Saturday, July 31, 2010

We can be heroes...

I'm currently reading -- or about to engage in -- another advanced reading copy. This is THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES by Priscilla Royal. This is 7th of 7 in series featuring Eleanor, Prioress of Tyndal, in 11th century East Anglia, England. Here is a description:

In the late summer of 1274, King Edward has finally been anointed England's ruler, and his queen contemplates a pilgrimage in gratitude for their safe return from Outremer, a journey that will include a stay at Tyndal Priory. Envoys are sent to confirm that everything will be suitable for the king's wife, and Prioress Eleanor nervously awaits them, knowing that regal visits bring along expense and honor. The cost is higher than expected, however, when Death arrives as the unexpected emissary. One of the courtiers is murdered near the hut where Brother Thomas now lives as a hermit. Each member of the party has reason to hate the dead man, including Crowner Ralf's eldest brother, Sir Fulke, and the prioress's nemesis, the man in black. Soon Eleanor is embroiled in the dangerous world of power games, both secular and religious. Indeed, England's future under a new king may offer hope and relief, but skeletons from the past can come back to life like those in the biblical valley of dry bones. Which had cause enough to kill?

This is 250 pages and will be published in October of this year. I'm reading it as a PDF on my Kindle for I don't have an image for the cover to put on the side. None available.

I've been working on business for my newsletter. I've set up email, set up very basic Paypal merchant services, and I've put up a very rudimentary webpage at

I watched the second episode of Pillars of the Earth last night... fantastic!! I don't know what I'll be doing tonight; I may read or we do have a DVD to watch: The Blind Side. So we'll see.

I have to tell you this. I was walking Tug yesterday after work up in the field and there are starting to be grasshoppers around more. Three boys on bikes passed us; they were about 1st grade age. The second time they passed I heard one hollering "I hate grasshoppers! They're my WORST ENEMY!" I loved it. It was so sincere and almost superhero-ish. It would have been even better if he had had a towel around him like a cape. But it was 92 degrees so I don't blame him for leaving it at home.

I had hoped to do more for Premeditated but my brain is kinda worn out now. And oh yeah, Moby Dick is now in my driveway.

Have a good Saturday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hot Friday


I finished ROAD TO DARJEELING by Deanna Raybourn. I have loved this series from the first book. I love the romance between Julia and Brisbane. It's still in this one to an extent but they also have conflicts which I didn't want to see so much of. Or rather, when they were together it was to be in conflict rather than working together. I dunno, I know that is how relationships go, having ups and downs and conflicts and making up, but this is fiction, dammit. The crime solving was all right for an amateur sleuth as the main character is and there were a plethora of motives and suspects. It almost reminds one of Agatha Christie and all her choices for whodunnit and their possibilities. It is set in India on a tea plantation so it is nicely exotic without overwhelming the story (cough Tasha Alexander cough). The characters are individual, distinctive and quirky without being annoying. I liked it very much overall, inhaled it in two days, and highly recommend this entire series to those who love historical mysteries, exotic settings or relationship stories.

Tonight! Pillars of the Earth!! Only an hour long tonight. And Say Yes to the Dress and the spinoff Say Yes to the Dress-Atlanta (with their own gay consultant too). TV for me tonight. And we're having taco salad for dinner and I've got an avocado to add. Num.

Next up, I don't know. Either Priscilla Royal or Peter Tremayne ... or something else entirely. I may not choose tonight (see previous paragraph).

Tomorrow I do believe Steve is home, can you believe it? But I have much to accomplish for the newsletter: create the website, set up email, set up Paypal, start work on September issue, maybe get the backup system setup.

Work was busy today. We had to jump on the phones for most of the day. Lots of work to do especially with the TEUC extended but it looks like they're cracking down on overtime, making it rather work-type specific. It's still there it's just more focused by management than working on one's work load. Good thing I'm not doing it right now and doing the alternate summer schedule thingy. I may now have to reconsider applying for a permanent job there that I wasn't interested in because there is some kind of program that if one works at a government job for 10 years, then their student loans are forgiven. Something I need to very seriously consider and look into the details of. The job available right now is not fun and pays even less but I may have to overlook that for this potential.

It was in the 90s again today (ugh) and it is looking stormy in some directions. We'll see if anything comes our way directly.

Have a lovely evening!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That's how I feel about new books

I have found a website,, that allows people to sign up for and request advanced reading copies of some books at no cost other than to review/praise it. They come in digital form. I've got ARCs of Priscilla Royal's new one being released on August and now just got Deanna Raybourn's new one coming out in October. Woot! So that one has jumped the reading queue. I'm able to have the PDF on my Kindle so my current read (finally) is:

ROAD TO DARJEELING by Deanna Raybourn (ARC - October)

This is 4th of 4 on series featuring Lady Julia Grey, a young widow in 1880s London. Here's a description:

For Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane, the honeymoon has ended…but the adventure is just beginning. After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia’s eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband’s family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child—and with discovering the truth about her husband’s death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next? Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.

I love this series (actually more for the relationship between the two main characters) and a chance to read it early is fantastic!

I had today off from work in my alternate summer schedule and tried to be productive. I set up a new bank account to handle the subscriptions for the newsletter, updated my email program, setup website/email hosting, and updated my virus protection on the office computer. I also looked into online backup, Quickbooks, and Paypal merchant services. I wish I could have done more but right now my brain is going obbity obbity obbity. I had also gone to Walmart to get a couple prescriptions for Steve and a couple other items.

This evening Steve has shooting and I may read if I don't get a second wind and work on September's issue. Last evening we had such a lovely rain storm. Solid rain for about 15-20 minutes. I like that about spring -- the rain. Summer I have to say is just not one of my favorites. :)

Tomorrow my sister and her husband are in town for her 30th high school reunion (no snarky remarks but I'm thinking them!) and we're having dinner at M&D's. 'Twil be very nice.

All right, off you go. Have a lovely and all that.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

It's Teaser Tuesday!

There are several books in August to which I'm looking forward:

POISON by Sara Poole. August 3

In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness. Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul.Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father’s killer from the depths of Rome’s Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.

THE VIOGNIER VENDETTA by Ellen Crosby. August 3

When Lucie Montgomery visits Washington, D.C., during cherry blossom season she doesn’t expect her reunion with old friend Rebecca Natale is a setup. But Rebecca disappears into thin air after running an errand for her boss, billionaire philanthropist and investment guru Sir Thomas Asher. Also missing: an antique silver wine cooler looted by British soldiers before they burned the White House during the War of 1812. The next morning Lucie identifies Rebecca’s neatly folded clothes found in a rowboat floating in the Potomac River. Is it suicide, murder—or an elaborate scheme to disappear? A clandestine meeting in the U.S. Capitol, a startling revelation on a windy hill, and cryptic messages from Rebecca cloaked in eighteenth-century poetry are all part of the suspenseful tale of whether Rebecca is alive or dead—and the truth about Asher Investments.


Both probing character study and a driving novel of suspense, here is a novel that will linger in your mind like mist over the Scottish glens . . . In the Highlands of 1950s Scotland, a boy is found dead in a canal lock. Two young girls tell such a fanciful story of his disappearance that no one believes them. The local newspaper staff—including Joanne Ross, the part-time typist embroiled in an abusive marriage, and her boss, a seasoned journalist determined to revamp the paper—set out to uncover and investigate the crime. Suspicion falls on several townspeople, all of whom profess their innocence. Alongside these characters are the people of the town and neighboring glens; a refugee Polish sailor; an Italian family whose cafÉ boasts the first known cappuccino machine in the north of Scotland; and a corrupt town clerk subverting the planning laws to line his own pocket. Together, these very different Scots harbor deep and troubling secrets underneath their polished and respectable veneers—revelations that may prevent the crime from being solved and may keep the town firmly in the clutches of its shadowy past.

BAD BOY by Peter Robinson. August 24

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But since Banks is away on holiday, his partner, Annie Cabbot, steps in. The woman tells Annie that she's found a loaded gun hidden in the bedroom of her daughter, Erin—a punishable offense under English law. When an armed response team breaks into the house to retrieve the weapon, the seemingly straightforward procedure quickly spirals out of control. But trouble is only beginning for Annie, the Eastvale force, and Banks, and this time, the fallout may finally do the iconoclastic inspector in. For it turns out that Erin's best friend and roommate is none other than Tracy Banks, the DCI's daughter, who was last seen racing off to warn the owner of the gun, a very bad boy indeed. Thrust into a complicated and dangerous case intertwining the personal and the professional as never before, Annie and Banks—a bit of a bad boy himself—must risk everything to outsmart a smooth and devious psychopath. Both Annie and Banks understand that it's not just his career hanging in the balance, it's also his daughter's life.

AN IMPARTIAL WITNESS by Charles Todd. August 31

It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic. While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband. Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station. Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerous—and will put her own life on the line.

Those are on my radar. Two I've ordered from Another I'm going to get the sample for my Kindle when it's released to see if I like the author's voice, one I have reserved at the library and the last I'm going to try to get from the library when it comes available.

In the meantime, I still need to figure out what to read next. Sigh.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

It's Mailbox Monday! But I don't have anything to report. Nothing came in last week as far as I can remember. How sad.

I'm starting to get feedback from my previewers of the first issue of Premeditated. It's all good and has some food for thought. The biggest suggestion that I'm considering is switching to mostly emailed PDFs. I'll be having Wednesday off again but I have so much to do: getting printing prices (still need to do 2000 copies for Bouchercon), setting up Outlook and Paypal, etc.

It's been so hot today and yesterday -- in the mid 90s. I just don't like the heat and poor Tug seemed like he wasn't feeling well yesterday and I think it was the heat. He's definitely a snow dog.

Still sort of fishing around for what to read next. My contenders are the next in series for me by Ian Morson, Peter Tremayne, or Priscilla Royal.

Gotta shut down for night.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Seconds -- there are books that I would really love to re-read -- if I could make the time. Sometimes books have profound impacts on one's reading experience. Sometimes you just know these books could be even greater if you could go back and read them with again better understanding and life experiences under your belt. Sometimes books don't hold up the memory the second time around -- that's the risk. Sunday Seconds will be a cataloging of that kind of wish list.


PASSAGE by Connie Willis

PASSAGE follows the efforts of Joanna Lander, a research psychologist, to understand the phenomenon of near-death experiences (or NDEs) by interviewing hospital patients after they are revived following clinical death. It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has devoted her life to tracking death. But when she volunteers for a research project that simulates the near-death experience, she will either solve life's greatest mystery -- or fall victim to its greatest terror. A psychologist specializing in near-death experiences, Joanna has spent two years recording the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it. It's research on the fringes of ordinary science, but Joanna is about to get a boost from an unexpected quarter. A new doctor has arrived at Mercy General, one with the power to give Joanna the chance to get as close to death as anyone can. A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Dr. Wright is convinced that the NDE is a survival mechanism and that if only doctors understood how it worked, they could someday delay the dying process, or maybe even reverse it. He can use the expertise of a psychologist of Joanna Lander's standing to lend credibility to his study. But he soon needs Joanna for more than just her reputation. When his key volunteer suddenly drops out of the study, Joanna finds herself offering to become Richard's next subject. After all, who better than she, a trained psychologist, to document the experience? Her first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined it would be -- so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why this place is so hauntingly familiar. But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid....

It was published in 2001 and has 608 pages. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Novel in 2002, was shortlisted for the Nebula Award in 2001, and received nominations for the Hugo, Campbell, and Clarke Awards in 2002.

I'm not going to give a more detailed plot description here because the journey of the book is part of the discovery and wonder of it. I will tease you with the Titanic is a big part of the story. This book held me in its thrall in a five-hour layover at the DC airport several years ago. It is thought-provoking and it haunts me still and I wish I could experience it all over again. I've lent it to friends who have had the same experience.


I'll be working on the newsletter again today. I made good progress on it yesterday. I also posted to 4MA and I'm starting to get some requests so that's a relief. I hope to finish what I can and email it out tonight or tomorrow.

It's supposed to be hot today -- in the 90s. Gotta walk Tug early-ish as I dare and then hunker down. Finish laundry, etc. Find something to read and stick to it. :)

Stay cool, everyone!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Or he'll make an offer you can't refuse (couldn't resist, sorry)

I still haven't yet decided on what to read next. Maybe this evening.

Oh! Pillars of the Earth miniseries on Starz last night was wonderful!! Happy happy happy!! And with the success of various historical epics (The Tudors, Spartacus, Rome), there is a big push to create more of them. I know of The Borgias, Camelot, more Spartacus, and Boardwalk Empire in the making or coming soon. And they're devoting a LOT of money to making them. Woot!

I've been working on my newsletter this afternoon and with permission of the moderator, posted a request for feedback on 4MA. We'll see who gets in touch. It's kinda becoming real now. This Wednesday on my day off, I'll have to start gathering info on printing expenses.

This week's Weekly Geeks' question centered around those new books we tend to be drawn to over the older ones on our shelves. It's called Shiny Book Syndrome. As Tara SG from 25 Hour Books describes it: "It is when a person only wants to read their newest book and leave piles of poor unread books on their shelves to collect dust." She offers a few ways to ward off Shiny Book Syndrome, namely in the form of reading challenges and keeping a spreadsheet of all the books you own. I know that when I first began blogging, getting to those older books on my shelves was exactly the reason I joined reading challenges. This week Tara SG wants to know what we do to alleviate Shiny Book Syndrome.

Oh boy, do I suffer from this Syndrome. There are books that I just HAVE to read -- or at least get -- the day it comes out. JD Robb I must get THE DAY. I will purchase books via to get books that are released in the UK before the US. CJ Sansom is at the top of the list. Or I get the books but then something newer and shinier jumps up and the former shiny book gets lost in the shuffle. Of these, I have many. Examples include Phil Rickman's BONES OF AVALON, the new Nancy Pickard, another historical called THE FIFTH SERVANT, etc., etc. ...

I don't think there is anything that one can do to alleviate Shiny Book Syndrome. It is a by-product of being a Book Addict. The only thing I can think of is to create a sub-set of TBR. The newer TBRs that one draws from before looking at the even older stuff. I know there's a lot of challenges out there to help deal with what to read next: the spell you name with the first letter of the title, geographic challenges, and so forth. I've been dealing with back lists of the series I'm interested in by trying to read one per month by the author but I have so many, it is difficult to do. And then those shiny new releases happen ....

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, July 23, 2010


Anything Monty Python-oriented trumps other potential photos. No question.

Ah Friday. Tonight!!! The first showing of the first episode of the miniseries on Starz, Pillars of the Earth!!! 8pm MST on HD!!! Excited!!!!!

And before that I'll watch a new ep of Say Yes to the Dress. Friday nights are good.

So I finished THE PASSAGE last night. This is so a movie. And the rassafrassin' author left it at a one liner cliffhanger and the next book isn't published until 2012! Hate him! The book may end up on my top ten list for the year. It is amazing world building of the post apocalyptic kind and I didn't want to put it down and when I wasn't reading about it, I was thinking about it. A great book? I don't know. A good read for some? Yes.

Next up to read? I don't know but I won't make a commitment to anything tonight, obviously. I started the ARC of Priscilla Royal's newest but I don't know if it will be the one. I'll think about that tomorrow. :) Having a "Scarlett" moment.

Steve is helping with a gun class tomorrow morning. I'll be doing the usual cleaning and working on the newsletter.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One of these things doesn't belong here...

Just a quick one. Dinner is done early-ish and I really want to see if I can finish THE PASSAGE tonight. I'm at 83 percent. In a 350 page book, that's not a lot. In a 700+ page book, it will take a little more effort but I'm closing in on done and I'm going to try. Steve is watching his shooting shows on one of the Outdoor channels so I've got a couple hours to make it happen.

Tomorrow I'm really excited about the start of a new miniseries on Starz, The Pillars of the Earth, based on the book by Ken Follett. Good actors, good production values, and it's in eight parts. Be there, if you can.

Have a good evening!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Look, I'm trying to be productive here

I've been getting caught up on news and blogs this morning. Tug woke me up at 5:30, hey, aren't you supposed to be up by now? We'll walk around 10-ish before it gets TOO warm.

This is my first day on the new work schedule, staying home on Wednesdays. It's a little strange. No! I can't read my book. I won't listen to the radio.

In the meantime I'm doing some cd copying and getting going on the next issue of Premeditated. Busy busy busy (I hope). And I'm not going to let myself get distracted by more news and blogs though I'll be keeping an eye on whether they pass the unemployment bill today.

Otherwise, keep cool and have a lovely Wednesday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No, that's a downgrade, honey

It's almost 9:00. I'm tired in general and drained from the day. No Teaser Tuesday tonight.

I cleared a lot of work objects today at work. Saw the unemployment numbers for last month for Montana (7.2%) which during summer is not good and probably means we'll trigger back on the EB pretty quickly after the 13 week down time. It means some job security for me but it sucks working those claims. Also looks like the Senate is going to pass the extension to the TEMPORARY Emergency Unemployment program that was iniated two years ago. Some people have been on unemployment for 99 weeks. When do you say enough? I appreciated being on it when I had to but I swear there is a higher percentage than you'd care to think that say once the benefits are done then THAT is when they'd better go get a job.

After work I got groceries then walked Tug. We had dinner while watching Deadliest Catch. Once again, I have to say do they really have to drag out Captain Phil's death this long? Every week it's like ripping the scab off and both Steve and I cry. Next week is apparently the season finale.

I'll finish this up and then head for bed to keep reading THE PASSAGE. I don't know why but it makes you think about it when you're not reading it. I think for me post-apocalyptic books do that anyway. I'm still haunted by THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy. That's a difficult book and I did it in audiobook form. No way am I watching the movie of that one even if it does have Viggo in it.

Next up after THE PASSAGE, I think will be the new Priscilla Royal historical mystery, VALLEY OF DRY BONES. I obtained an ARC via a website and it's on my Kindle. A month early. Woot! And I don't have to purchase it now. Double woot! Remind me next Tuesday to tell you what books I'm anticipating in August -- there's a handful.

I'm taking tomorrow off, working four 10s with no overtime. I'm figuring that the extra time would be of better use than the extra money. I've had no time to work on the newsletter but I can devote a few hours tomorrow.
Tug is aroo-ing. Have a good night.
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 19, 2010

Love da penguins

It's Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I mostly already told you what came in the house last week. In summary:

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. Okay, NOW I may be about halfway through the book. It's a big book. And the first part was very Stephen King. The part I'm in now feels more like Isaac Asimov in the world building of a society in the post-apocalyptic world.

TUSCAN HOLIDAY by Holly Chamberlin. Contemporary fiction about a mother and daughter vacationing in Italy and the self revelations they experience.

From paperbackswap: AND ONLY TO DECEIVE by Tasha Alexander. The first in her series. I thought I had this book but I think I only read it from the library.

And a couple samples of books that I can't tell you what they are because the kindle is in my purse which is way across the room. :)

Tonight I'm bypassing Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Ceasar because they're out in the Heights and I have two shows to watch. Lie to Me and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Seconds -- there are books that I would really love to re-read -- if I could make the time. Sometimes books have profound impacts on one's reading experience. Sometimes you just know these books could be even greater if you could go back and read them with again better understanding and life experiences under your belt. Sometimes books don't hold up the memory the second time around -- that's the risk. Sunday Seconds will be a cataloging of that kind of wish list.

THE STAND by Stephen King

Forget the tv miniseries (please). Forget the size of the book. If you've not read this book, read it now.

Very simply, here is a description:

After a plague is accidentally released upon the world the few survivors are divided between the forces of good and evil to determine who will rebuild the world.

This is from Wikipedia (I know, I know):

Plot summary

"Captain Trips"
The novel is divided into three parts, or books. The first is titled "Captain Trips" and takes place over nineteen days, with the escape and spread of a human-made biological weapon, a superflu (influenza) virus known formally as "Project Blue" but most commonly as "Captain Trips" (among some other colloquialisms). The epidemic leads directly to the death of an estimated 99.4% of the world's human population.
King outlines the total breakdown and destruction of society through widespread violence, the failure of martial law to contain the outbreak, and eventually the death of virtually the entire population. The human toll is also dealt with, as the few survivors must care for their families and friends, dealing with confusion and grief as their loved ones succumb to the flu.

"On the Border"
Intertwining cross-country odysseys are undertaken by a small number of survivors, including:

Stu's party:
-Stuart Redman, a factory worker from the fictional tiny town of Arnette, Texas;
-Frances (Frannie) Goldsmith, a pregnant pre-college student, and Harold Lauder, an obnoxious and angry 16 year-old high school outcast, both from Ogunquit, Maine;
-Glen Bateman, a quick-witted, pessimistic sociology professor from New Hampshire, and his adopted dog, an Irish Setter named Kojak (or Big Steve, as he later reveals himself)— one of the very few dogs immune to the plague;
-Perion McCarthy and Mark Braddock, two lovers who are already a couple when they meet

Stu's group;
-Dayna Jurgens, a hard-headed and determined woman from Xenia, Ohio;
-Susan Stern, a former student from Kent State University;
-Patty Kroger, a beautiful young girl in her teen years.

Nick's party:
-Nick Andros, an insightful deaf-mute wanderer originally from fictional Caslin, Nebraska, who was in the fictional town of Shoyo, Arkansas when the plague also occurred;
-Tom Cullen, a kind-hearted mentally challenged man, with child-like enthusiasm from May, Oklahoma.
-Ralph Brentner, a jolly, easy-going farmer from Oklahoma;
-Dick Ellis, a former veterinarian in his early 50s;
-Gina McCone, a little girl;
-Olivia Walker, a sympathetic older woman;
-June Brinkmeyer, an auburn haired woman in her mid-20s.

Larry's party:
-Larry Underwood, a disillusioned pop musician from New York City;
-Rita Blakemoor, a rich middle-aged woman from New York City;
-Nadine Cross, a virginal kindergarten teacher with a very dark secret from New Hampshire;
-Leo "Joe" Rockway, a savage, amnesiac, and telepathic boy;
-Lucy Swann, a 24-year-old housewife from New Hampshire;
-Judge Farris, a man in his late seventies.

They are drawn together by both circumstances and their shared dreams of a 108-year-old black woman from Hemingford Home, Hemingford, Nebraska whom they see as a refuge and a representation of good in the struggle of good versus evil. This woman, Abagail Freemantle (known as "Mother Abagail"), becomes the spiritual leader of this group of survivors, directing them to Boulder, Colorado, referred to as "the Free Zone" (officially "The Boulder Free Zone"), where they begin to reestablish a republic society; much of this section of the book involves the struggles to create an orderly society reinstating the United States Consitution and Bill of Rights as a basis more or less. Boulder is found to be hosting considerably fewer dead bodies of plague victims than other cities, due to an exodus following a false rumor in the early stages of the plague that the outbreak originated in the Boulder Air Test Center.

Meanwhile, another group of survivors, led by Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, includes:
-Lloyd Henreid, an ill tempered, not-too-bright common thief and murderer;
-Donald Merwin Elbert, known as "the Trashcan Man", a schizophrenic pyromaniac;
-Whitney Horgan, an ex-Army cook and butcher;
-Julie Lawry, an unstable, manipulative, oversexed teenager;
-"the Rat Man", a pirate-like hood;
-Barry Dorgan, a former detective of the Santa Monica Police Department;
-Jenny Engstrom, a nightclub dancer and later construction worker; and
-Hector "Heck" Drogan, a civilian who is executed crucifiction style for drug abuse by Flagg's punishment system.

They are drawn to Las Vegas, Nevada by Randall Flagg (known as "the Dark Man", "the Hardcase", "the Tall Man", and "the Walkin’ Dude"), an evil being with supernatural powers; he represents evil, the opposite influence of Mother Abagail. Flagg’s rule is tyrannical and brutal, using crucifixion, torture and other torments as punishment for those who are disloyal and disobedient. His group is able to quickly reorganize their society, restore power to Las Vegas, and rebuild the city as many technical professionals have migrated to the city. The book notes that at Las Vegas, Flagg's group is constantly working and has organized a strong but harsh structure while at the Free Zone, some survivors lounge idly and do not work as hard. Flagg's group also has started a schooling system and weapons program with survivor Carl Hough as a helicopter pilot and the Trashcan Man searching the country for weapons.
The Free Zone's democratic society is not without its problems. Mother Abagail, feeling that she has become prideful and sinned due to her pleasure at being a public figure, disappears into the wilderness on a journey of spiritual reconciliation. Meanwhile, Harold's bitterness over his unrequited love for Fran and Nadine's secret commitment to Flagg lead the two of them to detonate a dynamite bomb at a meeting of the Free Zone committee. The explosion, which kills several people (including Nick Andros), takes place at the same time that Mother Abagail is discovered, severely weakened by her time in the wilderness.

"The Stand"
The stage is now set for the final confrontation as the two camps become aware of one another, and each recognizes the other as a threat to its survival, leading to the "stand" of good against evil. There is no pitched battle, however. Instead, at Mother Abagail's dying behest, Stu, Larry, Ralph and Glen set off on foot towards Las Vegas on an expedition to confront Randall Flagg. Stu breaks his leg en route and drops out. He encourages the others to leave without him, telling them that God will provide for him. Glen's dog stays behind with Stu. Glen, Ralph, and Larry soon encounter Flagg's men, who take them prisoner. When Glen rejects an opportunity to be spared if he kneels and begs Flagg, he is shot by Lloyd Henreid, on Flagg's direct order. Flagg gathers his entire collective to witness the execution of the other two, but before it can take place, Trashcan Man arrives with a nuclear warhead and a giant glowing hand—"The Hand of God"—detonates the bomb, destroying Flagg's followers and the two remaining prisoners.
Stu, with the aid of Kojak and later Tom Cullen, survives injury, illness, and a harsh Rocky Mountain winter. The three of them arrive back in Boulder soon after the birth of Fran’s baby. Although the baby falls ill with the superflu, he is able to fight it off. In the end, Stu and Fran decide to return to Maine, and the original edition of the novel ends with the two of them
questioning whether the human race can learn from its mistakes. The answer, given in the last line, is ambiguous: "I don’t know."

First published in 1978. King released a later version, a sort of the "director's cut" version with 1153 pages. The original, I believe, was about 500 pages shorter.

This book is iconic. King is known for his horror stories, but this truly was not horror in its true definition (examples would be CARRIE or CHRISTINE or SALEM'S LOT or THE SHINING). It is a post-apocalyptic story -- and actually pretty tame for all that (other books of this type are a probably truer depiction of that kind world which depicts cannibalism) -- and is really a story of a showdown between good and evil. King's strength has always been to show normal, average people in strange circumstances.

Sunday. Steve has to help run the pistol competition this morning for the Big Sky State Games. I'll be walking Tug and then being on the downstairs computer working on projects and otherwise doing laundry.

I'm continuing to read THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin, which I'm sure has prompted today's second look book. There is a such an impending-doom feel to the story that I can't not read it though I'm pulled toward a historical mystery. And you start to care for these characters and you know their futures are pretty terrible. I don't know if I'm halfway through or if not I'm close.

It's supposed to be in the 90s again so stay cool and hydrated.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Got the "buff and puff" special, like it?

Sorry, didn't have time to post yesterday. I got off work, rushed home to walk Tug, then had to head over to the in-laws for dinner. We didn't get home until 10 and I was exhausted after a full day and getting up at 4:30am.

I'm currently reading THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. This was just published and is being a sleeper blockbuster read of the summer. It is the first of a proposed trilogy; it is (rightly so far in my reading of it) being compared to Stephen King's THE STAND; the movie rights have been sold to Ridley Scott. Here is a description:

When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the virals, or dracs—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals' agelessness, but not the virals' mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition.

Published in June 2010, it has 784 pages. I'm reading it on the Kindle. I abhor vampire stories but this is not really a story of that; it is more of the medical/military experiment gone wrong and now the world is in a post-apocalyptic state. There are paragraphs of too much description for my taste at times, but it provides a fuller story. One has to keep reading it in a sense of impending catastrophe sort of way. There are multiple characters like THE STAND and the sense of events getting bigger and something scary around the corner.

I've got to get moving. I have to go to a haircut appointment in about 15-20 minutes. It was so hot yesterday, nearly 100, today it is supposed to be in the 80s. I've got to walk Tug after the haircut, do the usual weekend cleaning and work on my newsletter this weekend.

Have a good Saturday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The attitude is totally Tug

Has to be short this evening. Running late after grocery shopping and walking Tug and now getting dinner ready.

Currently reading TUSCAN HOLIDAY by Holly Chamberlin. Here is a description:

When Elizabeth Caldwell planned a trip to Florence with her daughter, Marina, she secretly hoped for a warm, fuzzy bonding experience worthy of a Lifetime movie. But Marina - twenty-one, newly graduated, and close to her mum in many ways - has always been more the PBS type: dependable, practical, and completely in control. Elizabeth knows Marina wants to avoid the kind of 'stupid mistake' that left Elizabeth a single mother at twenty-two, and she's bitten her tongue as Marina settles for a wealthy fiance who gives. her everything she thinks she wants. After all, Elizabeth - unable to bring herself to fully commit to the man she has dated for years - is hardly an expert in romance.Still, a lot can happen on vacation, especially in Tuscany, where every scent borne on the warm breeze inspires delight, and every view makes the heart soar. There, on streets once walked by Dante and Michaelangelo, Marina is blindsided by a gorgeous Italian named Luca who shows her how gloriously unpredictable passion can be, and Elizabeth finally lets go of the role that has defined her for so long to embrace her own uncertain future...

It was published in 2008 and has 352 pages. I'm reading it on the Kindle.

See ya'll tomorrow.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

It's Teaser Tuesday!

From THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin -- blockbuster book of the summer, they say:

Wolgast had been to the Compound only once, the previous summer, to meet with Colonel Sykes. Not a job interview, exactly; it had been made clear to Wolgast that the assignment was his if he wanted it. A pair of soldiers drove him in a van with blacked out windows, but Wolgast could tell they were taking him west from Denver, into the mountains. The drive took six hours, and by the time they pulled into the Compound, he’d actually managed to fall asleep. He stepped from the van into the bright sunshine of a summer afternoon. He stretched and looked around. From the topography, he’d have guessed he was somewhere around Telluride. It could have been further north. The air felt thin and clean in his lungs; he felt the dull throb of a high-altitude headache at the top of his skull.
He was met in the parking lot by a civilian, a compact man dressed in jeans and a khaki shirt rolled at the sleeves, a pair of old-fashioned aviators perched on his wide, faintly bulbous nose. This was Richards.

“Hope the ride wasn’t too bad,” Richards said as they shook hands. Up close Wolgast saw that Richards’ cheeks were pockmarked with old acne scars. “We’re pretty high up here. If you’re not used to it, you’ll want to take it easy.”

Richards escorted Wolgast across the parking area to a building he called the Chalet, which was exactly what it sounded like: a large Tudor structure, three stories tall, with the exposed timbers of an old-fashioned sportsman’s lodge. The mountains had once been full of these places, Wolgast knew, hulking relics from an era before time-share condos and modern resorts. The building faced an open lawn, and beyond, at a hundred yards or so, a cluster of more workaday structures: cinderblock barracks, a half-dozen military inflatables, a low-slung building that resembled a roadside motel. Military vehicles, Humvees and smaller jeeps and five ton trucks, were moving up and down the drive; in the center of the lawn, a group of men with broad chests and trim haircuts, naked to the waist, were sunning themselves on lawn chairs.

Stepping into the Chalet, Wolgast had the disorienting sensation of peeking behind a movie set; the place had been gutted to the studs, its original architecture replaced by the neutral textures of a modern office building: gray carpeting, institutional lighting, acoustic tile drop ceilings. He might have been in a dentist’s office, or the high-rise off the freeway where he met his accountant once a year to do his taxes. They stopped at the front desk, where Richards asked him to turn over his handheld and his weapon, which he passed to the guard, a kid in cammos, who tagged them. There was an elevator, but Richards walked past it and led Wolgast down a narrow hallway to a heavy metal door that opened on a flight of stairs. They ascended to the second floor, and made their way down another non-descript hallway to Sykes’ office.

Sykes rose from behind his desk as they entered: a tall, well-built man in uniform, his chest spangled with the various bars and little bits of color that Wolgast had never understood. His office was neat as a pin, its arrangement of objects, right down to the framed photos on his desk, giving the impression of having been placed for maximum efficiency. Resting in the center of the desk was a single manila folder, fat with folded paper. Wolgast knew it was almost certainly his personnel file, or some version of it.

They shook hands and Sykes offered him coffee, which Wolgast accepted. He wasn’t drowsy but the caffeine, he knew, would help the headache.

“Sorry about the bullshit with the van,” Sykes said, and waved him to a chair. “That’s just how we do things.”

A soldier brought in the coffee, a plastic carafe and two china cups on a tray. Richards remained standing behind Sykes’ desk, his back to the broad windows that looked out on the woodlands that ringed the Compound. Sykes explained what he wanted Wolgast to do. It was all quite straight forward, he said, and by now Wolgast knew the basics. The Army needed between ten and twenty death-row inmates to serve in the third-stage trials of an experimental drug therapy, codenamed Project Noah. In exchange for their consent, these men would have their sentences commuted to life without parole. It would be Wolgast’s job to obtain the signatures of these men, nothing more. Everything had been legally vetted, but because the project was a matter of national security, all of these men would be declared legally dead. Thereafter, they would spend the rest of their lives in the care of the federal penal system, a white-collar prison camp, under assumed identities. The men would be chosen based upon a number of factors, but all would be men between the ages of twenty and thirty-five with no living first-degree relatives. Wolgast would report directly to Sykes; he’d have no other contact, though he’d remain, technically, in the employment of the Bureau.

“Do I have to pick them?” Wolgast asked.

Sykes shook his head. “That’s our job. You’ll get your orders from me. All you have to do is get their consent. Once they’re signed on, the Army will take it from there. They’ll be moved to the nearest federal lock-up, then we’ll transport them here.”

Wolgast thought a moment. “Colonel, I have to ask--“

“What we’re doing?” He seemed, at that moment, to permit himself an almost human-looking smile.

Wolgast nodded. “I understand I can’t be very specific. But I’m going to be asking them to sign over their whole lives. I have to tell them something.”

Sykes exchanged a look with Richards, who shrugged. “I’ll leave you now,” Richards said, and nodded at Wolgast. “Agent.”

When Richards had left, Sykes leaned back in his chair. “I’m not a biochemist, agent. You’ll have to be satisfied with the layman’s version. Here’s the background, at least the part I can tell you. About ten years ago, the CDC got a call from a doctor in La Paz. He had four patients, all Americans, who had come down with what looked like Hantavirus – high fever, vomiting, muscle pain, headache, hypoxemia. The four of them had been part of an eco-tour, deep in the jungle. They claimed that they were part of a group of fourteen but had gotten separated from the others and had been wandering in the jungle for weeks. It was sheer luck that they’d stumbled onto a remote trading post run by a bunch of Franciscan friars, who arranged their transport to La Paz. Now, Hanta isn’t the common cold, but it’s not exactly rare, either, so none of this would have been more than a blip on the CDC’s radar if not for one thing. All of them were terminal cancer patients. The tour was organized by an organization called ‘Last Wish.’ You’ve heard of them?”

Wolgast nodded. “I thought they just took people skydiving, things like that.”

“That’s what I thought, too. But apparently not. Of the four, one had an inoperable brain tumor, two had acute lymphocytic leukemia, and the fourth had ovarian cancer. And every single one of them became well. Not just the Hanta, or whatever it was. No cancer. Not a trace.”

Wolgast felt lost. “I don’t get it.”

Sykes sipped his coffee. “Well, neither did anyone at the CDC. But something had happened, some interaction between their immune systems and something, most likely viral, that they’d been exposed to in the jungle. Something they ate? The water they drank? No one could figure it out. They couldn’t even say exactly where they’d been.” He leaned forward over his desk. “Do you know what the thymus gland is?”

Wolgast shook his head.

Sykes pointed at his chest, just above the breastbone. “Little thing in here, between the sternum and the trachea, about the size of an acorn. In most people, it’s atrophied completely by puberty, and you could go your whole life not knowing you had one, unless it was diseased. Nobody really knows what it does, or at least they didn’t, until they ran scans on these four patients. The thymus had somehow turned itself back on. More than back on: it had enlarged to three times its usual size. It looked like a malignancy but it wasn’t. And their immune systems had gone into overdrive. A hugely accelerated rate of cellular regeneration. And there were other benefits. Remember these were cancer patients, all over fifty. It was like they were teenagers again. Smell, hearing, vision, skin tone, lung volume, physical strength and endurance, even sexual function. One of the men actually grew back a full head of hair.”

“A virus did this?’

Sykes nodded. “Like I said, this is the layman’s version. But I’ve got people downstairs who think that’s exactly what happened. Some of them have degrees in subjects I can’t even spell. They talk to me like I’m a child, and they’re not wrong.”

“What happened to them? The four patients.” Sykes leaned back in his chair, his face darkening a little.

Excerpted from The Passage by Justin Cronin Copyright © 2010 by Justin Cronin.


It looks like Steve is buying the suburban. I'm not happy but it is apparently a done deal.

Still haven't committed to something to read though I may get THE PASSAGE on Kindle tomorrow. I also read a sample for a contemporary fiction (yeah, I know) called TUSCAN HOLIDAY that sounded interesting.

Tonight I'll watch Deadliest Catch. It should be the toughest one of them all: it's a two hour long episode dealing with Phil's death. Up until now they've been covering in bits and pieces his stroke and what looked like a step toward recovery.

At work, there's such a thing as "alternate summer hours." This is where one works 40 or so hours per week but takes one day off during the week as long as it isn't a Monday or Friday. I proposed that I do this to my supervisor. I would work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and take Wednesdays off so I can devote a day toward the newsletter. I've got to treat it like a second job because right now I'm not able to put any time toward it. I've not heard back yet.

Tomorrow at work I'll be part of a "rapid recovery" team that will go to Crow Agency to help people file claims there. The tribe has run out of funding so there have been some lay offs and reduced hours. We should be there from 8 until 3:30.

Finally got information regarding visit from Steve's brother. It will just be his brother and one daughter and it will just a quick trip for the weekend. I think we'll be taking everyone out for dinner on Friday.

Have a lovely evening

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's hot. I'm not trying that hard today.

Mailbox Monday! And I haven't received a thing in the last week. Nothing to share. Apparently, I'm an all or nothing, gal. :)

And I may perhaps be slumping after all. I can't settle on what to read. I wonder if that's a sign I need to switch to something nonfiction for the moment? Back to JOHN ADAMS maybe? Or start the William Shakespeare one or go for something Constitutional or Elizabethan? Hmmm. I'm thinking I may be interested in THE PASSAGE because of the praise I'm hearing but I'll have to wait until Wednesday to get it for the Kindle.

Tonight on tv I've got Lie To Me and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations to watch and then it will be bedtime so I may not have to make a decision again tonight.

I went to my new dentist this morning. Instead of crowns right now, he took out my old fillings and put in new ones in the two candidates because I had a cavity on one of them (something the dentist I saw last Monday failed to mention). It brought back many memories of being kid and visiting my dentist many many times. Oy, I hate the sound of the slow drill. But, I really really liked this dentist and I'm glad I went to him. Good thing, because apparently I'll be seeing more of him.

It was hot today, in the 90s and now there's a good o'l storm brewing. Woot!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Seconds

Sunday Seconds -- there are books that I would really love to re-read -- if I could make the time. Sometimes books have profound impacts on one's reading experience. Sometimes you just know these books could be even greater if you could go back and read them with again better understanding and life experiences under your belt. Sometimes books don't hold up the memory the second time around -- that's the risk. Sunday Seconds will be a cataloging of that kind of wish list.

What follows is taken from various sources on the Internet:

FREEDOM AND NECESSITY is an epistolary, historical fantasy novel by Steven Brust and Emma Bull.

The book opens in England, in 1849, with a letter from James Cobham to his cousin Richard:

My Dear Cousin,
I wonder how you will greet these words; indeed, I wonder how you will receive into your hands the paper that bears them, as I think you cannot be in expectation of correspondence from me. . . .

In short, I have been given to understand that I am believed dead by all my family and acquaintance—that I was seen to die, in fact, or at least, was seen to sink beneath the water a last time, and my corpse never recovered, though long and passionately sought for. You may imagine the fascination with which I heard this account, though you will imagine, too, that my fascination is accompanied by horror, which is far from the case. I cannot tell how it is, but though I know the thought of myself as a corpse should by all rights cause me distress, I find it holds only the interest, raises only the feelings, that such a thing might in verse or fiction.

What should distress me yet more, and what may, as my sensibilities recover somewhat from the curious flattened state they are now in, is that, for all I can recall, I may indeed have drowned. I have no knowledge of any act, any word, any thing at all that occurred between the conclusion of that pleasant luncheon on the lake shore, and my discovery—rediscovery—of my wits and person at the bottom of the garden behind this respectable inn at an hour when almost none of the respectable inhabitants of it were conscious. I have read, I suppose, too many fables and fairy-tales, for the first thing I asked of the good landlord, upon gathering my straying thoughts and finding my voice, was the month, day, and year. How relieved I was to find I had not been whisked away for seven times seven years, but for a scant two months! And yet, how and where were those two months passed? For anything I could tell, I might indeed have spent them happily in Fairyland, but for sundry signs about my person that it might not have been an unalloyed happiness. . . .

Finding out what happened to James, and what is going to happen to James, is the core of the rest of the book.

As the book opens, James Cobham is writing to his cousin Richard to inform him that he, James, is not dead. He has only vague memories of the past months, up until the time he arrived, ill and injured, at the inn where he's now working as a groom. Despite his lack of memory, he cautions Richard that he might want to keep James's resurrection quiet until they can discover where he's been and what happened to him.

Working parallel to the cousins is a distant cousin, Susan Voight. She's long been attracted to and fascinated by James, and with the news of his death, she's set out to discover his past--in particular, what happened when he'd disappeared before--in order, she tells herself, to find that he was just ordinary after all and exorcise him from her heart and mind.

Rounding out the main characters is Susan's best friend, James's stepsister Kitty, a devotee of spiritualism, who's "living in sin" with Richard.

They're all intellectuals and philosophers, though James has taken it further than the rest, and involved himself in radical political reform. (Friedrich Engels is a secondary character.) As the clues emerge, it seems that a combination of politics and the sinister Trotters Club is behind James's disappearance and the continued danger to him.

The clues are revealed slowly, in bits and pieces, and the reader has to actually interpret some of them. It's such a lovely novelty to not have everything spoon-fed to you.

In addition, there's a heart-wrenchingly intense romance between Susan and James, made all the better because they're both such great characters. Both strong, both extremely intelligent, both principled to a fault. Neither one gives the other an easy time.

It's a demanding read, but it's also one to savor.

Using letters and journal from James, Kitty, Susan and Richard, as well as actual articles from the London Times, Brust and Bull create a taut and gripping plot packed with intrigue, secret societies, gun running, social movements, murder and more.

The various plot threads range from the political to the prosaic, and they intertwine without a gap. The authors maintain the multiple layers of the plot clearly and cogently, and the reader is easily immersed in the story which, incredibly, transpires over three months. The main characters are vividly portrayed both through their own voices and the descriptions in letters about them. It is fascinating to see the subtle nuances of their personalities rise through the characters' portraits, transforming them from "stock" characters into people so real you would recognize them if you saw them on the street.

Furthermore, the authors maintain the integrity of the different characters' voices. This book is a fantasy, complete with a brooding hero on the run, a spirited "princess" sharing the adventure, a wicked "king" (not the monarch), secret identities and assorted assistants, Near misses and last-minute escapes abound until the final, satisfying resolution. With its rich, complicated plot and complex characters, this is a book to try to savor, but don't be surprised if you can't put it down.


I read this many years ago, maybe mid to late 90s but it was so impressive. It has so many elements I love: epistolary storytelling, politics, philosophy, intertwined relationships, intrigues, what is truth in the telling, and a little romance and swashbuckle ...

I must be more productive today as yesterday I got some things done but not nearly enough. More cleaning and I should do something on the newsletter. I also have a DVD I'd like to view, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Swedish film of the fantastic book. I need another day off. I need a job that pays better so I don't have to work overtime. Yeah yeah.

We may get some thunderstorms today, they're saying. That would be lovely. I'll be walking Tug soon. I've got a roast going in the crockpot to cook all day and I'm planning to try again a version of Shepherds Pie for dinner. I auditioned some books last night but I'm not sure what I'll stick with. I'm not slumping, I'm just ... indecisive.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, July 10, 2010

THAT must be it

Not feeling 100% today and otherwise doing some cleaning. It's a hot one out there. I still haven't decided what to read next. I have been listening to the audiobook of STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher. The narrator is simply wonderful, perfect as a world-weary, wise-cracking wizard PI.

Have a good Saturday, all.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, July 9, 2010


Another quick one. Hot today, near 90. After work I test drove the Suburban that Steve wants to buy from a friend but I will be the one to drive it. It's big. It's white. It would be too easy to call it Moby Dick but I'm thinking of calling it the Love Shack because of the line in the song "I've got me a Chrysler, it sits about twenty so come on and bring you're juke box money." Yeah, I could sit 20 in that puppy. But it will be up to Steve. He thinks it's a great deal and I don't know. We honestly don't need anything that big.

I haven't decided yet on what to read next. Tonight I'll have Say Yes to the Dress to watch. This weekend I'll have to do mega cleaning because we learned yesterday that Steve's brother and his family will be visiting next weekend from Denver. They'll stay with his parents but I'm sure there will be a visit over here. (sigh) There goes the weekend.

Stay cool, everyone.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Or call a DOC?

I apologize. This probably won't be an interesting post. Even though it's been a short week for work I'm still wrung out. The hurting teeth didn't help; my perpetually plugged ear doesn't help. I was very tempted to sleep in for 90 minutes and get to work at my scheduled time rather than do the overtime but I need the extra pay so I made it to work at 6. And the morning is so pretty at that time, too, I'd hate to miss it.

I finished DEATH AT ST. JAMES'S PALACE by Deryn Lake. It was a fine entry and the murderer an interesting one. I don't know yet what to read next. I may choose tonight or just read the new Bookpage I picked up from the library the other day.

I haven't chosen the photo for the day yet. I think it better be a good one in order to save this post in some way. :)

Have a good evening and an even better night.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dentist?!? Grrrrrrrr

I currently reading DEATH AT ST. JAMES'S PALACE by Deryn Lake. This is 8th of 13 in series featuring John Rawlings, an apothecary and associate of John Fielding, mostly in 18th century London. Here is a description:

In 1761, famous magistrate John Fielding is to be honoured with a knighthood. Founder of the Runners, London's metropolitan police force, John Fielding is one of several important members of the community who gather at St James's Palace for the investiture. As the invited audience eagerly crane for a first glimpse of the new queen, a terrible accident occurs when one of the crowd tumbles down the great staircase to his death. But not one person saw him begin to fall; even those standing closest to him had their eyes fixed on the royal entrance. Only one person witnessed anything untoward - John Fielding, a blindman. A whispered sentence, an exhalaion of breath - these are the only clues available to suggest the fall was no accident. Apothecary John Rawlings, accompanying his friend Fielding to the ceremony, sets out to investigate and is soon drawn into a very intriguing mystery, in which suspicious characters abound.

It was published in 2002 and 288 pages.

The not so good news is that I went to the dentist yesterday. He is saying I need two crowns on my upper left back teeth because they are cracking. Apparently fillings do that after decades. Sigh. Expense I don't need and certainly not the experience I'm looking forward to.

I'll be watching Deadliest Catch in a few minutes and then go to bed. I didn't get much sleep last night because of the darn teeth so I've got to do some catching up there.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mailbox Monday

It's Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.


SWORD OF SHAME by The Medieval Murderers (Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson and Philip Gooden). 2nd of five in series featuring these author's characters. Here's a description:

From its first arrival in Britain with the Norman forces of William the Conqueror, violence and revenge are the cursed sword's constant companions. From an election scandal in 13th-century Venice to the battlefield of Poitiers in 1356, the sword of shame brings bad luck and disgrace to all who possess it in this compelling collection of five interlocking mysteries.

It has 416 pages and was published in 2006.

GRAVEN IMAGE by Barbara Reichmuth Geisler. 2nd of 2 in series featuring Dame Averilla, the infirmaress at the Benedictine abbey near Shaftesbury in 12th century Norman England. Here is a description:

A young woman is murdered, and the people of the town decide that Master Levitas, the Jewish moneylender and goldsmith, is responsible. While this plot provides the backbone of the novel, it is an extraordinarily rich book with multiple storylines. The language and descriptions give a strong sense of the period, and the characters are fascinating. The abbess. Emma, is slowly growing into her position of authority and attempting to cope with the abbey's severe Financial problems. Several of the nuns are adjusting to changes in their responsibilities, and some English residents of Shaftesbury are still grappling with the loss of lands and wealth under the Normans. (While this book can be read independently, t highly recommend reading Other Cods first. which takes place one year earlier and provides full introductions to many of the characters) The precarious position of Jews in medieval England is vividly portrayed. A fascinating subplot involves Master Hugo, a renowned artist who has come to the Abbey to undertake a commission, the young boy who travels with him, and Hugo's relationship with Levitas.

It was published in 2005 and has 411 pages.

THE VILLA OF MYSTERIES by David Hewson. This is 2nd of 8 in series featuring Nic Costa and Gianni Peroni, police detectives in present day Rome. Here is a description:

In Rome’s crowded Campo dei Fiori, a woman rushes up to two carabinieri lounging in their sunglasses and uniforms, insisting that her sixteen-year-old daughter has just been abducted. Detective Nic Costa sees the scene unfold and intervenes. Because Costa knows what the two officers don’t: that in the morgue at Rome’s police headquarters, a forensic pathologist is examining the strange, mummified corpse of another girl, whose disappearance and death bear haunting similarities….Police pathologist Teresa Lupo is Nic’s colleague, friend, and his only equal when it comes to breaking the rules to get results, whatever the cost. Now, after years of living with the dead, Teresa insists that her superiors move quickly to save a life. Poring over the body of the girl in the morgue, she has found too many similarities between the girls, including a unique, leering tattoo. Lupo is sure that the vanished girl is headed for a bizarre ancient Bacchanalia involving virgins and sacrificial murder–a ritual that is only days away.As Nic and Teresa claw at the case from two sides–and as Nic finds himself at once puzzled and beguiled by the missing girl’s seductive mother–a chilling picture is beginning to emerge…of secret relationships and sexual depravity, organized crime and unimaginable corruption. With the clock ticking down on a young girl’s life, Nic and Teresa are about to make the most horrifying discovery of all—in a pit of human darkness, where an age-old malevolence still endures, evil has consumed innocence…and a very modern vengeance has begun.

It was published in 2005 and has 480 pages.

These were via


Aw, the last day of the three day weekend. How sad and how soon. Back at it again tomorrow.

I finished A RULE AGAINST MURDER by Louise Penny last night. Stayed up too late to finish it but then again the fireworks would have kept me up anyway. I liked how it had more of Gamache's wife in it because she's an interesting character and truer to life, she had nothing really to do with the crime solving end. I also like the character of Clara but she's becoming much like Murder She Wrote in that wherever she is there's a murder. We learn more about Gamache's past.

Next up: I'm not sure. I should read the next Deryn Lake because it's been a while and I know Mom is waiting for it but I also have some books out from the library that need to be attended to. I'll be holding auditions today.

Steve wants to buy a monster 2002 white Suburban from a friend for a screaming deal but I'd be the one driving it so I'm leary. I don't like driving big hulking monsters and forget about parallel parking ever again. What I'd like to do is get with him today and give it a test drive. (sigh).

Working on each entry is taking longer than I thought on my newsletter because I'm looking at so many sources for info and trying to exhaust all resources before sending an email to authors. Yesterday, I had a small screen going on the monitor of the first season on Bones to keep me company.

Enjoy the Monday ! (though it doesn't feel like one)

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster