Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.
I would hate to be bored
One week until vacation. I am excited to know that I will be able to read late into the night after this week sounds so dreamy. Now if we could just manufacture a beach with warm sand and sun...but
it isn’t in the cards this year.
There is so much going on in the news and the government, I have discovered that I really needed this week to
find escapism within my books. Interestingly enough, one of the books I read this week had a plot line on sex trafficking, Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan. Elise Cooper also reviewed a book about sexual abuse, The Forgotten Hours by Karin Schumann.
So despite my best efforts, the news eeked into this week’s reviews. The State Department and Polaris - “Freedom Happens Now” both have fact sheets that clearly delineate the problems with human trafficking.
I like books that have non-traditional heroes and unexpected characters and plot twists. Luckily J.D. Robb never fails to twist and turn and lead the reader down unexpected paths. Her
In Death series with Eve Dallas, a homicide detective in New York City in the future is always an interesting read. There are non-traditional heroes and unexpected characters galore within her novels. I think it is very interesting that even after 48
books in the series, I do not EVER want to miss the newest novel when it comes out. The characters are a bit different and not just with all the weirdness that comes from being in New York City in the future.
We are getting more snow tomorrow - a slow snow that will last all day - with very little accumulation. Another challenge to begin my day with all the other challenges offered in the week before vacation. Ah
- love those challenges - I would hate to be bored.
Have a great week! I have to go convince the cat, he doesn’t want to go out - I heard the coyotes
close by the last couple of nights.
Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan
Tempt Me with Diamonds by Jane Feather
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Devil in Tartan by Julia London
To Read or Clean
What a beautiful weekend with all the bright sunshine - providing you were not out in the gale force winds or the cold! I loved all the sun shining through my windows! Too bad they need cleaning - but then
again my whole house could use cleaning. But do not worry, I did not let that get in the way of my reading..lol.
It is amazing how much I can ignore
when I am reading a book. The wind blowing through the cracks and the dishes calling from the sink hold nothing to a good book. For a while, Oscar did manage to interrupt my reading - although it took jumping on my stomach and then climbing between
me and the book. He landed on me from jumping from the dining table...bad kitty! However, I guess that is what it took to get my attention.
love a clean house with all the dishes done, laundry put away, the bathroom all scrubbed down and the smell of lemons throughout the house. I mean - who wouldn’t. In my dreams when I win the lottery - a maid service will be the first thing I hire…Meanwhile,
I will have to stick to my haphazard cleaning schedule ( hahahaha schedule - makes it sound so planned out.)
I have to admit, I actually did actually
stop reading long enough to pick up the living room. I even ran the vacuum cleaner briefly. It was scary - but necessary since I was missing the cord for the Kindle and it was almost empty!
It is amazing how the everyday tasks it takes to survive can overwhelm good reading time! Luckily, I do not let such details sidetrack me often.
has a great review and interview from Sarah Sundin and her book The Sky Above Us. There are new reviews, so check in and drop a line - if you can!
Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz
Mr Hunt, I Presume by Valerie Bowman
Low Country Hero
by Lee Tobin McClain
Light at the end of the tunnel
I have noticed the days getting longer…
I know that the Super bowl is on today - Football is ending
We have had some really cold air - the polar vortex - but that has even let up and there is some warmer weather coming.
I actually took down both Christmas Trees.
What does all this mean? I have made it through the month of January yet again. I think January is the LONGEST month EVER. It seems like the time just slows like molasses. We wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark, come home in
the dark and start all over again. The other difficulty with this season, are the amount of clothes I need to wear to stay warm. I feel like I am wearing the contents of my closet some days… One of the really cold days I actually had on
four layers of clothes AND 2 sets of wool socks. Even the cats stayed inside. BUT now, I see the sunset and sunrise...life is good.
As I get older, I realize more and more how much I do not like the dark
of January. I do know, we will still have cold weather, snow storms and other winter ‘precipitation’. I know we will have days that cause driving hazards and slippery weather, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and watch the
beauty of sunsets and sunrises.
Elise (my writing partner is in LA and cheering for the Rams) has added a wonderful interview to the author interview page with David R Gillham. His book,
Annelies is a rewriting of Anne Frank’s story as if she survived the holocaust. Six million people killed for no reason. Imagine what our world could be if the parts of our world history did not include any genocide. I can’t imagine the hatred
and loathing that perpetuates the ideals of genocide.
Two of my favorite authors published new books that I read this week. For Kristen Ashley, it was the last book in the Chaos Series about the
Chaos MC. I will be in mourning over the end to another series by Kristen Ashley. For Jonathan Kellerman, it was the 34th book about Dr Alex Delaware helping Milo Sturgis solve twisted crimes. Both books were great reads.
P.S. Go Patriots
Books this week:
Free by Kristen Ashley
Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman
Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz
Time to Read
Every week I get excited about writing about the books I read. I love reading and spend a lot of my time reading. Until recently…
seem to be struggling to read each week. It is like I am actually avoiding reading - nothing seems to catch my attention as easily and I have been forcing myself to read. This is new for me and I am struggling to understand why. I have blamed it on a
number of things… TV, Games on the iPad, Facebook, but those were just time fillers. I have also had a surgery on one eye and have another one coming up, but that isn’t the reason either.
A couple of friends have told me about how this season - winter, dark, dreary and cold - really impacts them. We have had snow and rain, warmth and cold, a huge range of weather. It has made dressing daily a bit of a challenge. Even
the cats have been influenced by the weather. Gizzelda has not wanted to go out for a couple of weeks and even Oscar has been reluctant to go out. Perhaps that is the reason…Meanwhile, I have seen the days are longer and despite the cold, the
sun has been out. I miss sitting in the sun tremendously.
Elise has sent in an interview with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child which is very interesting AND a book review about The Widows by Jess Montgomery.
I have read a couple of ARCs and added the reviews as well. I am looking forward to some of the new books by my favorite authors, coming out soon. So please continue to read and look forward to more great reads. And spread some sunshine for
Books read this week:
Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser
Ashes to Ink by Carrie Ann
The Girls at 17 Swan Street by Yara Zgheib
Take Me Again by Carly Phillips
Book I am reading:
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
Growing Older and Challenges
Growing Older and Challenges
A three day weekend is always a wonderful event. Today we got about a foot or so of snow and now the wind is whipping
snow around - and it is cold. It has been a day for reading, which I have been doing. I think these days are special.
I spent a lot of time this
week correcting and grading various assignments. This next week, there are midterms to be given and graded, so I needed to be all caught up. It did cut into my reading time, but I was able to read Emily Windsor’s newest book, Marquess to
a Flame, April Henry’s newest book, The Lonely Dead and I am presently reading The Girls at 17 Swan Street by Yara Zgheib. All the books were great reads…
Today I saw a sign that said, “ I thought growing old would take longer.” It resonated with me. Between recognizing my own advancing age, seeing my aunt and uncle and then friends who are retired, I realized how quickly
time moves on. I am not sure where the time went, but it seems to move faster and faster. This last year has shown me my struggles with weight and anxiety are still there. So this next year will be about dealing with my two challenges and finding time
to continue to enjoy each day while living in the minute whenever possible.
Meanwhile, I am balancing my joyous free day while thinking of all
the government workers and contracted workers who are struggling to survive.
I hope the lessons from Martin Luther King will help me to continue
to work hard, pursuing dreams, and knowing that big changes can and will happen…
There is a great interview with James Rollins by Elise Cooper
to read and book reviews for January… Thanks for reading.
Lonely Dead by April Henry
Marquess to a Flame by Emily Windsor
The Girls at 17 Swan Things by Yara Zgheib
Another Sunday night has come and with it the looming Monday morning wake up call. Sundays are my favorite days. I like sleeping in (after I let the cat out at 6:00 for about 3 minutes). I like being
able to meander and putz in my place. Often I have a list of chores to accomplish including getting ready for the week ahead ( laundry and lunches). Often I rush through the chores early or avoid them for as long as possible. Today was an avoidance day
as I read a YA book, I need for this week. From there, I had soup/ sandwich and a chat at the local restaurant. Laundry and the laundry mat was next, I ran into a friend and we chatted for sometime while the laundry was washing and drying. Then I came
home and got sucked into a puzzle game and all forward momentum screeched to a halt.
Video gaming sucks time out of the universe and accomplishing anything. Doctors (of various kinds)
are finding that video gaming is just as addicting as other types of obsessions (gambling, alcohol etc). Some of the symptoms include loss of time while playing for hours, depressed on sad when unable to play, negative impact on work/school/social life.
While I am pretty sure my recent puzzle game is not a total obsession to the point of an addiction, I can certainly see how it can and does interfere with people’s lives tremendously. Interestingly enough online role playing games are more
likely to lead to addictions more than any other computer game. Kids who are addicted have lower scores in school and may lead to health complications (nutricent, sleep and personal care).
WOW - so this
started out as an explanation about why my blog is so late tonight and instead it led me to a number of fascinating articles about gaming. I am going to do one more puzzle tonight and then go to bed….hopefully..
Another great interview by Elise Cooper is available about with Beth Kendrick and new reviews.
Have a great week and stay warm - it is cold here!!!
Books Read this week
Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates
The Best of Us by Robyn Carr
Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley
The Lonely Dead by April Henry (review to come)
As the first blog of the new year, I need to thank all of the readers. I really appreciate all your words of encouragement and support!
to keep track of the statistics for me. I have read 208 books last year with a total of 66,684 pages. Twenty-eight of the books were given five out of five stars, which is about 14% of the total from this year. The longest book was
704 pages. I read 64 books this summer (July and August only). Altogether I have read 2,615 books since I have joined Goodreads during the summer of 2009. My to-read list is 665 books, that will probably never be emptied. I hope some of you share your
statistics with me.
This week has been anxiety producing. I have had a successful surgery on my right eye for Narrow Angle Glaucoma. It was literally an eye opening situation. Lasers blasts
were used to open up the drainage angle of my eye. This is something that happens more in women than men and more in older people than younger people. Without the proper drainage angle, the eye can build up pressure and cause damage to the optic nerve.
Luckily, mine was caught early and I have a great doctor. The first hours were a bit scary when my vision was blurry and difficult to focus. Once I woke up the next day and my sight was clear, I was soooo relieved. I couldn’t imagine my life
This weekend was our family’s get together. I love spending time with everyone and love that we keep it so low key! I love you all!
This weeks books:
Kassie’s Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna
In Dark Company by Linda Castillo
The Fixer by HelenKay Dimon
Good Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley
Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates
People are good, mostly?
Sometimes people surprise me… Perhaps, I am a Pollyanna. To quote Anne Frank, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” They might not show
that goodness to everyone or it might need burnishing, but it is there. Sometimes, I am wrong.
This weekend, I helped out my friend at her restaurant bussing. Certainly, bussing is not an job
that most people aspire to. It is hard work especially on busy days between seating people, getting their drinks, cleaning their table and then resetting it. Most people are polite, well-meaning or at the very least ignore the server. Recently, this
week after bringing a number of drinks to a table including a hot tea. The hot tea is served in an insulated pitcher with a top that can be screwed on. I am always worried that the top is not secure and I do not want them to get burned, so I warn the
customer that the top might not be tight. As I walked away from the table, I heard one of the woman say to the table questioning what education level I had to not be able to tighten a cap on a pot of tea. I continued working and cleared the next table,
not responding to them. I was surprised, there are always rude people, but that level of rude was a new low. Making judgements about people and equating their educational level with doing honest work - snobbery at its best. Luckily, I was able to laugh about
it and did not let it ruin my day.
The best part about vacation, other than spending time with my family, was having extra time to read and catch up on reviews. I hope that you enjoy your New Year
and find time to love, laugh and read.
Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin
Wicked Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
Driving Home for Christmas
Hard Riding Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Presently reading: Good Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Review and Interview from Elise Cooper
Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis
Interview of Karen Katchur about her book River Bodies (Northampton County Book 1)
Joy and Peace
This week has been a very busy week. I have hauled most of my bins of Christmas decorations out of storage and gone through them with the intention of lightening my load of stuff. After working in
a school for so long with so many generous students and teachers, I own way too many ornaments and gigaws in celebration of the Christmas season. Not that my love of the season has added tremendously to the collection (LOL)! I have been culling and sharing
some of my less loved ornaments and decorations with my downstairs neighbor. (I am sure her fiance is calling me bad names under his breath as her apartment is looking more and more like a winter wonderland.) I was surprised at the joy, I have found going
through various decorations and remembering where they came from.
The black bear from Clark’s Trading Post made of a bristle brush has left the tree several times without permission, I suspect from
the cats rubbing against him. The White House Ornaments came from all the trips to Washington with Peter to see Mom. The hand blown ornament of Loch Ness monster came from the Highland Games in Loon several years ago. All the bells, handmade ornaments
(Yes, Kathy I still have the cross stitch ones you made so many years ago.), and the old ornaments from our trees as a children have brought me the joy of remembering Christmas from the past. Each of these small joys that made up our Christmas traditions
have reminded me to take a break from the hustle and bustle of season and enjoy.
As I watch the cats under the big tree in a snooze (probably from the new catnip toys they are sleeping on), and hear the
glorious music, I look forward to the new traditions and memories to be made. Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season.
Books read this week:
The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl by Victoria Alexander
Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh
Book Presently Reading:
Wicked Whiskey Love by Melissa Foster
The Dark Side
I have been seduced by the dark side this week. It has been a pleasure doing something different, but at the same time, it has taken away time from reading. Even now, I feel the pull to leave the
blog and go back… to making puzzles and watching Star Wars. Yep, I have fallen into the the hole of the web and online. Having an entire weekend to binge you on Star Wars has been awesome. Even now with Rey and Kylo Ren on the screen makes concentration
difficult. The force is strong within me to blow off all sorts of things I need to do… lol.
Hearing the sleet and snow on the windows reminds
me of the lateness of the hour and the new week starts tomorrow. I do not expect there will be a delay of any kind and tomorrow’s lessons are planned. The last week before vacation is often full of unexpected happenings. I can only hope the
unexpected isn’t too bad. The shopping is done, but gifts need to be wrapped. The holiday decorations are not up, something I still need to accomplish.
This week, I was all excited to read the new Janet Evanovich book in the Stephanie Plum series called Look Alive Twenty Five. I was totally disappointment and disenchanted with this book. In the past, I have shared with you how I do not like to
write negative reviews about books. I still feel that way - so this statement will be short - it was poorly written, thought out, with the main character becoming a joke compared to what she was. A character who was quirky and hapless, yet enjoyable
and funny has turned into a caricature of her original character. Even the promise of the hotness that is Ranger was not enough to save the book. Disappointment.
Elise has added a wonderful
interview with BJ Daniels and a review about Rosemary Simpson’s book, Let the DEAD Keep Their Secrets. Have a good week...and let the positiveness of the force allow you to enjoy the season.
It is the season for thankfulness. Some of my friends have started their 30 days of thankfulness on Facebook. Others have put images with thankful messages up on line. I have many things to be grateful
for. Not the least is the thanks I need to send out to all of you! Readers and supporters have helped make my dream of a blog about books come true! I am in awe of the sheer numbers that visit each month and am ever so grateful for your visits
and words of support.
I have always used reading to regulate my life. I read when I am happy, bored, sad, anxious, depressed and overwhelmed. I read when I have extra time or can’t sleep. I read
when I have any time and especially now with the kindle, I can read everywhere. I would prefer to read, to almost any other activity.
I have found some wonderful authors and new series thanks to Net
Galley and am alway glad to share the reviews of books with you. I try to never subject you to books that I did not like! I have written back to publishers and explained my misgivings. However this week, I am breaking one of my own rules and have included
a book that I normally would not have included. I am hoping others find it more interesting than I did.
I am thankful for Elise Cooper. I feel her contribution to the blog has helped it grow and become better.
Every week she shares with us a new interview with a current author. This week she has surprised us with a wonderful interview with Louisa Cannon, a nanny and amatuer slueth from the writings of Jessica Fellowes as well an interview with Jessica
Fellowes. I am sure you will enjoy it as I did.
I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and a day of love and joy.
Books read this week:
Ancient Nine by Ian K Smith
More or Less A Temptress by Anna Bradley
Ice on Fire: Knights of Silence by Amy Cecil
Wish Upon A Duke by Erica Ridley
Private Princess by James Patterson and
An Interview with Jessica Fellowes by Elise Cooper
A Character Interview with Louisa Cannon by Elise Cooper
Veteran's Day and other thoughts
Tomorrow is the day we honor veterans with Veteran’s Day. Thank you to all who have served and are serving. Your willingness to help
defend our country and go in danger’s way is much appreciated by many.
It has gotten colder here. I have started to pull out all the hats, mittens and other warm weather supplies. It
is always a surprise how quickly it seems to go from the beautiful reds and oranges of fall to the greys and browns of late fall. Luck has been with us as we have only had flurries, especially since I need new tires before snow flies.
With no baseball, I have had plenty of time to read, while still staying on top of my school work. The books this week have been a mixed bag: a thriller, a MC romance, a cowboy romance and a popular fiction author. Face
Off by Brenda Novak was a suspense thriller with a serial murder in the woods of Alaska. Ice and Hannah were both love stories, one with MC and one with cowboys. Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult was a piece of fiction that addressed the controversial subject
of abortion. All the books were good in their own way, but the Jodi Picoult book has not left my mind since I finished. I liked the different way Jodi Picoult wrote her book with the story line going backward. She starts at the climax and works her way
backward through the story hour by hour. The number of characters stories also made the book fascinating. I left the book with more questions than answers. Sometimes that is good - to look at a controversial subject from many points of view.
For those of who read Julia London, Elise has a great interview for you and her book Seduced by a Scot.
Books this week:
Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Ice: Knights of Silence #1 by Amy Cecil
Hannah by Chris Keniston
Face Off by Brenda Novak
The Ancient Nine by Ian K Smith
and please vote
Last night the clock “fell’ back an hour and I was gifted with an extra hour of sleep. It was a luxurious morning to get up and read for a while, meet a dear friend for brunch and then do some
chores before reading some more! I love days like this and am so relaxed after spending such a day. It didn’t hurt that the howling wind made the day look much more blustery than what it really was even though the sun was shining. I did have a
blanket to snuggle in and the two cats deigned to join me. How delightful a day.
I have read a lot of romance this week and found it soothing. My apologies
to those who want to like other genres better. Elise has put together an excellent interview with T.M. Logan and his debut thriller, Lies. I loved reading this book and Elise’s interview with the author reminds me how good the book was!!! I look
forward to reading his next book. I am presently reading Jodi Picoult’s newest book, Spark of Light and find myself immersed in the story line and the interesting parallels between the main characters. As always, her storyline while compelling
is controversial and timely. Next week, the review will be up. There is also a wonderful YA read Girl, Stolen by April Henry that will hold you right on the edge of your seat and remind you what true courage looks like.
I am looking forward to my phone being quiet after Tuesday. I will be glad to not hear political ads with their negativity and noise. I urge everyone to vote (if you haven’t
already). Tuesday night, I will be doing my civic duty of voting and then hanging around to count the votes. In my small town, we vote with paper ballots and then after the election in a time honored tradition, count the ballots by hand. It is done with
people counting and checking both watching the others to keep everything above board. I always bring my own number 2 Ticonderoga pencils nicely sharpened to help tally. It is a powerful reminder that every vote matters and counts.
Books this week
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
My One and Only
Duke by Grace Burrowes
Kiss of a Duke by Erica Ridley
Rescuing Emily by Susan Stoker
Ends by Kristen Ashley
Spark of Light by Kristen Ashley
Light in Darkness
It is with a sad heart that I write this blog today. All week, I have heard incident after incident about violence against people. I have heard people say how much the other person has caused it -
without taking their ownership of their own part. I am heartsick by the escalating violence perpetuated by the hatred in the our society. I work hard to teach students to listen to each other and accept other people’s perspectives, but it is that
same something that is missing in our society. My sympathies are with the people of the Pittsburgh and the people of the Tree of Life Synagogue.
week I, as well as a lot of New England, have been focused on the Red Sox. I am pretty sure the World Series has taken on a life of its own. As you know I have been gifted with the writing of Elise Cooper. She adds weekly to the blog with guest
reviews and author interviews. I am glad of her work on the blog and I am honored that I can call her a friend. She is backing the Dodgers. I have enjoyed our repartee back and forth about the games. I am sorry however, she cheers for the Dodgers. Elise
and I might live two very disparate lives, yet we can bond over our mutual love of books and sharing them with people! Together we are stronger with our goals then we are apart. To me, it is relationships with various people that allow us to grow, adapt,
understand and celebrate life. Thank you Elise.
This week between innings and before games I have been reading like crazy. I must admit most of
the books fall into my preferred genre of romance with or without the thriller addition. I hope that you all have a chance to check out the reviews, Elise’s author interview and guest review….
Books read this week:
Home to Honeymoon Harbor by JoAnn Ross
Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross
Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman
Stroke of Luck by PJ Daniels
When You Find Me by PJ Vernon
Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta