Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Books Read - February 2018

Brown, Nimue
Spirituality Without Structure *
Non-fiction.  Essay on the philosophy of structured vs. non-structured religion.

Craney, Glen
The Virgin of the Wild Rose ****
Fiction.  Jac flies to Ethiopia to bring back her fiancée’s body, but when she arrives she becomes embroiled in a frantic search for a holy relic.  Along the way she finds out her fiancée was not who she thought he was, but with the help of an international thief, she is able to escape the clutches of evil men out to kill her.

Cundy, Sheena
The Madness and the Magic ****
Fiction.  A woman in love with one man gets pregnant by another, while her mother beds the vicar.

Dudley, Lexa
The Whispering Wind ****
Fiction.  Elise travels to Sardinia without her abusive husband and falls in love with Beppe, a worker at the villa estate she is staying at.  They have a torrid romance, and she returns to England to divorce her husband, so she and Beppe can be together with the baby she’s carrying.  But circumstances intervene, and Elise learns, mistakingly, that Beppe has been killed.  Beppe stops receiving her letters and believes she has moved on with her life.  Only when their son returns to Sardinia after Elise’s death does he find that his father is still alive.

Gray, Martha
Grimalkyn: The Witch’s Cat ****
Non-fiction.  Working with feline animal spirit guides.

Guo, Luc and Fmprc Seac
Gaoshan ****
Non-fiction.  Information about Taiwan’s aboriginal people. 

Holmes, Dr. Leilani
Ancestry of Experience *****
Non-fiction.  Thesis and memoir of author’s search for her roots and the experience of own’s ancestral ties.

Keaulumoku, Queen Liliuokalani
The Kumulipo *****
Fiction.  The Hawaiian Creation Chant as translated by our Queen.

LaBan, Elizabeth
Not Perfect *****
Fiction.  Tabitha’s husband has disappeared, leaving her with two children and no money.  She resorts to stealing small items to put food on their table.  After a failed job interview, she meets Nora, an elderly woman who leaves money lying around her apartment.  When Tabitha’s daughter has to go to the hospital, Tabitha is sorely tempted to “borrow” some of Nora’s money to pay for the hospital bills.

Lin, Ed
Ghost Month ****
Fiction.  Johnny Chen owns a food stall in the night market and gets involved in the murder mystery of his childhood sweetheart.  When gangsters and the CIA come after him, he needs to think quickly on his feet to survive.

Miller, Derek B.
Norwegian by Night ****
Fiction.  Sheldon Horowitz moves to Norway to live with his granddaughter and her husband.  When a desperate woman from upstairs needs his help, he finds himself the caretaker of her son and running for their lives from the Serbian mafia.

Mitchell, Caroline
Silent Victim *****
Fiction.  A woman kills a man who has wronged her.  But did he?  The past is catching up with Emma and interfering with her life as a wife and mother.  Is she losing her mind?

Patterson, Rachael
Animal Magic ****
Non-fiction.  Finding and working with one’s animal spirit guides.

The Cailleach ****
Non-fiction.  Myths and legends about The Cailleach.

Moon Magic ****
Non-fiction.  Lore about the different phases of the moon and how to celebrate them.

Van Praag, Menna
The Witches of Cambridge ****
Fiction.  The witches of Cambridge meet on rooftops to care for and support each other.  They’re each looking for love, though some of them find it in the wrong places, but when a Brazilian macumba preys on one of their own, they have to band together to counteract the spell.

Wilcken, Lain
The Forgotten Children of Maui *****

Non-fiction.  The demigod Maui was worshipped across the Pacific Ocean, including Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and the Philippine Islands.  Sometimes his name was changed, but his deeds and stories are recognizable throughout.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Books Read - January 2018

Atwood, Margaret
Alias Grace ****
Fiction.  Grace works as as servant for her master, a Mr. Kinnear.  His housekeeper, Nancy, is also his mistress.  James is the hired man who lives in the stable.  When Mr. Kinnear and Nancy are murdered, both James and Grace are arrested for the crime.  James is hung, but Grace is serving a life sentence at the penitentiary.  Dr. Simon wants to find her innocent, but Grace has lost memory of that day.  This is her story.

Bruni, Riccardo
The Lion and the Rose ****
Fiction.  Venice in the 16th century, torn between the Pope who wants to claim Venice, and the Venetians who want to rule their own city.  Brother Mathias has bee brought home from Padua to solve a mystery.  Three bodies were found floating in the canal, having been tortured before the men were killed.  Someone is seeking something, and Mathias has to solve the mystery and obtain the sought-after item.

Charles, Ann
Feral-LY Funny Freakshow *****
Fiction.  Magic and Mayhem Kindle World book.  Electra is in the Gone Were protection program, hiding out in a circus.  When her mentor is murdered, she comes under suspicion, and her one-time lover returns to investigate.

Gaines, Chip & Joanna
The Magnolia Story *****
Non-fiction.  The story of the Gaines rise to fame, their ups and downs along the way, and their love for each other, their family, and their God that keeps them going when the times are tough.

Galenorn, Yasmine
Knight Magic *****
Fiction.  Novella in the Otherworld urban fantasy series.  Camille travels to the Otherworld to find her final Keraastar Knight and to hold the ritual binding them all together.  

Gill, John
Andalucîa: A Cultural History *****
Non-fiction.  Cultural history of Andalucîa from the beginning of time to now.

Greenfield, Trevor
iPagan ****
Non-fiction.  Essays by Pagan teachers on Druidry, Shamanism, Goddess Spirituality, Witchcraft,and politics.

Hart, Harmony
Basic Witch ****
Fiction.  First in the Witches of Salem Gemma Bradbury paranormal cozy mystery series.  Gemma and her cat, Titus, fall through a bookshelf at the back of the witchy shop she just inherited.  Tripping over a dead body, they find themselves in Salem...the magical Salem where beings of all sorts live and die.  

Jaobs, Francine
The Tainos: The People Who Welcomed Columbus ****
Non-fiction.  The story of the decimation of the Taino people by the Spaniards, beginning in 1492 with Columbus.

Mastromonaco, Alyssa
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? ****
Non-fiction.  Alyssa Mastromonaco worked on the Obama campaign and later worked for him as a deputy chief of operations in the White House doing an extraordinary job.

Moore, Brian
The Magician’s Wife ****
Fiction.  Emmeline is the wife of a French Magician who performs  for the Emperor.  Upon the Emperor’s request, Henri and Emmeline travel to Algiers to help convince the Arabs that Henri is more powerful than their own Mahdi in order to quell a possible rebellion until the French soldiers arrive in the spring and take control of the country.

Nelson, Nova
Crossing Over Easy ****
Fiction.  Book one in the Witches of Salem - Nora Bradbury paranormal cozy series.  Nora is a busy chef with her own restaurant in Austin, Texas, but as she drives home from dinner in New Orleans with her boyfriend, she takes a detour through Salem, Texas and crashes into a tree.  When she wakes up, she’s in Salem...not Texas.

Death Metal *****
Fiction.  Second in the Witches of Salem - Nora Bradbury paranormal cozy mystery series.  Nora is finding her attraction to Tanner growing, but she doesn’t feel that dating him would be good for her job working for him.  When the ghost of a socialite comes seeking her help, Nora puts her feelings for Tanner aside to concentrate on solving the murder.

Third Knock the Charm *****
Fiction.  Third in the Witches of Salem - Nora Bradbury paranormal cozy mystery series.  Nora has to team up with Donovan to travel into the woods to find and banish a Ba, who has sucked all the water out of Salem.

Obama, Barack
Of Thee I Sing ***
Fiction.  Children’s book written to Barack’s daughters.

Reid, Anna
The Shaman’s Coat ***
Non-fiction.  More about the horrendous mistreatment of the native groups by the Russians than about the culture or spirituality of the natives.

Rowland, Laura Joh
A Mortal Likeness *****
Fiction.  Second in the Victorian Mystery series.  Sarah and Hugh are hired as private detectives to get proof of a cheating husband.  The fuzzy form that shows in one of their pictures looks familiar to Sarah, and she believes it to be her long lost father.  The baby of a wealthy family has been kidnapped, and the father hires Sarah and Hugh to find the child.  

Soyinka, Wole
The Lion and the Jewel ****
Fiction.  Nigerian play about a man chasing a woman chasing a man.

Standing Deer, Ruby
Circles ***
Fiction.  Feather is a Native American boy destined to become a Holy Man.  He will lead his people to safety and join many bands together.

Welling, ReGina
Hexes and Ohs ****
Fiction.  Anthology of witchy short stories with a theme of Valentine’s Day.

White, Ellen Emerson
Kaiulani: The People’s Princess *****
Fiction.  The story of Hawai’i’s princess, from 13 years old to her failed attempt to get the U.S. to return Hawai’i to her people.

Wolff, Michael
Fire and Fury ****
Non-fiction.  Eye-opening look into Trump’s White House, his character, Jarvanka, and Steve Bannon’s push for power.

Yep, Lawrence
Lady of Ch’iao Kuo *****

Fiction.  Historical fiction about Redbird, Lady of Ch’iao Kuo.  As a 15-year-old princess, she help quell an attack by the Dog Head people.  Later she became a good and decent ruler and helped her Hsien people of the Great Forest form an alliance with the Chinese.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Books Read - December 2017

Adams, Ellery
The Secret, Book & Scone Society **
Fiction.  First in the Secret, Book and Scone Society cozy mystery series.  Nora and three of her new friends band together to solve a murder.

Blake, Deborah
Circle, Coven, and Grove *****
Non-fiction.  A month by month journal of rituals and suggestions for running magickal groups.

Dangerously Divine *****
Fiction.  Second in the Broken Riders urban fantasy series.  Gregori Sun is lost and is seeking balance in his life.  He applies to join a Buddhist monastery in Minnesota, where he is also doing research at the local library to find  his shamaness mother, hoping that she can help him find himself again.  The librarian helping him has secrets of her own, and though they try to ignore their growing feelings toward each other, the connection has been made and might save their lives.

Burke, Aliyah
Black Sand ***
Fiction.  Novella in the Lei Crime Kindle World.  Natasha is called to Hawai’i when her best friend, a treasure hunter, has been found dead.  Natasha and the local dive shop owner try to find out who killed her friend and why.

Calverley, J.M.
Moana’s Secrets *****
Fiction.  Reef Kahili’s young friend is kidnapped, and when his girlfriend also goes missing, Reef dives into the mystery headfirst to find them.

Evanovich, Janet
Hardcore Twenty-Four ****
Fiction.  Twenty-fourth in the Stephanie Plum cozy mystery series.  Stephanie and Lula are on the hunt for a zombie, and Stephanie is babysitting a giant boa who likes pizza.  If Morelli and Ranger aren’t enough, Steph has to contend  with Diesel crashing at her apartment and in her bed.

Galenorn, Yasmine
Witches Wild *****
Fiction.  Seventh in the Bewitching Bedlam urban fantasy.  Holly and Sandy are being joined by their old friend Fata Morgana, but Fata has changed since they last saw her two hundred years before.  She’s almost become one with the Ocean Mother and is ruled by her emotions.  Before she destroys Bedlam, the witches need to find a way to deal with her, while at the same time facing an evil vampire out to kill Holly.

Garrett, Danielle
Ghosts Gone Wild ****
Fiction.  Third in the Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mysteries series.  Scarlet is busy with preparing floral arrangements for a fancy wedding, when suddenly the bridezilla shows up in her shop dead and demanding the Scarlet return her to her body.  Ghosts are going missing in town, and Scarlet and Lucas are on the hunt to figure out what’s happening to them.

Lucky Witch ****
Fiction.  Seventh in the Beechwood Harbor Magic Mystery series.  Holly is on the hunt for a leprechaun who rearranges lawn gnomes and leaves shamrock clues around town to a supposed stash of gold.  But rogue werewolves are stalking the woods behind the manor, and Holly’s friend is in their sights.

Gibson, Mira
Motive ****
Fiction.  Lei Crime Kindle World book.  Vera is missing her older sister, Kira, who died when Vera was thirteen.  Now she’s a lifeguard, trying to keep the beach safe so no one dies like Kira did.  But finding the body of a young woman on the beach keeps her thoughts of Kira alive, and when she finds out the two deaths might be connected, she starts investigating on her own.

Hiestand, Heather
Blood Ties ****
Fiction.  Lei Crime Kindle World book.  Roselyn has had her DNA tested, and when her relatives start showing up online, she contacts one of them.  Her new boyfriend is helping her get to know her Hawaiian roots, but she suspects him of being involved in what seems to be drug-related attacks on her.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
Too Big to Die ****
Fiction.  Twelfth in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia and Greg save a small dog from an overheated car, when the owner arrives demanding to know what’s going on.  To Odelia’s chagrin, the owner is the wife of one of the big clients of Odelia’s law firm, and her husband is out to see Odelia fired.  

Keefer, Dylan
Demon’s Match **
Fiction.  Lei Crime Kindle World book.  Raine is still being chased by Eli, but when he involves another woman in his games and kidnaps her fiancé, Raine is determined to fight back.

Kuhn, N. 
Ghostly Paradise *
Fiction.  Lei Crime Kindle World book.  Woman sees ghosts, ghosts lead her to body, she becomes suspect, bad guy found.  Not edited.

Llewellyn, A.J.
Mercury Gold ****
Fiction.  Lei Crime Kindle World book.  Mercury has been hired by a former girlfriend, now an elementary school teacher, to track down a family that has gone missing.

MacInerney, Karen
Mistletoe Murder ****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Dewberry Farm cozy mystery series.  Lucy is busy with the Christmas Market, but a man is murdered, and his wife is depending on Lucy finding the murderer.

Manning, Fiona
Sunflower *****
Fiction.  A Lei Crime Kindle World novella.  A young girl’s skeleton is found in the cane field, and Tiare is taken back to when her best friend was abducted when they were both children.  The man suspected of being the kidnapper was innocent of the crime, so the perpetrator is still on the loose, and now he’s after Tiare.

Neal, Toby
Wired Dawn *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Paradise Crime mystery series set in Hawai’i.  Sophie Ang is incognito on Kaua’i, trying to find balance in her life after the supposed death of her boyfriend Connor.  She knows he is still alive, but she never wants to see him again, so she and her dog Ginger are hiking through the valley looking for peace and quiet.  What she finds is a crazed woman yelling that her son has been kidnapped.  When Sophie locates the boy, she needs her ex-boyfriend, Alika, to help her pull him from the lava tubes.

Simons, Kat
Once Upon a Tiger ****
Fiction.  First in the Tiger Shifters series.  Alexis wants no part of the Mate Run, but the elders have set her up this time.  When the males come sniffing around her, only one comes to her defense, the man who has her heart, Victor.

Welling, ReGina
Spells and Jinglebells ***

Fiction.  Anthology of witchy Christmas stories.

Reading Challenges 2018

Reading Challenges 2018

Total books for the year

2018 - 61/100
2017 - 347/100 completed
2016 - 136/100 completed
2015 - 276/100 completed
2014 - 206/100 completed
2013 - 134/100 completed
2012 - 104/100 completed
2011 - 156/100 completed


2018 My Ancestry Around the World 1540

I always choose four or five reading challenges for the year, but this year I decided to combine several and to also do something different.  I’m fascinated by genealogy and DNA and studying different cultures, so I’ve chosen twenty cultures that my own ancestors lived in to read about.  A fictional book set in each location, as well as a non-fiction to learn more about the cultures.

Sardinia - 
F - The Whispering Wind by Lexa Dudley
NF - The Two Madonnas by Sabina Magliocco

Gaoshan - Aboriginal Taiwan
F - Ghost Month by Ed Lin
NF - Gaoshan by Fmprc Seac

Hawai’i - 
F - Kaiulani: The People's Princess by Ellen Emerson White
NF - Ancestry of Experience by Dr Leilani Holmes

Spain - Andalucia/Sephardic
F - Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes
NF - Andalucia: A Cultural History by John Gill

Portugal -
F - The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney
NF - Portugal - Culture Smart by De Quieroz & Sandy Gueses

Norway - Viking
F - Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller
NF - Happy Times in Norway by Sigrid Undset

French Pyrenees - Basque
F - Biarritz Passion by Laurette Long
NF - The Basque Country by Paddy Woodworth

Basque Spain - 
F - Guernica by Dave Boling
NF - A Basque Diary by Alex Hallatt

Cuba - 
F - The Old Man and the Seat by Ernest Hemingway
NF - Cuba - Culture Smart by Russell Maddicks

Puerto Rico - 
F - The Coqui and the Iguana by Alidis Vicente
NF - Puerto Rico: What Everyone Needs to Know by Jorge Duany

Taino - 
F - Taino: The People Who Met Columbus by Donald H. Sullivan
NF - The Tainos: The People Who Welcomed Columbus by Francine Jacobs

West Africa - Yoruba/Nigeria
F - The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka
NF - The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts by Baba Ifa Karade

North Africa - 
F - The Magician’s Wife by Brian Moore
NF - Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King

Ashkenazi - 
F - The Brothers Ashkenazi by I.J. Singer
NF - Abraham’s Children by Jon Entine

Northern/Southern Han - southern China
F - Lady of Chi’ao Kuo by Lawrence Yep
NF - Han by Luc Guo & Fmprc Seac

West Caucasus - Pontic Greeks in Turkey/Anatolia
F - Adora by Bertrice Small
NF - Turkey - Culture Smart by Charlotte McPherson

Siberia - Koryak/Chukchi/West Beringian
F - Reindeer Moon by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
NF - The Shaman’s Coat by Anna Reid

Filipino - Cebu
F - The Tesseract by Alex Garland
NF - The Forgotten Children of Maui by Lain Wilcken

Pakistan - Pashtun/Dravidian/Sindhi
F - Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
NF - Pakistan - Culture Smart by Safia Haleem

Neanderthal - 
F - The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron
NF - Them and Us by Danny Vendramini