Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein

Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper, #13)Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Silent Mercy is my 10th Alexandra Cooper Mystery and just like with the others I found the historical parts quite interesting. The story moves along at a good pace. The team of Alex, Mike, and Mercer is a strong one. They get the job done! The search and capture of the "clergy killer" was uniquely riveting. My main complaint with this series is how discourteous Mike is to Alex. He belittles her to just about everyone and she just takes it in stride. I'd really like to see that stop!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Chasing FireChasing Fire by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right from the beginning I was engulfed (sorry for the puns) by this book. Initially I felt a little lost in the all consuming world of the smoke jumpers - I'm still not sure about some of the abbreviations and lingo used in the book. However, the fires are not the reason to read this book - the people are. The tight knit group whose very lives depend on each other. The deep and trusting friendships are in direct correlation to the dangerous job these people live. It's all or nothing with the lot of them. That means an extremely passionate read on several levels. The amazing character interaction and dialog, which is Nora's specialty in my book, is intensified by the inherent danger signaled by the siren. I found Rowan a little too tough before "seeing" her in action. She's knowledgeable and highly respected among her peers. Gulliver is her perfect match in every way. Together the sparks fly and just maybe, Gull has replaced Tucker Longstreet (Carnal Innocence) as my favorite of Nora's heroes. I had a feeling who was stirring up trouble and why. Nora ably kept me wondering about that feeling until the end before finishing it so well! (The perfect ending other than not knowing what happened to a secondary character whose life was hanging in the balance!)

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When Wishes Are Books

After two years on my Amazon Wish List and eight days after its release I have The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide in my hot Twilight Mom hands.  A great big thank you to my understanding and thoughtful husband!  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag

Secrets to the Grave (Deeper than the dead #2) Secrets to the Grave (Deeper than the dead #2) by Tami Hoag

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been a fan of Tami Hoag's since the early 90's. I think this sequel to Deeper Than the Dead surpassed the previous book in several areas. The first chapter was as compelling a book beginning as I can recall. Ever. I was intrigued by all of the characters and relationships, but especially those who interacted most with Vince - Anne and Tony. In this book, as in the first, I felt the most frightening character to be Dennis Farman, the 12 year old sociopath. It was extremely disturbing being in his company! Although I found myself frustrated by the evidence evaluation available to the investigators at the time, I was captivated by the "old fashioned" police work that led to the capture of the murderer. The ending, although not as fascinating as the beginning, was very satisfying.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vegan Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles
My family and I consider regular Snickerdoodles one of our favorite cookies.  To "spice" things up a bit I decided to try this recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  Once I mentioned "cayenne" as one of the ingredients my husband and daughter both made faces.  Once I assured them I would go light on that "hot" spice they relaxed a bit.  Once they tasted one my husband paid "his" ultimate compliment, "Well, this doesn't suck!"  My daughter said, "This is really good!  It's making my throat tingle a little bit."  Crinkly chocolate goodness with a little zing and topped with cinnamon and sugar.  Mmm, mmm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Trollop (A Lily Bard Mystery, #4)Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There was a certain comfortable familiarity reading things from Lily Bard's perspective since reading the previous book almost a year ago.

Her methodical and practical nature doesn't make for a thrilling narrative, but she gets things done.

This insight was particularly accurate: "But it was not her weakness that had caused her death; it was one of her strengths that had her killed."

I'll be saying goodbye to Lily with the next book, and I'm betting I'll miss her.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vegan Dessert: Vanilla Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Too good to eat just one!  My husband was going in for seconds.  Sure, they were all golden 'vanilla-y' goodness, but they got a hint of nutty goodness from almond extract.  Both recipes are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.