (#1 Justice Series) T. E. Woods, 2012 Audible (5) 312 p. (21,835 p.) 7/3
74.  Her Final Breath (#2 Tracey Crosswhite) Robert Dugoni, 2015 KUnlAud (5) 426 p. (22,265 p.) 7/7
75.  The Caretakers (# 11.5 Mike Bowditch) Paul Doiron, 2021 Kindle (4) 51 p. (22,316 p.) 7/7
76.  Debris Line (#4 Gibson Vaughn) - Matthew FitzSimmons 2018 Audible (4) 320 p. (22,630 p.) 7/15
77.  I Temporarily Do - Ellie Cahill, 2017 Chirp (4) 220 p. (22,856 p.) 7/21
78.  Too Bright to See - Kyle Lukoff, 2021 Book (4.5) 192 p. (23,048p.) 7/24 draft started
79.  The Lion of Mars - Jennifer L. Holm 2021 Book (5) 259 p. (23,307 p.) 7/25 
80.  365 Days to Alaska - Cathy Carr 2021 Book (5) 272 p. (23,579 p.) 7/27
81.  The Pants Project - Cat Clarke, 2017 Audible  (4.5) 272 p. (23,851 p.) 7/28
82.  Unsettled - Reem Faruqi 2021 Book (5) 352 p. (24,203 p.)  7/30
August (9)
83.  Sisters of the Vast Black - Lina Rather 2019 Kindle (3.5) 176 p. (24,379 p.) 8/3
84.  Sweet Talk - Cara Bastone, 2021 AudFree (5) 8/6
85. Call Me Maybe Cara Bastone, 2020 Audible (4) (8/7)
86.  The Dispatcher - John Scalzi, 2016 Audible (SS) (4) (8/8)
87.  Back in the Burbs - Tracy Wolff & Avery Flynn, 2021 Audible (3.5) 8/9
88.  Hold Me Today Chirp 8/16
89.  Soulmate Equation - Christina Lauren, Libby 8/19
90.  The Bright Side of Going Dark - Kelly Harms, 2020 Aud 8/28
91.  Without Her Consent Kindle (2) 8/30
92.  The Deal - Elle Kennedy, Audible (4) 9/3
93.  Devi's Distraction - Ruby Dixon, Audible #7 Icehome, (ok) 9/6
94.  Fallen (#13 Kate Burkholder) Linda Castillo.  Libby (4) 9/11
95.  The Last Anniversary - Lianne Moriarty.  Kindle.  (5) 9/12
96.  The Tourist Attraction.  Kindle.  (4) 9/19
97.  The Last Thing He Told Me - Laura Dave.  Libby. (4.5) 9/24

Constance - Matthew FitzSimmons
Winter Cottage - Mary Ellen Taylor
Accidentally Engaged - Farah Heron Audible
Find You First - Linwood Barclay - Libby
Objects of My Affection - Jill Smolinski AudFree
The Story Keeper - Lisa Wingate, AudFree
The Red Hot Fix (#2 Justice series) T. E. Wood, 2014 Audible
The Stand-In - Lily Chu, 2020 Audible 
In the Clearing - Robert Dugoni (#3 Tracy Crosswhite) 2016 Audible
A Sitting in St. James - Rita Williams-Gracia, 2021 Audio
Dead by Dawn (#12 Mike Bowditch) - Paul Doiron, 2021 Audible
The Last Garden in England - Kelly 2021 Audible
Origami Man (#5 Gibson Vaughn) - Matthew FitzSimmons, 2020 Audible
Bad Memory (#2 Jessica Shaw) Lisa Gray 2019 Audible(K UnlAud)
The Girl From Silent Lake - Leslie Wolfe Audible
They Went Left - Monica Hesse 2020 Audible
The Lesson - Cadwell Turnbull 2019 Audible
Pretty Dead - Anne Frasier Audible
Lemons - Melissa Savage, Chirp
The Fragile Ordinary - Samantha Young, Chirp
The Coppersmith Farmhouse - Devney Perry, Chirp
The Wrong Side of Goodbye - Michael Connelly, Chirp
Light Changes Everything - Nancy E. Turner, Chirp
The Mist - Ragnar Jonasson Chirp
The Lost Book of the Grail - Charlie Lovett, 2017 Chirp
The Ballad of Ami Miles - Kristy Dallas Alley 2020 Chirp 
The Stolen Marriage - Diane Chamberlain - 2017 Chirp
The Kept Woman (#9 Will Kent) Karin Slaughter - Chirp
The Rejected Writer's Book Club (#1 Southlea Bay) Suzanne Kelman 2016 KUnlAud
The Girls in the Stilt House - Kelly Mustian, 2021 Audible
Amari and the Night Brothers - B. B. Alston  2021 Audible
The Elephant in the Room - Holly Goldberg Sloan 2021 Book
Chain of Iron (#2) Cassandra Clare - Libby (read 28% and had to return)
A Place at the Table - Saadia Faruqi & Laura Shovan, Chirp
The Burning - Jane Casey Aud started
The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell - Jordan Sonnenblick, 2021 Audible

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Munzee Deploys

In Order: 

Amelia Givin POI
01 Holly V Mustard
02 Holly V Rainbow
03 ???? Disappeared
04 Holly Flat Rob
01 Franklin V Red
02 Franklin V Lavender 
03 Franklin Surprise
04 Franklin V Aqua
05 Franklin V Azure
06 Franklin Air Mystery
07 Franklin Orange
08 Franklin Air Mystery
05 Holly Air Mystery
09 Franklin V Dark Rust
06 Holly Surprise
Misenos V Orange/
Tangles V Lt. Orange
West (&K) Surprise
Members 1st V Evergreen
Leo's V Mocha Chip
Diner Surprise
Wendy's Surprise
Tsitrin Pouch Person (capon pts = 250)
Cybersaurus Rex temporary through 12.31/20 (capon pts = 150)
Rita's Surprise
Karns Royal Red
    Swimming Pool Premium GREENIE credit
ReinDroid #3361
ReinDroid #01 Courtyard Yellow (12/21/20)
Ametust #1034 (12/26/20)
Safir # 1004 (12/26/20)
Skylands at the Courtyards (12/27)
Garden Gnome #581 (1/4/21)
Westgate V Yellow (1/5/21)
Petersbg V Lime (1/9/21)
    Bank Evo Butterfly GREENIE Cred (1/20/21)
Holly Pike Animal Hospital V Orange (1/22/2021)
Clair's Orchard V Burgundy (1/22/21)
Karn's Blg.Spgs Air Mystery (1/22/21)
Sheetz Carlisle Pike Goggles (1/22/21)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Goodreads Years in Review

 Really Cool to Check Out! 
 Collages of the book covers,
 longest and shortest, 
most popular and least popular on Goodreads

2019 171/100 Challenge

                Favorites:   The Body Keeper (Frasier) Ascension (Dixen) Where'd You Go Bernadette? (Semple) Where the Crawdads Sing (Owens) Widowmaker (Doiron) Letters to the Lost (Kemmerer) The Line Between Us (Lee) I am Pilgrim (Hayes








2011   only 5 books recorded, lol

157. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book ONE of TWO

Listened on Libby/TPPL
narrated by Christie Moreau
Unabridged audio (10:45)
384 pgs.
YA Mystery
Finished 12/29/2020
Goodreads rating: 4.15 - 8651 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: Huge gothic mansion and estate in Texas

First line/s: "When I was a kid, my mom constantly invented games."

My comments:  I'm not sure what I expected from this, perhaps something in the line of The Westing Game, but that's not what it was.  Lots and lots of characters, (yes, like the Westing Game) made it confusing at times, a huge Gothic house that was really hard to imagine, and the girl put into a situation that, even at the end of this part of the story, was impossible to believe.  Making her the heiress and not his four brilliant grandsons....ever?  Sure.  Give me a break!  Reading the next installment will be difficult if this first one isn't reread just prior - there are so many people and bits of information that should probably be remembered in order to move forward in good faith - I hope there's a good summarization somewhere on the internet, lol!  

Goodreads synopsis:  A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

          Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why--or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch--and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
          Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

156. Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

#1 Christmas Tree Farm mystery
listened on Audible - free
narrated by Allyson Ryan
Unabridged audio (8:16)
311 pgs.
Adult Cozy Mystery
Finished 12/22/2020
Goodreads rating: 4.02 - 2253 ratings
My rating: 2 (Just not a cozy mystery fan)
Setting: Contemporary small town Maine 

First line/s:   " 'I have two cups of Santa's cinnamon tea, one spicy apple cider, and a peppermint twist hot cocoa,' I said, setting the mugs on the table surrounded by rosy-cheeked women wearing matching holiday sweaters."

My comments: Deceiving title, only one murder.  There's a reason I don't read cozy mysteries. Only ready this because it's set in Maine. This was so sugary sweet, silly, and stupid.  Stereotypical everything, a Hallmark movie extraordinaire in print.  How can a whole town's worth of people fit in one living room a dozen times?  Ridiculous!

Goodreads synopsis:  When Holly White's fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime--exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly's family tree farm.
          When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly's father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn't help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost's jolly series debut. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Movie - The Postcard Killings

Pandemic Movies Seen at Home That Should Have Been on the BIG SCREEN
3/13/20 Limited and Streaming
Viewed date at home on Sunday, 12/20/20 via HULU
IMBd: 5.7/10
RT Critic: 24   Audience:  37
Critic's Consensus:  
Cag:  4 Liked it a lot, even though it was gritty and sad
Directed by Danis Tanovic
Good Films Collective, K. JAM Media
Based on the book by Paterson

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

My comments:  Set in London, Stockholm, and Helsinki with brief encounters in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris....very grizzly piece which left me feeling a little bereft, but which took my mind away from my own troubles for a bit.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan is great...

RT/ IMDb Summary:  A New York detective investigates the death of his daughter, who was murdered while on her honeymoon in London, the victim of an apparent serial killer.

Friday, December 18, 2020

155. It's a Wonderful Wife by Camille Pagan

listened on Audible - free
narrated by Amy McFadden
Unabridged audio (1:56)
100 pgs.
Adult Christmas novella
Finished 12/18/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.50 - 562 ratings
My rating: 4

My comments: What a horrible title, I almost didn't read it because of that!  It's quite a fun story despite the lousy title.  Perfect length, enjoyed it a lot.

Goodreads synopsis:  In this charming and heartwarming retelling of Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life, Camille Pagán, best-selling author of This Won’t End Well and I’m Fine and Neither Are You, introduces us to Bailey, a dutiful yet sharp-witted 30-something who finds herself on the verge of a nervous breakdown as Christmas Eve approaches. As if it wasn’t enough that Bailey’s husband has just cheated on her, the family business she’s been running since her parents died, which employs most of her small town, is about to go under. But even as she’s questioning whether her life has any meaning, Bailey bumps into a handsome stranger who claims to know her - and through a series of strange events, sheds new light on what it means to make a difference in this messy, wonderful world.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

154. Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter

listened on Audible, free
narrated by Loretta Rawlins
Unabridged audio (4:00)
152 pgs.
Contemporary Holiday Romance
Finished 12/17/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.95 - 2439 ratings
My rating: 3.5
Setting: Contemporary Wyoming/Montana (can't remember which)

First Line/s:  "Harley Diekerhoff looked up from peeling potatoes to glance out the kitchen window."

My comments: A Hallmark movie-type novella, more or less, except with a little bit of steam near the end.  Bittersweet for sure.  

Goodreads synopsis:  Since the loss of her family in a plane crash, Harley Diekerhoff has led a quiet life and keeps to herself. Taking the temporary job at the Copper Mountain Ranch as widower Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper seems perfect for her. But her calm cocoon is invaded with the arrival of Brock’s pre-teen twins, Mack and Molly who’ve never experienced a proper Christmas and before she knows it, Harley’s determined to make their holiday perfect.
           Annoyed at first by Harley’s interference, Brock is secretly pleased she’s changed Mack and Molly’s world. It doesn’t hurt that he finds Harley incredibly attractive, fierce, smart and passionate. It’s also an added bonus that she’s not afraid to challenge him and get his blood heated! But when sparks fly and the attractions sizzles between them, Harley’s not so sure she can handle something permanent with this dark, taciturn cowboy who doesn’t know how to let her in. But Brock is determined to hold on to her and praying for a Christmas miracle…

153. Fake Date by Monica Murphy

listened - free Audible
narrated by Savannah Peachwood (can't do voices!!) and James McAdams
Unabridged audio (9:46)
358 pgs.
Contemporary Romance
Finished 12/17/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.72 - 144 ratings
My rating: 1 Crappy
Setting:  Contemporary Monterey, CA (with a trip to San Francisco)

First line/s: "Sometimes I marvel at the way my job choices have sent me down."

My comments: There was absolutely nothing to like about this book.  The female reader read everyone's speaking parts horribly except for the protagonist.  She added nuances to the speech that changed the peoples' personalities.  Everything was stupid, the way everyone acted and reacted, the bevy of friends, and all their "advice," and even the (nonexistent) amount of time that she spent "taking care of" her little sister, which se was always complaining about.  

Goodreads synopsis:  Working at Bliss, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life.
          But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. So when Sarah walks into his office demanding to know why he can't stop sending her gifts, he makes her an offer she somehow can’t refuse: be his fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother’s engagement party.
          Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course.
          Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Recipe - Christmas Crack

1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
Saltine crackers (48 singles?)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
optional:  chopped pecans

Melt together brown sugar and butter and let boil for 3 minutes (don't stir once it starts to boil).
Line a large sheet pan with tin foil.  Spray with oil. OR use parchment paper.
Lay saltines, salt side up, side by side, on tin foil.
Spread toffee evenly over top of saltines.
Bake at 350 for 5 - 8 min.
Immediately pour chocolate chips over top, let melt, then spread evenly.
Top with chopped pecans for an even crunchier bark.
Let cool in fridge for an hour before cutting (or breaking) into piecesl

Sunday, December 13, 2020

152. Agent 355 by Marie Benedict

listened on Audible
narrated by Emily Rankin
Unabridged audio (2:07)
85 pgs. estimated
Adult Historical Fiction (American Revolution)
Finished 12/13/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.67 - 3251 ratings
My rating: 3.5

What I posted on Goodreads:  

My comments: An historical fiction based on the possibility of real facts.  Using details gleaned from many sources, it is know that there was a female spy during the revolution that helped catch Benedict Arnold before his traitorous actions were too debilitating for America. This story is the author's imagining of what could have actually happened.  Interesting, much more so after hearing the author's afterward, the details about the real possible people involved.

Goodreads synopsis:  From Marie Benedict, best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room and Lady Clementine, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American History.
          The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war - she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington's own network of spies: the Culper Ring.
          Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Recipe - Ground Turkey & Ramen Vegetable Tomato Soup

1 lb. ground turkey (or leftover meat of any sort)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 pkg. ramen noodles
1 1/2 seasoning from packet
1 1/2 t. sugar
3/4 t. pepper
46-oz. V-8 juice
1 16-oz pkg. frozen mixed vegetables (I use my own assortment, no lima beans!) 
          (canned green beans and canned or frozen corn)

Scramble-cook ground turkey, add all but noodles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.

Break up noodles into small pieces and add.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer, until noodles are cooked.

Makes 6 servings:  Freezes well.

151. Evil Eye - Madhuri Shekar

Listened on Audible - freebie/Audible Original
narrated by many readers
Unabridged audio (1:38)
doesn't say, will count 80 pgs.
Adult CRF Epistolary US & India
Finished 12/12/20
Goodreads rating: 4.06 - 4810 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: Phone conversations & voicemails between a daughter of Indian background living in LA and her parents in India

What I posted on Goodreads:  same as below

My comments: Spoke theater, the whole thing is telephone conversations and voicemails between a mother, a daughter, the father, and the boyfriend.  It gets creepy.  Creepy fun.  I quite liked it.

Goodreads synopsis: Pallavi is an aspiring writer living in California. Her mother, Usha, is thousands of miles away in Delhi - and obsessed with finding her daughter a husband.
          In Madhuri Shekar’s ingenious Evil Eye, hilarious back-and-forth via phone and social media takes a shocking, supernatural twist when Pallavi meets the perfect man - leading to a climactic showdown that will leave listeners on the edges of their seats.
          (from another reader) this was a chilling and captivating story that I couldn't get enough of. Told through a series of telephone conversations and voicemails, a mother living in Delhi becomes increasingly concerned when her independent and career driven Indian -American daughter begins to be involved with a new man. Although Usha wants nothing more than her daughter, Pallvai to marry, an uneasy feeling begins to grow. Except everyone else thinks Usha is going crazy.

Friday, December 11, 2020

150. Snow Day by Julie Lipson

Audible Original, Acted with background noises
Unabridged audio (1:11)
100 pgs.?
Adult CRF Holiday
Finished 12/11/20
Goodreads rating:  3.60 - 452 ratings
My rating: 2
Setting: train from Florence to Paris

My comments: This was a spoken performance that took place on a Christmas Eve train ride from Florence through Italy towards Paris.  When the train encounters a blizzard it has to stop because it cannot continue, and two people whe have just met explore and get to know each other a little better.  I think there was supposed to be charisma between the two characters, but I just didn't feel it.  It was very short, so it didn't waste much of my time.

Goodreads synopsis:  What makes for a wonderful life? On a crowded Christmas train from Milan to Paris, Amy, an American headed to meet her fiancé, and Martjin, a Finn headed anywhere but home, meet cute. But when their train gets delayed in an Italian Alps hill town due to a snow storm, they, along with a passel of fellow stranded passengers, find comfort and joy in a cozy inn, run by a wise Italian man who forces them to look at the holiday and each other in a whole new light. 

149. Eight Winter Nights by Liz Maverick

free Audible 
narrated by Eva Kaminsky and Jason Clarke
Unabridged audio (2:55)
2020 Audible Originals
approx. 100 pgs.
Adult Hanukkah RomCom
Finished 12/11/20
Goodreads rating: 3.51 - 406 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: contemporary NYC in December

What I posted on Goodreads:  This is a great length for a romance, less than three hours.  Refreshing holiday story about Hanukkah and a group of Jewish friends in NYC.  Sort of a strange premise, but an easy holiday listen.

My comments: This is the perfect length for a romance, -they should rarely ever be longer - not too much breaking up, getting back together, misunderstanding repeat.  That's not to say that I thought the story was great...though it was definitely different and easy to listen to.  Hanukkah instead of Christmas.  A group of Jewish friends in New York City.  Refreshingly not steamy.

Goodreads synopsis:  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

148. Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

listened - free on Audible
narrated by Brooke Bloomingdale and Edward Thomas
Unabridged audio (10:07)
2020 Audible Originals
290 pgs. - an estimation
Adult Christmas RomCom
Finished 12/10/2020
Goodreads rating: 
My rating: 3
Setting: contemporary rural Idaho

What I posted on Goodreads:  Very cutesie story to listen to when trying to get into the holiday spirit. 

Goodreads synopsis:  Press play on happily ever after in this charming, heartfelt holiday rom-com.
         Nick Winters and Noel Carter have known each other their whole lives. After years of shared family holidays, working together on the Winters’ Christmas tree farm, and being each other's safe haven, they wouldn't dream of crossing the line from friends to something more....
          But when Nick comes home for the holidays after serving overseas and finds that his long-term girlfriend has decided to get her stocking stuffed elsewhere, Noel is there to pick him up and show him that instead of a Blue Christmas he can still have a Wonderful Christmastime without his cheating ex.
          A night on the town and an impulsive kiss later has Noel thinking that perhaps this year they’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree as a couple, but only if the ghost - er rather - girlfriend of Nick's Christmas past doesn’t decide to haunt their holiday....

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Loaded Cauliflower Bake

2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
    (it says to blanche for 3 minutes to take less time when baking, but some comments said they didn't blanche, just cooked longer, about 50 minutes.  I like this idea.)  
     NOTE:  Laura used 2 bags of frozen cauliflower, zapped in microwave for a few minutes, then drained well.  I think I'd use 3 bags....
2 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T all-purpose flour
2 c. whole milk
     (another comment is that they used cream instead of milk and no flour)
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar, divided
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 c. sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350.  Blanch cauliflower for 3 min. in boiling water, drain and squeeze out water.

Make cheese sauce:  IN a large skillet, melt butter.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minutes, then add flour and stir until golden, 2 minutes.  Add milk and bring to a low simmer, then add cream cheese, whisking until combined.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheddar until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a 9 x 13 dish, add drained cauliflower.  Pour over cheese sauce and stir until combined.  Stir in all but 1 T. each cooked bacon and green onions until combined, then top with remaining cheddar, bacon, and green ionions.

Bake until cauliflower is tender and cheese is melty, 30 minutes.

from and first made by Laura.  YUM!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

147. Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit

listened on Audible, purchased with a credit
narrated by many readers
Unabridged audio (6:17)
288 pgs.
Historical Fiction
Finished 12/8/2020
Goodreads rating: 3.55 - 1508 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: 1630 Plymouth

First line/s: "We thought ourselves a murderless colony."

What I posted on Goodreads: same as comments below

My comments: Some of this story was very frustrating because of the flipping back-an-forth timewise and narrator wise.  I enjoyed being put into the middle of the history of early colonization where the author glamorizes nothing.  Who knows what really happened during that time....white male supremacy, God is mightier than anything else, saints vs. sinner (or "hypocrites" vs. indentured servants).  This was not the history I learned, but is probably closer to the truth.  Sadly, so much hate, meanness, selfishness, pettiness. The jumping around was bothersome.  I enjoyed this book in some ways, but less in others....

Goodreads synopsis:  From the bestselling author of The Wives of Los Alamos comes the riveting story of a stranger’s arrival in the fledgling colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts―and a crime that shakes the divided community to its core.
           Ten years after the Mayflower pilgrims arrived on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, in reality the town is led by fervent puritans who prohibit the residents from living, trading, and worshipping as they choose. By the time an unfamiliar ship, bearing new colonists, appears on the horizon one summer morning, Anglican outsiders have had enough.
          With gripping, immersive details and exquisite prose, TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the previously unheard voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior.
           Suspenseful and beautifully wrought, Beheld is about a murder and a trial, and the motivations―personal and political―that cause people to act in unsavory ways. It is also an intimate portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship that asks: Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed―and subsequently, who gets punished?