Friday, February 10, 2012

What I'm Reading--

I have been a busy bee when it comes to turning pages lately, and I haven't stopped to write a review on a single one of them. I will try to catch up :] Have a great weekend. I am planning on spending most the weekend reading and baking so, beware for the pictures. They will make your tummy rumble.

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

11-year-old sleuth, Flavia de Luce, returns to find her self laying in a graveyard wondering what it would be like to be dead and if her family would miss her dearly. Flavia is brought back to reality when she hears crying across the yard. She meets Nialla, an assistant to the puppeteer Rupert Porson, who Flavia immediately warms to. Since the two are stranded in Bishop's Lacey they agree to put on a show for the village in three days time. But when Rupert Porson is sizzled and falls like the Great Big Giant, Flavia finds herself once again tangled in two mysteries. However, the mystery from the past still clouds the village of Bishop's Lacey. Flavia and her only friend, Gladys (her trusty bicycle) will have to go all the way to Gibbet Wood to be able to piece together these two crimes.  Add an obsessed German, a Mad Woman, and a Crazy Aunt and you have a great book from end to end. 

I am becoming a huge fan of the Flavia de Luce mysteries. Not only is she an 11-year-old genius, but she also tries to find different and clever ways to trick her sisters. I enjoyed this book almost more than the first because the reader is able to get a better understanding of each character, both minor and major. However, the reader is aware that a crime is going to be committed but it does not happen until the first quarter of the book is complete. I was anticipating the entire quarter waiting for something to happen. That is the only bad thing I have to say about the second book in this series. I have already placed a hold on the third, Red Herring Without Mustard at the library to read this weekend. Review to come :]

After I completed The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, I decided to get caught up on the Booktown Mysteries by Lorna Barrett. Book number five of Booktown Mysteries:

Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

Back in Stoneham, New Hampshire things are trying to return back to normal. Bob Kelly has put aside a weekend for the village to celebrate Founder's Day. The Bookstores have been putting Stoneham on the map but Bob wants more publicity and more tourists because that will bring more profit. But when the plane carrying the Founder's Day banner comes crashing down on Deborah Black giving the welcome speech, Stoneham is back on the map but not for a good reason. Tricia Miles the owner of Haven't Got A Clue, also referred to as the town jinx, witnessed the horrible event. And when Deborah's husband sells her bookstore, Happy Domestic, within hours of her death Tricia finds herself questioning the act. Was it really an accident? Tricia will find herself reading between the lines of more clues than just the ones in the novels in her store. As long as she does not find herself in the cross hairs before another crime is committed. 

This series is still one of my favorites in the cozy mystery genre. Tricia is not nearly as perfect as she has been in the previous books. She is finding herself questioning everything around her. Does she trust people to easily or does she never allow herself to fully trust the people around her? Her love life is a mess, and maybe that is because she has never allowed herself to let go of Christopher he ex-husband. Just I side note. I DO NOT trust Ginny's boyfriend, Antonio. I am very happy for this new step in Ginny's life because she is one of my favorite minor characters but I have a feeling there will be more to her story line in the next few books. Now we have to wait for Murder on the Half Shelf to be published..... Hurry up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

What I'm Reading--

    I have been slacking lately in the blogging department. My husband and I got this cute little beagle puppy a few months ago, his name is Barney (Barney as in the Barnacle from HMYM, not the big purple dinosaur). He is still pretty cute but he is in this puppy chewing phase and decided last week to chew BOTH of our power cords to our computers. Lack of power supply = Lack of blogging.

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Review: Sookie Stackhouse made a deal with the devil. Well not a devil exactly but a sexy vampire which is close enough.  Sookie is rented by Eric to go to Dallas where a vampire has gone missing and has not returned to his nest, which is very unusual for this cowboy vampire. Sookie must use her telepathic skills to find out the truth about what happened. Sookie will only interview the humans if the vampires agree that the humans will be able to leave unharmed. From beginning to end Sookie finds herself once again in the cross hairs of death. Who is most dangerous in this big southern state, the vampires or the humans?

I found the second installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series to be more exciting than the first. The first book was mostly about the relationship being built between Bill and Sookie with some murders in between. This book has all types of excitement. From learning about other dark and dangerous creatures to finding some humans creepier than the vampires.

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Alan Bradley introduces eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, who is quite brilliant and has a knack for poison. She spends most of her time tucked away in her chemistry lab building ways to play tricks on her sisters.   But when she wakes up one morning and finds a strange man dead in the garden, she goes on a hunt to find the killer. She begins to piece together not only the crime but her father's history. Can it bring their relationship closer? 

I absolutely loved the protagonist in this series and I wish I would have been more like Flavia when I was her age. This series is based in the summer of 1950 in an old English Mansion. I found myself intrigued from the first page until the very end. I already picked up book number 2! I think everyone should pick up this book!

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Currently Reading. Review to Come.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames

    Charlotte Bessette is busy making everything perfect for the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette, also known as The Cheese Shop in Providence, Ohio. Charlotte and her cousin Matthew jumped at the chance to take on the family passion of cheese, and what does better with cheese other than wine. With Matthew hard at work in the wine annex and Charlotte working like a bee setting up platters upon platters of cheese the grand opening should be nothing but a hit. Kristine Woodhouse has different plans in mind. She wants to ruin the grand opening because she is running against Bernadette Bessette, Charlotte's grandmother. Since Kristine's husband owns Charlotte's building why not promise to ruin everything they have built. The grand opening goes off with a bang and Charlotte could not be happier until she hears a blood-curdling scream from outside. When she gets their she finds the victim has been stabbed with one of her olive-wood-handled knives and the prime suspect covered in blood. But when the police think they have a closed case, it is up to Charlotte to become the Nancy Drew of Providence, Ohio. 

  I really enjoyed this book. Something about it made it a little different than some of the other cozy mysteries I have read recently. I thought the plot was well thought out and the characters deeply molded. I loved that Charlotte's past is not a big section of the book. Her past is not what defined the character and I think it is promising that in the next few installments of this series her character will grow immensely. I did enjoy the history of her cousin Matthew and the girls  and I'm looking forward to learning more about Jordan Pace and his sister. The protagonist is strong it this book and I think that is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much but I also enjoy when the minor characters have just as interesting of a life and history that the reader wants to get to know them. I found myself wanting to just push Charlotte into asking Jordan about things that I wanted to know about him or his sister. Hopefully, I will able to learn more about them soon! On to the next book! If you like cozy mysteries this is a must read!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What I'm Reading--

   This year I am hoping I will be able to make my goal of reading 100 books. It is only about 8 books a month, but time goes by to fast!! I've made an okay dent in my to-be read list and here are some of the few I picked up at the library

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris-
     Everyone and their mother told me I needed to read this series! Once again it takes me years until I actually jump aboard the trending train.

   The bodacious, blonde beauty Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She is pretty but rarely dates. She mostly just spends time with her grandmother and cat. She has a reason for this. She calls it a disability but some refer to it as a gift. She can read what other people are thinking or feeling. Her abilities make it very difficult in situations but luckily she just met a man whom she cannot read. His name is Bill Compton and he is a very attractive and pale vampire. Sookie finds Bill intriguing because she has some peace and quiet. Bill is trying to mainstream. But Bon Temps is shaken by a number of murders that all seem to connect back to vampire bite marks. Is Sookie falling in love with a vicious vampire or is he really a good vampire? (Well as good as a vampire can get.) Sookie will find her self questioning everyone around her and maybe her gift will come in handy when trying to catch a killer.

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. Did I get the wow factor? No. However, I still find this series to have very intriguing and well thought out characters. I will continue reading this series because (as you probably already noticed) I enjoy a good cozy and relaxed mystery series. Charlaine Harris has yet to let me down in that department.
    Next on the to-be read list:

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames

Review to come.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Favorites I Read This Last Year --

Sadly, I only read 93 books in 2011 and I wanted to read over 100. Life gets in the way sometimes. Here are some of my favorite titles that found themselves tucked in between my hands.

1.) Divergent by Virginia Roth. Wow, this was a tremendous book and words cannot describe how captured I was by the characters. I found myself not able to put the book down. This is one book I think everyone could enjoy, no matter what age. A MUST READ.

2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was a little behind on the trend train. I heard this series was spectacular but I never picked it up. Eventually, I jumped aboard. This book was fantastic. Another        great page-turner. I am soo looking forward to seeing the movie, and reading the remainder of the series.

3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. This is another book I was behind on the trend. I read this book in only a few hours, and its a good 500+ page book. I NEVER put it down. Not to get anything to drink, or go to the ladies room, NOTHING. I read entirely front cover to back. If that does not prove the quality of a book, I do not know what does.

4. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. There are no words that can do this book justice. PICK IT UP.

I'm sure I have missed tons of amazing books that took a piece of my heart, but some stand more than others. If you have not read any of these books, you must run to the nearest bookstore or library and take them home.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Working Out

Since I moved to Georgia, I have been slacking on the exercise department. In the last week, I've only made it to the gym twice, which is better then not going at all! However, after each workout someone has mentioned that I don't look to great.... Um, am I supposed to be beautiful after running three miles??? No, I look sweaty, yucky, and I look like I need to take a shower. COME ON! Give a girl some encouragement. Like, "Wow, looks like you had a great workout!" is much better than "Wow, but you look so pretty when you come to work." Please, can someone just be encouraging and not point out that I look like a hot mess.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

This is my first Christmas away from my family :( So, My husband and I tried to make our own Christmas memories! First off, we slept in.. it was soooo enjoyable! After breakfast we decided to open our presents and make phone calls back home to wish all of our family Merry Christmas, then we decided to cuddle up and watch Christmas movies! But the best part of my day has included baking more Christmas cookies! My favorite recipe is called a Cherry Chip Cookie, but you don't have to use cherry chips, you can use mint chips instead (only mint, not mint and chocolate). Trust me, these are some of the best cookies ever made!!

Cherry Chip Cookies
Scant 2 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup crushed corn flakes
1 pkg cherry chips or mint chips

Go easy on the flour or they won't hold together when you roll them in a ball. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

If anyone sees this recipe and enjoys the cookies, Please let me know! Everyone at work enjoyed them!