Stay with me as I reveal my latest reading adventures!
First, this interesting little magazine. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Hubby enjoys walking around saying "Ellery!" for some reason!).
I picked up two issues of this jewel at the local school district book sale. Having never seen the magazine before - or knowing of its existence - I was intrigued. This volume is packed with short mystery stories. Not all of them are fabulous but, they are interesting and short enough to read in those odd little chunks of time you have in life - waiting for the doctor, in that ten minutes before leaving for church.
They still publish this magazine and I thought about subscribing but I already have too much reading material in the form of magazines to tackle each month so I think I will just read the two I have. Maybe somewhere down the road I will have the time to read it every other month when it is published.
Next is a wonderful read that was also picked up at the school book sale. Code Name: Baby by Christina Skye.
The cover of this book in real life is a cheery, lemon yellow that got washed out in the scanning process.
Christina Skye is a new author to me and will certainly be on my reading list again soon. I absolutely loved this book (and the next book also by Christina Skye)! These books will be on my radar as I continue in my book reading/buying journeys.
In this novel, a highly trained Navy SEAL, Wolfe Houston, is on a mission to protect a female dog trainer, Kit O'Halleran, and the dogs she is training. These are no ordinary dogs and Wolfe is no ordinary Navy SEAL (if there were such a thing). He is part of a secret group of men who have special training and are the government's secret weapon. The dogs are special also and have some very interesting skills.
This book was one which I didn't want to put down. It is a tantalizing mix of romance, mystery, and thriller. In fact, as soon as I finished this book, I dug out the other book by Christina Skye that was hiding in my book stash and read it. This is an author and a series I could really get hooked on!
Speaking of Christina Skye and her books, Code Name: Bikini is another of her wonderful creations.
This time the romance, mystery, thriller takes place on a cruise ship. The Navy SEAL is Trace O'Halloran (the brother of the dog trainer from the previous book) who is protecting a top secret package being transported on the cruise ship. At least, that is all he is originally supposed to be protecting. He ends up protecting the ship's pastry chef, a beautiful woman named Gina Ryan who has secrets of her own.
Trace is another of those "special" SEALS and has amazing abilities even while recovering from injuries sustained on his last mission.
This book is another "can't put it down" read. Interesting and full of twists and turns and unusual and unexpected plot events. I HAVE to get more of these books!
My next book is Tramp by Marne Davis Kellogg. This book is a Marshall Lilly Bennett Mystery so I am thinking there must be more books written which revolve around the main character of Marshall Lilly Bennett. What do you think?
Another author I was unfamiliar with, Kellogg writes about a small town in Wyoming which finds itself in the middle of a murder mystery. Marshall Bennett, a former police officer and member of a very wealthy family, dives right into the thick of things to solve the mystery.
This story was very enjoyable and bordered on that coveted "can't put it down" status. The title also raised some eyebrows with my classmates when they saw me reading it. Contrary to their delusions, this isn't a "how-to" book for becoming a Tramp! It is, however, a book worth picking up.
Here comes a book from a favorite author, Nora Roberts! Tribute loosely follows Roberts' recipe for her books. There is a woman and a man and a mystery. Of course, everything works out in the end which makes Roberts' books a good, fun read.
Cilla McGowan, a former child star moves to a small town with the intention of revitalizing the farmhouse which was her grandmother's favorite retreat. After her grandmother, a famous movie star, committed suicide at a young age, Cilla's mother, also in show business, inherited the house but allowed it to slip into disrepair.
Across the street from Cilla's farm house lives a handsome bachelor who writes and illustrates graphic novels, Ford Sawyer. In the best Nora Roberts tradition, Ford is yummy! He takes an interest in Cilla and ends up involved in the mystery and danger which surrounds both Cilla and the farm house.
Tribute is a good, fast read with enough plot twists to make the "recipe" book seem fresh and exciting. Another hit for Nora Roberts and another good book for the light mystery genre lover!
My final book for this session is another plucked up at the district book sale. White Oleander by Janet Fitch is also an Oprah's Book Club selection. Normally, I avoid those but this one looked interesting so I risked it.
The main reason I avoid Oprah's picks is that they are all pretty "heavy" topic-wise. This book is no exception but the beautifully descriptive writing seems to lighten the burden of the story enough to make it a good read.
Astrid, the main character, is the daughter of a brilliant yet emotionally unsteady poet who goes to prison for killing a man who dumps her. With no family besides her mother, Astrid is thrown into the foster care system when her mother is taken away. She experiences the bad, the horrible, and the good of the system and in the process grows into her own person.
There are many times when this book runs riot over the reader's emotions, like the time Astrid finds herself in a foster home where she is never fed enough and resorts to eating food out of the garbage can at the school cafeteria. Also, the yearning Astrid feels for a "normal" life, a "normal" mother, and most importantly, for love, is so poignant it brings tears to the reader's eyes.
While I don't recommend this book for a "light" read, it is a wonderfully written, engaging book worth reading.
Also interesting was the use of White Oleander, a plant which grows everywhere in my neck of the woods, as a lethal poison!
That is it for this book session. Now go out there and read, people! Read!
Voice Update: After some serious massage from Susan which has left a couple sore spots on my neck, my voice is rocking and rolling. I got some new exercises to work on not tensing up while trying to say certain sounds - especially the "t" sound at the beginning of words. I am working on them diligently so far!