Friday, December 2, 2011

Books Read in November 2011

Damsgaard, Shirley
- The Trouble with Witches 
- Witch Hunt 
- The Witch is Dead
- The Witch’s Grave
- The Seventh Witch 
A woman and her grandmother, who live in Iowa and happen to be witches, solve murders using Appalachian folk magic.

Evanovich, Janet
- Explosive Eighteen 
A klutzy bounty hunter bumbles her way to solving murders with a crazy sidekick, an incredibly hot and mysterious hunk, and a gorgeous cop boyfriend.  Totally hilarious.

Galenorn, Yasmine
- Courting Darkness 
- Hexed
These aren't cozies, they're urban or paranormal fantasies written by one of my favorite authors.  A family of 3 half-human, half-fae sisters, one of whom is a witch, one a vampire, and one a were-cat, work with a variety of co-horts to fight against evil.

Royal, Brandon
- The Little Red Writing Book (non-fiction)

Staub, Wendy Corsi
- Awakening 
- Believing 
- Connecting
- Discovering
Based in Lily Dale, New York, a spiritualist town, a young girl and her grandmother use their psychic skills in solving murders. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Books Read in October 2011

Alt, Madelyn
- Home for a Spell 

Blackwell, Juliet
- If Walls Could Talk 

Blair, Annette
- Larceny and Lace
- Death by Diamonds 
- Skirting the Grave 

Childs, Laura
- The Teaberry Strangler 
- Scones & Bones 

Christie, Agatha
- Poirot Investigates 
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 

Dams, Jeanne M.
- A Dark & Stormy Night 

Davidson, Diane Mott
- Crunch Time

de Lint, Charles
- Moonheart 

Evanovich, Janet
- Smokin’ Seventeen 

Fluke, Joanne
- Cream Puff Murder 
- Plum Pudding Murder 
- Apple Turnover Murder 
- Devil’s Food Cake Murder

Grafton, Sue
- T is for Trespass 

Hunter, Maddy
- Hula Done It
- G’day to Die
- Norway to Hide 

Lewis, Matthew Gregory
- The Monk 

Micheals, Fern; Barton, Beverly; Fluke Joanne; Jump, Shirley
- Sugar and Spice 

Myers, Tim
- Innkeeping with Murder 

Starbird, Margaret
- The Woman with the Alabaster Jar

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Books Read in September 2011

Allen, Sarah Addison
- Garden Spells 
Fiction.  Story of two sisters who followed very different paths in life, only to have them reunite as they grow as adults and as sisters.  Two sisters, a girl, and a temperamental apple tree.  Very magical.

Christie, Agatha
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles 
- Murder on the Links 
- Poirot Investigates 
Fiction.  The first three Hercule Poirot mysteries.

Davidson, Diane Mott
- Double Shot 
- Dark Tort 
- Sweet Revenge
- Fatally Flaky 
Fiction.   Books 12-15 of the Goldy Culinary mystery series.

Greenway, Alice
- White Ghost Girls 
Fiction.  Story of two  American sisters who grow up in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War.  Surprise ending.

MacInerney, Karen
- Murder on the Rocks 
Fiction. First book in the Gray Whale Inn mysteries set in Maine.  Natalie Barnes starts life over as an innkeeper and finds her livelihood in danger from a greedy land developer.

O’Brien, Edna
- A Pagan Place 
Fiction. Story of a young Irish girl's life in the early 1900's Ireland.

- When Dreams Tremble 
Fiction. Lesbian love story of young love, loss, growth, and renewal.

Stamps, Laura 
- The Witches of Dixie 
Fiction. Book 1 in the Witchery trilogy.  Paranormal tale of four southern bell witches.

Swendson, Shanna
-  Enchanted, Inc.
Fiction. Book 1 in the Katie Chandler paranormal comedy treat.  Very light and magical.

Wesselman, Hank
- Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future
Non-fiction. Anthropologist Hank Wesselman's account of a series of visions he has while living on the Kona coast.  Written like a fictional story, I had to keep reminding myself that these were his true visions.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Books Read in August 2011

Cornwell, Patricia
- Postmortem 
- All That Remains 
Fiction, books one and three in the Kay Scarpetta medical examiner mystery series.

Davidson, Diane Mott
- Killer Pancake 
- The Main Corpse 
- The Grilling Season 
- Prime Cut 
- Tough Cookie 
- Sticks & Scones 
- Chopping Spree
Fiction, books five through eleven in the Goldy Culinary mystery series based in Colorado.

Evanovich, Janet
- Wicked Appetite 
Fiction, first in the new funny and hunky Diesel mystery series.

Koontz, Dean
- The Face 
Fiction, creepy tale surrounding the son of a world famous actor, whose only protectors are the head of security on his father's staff, and the newly dead friend of the security chief.

Leigh, Lora
- Dangerous Games 
Fiction, steamy tale about a Navy SEAL's relationship with a DEA agent he's known all his life, and their assignment to end a reign of terror by a Colombian drug cartel.

Malone, Nancy M.
- Walking a Literary Labyrinth: A Spirituality of Reading 
Non-fiction, the relationship between a recovering alcoholic Ursuline nun and her love of books and reading.

Patterson, James
- Violets are Blue 
- 2nd Chance 
- 3rd Degree 
- 4th of July 
- Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas 
- Cat & Mouse 
Fiction, books four and seven of the Alex Cross series, books two through four of the Women's Murder Club series, and a wonderfully romantic novel of love, loss and second chances.

Shayne, Maggie
- Infinity 
- Destiny
Fiction, books two and three of the Immortal Witch series of three related couples of High Witches battling Dark Witches.

Townsend, Kari Lee
- Tempest in the Tea Leaves
Fiction, cozy about an immature tea leaf reader who moves to a small town and begins to solve mysteries.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Notes on Walking a Literary Labyrinth: A Spirituality of Reading

By Nancy M. Malone.

"While the line of print in a novel, for instance, proceeds mostly in unbroken fashion from one margin of the page to the other, and plot and character development drive us forward until we reach a sense of wholeness at its end, to read a poem well we must go slowly, attend more carefully to all its elements.  Line breaks and their meaning arrest us.  Our innate sense of rhythm and, in some poems, our appetite for rhyme, though less robust in us than in readers of the past, are fully satisfied.  Above all, we must savor the words themselves for their full import, their sound and resonances, their relationship to other words in the line, the poem."

"...reading is a keenly personal act...reads a book against the template of his own personality, experience, tastes, and dispositions at the moment, so that in a very real way each reader is the co-creator of the work being read; it is not a one-sided affair."

"Accept" rather than "tolerate", Quotations

I don't like the word "tolerate".  It sounds like you're saying that there's something wrong with someone, but you're okay with them in spite of their faults.

I much prefer the word "acceptance".  You accept that there are differences between people, but you don't think of them as faults.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." ~ Albus Dumbledore

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanuel Kant

"Be open to the possibilities!"

"Real men aren't bullies."

"People may forget what you said, forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

"Not all the law, Inspector, is written in books."

"How you treat me is your karma, how I react is mine."

"If you spend too much time thinking about the future, you aren't living your life."

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

"The path to fearless living goes straight through the roadblocks, not around them."

"An ending doesn't have to be said.  It's the only way to begin something new."

“Tears are words the heart can't express” ~ Unknown

"For Creativity to thrive, it needs a place to call home."

"A true outlaw finds the balance between the passion in his heart and the reason in his mind. The outcome is the balance of might and right." ~ John Teller

"The message is that there are known "knowns."  There are things we know that we know.  There are known unknowns.  That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know.  But there are also unknown unknowns.  There are things we do not know we don't know."
~ Donald Rumsfeld.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Books Read in July 2011

Andrade, Carlos
- Ha’ena: Through the Eyes of the Ancestors
Non-fiction, about the Ha'ena area of northern Kaua'i.

Braun, Lilian Jackson
- The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
- The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern
- The Cat Who Turned On and Off
Fiction, first three cozy mysteries in the Cat Who series starring a newspaper reporter and his cats.

Charters, Lowell
- Thunderheart
Fiction, half-native FBI agent is assigned to solve the murder of a Native American man on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.  Great movie starring Val Kilmer and Graham Greene.

Clark, Mary Higgins
- The Second Time Around
Fiction, financial correspondent is assigned to report on a murder case of a prominent cancer researcher.

Crichton, Michael
- Disclosure
- A Case of Need
Fiction, mystery revolving around a Seattle company merger and a sexual harrassment case, movie starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore; medical mystery.

Davidson, Diane Mott
- Catering to Nobody
- Dying for Chocolate
- The Cereal Murders
- The Last Suppers
Fiction, first four books in the Goldy Culinary cozy mystery series with recipes.

Evanovich, Janet
- Sizzling Sixteen
Fiction, sixteenth book in the very funny Stephanie Plum bounty hunter cozy mystery series.

Fielding, Helen
- Bridget Jones’s Diary
Fiction, diary of a year in a woman's life, movie starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant.

Galenorn, Yasmine
- Night Veil
Fiction, second book in the Indigo Court paranormal urban fantasy series (great series, as are all of her books!)

Loebel-Fried, Caren
- Hawaiian Legends of Dreams
Non-fiction, book of Hawaiian legends that involve dreams, along with narrative explaining the Hawaiian deep connection with dreams.

Maillet, G. M.
- Death of a Cozy Writer
Fiction, first book in the St. Just English cozy mystery about a lord of the manor and his offspring.

Noyes, Martha
- Then There Were None
Non-fiction, chronicles the effect of non-natives on the Hawaiian people, very informative, short book, documentary movie by the same name.

Patterson, James
- The Midnight Club
- Along Came a Spider
- Jack and Jill
- See How They Run
Fiction, first four books in the Alex Cross mystery series, dark and very intricate.

Roberts, Nora
- Blood Brothers
Fiction, first book in the Sign of Seven paranormal trilogy involving three young boys who become men, the women in their lives, and the terrible force they have to fight.

Winton, Tim
- Blueback
Fiction, charming tale about an Australian woman and her son living off the ocean.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Well, I went a little nuts in the past 34 hours, in that I've been awake the whole time and finished one book, then started and finished two more books, and started a fourth book!  It's 4:26 in the morning, and I'm so tired.  It's not that I can't sleep, I just feel like I'll be missing something if I do sleep.  Strange, I know.  And it's not like I don't love to sleep, because I do.  I have the most fascinating dream adventures, and lately they've been staying with me longer as if they carry more weight for some reason.  I haven't figured out the messages yet, but I feel they have something to do with family and bloodlines.  I've been working harder on my genealogy, trying to regain what I've lost before it's too late.  I feel like I'm running out of time.  Changes are coming.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Books Read in June 2011

Berry, Steve
- The Amber Room

Fiction, divorced couple go on a journey to solve the mystery of the famous Amber Room that disappeared during WWII from Catherine's Palace in Russia.

Blackwell, Juliet
- Hexes and Hemlines

Fiction, third paranormal cozy mystery in A Witchcraft Mystery series.

Carroll, Rick
- Hawaii’s Best Spooky Tales: The Original 

Fiction, famous spooky stories from the Hawaiian Islands.

Heckman, Victoria
- K.O.’d in Honolulu 

Fiction, first in the K.O.'s police cozy mystery.  Eh...

Mayes, Frances
- Under the Tuscan Sun 

Non-fiction, author's adventures in purchasing and renovating a villa in Tuscany, has recipes, fictional movie based on this book starring Diane Lane.

Silva, Daniel
- The Rembrandt Affair 

Fiction, tenth book in the Gabriel Allon mystery series surrounding the theft of a painting during WWII.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dream: Head Shots & Ghosts

I actually had four dreams last night.  In the first one, I was having a discussion about witchcraft and ceremony with a group of people.  Then we had our own ritual.  In the second dream, I was in a white room with a group of people, and we were either at work or in a store, and someone starting firing a gun in the next room.  We all scrambled to hide as he came closer to the door, but he ended up killing several people.  I was almost to the next room, when I was shot twice in the back of the head.  It didn't hurt, but I could feel the heaviness and pressure in my head.  I knew I had to get to the next room before I died, and I struggled to my feet and had just made it to the doorway, when I woke up.  The third dream had something to do with my cats and my old apartment, with a lot of people coming and going.  In the fourth dream, I was with my brother and my parents in our old Victorian house that has been in a number of my dreams.  Outside, it's one size, but inside, it seems to expand to whatever setup I need, and it's full of hidden rooms and secret passageways.  My parents were trying to go to sleep in the bedroom, but my brother and I were playing the piano in the next room, then we went to the mall to shop for clothes and video games and ended back in the same room playing the piano.  When we finished, I looked up and saw a girl running up the stairs in the hallway.  My brother and I followed her, but she was afraid and kept running faster.  When we reached the third floor, it was a dusty old room without any furniture.  There were four other ghosts up there, and all of them were afraid of us except for one girl that I had spoken with before.  As we talked, the other ghosts came around and joined the conversation.  They were all upset about something and trying to get me to help them...but I got woken up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Books Read in May 2011

Golden, Arthur
- Memoirs of a Geisha

Fiction, tale of a girl who is sold into the life of a geisha.

Patterson, James
- Honeymoon
- Lifeguard 

Fiction, Black Widow murder mystery, so-so; lifeguard/pool guy is set up as the murderer in a killing spree.

Stewart, Carol Lynn
- Door in the Sky 

Fiction, half-Basque witch, Gascon daughter of the local nobleman, fights her way to freedom under the cloud of charges brought during the Inquisition.

Tan, Amy
- The Bonesetter’s Daughter
- The Kitchen God’s Wife

Fiction, tale-within-a-tale of a Chinese-American woman learning about her ancestors in China; another tale-within-a-tale of a Chinese-American woman who learns of her mother's early life in China.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dream: Forbidden Loves

The first night, I had a dream that I was very interested in a guy, only to find out that he was only interested in his sister.  She said that he was upset about being in love with a woman he couldn't have.  The second night, I dreamed that I was interested in a guy, but he was only interested in his dog.  This is just getting bizarre.  

So when I woke up yesterday, I finally realized this was all coming (I hope!) from the book I'm currently reading.  It's about a woman who is in love with a man who is in love with another man who is in love with both of them.  So, the one man slept with the bisexual, got upset, slept with the woman out of guilt over his feelings for the man, but he kept calling out the man's name while he was having sex with her, which upset her, so afterwards, she slept with the bisexual (how's that for a run-on sentence?).  Anyway, the book is not about who slept with who, it's about the daughter who was conceived that night who ends up being raised by the two men after her mother disappears.  Complicated?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Books Read in April 2011

Christie, Agatha
- Miss Marple:  The Complete Short Stories

Fiction, collection of the Grand Dame's English cozy mysteries.

Harwin, Patricia
- Arson and Old Lace

Fiction, first in the Far Wychwood cozy mystery series about an ex-pat American living in a small English village.

Havens, Erin
- Warriors: Forest of Secrets
- Warriors: Rising Storm
- Warriors: A Dangerous Path
- Warriors: The Darkest Hour

Fiction, last four books in the Warriors cat series starring Rusty/FirePaw/FireHeart, a cat who leaves the comfort of a home with the two-legs to find adventure and acceptance with the feral Thunderclan.

Kimberly, Alice
- The Ghost and Mrs. McClure 

Fiction, first in the Haunted Bookshop cozy mystery series about a woman who owns a Rhode Island bookshop, and the private investigator ghost who helps her solve mysteries.

Lee, Lisa
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Fiction, the entangled lives of two young girls in 19th century China.

Shayne, Maggie
- Eternity
- The Gingerbread Man 

Fiction, first in the Immortal Witches series about a couple who keep finding themselves living through one lifetime into another, and their journey to find each other and escape the evil one; police detective works with a young woman to solve the cases of a serial child killer.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dream: Hair Clumps

I had the oddest dream the other night.  Like all my dreams, it was long and involved, but the most interesting part was me running my hands through my hair and pulling out fuzzy clumps of dead hair.  My hair started out very poofy, but as I got more clumps out of it, I could see and feel clean, shiny healthy hair underneath.  I filled up one wastebasket, and still had barely made a dent in all the clumps.  I figure the dream was about clearing out old "dead" stuff and making room for new things/ideas/ways of life.  Rebirth.  Basically, the same decluttering process that I've been working on in my room.  I think Stalking Tiger is happy that I'm finally working on something productive.  It's been a long time coming!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Poetry - "Druid Magick"

Druid Magick (© Naomi L. Shank, 1991)

I followed him up the trail, a fragrant purple and gold dusting the rolling hillside.  His tall spare frame clothed in simple white cotton, worn leather sandals cradling feet like oak roots.  Curling silver tendrils of hair flowing downward, reaching almost to his waist.

On the far hill stands the ancient henge, eternal and shimmering in the fading solstice light.  Swirling mist lies low, sheltering the treed vale below.  My heart racing in anticipation, we step lightly over the bubbling brook.  Twinkling rainbow spray over the tumbling, giggling water.

Reaching the tall stones, he turns and smiles, the face I'd thought as granite now kind and loving as any father's.  Moving to the center, I close my eyes, senses reeling.  My heartbeat steadies.  Silence.  Energy, like tiny sparks of light trickle in a kaleidoscope of colors down my skin, my feet grow roots anchoring me to the earth.  I open my eyes.

He turns now and faces the North.  His grizzled beard flecked with down, he stands straight and tall, one hand outstretched, beseeching, the other clamped tight, certain, round the knobby stave of ashen wood.  Sunlight glinting off the ruddy hairs of his raised forearm, he calls out in ancient tongue in a voice graveled and deep.

Turning, he circles the ring of white, white stones -- East, South, West, then North again, voice growing ever stronger, ever clearer, touch, touching me deep, deep inside me.  Feel my heart grow, my soul takes wings!  And as he closes his eyes, I weep.  And as the ground beneath my feet begins to tremble, I burst into flame.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Poetry - "Morose" and "Pele's Fiery Embrace"

Morose (© Naomi L. Shank, 1990)

Death pokes its leperous head up between weed roots
Peering at me through the twisted vines of my addiction.
Mocking me toward the abyss,
And daring me to jump.

Pele's Fiery Embrace (© Naomi L. Shank, 1999)
(O Kalapana e o Anson, Me Aloha*)

Visage of charcoal skin and ashen glow,
Billowing ropes of blackest licorice.
Deceitful crust, the lava's deadly flow.
The homes and lives of man, Her sacrifice.
Wild reddened embers spark engulfing flame,
Hot coiling entrails searing o'er the land.
Devastating all, sparing none.  She maims.
Charred remnants of ghost palms, spirit of man.

Queen of desire.  Queen of fire.  Goddess.  She.
Consuming all, to rocky shore She comes
Embracing sea with a deafening roar.
Crashing.  Pounding.  Steaming.  Full geysers seethe
To the rhythm of ancient native drums.
Where once breathed a village, there lives no more.

(* To the people of the village of Kalapana, and to my brother Anson, with love)
My brother Anson died November 16, 1998 at the age of 43. Kalapana, Hawai'i was an ancient fishing village on the Big Island until Pele covered it with volcanic flow from Kilauea in 1990. This poem is dedicated to both Anson and the village of Kalapana.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Books Read in March 2011

Butcher, Jim
- Storm Front
- Fool Moon
Fiction, first two books in the Dresden Files series about a private investigator who just happens to be a wizard.

Child, Lee
- Killing Floor
- Die Trying
Fiction, first two books in the Jack Reacher mystery series starring an ex-military cop who can't settle down in one place.

Damsgaard, Shirley
- Charmed to Death
Fiction, second in the Ophelia and Abby Mysteries cozy paranormal mysteries starring a librarian who is also a very reluctant witch.

Havens, Candace
- Charmed & Deadly
- Like a Charm
Fiction, third and fourth books of the Bronwyn the Witch paranormal cozy mystery series starring a High Witch bodyguard living in a small Texas town.

Hunter, Erin
- Warriors: Into the Wild
- Warriors: Fire and Ice
Fiction, first two books in the Warriors cat adventure series starring Rusty/FirePaw/FireHeart, who leaves a comfortable life with his two-leg owners to find a new home with the feral Thunderclan.

Riccio, Dolores Stewart
- Charmed Circle
- The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief
Fiction, second and third books in the Circle paranormal cozy mystery series starring herbalist Cass Shipton and her circle of friends.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bright Blessings!

Welcome to my Lair!  

I am creating:

- a dream journal
- my book reviews
- a Book of Lights 
- a list of favorite recipes
- a compilation of my thoughts and philosophies 
- my writings and rituals 
- a journal of my fears and delights
- reading list

In other words...a blog :)