Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Reading Update and I Need Some Good Mojo

I had a lot of tests/procedures done to evaluate my leaky heart valve since I’ve been having some difficulties breathing when it came to my exercise. And the results were not that great: the regurgitation has moved into the severe category. Ugh. That means surgery.

I knew this day would eventually come. I was warned back in 2015. Heck, I would have had surgery back then if the repair could have been done easily. But the surgeon I saw up in Cleveland wasn’t sure he could repair it and since I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms at the time, I decided to wait and hope for better technology.

And better technology is here! The surgeon I saw in Cincinnati this time around has fixed thousands of leaky mitral valves via robotics (meaning they can repair the valve without breaking my chest wide open). This was GREAT news. Sure, I could still end up getting my chest cracked open, or the valve might need to be replaced, but he won’t know those things until he starts the surgery (but will be prepared for all scenarios). I’m good with that. My surgery is scheduled for April 27.

So if you have any good mojo to send my way to help keep this surgery to the least invasive way, I would surely appreciate it!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #21

Dates read:
April 4-7, 2021
Title: Night Man
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense
Series: The Night Man Chronicles #1
# of Pages: 306
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: THIS ONE. Nate doesn’t want to listen. He’s between missions and just wants to relax, not to travel hundreds of miles and hunt for the driver of the car that hit someone he doesn’t even know.
    But ignoring the call is not an option.
    What Nate had hoped would be a simple mission, turns into something much more sinister, when he discovers a wide-reaching evil, festering in a small, Northern California town.
    To confront it, he will need all the skills he’s learned working in the shadow world.
My thoughts: So… Nate is a character in the Jonathan Quinn series. But you don’t have to have read that series to enjoy this one. Just be prepared to get sucked into the story. Happens to me with every one of Brett Battle’s books.

Book #22

Dates read:
April 8-13, 2021
Title: Insidious
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense
Series: The Night Man Chronicles #2
# of Pages: 328
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: THAT WAY. It’s such a simple request that Nate doesn’t think twice about turning down the path Liz suggests. But when he finds the body, he realizes he should have known better. Liz has the habit of pointing him toward those who need his help, even if they are no longer living.
    His deceased girlfriend isn’t the only one pushing him to solve the dead woman’s murder. After his best friend Jar discovers the woman’s true identity, she insists they need to investigate. Nate is not as sure. The police are on the case, after all, and if he and Jar intervene, they would only get in the way.
    But when more dead bodies begin stacking up, it becomes clear Nate and Jar are the only ones who can unravel the devious plot behind the young woman’s murder, and the trail of death meant to cover it up.
My thoughts: Again, I became addicted to this book as soon as I started it. I’m enjoying reading about Nate’s “hobby” from his other job (which is shown in the Jonathan Quinn series). I also like how he and Jar help each other.   

I’m still walking as often as I can. Still trying to keep my heart strong. Plus, I like walking. I got up to 4 miles one day while I was exploring the new construction near us (our “neighborhood” is still growing and I like seeing all the new homes). My stride might not be as fast as it used to, but at least my feet hurt less after I walk, so I’ll take that gain. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to walk faster (and do the step aerobics) without breathing so hard! That’s my goal.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Reading Update and No More Duck Nest

April Fool’s Day wasn’t a fun day for us. We found the duck nest empty! Most likely a raccoon snatched the eggs (even though I haven’t seen raccoons in our neighborhood since we moved here in 2018). We were so bummed because we were looking forward to seeing some baby ducks. Guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #20

Dates read:
March 25-April 3, 2021
Title: In Like a Lion
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Karin Shah
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Chimera Chronicles #1
# of Pages: 311
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Research scientist Dr. Anjali Mehta lost her beloved family in an earthquake. Only her work cuts through the paralyzing grief, but when she finds her new research subject, reputed mass murderer Jake Finn, maddeningly uncooperative and inexplicably sexy she’s tempted to run away. How can she burn to touch a man behind bars—a killer?
    What she doesn’t know is that Jake is a chimera, a shapeshifter who can change into a lion or a dragon with all the strengths of both even in human form, who believes his ability to shape shift is nothing but terrifying hallucination and his overpowering attraction to his new doctor proof positive he’s finally gone over the edge.
    And the employer she trusts has an agenda all his own. If she can’t believe the impossible, neither she nor Jake may make it out alive home and it has diabolical plans for both of them.
My thoughts: This was a good story. Nice romance, some suspense, and NO CLIFFHANGERS! Yay!

The weather has been awesome here the last few days. I’ve been able to go out and walk and it’s been wonderful! I really missed walking and so glad I could easily get back into it. I’ll save the step aerobics for those rainy or cold days now. But I will try and get back into weight exercises at least twice a week. I actually managed to uncover my bench and put it in a spot I can easily reach (and not re-cover). I had a heart catheterization last week, so I had to put off on the weights until my wrist healed. It’s still all bruised!

So… Have you been enjoying the nice weather? Have you had nice weather (guess I should have asked that first!)? I know this stretch of non-humid warmish weather won’t last long, so I’m taking it all in. It’ll be summer-like before I know it. I swear, it seems we go from cold to hot with barely anything temperate in between.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Reading Update and a Duck Update

Our duck friend laid at least six eggs. If she laid a seventh, she covered up the nest before we could check it out. Guess we wait about 30 days to see how many of her eggs actually hatch. Kind of exciting. Never had anything like this happen this close to home before.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #19

Dates read: March 22-25, 2021
Title: Later
Year of publication: 2021
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Series: Hard Case Crime
# of Pages: 248
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike form beyond the grave.
My thoughts: I enjoyed the book. Then again, I enjoy almost everything Stephen King writes. Did I find similarities to other stories? Yep. Did I care? Nope.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Reading Update and a Duck’s Nest

So on Tuesday I decided to go walking in the morning instead of doing step aerobics since it was 50 degrees outside (and not raining). It was a great walk. 3.71 miles! But upon my return, I scared a duck from my front porch (literally scared the poop out of her). Heck, she scared me, too (but without the messy pants)! As I mentioned this to Hubby, he wondered if she was looking for a place to nest. Turns out she wasn’t looking. She already started one!

There was one egg under the bush I scared her from. And another one appeared later in the day. Looks like we won’t be using the front door for about a month now. Hubby hopes there will be lots of eggs (female ducks can lay 3-12 of them, one a day). He LOVES baby ducks!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #17

Dates read: March 16-19, 2021
Title: Fall of Night
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #14
# of Pages: 443
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate course at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying goodbye to her friends, especially her boyfriend Shane, is bittersweet, and her new life at MIT is both scary and exciting. Enrolled in a special advanced study programme with Professor Irene Anderson, former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on VLAD, her machine designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.
    But Morganville and its inhabitants are never really far from Claire’s mind. When she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire begins to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make…
My thoughts: Cliffhanger. Grrr… Guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Book #18

Dates read: March 20-22, 2021
Title: Daylighters
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #15
# of Pages: 446
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire Danvers and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.
    It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation as offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.
    Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…
My thoughts: My only issue was with the timeline from book 14 to book 15. Too much happened in Morganville while Eve and Michael were gone for just a couple of weeks. But besides that, it was a fitting end to this series. And worth the read. As long as you just read all fifteen books back-to-back-to-back, if you know what I mean.

So… Do birds nest around your house? I’m used to seeing nests up on the tree or roof. We’ve even had one on top of our wind chimes (at the old house). But not ground level, on my front porch. This will be really interesting.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Reading Update and Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My last name is definitely Irish, but turns out I’m more Irish than Hubby. My paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandfather were born there, whereas Hubby’s Irish ancestors are way more farther out than that. I just didn’t grow up with an Irish name (I believe Thurber is a Welsh name, but I could be wrong).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #15

Dates read:
March 8-11, 2021
Title: Black Dawn
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #12
# of Pages: 507
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Chaos has taken over the quiet college town of Morganville as the threat of the draug rapidly spreads with the help of the city’s water system. Whilst most of the locals have already fled, student Claire Danvers and her friends Shane, Eve, and Michael choose to stay and fight.
    Things take a turn for the worse when vampire Amelie, the town’s founder, is infected by the master draug’s bite. Unless Claire and her friends can find an antidote to save Amelie and overcome the draug, Morganville’s future looks bleak…
My thoughts: Another gripping story. Breezing right through them now. I find it funny that even the blurb has that British…tang.

Book #16

Dates read:
March 11-16, 2021
Title: Bitter Blood
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #13
# of Pages: 538
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville have managed to coexist in peace. But thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have now been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. College student Claire Danvers, with ties to both humans and vampires, isn’t about to take sides.
    To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville searching for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news…or worse.
My thoughts: As you can see… the books are getting longer. Which is better than having stupid cliffhangers. I could almost see this as being the last book in the series. Almost. Two more to go, though.

So… Do you have any Irish relatives? Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? I had to search my closet for a green shirt since I’m actually going out today. Couldn’t believe I didn’t have more than the one. I must remedy this. One day.

Happy Reading!

Stacy