Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.
Time of the Sunflowers
Today is a beautiful day in New England with sunny skies a tremendous color of blue. Fair temperatures with late summer flowers blooming and the sounds of cicadas. There are butterflies and grasshoppers
entertaining the cats outside with limited success (like none). It is a fabulous day.
However, I am feeling like I am mourning a dear friend. Dorothea Benton Frank died recently.
One of my favorite authors with her yearly lowland books. She wrote about living life fully. Her books made me fall in love with the long summer days as she wrote about them. I found her books around 2010 and have enjoyed her writing style. Luckily,
I realized I have not read all of them, so I can still look forward to reading her novels, but knowing that there are no more to come is saddening. I guess it is a reality that I need to face, authors grow older just as we do.
This week was an interesting one for reading. The psychological thriller of 29 seconds held me in its grasp. I felt such anxiety reading this novel and found my emotions all over the place with the novel.
I actually stopped reading the book at one point and read a romance before going back and finishing the novel. Another exceptional read was This Tender Land. An epic journey both physically and mentally by four children in a canoe looking for home and
love. The book really highlights the hordes of homeless during the Depression and the conditions of depravation without harping on it. Odie, the narrator, while unreliable at his young age makes the story even more heartwarming. I also read two
historical romances that were excellent. Anna Bradley and Mary Balogh are good writers whose characters are interesting and rarely simpering.
Next weekend, I will be at the New Hampshire Highland
Games at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH. There will be loads of men in kilts with bagpipes and then the strong men throwing cabers. (Yes, I realize I am totally sexist about this and I am not even slightly ashamed.) My blog will be up, but it might be
later than usual.
I wish you the joy of the fall with crisp mornings and warm days. Leaves are changing, fall vegetables are coming in, sunflowers are blooming and the hours of sunlight
are even more precious.
Until next week, my friends.
Elise Cooper interviewed John
Marrs and his newest book, the Passengers
Books read this week:
29 Seconds by T M Logan
to Honor by Mary Balogh
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
To Wed with a Wild Scot by Anna Bradley
A LOT of work
Running a book blog is a lot of work. More than I had ever anticipated! It is the amount of time I spend managing the account, that I did not expect. I spend at least three or four hours getting information
up on the pages, which I expected, but what I did not plan on was the amount of time on other tasks.
Finding new books or keeping up with authors I like and read was a task that I didn’t
expect being a time eater. I was surprised at how long I can spend checking out books to read. It sometimes eats hours of time! I mean hours. It is like a vortex or a black hole. Fictfact was a huge help, but it is no longer a working site. Goodreads
used to be a useful site as well, but lately they have changed their set up, so I am not always aware of what is newly published vs what is coming out in a different edition. I am now more cognizant of that, but in the beginning of the change, it was a problem.
Net Galley is always helpful, because the books on that site are supposedly new and to be published. At least Amazon stops me from buying a book I already own.
The other task that I was not expecting
(but should have) is the hours it takes to check, double check and organize the lists of books. I have a list (sometimes growing) of when the books need to be read. I often need to check and recheck the dates. Another unexpected part is that the time
I spend making sure the books are loaded on the kindle and in the correct organizational section, so I can find them when I have time to read. The additional time was not expected.
Despite all the time
spent but not expected, the book blog is a dream come true. I am grateful to all of you for reading and checking in! I have been offered preview novels to share with my readers, but I am not sure I am ready for that step as of yet. (Yup - still more
hours!) I have loved having Elise join the blog. Her interviews and reviews are awesome! If any of you readers want to send in a review, I would love to include it.
Interview this week by Elise Cooper:
Old Bones by Doug Preston and Lincoln Child
Books read this week:
Build by Gillian Archer
by Gillian Archer
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Currently reading: Someone to Honor by Mary Balough
Fresh Vegetables and Labor Day
This long weekend, is dedicated to the people who work. Labor Day is “a public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people”. For me, it is the demarcation between summer and
fall. The growing season is short here, but the lovely winter squashes are soon to be available. I love buying food at the local farmer’s market (Warner Area Farmer’s Market) and at a local farmstand (Musterfield Farm). The picture
is this week’s haul. I have been so grateful for the fresh food knowing that the time for this is limited. I am really grateful for all the farmers and recognize how hard they work.
week was the first week with students, so finding time for reading has been difficult. I did find time for some romance novels. I also have to admit I am even late writing the blog today, because I wanted to finish a wonderful mystery called The Long
Call by Ann Cleeves. The book slowly built up to the conclusion and the characters were so well drawn that I really needed to finish it, before starting on this. BUT I got interrupted, so you will have to wait for next week for the review. The
Long Call by Ann Cleeves comes out on Tuesday.
The days are getting shorter and cooler and life continues to move on, ever so much more quickly than when I was younger. I used to think summer
was soooooo long and know I think: What it’s done? Are you sure? LOL It is amazing how long a minute can be, but how short a month can be.
Elise Cooper has a great interview with one of our favorite
authors, Linda Castillo. The interview covers her newest book, Shamed. It is a great interview and the book was awesome. (Yes, I have already read it) Enjoy.
I hope that you enjoy your laborless
day and those of you in the path of Dorian stay safe. Thank you for reading!!!
Books read this month:
Once a Spy by
Mary Jo Putney
Total Control by Laura Griffin
How to Cross a Marquess by Jane Ashford
The Marquis She Has Been Waiting For by Ella Quinn
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Back to School
The first week back to work is always sooo busy. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done and planned before the students come. I have a rough idea of the first lessons, but I haven’t
really had a chance to plan it out as much as I would like. The real problem is the amount of time it cuts into my reading. Such is the problem with having to work…
I shouldn’t complain as today my co-contributor is packed and moving a distance away to a new home. I do not envy her the work they have put it and the work to come! Good luck Elise. What kills me is she still found time to send in an interview
with Joshilyn Jackson about her new book, Never Have I Ever. Please read the interview - the book sounds wonderfully creepy.
One of my favorite historical writers, Ashley York is madly
working on her newest novel, Daughter of the Overking. This series of novels called The Warrior Kings are about the 11th century in Ireland and the struggle to live day by day while weaving in love stories that make you wait in the mist for your own warrior
to come. Meanwhile her first book in the series Curse of the Healer by Ashley York is on sale this week for 99 cents. It is a great read.
I have managed to read three romances this week, Iron Will,
Never Have I Ever With a Duke and Wrapped in Ink. I am presently working on another one, How to Cross a Marquess. Each a love story, but so different, one with the ton and not wanting to marry, one with a murder mystery, and one with a life long illness,
Lupus, falling in love but not expecting anyone to stay with someone like her. All three were lovely reads, short and hot. Just what I needed when I have been so busy.
I love the coolness
that has been around this weekend. The days have been bright and sunny, but just a bit cooler than what has been. I know this will change so I am loving what is ... right now!
As always, thank you for reading. Please check out the reviews and interviews. Leave notes or send a message! Thanks to all of you as my numbers continue to climb!
Books read this week:
Iron Will by PJ Daniels (No review up yet.)
Never Have I Ever With a Duke by Darcy
Wrapped in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
Around the Globe
Sometimes it takes a small sliver of glass in your foot for you to realize how much you could’ve, would’ve or should’ve been doing. Today was one such day. I have so much to do and I have
used the day as a lazy away day. The last day of true vacation, while tomorrow starts again in the real world. The past couple of weeks, I have put up a picture of beauty daily on Facebook to remind me of each day and the good in it. I have enjoyed having
pictures that show where I have been or what I have done each day. It has allowed me time to reflect on the warmth and sunshine before winter comes.
week (as last week), I was a reading fool! I loved being up late at night reading to only get up the next morning to read more. I have read so many different types of romance and thriller novels. I have gone to so many places from an island in
Maine with The Missing Ones to the Alps in France with The Lake of Learning. I have danced in balls, ridden motorcycles and been protected with dangerous men. I have laughed and loved with Mo, Lock, Bridger, and Rookie. I have seen more of WWII with
all the people who worked to keep people safe. I have helped solve mysteries and been surprised by how some of the mysteries ended. Perhaps hanging at the lake nearby was not a vacation by many people’s standards, but it allowed me to go places.
And I got ice cream!
Books read this week:
The Lake of Learning by Steve Berry and MJ Rose
Lock and Key by Cat Porter
Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley
The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne
The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill
A Hand for the Duke by
At The Lake
What a lovely long weekend! I got to spend quality time with some people I love! We spent time at my favorite lake and let me tell you - it was not a breeze like the weatherman said. It was
a gale force wind that sent us running for blankets and towels to wrap up in! And that was when the sun was out! However, over at the campground there was less of a breeze, so we spent time there. Even the most intrepid of us did not want to get wet.
It was too cold even for him. I loved spending time hanging around with them. Throw in ice cream and fried haddock and I am a gonner.
As I get older I have noticed that I might be getting kind of set in
my way at times. (Anne - don’t laugh that hard.) I found myself trying not to cringe at the way people were treating their paperback novels with dog earred pages and putting them down on the damp sand. Never mind the seriously creased spines
and the rolled back pages. Even now thinking about it gives me the shivers. Perhaps, it is because I read so many library books and they need to stay in great shape. Anyway - I survived the calmanity without needing oxygen.
Elise Cooper has sent in both a book review (Iris Johansen’s new book Smoke Screen) and an author interview with Maisey Yates. Both the books Maisey speaks about I have read and reviewed. The interview explains the characters and where the
series are going. Another Great Interview!
Tomorrow is supposed to be hot and sunny, but alas, I must work. Such is the way it goes. My sister complained how hot she has been, so we have blamed
her for the cooler temperatures this weekend. It is a slightly easier explanation about why I am wearing my slippers in August. Now she is gone, maybe it will be warmer. I wish you all a wonderful week with lots of reading and laughter!
Book read this week:
Claws of Action by Linda Reilly
Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.
Just His Luck by BJ Daniels
A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean
Hyacinth by Chris Keniston
Devlin by Barbara Freethy
Jason by Julia London
A New Job for Me - Fact Checker
What an absolutely beautiful day! I hope everyone had a wonderful day and a chance to connect with the outdoors, family and friends. I had a great day, though if you saw my face right now, you would
recognize that I forgot sunscreen for my face. JUSSSSTTTT a bit red. Not so red that I won’t be back at the lake tomorrow - with a hat and sunscreen.
Here the farmer’s markets and road-side
stands are doing a banner business. I love being able to eat the fresh veggies that have been picked recently. At the farmer’s market, I was able to buy some homemade bread and jelly - so yummy! I continue to be in awe of the bounty available.
It is so easy to eat local this season.
I have a new pet peeve. I know you all are just waiting to hear what my first world problem could actually
be… Well, it really, really bothers me when either the book blurb and/or the book cover do not match the story. One of my favorite authors is Dorothea Benton Frank. Her newest book called Queen Bee does not contain an accurate blurb.
There were two other books I saw recently that also had blurb errors including an incorrect main character’s name. Now as I understand the publishing business, there are several steps between sharing a blurb and getting the novel into the reader’s
hands. I understand that there are revisions and changes that happen at all steps, but if the blurb is what people read in order to entice them to read the book, then they should be accurate. The other part of this pet peeve is having a cover that matches
the story. In a book I read this week, there was a cover of a man pouring poison in a woman’s drink...didn’t happen in the book. In one I read last month, the main character was a ginger and did not have a dog, but on the cover he had dark
hair and a dog. Maybe that could be a new job for me. A checker of blurbs and covers for factual representations - like a junior, junior editor for certain authors or publishers.
has interviewed Leila Meacham about her new mystery from WWII about which spies in occupied Paris survived called Dragonfly. The reviews this week should interest many. There are three distinctly different thrillers, The Escape Room, Before She Was Found
and Because You are Mine along with a cozy mystery and a romantic thriller. All great reads. Enjoy Reading!
Books read this week
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
Because You are Mine by Rea Frey
The Ladies Guide to Ettiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman
Steel Resolve by BJ Daniels
My New Kindle among Other Things
Hello heated days of Summer!
What a fun week this has been! Did I remember to tell all of you? I bought a new Kindle with 32 gb of memory.
I read up about the new paperwhite kindles and decided to stay with the paperwhites and went for the biggest memory I could get. When I checked out the history of my kindles in the past, I keep them about 4 to 5 years and only get rid of them when they become
SO SLOW. Some of the negative comments I read pointed out the slowness of the start up and turning on. OBVIOUSLY, they have never had a full kindle or they would know what S L O W is. I loved how quickly all my books loaded on!! The hardest part was
finding a new cover. It took two tries to find the right size cover…
I have been reading more and more from my kindle with the other books being those borrowed from the library.
I am lucky that I have a great library to use! I have some authors that are always reads and some new authors who I am excited to find. Covers do catch my attention, but plotlines are stronger. Recently, I have been disappointed in some of the covers
and their inaccuracy with the story lines. One book recently had a cowboy and a dog. In the story, there was no dog and the cowboy should have had red hair.
I wonder sometimes how other people read?
Kindles? Paperbacks? Hardcovers? Library? Buy? And why do you read who you read? What attracts you to certain books? Cover? Storyline? Favorite Author? I would love to hear from my blog pals about their preferences.
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner was a hit this week! Elise has also done an author interview, which is so cool and I have included my review. Check it out…. Another fact is that Lisa Gardner is a New Hampshire writer!
The book is a seat gripper! Guaranteed to catch your attention!
There was plenty of time for reading this week so there are more reviews than usual. I hope you have a chance to check them out!
Books reviewed this week:
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
Iron Heat by Daphne Loveling
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
Lobe, Loyalty and Mayhem by various authors
The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix
The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett
Falling With You by Carrie Ann Ryan
Needled to Death by Annelise
It hot…. I mean really hot. It is 95 degrees right now. Here - in central NH.
The sun is beating down on the yard, although
there is an occasional breeze that is stirred up. I spent a couple of days at the lake cooling off, but today I knew the lake would be unmanageable and I wanted to be lazy. So here I am in my pjs with all the fans blowing on me attempting to stay
cool. Even Oscar has given up and is sleeping on a patch of floor.
All my book reviews are done, except for the book I am reading.
Staying low and slow was the key for today. I know many other places are struggling with the heat - so I am only one voice out of many. Tomorrow the weather will change and by Tuesday it will be in the 70s!
What I have discovered about myself in the heat…
I don’t care what outfits I wear or how I look in them if I am hot - upper arm flab be damned.
It is always better to be wet when hot. It helps cool off
Two fans are better than one and three fans are the best.
Sunglasses made with metal can be hot if left in the sun accidentally.
It is easier to fall asleep on the couch when you are hot.
likes to sleep on you when it is hot.
Housework nor cooking is not done when it is hot,.
I don’t care if the gardens need weeding or if the
lawn is mowed.
I wish there was takeout with delivery available up here.
It is hot in the sun, in the shade, on the deck and under the umbrella.
I love a good breeze.
Cooler weather is coming. I hope I remember the heat come February!
read this week:
A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst
All Roads Lead to You by Jennifer Probst
by Chris Keniston
The Conspiracy by Kat Martin
The First Mistake by Sandie Jones
Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Falling With You by Carrie Ann Ryan (not reviewed yet)
I have ORD
I have ORD. It is time to share the diagnosis with my friends and family. It is not a surprise to many of you, but the diagnosis is clear now. I have struggled
with this since I began reading in elementary school. It has ebbed and surged throughout the years. Lately it has become more apparent.
The list of criteria:
I would rather read than sleep.
I bring a book with me everywhere.
I have fallen in love with many fictional characters.
I can’t finish my TBR list in four lifetimes.
I count my book as my significant other.
I have nightmares about not having anything to read.
For sure, it is obsessive reading disorder. We can even add another couple of items to the list.
will read a book in any format necessary.
I teach others how to read.
always have at least one book going.
I have a list of always read authors longer than one single spaced page.
Like I said, it is clear. ORD. Obsessive Reading Disorder. As I understand it there is no cure and there is no medication
available. It is too deep seated at this point. I am sorry. NOT!
read this week
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber
The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin
The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery
Life is a Collection of Moments
Life is a Collection of Moments was on a pin I found today. Such simple words for such a huge thought. The small simple moments that make up a day and make up a life are they the true meaning of life. When
I was young, my Aunt Barbara would say how grateful she was for the small blessings like seeing someone’s new baby or having coffee with her sisters. I remember thinking that those are not blessings, but are things that happen. How wrong I was!
Those are the happenings in a collection of moments.
The last two weeks, I have thought a lot about my collection of moments. I realized that some
of my moments that I have collected were very precious to me, but at the time, I did not recognize their significance. I have tried to be more aware of the moments. I have seen flickers feeding their babies, I have seen the cardinal calling his mate,
I have seen a fox trotting down the driveway and Oscar sleeping on his back sprawled in the sand. I have always tried to stop and live in the moment with them, but now I realize I need to be more receptive to even more. This week I saw my bestie and
her daughter for the first time in three years. Those moments playing Rummikub or Skip Bo in the hotel laughing and plotting how to beat each other are some of that collection to save and cherish. Of equal importance was sitting quietly with each other as
we read our novels was also a moment to save and cherish. Those moments from a quick visit in an anonymous hotel between our homes were special moments - it is those moments that make up a life well lived.
This week, Elise has given us an interview with Laura L Sullivan about her book Milady. If any of you have ever read The Three Musketeers, you may recognize the character of Milady
De Winter. It is a great interview. I have read a number of books this week that are romances and one very disturbing book, Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson. I have to admit, I have had trouble letting the Lucy Dawson book go. It is a twisted
story that really has made me think about how the main character in the book… well read it and let me know what you think….
collection of moments this week - may you find them precious.
Books Read this week:
the Core by Maisey Yates
The Bad Luck Bride by Jane Goodger
The Reluctant Duchess by Jane Goodger
One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke
One Night of Scandal by Darcy Burke