Friday, April 24, 2009

Ghostwriter - Travis Thrasher

I'd classify this one as "horror"! I think Thrasher even gives Stephen King a run for his money.

This is the story of writer who develops a writer's block when his wife is dying from cancer. His whole life was entwined with hers, and he can't imagine being left alone. But book deadlines won't wait forever...

So he does something he wants to believe would never have happened normally - he plagiarizes a work he'd received some years back that he found in the bottom of his closet.

Unfortunately, the other writer finds out about it, and hassles him over it. He visits him, he threatens him, he threatens to hurt his daughter. He also sends in some new work that Dennis has due and hasn't written yet - and the editor likes it! Dennis talks to the cops about it, but nothing can be done. When the cat is killed, there's finally enough impetus for him to tell the cop friend of his the whole truth.

But the answer from the cop is unbelievable - the man stalking and harassing him is DEAD, and has been for over a year. How can this be? (Think about that title...)

And the ghost isn't the only odd one in this book - he has a friend that is a serial killer...

If you need a book that will hold your attention and scare you a bit - this one will do!

I'm giving away my ARC, just leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at with your name and address and why you would like this book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

An Honorable German - Charles McCain

The title on this one intrigued me. It's not that I don't think German's are honorable, it's that it is set during World War II, and this German becomes a U-Boat commander. That was an ugly war on all sides and Hitler only rewarded those who followed his ideas of honor.

Max is young when the war starts, and he is fighting for his country and plans to marry his girl down the road. Things change as the war continues and he suffers injuries to his body and his psych.

As Hitler's officers get more strident, he begins to fear he won't live through the war, he has to send his girlfriend to Mexico to keep her safe, and he begins to weigh what's more important - his orders or the moral responsibility of keeping non-combatant women and children from drowning.

He knows they are to take no prisoners, offer no help to anyone. But when he targets a ship and it was a passenger ship instead of a freighter, he can't let them die. However saving the passengers puts his boat in danger...

This results in the crew being captured and the U-boat being destroyed. When he's put in a prison camp, his own crew attempts to kill him for not following the rules.

If you want to know if he survives or if he ever gets back to his lady love, you need to read the book. The book is very realistic, so be prepared.

I'm giving away my ARC, so leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at with your name, address, and why you'd like to have to the book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Have Company Coming!

Stepdaughter Julie is coming down from Iowa to visit her Dad and I. Not sure how long she's staying, she's on vacation. We go with the flow. It's been a few years now since she visited last, so we'll have a lot to catch up on.

We stay in touch by email, but it's not the same. You can't hug someone through email!

And, of course, now I have a foot acting up. I have no idea why. One friend said it might be gout. It also might be arthritis. Or it might have been the shoes I wore when we went to the airport after our car buyer.

I just know that when I woke up two mornings later, two toes were aching like blazes! They hurt to walk on. Like ow, ow, ow, with each step... I took ibuprofen, but it didn't help. It finally calmed down last night.

Today it's stiff and a bit sore, but no achies. I took some more ibuprofen. I want it to go away!

We have some trips planned to do with Julie if she's game, and I want to be able to walk.

Hopefully it will be even better tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mozilla Thunderbird

I love using this email program. It has features that Outlook does not, it's fast, it's easy, it's a charm!

At least until last night... It started telling me it couldn't download messages because my inbox was full. Excuse me??? The inbox is empty!

I left it, thinking it was just a weird quirk, but I got the same message this morning. So I sat here and cleaned out other files - with no better luck.

If you have Thunderbird, there's an option that says "Compact Files". Evidently you have to do that every so often. It apparently removes them but doesn't change the file size. As soon as I did Compact Files, it worked like a champ again.

Good thing I know how look things up on the net. I never would have found that one through trial and error...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall's Guide to Pirate Parenting

Are you tired of reading parenting books filled with psychological reasoning and the standard tricks of the trade? This is the book for you!

Tim Bete has a great sense of humor and much of his advice is tongue-in-cheek, but it will make you laugh. And a lot of it makes sense (although you may wish to alter some of the punishments...)

How many books offer you directions to convert your minivan into a pirate schooner?

Do you know how to get a giant octopus out of your child's hair? How about chewing gum?

You'd also best adjust to reading about salted cod in your diet.

And he offers poetry that would work great for reciting on Talk Like a Pirate Day, too. (That's September 19th if you haven't realized it yet.)

This book was chosen as a Humor Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine.

Grinning and laughing is good for you - especially when parenting!

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and then email and tell me why at with your name and mailing address.

Freaky Monday by Mary Rodgers and Heather Hach

A nice read for a young girl. It's about Hadley, a sister who is plainer than her older sibling and worries about being a nerd. While she's trying to deal with that issue, she's also got a crush on one of her classmates. But she's afraid he likes her sister best.

And then she forgets to do her homework - which never happens. Now she's trying to explain it to her teacher and they recite a sentence together, and switch places! Now she's Ms. Pitt and Ms. Pitt is in her body! Oh, it gets worse.

Ms. Pitt is to be interviewed for a new position this afternoon - and Hadley knows nothing about the position or why Ms. Pitt wants the job.

Hadley (Ms. Pitt) finds that Zane wants to date Hadley. And Ms. Pitt (Hadley) finds that another teacher is interested in dating Ms. Pitt.

If you want to find out how the job, love lives, and exchange get resolved, make a comment here on my blog and then email me your name and address and tell me why you'd like it at to get in on the drawing for it.

Ottoline Goes To School by Chris Riddell

This a fun book! Multiple illustrations on every page with information about the story in them. Characters the like of which you have never seen. Unusual pets. Odd parents and teachers. How can a young one not enjoy it?

Ottoline meets Cecily in the park and has fun playing with her during the summer. When she finds out that Cecily is going back to school, Ottoline writes to her collector parents to ask permission to go to school also. Her parents are hardly ever home, so school would introduce her to new friends. Besides, it's a school who helps you find your own special talents, and she hasn't found hers yet.

The school is just as strange as the other characters. Ottoline's "pet" is Mr. Munroe, who's this hairy character that doesn't really resemble any animal I've ever seen even if he did come from Norway. There's a secret passageway, a few ghosts, unexplained noises and more.

If you want to share this adventure with Ottoline, leave a comment here on my blog and then send me an email at telling me why you'd like it and your name and mailing address. I'll be giving my uncorrected proof away.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Listed craft books again today

Cross Stitch booklets again. I've got a pile more to list. They're steady sellers for me.

I've got more expensive things to list, but my baskets were getting down, so it was time to restock. I had them in stock, just not listed.

Got my $500 down on my Crossfire, he'll be here next Tuesday night. Flying in from Canada. Had to lower a price a bit, but gone is good.

He told me his wife doesn't like to drive his Crossfire, either. He has the turbo charged one.

We're having our version of fajitas tonight. Cheap steak cut into pieces and cooked with Worchestershire sauce. Peppers of all colors and onions to be thrown in and sauteed right before we eat them. They're tasty that way. We'll also be doing corn on the cob. A nice healthy meal!

It was cold last night and the wind was up today, chilling us. It's supposed to warm up and I sure hope it does. I'm spoiled - I love the warm weather here!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Had winds today, think I sold my car!

Had some heavy winds today - watch the sand blow! Makes me cough and my throat makes mucus to surround the sand, so cough up. Ugh!

Turns out a gentleman in Canada and I have worked out a deal on my car. We'll need to pick him up at the airport, but it means we'll have our carport back and be back to a two car family. Will save us insurance, license, and other costs. He gets a good deal, I get rid of my extra car.

I just love my beemer. It not only has heated seats, the leather seats also cool - how great is that???

So my buyer will be in on Wednesday or Thursday, Julie (stepdaughter) will arrive on Saturday or Sunday - busy week...

How many people would ride on a bus all night, pick up a BMW and drive home? We did.

We may seem tame, but we can do what we need to.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Living in the desert...

Las Cruces, NM, is a wonderful place to live. After time, though, you find some differences between living in dry country versus wet.

Elastic dries out and crumples into pieces with time. Rubber gives up, too.

The heat will bake out your tires.

Cheese and cracker snacks have cheese that resembles fondue down here - it was hard and solid up north.

You need to carry water with you everywhere to stay hydrated.

Blistex and other medicines develop some very odd colors after storage for a time. Up north things lasted forever - here the heat works on it.

Using GooGone or other cleaners for your books means you better have some good quality hand moisturizer - or your hands will crack!

You need some salt in your diet or your body complains.

Fresh fruits and vegetables sit better than heavy food.

And the longer you're here, the hotter it has to be before you put on shorts...

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, Book Giveway

This novel will grab you. It sounds too much like some recent court cases about polygamy and prophets and compounds...

Krya is 13, and living in a compound where her father has three wives and she has multiple brothers and sisters. They live in a poorer section of the compound because father hasn't been chosen to be an apostle yet. The apostles and the prophet live in the beautiful houses with lots of amenities the other members of the community will never see.

But Krya is happy. She loves her family, enjoys her father when he spends his week with her mother and their family. But she's also found a young man that attracts her. She's always done a lot of walking, mostly to have some alone time.

Now she's found out there's a bookmobile out where she walks - and she brings books home and hides them in her secret tree so she can read. The prophet had them burn all their books - only the bible is allowed reading material now. But the books open her eyes to how things can be in other parts of the world...

Then she finds that she almost might be in love with Joshua and he wants her for his chosen one.

Unfortunately, the prophet has a vision and sees her chosen partner to be her father's older brother - her uncle! He's old, he's not kind, and she shudders to think of him as her husband.

Anyone who doesn't follow the rules is beaten into acceptance. The children who are "faulty" or unacceptable in some other manner are killed. The young men are run off.

If she doesn't agree to marry her uncle, her father will be driven from the compound and his families will all be "awarded" to another man.

But when the bookmobile driver dies trying to save her, and her boyfriend is run out of the compound, Kyra just knows she can't give up and marry her uncle...

I can honestly say I'd probably have died in that situation - the punishments and brain washing would just not work with me. I'd have said how I felt about it - and they would have taken care of me. Like they did others in the compound.

However, Kyra did manage to make her situation better. If you'd like to find out how, I'm giving away my ARC.

Post a comment here on my blog and email me at with your name and address and why you'd like to read it. I'll pick someone in about a week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Rode with Cullen Baker by RLB Hartmann

It says it's a tale of Romance and Adventure on the cover, and it doesn't disappoint you!

Hartmann writes about the time at the end of the Civil War when everything and everyone was unsettled and had no security.

A young girl finds herself orphaned with no one left in her "family" except a trusted old Negro servant. He is trying to help her get to safety by disguising her as a boy, but when they are challenged in a town they're travelling through, the servant is killed as he tries to protect her.

She's then on her own. She has no money, she has no relatives left, she has nowhere to go. But then Cullen Baker shows up and takes her under his wing. He may not be the type her parents would have let her date, but he's very good with his gun, robs trains to get money for his adventures (so he's a wanted man), and he's used to being independent.

She's fearful of being alone, has trouble pretending she's a boy, and she has no idea how it's all going to turn out. Then, along the way, she falls in love with Cullen.

Then she finds out that she has inherited property (her father provided for her, even in death) and she needs to go to California. But even worse, she finds out Cullen is married...

To see how this ends, you'll need to get a copy of this book and read it. The historical facts are correct, there really was a Cullen Baker, and I think the story will intrigue you.

You can contact the author to get your own copy at:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Just Am by Bryan and Tom Lambke

I've reviewed another book that anyone with disabilities or Down Syndrome might to like to read about a young man who's successfully dealing with his limitations, working two jobs, had two girlfriends, and would like to get married! This book is filled with pictures - and many, many smiles.

Check it out at :

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

I chose to review this book because it's about Mexico and a young girl trying to sneak across the border to ask her father to return to her village. All the men have gone north looking for more money, and none have returned home...

Living in Las Cruces, NM, I'm not far from El Paso and Juarez, so I'm familiar with the border problems, the issues of illegal immigration, and just how poor the Mexicans are.

Since this book was written by a Mexican (who lives in Chicago), I thought I could gain some insight on how Mexicans view the US. I did. It wasn't different from what I expected, but I was amazed to see that they wanted a fence to keep the South Americans out of their land!

When drug traffickers move in and take over their town, the young girls in town decide to go to the states and bring back policeman and soldiers to their town to protect them. They also have a few ideas of marriage (after all, right now there no men in town except the drug runners), so if they happen to come back with a husband, that's good, too.

You feel their terror at trying to cross the border, see how easy it is for the young ones to become victims of wolves at the border, and their vision of brightness and beauty and heroes to save them becomes tarnished with time.

How the young girl finds her father is another hard journey, and she's disappointed by what she finds.

I'm giving away the ARC that I got for review. If you'd like to have this book, leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at with your name and address for shipping. I'll choose a lucky winner next week.

Friday, April 3, 2009

2004 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Sportscar

I have my car up on eBay in case anyone might be interested. It's car made in Germany while Mercedes Benz and Chrysler were partnered. Goes like gangbusters and is clean and in wonderful shape. And only a bit over 13,000 miles. Check it out:

There's custom leather on the seats. A beautiful car, but I need one that's a bit higher to make me feel safe on the road.

We'll be picking up my new one (used) in California on Monday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Crocheted blanket for Mom

I finally got it done! The weather is really warming up, so I'm glad to report that I have now finished my Mom's summer blanket. I think she'll like it. It's made of baby yarn and is very, very soft.

Mom sleeps in her chair instead of a bed (bad back), and she likes to pull a blanket over her at night. I happen to know she sleeps during the day, too, while she says she's "reading". But she does get a lot of reading done, so I just mailed her off 22 pounds of books to keep her busy.

Here's the blanket, just a simple ripple pattern with a three double shell stitch around the outside. Should keep her nice and warm...

The Golden Quest by David Delisle

The Golden Quest is a graphic novel about a young boy who embarks on a Hero’s Journey with his dog Shelby to discover the Golden Rules of Mo...