STRW December 2013 Summary of Reviews and Best Dec. Covers

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Winter trees longs

December 2013 Book Review Summary and December Best Covers of the Month

December 2013 Review Summary

*Key:
S series
C contemporary
F-fantasy
SF-science fiction
PN-paranormal
SP-supernatural
H-historical
YA-young adult

5 Star Rating:

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane, C
Grime Doesn’t Pay: The Brothers Grime, Eddie by Z.A.Maxfield C,S
Oceans Apart by Laura Harner, C, S
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)by Laura Harner, TA Webb, Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows C,S

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

Blue River by Theo Fenraven (4 stars)PN
Christmas Serendipity by Liam Livings, (4.25)C,
Continental Divide written by Laura Harner, Lisa Worrall (4.25) C,S
Indelible Ink by Marie Lark, (4.5) C
Kick Start by Josh Lanyon C,S
Lost and Found by Z.A. Maxfield (4.5)C
Mindscape by Tal Valante (4.5) SF, S
Model Love by SJ Frost (4.25) C
Roughstock: Tag Team – Fais Do Do Season Two  by BA Tortuga(4.25)C,S

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Christmas Wish by Mychael Black, Shayne Carmichael SN, S
Housekeeping by Kim Fielding (3.75) C
Ride-Off (Polo #2) by Mickie B. Ashling (3.5)C
2 to 2.75 Star Rating:
N/A

1 to 1.75 Star Rating: N/A

Best Covers of December 2013:

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane, cover by LC Chase
Housekeeping by Kim Fielding, cover by Paul Richmond (his M/M American Gothic)
Lost and Found by ZA Maxfield, Cover by LC Chase
Mindscape by Tal Valante, cover by LC Chase

Housekeeping

LostAndFound_500x750

Mindscape_500x750

Christmas Kitsch cover

Twas the Week Of Christmas Poem and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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Winter trees longs

Scattered Thoughts “Twas The Week of Christmas” Poem!
(with my apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

It’s the week of Christmas and all through the house
Everyone was running around like crazy, even the mouse
Stockings need to be hung by the chimney with care
But until they are found, the mantel is quite bare.

The dogs were all nestled all snug in my bed
while visions of Dingle Rounds and bacon danced in their heads
And with Captain in his cage and the fish swimming laps
I settled in my chair for a long over due nap

With a bang and a pop on the lawn, there was a clatter
That I slowly rose out of my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I tottered without a crash
Only to knock over the books on the table I had stashed

The moon on the crest shown on the lawn below
to highlight the waving penguins, bears and deer ornaments aglow
When what to my nearsighted eyes should appear
Not one fox but two instead of miniature reindeer

 
With my old wooden driver, I tried to be quick
So I hollered and shouted until I was sick
More rapacious than gluttons, definitely not tame
Those foxes yipped and danced until they were lame

Go Away, now, happy foxes, Be Gone you, Vixens
It’s late at night, everyone is sleeping or fixin’
to head up to bed, but to sleep won’t happen at all
until you find yourselves another place to hold your fox ball.

As the dry leaves before the leafblower did fly
Through the lawn figures and lights the foxes  did spy
A bunny running across the neighbor’s yard with a bound
So with a yip and a bark, they ran after the prey they had found

The bunny so brown, white tail and fleet of foot
That the foxes, exhausted and panting, found that it took
More energy and speed than had their little pack
So before I knew it they were all headed back

To commune with my lawn animals who twinkled so merry
That to those foxes eyes, they were not even a little bit scary
The penguins were waving, both wearing a bow
And the polars bears glowed white, glistening like snow.

The figure of the dog held a fake bone in its teeth
On its head was a Santa hat, with ribbons beneath
The figures were tall, with heads as large as their bellies
That they often fell over, looking like Great Aunt Nelly(snort)

The foxes danced as I watched, “so happy” I said to myself
that they looked like the fox figurine that now sat on my shelf
With a prance and tongues hanging out of their heads
I knew without a doubt, I had a wonderful memory to take with me to bed

I watched a bit more, and then with a jerk
I waved to my visitors and left with a smirk
And grabbing my cane and with a rub to my nose
Up the stairs to bed and my pups I did go

As the foxes went on their way, running through the thistle
Captain woke in his cage and gave a sleepy whistle
And I thought I heard that parrot say, as I turned off the last light
“Goodnight, sweetheart, Merry Christmas and Good Night”!

With my apologies to Clement Clark Moore’s poem, Captain didn’t say that.  What he said is not suitable for print (he cusses a lot). But I am sure the mumbles I heard were in keeping with the spirit of the week before Christmas.  I do have a wonderful yard for wildlife and they will be getting their own treats for Christmas and winter time.  So will the terriers three and Captain, the AG.

Here is hoping for joy and love and good health to all for the holidays no matter what or if you celebrate.  Especially for two special men in Virginia in so many peoples hearts and prayers at this time.  If you are inclined to give a little bit more at this time of year, I have a link below to the Eric Arvin Support Fund.  All donations are welcome no matter the size.

Now to the week ahead in reviews:

Monday, Dec. 23:          Indelible Ink by Marie Lark

Tuesday, Dec. 24:          Housekeeping by Kim Fielding

Wed., Dec. 25:                Shira Anthony’s Symphony In Blue Guest Blog

Merry Christmas!

Thurs., Dec. 26:              Christmas Wish by Mychael Black ,Shayne Carmichael

Friday, Dec. 27:              Tal Valante’s Mindscape Blog Tour and Contest

Sat., Dec. 28:                   Mindscape by Tal Valante

Olympics Addiction Continues, the week ahead in Reviews and a new Summer Cocktail

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It’s August, it’s hot and dry here in Maryland.  Normal right?  Well, except for the 100 degree days, but the dryness?  That’s becoming typical too.  We are down about 8 inches here from our normal rainfall, but compared to some of the other states now experiencing record drought conditions, that is nothing.  As we hear of farmers and ranchers selling off stock they can’t feed and the Mississippi is down 20 ft in places,  along with Lake Michigan recording a water temperature in the 90’s,  I think Maryland is getting off easy comparatively speaking.  But we will feel it, make no doubt about it.  Higher food prices, higher costs in transportation, we are all woven together.  A small ripple here becomes a tidal wave there.

So I would like to think that the Olympics in Great Britain are generating tidal waves of good feelings that are crashing upon the shores of many nations.  I love watching athletes from all over the world competing and (mostly, what was with those badminton teams?) giving it their best.  Did you see that rower from Niger?  Never been in a boat, never rowed  before, came in dead last and grinned like crazy! And then there is Michael Phelps putting on a show of remarkable  physical ability, great team spirit and a happiness that I will remember for some time to come.  So many wonderful moments this week from the women competing whether it was gymnastics, swimming, Judo, weightlifting, or women in head scarves running like the wind.  I am just glued to my set and don’t see that changing until the very last whistle is blown and the torch goes out.  How about you?  Are you watching?

So this is what I have been reading in between watching the Olympics:

Monday:                       The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

Tuesday:                        When Forever May Not Be Long Enough by Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael

Wednesday:                  The Florist by Serena Yates

Thursday:                       Priceless by M.A. Church

Friday:                            Suicide Point by Georgie Leigh

Saturday:                        Brook Street: Thief by Ava March

Now on to this Sunday’s Feature Cocktail.  In a nod to the British Olympics, here is the recipe for a Pimm’s Cup.  This recipe is  for one drink. Make as many as you like!

 

 

 

 

 

Pimm’s Cup Ingredients:

About 1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup (2 ounces) Pimm’s No. 1
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ginger beer or ginger ale
1 cucumber slice
1 sprig fresh mint (5 to 6 leaves)
Directions:

Fill highball glass with ice. Add Pimm’s, then top with ginger beer, garnish with cucumber slice and mint sprig, and serve.

Now I am off to watch the Olympics and finish Megan Derr’s Poison, the 4th book in the Lost Gods series.