Because, BEARS.

I’ll concede right now that I read a lot. And a lot of what I read isn’t worth reviewing, as I read to clear my head before sleep, or to drown out the chaos around me. This last two weeks with the cold virus has been awful and I haven’t retained a lot. Except, bears.

The latest Psy-Changeling book was released last week, and a couple of days later the e-book dropped into my Kindle. Oops. Oddly enough (given we live in a tech world and I’d also pre-ordered the audiobook for the same release date) Audible didn’t deliver that version until the evening. I will say it was harder than usual to work that day as all I wanted to do was hibernate. I should have taken a leave day and curled up – I would have had six un-interrupted hours in between the school run, so totally worth it. Next time!

BLURB: Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.
 
Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.
 
Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first in the Trinity story arc and so, so different a world from the first book, Slave to Sensation (2006!) yet still the same. Seeing a glimpse of some older characters settles my need to have linking books, and I can see a few of the issues that the three cultures need to resolve showing thru to what will form at least the next few books (note Nalini, you need to give us more than just the Trinity conclusion!!) but as ever, Nalini’s characters are not entirely predictable (bears!). The only thing that I found jarring was who the culprit was, and I can’t say more than that so early on in the publication life. Perhaps after I’ve re-read (or finished listening) that will settle on me. I can inadvertently not “grab” a meaning because I am devouring the book too fast & I suspect that’s the case here.

Because I don’t seek to fund this blog & I purchased these editions, I won’t give specific links but you can read an excerpt or look for local editions on Nalini’s site : http://nalinisingh.com/books/psychangeling-trinity-series/silver-silence/ 

Lastly – I much prefer the darker UK covers. Thankfully that’s what we get down here 🙂

WIP Wednesday 

It’s been a big, big day. I’ve had some problems with one eye and today was the retinal exam. Anaesthetic drops and dilation drops later, & I looked like a Snapchat filter. 

You’re not getting that photo. No. 

Eventually I got home (cloudy day & I looked like a wanker wearing shades on the train). I couldn’t read or do anything for about 3 hours, but eventually I could cope with the light and started to be able to focus.  Big print on the kindle, but a win. 

I also remembered a wonderful opportunity I had in 2011. Sir Roger Moore had just released his autobiography (read it, you’ll howl with laughter) & I was working for Whitcoulls. We hosted him and after Shanee & I got an autograph & a photo op. I gave him a copy of Hairy Mclary to read to his grandchildren. RIP, Mr Bond. ❤

This afternoon I’ve managed to get some stitching done. This is Emi, a Nora Corbett bewitching pixie. No conversions, as its part of Julie’s RR. Sorry, I don’t know the fabric details!

Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.

It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.

SO about the above..

  • I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
  • For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
  • I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
  • Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
  • And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.

And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.

And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.

What have you been up to?

 

Book Review – The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

Format: Kindle (own purchase)

51lptbquyvl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Synopsis: Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.

 

I picked this one up in the new year sales on a whim, & started reading this weekend in my wait for the TV programme Maigret (yes, I know he’s not written by Christie, but it was the era that triggered my whim). And this has the hallmarks I love about historical fiction – the basis of the story is true, the side characters existed (in fact, it’s hard to pick which one of the main characters is fiction if you don’t know much about Christie, like me) & the period is beautifully written. I won’t really expand on the jacket synopsis, as I don’t think that I need to, but I will say this – READ THIS BOOK. Or listen. It’s that good. I’m going to be looking for more from Ashford very soon.

 

Sorting Jane Austen Characters Into Hogwarts Houses: The Definitive Guide — Carrots for Michaelmas

images by Katherine Makowky You love Jane Austen. You love Harry Potter. So why not sort your favorite Austen characters into Hogwarts houses? I could not come up with a good reason not to. I’m the sort of person who wonders how Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s Myers-Briggs personality types made their sisterly relationship complicated. And I’ve…

via Sorting Jane Austen Characters Into Hogwarts Houses: The Definitive Guide — Carrots for Michaelmas

Review: Connilyn Cossette’s Counted With The Stars

out-fo-egyptSynopsis: Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation.

When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all. To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus.

She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Genesis 15:5

I picked this one up thru Book Bub as I have liked Biblical historical fiction previously – and I was wowed. Not only was it cheap (but hurry, that offer closes shortly!!) the writing of this one is superb. There is attention to detail, a real urgency, adherence to the story of Exodus and the fleshing out of the characters is top-notch. I didn’t even stitch last night, as I wanted to keep reading – and I raved about this one to whomever would listen. God’s grace is for everyone, even a sinner like me.

I’ve already brought book two! Definitely 5 stars from me.

Complimentary bible studies for the first two books are available on the You Bible study website and app; see https://www.bible.com/search/plans?q=Connilyn%20Cossette&version_id=1209

Book Review: Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs

jot“Sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently in the dark. But I’d discovered that if you stopped fighting against it and just stood still, sometimes something marvellous comes along.”

Artist Lexie McCain spends her days literally weaving the story of her life into a gorgeous tapestry. But on Monday nights, she walks to the Corner Bar, drinks a Killian’s, and answers the same question every week from Sam the bartender: “One thing?” She starts with her name, then her cottage, slowly moving on to the devastating tragedies that tore her life apart.

Sam Corner’s smile doesn’t seem to hide any pain. One night, Lexie turns the tables on him, asking Sam, “One thing?” To her surprise, Sam reveals his own tragic history. Together, Lexie and Sam learn that, with good beer and a trusted friend, sharing just “one thing” might lead to the one thing they both thought was lost forever: love.

From award-winning author Holly Jacobs comes the story of heartache, hope, and the power of sharing just one thing.

 

This one popped up thru my Kindle for Samsung app as a freebie. It’s not free anymore, but still cheap – and I totally recommend it. This author’s been around for a while (mainstream and HMB) & I’ll be picking up some more. First I think will be “I Waxed My Legs for This?” 🙂

I read this on-and-off as my “appointment” book, so it’s been about two months total since I started it. The short chapters and flowing dialogue make it easy to read, & I didn’t manage to confuse it with the others I read during this time. The themes of getting knocked down then needing to find strength to go on are universal. The characters (like the ones I recently reviewed by Susan Mallery) are carefully crafted and realistic, and most importantly (if you’re going to get a message from this book) – likeable. The romance is secondary to character growth, there’s little PDA (so if you have littlies and listen to audio books, this is safe). Just get it.

For an excerpt, or book club questions, click here http://www.hollyjacobs.com/JustOneThing.html