Mixing up the Genres: books and yet more books

All books are reviewed here for NetGalley.

Nowhere to Turn by Lynnette Eason

Apparently the classic abused wife running from husband with the twist of him being law enforcement – in this case FBI.

However, it soon becomes obvious that there is more going on than this, especially after the husband is killed and the wife is still being targeted, followed and generally harassed! Add in stalkers with severe mental issues, corruption, criminal behaviour and it becomes very difficult to know just who the good guys are. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading to the end and trying to work out just who is behind it all. Will definitely try and read this author again.

Nun too Soon

By Alice Loweecy

It is a shame when book titles are repeated as it becomes difficult to distinguish one from another – when I looked for more books in this series starting with this title as the author’s name was not easily found on Amazon, I immediately found another series about a nun and private investigations – which also looked fun to read and I promptly bought. That said, the other books in Loweecy’s series are hard to obtain and very expensive, which is a shame as this, it turns out, is the 4th and I would have liked to read the first 2 also to see how the nun became the private eye and married.

So yes, I did enjoy the book and found it amusing and fun to read if not the most difficult and the author apparently was a nun herself so writes with some experience about leaving a convent.

The investigations the character Guilia undertakes are often quite complex and she has an interesting way of tackling them and an empathetic way of running her office, not to mention a kickass set of martial arts skills and a way of reminding people who are misbehaving of their most feared school teacher – the glare usually works. I found silence quite an effective tool also when combined with the glare.. definitely not the ruler! Although I remember it being used on me at school.

I shall look out for more in this series providing they are a reasonable price.

Bloodline

By John J Davis

Well yet more kickass women in this book one of whom is seriously scary. I wonder just how much truth about the Mossad there is in what we are told in the book? Looking up the author he doesn’t say anything about having worked for any intelligence agency but I am sure that the details are available for research. What is interesting is that he admits to having an American Indian in the family just as his father in the family around which the book is written, has. So some of the details would be truthful – or roughly truthful here. He says that the characters in the book are inspired by his dysfunctional family which is not easy to read if you are related to him!

This book is basically a story of agents whose background is in assassination and who then marry and have a daughter with not only high intelligence but who has also inherited their physical skills. Which are many and varied including being a sniper as well as a knife thrower extraordinaire.

I did enjoy the book and will look forward to reading more in the series.

Feast of Fates by

Christian A. (for Adrian) Brown

This is is his first book and he admits it was written over 10 years with several drafts. That said I am not really into this type of fantasy novel and read only 12% of it before getting really upset with the constant mal-treatment (rape and abuse) of women that is mentioned.

I failed to find a storyline that interested me enough to read the remainder. The story of the werewolf was I thought enough without all the other unnecessary violence towards women that the book detailed as part of the ‘evil’ that was stalking the High King and his brother. Not my scene at all and I feel that it is a part of some fantasy genres that should not be encouraged.

Philosophy trumps missionary and the ghosts have it!

Chokecherry jelly

Dead Drop by Jesse Mills

A Jack Salvo novel

Jack is an alpha male with a difference – a Private Eye who teaches philosophy. He could have had an academic career but he didn’t want to write about obscure philosophical points in obscure journals that were only read by Professors and their PhD students.

His logic background from his studies gives him a specific way of looking at the problems he is presented with in his investigative work. It perhaps helps him make deductions and follow the links but he also adds in induction and intuition to round out his choices and decisions.

We don’t know what he looks like so we have to make assumptions from the way the women he encounters react to him. Hence my assumption of the alpha male with strong pheromones!

The story doesn’t rely on red herrings but does unfold gradually and ‘who dunnit’ is not the surprise at the end that many books rely on. rather this is a story of action and reaction.

Overall, I like the book, but not so much I have gone out to buy more in the series or by the same author.

3 stars.

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Glorious Montana Sky by Debra Holland

I have read books in the Sweetwater in Montana series before but all current day. This was my first placed in the historical era. As such I found it less convincing than current day stories in its description of life and attitudes.

In many ways it as an opportunity lost as the female ‘lead’ was an octoroon – part black – and much of her ‘ruminations’ were about how people would react to her if they knew. Yet this was not developed. She was not ‘outed’ until the last chapter and even then it was covered up. I would have liked to see this area of culture and Western society explored and to have the community know and interact after this knowledge.

So, I think the book skated over two serious issues – the second being the impact of missionaries on African tribal cultures and traditional belief systems. Some points were raised but to explored.

Thus I found the book superficial and disappointing. The only interesting points were the details of the wild berries  used for making jam. I didn’t recognise three and so I looked them up.

Fruits in Montana: unknown to me:  Saskatoon, Chokecherry, Buffalo Berry

Saskatoon is the Amelanchier alnifolia – deep blue berries. The fruit can also be eaten raw. Hint of apple in the taste.

Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana. Black to red berries. Sucjering shrub or small tree up to 16 foot. Astringent taste, sour.

Buffalo berry (bull berries) – Elaeagnaceae shrub family (Shepherdia). 3 species – silver, Canadian and round leafed. Berry is dark red with white dots, rough to touch and bitter tasting. A favourite of bears.

2 stars

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Seeing the Dead by Sheila Connolly

Ghost stories and war or battlegrounds are common but this book has a twist to it. The ghosts are not always at the scenes of the battles and everyone who sees them seems to have common ancestors.

And so we come to the witch trials of early East Coast America. Most of the ghosts remain as shadowy figures but it seem that the ghosts of children can interact with other children. Now the question arises as to whether child-like adults could also interact with the ghosts of children or vice versa. Is it the innocence and lack of preconceptions that enables the children to interact?

What interested me also, is that I shall be going to Boston next year and so descriptions of the area nearby and the type of small town I might encounter was useful.

3 stars.

Bread to strengthen one’s heart!

I decided that one thing to do to pass my sick leave time was to go back to making bread in my bread machine, which I had abandoned n the corner of the kitchen for a while – over a year indeed. So gaily got some new flour and yeast and switched it on and lo and behold a fuse went and all the lights went out. We fixed the fuse and off I went again and yes, you guessed it a fuse went again. Both times just after the mixing and kneading and before the bake started. conclusion – old machine was done for – no more as they say – definitely a dead parrot!

So Which’s online site was searched as to what they recommended and then we had a choice of two – both by Lakeland but at opposite ends of the price spectrum but both the best buys.

Let’s buy the more expensive one says hubby as it clearly does rather more and so we did and since then i have been working my through the book supplied with the machine and also my own bread machine  cook book by Jennie Shapter which has 250 pages of gorgeous things you can make in a bread machine.

Of course I started with white bread, wholemeal bread, seeded bread, rye and wheat mixed (not very successful) ready mixes (less successful than from scratch) and added milk or egg.

Now I am on to the more exotic. First it was banana bread. That went down very well with some friends who buttered it and ate it with cheese.

This weekend I made bread with a hidden vegetable – a way to get kids to eat them without a fuss – make bread with them.. parsnips!  You’d never know from looking at it – or tasting for that matter. Really nice. The one vegetable bread I am not keen on baking is beetroot. I just don’t fancy the pink colour!

20140927_141655 Parsnip Bread

 

 

 

 

The second thing I baked was a Bavarian Plum Cake which actually has a bread dough base. I think it could have been taken out of the oven a few minutes sooner but with hot custard it would be delicious… nice cold or warm without though. Maybe ice-cream  or clotted cream? your choice I guess.

I have an order for a caramelised onion bread for our daughter but I shall keep on experimenting…