Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Reading Update

Went to a concert last night. Saw ZZ Top with Cheap Trick and some other act. The first act was fine. ZZ Top (the last act) was good. But Cheap Trick? What the heck happened to them? They were so stinkin’ loud I couldn’t understand the music or the words. It hurt my ears (so much so, I covered them with my fingers). I saw them last year (or maybe the year before) and don’t remember them being that bad. Made me wonder if ZZ Top was going to be the same. Glad they weren’t!

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #41

Dates read: August 25-28
Title: A Discovery of Witches
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  All Souls Trilogy #1
# of Pages: 579
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Library
Blurb from Goodreads: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries—and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: After reading 107 pages of this, I could no longer go on. It started out in first person, and I was okay with that. It is an urban fantasy and something I expect in that. Then it got to HIS point of view. Third person. And I might have been okay with that, too, except when he was with someone else. The head hopping every paragraph just got too distracting for me to continue reading. And then I found out it ends on a cliff hanger! 579 pages and it couldn’t end? No thank you. I’m so glad I didn’t waste my money on this and got it from the library. But I am counting it as a book read because I read 100 pages of it!

Book #42

Dates read: August 28-September 6
Title: You Belong to Me
Year of publication: 2017 (originally released in 2006)
Author: Patricia Sargeant
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 238
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Science fiction author Nicole Collins is delighted when she learns her first book will be made into a movie by Celestial Productions—until she finds out who owns the company: Malcolm Bryant, her ex-husband. Nicole still loves him, but she fears Malcolm is the same man who crumbles in the face of adversity. And then there are those threatening letters…
    Somewhere out there is a deranged fan, one who has adopted Nicole’s characters as his own family—and he’s not about to see his loved ones distorted by the camera lens. Nicole’s life is in danger. With a killer closing in, the only person who may be able to save Nicole is Malcolm—the man she so desperately hopes will finally make a stand.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: The story was okay. I kind of figured who the culprit was pretty early on, though.

Sometimes I think maybe I’m getting too old for concerts. My ears just can’t stand the loudness of it all. But then I feel sad thinking I may never go to another concert. ZZ Top was the last one for us this season. Guess we’ll see what we buy next year, huh? Do you like to attend concerts or do you prefer to listen to the music in your home?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pictures from Dragon Con 2019

Meant to post this on Monday, but I ended up going to a concert I forgot I had tickets for (B-52s, OMD, and Berlin) and then I watched the last few minutes of the Steelers game (UGH). That doesn't mean I would have posted this on Monday, though. I would have had to download the pictures from my iPhone (which I didn't do until Monday afternoon). In any case, I have pictures to show you now.

And there aren't a lot because I suck at remembering! Or I was in line and the awesome cosplayers were walking past too fast to say, "Hey, can I take your picture?" Not to mention, it would have caused a major traffic jam and I wasn't about to do that.

I know, excuses. I'm really good at them, aren't I?

First, I'm going to start with the two pictures I paid to have taken.

Any Doctor Who fans here? If so, you should recognize Martha and the Doctor (#10). If not, well... in order (left to right) is: a friend, Freema Agyeman, ME, Daughter, David Tennant, and another friend. FYI: I bought that Doctor Who shirt just for this occasion!!

My other photo op was with William Shatner. I decided I wouldn't get another chance at this and pretty much told Hubby he was going with me. I think the picture turned out great. I'm getting it framed.

Next, pictures I actually took.
While standing in line for David Tennant, I spotted these X-Men (or would that be X-Women?).

Same line also included Mary Poppins and Bert!

While standing in line to see Doctor companions Donna (Catherine Tate) and Martha (Freema Agyeman), I came across this guy dressed as the sixth doctor. I only started with #9, so I can only assume he's dressed accordingly. He certainly looked colorful!

While standing in line to see Zachary Levi (who is awesome, by the way), this woman was behind me. Said she was a princess in Pokémon. I just thought the costume was great. A lot of people stopped to take her photo.

The next two shots are pictures taken during our fire alarm. Yep, the Sheraton (the host hotel we stayed at), had a minor fire. Seems the speaker during the Aly & AJ concert caught on fire after they turned it up. Nothing like a little excitement during our Dragon Con, huh? I really don't think everyone inside the hotel evacuated, either. Good thing it wasn't serious!!



Anyway, that's it (told you it wasn't much). I'll be back tomorrow to post what I read.


Stacy


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I’m On the Road Again

On the road again… I can hear the song in my head, can’t you? And yes, I am on the road again. This time we’re headed to Atlanta and … DRAGON CON!! And this year they decided to actually start the activities on Thursday instead of Friday. Used to be minor stuff was set up for us early-birds, but more and more people show up early, that they decided to extend the fun! Whoo hoo!

I will do my best to take pictures this year, but my brain has to be working that way for me to automatically pull out my phone. It still hasn’t gotten on board with that. With anything picture-wise.

I go to my family reunion. Do I take pictures? Of course not!

I go to book conventions. Do I take pictures? Of course not!

It’s only after the events that I think, “Why didn’t I take any pictures?”

I think I’m hopeless.

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #40

Dates read: August 19-24
Title: Blood Truth
Year of publication: 2019
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Black Dagger Legacy #4
# of Pages: 400
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: someone is targeting females of the species at a live-action role-play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female … who changes his life forever.
    Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helania has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work together to solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers, or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?
My thoughts: I love this series. Love this world. Love the characters! I just can’t get enough.

So… Does your brain go bye-bye whenever you should be doing something and you don’t? Or is that just me?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I Started Walking … Again

I don’t know how many times I’ve STARTED my walking regime. I was doing okay in May and June and then … Ooops. Yeah, it’s been hot, but still, I need to walk. It’s in my best interest to walk. And I hate being out of shape.

So yeah, I started … again. Just this past Monday. And I’m back to posting about it on Facebook. I’m hoping THAT will keep me motivated to walk. At least Monday-Friday. I won’t promise anything on the weekends, but that doesn’t mean I won’t TRY.

Now, can it be a little cooler outside? Maybe less humid? That would be nice.

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #38

Dates read: August 9-13
Title: The Forbidden Door
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jane Hawk #4
# of Pages: 434
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive, a happily married woman before becoming a devastated widow. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stand between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.
    But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden … for now. As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.
My thoughts: The best decision I made was waiting until Book 5 was out before reading Book 4. Man, what a ride. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Book #39

Dates read: August 14-18
Title: The Night Window
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jane Hawk #5
# of Pages: 417
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: A visionary young filmmaker hunted for sport across a vast Colorado ranch by the celebrated billionaire at the heart of a monstrous cabal…
    A brilliant computer hacker slipping through top-secret databases as whisper ahead of security trackers, gathering the facts to fight the all-powerful perpetrators of mass murder…
    A pair of brutal operators, methodically shadowing their targets with every cutting-edge tool in the arsenal of today’s surveillance state…
    A sequence of quiet heroes—everyday citizens—stepping up, stepping forward, intent on countering the advancing darkness…
    A Vegas mob boss teamed with a homicidal sociopath, circling a beloved boy and his protectors, aiming to secure him as leverage against his fugitive mother…
    And that fugitive mother herself, ex-agent Jane Hawk, closing in on the malevolent architects of ruin she has stalked as they stalk her, prepared to sacrifice herself to finally bring them down.
My thoughts: Whoo boy, what a finale. A very tense, suspenseful series. Horrific, too. Scary how easily I could see it happen. **shiver**

Every time I think I’m getting caught up in my reading, I’m still 17 books behind in my goal. STILL! I guess it’s better than 18, huh? I did get a lot of reading done during our trip to and from NJ this past weekend (the reunion was a blast, by the way!). But I’m also crocheting some coasters to give away at next year’s Literary Love convention (yep, I signed up for next year already, that’s how much fun I had). Figure it doesn’t cost me anything to make as I’m using up old yarn and I’m using up old yarn! That’s always a bonus. The coasters are turning out pretty neat, too. I’ll try and get some pictures taken later on (when I have a bunch to show). I’ve only got seven done so far.

So… Do you like to craft stuff? What’s your favorite? And do you start and stop your exercise routine? If not, how do you keep with it (provided you exercise, that is)?

Happy Reading!

Stacy
P.S. So far I haven't needed to push the button on my heart monitor and I've been wearing it a week! And it's still on (I think I'm more surprised at that). It comes off on Monday. Boy, will I be glad to get rid of it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Wearing a Heart Monitor

You know, you tell your cardiologist that you might have felt some fluttering in your chest since you last saw her six months ago and the next thing you know, you’re wearing a heart monitor.

This thing is itchy. I wasn’t expecting that. But then it’s taped on, so why wouldn’t it itch, right? And it’s bigger than I thought. I’m supposed to wear it for 14 days (if it stays on that long—I’ve been warned it might come off before then) and push the device if I feel anything … different. Considering the differences I feel every now and then are not all that frequent, I’m wondering if I’ll push it at all. But we shall see.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #37

Dates read: August 5-8
Title: The Fractured
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jonathan Quinn #12
# of Pages: 351
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Jonathan Quinn has had better years… But now most of the trouble is behind him, if not forgotten.
    There is one issue that remains unresolved—the break between him and his partner, Nate. Quinn has come to accept the only potential path to healing the wound is via the passage of time.
    The secret world has other ideas.
    Quinn and his girlfriend, Orlando, are hired for a new mission, but they must include on their team the operative who is one of the few to have ever seen the face of the job’s target. This operative is unknown to the client, but not to Quinn and Orlando.
    Now, to stop a plan that could slaughter tens of thousands of people, they must turn to the one person who wants nothing to do with them.
    If they can even find him in time.
My thoughts: It’s always a joy to return to Quinn’s world. And I hated putting this book down (but of course, you know, I have other things I have to do, like…write). If you’re looking for a good suspense thriller series, start this one at the beginning. You won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my favorite series.

My only qualm with Brett Battles is that his books show up on Amazon first and I have to wait for the paperback to appear on Barnes & Noble. I was notified last month that his latest Quinn book (The Damaged) was released when I realized I never got the one before that (The Fractured). I’m sure I had forgotten about it after searching a few times. So I made sure to save the latest e-mail to remind me to search B&N for the newest book until it shows up and I can purchase it. And it’s a good thing I don’t normally read on my Nook, or I’d never be able to read this series again. That’s how much I refuse to buy books from Amazon. Even when the books are written by one of my favorite authors.

Last weekend we went to Nashville to watch Daughter play Footy on Saturday. Both the women and men lost to the Nashville teams, and it was a stinkin’ hot day, but we had fun. Hubby and I got to sit in the shade at least (no sunburn for us!) and root for Columbus. What we don’t do for our kids, huh?

So… Did you know Dragon Con is only 15 days away? Fun fun! Maybe one of these days I can go as a guest. But I think I need to either sell more books or write more books before my application gets notice. And since I can only control the writing portion, I guess I better get to it, huh?

Happy Reading!

Stacy