Monthly Archives: November 2013

Morning Meanderings… Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates the day of the turkey!  😀  This morning I have one turkey in the oven, another will go in later after the pies.  I am on my way in mere minutes to the Baxter Turkey Run, with my friends Amy and Laura and my son Justin.  Its crazy I know… long johns and running pants… a hat and two pairs of gloves but it will be great 😀

Later this morning both boys will be over and we will bake and play board games, snack on meats and cheeses and dips and watch movies.  We will eat turkey and stuffing and salad and bread and no doubt way too much of everything. Its low key, low maintenance and I love it.

To you and yours this holiday weekend.  May we all remember all we have to be thankful for.  Be safe and know you are loved. 🙂

Goat Mountain by David Vann

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It is early 1978, North Carolina.  An 11 year old boy, his father, grandfather, and a family friend are arriving at the families remote hunting property for a weekend of male pondering around the deer hunting season.  For the boy, this is his first year that he is allowed to hunt with the men.  He is ecstatic to be counted as one of them.  This is his year.

Then…

A poacher is seen on the property in the distance.  And the boy, even unknown to himself as to why, yet filled with the adrenaline of a hunt to begin aims his rifle and shoots. 

The poacher falls.

And the world for this group of hunters explodes into a whole new unknown world of accusations, fear, family loyalty, untrust, and for the boy….

A friend of mine had read Goat Mountain.  Her thoughts on this book brought it to my attention because it was different than anything I had read before.  So I found this one on audio and here are my thoughts.

Goat Mountain is a beautiful listen.  Yet it is also terrifying and disturbing.  As the events unravel over a weekends hunting trip, a fathers anguish, a grandfathers harsh words, the friends panic, but most disturbing – the young boys lack of…

remorse

feeling

emotion

Where this book may have been a win, I found it confusing that this story is being told by the boy many years later, although we are never given a glimpse of what happened between the accident weekend and the current time of the book.  Goat Mountain is about a hunting weekend, and I felt that if it was going to be about an event that happened years prior, it should have had something to bond the incident to the current time.  Perhaps to others this makes perfect sense, but when it ended it felt to me to be unfinished. 

I wish it would have left me with a better feeling but instead I felt as disjointed as the book came to be.

Coreyography by Corey Feldman

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When once asked what advice Corey Feldman would give to parents who are raising kids in the industry he replied, get them out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives.

 

Corey’s career began at three when he was in a McDonald’s commercial. His older sister Mindy was is the Mickey Mouse Club and one day someone heard Corey’s gravely voice while he was on his sisters set and he was hired as the voice of the fox in the Fox and The Hound.  From there Corey as he grew launched into larger roles and starred as a teen in The Goonies, Gremlins, Friday The 13th and Stand By Me. He built a strong lifelong friendship with Corey Haim when they started appearing in the same movies such as The Lost Boys, License To Drive, and Dream A Little Dream.

While some may think having the opportunities of being a teen star is glamorous, Corey, in his memoir paints quite a different picture.  A verbally and mentally abusive mom took all of his earnings and cost him more than one job.  His father was not much better, acting as his manager in Corey’s teen years and costing him larger roles by making Corey accept the smaller easy money roles.  When Corey put his foot down and told his dad that he could no longer manage him, his father kicked him out. 

Corey falls into the traps of Hollywood with drugs and alcohol and even abusive sex.  Told in a matter of fact way, Corey Feldman owns up to all of his past failures, painting quite a different picture than the one that we see on the screen.  When Corey Haim his friend of many years dies at the age of 38, Corey Feldman speaks strongly about the causes and rumors surrounding Haim’s death. 

An amazing memoir of strength and courage.

 

 

I grew up with the movies that both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim starred in.  Watching them on-screen they looked like your typical fun-loving teenagers and as a teen myself, I wished I could hang out with them.  Now, after listening to Corey Feldman’s memoir…. no way I should have wanted to hang out with them!  The things that they both went through is enough to make anyone sick and angry…. both boys really were lost boys.

At first I thought it was a little odd that Feldman talks so much about Haim and what his life was like in this memoir.  After I thought about it I feel that they were both so close, and Feldman probably knew Haim better than almost anyone.  Haim never got to share his story.  He wanted to… he just ran out of time.  To hear Feldman stick up for his friend when he was sexually abused, rumored to have been gay, and a drug addict is heart breaking.

I flew through this audio.  Read by Corey Feldman himself, I found the behind the scenes movie antics to be fun as that was what I like to know about in this memoirs of actors and actresses.  Really though, the childhood, the growing up and all the things we do not see, is what breathes life into the story.  So often you hear about these child stars lives at home and you are shocked.  Corey’s is no exception.  This memoir is brutally honest and I for one am glad to know Corey’s story. 

Recommended.

Morning Meanderings… Creepy Experience and Great Reads

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Good morning!  I am back!  I believe I am back as my post yesterday evening stated.  It feels good to want to write again.  What was that anyway?  Bloggers block?  😛

So last week I had went to the opening night of Catching Fire (woot!  woot!)  I went to the 9 pm and was home by 11:45 pm.  I came in my house and dropped my purse and keys on the table walked into our bedroom to let the dogs out and came back out into the living room.  A man in a suit was standing on our front deck tapping on the living room window.  GAH.

I went to the door and opened it a crack.  He said he was wondering if Al was available.  I for one, explained to him that it was almost midnight.  Two,my husband was home but was asleep and had been for hours.  He said he had seen the lights on in our yard.  “Yes,” I said, “I have just come home from a movie.” He said he wanted to talk to him about a judgement, apologized, and then went away.

A little shook up I went back to let the dogs in from our back deck, turned around and he was in the window again.  Now… I was really annoyed.  I went to the door again.  He said his boss would not forgive him if he did not at least drop papers off with me for Al to look at.  He had a wad of cash in his hand too and said that he was trying to pay for a judgement my husband had filed.  I took the papers, not the cash and closed the door. 

I walked into our bedroom and asked Al if he heard any of that, he had not.  I brought him up to speed.  I said it was creepy and unprofessional for someone to be knocking on our door around midnight.  Al agreed.  We own an excavating company and Al occasionally has to file judgements on those who do not pay. 

The next day Al called the guy and found out he worked for some company where they buy judgements and then they go after the people who had it against them.  Al said that this particular judgement was settled so they were out of date, and that we were not interested.  So weird.

In brighter and funner (yes yes… funner is my word!) news, while traveling round the blogs this weekend I found a few books that really caught my eye:

At Tessa’s Reading Corner, she wrote a review on The Theory Of Opposites

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At Library Of Clean Reads, there were several books that caught my eye: 

The Rule Of Thre3, Landry Park, Dangerous.  All look wow!

At Busy Hands Are Happy Hands, I seen a review for a book called Julia’s Chocolates that sounded scrumptious!

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If you have some time, stop by and check these out.  Have you read any of them?

Ok, I am off for now.. just home from the gym this morning and I need to get moving towards work.  Stop in later for my review of Coreyology.  It was …. 😉

Retrieving My Readers

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Many moons ago (ok, 4+ years…) I started this little book review site called Book Journey.  It was a lot of fun to get going and every reader comment was so exciting to see in my email.  In those beginning years I was able to not only comment back to very comment given me, but if they were fellow bloggers I went and visited their blog as well.  This really was the start to my readership and my daily visitor stats grew.

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It really was a lot of fun to book chat every day with those I came to “know” through this blog.  I would learn their name, and remember things they posted so I could comment about their dog, something going on in their life, or a particular book we both enjoyed.  It was like a whole group of friends out there in the world that I may or may not ever meet face to face and this was pretty cool.

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The “It’s Monday What Are You Reading” meme opened blogesphere doors for me with new visitors and I made sure that when they stopped in, this blog was something they would want to come back to. I kept my sidebars current and my reviews frequent.  I posted about bookish topics, I proposed questions about e readers, publishing trends, and one of my person favorites… what to do when authors attack.  I engaged my readers in conversations with me and with each other.

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As time went on, I even wrote for a few Book Reviewer events on the topic of bringing in readers and keeping them.  I answered questions and wrote posts about blog traffic.  Each day I came home from work and would quickly check my email to see who had commented on my review or my meandering, and I would respond.  I set a goal to visit 20 blogs a day and maintained it…

and then one day…

I didn’t.

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Life became…. busy.  Between work, writing, working out, reading, and everything else I crammed into a day… for the past 9 months… this blog has been fairly quiet with about one or two posts a week.  I stopped responding to comments.  I found no time to go and visit other book blogs. I rarely requested a book for review or accepted a review offer. The Monday What Are You Reading post became a”had to” instead of something I wanted to do; and yes, for a while I was wondering if I had lost my love for blogging.

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I am not sure what, but something made me hold on.  I enjoyed and still enjoy my online friends.  I knew I was not ready to give that up.  I wanted to hang on to see if after the busy time of summer and fall if I would be able to retrieve some of this bloggers life I love…

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and I am glad I did.

Over the past few weeks I have started updating some of my page links here.  I started writing the reviews that have backed up in my mind like a massive car pile up on a highway.  I started making time to visit the blogs I enjoy reading and hope they did not die of shock when they seen a comment from me.  For the first time in probably over a year, I visited all the blogs that linked to this weeks Monday What Are You Reading, something I used to love to do – and loved doing it again. 

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What I guess I am trying to say is, I am back. 😀  I know I do not have to go to the extreme in which I once blogged… but I truly am getting that desire to write posts again. For the first time in a while when something funny or odd happens to me I think, that would be a great Morning Meandering post. (It has been a while since I have thought in “posts”).

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I am glad it is not over for me as I love this life of reviewing and chatting up books – one of my FAVORITE all time topics.  This post was mainly to let you know that readers, I hope you are still around and I hope you pop in once in awhile and say hi and chat books with me.  My promise to you is:

1.  I will always write honest book reviews (you get my real thoughts here 😀 )

2.  I will occasionally be snarky, but never mean.

3.  I will share with you the craziness of the life of a want to be writer, half marathon training, book loving, adventure seeking, constantly on the go, audio book addicted, frequently fails but gets back up again, rescue dog adopting, gets up too early and stays up too late girl.  

Welcome to Book Journey.  Hope to see you around the blogs. 😛

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Happy Monday everyone (or Sunday evening here for me – but I post this early to catch out friends in the world who are already having Sunday 😀 )

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!

Check me out!  I was an active blogger this week!  It is true!  I read, I listened to audio…. and wrote posts.  Here is what I put out there this week:

A little paint project with audio on the side…

Catching Fire Movie Review (I liked this one even more than the Hunger Games movie!)

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (oh wow oh wow!!!)

 

It has been a good week.  I had a low key weekend and wrote up some of the reviews I keep saying I am going to write and then…. do not.  I also have been flying through some really good audio and it feels so good to be back in my audio groove.  Here is what I am reading and listening to this week:

 

1bLovable child star by age ten, international teen idol by fifteen, and to this day a perennial pop-culture staple, Corey Feldman has not only spent the entirety of his life in the spotlight, he’s become just as famous for his off-screen exploits as for his roles in such classic films as Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. He’s been linked to a slew of Hollywood starlets (including Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Marcil, and adult entertainer Ginger Lynn), shared a highly publicized friendship with Michael Jackson, and with his frequent costar Corey Haim enjoyed immeasurable success as one half of the wildly popular duo “The Two Coreys,” spawning seven films, a 1-900 number, and “Coreymania” in the process. What child of the eighties didn’t have a Corey Feldman poster hanging in her bedroom, or a pile of Tiger Beats stashed in his closet?

Now, in this brave and moving memoir, Corey is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.

While Corey has managed to overcome the traps that ensnared so many other entertainers of his generation—he’s still acting, is a touring musician, and is a proud father to his son, Zen—many of those closest to him haven’t been so lucky. In the span of one year, he mourned the passing of seven friends and family members, including Corey Haim and Michael Jackson. In the wake of those tragedies, he’s spoken publicly about the dark side of fame, lobbied for legislation affording greater protections for children in the entertainment industry, and lifted the lid off of what he calls Hollywood’s biggest secret.

I just started listening to this one.  I grew up on the Corey Feldman (and the late Corey Haim) movies…. Dream A Little Dream, Gremlins, Goonies, Stand By Me….  his story is one of tragic grace.

 

 

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Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn’t define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

A typical fun southern Jackson read… I am a little over half way through this one.

 

 

 

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Summer blockbusters and independent sleepers; masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Martin Scorsese; the timeless comedy of the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton; animated classics from Walt Disney and Pixar; the finest foreign films ever made. This 2014 edition covers the modern era, from 1965 to the present, while including all the great older films you can’t afford to miss—and those you can—from box-office smashes to cult classics to forgotten gems to forgettable bombs, listed alphabetically, and complete with all the essential information you could ask for.

I am always looking for great movies so this guide is right up my alley!

 

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Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest; accessible only by ferry and the soaring Deception Pass Bridge, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, insular, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blooddrenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansions, the whole island was shocked. A single bullet between his eyes was the cause of death, but no one could imagine who among them could plot such a devious, cold-blooded crime. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide. Like a cast of characters from a classic mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fell under suspicion.

Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles: aircraft mechanic, basketball coach, the “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington, Las Vegas limousine driver, million-dollar horse breeder, wealthy divorcée. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

I have a confession… I enjoy (probably not the right word…) Ann Rule’s true crime books.  I have not read one in a long time and I have never tried one on audio.  EXCITED!

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Bloodmark and Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey are up to be read.  I am excited about both and have a cabin weekend coming up and one gets to go with!  Which will be?  Which would you take along?

So that’s the week!  Thanksgiving is pretty quiet for us as our family is quite small and we just stay home.  This year will be exciting as both my boys will be home for the first time in 4 years now that Brad is out of the Navy!!!  I am looking forward to hanging out with them. 😀

I would love to see what you are reading this holiday week and weekend!  Please add your What Are You Reading post to the place below where it says “click here”

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and childrens books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!

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The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty

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Cecilia Fitzpatrick has a reputation to protect.  The other women in her town after all look up to her.  She organizes many of the school functions, is always around to help where needed, and you did not even know you needed Tupperware until you attend one of Cecelia’s parties… and then you don’t know how you lived without it.  She has three wonderful daughters and a handsome husband.  What more could she want?  Then while looking around the attic she finds a letter from her husband sealed and saying to only open in the event of his death. And suddenly everything Cecelia thought was right in her life is turned upside down.

Tess O’Leary loves her job  and the fact that she is able to work beside her husband Will, and her cousin and best friend Felicity.  Then Felicity, who was always a bit heavy loves a significant amount of weight and along with Will, approaches Tess about their love for one another.  Stunned, Tess packs up her son Liam and goes to live with her mother in Sydney.

Rachel Crowley is a school secretary.  She loves being around children even though she lost her own daughter over 25 years ago to a murder that was never solved.  When new evidence turns up, Rachel has to decide if she can wait for the police to take action or will the anger and pain of all these years cause her to do the unthinkable.

These three women’s lives will intertwine in ways they do not see coming.  Through friendships and connections, the Husband’s Secret is not to be missed.

 

 

I listened to this book on audio and once it started, I had a hard time shutting it off!  Caroline Lee was an amazing narrator, she made the book come alive with each of the voices of the full cast of characters.  In an almost fun and snarky tone, I fell in live with this book through the narration.  It was just a lot of fun to listen to!

The Husband’s Secret was delightful, fast paced, and while dealing with serious subjects, it never came off as heavy.  I have heard the book is great, but audio listeners know that the audio is pretty fantastic too.

 

Note:  Because I enjoyed this book so much, I am currently downloading What Alice Forgot, by this same author.

 

Catching Fire – The Movie

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On the evening of November 21st, 2013 I was thrilled to go to the opening night showing of Catching Fire.  Catching Fire is the 2nd book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  My review of the book is here. 

Catching Fire is the continuing story line from The Hunger Games.  Now Katniss and Peeta are living back in District 12, still pretending to be in love when in front of the cameras and about to go on tour of the districts as is their duty as the winners of the last Hunger Games.  President Snow has a strong disliking for Katniss, feeling that her heart and her fire for what is right could bring on an uprising, he keeps a close watch on her and monitors what she can say and do when on screen and in front of the people of the districts. In the midst of this battle of Katniss and Snow, a plan is developed that all the tributes will enter the Hunger Games as a “Quarter Quell”, a twist to the 75th anniversary of The Hunger Games. 

And this is when this movie really comes alive.

Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence shows such appropriate emotion throughout the movie that I could not help myself but feel anger when she felt anger and yes, cry when she cried.  (Way to go new director Francis Lawrence!

As the tributes from all districts prepare to go back into the games, Peeta and Katniss are sure that there is no way they will allow for two victors again.  Love or just deep friendship, the two struggle with how they will handle this when the time comes.

Cinna, the creator of the costumes that both Peeta and Katniss wear comes up with an amazing dress for Katniss, which if you have read the books… you know… well…. we will save that for the spoiler page 😉

All in all I found this movie to be even better than Hunger Games and that surprised me.  Of the books, Hunger Games was my favorite and they went down from there. Not that I didn’t still enjoy them, just that was the order they fell in for me and so I did not expect this movie to be loved by me to the extreme that it was. 

If you are a fan of the books, do not miss out on seeing this one on the big screen.  I am pretty sure as soon as I can find someone to go with, I will be seeing it again.

Want to talk about the movie in a bit more detail?  I have wheeled the Spoiler Button out of storage so we can do just that!  If you HAVE seen the movie, join me in the spoiler room to discuss what we loved, what we didn’t, and everything in between.

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Morning Meanderings…. A Little Project With Audio Appetizer

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Good morning and happy Saturday!  It is COLD here in central Minnesota and it has driven me indoors which is a bummer, but the up side is I love this time of year for house projects and snuggling up with great reads.  Last weekend I had an opportunity to do both.

Our entryway to our home was a color that I no longer loved.  For a small space it was to dark and the two doors in that area that I had painted were chipped and scruffy looking.  In usual “let’s get ‘er done” fashion, I went to the paint store in the morning, had my paint picked out within minutes and that afternoon went to work.  I am pretty thrilled with the results so for this weeks Saturday Snapshot, here is my entryway make over:

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Before.

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Before.

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before

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after

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After 🙂

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After 🙂

Yes, I am  thrilled with the look.  It fresh, clean and makes the area look bigger.  As for the audio accompaniment, that would be The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty which I am loving right from the beginning.  This one is a treat on audio – love the narration!

Pop on in to Saturday Snapshot and see what others are taking pictures of this week. 😀

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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!

It’s been a pretty good week.  It was busy, I had a sick day, but all in all… I got some reading in which always makes me happy 😀

This past week I posted:

City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (ooh I am loving the Mortal Instrument series!)

My Review Of The Tassimo Coffee Pot

I still have reviews to post!  As for what I am reading now…

1bCecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O’Leary’s husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they’ve fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela’s Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela’s PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving.

I started this one on audio today while I was painting the entryway and wow I really am getting into it.

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Manuel Perrine doesn’t fear anyone or anything. A charismatic and ruthless leader, Perrine slaughters rivals as effortlessly as he wears his trademark white linen suit. Detective Michael Bennett once managed to put Perrine behind bars, the only official in the US ever to accomplish that. But now Perrine is out, and he has sworn to find and kill Bennett and everyone dear to him.

Detective Bennett, along with his ten adopted children, their nanny, and his grandfather, are hidden safely on a rural California farm, with guards courtesy of the FBI’s witness protection program. Perrine begins to embark on an escalating series of assassinations across the country, killings whose brazenness and audacity bring into question the possibility of safety and law in the US. The FBI has no choice but to ask Detective Bennett to risk it all in Perrine’s war on America.

My guilty pleasure series – you may not enjoy Patterson but I bet you would like this series.  Fantastic on audio!

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The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Loving this series!

Thats my week!  I am excited to see what you are reading and think I have time this week to check out your posts.  Be sure to add your What Are You Reading post to the link below where it says click here.

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and childrens books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!

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