Old School Book Favorites!

I was a voracious reader growing up; I would read a book in a day, easily, and quickly collected quite the collection of books in my preteen and teen years by going to the grocery store with my Mom. They had a section of paperbacks, and I got one on every trip. The fact that I had the book read before I went to bed that night did not please her any, but I always reread my books. I lost so many of those paperbacks when they were stored in my parent’s basement and they had a water issue. To replace them now is near impossible as these older books are very expensive.

If you have followed me for a while you know that William W. Johnstone was my favorite author as a teen, and I could not read his horror stories fast enough. I honestly cannot believe my Mom bought them for me, considering what the covers looked like. Go Mom! “Rockinghorse” sent me down a path that literally had me typing a letter to him on my sister’s typewriter, telling him how much his story inspired me, and that I wanted to become a writer. It led to several back-and-forth correspondences, and I am so blessed that he sent me a couple autographed books which are among my prized possessions. As well as the letters I received from him. He went on to write many Western series, which have always been on the best-sellers lists.

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators were another set of books I always checked out of the school library. I read the series several times, but unfortunately now, they have become collector’s prizes and to even get a hard cover book is very expensive.

Encyclopedia Brown anyone? How I loved those stories. And who could ever not read Beverly Cleary? She got me through some tough teenage angst! And my favorite elementary school book was “The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang”. A picture after every 2-3 page story for you to figure out the clues. That one will set you back over $30.00 if you try to buy it now. I have my beat-up-worn-out-copy in my library.

Adventures of the Black Hand Gang Cover Image

What are your favorite books that you cannot let go of?

Wicked Weaves – Joyce and Jim Lavene

This is the first book in the Renaissance Faire Mystery cozy series. I picked up the first 3 books at my library last weekend. It took me longer than it should have to read this first story, and I will get through the next two much quicker!

Wicked Weaves cover image

I really liked the story-line here, as well as the characters. Jessie works at the Renaissance Faire (their spelling, not mine) every summer in her town, and is apprenticing with local craft artists for her dissertation for her PhD. This summer she is working with Mary Shift, a basket weaver who has quite the storied past.

After Mary’s husband, who she has not seen in 10 years, is found dead outside her shop, Jessie and her new boyfriend Chase work to help Mary and untangle the mess that she seems to have gotten herself into.

This story was a lot of fun, and typical of the cozy mystery genre. There wasn’t anything here I didn’t like, and I am excited to get started on the next book, where Jessie apprentices with the local glassblower.

Do you read cozy mysteries? I would love to hear what some of your favorites are!

What I’m Reading…

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.

It took me two short chapters to get what was going on, and although I love the storyline; I am still trying to get my bearings.

Much of this book is written using excerpts from other books, and the rest is the various persons stuck in the “bardo”, including Willie Lincoln who died at 11 years old.

I will post a full review when I finish; and those of you who have followed me know I love everything Abraham Lincoln. I read a great review of this book: now I just need to get my feet under it.

And honestly; I am questioning why I haven’t written my own Lincoln book yet.

Have you read this, and what did you think?

Meet Author Sam Westhoek!

PLEASE RIGHT-CLICK ON THE LINKS TO BE TAKEN TO THE VARIOUS PAGES! 🙂

Sam Westhoek waited until the midpoint of his life to start writing in earnest.  He felt it best to first experience our world to its fullest.

TJ Weeks - head shot

His various travels have taken him to: farms and cities in Europe; amidst lush humid bayous on the Gulf Coast; across the grandeur of hills and plains in Texas; atop arid mile-high mountains in California; slogging through insidious moon dust in the Arizona and New Mexico deserts; under the variegated curtains of the aurora borealis in Iceland; through tropical fields on the island of Terceira in the Azores; and horseback riding amidst the aspens in the high country of Colorado.

Through it all, Sam has loved and lost, and learned to love again.  He has currently settled in the middle of the country, in the middle of the state of Missouri, with his wonderful wife—his best companion.  All five of their children have started their own lives, so again there has been loss and gain.  Sam has been an encouraging force for writers in his community, hosting events for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past few years.

He hasn’t settled on one particular genre in which to spin his tales, so don’t be surprised to find him published in a niche you least expect.  His favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, and even poetry.  His stories strike a chord with a wide range of ages.  Turn a page and find something new each time.

Do yourself (and Sam) a small favor by taking a few minutes to sample each of the works in his growing repertoire.  The Previews are free.  If you use Kindle Unlimited, you can read his works for free.  Conversely, you could invest in the craft and bless yourself with a copy of one of his ebooks or paperbacks.  What a nifty symbiotic relationship!

Oh, and if You like a particular work, tell a Friend.

AND IF YOU ARE NEAR THE AREA; DO NOT MISS THIS!

20180317 - Author Meet & Greet at OS Library

Well Hello Sunday!

This is day 5 that I have been wide awake by 3 am. I am getting really, really tired of it; no pun intended. What to do at 3 am? Not a lot. I did squish a spider that was on my ceiling. This seems to be a daily occurrence for the last couple of weeks as the weather in Michigan gets warmer. You would be impressed with what I can do with one leg, a scooter, and a can of Aussie Freeze hairspray.

The anxiety and panic has let up, and I have been diligent about taking my meds if I even think I feel a panic attack coming on. The days are still so very long for me though.

My Doctor’s appointment at week 5 went well. I was not as anxious this time when leaving the house (fear of falling, getting injured more, etc). The surgeon said two more weeks of non-weight-bearing on the ankle, as there are still 2 cracks that have not completely healed. I go back in two weeks, and he said we talk weight bearing. He said normally 3 weeks after weight bearing, we discuss driving! I could have cried, I was so happy to hear this, and began to see a tiny pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel.  I have been exercising my broken ankle and leg, as well as being as mobile as possible in my house.

I have been reading, and writing! I will have book reviews one after another very soon! The lack of sunshine has been especially tough for me, as it is every Winter. The weather says sunshine this afternoon, and I have fingers crossed that that does not change. Sunshine = feeling good and motivated. It is difficult for me to be motivated when it is grey and rainy and there seems to be nothing for me to do other than crawl under my covers and binge watch NetFlix. The Pinkertons, anyone? I wish it was not such a short series…

The praying and Bible study is continuing, of course. I try not to think too much about the fact that it is the Easter season, my favorite Christian holiday season, and I cannot participate as I would any other year. But I can participate in other ways, which is exactly what I am doing!

Seeing all of the brown grass and dead leaves in my yard has me thinking about flower beds for my yard, and I am so excited for when I can start digging in the ground and planting. Having something to look forward to definitely helps. My number 1 on my list is walking out my door, getting in my vehicle, and driving to work! I know that day is coming, and one day I will look back on this period in my life and reflect on what it has taught me. No matter how I feel, I absolutely try to do at least one positive thing each day, so as not to waste any of this learning lesson I am experiencing right now. I truly know this has happened for a reason, and I want to make sure I utilize every moment of it to get out of it what God has intended. My daily prayers always include asking God to let me see in my heart and spirit what it is I am meant to learn from this, so I can continue to grow.

Have you had a period in your life where you were meant to grow from what appeared to be a negative situation? How did it change you? I cannot wait to see all the ways my experience has and will continue to change me. I would love to hear your stories as well!

Since My Accident…

…tonight makes it a week since I broke my ankle. After 4 days in the hospital, I am adjusting to life at home basically secluded to my bedroom. I go back to the surgeon on the 29th and he will take the bandages off my leg, check the incisions, and give me a boot to wear. It will still be non-weight bearing for several weeks after. They opened both sides of my ankle to put in a plate and screws, and if I sleep through a dose of the pain meds, I can tell you exactly where the incisions are, and how long they are, even though I haven’t seen them yet.

My Nook of course decided this would be the perfect time to not turn on for me. This has happened before, but now I fear it may be permanent. I’ve gotten some great stories from all of you and may have to resort to reading them on my phone.

I am trying to stay positive as I am the type who is always on the go, and very independent. My 13 year old has been beyond amazing taking care of me before she goes to school (who knew she could make such awesome coffee!) as well as after school. She texts me during the day to see how I am feeling and to make sure I have taken my pills. I’ve also had friends who have stopped by both here and at the hospital to make sure I have everything I need.

I have been doing puzzle books for days right now, as I tend to fall asleep in the middle of anything and I have a hard time reading when I doze off and then can’t remember the last thing I read, or where I left off. I am hoping that I can get into a more routine sleep schedule as I continue to heal and then devote so many hours a day to reading, writing reviews, etc.

Keep the book suggestions coming, as I have many many weeks of healing ahead of me!