Other People’s Words Wisdom For An Inspired And Productive Life by Seth M. Siegel

Other People's Words: Wisdom for an Inspired and Productive Life

I love quotes and collect them like seashells. What Mr. Siegal has done is put them in order.

There are eleven different topics and several subtopics within those. No matter what you are dealing with someone somewhere has been there and has written something either witty enough or meaningful enough that you will be able to relate.

Most I had heard before, but a lot of them I have not and was grateful I could borrow those.

A very interesting book with a really good forward by the author.

NetGalley/ May 4th, 2021 St. Martin’s Press

Weekend in the big D!

Last Friday we packed up the puppy and headed for Dallas. Specifically to the Arts District and the Dallas Museum of Arts for their Arts and Letters program. Specifically, Don Winslow is in conversation with Harry Hunsicker. Winslow’s new book, City on Fire is part of a trilogy. The first book released on April 26th and the others will release over the next two years.

It’s a departure from the Savages and Cartel. It takes place in his own backyard. Providence. It’s mafia and I loved it.

We had a great time in Dallas. Friday night I introduced OU Boy to Campisi’s, a famous Italian spot with a notorious back room. The food was excellent as usual and we stopped by a cupcake bakery for dessert. We had a corner suite and all night long skateboarders rode the parking garage across the street. It was quite the entertainment. Coco did fine in her travel playpen.

Saturday we walked 10 miles! All over the East end and the West end. With Coco in her sling. She even peed on the grassy knoll. And yes there are idiots still out there waiting for JFK to return. We had the best gelato and affogato and the weather was hot and not windy. We watched the symphony orchestra set up and went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the first Methodist church. There was so much going on with Prom and graduations.

We arrived at the Museum early and had front row seats. It was very informal and a lot of fun. Winslow is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. And his plans for after retirement are exciting.

This weekend we are staying in and binge-watching Vera on BritBox. We have dealt with awful weather all week so it’s time to calm down and get ready for another busy week.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothering!

SIMMERING WITH RESENTMENT by DARYL WOOD GERBER

A Cookbook Nook Mystery #11

This is the eleventh book in this series and I would recommend you read them all!

We are back in Crystal Cove, with Jenna and the gang at the Cookbook Nook, and the town has been taken over by brides! The Bride’s Dream Expo is in town and people are losing their minds over wedding stuff. Jenna has set up displays in the shop and these women are buying everything! Jenna is also attending the expo for any last-minute things to add to her own wedding in a few weeks to Rhett.

The last person she expected to see was Sarita Stachline. Who knew she was out of prison? A place Jenna helped to put her after she proved that Sarita had burned down her own restaurant and left with a ton of money. But here she is live and in-person making new enemies and annoying everyone.

It only gets worse when a bomb goes off in the kitchen of Rhett’s new restaurant while Jenna and Rhett are inside. While Jenna is okay, Rhett is not and Jenna is certain this is revenge brought about by Sarita.

She makes her case to the detectives and they tell her to back off. Which is what Sarita said. The next day those words are on a brick that sails through Jenna’s window. Who is feeling guilty? There are so many shady ladies and gentlemen in here. Secrets kept for years, a lot of red herrings, and a lot of really yummy-sounding recipes!

Personally, I could have done without about a fourth of the descriptive words. Also, Jenna didn’t seem to be involved or care about the wedding preparations and she seemed uncertain about the marriage. I wish we had heard more about the wedding prep before she walked down the aisle.

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Beyond the Page



OUR KIND of PEOPLE by Carol Wallace

Our Kind of People

Welcome to the Gilded Age in New York City. The war is over and the elite of the city are getting back to balls and debuts and other pursuits. In Helen Wilcox’s case, it means finding suitable matches for her two daughters on a shoestring budget.

While Helen comes from money, She has married for love. And boy were those people snobby and just plain mean.

But it is 1874 and the times were different. Classes were important and old money trumped the new money. So how will Helen find suitable men for her two daughters? Her husband has dreams of an elevated rail in NYC. It’s a genius idea but it will take a lot of money! When it lead to financial ruin, Helen is questioning her husband’s dream but not his love for her or hers for him.

And as their fortunes change, they along with daughters Jemima and Alice must take a hard look at the world as it is, not as it was and think long and hard about what they want.

To Marry an English Lord was written by Wallace. The inspiration for Downton Abbey so if you are missing it or Bridgerton, this should hold you until Mr. Fellowes brings us more! And thank goodness he will bring The Gilded Age to life!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by G P Putman’s Sons

Did Someone Cancel Winter?

There is some serious sunshine and warm weather here today! As in take the kayak out weather!

I just put the trash out and wore a tank top and shorts. So…what’s up with that? I am not complaining, mind you, I am highly allergic to cold.

Things have sort of piled up here. One Uncle is still in the hospital due to Covid. And Grandpa is home with palliative care. He’s pretty much done with things. But he will leave on the same land he was born on. And that is really wonderful. Christmas Day will be quiet and just close family and finger foods. I am so fine with that. I have cooked enough for work parties. So it’s another year of December losses.

On the bright side, it’s not cold yet. We went to a Christmas party where they played Dirty Santa. I have never in my life played this game. But the invitation said, “Uglier the better. Don’t spend any money.” And we both looked at each other and said, “The Clock”! Last year our 90-year-old neighbor who is a nun, gave us a clock. A very expensive clock with a beach theme even. However, every hour a seagull comes out and makes a noise like a ghost moaning. Seriously was creeping me out so we never put it up. Since there were two of us we needed two gifts. I had purchased several Kate Spade bangles and had one leftover so I went with that. It was the last one opened too and it went to the person I wanted to have it. But the clock? Four people fought over that thing! It got stolen 3 times and that was the limit. I avoided having my picks stolen by immediately putting them in my purse on the floor. It was a lot of fun and the food was so good. Especially the Red Chili Chicken.

Our funniest moment this week came from the hotel. OU Boy went to open a safe in a room where a very elderly woman is staying and in the safe was a cup of coffee. She wanted to know why it wasn’t getting hot. Now I’m wondering what she is putting in the microwave!

I won two Barbara Ross books and that was lovely. Did everyone finish their 2021 books? I had a late entry but it’s a cozy and I’ll gobble it up later. Tonight we are going to go see the Christmas lights and rest up.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing Day!

Joyeaux Noel!

xx P

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street
The Last House on Needless Street
This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think..

This one shook me. It is a story of a serial killer and all of the above blurb. But it’s also the story of a girl who lost her little sister, a boy who was horribly abused, a parent who is a sociopath, a cat who reads the Bible and watches television and a lot of lies.

I really don’t want to say anymore than that. There was nothing nice about this story. It was horrific and chilling and all of the dark things no one talks about. There was no attempt to dress it up as a nice fairy tale. It was true darkness at it’s best. 

I had at least 3 different ideas about what was happening and boy was I wrong! If this is the new dark Gothic, please bring it on!

Horrifyingly good!

NetGalley/September 28th, 2021 by Tor Nightfire

In the Shadow of the Empress by Nancy Goldstone

In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

The vibrant, sprawling saga of Empress Maria Theresa—one of the most renowned women rulers in history—and three of her extraordinary daughters, including Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen of France.

That is the blurb on this very interesting look at this Empress and her daughters. And with Nancy Goldstone as the author I knew this would be good. She has such a way of making Non-Fiction read like the best story you can imagine. Never dull or dry. I adored this book.

This is the story of eighteenth century Maria Theresa, a strong woman who ruled the entire Habsburg Empire. We also learn about her daughters, who were also strong rulers in their own right. The Governor-General of the Austrian Netherlands, Maria Christina. Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and of course, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and the one you have probably heard the most about.

But all of them were extraordinary. The imagery of the royal courts is well done. The research put into this book is astounding. Reading this was a history lesson inside a story. A story of hope, desire, betrayal and every hardship one could imagine.

This is one I shall keep and share for a long time.

NetGalley/ September 21st, 2021 by Little, Brown and Company

Is it going to be over soon?

The question we all want an answer to. It seems to just be getting worse. And I have had enough of it.

We have been staying as far away from people as we can. Luckily for us we love being outside. So, we have been kayaking, camping, playing with the horses and on the boat with the grandparents. In the middle of the lake and all four of us vaccinated.

We go to the market early in the morning and get back home. I’m lucky I work from home in the sense that not much has changed for my work schedule.

Hilton is mandating masks for all employees and most are vaccinated as well. But you would not believe what they go through. The Shriners are holding a convention in town and they are all at our hotel. They are also mouthy, drunk, and fighting each other in public. What a shock. I always thought they were good people who cared about health. Wrong. One started yelling at OU Boy about his mask. Telling him it was all a hoax and he should take it off. OU Boy told him they are required to wear it and the man reached out and grabbed his shoulder to take off the mask. Luckily security was right there to escort him off the property. Hilton does not play when it comes to their employees.

Later a fist fight broke out in the bar that ended with one in jail and one sent on his way. Today we were supposed to have multiple softball teams come in but most of them tested positive for Covid at the end of the first week of school so they are now in quarantine at home. Which is very responsible of them.

We have had people yell at us about our masks and we just flip them off and move along.

We just spent four days at the lake. The good thing about having Mondays and Tuesdays off is there was no one there. Even the flies seemed to be socially distancing. It’s sad to have to tell our neighbors that they can’t come in our yard even. But our red state is also ignorant. If I have to hear about God’s will one more time I may throat punch someone.

So that’s my week. How was yours? Is everyone acting crazy where you are? What are you doing to stay safe but not isolated? Give me some ideas !

P

When a Stranger Comes To Town Edited by Michael Koryta

When a Stranger Comes to Town
Mystery Writers of America Presents WHEN A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN EDITED by MICHAEL KORYTA

All of our favorite Mystery writers coming together to write a short story around one theme. When a stranger comes to town…and go!

I really enjoyed the opening. All great literature boils down to one of two stories-a man takes a trip or a stranger comes to town. And our group of mystery writers is the best at both.

When you toss a stranger into the mix, it could go numerous ways. We don’t know them. They aren’t usually here, so what’s up?

Well these authors, who we love, took that idea and ran with it. It is so much fun to have this anthology of the best short stories by the mystery writers we love.

Grab this one for sure. It’s like have a lot of your faves in one book!

Thanks, NetGalley!

NetGalley Reviews/ April 20th,2021 by Hanover Square Press

The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer Publication Day! @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress Congratulations!

The Perfect Daughter

Another thriller from Palmer! And it is so good!

Some backstory: Grace and Arthur run the family pizza joint in town. They have two sons, Jack and Ryan. Grace though has always dreamed of being the mother to a daughter. So imagine her surprise when she finds a four-year-old little girl abandoned in the park.

The police have no idea who the child is and the child is not speaking to anyone. It’s obvious she has been traumatized but she’s kept quiet. With no family, Grace talks Arthur into letting them foster her which eventually leads to her being adopted and becoming a member of the family.

Jack nicknames her Penny and it sticks. She’s fine with it. But the question remains. Who is she? And when puberty sets in things get dark. Penny hangs around a known pyro, Maria, and they are both in trouble with the law soon. And when Arthur keels over dead at work with only Penny around, she is traumatized more. She is also blamed by Ryan for not calling 911.

Although things are tense and her behavior is odd, they finally get a diagnosis of DID. The last thing Grace thought she would see next was her teenager in jail, covered in blood, found holding a knife over her dead biological mother.

So who the heck is this kid and what has she done? Is she Eve? The kick-ass and take no names alter? Or Chloe? The perfectionist? Maybe Ruby? Although that British accent is off, she seems to be halfway decent.

While her daughter sits in an insane asylum waiting for her trial, Grace and Dr. Mitch will dig deep to find the truth, ending with both of their lives in danger.

But when ‘Penny’ takes the stand her testimony will blow your mind! Either this girl is a pro at lying or the cops are about to be very busy inside the courtroom!

Excellent as her last one!

NetGalley/ April 20, 2021, St. Martins Press