Thursday, October 27, 2011

HarvestHarvest by Tess Gerritsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Narrated by George Guidall
Length:12 hrs and 30 mins
Release Date:04-22-11

You should know that my dad was an Army doctor and I have probably spent almost as much time in them as out! We were both mystery lovers so this had to be one of my choices.

It got my husband and I a bit confused with some of the scene changes and who is or isn't there but that is kind of the fun of a mystery. Will it all come together in the end? While we figured out who was what and why, there was a bit of worry and OMG at the end.

I can't code this one as a cozy mystery .. it leans closer to nail biter. If I promise you that the confusing bits will make sense, will you stick with it and give this one a chance? We (DH and I) were glad we did!

Friday, October 21, 2011


BOB from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.
For full enjoyment, watch past the credits! WARNING! DON'T DRINK AND WATCH!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Famous Places of the World Photographed in Soap Bubbles. Photo credit: Tom Storm. Dlugi Targ, Gdansk, Poland

Somehow I don't think this is the right size

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why aren't new state laws fought?

Black men were given the rights to vote through the 14th and 15th amendments. The 19th gave equal rights to women.

With these amendments, why isn't the federal government doing something to stop states from making it hard to impossible for many individuals to exercise their rights?

Why aren't state citizens voicing their objections? Why isn't the federal government getting into this?

They think they will hurt one party but what about people of their own party? Don't they know those people will also be stopped?

I don't know who is running for office in my state this year, but trust me, if they support these laws? or restrictions, they will not get my vote! It is, for me, a show stopper because I truly think it is anti American and illegal as hell!

Sterling Biographies: Frederick Douglass: Rising Up from Slavery (Sterling Biographies)Sterling Biographies: Frederick Douglass: Rising Up from Slavery by Frances E Ruffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Narrated by Cornelius Jones
PUBLISHER Audible, Inc.


"From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America's first great civil-rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America's greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

Frances E. Ruffin explores this inspiring figure in all his complexity, and captures the hardships, prejudice, and violence Douglass endured as he fought for justice.

©2008 Sterling; (P)2009 Audible, Inc."

At about 3.5 hours, this is not a long biography. It could be easily stopped if you are sharing with a child. If you want to listen in one go, easy. Not only did I learn much about Mr. Douglas that was never taught in high school and college. I also learned much about the history after the war.

He lived an amazing life, not only through the Civil War, but after, before the Jim Crow laws, the beginnings of the rights for woman's right to vote.

If you feel your history was a bit vague or you are a home schooler who wants to give your kids more information about the war and its aftermath, I recommend this book to people of all color. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The King of LiesThe King of Lies by John Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah,, you have so dented my pocketbook! Between the sales of different kinds one almost on top the the other were just too good good tales to resist!

The King of Lies is a murder mystery taking place in midevil history. Adelia is a doctor but has to use a unic as a beard...otherwise, she would be labeled a witch and suffered the consequences. Who sends her on a mission to ensure the safety of his daughter? The King of England, Henry II! Among the company is her lover and father of her daughter, the Bishop. O, I almost forgot...a sword, "Excaliber". Lastly is the unnamed shadowy creature who want her life to end because the doctor killed lover, Wolf.

So there you have it! Just think of what kind of murder and mayhem can result from this cast of characters!

You don't have to be a lover of historical fiction to enjoy this book. Any mystery lover will want to snap this one up! Even my husband gave this one high marks!

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Penguin Classics S.)The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I think I made a bad choice spending my credit on this one.

To start with, I don't like the narration of the first part. It seemed so patterned. Looking past that impediment, I really did not like the character himself. I could not see him married to anyone other than the most desperate! And when he dropped to the use of physical violence, I just could not buy it! AND HE GETS AWAY WITH IT!

Having resolved this couple to her satisfaction, Ms. Bronte goes on to another...but it does not flow well from on to another which caused me some confusion. It might have been better if she had written these as short stories held together by the hall or the relationships.

I am forced to admit that with the switch to the new couple, I kept getting so bored, I fell asleep. I wish I could tell you this might be a better book if read but...

Maybe you should ignore me as I have never appreciated Weathering Hights either.

But I have loved Jane Eyre in all its formats!

I know...visit your local library and read the first part. If you like it, then spend your money to add it to your library.

Dial Dial "L" For Loser by Christy English

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If this was a movie, it would fall into the category of "Chick Flick". It is a fast fun read about a girl who could be in a Rubin's painting. She works in a bank with her two best friends. One minute she is foot loose and fancy free and thinking about giving up on the other sex completely! Two seconds later, she's tangled in the lives of 3 young men! The "L" can be wiped away! But have you ever tried to date 3 guys at one time? I tried juggling 2 and it got really dicey, really fast.

Who should read this book?

People studying for a huge test that need a break from study. People who have been reading so much historical fiction that they need something that will bring them back to today. People who always wanted to know what it is like to date 3 guys at one time. Ok, there are other people but you get the idea!

If I had a chuckle meter, it surely would have been in the red zone!

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
PUBLISHER Listen & Live Audio

You grew up fast as an orphan in the streets of London. Being in a group of other kids helped all survive. That's how Mary "Jacky" Faber did it until it all fell apart. What was she going to do? If she survived until puperty, she knew she would probably end up as street walker which she knew was wrong. Ah, then she spotted a ship in the harbor looking for boys to serve. If she cut her hair, she could pass; she was sure of it! It must be remembered that young boys of 8 or 9 often were taken on board. That is how our "Mary" end up as "Jacky, ship's boy".

Now, we know this charade cannot go on forever! That's what the rest of the tale is all about; how she keeps up her illusion, what it was like being a "ship's boy"; how she got "found out", etc.

I heartily recommend this book to both sexes who love the stories about the tall ships from 8 to 66 (hmmm, I know my mom would have liked this one as much as I, so I should make that last number 92).

I must thank for exposing me to this story when they had a lovely sale of so many series "first".
Hood (King Raven, #1)Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated by Adam Verner


Length:12 hrs and 20 mins

Did you ever read or watch any of various Robin Hood stories? I did! I don't think I missed any one of them starting with Errol Flynn. I loved all with their slight changes here and there. The characters of Hood are a different but underneath I see the influence of Robin's story.

Mr. Lawhead's writing is delightful and colorful that made the scenes vivid in my mind. 'Makes me wish I had a young one to share with whom I could share (or would that be an excuse to listen again). And Mr. Verner? His reading was such an addition. He read quickly and clearly catching me up in the story. 'Not in haste but with action.

If you want to listen to this before sleeping, don't be surpassed if you find yourself finding it hard to shut it off! It is good company if you are in for a long car ride for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Picture PerfectPicture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Narrated by Sandra Burr and Bruce Reizen

Unabridged 14hr, 19 min

A policeman from the reservation moves to LA. He discovers a woman who has lost her memory. Turns out she is an anthropologist married to a well known Hollywood star. The couple looks "picture perfect". But all is not perfect. Her husband sometimes goes off and becomes abusive. She stays with him. Why does he suddenly become violent when he loves her? Why does she stay with him? Why does she leave him? many 'whys'.

This is not the type of book I normally read. That said, I must admit to quickly becoming involved in it and wanting to see, perhaps understand why a woman with her 'smart' would stay with this man and how it would be resolved at the end.

For a long time we listen to the voice of Bruce Reizen, so I felt a bit disrupted when suddenly Sandra Burr starts talking at chapter 19, part one. It goes back to Bruce on part 2, chapter 7 through the story's end. Both people have excellent narrating abilities but I felt disrupted with the change back to Bruce Reizen. I still don't get it, which is why I could not give the story 5 stars.

Born in Fire (Born In trilogy #1)Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated by Fiacre Douglas

LENGTH 9 hrs and 5 mins

PUBLISHER Brilliance Audio

Maggie views of marriage is tainted by that of her parents. She has sworn she will not follow in their in footsteps; she will never marry. As much as she adored her father, she resented her mother. As her father was dying, she promised to care for her mother and beloved sister. She is a very talented glass blower who will used the money from sales of her works to keep her promise. Her resentment is increased by her mother's constant demands on her sister. Maggis is as stubborn as can be expected by a red headed Irish lass. She is independent and outspoken having no time to waste on self sensor. She dresses without care as the work calls her. Not only is she talented in her working of glass, she is passionate about it to the point that at times she forgets eating or sleeping. Phones are a bother that she totally ignores.

Then Rogan Sweeny discovers her work. He wants to show Maggie's work to the world as he sees it as it and its creator as an Irish treasure. With his tenacity, he will finally get her to work with him. She will try his patience to the nth degree.

Now you know that as this is love story, these two will end up together. What you don't know is how they will get there. Remember, Maggie is not the most receptive person to ideas of love and/or marriage.

Fiacre Douglas's accent when not speaking for a character, has a lightly accented voice which does intensify when needed for the native ones. I wonder if he enjoyed the conflict dialogs as much as i did!

I would recommend this story to all who love to hear the sounds of old Erin...who love characters who challenge each other mightily, as well as the interpersonally relationships between Margaret Mary, her sister, and mother.

PS The is one of those sale books from that I went wild about!

Witch and WizardWitch and Wizard by James Patterson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Narrated by Spencer Locke, Elijah Wood

5 hrs and 41 mins



PUBLISHER Hachette Audio

It was a football Sunday for him. I had NO interest. My choices were take a nap (too wide awake), read a book (the stack is fairly high but nothing there attracted me), read an ebook (no, no titles grabbed me), or listen to an audio book. On line I went and low and behold, I found this one in my library. It sounded kind of fun. It was YA. Who cared! There are no laws that after a certain age you can only read these books!

The publisher's summary said it best:

"The world is changing - the government has seized control of almost everything and kids are disappearing.
For 15 year-old Wisty and her older brother, Whit, life turns upside-down when they are hauled out of bed one night, separated from their parents, and thrown into a secret compound for no reason they can comprehend, except that the new government is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Imprisoned together in a decrepit cell, Wisty and Whit cling to the only things they have left - a blank book, a drum stick, and each other. While searching for ways to escape, both begin exhibiting strange abilities. Maybe there is a reason they were singled out!
Can Wisty and Whit, a witch and a wizard, master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents - and maybe the world?

From James Patterson, the creator of the best-selling Maximum Ride and Daniel X novels, comes Witch and Wizard, his most terrifying and awe-inspiring series yet."

It was perfect! Just the right length to get me through football. Perfect company was I weeded out all my duplicates in Ancestry! And it had 2, yes TWO narrators! What great fun it was to hear the back and forth of male and female voices! I didn't expect the effectiveness that two different voice would have on a book. And the story? The story was equally entertaining. Lesson, were there lessons young people should learn from this book? Probably but who wants to look for lessons when they just want to escape for a while. Not me!

So do I think this is a good hollowed book to share with kids and grandkids. YEP! It's a bit scary...the eyes widening kind, not the hide under the bed kind. But then I loved Peter and the Wolf and Three Billy Goats Gruff too.


Sandy, you've lost it again!

No, you just don't understand. I know a wonderful fine artist who uses both acrylics and oils as her mediums of choice.  (She also dyes the most wonder colors of yarn!) She had a Friday contest where in the winner gets to choose a print of one of her paintings. I won! I whooped! I twittered about it! Joy! Excitement! I raced to her site! AND THEN IT HIT ME! I love her work (L C Neill)! How do I choose?

Places is adorned with sun rises...I love sun rises and sets and the way they color the clouds in the sky!

People...walking dogs. Lost in thought while seemly stareing at a wall. Walking in the rain. Reading a book. People just doing things I see people doing all the time. I feel their movement or stillness.

Things has so many things! Curling ribbons with crisp edges and turns. Flowers...just their faces and in a clear container where you can see how glass and water changes the way stems look. Scrabble tiles that look so real and have a bit of whimsy as you notice the words they spell out!

And I, I have to pick one, just ONE. Want to guess how I have spent the past 3 hours? Yes, opening each thumb nail picture to try and ascertain which one should come live at my house!

Thank you L C Neill for giving me such a lovely chore!

Go here and see some of the pictures I have been talking about...

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Blood of FlowersThe Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
Narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What? How can you have listened to the book and it be on your TBR list? Sandy, don't you think you need to fix your shelves?

NO. This was one of my choices. Unfortunately, there is an oops in the recording that therefore messed up the download. The end of the two parts are cut off. It didn't bother me so much on Part 1 but was at a crucial moment in Part 2! (GRRRR!) Naturally I called immediately! They are going to fix it and then alert me, so I can get the rest of the story! The question is how long will it take them to fix it! You know how some of us are when we are so into a book that we just have to know, can't wait to know the rest of the story! I'm one of those! What do you do then? ORDER THE BOOK!

Publisher's Summary:

"In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.

©2007 Anita Amirrezvani; (P)2007 Hachette Audio"

And that is where it cuts off! Decision time!

It should have taken just a bit over 13 hours to hear the entire story that is narrated by the rich voices of actress Shohreh Aghdashloo who is originally from Iran. Her voices add so much color to enjoyment of this book! I feel in love with her voice, accent, laugh and intellect the first time I saw her on the Craig Ferguson show.

Maybe I need to expand a bit. When I read I hear the story in my head with the appropriate accents. When I read a book, I also hear it in my head with whatever accent is appropriate. I've heard German, French, Irish, Scottish, Russian, Spanish, Chinesse, Janpanesse, and the variety we have in America and India. The voices of the middle eastern countries have not added their music to my ears enough to remember them.

One thing is learned quickly...the role of this woman in 17th century Pursia wasn't any better than that of women in Europe in the same socioeconomic level.

Anita Amirrezvani has not only told us the story of a gutsy young woman but bits about rug making from dye to design to finished product. She also gives us some short folk tales of the period.

I am giving you my review how because I cannot see the review changing much with reading the hard copy. It's been out for a while so you should be able to find it in most of your usual haunts! It's almost Halloween, so go haunting those places for this book in any format you like!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BOOK REVIEW The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de MediciThe Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I loved his "Last Queen", so did I love this book! And it only cost me one credit from!

As with "Last Queen", Catherine de Medici becomes more than a by-word for 'evil'. Her early life is one that today's accused would blame for whatever they did in the present, so deeply was she hurt. Her times were hard for women, especially for women of intelligence. As they effected her, the 'times' and 'places' are also characters in the story.

C. W. Gortner showed me a very complex and deeply emotional woman, both strong willed and determined. Oh how she loved her family! Maybe too much. She was every bit "The Queen"! The Ruler! She who would have her way come hell or high water! As I listen to Cassandra Campbell's narration, I felt compelled to listen until the wee hours of the morning. I had to find out more about her and what she would do and why.

Cassandra Campbell voice was perfect for C. W. Gortner's grand story about this woman!
White Sister (Shane Scully #6)White Sister by Stephen J. Cannell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They said it well:

Leaving L.A.'s Parker Center, Shane Scully and his wife, Alexa, agree to meet at home in one hour. Shane gets there; Alexa doesn't. In the middle of the night, he's called to a crime scene on Mulholland Drive: The African-American victim, who appears to be a Crip gangbanger, has been executed gangland style. Shockingly, the body is in Alexa's car and her gun is found nearby. But Alexa is missing. Shane's frantic investigation into his wife's disappearance soon takes him inside a bitter and violent feud between two rival hip-hop record companies.

At the center of this war is one of the most lethal adversaries he's ever encountered: Stacy Maluga, a trashy, beautiful Lady Macbeth-like white woman raised in Compton, married to a multi-millionaire rap mogul and known in the gangsta hip-hop world as the White Sister. Shane is no stranger to big trouble, but this time he's met his match in a powerful and media-savvy enemy who could put him in jail, order a hit on him, or utterly destroy his reputation. Worse, Shane fears that his wife may be dead and that the White Sister is behind it.

My thought:

The description caught my interest so I snarfed it up from after listening to the snippet they had and liking the voice of Scott Brick. I was not disappointed in Mr. Bricks narration or Mr. Cannell's writing while staying up late to continue the story!

So why not 5 stars? I have been listening more than reviewing and am trying to catch up. This one, I could not remember until I read the first sentence above...then it all came flooding back!

I do so dislike abridged versions of books and according to the ratings at, this one ranked low on those who got that version. I can guess why. There is so much color to characters and so much action, that to cut it would be such a travesty.