It’s Sunday! What are you reading this week?

Happy Sunday! Here it is going to be a hot one again. I am reading Christmas books today and just couldn’t get into it. So I lit a Pine candle and now the house smells like a Christmas Tree and the reading is rolling along just fine.

Today is also my little munchkin Corbins fifth birthday! So this afternoon and into the night we will be celebrating him out at GiGi’s house in the country. With all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles. And of course, Spiderman! This little boy brings me more joy than I ever thought possible. He has the most incredible imagination and you are likely to find us wearing capes and running in the yard being superheroes or having chocolate milk mocktinis at tea time.

Like me, he is a solitary soul. He is totally happy playing by himself and making up stories about fairies or super heroes.

Happy Birthday my darling boy. I love you to the moon and back!

xx Patricia

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SLEEP LIKE A BABY By Charlaine Harris

Sleep Like a Baby (Aurora Teagarden, #10)

#10 in the Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series

In the latest installment of the #1 New York Times Bestselling Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series, Robin and Aurora have finally begun their adventure in parenting. With newborn Sophie proving to be quite a handful, Roe’s mother pays for a partially trained nurse, Virginia Mitchell, to come help the new parents for a few weeks. Virginia proves to be especially helpful when Robin has to leave town for work and Roe is struck with a bad case of the flu.
One particularly stormy night, Roe wakes to hear her daughter crying and Virginia nowhere to be found. Roe’s brother Philip helps her search the house and they happen upon a body outside… but it isn’t Virginia’s. Now, not only does she have a newborn to care for and a vulnerable new marriage to nurture, Roe also has to contend with a new puzzle – who is this mystery woman dead in their backyard, and what happened to Virginia? This heart-pounding and exciting next installment of the Aurora Teagarden series will leave fans happy and hungry for more.

Poor Roe and Robin! Trouble is attracted to them like a bear to honey!

Trying to adjust to life as a new mother is proving to be a challenge. Sleep deprived, and now sick, Roe is happy to have Virginia back to help out while Robin is off to Nashville to accept an award.

But when she is jostled out of sleep by the baby monitor and her little girl crying, she can’t find Virginia anywhere. And when she spies a body lying in the backyard that isn’t Virginia she calls the police.

They take care of the body but where is Virginia? Her car is still parked out front and she has disappeared.

So who is this mystery woman in the yard and who killed her? Will life ever be normal in their world? Things happened at such a quick pace that this was a quick and easy read.

I look forward to seeing what is next for Roe and Robin.

Netgalley/St. Martin’s  Release set for September 25, 2017

HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY BY CHRISTOPHER MEADES (Park Row Books)

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades

From highly acclaimed, award-winning author Christopher Meades comes a magical, provocative tale of forbidden love and one girl’s struggle for liberation 

Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven. She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age.

But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will. Then her mother tells her a secret–one that could grant Hanna the freedom she’s known only in her dreams. As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she’s ever known? Or is there another option–one too fantastical to believe?

With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world–and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

The wolves are closing in on Hanna. And not just the ones that live in the woods near her home.

She has never been beyond this place. The only ones who leave are the boys as they mature. Clearhaven doesn’t have new residents and there is only one church. She never has questioned her life before, but as she matures and is to be wed, she begins to notice more.

Why does shes have 4 mothers and 14 siblings? Why is her father marrying her off to an old man?

Hanna’s mother tells her she is special. She is meant for more than this life. That she fell from the sky and landed unscathed. And she did and has. Her father is a cruel man and if she refuses to go through with the wedding, he will just take it out on her siblings.

Then she meets Daniel. Daniel, who has taken her to other places and the man she loves. Will she have the strength she needs to take what she wants?
A very well written book with interesting characters and the effects of cults and brainwashing.

Good job!

 

Strange Practice: A Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family’s specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

As the first in this new urban fantasy genre featuring Dr. Greta Helsing, this was quite unlike any I had read before. Yes, the Helsing is from the Van Helsing, but instead of hunting down vampires and sending them to the great beyond, Greta is a physician to the undead. Vampires, Vampyres ( yes there is a difference), ghouls, banshees, demons, mummies,werewolves, you name it and she probably treats it.

The core group of  undead in the book are a colorful and mostly likeable group. When one of their own is attacked and is unable to heal himself, Greta is called in. He has been stabbed with an odd cross-shaped blade containing some type of poison.

There are  a few things going on here at the same time. A killer is loose in London, leaving bodies with cheap rosaries in their mouths. What do these murders have to do with the rogue group of monks murdering undead and human? And what kind of power do these so-called monks have with their weird glowing eyes and murderous ways?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all of the characters. Greta was a bit of a hard one to read in the beginning but by the middle I was enjoying each and every one of them. I mean who knew there were little ghoulettes? Baby ghouls! And making functioning limbs for mummies. There was a lot of fun reading going on with this one and having read the tease for the next one, I will be reading it too!

Well done Ms. Shaw!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life, Miracles and an Eye Update!

The saying above is so very true. Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. And we should be noticing them. Being mindful, being engaged with the moment you are in and not thinking ahead to what’s next.

June 28 was a year since I woke up with a corneal ulcer and totally blind in one eye. When we finally got it uninfected, I had to wait while the thing healed. Then the end of February I had surgery to remove the scarring and the cornea and have a transplant.

2 months ago I had 2 stitches taken out. I didn’t see or feel anything then. Yesterday I spent hours with different cameras taking pictures of the little fellow clinging to my eyeball and the 14 stitches left holding it in place. And then my surgeon took one more out. This time I saw all of the equipment and I was amazed how tiny scissors and a needle can be! I’m progressing very well. My vision in that eye is still wonky but improves a few days after these stitch removals. Not as in good enough to drive or anything like that, but it’s improving. Now we shall start removing them every 6 weeks and then I’ll have another surgery.

My surgeon asked me what this past year has been like for me. Scary, full of anxiety, a lot of whining and moaning dramatically. But I also don’t rely on my sight completely anymore. My sense of smell and awareness of the things around me are heightened. I am extremely mindful of every thing I do. What the people around me are doing. I do one thing at a time. I let people help me. Pride has gone who knows where.

While my husband has to leave the room for every procedure as he is squeamish, my doctor and I do a lot of talking. About books, tea, especially tea. And yesterday he said,” You know through this whole thing, you’ve never complained to me. Never said no to me. You sit still as a statue and let us hurt you and learn from you and you never say a word. How do you do that?”  Me: “I trust you”. And that is the truth. I trust this man who is the best in his field. It’s just that simple. I trust him and the gratitude I feel for him and his residents is enormous. I have had tiny miracles every step of the way. When things should have gone bad from the beginning, they didn’t. When I had no idea how I was going to come up with $30,000.00 up front for the surgery, it just showed up in my mailbox the day before Christmas Eve.

Today will be a rather uncomfortable day but that’s to be expected. I’ll still be able to read because I have one good eye. And that’s more than some people have. Notice the tiny miracles around you. Seek them out. Make them happen.

Thank you all for supporting me on this journey. Now, go be someone’s miracle worker!

xx Patricia

THE VISITORS by Catherine Burns

The Visitors

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

The blurb sounded good. The book itself not so much.

It’s dark and while the title is The Visitors, most of the book is just Marion talking to herself and wondering what her brother does in the cellar.

It was one of those books I felt could have been a lot shorter. As it was I didn’t care about a single one of them, including the visitors.

There were no thrills, no spine tingling moments. From the beginning we know exactly

what he is doing in the basement and the ending was less than satisfying.

Netgalley/Scout Press  Release September 26, 2017

DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE RADICAL RIGHTS STEALTH PLAN FOR AMERICA BY NANCY MacLean

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy.

Without Buchanan’s ideas and Koch’s money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

This book came out this summer and it was to mixed reviews and comments. As always there were the trolls coming for anyone political but also some learned scholars.

I appreciated the history of the book. The author is an excellent writer. How did we get to where we are today? How is it that corporations have rights? What did our founding fathers really intend for our nation to become?

Not for everyone but if you are a politics or history lover, you may want to give it a read!

xx Patricia