New Award!

Hey there! I’ve been nominated for my first award by the authors at Little Blind Book Finds, Dawlyn & Krista. You should check them out for all kinds of reviews, both spoiler-free and spoilery, for lots of lists and other goodness.

The Mystery Blogger award was created by Okoto Enigma of Okoto Enigma’s Blog.

This is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blogs not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.

-Okoto Enigma.

Here are the rules to the award:

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)
baby cindy with daddy
Baby Speedy Reader

3 things about me!

I am the oldest of two girls, which meant I was very protective and very bossy when I was growing up. Hey, it’s ok to be bossy if you’re right!

I met my husband in college. We got married during my senior year – in the middle of the semester, in fact. Instead of a honeymoon, we spent a night at a hotel and then went back to school and work.

I have fibromyalgia. It’s like arthritis pain, plus chronic fatigue and a host of other problems. It flares up and then calms down, but I’ve learned how to live with most of the symptoms.

Dawlyn & Krista’s Questions

  • What is your favorite movie genre?

Adventure, mostly. I love the Marvel movies and Wonder Woman was beyond great. I also loved Dunkirk this summer.

  • What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?

I love having an audience that’s interested in my enthusiasm! When I get excited about something, it’s great to be able to share it with someone else.

  • What is your favorite non book related thing to do?

Sewing! I’m busy with so many quilts right now, and so many pretty things that I want to make.

  • Who is your favorite celebrity?

Ooh, that’s tough! I think I’ll go with Mark Ruffalo, Mark Hamill, and Gal Gadot. I love the way each of them is so great with their fans, but they use their fame to bring attention to important issues.

  • What book got you into reading?

I don’t remember one specific book, but I know that it was thanks to my mom! I was a reader from a really early age and it was because my mom got me a library card and took me to the library whenever I wanted to go. She’d let me check out as many books as I wanted and never made me ‘quit reading and do something else!’

My best posts

Interview with Brent Jones My first author interview, but not the last, I hope!

Unlocking the Past Loved this book

Still A short story I wrote

My nominations!

Susan Loves Books

I’ve Read This

Linda’s Book Bag

Review Tales by Jeyran Main

Flavia the Bibliophile

Thrice Read

Rachel Poli

My Chestnut Reading Tree

I Suck at Writing

My questions for you!

  1. What book do you wish you can change the ending for?
  2. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  3. Which food could you eat every day?
  4. Library or bookstore and why?

That’s it! Hope you all enjoyed this one! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Happy reading!

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American Colonies: Review

Title: American Colonies: The Settling of North America

Author: Alan Taylor

book description:

“With this volume, Alan Taylor challenges the traditional story of colonial history by examining the many cultures that helped make America. Transcending the usual Anglocentric version of our colonial past, he recovers the importance of Native American tribes, African slaves, and the rival empires of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and even Russia in the colonization of North America. Moving beyond the Atlantic seaboard to examine the entire continent, American Colonies reveals a pivotal period in the global interaction of peoples, cultures, plants, animals, and microbes. In a vivid narrative, Taylor draws upon cutting-edge scholarship to create a timely picture of the colonial world characterized by an interplay of freedom and slavery, opportunity and loss. “

my thoughts:

This is the most comprehensive book on pre-Revolutionary America that I’ve ever read. It covers everywhere and virtually everyone, from the Pilgrims that you always read about, to the slaves, women, and native people that are usually overlooked. It is sometimes grim reading. Europeans were frequently cruel to the natives. There’s a lot about the conditions the slaves lived in. So many massacres, so much bloodshed.

But it’s not all dismal. Some of it talks about politics, land speculation, exploration, trade, and social customs. Even if you thought you knew about pre-Revolutionary America, you’re going to find a lot of stuff you didn’t know. I enjoyed listening to this, but I think it would have been better in print with some maps. Fortunately, I know basic American geography so I was able to follow along. I really recommend this one.

 

Fall is coming

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I think summer is finally over! Maybe not officially, but the weather has definitely changed in Utah. It was another long super hot summer, but this week and last it’s been cooler and rainy. Fall is definitely my favorite season, and here are some reasons why.

  • apple cider
  • sweaters
  • Halloween candy
  • corn mazes
  • colorful leaves
  • sunflowers
  • my birthday
  • pumpkins
  • caramel apples
  • baking pies
  • books

Books are of course, good no matter what the weather is. I hope you’re reading something great. If you’re not, then find something better! Life is too short for bad books.

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen

Title: Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen 👑 🔪💈 (Sheriff Dan Rhodes #19)

Author: Bill Crider

Setting: small town Texas present day

Petty young Lynn was a favorite stylist at the beauty shop, especially with the men. But someone didn’t like her – enough that they got her over the head with her own hair dryer. Is her murder connected to the string of thefts in the county? Or was it her love life? The sheriff needs to catch the killer before someone else dies.

I really like these books. There’s a lot of humor in them, as well as a slice of small town life. As a former Texan, I just really get a kick out of this series. I would start with the first book in the series, Too Late to Die. They’re all pretty quick reads.

My Latest Book Haul

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I got books! As you can see, I’ve also got a cat. Tina saw me take out my phone and had to get in the shot, so here she is.

I have lots of great thrift stores nearby. Usually I try to restrain myself, but this time, I bought all the books.

 

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5 mysteries and one fiction! Strong as Death on top, that’s a historical mystery set during a pilgrimage. Then four mysteries from the same publisher. I’ve read The Lord Mayor of Death and wanted to read that one again. It’s good, very suspenseful. Not sure about the others, but they were worth a dollar!

Fannie Flagg writes HILARIOUS stuff. We read one of her books for book club last year and it was really good.

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Oh, Murder and Chips is set in New Zealand. I never get mysteries set there, so this should be good. Here’s another shot of my helpful cat.

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Thanks, Tina.

Feel Good Friday

Johannes_GutenbergToday’s post is all about reasons for readers to feel good.

Let’s start with this guy. His name was Johannes Gutenberg. He was born around 1400 and sometime later, decided to try his hand at coming up with  a new way of making books. So he invented new ink, new movable type, and a printing press that combined everything. Thanks to him, people could afford to buy books. Before that, everything had to be written by hand. After he came along, you could print multiple copies of a book in the same time it took you to finish one chapter! So blame him for your out of control TBR list!

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Next, I want to thank this guy – Andrew Carnegie. He wasn’t the first to come up with the library idea, but he sure made it big in the United States. Over 2500 libraries were built all over the world thanks to money he donated. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to an actual Carnegie library, but thanks to him, politicians realized that a library was a positive thing for a community. They began to plan on building them for their towns. And libraries today are more relevant than ever, serving not just as sources of free books, but as meeting places and centers of community outreach.

sesame.

Finally, I want to thank Sesame Street. For me personally, Sesame Street has been a big part of my life. When I was little, I was in a car accident where I broke my leg and had to be in a body cast. With nothing else to pass the time, I watched TV and thanks to Big Bird and the gang, I learned how to read. By the time I started kindergarten, I already knew how to read some basic words. It just took off from there, and I’ve been reading ever since.

There you go! That’s my Feel Good stuff for Friday. Have a great weekend!

Off the Shelf reading challenge

I’m having trouble with my “Off the Shelf” September challenge. I can’t seem to settle down and read any of my books. I spent an hour searching for free books from Amazon and wound up with a dozen new books for my Kindle! I haven’t started any of them, but the whole point was to read books I already own and take a break from buying new ones for a month.

It’s not like there’s a shortage of books in my house! There are bookshelves everywhere, all of them full and more books stacked on the floor. I don’t have that many Kindle books to read, but I have plenty. I also have a few books to review, including one I’m reading now.

Here’s what I think I will read next:

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – for the Book Riot challenge

The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd

Slaves of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater

And I’m currently reading:

Something New by PG Wodehouse

Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir – for review

American Colonies: The Settling of North America by Alan Taylor

 

 

 

Review: Private

7134202Title: Private (Private #1)

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Format: Audiobook

Source: Audible freebie

Setting: Los Angeles, present day

“Wouldn’t it be neat if there was a private investigation business that was WAY COOLER than the cops? With a super advanced crime lab that had all the latest stuff? And investigators who could carry big guns and didn’t have to follow all the police regulations? And they worked for all the big clients because they were so cool?”

Well, yeah, I guess that would be neat. Not very believable, but neat. And I would read that.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a whole bunch of diverse characters that all have sexy secrets and every one has this like, diverse background that we’ll go into in complete detail, like an Irish secretary who is working on her citizenship? And a quirky scientist guy who does his own forensic exams? And a damaged main character who inherits the whole business from  his criminal dad and has to fight with his EVIL TWIN BROTHER???”

Um, I guess so. Evil twins are kind of over done, but…

“And would wouldn’t it be EVEN BETTER if the crime exposed the rotten underbelly of Hollywood with the mob and prostitutes and drugs and serial killers after school girls and a conspiracy to undermine professional football?”

Wait, how does football fit in to this?

“Wouldn’t you totally read that?”

Not on purpose I wouldn’t.

“Oh, so we’ll just throw it all in there a little at a time, so you’re already hooked on the story and you have to read it to see what happens. Wouldn’t that be super cool?”

Nope.

Frogkisser!

Reader Discovers Enchanting New Audio! Details to Come!

Title: Frogkisser!

Author: Garth Nix

I heard a lot about this one when it came out. It seemed like everyone in YA and MG books was talking about it, and honestly, it sounds hilarious. Young princess has to kiss a frog to disenchant him, but he won’t cooperate. Pretty great premise, right?

Princess Anya is not in love with anyone. She’s too young. But her sister’s true love has been turned into a frog by their step-stepfather and her sister is too much of a drip to save him herself, so Anya steps in to save the prince. Along the way, she’ll meet the Association of Responsible Robbers, a Truly Terrifying Giant, a Druid or two, and the Evil Gray Mist. Royal Dog Ardent accompanies Anya on her Quest, which starts as a simple one – get the ingredients for Disenchanting Lip Balm, kiss the frog, go home – and turns into something much more complicated.

I loved the characters in this one. Anya has a nice little character arc, growing from a girl who only wants to stay in the library and study magic while someone else deals with everything to a leader who faces her problems head on. Anya also meets some great friends. Even Ardent the dog has a solid story line.

This was so much fun on audio. I really recommend the format. But it would also be great to read aloud or turn into a little play for kids at school. It is a little young, but sometimes that’s a fun change.

Standalone Sunday – Trapped

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I  received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Title: The Scent of Rain ☔

Author: Anne Montgomery

Rose lives in a very strict home. Not like you might expect, but much, much worse. Every aspect of their lives is ruled by what the Prophet wants. He expects complete obedience. Rose didn’t question this when she was young, but she’s beginning to have doubts. Why haven’t they heard from her brothers? Why did the school close? Why do they have to take vitamins ever day? And why is it so bad to think for yourself?

Adan is on the run. His family is gone and he has no one but himself. Now he’s been taken in by a Good Samaritan. He’s got a few questions of his own. Like who can he trust? What’s the story with the weird town? And who is this girl he sees running?

This is a compelling story about a little town in Arizona and the local Flds church. I am Lds, but the difference between my church and this one, which is based on extensive research by the author, is truly sobering. I am free to leave my church at any time without consequences. But when Rose tries to leave, her life is in great danger. It’s a good thing she has a few allies.

Local handyman Trak has grown up next door to the church and he’s too used to it to even notice. Cps case worker Brooke is new and she’s appalled. As soon as she arrives, she’s treated like a pariah. But when Rose and Adan meet, everything in the quiet town is turned upside down.

I wasn’t sure about this book, but like the author said, in some ways, I’m well qualified to review this. I live next door, so to speak, to the Flds Church. I know all the news stories about them. And I do appreciate the careful distinction the author made between the Lds Church to which I belong and the Flds Church. I liked the book and I was really drawn into the story.

I do want to give a Trigger Warning for this book. There are hints of sexual abuse, so be prepared.