Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 State of My Life Address

Yes, I realize I'm not the President.  Yet.  No, I really wouldn't ever want that job!  Have you see how quickly our President's age during their terms in office?  No, thank you.

It's been a productive year, and I'm really looking forward to an even better year in 2014.

I far surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenges and have been introduced to some new and interesting authors and series along the way.  Read a few clinkers, though, too.  I've been prepping for the new year's challenges and have come up with a list of books that will be both familiar and new and still have room for books I don't know of yet.

Library donations have gone well, and I hope to donate many more books this coming year.  I'm learning to let go of things that I don't need to hang on to, not only books but in other areas of my life, as well.

I did submit several stories to contests and publishers.  None of them were picked up, but I'm heading in the right direction, and that was more than I did the year before.  I'm hopeful that this new year will find my writing career advancing successfully.  Our little Writing Circle has been an absolute blessing.  We started as writing buddies and have become close and dear friends.  We're now coming up with writing challenges to keep each other writing, enthused and productive.  Short stories seem to be easier for me to deal with at this time, as they not only challenge me to come up with many different plots in different genres, but they'll also help me to get things out in the market faster, improve my writing skills and confidence, keep me from being burned out on writing novel-length fiction, and also help me figure out which genres I'm most attracted to writing in.  During both NaNo Camps, I'll probably continue with the shorter pieces and save November for a lengthier prose.

Moving forward toward moving onward with my life is coming along slowly, but steadily.  Just a little while ago, it was something that I envisioned doing somewhere in the great future, but now I'm aiming toward moving within the next two years (sooner, rather than later).  It's just a matter of getting the financing AND going through all my stored boxes to donate books I no longer need and lightening my load.  

I come from a family of pack rats, something we never realized while I was growing up, because we had to move every two years for the military, and we were constantly jettisoning extraneous belongings along the way.  Now, we're in a scary situation, where our belongings are taking over our living space, and the next major move is going to be an extremely stressful and lengthy process.  Hopefully, I can get my things out before then!

My dreamwork has been coming along wonderfully, and I have a few wonderful people who help me in that endeavor.  I'm finding that the older I get, the more happy I am with myself, and the less I worry about what other people think, though I am human, and some of that will probably always be with me.  Your values change, your focus changes, the more pono you become with yourself.  For all ya'll haoles out there, being pono means being right with yourself :)

My genealogy adventure continues.  I keep finding more and more cousins of varying degrees through my research and through the DNA tests that I've taken.  It's fascinating how many people you really are connected to, even in just a couple of generations.  

I've lost 40 pounds this year, which I'm very happy about.  Still have a long way to go, but it's slowly coming off in a healthy way, and all of my blood tests have shown great improvement.  That's a total of 90 pounds that I've lost over the past three years, so YAY ME!  The progress, itself, is a great motivator.

Did get out and about a bit more this year and am looking forward to doing more of that in 2014.

And I FINALLY got to meet a dear friend in person!  We had a lovely chat fueled by ice cream.  We met several years ago in an online game and have become fast friends.  I lean on her a lot, we share our lives, woes and triumphs with each other, and I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

About five more hours until the year turns.  Here's to a happy and safe New Year!

Books Read December 2013

Allen, Sarah Addison
  • Waking Kate 
Fiction.  A prequel to her next book, Lost Lake.  A woman begins to wonder at what point did she give her life up for her husband, and if she’ll regret it years from now.  An elderly man tells her a story that might help her answer that question.

Ball, Donna
  • Christmas on Ladybug Farm 
Fiction.  The extended family at Ladybug Farm prepares for Christmas, a holiday they’ve always reveled in, however this year they’re facing Christmas in the high 80’s, hardly winter weather in Virginia.  As they consider canceling Christmas for this year, they reflect back on Christmases past and find a new reason to celebrate.

Befeler, Mike
  • Retirement Homes Are Murder
Fiction.  Paul Jacobson wakes up to find himself in an unfamiliar setting.  Unfortunately, it happens to him everyday.  With chronic short-term memory loss, each day brings new experiences and new friends.  But on this second day of living at the Kani Nani Retirement Home, he comes across something even more surprising, a dead body stuffed in the trash chute.

Blackwell, Juliet et al.
  • Love on Main Street: A Snow Creek Christmas 
Fiction.  Seven short romance stories each written by a different author and that all take place in the small town of Snow Creek.

Blake, Heather
  • A Witch Before Dying 
Fiction.  Second in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in a small village in Salem, Massachusetts, where many of the villagers are Crafters of varying sorts, and murders abide. 

Cates, Bailey
  • Charms and Chocolate Chips 
Fiction.  Katie Lightfoot is busy baking treats to sell in her bakery and weaving her spells into each pastry.  In the very little spare time she has, she’s been volunteering at Georgia Wild, a non-profit organization trying to protect the environment.  When she shows up at the office one evening, to her horror, she finds that the head of Georgia Wild has been murdered.

Copperman, E.J.
  • Chance of a Ghost 
Fiction.  Fourth in the Haunted Guesthouse series.  Alison Kerby juggles the running of a guesthouse with her fledgling business as a private investigator, as well as being a mom to a precocious young girl and housemate to two ghosts who assist her in solving cases.

Dekker, Ted
  • Eyes Wide Open 
Fiction.  All four episodes in a psychological journey through madness, as two young people find themselves questioning their very sanity.

  • Identity 
Fiction.  First episode in a 4-episode story of a young woman and young man caught in madness.

DeLeon, Jana
  • Trouble in Mudbug 
Fiction.  First in a paranormal cozy mystery series taking place in Mudbug, Louisiana, a small bayou town.  Maryse spends her days out in the swamp studying plants and her evenings at her small cabin with her cat.  Her dull life is about to take a turn on the wild side, when her newly-dead mother-in-law bursts out of her casket at the funeral.

Evanovich, Janet
  • Pros and Cons 
Fiction.  Novella introducing FBI agent, Kate O’Hare in a new series. 

  • Takedown Twenty
Fiction.  Stephanie, Lula and the gang are up to it again, as they try to apprehend various criminals in The Burg.  Stephanie’s car insurance must be raising their rates in each book, as she just can’t seem to hang onto them very well.  Lula is besotted with a random giraffe that only she and Stephanie can see running around downtown Trenton, and Grandma Mazur finds herself in deep trouble in this episode.

Galenorn, Yasmine
- Autumn Whispers 
Fiction.  14th in the Otherworld series, told from Delilah’s point of view.  Everything from a missing person to a war in the Otherworld to a daemon bent on taking over corporate America, the girls and their extended family are kept busy trying to keep their heads above water.  In the midst of all the tragedy and darkness, the birth of three new babes bring hope into the world.

  • Ice Shards
Fiction.  Novella starring Iris Kuusi, the Talon-Haltija and Priestess of Undutar.  She must return to the Northlands temple to find the truth of what happen 600-years ago and hopefully have the High Priestess remove a curse preventing Iris from ever bearing children.

  • The Shadow of Mist 
Fiction.  Selkie Siobhan Morgan is loving her life with a wonderful man at her side, and a new baby in her tummy.  Suddenly, a voice from the past shatters her peace, and she must fight to sever the ties that keep her bound to a man who won’t take “no” for an answer.

Grafton, Sue
  • W is for Wasted
Fiction.  Kinsey finds new relatives after one of them, a homeless man, dies on the beach.  With them help of an old acquaintance, she is able to unravel the threads of his story and reveal the circumstances of his death.

Graham, Heather
  • Ghost Night
Fiction.  Second in this paranormal mystery series set in Key West.  Sean O’Hara is captivated by a new woman in his life who witnessed the aftermath of a brutal murder two years before he met her.  Psychological or real ghosts have led her to him in her search for closure, help she needs before another murder can take place.  

Herr, Michael
  • The Kauai Obake Bar 
Fiction.  Parody of Hawaiian ghost stories involving ghosts, Madame Pele, the Night Marchers, a menehune, a ho’omano and others.

Johnson, Craig
  • The Cold Dish 
Fiction.  First in the Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming that was made into a TV series.  Sheriff Longmire receives a call that a young man has been killed.  There are quite a number of possible suspects that Longmire must consider, including his own best friend, bar owner Henry Standing Bear.  And too, he must consider whether or not this crime is related to a viscous sexual assault that took place several years ago.

Rowling, J.K.
  • The Casual Vacancy
Fiction.  Boring story of a community’s reactions to their “mayor” dying suddenly.

Smith, Deborah
  • Mossy Creek 
Fiction.  The small town of Mossy Creek, Georgia is the home to some of the strangest group of residents.  Eccentric is a mild term for them, from a shotgun toting female mayor to a flying chihuahua, getting to know them is heart-warming fun.

Toronto, Suzy
  • The Sacred Sisterhood of Wonderful Wacky Women Book Two 
Non-fiction.  Suzy introduces us to more of the wonderfully wacky women in her life, as she tells their inspiring stories and slips in a few recipes.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Books Read November 2013

Adams, Ellery
  • Poisoned Prose 
Fiction.  Fifth in a cozy series.  In this book, a mysterious storyteller who comes from the Appalachian mountains where her family has lived for generations.  What stands out most in this book for me is that she has a medical disorder that causes her skin to be blue, based on real occurrences of methemoglobinemia, a disorder that many members of an Appalachian family suffered from.  When the storyteller is murdered, Olivia finds that her tales hold the secret to a treasure that people are willing to kill for.

Barrett, Lorna
  • Bookplate Special 
Fiction.  Third book in this cozy series about a mystery book store owner in a small New Hampshire town who keeps finding dead bodies.  With her sometimes acerbic sister and faithful employees, she keeps herself very busy solving murders.

Blake, Heather
  • A Potion to Die For 
Fiction.  First in a paranormal cozy mystery series starring Carly Bell Hartwell, also known as Care Bear to her currently ex-fiance.  She owns a potion shop specializing in love spells and comes to work one day to find a body taking up space on the floor of her breakroom...surrounded by blood.

Child, Lee
  • Tripwire 
Fiction.  3rd in the Jack Reacher thriller series.  A private detective shows up in Key West where Jack happens to be working, but when he asks Jack if he knows who Jack Reacher is, Jack tells him no.  When he finds the private detective dead on the street, he goes in search of the client.

Clark, Mary Higgins
  • The Night Awakens
Fiction.  Collection of short stories by various authors.  Most have something a bit dark and a bit romantic.

Dalai Lama, The
  • In My Own Words 
Non-fiction.  Introduction to Buddhist philosophy and the practice of meditation, as well as a treatise on how the Buddhist contemplative tradition and neuroscience can work together to better the human experience.

Norman, Michael
  • On Deadly Ground
Fiction.  First in a series set in Kanab, Utah starring an ex-Denver police detective who left the force in questionable circumstances and now works as a BLM ranger in the town he grew up in.  His job is made difficult by the two factions in his town...the cattlemen and the environmentalists.

Richan, Michael
  • The Bank of The River 
Fiction.  First in a paranormal series about a man just getting to know his father and the secrets that they share, a magical book, and dangers of the unknown.

  • A Haunting in Oregon
Fiction.  Second in a series about a father and son with special abilities who are called in to assist an old friend and his daughter with a paranormal problem at their bed and breakfast.

Tan, Amy
  • The Joy Luck Club
Fiction.  Related stories of Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American daughters, the trials they’ve lived through, the differences between then, and how they finally connected.

Todd, Charles
  • The Confession
Fiction.  Scotland Yard Inspector, Ian Rutledge, is approached in his office by a man reporting a murder.  He refuses to give any details about the murder other than revealing the names of the killer and the victim.  Rutledge begins to investigate the case, when suddenly another murder takes place.  This time, the victim is the man who had come to report the other murder.

NaNoWriMo is finished for this year

...and I won, though I didn't finish as many short stories as I had hoped to.  I did add to most of the MMORPG character's stories that I'd already begun and started writing scenes for those characters that I hadn't begun before, and I'm happy with what I wrote.  I also wrote some individual and unrelated scenes for stories that don't yet have plots, so that's something to work on.  Lots of humor and romance in those.  I truly don't want to write the typical romance stories, as I find most of them very boring to read, but with a lot of humor or added to mystery, I could handle that.

I'm just glad to have finished NaNo this year.  For some reason, I wasn't as motivated as I usually am, so I was struggling a lot to keep up with the daily word count, and I did write a lot of garbage.  Now that it's over, I realize how stressful that was to worry about reaching 50k words, and I'm not sure the best way to write.  However, it does encourage you to write every day, and that's a good habit to get into.  Now I can relax and enjoy the writing instead of concentrating on hitting a particular number.


Monday, November 25, 2013

NaNo is coming along...


I'm managing to keep up, but that's about it.  My storytelling isn't very impressive this month, though I have come up with some interesting insights into my motivation and psyche in regards to the writing.  I've also managed to keep up with my monthly reading challenge, although probably to the detriment of my writing.  

And it's true what they say.  To write, you just need to do it.  Daily.  Even when the words come slowly and even when they're accompanied by much hair-pulling and trips to the kitchen for more coffee.  

After a week and a half of very odd energy circling around me, I finally figured out that my problems were the result of medication maintenance and have gotten things back under control.  I think.  It's hard to cope when your brain is in another world.

All the introspection I've been doing lately has me wondering about life lessons, and what are the lessons that I'm supposed to be learning now?  If only I could identify those, I could work to learn those lessons and move on from there.  Where's my handbook?  That would certainly make my life so much easier, but maybe the struggling to figure out the question is part of the answer.  It's like the first day of class, when they pass out the syllabus that lists the topics to be discussed and tells you when the tests will be.  I look at my neighbors' copies sitting on either side of me and realize that the syllabus I have is for a completely different class!  

Five days left for NaNo.  My fingertips are sore from all the typing I've been doing.  Must.  Keep.  Writing...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off to a slow start

After months of knowing, or thinking that I knew, what I wanted to work on for NaNo this year, suddenly it was November 1...and I stalled.  I had nothing.  No words.  On the 2nd...no words.  The same on the 3rd, and I started to panic.

I was stressed because I wasn't writing.  I wasn't writing because I was stressed.  I got depressed because I was stressed and not writing.  And all I wanted to do was sleep.  So I did.  On and off for three days.

Finally, tired of causing myself so much stress, I began to write.  Free writing, not the writing I had intended to work on, but I was putting fingers to keyboard, and words were appearing on the screen.  That's all I cared about.

Those first several days that I was writing, it came so slowly, like pulling teeth.  I was still stressing and napping a lot.

Then I gave myself permission to JUST WRITE.  It didn't matter WHAT I was writing, just babbling at times.  But the words began to come faster and easier.  And then one day, I was writing again.  Still not what I had planned to write, but plotting, story ideas, a short story about a camping trip I took years ago.

And the stress went away, and I was okay.

The lesson here is to...just write.  Write every day.  When it becomes a habit, you NEED to write every day.  The day doesn't seem complete unless you have gotten words on the screen.

And maybe, just maybe, you'll be ready to call yourself a writer.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Books Read October 2013

Aiebuaer, James W.
  • Port Townsend’s Victorian Homes
Non-fiction.  Photos and descriptions of the famous Victorian homes of Port Townsend, WA.

Ball, Donna
  • Love Letters from Ladybug Farm 
Fiction.  The ladies’ first foray into celebrating weddings on their farm is fraught with problems as they battle a goat, freak storms, bridezillas and their mothers.  Will they be able to pull it off, or will they need a little help?

Daheim, Mary
  • The Alpine Advocate
Fiction.  Emma Lord, newspaper owner, publisher and editor in Alpine, Washington is struggling to keep her newspaper afloat.  Her son calls from Hawai’i asking her to look after a friend of his who will be visiting Alpine.  A visit that sets in motion a series of events that open old wounds and unveils old secrets reaching into even the most influential family of the small town.

Dereske, Jo
  • Cut and Dry 
Fiction.  Second in the Ruby Crane cozy mystery series of a single mother raising a daughter suffering from post-trauma brain injury on the banks of Blue Lake in a small Michigan town.  With the help of a retired police detective, Ruby attempts to solve the murder of the owner of a local beauty salon while keeping herself and her daughter out of harm’s way.

Fanick, Helen Haught
  • Moon Signs 
Fiction.  Two elderly sisters take a short vacation to a ski lodge in the West Virginia hills and trip over a murder as they try to solve the mystery of hidden paintings.

Harris, Charlaine
  • Shakespeare’s Champion
Fiction.  Second in the series set in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas.  Lily Bard, karate expert and housecleaner fights emotional battles with her past and emotional complications with her present while tensions in the small town erupt into racial hatred, and Lily is caught right in the middle.

Harrison, Jamie
  • The Edge of The Crazies
Fiction.  Murder mystery taking place in the small town of Blue Deer, Montana.  The town is full of lies and coverups, and one day erupts as a bullet is shot through the window of a screenwriter’s office...and finds its mark.

Hart, Carolyn
  • Ghost at Work
Fiction.  Wonderful first book in this paranormal cozy series.  Full of humor and fun, likable characters and a great mystery.  The protagonist will surprise you, and I can’t wait to read more about her.

Hillerman, Tony
  • The Blessing Way
Fiction.  First in the series about Joe Leaphorn, a Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant faced with the murder of a young man.  With Navajo witchcraft seemingly at work, Joe struggles to find out what’s really happening.

Klasky, Mindy
  • Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft 
Fiction.  First in a series about a librarian down on her luck in the relationship department, and who finds out that her salary at the library is being cut by 25%, but her boss reimburses her by allowing her to stay in a small cottage on the library grounds free of rent.  While moving in, she finds a key that opens a whole new world for her.

Newman, W.D.
  • The Thirteenth Unicorn
Fiction.  Exciting tale of two children and their grandma who find themselves in another world fighting off snake people and ogres, while making friends among the elves, dwarves, and a very special bear.

Parra, Nancy J.
  • Gluten for Punishment
Fiction.  Toni is busy plying the good people of Oiltop, Kansas with the gluten-free pastries from her new bakery.  Some of the residents of the small town located in the heart of wheat-producing fields aren’t so happy about the types of goodies she sells.  When one of them ends up dead in front of her shop, Toni finds herself the number one suspect.

Pentermann, Meira
  • Firefly Beach
Fiction.  Beth LaMonte wants to start a new life.  After a divorce and the death of her mother, she feels exhausted and emotionally drained.  She leaves her corporate job, finds a fishing small town in Maine that might fit the bill and plans to start painting for a living, something she had a passion for when she was young.  One evening while relaxing outside her small cottage, she sees a firefly approaching her.  She’s surprised to see one so close to the shore, but she has no idea what waits in store for her and she begins to follow it through the forest.

Rosenberg, Joel
  • Home Front 
Fiction.  Ernest “Sparky” Hemingway, ex-Vietnam vet and current freelance copywriter, gets a call from a young girl who says that her father has been murdered and that she is next.  Once Sparky learns who her father was, he knows he has to help her.  

Rouse, Irving
  • The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus
Non-fiction.  Anthropological study of the history of the original and later inhabitants of the West Indies, their rise and fall, and the contributions they made to modern cultural and language.

Stabenow, Dana
  • A Fatal Thaw 
Fiction.  Second in the Kate Shugak mystery series.  Kate, a tough Alaskan native, is used to living alone and likes it that way.  Her only companion is the half-husky, half-wolf Mutt.  She wakes up one early spring day to hear that a mass murderer is out and about in her area...and she goes hunting for him before he can get to her.

Toussaint, Maggie
  • In for A Penny
Fiction.  First in a cozy series.  Cleopatra Jones is trying to get her life together after a divorce and enjoys spending time on the links at the local golf club.  One afternoon while golfing with her best friend, she hits the ball off the fairway and has to go retrieve.  She finds the ball...and a body, and she feels the need to find the murderer before someone in her family is harmed.

Wiltse, David
  • Heartland
Fiction.  Recovering from post-traumatic syndrome, retired Secret Service agent, Billy Tree, returns to the small Nebraska farm town he grew up in and left twenty years ago.  Billy’s sister can’t stand knowing that he won’t leave his bedroom and only stares out at life passing down their road, she calls up an old family friend, and one-time mentor to Billy, to help her brother get back into life.  Billy resists, at first, but is slowly dragged into the middle of small-town crime and murder.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nine more days until NaNo

I think I'm ready for NaNo this session and still plan to work on the short stories this time, though I reserve the right to change my mind at the last moment.  I haven't done nearly all the plotting that I'd hoped to this month, but it's just a matter of setting the time aside every day, and that will help me get back into the rhythm of NaNo.

This year, I'm participating in the postcard swap, the tea swap, and the package swap.  It's all of the little extras that go into the NaNo experience that make it so fantastic, and of course there are my wonderful writing buddies, and the close friendships that have come about through them.

My reading challenges are coming along fine, though I doubt I'll finish the continent or ethnic challenges this year.  I'll have to plan better for next year to fit them all in. 

My dreamwork is going very well, and I'm able to journal a couple of times each week.  It would be easier if people would quit waking me, which makes me lose the dream, but those around me seem untrainable ;)

This week, Ancestry.com released their new DNA results under their improved system, and I was very happy to see how detailed they are now, and that they separated out Polynesian from East Asian.  Under their old process, there was still a large 16% of my DNA that they couldn't identify, but now they're able to complete the chart. 

My old results were:

44% East Asian 
27% Southern European 
7% Eastern European
6% Pacific Islander 
16% uncertain

With the new and improved process, my results now read:

6% African
- 2% Southeastern Bantu
- 1% Ivory Coast/Ghana
- 1% Africa North
- 1% Mali
- 1% Senegal

4% American
- 4% Native American

22% Asian
- 21% East Asian
- 1% South Asian

38% European
- 34% Iberian Peninsula
- 1% Europe East
- 1% Europe West

- 1% Scandinavia
- 1% Italy/Greece

29% Polynesian 

1% West Asian
- 1% Caucasus

I've added them to my main DNA post.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

30 Days Until NaNo

One month left to prepare.  I didn't write as much as I planned to in September, but I did get caught up on my reading, in fact I'm nine books ahead of schedule, although I still have a lot to finish this year to finish off some of my reading goals on Goodreads.

I have some new story ideas percolating in my brain and have even written a scene for a new story, but those are on the back burner as I will still be working on my short story project about my RP characters.  Had to remind myself that I'm no longer confined by the parameters from the MMORPG I originally created them for, but that I can adjust/change my characters' skills however I wish to fit their lives for my story.  It is fun to be able to skip around and work on whichever one I'm in the mood to work on, I just need to get them finished.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Books Read September 2013

Armstrong, Lori G.
  • No Mercy 
Fiction.  This is no cozy mystery.  The story, like the protagonist, is tough and gritty.  Mercy Gunderson returns home after serving as a soldier in the U.S. Army for twenty years.  She is wounded, as is her heart.  Her father dead, she struggles to figure out if she’s ready to return home for good to hold onto the land generations of her family has lived on.  Prime land that others are willing to kill for.

Beck, K. K. 
  • Death in a Deck Chair 
Fiction.  On a ship bound from England to America, Iris Cooper, who has been accompanying her aunt on a trip around the world, receives a shock as a young gentleman she danced with the night before, is found dead.  Murdered.  All is not what it seems, and a foreign king being pursued by enemies is hiding amongst the passengers.

Blackwell, Juliet
  • Murder on the House
Fiction.  Mel Turner has the chance to renovate a 1911 Italianate mansion in San Francisco, but when she arrives to speak to the owner, she finds that she will be bidding against another contractor for the job.  It’s an unusual bidding process this time, as the two contractors must spend the night in the supposedly haunted mansion, and the contractor who stays the longest will win the bid.

Blair, Annette
  • Tulle Death Do Us Part 
Fiction.  Sixth installment in the Vintage Magic paranormal cozy series about the owner of a vintage clothing shop with the gift of psychometry.  When she touches vintage cloth, she sometimes has visions connected to crimes.  With the help of a goth BFF, her father, her witchy aunt and a hunky cop, she does her best to solve them.

Charles, Ann
  • Nearly Departed in Deadwood 
Fiction.  Violet Turner struggles to keep her job and has just a few more weeks to sell her first house.  A new tenant moves into the office next door who has her libido springing into action.  The problem is that her best friend has laid claim to him.  On the other hand, a handsome and wealthy jeweler wants her to sell his family home and begins showing her a lot of personal attention.  With two precocious twins to care for, Violet has her hands full of men who suddenly seem to be coming out of the woodwork.  And that family home she is hired to sell?  It’s haunted.

Childs, Laura
  • Photo Finished 
Fiction.  Carmella and her friends are getting ready for the Monsters and Old Masters’ Ball, when Ava stumbles over the body of the owner of the antique shop next door to Carmella’s scrapbooking store.  As she tries to solve the murder and prevent an innocent boy from being arrested, Carmella’s relationship with her estranged husband heats up.

Christie, Agatha
  • Evil Under The Sun 
Fiction.  Hercule Poirot takes a vacation at a hotel on an island.  He truly meant to simply relax and enjoy his stay but finds himself investigating the murder of a beautiful woman, with more suspects than he needs.

Connolly, Sheila
  • One Bad Apple 
Fiction.  Meg Corey finds herself at loose ends when she is downsized from her job at the bank and the end of a romance.  Her mother is trying to sell their old family farm, but the house will need a lot of care to get it in shape to sell.  They decide that this is just what Meg needs right now, a challenge she can sink her teeth into as she tries to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.  But her past comes back to haunt her when her ex-boyfriend turns up on her doorstep, and murder follows.

Fluke, Joanne
  • Red Velvet Cupcake Murder 
Fiction.  A renovated hotel is the scene for a party that Hannah’s bakery, The Cookie Jar, is catering.  After touring the lush new condos, Hannah returns to the lobby to join the other party-goers.  Their celebrating comes to a quick end when they hear a scream, and someone falls from the penthouse down to the ground.

Gustainis, Justin
  • Black Magic Woman 
Fiction.  Shades of the past arise when descendants of two women connected by the burning of a witch in the Salem Witch Trials collide in a flurry of revenge.  Libby Chaistain and Quincey Morris unite to help a young couple under attack from evil magic users.    

Lavene, Jim & Joyce
  • Hooked Up
Fiction.  Second installment in the Stock Car Racing cozy series.  Glad Wycznewski, ex-cop, and his much younger wife Ruby come to Dover to watch the races.  When Ruby picks up a battered hitchhiker to come to his aid, they’re thrown into the middle of a mistaken identity murder.

Luce, Carol Davis
  • Night Passage
Fiction.  Mysteries from now and twelve years ago are entwined in this fast-paced suspense tale.  Trying to find out who did what will keep Roni on her toes as she tries to stay out of the line of fire and hopefully will help a young boy to a more fulfilling life.

Patterson, James
  • Pop! Goes the Weasel 
Fiction.  Alex Cross is hoping to take some time off after his last case, but already murders are happening that will draw him in.  Across town, a homicidal maniac is already preying on people in the city.  Men and women, nobody is spared.

Whitehurst, Tess
  • The Art of Bliss
Non-fiction.  A wonderful blending of Feng Shui, the I Ching and western philosophy about creating harmony and fulfillment in the Self and the home.