Sunday, June 29, 2014

July 2nd’s Book Worm Wednesday Come Early

Welcome my bibliophile friends! Here we are once again with the week circling back upon it’s self. It’s time for:

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With all the chaos that is taking place around here; I truly look forward to my nightly reading time so that I might “mentally decompress”.

So now I sit here at the keyboard with a cuppa of Chocolate Caramel Brownie coffee with a splash of Hazelnut liquid creamer as I hide from the mid-80’s + the high humidity that is gripping our area.

I have several books again this week that are as different as apples and oranges.  I try to mix up the batch as much as I can for you. With luck one or two of these might spark an interest during these “dog days” of summer.

First up is a True Crime piece of Non-fiction under the title of “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” by Richard W. Carson. “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” is a second edition of the book originally titled “Murder in the Thumb”. The new edition features updated information and a detailed list of characters. It comes to me as an ARC from Net Gallery for the review to obtain my honest opinion in return and should be taken with a grain of salt.


First came the unsettling Ouija board prophesy that Robin Adams would die before her 17th birthday. When a minister summoned to rid the house of frightening phenomena blamed on the Ouija board, he was taunted and denounced by a neighbor and suspected Satanist. Thus, the die was cast for one of the most bizarre murder cases in Michigan history. In 1976, when Robin vanished without a trace from the village of Caro, police were left without a body, witnesses or anything remotely resembling a crime scene. The case went cold for six years. Then, when a rookie state police detective was assigned to reopen the the investigation, what followed reads like the chapters from a Stephen King novel -- right down to the claim that the killer's grandmother was practicing black magic to avenge efforts to bring him to justice.

In light of a another 25-year-old cold case recently solved in Newaygo, MI. (where another 18 yr. Michigan woman was murdered); the timing in reading this particular story has it fresh in my mind.

I found the story well researched and well written without a lot of “unnecessary fluff” to distract me from the events that took place.  The rollercoaster of feelings that it invoked in me has me remembering that the stalking laws brought about in 1993 was too late for these young ladies.

You get a sense of “true character” of the victim, the killer and all those involved with the case through the words of Mr. Carson.  You actually feel like a person who was there.  There is such a wide range that included  Robin’s fear, the terrified  toddler whose love for “Robbie” will tear at your heart. Then there is forlorn loss from her friends & family, to the very real frustrations of the police officers in the lack of evidence in the case.  And the relief that was to finally felt when Robin was located, given back to her love ones to be laid to rest and the case was closed by all.

It’s a terrible thing when life is cut short.  It’s more so when it becomes a cold case for no fault of those involved trying to bring justice to a victim that has to wait for it. 

Richard W. Carson brings you into the story with eyes wide open in a no nonsense reality that will you unable to put this book down until that last page where you (the reader) letting out your breathe of relief and cheering for the good guys! 


This page turner is very much a gripping tale has me giving it a 5 out of 5 stars from the first chapter.  It is good to see justice prevail as it should. I will be recommended it to anyone who will listen and request that the Barryton Library brings in it’s own copy. I sincerely hope that we will hear more from Richard W. Carson in the future.


Well done Mr. Carson. Well done.


“In the Shadows of Jezebel” by Mesu Andrews was also brought to me by Net Gallery in agreement to give it my honest opinion.

Set in Israel in the days of Elisha and Jezebel, this story weaves a tale of powerful women, kingdom politics, and the protection and restoration of the rightful heir to the Throne of David.

Trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal, Princess Jehosheba strives to please the demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments.
Forced to marry Yahweh's high priest in order to further Athaliah and Jezebel's power plays, Jehosheba enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's Temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?
With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings the Old Testament to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

Now I have to admit this is not my normal read.  For the most part I have pasted on this one.  But for some reason I found myself requesting it.  This is fictional Bible story of the Old Testament of a historical genre without a doubt, but I profess that I’m not a huge Bible reader; so I went in without the background story so to speak. 

Once I stumbled over the pronouncing of the names for a while I just let the story present it’s self in a normal reading fashion.  Thanks goodness for the family tree and character index in the beginning was there to help keep things in a somewhat manageable tangle.

There were many love/hate, good/evil, politics/family instances in the story that brought about a realism to the characters throughout the book. There is certainly something for everyone in this book!  It gave me a different way of looking at things during a time which was foreign to me. The thrill of danger, the hope of love & trust and intrigue made it all worth in the end after the 400+ pages.   My praise to Medu Andrews.  You have made a Biblical back story come to life even for a reader like me.  I didn’t even realize that this was #4 in a series!  4.5 stars out of 5!


So how about something a little more light heart?  Well I offer up to you a great little book that goes by the title of “Full Steam Ahead” by Karen Witemeyer. 

Full Steam Ahead

Bethany House Publishing sent me this actual book for a review.  Of course the review should be taken with a grain of salt as the opinion is all mine & mine alone. 


Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.
Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.
After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.
Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

I love have an actual book in my hands on a regular bases.  They cocoon me in the paper scent that books tend to have.  This book I enjoyed very much while I read it with my meals, with it light-heartiness made me smile at times as I could picture Darius’s disheveled stubbornness meeting Nicole’s determined and her considered forthright manner in many aspects of their lives.  As they fall full steam ahead in love they find that sometimes being themselves doesn’t always mean the same in a polite society.  

But on the more serious side, we learn about the demon that drives Darius in his personal quest of understanding why steamship boilers are exploding like a man obsessed.   In the Note to Reader section of the book, Karen  brings to light the dangers of steamboat equipment discussed in the fiction story was a real danger.  She shares with us that these type events brought to light the The Steamboat Act of 1852 by Congress. Out of this act comes the beginnings of the Steamboat Inspection Service agency.

Even though the book is a piece of fiction, I found it interesting that in bore facts to the bearing of new administration laws to real life.   I would give this 4 out of stars.  Karen Witemeyer is a relatively new author for me (2nd book read), I look forward to reading more by her.


Dark, Teasing, Intriguing, Twisted, Gripping are just some of the words I’m using to describe this next book!!

I present Natasta Mostert’s “Season of the Witch”.



In her award-winning novel*, Natasha Mostert blends alchemy, the art of memory, high magic and murder to create a highly original psychological thriller.
Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to ‘slam a ride’ through the minds of others. But he uses his gift only reluctantly -- until he is asked to find a young man last seen months earlier at Monk House, in the company of two mysterious women. Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful Monk sisters. But even as he falls in love, he suspects that one of them is a killer.

This e-book from Net Gallery had be clutching my e-reader like a reader possessed. Now just so you know up front - this is not the book that the movie with Nicholas Cage & Ron Perlman was in. 

Okay, now that we have that out of the way.  This is gothic style story has hints of crossing sci-fi,  psychic telepathy, supernatural witchy stuff with a generous dashes to dark magic, geeky computer hacking, mystery and a revisit of alchemy thrown in to keep it interesting as the book comes to a boil.  Beware of things that go bump in the night!

This is the first book by Natasta Morsert that I have read.  I have seen some of her other books and chances are that they too will end up on my summer reading list.  4.25 stars of 5.

As always with ARC books from Net Gallery I state that the forth mention review was of my own personal feelings.


As the evening draws upon us, I gather my next of stories for next week.  I decided to post early this week as we have overnight company coming for the holiday.  With that and a full schedule this week, I wasn’t sure if I would get this edition put to bed so to speak.  Of course I love to hear what you think of the books I presented.  If you have a recommendation that you would like me to read & review…please feel free to leave a comment below.  Until next time…


Friday, June 27, 2014

Oh Joy to My World!!

Where in the world has Tricia the Barefoot Quilt been for so long? Stay tune…

So did ya miss me?  Yea!  I have my Windows Live back!  It’s the little things that sometimes makes me happy. This is what I use for blog writing, plus in addition to this; I use Photo Gallery for my photo work.  I was lost without it.  Who would think that the missing programs would be hard to deal with? 

Oh to realize how much my days schedule included the use of my blogging throughout my week had me feeling very off kilter that it was effecting me mentally. 

Now I’m making the transition from just me & the mister to having C. here for the summer break.  We had a long week end .  We got to see the Grand son K. and oldest daughter – Ms. C.

Umma with grandson & son   We are all Family here


And then we had unexpected company the following  weekend in the form of Ms. C & her male friend.  Where we learned some “interesting” news.  If I could  -- I have a raised  an eyebrow at her.  But it is what it is I guess.

On the quilting front… I’ve been busy but not doing much for myself.  I have been taking part in my first Round Robin if you remember. My friend Ms. P. has more pictures here.  It’s amazing to see how these are coming together in each round!  We seem to know each other so well that you can’t tell where one ends to the next one picks up. I recently had Ms.P’s visit me and here it is once I was finished with it.  I am know for my scrappiness and I had to add a bit of me to it {{Wink}}. And the day I finally made my decision to what I was going to do; it was rather warm and may have been influenced by my choice.  LOL.

Pat's RR Medallion

Well see what your environment to lead too?  Scrappy Snowballs!!  Here I am sitting in a rocking chair at the library.  If I remember right it was something like 48 1/2”  squared

I had a quilt group day where it was just me.  So in a madding pace --  I got busy finishing it up so that I could pop it in the mail  once the Post Office opened back up after lunch.  Let me tell ya - it was sooooo hard for me to use green in my section. But I was good.

A friend of mine had gotten me a fat quarter bundle in the Splendor line from Jason Yenter to use. She also helped me expand my blocks with a variety of charms from her stash that play well wit the color scheme.  I think having the solid points was a way to create a border frame without actually cutting the strips that would have been used.  What a beautiful line of fabric. It has a nice mix of prints that works with different scale sizes.

Funny thing happened.  The library board was going to be having a meeting that afternoon.  One of the lady’s came in early to get things around, when she noticed me sitting there as I was sewing on the last side on.  She came over to “ooh & aah”  over the prints in it that she wanted a picture of it once I was done.  The prints kind of jumped out at her and she just finished a quilt when this one inspired her.  Hope you don’t mind Ms. P?

But I do have to say I’m enjoying working on those Round Robin pieces. It has help me come out of my box and push the envelope. 

Remember those Thangles’ I was working on?  Well here is a peek at all 12 blocks in their completed stage.  These were from my friend in Wisconsin… Ms. M. 

Thangles of 2013

Are they trying to tell me something?  Like in a table cloth is where they want to be?   What do you think?  If I do; that I would have to invest in a good piece of see-through vinyl to protect it. I’m sure that is going to cost me a small fortune @ JoAnn’s. 

The background fabric is that creamy crackle print from Moda and was paired up with some tiny calico prints by Kansas Trouble.  The colors are really me with the prints being teeny tiny, it wouldn’t be too “flowery” for the man of the house.They match the oak table very well.  And the brown blocks pick up the darker wall paneling nicely.  I’m not showing the rest of the fabric until I have on and really for quilting.

But it would have to wait it’s turn and it doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon.  I’m currently hand quilting a baby quilt for Ms. P. , the one for Ms. S’s is hanging out waiting for me to get it sandwiched.  Here is a couple of pics for you Ms. P

 I’ve been hard at work on this cross-stitching project that is taking me for ever and it’s on linen. Oy Vey!! What was I thinking?!!  I know that my OCD is sooooo not helping either.  I’m sure that the person I’m doing this for would really like it done sooner than later.

My “ Start the New Year Scrappy” project has the back seat along with many things I had planned to work on.  Why is it when I make a list – I might as well throw it right out the window. LOL.  It did see the light of day for a couple of days.

So it’s not like I’m not doing anything. I did test a pattern for Bea called “Boxes”.  I had it cut, made & tied in about 2 weeks in time the April 1st  requested date (?pretty sure it was April) over there at her website is what mine looks like:


And Ms. D in Canada also tested the pattern. 


This was a easy pattern over all. The hardest part was picking the fabrics.  IF you have this all cut out or have a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door: I image that you could have this all done in a weekend.  It is all straight cuts so it’s beginner friendly.  And would make great gifts or QOV quilts too depending on the colors you pick.

Then I did a set of ten count of 6” Churn Dash swap on my Small Quilts Talk yahoo group.  We had to use muslin for the background and Civil War reproductions.  They come really cute.  I got some nice ones in return. But I need to find them again but I post a pic of those later.

Tricia 003 

Then here are some shots of the baby quilt that is in the hoop with it’s guard kitty hard at work to protect it.  LOL. Don’t worry her sister helped earlier.

Tricia 006    April-Vista Flood of 2014 017

Then of course she insist  on up close supervision as I stitch. Like it’s her job or something.  {Giggle}

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In fast at this moment she is in the middle of the keyboard telling me it is long past time for me to be sitting on the couch with me stitching so she can lay in my lap as I work.

I guess it’s time to go according to the Boss.  So with that, I will say good night until next time. Thanks for stopping by!




Monday, June 23, 2014

Traveling Stash Boxes – Changes Are Coming


traveling stash button 

Welcome to the Traveling Stash Boxes update.  First let me start by apologizing for not being here a couple of weeks. Mother Nature and Family Matters took things out of my hands.  But I’m here for the moment & we are crossing fingers and toes with the hope things has slowed down a bit.

Second I need to remind everyone that when a TSB comes to visit, please be sure your fabrics are neat & clean. We try to strive for our TSB’s be allergen free for our players that be have sensitivities to things like smoke, and pet dander.

Next on the subject is the contents of the boxes.  I had an almost even count on the feedback question a couple weeks ago.  What I think we need to do is to give them a vacation for the boxes starting in Mid-July until Sept. after the Labor Day Weekend.

Now before anyone gets up in arms, allow me to explain why. I want to revamp the boxes and give them a fresh start like when we send our children back to school already for the new year.  The plan includes more boxes in to circulation so that players will be excited and have more selections to try for including Themed boxes like we have had in the past.  For example the “Leap Year Box”. 

I’m open to suggestion for the themed boxes.  I was thinking along the lines of the following:

  1. Civil War Repro’s
  2. Kid’s “I SPY” fabrics
  3. The Four Seasons – Change with the Seasonal Calendar
  4. A Landscape Box
  5. Read Me Like A Solid
  6. 30’s Revisited
  7. Moderns
  8. Crazy Me This – Crazy Quilts
  9. Here Kitty Kitty… Cat themed
  10. Winter Holidays are Coming
  11. Warm Me Tender- The Flannels
  12. The Babies are Coming!
  13. The Orphan Train – Orphan Blocks Find New Homes

Well you get the idea. IF there are any themes that you would like to see please feel free to let me know.  If you would like to start a themed box to be put into the rotation when we start back up; please tell what theme you would like and we can work out the details.  The nice thing about this is when we are out and about in our world of fabric shopping we could be making selections as they come up on sale or clearance. I see many on-line and brick & mortar stores closing.  We are sorry to see them go but for the opportunity to buy quantity for super prices could be a good thing.  If have something in your stash that would fit a specific theme that you might want to donate as you clean out/ thinning your stashes you can contact me on the subject too.  The point is that I really really want to build the excitement back on these great boxes like before.  Maybe knowing a theme of a box will incite a frenzy of comments if you know the is a box out there with exactly what you are looking for.

Guess it’s time for the up date.

Box #2  is visiting Lisa @ In the Boondocks. Lisa will have a drawing for the this box soon after she chooses a winner for Box #3.

Box #3 Lisa is drawing a winner on June 25th over here at In the Boondocks where you can find her post for the details.

Box #4 Is still visiting Jeifner at but I have had contact with her and she will be posting soon.

Box #5 Was winging it’s way to Elli  where she writes of finding inspiration today over at I’m sure that we will be inspired by her posting on the TSB soon.

Box #6 Is visiting Cheryl over at news to be posted soon.


So don’t forget to go see Lisa at In the Boondocks for the chance to win a visit from Box #3.  She is drawing her winner on the 25th and is ready to ship on the 26th!!

Comments on the many thoughts and subjects pertaining to this posting is really encouraged in the fate of the TSB’s. But at this time… they are heading for their vacation in the middle of July. 

Until next time!

Tricia – TSB Mod.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Worm Wednesday Part 2

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Here we are once again as I gather up another collection of 5 reviews to share with you.  It’s been pretty busy in the reading world and I just got approved for a whole bunch more books through Net Gallery. But all of them are from there, I did add some books from the library too.  With the summer here, I’m hoping to get more reading done.  So maybe there is something here that you want to add to your summer reading pile. 




Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.
Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

I received a free copy of this book for Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. So here it goes.

This is the first of Nancy Mehl’s books that I have read.  I found my self riveted to this suspenseful small town thriller.    With the new trend of Amish/Mennonite fiction that ties in good, clean, contemporary romantic suspense together is a nice break from a TV world that is filled with sex, violence, 80’s remakes and hard core “reality” shows  that are the new “norm” in our sociality.  I find that I turn towards more “softer or cleaner” stories at times.  And this one fit the bill very well. 

The writer’s style allows you to visualize the scenes in your own mind as she draws out the story with out losing the “whodunit” factor that could be solved in the first three chapters, only to leave you “wanting” for the rest of the book.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Galley/ Bethany House for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word.
In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.

I have to say that I have a high reading level but this book almost made me feel dumb.  I had to constantly look up some of the words in order to understand the context in which the word was being used. I found the footnotes to be distracting and unnecessary. It was wordy and  very slow reading as it took me close to 6 weeks to actually reading it all the way through the book for the sake of doing the review. I had to get 50% through the book before the story started to come together. The story concept is set in the not-so-far-in-the-distance-future; had images of my daughter popping into my head. This daughter is addicted to her cell phone. She at times lacks the ability to speak to a person in real life and the ability to function without blasting everything out into the “social media” world she lives in, when it should be keep “in house” so to speak. now don’t get me wrong – at times there were spots of brilliant writing but I sort of wish the book was half it’s current size.  I am reluctant to give this 2 stars out of five.  It just doesn’t do anything for me but have me reaching to a dictionary of my own.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.
Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.
Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.
At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.

The Godborn is the second novel of the soon-to-be released The Sundering series and yes I did read the 1st book Companions. If you are a Kemp Fan you will enjoy the book with it's strong beginning , middle and ending. I was able to follow along without re-reading the whole series which was a plus for me. 
I look forward to reading the next book in the series when I have a minute to breathe. 

Thank You Mr. Kemp for bringing me back to my D&D roots!! It's been a long while since I read this genre and I'm glad I have the privilege to say you brought me back!!
**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.*



Jazz Age London, a passionate and forbidden interracial romance, and the unbreakable bond between a bright young woman and her eccentric grandmother come together brilliantly in this gem of a novel, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Twenties Girl, and The Chaperone.

Fresh out of university, Betty is ready to begin a new chapter of her life in London—one she hopes brings new friends, a big career break, and perhaps even true love. Following her dreams in bustling, grungy nineties Soho, she’s ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks…

In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette—Betty’s grandmother—is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But two years after her arrival in London, tragedy strikes and she flees back to the country for the rest of her life.

As Betty tries to manage the ups and downs of adulthood, she’s distracted by a mysterious letter she finds after Arlette’s death—a letter written to a man Betty has never heard of but who meant the world to her grandmother. Will the secrets of Arlette’s past help Betty navigate her own path to happiness?

A heartwarming detective story and a captivating look at London then and now, Before I Met You is an unforgettable story about two very different women, separated by seventy years, but linked by a shared determination to make their dreams come true.

As I type this up I realized that this is an “either/or” book.  Where I liked the book over all, some others did not. I got to see London in 2 different eras through the eyes of Arlette and Clara.  I liked the way it was presented as we learned a bit of the family mystery & history in the story line that leaned on the more serious side in comparison to other Lisa Jewell’s books .  There is different emotions with in the book that will have you coming full circle as you go on.  It has that delicate, lacey feel of a by-gone era with a touch of humor, mystery and intrigue to keep it interesting. It made for a nice easy read on a slow rainy weekend.  I would give this 4 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



On a February night in 1897, the general store in Walford, Iowa, burned down. The next morning, townspeople discovered a charred corpse in the ashes. Everyone knew that the store’s owner, Frank Novak, had been sleeping in the store as a safeguard against burglars. Now all that remained were a few of his personal items scattered under the body.
At first, it seemed to be a tragic accident mitigated just a bit by Novak’s foresight in buying generous life insurance policies to provide for his family. But soon an investigation by the ambitious new county attorney, M. J. Tobin, turned up evidence suggesting that the dead man might actually be Edward Murray, a hard-drinking local laborer. Relying upon newly developed forensic techniques, Tobin gradually built a case implicating Novak in Murray’s murder. But all he had was circumstantial evidence, and up to that time few murder convictions had been won on that basis in the United States.
Others besides Tobin were interested in the case, including several companies that had sold Novak life insurance policies. One agency hired detectives to track down every clue regarding the suspect’s whereabouts. Newspapers across the country ran sensational headlines with melodramatic coverage of the manhunt. Veteran detective Red Perrin’s determined trek over icy mountain paths and dangerous river rapids to the raw Yukon Territory town of Dawson City, which was booming with prospectors as the Klondike gold rush began, made for especially good copy.
Skull in the Ashes traces the actions of Novak, Tobin, and Perrin, showing how the Walford fire played a pivotal role in each man’s life. Along the way, author Peter Kaufman gives readers a fascinating glimpse into forensics, detective work, trial strategies, and prison life at the close of the nineteenth century. As much as it is a chilling tale of a cold-blooded murder and its aftermath, this is also the story of three ambitious young men and their struggle to succeed in a rapidly modernizing world.

Fascinating piece of non-fiction!! This is for all those True-Crime buff’s out there - you don’t want to miss this one!!   It was a great read from the 19th century and it shows how forensics has come a long way from there to here.  I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**


Well folks there we have it.  5 different genres to pick from this week.  As always comments are most welcome and I look forward to replying to them.  If you have read any of these books, I would me interested in hearing what you thought.  Thanks for stopping by!! Until next time…


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TSB’s Are On The Road Again.


Traveling Stash Box Updates

The title for the posting has me thinking of that Willie Nelson song which is now stuck in my head…lol.  What a way to start the day. 

I did ask the question about the boxes taking a summer break.  I got 3 responses that has me waffling on the subject.  I’m going to be watching the box blogs this week since they are in transition.  What I’ll be looking for is the number of responses that each box will get for their drawings.  This will be the deciding factor.  I have noticed that we seem to have a small number of the same people winning the boxes.

But here is where the boxes are heading as of right now.  There are NO known drawing dates at this moment.

#2 -  Crystoll drew her winner on the 6th and it was on it’s way to Lisa over at 

#3 - Was Me and this one is also heading to Lisa @

#4 - I was able to make contact with Jeifner from her blog over at  Jeifner has had some personal issues come up but has assured me that we will see something soon on her blog.

#5 – Is at Elli’s @ for a visit. 

#6 -  Mary of mailed her box onto Cheryl of and it has arrived nice & safe. 

As soon as the information hits my e-mail box I will update the drawing dates.  So once I know , you’ll know.

Well it is going to be a super busy week so I’m off to get started on the very long list that I have to do before the weekend.



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Worm Wednesday Part 1

It has been many weeks (ok… months) since I was able to bring you a book view due those pesky gremlins have killed my laptop.  I now have to use the library computers for the most part and they was in the process of bringing the new ones on line.  

It’s not that I haven’t been reading, quite the contrary.  I’m now trying to reconstruct my list of “Read” books as the notebook I had my info. has gone away after a pot of coffee was spilled on it when my hands was giving me grief.  I have probably close to a healthy dozen or so to do the  write-ups on.  So I will most likely divide them in to several parts.  So please bare with me as I rack my brain to get the marbles to run into each other and make a connection.

First up is Keri Arthur’s “Circle of Death:  A Damask Circle Book 1” series by Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell and comes to me via Net Gallery for my honest opinion.



Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.

Well I liked this book so much that I went out and had my little village library order the set to add to our Keri Arthur collection.  It was hard to be patient waiting for them to come in. I’m sure they were happy when the books came in … just having to hear “Are they here yet?” every week.  I’m currently 2/3’s of the way through the 3 book.  LOL.  So at the point of being Captain Obvious – yes I give All 3 books a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. For “Circle of Fire” , “Circle of Death” and “Circle of Desire”. If you are a Keri Arthur fan you can’t miss this trilogy!!  Here is what books 2 and 3 look like.  Again they too get those 5 out of 5 stars.

18404567      18891507


Next we have a wonderful vet/dog story from Nick Trout. This book is from Hachette Books via Net Gallery for my honest opinion as usual they are mine & only reflect upon the thoughts that this book invoked in my own happy place of my own making.



When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father's veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary. However, the previously reclusive veterinarian pathologist quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town-especially an alluring waitress named Amy.
So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive. Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor. And the rival vet practice isn't Cyrus's only competition; a handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy. To top it off, Cyrus finds himself both the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.
This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week, where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy's heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity. DOG GONE, BACK SOON brims with Nick Trout's trademark humor, charm, and captivating animal stories, and is proof that all dogs, lost or not, on four feet or two, deserve a second chance.

This story’s tone is reminiscing of Alf Wight’s “All Creatures Great & Small” series that he wrote under the pseudonym of James Herriot.  And I say that with the highest regards from the fond memories of my childhood when I was sure to read the series at least once a year and glue myself to the TV when it was aired.  But I’ve digressed. The story has me relating to the character of Cyrus Mill’s; as it shows him for all his flaws and struggles with a delightful twist realism and humor. Proving that writing about something that you know can have the ability to draw a reader along in it’s even-paced speed.

Somehow or another it escaped my notice that this is a “second in a series” book. I was able to pick up the story without feeling like I was missing half the story.  This stood alone very well. I recommend this book to everyone rather they are animal lovers or not. I curled up with book, coffee and a couple of cats and enjoyed a “good” read on a couple of rainy days.  I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 as start my adventure of tracking down more of Mr. Trout’s books.




He took her life, but left her alive.
Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim-and only survivor-of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.
In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.
Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it's her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . . .

Here is another ARC e-book from Net Gallery through Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for my honest opinion that as usual; doesn’t reflect in any way upon all those people that make this book possible and be taken with a grain of salt. 

WOW!!! It gripped me right out of the starting gate!! Sometimes the balance of Thriller & Romance walks a double-edged sword only to fall heavier on one side than the other.  Shelley Coriell has found that balance quite precisely with her rollercoaster ride that is her character – journalist Kate Johnson.  If you are looking for a great crime thriller story like the ones have us glued to on the television for several hours – look no further.  The hunt for Shelley’s other books is on and I wait with bated breathe for the next one in the series!  5 stars without hesitation!



This book comes to me as an ARC e-book from Net Gallery  and  Random House Children’s Delacorte Press in exchange for my honest review.



Secrets. Scandals. ESP. A terrific and sexy new novel about a group of Tribeca teens from Sarah Mlynowski that will immediately appeal to fans of realistic fiction as well as readers who enjoy a little magic.

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.

I hate to say this about any book – but this one fell flat for me.  May be it was the concept that all the characters acted like immature and petty high school-ers that were very superficial … almost click-ish … that turned me off from the story. I just couldn’t relate at all and that is possibly due to my personal background during the time I went through high school  I made myself read the whole thing for the sake of the review.  To me it has no appeal with it’s fourth person writing that had me looking for an invisible mute button. If this was the effect the writer had attended, then she succeeded.  I am stuck between “didn’t like it” and “it’s okay” to average out to a limp 1.5 stars out of 5. 


Well there we have it folks!  I have a wide range of star ratings that is as diverse as the books themselves.  I hope you have enjoyed my reviews and I’ll be bring you more on Wednesday as I continue to read more books and make new notes about the ones I have read.  Until next time…


TSB Mod. Needs Help With An Extremely Important Question

Good Afternoon Everyone!!!

This week in TSB we have an update coming up shortly but I wanted to lead off with an extremely important question for those of you who are following these wonderful boxes as they travel across the States. 

It’s the end of May and those of us who are parents knows that the school year is rapidly descending on us when we start thinking of all summer plans.  It might include taking time out of our busy days to spend time with our kids and family. Maybe the open road is calling you to take a family vacation or stay-cation. Or in general life just seems more chaotic during those dog days of summer when we might be more distracted than normal.  Whatever the case may be…

So here is the question that I REALLY need feedback on.

Should the Traveling Stash Boxes take a summer vacation too????

I have noticed that the TSB’s have been in rotation non-stop for many years and have also seen that responses for drawing the winners have been a handful at best. So how would the TSB take a vacation? 

Well … I’m thinking what I would do is have the boxes come to my house for the during and once school goes back into session, I’d slowly re-introduce the boxes back into rotation just in time to have us thinking about those end of the holidays and swaps that we do and have us looking forward to a fresh look in our projects.   

So leave me a comment about your thoughts on the subject.  I would really like your feedback on the matter before my final decision that would go in effect in a short time frame (as in the next posting).   

Well that leaves us with the question of where are they now. Known dates for winners will be in RED

We know that Box #1 is lost in never-never-land.

Box #2 – Crystoll at is currently taking comments on her blog and will be drawing a winner on Friday, June 6th so be sure to enter for a chance to have Box #2 visit you.

Box #3 – Was Me and it was mailed out this past week to Lisa of should have arrived onto it’s destination. Did it get there? Highlights of Lisa’s give-away will added soon.

Box #4 – Was sent to Second Hand Dinosaur but her last post was on May 21st

Box#5 – Cheryl at drew her winner on the 24th and her box is heading to Elli of

Box #6 – Mary of picked Cheryl of as her winner and I’ll be announcing her drawing date as soon as get it. 

Now if any of this information is wrong please contact me as it looks like my last at the library was eaten and has disappeared. Along with the notes I made as I chucked them once I was done with them.  The one time I tossed my scribbles… this happens. Go Figure!

Please remember to contact me upon receiving & shipping of the boxes at my yahoo e-mail address: quercus0828 at yahoo. along with any other comments or concerns. 

Also I wait to hear you thoughts on the matter of the TSB summer vacation. ‘Til next time…

Tricia – TSB Mod.