Monday, March 16, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (03/17/2015)

On Saturday, we said goodbye to the last of our company. It was a big relief to have the house to ourselves again. We can finally get back into our comfortable routine. 

Sunday my daughter and I spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon at Mouse's best friend's house. We were attempting to make stepping stones out of plaster that the girls could decorate and maybe step in to capture their foot prints--or even their hand prints. I am afraid the project didn't quite turn out as well as we hoped. The dang plaster dried so fast it was next to impossible to do much with it, no matter what the instructions said. We did our best though. Luckily, each kit comes with ingredients for two stones and so both girls at least got one stepping stone out of the two planned for each. Once Mouse's stepping stone is completely dry, we will attempt to paint it and pray for the best. The girls had a fun afternoon regardless, playing in the mud, coloring, and running around the house while us mothers sat in the garden chatting and listening to the birds. You would never know it wasn't yet spring.

Mouse and her best friend playing in the garden

The thank you cards are made/written. I just need to buy postage for them and then will send them off in the mail. I enlisted Mouse's help in making them since they were, after all, for her birthday gifts. She personalized each one, selecting the shape and how to decorate them. It took a good part of an afternoon to get them all done, but it made for a fun art project. I am sure all the aunts and uncles and grandparents will be pleased. At least I hope so!

On the reading front, I am about half way through Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It's taking everything in me not to read straight through. I am trying to take my time though, having finally caught up to where my husband is.  So far, he's enjoying it. Jane Eyre has long been a favorite of mine, but it has been a good twenty years since I last read it.  I cannot express in words how much I am enjoying re-reading it. I may have squealed a few times as I came upon favorite scenes and melted at the deliciousness of the writing and in my love for Jane's character.  Then there's Helen and Mrs. Fairfax and Grace Poole.  And, of course, Mr. Rochester.  Oh, how I love this book!  

As hard as it was to tear myself away from Jane and Mr. Rochester, I thought maybe it was best to slow down my reading and let my husband again take the lead. And so I read a novella by Rebecca Chastain called Magic of the Gargoyles, which I enjoyed and will be reviewing at some point. It is an urban fantasy tale about a young woman who is enlisted in saving baby gargoyles after they have been kidnapped for evil dark purposes.  Last year I had read the author's full length novel, A Fistful of Evil, and really enjoyed it.

I also have begun reading Elizabeth Haynes's latest crime fiction novel, Behind Closed Doors, the second in the DCI Louisa Smith series. I have only just started it, and so do not have much to say about it yet.

What are you reading right now? Is it anything you would recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List. I kept this list to books I am excited about and hoping to read this coming spring all things being ideal and perfect. What is the likelihood of that though?  One can hope.  Regardless, I predict a spring full of good books!


1. The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen ~ Set during World War II, two British pilots find themselves behind enemy lines, pretending to be insane as their only hope for survival.

2. Diamond Head by Cecily Wong ~ Family saga that takes readers from China to Hawaii. Secrets, murder, sacrifice . . . I cannot resist.


3. The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy ~ I would read anything by this author. Two women's lives are interconnected despite their very different time periods, a modern tale of a woman who desperately wants a child and the story of a long ago mapmaker for the Underground Railroad. I love books that straddle both past and present.

4. Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran ~ Historical fiction set in India during the 1850's as the last Queen of India takes her people to battle against the British.

5. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman ~ The sequel to Seraphina (which I also hope to read this spring). Dragons?!  I'm there!

6. The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts by M.J. Scott ~ a fantasy novel described by the publisher as "Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival."

7. A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison ~ Annie Black's past comes back to haunt her, threatening her family and the happy life she has made for herself.

8. A Touch of Passion by Bronwen Evans ~ Kidnapped for an Arab Harem, her only hope is her brother's friend who has vowed to watch over and protect her.

9. Toured to Death by Hy Conrad ~ A mother/daughter team of travel agents have the perfect murder mystery excursion planned--only, they did not anticipate a real murder to trump their fictional one.

10. At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen ~ Set in the a Scottish Highland village during World War II.

Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?  What books are on your to read list for this spring?



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


Here is a snippet from the opening of my current read, Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes:
To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror.
Darkness, and stifling heat, so hot that breathing felt like effort, sweat pouring off her so her skin itself became liquid and she thought she would simply melt into a hot puddle of nothing. She tried crying out, screaming, but she could barely hear her own voice above the roar of the engine, the sound of the wheels moving at speed on tarmac. All that did was give her a sore throat. Nobody could hear her. 
A cold case is reopened when the young woman who had gone missing ten years ago reappears. It appears the girl's disappearance and sudden reappearance could be related to the recent assault and murder DCI Louisa Smith and her team are investigating.

Would you continue reading?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

54 comments:

  1. I would definitely keep going, sounds very well-written!

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    1. Fredamans - I like Haynes's writing very much.

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  2. I can't wait to get this one! I just finished the first one in the series, Under a Silent Moon. I enjoyed the character of DI Louisa Smith.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I enjoyed Under a Silent Moon too, and meeting Lou. I am looking forward to spending more time with her in Behind Closed Doors. Counting down to my lunch hour!

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  3. I really want to read this one after loving Under A Silent Moon - you've confirmed that I'm in for a treat judging by the intro. Here's my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/tuesday-first-chapter-first-paragraph-march-17/

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    1. Cleo - I was drawn in my the intro too. It's good so far.

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  4. The Alphabet House looks really intriguing! I hope that you enjoy your upcoming Spring reads.My TTT

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    1. Chrissi - Doesn't it? I haven't read a Jussi Adler-Olsen book before but I've heard good things about his work.

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  5. I liked that one, sounds scary...I'd keep reading.

    Sounds like the stepping stone project was fun even if it didn't go as planned.

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    1. Diane - I imagine it will be intense.

      I'm a little worried that if we step on the stepping stone it will break. We'll have to be careful with it, I think.

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  6. First, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, cannot wait! Truly.

    It's been years since I read JANE EYRE. Really don't want to think about how many years. I might try it again some day. I've thought about rereading some of my old Louise May Alcott books that I loved as a girl.

    Love the idea of the stepping stones. I bet the whole birthday event was a great and how smart to let Miss Mouse help with the thank you's. The relatives will love them. Have a good week, Wendy!

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    1. Kay - I almost began reading it before I started Jane Eyre, but was so afraid I would fall too behind my husband. I just wish I had an e-copy of Behind Closed Doors instead of a print copy. It's such a big book. I'm spoiled with e-books.

      I figure Mouse is old enough to start doing her own thank you cards. Right now it's easy to disguise them as an art project. I am not sure how long that will last.

      I hope you have a good week too!

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  7. Sounds good enough that I'd keep going. Enjoy.

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    1. Beth - It's good so far! I love the author's writing.

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  8. Since my planned reading for this week has fallen through, I need to find something else riveting to read. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Here's my Top Ten.

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    1. Deb - I hope you settle on something soon! I am sorry your books didn't arrive in time for your spring break. Hopefully soon.

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  9. I'm overdue for a Jane Eyre reread... love that your husband is reading it, too! Not quite sure about that intro though ;-)

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    1. JoAnn - I am excited that he is reading it. He read Pride and Prejudice a few years ago, another favorite of mine, and really liked it. I don't know how much he knows about Jane Eyre, although I imagine more than he should given how old the book is. It'll be interesting to see what his final impressions are.

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  10. Nice Tuesday intro and top ten list. There are a few books on your list I'm looking forward to reading as well. Diamond Head is new to me--I love books set in Hawaii or about its history, so I'll be adding that to my wish list.

    Happy reading!

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    1. Catherine - Thank you! I'm really looking forward to Diamond Head (it'll likely be the next book I pick up to read after Behind Closed Doors). I am trying not to get my expectations up too high, but it's hard. The Hawaiian setting definitely is a draw for me too.

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  11. I'm glad to hear Mouse had a wonderful time with her best friend. :)

    Your reading list sounds good! I only read The Alphabet House and enjoyed it very much. I can't wait to hear what you'll think of it.

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    1. Melody - They have such fun together. They also have their disagreements where they vow never to be friends again. LOL

      I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Alphabet House! It sounds like it will be good.

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  12. You are tempting me to dig out my copy of Jane Eyre! I am looking forward to The Alphabet House and The Water's Edge. Love the girls in their sun bonnets! I plan to get to Behind Closed Doors soon!

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    1. Nise' - I just love Jane Eyre. You should read it again too. Everyone should!

      I hope you like Behind Closed Doors when you get to it!

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  13. Love the pic of Mouse and her friend in the garden! The Alphabet House in an intriguing read--very suspenseful. I didn't care for The Shattered Court, though.

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    1. Jenclair - They were having fun, playing in the mud. :-) I'm sorry you didn't care for The Shattered Court. I was drawn to the fact that there is a witch in the story. I'll be curious to know how my thoughts compare to yours when I read it.

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  14. Great TTT list! I think I have The Alphabet House on my wishlist somewhere, the premise sounds really interesting. Happy reading :)

    My TTT

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    1. Lianne - I thought so too. The Alphabet House sounds like it will be a good one. Hopefully we will both enjoy it when we read it.

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  15. Vance made a stepping stone like that for my mother in law and I remember it being tough to work with as well.

    I want to read some of those books too!

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    1. Kathy - Maybe it would have worked better if the kids were older and faster. ;-)

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  16. I didn't have any luck with the stepping stone kits themselves when we did them but I saved the mold and just used regular cement and it worked so much better. Took a long time to dry... like 3 days but was much easier to work with.

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    1. Ti - That's a thought! Using regular cement sounds like the way to go. Thanks for the recommendation, Ti.

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  17. Loving the cover of Shadow Scale.

    Those stepping stones sound lovely, what a lovely idea.

    Almost finished A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Bitterly disappointed, I had such high hopes for this one.

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    1. Tracy - I like the cover of Shadow Scale too.

      I'm sorry you are not enjoying A Discovery of Witches. I really enjoyed it as well as the other two books in the trilogy.

      The stepping stones do sound like a good idea. I just wish it had worked out better. We may try again using Ti's idea. I'm not sure yet.

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  18. I'd love to have Diamond Head on my shelves! Your books all look scrumptious.

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    1. Harvee Lau - It's a beautiful cover, isn't it? I am looking forward to reading it. :-)

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  19. I love Elizabeth Haynes writing, so I would keep reading. I will look forward to your thoughts on this book! I enjoyed hearing about your experience of rereading Jane Eyre. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. Monica - I love her writing to. She's become one of my must read authors.

      I am not very subtle about my enthusiasm for Jane Eyre, am I? ;-)

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  20. A "delicious" list of books, so thanks for that! Glad Mouse had fun playing with her friend in the garden. The weather has been so nice lately-- we even had a 3 day heat wave unexpectedly this week.
    I haven't read Jane Eyre since high school-wow- sounds scary to put it that way, such a long time ago. It's nice that you and your husband will read books together. No way for my husband and I :)

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    1. Rita - Yes! The run of nice weather was very pleasant, wasn't it? Although the 90F temps could have been cooler. It's not typical for this time of year. We're supposed to get rain later this week from what I've heard.

      When I realized I hadn't read Jane Eyre in 20 years, I was surprised. I hadn't realized it had been so long.

      My husband and I don't often read the same books, although occasionally we do. We both enjoy mysteries and share a few favorite authors: Craig Johnson, Sue Grafton and Michael Connelly. He got to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy one year and was the one who really got me into fantasy novels. One of the first things that drew us together was our love for the written word. I can't imagine it being otherwise.

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  21. What a great list of books on your TBR! Enjoy them.

    The teaser is a good one, too. You have my interest.

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    1. Yvonne - I hope they will all be good. If only I had more time to read . . . The reader's dilemma. :-)

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  22. i like the opening paragraph. I'd keep going. I also like your list of top ten books. I found I couple I'm interested in. Thanks.

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    1. Margot - I'm enjoying the book so far. I love a good police procedural novel now and then.

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  23. Love it! Jane Eyre is my favorite classic, it's always great revisiting it.
    The Alphabet House also sounds awesome. I like stories set in WWII so it sounds perfect.

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    1. Jillian - I am glad I let my husband talk me into re-reading Jane Eyre. :-)

      I have been wanting to try something by the author of The Alphabet House for awhile now, so that seems like a good place to start.

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  24. I just picked up The Alphabet House and A Small Indiscretion myself! Looking forward to them!

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  25. I love the picture of Mouse and I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who has had trouble with those stepping stone kits! I love your TBR list! I'm curious about the Sara Gruen book and Toured to Death is on my Kindle waiting for me. I loved the TV show Monk and apparently the author was one of the writers of the show. Plus I love the travel aspects of it!

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    1. Katherine - We still haven't taken the stepping stone out of the mold yet to see how it turned out. We got busy this weekend and forgot. I hope it's sturdy enough. It's so thin!

      The premise for Toured to Death sounds so interesting, doesn't it? I would love to take a vacation like that--but without the real murder.

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  26. I'm listening to Jane Eyre right now, my third time "reading" this one and I think I'm enjoying it more than ever. So many people complain that Jane is a patsy but I have always found her so spunky, especially for someone in her circumstances. I love that your husband is reading along!

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    1. Lisa - I don't think Jane is a patsy either. She knows her mind and stands up for what she believes in.

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  27. Oh, that photo is soooo gorgeous! I actually read your post on Feedly, which tends to make pictures bigger than they are on the blog, so that photo looked so beautiful and vibrant!

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    1. Athira - Thank you! Sometimes my phone camera actually does a good job. :-)

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