When Tara and Emerson’s long time friend Noelle commits suicide the two women are left with many questions. Noelle never showed any sign of depression or had any reason to commit suicide. Noelle was always pleasant and happy. She had been a midwife and loved what she did. Yet when Tara and Emerson start cleaning up Noelle’s things they find a shocking letter.
Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry.
Suddenly Tara and Emerson are thrust into a situation where they need to make hard ethical choices. It turns out, they really did not know their friend at all.
It was just a week or so ago I stumbled across this amazing author when I listened to The Silent Sister and was blown away by the totally engaging read. Yet I had to wonder, was it a one hit wonder?
No. A resounding no. Diane Chamberlain nails it again with The Midwife’s Confession. Right from the start I found both Emerson and Tara to be likable people. Through them and their memories as well as flash backs, I was able to get to know Noelle as well.
Beautifully told, Noelle’s story is a great addition to filling in the holes of what her friends did not know. Another mind-blowing outcome that had me guessing what the outcome would be… and when I knew… I was shocked again.
Narrated by a wonderful cast: Angela Dawe (Narrator), Cassandra Campbell (Narrator), Abby Craden (Narrator), Xe Sands (Narrator), Cris Dukehart (Narrator) . Distinctive voices, perfect pitch… I am usually not a fan of multiple narrators in a book as it can feel choppy but this was not the case at all.
If you have not read Diane Chamberlain I highly recommend you do. The two books I have listened on audio to in this short amount of time have been amazing and I look forward to my next adventure with this author.
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 21 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: May 13, 2013
Good morning! This post was planned for two Saturdays ago but where we were staying in Florida I had terrible internet and I could not get my pictures to load up. Now that I am home they loaded up quickly and for this Saturday Snapshot I thought I would share what I did in Florida.
I was working with my friend Amanda and her husband Tim. They own a bee business here in Brainerd, Buck’s Busy Bee’s. The bees go to Florida every winter as the Minnesota winter months are too hard on them. Amanda needs to go to check on them once a month and asked if I would like to come along and help and I said yes, it sounded like a nice break from the cold and I am fascinated by what the bees do.
November turned out to be a longer trip than initially planned. We initially were going to be a week, but weather in Minnesota prevented us from completing some things here that had been planned out so we had to do that in Florida instead. Our trip was 16 days of working sun up to sun down – and many days later than that.
One of our main focuses was to split the hives. Splitting the hives makes more hives and when you have a strong healthy hive it is easy to take a few splits off it. To split a hive each new hive must have:
- A brood. Brood are babies and what the worker bees work hard on to keep warm and protect.
2. Honey. The frame of honey goes up against the frame of brood so the worker bees can feed the babies. Preferably you would like two frames of honey one on each side of the brood.
3. Drawn out frames. (You can see what a clean frame looks like at the bottom of each pic. They are yellow and that is what the bee works off of). A drawn out frame, as seen above can be dark like this one or could be light like the start of a honey frame.
4. BEES. You want lots and lots of bees to go with each hive to start their own. The hives are actually moved at night as that is when all bees are back in the hives and the forager bees are home. These are the bees that go out and bring the pollen back to the hive.
5. A QUEEN. Each hive needs its own Queen. I wanted to take a picture of a queen on a frame but to do that would have involved me to take my big work gloves off and well… it was a bit risky so instead I have this little video to show you the difference between the Queen and the other bees and how to find the Queen (yes I know I don’t have to capitalize “queen” but it seems like I should…LOL, she is royalty after all!)
What takes the longest in this process is that you must find the Queen before you start creating splits as she needs to remain in the bottom box as an existing hive. The other splits will require a new Queen to be placed in each of their boxes/hives.
So how do you keep the Queen in the bottom box once she is found and you are not ready to move the rest of the hive yet?
A Queen Excluder allows the regular worker bees to crawl through the tiny slats, but the Queen herself is too large to fit through. That way, once find the Queen and ensure she is in the bottom box, you put the excluder over the top of that box and then add the rest of the boxes of that hive on top of that.
I enjoyed finding the Queen although it can be frustrating when you go through each frame three or four times and can not find her. Sometimes I felt that I was “Queen blind”. Finding her though brought out the gamer in me, like I had passed that level. She is actually fun to look at and watch. She moves a little slower than the worker bee, but amazingly she is the bee that keeps the whole hive working. Without her the hive will die.
Another thing we did in Florida was we went through and put in each box a small tray of this Beetle Trap Oil which I liked to call Beetle Juice. The Beetle Oil (juice!) attracts beetles that can get in the hive and kill the bees. The beetles which are tiny and black fall into the oil and are killed. Nasty business.
We moved bees at night – over night actually. They were loaded on to a semi truck after dark as that is when the bees are in the hive. I did not do, but Amanda and Tim would then haul the new hives 3 1/2 hours away to host home yards, which are people who had agreed to have bees on their property.
It was a lot of work. We usually started our day between 5:30 and 6:00 am and ended around 6 – 8 pm. I pretty much just worked, ate dinner, and slept. My hands hurt from all the lifting of the hives and frames each day as well as the stings on my fingers (even through the work gloves). My hands are still swollen and I can not get my rings on yet.
That’s pretty much the basics of where I have been and what I have been doing. I am in still recovering now that I am home (arrived Thursday evening). Today I am just hanging around the house doing a little reading, a little audio, just chilling out. My body is exhausted.
Tess Thorne is the author of a series of cozy type mysteries and has quite the following of her books by the older generation as her books are about a knitting club. When Tess is invited to speak at a Library a distance away from her home, she agrees. The Librarian Ramona Norville gives Tess directions to a father way home after her engagement and Tess happily agrees to take the route as it will cut ten miles off her drive time.
While on the darkened back road short cut Tess experiences a tire blow out. The large man who stops to assist her winds up assaulting her and leaving her for dead… and in a way he does; as the old Tess is gone and this new Tess is a harder version of herself. A version that is no longer the meek and passive person she once was. This new Tess is harder. Stripped of her dignity, her old self is gone and the new Tess is about to seek justice.
It is interesting that King and I parted ways years ago but these past few years I have approached his writing again when I hear about something he has written that I think I may enjoy. Big Driver was originally published in King’s book, Full Dark, No Stars, a book I have never read, but now have read two of the stories that have recently been republished as stand alone, this one as well as Good Marriage.
Big Driver is a dark telling of a horrible crime committed on an innocent woman, Tess Thorne. What makes this is read interesting is how what happens to Tessa changes her into this stronger version of herself that knows what involving the police will do to herself as well as her career. Right or wrong on her assumptions, Tess goes forward with her own plan.
I did enjoy this short read on audio with narrator Jessica Hecht (who also narrated Good Marriage). Jessica’s narration was spot on. She had an excellent voice for both Tess before and Tess after, as well as her handling of the voices for the other cast of characters.
I did mention that Big Driver is dark which should come as no surprise as it is a King book. There is pretty strong language throughout this book, in this case it did not bother me much as the book really calls for it. The book is also pretty descriptive on what happens to Tess.
I do like the cover which surprised me as I normally do not like pictures of people on covers as they then put that image in my head for the characters. This one however fits the description of Tess, a petite woman. I imagine this is Tess after the assault as she looks pretty bad ass here. Broken in some ways but ready to do what it takes.
Note: This is also a Lifetime movie starring Maria Bello (who I love!). One I would like to see.
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 20 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 7, 2014
Oh egads I am home! Kiss the ground even as cold and damp as it is! Do a happy dance! Make a snow angel! Scream MINNESOTA! WOO HOO!!!! (I actually did that). I even slept in until 8:30. That’s right – 8:30! After weeks of getting up at 4:30 am and yesterday I was up at 3:15 am. I drove 3 1/2 hours to Seebring Florida following my friend Amanda in the rental car where she dropped off a truck, then we drove 2 1/2 hours to Orlando to catch our flight home. It was a LONG day and I arrived back at home at 8:30 pm last night. I stuck a load of laundry in the washer, made myself something to eat out of the measly pickings at home, and fell asleep watching Modern Family episodes I missed. I am trying to soak it all in. Getting my normal on.
On my agenda for today is pretty much nothing. At some point I do need to go to the bank, pick up a few groceries, and plan dinner but that is IT. Seriously – I am lying low the entire weekend… or as much as I can anyway.
It is soooooo good to be home.
Have I said that?
Here is what was waiting for me:
Awwww… normalcy. After working the past 16 days of 12 – 16 hour days none stop, normalcy comes as a welcome friend. I am tired, worn out and feel as though I aged… I need to find my youth again :) I am believing my youth is somewhere in this house, and in these packages. I will find it. Trust me on that.
Have a super Friday. You know my plan… what is yours?
In Port Manitou Michigan , Running Coach and Teacher Neil Kazenzakis carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. An accident many years previously has left his wife on life support, never waking up. Since that time he has taken on full responsibility for his then young son Chris, who is now a teenager. Neil has also been seeing his mother in laws caregiver in secret for the past two years and feels he is i love but has no idea how to share this news with Chris.
When Neil breaks up a fight one day at the school, Neil thinks it is just standard teenage stuff… but when a video shows up on-line of the fight making it look like Neil actually assaulted one of the students, things plummet fast. Now he is suspended from his job during the investigation while he tries to hang on to everything in his life – his son, his girlfriend, his job, and his sanity.
The Banks Of Certain Rivers is an amazing read. You receive a lot of information in the beginning including what happened to Neil’s wife Wendy. The book goes on with much detail into Neil and Chris’s way of living and it is not until after the first 100 pages that the book really seems to take off.
Normally, a slow start to a book like this makes me a bit antsy wanting to get to the plot, yet author Jon Harrison writes this out in such a way that as the reader I found myself fully invested in the back story and the unique way that Neil communicates with his wife. When the book does take off, hang on. It has a crazy real feeling to it and runs ahead quickly and you just need to hang on.
I was blown away by this remarkable read and thank author Catherine McKenzie for encouraging a group of is to read and chat up this book. I am so glad I read Banks Of Certain Rivers. It has an excellent movie feel to it, one that I would definitely go see.
Family dynamics and current issues from schools play starring roles in this book. I would recommend you take the time to give this one a definite try. I would love to hear other thoughts on it.
- Paperback: 366 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 23, 2014)
Fog Island Mountains (Kirishima mountain range) are located beneath the volcanic area in Southern Japan. As a big typhoon is preparing to roll in the residents of Komachi prepare for the storm as well. Alec Chester is one of these residents. He has lived in this area for 40 years and has recently been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. With the storm on the verge of erupting, Alec’s wife Kanae disappears into the stormy weather struggling with the realities of her husbands diagnosis.
Narrated by Komachi’s oldest resident and told in Japanese kitsune folktale tradition; Fog Island Mountains is a story of grief, acceptance and healing.
Fog Island Mountain is an interesting read involving a couple (Alec and Kanae) as they deal with the approaching storm in their area as well as the approaching storm in their life. The story is told by an outside narrator, which was not totally new for me, but not usual so this took me awhile to get into the flow of this writing style.
Beautifully written, narrator Jennifer Ikeda was a smooth narrator to listen to. I enjoyed the feeling of Japan that surrounded the book giving me a bonus dose of the culture as well as an interesting read.
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: November 4, 2014
Hey there! Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!
I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list! ;)
So I am still in a hotel room in Florida. It has been a long time of hard work, long hours, and swelting sun. Of course my hubby, who I just talked to back in Minnesota says it is 3 degrees there today so he is sure within a day of my return I will be whining to come back to Florida. I have assured him that he is wrong. I will hold my head up and deal with the snow and freezing temps just to be home with my hubby, my dogs, reliable internet and oh my gosh – my own bed!!! I may not get up for days… ;) I am on schedule to go back to Minnesota on Thursday.
So as far as reading goes, it is still light. I am usually too tired to read, however I have managed some audio this past week as t works great to have the ear bids in while working in the bee yard. Here is what I posted:
Hop Skip Jump – its ready to order!
Bedbugs by Ben Winters (yup… Bedbugs)
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain – oh wow! How have I missed this author?
The first of the readalong posts is up with giveaway: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Not too bad for working 10 – 14 hour days. :)
So this week will be much of the same. A little audio, and maybe a book on the way home on the plane… but by the weekend… I hope to be curled up in my Minnesota home with great books and delicious coffee and my puppies! :)
For My Ears
Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry.
The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle – her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family – described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know.
With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives – and the life of a desperate stranger – with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.
“I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger…” writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up “1922″, the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife Arlette proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.
In “Big Driver”, soon to be a major Lifetime movie starring Maria Bello, a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger is along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face to face with another stranger: the one inside herself.
“Fair Extension”, the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Harry Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.
In April 1992, a young man named Chris McCandless walked into the Alaskan wilderness, where he survived for more than 100 days before perishing in an abandoned bus. For over 20 years his story has captivated millions, and yet only one person knew the truth behind his remarkable journey – until now.
Through a tumultuous childhood, the McCandless siblings clung to each other amidst a chaotic home life, forming a lifelong bond and an unbreakable trust. So when Chris abandoned nearly all of his possessions, cut off all family ties, and forged an anonymous existence on the road, Carine understood what drew Chris away from all he had known. Having to face her own truth and surmount some crushing obstacles in the absence of her beloved brother, Carine drew strength from his constant presence while forging ahead on her own unique journey.
A powerful and deeply personal story, The Wild Truth is both a revelatory glimpse into the life of Chris McCandless and the inspirational tale of one woman’s resilience in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.
For My Eyes
The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment–to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.
But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing–not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science–is going to stop him.
Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…
That’s the plan. Have you read any of these? What are you planning? Please add your link to your own Its Monday What Are You Reading below where it says click here:
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This is the first book from our Harry Potter Re-Readalong (not too late to join in!)
I wish I could remember exactly when I read this book for the first time. I believe it was sometime around when the first movie came out in 2001. I remember wanting to know what my sons were reading. Little did I know that I was about to read the book that would set off something in me that would lead to:
1. Owning all the books in paperback and hardcover
2. Owning all the books in audio (fantastic by the way – both narrators Jim Dale and Stephen Fry – wow!)
3. Owning several Harry Potter Board Games including HP Scene It
4. Going to the Harry Potter Exhibit with Reagan (Miss Remmer’s Reviews) while in New York
5. A different year dragging Cindy from Cindy’s Love Of Books to Potted Potter in New York. (For the record she had not read the books which made her even more of a trooper to attend with me and she loved it!)
6. Going to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios three times in the past three years with my son who is into it just as much as I am.
7. Of course seeing and owning all the movies. ;)
8. Early acceptance into Pottermore
I love this first book. There is so much going on here not only within the book but the fact that the book exists at all. If you have ever read or listened to anything about JK Rowlings start with this book it is fascinating stuff. She was turned down again and again publishing houses stating that no one would want to read about children that had magic skills and misbehaved in school. Bloomsbury was the publisher that said yes (hazah to them!!!) and this book – opened up doors to change the publishing world forever…
HP and The Sorcerer’s Stone is fun to re-read as there is so much I pick up on now that I have read all the books. I feel like I pick up something new each time I read it and I have to smile at the sheer brilliance of how the books tie in so well together. JK did not know at the point of book one that there would be seven books – but they sure read like she knew exactly where she was going.
The short synopsis (just because I like writing about it)… Harry Potter is raised by his aunt and uncle after being left in their care upon the death of his parents. Harry is treated very poorly as an unwanted intruder in their lives and sleeps in a small space under the staircase. As he approaches his eleventh birthday he finds out that things are not exactly as he had been told all of these years. His parents actually come from a magical background and Harry is about to be introduced to his first year of school at Hogwarts.
Harry can not believe his luck as of which he had none before. He has a little help from Hagrid in picking up the supplies he will need and then he is on the train to Hogwarts where he meets Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger, two students who little does Harry know – will become lifelong friends, something he has not had before.
Of course all is not smooth sailing for our young Harry. We also learn about he-who-shall-not-be-named (Good old Volde!) and his role in Harry’s parents deaths as well as Harry’s scar. For years no one has heard from him but things are about to change and of course Harry would be the main focus of HWSNBN return.
I am going to believe that most of you reading this post have read this book or at the very least, have heard of the Harry Potter phenomenon. I seriously have to smile when I think of how this series has held on – now being one of the biggest attractions at Universal Studios Orlando, so big in fact they just added on in 2014 a whole new amazing section that actually goes into the next park! I wrote about that here.
I adore this amazing book filled with magic and messages of good… just listen to Dumbledore’s quotes throughout the book and the series – these are amazing life lessons:
“Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help.”
Harry thought. Then he said slowly, “It shows us what we want… whatever we want…”
“Yes and no,” said Dumbledore quietly.
“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.
“To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure’.”
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is just the beginning. If you have never read the series, I invite you to join our group now. If you have read it many years ago, you are also welcome to join in the fun. The giveaways are available to those signed up for the readalong, so come on in. In fact out first giveaway is posted by Donna at Writer’s Side Up for a set of cool bookmarks.
I am looking forward to the next book!
*Readalongers be sure to link up your Sorcerer’s Stone post here. House points for participants comments on HP posts that are linked as well as the post itself.
Dani Keller wakes up on her houseboat with a wine hangover from the previous nights get together with her husband. When she reaches over the bed for her husband Ian, she finds he is not there. When she looks around she finds he is nowhere in the houseboat but his car is still parked out on the landing. Feeling he may has went out for coffee and scones she awaits his return. When day turns to night and Ian is not answering his cell phone her annoyance turns to worry. As the days start to pass and the police become involved Dani searches her foggy memory of the night of the party. Did something happen she can not recall? Is there something in their life together that has led up to this?
I love the synopsis of this book. Coming off of The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain I was geared up for more like that. There are things that I did enjoy about this read but some I found not fitting as well. Lets start with what I liked. The characters are well developed. I liked Dani and I enjoyed the background story of her relationship with Ian, how it began and what they did to be together as well as the complications of that decision. It felt like there was almost a life lesson in there. I enjoyed her daughter and her mother (who on audio reminded me a lot of Grandma Mazur from the Stephanie Plum series… just a funny older lady). These two characters provided a level ground for Dani.
What I didn’t like is what actually happened felt obvious to me from the beginning even though the author gives us plenty of venues to create doubt and possibilities. There seemed to be a lot of things that should have been done in an investigation such as this but were not.
If you can let go of reality, the book is a fine read. I don’t mean to sound harsh as I did enjoy it and was curious as to what had actually happened all the way through the read. Author Deb Caletti creates a mystery around love and betrayal that will keep you guessing.
Good morning from IHOP. I am back in a booth shaking things up today by not only having coffee and an English muffin… but today I added oatmeal too. Yeah… that’s way I roll… crazy and unpredictable… watch out. ;)
I am tired. Bone tired. I have not had a day of nothingness since October 29th before I left for my Florida trip with my son. I work all day in the bee yard and yesterday I rode along with my friend Amanda 3 1/2 hours to where the bees are going to pick up the rental car and bring it back to the hotel 3 1/2 hours back. I wilted into bed around midnight.
I ache. My hands hurt from lifting bee frames all day and the tiny stings they endure. My back hurts from leaning over the hives. My head hurts from the sun glare.
I dream. I dream of bees. I see them when I close my eyes and not in a creepy Amityville horror way with the flies but they are just there. And Queen bees I see them too… I cant wait to dream of normal stuff like unicorns or space monkeys.
Today I am on my way back to the bee yard. We really have today and tomorrow to finish this part up so I am anticipate another long day. I will be listening to audio today (He’s Gone by Deb Caletti). I am getting a bit of a Gone Girl vibe but we will see where this is going.