Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

Girl Scout Camp

This week, my school went on a retreat to an airbnb in Vermont.  The trip brought me by a road labeled Camp Farnsworth Road and I realized I was near “that place.” 

In fifth grade I was diagnosed with Mononucleosis.  I don’t remember all that happened except I was soooo tired and slept a lot.  I remember getting carried from my bed to the couch and I remember an older woman came into our home to care for me daily.  I remember people trying to keep me entertained with books and paint by number kits.  Later as I began to get better, my parents were told that I needed to get up and out to help get over this illness.  My parents sent me to various places: a week with Auntie Barb, a couple of weeks with my Mom up at Lincoln Playhouse, a couple of weeks with my folks at York Beach and a couple of weeks at Girl Scout Camp - called Camp Farnsworth.  OR as I like to call it - camp hell.  

First of all - let’s keep in mind, I am not a camper.  I love being outside, I love the woods and fields that make up my state. But it was here I discovered that I didn’t like always being surrounded by other people camping. It rained almost the entire time, which didn't help.  I never got to have horseback riding lessons.  They made us walk everywhere and then there were the other girls, who I was totally unprepared for. It was also here that my priorities about books became apparent.There was a letter sent home…begging my parents to come and get me… wanting to leave desperately… and then stating if they couldn’t come, could they at least send me some books and a comb. It was the first documented case for my family that for me almost everything is better with books.

Elise Cooper has been quite busy and sent in a review of Midnight Dunes by Laura Griffin.  It was great to read how much she enjoyed the book (just like I did)!  It is a suspenseful read with unknown surprises happening around each turn of the page.  This week’s interview is with Melinda Curtis and her book Healing the Rancher.  It sounds like some of her books are being turned into a movie for television.  

Good Luck to my sister who is starting a new job this week!  She is taking a leap of faith and I am happy for her.  


This week’s books

A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear

The Marquess of Magic by Jennifer Monroe

Never Marry a Scandalous Duke by Renee Ann Miller

When It Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee

A Governess Should Never Deny…a Duke by Emily Windsor


The Chart Goes UP

All my life I have read.  When I was happy, I read.  When I was sad, I read.  When I needed to escape, I read.  This spring - this deep seated strategy was gone for a while.  I struggled to concentrate and enjoy the stories.  This has been hard, especially since I feel like I have lost my anchor.  


I read a lot of books that I receive from NetGalley in return for an honest review.  I have mostly kept up with my reading habits between there and the library.  This spring - even the Net Galley site has taken a hit.  I am about 20 books (okay more than 20) behind in my list of books to read.  Luckily because of the sheer numbers I have read, I am still about the Mendoza line for reading (baseball jargon for hitting below 200).  I have a feedback ratio of 90%. According to Goodreads, I am only 6 books behind my goal.  This has been hard to see and think about.  Have I lost my ability to be a reader? I don’t think so,  I think I have been distracted by many things this spring.  This last week, I reassessed my time and realized that I need to get back to what brings me peace - reading and sharing those books with you.  


Elise sent us a review of the book, The Amish Animal Doctor.  The book highlights the difficulty of balancing a woman’s life with her job. This week’s interview is with Mark Greaney and his book Armored.  It is listed as a book with plenty of action with some real issues covered.  Now how can you not want to read that?


I have to give a shout out to my readers…It has been about 10 years since I began writing this blog.  I have discovered how much joy I get when reading and reviewing books.   When I started, I had fewer than 50 hits a month. Even as recently as 2019, I was getting 300 hits a week.  Now I get 1300 - 1400 hits a week.  I am honored by you readers.  Thank you for your time and energy.  


Books Read this week 

Lost and Found Girl by Maisey Yates

Up All Night With a Good Duke by Amy Rose Bennett

The Hidden One by Linda Castillo

Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Unforgiven by Rebecca Zanetti


A Sleepy Day

Today is a sleepy day.  It is cold and brisk outside.  The wind is strong and the back of all the leaves are showing.  What is remarkable about today?  Nothing,  except the weather is a bit more spring than middle June.  Oh and it is a sleepy day.  A stay in pajamas day.  

I think I have been at full speed for a few months.  Always moving forward and pushing to get stuff done - at least mentally.  We have had graduations, family weddings, craft fairs, school ending and all sorts of other activities that were emotionally laden.  

Today was my first day where I felt I did not have to accomplish anything.  Of course I did accomplish a couple of things - new crochet projects, a book review and started a new book. I also took a nap, which was lovely in itself.  I did manage to stay mostly awake during the Red Sox game as well. 

In reality, it is Father’s Day and Juneteenth, both important days of remembrance and regard.  A shout out to all the fathers out there who love and care for their children, including my dad many years gone from this world. Juneteenth is a federal holiday that celebrates the announcement of the emancipation of all African American enslaved people at the end of the Civil War.  It is also known as Freedom Day.    

Elise Cooper sent in an interview with Mary Alford and her newest book called Among the Innocent.  It is a romantic suspense novel that includes tracking down a serial killer.  Certainly a thriller to capture the reader’s attention. 


Books Read this Week

A Boardwalk Bookstore by Susan Mallery


Graduation and a Wedding

I can go for months without anything interesting happening in my life. Which I am fine with. I go and visit my aunt and uncle and friends, but mostly I live a humdrum life - again - not a complaint.  

Then I am hit with everything in the span of two days.  My small school had graduation and I was asked to give ‘the speech.’  The next day, my nephew was getting married which I was NOT going to miss.  All within a 48 hour period.  OH - and a 3 ½ hour drive across Vermont.  

The speech went well, I was able to share some great stories from all teachers in the past and present.  The ceremony was wonderful and then I jumped on the road, rushed home, picked up my bags and then drove and drove. I managed to find the rental on the first try, which is always exciting.  The next day was the wedding and reception. I love connecting with my family!  It was lovely!  Today, I drove home.  

The drive across Vermont was lovely with the blue skies and bright sun.  I even had a chance to follow some of the Hells Angels MC for a short amount of time.  (You know how I love my biker books).  

It was a couple of days of riches… and it makes all the difference.  Too bad most people see riches as being money and wealth.  Not the joy of being with people you love and participating in special events.  Tomorrow my life will go back to humdrum and I will be glad for the quiet, but hold the riches of those events in my heart.  

Elise sent in a book review for The Handler by M. P. Woodward.  The book is set in the Cold War days and includes action and national security. She also sent in a great interview with Lisa Harris. The book is called The Catch and is the third book in a series and ties up a number of storylines!

Checkout the June book reviews! http://marjay.simplesite.com/452590055


Busy.. busy.. busy as a bee.

Busy.. busy.. busy as a bee.

That is how the end of the school year is..busy.  Plus a wedding and craft fair to go along with all the end of the year testing, graduation and the bridge ceremony.  Never mind how crazy some of the students are feeling because there are only 9 days left of school. NINE… just nine.  I feel as busy as a bee…  I have grades to calculate, reports to write and plans to write for the next year.  

Busy as a Bee.  Bees really are quite industrious, but the expression is odd.  The origin of the expression goes back to Chaucer and his book The Canterbury Tales written (so it is thought) around 1392.  In the book Chaucer compared women to bees, both being busy.  So now you know…

The end of the year always comes with such mixed feelings.  It is a time for joy and happiness, moving kids along to the next grade and knowing that summer is soon to be here.  I get excited for summer and lazy days by the nearby lake.  It also comes with sorrow. Our school is quite small and a number of students are graduating this year.  Some of the students I have known for 6 years and watched them grow and change leaving childhood and entering into young adulthood.  It is great to see them go off and find their new life and new dreams, but each time leaving a small hole in my heart seeing them go.  

Luckily Elise has had the time to complete two great book reviews of the books:The Patient and Sea Glass Cottage.  This week she sent in TWO great author interviews!  Maisey Yates has two new books coming out:  Unbridled Cowboy and Four Corner’s Ranch.  Both of which I really want to read!!!  Elise also interviewed Dervla McTeirnan and her newest book The Murder Rule.  I know you all will want to read both interviews!

Meanwhile, I have completed four books, but am behind in writing reviews, so they will show up this week at different times.


Books Read:

Surrounded by Narcissists by Thomas Erikson

The Lady Loves Danger by Annabelle Bryant 

The Roguish Baron by Diamond by Sophie Barnes

Midnight Dunes by Laura Griffin


What are we doing?

Many of you may know I am a teacher.  I have been a teacher for over 30 years and before that I was a paraeducator for 7 years.  I have worked in public and private schools in poor and rich neighborhoods. I don’t know how many times a staff member left a door unlocked because they had to run out to their car to get something or there were students out collecting samples or at recess. I don’t know how many times the staff has propped open a door to cool off a hot room,or to let the late students in, maybe because it was pouring so they didn’t have to wait. Just this week, I left a door unlocked while the kids were outside at lunch.   Here in the US, I am no longer safe to do this.   


There have been 119 school shootings since 2018.  

In 2022, there have been 27 school shootings this year.

In 2021, there were 34 school shootings last year. 

In 2020, there were 10 school shootings.

In 2019, there were 24 school shootings.

In 2018, there were 24 school shootings.  

Of the 119 school shootings since 2018, 28 included fatal shootings incidents.  

Of the 28 fatal school shooting incidents, 60 children have died. 


I grew up in a house with firearms.  I am fine with people owning firearms. In the last 5 years 60 children were killed by guns in the hands of people, who should not have access to guns.

I read that a Senator spoke how schools should have all locked doors and windows with armed guards at the doors to keep our children safe.  I am not sure if he knew he was describing what to me sounds like a prison.  

I have friends who teach in schools like above and they feel safe in them, but I don’t think we should have to be locked in to be safe.  Children should be able to go outside to work, to play, to investigate, to learn.  


What are we doing?


Small Things Count

I am not sure when I realized that small things are really the things that make life worthwhile.  The small moments of  living. joy interspersed with the difficulties and troubles of the day to day living.  The kitten purring in my ear, the way the sun streams in the windows, summer creeping closer with the lilacs blooming are the moments of joy in life.  

This week I had three small moments of joy among the everyday workings of life.  I  saw two new birds this week!  An American Redstart and a Scarlet Tanager both came by the feeders this week.  I am sure they are on their way to another place and we were a stop over and refuel place.  It was so cool to see the bright colors and new lives in the spring.  

I received a copy of Amanda Quick’s  (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle) newest book When She Dreams.  What makes this book so special is that Jayne Ann Krentz actually signed the book and wrote (yes - hand wrote) me a quick note.  She is one of my favorite authors. I think I have read every book she has written under all her pseudonyms.  Elise (yes Elise Cooper) somehow made this happen and I have been smiling about it.  Each of these things are not huge life changes (houses, jobs, cars, money), but they are the parts of life that can bring a smile and create a memory.  The small things count.  

“Sometimes”, said Pooh, “ the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Elise has sent in a book review by Marc Cameron called Cold Snap.  She has also sent in a wonderful interview with Freya Barker about her newest book called High Meadow.  The book sounds like a wonderful mix of a mature romance, thriller, and adventure.  Alex helps heal horses and Jones runs High Mountain Trackers.  The book is the first of four and sounds like a great read.  

Books read this week:

When She Dreams by Amanda Quick

You and Only You by Sharon Sala

State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

The Roguish Baron by Sophie Barnes (not reviewed yet)



There is a book I really want to read, but it is not offered at the library or on NetGalley and it is too expensive to buy.  So I have to wait…

Amanda Quick is one of those authors I always want to read!  Elise Cooper sent in an interview with Amanda Quick and her newest book…a great interview… and about a book I am impatient to read.  The book will eventually be available to me. I have to wait…

There are four more weeks of school (give or take a couple of days).  We have a new principal who is (according to sources) ready to whip us into shape.  I am not sure of her end game and how it might impact me.  So I have to wait…

This is the reality of our world.  We hurry up and wait.  Wait for summer (or winter).  Wait for the time to finish a project.  Wait for dinner to be ready. Wait for the alarm clock to go off. Wait for the work day to end.  There is a line at the DD, at the light, at the stop sign.  So we wait…

I remind myself of the importance of patience, of waiting to do things when the time is right. I do not want to turn into a person who is always waiting for the next big thing.  I think you waste your life doing that.  I am working on living each moment consciously - even when I am waiting.  Sometimes it is hard.  

Elise Cooper sent in a book review, The Sweet Life, a story about ice cream. YUM.  She also sent in  great interview with Amanda Quick ( I mentioned it above)!  

“You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for”. Craig Bruce


Books Read this Week

The Best of Me by Sharon Sala

A Duke for Diana by Sabrina Jeffries

A Vineyard Wedding by Jean Stone


Reading or Listening

I have always been a proponent of reading books, not listening to books. I once tried to listen to a novel and about an hour later wondered what the noise I was hearing was. Obviously that was a serious fail.  My aunt often listens to books and really enjoys it.  Recently, I have found that one newspaper I read offers to read the articles.  I tried it this weekend and found I enjoyed it.  Perhaps it was the short nature of the articles (none more than 20 minutes) or the fact I was sitting down crocheting and not up and moving around.  


I have always learned more by seeing and doing than by hearing. I wonder as we get older we learn to focus differently. I am now curious about listening to more news and wonder about trying out a book on audio.  Something to think about for this summer for sure.


The little gnats known as no-see-ums have shown up here this weekend. I am taking this as another harbinger of spring and not the invasion of pestilence I normally attribute to this time.  They are often so thick you feel like you could be encased by them.  


Elise sent in an interview with Jackie Ashenden and her new book called Find Your Way Home.  The interview shares some great information about the character and setting of the book.  Interestingly enough Elise and I were on the same page again about this book as I reviewed it last week for the blog.  


This week I was able to read 3 books all at different lengths with interesting main characters.  Each of the main characters were strong women and in each book at a different stage of life.  The Homewreckers had Hattie - young late 20s running a rehab of a cottage on the ocean.  Summer Island Hope had Kat - a lawyer arguing tough cases in her 50s who discovers she is pregnant unexpectedly. Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride had Nonna Maria - an older widow for many years - helping to solve unusual cases in her small island home.  Each of the characters showed determination, grit and fortitude when things were hard.  I loved that about each of them!


I wish you a lot of determination, grit and fortitude claiming time for reading this week.


Books this week:

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

Summer Island Hope by Ciara Knight

Nonna Maria and the Cast of the Missing Bride by Lorenzo Carcaterra


Crocheting a Cover

The umbrella is up on the porch.  The chairs are set up and a pansy is on the porch railing.  This means soon, we will have more good weather.  For here, temperatures in the 60s are awesome for this time of the year.  It is still too early to put out plants though as the nights are still cool and some frosts can still occur - especially around the full moon. The Sox are managing to suck all the positive energy out of the atmosphere.  The long faces and shaking heads are usually found in September, not in April and May. 


This last week was spring vacation.  That means there are 6 or so weeks left in school with kids and another 2 weeks without them.  You would think that I would be all caught up in my reading of ARCs and have a clean house.  That would be incorrect.  Instead I have played around with various crochet patterns.  The best thing I have made so far is a case for my kindle.  The work in progress is a farmer’s market bag (in progress being the key words.) I also spent time with my uncle and aunt. (They enjoyed last week’s blog about Checklists.)  I also have had the requisite amount of poking, prodding, and smooshing that goes along with a physical at this age.  I know - a very long winded explanation about why I didn’t read as much as I had planned.  


For those that want to know what is new with Yoshi…  Yoshi went outside twice today, both times chaperoned by Gizzie and me.  Both trips were successful, even when he met Martin, the kitty next door.  I suspect that he will want to be out  alot now, but he will still need to be chaperoned and with limited time due to predators.  


Elise Cooper interviewed Rhys Bowen about her newest book, Wild Irish Rose.  The interview is interesting.  Rhys Bowen wrote this book with her daughter Claire Broyles and reintroduced her main character, Molly Murphy.  


I hope you have a fabulous week with reading.  


Books Read This Week:

Rules for Engaging the Earl by Janna MacGregor

Unstable by Alexandra Ivy

One Way Back to Me by Carrie Ann Ryan

Find Your Way Home by Jackie Ashenden



For years, I have teased my family and friends, especially my Uncle for his checklists and spreadsheet files he has for everything.  NO MORE.  This week I helped my school hold an Empty Bowls event  AND I had several checklists! One checklist even had a sub checklist. Yes, I was queen of the lists.  I too have become one of them - left brain checkers, sigh.  


Empty Bowls is an event to help raise money and awareness for food related charities in the area.  The event was started by artisans that made bowls to help draw attention to the difficulties of food and food insecurity. A food insecure home is one where there is a struggle with having reliable access to food. Our school (students, teachers and administrators) all made bowls.  Then with our parent partners we made food and had the school community buy (donate) a bowl and enjoy an evening with soup, cassoles, and ice cream.  Despite the pandemic and the timing, we did earn money for one of the local food pantries.  Next year we plan an even larger event with YES - me with my checklists.


In the United States, there are 38 million people (2022) that live in food insecure households.  That is 12 % of all households in the United States.  There are 16.7 % of children who do not know where their next meal is coming from.  Children who are hungry or worried about where and when they are going to eat next are unable to learn.  Learning to live with and use a checklist was so worth it.


Elise has sent in a wonderful interview with Erika Robuck and her two books about famous women during WWII.  Check it out. 

Wishing you a life with few checklists (unless you like them) bahahaha


Books Read this week:

Her Mercenary by Amanda McKinney

With Love from London by Sarah Jio 

Impossible by Darcy Burke



I wish all my readers a Happy Easter, Chug Sameach, and Ramadan Mubarak.  The overlap of the three major holidays with the three major monotheistic religions happen about every thirty years. It seems to me a key element to each holiday includes resilience. 

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. (APA definition) 

This week each of the books I read had resilience as an element of their story.  It made me realize that it is intertwined with the human condition and how we move forward.  Sometimes things are hard and it is only our resilience that helps us move forward.  Resilience helps us maintain a balance during difficult or stressful times.  For many people finding a purpose or meaning helps build resilience, which is a protective factor against suicide.  Since suicide is one of the leading causes to death (ages 10 - 35 second leading cause - NIMH 2-19), we need to help by teaching resilience in kids.  Why is this a topic for today?  A young person who I have known tangentially for years, died last week. Another young life lost.  We need to rip off the bandaid and admit that mental health issues are a crisis in our country.   

I wish for us all - resilience.  

Last week, Elise Cooper sent us an interview with the four authors of the Sweet Home Cowboy.  I have to admit, I quickly downloaded the book and read it this week.  It was a lovely read.  This week she has sent us an interview with Korina Moss and her new book, Cheddar Off Dead.  Elise also included a review of David Rosenfelt’s books Citizen K-9 and Best in Snow. As always, enjoy!

Books read this week:

Sweet Home Cowboy by Maisey Yates, Nicole Helm, Caitlin Crews and Jackie Ashenden

A Family Affair by Robyn Carr

The Wicked Wallflower by Tracy Sumner



Another week closer to the summer, or at least to warmer weather.  The temperature is definitely warming.  The result - the bears are out.  How do I know this?  One has decided the dumpster is his dinner plate and has managed to strew the trash all over the yard, several days in a row.  I am hoping this is a brief respite for the bear and not a long term food solution.  I am concerned that some of the tenants do not understand the ramifications of picking up and carefully putting the trash in the dumpster with the cover closed.  


For those who do not know, this week is exciting to both Elise and I!  Baseball has started again!  This weekend, reading did take a back seat this weekend to watching baseball.  The Red Sox are my team and truly an important part of my summer!  Elise is out on the west coast and loves her teams (think Angels and Padres).  We have been known to text each other when they play each other.    


This week I read a middle school level book, a thriller by Lisa Scottoline and a humorous thriller by Janet Evanovich.  Each book was enjoyable and I would recommend them to others.  Elise Cooper sent in an author interview with some of our favorite authors Jackie Ashenden, Caitlin Crews, Nicole Helm, and Maisey Yates.  This is the third anthology they have written together with each author focusing on a different character.  I have enjoyed the first two anthologies so I can’t wait to read this one as well.  


Happy Baseball Season to those who love the game like Elise and I do!  Happy Reading to everyone.


Books read this week

Hazard by Frances O’Roark Dowell

What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

Game On:  Tempting Twenty Eight by Janet Evanovich


I Have A Kitten

I think this year, in almost every story or explanation I have started with the words, I have a kitten.  Most people then start nodding and smiling hoping for a further piece of information.  It is the explanation for being late, for the scratching on my body, for the library book having a wet spot, for the “cleanliness” of my house and other situations.  Yoshi is one of the most interesting pets I have EVER had… even more than the alligator.


Yoshi was saved by my friend Amy.  She found him in the barn and took him for dead. His small cry sent her into motion and she hand fed Yoshi and raised him.  When she and the vet determined that Yoshi was stable enough, he came home with me.  To Yoshi, I am his siblings and his mother.  I am part of the furniture and his best playmate.  According to research, kittens hand raised often have trouble understanding their strength and play very very rough.  My friends will concur with that statement as my arms are constantly covered with scratches and bites.


Yoshi is extremely curious and has had to be saved from some of his adventures including being hung upside down by speaker wires, straddling the curtain in the bathroom and from the refrigerator (more than once).  He is very playful with dirty and clean sox, his favorite small bear and all sorts of toys covering the living room floor.   He is constantly entranced by water. He has no fear about jumping in the shower with me, splashing water on me from the sink when I am brushing my teeth and most recently the toilet…. Yes, he fell in and raced into the bedroom to clean himself and be safe - on my clean sheets. Gizzie and I spend parts of our days laughing at him.  Just so we are clear…Yoshi is the reason I sometimes struggle typing as he is not helpful.  


I read some great books this week!  Elise Cooper has sent us in an interview with Melinda Curtis and her book, The Cowboy Meets his Match.  


I wish you great times reading this week!!


Books Read this week

The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery

A Spinster by the Sea by Grace Burrowes

Shadows Reel by CJ Box


martha lawton

Dribs and Drabs

The spring weather has come in dribs and drabs.  (What a great phrase!) One day, it is warm and wonderful, the next cold and wet.  Such is the beginning of spring in New Hampshire.  Some people call it mud season, others call it sap season.  Whatever it is called, the longer hours of sunlight is much enjoyed.

This week I was able to enjoy several books.  With the later sunset (and the changing of the clock) I have been able to sit in my recliner in the sun reading sometimes even with my eyes open.  Both the kitten and the cat have found a way to lay on me without touching each other, sometimes without hissing and growling.  I find the sun has given me some hope and vision for the end of the school year and the summer.

Chris Keniston has her newest Farraday book released, Neil. It is another wonderful book with cowboys - who can use tools and fix things.  I enjoyed the book with the wonderful characters and once again with the Farraday women having a strong presence.  

Erica Ridley put out the second book in the Siren’s Retreat Quartet called An Affair by the Sea.  I loved the quirky characters and the interesting way they met.  It is interesting to me that Erica Ridley has written books 2 and 4 and Grace Burrowes wrote books 1 and 3.  

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich is the first book in a new series that reminds me of her Stephanie Plum series.  Gabriela Rose is a recovery agent who is asked to retrieve items that have been “lost or misplaced”.  In this novel, she connects with her ex husband (not by choice) in order to track down the Ring of Solomon.  Her path through the snake infested jungle, secret canyons, underground paths and other locales.  

Diana Palmer’s newest novel Kiss Me Cowboy was an arc I received via Netgalley.  The book contains two novella (that may be found in other places).  I enjoyed the novellas despite the fact I found the stories and the characters fanciful and unrealistic.

Elise Cooper has been busy as well.  The two books: Dangerous Amish Showdown and Snowbound Amish Survival are by Mary Alford.  The books mix mysteries, danger, romance and faith.  I like how the author has made her female characters as strong with strength of character and trust.  

I hope the sun is giving you the hope for the summer to come with warmer days and time to spend with family.  

FYI - right now I am struggling with using Pinterest - Hopefully I will be able to update it tomorrow.  


Books read this week

Neil by Chris Keniston

An Affair by the Sea by Erica Ridley

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

Kiss Me Cowboy by Diana Palmer


Thrilling Me

Sometimes you just have to take a day and read!  I did that this weekend.  I read suspenseful thrillers!!!!  I don’t know what it is about thrillers, but every so often I take a weekend reading thrillers - sometimes with horror, sometimes with terror. It is perfectly wonderful to read  on the couch with a blanket, snuggled down with the kitties terrorizing myself.  Saturday, the wind was howling and the rain was pouring and I am reading about a horrible snow storm and losing electricity.  I have to admit - when I looked up from the book - I was surprised it was not snowing.  


Lisa Gardner's newest book called One Step Too Far is a thriller.  Almost a closed room type only out in the wilderness with no help available.  The build up of the suspense of people being targeted while attempting to find a missing hiker (from 5 years ago).  The mixture of people in the group was also part of the lure of the story.  Some were there from guilt and others were there to find the truth, but all were there being hunted.  Lisa Gardner described the book so well that I felt like I was hiking.  (It is probably because she is a hiker here in the White Mountains.) However, for me I was able to add a layer between falling totally into the book as I am not a hiker!


In Heather Gudenkauf’s new book, The Overnight Guest was a little too close to home.  I do live in an old house that creaks in the wind and we were having a wicked storm (only rain not snow).  One of the most interesting parts of this book is that there were 3 distinct story lines. Each of the story lines seemed to not connect with the other until more of each was revealed, however it was all supposition until the ending where all craziness happened. What an ending!!!


Elise Cooper sent in a wonderful interview with Brad Meltzer and his new book, The Lightning Rod.  I guess we were both into the thriller genre.  Brad’s new book is a suspense thriller with a side of conspiracy theory.  


Books Read this week:

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf


Currently Reading:

Tangled Up in You by Barbara Freethy


I am ready for hope and peace

There are weeks that seem so long…like there is no end in sight.  And then other weeks where the day almost ends before it begins.  That was this week.  I felt like things kept happening too fast to keep up -  like a whirlwind.  I am not even trying to keep up any more.  Not a great way to start out my week.

I am ready for spring, with sunshine and flowers.  I am ready to feel the sun on my face and move forward with hope.  I am ready to hear people are safe and children are not being killed.  I am ready to find hope and peace.  

I do not like the news about Ukraine. I am not ready to find out that people are dying of lack of food and water.  I am not ready to hear that people are dying because they do not have the medication they need.  I am not ready to hear about more bombs or annihilation of a city, a people, a culture.  I am not ready to listen to the numbers of people dying from Doctors Without Borders.  I am not ready to see massed graves and know that people are dying due to one man’s obsession with power.  

I am ready for a dose of hope, safety, freedom, peace, life and love.  From all of our lips to God’s ear.  

Elise has sent in a book review of Killer View by Roy Johansen. She also sent in a wonderful interview with Anita Abriel.  Please enjoy the tales of survivors, emotions and second chances.  


Books Read this week:

A Relentless Rake by Anna Harrington

New Kid by Tim Green

Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews


Strong Women

Eleanor Roosevelt was the first lady, a political activist and a diplomat. She was a speaker, a writer, and a great humanitarian as an advocate for the rights and needs of minorities, disadvantaged and the poor.   Eleanor was appointed to the United Nations General Assembly by Harry Truman and served as chair of the Human Rights Commission.  She worked tirelessly to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948.   To me, Eleanor Roosevelt is a woman who found her own path and charged forward to help take care of people. In this time of horror and war we all need to stand up and be like Eleanor.  One of the things she spoke about was that “we cannot live for ourselves alone but must learn to live together or we will die together.”   I think that statement is appropriate for our times.   Please remember this on International Women's Day on March 8th. 

I was on vacation this week and finished all sorts of craft projects.  I was so happy to finish a couple of them!  I didn’t have a lot of time to read with all the projects to finish, but I did finish four books.  Three were historical romances and were good reads.  

The fourth book, The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey was outstanding.  It was two stories wound together like a vine.  The link between the stories was the wedding veil.  But what spoke to me was how due to circumstances that were not expected each woman found a path and moved forward.  These women found a strength deep within them to change their reality.  Something that women all over the world are doing for their children, for their families, for their lives. 

To all the refugees, mostly women bringing their children out of the war zone to a safe place - YOU are strong and my heroes.

Elise sent in an interview with J.A. Jance. This is a book within a series about Beau (J. P. Beaumont) and how he is helping a young man find his brother.  Elise found the book was all about murder, love, evil and family.  


Books read this week:

The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Designing his Duchess by Gabrielle Carr

His Pretend Duchess by Sandra Sookoo

The Tryst by the Sea by Grace Burrowes (not written up yet, but really good)


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Jeannie | Reply 13.12.2021 10:51

Loved the imagery of hands up or hands squeezing in terror. Hope everything resolves in a good way for you. Happy Holidays!

Jeannie | Reply 20.09.2021 10:51

Hi Marti,

Beautiful fall weather is in the air. Glad you are still enjoying the Highland Games. Yes, retirement is riddled with a little of this and that.

Jeannie | Reply 23.08.2021 12:21

I left the old Conant for the same reason, did not like the new principal and the way I was treated. Hang in there, hope you can work it out. Thinking of

Jeannie | Reply 08.02.2021 12:46

I am reading Firefly Lane so I can watch the show on Netflix. Bow library does not have HAnnah’s Four Winds yet, tried to get on list. Like most of her stories.

Jeannie | Reply 18.01.2021 09:39

Hear, hear! Agree totally. Compassion, respect, inclusion.

Jeannie | Reply 16.11.2020 10:12

Hi Marti,
Yes. We need to grin and go forward to hope for open doors, stuff we can do and smile.

Jeannie | Reply 01.06.2020 12:56

Yes, rioting hits heart and soul. How much more can we endure?
How much more can go wrong?

Be strong.

Kirke | Reply 18.05.2020 09:26

If you want a REAL macabre horror story do some research on how black flies actually "bite you." Just a hint it involves saws and tongues, stay inside and read!

Jeannie | Reply 30.03.2020 13:05

Nice thoughts, yes, hope and grace. I am appropriately reading Gentleman in Moscow who is confined at the Metropol Hotel. Eery coincidence!
Be safe and well.

Kirke | Reply 23.03.2020 10:13

Kurt Vonnegut I think? In an insane world a sane person will appear insane....

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Latest comments

27.02 | 04:18

Sounds great!! Wonderful review

13.12 | 10:51

Loved the imagery of hands up or hands squeezing in terror. Hope everything resolves in a good way for you. Happy Holidays!

20.09 | 10:51

Hi Marti,

Beautiful fall weather is in the air. Glad you are still enjoying the Highland Games. Yes, retirement is riddled with a little of this and that.

23.08 | 12:21

I left the old Conant for the same reason, did not like the new principal and the way I was treated. Hang in there, hope you can work it out. Thinking of

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