Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lumby on the Air

By Gail Fraser

From the back of the book:

“Pam and Mark Walker are celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a weeklong family reunion and a ceremony to review their vows. Mark breezily dismisses Pam’s misgivings about temporarily closing Montis Inn, and heads off to the county fair to try his hand at both chain saw sculpting and sheep shearing, with chaotic – and hilarious – results.”

Hurray for the Lumby series! I just love these books!

I reviewed the first book in the series here and told about how much I liked it. When I saw Lumby on the Air was up for review, I snatched it up.

Lumby on the Air is the fifth in the series, with more to come. Author Gail Fraser had found herself a wonderful niche and her books are becoming loved by readers everywhere.

In this story, Mark is faced with coming to terms with his estranged sister. Pam is having to accept her mother has a beau and is taking some risks that have some people nervous.

The sisters have discovered a rare berry on their land and the monks are continuing to experiment with their award-winning sauces.

And, of course, Hank the plastic pink flamingo is back to entertain passersby.

This is such a heart-warming series and you can see every small town in it. It’s particularly interesting to me because I live in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, which is the setting of this series. Although Gail’s town is completely fictional – right down to the name – it certainly reminds me of several I’ve visited.

If you want an enjoyable, relaxing read with plenty of hometown humor built in, pick up one of the books in the Lumby series. And be sure to visit the website at

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. You do your thing; I do mine and sometimes the things others are supposed to have done but didn't.

2. Getting more writing done is what's been on my mind on and off all day.

3. Remember when it used to be easier to remember.

4. My two grandsons and my granddaughter are three of my favorite obsessions :-)

5. During the last year I've read more books than any other time in my life (except for 10th grade).

6. Hearing an old favorite song puts a smile on my face.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing another writing project, tomorrow my plans include doing some rockhounding and Sunday, I want to vegetate!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Tapestry Shop

By Joyce Elson Moore

From the back of the book:

“The Tapestry Shop is the story of the trouvere, Adam de la Halle, a thirteenth century poet-musician who entertained in France’s royal courts. Adam’s secular play, Robin et Marion, led to the birth of the comic opera form and the first penning of the Robin Hood legend. The book draws the reader into the Middle Ages, where women joined the crusades and students held discourse on the Street of Straw, but the overriding appeal of The Tapestry Shop is Adam’s connection to the legend of Robin Hood.”

In this book, the author takes a very little historical entry about a little known figure and weaves a fascinating tale of life in the Middle Ages. And she does an awesome job of it.

Slated to hit the bookstores in October, The Tapestry Shop follows the life of Adam de la Halle as he is sent into exile for writing words that offend and are censured. He does his time and returns to seek revenge on the guard who escorted him to his punishment. They stole what little goods he took with him and he wants it back.

However, along the way, he meets Catherine, the daughter of a tapestry shopkeeper, and falls desperately in love. But Catherine is betrothed to another – albeit against her own wants.

This book weaves their encounters in and out of the pages, gives the reader the chance to see Adam’s career develop and provides a glimpse into the 13th century in a way that is charming and enchanting.

I really enjoyed this book and I hope you’ll add it to your list of books to watch for this fall. I believe you’ll like it, too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Mail Call

Have you been watching the Little League World Series? I've caught a few moments, but hubby saw quite a bit of it this past weekend. He's not much of a sports TV viewer, but he's been enjoying the World Series.

I've been trying to do some "catch up" lately, so I haven't requested many new books to review. That means it's been slim-pickins in my mailbox the last couple weeks.

That's OK, though. I have a HUGE stack of books to read now, so I needed to step back and get caught up on my reading.

Since my last Monday Mail Call post on August 2, I received these books in the mail:

1. Finding Frances by Janice M. Van Dyck
2. River Rising by T.P. Jones
3. French Letters: Engaged in War by Jack Woodville London

I also received a little bound book containing the short stories "A Heart Broken" and "An Angel's Touch" by Janet Quinn.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. Laughter makes the chore go faster.

2. Hi, Sue and does are the three words that started off the last email I sent.

3. What I'm most looking forward to today is getting a few things caught up.

4. My grandson puts a smile on my face.

5. Where in the world is Waldo?

6. An icy cold drink is just what I needed!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing my grandson, tomorrow my plans include a nice afternoon drive and Sunday, I want to finish my writing for the first of the week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog tour: The Quick and the Thread

By Amanda Lee   
From the back of the book:   
“Opening an embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, was a big deal for Marcy Singer. But it was nothing compared to finding a dead body in her store.”        
Just reading the back of the book will tell you this is bound to be a fun and intriguing book. Amanda Lee has begun a new series and this is the first book. So, when I was invited to participate in this WOW! Women on Writing blog tour, I couldn’t pass it up!   
The main character has moved from San Francisco to Oregon for a fresh start and to open the shop she’s always dreamed about. She immediately makes a variety of friends who welcome her into their circle and their lives.   
Yet, on opening night of her store, she stumbles upon a dead body in her storage room. Everyone is a suspect, including Marcy, but the police are baffled and she steps in to do her own investigation, recruiting some of her new friends to help.   
I wasn’t in the least disappointed with this book. I read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. It was so much fun and I liked the surprise ending very much, so I’m giving this novel 4 books.   
About the author:        
Amanda Lee is a pseudonym for cozy mystery writer Gayle Trent. She adopted the pen name exclusively for this new “Seven Year Stitch” series.   
Trent lives in southwest Virginia with her husband and two children. She is a full-time writer, editor, mom, wife and chief cook and bottle washer. Known for her quirky characters, her book “Murder Takes the Cake” was a semi-finalist in’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.   
“The Quick and the Thread was released August 3.   
Be sure to visit her website at for more information about Gayle and her books. You will also find recipes and embroidery patterns that go along with her books. 
 Giveaway details:        
I know you will also enjoy reading this book and I’m offering my copy to one of you who comment on this blog post (U.S. mailing addresses only, please).   
Just tell me if you enjoy working with embroidery (or not) and what your specialty is! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.   
I’ll draw the winning name Friday evening.   

Monday, August 16, 2010


The winners of the "Finding Marco" book giveaway are ...

... Georgia


... Thifa

I'll be sending emails to the winners.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. Music is what I'll be hearing this weekend.

2. A cold drink is what I like first thing in the morning.

3. The first thing I said this morning was: where is everybody.

4. A mystery; it's what's for dinner tonight.

5. It's all been interesting this morning after being up all night.

6. Going to sleep is what I feel like doing right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to covering some of the acts at the annual American Fiesta Amistad, tomorrow my plans include more reporting on the fiesta and Sunday, I want to collapse!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sometimes Mine

By Martha Moody

From the back of the book:

“Fortysomething Genie Toledo is a spitfire who married the wrong guy young, had a child, and then quickly divorced. She has filled the emotional gap in her life by throwing herself into her work as a top cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, holding everyone – including her college-age daughter – at arm’s length. The only person to penetrate her shell is Mick Crabbe, the charming, famous, married college basketball coach with whom she’s had a decade-long affair.”

I don’t even know where to begin to describe how much I liked this book. In fact, I read it in one day because I simply could not put it down.

This book is so well written, you actually feel like you’re right there watching the characters as they go through their misguided and dysfunctional lives. You really get to know them and understand them.

I’ve personally known women who have been involved with married men and Martha Moody truly hits the nail on the head as she describes this relationship between Genie and Mick. They want to be together, but Mick simply will not leave his wife. Oh, he has all the typical excuses, which don’t wash and you realize that pretty early on.

When events take an unexpected turn, things heat up for all the characters.

I guarantee you will like this book. It’s wonderfully written and at times, a little emotional. Now, I’m going to have to run out and find Martha’s other novel “Best Friends” and “The Office of Desire.” I can’t wait to read more by this author.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Mail Call

What a surprise ... not one book in my mailbox this past week!

Actually, it was a nice break as I'm trying to catch up on the many books in my stack I need to read and review.

More should be on their way soon, though, so keep an eye out for my mail list in the near future.

By the way, tomorrow is the deadline for my giveaway drawing for three copies of "Finding Marco," so be sure to get your entry in.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. Life is not really a bowl of cherries.

2. Buckle up your shoes and keep going.

3. My last text message (or IM) ended in these three words: see you soon.

4. A picnic is what I'm thinking about for dinner sometime soon.

5. On the 1st day of August it was hot, hot, hot.

6. My grandson is so lively and energetic.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include a little writing and Sunday, I want to do absolutely nothing because I have to work all next weekend!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An evening with author J.A. Jance

I was privileged to have the opportunity last week to attend a special event featuring author J.A. Jance.

Thursday (July 29), this popular author was in Kennewick, Washington, which is about 50 miles south of where we live, talking about her latest release "Queen of the Night." The event was hosted by Mid-Columbia Libraries.

We arrived about an hour early because there was limited seating. I'm so glad we did because an estimated 250 people were in the audience and we were able to get great seats. I was close enough to take a picture of Jance from my seat, without having to get up and block anyone's view.

Jance walked on stage and started with a song! She sang "Another Opening of Another Show" and had the audience enthralled. Then, she went on to tell us that since she was giving this talk for free, she was going to pick the subject matter. She said she doesn't do readings at readings ... she does talkings at readings.

She discussed how she became a writer and how she incorporates people she has come into contact with and events that have occurred into her stories. She told how her very first book came about and how her subsequent books are connected. And, of course, she discussed her family and a little about her own personal background.

"Queen of the Night" started out as a short story. When she submitted it, it was immediately rejected. She was pretty upset and sent a copy to her best friend in Florida, who loved the story and gave her some advice: "Do what Stephen King does ... take it and turn it into a novel."

And that's exactly what Jance did! The result is a wonderful new story that is sure to be another bestseller.

As she was wrapping up her talk, she let the audience know that she firmly believes no book should ever go unsigned. All she asked is if someone had a bag full of books to go to the end of the line so others could get their one or two signed first. I was in shock. Before we went, I mentioned to several people how I should send hubby down to our storage unit to dig through all my boxes of books to come up with all the J.A. Jance novels I own. They all just rolled their eyes (especially hubby!) and looked at me as if I were nuts.

Well ... guess what ... I could have done that ... so there!

I did purchase a copy of "Queen of the Night," however, and yes, she did sign it. There were about 100 people in the line for author autographs and we were at the back, so it was about 45 minutes before we got to the table. But it was fun visiting with others who were also patiently waiting.

In the meantime, I snapped this picture of my friend Briana posing with Jance and the book. Briana is the reporter for the local paper and a huge fan of Jance. She wrote a great story for the Othello Outlook, too.

Notice that wonderful smile on Jance's face. That really sums up my impression of her. She is very gracious and a joy to listen to. She has a wonderful and refreshing sense of humor and everyone was totally entertained throughout the talk. Even hubby, who very rarely laughs out loud, was amused.

If you ever have the opportunity to sit in on one of her talks, be sure not to miss it. You can check out her appearance schedule on her website at The site also features a list of her books you can download in a pdf format.

On the way home, I told hubby that, indeed, I should have sent him to look for all my Jance books and reminded him that she had said she would sign all of them. He just rolled his eyes -- again -- and sighed. No sense of adventure there, I guess!

Regardless, I am so glad we went down for her talk and it is an event I will remember for years to come. It was an absolute thrill to meet this author.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Mail Call

The weather report for the week is very warm and sunny -- high 80s to low 90s. Not bad! Perfect for getting outside.

The problem we are having is the many wildfires around the area. They create a haze that makes it rather muggy. That's unusual for our area as this is supposed to be a semi-arid desert climate.

I grew up in the Midwest where it was always muggy, so I'm a little more used to it than some of the people around here. Fortunately, it never lasts long and air conditioning is a godsend!

That means anyone who is able can stay inside with a good book! These showed up in my mailbox this past week and I'm really looking forward to reading them.

1. Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb
2. Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang
3. The Quick and the Thread by Amanda Lee
4. Letters from Sweetwater by Dr. Dale Garland

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to enter my giveaway for one of three copies of Finding Marco. The deadline is Aug. 10.