Sunday, November 30, 2008

Upcoming Bookeemonster books

December seems to be a quiet month for me. I've got a hold on Jan Burke's new stand alone, THE MESSENGER. Here's a blurb from Amazon:
Tyler Hawthorne, a British officer wounded at Waterloo, receives a memento mori ring on the battlefield from Messenger Lucien Adrian deVille, Lord Varre. The ring grants the wearer immortality, but in exchange Tyler must forever comfort the dying. Tyler also gets Shade, a black cemetery dog, for protection. In the present, a salvage diver uncovers Adrian's remains in a ship sunk in the Caribbean in 1815. A resurrected Adrian uses the diver to help locate Tyler in Los Angeles, where Tyler is attending to a leukemia patient. Tyler, an ageless 24, has also fallen for wealthy Amanda Clarke, who's haunted by family members killed in an accident that she survived. Mutual attraction and a dedication to do good unite the pair against the evil Adrian.

From the UK, I've got THE WESTMINSTER POISONER by Susanna Gregory coming. It will be released in the US in February and I can't wait that long. It would be the same with a CJ Sansom or Susan Hill book; can't wait. This is the 4th in her Thomas Chaloner, a spy in Restoration England series. Here's the book description from Amazon:

After the Puritan ban on Christmas festivities, Restoration London is awash with excess between Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night, but the two men found in Westminster Hall had not died from a surfeit of gluttony, but from poison. The Lord Chancellor appoints Chaloner as his investigator into the killings, believing them to be of scant importance to the affairs of state he deals with. But Chaloner reveals a stinking seam of corruption in the Palace of White Hall, where even the Queen is a victim to the greed of courtiers and functionaries. And the pickings are so rich that men are prepared to go to any lengths to save their own skins and their stolen fortunes.

THAI DIE by Monica Ferris was released in late November but looks like I'll be getting from the library in December. This is a cosy but I read this series for some reason. It is 12th in the series featuring Betsy Devonshire, a needlework shop owner in Excelsior, Minnesota. And that's it for December as far as I can tell. I'll have to work on my regular series reads otherwise.

Things pick up in January. The one I'm most interested in is the latest in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, THE TEMPTATION OF THE NIGHT JASMINE. This is the fifth, I believe, and the concept is taken from, of course, the Scarlet Pimpernel. This description comes from Amazon:

Willig introduces to her series the most elusive spy of all time, whose calling card is the faint whiff of jasmine in the cold night air.After twelve years in India, Robert, duke of Dovedale, returns to his estate in England to avenge the murder of his mentor during the 1803 Battle of Assaye. Robert plans to infiltrate the infamous, secretive Hellfire Club to uncover the murderer’s identity— but he has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him—one Lady Charlotte Lansdowne.Having cherished a romanticized view of Robert since childhood, Charlotte is thrilled by his return. To Charlotte, Robert is all the knights of the Round Table rolled into one. That’s not exactly the case, but she can’t help but search for the man she loves inside this less-than-pristine package. And while Robert works to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, he can’t help but be drawn to her innocence and inner beauty. When Charlotte is approached by Lady Henrietta Selwick to join her in a bit of espionage—investigating a plot to kidnap the king—Robert soon realizes that Charlotte is not only the perfect partner in crime; she’s the perfect partner, period. Caught in a dangerous game with deadly flower-named spies and secret members of the Hellfire Club, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain…and confront their true passion for each other.

This series has different featured characters in each book though they are intertwined but the series as a whole should be read in order. It starts with THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION. Fluffy but fun reads.

Other books in January I'm interested in are BLEEDING HEART SQUARE by Andrew Taylor, CAMBRIDGE BLUE by Alison Bruce and OF MERCHANTS AND HEROES by Paul Waters. Here's a blurb from Amazon about that last one:

The story of a young man's pursuit of his father's murderer and of the values and qualities he develops that will make him a man-a man capable of a deep, noble, and enduring love. At the end of the third century B.C., as Republican Rome's long war with Carthage was at last drawing to a close, it was already threatened by a new enemy, Philip, the tyrant king of Macedon in the east. Into this turbulent world emerges our Roman hero, Marcus, whose father is brutally murdered by pirates on a journey from Italy to Corfu on a visit to his uncle. Fate takes him to some of the great cities of the Greco-Roman world at a time of major turbulence, where he learns much and finds love unexpectedly.This debut novel explores political and philosophical questions that are as timeless as democracy and tyranny, war and self-defense, right and duty, as well as questions of love, loyalty, and betrayal.

Interesting, no?

In February, I've noted the latest Peter Robinson is released in the US, ALL THE COLORS OF DARKNESS. And SJ Rozan is finally doing another Bill and Lydia book, released in this month called THE SHANGHAI MOON. It's been a while for her on this series while she's been doing stand alones -- that I haven't liked.

March 2009 is a doozy. I'll just have to list them for now:

  • GRAVE GOODS by Ariana Franklin (3rd in her Mistress of the Art of Death series)
  • SILENT ON THE MOOR by Deanna Raybourn (3rd of her Lady Julia Grey, recently widowed, in 1880s London, England series)
  • EXECUTION DOCK by Anne Perry (finally a new Monk!)
  • PROMISES IN DEATH by JD Robb (yay!)
  • FAULT LINE by Barry Eisler (stand alone)
  • PLAGUE OF POISON by Maureen Ash (3rd in histmyst series)

March is very very good indeed. And there may be some that I've missed so I'll update is things occur. But I have to say that the next four months look great.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last minute details

Doh! I nearly forgot to post today.

I finished TRIBUTE by Nora Roberts. She always picks characters who have interesting jobs. In this case it was a former child star who is now a house rehabber/flipper and the guy is a well-known graphic novelist. Her grandmother was famous movie star who died mysteriously; the house she is now moving into and rehabbing used to belong to her. She is being harrassed by someone who hates her. He lives across the road. Love ensues of course and the mystery is solved although in this case it didn't really give enough of the story after the resolution in my opinion. A fluffy read but suited at the time.

I did spend a couple of very nice hours today looking over the books to be released in the next four months and I'm very very pleased that some of my favorite authors are going to be available then. I'll list them tomorrow since I'm at the wrong work station where I have things written down.

I turned in a paper today that I didn't really put much heart into so I hope it will pass muster. Steve and I went to get some groceries and then stopped by the gun show. I walked Tug afterward. We had taco salad for dinner and watched Cops. Just a nice solid day.

Last night was a wasted evening. Instead of reading or even watching something enjoyable I found myself stuck on the Hallmark channel watching two silly Christmas movies. Ugh. But I kept doing it. I was flipping channels between that and the Christmas parade but I couldn't watch the parade exclusively because one of the "commentators" was Corby Skinner who I can't stand. So I didn't Steve and his Dad on tv; I don't even know if they were really shown this year. I don't think they were. I did see the people behind them. Ah well. I'm only sorta glad I wasn't there; Dave was supposed to help but surprise surprise he didn't which is a replay of the Inauguration parade. I shouldn't trust him. So next year I have to be sure to be there -- I hope the weather isn't bad. :)

Now I think I'll watch an MI-5 episode before heading to bed. Life is hard ... not.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

The day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. I am soooo glad I'm not working retail anymore. And I think it is wrong in so many ways that some stores open at 4 am. And I don't have words to say the opinion I have about the worker at Walmart back east who got trampled to death. Despicable; the worst sign of greed and lack of human-ness I've ever heard of.

The other nice thing is that I don't have to help with the Christmas parade tonight. Every year Steve's dad pulls a team of horses and a wagon for First Interstate Bank and Steve of course has to help and I of course have to help Steve. Last year I was sick so I didn't go. This year, Steve's brother is in town with his family and he has (snigger) VOLUNTEERED to help. This year there isn't snow but it will be in the 30s with nasty nasty wind. There is a possibility of snow/ice but I think that is expected over night after the parade. I could go anyway just for points sake but those points won't be big enough in Steve's world so why bother? I'll stay home and read and maybe watch the parade on tv while drinking a glass of wine. Lovely.

Otherwise, not much done today. I've done bedding laundry. I've walked Tug -- in that nasty wind. I dropped off thermals for Steve to wear tonight because he forgot them this morning. I had a lovely couple hours at M&D's and had a turkey on a bun with their nummy stuffing for lunch. I've been loved/mauled by a lab puppy. What more can you ask for?

I think I'm going to pick up some chili from Wendy's and Tug will be glad to have a ride. I can't think of anything else for dinner (I'll be eating alone because Steve will be gone for the parade from 4 until who knows?) and the only other thing I would have here is soup or caving in on some pizza which I shouldn't do. So chili it is and my puppy gets to tour the neighborhood.

Dinner yesterday at the Madsens was fine. We got there at about 3 and got home a little after 8. Same old stuff. :) And the Cowboys won! Good day all around.

I don't know what Steve has planned for tomorrow. His brother and family head back to Denver tomorrow so no plans there. It would be nice if he could just relax at home. He did head in early this morning and stopped by Sears for their Black Friday Doorbusters and got some stuff for the shop. He stopped by the gun show this afternoon and may go again tomorrow. That's what he'll do.

Currently reading TRIBUTE by Nora Roberts. A little cheesy for her but fluffy and I'm in the mood for fluffy. I have a paper due tomorrow so I'm plugging away on that as well.

Gotta change the laundry loads. Happy Thanksgiving a day later everyone.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Count down to T-Day

For not really having to do anything, the days go by very quickly for me and I find I don't get things done that I wanted. It's a strange phenomena.

I went to Walmart to pick up some things; some items for us and a couple things to bring to dinner tomorrow. I stopped by Albertsons for some wine that I may also bring tomorrow. It is Sutter Home White Merlot that my BIL Scott had introduced when they were up in October. Good stuff for wine. Then I went to the library ... more on that in a minute. Next, Steve and I had lunch at Pug Mahons with Dave, Carey, and Lauren. Lauren is 10 months now and good baby size. She's got very large blue eyes and very alert. I had the reuben, of course. I got home and at long last my unemployment check was in the mail so Tug and I went to the Credit Union to deposit it and get a cookie (for Tug). Then we walked. It had warmed up by the afternoon but now the sun is setting and the wind looks like it is picking up.

Steve is going shooting tonight and if things go well then Dave will meet him there. I think Dave is trying to avoid his sister, unfortunately Carey couldn't use the same excuse. Jackie and kids were supposed to arrive at 11:30-ish since they drove halfway last night. Tomorrow will be fun but also a trial so I'm hoping we'll be able to have the wine -- only Dave and Carey and maybe Jackie and I would be drinking it. It would take the edge off, eh?

I'll be watching Stylista and maybe House Hunters tonight. I sent back the Netflix movie today and probably the soonest I could get the next would be Friday, I'm thinking. The good news is that I received today the MI-5 Season One DVD (happy happy) that I got super cheap on eBay so I can watch the first two discs' director's comments while the next one gets to me. I gotta get my MI-5 fix. :)

So, I went to the library as I mentioned previously. I've started reading the next in series for me of the Susanna Gregory series and it has perhaps shifted away my reading slump. I did pick up some books and DVDs while at the library:

  • TRIBUTE by Nora Roberts (I don't read much romance but she's very good)
  • A BITTER CHILL by Jane Finnis (2nd in roman histmyst series)
  • BROTHER CADFAEL'S PENANCE by Ellis Peters (the last in the series and I believe the last that I still need to read in this series -- how sad, good series)
  • DEATH AND THE CHAPMAN by Kate Sedley (1st in medieval series I've been meaning to get to)
  • PRIVATE WARS by Greg Rucka (2nd of 2 in Queen and Country series - spies)
  • SECRET ASSET by Stella Rimington (2nd of 3 in series of MI-5 spies -- can you tell I'm in the mood for spies?)

  • PRIME SUSPECT 4 (I haven't seen 2 yet but this is a good Brit crime series featuring Helen Mirren and they were on the shelf. I thought they'd get me through while waiting for the next MI-5 DVD from Netflix)
  • WIFES AND DAUGHTERS - another Brit Period Drama (BPD)

So maybe I'll get back to reading. Wouldn't that be nice? I think maybe I'll start with the Nora Roberts as that's a 14-day book.

So tomorrow we're expected no later than 3:30 at the Madsens. I expect Steve will sleep in quite a while. I'll walk Tug. I don't know exactly when we'll get there but it would be better to be earlier than that although I know we'll be there into the evening. And I'll have to do the dishes with the help of some of the others -- Alice will be banished except to direct where dishes are to be put away.

I'm very glad we're not having dinner here. I would not be able to afford it; I would be a wreck with trying to clean everywhere with very little help; you can't control when people come and when they finally leave. No thank you. But we do have the better tv system for watching football so that will be a negative. But this year there will be a baby to oggle over so that will take some pressure off. :)

I don't know yet what I'll make for myself for dinner since it's just me. I toyed with the idea of getting something while I was grocery shopping but I talked myself out of it. I may have spaghetti with olive oil. I'm getting kinda tired of my daily soup. If I were really bad I'd splurge and either order a pizza (!) or get something from Mustard Seed. I don't think I should be that bad. I did have a big lunch. Think think think...

I got Tug a knuckle bone to chew on tonight after Steve leaves. Maybe that will keep him occupied for oh, 15 minutes. :)

So I guess not a bad day altogether. It has gone by fast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I was thinking why I haven't really been making much progress in some of the other projects I could be working on -- the workbook, the class I'll be teaching next summer, etc. I just can't really concentrate on much heavy duty stuff right now. I can't even really read the newspaper either. I'm getting through on MI-5 episodes and British period dramas. I haven't even been able to commit to a book to read.

Although I did read one in the past 24 hours. It was the autobiography of Lisa Williams who is a psychic from the UK. She had a show on Lifetime last year that even Steve would watch with me. She's a very personable ... person. So this book was a breezy quick respite from the book drought.

I'm working on the "L's" on the organizing my books Project and in the middle of bookcase number three which is downstairs in my office. This will be lovely when it's done but then I have to list all the books I'm getting rid of on or something similar. Some of the discards won't be leaving the house immediately unfortunately.

The holidays are beginning. Steve's brother and his family arrive this evening from Denver. I believe they'll be heading back Saturday. We got invited over for dinner (lasagna) at his parents' home but Steve says he's too tired tonight and I imagine Dave and Carey will also be pretty knocked out from being on the road all day and doing the trip with a baby for the first time. Tomorrow, Steve's sister and her family arrive but we won't be doing dinner with them tomorrow evening as well since Steve has shooting (he's in charge of set up and take down even if he didn't feel like shooting). Basically, it will be a Thursday/Friday thing for us (phew). Friday will be the Christmas parade.

I applied for a federal job today online; very very good salary. It's a long shot but you never know. My unemployment claim has now been approved (it only took a month) and I hope a check will show up tomorrow.

I got the first Netflix movie today. Until now I had been only ordering shows that I could watch immediately on my computer. This was the first disc of season two of MI-5, the two shows on it are ones I've already seen but I wanted to watch the additional features that are on the DVD and not available in the online version. I've only got the last episode of the season two to watch now and I don't want to view until I have the first of season three in my hands (not available online, darnit) because I know it ends in a cliffhanger and I don't want to be left hanging for very long. There are only three episodes left that include my favorite character which is very sad but I will probably continue with the series. The show itself I think went into seven years of episodes with a rather changing cast over that period of time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What I DON'T want for Christmas

Borrowing from Paperback Writer....

What I don't want for Christmas:

  1. Clothes. I hate the dread of things not fitting or not really being my taste. If you must, a gift card to CJ Banks would work. I don't do scarves. I don't do turtlenecks.
  2. Knick Knacks. My MIL is the queen of this. I don't like 'em, I don't want 'em, they just need dusting and take up room. Uck. No. This includes windchimes, candles, teapots, etc.
  3. Books. No really. I adore books but I usually have a list going of what I would like to purchase so again, a gift card would be much appreciated.
  4. Kitchen stuff. I'm not that inventive when I cook, nor is Steve that inventive in eating. It just takes up counter space. New counters on the other hand.... :)
  5. Food. We really don't need that in the house because we eat them, you know, the baked goods and candies and stuff at the holidays.
  6. Jewelry. I wear the things I love. Adding more options just confuses things.

What would I like?

  1. A job. Pays well (40k range will do), M-F, 8-5, preferably in the nonprofit field so I can use my degrees.
  2. A vacuum that will last for decades. Mine isn't working anymore. Not romantic but needful.
  3. Gift card to Amazon or Heaven.
  4. DVDs. I can create a list, no problem.
  5. Gift card to Walmart so I can buy groceries ... until that #$!@#$ unemployment check shows up it's getting a little tight. Oh and those utility bills.

Honestly, I have everything I need. A secure roof over my head, a car that works, entertainment like crazy at home... life is good and I don't need a damn thing ... except a new vacuum.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday update

The interview went well this morning I thought. I don't think I really fumbled any questions; the questions were all open ended. They don't really have a specific salary in mind; it will depend upon the candidate's experience. They'll be making a decision next week, they hope.

I filed for my bi-weekly claim today. Not that I've received anything yet on it. (sigh)

Talked to Jody last night. She sounds better in her sinus-ness of pneumonia but is still lacking energy completely. She wants to get back to work very soon and I told her not to push it or she'll relapse and the YAM doesn't want that and won't do anyone any good.

My tire went flat again so I took it to the door shop after the interview. Steve changed the tire so the old one could get fixed or replaced -- there was a nail in very quite evidently. It took two weeks to go down again.

My ear is still bothering me. I think this is a precursor of getting sick or at least the first sign that something is trying to get into sick mode and hopefully it will go away soon. Not pain, just an ache along the ear canal.

We've got Chuck to watch tonight on tv. I'm up to the "G's" on my Project.

This Friday is the Christmas parade in which the Madsens always drive the horses and surrey. Dave wants to help this year so maybe I'm off the hook -- yay! Last year I couldn't because I was sick and had to watch on the tv at home. No such luck this year.

Okay, I'm done. On to the next blog which will be funner, I promise.

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Slow, non-productive Sunday.

We went to see the new James Bond movie last night. We initially intended to see the 8:00 showing but it was sold out; we then got tickets for the 9:40 so we didn't get home until midnight and hence not to sleep until 1-ish. I'm still just dragging all day because Tug got me up at the usual time and this is two days in a row for me of this. Oy. The theater was packed with Twilight audiences.

The movie, I thought, was pretty good. It wasn't on the same plot level as Casino Royale but this was, essentially, a different type of movie. Casino was very plot/story driven; this one was rather linear and revenge driven. I had heard complaints about it but I don't really give them much credence. I like this James Bond; I liked the movie; I'll buy the DVD when it's available.

Tomorrow, I have the interview and I need to work on the Project some more and try to do some cleaning of the house in case relatives insist on coming over during the next few days of the holiday.

I'll be taking Tug for a walk soon; I don't know if Steve will accompany us or not. The Cowboys look to be the winners of their game; this is a good thing. I will probably do a load or two of clothes laundry in a bit. I don't really have anything else going; I may watch another MI-5 episode later as nothing is on tv that interests me as far as I can see.

I told ya: just a lazy Sunday.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday's alright for fightin' (Elton John)

I've been bit by bit working on my Project the past couple days -- getting my books organized in alphabetically order. I've actually been ruthless now in deciding what I keep and what I don't. BTW, did you know that used bookstores don't take donations anymore? Well mine doesn't. I hauled two boxes of books over there yesterday and she only kept a small handful and declined about 95% of them. I guess they'll get donated to the library now.

Anyway, with my project, I'm up to "D" in the alphabet. A through D fill one bookcase, not double stacked in anyway. I'm very proud of it. So far it really does represent what I've read and enjoyed enough to keep and those books that I'm interested in to read in the future. I just love looking at that bookcase now. Of course, the rooms are a mess with books and will probably get worse before the Project is done but I'm glad I'm doing it.

So I'm still not really reading but I'm dealing with my books. :)

I applied for another job yesterday, for the Arthritis Foundation. Again, we'll see what happens.

I watched the best episode of MI-5 yesterday; the 5th episode of season two. In a nutshell, the MI-5 team come to work Friday morning and, ugh, they have to do a drill of an extreme national emergency in which they are locked down in their command center (and the lackluster participation of some members) when they come to the realization that, wait a minute, we don't think this is fake due to the continued evidence that somethat really catastrophic has happened. It shows the strength of command as the complications grow by the hour and the falling apart of morale as things get more dire. Then, surprise, right when the leader "shoots" someone as they try to leave the contained area, it turns out it was a drill/assessment after all and the reactions to that realization. Good acting.

I also watched a DVD I had checked out from the library, North and South, based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell about the pride and prejudices of a minister's daughter and a mill owner in a Northern England mill town. It's a struggle of classes -- working and gentry -- and a struggle of business versus moral/social duty, etc. I was only going to watch episode two (it has four one-hour episodes), when the story got a hold of me and I wound up watching the whole thing and finally went to bed after midnight. Yes, it's a 19th century romantic story with all the coincidences and sentimentality but I enjoyed it a lot. Those British period dramas are the best.

I don't know what is going to go on this weekend. Steve will probably be up soon; I don't know if he has a job lined up for today or not. I don't think I need to run errands today. I think a nap will happen this afternoon for me because I only got about 6 hours of sleep. I guess we just take things as they come, eh?

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday again?

Doing this a little early today. I'm having a cup of coffee before I head out into the wind. It's freakin' windy out there, people.

Well, I've started the big project and a little way into it I realized it's a BIG PROJECT. Why didn't anyone stop me? :) I'm being very strict with myself and I'm going through the lot in the living room right now and the others later and asking myself "will I REALLY read this book?" And I'm making a big pile of things to be taken to the used bookstore. I haven't gotten to the point of being ruthless with myself when I ask that question but it may come to it when I get further in to this thing. I am truly liking being able to see all the books on the shelf and not have to remember what is behind and under, etc. We shall see; that's all I'm committing to.

I have to go to the grocery store today. I will probably stop by the library as well. I hope the winds die down for our walk this afternoon.

I didn't sleep very well last night for whatever reason and when I did sleep I had weird dreams. One of the reasons why I'm sucking down coffee right now is so I won't go back to bed.

I started watching a DVD I've got from the library; it's a British period drama called North and South based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell. It's longer than I thought but I'm liking it.

I heard back from the job I applied for yesterday with a thank you but no thank response. They're quick. I must have REALLY not been what they were looking for.

Steve got a dividend check from the business this week and it is quite large so he's in the market for a gun or two before the gun situation changes in the next administration. He says there is such a huge run on guns right for the same reason that it's difficult to find anything and prices are going way up. He also gave me some money to put in my account since I have auto deduct on some payments like mortgage and car insurance and I haven't received my unemployment money yet. It takes the scariness off a little for me. I know he's not happy having to part with what he's earned and I know it's hard for him to go to work every day while I stay home. So far he's kept any real negativity to a minimum.

I think I just heard my phone upstairs so I'll jot off now. Happy weekend everyone....

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bitten off more than I can chew?

Applied for another job online today. This is at Billings Clinic for a manager for one of their departments, I think. It looked like it didn't require a health background so we'll see. I'm trying, anyway.

I want to do a project but I think it may be more than I can do right now. It needs to be done, I know, and will be wonderful if it gets completed. Well, it started very simply: cleaning the corner in the living room with a big pile of books. We may be having company over next week for the holidays and I wanted that area to look better. Then I thought it would be a good time to maybe organize all my books, alphabetically, so I'd know what I have and get rid of any duplicates. But I have HUNDREDS of books. This may be more than I can handle but it would be so great when it is done. One of the problems is that I've had two layers of books in the bookcases since I wasn't really looking at them. But now I want to be able to see what I've got and I know I'll run out of space very quickly. I've got two shelves filled -- without double layering -- and I'm not even done with the "B's". And I've got the books out of those areas and they're everywhere. I don't know. I thought I could put the "A's" and "B's" on one shelf and so on but it's taking up more space than that. I don't know yet. (sigh) Of course, one solution is to weed out things I won't read but how can I really know that? I may want to read them someday. AND what if the publishing industry does collapse and I've gotten rid all these books too hastily? Bother bother bother.

The Steelers play tonight so Steve wants to bring home something "fun" for dinner, I don't know what. But if it takes me off the hook for figuring out dinner, I'm all for it. I watched America's Next Top Model and the one I was for came in second, darnit. I knew the one who was the winner was going to win -- she's super tall and even though her mouth was like a rubber band, she looked very statuesqely modelish. Ah well, it's just tv. :)

I had thought about going to the Museum exhibit opening this evening but JodyO has pneumonia (for real) and won't be there so I don't think I'll be going now. Better to stay home where it's warm and cosy and messy with books. Seriously, I don't have a place to sit down in the living room right now. (sigh) So I really have to do something about it; I can't just walk away from the project now. Ugh.

Still not reading really. How strange for me.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It was a dark and stormy day...

From a high of almost 70 yesterday, right now it's two degrees above freezing. Weather. Huh.

Not much today. Did homework for the last class I have to take. Have a doctor's appointment this afternoon that I hope won't take too long because I'll have to walk Tug afterward and pray it won't be raining/snowing by then.

Still in a reading slump but I'm leaning toward one of the Elizabeth nonfiction books I've got from the library.

Watched another episode of MI-5 last night. I don't think I'll have time to watch one tonight as Wednesday's are my tv night: America's Next Top Model (I think it's the last episode of this cycle), Stylista, and perhaps Ghost Hunters.

Steve has shooting tonight. I'm thinking of picking up some chili from Wendy's since it is so chilly out. Tug likes to go along on those pick ups because they usually give him a dog bisquit and he knows to expect one -- he goes into drool mode when we pull up to the window.

It's been dark and gloomy for most of the day. Tug's been sleeping through a lot of it. I admit, I went back to bed after Steve left this morning for a little extra myself. Weird dreams though.

It got a really nice note in the mail today reminding me to keep my spirits up as I job hunt from Erin at the YAM -- she was a volunteer for me and then got my job when I left. She's such a sweetheart.

Yup, it's snowing lightly now. Grrr.

Gotta head out.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Tuesday, right?

It is amazingly warm outside. I think the weather channel said a record-breaking near 70 today and we're just a few days away from Thanksgiving. Strange. Poor Tug was just panting like crazy during our walk. Too warm for him. He misses snow.

Not much to report today. I applied for another job this morning; this would have prospects of a good salary. It is Administrator for the Billings Municiple Court. Not nonprofit but a good position. It closes on Friday so maybe they would do interviews next week before the holiday. That's the bugger in all these job possibilities: the holidays make it difficult for hunters because businesses sometimes hold off making big decisions until after them. But I keep trying and it takes the edge off the anxiety for the day when I can take action toward employment.

I looked at other job listings but nothing new or possible. I watched another episode of MI-5. Vacuumed the stairs (I HATE vacuuming the stairs -- that and folding clothes).

I haven't really gotten into any books yet. I've been listening to the second book of the Thursday next series - LOST IN A GOOD BOOK. These are very very clever and funny books by Jasper Fforde and they are almost impossible to describe other than they are British Comedy along the lines of Monty Python.

This morning I kinda got on a Shakespeare/Elizabethan kick so I picked up some books from the library. That's the only thing I can do when these obsessions hit -- go the library and check out items that I probably won't get to at all but at least I've assuaged the urge. I'm just weird and have a wide variety of interests. It's funny the books I got on this topic came from a variety of sources: a cassette audio, a cd audio, a juvenile book, a trade paperback and a hardcover. One of everything, please!

Last night we watched Chuck which was hilarious as always. Then I popped in a DVD of one of my favorite quirky films: Local Hero. I have to watch it every couple years. Just a lovely film.

Today's blog title comes from the fact that I'm starting to get lost in what days are since weekdays are pretty much the same as weekends lately.

So now it's late afternoon, I'm sitting in the red chaise, I've got a cup of coffee nearby, and I think I'll browse through my library books.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, November 17, 2008

Da Blues

Well, it turns out that my interview today is actually next Monday. Another week to get through. I got the official call from Rocky Mountain College -- they are not offering me the job because they're re-scoping it as a more "accountant" oriented position but they'll keep my resume on file....blah blah blah. It's not a surprise to me since I picked up that vibe during the interview (I'm overqualified and wouldn't stay in the position for long), I hadn't heard from them on Friday, and the big one: it was listed in the classified ads yesterday.

So I kinda got a case of the blues this afternoon. It will pass eventually. I try to keep my mind occupied/distracted. I watched a DVD, I cleaned the DVD bookcase in the family room, walked Tug, etc. The thing that bothers me is that I can't really concentrate to do serious work like working on my website or the class I'm doing or really homework for the class I'm finishing. I'm really good though at beating myself up about it. :)

But maybe I'll get the job next week. JodyO said she had put in for it too and they had called to set up an interview like me and she said when she found out that it wouldn't pay in the 50k range she wants that they'd be better with me and gave me a glowing review apparently. She needs to get away from the museum asap but she has a very high salary in mind that is non-negotiable to her but she is also available to move anywhere for a better job so her prospects are a bit better but she did say prospects anywhere really are not that great right now. (sigh)

I wish my unemployment checks would come in and I'd like to hear about the student loan application or actually get a check from that ... then I wouldn't be quite so anxious about things.

I still haven't settle down with a book, being so obsessed still with MI-5. But I should just get a nice steady mystery that I know will get my attention even though it won't grab me like the show. Maybe the next in series by Susanna Gregory.

Let's see, tonight should be Chuck on TV. Let me do a quick check. Hold one moment, please....Yup, and looks like other than Jon & Kate Plus 8 at the same time, nothing else is on. Maybe I can get another episode of MI-5 in later.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday, and the living is easy...

Sometimes days go by so quickly. Tug got me up shortly after 7 so we got the local newspaper and cruised the neighborhood. I played on the Internet a bit per usual. Steve and I went shopping -- there was a special sale at Vann's and through store credit only and no money spent at all we got a BlueRay DVD player and a docking station for Steve's iPod. The old DVD player will go upstairs since that in-tv player doesn't work anymore. We stopped by Best Buy afterward and looked around then got Arby's for lunch. I walked Tug later in the afternoon. The Steelers played this afternoon so Steve was occupied with that (they won!). I've gotten most of the laundry done now.

I've been in a non-reading mood but have preferred watching DVDs -- I get obsessive like that. I've been watching MI-5 and some clips on I get that way about books, too. Must. read/watch. everything. I. can. get. my. hands on. And then it passes.

I have my interview tomorrow morning -- I pray that I get that job because I'm needing that paycheck very very soon. I hope I am what they are looking for in a E.D. There was nothing in the classifieds today, in fact, there were only 18 listings for professional jobs. The only nonprofit job I could apply for is in Helena, as always. Tomorrow has to go well.

I've got a couple DVDs on hold at the library so I'll pick those up tomorrow after the interview as it is being held right across the street from the library.

Nothing really on tv tonight so maybe I can watch some more of the DVDs. It's been really nice to have my laptop in bed.

Need to fix dinner soon.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, November 14, 2008


This will have to be quick again. Sorry, I've got to make dinner in about 10 minutes. We'll see how much I can cram in that time.

Ran a couple errands today - needed to get stamps, etc. Steve had an appointment with his diabetic nurse so I went with. That went very well. He's trying a new type of insulin of the rapid-acting type so we'll see how that goes in the next couple weeks.

I watched Pride and Prejudice last night. Now, this is the newer version with Keira Knightly and Matthew McFadyen. It has always been a version that I avoided because I am so in love with the Colin Firth one. It actually isn't bad. It's shorter of course not being a miniseries but it gets the main points across if a bit quickly. McFadyen does a really fine job of being very serious and Knightly and in fact all the girls are pretty much the right age so it does lend veritude. I liked it. I am now going to watch it with the director's comments - I LOVE that feature on DVDs. This DVD is from the library so I've got it for a couple weeks, I believe.

I've been wanting to watch a lot of DVDs of BBC mysteries but they're not available locally so I finally bit the bullet today and signed up for Netflix's two week free trial to see how it goes. Some things can be viewed right away on your computer so I've started watching one that I've been interested in - season one of MI-5. If I decide to continue the service, it's less than $10 a month for unlimited computer viewing and two movies at a time. Renting one movie costs $3 for goodness sake so I think this will be worth it. But I'll give it a try and decide by the end of two weeks. And I can watch it on my computer in the office or on the laptop anywhere. Not bad, that.

I haven't started a new book yet but will look through the possibilities. I think I'm in the mood for a historical mystery now and I've got many at home from which to choose so I think the only problem will be with so many choices which one will be it. Isn't that a terrible dilemna? :)

I don't think Steve is going to do any projects tomorrow. He mentioned it might be fun to go to Best Buy to look around since we haven't done that in ages. This weekend we hope to go see the new James Bond movie. It will be crowded of course but we'll give it a go. THAT is something that has to be seen on the big screen.

I'm making chicken fried steak and bisquits tonight. I'm making gravy for Steve and I'll be using some of the vat of honey that Steve got from a friend. Have to do something with it.

Two mornings in a row I haven't heard the alarm go off. I don't think it actually went off yesterday because of the power flux we had turning off the settings but I absolutely did not hear it this morning. I was in the middle of a very involved dream though so maybe that accounts for it. I'll be up tomorrow before it goes off. Steve moves it to 8:00 for some reason though he never gets up until two or three hours later. Sheesh.

I hope all went well with JodyO today and she's enjoying the pain drugs and the Thursday Next books. I was thinking to day -- because I'm listening to the 2nd book myself again on cd in the car -- that it is something that she CAN read. They are very silly and funny books and I was thinking that maybe laughing is something she should avoid. Ah well. I also gave her the first book in the Alan Gordon Jester series. I absolutely adore those books. I got them from the library for her so there's no comittment either way. She can like them or not and there's no payment involved.

Time's up. Gotta go cook.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time is getting away from me....

I started and finished KILL TIME by T.J. MacGregor. The description on Amazon is rather blah so here's a review that someone posted there:

D. Merrimon Crawford - TJ MacGregor's KILL TIME depicts the corruption of society as a mother is abducted by government agents and society's values turn extreme. Protection from outside threats and and medical maladies turn rogue as extremism and corruption enter the scene. Time travel heightens the suspense and
characterization as the author reveals history and future influence. Nora's mother disappeared when she was a child. Now, as she prepares to tell her husband that she wants a divorce, her childhood fears come back to haunt her as her husband is taken away from her right in front of her in a restaurant by FREEZE (Freedom and Security). Labeled as a terrorist, there is no recourse and her attempts to find out the charge become much too similar to a Kafka novel. As she traces a trail of clues left by her husband, she uncovers medical research gone awry, disappearing dissidents, political corruption and power brokering, greed run rampant and an eerie connection to a television show from the past. The ending leaves some things unresolved but it works well here, giving a vision that makes the reader ponder. KILL TIME addresses issues of our current culture, indeed issues faced throughout history. By de-familiarizing them through time travel and a futuristic feel, TJ MacGregor gets down to timeless values, not specific political personalities or events, and in doing so, reaches beyond party politics into the heart of human values. I adore suspense that takes parts of culture perhaps good in the original intention and twists them, showing
the underside when "good" things become too absolute, too fanatical. TJ MacGregor reveals the dark underside of aspects of today's society without preaching and without moralizing, leaving the reader to form their own ideas. As homeland security and medical research cross the boundaries into corruption and fanaticism, TJ MacGregor provides an eerie portrait.
It is thriller fun. There is a sequel available but I will read some things in between before taking it on.

I stopped by the library to pick up a couple holds. I also picked up the books of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books for JodyO who is having outpatient surgery tomorrow and will need some diverting reading for the next few days. She expressed interest in these when Sara and I talked about them at lunch on Monday. I dropped them off at the Museum for her. It is getting tiresome, however, to report how I'm doing in the job hunt to everyone and remain upbeat(sigh).

So I read a lot and started watching Pride and Prejudice, the newer version. I had avoided this one because I don't think ANYTHING can compare to Colin Firth as Darcy but I recently saw a a clip of the ending and I have to admit that the gentleman protraying Darcy kinda held his own in a younger way. So I'm giving it a chance and the actors are actually closer to the age I believe the characters are supposed to be. If I had to pick just one novel to love, to save in the event of potential extinction, etc., it would be Pride and Prejudice, followed by Austen's Persuasion. Anyway, I had also picked up another British period drama DVD called North and South so I'll give that a try too in a day or two.

Steve just got home. I'm making taco salad and we'll watch Survivor in a little while.

Happy reading,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday cruisin'

I've got a job interview Monday for an Executive Director position. Hallelujah. It's a two person office but it would be good experience. Crossed fingers....

I finished THE CURE FOR SOULS by Phil Rickman. I like this series about Merrily Watkins, an Anglican priest/Deliverance priest and single mom, near the Welsh border, in northeast Herefordshire, England. This is the 4th of 10 in series. It is very woo woo which I don't mind at all. The author has a habit though of kind of ending on a small cliffhanger and then starting up after the events and going over the events in re-telling by the characters. Strange. I've got the next book in my TBR bookshelves.

So I'm up for something new to read. I've got some great historical mysteries I'd like to get to so I'll be doing auditions tonight. It's been a dark rainy and windy day but not really as cold out as it looks. I walked Tug early afternoon and then got some milk at the store.

Man, my blog is boring. Sorry!

Steve goes shooting tonight and I've got tv.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What so exciting about a Tuesday?

Don't really have much to report today. I had my interview; I don't know. They emphasized that I was overqualified and I probably wouldn't stay with it. I don't know if they'll offer or not; they said they'd let me know either way by the end of the week.

Vacuumed downstairs, walked Tug. After the interview I couldn't concentrate much so not much else accomplished. Tug is finding out, I think, that it's not so exciting to have mom home every day. Sent in a resume for another job. Listened to Glenn Beck.

Tonight I'm making chicken and we'll probably watch the World Series of Poker finals though I already know who won.

Still reading THE CURE OF SOULS by Phil Rickman and TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer.

Steve did really super good in the b-day card department yesterday. Two very good ones. He scored major points with them.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, November 10, 2008

Annual Event Day

So today is the 42nd anniversary of an annual event. I had lunch with JodyO and Sara - we ate at the Brew Pub and I had a reuben sandwich of course with half left over so I will have the other half tomorrow. I got groceries at Walmart, got home as quickly as I could because I noticed a tire going flat. Steve will pick up the pizza after work since I'm stuck here now (I hope it won't interfere with going to the interview tomorrow). We'll be staying in for the evening and watch tv or a movie. I got a card from Lisa on Friday and I expect she'll call tonight; Erik called this afternoon.

Chuck is on tonight as well as Jon and Kate Plus 8. I do have a couple movies on hand that we haven't watched yet so I'm not sure what will ultimately happen.

M&D came over with card and brownies (num!). Steve snuck in this morning with flowers - a really pretty arrangement -- so they complement the pretty flowers from Mom. A very nice day overall.

I've been reading TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer. It is the first of four I think of her very popular series. I do not like vampires whatsoever but I thought I'd see what all the hype is about. JodyO has read the entire series in a week and cites it as one of her top five series ever. High praise. I find the first book enjoyable to read despite being about vampires. It definitely pulls you in right away being in first person POV. And I'm sure many of the target age can relate to being awkward in high school. This book, however, goes way beyond romance and that, too, is probably why it is so popular. It goes beyond "I can't live without you" into "I can't be separated from you for even a minute" in terms of romantic excess. I can also see strains of what makes shows like Gossip Girl and others so popular as well - that group think/group line dancing thing. I've gotten the second in the series but I'm not going to read it right away. I just don't find vampires sexy or appealing in any way.

I'll probably go back to the Phil Rickman or pick up one of the 14-day books from the library next.

Actually, I may take Steve off the hook for having to be entertained with me and just watch the shows and then I'll just read. That sounds really nice, too.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Good song, that. I remember when U2 first hit the US with that song. I can still picture the video from MTV. I was in high school and the guy that my best friend *really* liked was into the group so then we had to be too. Good choice though. I'm glad he wasn't into something stupid. U2 has had so many good songs it's hard to pick a favorite. Their song "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" will always remind me of the summer I worked Rimrock Summer Rep (as well as Tracy Chapman). Ah the memories. Plus anyone who knows me knows that I've always looooved anything Irish. :)

Today, I hope to do some reading. I don't think there is much on tv. The Steelers play this afternoon so Steve will be watching most of that. I'm not sure yet what to have for dinner but I'll come up with something. Just a quite, regular old Sunday. Gotta look through the want ads though I'm pretty sure I'll be taking the RMC job this week 'cause I need the income coming in.

I started VEIL OF LIES last night and though I got about 40 pages in, I just couldn't get much into it. It seemed very ... contrived somehow. I don't know, like there wasn't a passion behind the storytelling. I can't put my finger on it. So, I set it aside after a while and started THE BORDEAUX BETRAYAL by Ellen Crosby. This is the third of three so far in the Lucie Montgomery, operating her family’s winery in Virginia, in the Wine Country series. Here's the blurb:
During an oenophilic supper at Mount Vernon, glamorous guest lecturer Valerie Beauvais hints there's something suspect about the prize bottle—a Bordeaux Thomas Jefferson supposedly bought for George Washington in 1790—to be auctioned at the upcoming charity fund-raiser Lucie will be hosting. But before the wine scholar can make it to Montgomery Estate Vineyard for a personal inspection, she's the victim of a fatal accident. Or is it murder?
It was published in August of 2008 and has 288 pages. And here is an excerpt:

Chapter 1
St. Thomas Aquinas once said sorrow could be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine. Lucky him, if that's all it took. Hector died shortly before Labor Day, the last event in a tumultuous summer weighed down by heat straight out of hell's waiting room. He'd been like a father to me, managing the crew at my family's vineyard in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains for the last twenty years. His death came hard on the heels of my second auto accident in the past three years, when the front end of my old Volvo collided with the back end of a large buck. And that event had been preceded by Hurricane Iola, whose wicked ways wreaked havoc just as we were about to harvest our white wines. If the month of August had been a fish, I would have thrown it back.
Fortunately autumn arrived in a kinder mood. The withering temperatures receded and the low-slanted sunlight washed everything in softer colors, blurring the sharp edges of the shadows. The air no longer smelled as though it had been boiled and the relentless metallic sound of the cicadas began to wane. Tonight, on an October Indian summer evening, the bullfrogs' serenade sounded plaintive.
I'd invited Mick Dunne, my neighbor and a man with whom I'd had a white-hot affair last spring, to dinner and a lecture on wine at Mount Vernon. Though we'd only just arrived, he'd glanced at his watch three times in the last fifteen minutes. Each time, I pretended not to notice.
When Joe Dawson, my cousin's fiancé, had given me the tickets, I figured asking Mick would be a good way to let him know I'd moved on since last spring and that we could still do things together as friends. Besides, he'd just planted thirty acres of vines on land adjacent to mine. We needed to get along.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday should be reading day

It's after noon o'clock here.

I got up shortly after 7 as Tug was pawing at me. Did our usual Saturday ritual of touring the neighborhood. I've run a couple errands already: library and groceries. I hope to settle in for a couple hours before Tug will start bugging about his walk.

The book I had on hold to pick up was a debut historical mystery author's: VEIL OF LIES by Jeri Westerson. She calls it a "medieval noir." Everything is noir these days. Kelli Stanley's debut histmyst this year was self-proclaimed "roman noir." I saw both of them at a panel at LCC-Denver. There's Manhattan Noir (a whole series of cities, I believe), Tartan Noir, etc, etc. And I don't even like noir unless it's a movie, you know, the REAL THING. I'm a snob, I know.

Here's the blurb on VEIL OF LIES:
Crispin Guest, a former knight who was stripped of his rank after being implicated in a plot against Richard II, now makes his living as a tracker, the medieval equivalent of a PI, in Westerson's promising debut, set in 1384 London. Nicholas Walcote, a wealthy cloth merchant, hires Guest to investigate his younger and attractive wife, Philippa, whom he suspects of infidelity. Guest's cursory probe is derailed after his client is found stabbed to death in a locked room. Philippa retains Guest's services to find her husband's killer, who may have been motivated by Walcote's possessing a legendary relic reputed to force those in its proximity to tell the truth.
I'll give it a shot. The author has, unfortunately, been marketing the hell out of it everywhere she goes which is getting to the level of annoying and I appreciate that she's excited about her first book and wants it to be a success ... I'll judge the book, not the author. This will have to go to the front of the queue.

So THE CURE OF SOULS by Phil Rickman will have to go on hold. I also picked up a handful of other books - a lot of 14-day ones which is very stupid of me because it means I'll have to get to those first instead of the so many wonderful ones I have waiting for me at home. I took home CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA by Ildefonso Falcones de Sierra, GAS CITY by Loren Estleman, MEDICUS by Ruth Downie, THE SHARING KNIFE by Lois McMaster Bujold, and THE BORDEAUX BETRAYAL by Ellen Crosby (again).

The library was busy with people looking and children crying and it looked like an embroidery group was setting up for display. I talked to my friend Dee. She told me earlier this week that they would be hiring in November sometime. Today she said it's taking a long time; I had already pretty much decided that I wouldn't want to work there -- as much as I would love to be around books and have access to their storage of books, I wouldn't be in control of my schedule and would have to work some evenings and weekends. I don't really want to do that anymore.

I don't think there is really anything on tv tonight. Steve will watch Cops; it's a new one. I think I may be making eggs, bacon and waffles/pancakes tonight. I hate waffles; Steve loves them so I'll make waffles for him and pancakes for me.

Now, I should take advantage of the two and half hours until I have to walk Tug to read but I'm kinda feeling a nap start to creep in. This is a mixed blessing because naps are lovely but I lose so much reading time and Saturday and Sunday should be reading days - uninterrupted blocks of pure reading for pleasure.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, November 7, 2008

End of week two.......

Not much to say today. It's Friday so I took the pressure off myself to perform so I finished SALVATION IN DEATH by JD Robb, took a nap, got some laundry done, walked Tug, ran a couple errands.

BTW, SALVATION IN DEATH is a very very good entry in the series. Sorry I'm not going into detail on it right now. Maybe tomorrow.

I went to the library to pick up a DVD I had on hold. I knew that a book was going to shake loose any time but it wasn't ready when I got to the library at 4:30. Wouldn't you know, I'm looking at the library site at 6:30 and now it says it's ready. I'll have to go back tomorrow after I get groceries.

I can't remember if I mentioned it, but I have a job interview on Tuesday with Rocky Mountain College. It's a low-rung job and doesn't pay much but it's a job if it gets offered. It's database management for the development department. Once again, I'm looking at the job as a foot in the door job. I can't hang on for a dream job because unemployment doesn't pay a whole lot and I think Steve will be getting antsy in the not too far off future. I like the college; it's where I graduated from but I feel like I'm starting over again and I've got these damn two master's degrees and I can't get a decent paying job to save my life in this town.

I have been playing around with a story in my head but would require a lot of research. Another idea came to me today so maybe I'll play with that one first. Like I ever follow through on these things.

Steve is doing a job tomorrow so it'll be Tug and me again. I've been thinking that maybe for my birthday I would like to just get a pizza, a very small cake, and maybe watch a movie at home. No going out, no tempting of Steve getting in a bad mood, no so much money spent, etc.

I splurged a little and picked up Rocket burritos for dinner tonight. Perhaps celebrating getting through week two.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Spending my days eating bonbons

I could spend all day listening to the radio. Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. I think it adds up to like twelve hours of listening. Probably humanly possible but not really realistic. (deep sigh)

My meeting was ... so so. They just pretty much stared at me. They had no idea why Sandi let me go and didn't really know about it until it happened. I thought boards had more involvement than that. Ah well. I tried.

I stopped by B&N and got the new JD Robb. So I started it while waiting at City Brew waiting for the two to show up, drinking a hot chocolate.

I walked Tug in the solid rain. I didn't figure it would slow down any before it got too dark so we walked and got wet.

I swear this dog is so set in his ways. It's after 8 and Tug was barking at me to go upstairs. Now I'm in bed with the tv on and laptop going and he's at the foot of the bed snoring. He needs me to be upstairs by a certain time or else he gets antsy. Oy.

Tonight Steve is at his monthly YCR meeting. He is refusing to watch any coverage.

Tomorrow, I will probably fill out another application, this one for MSU-B. I'd like to work on a couple projects. I'll need to buy the newspaper and check the want ads.

PK the Bookeemonster

Election day, TRIGGER CITY by Sean Chercover

Sorry I missed yesterday, I guess I just got busy. No, I was fighting a minor anxiety session and then got groceries and walked Tug.

Today, I've put in another resume and I'm meeting the president and vice president of the Symphony to do an exit interview. Either prior to that or right after I'm going to the bookstore to pick up the new JD Robb. (yay)

I got contacted today by a nonprofit headhunter about an opening at an animal shelter in Utah looking for a development director. He'd contacted me previously and I had forwarded it on to JodyO. I emailed him back saying I couldn't move from Billings but if he got any tips on jobs that would allow me to work from here...long shot of course... I'd be very interested. He asked to keep my resume on file so I forwarded it on to him. Couldn't hurt I suppose.

I've been listening to the radio and will continue throughout the afternoon. This evening I'll switch to tv but I'll keep an eye on Glenn Beck via Internet. I honestly believe we won't know the result today. I think it will be close and there will be lawsuits that could sway things one way or the other. I've a bet with JodyO that we won't know ... lunch rides on it. She thinks we will know tonight.

I finished TRIGGER CITY by Sean Chercover. He has a strong "voice" like Michael Connelly. Very good PI series. This was just published, is the 2nd in a series of two featuring Ray Dudgeon, a former newspaper reporter turned private investigator, in Chicago, Illinois; it has 304 pages. Here's the blurb:

Still suffering the physical and emotional consequences of going up against the Chicago Outfit, PI Ray Dudgeon needs an easy gig. A routine investigation of an open-and-shut case sounds perfect. The job is a loser, but the pay is good, and maybe Ray will bring some peace to a grieving father who yearns to learn the truth about the daughter he never really knew.

But what begins as routine soon spirals out of control. The victim was not simply a quiet, shy, unassuming single woman whose luck ran out. She lived a double life, working in the shadowy realm of covert intelligence. In a world built on secrets and lies, she fought bravely for truth—and gave her life in the fight.

Suddenly, Ray finds himself caught in a war between private contractors and the darkest sectors of our own government—a war that stretches from the closed-door hearings of Congress to the frontlines of Iraq.

Ensnared in a conspiracy of darkness that weaves its way through the very fabric of the nation, Ray must discover who's really pulling the strings before he becomes collateral damage in America's war on terror.No peril Ray Dudgeon has faced in the past could've prepared him for this. The stakes couldn't be any higher, and no enemy could be more powerful. Ray is in way over his head.

And his greatest enemy may be himself.

And here is the first paragraph:

"Forty-four is too young for a woman to die." Isaac Richmond sipped black coffee from a U.S. Army mug, then fixed his ice-blue eyes on the framed photograph in his other hand. He rested the mug on the coffee table. "You don't agree.
His website can be found at and one neat feature he has is a soundtrack for each of his books. Music has a big role with this character. How cool is that? His first book, BIG CITY BAD BLOOD racked up this: 2008 Shamus Award for Best First Novel, Finalist 2008 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, Finalist 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, and Finalist 2008 Barry Award for Best First Novel. Like I say, a really good new PI series.

Happy reading,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I'm currently reading WHERE SERPENTS SLEEP by C.S. Harris. This is the 4th in series of 4 featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, an investigator in Regency England. I was really looking forward to this because the last book left a helluva emotional cliffhanger for Sebastian. This decription comes from

London, 1812. The brutal slaughter of eight young prostitutes in a house of refuge near Covent Garden leaves only one survivor—and one witness: Hero Jarvis, reform-minded daughter of the Prince Regent’s cousin, Lord Jarvis. When the Machiavellian powerbroker quashes any official inquiry that might reveal his daughter’s unorthodox presence, Hero launches an investigation of her own and turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help.

Working in an uneasy alliance, Hero and Sebastian follow a trail of clues leading from the seedy brothels and docksides of London’s East End to the Mayfair mansions of a noble family with dark secrets to hide. Risking both their lives and their reputations, the two must race against time to stop a killer whose ominous plot threatens to shake the nation to its very core.

The author's website can be found at Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham. CS Harris herself decribes her series thusly:
Regency England. The age of Napoleon and Jane Austen, of Beau Brummel and Lord Byron. Ladies wear filmy dresses and dampen their petticoats, while gentlemen duel with pistols at dawn and agonize over the cut of a coat. Fortunes are won and lost at the turn of a card, a decades-old war has turned Europe into a ravaged battlefield, and in London, a child of six can still be hanged for stealing a handkerchief.

This is the world of Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. Heir to an earldom, disillusioned Army officer, latter day knight errant.

A master of disguises. Sebastian moves easily from the ballrooms of Mayfair to the rookeries of St. Giles, from the exclusive men's clubs of St. James's to the dangerous docks of the Thames.

Think Mr. Darcy with a James Bond edge

And here's an exerpt from the author's website:

Monday, 4 May 1812

The girl stared out the window, one hand sliding up and down her shawl-covered arm in a ceaseless, uneasy motion. Outside, a thick fog leached the light from the dying day and muffled the sounds of the surrounding city.

"You don't like the fog, do you?" Hero Jarvis asked, watching her.

They sat together in a pool of golden light thrown by the lamp on the plain tea table where Hero had laid out her notebook, pen and ink, and the standard list of questions she'd drawn up to ask. The girl jerked her gaze back to Hero's face. This one was older than some of the other prostitutes Hero had interviewed, but still young, her face still smooth, her skin clear, her green eyes sharp with intelligence. She said her name was Rose Jones, although in Hero's experience women in this business seldom gave their true names.

"Who does like fog?" said Rose Jones. "You can never tell what's out there."

The girl's accent was disconcerting: pure Mayfair, without a trace of Cockney or any country inflection. Studying the girl's fine bone structure and graceful bearing, Hero knew a flicker of interest mingled with something both more personal and less admirable that she didn't care to examine too closely. How had this girl—surely no more than eighteen or nineteen years old and so obviously gently born and bred—ended up here, at the Magdalene House, a refuge run by the Society of Friends for women who wished to leave prostitution?

Reaching for her pen, Hero dipped the tip into her inkwell and asked, "How long have you been in the business?"

A bitter smile touched Rose Jones's lips. "You mean, how long have I been a whore? Less than a year."

It was said to shock. But Hero Jarvis was not the kind of woman who shocked easily. At twenty-five years of age, she considered herself immune to the excesses of sensibility that afflicted so many of her sex. She simply nodded and went on to her next question. "What sort of work did you do before?"

"Before? I didn't do anything before."

"You lived with your family?"

Rose Jones tipped her head to one side, her gaze assessing Hero in a way she did not like. "Why are you here, asking us these questions?"

Hero cleared her throat. "I'm researching a theory."

"What theory?"

"It is my belief that most women enter prostitution not because of some innate moral weakness but out of economic necessity."

A quiver of emotion crossed Rose's face, her voice coming out harsh. "What do you know about it? A woman like you?"

Hero set aside her pen and met Anne's gaze without flinching. "Are we so different?"

Rose Jones didn't answer. In the silence that followed, Hero could hear the voices of the other women drifting up from downstairs, the clink of cutlery, a quick burst of laughter. It grew late; soon Hero's carriage would return to take her back to Berkeley Square, to the safety and comfort of her privileged world. Perhaps Rose Jones was right, in a sense. Perhaps-

The sound of a fist pounding on the front door below reverberated through the house. Hero heard a woman's startled exclamation, mingled with a man's throaty growl. A cry of outrage turned suddenly to a scream of terror.

Rose leapt from her chair, her eyes wild. "Oh, God. They've found me."

Hero pushed to her feet. "What do you mean? What's happening?"

She could hear the voices of more men now, the crash of overturned furniture, the smashing of crockery. Women shrieked. Someone pleaded, tearful, her voice trailing off into a whimper that ended abruptly.

"They're here to kill me." Rose Jones whirled around, her gaze sweeping the room to fix on an old walnut cupboard that took up most of the near wall. "We must hide."

From below came the sound of running feet and a woman's scream transformed, hideously, into a throaty gurgle. Rose yanked open the cupboard door. Hero reached out a hand, stopping her. "No, not the cupboard. That's the first place they'll look."

Crossing the room, Hero threw open the casement window that overlooked the mist-swirled alley below. The window opened onto the sloping roof of what was probably the kitchen or a washroom. "This way," said Hero. She sucked in a quick breath, the coal smoke tinged damp air biting her lungs as she threw one leg over the low sill and ducked her head through the frame.

Covered with moss and condensation and soot, the slate roof tiles felt treacherously slippery beneath the smooth leather soles of Hero's kid half-boots. She moved cautiously, one hand braced against the rough brick of the house wall as she turned to help Rose Jones through the narrow opening.

As she eased the window closed behind them, Hero heard a man shout from inside the house, "She's not here."

Another man answered, his voice lower pitched, his footsteps already heavy on the staircase. "She's here. She must be upstairs."

"They're coming," Hero whispered, and felt Rose's hand tighten around her upper arm in warning.

Following the direction of the girl's shaky, pointing finger, Hero discerned the figure of a man looming out of the fog below. A guard, stationed at the backdoor to make certain none of the women in the house escaped to the alley.

Hunkering low, Hero crab walked down the slippery slope of the roof to its edge. She watched the man below pace back and forth, his hat pulled over his eyes, his shoulders hunched against the dampness.

Moving as silently as she could, Hero swung her feet over the edge, her stalkinged legs showing creamy white against the white of the mist as the hem of her fine blue alpaca walking dress caught on the edge of the tiles and hiked up. She waited until the guard paused just below her. Then she pushed off from the eaves to drop straight down on him.

The force of the impact knocked him to his knees with a grunt and threw Hero to one side. She landed on her hip in the mud, hard enough to bring a small cry to her lips, but she scrambled quickly to her feet. The man was still on his hands and knees when Hero's heel caught him hard on the side of his head and sent him staggering back against the house wall to land in a slumped heap. He lay still.

Rose Jones slid over the edge of the roof to come down in a rush of tearing petticoats and scraped skin. "Good heavens. Where did you learn to do that?"

"I used to play with my brother."

The sound of the upstairs window being thrown open brought both their heads up. A man's voice cut through the fog. "Drummond? You there?"

Rose Jones grabbed Hero's hand and they ran.

The alleyway was a sea of mud and ancient, half-buried cobbles hemmed in by soaring walls of soot-blackened brick. Breathing hard, her fingers gripping the other woman's hand tightly, Hero sprinted toward the square patch of white at the alley's mouth where the silhouette of a carriage appeared out of the mist. They had almost reached the footpath when Hero heard the boom of a gun behind them. Beside her, Rose Jones faltered.

Turning, Hero caught the girl as she began to crumple. The bullet had torn a gaping, oozing hole through her chest.

"Oh, no. No," Hero whispered.

Rose's lips parted, spilling dark red blood down her chin. Hero could feel the girl's blood running warm and wet over her hands, see the light in Rose's eyes ebb, dim.


The boom of a second shot echoed up the alleyway. Hero imagined she could feel its passing like the whisper of a ghost beside her cheek.

"I'm sorry," she said, sobbing slightly as she eased Rose down into the mud and ran on.

I'm hoping to get some stuff done today but then spend some time being able to read this book.

October 2008 Reads (cross post with 4MA)

To make up for not posting yesterday, here is the October books read summary that I posted on 4MA.

2nd in a series of 11 featuring Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d'Acquin, a French knight, at the Hawkenly Abbey in England during the 12th century. It was published in 2000 and has 416 pages. Here's a description from Booklist: "When the body of a local poacher is found in an ancient forest adjacent to the abbey, the sheriff dismisses it as the work of the Forest People. As Helewise worries about two young wards of the abbey who must make decisions about their futures, and Josse begins to investigate the crime in the forest, another murder occurs. When Helewise and Josse venture into the forest, a new mystery unfolds that concerns both the murders and the abbey's young charges." I love historical mysteries; this series is a rather light-weight selection of the authors available. I'll probably read more but not rushing out to do so.

1st of series of 3 featuring Taylor Jackson, a homicide lieutenant, and her lover, FBI profiler John Baldwin, in Nashville, Tennessee. Published 2007 and has 416 pages. Here's a blurb from Publisher's Weekly: "The body of a young girl discovered by the side of a Nashville highway puts homicide detective Taylor Jackson and FBI Agent John Baldwin, on the trail of the Southern Strangler, a playful, brutal killer who likes to carry his victims across state lines after murdering them and removing their hands. Before long, however, Taylor's reassigned to the suspicious death of a prominent TV personality, leaving John struggling to keep ahead of the Strangler's mounting body count." I saw this author at LCC-Denver and was impressed; the book is all right but I wanted more...something. Will read the others I think.

THE BRASS VERDICT by Michael Connelly
2nd in series of 2 featuring Mickey Haller, a lawyer in Los Angeles, California. Published 2008 and has 432 pages. The following description is from Publsher's Weekly:"When Mickey Haller inherits the practice and caseload of a fellow defense attorney, Jerry Vincent, who's been murdered, the high-profile double-homicide case against famed Hollywood producer Walter Elliot, accused of shooting his wife and her alleged lover, takes top priority. As Haller scrambles to build a defense, he butts heads with LAPD Det. Harry Bosch, who's working Vincent's murder. When Haller realizes that the Elliot affair is bigger than simply a jealous husband killing his cheating wife, he and Bosch grudgingly agree to work together to solve what could be the biggest case in both their careers." Loved it; want more please.

ALL SHALL BE WELL by Deborah Crombie
2nd in series of 12 featuring Duncan Kincaid, a Scotland Yard superintendent, and Gemma James, a sergeant, in London, England. Published in 1994 and has 288 pages. This blurb is from Library Journal: "When the autopsy of Duncan's terminally ill neighbor indicates a drug overdose, Kincaid must determine whether the death was murder or suicide." I both enjoyed and was irritated by it as a light, entertaining investigation but I thought the solution somewhat came out of nowhere and if I read about Gemma's "copper hair" one more time I'll do something dreadful.

2nd in series of 3 featuring Lucie Montgomery, operating her family's winery in Virginia, in the Wine Country mysteries. Published in 2007 with 272 pages. Description comes from Publisher's Weekly: "After spending the night keeping her vines from freezing, the easily peeved Lucie is less than thrilled to find the pesticide-contaminated body of Georgia Greenwood, a local politician, at the edge of her fields. Lucie leaves the investigating to the police, but is dismayed when her close friend Ross, Georgia's husband, becomes a suspect. What's more, the EPA disapproves of her cavalier handling of pesticides, and her younger sister is on the brink of alcoholism." I don't like a lot of amateur sleuth series anymore but this one is keeping my attention.

Standalone published in 2008 with 544 pages. Description comes from Publisher's Weekly: "Set in and around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York City in the years after the Revolutionary War, this clever thriller follows the adventures of Ethan Saunders, once a valiant spy for General Washington, who's fallen on hard times by war's end. Suspected of treason, Ethan has lost the love of his life, Cynthia, who's married the fiendish Jacob Pearson, an entrepreneur who managed to prosper during the British occupation of Philadelphia. At Cynthia's urging, Ethan agrees to go looking for the missing Jacob, prompted in large part by a desire to redeem his reputation. Meanwhile, the so-called whiskey rebels on the western frontier are trying to bring down the hated Alexander Hamilton and his Bank of the United States." Really great read, highly recommended. Hope this can turn into a series.

COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland
Standalone, published in 2008 with 480 pages. Description comes from "The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them. Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group's leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all — propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming." Great, great histmyst. This and the Liss book made this a fabulous month of reading. Highly recommended.

A SLEEPING LIFE by Ruth Rendell (audiobook)
10th of series of 22 featuring Reginald Wexford, a chief inspector in Sussex, England. Unfortunately, I'm not reading this series in order right now. Published in 1978; paperback has 192 pages. "A body is found in a rural town outside London, and the townsfolk easily identify the victim. Yet, who was she, really? No one knows her real name, occupation, or address, much less who would want to kill her." Just a good ol' mystery.

THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE by Douglas Preston (Audiobook)
"When author Douglas Preston moved his family to Florence he never expected he would soon become obsessed and entwined in a horrific crime story whose true-life details rivaled the plots of his own bestselling thrillers. While researching his next book, Preston met Mario Spezi, an Italian journalist who told him about the Monster of Florence, Italy's answer to Jack the Ripper, a terror who stalked lovers' lanes in the Italian countryside. The killer would strike at the most intimate time, leaving mutilated corpses in his bloody wake over a period from 1968 to 1985." Interesting, but the telling dragged a bit.

November is already shaping up to be a great month with some good new releases coming my way: CS Harris, Sean Chercover, JD Robb, and others. Yay!

PK the Bookeemonster