Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Good Reads: The Scam

The Scam (Fox and O'Hare, #4)The Scam by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Scam was truly a fun read in so many ways. It is the fourth book in the Fox and O'Hare series. It is very well written and professionally edited.

Fox is a male con artist that was pursued and finally caught by the female FBI agent O'Hare. They are now partnered together as a secret FBI team tasked with conning criminals that have never been caught by traditional (legal) means. In The Scam they set out to run a con on a casino owner laundering organized crime money through his casinos.

The plot was fast paced and creative. We see more of O'Hare's retired black ops father and the relationship between Fox and O'Hare continues to develop. The ending was a shocker and made me wish that this series put out more than one book a year..

Overall, this is a great read. Lee Goldberg is doing a good job with this series. The Scam ends with a cliffhanger instead of the usual HFN.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Good Reads: Chasing Daylight

Chasing Daylight (Carolina Days, book 3)Chasing Daylight by Carey Heywood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chasing Daylight is the third book in the Carolina Days contemporary romance series. It is a very well written novel, but the ARC I was sent had a few spelling errors. Since it was an ARC these errors are not reflected in my rating.

This is a love story between two people with traumatic pasts that are understandably reluctant to get involved in relationships. He is a man haunted by his military experiences and she is running away from a bad relationship. This is the story of how they overcome their past mistakes and forge a new life for themselves. Oh, I can't forget the Hero's dog; he is a pivotal and loving character.

I love reading a novel that has intelligent, mature characters. The main characters are well developed, easy to identify with and act like adults. Their relationship overcomes many hurdles due to their maturity and ability to communicate.

CD contains domestic violence, amputation/prosthetics, and PTSD. The author did thorough research before tackling these difficult subjects. Her writing is compassionate and sensitive.

Can you tell that I loved Chasing Daylight? It is a standalone novel, even though it is part of a series. It ends with a satisfying HEA.

ARC provided by the author.

Chasing Daylight will be released September 21st.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Good Reads: Wake-up Call

Wake-Up Call (#1)Wake-Up Call by Amy Avanzino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wake-up Call is a very well written and professionally edited, full length novel.

The heroine wakes up one morning to find herself living a life she doesn't recognize. Due to a head injury she doesn't remember the last five years of her life; she's no longer a fit, executive, but is an overweight, stay at home mother of three. She struggles with adjusting to this life she doesn't remember or want and learning to love her husband and children again.

The plot of this book is refreshingly original. I empathized with the heroine on many levels; including being shocked by her appearance. After raising children many of us don't recognize the reflection in the mirror. I also enjoyed the heroine's intelligence and loving nature as she dealt with readjusting to her new (to her) life.

I highly recommend Wake-up Call. It ends with a satisfying HEA.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Decorating with Junk

I am not a buyer of new furniture or knick knacks for my home.  Most of our things have been handed down from family or purchased second hand.  I've never wanted to own something so precious that it would be a tragedy for it to become damaged.  I don't want the pressure, nor do I want my family to feel they can't be comfortable.

This doesn't mean that I don't want my environment to be attractive,  but in my search for items for my home I have always overlooked those that are damaged or kitschy.  Recently, while researching American folk art, I've seen some wonderfully eclectic and comfortable homes decorated with what I would consider junk.  Really beautiful and attractive junk.  Junk that is chipped or worn, yet is visually appealing.

One of the best books I have found about using junk to decorate with is "American Junk" by Mary Randolph Carter.  She describes her junk finds, where she bought them, how much it cost, and how she uses them in her home.

I will say that I think some of her junk was overpriced, but I live in the southeast where prices are considerably lower.  Also, we have a large number of retirees that are downsizing their homes and must sell what won't fit in their smaller apartments.

So, now when I'm out scouring the thrift stores for finds, I won't turn my nose up at an attractive, but flawed, piece of junk.

God bless,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness or Frugal Charity

First of all I have to say that I know that this post is going to make me sound ungrateful.  I get that, but my feelings are so strong on this subject I have to get them out or my head will explode.

Yesterday when I stopped at McDonalds to grab my family's weekly treat, the lady in the car in front of me had paid for my meal.  Apparently she wanted to do a random act of kindness and that was very nice of her.  My feelings about it were unexpected; I felt as though she had wasted her money.

I was by myself (no carful of kids), in a fairly new car that I paid for with cash (because I live frugally), and buying dinner for my daughter that attends a private school (also paid for with cash because my mother left a nice sum of money in her will for my daughter).  Frankly, I am blessed, lucky and I know it.

So, thank you nice lady, but there are people that really need your generosity.  I would rather see you save your extra money and donate it to a women's shelter, or a food bank or any charity with low administrative costs.

This post is about using your money wisely.  Doing the research and donating your money wisely.  Making sure that your money donation is used to help people, not to pay for a CEO's salary.  Helping people that truly need our generosity.

Here are some simple random acts of kindness that don't involve money:

Once again, thank you sweet lady for your generosity.  I really do appreciate your kindness.

God bless,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Good Reads: Double Mint

Double Mint (Davis Way Crime Caper #4)Double Mint by Gretchen Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Double Mint is the fourth book in the Davis Way Crime Caper series. It is a well written, professionally edited and hilariously funny mystery/comedy novel.

Davis and her new husband now both work for and live at the Bellissimo Casino. Davis' instincts are screaming to her that something is seriously wrong with the Bankers convention they are hosting. But her ideas are so far fetched that no one believes her. Davis, being Davis, decides to investigate anyways and chaos ensues.

This was one of the rare books that had me laughing and snorting (with dignity, of course) out loud. It is just incredibly witty and funny.

I highly recommend this novel, but read the series in order to understand the story's nuances.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Good Reads: Scents and Sensibility

Scents and Sensibility (A Chet and Bernie Mystery #8)Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scents and Sensibility is the eighth book in the Chet and Bernie mystery series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Chet and Bernie are concerned about their elderly next door neighbors and set out to find the couples' son. A son that has just spent fifteen years in jail for kidnapping. What seems like a straight forward case soon turns into a murder and police corruption investigation.

I love Chet's, the dog, narration of the plot with his free form way of thinking. Bernie is struggling in this story and I deeply identified with his need to help the weak and helpless people in this world.

Scents and Sensibility is a fun and poignant read. I highly recommend this entire series.