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 - 37/100
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 10/40

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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Books Read - November 2017

Bruni, Riccardo
The Night of the Moths *****
Fiction.  Ten years ago a young woman was killed.  When her boyfriend at the time returns to the small town to sell the family home, secrets arise that question the identity of the murderer and what really happened that night.

Galenorn, Yasmine
Siren’s Song ****
Fiction.  Sixth book in the Bewitching Bedlam urban fantasy series set in the San Juan Islands.  Maddy’s best friend, Sandy, is in the hospital, the victim of a hit and run.  When her brand new restaurant is burned to the ground, Maddy and her friends realize someone is definitely after Sandy.  Struggling to find out who is responsible is taxing Maddy, who is willing to put her own life on the line to save her friend.

Glidden, Helene
The Light on the Island ****
Fiction.  Based on the true story of a young girl brought up as the lighthouse keeper’s daughter on Patos Island in the San Juans.  Her exploits  with her many siblings, their losses, and their joys tell an interesting story.

McKay, Ami
The Witches of New York ***
Fiction.  Three witches are simply trying to live their lives and ply their trades, when a rogue preacher and a demon set out to destroy them.

Stevermer, Caroline
A College of Magics ****
Fiction.  First in the College of Magics series.  Faris has been sent by her uncle to attend Greenlaw Finishing School, which graduates witches.  When her uncle demands that she return home before she graduates, the headmistress charges her to stop in Paris to visit a mysterious person who has a task for her to accomplish.  Upon finding  the man, she learns that she is the new warden of the North and must close a rift that has opened in the world.  Her life is in jeopardy, but she has given her word that she will follow through on her mission, one that will challenge her to give up all she desires.

A Scholar of Magics ***

Fiction  Second in the College of Magics series.  Jane travels to England to visit her brother Robert at Glasscastle, which is a school that graduates male witches.  She meets an American sharpshooter there who is helping out on the Agincourt Project being run by the university.  Unknown to them, the project is creating a weapon, but it’s stolen and is being misused to gain power.  Jane and Samuel try to find the weapon and a missing professor who was working on the project.

Books Read - October 2017

Beaton, M.C.
The Witches’ Tree ****
Fiction.  31st book in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  A body is found hanging from the Witches’ Tree in a neighboring town, and Agatha is hired to uncover the murderer, which puts herself and Toni in danger.

Blake, Deborah
A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft ****
Non-fiction.  A calendar of thoughts, lore, and exercises to last you through the year.

Brown, Dan
Deception Point *****
Fiction.  Rachel Sexton is an NRO analyst who has been sent up to the Arctic circle to learn about a secret NASA discovery that will affect national security.  She meets up with three civilian scientists and embarks on a journey fraught with deception and danger.

Digital Fortress *****
Fiction.  NSA has developed a secret computer program that can break any code, but someone has announced they can break into it.  Susan is called in on a weekend to assist her boss with the problem.  They’re on a timeline racing against the clock to find a pass key that can stop a virus from attacking their program.  Susan’s fiancé is sent to Spain to find a ring and bring it back, but the person with the ring has died, and the ring has disappeared.

Origin ****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Robert Langdon mystery books.  Robert has been invited to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by his former student and good friend, Edmond, a billionaire genius computer scientist, whose eccentric view on religion has drawn a large following.  He’s promised the world that he will unveil a world-changing theory to answer two questions: Where did we come from? and Where are we going?

Charles, Ann
Rattling the Heat in Deadwood *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Deadwood Mystery series.  Hawke is still out to nab Violet as a murderer, and he is convinced she is a witch with the power to hex him.  Violet can’t help playing along when he continues to annoy her.  Cooper has to put a tracker on her phone, but when that doesn’t work, he’s forced to move into her home to keep her in his sights.  That puts a crimp into Violet and Doc’s plans, and she gets word that her treacherous sister is coming to visit with their parents.

Hanna, H.Y.
All-Butter ShortDead ****
Fiction.  Prequel in the Oxford Teashop Mystery series.  Gemma is returning to England to open a teashop in Meadowforde-on-Smythe.  She meets a woman named Jenn on the plane and they get to chatting.  When they arrive, Jenn leaves a scarf behind, and Gemma grabs it to return it to her.  When Jenn is found dead, Gemma is suspected to be the murderer.

Hoffman, Alice
Angel Landing ***
Fiction.  There has been an explosion at the nuclear power plant being built in Fisher’s Cove, and the welder responsible for the faulty valve makes a therapy appointment with a social worker who quickly falls for him.  Though he knew what he was doing when he damaged the valve, his lawyer thinks he’ll be found innocent.  The social worker wants a relationship, but the welder pushes her away.  She’s relentless, and he finally agrees to spent one night with her.  Their relationship causes problems for her at work, but she doesn’t care.

The Drowning Season ***
Fiction.  Esther the Black lives at her grandmother’s compound in Connecticut, but she has received no love from Esther the White while she was growing up and hates her grandmother.  Her father has suicidal tendencies and tries to drown himself every summer.  When Esther the White knows she is dying of cancer, she tries to reach out to her granddaughter, without much luck.  She’s a hard woman, but Cohen, who works for the compound, has fallen in love with her.  The past threatens the future of the family and the compound.

Illumination Night ****
Fiction.  Jody is sent to her grandmother’s house when her grandmother falls and injures herself.  Bored, Jody sets her sights on the man who lives next door and doesn’t care that he’s married and has a young son.  Andre is aware of Jody’s presence, and though he has a good marriage, he’s feeling lost and afraid that he might succumb to her charms.

Rules of Magic ****
Fiction.  Prequel to Practical Magic.  Franny, Jet, and Vincent are living in New York and wishing they could be anywhere but there.  A summer visit with their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts introduces them to the magic that runs through their veins and changes their lives forever.

Turtle Moon ****
Fiction.  A woman flees her ex-husband, taking their daughter with her.  They end up in Verity, Florida where they settle.  But when the woman is murdered, and her baby daughter is missing, a young boy becomes the prime suspect.

White Horses ****
Fiction.  A girl grows up in love with her brother, a bad boy who stays out all night and commits petty crimes.  Their mother also idolizes the boy, believing in stories told by her father of the mysterious man who will come into her life and sweep her away.  She thought she found him in her husband, but when he wanders off, she realizes the stories were just stories and not truth.

Kimelman, Emily
Unleashed ***
Fiction.  First in the Sydney Rye mystery series.  Joy has worked as a dog walker for just one day before one of her clients turns up dead, and she’s the one who finds him.  While the police consider her as a suspect, she is determined to solve the mystery.  But things turn dangerous for Joy, and she’s finally forced to flee the city.

McNicol, Donna B.
Not a Whisper ***
Fiction.  First in the Klondike Mystery series.  Cherie is spending time with her aunt, who is recovering from a stroke.  A fire has burned down a bar in town, and in the basement, a body is found in an old freezer.  A twenty-year-old mystery comes back to haunt the town, and the townspeople are determined to find the solution.

Rowland, Laura Joh
The Ripper’s Shadow *****
Fiction.  First in the Victorian mystery series set in London.  Sarah Bain is a photographer working in a field usually reserved for men.  One sideline of hers is taking boudoir of some ladies of the night.  When these women become victims of the murderer known as The Ripper, Sarah is determined to do what she can to protect the rest by uncovering his identity, putting he own life in danger.

Wrede, Patricia & Caroline Stevermer
The Grand Tour ****
Fiction.  Second in the Cecelia and Kate novels.  Cecelia, Kate, and their new husbands are on their wedding tour of Europe.  They are staying with Thomas’ mother, Lady Sylvia, in Paris when an ampoule is stolen.  The ampoule was an ancient relic used in a ritual to name a king.  Other items have been stolen around Europe, and the foursome realize  they are being collected to be used in a new ritual naming a new King of Europe.  They must stop the ritual in time, or the entire continent will end up at war.

The Mislaid Magician ****
Fiction.  Third in the Cecelia and Kate novels.  Ten years later, Cecelia and James leave their four children with Kate and Thomas and head north on another mission for the Duke of Wellington.  He has charged them to find out what happened to a Prussian wizard surveyor who had been trying to discover if ley lines are interfering with the railway lines for the steam engines.  As they try to unravel the mystery, Thomas and Kate are having problems of their own when someone repeatedly bypasses all the wards Thomas has set around their property.

Sorcery & Cecelia ****

Fiction.  First in the Cecelia and Kate novels.  Cecelia and Kate are cousins living in England in the early 1800’s.  Cecelia lives at a manor in Essex, and Kate is in London for her first Season.  Magic is alive in their world, and the girls become embroiled in a war of magic between bad wizards and good wizards.